Wednesday, April 01, 2009

BIG catch up!

Big apologies for being so appaling at keeping this blog up-to-date; surely my excuse of tiredness and having two small children is acceptable...anyway, here are some of the photo highlights:

We spent Christmas day on our own in Bristol then travelled the length of the country visiting family which was great fun.
We embarked on our customary New Year's Day walk; this year it was to Matthew's favourite place in Bristol, Leigh Woods (this is because he can follow the marked out trails and has something to aim for otherwise walking is a little boring for him and he ends up wanting to be carried). It was -1 degree when we set off and was sleeting when we arrived - proper cold. I was pleased that Daniel was in the sling because I think he would have been too cold any other way (and he was a nice little radiator for me!).

Brotherly Love
Matthew is still fantastic with Daniel and Daniel has his best smiles and giggles for his big brother which is just lovely.
Matthew 'helping' Daniel to smile!!!
Daniel kept us waiting for his first smiles - he was nine weeks old before we were convinced the expression was not just a random muscle spasm. Now, of course, we melt every time!

The red line down the middle of Daniel's forehead is due to his killer fingernails - they really do inflict alot of damage, not that Daniel seems bothered.
Let it snow!
The start of February brought some of the best snow I can remember. It was an added treat because all long-standing residents of Bristol told us not to get excited about the forecast because snow never settled in this city. So imagine the joy when we woke up to this:
and it meant Neil had two days off school - they wouldn't even let him in to collect his computer so he could work - so we wer forced to just go out and play! The snowman and ice-house were all the work of Neil and I (mainly Neil!); Matthew did love the snow but mainly because he could eat it and still play football in it.

Daniel was not as impressed, mainly because he was tired and needed a sleep.
Favourite toys
Matthew's Christmas present was a scooter which he is now incredibly fast and almost kamakazi on. Yet there has only been one altercation with a wall which, if you'd seen him on the scooter, you'd realise is pretty good going.
Daniel is really enjoying being able to take hold of things and shove them into his mouth! He gets very excited under his play gym or when we take his trousers and nappy off so he can kick away. The banana is the favourite of the moment though, much to Matthew's delight as it was the present he chose for Daniel when he was born.

Other 'highs'
In February I went to see Olivia graduate from Bristol university which was great fun. Here she is with Sam, who's been living with us for the last 18 months. Both of these guys are great, bringing a constant challenge and encouragement to keep pressing on and live on the edge. Matthew is a particular fan and takes the opportunity to hang out in Sam's room or learn from / 'help' him (grinding and making coffee and gutting fish are the latest) whenever he can.
At the beginning of March the Shepherd clan got together just outside Matlock to surprise Christopher and celebrate his 30th birthday with him. Thirty candles obviously takes alot of puff so naturally Chris needed Emma and Matthew's help - though this photo seems to suggest Matthew is slightly more committed to the task than Emma...

Currently Neil has just completed his first full term as Head of Year 8 at school and he's enjoying the new challenges that's bringing, Matthew is adjusting to pre-school (he has come up with some quite sophisticated reasons not to go such as "My tummy hurts so I can't go!" - I thought you were slightly older before you started feigning sickness to get out of school!), Daniel is about to cut his first tooth (well I hope that is the reason for the pooy nappies that are so bad they run down his leg onto the floor when you pick him up!) and as for me, I'm enjoying them all! I think that's us up to date now!