Judah 12 Month Update

Well I now have a one year old! You probably know that already as this update has been long overdue. It has been such an incredible year with Judah and discovering his adorable personality. He is sweet and mischievous in equal measures and a constant reminder to praise God for all that he has done for our family.

Judah’s updates will now stop on my blog, there will of course always be mention of him and his brother as I can’t help but talk about how wonderful they are, but no more monthly updates.
Thank you for supporting my little family all they way from my pregnancy update to his final monthly post, I have enjoyed sharing this time with you and I love that I have documented it all.

Judah 1 year

Weight: 19lbs 2oz

Length: still have no idea on this at all.

Eating: Judah has 3 meals a day, the same as the rest of the family. I adore babyled weaning and he has 1 snack in the morning as well.

Sleeping: 7.30pm – 6.30am

Nappies: Size 4 Pampers.

Clothes: 9-12 months

Things Judah likes to do:
Judah’s favourite thing to do at the moment is to give people a high five, whether he is greeting you or he feels impressed with himself – up his little hand will go. It is so cute but perhaps less so when his hands are covered in his dinner.
He continues to love bath time and was thrilled when the bathroom renovations were completed so he could get back to his domain.
Judah’s adventurous nature is stepping up the pace, as are his pouting when you stop him from any impending doom that is sure to follow. Examples of this are shaking the fire guard incessantly, on the look out every time the lounge door opens so he can crawl into the hallway and the out of bounds kitchen, shaking the lampshades and uplighter. I now only have 1 lamp in the living room and that looks like that will go soon!
It is so amusing as Judah has become the typical younger brother, he will be playing with Nathanael and he thinks I haven’t spotted him trying to get attention he will just burst out crying for no reason, looking all sorry for himself – Nathanael hasn’t done anything but Judah just wants a cuddle – so funny!!
He continues to love books and will grab one now and bring it over as well as enjoying toys with his brother such as blocks, bricks and Lego. He has a great little throw on him so now we are inside more we are often rolling a ball backwards and forwards to him.

It is an absolute joy being his Mum, I am so excited for the year ahead for more of his personality to come out and to bring on the toddling stage!

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Summer Check In

Hey Friends!

Thought I would check in to this blog of mine, blow off the cobwebs from my computer and catch you all up with things that have been happening this summer.

summer update photo

We have spent some of the Summer preparing our eldest for nursery, he has loved visiting his school and I know he is eager to play with all his new friends. I purchased his school uniform early and spent some time sewing his name labels in things, I have enjoyed getting him organised and reading books about going to school,  although my heart is breaking that he is at this stage already we are celebrating the season that we are in.

We have had a lot of trips out and about this Summer! We had arranged to meet up with Luke’s Aunt, Uncle and the whole family and we had such a good time! Nathanael has printed pictures of his trip out with them for his photo board, he had so much fun.
We spent some time with my sister in Harrogate, they have such a gorgeous family park there the kids did not want to leave. Hopefully next summer the weather will be hotter for us to go in the paddling pool/splash pad type thing they have there.
We recently took a trip to Rufford Park which was lovely, they have such a nice play area for the kids and I have to say we packed an incredible picnic.
We have had our annual trip to Bolsover Castle for the Medieval Joust and the weather was amazing although I did feel sorry for the men who were wearing seven stones worth of armour.
We still have a few trips planned before school starts and I am looking forward to them before the end of summer.

This year we had low expectations on how many house projects we could complete with a new baby in the mix but I think we have surprised ourselves with how much we have accomplished. The summer has been a great opportunity to repoint the patio which has been in need of attention and I am really proud of our efforts, especially with how changeable the weather has been! It looks fantastic and really brings the garden together.
While we talk about the garden you may have read Luke’s blog post on Garden Renovation since that post we have completed phase two and I am thrilled with how lovely our front garden looks.
A few days ago we repainted the playroom, after nearly four years of Nathanael playing it was in need of a refresh and it looks great. There are a few design elements to add to the room and perhaps when we are done I will share that.
We have a few more things lined up for the house before the year ends, if you want more up to date information the best place would be to follow my Instagram – I love Instagram Stories!

At the end of June I was seriously considering ending my blogging journey, for various reasons primarily because I am over social media and how competitive it all feels.
I follow “positive people” but for one week alone I had been invited to at least 12 different Bible studies, Bible reading plans or some version like that which is encouraging in itself but they were all claiming “wonder for your spiritual life” and in direct competition with each other which made me think, have I made my blog competitive?

I think the answer to that is sometimes – Yes. There are times  a post I had scheduled would go live only to find others had posted 30 minutes after me and I would assume it would be in response to my post so I had to do bigger and better things.
It’s more to do with me than anyone else, I think it is good to have some self evaluation, and I find this one-upmanship doesn’t just apply to blogging it happens in all walks of life too.

You post a picture on a social media platform, ten minutes late someone posts something they are doing claiming that it’s better.
A picture of your child with one of their accomplishments is posted, the next thing someone is claiming their child can hold their breath for two minutes. All in a state to out do one another. It made me all very upset to be honest and a couple of weeks break from social media has made all the difference.

I am continuing on with my blogging journey, I love that I can look back on six years of posts and most importantly on the family memories I have captured and shared on this corner of the internet.

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Judah Eleven Month Update

Judah 11 months

Weight: 18lbs 15oz

Length: who knows!

Eating: Everything and anything!

Sleeping: 7.30pm – 6.30am

Nappies: Size 4 Pampers.

Clothes: 9-12 months

Things Judah likes to do:
Judah’s adventures have continued this month and it really is hard to know where to start. The appearance of his top two teeth in recent weeks has really helped him to get through his food quickly and he now complains when meal times are over.
Judah loves to explore the world around him and he has successfully (with mummy behind him) scaled the stairs. Climbing appears to be a passion as he was so impressed with himself when he got to the top, he gave himself a round of applause.
The theme of being active continues from last month as he still loves running around with his push– a-long walker, he can’t quite grasp the turning it around just yet but Nathanael loves to help him which is very sweet to watch.
Judah has also attempted to stand unaided, he shoves his bum in the air and can get about half way to standing before he flops on the floor, I can’t believe he is trying this at his age!
Whenever the weather has been nice we have been out and about on small daytrips with the whole family or anything that mummy can pull together for the three of us. One of Judah’s favourite outings is a simple trip to the park, he loves to be out on the swings – next to his brother of course.
There has been a lot of talking in the past few weeks, and we all love to talk back to him with whatever he has said, this has also coincided with his appreciation for books. Judah loves any book that is either touchy- feel kind or ones with flaps and loves to join in with the story too.

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Judah Ten Month Update

Judah 10 months

Weight: 18lbs 8oz

Length: who knows!

Eating: Everything and anything, Judah eats the same meals as the family a particular favourite at the moment is Turkey Koftas.

Sleeping: 7.30pm – 6.30am

Nappies: Size 3 Pampers.

Clothes: some 6-9 month clothes as well as 9-12 months

Things Judah likes to do:
This month has been so busy for Judah as he mastered so many skills in such a short amount of time. I think he has become so desperate to charge around after his brother he wanted to speed up the process of growing up.
At the start of the month Judah began pulling himself up to stand, this happened on a wide variety of objects from sofa, ottoman, baby gates, his cot bed and the fireguard. There is not an item of furniture that has not proved useful for Judah to rise himself up against and he absolutely loves to stand, all morning long, he just wants to view the world from his feet now.
It took only 3 days from him standing to his feet to being able to cruise against all the foresaid furniture and while Mummy’s heart was breaking he proceeded to master the technique more efficiently.
It has taken the whole of the month to encourage Judah to sit himself down so content he is on his feet he would just moan a little for you to help him sit and then after a short rest get straight back up!
If this all wasn’t too much Judah has decided that he doesn’t want to be restricted by stationary objects, he is going places so within a month from not being able to stand he can now walk using a push along walker – not the kind you sit babies in, a fully fledged push it yourself walker! I am in shock and can’t believe he has mastered this but very proud of him all the same.
Judah’s personality this month has really shone through, he is fearless and daring, sure falling over happens in the attempt to move from one place to the next but he quickly gets over it and tries again. In the same way he is very determined and doesn’t want to be restricted by anything, he will tell you if he wants to be off to explore.
It has been a joy this past month, who knows what surprises Judah will have in store for us this month, because as much as I tell him to slow down he keeps ignoring me!

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A Day Out at Thomas Land, Drayton Manor

I am so excited to share our first visit to Thomas Land at Drayton Manor, we had an incredible time and thought it might be helpful if you have children the same age on what to expect from a visit.

We took our sons ages 3 and 8 months, in June during term time, our eldest has yet to start nursery and so as we are not constrained by a school timetable yet and it was brilliant to visit during the off peak times.
An added bonus to visiting during the school week was the excellent ticket prices on offer, we were able to choose the Adult and Toddler Ticket for £20 online and then purchase an additional adult ticket for £18 on the day subject to availability, so I would recommend if you choose this option to be there when the park opens.

Nathanael our eldest is a  huge Thomas the Tank Engine fan, this may have been encouraged by his Mum who was also a huge Thomas fan growing up.

Me and Emma

Nate was only six months when we purchased him his first train set, and he will spend many a happy hour constructing elaborate tracks with his Dad. Last summer being heavily pregnant we really didn’t have the chance to visit many places as a family, so we were all looking forward to our trip to see Thomas and his friends.

Nathanael’s face beamed when he saw the entrance to Thomas Land, we managed just to get a few photos before chasing him inside.

Entrance to Thomas Land

As you enter Thomas Land you will see Knapford Station where Thomas, Percy and Rosie can take you on a ride through Drayton Manor, stopping at the zoo. We were so busy in Thomas Land for the day we didn’t get a chance to do this, but we loved watching the trains come in and out, they turn the engine around at the end so its a great way for children to watch the characters they know and love.

We headed straight for Harold’s Helicopters Tours which I guessed would be one of Nathanael’s favourite rides, if you have a child under 1.05m you will have to accompany them which Nate loved to drive Mummy and Daddy around. Harold’s Helicopter Tour like its name would suggest takes you up in the air, and you are able to see the overview of Thomas Land itself.

Harold the Helicopter

There were no queues when we visited but I can imagine that this one is very popular, surrounding the outside of Harold’s ride are various engines in their sheds which is a great place to take some photos.

Gordon

Another ride in this section of Thomas Land that Nathanael enjoyed was Rocking Bulstrode, Nathanael has always been an outdoorsy, adventurous boy and he is never sick. I would caution parents with children who are prone to motion sickness that this probably isn’t the ride for them, it moves you side to side, up and down, turns you all over the place and Nathanael found it all hilarious, there were others however who were looking a little green!

Fat Controller

After the success of the Harold ride we went in search of Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy, next to the Sodor Airport which happens to be a cafe. Nathanael loves Jeremy, for months whenever we would spot a plane flying over head Nathanael would declare “Look! It’s Jeremy” so I knew this would be the perfect ride for him. Jeremy Jet’s Flying Academy is similar to Harold’s except you control how high you want to be when you are spun around, well as soon as Nathanael discovered the height control it was his plane that flew the highest. A great ride that we visited more than once!

Jeremy Plane

One of the newest rides to Thomas Land is James and the Red Balloon, and this was the only ride I believed we “queued for” which was just waiting for one go of the ride so hardly waiting in my opinion, I would again think that if you are visiting in peak season that to head to this ride first as it proved very popular.

James Red Balloon Ride

You take off in James’ Red Balloon and are spun around, I think the only way I could describe this would be a tea cups and saucers in the air type of ride, it was great fun and Nathanael loved visiting James after the ride.

James on Thomas

Across from James is the Blue Mountain Engines, a small carousel type ride which would be a great ride to build up from. I would suggest if your child is a fan of the Blue Mountain Mystery film to make sure you are either at the front of the queue or wait for another round if they can’t get a train. There are only 3 trains Rheneas, Peter Sam and Sir Handel and then spaced between them are trucks which can be disappointing if your can’t get a train they have looked at for a while.

James

I am a huge fan of Diesel, bless him I think he is a tad misunderstood and who doesn’t love his song in the Great Race “I’m full of surprises you ought to wait and see I bring some razzle dazzle to the yard”  and you can’t have Thomas Land without Diesel’s Locomotive Mayhem, again similar to Cups and Saucers all the diesel engines spin you around, Nathanael had a great time on this one.

thomas

Across from the Diesel ride is Sodors Classic Cars, this ride is very leisurely and has a photo opportunity if you wanted to purchase this at the end of the ride. Nathanael thought Classic Cars was great fun as he felt like he was driving Mummy and Daddy around the ride.

Winston’s Whistle Stop Tours offers a great view of Thomas Land and Drayton Manor as a whole and would be a good ride to go on at the start of your time spent in Thomas Land as Winston talks you through all the other rides on offer.

One of the last rides we tried was Captain’s Sea Adventures, this does have a minimum height restriction on it so make sure to get measured first. Captain’s ride is again similar to tea cups and saucers but you are in water. Nathanael loved this, especially when he remembered Captain searching for Thomas on Misty Island Rescue. It looks as if there is jets that could be pointed at the boats but these were covered when we went on the ride, I could be wrong, but with having a toddler I always have a change of clothes for him.

One of only two rides that due to height restriction we were unable to go on were Cranky’s Drop Tower and the Troublesome Trucks Runaway Rollercoaster, Nate was only 95cm at the time but I don’t think we missed out in anyway from the whole Thomas Land experience.

Cranky

The accessibility for families throughout Drayton Manor is fantastic, I had chalked this up that Judah our 8 month old would be bored but he also had a fantastic time, there is a soft play area, but simply being out in the sunshine with all the theme tunes playing and rides to watch really kept him entertained.
Within Thomas Land there is a huge family room situated within the toilet area that has lots of space for changing babies along with cubicles.I could tell that care and attention had been taken for families with babies and toddlers when it came to this area which I really appreciated.

Finally I really want to sing the praises to all the staff at Drayton Manor, with all the horrible incidents at the moment there was enhanced security at the gate, which in my opinion was fantastic, they knew that children were excited about visiting Thomas and engaged with them along with keeping people safe.
The staff inside Thomas Land made the trip for us, again taking safety on the rides as a top priority but also sharing the joy and excitement of Thomas. Nathanael went on Sodors Classic Cars back to back, once with Mummy and then with Daddy, I said to the operator that he was all for equal opportunities and she replied “I am just so glad he is enjoying it” it really made my day when she said that as you could tell she meant it.
There were other children who were having a tough time on certain rides and the staff brought them around to the idea of them and encouraged them which was great to witness.

I would highly recommend a trip to Thomas Land, firstly if your child or you is a Thomas fan what is not to love, but also if you are looking for a day out with incredible customer service in every area from the rides, to grabbing something to eat, even in the security areas I honestly think Drayton Manor is the place to go!

We are already planning our next visit! Why not plan your own at  www.draytonmanor.co.uk/thomas-land

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