Turning 3!

Monday 31 October 2016

Fraser's birthday is the second in our run of birthdays at this time of year, and he turned 3 just over a week ago.

His birthday always falls in the half term holidays, and although he won't appreciate having a school holiday birthday for a couple of years yet, his brothers certainly all enjoyed being around all day to enjoy it with him.

The night before his birthday, his oldest brothers helped me wrap up the presents, blow up some balloons and get everything laid out for him in the morning.

Last night as a 2 year old.

On his birthday morning he was so excited, and lost no time in getting stuck into unwrapping those presents. A handy tip for easy unwrapping for little children - use tissue paper rather than wrapping paper!

Fraser had asked for a Peppa Pig house for his present. Thanks to Ebay I was able to get him the house and a big bundle of other Peppa Toys for the same price that the house would have cost in the shops. 

New birthday dungarees.

Next birthday job was helping make the cake. He had asked for a Thomas cake, and Calum (14) had offered to help make it. Fraser had to help too, and here they are colouring the icing.

The finished cake was far from perfect, but Fraser was delighted with it.

When we asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday, Fraser said all he wanted to do was to go to the park. He has always been content with the simplest things, and is such an easy to please boy.

He always pretends that this little part of the park is his ice cream shop, so here he is selling some to Calum.

Loving life on the swings.

As were the bigger boys!

Having bigger brothers means that you can also try out all the bigger things at the park too.

Here is the birthday boy discovering all the colourful shapes on his 'ice cream shop', and chatting about them in his half Gaelic/half English. Like his brothers at this age, he is now completely bilingual, and will switch between the two languages quite easily. The boys and I always speak to him in Gaelic, even if he answers back in English. 

I remember when our oldest was small, being asked by more than one concerned person was I not worried that my child(ren) would be behind with their English language skills if they spent all day at home with me speaking only Gaelic to them! Despite the fact that they knew that dad was an English only speaker!

Yes, really.

Anyway, back to the birthday boy, proving that you can learn two languages very simply by the age of 3...

After the park we collected some pretty leaves on the way back to the house.

And settled down to watch an old classic together. Can you tell which one it was? Fraser had never seen it before but had wanted to watch it for a while as he loves playing with a toy car from the movie that we have.

When I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he said 'do-getty'. Which is spaghetti. 

After the do-getty it was time for the cake. He absolutely loved the whole cake thing. He was so delighted to be able to have the candle blowing all to himself, and he just loved having the song sung to him. So much so that he joined in himself too. I've left that clip for the end of the post though, as it's sure to leave you with a smile.

When the lights were back on he checked where all the trains were on the cake.

And then I tried to get a good photo of all the boys together, which is never easy!

Happy Birthday Fraser, may you always be able to find as much joy in the simplest things as you do now, and may everybody always take as much joy from you as they do now.

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Half Term Travels

Monday 24 October 2016

I know I probably start quite a few posts by saying how time has gone by so quickly, but somehow October seems to have flown by even quicker than any other month this year!

Today was the last day of the half term holidays. We didn't have any plans for our holiday week until last month when my husband took a couple of the boys to the Camanachd Cup final in Fort William. They stayed overnight with my husband's cousin and his family, and while they were there his cousin invited us all up for a few days in the October holidays.

So we headed north last Monday, stopping off first of all at the great little Toy Museum in Callendar and then having our picnic by the river there. In the car. Because although it was very pretty, it wasn't eating outside weather!

The journey through Glencoe was as beautiful and majestic as it always is. It doesn't matter what the weather is like when you go through there, it is always amazing to look at.

The older boys spent the first evening, and every other evening, chatting into the wee small hours with their second cousins, who are roughly ages with our oldest three boys. Meanwhile their dads were chatting just as much downstairs in the kitchen! 

Tuesday was the highlight of our trip for the boys, especially Calum and Fraser the two big train fans. We had bought tickets to take the return journey from Fort William to Mallaig on the Jacobite Steam Train.

Dad and James didn't come with us, in order to keep the costs down! They were the two who were least likely to mind missing out on the trip and they spent the day at the climbing centre instead.

Since I had Fraser sitting on my knee, the only photos I managed to take were hastily snapped through the window, but Calum took some amazing ones with his camera and I'll share them further down the post.

The scenery on the route is amazing and I can see now why it is one of the most famous railway journeys in the world!

When we reached Mallaig the boys were able to jump in with the driver before the engine was uncoupled and taken down to the opposite side of the train.

We had an hour and a half to wait in Mallaig until the return journey. There isn't an awful lot to do there, especially when it is raining! We found the Lifeboat Shop, which delighted Ally, and spent a little while in there, before joining the long queue in the Chippie and finally getting some absolutely delicious chips for lunch.

Now, onto Calum's photos of the day, which are far better than mine are.

The Glenfinnan viaduct is now the most famous part of the journey thanks to the Harry Potter movies. Calum knew that he wanted to get some good photos of it. These are on the outward journey.

And these were from the return journey.

I especially love this one. I think it's my favourite photo from the journey.

Fort William sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis and Calum took this photo of the mountain as the sun rose and the mist lifted.

My husband's cousin and family live near the line the steam train runs on and so a couple of mornings Calum headed out with his camera to get a shot of the Jacobite as it chuffed past.

Ally went along with him on the second morning.

We were only in Fort William for three nights. On our second full day the boys spent the afternoon at the climbing centre.

By Thursday it was time to say farewell to our lovely, generous hosts and head off back through Glencoe 

Once home it was time to get ready for the next birthday in birthday season, but more of that in the next post!

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