A day out with Thomas

a day out with thomas the tank engine and friends

When I first saw the advert on the television for ‘A day out with Thomas’ it looked brilliant and I knew I had to get tickets for us all to go. Little Mr is mad on trains and loves Thomas so I knew he would love it. I looked on their website and saw that the nearest event was being held in the Cotswolds at the Gloucester Warwickshire Railway. Although it isn’t on our doorstep, we were happy to drive the 55 miles down to Toddington to see Thomas and his friends on the railway.

We parked up at Toddington (you can park here or at Cheltenham Race Course for free) and was excited to see all our favourite trains. I never thought I’d be so excited to see a train but when you see the smile from your little ones face, it’s priceless. We stood on the platform and we saw Diesel pulling the Troublesome Trucks. Little Mr was waving and we knew we were in for a good day.

I have to say before we got to the event, the lack of information was annoying. We were sent our tickets earlier in the week (despite booking them over a month ago) but there was no details about what time to get there, where to park, what else there was to see included so I had to ring the GWR railway direct and ask for more information. They pointed me in the direction of their own website which had a downloadable timetable. This told you what time the trains were due to depart and arrive throughout the day and at which station.

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We watched Diesel pull up into the platform and all the excited families stepped into the carriages. We took our seats and a member of staff gave Little Mr a sticker, which he loved, and a certificate to commemorate him meeting Thomas and his friends.

Throughout the day we spent time riding the trains between Toddington, Winchcombe and Cheltenham. We saw and rode in carriages pulled by Daisy, we saw Thomas the tank engine himself who let off some steam and a little ‘choo choo’ and scared half a dozen toddlers who were waiting patiently next to him for a photograph.

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At Winchcombe, Little Mr enjoyed playing in the Imagination Station; which is a covered tent with activities such as colouring in, jigsaws, free train body transfers and a little Thomas and friends railway for toddlers to play with. We also met The Fat Controller at Winchcombe who was more than happy to pose for a photograph.

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We really enjoyed our day out. We kept missing Thomas the tank engine so didn’t manage to ride in a carriage pulled by him. After 4 hours riding around the Cotswolds we headed home. Little Mr was more than happy with the experience, he was exhausted after walking around all day. This was our first experience with Little Mr wearing a backpack and reins and surprisingly, it went well. Pushchairs were welcomed at the event but we opted to leave ours in the car. It was a fabulous family day out. We took our own packed lunch and ate it on the train to Cheltenham but there were plenty of benches and seating areas for folk to enjoy a picnic. An all round fun day out for all the family.

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Prices

Tickets cost us £17 per adult and children under 3 were free.

Disclaimer: We bought our tickets for the event and thought my readers would enjoy reading about our day out with Thomas and Friends.

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Little Mr aged 19 months old..

Little Mr 19 months

These months are just creeping up on us so quick, I can’t believe another month has passed and I’m sat here writing a 19 month old update (albeit 9 days late!) for Little Mr.

The Summer holidays, with days spent at home with Daddy, had a huge impact on Little Mr. He learnt so much. He picked up on everything. He seemed to become more and more aware of what was going on around him, he picked up different words, how they sounded and what they meant, repeating everything and then saying them unprovoked. He can now say ‘Please’ when asking for something and if I ask him what his name is, he’ll say it with a huge grin on his face. It’s adorable.

Little Mr 19 months 2

Little Mr at 19 months old has been amazing me every day. He’s become very loving and will come over to both hubby and I and say ‘cuddle’ with his arms spread our wide for a cuddle. How can we resist?

He’s also developing a very stubborn streak (can’t imagine where he gets that from!) which usually comes out when he’s tired and is nearing his bedtime. If we ask him to pick up something he’s deliberately dropped, he’ll say ‘no’ and stomp off. We’ve had this happen a couple of times over the last few weeks and luckily we’ve been able to talk him around and get him to firstly, calm down and then secondly, pick up the offending article. It’s tough parenting, how do you know what to do? Who tells you not to negotiate with a 19 month old? It’s definitely trial and error in our house but hopefully we’re doing alright.

Little Mr 19 months 4

Earlier in the week, we had our first ever trip to A&E with Little Mr. He woke up with a raging high temperature and was shivering. He was so upset. It was horrible to see him look so poorly. We gave him some liquid nurofen and within five minutes he was sick all over our bed and was a sobbing sorry sight. I was worried so we rang NHS direct for some advice and they asked us if he had bumped his head recently. He did, the previous day but it didn’t seem a huge bump (he didn’t cry, it didn’t bruise and he carried on as normal with no ill after effects) We mentioned it to the nurse on the phone and she told us to take him to A&E. Luckily for us, there wasn’t a huge queue so we were seen pretty quickly. I had to leave Little Mr with his Grandparents and I felt like the worst parent in the world as he was crying on the doorstep. He wasn’t well but I knew he was in good hands with my in-laws, that didn’t really rest my mind as I spent the whole day worrying about him and wishing I had stayed at home with him.

Little Mr’s sleeping through the night is still as sporadic as it was last month. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for it that we can pinpoint, he’s not teething, he has been unwell but not on other days when he’s woken us up during the night. We have managed to settle him off to sleep by sitting outside his door with Ewan playing his lullaby sounds and gradually closing the door as he drifts off. We still can’t leave him to self settle and walk away from outside his door. He gets really upset and I hate to see him so worked up. I’m hoping it’s all just a phase!

He loves to be busy (just like his Parents) and loves to play with stickers, crayons and read his books. He is a total book worm. We have them everywhere in our home but I’m more than happy for him to have them. He loves reading with his Daddy and always chooses a Thomas and Friends book for Daddy to read before he goes to sleep.

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He loves watching In The Night Garden as part of our bedtime routine. We watch it all together and he often blows kisses to Upsy Daisy on the television and then loves to dance along to the music towards the end. He’s become a lot more interested in the television of late and he loves interacting with the characters.

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 Little Mr you are a very adorable little boy whose character is shining through. You are a cheeky little devil when it suits but we love you for it. We can’t wait to see what you get up to over the next few months. We love you lots and lots xx

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Picking a potato or two..

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Last weekend, Little Mr and I drove over to National Forest Adventure Farm for an afternoon in the sunshine. We were joined by my lovely friend who was visiting us from London so we wanted to make the most of our company and enjoy the farm and all of the attractions.

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When we visited the National Forest Adventure Farm last month, we really enjoyed it. Little Mr absolutely loved the freedom of being able to roam around the farm and I enjoyed not having to worry that he was going to put himself in any danger.

One of the attractions that we enjoyed on Saturday was Spudfest, a chance to dig up our own potatoes grown in the fields of the National Forest Adventure Farm. During every weekend in September, families visiting the farm will be provided with a fork and a bag to collect their own potatoes.Pot3

We love to do something new so thought it would be a fantastic experience for Little Mr, a chance to get his hands dirty for a good reason and a bag full of potatoes to take home.  Continue reading →

Learning through the eyes of a toddler

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The mind of my 19 month old, Little Mr, fascinates me. He is at that age where he is learning from everything. From our ordinary every day routine, he knows where we cook the dinner and that he needs to sit in his high chair for some food, how we open the front door with a set of keys and that they need to be rattled for them to open the door. He’s amazing us with what he’s discovering of late and it’s an absolute joy to watch.

He’s become fascinated with things that move. If it’s got wheels or wings then he’s interested. One of his most favourite things to look at is cars. He points to them in the street and shouts ‘CAR’ and when he’s at home or his Grandparents house, he always makes a beeline for his car toys and starts making engine noises and drives them about. I often wonder how he knows what to do with them as we haven’t told him. I guess it’s just what he’s picked up from watching the world go from his car seat as we travel in the car to and from places or watching the cars go by up and down our street.

Little Mr has a small collection of car toys which is growing steadily (we just bought a couple of new car toys from Tesco.) The best thing about cars is that they’re all so different; some have big wheels, some have three doors, some have five. There are red ones and blue ones, metal ones and wooden ones. There really are a lot of cars out there to play with.

Recently we went to the farm and took a ride on a trailer that was pulled along by a yellow tractor. Little Mr was in his element. It made his day and it’s lovely to see how something so simple can make him smile. I know Little Mr’s fascination with cars, tractors and trains is only just beginning and I can’t wait to see how he interacts and learns from them in the future.

Disclaimer: Tesco provided me with some insights to make this post possible, but all opinions are my own

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A letter to my younger self..

younger self

Dear Emma,

At just 17 years old, you won’t realise this yet but your future is bright. It’s colourful, full of adventure and happiness. It’s important that you make the right decisions, think about the friends in your life and how they are affecting your current choices and future.

You don’t need to fit in. You don’t need to conform. You are strong enough to make your own decisions and be independent with them. Listen to your parents, they’re right. It might not be ‘cool’ to listen to them but they’ve had enough experience between them, they can see you’re going to get hurt.

At college, get your head down and work hard. You will learn a lot of life lessons at college, one in particular being how little you can drink without falling asleep on the bus ride home. You will get good grades and university life awaits but making a snap decision could see you work before the student in you rears her head again.

Moving away from home is an exciting chapter in your life, embrace it. Have fun,  enjoy yourself and go to Ikea for your bedroom furniture instead of Argos, it’ll last a lot longer. Don’t worry about finding the right man, he’s just around the corner. Just make sure you buy yourself a new laptop when you decide you need one, he’s waiting for you to log on!

Your health is important so look after yourself. Learn to cook healthy meals and ditch the takeaway. You can’t afford them anyway! Cut out the fizzy pop and keep up with the exercise. It’ll save you a whole lot of heartache in years to come.

You’ve got years before you settle down and children are on the cards. Don’t be afraid, it’s all going to be just fine. Just make sure you plan ahead and live within your means.

Don’t doubt yourself, have fun and enjoy everything that comes your way. Life is an experience, so live it!

Disclaimer: This is a letter to my younger self in partnership with Legal & General

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