Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Best Christmas EVER!

Wow, what a day.
Benjamin has been going since 8am and he only stopped for a 45 minute nap at lunchtime. We have been visited by Santa TWICE. First at our house where he brought Benjamin a kitchen to play with and lots of other toys to play with too!

I cant really remember many Christmas's, but I practically every year I have had the pleasure of being with The Mrs, we have spent Christmas day together with her side of the family. Me, The Mrs, Grandma, Grandad, Aunty C and now of course Benjamin and Samuel. Then on boxing day, with my family.

So after my yearly visit to the crematorium to light a candle for my mum and dad as it's as close as I get to seeing them at Christmas, a few hundred rides on his new ride-a-long Mickey plane and a little nap (Him not me), we made our way to Grandma and Grandads and guess what!!.....
That's Right!, Santa had so many presents for Benjamin, that he couldn't leave them all in one place, so he had left some there too!

Grandma makes an great Christmas dinner, with Turkey, Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings.
We sat down and all ate together and even Benjamin had his first ever Christmas dinner. Last year he was only 5 months old and was still being fed by mummy, so you could argue he had his Christmas dinner the next day! lol

After dinner, we opened yet MORE presents from family and friends and generally sat around regretting eating so much, but hey...we all have to have a tradition right?

So here we are, bedtime on our second Christmas day as parents. I think it's been the best Christmas EVER! Hopefully next year will be even better with 2 little ones running around.
I hope, however you spent your Christmas, it was a great one.

As always, thanks for reading!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Big brother, little brother

Wow.....what a crazy day.

Today, Benjamin is 17 months exactly!! and what better way to celebrate, but to have another baby!

That's right! at 13:00 today, we welcomed our 2nd baby into the world. Allow me to introduce you to Samuel James..

It wasn't the easiest of labour's.
Little Samuel suffered what they call shoulder dystocia. This meant that when he was being delivered, hes arm was in a bad position and caused the delivery to become difficult.

Everything was going as expected. The Mrs was doing great as before, but this time it was different.
She knew that something was wrong and as usual, a mother instinct was right!
The midwife explained that the baby was in some discomfort and they wanted to place a little monitor on his head. They did this and then The Mrs continued to push, still not happy that everything was as it should be.

After a good 30 minutes of pushing, I could see the top of his head and I thought we were on the home stretch. (No pun intended!).
Then before we knew it, the bed was flattened out, an alarm was pushed and the room filled with doctors.
Before I continue and you pounce on me for being so un-sympathetic, I am fully aware that the experience of my wife would have been much worse than my own, but I can only tell you how I felt...

That could have possibly been the worst 30 minutes of my life.

I went from experiencing the magic of childbirth to worrying that 2/3 of my world were in trouble. I tried to focus on The Mrs and tried to focus my energy on her, trying to reassure her and encourage her to push. I felt like I had to push all the fear and emotion down so that The Mrs didn't see me upset as I thought that could make her feel worse. Throughout this, I could hear people talking and at one point a nurse jumped on the bed and started giving hat looked like cpr, to mummies tummy! I later learned this is a technique used to try and push the baby out, but at the time it looked a bit brutal.

At 13:00 exactly, after a nurse basically, put her hand up my wife and pulled his arm out of the way, Samuel James entered the world with a whole lotta fuss and fanfare but was quick to make sure we knew he was there. After a few gargles and coughs, he let out a massive cry and let us both know he was just fine.

Once again, I am unbelievably proud of my wife and how amazingly well she did even in some difficult moments. For the second time, I have had to leave my babies in the hospital and come home as they are being kept for observations.

Tomorrow is another day and we have the great job of introducing Benjamin to his new baby brother...Wish us luck!

As always, thanks for reading

Meet Samuel....

Please say hi to our new baby boy.
Meet Samuel James Ackroyd. Born 13:00 weighing 8lb 8oz

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at FTD HQ!

I have never been a big fan of Christmas.

I can't ever remember as a child any happy Christmas's. I'm sure I must have had them. We didn't have a lot of money but I know my mum would have done everything she could to make it as special as possible.
My parents separated in January 1990 so as you can imagine, Christmas wasn't too great around then. (I was 9). Add that to the mis-pleasure of seeing a grand parent passing away on Christmas Day...in my room...when I was 8....needless to say....Didn't make for a fun Christmas either!

As an adult, I have still not been fussed about Christmas. Always seen it as a time for children and up until I had some, that meant just going with the flow and trying to not to ruin everybody else's Christmas, no matter how Bah-Humbug I felt!

Well, things are changing. We have kids now (Technically number 2 hasn't arrived yet, but he should be here anytime!), so things are starting to get Christmassy!

There have been years in our house where we haven't even bothered putting a tree up!
Now it's different and I am more than happy to get into the Christmas spirit....to an extent lol!

The tree is up and decorated, there's even a little stocking on the fireplace. Benjamin even has an advent calender! Unfortunately this has lead to many tears when we try and explain to him why he cant eat 25 chocolates all at once!

A friend was telling me, that every year, himself, his wife and both their boys make an occasion of putting the tree and decorating it. They put a Christmas movie on the telly and all decorate the tree. I hope we have that one day. (I am NOT letting Benjamin near the tree just yet!)

I really look forward to the day my kids wake up and look to see if Santa has been and what he has brought for them...if they have been good of course! Unfortunately that might not happen for a while because Benjamin wont sit on Santa's knee and tell him what he wants!

Every week, The Mrs takes Benjamin to a play group and this week Santa came to visit. Benjamin wanted nothing to do with the whole thing. After a few tears, we decided Santa can wait for another year. It's all surprising really as you think he would be OK with a jolly* bearded fat man, after all he's just like daddy!
Not a happy bunny!
*Probably not in most peoples opinion!

What traditions do you and your family have at Christmas time?
How old were your little ones before the understood about Santa?

As always, answers on a post card, or more conveniently, in the comments box below.

As always thanks for reading

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

I need a hu(gies)

I read some sad news today.
Nothing life changing. Nothing too terrible, but it will mean a change to the norm, which although I have obviously got better with over the last year or two, is still a change I don't like.

I found out today, that from Spring 2013, us guys in the UK and those of you in Europe, will no longer be able to purchase Huggies nappies!! That's like Pepsi announcing they wont be doing Pepsi max anymore. (In all seriousness, if they did do that, I will be found chained to the factory gates on a hunger strike.....which lets face it may take a while!). The company has decided to concentrate on non-fastening nappies such as pull-ups and will continue to make Huggies-branded wipes and Little Swimmers.
 Since we discovered we were expecting we have always been a Huggies household.
At one point, we counted and we had over 2000 nappies and I reckon 98% of them were Huggies.This has been for three reasons;
Our "small" collection
1 - They are the cheapest, best quality nappies on the market. Yes, you can buy own brand nappies that will be cheaper and some would say just as good quality, but in our opinion, you can't get better than Huggies!
2 - They seemed to be the least leaky. On the odd occasion we have used the well known competitor (Hint: It rhymes with Schmampers), they have also leaked. As a parent, that's just another thing to worry about and have to keep checking.
3 - Huggies have always been generous with vouchers. There are always vouchers for discounted Huggies. Either in magazines, the 'Emma's Diary' bags and anything else family related.

It looks as though number 3 was it's downfall. Due to lack of profits, (Net income came in at $537m (£335m), up 17.2% from the same period last year. Net sales were down 3%, but profits were boosted by $100m of cost savings.) Not only is it a shame that the UK will lose such a well known brand of nappies, but it will also mean a large number of job losses both here in the UK and in Spain.

Well, we will continue to buy Huggies for as long as possible and then who knows? Maybe one of my lovely followers can recommend some good quality poo catchers?

As always, thanks for reading.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

We're (not) ready!

We are NOT ready for baby No2. But we ARE ready!....Confused? Good.

I don't think we are ready for this baby and quite frankly I don't think most parents were really ready for their second, third, forth or (Heaven forbid) fifth child. Baby No 1 is still enough of a handful for us. We manage (The Mrs better than me) while on our own with Benjamin but it's going to be real interesting to see how we handle having 2 kids about.

Benjamin has a love of touching things. I'm not talking about good things, like cushions, his toys or his cot mattress. I'm talking about fireplaces, TVs, DVD players. I know the language barrier is still in full effect, but I think he is under the impression that "Benjamin, please don't touch that" actually means "Benjamin, please go pick that up- and throw it at that other thing mummy told you not to touch...Good Boy" So when baby No 2 is in our arms, we are just going to have to hope he's too distracted by his baby brother to leave his fingerprints on everything.

But, we have to be ready, because this baby wont be cooking for much longer! We are already at 36 weeks. That's a week longer than The Mrs was pregnant with Benjamin and probably as long as she ever wanted to be pregnant!

We have a room.
We have a cot.
We have a moses basket
We have a car seat
We have clothes
We have everything else we could possibly need.

But we're not ready......but we are.

Well I'm glad that cleared that up.

As always, Thanks for reading

Thursday, 29 November 2012


Wow, review number 2!

What am I reviewing this time? Something we already own at least 2 of....Canvas prints.

In our house we love canvas prints. Pictures in frames is so 2000's!

I was contacted by Mark over at Hello Canvas who read about my amazing reviews (Note the sarcasm) and contacted me to see if I would be interested in doing a review for Hello Canvas.

If I'm honest, I have had these offers before, but thought that as I didn't previously do reviews it wasn't for me, or the email I got looked a it spammy so I simply never replied. But, after looking at Hello Canvas and with it not looking like a website I would end up getting 8'542'300 e-mails about Viagra from, I decided to give them a shot.

And I'm glad I did!

Within a couple of days of sending Mark a couple of choices, the packaged arrived.

Our first ever canvas
380 pictures of our baby boy
As mentioned before, we have bought a few canvases before. One of New York which is above our fireplace and we also have one with pictures of Benjamin, made into a love heart, so we know our way round a canvas print.

With that in mind we were really happy with the canvas we received. The quality was great and the frame was strong and sturdy. With things like this the quality of the photograph you use is really important. If you supply a low quality picture, you will get a low quality picture.

From a distance
We used a picture about 235MB, anything less and I think you would have a really pixelated picture. I was really impressed with the quality of the canvas and how clear the picture looked.

Close up
One other thing we loved is that the picture came pre-framed. in the past when we have bought canvases for gifts, we actually had to make the frames and staple the pictures ourselves. Although this wasn't difficult, its so much easier (and looks better) if its done by somebody who knows what they are doing! lol

What She Says: I liked everything about it. The way it came made up, packaging was simple and effective and the picture looks really good. Colours don't look 'wishy washy' and it feels like a sturdy picture that I could drop & it wouldn't break....I know what I'm like for dropping things!

What He Says: The wife says it all really (As usual). Thanks to Mark for contacting me. We have another great canvas to add to our collection and a beautiful picture of our baby boy....Maybe I can do another review when Baby boy number 2 arrives! (hint hint) lol

Our score for this one? No complaints at all so it's gotta be the big one!

 (5 out of 5)

Well, that's our opinion, now it's time for you to have your own.

So when your looking for a new canvas, check out "The largest website in the United Kingdom for canvas prints!" http://www.hellocanvas.co.uk/ for a great choice in sizes, effects, frames and anything else you can think of when it comes to great canvas's.

As always, FTD looks after his loyal followers so if you trust our opinion and decide to buy a canvas from these guys, stick the code LBMAR2012 into the box during checkout and 5% will be knocked off your total. (I'm also told it can be combined with any other offer the guys are doing on line, so it there's some real savings to be had!)

Well, thats the 2nd review in the bag. If you've read this and want me to put anything through it's paces, then send me an e-mail.

As always, thanks for reading

Friday, 23 November 2012

History NOT repeating itself.

5 weeks to go!

5! Five! Cino! Cinq! Funf! 伍! It doesn't matter how you say it, it doesn't matter what language it's in... 5 is not a big number!! (That last one is Chinese if you wondered?)

5 blooming weeks!
At this point in pregnancy number one, we were just about to leave the house, with hospital bag in hand. Both crapping ourselves (The Mrs a little bit more than me) about what was to come.

You would never get me jumping out of a plane, but I imagine the feeling is similar. There you are, about to experience something amazing. Something that most people in life would love to experience. But when your just about to take that leap, you cant help but think it may not have been a great idea and you should have kept it in your pants..OK, that last bit may not apply to sky diving.

So here we are. By the end of today, The Mrs has never been so pregnant.

We have had conversations with "Rupert" and explained that it would be helpful if he stayed in there a little bit longer, just so that he is ripe and ready when the time comes and so far he's listening and kicking in agreeance.

We dont want a repeat of last time. The first week Benjamin was in ICU was difficult for both of us. The Mrs had to stay in hospital for a week and I had go back and forth trying to keep the ship sailing. Hopefully, that wont happen this time.

A friend recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and she was home within 36 hours. Thats what we want. No fuss. Just have a baby and go home as a new family.

So for the next 2 weeks I can imagine those old wives tales are being avoided.
No Hot curry
No trips down a bumpy road
No doing the No Pants Dance
No Carbonara (This was the meal The Mrs had the night before she went into labor)

Altough it will be difficult to avoid all those ( I really like bumpy roads) these things have to be done, just incase any of thm turn out to be true.

Lets hope in 2 weeks time, I need to learn how to say 2 weeks in Chinese!

5 Weeks! *gulp*

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

FTD REVIEW: Anti-slip bath safety circles

Well here goes....my first review!

What deserves such an honour? These guys.....
Why these guys? I chose these guys because they didn't even ask for  review. They simply saw my account on twitter, figured they would do me favour and offered me their product. No strings attached!

Now on the off chance that they gave them to a blogger who has never done a review before in the hope he would start doing reviews and maybe even start with the product they gave him without even asking for a review? It worked!

In the pack I received we got little white circles on backing paper and a template.

The template is a great idea. it shows you how best you can layout the circles and create your perfect non-slip bath surface.

Now, I'm not your typical bloke, but in this case, i did what a typical bloke would do.....I didn't bother with the instructions! I also didn't have much chance. It was close to bath time and I wanted to try these babies out.

So, I opened the packaging and placed the circles in a formation I can only described as drunk and uneven!

The circles stuck straight away and I could tell when I tried to move them that without a a good tug, they weren't going anywhere.
When happy with my pattern, we filled the bath and let Benjamin take his place in the tub.

Normally, he crawls around the bath chasing whatever toy he chooses to soak the bathroom with that evening and it normally ends up with him slipping and him temporarily dunking his own head in the water....so far, after 4 nights use, that has only happened once, so a definite improvement there!
This product is great for little ones and there was a definite lack of slipping.

Now of course, Benjamin isn't the only one that uses the bath. So me and The Mrs have to have an opinion don't we!

What she says:
The circles are small and discreet enough that you don't really notice them when your stood on them taking a shower and I have definitely seen a difference at bath time.

What He said:
These are definitely a great addition to any bath time routine. Easy to install and unlike a bathmat, they don't seem to retain any water so there should be less mould.

All in all a great product and I would definitely recommend them. The only thing I would change is that I would supply different sizes, so hat nearer the front of the bath where the bigger members of the family stand in the shower can also benefit from them.

So finally the score.
Couldn't really find anything wrong with the product and my only complaint (if you can call it that, is that they should make them a little bigger for my big feet!
Therefore they get an FTD score of;

(4 out of 5)

Well, my first review and it's finally in the bag. Hopefully you liked it and hopefully you take a look at the Anti-Slip bath safety circles.

Also the guys over at Non-Slip have been kind enough to offer a special offer,. Just for the readers of my blog! Don't you all feel special!
Simply order yourself a pack of these bad boys and you will get another pack absolutely FREE! Make your order as normal and e-mail info@nonslipbath.co.uk and tell them first-time-daddy sent you!

For more information, visit their website at http://www.nonslipbath.co.uk/

As always, thanks for reading

Sunday, 11 November 2012

A View to Review

I realised a long time ago that in the blogging world, I am a very small fish in a VERY big pond. There are many more and much better blogs than the one your reading now, but I don't care bout them, I only care about my blog. I try to make sure I blog about things I want to talk about, not whats the social fad or most popular subject. However one popular aspect of blogging I have always wanted to get involved in is reviews.

When I look at buying a new product, the first thing I do is type it into a search engine and see what experiences other people have had with it. If a product is more expensive than an other, but the reviews are more positive, then that's the one we will choose. Hopefully I can be the review that helps somebody out there buy a great product.

So, my dear readers, in the future your going to see reviews on my little corner of the Internet. You of course don't have to read them but I hope you do.
I'm going to start with products I have already bought as we all have to start somewhere and then hopefully I will be offered some products to review for you guys, my beloved readers.

If there is anything in particular, you would like me to review, let me know and I will see what I can do.
If your a company or organisation, who would like me to review anything of yours, please contact me on firsttimedaddyblog@gmail.com

As always, thanks for reading.

P.S. I have never done anything like this any more, so any pointers would be greatly appreciated either on the comments below or hit me up on twitter.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Fear (The Second Child Edition)

I don't fear alot of things and as I get older, I fear less and less.

Back before Benjamin joined this crazy world, I wrote a post talking about what fears I had leading up to becoming a first time daddy. Find it HERE
Going back and reading that post I can still relate to it, but what was my biggest fear then, I'm not afraid of now!

My biggest fear then was money, or lack thereof.

We never felt like we had a great deal of money. Looking back now, we had plenty and I really had nothing to worry about. the reason for this is really The Mrs. She watches the finances (Spends most of em too, but lets not get into that! lol) and I know she wouldn't let us spend what we cant afford. hence, I am no longer afraid of such things.

Fast Forward to last week where one of the lovely people I follow on twitter asked this of her followers:

@MinistryOfMum:Question: What do you fear since becoming a parent? 

Without hesitation, I gave my answer......Failure

I don't mean failure as a parent. I actually think we (Especially my wife) have been great parents and hopefully our second little boy, will be as great as Benjamin and make our life easy.
What I mean is failure to do the right thing or making the right decision and that thing having a negative effect. 

When you become a parent, there a millions of decisions to make and every parent makes those decisions differently:
Should I give my baby a dummy or try to cope without? Do I use cloth or disposable nappies? Do I let my baby cry himself to sleep or should I rock him to sleep every night?

Whatever answers you come up with, they are not the wrong answer. There is no wrong answer, but there is repercussions to each decision. My fear is that the decisions I make are the right ones for us as a family.

Of course I have other fears now that we are having a second one. What if he is earlier than Benjamin? (That wasn't fun!) What if when they grow up, they don't get on? What if I pick a name and it turns out to, when combined with Benjamin sounds stupid and they get picked on at school? OK....after typing those, it appears I have more than I thought! lol

All I know is this. I don't fear, what I cant control. If there is a problem hurtling towards me, now I'm older and wiser, I don't worry about it. I just brace myself for impact. Then, we pick up the pieces and carry on.

So, after that ramble......What do you fear since becoming a parent?
Answers in the comment section below, or of course tweet @MinistryofMum, I'm sure she wont mind!

Thanks again for reading

Monday, 29 October 2012

They grow up so fast!

It's a cliche, but it's true.

Already 15 months old and he's already so close to being a little boy.
He's always been a big boy, at one piont he was in the 95th percentile for his height. Now we can really se him growing up.

The Mrs recently took him to buy some new shoes as his current pair were getting a little bit tight.
As with the first pair, she went to Clarks shoes. Well known amongst parents as THE palce to get your little ones first pair. The reason for this is, that they measure their feet carefully and provide a near exact fit.
Today, his feet measured 6F. 6 is based on length and F is the measurment of width. All this is a bit Greek to me, but when you take a look at one of the many charts available online it appears, my "Little Boy" is in the shoe size of a 2 year old ALREADY!

New Shoes
He really is growing up so fast.
It was my birthday last Sunday, so we went out for lunch. Nothing fancy, just a meal with family. But as usual and as it should be, most of the attention was on Benjamin. ( I didnt believe for one minute, they were there for me!)

In only 9 weeks, we start it all over again!

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Stand up to Cancer

I saw recently that channel 4 are doing a campaign called 'Stand up to cancer' and I think it's great that cancer and the people who suffer and survive Cancer, are getting more exposure.

Statistics show, that 1 in 3 people suffer from Cancer. If you think about it, that means that if your married with 1 child, eventually 1 out of 3 of you are at risk of Cancer.

Sorry if that was a bit shocking to hear but it's potentially true. It's for that reason everyone should do something to help, even a walk in the park at midnight to help a little hospice in Leeds is Something!

By those not affected by it, Cancer is sometimes looked at in a similar fashion to Aids. You think it wont happen to you, but the difference is, you have to catch Aids, Cancer just grows within you.

I hope most people who read this have never suffered from Cancer and don't know anybody who has, but I will be surprised if that is the case. It's possible of course. The Mrs has gone 30+ years of her life and only recently experienced a friend suffering from Cancer. Luckily, that friend has now finished her treatment and will go on to live a very happy life with her fiance and her beautiful baby boy for whom she delayed treatment because she was pregnant when diagnosed.

I unfortunately am not so lucky. I have a family history of Cancer.
My mum suffered and eventually passed away, caused in part by Cancer. But the first experience I had of Cancer was as a very young child. A grandparent who I loved dearly, was diagnosed with lung cancer, which spread to his brain and throat. I remember thinking how cool it seemed that he had a tube sticking out of his throat, but I was young and didn't truly realise the severity of his condition.

I remember crying at his funeral, but soon realised that he was in a better place (Wherever that might be) and pain free.
My mums first battle with The Big C, was soon after I was born and I believe she was diagnosed with Cancer 3 times in her life. I often saw her scars from her Mastectomy and trying to imagine what it felt like to have to have something like that taken away from you. As with most things, my mum simply pushed the pain and hurt aside and got on with life.

There is hundreds of people in this world that suffer everyday and have to be strong and get through the pain and hurt and hopefully most of them will receive treatment and will beat it and live long lives as healthy human beings.

I'm not really sure the point of this post, so apologies if you feel I have wasted your time, but if one person reads this and it educates them on the impact Cancer could have on themselves or a loved one, then it was worth putting my experiences down in words.

I know how painful Cancer can be and I know there is a pretty good chance that at some point in my life, it will affect me directly and if that happens, so be it. I will deal with it as my mum did, realise there are still people worse off than me and get on with it the best I can and hopefully if it does happen, I will come out the other end and live the rest of my life as intended.

So if you've been affected by cancer, be strong, use the support available and my thoughts go out to you and your family.
If you haven't been affected at all then I envy you and I hope you never do.

No matter what, we should all Stand up to Cancer

To find out more about Su2c (Stand up to cancer) check out the website http://su2c.channel4.com/ or follow the campaign on twitter @StandUp2C

There you can donate, or simply learn more about Cancer.

As always, thanks for reading

Saturday, 29 September 2012

T'was a walk in the park

Well, after months of talking about it, weeks of annoying people on twitter, facebook and this very blog asking for donations, it finally became the time for me to do my sponsored walk.

For anybody who doesn't know..
I signed up to take part in something called the 'Starlight Hike' (10km) to raise money for a hospice which 12 years ago took care of my mum in her final days and I have always felt indebted to them. The hike was a good way to try and raise some cash Wheatfields Hospice in Headingly, Leeds. Unbeknown to me, I was the first man EVER to sign up (Always been female only in previous years), so it turned out to be a bit of a big deal. I didn't do this alone. A colleague of mine, Donna, also agreed to do the walk and help me raise some money

Donna and I arrived as requested about 10:30pm and after dropping of some donations of clothes and stuff at the designated place we got down to business of preparing for the walk. This consisted of two things, a cup of coffee and getting our face painted.

Some people who know me won't believe me but I am a pretty shy guy who doesn't like attention being on him, so it was really bad that while queueing for our blue and yellow stars to be painted on our face, the lady on stage warming the crowd up, actually announced me to EVERYBODY. Needless to say, I gave a little wave, after all, I didn't need to make a big deal, thanks to Donna shouting, waving and pointing to me, everybody knew it was me she was referring too!

The walk started at midnight, on the dot and everybody set off at a decent pace. The walk was dark (Took place at Temple Newsam in Leeds) but the organisers tried to light the place up as much as possible.

I actually found the walk easier than I thought I would, but I think Donna's small talk got me through it. The hills were hilly and the mud was muddy, but we got through it in a not too shabby time of 2 hours and 5 mins. We were welcomed back over the finish line with a big cheer and were presented with a goody bag, a stale bacon butty and a hot drink.

Needless to say, I was very proud of myself and very proud of us for raising so much money for a great cause, so a big thank you to everybody who donated and a massive thank you to Donna who without her, I wouldn't have made it through the walk so easy and would have raised as much money as we did.

The Sue Ryder charity who run the hospice ask each person to raise £120. This would be enough money to cover one nurses shift, we managed to raise (As I type this) a massive £937.50!!

So thank you AGAIN and if you still haven't donated and want to help us raise more, please click here and give anything you can!

As always Thanks for reading

Saturday, 8 September 2012

One man, 10km and a great cause

Well peeps, in a weeks time, I will be getting ready for the joy of a 10km walk, all for a great cause. Would like to say thanks to the small few of you that have donated so far.
Now its everyone else's chance.

I would like to think that if most of you reading this saw me in the pub, they would buy me a drink.? Do me favour, donate that £3 to this cause and help me reach my target.
A couple of incentives, to wet your appetite?
1 - If I reach my target of £500, I'm going to shave my beard off...clean off! Even The Mrs doesn't want me to do that!

2 - If I get 10 donations in the next 24 hours, I will post a picture of myself in the very fetching WHITE T-Shirt they sent me...that's right it's WHITE*
*If you know me at all, you will know, I only ever wear back...so that's kinda a big deal lol

So, wanna see me in white? or without my precious beard? Well, nows your chance. Get your hands in your pockets people and donate as little or as much as you like. Just please donate SOMETHING!
Just click here and use your card http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LewisAckroyd or send me a cheque.

If you want to know more, here a couple of old posts about this..

As always, thanks for reading and thanks for any donation made...

Monday, 3 September 2012

16 weeks 'till Christmas!

Did you know it's only 16 weeks till Christmas? 16 WEEKS!!

Don’t worry, this post isn't about Christmas. Its about the fact that it's only 16 weeks till Christmas. Actually its not even about the fact that it's 16 weeks till Christmas. Its about the fact that in 16 weeks…..I will be a dad of two!
It just doesn’t seem possible! In just 16 short weeks, our second baby boy will hopefully be here, safe and sound.
I don’t seem like I have a lot of time to blog anymore and by the looks of it, my life is only going to get busier….OR, having 2 kids will only mean I have more to blog about!

16 WEEKS!!

In 16 weeks, we will have to teach Benjamin, that this little person (Who not long ago was him), is his baby brother. Of course he wont understand, not really. Or maybe he will. We have told him that there is a baby inside mummies belly. He has even laid his head on the belly but that might be because he has seen me do the same. On one or two occasions he has actually taken his dummy out and pressed it against her tummy, as if to pass it to "Rupert". All these of course could just be coincidence and we see them as we want to see them, little signs that he understands.

16 WEEKS!!!

Other than the issue with the scan, everything has been plain sailing and it's easy for the thought of having 2 kids to look after to escape your mind. With moving house as well, it gets pushed to the back of your brain. But now with the Christmas season only 16 WEEKS away, I'm sure those reminders will come thick and fast. Adverts on TV, decorations will be put up and advent calendars started. All these will be reminders that if "Rupert" arrives as scheduled, it will only be 3 days after the supposed birth of Christ, we will have our own nativity play, with hopefully a bit more of a comfortable setting.
Tell me it will be OK. Tell me that when you had your second child, it went great and this 'Second child syndrome' is a myth. Tell me your willing to send me your life savings, so it’s one less thing to think about…OK maybe not.

Anyway, thanks for reading.

P.S. 16 WEEKS!!!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Happy Days

Well, if you read my last post, you would know that, not everything checked out at our 20 weeks scan.

We had to go back and they still couldn’t check the heart properly.
So, the past week, we had an appointment at the fetal Cardiology department in Leeds, where they have more powerful equipment.
It was a bit daunting, going into the room. The scanning machine seemed a lot bigger than those normally used, but I suppose that is to be expected.
The Sonographer explained that they were going to take a look at the heart and herself and another lady in the room, would be mumbling to each other throughout. Even so, every time I saw her highlight something on her screen and mumble to her colleague, it still made me take a sharp intake of breath.
But, after they took about 20 pictures and about 10 little sound clips, analyzed them, scrutinized them, they came to the conclusion that "Rupert" is just fine. Other than the small things that it wouldn’t be able to pick up and is possible in all babies, they were happy everything was good.
Although, very relieved, I cant help but still have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind, that there was a reason they needed to send us to the specialist and I don’t think that feeling will go away, until little "Rupert" enters this world and can be checked by a paediatrician.
But as it stands "Rupert" is growing nicely and although he is only the Size of a Papaya, The Mrs is feeling VERY pregnant.

Also, now we know we are going to have two boys, the plan is for them to eventually share a room (Think "Rupert" will stay in our room for first 6 months), so we are looking for any theme ideas, that you like, have used, isn't too expensive and can be done by a mummy and daddy as creative as a plank of wood. Any suggestions, add them to the comments below, or even better, send me a picture of what you used for your little ones bedroom either on @_firsttimedaddy or email me using the buttons at the top of the page.

As always thanks for reading

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Meet "Rupert"

That's not actually his name we have chosen, it is just a name we are using to refer to him for now at least. Nothing against any Rupert's reading this, it's just not a name we can see one of our kids with! lol but it suits a bump!

Well as I said in my last post the Mrs won the battle and we found out that we are going to be team blue and have another baby boy!........and, here is our little baby boy posing in his latest photo shoot.

We recently had our 20 week scan and 99% of everything as checked out. Unfortunately, we still don't know about the other 2%.

When conducting the scan last week, the sonographer was unable to check the heart valves correctly and couldn't see the palette properly.
So back again we went today and again, not everything could be checked.
This time, a consultant did the scan but little Rupert, just wouldn't lay in a position that allowed her to see everything.

This means a few things.
1) It appears the second child syndrome I keep hearing about, where the 2nd child is a nightmare may be true!
2) I will be worrying about this until the next can and no doubt it will be nothing to worry about at all and
3) We have to have ANOTHER scan. This time in Leeds, this time at a specialist department, so hopefully they have some better equipment so they can check the heart.

So, it appears the second pregnancy, won't go as smoothly as the first, but we do know, no matter what, problem or no problem, we will love Rupert, or whatever we choose to name him, with all our hearts, well as much as Benjamin will allow!

Will keep you updated once we know anything more, and of course
Thanks for reading

Saturday, 11 August 2012

We are officially team.....

Well as I sit here typing this, me and The Mrs are sat in the ultrasound department of the hospital, waiting for our appointment.

I haven't been able to convince her otherwise, so it looks like we are about to find out if its a boy or a girl that's going to change our world again in December.

Oh....wait...it's our turn!
*25 minutes later*

Well everything seems fine, we have to go back in a week as the sonographer couldn't see the heart valves properly and she also couldn't check the palette, so she wants us to come back.

Would you believe, the the sonographer forgot to tell us if it was a boy it a girl!!!

But The Mrs, couldnt wait and asked her....


We are now officially....

Wait for it....



Woohoo. More to follow when I'm not st in the hospital! Lol

As always, thanks for reading
(First-time-daddy of two boys)

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Still Team Yellow?

All the way through pregnancy number 1, we were team yellow. I you don't know what I'm talking about, it works like this:
Team Blue: You know it's a boy
Team Pink: You know it's a girl
Team Yellow: You chose not to find out.

When you go for a 20 weeks scan, the first thing the Sonographer asks you is if you want to find out the gender of the baby...anyway to make a long story longer, first time round we said no and heres an old post about the first time we made this decision;

This time round, we may give a different answer.

With Benjamin, it was great to have the surprise. You can never be UN-told so we decided to keep ourselves in the dark for that reason, and when he was born and we found out for the first time that cooking in there for 35 weeks had been a little baby boy, we realised it was worth the wait.

BUT, that was then.

Now, we have to make the same decision. on the 11th August we go for the 20 weeks scan and when we are asked that fateful question, I don't think we can resist saying yes.

We have good reasons.
It will make decorating so much easier. We are in the motions of moving, so it would be helpful to know.
We already have a boy, therefore if we are having a boy, we know we have most stuff, or if indeed its a girl, we can be prepared for that also.....by that i mean Christine can go buy some pretty dresses. (For the baby, not me.....I have my own).

So, what did you do? What do you think.

Do we stay team yellow, or remove the mystery and find out if we are team Blue or Pink>

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Hello, is this thing on?


It has actually been 12 days since my last confession but it feels like I last posted forever ago. I have been itching to blog, but everytime I sit down, time seems to excape me, or my mind draws a blank.

Anywhoo so much seems to have happened since I blogged last.

We had the shooting in th US at a Batman screening (Very sad, Very shocking although what do you expect when a country bans batman costumes but allows a legal weapon in a cinema?)
We've had the olympics begin (Loved the opening ceremony, was only spoiled by the Olympian parade and  Paul 'Show me the money' McCartney)
and last but not least, Benjiman is getting his 6th tooth.

Hopefully will post up some more blogs in the coming days, but I just wanted to say hi to those that have probably not even noticed I havent been about, I am indeed still here *waves*.

Take care all and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

One year on.

Benjamin 17/07/11
I still cant quite believe it. A year ago today we were sat in the hospital. Still in shock at the imminent unexpected arrival of the little boy or girl we shouldn't be meeting for another 5 weeks. At 04:30 Christine's water had broken and at 08:00 we were sat in the hospital. We just kept looking at each other, the idea of becoming parents there and then, not quite sinking in.
Most know our history and some have read my birth story, if not, you can read it HERE.
It's been an amazing year. From the first smile, all the way to last Sunday when we had a little tea party with family and friends to celebrate the little mans first big day.
It was a low key affair. The menu consisted of Ham, cheese and egg mayo sandwiches. We had jelly and ice cream for desert and even a Caterpillar cake. 
Presents were given, fun was had and that poor caterpillar, didn't last long!

New toy!!
Another new toy!!!

Our plan for today is much like any other Tuesday. Sleep followed by play, followed by nap, followed by food, more fun, more nap, more food, EVEN more play then maybe more sleep. Even at 12 months, it's a hard life! Although today is of course special, and because of this we did a little toy shopping...Just a little bit.

Benjamin 17/07/12

In December, when we welcome baby No2, I hope we re-live the 17th July. It really could not have gone better. I have blabbed on and on about how amazing Christine was that day and if you knew her as well as I do, you'd know she gets man-flu worse than me, so for her to be as great as she was still surprises me and probably her! 

As always, thanks for reading

Friday, 6 July 2012


We get ill, it happens. Some people can go through their whole life and suffer nothing but a small dose of the common cold. Some people suffer from horrific diseases, but ether way it happens to us all eventually.

I also know most of us seem to start fairly young. Even before Benjamin came into our lives, we had friends who seemed to constantly taking their kids to the doctors or even A&E! Sometimes I would sit and think to myself how can these kids be so poorly all the time? Are the parents being over protective or am I not understanding the urgency?
I’m a typical guy when it comes to being ill. I don’t bother with a doctor. Unless something is broken, I know what I have will eventually bugger off and leave my immune system permanently damaged.

So today, was the first day we have needed to take BB to see the doctor for something specific. We have taken him to the baby clinic to be weighed and measured and question the odd thing here and there and we have asked about his funny shaped head till we are blue in the face, but today he was ill.

No vomit, no diarrhea just a rash. No pain, no tears, just a rash. My son, the heir to my throne, the apple of my eye, is 100% INFECTED!!

He has 'Hand, foot and mouth disease.
This is what the NHS has to say about it;
"Hand, foot and mouth disease is a common, mild illness caused by a type of virus called an enterovirus."
"The disease is very contagious (easily spread) and is common in children under 10 years of age."
My new nappy changing outfit
 "Generally, hand, foot and mouth disease is a mild and short-lasting illness. Treatment is usually not needed as the body's immune system clears the virus and symptoms go away after about 7 to 10 days."

So luckily, it doesn’t look too bad and either those other parents were being over protective, or as with many things, we have just been fortunate.

So for the next 5 days at least, we have to keep him under lock and key, away from any other little hands, feet and mouths...... although we may end up going stir crazy instead!

I’m going now, because since I starting typing this up, I have been itching like mad!

As always, thanks for reading.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Got THE look?

Before any of you think I have finally cracked up and started yapping about fashion, I can assure you that is not the case. This dude will NEVER pretend to be fashionable.

THE Look
THE look I am referring to is a look, only a parent can have and most parents do! Not only do you have to be a parent to have THE look, THE look only works with the child of that parent. My mum had THE look, I know my Father-in-law has THE look and I'm slowly beginning to think I am perfecting THE look. 

They (Whoever "they" are), say action speak louder than words and this is why THE look is so effective. When Benjamin does something and he sees THE look, he knows to stop whatever mischievous thing he is doing.

THE Voice
I'm lucky, I don’t just have THE look, I have THE voice.
As some will know, I'm a fairly big guy and it's no surprise that most opera singers are also fatties like me. I can be very loud and scary when I want to be!

You can’t have a ying withojjut a yang, you can’t have an up without a down and you can’t have THE look without sometimes needing THE voice. When Benjamin is looking away from you, or he is simply too far away to clearly see THE look, I have to double up...The Voice then THE look...POW.

Over the years Batman has tried to perfect THE look!
Even Batman's utility belt is unable to hold such powerful tools!

So whets your favourite tool against mischevinesness? (Yes I just made that up)
Do you use THE look? 
Do you use THE voice?
Or do you use the good old threat/exchange? (If you don’t stop doing X, you won’t get Y)?

As always, Thanks for reading

PS: No doubt nobody has noticed, but changed the look of the blog recently, so any feedback would be welcomed.