2016 – Aka Day 169…

Happy new year everyone!

If I’ve done the maths right, today marks day 169 of our life as a trio. If I haven’t, then I’ll hang my head in shame!

What a journey so far, and it’s amazing to think that this time last year, we were starting to tell people that Beatrice was on the way. The last twelve months have been spent preparing and enjoying the change to our lives that she has brought to us.

This includes some of the following:

  • the joy of seeing Beatrice’s ultrasound
  • reading the baby books
  • researching all the baby products
  • buying all the baby products
  • painting the nursery
  • testing out the monitor on Leo
  • antenatal classes
  • my first cuddle
  • my first nappy change
  • our first night at home
  • family visits
  • my second, third and umpteenth nappies
  • our first nights away
  • starting a blog
  • being an incredibly proud dad
  • her first chuckle
  • her first tears
  • our first Christmas

I think that’s a great list, and cannot wait for all the firsts that 2017 will bring.

Thanks to all for following, and I’ll see you all in 2017 with news of Bea’s adventures into weaning, more ‘Dad Dancing’, some ‘Bedtime Reading’ and who knows what else?

 

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Beacember Advent Calendar Day #24

We made it! 24 days of cataloguing the run up to our first Christmas day as a trio. Thanks to all of you for checking in and I hope you’ve enjoyed it! It’ll be great to look back on, but don’t go expecting daily blog posts again any time soon!

Today was spent treating ourselves to a lunch out in town, getting some few final treats for Beatrice and you won’t be surprised to hear, ending it with cake. Once we got home, it was time to make the cookies for Father Christmas, play some board games and watch another Christmas film before I write this and we go off to bed (Beatrice went to sleep a while ago- I’m sure she was very excited…probably not as much as we are!). I’m pleased to report that Father Christmas will certainly enjoy his stopover at ours as the cookies are delicious! The reindeer know where to come thanks to another gift that I didn’t get around to squeezing into a post! Daddy’s little helper had a part to play too!

After making the cookies, it was bath time and a quick bedtime story:

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Behind our final advent ‘door’ are the two items I teased yesterday, one from Grandma and another from Nanna, both gorgeous!

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First up is this cute personalised bear, that is sure to be a firm favourite at this time of year! We won’t give it to Bea just yet as she’ll just lick it, but I’m sure she will grow to absolutely love it!

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And the last item is another soon-to-be traditional item, this stunning handmade stocking by Grandma! Lucy and I were amazed when we saw this, and I genuinely have no idea what’s in store for Beatrice tomorrow!

Right, that’s me done! Have a great Christmas everyone and see you soon!

Beacember Advent Calendar Day #23

The countdown to Christmas continues, hope yours is going well! We’re pretty much set here and looking forward to Beatrice’s first Christmas Eve!

Obviously, she’s going to need something to protect her Christmas outfit from any potential Christmas dinner material (I promise to stop using the word Christmas as often!), so today’s Beacember items are (as correctly guessed in the comments) some appropriately themed bibs!

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Today we went out for a walk to the beach, picking up a very important item for our final day on the calendar. As you can see in the picture, we had Bea facing out on the baby carrier for the first time, which is great for her as she can see out (she loves being curious and nosy). However, it does mean you can’t see her at all, a bit of a problem when she’s wearing a hat under her hood with a habit of falling over her eyes! Still, the sea air took it out of her and she had a nice long nap!

Tomorrow is going to the end of a long blogging journey, and as tradition has dictated so far, I’ll end this post on a teaser… (it’s a two for one!)

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Beacember Advent Calendar Day #22

It turns out scheduling posts is a very handy feature indeed, and allowed me to spend uninterrupted time with my favourite duo yesterday (even if both Lucy and I both checked in at 6pm to see if it had gone live…).

We discovered yesterday that the ‘chunky wheels & tread for off road adventures’ didn’t quite live up to their name. Whilst we generally love our Armadillo travel system (Mamas and Papas, we’re more than happy to try out more of your products!), it wasn’t quite ready for the mud we ploughed through yesterday morning! In 2015, we completed 50 walks around Norfolk and decided to relive a bit of one of them for our anniversary, this time with added cake and treat lunch. We started at Kerri’s tearooms, and then moved onto the lovely Dial House in Reepham to round off our walk.

Then it was back home for a bit of a play, followed by a Christmas movie and a quiet evening with Lucy.

The photo yesterday was a glimpse into what will hopefully become a tradition in our house. It’s a recipe/ingredients for cookies for Father Christmas! I love biscuits, and obviously whilst most of the treats we’ll make will go to FC himself, he’ll need a local taster to do quality control checks.

Two posts left on our first ever Beacember adventure, what’s left behind the penultimate door?

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Beacember Advent Calendar Day #21

Like I mentioned on Day 20, this post is a bit like what happens on radio or telly at this time of year. They record something way in advance and spend the time celebrating! This, sadly, was not way in advance. However, day 21 of December is my wedding anniversary, and as such I plan on spending it away from the blog!

Yesterday’s sneak peek was of this gorgeous card made by my mum. She is a keen cardmaker and we always look forward to seeing her creations at special occasions!

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If today has gone to plan, Lucy has received and liked her anniversary gift too…

Anyway, it’s a bit weird writing this ahead of time, so I’m going to crack on and show you the teaser for day 22. I think it’s a tradition I can certainly get used to in the years to come. Hope you’ve all enjoyed your Wednesday and see you Thursday!

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Beacember Advent Calendar Day #20

This time three years ago, I was enjoying a fantastic evening with my family. Everyone was excited and full of good spirits. This had nothing to do with Christmas, and everything to do with the fact I was getting married the next day! We’re probably going to spend tomorrow being soppy and looking at the photos and reminiscing about the day we became Mr. and Mrs. We’ve got a couple of other plans too which we’re really looking forward to.

Anyway, you didn’t come here for that, you came here for the reveal:SAM_9357.JPG

Truth be told, I don’t know what these actually are! They were a gift from Beatrice’s Grandma with instructions to leave until Christmas Eve…loving the mystery element!

Today we got to spend time with one of Bea’s great aunties who lives nearby. She’s added to the advent calendar pile in the nick of time so that’s rather spectacular! Whenever someone else (other than Lucy or I) see Beatrice they always comment on how much bigger she is. This is always a bit of a shock as we see the gradual change and don’t really notice till she starts growing out of things! We did have a little trip down a rather short memory lane though looking at old photos of Beatrice from the summer, and can’t believe how different she is now!

One thing I don’t think I’ve mentioned before is that Lucy never reads my posts until they go live. So, not only do I have to think through very carefully what I’ve written in advance (she is also quite good at picking up on typos quickly!), but I also get the chance to surprise her once in a while…

I’m doing a double teaser for tomorrow!

The first one is for her:

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And the second is for you guys!

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I’m going to try and schedule tomorrow’s post, so there’s a good chance it won’t work, but keep a look out- I’d rather spend my anniversary with Lucy and Bea!

 

 

Beacember Advent Calendar Day #19

Starting to really relax into the holidays now, which is great as usually it takes a while to switch off from a hectic term. I also got the chance to sort out all of Lucy’s presents whilst she was out with Beatrice today, meaning I can spend the rest of my week focusing on them rather than doing last minute panic wrapping!sam_9355

And as I haven’t been able to see Rogue One yet, I put this on in the background…still got the second half to go too!

Had lots of cuddles this afternoon, and I think I’ve set a bit of a rod for my own back as Beatrice can’t get enough of grabbing the baubles and staring at the tree.

The Christmas film checklist continued too, with the obligatory viewing of Nativity. It came out the year I became a teacher, so naturally it stands out a bit. If you work in a primary school, it really hits home in a lot of ways. If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a teacher who lies about putting on a big Hollywood style production, and is a very heartwarming film. Always makes me weep a little too!

Yesterday’s item was, of course, a gift bag. People have been so generous already towards us, that I’m still surprised to see gifts appearing from work colleagues! I’ve yet to open it as I think we’ll save it for the day itself. I’ve already heard on the grapevine that she will also be getting an identical gift bag from another very generous person, so perhaps there’s a market for ‘Baby’s 1st Christmas’ bags waiting for more designs…

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Tomorrow is another unknown…

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See you for day 20!

Beacember Advent Calendar Day #18

Yesterday, we finally put up our tree in time for Christmas! Before Beatrice, this would be an evening in with Home Alone/Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, some wine and nibbles. This year, the film was on, but no wine/nibbles! Beatrice had seen the tree minus all the decs, but got them in all their glory with the lights on this evening- she couldn’t take her eyes off of it! Occasionally she’d look in surprise to me or Lucy as if to say ‘How cool is this?’

Our tree, as is everyone’s, is full of memorable decorations – we’ve got ones from our honeymoon, our travels, and the wedding favours (one of which is pictured ). There are also a couple of ones you may recognise below.

Here is the tree in all its glory…

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It’s so hard to take a decent photo on an actual camera (in about 5 minutes and without a tripod)…I daresay an iPhone would’ve smashed that, so sorry!

Today we went off to visit family for our first dose of Christmas cheer (with lots of people to meet up with, our Christmas festivities get extended, yay!). We had a great day with Nanny and Grandad, and Beatrice got to play with her cousins. She also proved to be a dab hand with opening her presents (well, she’s good at gripping stuff!), though I think we’d still be going till next Christmas if she did it all by herself! All that practice with the cushion obviously paid off…

It was a really nice day and we can’t wait for what lies ahead!

Speaking of what lies ahead…day 19 on the horizon!

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Beacember Advent Calendar Day # 17

Yesterday I thought I was running out of things to actually make it to Christmas Eve. Genuinely, I wanted to record the memory of us wrapping up a cushion as it felt so ridiculous, but equally I’d used up most of our baby-related Christmassy things. Thankfully, it looks like the situation has been redressed without me having to go and buy a load of stuff – in fact, if anything, I was incredibly restrained today! There is a lot of quite nice Christmas baby clothing out there that isn’t too over-the-top and I didn’t buy a thing!

I got an afternoon of daddy/daughter time, as Lucy had a nice afternoon out with her friends (well-earned too!). This meant I got a lovely bit of time with Beatrice, who made at least three random strangers smile, which means she’s living up to her name (‘she who brings happiness’). An old gentleman came up to us whilst we were having lunch and said “I gave her a little wave and she gave me a lovely smile back,” which I completely missed but she does have an infectious little smile so I can completely imagine that. #prouddaddy

Today’s item is quite a special one for us. Lucy and I got married around this time three years ago (if you follow the blog for the next week, you may just find out exactly when…), and for our wedding favours, Lucy and her mum made Christmas decorations for every guest. These are pride of place on our tree every year, and it’s awesome seeing them pop up in our friends’ and family’s houses at this time. We received a surprise this year, as my mother-in-law decided Beatrice couldn’t be without her own decoration. Liz, I cannot thank you enough! The decs will always hold a special place in our hearts, and now we can include Beatrice in that tradition too.

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I will let Bea show you what’s coming up tomorrow…

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Beacember Advent Calendar Day #16

Did you hear that? You know, the big overwhelming’aaaaah’? No it’s not the sound of parents cooing over their newborns. It’s teachers finally collapsing into sofas and sighing now that term’s over(that joke definitely works better when read aloud!). I love my job, but the mad dash to Christmas is exhausting! Can’t wait to recharge the batteries over the next couple of weeks (and hopefully catch a Star Wars screening at some point of course).

Yesterday’s reveal was a little bit cheeky. It’s Beatrice’s first ‘Christmas present.’

Basically, as I’ve mentioned before, she’s taking a real interest in different textures at the moment, and we’ve noticed a real shift in how she is actively trying to grab and interact with things (and importantly, not always with the intention of shoving it in her mouth!).

At one point, she started to get dangerously close to unwrapping a present by pawing at it (which of course, we as curious and naive parents- correction, I, as a curious and slightly stupid parent- allowed, sorry, encouraged her to do), we decided to quickly wrap something close to hand. So it’s here, on the internet, in front of tens of people (love to you all-I’ll be posting about the stats at some point!) that I will confess. Her first ‘Christmas present’ from her parents was a cushion. I mean, it’s a perfectly acceptable cushion, and she loves the bumpy texture of one side, but it’s not really going to place on the top 10 most wanted lists any time soon!

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Back to more orthodox items tomorrow…

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