Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A Trip to Wheelock Hall Farm

Wheelock Hall Farm Sandbach Cheshire
Sunday afternoon at Wheelock Hall Farm in Sandbach with Little Bird. Lots of fun making friends, sitting in old tractors with characterful expressions and running around the play area. Fantastic play area too - farm and all for £2.50, adults don't pay. Bargain of an afternoon.
Farm Animal Feed Donkeys donkey tractor in the field pony petting
There were donkeys, ponies, chickens, goats, cows, pigs and sheep. Little Bird wants to pet all the animals, not scared at all. I think Daddy Bird was more worried about him getting nipped by a big old eared wonky donkey or a woolly jumper.
sad face Sheep in a field shelter
Hey there old tractor. 
old tractor that looks like a funny face
You may be old and tired my rusty friend, but you have made one little boy very happy.
happy boy on the old tractor stepping off the tractor sleepy smiling pig
An indoor area with two big pigs and their wee, wee, wee little piggys. All running around so fast that I failed to take a decent photo of them. This smiling,snoozing sow was much easier. I wonder what she was dreaming about?
playing on hay bales
So simple but so much excitement to run, jump and hide between the hay bales. Ahhhh chooo!
hay bale fun
Here is Brigadier tractor with his moustache :)
How do you do tractor? Play area
Huge play area with all kinds of equipment, sort of a mini assault course. Very well planned out and making good use of the space. Little Bird has a great time on slides now, despite looking a little anxious. 
boy sliding
Riding the pedal tractors with help from Daddy. There are go-karts too for the older children.
on the toy tractor No CRASHING BASHING or SMASHING  dad and son on the toy tractors
What's nice about the farm is that there is also a shop, a cafe and a little garden centre so everybody is happy. It was quite busy so I didn't buy anything from the very large farm shop but would have loved to have had a good look at all the jams and chutneys. I sneaked around and took a few photos to show you :)
garden shop lovely garden shop Farm shop marshmallows Molly dog kennel
We will probably be back at the farm in the autumn now as it becomes a bit of a pumpkin fest here with all sorts of wonderful gourds for sale. I'm thinking about the autumn a lot now after the heat wave we had but I hear we have another on its way....

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Little Treats

Bee ring Temporary Secretary Robot necklace from Temporary Secretary Matalan Cushions Peg puzzles wooden peg puzzle found in a charity shop harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion
It's nice to have some little treats. Little treasures to brighten up your day. Playful jewelry from a company I have been lusting after for a while - Temporary Secretary. (They have a sale on at the moment)

 Little shopping trips, especially when it involves my mum, my nana and the charity shops in the same town I got dragged around every Saturday as a child. Mixed memories. Happiness and boredom.

Fun to come across a French festival and a procession of Citroen 2CV's. Not so good to not have your camera!

Finding lovely wooden puzzles for Little Bird and a book I loved as a child. Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

Cheery new cushions for the front room from Matalan. The dog best not get her paws on them.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A slow start

Scarecrow in the corn patch Walking to the plot Chamomile Gooseberries Lettuce Peas pea flower allotment compost Chive flowers Allotment Exploration Red Currants Evening Allotment
Things are a little late on the allotment this year but we have a heap of gooseberries, red currants and by the end of July, we will have so many broad beans that we will be giving them away. 
I wish we had room for a chest freezer at home to put all the extra goodies in but it's nice to give some to neighbours. Makes me smile.

Many jobs still to do, repaint the shed and weed the couch grass from around raspberries and compost heap. It's all looking too wild and certainly wouldn't win any allotment of the year competitions....unlike my dad's site which is spectacular. They all must have more time on their hands there.It's hard with a 3 year old running off, although that has got better and he doesn't go far. I'll show you my dad's allotment site soon.

It's been a bit of a neglectful year in terms of making pretty and I still did not sow a cut flower section. I think a lot of the other plots are the same, a bit untidy we all are this year. Plus I've noticed that many people have given their plots up. Not such the long waiting lists anymore. Are allotments losing their popularity?

It might look rough around the edges but I've grown lots of potatoes, peas and beans that will keep us going all autumn. Just the courgettes to hurry up now and tomorrow I will be going to harvest the first of the raspberries. Can't wait!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Pool Time

Outdoor paddling pool
We are very fortunate in my little town that we have a great outdoor paddling pool. This is the first time we have been, as in previous years Little Bird's sensory issues would have made such a trip quite difficult. This year we decided to chance it.

Little toes dipped quite cautiously at first into the shallow blue water filled with excitable children charging around, laughing and being very noisy. A few walks around with Daddy and then Little Bird was ready to let go of hands and join in. I was so immensely proud and felt very emotional.

Pool fun Splashing, laughing, watching the other children. He loved it so much that we have been back every day, either after Daddy Bird finishes work or I've taken him when it opens at lunchtime. There's a small kiosk selling drinks and ice creams, also a play area next door so it's a gem of a place. 
Trees line the edge of the fence to soften the view of a busy road with retail park shops opposite but really it does not matter. It's a pretty place for the mere fact that it looks so incongruous where it is positioned amongst shops and houses. 
A lovely clear paddling pool, shining in the sun.

Many people take picnics and set up camp on the grass or under one of the trees. Little toddlers play on the edge with stacking cups, watching many an inflatable creature drift past. LB took a liking to a crocodile but its little lady owner became quite a bit haughty about things :) I've noticed that Little Bird seems to like the little girls. Bless him, he really wants a friend.
Splash with daddy
 He was playing with an abandoned beach ball until its owner, a pretty blonde girl stomped over, took it off him and lifted it high above his head. My little man took it all in his stride, looked at her with a gorgeous smile and chuckled, waiting for her to pass it back. When she didn't, he just tootled off, no tears, no big deal. It's occasions like this that really make me realise that there's more to my boy than what his assessment reports states. I see a boy who understands more than what people think, especially those who write those reports. Another post, another time I feel......
Summer fun
Little Bird has been very brave and ventured into the deeper middle part of the pool, joining in with the bigger boys and girls. He has been watching with great interest what the other kids are doing - 6 months ago he wouldn't have appeared to notice and 12 months ago he would have been so anxious we would surely have ended up leaving. Time is improving his emotions and although delayed, I see progression every week. A while ago it was like other children did not exist to him. Now he approaches children to try and play. Passing the ball back to other tots and tapping their arm to say, you throw, your turn. It's been so special to watch him try in a non verbal way to join in. Laughing when they splash, imitating and then also sending droplets flying though the air.
On the swings
At the end of our pool party as we call it, LB is always happy to cooperate. No tantrums, helps himself get changed and then we go to the playground and onto the swings. Another achievement as he wouldn't go on the swings for such a long time and would panic. It's so lovely now being able to do these sorts of activities with him. We now have a PECS card for pool and guess who brought it to us before bedtime last night? Another day Little Bird.

Joining in for the first time with Country Kids from Coombe Mill
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
and Small Steps Amazing Achievements at Ethan's Escapades

Ethans Escapades