(Yes, I'm backdating this post. I forgot to write it when it was sunny and now Summer is apparently over again, so I'm trying to recreate that summery feeling without being all depressed about the current constant drizzle. As you can see, I'm failing.)
Summer came in with a bang this week, and we capitalised on it with 4 glorious days spent trying not to burn and trying to encourage Jacob that water is not the work of the devil, and is actually quite fun to play in (on the plus side, we found a suncream that Jacob is not allergic too! Nivea Kids, factor 30, for those keeping track).
On Thursday, we went with my dear friend Rhian and her daughter Poppy to a park close to her home. And blimey, do they keep this one secret. From the road, it just looks like a nice bit of grass and an old house. Once you get in, tucked away out of sight of the road there are shady walks, a duckpond, tennis courts and a fantastic playground complete with sandpit (I'm always jealous of there being sandpits in parks in America, I've never come across one here before).
When we got home, I spent bloody ages blowing up a paddling pool (I couldn't get the pump to work), only to find a small rip in the base. So I found another paddling pool, spent bloody ages blowing that one up, then just as I finished I found the repair kit for the first one. Still, Jacob had a whale of a time filling it, and now we have a spare ready blown up in the garage, in case of a paddling emergency.
(There are no more photos of Jacob actually playing in the paddling pool, because as Jamie delightfully put it, Jacob put the 'poo' into 'paddling pool')
On Friday, we went with my friend Hannah and 18-month-old Finn to the beach. Jacob entertained us in the car by translating Finn's squeaks and screeches all the way: "Finn says he saw a little bird!"/"Finn says he loves the beach", which was just too lovely for words. As we approached the beach, we could see that the sea was swathed in mist, and the temperature was about 5 degrees lower than on the top of Gower. A welcome relief, although it didn't last long and we had to retire not long after lunch, before the littlies spontaneously combusted (not me though, I swam in the sea. Yes I did. And came face-to-face with a fucking huge fish. Never again).
See little Jacob's front tooth? He knocked that bit out at nursery. They neglected to tell me. I was not impressed.
Jacob and I, perfecting our ANTM poses.
On Saturday, we went to the beach (a different one) with Jamie. We became proper grown-ups by buying a windbreak and throwing passive-aggressive dirty looks at the group of teenagers who set up camp 6 inches away from us and began swearing and playing their iPods through tinpot speakers. Have they never heard of headphones?
We spent hours climbing over these rocks, looking for crabs in the rockpools. We found lots. I discovered that the dye on the bottom of my flipflops has a tendency to leach into the skin when they become wet, but once transferred, it sets up camp and refuses to move. Yes, I now look like I never wash my feet.
We spent Sunday at home, playing in the garden and clearing up the deck to make it a nice play area for Jacob. I took before photos but forgot the after ones, so you'll have to wait until another day for those.
It was a freaking awesome four days, dirty-feet and pooey-paddling pools aside ;)