Friday, August 11, 2017

Train, castle and dinosaurs

Today Daniel, Matthew and I went on the train to Cardiff for our last day out of the week - I'm back in work next week and so won't be able to take the boys on any more adventures.  It was Daniel's first time on a 'proper' train and seemed to enjoy the experience of high speed travel, although he did keep asking me when the train would be going faster (good luck with that on British railways, Daniel).  

We spent our time in Cardiff visiting the castle, which none of us had visited before, and at the museum, where I'd taken Matthew a few years ago although it was Daniel's first visit.  

Despite some initial reservations about the castle - Daniel found the ruined keep 'boring' and Matthew wasn't keen on the steep steps - the boys had a good time exploring and enjoyed going through the secret World War 2 passageway and shelter, and finding interesting murals in the hall such as a pig playing the bagpipes.  

Daniel enjoyed seeing the dinosaur exhibits at the museum and particularly seemed to enjoy watching a video about volcanoes on the big screen, looking at fossils under the microscopes and drawing in the art gallery.

A random commuter decides to ruin my photo of Daniel's first train journey - cheers!

Outside the castle

Dinosaur skeleton

Fossil hunting

Creating an artwork

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ducks and canoes

Being off work this week, I was able to take the boys on another trip today - my friend Andrew and I took the boys to Llanelli Wetlands Centre.  Daniel enjoyed feeding the ducks and we even managed to get a few to eat from our hands.  He also enjoyed looking through the binoculars in the observatory and turning them the wrong way to make everything appear to be tiny.  

Later in the day we went on canoes - Daniel joined Andrew, while I took Matthew round (this was Daniel's choice).  Daniel and Andrew went in their canoe first, and Matthew and I followed.  Half way around, Daniel and Andrew got stuck, so Matthew and I were able to go past - much to Daniel's frustration!  I could hear him shouting "I know it's not a race but I don't want them to go past!".  Daniel did really well in his boat - he stayed still and tried to paddle throughout his ride.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Unscheduled beach trip

Today I'd planned on taking the boys on a boat trip to an island, but when we arrived the boats had all been cancelled due to strong winds.  After a quick look at Google Maps for an alternative, we ended up making an unscheduled trip to a small beach at St Brides.

The boys seemed happy enough with this alternative and, despite the small size of the beach, enjoyed dodging the waves and climbing on the rocks.  Sadly we had no beach equipment with us, nor a towel or wellies, so the boys ended up with wet trainers which we had to dry out on the parcel shelf during the journey home.

Daniel was disappointed that he couldn't go into a nearby castle, which is a privately owned hotel.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Mini beach break

We've arrived back today from a weekend break in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire.  It certainly wasn't the best trip I've ever had, having gone down with a stomach bug early last week and having an upset stomach for Friday and Saturday.  Fortunately I was still able to drive and so the boys could enjoy a couple of days by the beach.  

Despite the recent rainy weather, Saturday was a dry, sunny day and the boys were able to spend time building sandcastles and playing ball on the beach.  We also went to the seaside on Sunday morning, which was cloudier, and the rain started at lunchtime so we took the boys bowling in Milford Haven during the afternoon. Daniel enjoyed the bowling and didn't lose concentration half way through, managing to take all 10 of his turns.  He used the ramp, but carried the bowling balls himself up to the ramp - missing on one occasion despite our help, and luckily narrowly avoiding his foot!  

Although I wasn't up to eating out on Friday evening or Saturday lunchtime (the local Spar came in handy!), we were able to go for an evening meal on both Saturday and Sunday night - Daniel choosing the same, chicken nuggets and chips, in both restaurants.  He didn't behave too badly considering we've had problems eating out with him before, although as always with Daniel several trips to the toilet were required.  At least he is now happy to use hand dryers!

With Matthew and Daniel sleeping in bunk beds, Matthew became rather frustrated with Daniel's night time antics, particularly the first night when Matthew wanted to sleep but Daniel kept talking and poking the upper bunk from underneath.  They both went to sleep quite quickly on Saturday night, but Daniel woke up crying at 11.30am because he was too hot and thought he was going to be sick - he wasn't sick and Louise ended up sleeping next to him on the sofa so that Matthew could go back to sleep in peace.  Daniel was initially annoyed that he couldn't sleep in the upper bunk, but settled in well after that.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Swimming again

We took Daniel and Matthew swimming yesterday, the first time I've been with Daniel.  As with the last few times, he refused to go into the pool properly and so we spent most of the time with him on the steps.  We stayed for an hour and by the end he had come down to the second step and was moving around a little on his own, so there were slight signs of improvement.  Louise and I did also take him into the pool for a short while, carrying him the whole time.  He wasn't keen and became distressed, so we took him back to the steps.  Louise was able to stay with Daniel for a while so that I could join Matthew in the big pool and watch him dive for a rubber ring.

This evening, Daniel asked me whether Matthew sleeps like he does, "with his eyes open?".  I said that I didn't think it would be possible to sleep with his eyes open, but Daniel said that he does because he "can't keep them shut for long" - and then proceeded to demonstrate by closing his eyes and then opening them again.

Friday, July 21, 2017

No eared Rabbie

Both of Rabbie's ears have now fallen off.  Daniel doesn't seem to be too upset, and has gone to bed over the last couple of nights with a no-eared Rabbie.  Louise has promised to sew both ears back on again - but how long will they last?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

First school report

Daniel came home from school yesterday with his first end of year report.  School finishes for the summer holidays tomorrow, and so Daniel has almost finished his first year there.  His report is very encouraging - Daniel is described as a happy and pleasant member of the class; "He likes taking part in most activities and always likes to please".

"Daniel can be wary of something new but once reassured he is OK and gets on with it.  Daniel has plenty of friends and mixes well with his peers.  He is also well behaved in the classroom.  He has had a very good start to his school life.  Keep up the good work Daniel and I'm sure we will see further progress during the forthcoming year."

The report shows good progress with his learning too "Daniel is able to speak clearly and audibly with growing confidence and clarity", and "is beginning to form most of his letters correctly".  He's sorting objects for comparison, making choices about materials to use for a task, communicating about his work confidently and following simple instructions.  He's been set targets for next year - increasing his vocabulary range, become more independent with his writing, show increasing self control for different situations and become confident of numbers to 20 and beyond.

His report does sound like Daniel at home, except for being well behaved and following instructions!  He does like to please and always wants to know what you're doing and wants to help, and is sometimes wary of new things.  At home, though, he doesn't like doing what he's told (if it's not to help you), such as going to bed.  We're also having trouble with him wetting himself at home - sometimes this is just because of his aim when using the toilet but he also does sometimes wait too long to go when he's engrossed in the television or playing a game.

His behaviour before and after school has become more challenging over the last few weeks - we're not sure whether this is down to his new routine with Louise's working afternoons instead of nights, and Daniel not being used to having Gramps, Grandma and Grandad picking him up.  I've been off work this week and have been collecting him from school, but he's still played up.  He complained this afternoon when we had to take Matthew to his swimming lesson, and also wet himself.  Yesterday he was desperate for the toilet coming out of school and then wet himself while using the toilets on the way home.

Yesterday I took Daniel and Matthew to a coffee shop for a snack after school.  Daniel saw a 'no smoking' sign, and told me, "you're not allowed to use candles with sparks here"!