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MORE weddings and a toddler (part 1)…

The next few posts will be a series going over the weddings me, Jordan and Archie had been to this year. Each day was beautiful. Each was utterly exhausting. Any parents out there will know what I’m talking about.

Unlike the hit romantic comedy film of the 90’s starring a fresh faced Hugh Grant and the over-the-top thespian Simon Callow, our series of MANY weddings involved a very excitable toddler.

From the end of last year the invites started flooding in. Although thrilled and happy to be invited to spend all of these special days with our close friends and family, the fear of having to get through the whole day with Archie was real.

The first wedding of the year was the coming together of my good friend Steve and his bride Lisa. I was chuffed to bits to also be asked to be his best man. The big day was back in March. The night before the wedding, I had to commit to my best man duties and stay with Steve calming his nerves… and lavish in a beautiful Italian meal with his family.

Jordan on the other hand had to contend with getting Archie bathed and into bed followed by the rush of getting both herself and the little man wedding ready. I was so upset I couldn’t help when the Ferrari arrived in the morning to take me and Steve to the beautiful venue in Nottinghamshire. To my amazement however, on our arrival in the flash car, Jordan and Archie were there waiting there for us!

For the next hour, I went into full best man mode and greeted people on their arrival. For some reason though, I was much more nervous than Steve who seemed completely chilled. Maybe it was due to the fact that I was also having to be in best dad mode chasing Archie around the grand old building making sure he didn’t knock any expensive looking ornaments over.

The big moment was upon us all and we made our way into the ceremony room prior to the arrival of the main lady. The room was decorated brilliantly with so many beautiful flowers and full credit has to go to Steve! I didn’t realise he had an eye for that sort of thing… maybe Lisa helped a little thinking about it haha.

We had now been at the venue for around an hour and half. It was becoming evident that Archie was due a nap. He did have his own seat but I turned from where I was standing at the front to see Jordan wrestling him and holding a toddler shaped rugby ball. The alarm bells started ringing.

Onto the arrival of the bride and the best ever groom reaction… EVER! The music began and in came the bridesmaids. I could see Steve having a mental battle within himself to hold back the emotions. Eventually he got a first look at his bride and broke down, the moment was amazing and there really wasn’t a dry eye in the room. Meanwhile, the scrum between Jordan and Archie continued.

After the ceremony and during the pictures, we checked into our room for the night and tried to get Archie down for a nap. I was then somehow roped into helping the photographer with the lighting equipment for the intimate photos of the bride and groom. Pretty sure I didn’t ruin the moment for them with my awkward timed jokes haha. I also unfortunately missed out on the free bar during these antics, so somebody owes me a beer.

I went back to the room to get Jordan and Archie to come down for the dinner service. Archie had his own special meal and treats, which was a nice touch.

It was now time for the main event of the day, my speech. It was abit of a blur to me, but I was told by my better half that I “was full of it“. The speech went on for around 20 minutes and ended to thunderous applause. The gags I put in seemed to go down very well. Phew.

Once the disco started up Archie was pretty much sorted, a theme that will become very apparent over this series of posts. He was the first on the dance floor and pretty much one of the last people off it.

To conclude, the first few tips of this series for getting through a wedding with a toddler are;

  • Have a room booked at the venue.
  • Have an endless supply of fruit/ yoghurt pouches.
  • “Tag” your better halves in at appropriate intervals.
  • Push the newlyweds to get the disco started ASAP!

Thanks for reading everyone. The next post in this series will be completed soon!

Much love. Tom, Jordan and Archie xx

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The three of us before the ceremony.
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Behaving during intimate photos.
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The newlyweds x

Archie’s 2nd birthday…

Cliche as it sounds, where did that time go? Archie’s 2nd birthday was upon us already and he had one hell of a week planned.

Being only a couple days after the Father’s Day trip to Skegness, we had momentum and the little man’s birthday came just a couple of days after on the 22nd. As he is a proper little LAD now, he is fairly easy to buy presents for. This years hotlist was cars, dinosaurs or anything ‘Paw Patrol’. I’m getting excited now as it can only be a matter of time before I can get my old lego out to play with.

The excitement of his big day had clearly got the better of Jordan as she was first awake in the morning and rushed to get the birthday boy up and ready to go and open presents! As all parents will know, the evening before a birthday is spent building up toys and setting up presents ready for when the little ones wake up. Christmas Eve is of course spent cleaning ready for Santa to arrive 😉

“Daddy’s To-Do list” included building Archie’s; dinosaur teepee, Paw Patrol scooter, a crazy coupe and countless dinosaurs and toy cars. As head photographer, it was Jordan’s job to oversee and tell me how I was presenting it all wrong haha.

We decided after opening the presents and having breakfast that we would take Archie to CBeebies Land at Alton Towers theme park. Luckily, on our fridge, we had amassed a large collection of 2-4-1 vouchers to various attractions across the UK.

Upon arrival, we were shocked to find the park was half empty. Which slightly annoyed us as whenever me and Jordan have been in the past it was heaving, but as it was the little man’s day we were more than happy to instead head for the small queue of the Postman Pat parcel post ride.

We were pleasantly surprised at how good CBeebies land really is for little ones. As well as the small rides such as Postman Pat’s parcel post, the in the night garden magical boat ride and the get set go treetop ride, there was also plenty of live shows to watch and take part in. This even included a dedicated area for some shows with characters of CBeebies. A personal highlight for me was the ‘Furchester hotel live show’, which is basically a spin off show of Sesame St. – WOW only two years as a parent and I totally understood all of that, apologies to anyone who didn’t.

The day after his party was spent playing with all of Archie’s toys as well as preparation for BOTH of his parties for the following day (Saturday). A few months ago me and Jordan had the bright idea that we would host two parties for the little man. The plan was to have one party at the local soft play for all of his little friends followed by an open house/ BBQ type party at our house for family and friends. A good idea but in theory, but in practicality, we were arranging two parties in one day… never again.

The hour in the soft play area was spent chasing Archie through small tunnels and throwing him into the ball pit. I think its fair to say I was done after about 20 minutes. Jordan however, refused to “tag me” out of it as she was mingling with the other parents. The party room for food afterwards was decorated in a ‘Paw Patrol’ theme. The pups were literally everywhere, the table covers, the plates, the napkins, the balloons, the cups, his birthday cakes and even the wrapping paper for the pass the parcel prizes.

While I’m on the subject of pass the parcel, Jordan took it upon herself to prepare the prizes and wrap them for the children. I think Archie’s party may hold the record for “World’s fastest game of pass the parcel!”. Jordan bless her only wrapped the prizes up once haha! Fortunately for us, most the children were under 3 years old and were pretty much unaware of what was going on anyway. I will never let her forget it.

After his first party, we rushed home to prepare for his 2nd one. Who else knew that 2nd birthday parties were so boozy? There was enough wine, beer and cider to serve a Stag party rather than a 2 year old’s… It was all consumed anyway for good measure.

Hosting two parties does have its benefits, at least of course for Archie as he yielded twice as many piles of presents! Where me and Jordan were going to put all of his gifts was anyones guess! Freddy dog also enjoyed the party as I’m pretty sure he’s never eaten as much BBQ food in his life haha.

When it was all over, its safe to say that for the next two days me, Jordan, Archie and Freddy dog were all beaten and basically spent the rest of the weekend lounging around eating and drinking left overs.

Thanks for reading everyone! We’ve been very busy over the last few weeks as we’ve had to deal with Archie’s big day as well as 3 weddings in the same time period so thanks for being patient.

Much love x

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Archie enjoying his party food.

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Jordan enjoying CBeebies land a little too much.

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Archie meeting Ubercorn from Go Jetters.

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Being the centre of attention as per usual.

A Father’s Day weekend…

Sorry for the long wait for a post. We’ve all been very busy even by our own standards. Anyway, on to it.

A heatwave was upon us and it seemed that the summer had finally arrived. This year’s Father’s Day was apparently the hottest ever on record, so of course the Archie had lots planned to make it special for me.

Friday evening after work consisted of a failed trip to the barbers – too busy – followed by a failed trip to currys for an Amazon Echo. I had recently decided that I wanted to indulge and the only way I could justify spending that sort of money, was that it was Archie’s birthday party next weekend and we needed speakers. I believed it anyway. Corners would be cut haha.

By the time Jordan was home we made a collective decision as parents that it’d be best if we went out to eat to save on cooking. For Archie’s sake of course. We later found ourselves at the local ‘Harvester’ restaurant. A new favourite of ours due to the child friendly atmosphere and the free “all-you-can-eat” salad bar which Archie loves.

Our usual Saturday morning, planned with extras. Firstly, swimming lessons for the boy early in the morning. Archie had missed the previous week’s lesson due to being a member of “the 3AM club” in the VERY early hours of that Saturday. This week, he was much kinder and woke at 7. We had arranged for Grandad Keith (My dad) to come and watch the boy at his swimming lesson. Little to his knowledge however but the first of the weekend’s father’s day activities would be taking place afterwards.

We had decided to take full advantage of our local zoo’s weekend offer of “DADS GO FREE!”. So off we went to Twycross straight from swimming allowing our little water baby to get some sleep in the car… providing his grandad would leave him alone haha.

On arrival, we were surprised by that the zoo wasn’t as rammed with people as what we first feared. My dad has stated for a long time now that he wanted to take Archie to the zoo, this was his opportunity to take the lead. We saw the giraffes, elephants, the chimpanzees (where we saw a full blown fight on the other side of the glass), the Meerkats, zebras, gibbons, kangaroos and finally the spider monkeys. It was in the final exhibit where Archie spotted the baby spider monkey before anyone else. His little face was a sight.

After the zoo, we headed home and then went to Jordan’s parents for a famous ‘Budworth BBQ’. It was an extremely hot day and I had acquired a beautiful, classic, two-tone tan from the afternoon at the zoo much to the joy of the in laws (DISCLAIMER Me and Jordan aren’t married just yet!).

Sunday morning, Father’s Day, seen one of our rare productive mornings occur. After opening my presents off Archie (A lovely hand made card he did at nursery, Star Wars socks and a couple of DVDs I was outrageously hinting at for weeks prior). We all had breakfast, walked Freddy, watered the flowers and cleaned up all before 9. This therefore meant only one thing… A TRIP TO THE SEASIDE!

Two and a half hours into the “about an hour” drive we arrived in Skegness. After another 20mins worth of ‘car park wars’ we were there. Deciding firstly on heading straight to the beach we made our way and found a lovely little spot under the pier for the shade. En route, Archie surprisingly refused to get on a donkey which put me and Jordan back. Under the pier the three of us were well underway with making our outstanding sand castles. Followed swiftly by jumping waves and paddling in the sea. Being the little swimmer baby he is, Archie wanted to dive in and go for it.

After a couple hours at the beach, the stereotypical British seaside fish and chips were soon exhumed and then a couple of drinks in a beach front pub. The three of us then had a slow walk through the fair ground having a go on some of the games, Archie won a car on the ‘hook a duck’ and I made a fool of myself by not even finishing on the podium on the ‘Arabian derby’ race game.

Finishing our wonderful day at the seaside with a walk along the pier and a pack of 4 freshly cooked doughnuts, we made our way home around 6pm. A full day to say the least. We eventually made it home and un-surprisingly all got straight into bed.

– I eventually got the echo on the Monday evening haha.

Thanks all for reading everyone. It won’t be such a wait for the next blog as its the boys 2nd birthday in the week with his party on the Saturday, I’m sure it’ll be eventful.

Much love x

 

 

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Archie having fun building sandcastles.
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With his Grandad looking at the giraffes.

Another bank holiday…

Yet another bank holiday weekend upon us and yet another jam packed busy one at that. This time on the agenda; a wedding and a stereotypical bank holiday trip to a local garden centre.

Although busy, it was to be a very nice weekend as Jordan seemed to have her first ever full bank holiday weekend off with myself and the little man, one (of many, as I’m often told) of the downsides of being a staff nurse for the NHS.

The Thursday night leading into the weekend seen Jordan having to leave her boys (Myself, Archie and Freddy) to stop the night at her parents. This was due to her being chosen to be a bridesmaid at one of the many weddings we have been invited to this year. She had to get herself to the Bride’s Parent’s house early on the Friday morning Pre-show! This meant me and Archie had one crazy house party with a jacuzzi, dancing girls, numerous kegs of beer and a butler!… But I was too tired for all of those sort of shenanigans, so it turned into just a couple of cans and a session on Football manager haha.

The morning of the wedding was upon us and in true Archie style, when we need him to get up early, he lay in until 8.30am!! We both got up and took Freddy for a walk before my mum was to arrive to help me get Archie ready while I sorted myself out.

  • On a side note, I may soon do a slightly different blog post called “Four weddings and a toddler” in homage to the countless weddings the 3 of us have been invited to over the last year and how we’ve got through them with the little man!

Having Archie’s grandparents at hand will always be so invaluable to me and Jordan and we will always be in their debts for the help they always give us. The Friday was a beautiful sunny day and it was clear that it was going to be a hot one at that! Archie was invited to the ceremony only, allowing me and Jordan to have an alcoholic beverage or two later on at the reception. Driving up to the church, Archie had fallen asleep in the car and was clearly all hot and sweaty, so I didn’t want to leave him to nap for too long even with the air con on full. We both made our way into the church and took up a seat. Archie’s little face lit up as he seen his “mummy bear” walking down the aisle behind the beautiful bride and bridesmaids. His smile was quickly removed as Jordan, obviously, had to keep on walking and sit towards the front. Archie was kicking and screaming and I nearly thought about taking him outside. I took his mind off it though by letting him play with the order of service sheet… easily amused.

After the lovely ceremony, Archie had quick cuddles and photo ops with the bride and said a quick goodbye to Jordan before I had to go and drop him off at Jordan’s parents for the night and hopefully until the following afternoon to allow us both to nurse our inevitable impending hangovers haha.

The reception was held in a beautifully decorated converted barn. I made the most of the FREE welcome drinks by helping myself to roughly 8 bottles of Peroni. Jordan said that she could hear me getting louder and louder whilst entertaining a small crowd. I do thrive off laughs and I’m not ashamed of it haha. We drank and danced our way until late.

Saturday was a blur.

Sunday morning, seen me waking up in a very productive mood. This happens once every 3-4 months and me and Jordan have learned not to waste it! After the garden was trimmed with the lawnmower at 9AM. We both started to “blitz” the house and cleaned every room! We then moved on to the back garden and decided a trip to the local garden centre was long overdue! But first, a quick visit to my Nan and Grandad’s for an hour and to let Archie have a run around in their garden. Roughly £100 and about 1,000 bags of slate chips later, we made our way back home, stopping off at Aldi on the way for stuff for dinner.

  • Living with me has once been compared in the past as “like living with Elmo”. I have many quirks, annoyances and faults! One of these, Jordan has learnt to put up with, is my unhealthy obsession of buying random items from Aldi. This trip was to be no different. After loading the car back up with the dinner stuff, I made my own way back into the store and came back out with a garden Chimnea for just £25!! BARGAIN!!

After doing the garden with the supplies from the garden centre, the 3 of us got seated for dinner and was joined by my good friend Steve. I was his ‘Best Man’ at his wedding earlier on in the year in march.

Oh how our bank holiday Sunday nights have changed! After our lovely dinner, saying our goodbyes to Steve and putting Archie to bed, me and Jordan sat at the table in the garden under the light of my new toy from Aldi and had a lovely relaxing hour before bed ourselves.

Thanks for reading everyone! A special congratulations and thank you to Mr and Mrs Singleton for inviting us to your beautiful wedding!

Much love x

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Archie at my nan and grandads.
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A photo after the wedding ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Archie’s holiday…

Once again, another very busy week for our little family.

Me and Jordan have come to the age where it seems that all of our friends seem to be getting engaged or married. No there is no proposal on the horizon just yet! All of these celebrations therefore mean that there are a lot of stag and hen parties followed up by the eventual weddings. In actual fact, we had invitations to 6 weddings in 18 months!

In the 2nd week of May it just so happened that Jordan had been invited to a hen week, away in Majorca, at the same time I had also been invited to a stag day/ night down in Torquay on the Saturday. Meanwhile, Jordan’s parents had booked up for a week away in a log cabin in the lovely Forest of Dean and had offered to take Archie too, with the option of us joining them at the end of the busy week! It all seemed to fit into place perfectly!

Having shipped Archie and Jordan off to their relevant excursions away, I was left alone at home (with Freddy-dog) for the first time ever. The quietness was deafening! It didn’t take long however for the photos to start streaming in. Photos of Jordan in the Balearic sunshine with a beer in her hand, whilst Archie seemed to be having fun giving his Grandparents the run around in the woods.

My loneliness soon come to an end however by the Thursday of the week when I packed the car up to head to the airport to pick up Jordan before heading off to join our Archie bear in the Forest of Dean! I only set off after finishing the “jobs” list Jordan had left me of course haha!

The 3 of us were later reunited and it was obvious that Archie had had a fantastic week so far and was clearly not going to sleep much that night due to the all the excitement of the full log cabin. This was later confirmed at 2AM the next morning when he joined us both in bed to watch Peppa pig (again!) in bed. We were eventually saved, when back up arrived in the form of Grandma Lesley.

After a much needed lie in and breakfast, Friday afternoon consisted of a lovely walk along the Wye Valley up to the view point at Symond’s Yat. The views were fantastic, but Archie was much more pre-occupied with waving to the “moo-cows” down below us. Once back to the cabin, everyone had a chilled afternoon/ evening. Most, including Archie, opted to jump into the Jacuzzi on the balcony.

The Saturday morning seen me saying goodbye to Jordan and Archie once more to race off down to Torquay for a Go karting session followed by ALOT of drinking for a friend’s stag party. I cleaned up at the go karting, winning gold! … The same cannot be said with the drinking haha! Archie, Jordan and Grandma Lesley however were to take part in the Forest holidays’ “Mini-ranger tour”. It just so happened also that Archie was the only child booked onto the walk. The Ranger Gerry, showed Archie different bugs and plants and let Archie do bark rubbing, climbing and basically get really muddy! The photos below show how much of a good time the boy really had!

The 3 of us (and Freddy) eventually made it back home on the Sunday evening and its safe to say, the the three of us were all shattered and in bed early! We also found out that day that our friends Alex and Amy had got engaged. Another set of stag and hen parties followed by ANOTHER wedding… selfish if you ask me haha.

Thanks for reading everyone.

Love Tom, Jordan and of course Archie! xx18555187_10154454032055812_929887429_n

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