Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Off we go.

The day has finally arrived. This afternoon we're packing up and heading to Manchester for the night in preparation for our Saturday morning flight to the U.S. 13 hours confined to a seat on an airplane with Jack. How hard can it possibly be? We're taking movies, games, books, and everything else we could think of to keep him occupied, lets just hope it's enough.

This trip has been on the cards for 6 months. Jack has been getting gradually more excited, I think he's still pretty convinced that America is on another planet. He's looking forward to meeting Grandma and Grandpa and with any luck he'll meet his sister as well. I'm looking forward to him seeing his grandparents again and meeting all of his cousins, many of whom are of similar age. I'm looking forward to showing him all the things that I knew when I was growing up, like toosie-pops.

Jack is taking Dylan with him. We figured with the eminent jet-lag anything that would help Jack get to sleep should come with us. We've even gone to the trouble to get a teddy bear passport for him... Oh the things parents do.

So armed with his favorite teddy, a brand new Ben10 holiday bag that he's packed himself Jack is taking to the skies. America here we come. You would do well to stock up on lollipops.

I threw a little video together this morning as well.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Jack's latest invention.

It's been hot in England for a change so we got out the paddling pool. We got Jack all geared up with water pistols and his swimming trunks only for him to refuse to get in at all because water was too cold. So we went to the local carnival for a couple hours instead.

After we got back from the carnival Jack decided to brave the water. So Helen stripped him down to a t-shirt and undies and let him loose. Jack had a great time, splashing, squirting everything in the yard, mostly me, apparently the rules said that he could shoot me but I would shoot him while he was shooting me, or refilling...

Jack eventually had the best idea that he's ever had. He called me over and gave me some very specific instructions. Here is the end result.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Getting to know Jack

Here we are. Officially the count down to a long awaited trip to the US.

In 2 weeks Helen, Jack and I will be getting on a plane and traveling to Utah. This is the first time Jack will meet most of my family. Jack is very excited.

So, in light of the visit I'm making a guide to getting to know Jack.


TV Show: Ben10 - still, and they're making a new series as well...
Food: Ketchup. Puddings, desserts for those of you in America.
Treat: Lollipops.
Restaurant: McDonalds, chicken nuggets with a free toy.
Drink: Blackcurrent Fruit Shoot, the purple one.
Song: Tommy the Cat. This makes me so happy, you don't even know.
Band: The Gorillaz.
Game: Sackboy (LittleBigPlanet) on the PSP.
Movie: Scooby Doo 2, or as he calls is, Scooby and the Monsters.
Color: Green
Bedtime Story: Pooh is that you Bertie? (it's a book about farting...)


Loud noises.
Hand Dryers. Due to the loud noise they make.
Water on his face or hair.
Most dried fruits.

Speaking habits.

Jack's accent is somewhere between mine, Helen's and his Nanny's, usually it depends with whom he's spent the most time recently. Jack will tell you that he's an expert speaker but even so, he has a few speech habits that can be a little confusing.
V is often pronounced as B or W.
Sw is often Fw.
Very is pronounced Wervy

Listen out for Jack's excited voice, the big give away is the emphasizing eyes.


Pewmer. - Noun. A projectile weapon. He has called them since learning to talk.
-Verb - The sound a gun makes. Pewm! Pewm!

Intemnable. - Adjective. A synonym for invisible. He can say invisible I, think he just prefers intemnable.

Hiccamaccapoccamus: - Noun. A large fierce five-legged six-eyed creature with no nose but a big mouth full of teeth.

Doodle, Dooly or Doolydoo - Noun. The part of Jack's body used to wee-wee.
'To dab the doolydoo.'

Common Phrases:

'Yesterday' can mean up to three days ago.
'Tomorrow' means after Jack has been to sleep. This can be tricky because Jack sleeps with his eyes open...
'Last Week' means that whatever he is talking about happened earlier than yesterday.
'Next Week' adversely refers to something that it going to happen in the future, but later than tomorrow.

'Up in to the Sky' usually this is to where he punches monsters.

'All 'round the place' watch for the circling hands gesture.

'I used to be/have/live in/live near/drive/shoot/ one of those' Jack has lived many different lives.

You will occasionally hear Jack refer to 'his boys'. The context would be something like, 'I got one of those for my boys.' Jack's boys are a group of children that live on another planet, this planet is called Jack, and all the boys are called Jack Morrey... anyway they sound like a rough group.

Jack is prone to breaking out into song, more so when he doesn't think people are listening. Keep and ear out for these little songs, they're inspired. I've tried desperately to record one of these but haven't managed it yet.

If Jack is trying to get your attention longer than about ten seconds he will say, '(person's name) I need to talk to you.'

Jack is very righteous and will not hesitate to set you straight if you do something wrong, to avoid being told off here is a list of some of Jack's expectations.
  1. Always hold hands and look both ways when crossing the street.
  2. Don't wander off.
  3. Don't call people names, tease or otherwise do things that are not very nice.
  4. Don't play with your food at the dinner table.
  5. Don't take things from other people.
  6. No pounding.
  7. No dancing.
  8. No singing.
  9. Listen when you've been told something. Jack doesn't like to have to tell you something more than twice.
  10. Under no circumstances are you to forget to brush his teeth in the morning. Nanny got a grilling
It should be noted that these rules don't apply to Jack.

Jack is regularly possessed by a dog. Symptoms include; loss of speech, timidness, whimpering, panting, crawling on all fours and excessive exposure of the tongue. No treatment or exorcism is necessary as the condition usually resolves itself within an hour or so.

Monday, 7 June 2010

It takes a village

This summer is somewhat momentous for us because it marks the last summer before the kids go to school. Our regular Friday mornings will cease to exist as we know them, instead the kids will spend their Friday mornings at school from now on.

The core of the group met 3 years ago at the post natal classes run by the local midwifes. There the new mothers met each week to discuss parenthood and all things related, after which they would often all go out to lunch.

The classes and maternity leave eventually ended but the weekly meetings continued, 'Baby Group' meets each Friday morning at a locally run children's play sessions. They meet and converse while the kids destroy the place.

It's been interesting to watch things evolve as the children have grown. Initially we stuck around the baby corner, were everything is stuffed with cotton. Gradually we've taken over the north quarter of the room as the kids have grown in size and started to ride the vehicles. The lunch meetings started with local pubs that had enough room for 8 pushchairs, then 8 highchairs, now places with play areas.

Where ever we go we tend to take over. The chefs in the smaller pubs tend to have a very hard time just getting all of our food cooked in a timely manner, we often wait for up to an hour until our lunch order begin to appear one by one. To give you an idea of the size we're talking, there are 8 mothers that regularly attend, between them there are now 13 children under 4, 1 on the way. So counting myself that's 22. There are 4 more mothers and 6 more kids that attend more casually. During half term, or if we arrange something on a weekend all the partners attend as well. So full attendance could mean somewhere in the area of 40 people.

The baby group has been a great thing for all of us, not only have we made out own social contacts for ourselves and the kids. The kids all like each other, and generally play well together. The parents help each other out with childcare or anything of that nature. We've created a little community of our own spread across Cannock. We've even talked about all buying a big house as a group and all living in our own separate wings or creating a Koresh style village somewhere which I personally don't think is too bad an idea. In our community we would have a cake maker, dog groomer, flower arranger, gardener, a builder, and engineer, mechanic, 3 teachers, personal trainer, nursery nurse, nurse, a porter, bike mechanic, driver, a former payroller, IT specialist, a butcher, a hydraulics technician, a medical sales rep and 4 semi-professional musicians, what else do you need?

In September 12 of the kids will be starting school, so Friday mornings as we know them will come to an end. Group will be reduced overnight to only 5, which is sad in one way as we won't have nearly the same level of interaction with these 5. Where as with the 12 we've seen them on a week by week, even sometimes daily basis, we've been a part of their growing up. I can't help but we'll that the younger ones will miss out on a lot of that. I have no doubt that we'll stay in touch, we're already arranging camping holidays and several of the kids will be attending the same schools.