Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Dylan at 16 months - SuperChild

Our boy Dylan is now 16 months old.  He is basically a genius.

It was only a few months ago that he could not sit up from a lying down position.  He could not walk, and cruised along the sofa instead.  He couldn't say anything other than grunts and squeaks.

These days he is a fully fledged young man.

He can walk.  He prefers to walk in the streets without holding on to anyone's hand.  He demands to walk up AND down stairs (and allows you to hold his hand for this).  He can almost run too, but only if you chase him.

He can talk.  He has about as many words as your average teenager (about 30).  He knows lots of colours, he knows a dozen animal noises, and plenty random words such as door, sock, duck, football, yo-ho (he's a pirate), etc etc.

We had one of Dylans friends round who is the same age as Dylan, and also called Dylan, and I was shocked to find that other Dylan could dance way better than our Dylan, and could also feed himself with a spoon.  So the very next day I gave Dylan a spoon and of course he didn't need much showing.  And I taught him a few dance moves too, which he picked up straight away.  Is there anything my child cannot do?!

He's incredibly smart.  He understands pretty much everything I ask him.  Things he will do if you ask him:

  • Put his used nappy in the bin
  • Blow his nose
  • Clean his mouth
  • Clean his hands
  • Get any object (football, book, tissues, TV remote, sock etc)
  • Go to any room
  • Give mummy hugs
  • Give mummy kisses
  • Find Ducky, or Mr Penguin, or Mr Geoffrey Bearhead.

For example, tonight when I got home from work we had a bit of a play.  The Mrs ran him a bath.  So after playing I asked him if he wanted to go to the bathroom and have a bath?  He replies "yeah", and then trundles off to the stairs, climbs each one to the top, and then stands by the bath eagerly awaiting some splashy fun.

He doesn't like being taken out of the bath.  So I asked him if he wanted to go downstairs to watch Iggle Piggle (in the night garden), to which he replies "yeah" and then puts his arms up to be taken out of the bath.  And being the perfect baby he was happy for me to dry him, dry his hair and get him completely dressed whilst Iggle Piggle was on.  When he was ready I asked him if he wanted to go and brush his teeth and then go to bed, to which he replies "yeah", and again goes off to the stairs, climbs up and gets to the top.  He loves having his teeth brushed because I think that he thinks the tooth paste is food.  And he LOVES food.  However today for the first time I decided to let him brush his own teeth.  And he did.  I then run the tap and put him to the sink and he rinsed the brush under the running water.  I passed the tooth brush cup to him, and he then puts the tooth brush away.  All of this he just did as if he'd done it 100 times before.

Then of course, being the perfect child, I put him to bed and he will now sleep right through till around 8 in the morning.

The perfect toddler.  Who is basically a walking talking adult - just a very short one.

Dear Dylan, thank you for taking my genes :p

Next week I am sending him off to university.

How amazing is your child?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

How being a dad does change you

Long gone are the days of living for the weekend.  Sometimes I still miss it all.  Finish work on a Friday and rushing home.  Going out to get absolutely smashed and return home at some point on a Sunday.  So its fair to say that being a dad really does change you.

The biggest change in me has been the things that I value.  Nothing rates higher than being able to look after my boy.

I value the importance of keeping my job more than ever.  And now I am even working on developing my career rather than just earning an easy buck on sales commission.  I'm a believer that money can make you happy.  It gives you all the little things that you want from day to day, reduces stress at times of need (when your washing machine breaks, or Christmas speeds back round again).  It allows me to provide security for my family.  To be able to rent a nice house in a nice street, and have a fridge full of branded foods.  So I work harder than ever with a view to earning as much money for my family as possible.

But its not just the money any more.  By the time Dylan is old enough to understand what I do, I want to have a job that makes me proud.  Earning good money in a sales role is something anyone can do from leaving school.  I want Dylan to know that I have worked hard and to have me as a role model when it comes to employment.

We are now only 3 months away from having our second boy.  I remember being 3 months away from having our first.  I was unsure of how I would cope being a dad.  I was unsure how I would manage with the huge change in lifestyle that was ahead.  But this time around I am a lot happier as I know my life isn't about to be turned upside down.

So if you are about to be a dad, try not to worry.  Although things will change, they are mostly positive changes.  You get new things to care about, a new drive in life to succeed and do the best you can.  It is a huge motivator to make the best out of life for you and your family to be.

I do still miss the good old times.  But I don't feel like I have missed out on my youth.  I absolutely smashed it.  I do still get the odd night out.  I still see my best friends.  But I now live for the weekend for a different reason.  Because the weekend is when I'm home with my boy.

To dads and dads-to-be.  Have a merry Christmas and a nappy new year!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Why I think TV is GOOD for my little boy

I'm sure everyone grew up being told TV is bad for you.  And I know there are many reports advising that children shouldn't watch TV.  On a very quick Google search I have found details about a study which says children under 2 shouldn't watch any TV as it hinders their development.

I am fully aware that both children and adults watch too much TV.  Of course they should be being active and interactive with the things and people around them more.  And in relation to toddlers, many parents will leave children in front of the TV for hours and hours every day as it keeps them entertained and makes the parents life a little easier.  But these are all generalisations.  

My little boy is now 15 months and has been watching TV as part of his daily routing for a long time.  And I really believe there are benefits of him doing so.  And I would recommend all parents to do the same.  

Too much of anything is a bad thing.  And its the same with TV.  But if you watch TV with your children (rather than leaving them in front of the box for hours on end) and you interact with them about the programs you are watching, then it can be a very positive thing.

From probably around 6 months old (if not earlier) me and the little boy sit down and watch In The Night Garden together.  Its a personal favourite of mine before even having children and so to have an excuse to watch it regularly is great!  He sits on my lap and cuddles in, and we watch it all the way through.  I always sing along with the song bits, and sway from side to side with the music towards the end.  I join in with what the characters are doing and talk to Dylan as we watch it about whats on the screen.  We wave at the characters when they wave, we nod when they nod, and we do the repetitive actions that define the characters.

I love that now he is a little older he will get so excited the second it comes on and come to my to sit on my lap so we can watch it together.

At the weekend we have a nice routing.  As I work Mon - Fri, one day of the weekend I will get up early with Dylan and watch TV while the Mrs has a lie in.  On the other day I will get a very well deserved lie in too :) On the day I get up with him we always have milk and breakfast first and then we sit down and watch some TV and play some games.  We love to watch the same programs such as Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Curious George.  Dylan loves to dance to the music and joins in with his words that he can say.  As soon as Jake and the Neverland Pirates comes on Dylan will shout 'yo ho!'.  And when Curious George comes on he will make his monkey noises.  

As he gets bigger he is learning every day with new words and new ways to interact and show off everything he knows.  Weather it is recognising animals and making their noises (he knows about 10 animal noises at the moment and recognises about 5 of the animals if he see's then on TV or in a book or in real life).  Yesterday I was changing his nappy during In The Night Garden and the music came on at the end when he put his hands up in the air and started rolling side to side, just as we normally do when he is on my lap watching it.  It was so heart warming to see him dancing on his own with the right routine for the music.

He definitely enjoys watching TV as you can see he gets so excited when his favourite programs come on.  And I honestly believe it has helped him develop some of the skills he has as a 15 month old.

Dylan is probably the most social person I know.  He always waves and kisses at people in the streets when they walk past, or when they get on the bus.  In a restaurant he will walk off (with mummy or daddy not too far behind) and walk up to another table just to wave at the people there.  The first place he learnt to wave was from In The Night Garden.

So I say that if you choose programs that are relevant to your child's age, include it as part of a routine and limit the time spent watching it, and most importantly interact with your child whilst he watches TV, then I say TV is great for your children.

And I hope that as he gets older we can parent him in the same way with all forms of media, such as TV, PCs and the internet, mobile phones and tabs, in that if we take the same approach then they can also be of a great benefit to him and his development.  

Please feel free to comment below on your views on my post, your experience with children and TV / media.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Review - Pillow Penguin Pet

Pillow Pets are a really fun little range of cuddle pillows that double up as hassle free pets.

Being a big fan of all things penguins, I indeed now own the penguin, and have gifted the fluffy little cutie to my big little boy Dylan.

Now there's only so much (as an adult) that I can write about this.  I mean, its lovely and soft and looks cute, it does everything you would expect it would as a pillow.  It also has a Velcro strap which you can attach underneath to make it look as though the pet is walking on all 4's.  Very cute indeed!

From a safety point of view it also scores high.  It meets all the usual standards are the fluffiness doesn't rub off and make a big mess.  So there's no worries about children eating tonnes of fluff, of swallowing small parts.

So I thought you might want to know Dylan's view on item, as I assume you may purchase this for a child rather than yourself.

Dylan LOVES this little toy.  He has recently been learning how to be affectionate.  One of the really cute things he does is go over to Penguin and give him a love.  He does this by laying his head against the pillow (from standing) and making a lovely 'aaaaah' noise.  He will also give his lovely wet opened mouthed kiss to its beak.  Its true love!

Affectionate penguin boy
Its really nice seeing Dylan be affectionate to a Pillow Pet in the way I would want him to be affectionate to a real pet or penguin.  Its not so much a play toy, although Penguin does occasionally get used as a walking talking puppet in on-the-spot stories.

Blurry love eyes

And sometimes Penguin gets a little daddy time and performs a wonderful job of being a makeshift sofa pillow during lazy TV times.  The more penguins around the house the better, in my opinion.  And I am so glad that Dylan loves Penguin too.

Having a little cuddle
If you are considering buying a Pillow Pet, there are lots of other animals below.  Read the little brief below about the items.  If you have one or are considering getting one, please leave comments to let me know your thought(s).

To view more about this product please visit www.pillowpets.co.uk

You can purchase them on Amazon and through Toys 'R' Us for around £19.99.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Review - Motorola Xoom 2 Media Edition

Tabs didnt exist too many years ago.  Now all of a sudden there are so many to choose from.  How do you choose?  Well if the Xoom2 was on your list of tabs to consider you will hopefully find this review helpful.

Appearance / Size / Weight - 8/10

The look of all tabs is pretty much the same.  Large.  Slim.  All touchscreen.  Black around the edges.  So you cant really go wrong with the design of the tab.  It is nice and light and compared to carrying a laptop around with you it's a breeze.  You can buy a range of tab sizes, and generally the bigger the better.  So no issues here at all, although it could look a little smarter.
  • Weight - 388g
  • Dimensions - 21.6 x 14 x 0.9 cm
  • Screen - 8.2 inch HD gorilla glass touch screen (1280 x 800)

Front side and back.  You can see where the have awkwardly placed the screen on/off button

Hardware / Battery - 8/10

The spec of this tab is pretty good overall.  Other devices do offer high specs however the nature of technology means that this will always be the case.  Within 6 months anything you can buy will be outdone by a newer model.  It is perfectly capable of running the android 3.2 operating system with no noticeable delay for any apps and programs I have been running.

It comes with 16GB of storage which for most users will be more than sufficient for all of your music, videos, photos etc with room to spare.

The battery life on this is good.  With irregular use this can easily last two weeks.  With regular use it is nearer to a week before it needs charging.

The HDMI port is really handy if you like to connect your tab to a PC / laptop / TV.  Really good for things such as showing off your pictures and videos on a large screen for everyone to see, or to watch a film from your tab on your laptop for example.
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 1.2GHz dual core processor
  • Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)
  • 1 x HDMI output

Camera / Video - 8/10

The camera and video capability of the tab is really good for your everyday snaps and mini video clips of your loved ones.  Of course it is poor in quality compared to a serious camera or video, and the lens on any phone or tab is always going to be fairly poor quality.  

The software on the tab allows for reasonable quality photos and videos even in poor light.  It also comes with a flash which is handy for cameras and to be used as a torch if you find yourself wandering in the dark.

Being 5Mp means that you get decent quality pictures on a larger scale so they wont look to pixelated on a TV or in a A4/A3 frame.
  • 5Mp camera
  • 1080p video capture

Works both ways round.  Although who ever made this image cheated... the Motorola symbol around the edge doesnt move to the top when you turn it on its side.

Other Likes / Dislikes

The tab running with Android has to be a highlight.  The operating system is very robust and user friendly.  There are a few things I would tweak, such as the size of the icons on the bottom of the screen that you use for things such as 'go back' and 'go to home' as well as the notification icons (for things such as new email or app updates).  It can be a little bit of fine finger pointing to choose the correct command, however its perfectly usable and gets easier the more you use it.

Other little things it doesn't do which you just wish it did is when you move your icons around on a screen, you have to move an icon out of the way before you can put something else in its place.  So you cant just drag the icon over another icon to replace it.  Sometimes its the little things that makes the difference between like and dislike.

We had the opportunity to use the stereo speakers recently when we were stating in a hotel for the night.  We listened to a little music I had stored on the phone and it was loud enough to not require separate speakers and wasn't too tinny like a lot of phones are.  Perfectly good for music or listening to your films without the need for headphones.

It does have Bluetooth, but I cant see the need for such old technology.  I have never used it.  

One dislike I have regarding the design is the location of the volume buttons and the screen on/off button.  It is on the back of the device towards the top right.  Because of the positioning it forces you to use your right Peter Pointer finger.  Personally I am left handed, and would prefer even more to have the button along the top or the side of the device where it is in sight.
  • Accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Stereo speakers
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR

Overall - 7/10

The only reason it doesnt get the 8/10 is because it has a few things mentioned above which are a little bit annoying and lower the overall satisfaction of using the device.  It is more than capable of making your average tab user very happy.  However it does lack a little something compared to the best tabs on the market. 

Personally its not my favourite tab of all time, however if you are on a budget then this is a good £100 or so cheaper than some of the top tabs available at the moment.

To see Motorola's own information on the device please click here

Monday, 6 August 2012

Review of the Zeo Sleep Manager Pro+

Nothing beats a cat nap.  A disco nap.  Or any kind of nap really.  Sleeping is one of life's most amazing things.  I also quite like being awake too.  I think this conflict of interests is why I stay up as late as possible, and lay in bed the next day for as long as possible.  This unfortunate trait leaves me constantly tired, except at weekends when I can finally switch off the alarm.

So when I was given the opportunity to test out a Zeo Sleep Manager Pro+ complete with magical Zeo Headband, I thought I'd give it a go to see how bad my sleeping actually is.

The Zeo Headband sitting in its charger

I now have had a few weeks of wearing the headbands I have taken a look back at my results. Wearing the headset itself was a bit of an alien idea to me.  Wearing a band around your head with a plastic device on your forehead.  It does sound and look strange.  But its not particularly uncomfortable.  In a way it was almost soothing to have a little pressure on your head.

The device links by bluetooth to your mobile device.  It is apparently designed to work with the iPhone but works fine with my Android devices.  Pairing the devices is dead simple.  All you do is activate bluetooth on your phone and then press the one and only button on the headband and they connect.  All you need to do from there is download the app.  The app lets you know that the device is connected and when you are wearing the headband it reassures you that you can now go to sleep.  Everything is ready.

At first I didnt get on too well with the device.  Having read the instructions it says to charge for at least 3 hours before your first use.  I charged for nearly 8 hours, but the morning results told me that the battery had died in the night, so I wasnt too impressed.  On the second night the headband fell off part way through the night.  So again I didnt have a full nights sleep results.  Perhaps in my semi-consciousness I had taken it off as it still felt alien.  But by night 3 I had it sussed.  It was fully charged, I had tightened the headband a little, and the nights results were complete.

For the next 2 weeks I didnt seem to have any such issues with the battery, so I can only assume it was my error that caused the first nights battery disappointment.  And I woke with the headband on my head each morning.  Looking back at my results, they are very much as I expected.  I go to bed too late.  I typically go to bed between 12 and 1am.  I average around 6.5 hours sleep a night.  I dream every night (except 1, apparently).  But some of the results were interesting.

The app links to a website which shows you a lot of trends with your sleep such as what your average sleep score is.  It shows you your total sleep, your time in REM, your time in deep sleep.  It also shows you other things like how many times you are woken in the night, and how long you spend awake.  It seems I am woke every night around 2-3 times.  I blame The Mrs.  I think she must punch and kick me when I start snoring.

The website looks great and gives you the opportunity to add extra detail such as how much caffeine you had that day, to how you felt the next day etc, to help you identify what things affect your sleep to help you put together a plan on how to improve your sleep.  As I am fairly happy with my sleep, I didnt have the urge to go to that level of detail.  But if you are looking to improve your sleep then this looks like it will be a great help.

The app also has a smart alarm.  It is intended to wake you between a set time period at what the device thinks is the best time for you to wake, depending on your sleep cycles.  The idea is that the alarm goes off when you are naturally more inclined to be awake, rather that being rudely awoken mid dream, thus helping you get out of bed on the right side.

My stats for the last few weeks.  I should be getting reaching 80's on the score for my age

If you are not sure whether or not to purchase a sleep monitor, I suggest you sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning.  If you feel tired, then perhaps its worth considering.

It retails for £119 on their website www.myzeo.co.uk

If you have used this or something similar, please comment below to let me know how you found it.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Online Petition to Grattan PLC (www.grattan.co.uk)

This is an online petition to encourage Grattan PLC (www.grattan.co.uk) to honour the sale to all of its online 'customers' who have purchased the Samsung 17.3inch Notebook for £18.

Honour the sale of the £18 Samsung Notebook which we have paid for

It is a simple notion that when you pay for item you expect to receive it.

If you purchase an item in a store, the second you have completed the transaction, the deal is done. It is cowardly to hide behind the smallprint on your website to back out of a sale which as far as the consumer is concerned is complete.

To everyone who has purchased the notebook for £18 on www.grattan.co.uk, please sign this petition and make some noise. You have purchased the item. Demand to receive it.

This petition will be given to the multi million pound company to ask for what we have paid for. Keep your email confirmation as proof.

And of course, pending the outcome, tell everyone you know how AWFUL, or how GREAT, the grattan service has been.

M&S have recently had a similar and well publicised issue where they have publushed the wrong price online and they decided they WOULD HONOUR the sale after a petition from their customers.  Lets work together to ask the corporate multi million pound company to DO THE RIGHT THING!

So PLEASE click on the link below to join the petition and be heard!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Review Of Jabra HALO2

I have been lucky enough to receive the new Jabra HALO2 wireless headset to review.  Everything written is entirely my own views and wording.

First Impressions

You know when you walk in to a store and pick up an item and straight away it feels good?  This is one of those items!  It stylish.  Its light.  It folds up like sunglasses.  And it looks especially cool if you place it on the head of a large 11 month old boy!  So my first impression from opening the box was pretty good!

Dylan with blurry dancing hands

What It Does

Wired and Wireless for Music and Calls.  This really sums up the product in terms of what it does.  And of course, who would ever plug the wires in if you don't need to?  It uses bluetooth technology to give you a wireless range of up to 10 meters.  However I find it can get a little crackly if you go to the next room, so keep your phone on you.  Unfortunately bluetooth is not great at busting through walls.  Through thin air it's just fine.

Does It Come In Pink



The earpieces slide easily up and down to allow for different size heads.  So from 11 month baby up to large man head I can confirm it will fit almost everyone.  On the right earpiece it has a single button which you can use to pause and restart your music, or to answer and drop calls.  It has a touch sensitive volume control too, which is really cool.  You slide your finger up or down on the earpiece to change the volume.  Or you can double tab the top or bottom to skip tracks.  Pretty nifty!

Picture not stolen.  Just borrowed.


I have personally been using this with my brand new Samsung Galaxy S3 phones, however even the oldest of phones have bluetooth so this product should work with almost anything, phones, tabs, mp3 players etc.  Of course all of your iThings too.  You can plug in the cable to charge the headset whilst listening to the music too, which is handy.

Ease Of Use

Being a man I dont read instruction.  The controls on the headset are very obvious and very natural.  You fold the sides in to turn off the device.  The fold the back out again and they click in to place to power back on again.  The touch sensitive volume control is child's play.  I tried to double tap to change the tracks before knowing the device could.  Its literally that simple.  And as I am reviewing the product I did read the instructions afterwards to make sure I'm not missing anything.  And yes, I figured it all out in the first 2 minutes.

Technical Stuff

All of the technical stuff I find pretty boring.  Cool names for basic things.  I'm sure it all means something.  If you wish to read through all of the techie features such as 'AM3D Virtual Surround Sound 2.0' then please check out the web link below.

Overall Ratings

Look and feel - 9/10

Looks good.  Feels good.  Dylan certainly sports it well.

Sound quality - 9/10

The overall sound quality is very good. Due to the nature of bluetooth, if you are near other electrical items you can sometimes get a little buzzing which is occasionally noticeable.  Its certainly better than my little earpiece headphones.  Next best thing to playing the music from the surround sound speakers and keeping the neighbours up all night!

Value for money 7/10

This retails for around £65 which is a pretty reasonable price for this item.  You can get bluetooth headsets for around half of this price, however the quality of this headset shines through and warrants the slightly higher price tag.  If you value quality and style then this is for you.  If you only buy cheap and cheerful, then put this on your Christmas list, and be a very good boy!

Recommended by me?


To view the jabra website page on this product please see - http://www2.jabra.com/sites/mobile/ap-en/products/pages/jabrahalo2.aspx

Sunday, 1 July 2012

How to get your child to eat his food

This is a how to get your child eating his food well (if he is Dylan).  This is a tried and tested method with Dylan.  This has not been tested on other babies and so may not work with yours.

Dylan insists on many things in life.  He knows when it is bed time.  He knows when it is time to get up in the morning.  He knows when he wants a nap.  He will call "Daaaaa... Daaaaa" when he wants to get up, and he will whinge and whine lots when he is ready to go to bed.  And he knows who he is happy to leave the room and who he isn't.  Mummy can't go anywhere.  Daddy can sometimes.

In some situations you can manipulate things to get your own parental way.  However when it comes to feeding time at the Dylan zoo, then Dylan's way is the only way.  Otherwise he will dinosaur your face off!

Dylan 'dinosauring my face off'.

Dylan has 3 meals a day.  He has his milk, and then his food around 30 minutes later.  His first milk of the day must come within seconds of getting out of bed.  As soon as he is downstairs, he screams in baby language "MILK MILK MILK!! GET ME MILK NOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWW!!".  If you were me, you'd do as your told.

After his first milk he will have his weatabix or his porridge.  He has both of them mixed with whole milk and microwaved for 40 seconds.  And then stirred, not shaken.  He knows if you have followed his instructions wrong, so it's best to do it this way ever time.  This is the only meal of the day he will accept being spoon fed.  He eats his cereal with a 99% reliability.  He finishes off every mouthful 90% of the time.  He turns away breakfast 1% of the time.  He's a big fat boy, so we don't fret if he misses one meal in a hundred.  As long as he's had his milk.

For lunch, he will not be spoon fed.  As soon as he realised that he has teeth, he has fingers, and he had mastered the pincer grip, he decided to flex his independence muscles by way of refusal.  If you offer him anything savoury on a spoon he will thwart it across the room without a second thought.  So for lunch he will often have things such as a cheese sandwich.  Other times he has cheese and bread separately.  He will often have scrambled eggs on toast.   Other times he will have a mix of cheese squares, ham, bread soldiers, cucumber sticks and various other nibbly things.  He eats his lunch with 90% reliability.  We always make too much in case he decides will would rather play catch with his imaginary friends who sit all around him at the high chair.  And when he has had enough, he will let you know by clearing his plate.  He does this is a very clear and methodical way.  First - SMASH IT!  He likes to demonstrate that the food is no longer fit for purpose by crushing it with his incredible hulk fists.  And then he will flail his arms like E Honda (the fat guy from street fighter) until his tray is empty.  Job done.

Dinner can be a little bit tricky.  As by this time of day he starts to get tired.  And just like his mother, when he is tired, he can be a little tricky to handle.  You would need to be a mix between a hostage negotiator, a lion handler and a makeshift Egyptian dinner time god to be able to say or do the right thing when either of them become tired.  His dinner comes in the format or things like pizza and veg, fish fingers and veg, whatever we have for our dinner and veg.  In veg we trust!  The veg we use is frozen mixed veg.  They come in handy small pieces which are ideal for finger food.  The other bits of his dinner are all cut up to be finger sized too.  He eats his dinner also with a 90% reliability.  And again will demonstrate to you that he is finished with his SMASH and THROW technique described earlier.  When he starts to get a little tetchy but our parental spider sense kicks in and we know he is still hungry despite his primate style behaviour, a good technique that works quite well is to break his food up in to even smaller chunks, so that they are literally bite sized.  By this time of day he sometimes finds chewing away at chunk of food a little tiring.  After all, he has had a busy day.  

Another winning tip is to never put too much food on his plate for his lunch or dinner.  If he see's a whole pile of food he decides that he couldn't possibly decide what piece to eat next, so he manually reduces the amount of food available by using all his available limbs.  He likes to have his food segmented so he can pick and choose what piece to eat next.  He likes to have his peas to one side so that he can roll them around and perfect his pincer grip.  Its a little bit pedantic, but it is his preferred way.

The main thing is that as long as you allow him to feed himself, and to present the food to him in an easy to manage way, then he will eat everything.  He will even feed you too, to demonstrate that he is happy with you.  Much like a cat bringing you a dead bird.  But a lot nicer to receive, being a human and all.

In case you are ever likely to babysit my child, you will find this very helpful.

How does your child get on with eating?

Please read my other posts such as my post about lazy stay at home parents - http://thedaddyadventure.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/lazy-stay-at-home-mums.html

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Dads Influence of Musical Taste

I often wonder about Dylan growing up.  I wonder what he will be like.  What he will choose to do with his life.  And most importantly of all, what his taste in music will be.

Dad rock is probably around 30% on the scale of coolness.  I wonder if dad rock even existed a generation ago.  But by the time Dylan is old enough to appreciate music I hope that what I listen to now is considered dad rock.

Music has been a life long love of mine.  I haven't been at nearly enough festivals and gigs in my time, yet I've probably seen more bands than most.  My taste in music has evolved through many genres from pop to punk and ska and rock and metal etc etc...  In my old age (28 going on 105) my taste has settled on the more gentle indie rock, with bands like arcade fire and modest mouse making the sound-waves that bounce around our home.

Dylan is still very very youthful (11 months) and as such is very easily influenced.  He seems to just love to dance around the room in my arms rocking out to *his* favourite tunes.  He tells me some of his favourite bands are exactly the same as mine, and when his mummy isn't around he always asks me to put the music on nice and loud.  So I am dreading the possibility that when he gets older he might grown out of the music he loves so dearly now.

Even when he was still in his mums tum he was going off to gigs.  Before being born he had felt the vibrations of jimmy eat world, less than jake and feeder.  Because you have to start them young these days.

I am hoping that by playing my music in the house as he grows up, he will go to nursery and through his school years as an advocate of what will one day be defined as dad rock.

Kids these days seem to use music as a form of rebellion against their parents.  Playing what parents consider to be the most offensive music ever created and turned up to volume 11.  If Dylan chooses punk rock to rebel then I will know that I have brought him up well... musically at least.

What are your musical aspirations for your little ones?

Or have your children already grown up, and if so, how has your music taste influenced your child?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Lazy Stay At Home Mums

Cherie Blair has this week had a go at 'stay at home yummy mummies' (read it here) who make babies with rich people and do nothing for themselves.  Apparently people who make decisions to be dedicated mummies instead of deciding to benefit the wider economy by getting an education and a job are being dangerous with their life choices.  Clearly she is being more than a little close minded about life.

You will notice throughout my post that my statistics are 100% correct.

As much as I disagree with her it did get me thinking about stay at home mums in general, and how they are perceived to be lazy and have it easy.  And in my experience this view is 100% true (based on 1 out of 1 - therefore 100% - stay at home mum where I know about their home lives).  In comparison to those who work full time jobs to fund the extravagant and relaxed lifestyle of a stay at home mum, they are indeed very very lazy.

This post is 0% sarcastic.

I'd like to make it clear at this point that I work very hard.  I work Monday to Friday full time, with such focus and effort that it is exhausting.  My job is to sit down and talk to people on the phone.  Not easy, when you consider that I have to be very chirpy for the whole time.  It takes me a lot of coffee (which I have taught myself to like) to get through such a long day.  On a scale of 1-10, I work a full 10 in terms of hardness.  Which is why I consider myself the 'rich' (and sensible) partner that Cherie Blair is referring to.

Now the stay at home mum that I know (without mentioning any names, (@mummyadventure) is rather lazy. I come home from a day at work.  But unlike the other 99.9% of working dads, I do not come home to a lovely cooked meal.  Nor a sparklingly clean and tidy house.  I come home to her being a tweetybloghead.  Sat on the corner sofa with her legs up.  And when I get in I am greeted by a request that begins "Pal, while you are up...".  So I have to hop-scotch my way across the minefield of Dylan's left out toys to get to the kitchen to make Becky a glass of water.  Clearly she needs it.  She's had a tiring day.  And I cant sit down on the 4 seater sofa as the other 2 seats are loaded up with more bags than you could possibly have used in 1 day.

She has been very busy I am sure.  She tells me that she had to go to a baby group (to see all of her friends) in the morning, or to go for lunch with her mum friends in the afternoon.  Apparently this is because Dylan wants to see his friends.  Which in a way I can believe, as quite often Dylan is on his soft toy phone to his friends chatting away, and probably arranging social outings.

When I ask her what she does with her day, she mentions she "would rather play peekaboo than do washing up".  To be fair, she does feed Dylan.  She does clean up after him (although she always seems to forget about the mess he leaves in front of my computer every single day).  She also does his washing.  Although if you bear in mind that his clothes are tiny compared to ours, this is technically the smallest of jobs.

So I can see why people have the view that the stay at home parent 'has it easy'.  As it involves 2 long breaks during the day when Dylan sleeps (I only get 1 break at work). A big part of the day is often spent socialising with friends (the people I see at work are colleagues, not friends, except on Fridays when we go out drinking, and occasionally on weekends too).  Looking after a child is stress free (honest!).  You haven't got a fat man in a suit barking orders at you all day.  With the exception of advise from the ex prime minsters wife, you are pretty much free to do as you please.  And even at your busiest, you are playing with your child.  Playing.  How ghastly.

And I am sure you can understand my thoughts on the matter.  I mean, I have it so hard.  I have to work 9-5 Monday to Friday, and then suffer the same fate as the mother on weekends when the child is largely mine all mine.  I have to travel an hour to work, and an hour back from work.  I have to suffer tesco's bloody sandwiches almost every day year upon year upon year.  This is a hell all on its own.  I have to force myself into an addiction of coffee to create a sociable version of myself to get me through the unholy hours that happen before lunch time.  This is not a particularly cheap addiction either, at £2.40 a cup!  And then when I get home I have to cook us both dinner and then do the washing up.  Two whole things.  I mean really.  Could you imagine how a man would have reacted back in the 60's?  Violently, I am sure.  Fortunately times have changed.  Instead of violence I give her love and kisses.

I'll take you through a typical day in my job.  I get up early.  I mean really early.  Like 8 o'clock or something close.  I arrive at work have cycled through Canterbury town.  The fresh air is one thing, but the people cant walk in straight lines, this makes cycling very difficult through a pedestrianised high street. At work, I have to load up my PC, open like 8 tabs or so, remember lots of ever changing passwords, remember the ins and outs of the products I sell.  I have to talk enthusiastically to people all day in my practised baby voice (it seems people who run businesses are often not as clever as you may expect).  Then I have to remember to shut down my PC at the end of the day and navigate my way back through the high street of zombies.  Hard stuff, right?

Becky's day?  Socialising.  And hanging out with a baby who has no needs at all.  He is perfect after all.

But to spite my good will, I get told that I am so lazy!  Me?  Pah!  Too lazy to make my own sandwiches or take a flask of coffee.  Too lazy to cycle the full 16 miles home every day and catch the train instead.  So lazy because I don't cook a proper meal 7 days a week.  Yes, sometimes I want to only do 1 thing around the house on some days instead of 2.  And yes, I do feel justified in spending my own money on a luxury or two (the coffee, not the bloody sandwiches).  So here is my bucket, please fill it with sympathy.  And please write to Cherie Blair to explain yourself.  To explain why you stay at home and look after children instead of going to work to earn not quite enough to pay for the child care required.  

Oh, and in case you weren't sold already.  Becky only works around 8 hours a week.  How lazy!

So, to all those lazy stay at home mums out there, me and Cherie are on to you!

To read about the easy life of Becky please read her blog here - http://themummyadventure.com

To read about how easy a child Dylan is to look after please read my review of him - Review of Dylan

PS, don't read this post about the first time I had Dylan for a whole day. http://thedaddyadventure.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/dad-for-day.html

Saturday, 23 June 2012

A Weekend Of Just Me And The Boy

This week my other half (The Mummy Adventure) has been away at the (apparently) wildly anticipated Britmums Live 2012 show.  So I have been left at home with  Dylan, my wonderful boy who is nearly 11 months now.

A weekend alone with him is a very long time in comparison to the rest of my life as I work full time and I spend weekends with the 2 of them.  Time alone with Dylan is few and far between.

Dylan is the best baby you could possibly imagine.  Probably his most enviable trait (to other parents) is his knack at sleeping a good 13 hours or so every night, and a very routine 2 naps in the day.  However this morning he clearly new what was going on.  To him it must have been like Christmas morning, knowing that he will spend the whole day with me.  And I can only put it down to his pure excitement, but he was awake a good 90 minutes before his normal time, calling out for me to come and airlift him to the world of toys downstairs.

Its worth noting that Dylan's favourite words are "Da', Dad, Ada, or Dadadadabababanananana".  So when he wakes up in the morning and shouts his favourite word, I come running! (regardless of what The Mrs might have you believe) :-p

Today we had matching meals all day.  We had weetabix with milk for breakfast.  For lunch we had scrambled egg on toast.  And for dinner we had BBQ at a friends house.  We clearly both have good tastes in food.  After all, great minds do think alike. :)

I love having such quality time with Dylan.  He loves a little cuddle and loves even more to be thrown around the living room like an aeroplane, a pretend tigger, or just a rag doll.  As long as it could be construed as an imaginary roller coaster ride, he loves it!

He is also probably the happiest baby in the world.  For a good half hour at the BBQ he was just laying on the grass looking up at nothing, wiggling his feet and arms with excitement and giggling away at himself, singing his version of birdsong.  He was so happy just being in the company of me, that he seemed as happy and relaxed to be laying in the grass as I was last week at download festival.  Although I did miss him a lot (see my last post to see just how much).

He also had a cat nervously scrounging for scraps of food around him.  Dylan took this opportunity food a quick stroke, following by a little poking, and then a back hand to the poor cats face.  Clearly Dylan still has a bit to work on in terms of being around small creatures.

So overall, the whole day together today has been really good fun.  We're really looking forward for the same again tomorrow.  Here's to hoping that he gets up at 9am tomorrow like he does for his mummy.

P.S.  The house is much tidier without The Mrs being here making a great big mess :-p

What do you get up to with your quality time with your baby?  Any comments are more than welcome and if you have enjoyed this read please take a look through some of my other posts.

Missing Dylan


Dylan is the most amazing boy ever!


I have known Dylan for nearly 11 months now.  Since the second he was born.  And I have loved him from before he burst his way into this world.  It's such a cliché, but I do love him more and more every day.  Over 300 days later equates to a lot of love!

Now I don't always get to see Dylan as often as I would like to.  I work Monday to Friday every week and some weeks I finish later than others.  There are some weeks I barely see him due to getting back from work just after his bedtime.  But knowing he is fast asleep only a few stairs away is enough of a comfort.  And peeking through his doorway and seeing him happily kipping in his cot is nice enough.

But a few weeks ago I went to download festival.  For those that don't know, this is a music (metal) festival at Donington Park in England.  For many years now this festival has been the highlight of my year and is unmissable.  I turn up on the Wednesday and am home by the following Monday.  That's a lot of days away from my little boy.  I knew I'd miss him but I didn't realise just how much.

On the first day there I see a lot of people who I haven't seen since the previous year.  Everyone is asking how my little boy is.  Constantly telling people how great he is and how much I love him only made me miss him more.  And this was only the first day.  The second day was much more of the same.

On the Friday the bands started.  The whole year I had been waiting to be stood in that muddy field with some of my favourite people.  It feels like a second home to be stood in front of a huge stage a million miles away from normality, listening to some of the biggest and best bands in the world.  The first band that I saw was machine head.  They're not one of my favourite bands but they put on an amazing show and the gig had a real buzz.  At first I felt almost euphoric being back there again.  I was looking around me at all of my friends having a great time, a field full of thousands of people doing the same, and a huge band only a stones throw away.  The feeling of that being the best thing in the world lasted only for a few seconds, before I realised that it wasn't the best thing in the world.  I wanted to be with my family.  Being torn between my 2 favourite things in the world, download festival and my very own family, whilst having such a lovely time... it all became a little overwhelming and as I thought of Dylan a few tears ran down my cheek.

Now, I'm not one to cry... ever... I'm cold hard man with no feelings whatsoever who burps and farts and drinks beer and wipes my hands on my jeans after eating chicken with my fingers.  So after a few tears I sucked it all in and carried on having a lovely muddy time.

On more than one occasion the thought of leaving early and coming home crossed my mind.  I didn't, mind you.  But I was shocked at just how much I missed my little boy and it was almost refreshing to realise just how much he has changed me.  He has suppressed my appetite for going out at the weekend and getting very drunk.  I don't feel like he stops me from doing anything, but I literally don't have that urge any more.  My urge is to stay home and be with my family.  And don't quote me on this, but at the moment I don't think I could go to download festival again next year.  By then my ever grown love will have had another 365 days of love added.  It might just kill me to leave him for that long ever again.  I can still cope with leaving him to go to work.  But anything more than that would be unthinkable!

Now, where did I put my beer?

In case you are feeling a little weepy and thinking of your own loved ones, I have linked below to the funniest thing ever, called missing missy.  Its hilarious and it will cheer you up. :)

This has been Missing Dylan.  This is Missing Missy.  http://www.27bslash6.com/missy.html

Thanks for reading.  To find a bit more about Dylan, read the review here --> click here <--

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Silent Sunday

Barefoot Books Review

Barefoot Books

Barefoot Books have been so kind as to send me 2 of their delightful books to review.  Both books are for my 10 month old to enjoy.  I have read both books to him and this is what we thought.

As a reward for reading my review, you are all more than welcome to a 20% discount off of all of the Barefoot Books.  Just click here:

The two books I was sent are worth £8.99 each.  So with the discount you can get these for only £7.19.  Both books I have received are well worth such a bargain price.

Who's In The Farmyard?

This is Dylans favourite book of the two.  Each page of the book is made from card, and so it is nice and sturdy.  Its great as Dylan can grab away at the pages and play with the pictures without worry about the pages becoming damaged.  

Its a peek-a-boo book, where ever page has a circular hole which shows part of the picture of the next page.  I think this would be great for a slightly older child who is learning animals, as you get to see the picture of the animal before you turn to the page which tells you what the animal is, and the noises they make.  Either way, Dylan enjoyed reaching through the holes and touching the animal on the other side.  He also likes to turn the pages.

I enjoyed the book as it is good fun to read.  Its quite a short book which I think is best for children his age.  We normally read it 2 or 3 times in a row, and I think he likes the repetition and seeing the familiar pictures.  The story involves making lots of animal noises so it is as fun to read as I imagine it is for Dylan to listen too.

The book is very well illustrated, bright and colourful.  I'm hoping when Dylan is a bit older I might be able to get him to make the noises too, although he may be quite a while away from doing this.

I Took The Moon For A Walk

This is a longer book than the first one, and all of the pages are also made of card.  It is the story of a boy going on a journey and taking the moon with him.  It is a very imaginative story and the illustrations are again very nice.  The story reads almost like a poem.

Dylan listened to the whole story and touched at some of the pages.  The pictures from one page to the next have a very similar colour theme, and they don't differ much.  I think this made the book a little less interesting for Dylan.  I think this would be better suited to an older child as Dylan is too young to understand the story and the pictures aren't as vibrant as the first book.

However for an older child I think this would be great as the story is nice and its almost like a lullaby.  Each page of the story is a scene giving you something to talk about, such as the night time animals.  The back of the book has information about the moon and nocturnal animals and invites the child and the reader to start up a conversation about these topics.  I think this is a great addition to the book as it adds a little education at the same time.  I imagine that children around 3-4 years would be much better suited for this book.

Have you read any of their books already?  Please comment below to share your thoughts.

To read my other posts about the life of Dylan and me, or to read any of my other trusty reviews, just click through the rest of my blog.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Grumpy Dad Day

Today is officially grumpy dad day (as decided by me, king of the grumpy dads).

Grumpiness is an air-born disease that is easily spread through the workplace, and at home.  People who are hungry or stressed are more prone to grumpiness than others.

Today I have mostly been eating grumpy.  I woke up at grumpy o'clock.  I went to work.  I have to cycle through a city centre to get there, which makes me grumpy.  In a 10 minutes journey, the amount of people that cant drive their car correctly is shocking.  This makes me grumpy.  The amount of people that walk in a zig-zag, sideways, or stop for no reason make me grumpy.  These people should all go to walking school to learn how to walk down a high street correctly!

Being at work is normally fun.  But today grumpiness was shared throughout the whole office.  It started with a high-up manager in a different location being grumpy that their target wasnt being hit.  So they shouted at our centre manager and made him grumpy (which is not difficult).  The centre manager then shouted at my manager, making him grumpy.  My manager then shouted at everyone, which made me grumpy.

I then left work and had to cycle back down the high street of walking and driving zombies.  Grumpy.

I got home, which was nice.  Less grumpy.  But my superstore food delivery isnt coming for another hour or so and im hungry.  So now I'm grumpy again.

PS. The weather is grumpy, so why can't I be?

Are you grumpy?  You should be!  Its grumpy dad day.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The youth of today are totally unbearable

The youth of today are totally unbearable.

Unfortunately my child is full of all of the worst traits that sum up today's youths.  And I'm a fantastic parent, so I don't know why!  These are the things my child does on a daily basis.

He farts and burps aloud, without a seconds' though to say 'pardon me', or to even leave the room first.  And I have no idea where he gets it from.  Probably his Mother.

Now this may or may not be illegal.  But I know full well that he urinates everywhere.  And worse than that, he drops number 2's everywhere too.  He doesn't seem to care at all where he goes!  He has no respect for his surroundings whatsoever.

He spits.  Its totally disgusting.  He spits on the floor.  Often on other people too.  Sometimes he spits on himself and he doesn't even care to wipe it off.

On that note, he doesn't care about his appearance at all.  A typical boy I guess.  So it may not be the worst thing in the world.  I would like to have a boy who brushed his hair once in a while.  Brushed his teeth without me asking.

His behaviour is very boisterous.  He shouts for no reason.  He cries when he doesn't get what he wants the second he wants it.  He slaps, grabs, snatches and pulls you around.  He seems rather untamed.

He is also very lazy.  He sleeps so often that you could confuse him with a cat.  He never tidies up after himself.  He never makes his own meals.  He literally does nothing to contribute to the running of the house.

I mean, quite simply, he is the stereotypical youth of today.  Maybe one day he will change.  Maybe he will 'grow out' of this 'phase'.  Lets hope so.

If you could give me any tips on how to help him improve, I'd be really appreciative.  I mean he is only 9 months old, so we have another 17 years to go before we can offload him to university.  I dont think I can put up with this behaviour for such a long time!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Review Of My Boy Dylan

Dylan is nearly 9 months old.  In fact he has now spent 2 more days outside of the womb than he had spent in the womb, having been 9 days early.

I hear all the time about how great other peoples babies are.  Every parent seems to be of the impression that there baby is the best one.  Either the cutest, the smartest, the most advanced, the most fun, or the stinkiest.  Sometimes all of these things.  But very few parents would know how other baby's are rated, as this information is not usually available.  So how could you possibly know if your baby is better than someone else's?

So this post is to give an open and honest review of my boy Dylan.


Tall and handsome.  He is one of the tallest babies you will ever meet.  He is measuring in at a whopping 76cm... putting him taller than 91% of all babies his age.

Chubby cheeks.  The chubbier a babies cheeks, the better.  Dylan's cheeks are so flabby, he could store a hamster in each cheek!

Dress sense.  He is dressed by his mother, who is a bit of a stylish yummy mummy.  So naturally he dresses well.  Even down to his underwear (cloth nappies) he looks like a well dressed baby stud.

Smell.  As a boy, smelling bad is a must have attribute.  I can certainly say, he STINKS.  His nappies are so revolting that I have nearly thrown up on my own son more than once.


Dylan is a charmer.  He woo's the girls, the mums, and grandparents.  No matter how his personal life is going, whenever he bumps in to someone else, he has the biggest smile and is the friendliest baby you could possibly picture.

Perfect sleeper.  Although this has not always been the case, now that he is past his teething stage, he often sleeps a good 14 hours each night.  Only occasionally does he wake in the night.  And when he does, its normally to tell me something important.

He is very well mannered.  He is also polite.  When he see's you he waves 'hello' very enthusiastically, with his arms waving around like a washing line in a hurricane.

Special Traits

Every baby has a few specific things that they do that make them stand out.  A few of Dylans favourites are:

When he has had enough food, he will stick his tongue out at the spoon to refuse it entry into his food destruction chamber.

He has a strange sense of humour.  He finds it fun to hold his food out at arms length, and try and reach the food with his mouth.

Early Progression

He is a very advanced baby.  He may not be crawling of walking just yet.  But he is extremely good at algebra and long division.  He is also a good talker.  He talks to me all day about all the things he finds boring... "blah blah blah blah" ...

Not many animals would let their young in to the wild on their own at such a young age.  But Dylan has been practising being a dinosaur for a long time now, and can often be found prowling around remote islands eating anything and everything.  His roar is enough to scare many away.  What doesn't run away is devoured by his super sharp sabre teeth.

Value For Money

Dylan only cost 8 pounds 10 at the hospital.  Since then he has had many items of clothing given to him as presents, he has been breast fed for the most part of his life, and his re-usable cloth nappies (apparently) are saving money too.

So all in all he is a very cost effective baby.  Especially when you factor in that he already has an arranged marriage with Harper Seven Beckham.  He is also tipped to be the next youngest billionaire, with his fortune expected to reach the milestone at the ripe age of only 12 years old.  He already has many patents under his name and is getting close to creating a 101% efficient use of energy.

Overall Rating

Taking in to consideration all of the above, I think it is a fair representation to rate Dylan a modest 100% perfect.

I will be posting pictures to go with this post over the next few days.  I'll keep you posted.  Although if you follow by blog, you will be in the know already, and you will be my new (2nd) favourite person :)

If you wish to have a blog-off with me, please post a review of your own :)

The first blog off can be found here - http://www.downssideup.com/2012/04/little-light-hearted-blog-off.html

If you wish to join in please just post away and let me know, and i'll be sure to link to yours too.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Dad For The Day

Today was the first time I have had Dylan (now 8.5 months old) for the whole day, start to finish, without The Mrs being here.

Today has been her first day back at work.  So with the exception of the first 10 minutes of the day, the boy has been mine all mine.

I realised something about parenting today.  It's harder on your own.

We started the day well.  He was happy, and we played, and he ate his breakfast nicely.  He was due a nap, so I put him in the buggy to sleep while I went out for a walk and to get some shopping.  He awoke as I returned to the house.  Then he was upset for the rest of the evening, crying, and needing a lot of attention.  I put this down to him missing his mummy!  After feeding him dinner I finally got him to bed.

Here is a list of the things I planned to do today that I DID get done:

  1. some washing up
  2. leave the house and get some shopping  (Dylan was asleep at this point)
  3. take some photos (Dylan was asleep at this point)
Here is a list of things I wanted to do, but DIDN'T get done:

  1. eat breakfast
  2. eat lunch
  3. start on preparing dinner
  4. unpack the brand new dyson and do some hoovering
  5. find the charger for the digital camera
  6. finish the washing up
  7. the laundry
  8. have 5 minutes to myself
It seems that you can't really get anything done when you have a child.  Unless you have a partner to pass the child to (which then prevents them from doing anything!).  I didn't eat anything more than a cereal bar all day as I didn't get time to eat.  The only things I did manage to do where when Dylan was asleep.

I remember pre-baby, I used to think that days weren't long enough to fit in all the things that you want to do.  When you do have a baby, you have zero time to do anything at all unless your baby is asleep.  And Dylan doesn't sleep for anywhere near 24 hours a day!

I think I know now why The Mrs is so skinny... She cant have eaten for the last 8 and a half months.  She clearly hasn't had time.  

I'm sorry, this post is going to be a short one... I'm tired. I'm going to relax on the sofa until The Mrs is home to cook me dinner. :)

Daddy Time - Blog Hop

Why do you blog?

To be honest, it's because my partner does (themummyadventure.com).  She asked to me do a guest post for her one day for Real Nappy Week, as being a Dad who is enthusiastic about cloth nappies is apparently a rarity.  So I wrote a post for her, and then decided I would also use the same post to start my own blog - you can see it here.

She had also attained a free £50 voucher for our local Frankie & Benny's restaurant to review the food.  So as I was there too, I also reviewed the food.

With these 2 things, my blog was started.

If you could choose a performer to see in concert who would it be?

I do go and see a few bands these days.  Its something that when I was growing up a dreamed of doing.  Now I go to a festival or two each year (Download festival and one other more chilled festival like Lounge On The Farm).  I've been to some amazing gigs, such as seeing prodigy at Brixton a few years ago.

If I could see any one band that I haven't already... I'd probably have to think about it for days and then I'd come up with a shortlist.  But in a rush, I will give you two.  If I could go back in time, I would have loved to see Red Hot Chilli Peppers back in their hay-day.  I think they're playing London this year, but even though I might still go, its not going to be anywhere near as good as it would have been 10 years ago.  If it had to be a band today, it would probably be a chilled band like The National.

How is your blog influenced by you being a Dad?

My blog is still taking form.  My posts are not your typical parenting type posts.  They are (so far anyway) posts about life as a dad.  My boy is a huge influence on my life, so everything I do now is influenced by him.  The activities I do.  They way I view things.  Its all changed because of him.

What is your favourite film?

This again is one of those questions where there will never be just one answer.  To name but just a few:
  • Shaun of the dead
  • Alien
  • The green mile
  • Inception
  • Iron man

Who gets up for your kids in the night?

Its not me.  I do get up sometimes, but not my 'fair share'.  At the moment Dylan sleeps very well. 12-14 hours is normal for him, with the occasional wake in the night.  He's a perfect baby!  However when he did used to be up many times a night I didn't do my fair share.  

I like to think this is partly justified because Dylan was 100% breast fed.  My breasts are out of favour.  And when he woke is was often because he was hungry.  Also partly because Becky can nap in the day.  Dylan normally has a good hour or two sleep around 9am.  So Becky can catch up on her sleep.  Whereas I would be off at work, snoozing at my desk.  Not good!  

Saying that, I could and probably should get up in the night more now, as he is no longer breast fed.  But he doesn't wake up often in the night any more, and old habits die hard.  (Please add 'die hard' to the films list above).

Friday, 20 April 2012

Healthiest Dad In The Kebab Shop

Recently I have been on a bit of a health drive...

Now I know full well that diets are for girls, and they don't work anyway.  There are possibly a million tips on how to lose weight, when all you really need to know is that you need to eat healthier and do more exercise.  Its a balance.  Tip the scales slightly more to the healthier side and you will lose weight.

But my eating habits are horrendous.  And I have not really had much of a desire to improve it.  So by my own theory, I need to do a lot of exercise to balance the scales. A LOT! (My BMI is around 27.5, so I'm smack bang in the middle of perfect weight and obese.  A perfect overweight weight)

This is my belly's ideas of a gooooood time!

I have been 'going to the gym' for over a year and a half now.  Although I should point out I have not really been so much for the last 8 months or so, except the odd visit here or there.

I recall when I joined the gym, I was asked what I wanted to get from it.  My answer was 'to lose weight'.  From day one I only really did weights and so I burnt minimal calories.  My arms got bigger, my chest got bigger.  But equally my belly got bigger too.

This is NOT me!  I'm way more muscly!

So for the last month or so I have tried to get in to running.  And I maintained this effort for a few weeks, running a little faster and a little further week on week.  4-5 weeks later and I had run maybe 12 times.  Not too bad, really.  But hefting my gargantuan belly around has been taking its toll on my legs.  And so although I have not yet given up on running, I have been thinking about cycling as it is a much less punishing on the legs.

I often describe my belly as my fun store.  All of the late night drinking, burgers and kebabs, restaurant meals, all the thing I love to do, have all stored themselves in my belly.  So for that reason I am quite proud of it.  But since facebook stores photos of the best bits, I don't need my belly to remind me as well.

This is also NOT me. But could be one day.

So I have been toying in my mind with buying a new bike.  A road bike.  I went to my local bike store to take a look through what's available.  I spend most of my youth on a bike.  Always mountain bikes.  And the revelation that there are such things as 'road bikes' is a little alien to me.  Naturally, the bikes I liked the look of just so happen to cost a bit.  £500-1400 were the bikes that caught my attention.

Now if I invest in a bike that costs about as much as 2nd hand car, then surely I will ride it lots and lots and lots and achieve my goal of losing weight.  Definitely 100% I will.  OK so I'm a rather impulsive person, it literally took me about 2 minutes to decide I was going to buy one.  My second trip to the store and I was advised to 'try' one of the bikes that I liked.  I knew if I sat on the bike I would buy it.  I sat on the bike.  I rode it up and down the road.  I got off the bike and told the man in the shop how I don't know why I spent my youth riding mountain bikes (considering I have never even been close to a mountain, or a dirt track for that matter) when road bikes are so much better!  Sold.  £600 lighter.  A £600 investment into losing weight.

This IS my new bike.  Its shiny.

Now this only happened yesterday.  My plan was to start riding home from work (which turns out to be 16.4 miles).  But to do it in stages, using the train to help me build my stamina.  But with the adrenaline of being on a bike again for the first time in 3-4 years, the first day enthusiasm got hold of me and I cycled all the way home.  An app told me I burnt 1100 calories.  I instantly realised that if I cycled to and from work every day, I could double what I eat.  This would keep the scales nice and level.

So now I've done it, I plan on doing it again, and as often as my enthusiasm will allow.  Hopefully the weight will fall right off, and so I can continue to eat like I always have, but reduce the reminders of my good times to the one media of facebook.

So now I am (within the space of 24 hours) a super healthy live forever Dad who will have good health for ever and ever and ever.  Obviously.  Because I have a bike.

An equation to sum this up is:

Food + fun = fat

Gym = 0

Food + fun + burgers + kebabs + beer x beer + vodka + chocolate cake + pizza + chinese + BIKE = Live forever healthiness

I tweeted earlier to ask if anyone cycled to work... very few people did!

What do you do to keep the scales balanced?

Or are your scales very much weighted to one sided?

Thanks again for reading. (PS. I'm desperately seeking more blog followers :p )
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