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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Judah Nine Month Update

IMG_8527_for_kiri_9M

Weight: 17lbs 6oz

Length: who knows!

Eating: Everything and anything, Judah loves his mealtimes and makes it very clear when his plate is empty!

Sleeping: 7.30pm – 6.30am

Nappies: Size 3 Pampers.

Clothes: 6-9 months.

Things Judah likes to do:
Judah has been so busy this past month and I hope that I have remembered all the milestones he has achieved along the way. To begin with he has firmly grasped the crawling technique from army crawl, to bunny hop and now fully on his knees, Judah has also understood what direction he wants to travel in rather than the endless circles we had last month.
Judah has learnt that his favourite way to view the world is stood up and will look for things to be leant against whether that is his play-table, ottoman, sofa or between Mummy and Daddy’s hands he just loves to be stood on his feet. This love of being stood up has led to some great frustration in the past two weeks because he needs some help to stand up, I am sure that it won’t be long till he has mastered the art of rising to his feet.
Not content to stay still for a second Judah’s favourite activity at the moment is to practice his swimming technique in the bath tub, he goes from sitting to forward crawl in seconds and loves to have a great splash around – it goes without saying that he is never in the bathtub alone.
This past month Judah has also learnt to clap, he is now clapping at the silliest of things from being collected from his room in a morning to having his nappy changed, we are greeted with a great round of applause, so cute!
Judah can now pop himself from a crawling position to sat down on his bum which is great because although he loves to move about he also loves to see what others are doing and is very social.
Judah’s favourite thing in life is still playing with his brother and now he can get to wherever he wants to go, and play with whatever he wants to play with, it has made him so happy!

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A Day Out at the National Railway Museum

In March we took a trip to the National Railway Museum in York, and I thought I would share our experience with you.
At the time of our visit our eldest was three years, and our youngest was just five months so this review might help you if you are a parent to littles!

Our eldest is obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine, talks about him all the time, colours are in reference to trains, phrases like “i fell off the tracks” “I screech and stop” “bust my buffers” are a common occurrence throughout my household.
With all this in mind we thought time spent at the Railway Museum would be great.

Nate and I at NRM

A trip to York isn’t too far from where we live and you could make a visit absolutely free by not using the museums car park. I think if the boys were older we could have gotten to York by train but at their ages the convenience of having a car is essential. I simply saw the £9 car park charge as a ticket to get in as it goes to the upkeep of the museum.

We headed straight downstairs to begin looking at all the trains and Nathanael was wowed by how many there were, and the fact that he could look inside so many!
At the time of our visit as it was during term time on a miserable March day, I was surprised to see how busy it was, there were 3 or 4 school groups going around and a lot of other visitors too.

circle trains

In the main section there is a coffee shop which is in the middle of where all the trains are, this was perfect for me as I could grab a drink and feed my youngest, while Nathanael and his Daddy were off exploring. More often than not with littles you are trying to manage the expectations of each one and especially when out and about this can be difficult. I thought the open cafe area was a great idea.

They also have other restaurants available in another area of the museum which is laid out as if you are dining in a train carriage. I am sure if my two boys were a little older they would have loved this, at the time there were plenty of adults taking pictures of their experience!

rocket

Not all of the trains are open to see, and this for my oldest was where the fun stopped for him, his attention span isn’t the greatest so if he couldn’t look in all the trains this is where he wanted to move onto the next. There was plenty of information to read about the trains and railways scattered all over, and I was impressed to see on quite a few of the trains employees of the museum sharing what they were all about.
I explained to one lady how much Nathanael loved Thomas the Tank Engine and she dove straight in and told Nathanael how that train was exactly like Emily. I really appreciated how they went out of their way for Nate to have the best possible experience.

Nate and I looking at trains

There is a play area “Little Play Station”  for younger children which is a new addition, Nathanael loved exploring this area, however we went in March during term time and it was quite busy. I perhaps would have made this area a little bigger I can imagine this are during the summer months would be very crowded.

Luke and Nate bridge

Overall we had a great morning at the museum, I perhaps think our eldest would have got more out of the experience if he was a little older or had the weather been a little better and we could have gone on the small train or he could have played in their outdoor area.
This isn’t any slight on the museum obviously as they can’t help the weather or my son’s love of the outdoors.

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May Favourites

Forgive me for this being a little late but as you will read on it has been a very busy month.

1. Grey Feature Wall – Over the May bank holiday Luke painted the feature wall in our Living Room and I just love it. The previous colour was a dark red which suited the room from October to February, however as soon as Spring approaches our living room looks dark, small, and out of season. I love grey, I have the same colour in multiple rooms in our home, it really has brighten the room up and has given us a neutral canvas to display our gorgeous family photos.

2. The Chiltern Country Luxe Reed Diffuser – Luke has been on his travels with work for the past couple of months, while he was away he caught up with his Aunt and Uncle and returned with gifts. One of them happened to be this gorgeous reed diffuser which I claimed was too nice for our downstairs powder room and promptly took it to our ensuite, however after a few days I had to purchase one for downstairs too as I loved the fragrance so much.

3. White Amber perfume – Luke counted down my birthday in gifts and one of the fragrances he purchased for me was this, I always used to purchase florally scents but really love this warm fragrance.

4. 30th Birthday Celebrations – My thirtieth birthday was obviously a highlight of the month, I was spoilt so much, gifts are my love language!

5. Dream Big Candle – This was a gorgeous gift from an equally gorgeous friend! Not only does this smell amazing it fits perfectly with my new living room decor.

6. Peonies – My favourite flower of all time which only happens to be in season around my birthday, so I was spoilt by Luke and my sister and brother in law to, two bunches of them my house looked as if you were walking into a florist.

7. Spigen Style Ring – This was one of my birthday presents and I am so happy that Luke has purchased it for me, I am really enjoying snippets of my day over on Instagram Stories and having this ring just gives some added protection with my phone.

8. Afternoon Tea – This was my birthday treat from my sister and it was a great gift to be able to spend time with her and eat some delicious cake even if I had to take it home with me, we were so full!

9. New Kitchen Lights – It is approaching 4 years since we purchased our home (where has time gone?) and every winter a common complaint heard in the kitchen is how dark it is. The previous owners had opted for a strip LED monstrosity, which along with not seeing a duster in years and being a hideous design, didn’t serve it’s most basic function – that to light up a room. I would love to have the height to install pendant lighting over our kitchen dining table but I lack the huge American house so we went with these from John Lewis and I am thrilled. They already make sure a difference to the room and I am loving how this small changes to our house continue to improve it.