Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

It’s become something of a tradition that The Lightys see in the New Year with Mummy and Daddy Hatchy and Auntie and Uncle Tempy. Indeed, New Year 2016 / 2017 was the 9th year that we’ve spent Twixmas together. Most years our adventures have taken all of us abroad – the South of France, Disneyland Paris and Bruges – but last year, due to circumstance, the first New Year with Baby Lighty, we spent it in Surrey at home with the Tempys. This was of course lovely, but I must admit that I was excited to take Baby Lighty abroad this year to Holland. Not only would we be seeing in the New Year through the eyes of a toddler, but it would also only be Baby Lighty’s second trip abroad.

Our first trip abroad last summer, to Monschau, Germany, really opened up my mind to looking at the world through his eyes, and I couldn’t wait to see what he thought of our trip to the Landal GreenParks’ resort of Hof Van Saksen in Nooitgedacht, North Holland. The resort is super family friendly (think CenterParcs-stylee), but just as much as I was looking forward to taking him to the soft play and trampolining centre, I also couldn’t wait to see how he reacted to spending a week with his grandparents, uncle, great aunt and uncle and second cousin.

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

The Hof Van Saksen resort.

His reaction to the resort was exactly what I expected: he LOVED the soft play, and not content with the preschool area, demanded that both Daddy and Mummy take him on the big slide in the older children’s area (this didn’t at all result in Mrs Lighty screaming on the way down and then crashing through Mr Lighty’s legs, as he stood at the bottom taking photographs and laughing!), his first visit to a trampolining centre was a success, as was his first time on a bouncing pillow (which I’m quite surprised at as he doesn’t like bouncy castles!), and he couldn’t stop laughing and shouting “weeeee!” whilst swimming.

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

On the big slide with Mr Lighty!

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

Enjoying the bouncy pillow!

We even managed a trip to a seal sanctuary on the Waddensee whilst in Holland. It was the first time that Baby Lighty had seen seals, and as we stood in the foggy arctic-like conditions looking at these lovely creatures, he was insistent that they were ducks; every time one moved or headed towards the water, he would pipe up with “quack, quack!”. Whether it was the association with the fact that they swim, or because the statues outside front of the rescue centre kind of resembled rubber ducks, with their tails up in the air, I do not know!

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

Erm, ducks?!

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

One of the centre’s inhabitants, who will be nursed back to health before being released back into the North Sea.

Either way, I think one of the highlights for him during the visit was his playtime in the sandpit within the visitor’s centre. A little Dutch boy befriended him and tried to talk to him a few times, but was unfortunately only met with a blank stare from Baby Lighty who is obviously still a little confused by those who speak a different language to English! And the poor little chap didn’t have a clue what to make of ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ in Dutch during the mini disco at the resort’s soft play, especially as the ‘eyes, ears, mouth and nose’ were in the wrong order!!

Seeing in the New Year through the eyes of a Toddler

Playing in the sandpit at the seal rehabilitation centre.

I think he also loved his time with his extended family. He picked up second cousin Tempy’s name straight away, demanding that he play guitar with him (although NO ONE is allowed to actually touch the guitar!), and enjoyed learning to count with Great Aunty Tempy. Of course, this counting tends to go “one, two, two, two, nine, two…”, but as he’s only 18 months, we’ll let him off! We even had to have a little tea party on the perfectly Baby Lighty sized card table at one point! All of this has resulted in his speech coming on in leaps and bounds over the past few weeks to the point where you can have mini conversations with him now.

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

Enjoying some play time with Cousin Tempy!

Food is always a big part of any holiday for the Lightys, and our trip to Holland saw Baby Lighty try plenty of new things for the first time. He did us proud in the restaurant whilst out to lunch (although I think the giant Lego wall and toddler board games that were available for the entertainment of the children probably helped!) and he loved his mini gourmet burger. He even tried beef borguignon and fennel for the first time; the beef borguignon was readily gobbled up on New Year’s Eve, but he wasn’t too sure on the fennel!

Seeing in the New Year through the eyes of a Toddler

Eyeing up the cakes in the Grand Cafe!

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

Enjoying his burger!


Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

The wall of Lego!

Quite what he made of New Year’s Eve itself, I do not know. I think this is how it must seem, seeing in the New Year through the eyes of a toddler: there were Mummy and Daddy, all poshed up, Baby Lighty had a bath and then – shock horror – didn’t go straight to bed like normal but instead got dressed in his own finery and came downstairs for dinner, there was lots of singing and Bollywood style dancing at the table (don’t ask, it’s a long story!), as well as playing his mini guitar, and Mummy and Daddy let him stay up until 11pm!

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

Entertaining us with his guitar playing on New Year’s Eve!

What’s more, the Dutch really, really like a firework, so when Mr Lighty took Baby Lighty up to bed for the night, there were whizzes and pops going off all around; not exactly conducive to sleep! The resort had given a timeslot for fireworks to be released from midnight to 2am, but in actual fact firecrackers were being let off all evening. The whole resort then became lit up by individual lodges setting off their own rockets during the two hour slot!

Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler

Fireworks on the beach!

Looking back now, and seeing in the New Year through the eyes of a toddler, it was a week packed with new experiences for Baby Lighty. I hope and I think they were mostly good experiences for him. And I think, one of the measures of its success, is the fact that now that we’re back at home, the person that he keeps calling for is Second Cousin Tempy: “Jaaaaaaake! Jaaaaaaaaaaake!”

And PS, Second Cousin Tempy, if you’re up for babysitting duties any time soon, just say the word!!

Please note, this is not a collaborative post, and we paid in full for our holiday. I simply wanted to capture Baby Lighty’s first New Year abroad!

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Proud to be linking up with:

The Pramshed
Mini Travellers
Rhyming with Wine

20 thoughts on “Seeing in the New Year through the Eyes of a Toddler”

  1. It sounds like you’ve had an amazing time – and this place looks so brilliantly family friendly. I love getting away for a little “twixmas” break as you so beautifully call it (I totally pinched that off you this year by the way haha). Baby Lighty is growing up so quickly! So pleased that you had such a great time and it’s lovely to see all your fab pics. xx

    1. Haha and I pinched Crimbo Limbo from you!! ? You would actually love it here Dawn. Very Centerparcs-y but in some ways the activities were in a league of their own! Hoping to finish writing a full report for An Answer on a Postcard any day now! xxx

    1. I hadn’t heard of these resorts either but have since looked them up!! They are very Centerparcs-esq, so if you like Centerparcs you’ll like these! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  2. Aww, it looks like baby Lighty had an awesome time!! I’m super impressed that he sampled lots of new cuisine, and still looked like he was having a fab time even though he was up late!! The question is-did he sleep in the next morning?! It looks like a brilliant, family friendly holiday, and fab to see all the lovely pictures of baby Lighty enjoying himself and his new experiences!!

    1. Touch wood, he always sleeps quite late!! Probably jinxed it now!! I think it was about 9am when he woke? Thank you so much, I think we all loved it! Thanks so much for hosting #BigPinkLink xxx

  3. It sounds like such a wonderful holiday – how lovely to go away for New Year’s eve. I think it’s always really interesting to hear how other countries celebrate and sounds like Baby Lighty was in his element! I don’t blame him wanting to experience the big slide 😉 Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam xx

    1. Haha, if only he was big enough to go down it by himself!! 😉 Thanks so much, we had a lovely time. Thanks for hosting #DreamTeam as always! 🙂 xxx

    1. Ah no don’t feel guilty!! He had a late nap and we were eating late so it just made sense for us 🙂 Thank you for hosting #MondayEscapes xxx

    1. Thank you so much! It was really interesting to see his little mind working, not only on the first New Year that he’s really been old enough to join in with but with this being only his second holiday abroad too! #HMCapturingMoments

    1. Haha!! With hindsight, I reckon Baby Lighty could’ve probably have made it through to the New Year, but I’m glad he got the most out of it. The days were long and packed for him with all of the new things he was experiencing while we were away anyway, so I’m sure he didn’t mind too much!!

    1. We’re lucky enough to have been away every year for the past 9 years between Christmas and New Year I think…? It does take away from that sort of Crimbo Limbo period in between all of the festivities, which I quite like. Highly recommend this resort in Holland, I have to say! Thanks so much for stopping by, I’ll be back later on in the month to read some posts 🙂 #GetGone

  4. That resort looks lovely, not sure about the ducks though ? The most incredible sunset too – that’s worth the trip in it’s self! Thank you so much for linking up to #HMCapturingMoments x

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