When my friend Donna from What the Redhead said told me she was coming on holiday to Scotland I was hoping she would be staying near enough that we could meet up and I could get to meet her lovely kids (and husband), and she could meet Toby and Gabe. Even though Scotland is a pretty big place luckily they weren’t staying too far away so we arranged to meet for a day out at the Dundee Science Centre.
Dundee is just under an hour’s drive from where we live, which isn’t too far but this was the first time I was taking both boys out for the day on my own. I made sure we had everything we needed, plus plenty of things we probably wouldn’t, and off we went.
Even though it’s not half term in most places near us the science centre was still quite busy. It’s not that big but there was plenty for the kids to look at and play with. Because it was quite small it also meant that I didn’t have to hang on to Toby too tightly, as long as I kept an eye on him he couldn’t go far.
It was lovely to meet Donna’s kids LP and LM, especially having read so much about them over the last few years.
We had lunch at the science centre and Toby was very well behaved, in fact he was really good all day. Gabe was being a bit of a monkey and wouldn’t drink hardly any of his milk (which meant he ended up crying on the way home because he was hungry), but apart from that he was generally happy to hang out in the buggy.
The one downside to taking the boys without Barry was that although there was quite a lot for Toby to look at and do (like these robots with handles to turn and buttons to push) I couldn’t really help explain things to him as much as I might have been able to if Barry was there.
It didn’t matter too much anyway as I think Toby’s two favourite things of the whole day were this thing that lit up and played different notes when you stood on the different sections…
…and running up and down this walkway!
Aside from Gabe crying on the way home as I’ve already mentioned we really did have a lovely day out and it’s made me realise that taking both kids out on my own is certainly possible, even if it’s not actually easy yet!
It was fantastic to see Donna and her lovely family too – I love it when blogging and the real world collide.
After last week’s success, and blessed with another sunny day, Claire and I decided to take the boys for another Wednesday morning walk. This time we headed to our local loch (the very big pond!) for a walk around – there’s a path all the way around which is just about the right distance for little legs to manage.
As you can see it was a beautiful day, although rather cold but there was plenty to keep the boys occupied as we made our way round.
Toby has only just started to enjoy listening to stories and we bought a copy of The Stickman at the weekend which I think I have read about twenty times already. It meant of course that every stick he picked up was a ‘Stickman’. Even after reading the book though he still took a bit of convincing that these swans weren’t ducks or geese.
He was fascinated by them though, I love this expression of on his face as he watched them swimming around.
Thomas and Toby were happy running backwards and forwards but after having carried Edward for most of last week’s trip to the park Claire had come prepared this week and he was happy on his mum’s back.
Although we’re happy to let the boys explore and stop to look at things we were on a bit of a schedule too as we had a doctor’s appointment to get to. Toby loves pretending to be a tiger at the moment and a bit of roaring soon got him and Thomas running off up the path.
They must have walked twice as far as us though as they would run off ahead, then run back to be roared at so they could run off again. They thought it was hilarious!
Of course Toby had to find a really big stick, I think we were lucky he didn’t have anyone’s eye out!
There was, of course, plenty of puddle splashing going on too…
And our walk ended with the now obligatory biscuit…
And Gabe? Well this week Gabe was awake at least but he actually spent most of the walk with the sunshade down on the buggy because the sun was right in his eyes so I don’t know that he saw much. Maybe next time I’ll put him in the carrier and then he’ll be able to see a bit more.
Where we live there is a big public park known locally as the Glen; it has three different play parks, a cafe, a museum, lots of open space and then down the side there runs a burn which leads through the woods to the Abbey and the walk back to the car takes us past the ruins of the old Abbey too.
When Barry first moved to Scotland we quite often would go for Sunday morning strolls alongside the burn and up to town to blow away the
cobwebs hangover but since having the kids, although we go to other parts of the park sort of regularly, we haven’t really been down by the water.
This weekend though the rain stopped for the first time in what feels like months and we decided to get out of the house and go for a bit of an explore. (And that’s Toby doing his tiger impression in the photo above!)
It’s always a bit of a mission to get out and do anything with both kids but Toby doesn’t really care where we go as long as he gets to wear his wellies and pick up some good sticks, and Gabe was happy having a nap in the carrier.
We really enjoyed our walk looking at the water and watching the squirrels.
And there are a few different bridges to go over and under, and steps to climb.
Even though I’ve walked this way loads of times before, Toby hasn’t and it was so much fun to see him enjoying himself and seeing it all for the first time.
Toby can happily walk quite a long way these days so it does open up the possibilities for adventuring a bit more. Hopefully the weather will start to improve soon and we can get out and about a bit more. He’s definitely happier running about outside than he is cooped up in the house. And Gabe will always have a good sleep in the carrier, and it’s actually much easier than trying to get him to nap at home!
We just have to be really careful we don’t tire Toby out so much that he has a danger nap in the car on the way home – afternoon naps these days can put bedtime off by a good couple of hours so we can’t go too far away for now at least!
I can’t actually remember if it snowed last winter, if it did it definitely wasn’t enough for Toby to go out and play in. So when it started snowing on Saturday night we were all hoping that Sunday morning would bring enough snow in the garden to go out and play.
We didn’t have much in the end but there was certainly enough to play in so we got Toby bundled up (although I was putting Gabe down for a nap at the beginning and so wasn’t there to make sure he put his hat on) and out he went…
Even though you can’t see his face I think you can still see the look of wonder as he saw the snow up close for the first time.
Then came the circles and looking at his footprints.
And the beginnings of a snowman.
For some reason, even though he’s normally really good at throwing, every snowball went behind him. He even managed to hit himself in the back of the head!
Just enough snow for a tiny snowman (I think it looks like an owl though) and every day since Toby has come downstairs in the morning, looked out of the back window and said ‘snowman melted away’.
And lastly, just look at that face! How did we make such pretty kid? One whose childhood photos will all feature a wonky fringe cut by his mum!