31 May 2013

film friday : summer flashback

We're off to Devon again this weekend, and the weather forecast looks pretty darn good! I've been super jealous of hearing about people jetting (well not jetting, driving?) off on holiday and it really makes me want to go too! (Hope you're having a lovely time Lia and Alexis!) Whenever we visit Devon the weather is usually ok, but we have yet to have a scorching weekend where we can visit the beach and perhaps even have a paddle in the sea...as you can see I've got high hopes for the good old British weather this weekend, but I know the sea will be FREEZING still! Oh well I can but dream!

I thought I would share some of our films from various outings last summer to get me in the mood for our latest adventure...

Photos include a trip to Devon last September, another day out at Noahs ark zoo and a bike ride to Bath last summer!

I hope everyone gets some sunshine this weekend too, and if you're on holiday perhaps you'll brave the sea? Or maybe just a paddling pool in the garden?! 

29 May 2013

let's talk about weddings...

wedding planning floral people tree floral dress agnes and norman rifle paper invite

So I haven't really talked much on here about our plans for our up coming wedding in September, but fear not I have been squirrelling away planning, collecting and pinning away on Pinterest! So I thought I would just quickly share some things that I love! Our budget is very (very) small, so we are making, collecting and calling in people to help us with lots of different aspects of the wedding, so having a Pinterest board to collect all the ideas and inspiration has been a life saver. I'm getting pretty excited about it all, but keep on having bad dreams about it all going horribly wrong on the day and nothing was planned properly or we had the wrong table cloths etc...all pretty superficial stuff!

So my little list is as follows:

one : a sweet little floral crown DIY // two: beautiful Rifle Paper thank you cards // three: cute simple glitzy decorations..got to have a bit of glitz right? // four: the most perfect bridesmaid dress // five: some pretty tights for a late September wedding //  six: dessert table loveliness // seven: cute confetti idea // eight: the shoes that have stolen my heart

You can follow me on Pinterest here

27 May 2013

active family month; week three: get sporty

This week's active family challenge was all about getting sporty, and having a good dose of sporting competition. Seeing as Theo is only two it is a bit tricky to actually get him to play sports with rules or against other people, but in the spirit of things I decided to try and organise a little toddler sports day.

Bank holiday weekend seemed like the perfect time to get together, and luckily we were blessed with beautiful sunshine all day on Sunday. I arranged with a few friends to meet at the playing fields by our houses, to bring some equipment or games and a picnic. I didn't really have any real plan of how the day should go, or what activities they could attempt, as I've never organised anything like this before or know how much a bunch of slightly wild two year old boys would be able participate in. So I lay a few objects such as hoops and bean bags, a tunnel, a goal, some ride on toys, some ball pit balls and a paddling pool out, and after the initial excitement of seeing each other wore off they did get on with some activities.

Some balls and bean bags were thrown in hoops, some goals were scored, and the tunnel was crawled through. I don't think there was really an element of competition in it, as thats not really a word two year olds can understand yet! But they had fun and we made it up as we went along! The best activity was probably using the large sheet I brought along to bounce all the balls on top of, sing songs under and making a giant swing out of. We climbed the hill, ran around and rolled back down again. Rob became I giant green worm and chased them all around. They definitely all got involved, and at the end of the day it may not have been very regimented or organised, but we were all out in the sunshine enjoying a good run around. I'm happy to have encouraged a few other families to join us in our active week too, and it's always fun see our friends and best of all it was all free!

Here's a little video of our day!

sports day from Abigail Oliver on Vimeo.

What did you all get up to this bank holiday weekend? I hope the weather was lovely for you, and you all got to spend some time with your families! Did you get up to anything active or sporty? Or fancy having your own mini sports day?

26 May 2013

twenty-one / fifty-two

- a portrait of my child once a week, every week, in 2013 -

This weekend has been mostly spent in the garden, playing in the pool, gardening and enjoying the glimpses of sun we seemed to have been gifted. I managed to capture a rare smile from Theo (not that he doesn't smile, he does all the time, but he's usually too quick for me to capture it!) always one to be very content in water! 

Last week I adored this photo by Nell! What a classic and timeless portrait, and Josephine is just about the cutest! 


24 May 2013

going to the zoo, zoo zoo

A few weeks back we bought a joint membership to the zoo, and we've managed to go quite a few times since then, as you know, we've got to get our moneys worth in the first few weeks! The other day we had nothing planned and no friends to see, so after a lazy morning we decided last minute to go to the zoo. If you ask Theo if he wants to go to the zoo, he says "yeeeeh dinosaurs!" We had one of those afternoons that just went well, which is pretty rare! We had a lovely time hanging out, eating lunch looking at animals and playing at the park. We spent longer than we indented there, because we were having too much fun and in my eyes it was one of those afternoons that will add to Theo's memory of nice childhood moments. I hope that over the summer and for the rest of the year we spend lots more time there, as it's a pretty good place to go and hang out! 

21 May 2013

is it me?

Recently I have been thinking (or over thinking and worrying) about this age old problem of Theo's sometimes out of control behaviour. When I wrote the post about giving up on playgroups I wrote it because I was paranoid of what people thought of the way Theo behaved, and if they thought badly of him, but now I'm starting to wonder is it me that they are actually thinking badly of? Like I don't know how to parent my child and I'm raising an out of control son?

Since writing that post we haven't been back to any of the playgroups that we used to go to, but we still take him to his swimming lesson and Rob takes him to football class on a Saturday. In the last couple of weeks Theos realisation of his independence has just reached new heights and he wants to do EVERYTHING himself. He doesn't want to be told to do something when he should, or told to sit still and do what everyone else is doing, he just wants to do his own thing. For example at football when all the other children are sitting in a circle he just wants to run around the circle. At swimming he is really confident in the water, can do all the techniques and the moves, but never wants to do them when everyone else is doing them. When they are supposed to be floating on their backs being still he wants to lie on his back and kick his legs and swim backwards (which he can do really well!) when they are supposed to be kicking their legs he wants to turn around and around in a circle (which again he does well) and when they are singing songs he wants to float on his back! They only thing he is good at doing at the right time is jumping in, but then all he wants to do is jump in. It's frustrating because he's really good at swimming, but he just doesn't want to be told when and what to do. It's all on his terms.

So I'm starting to think whether I need to try and put a little more effort into controlling him, or am I better off letting him do what he wants? I mean perhaps it's not fair on the other children or parents that I just let him do the things he wants whilst they are doing what the teacher asks? If I try and make him do the songs or swim in the direction he doesn't want to go in, he wriggles and screams and tries to get away so I don't really know what's more disruptive?

Before we get in the pool we have a little 'pep' talk if you will, where I explain that he needs to listen to what Jo (the teacher) is asking him to do, and to try and do some of the activities then he can do lots of jumping in. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. He loves being in the water so perhaps he just gets a little too overexcited? Or maybe it's just me not trying to control him a little better?

Is that what children need, do they need to learn rules and boundaries or do they need to be let to explore and discover for themselves? I would think it's a mix of both personally, and I really don't like being the type of parent to be constantly hovering over his shoulder saying "oh no be careful, don't do that, don't do this" I want to let him be free to learn things for himself, with some guidance and input from me. But perhaps I'm too relaxed with this, and perhaps it appears as though I just don't have control over him and I'm just letting him run wild. I don't want to constantly give into Theo and just take the easier option of letting him do what he wants out of fear he'll have a tantrum, or whether I'm making a rod for my own back and making it harder in the long run? I feel that perhaps I don't go through with my actions enough, for example if I've given him a warning that we are going to leave a place because he's behaving badly and not following through on that, is he just learning that I don't really mean what I say?

So basically I just don't really know what to do! Maybe I've spent too long making excuses about Theo's behaviour when all along it's down to the way I am parenting him?


20 May 2013

active family month; week two: playtime

We took a little trip to Blaise castle this weekend to enjoy some of the better weather we've had this weekend, and considering I was stuck inside all day Saturday I really needed to get out and enjoy some time with Rob and Theo. My mum and Andy also joined us for the day, which was even better to be out and enjoying Sunday with them too.

Rob started his new job this week, which means that he has EVERY weekend off, no more working sundays ever again...It feels like such a luxury to be out doing family things like visiting the park and going for walks like a normal family!

As part of the Mark Warner Active Family Challenge that I'm taking part in we thought we would incorporate this weeks challenge of 'active playtime' into our day. Not that we did anything we wouldn't normally do on a trip to the park! You can see another trip we took to Blaise nearly exactly a year ago doing the exact same thing (we have been back in between that though!) Look how little Theo is! We played football, played in the park, went for a walk in the woods and of course ate ice cream! We bought a second hand scooter for Theo a few weeks back, and he's slowly getting the hang of it. He figured out how to push himself along straight away, but the steering is taking a little longer to get the hang of, so we had a little practice! It was the perfect way to spend a sunny active Sunday with family.

720p from Abigail Oliver on Vimeo.

Here are a few photos from our walk through the woods with a pretty tired out boy from all our playing!

It was a beautiful day! After our walk we made our way home and whilst Theo slept we did some much needed gardening and then enjoyed a BBQ, perfect!

What did you all get up to this weekend? I hope it was sunny for you as well? Did you do anything active with your family, go for a walk, to the park or a bike ride?

I would love it if you shared your adventures with me, so please leave your link!


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