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Monday, 18 August 2014

The ordered life

Apologies in advance for the dreadful photos - they are literally a glimpse into our everyday ordinary. At the moment - Bean is OBSESSED with putting objects in order, food in order, even washing tablets need to have an order!

I regularly walk into the kitchen to find all contents of the cupboards lined up methodically. In some ways, this is better then finding the objects strewn across the kitchen but lo and behold anyone who tries to tidy them away or worse still - to try and cook with them! They will incur the wrath of 'The Bean'. Often the methodical order remains until all the little people are in bed!

Am just hoping the order is still a concern to Finbob when he's a teenager! Now that would be a treat!


Even Poppadums need an order!

The necessity of washing powder tablets in order!



Gotta love that boy!






Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Good Ole' Rainshower at the Park

Imagine a world without parks?! I most definitely can't. I feel super lucky that we have so many near us in London that we can't ever get bored! Parks with sand, parks with water, wooden adventure playgrounds, parks with woods.The summer holidays have afforded us the time to properly enjoy the parks this year (in between the thunder storms of course.) Time to just sit and be and watch.... I love just watching the interaction being children and their families- the little girl desperately trying to eat her ice cream before it melts, the Italian mother berating her daughter for some act of unkindness to a sibling. The little brother gazing adoringly at his older climbing higher and higher on the climbing frame........so many stories.....

I love the way Pip and Bean always make a friend at the park. There's been Mirren and Rosie Mae and a whole host of others. I imagine them bumping into each other when they're older and meeting afresh with no knowledge that they ever played together one blustery afternoon in a park in south London.

Trips to the park will be a lasting memory of these summer holidays. Even the ones that went wrong....we had a thunder storm picnic on Sunday. One of those 'we-said-we-will-have-a-picnic-and-therefore-we-still- will' moments that you have as parents. We stuck it out until the rain was so heavy and we began to worry about being struck by lighting what with all the trees around. So, we made a mad dash back to the car and finished the picnic there - which Pip and Bean thought was just as much fun. (Anything to do with wearing your pyjamas or eating in the car, is a hit with those two.) I seem to remember similar car picnics with my parents, where the British weather just didn't pan out.



But, I can't imagine living in a place where everything went to plan because you didn't have to worry about the weather. Wouldn't BBQs be boring? I think we're currently totalling 4 trips to the park this summer that have resulted in a mad dash for the car due to tropical rainstorms and that, is what makes Britain's summers truly unique!




Friday, 15 August 2014

Ten Boredom Busting Travel Ideas for Children

So, we're off! The annual drive to Ireland has begun! Although, I'm not planning on blogging much (we are on holiday after all!) I had a little moment of exasperation in the car that I felt needed sharing!

A familiar scene to most- your spotless car, less than 5 hours into the 13 hour trip, is littered with wrappers - your supply of snacks and sweets is dwindling, the colouring books and magazines have been devoured (and not a single lid made it back onto a pen.) You've exhausted every radio station option and your careful organisation system has gone haywire leaving you with nowhere for your feet to go. 

Well, this was me an hour ago but having been here before on many a car journey - I was not yet ready to reach melt down point. I had a few more things up my sleeve and as I now gaze upon three peaceful children.....I realise my trip planning was not in vain. 

And that, my friends......feels victorious!

So, if you have a long car journey ahead with little ones....here's a few things to stow up your sleeve (or in your glove compartment). Feel free to add any others and share the love sympathy for travelling with small kids!

1. A good story CD, preferably one that lasts over an hour. I'd been highly recommended Roald Dahl's complete collection but sadly my lack of planning meant that I had to put up with the laugh out loud - Winnie the Pooh! (Eeyore really is one of the funniest storybook characters in my opinion!)

2. Busy bags.....oh yes, I know there's iPads and DVD players but these are a cheaper, educational option and oh so much fun! I'm going to do a whole post on these soon!

3. Foam maps and puzzles

4. These snack pots are ingenious. 

5. Eye Spy cards (things to spot on the journey). This is what mine looked like......simple but keeps them quiet!



7. A Mini padded tray is super useful for little ones to colour on.

8. Children's Music CD, 'Little Boppers' is our favourite!

9. Sewing Cards and Cross Stitch kits (we got ours from Sainsburys) 

And obviously, don't forget the snacks but to save your car try our no mess suggestions.....

-Raisins
-Pretzels
-Hula Hoops (the least messy crisps around!)
-Marshmallows
-Mini Breadsticks
-Ice Gems
-Mini rice cakes


Happy Adventuring!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Squidge at 8 months

It's a long time since I've written a post about Squidge. It turns out that Squidge was a very appropriate name for her as she has properly squidgey, chubby legs at the moment. Luckily Pip and Bean adore her (she's not yet moving so doesn't pose a threat!)

She's turned out to be a very easy going, peaceful baby but who fights her sleep and wants to always be part of the action. It's gone so quick, I sometimes wish I could bottle little moments of them all as they are growing up so fast!


Friday, 25 July 2014

First Bone Break

What's the worst that could happen on the first day of the summer holidays?

Pip falling off a climbing frame and breaking her wrist?

Yep, we have our first bone break in the 'lovely things' household! This is not counting my husband who has broken pretty much everything (bones and household objects included).

Pip was so brave though, she was obviously in pain and trying to hide it! So much so, that I was convinced she hadn't broken anything and that she was actually fine and dandy but we were 'playing it safe'. I was even contemplating taking her home at one point when the hospital waiting room became a bit stressful - classic dinner time scenario in A+E =  Bean was moving all the waiting room chairs, Squidge was crying for food and Pip was attempting to do a handstand (with her broken wrist.) Am so pleased I didn't - what a bad mother that would make me!

At the moment, she's enjoying the attention and is particularly excited about the event of 'drawing on the cast' tomorrow and 'replacing said cast' with a new 'pink' one on Monday!

My only concern is how I occupy a very active-cast-ridden girly along with her brother and sister or the rest of the summer holidays. Answers on a postcard please......




Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Rock Band

"Let's get rocking" has been a familiar cry in our house this week. Pip and Bean have started a band, they've called it 'Macaroni Star' and their gigs mainly take place on our bed or the trampoline! They've written out the song lyrics (albeit only 3/4 lines that get repeated over and over...) and designed the band's style. They spend their days generally giving me a headache by jumping all around the place shouting at the top of their voices. I tried to encourage them down the classical route but it hasn't worked, the scary thing is Pip was watching 'Britain's Got Talent' and then asked 'how do you get inside the television?' 

I think she's getting ideas above her station.

And if it wasn't enough....the band also cost us a trip to A&E yesterday. Bean was singing the newest song (called 'tagliatelle' -  I've no idea where all this pasta/ Italian theme has come from) in Tesco Express yesterday and managed to trip over, banging his head and covering the entire self service checkout  in blood. Luckily, he didn't need stitches but Pip went a little pale and so in my wisdom I made them walk back from Crystal Palace instead of taking the bus. It was typical that a day long adventure involving two trains and two buses with 3 5s and unders had gone without a hitch right up until Bean decided to sing a song about a pack of magatelli (tagliatelle) at the checkout! 

This band lark better pay for itself when they get older. 







Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The launch of Thimble and Twig.....

Poor little blog of mine, all neglected and unloved! I haven't had the time to post recently. But there are exciting projects on the horizon and I just thought - I have to share them with you!

Like all things lovely.....'Thimble and Twig' was a little unexpected and one of those things you start quite organically and quite randomly!



In June, I decided to support a little local craft fair and actually get involved this time and get making! So, I dusted off the old craft box and thoroughly enjoyed making jewellery, bags and cards.




But then, I thought that, being on maternity leave, this was my chance to really 'go for it' on the making front!

So, I actually made my idea of a 'Children's Craft Box' - lots of activity ideas to 'make, bake and grow' and keep children inspired and busy. My dream is to make it super duper easy for parents to craft with their children. It was an idea that I'd been bending my friends ears about for ages but I finally got making. Our first box is a 'Nature themed box' to blend in with the summer holidays and there are more themes in the pipeline.






And then, I regained the crafting bug! So, I made some Messy Play Boxes - with everything parents of children under 2 need to help their little ones explore through messy play and plan to made my newly engaged friends some lovely wedding boxes to keep their little ones entertained during their wedding!




And so.....'Thimble and Twig - The Box Company' was born!



I have plans and dreams.....oh so many dreams....... craft box gift subscriptions............travel boxes to keep little ones busy in the car, craft classes for children, messy play sessions, craft parties.............

But for now.,,,,, There is an Etsy Shop which I am loving stocking with new boxes and a new mini craft blog which I will be posting all our new makes on. I will obviously still be posting about our little life here and now that the launch is over - I will definitely be checking in more often!

Please pop over a like us and love us if you can!

www.thimbleandtwig.com

Facebook

Etsy

Friday, 18 July 2014

Cooking Addiction

Bean has a cooking addiction. Not just in the watching 'I Can Cook' Cbeebies category of addiction but in the obsessive - asking - to - do - cooking -everyday -kind -of category. From the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to sleep - it's very unwise to ask him 'what would you like to do?' unless you are geared up for a flour covered kitchen.
 
Bean believes most things should have flour, sugar, butter and eggs in because these are the best things to whisk, squish, crumble and taste! But he's also up for helping me with dinner and even the washing up. His favourite things to do at the moment are snipping the ends off green beans and chopping up mushrooms (even though he DOES NOT like to actually eat them!)
 
But our latest cooking escapade was a cunningly devised little muffin that I hoped would get him to eat a few more veggies: 'Carrot, Banana and Squash muffins'. Tasty before they went into the oven and didn't last long after they came out!
 
And they were a big hit with the cooking obsessed boy - plenty of grating, squishing, stirring, whisking and tasting!




I love Pinterest but I also love.......

Good old fashioned magazine reading and cutting out!

I love the snip, snip, snip of paper and how you can create a pretty patterned display of your findings.

Pinterest is brilliant because it's so instant, it appeals to my organised side and it orders everything nicely for me. You can't snip in the virtual world and I can get lost into Pintrest for hours without making a single bit of mess! I love that Pinterest is so easy to search and that one idea leads to another and another.... You can start with searching for one idea for a rainbow themed children's party and end with a whole host of children's planning ideas! And then there's the whole 'connection' side of pinterest you can follow people and peek into their brains and inspirations without them noticing! You can get excited when a random stranger over the other side of the world repins something you did- it's like someone personally saying "hey! We love your idea!"



 
But there's something so tactile about snipping. Sitting down with pile of magazines and just a snip, snip with the scissors and a blob of glue and you can create your own little inspiration journal. There's nothing that beats flicking through those pages. And notebooks are so pretty, I'd like a whole room to display pretty stationery. I don't have a room .... But I do have a board.....and the whole cyberspace of pretty notebooks to scavenge.

And what could be better than that?


 

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Sibling Rivalry

These last few weeks of Pip's first year at school are just flying by, I can hardly catch my breath as we hurtle head first towards the summer holidays and the imminent return to work!

There's been carnivals and sport's days, school assemblies and summer fairs.

There's been life with a very tired 5 year old who struggles with the heat and is soooooo hot and bothered after school (just like her mother). It often takes a good couple of snacks to reinvigorate her before I'm allowed to hear anything about her day at school or even have a civilised discussion.

There's been life with a little boy who is struggling with 'being 3'. There are arguments about anything and everything  and he is testing boundaries at all costs. Today alone we have had battles over 'Who opens and closes the car door.' 'Why we have to hold hands when we cross the road.' 'Whether we wear sandals or welly boots' and 'trousers or shorts' in the summer and 'how many ladder steps he can jump off his bunk bed from.' He has ran away from me in Sainsburys and refused to put his plastic bottle in the bin which he threw at a car in the car park.

I'm praying this is just a 3 year old phase!

We're also been thrown head first into a proper sibling rivalry battle. They both want to be away from each other and want play with each other but only in their own individual terms. IT IS EXHAUSTING!

Bean follows Pip around incessantly and it is incredibly common to hear her complain "just get him AWAY from me." But then she wants him to play with her (as long as its on her own terms) and he literally adores her (just has a funny way of showing it.)

And just when you think they'll never be an end to their bickering, they'll never just 'get along', they'll always fight and hurt each other......there is an impromptu cuddle and they turn to each other and say "you're my best friend!"


Maybe it was the promise of an indoor picnic when the rain scuppered our picnic tea....maybe, just maybe they'll grow up to be the best of friends.

In the words of my lovely friend Eva: "it's all just a phase........"