My month in Instagrams: December 2014

You won’t be surprised to hear that December was a pretty hectic month, with Isaac’s birthday to negotiate as well as Christmas. Here are a few of our highlights from the final month of 2014.

Hudl up!

Isaac is a bit of a geek. He’s been playing with iPhones and iPads since he was able to pick them up, and at school he seems to be the kid the others go to when they want assistance with computers. So for his seventh birthday we bought him a Hudl2 tablet all to himself.

Isaac and Grandpa HudlIt’s been the best present we’ve ever bought for any of our kids. Isaac takes the responsibility of having his own tablet seriously, and after I’d sat down with him for 20 minutes showing him the basic functions he’s taken it on himself to learn all about it without the need for any further support.

He’s very much a child of the 21st century but I love how he’s treating it in such a mature fashion. The Hudl has a variety of child safety features: we restrict how much time he can use it every day and he can only access certain apps and websites without requiring permission, so he’s constantly weighing up whether he wants to spend time looking things up for school projects or, say, surfing YouTube. He’s even worked out how to stream videos direct from his tablet to our TV via my new Chromecast.

If there’s one thing Isaac won’t be it’s afraid of technology. This is a good thing.

The many faces of Kara

I seem to spend a lot of my time snapping photos of Kara. She has changed so much even in the half-year since her second birthday that I need the photos just to keep up and remember what she’s like at any given time in her life. Over the past month, I’ve captured so many different images of her that speak volumes about her burgeoning personality. Here are just a few.

We’re going on a (Paddington) bear hunt

We had already taken the children in to London to see the Christmas lights in late November, but the Monday before Christmas we were back in London again, where we had a great day with my dad and brother. After lunch in Chinatown, we took in the funfair in Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square and part of the Paddington trail.

We also bought each of the kids books of Paddington stories for Christmas, and then took them to see the film last weekend. Isaac, sensitive soul that he is, was terrified by the few (mildly) scary bits, while Kara just sat there munching popcorn and cackling with laughter. This is pretty normal for us.


Heather and I are both off for two weeks over Christmas, affording us the opportunity to have an extended break with the kids without too many obligations to attend to.

A long run-up meant that getting everything ready for my folks’ traditional Christmas Eve to Boxing Day stay was about as unstressful as it could possibly be, with even the kids pitching in to help tidy the house. Along with most of the rest of our street, we huddled outside in the evening on Christmas Eve to watch the International Space Station Santa’s sleigh pass overhead in the night sky.

On Christmas morning there was a flurry of frantic activity, with five hours of wrapping disappearing in five minutes of ripping. I managed to cook Christmas dinner without mishaps or aggravation. Lots of alcohol was imbibed and a merry time was had by all.

And since then we’ve had a lovely few days. Games have been played. (Current favourite: Pass the Bomb.) The kids have had a couple of traditional (in our household, at least) glow-stick disco parties. I’ve managed to set up my new sound-bar and Chromecast. The house has been regularly filled with spontaneous bursts of song, both Christmas songs, contemporary pop tunes and songs from Isaac’s nativity play. We’ve been out with friends to see Paddington, taken the boys on a day trip to Oxford and have just seen the New Year in with our old uni friends and their kids. And we’ve still got four more days to enjoy before it’s time to get back on the treadmill of work. Bonus.

It’s been a great December to end what has been a very good year. Bring on 2015!

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