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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Why I will always put the lids back on bottles

It was one of those terrible moments.....one that you cannot ever imagine happening. It always seems that moments like these pop up behind you when you least expect it.

Little Fin Bob had to spend an afternoon in hospital due to drinking a whole bottle of calpol. It's one of those moments you just don't want to admit but yes, as parents we left the lid off the calpol. You forget how little they are and think how generally sensible (they usually are) but just sometimes......they surprise you and you realise they really are only three.

Luckily, the little chap announced his escapade. Quite proud he was of his achievements as we kept questioning- you drank the whole lot? Really?....the whole bottle?.......

We literally thought it would be a quick stop at the hospital so Mr M took him along whilst I packed for put New Year's Eve trip and fed the other two. But at 8.45pm there I was, just me and the girls in bed, but our boys were still at the hospital. The house felt so quiet, dinner and bath time had been eerily calm, I felt like a big piece of me had been swallowed.

Mr M kept me updated with little photos and seeing him smile relieved me but I felt like I should have been there, I felt like   I'd sent him off to an ordeal and that I should have been there to comfort. 
But he was back right as rain thankfully and now all is well and restored in the house again. As it should be, only the parents have been scarred by the event, vowing to be ever more safety conscious and thankful.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas Round-up

This Christmas has been......dancing to One Direction with my littlees, Squidge regularly posing for the camera, enjoying being an Auntie and fitting all 4 children onto my lap to watch 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!'

This Christmas has been.....pretty Strictly dresses, homemade Baileys, stocking up on box-sets, hoop art and snuggly onesies......two more-ish dinners, my very much grown up girlie wearing her Christmas dress and snuggly boots.

This Christmas has been..... lots of lovely things to put up on our walls and many more planned. It's been sewing ribbons on ballet shoes and clearing the living room thrice daily. 

This Christmas has been.....climbing stairs with Squidge over and over again and perching on steps, beautiful wooden hoops and just normally, ordinary photos. Nothing glam, poor 'morning' lighting. But it's our Christmas.

We are so lucky, I feel so blessed for relaxed, easy christmasses. We have lovely families, we spend a day each with them and thoroughly enjoy being spoiled and looked after. 

It's all over so quickly, back to the rush of work and school and nursery and life tomorrow.......

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Days are rushing on by......

This sounds like a title to a song, although I'm not convinced that it is. But it is the reality of the last few months, have found myself struggling to take stock of the little things, I frequently say to myself 'I must remember that' and then move onto the next job without giving it another moments thought. There's been a distinct lack of lists, a distinct lack of scrapbooking. Days are tumbling over us.

I expected this. The return to work in September has left little time for anything else. Bean and Squidge started a new nursery and all fears were quelled because they've coped completely brilliantly and love it. Bean has developed a new found love of writing and drawing, so now there are two crafty nuts at our kitchen table, beavering away on their latest masterpiece and rading the recycling box. 

The Christmas holidays couldn't come soon enough and, although busy, give us a brief chance to document some of the craziness. 

The little people's holidays are largely spent writing letters, inviting people to pretend parties, writing over old cards and sellotaping them into envelopes.

Pip still loves school although a poor ofsted, teacher absence and generally poor communication has left us, as parents less than impressed with year one. But all those jumbled up thoughts in my head are going to need a whole new post to sort them out. Here is a little glimpse into her diary! I love the little personal voice she has.....

My mantra on the lead up to the holidays was 'let's just get to Christmas.....' now I've changed it to......'let's make a decision on that one (whatever it may be) in the new year!' 

Friday, 21 November 2014

Overtaken by Crafty Loveliness. (Leitz Box Review)

I have spoken before about my love of all things crafty and stationery.....how I can get lost (very happily) in Paperchase and only really became a teacher so I can justify my love of pens and paper.

My recent venture creating 'Thimble and Twig' means I've spent even more time making bits and bobs (or putting together bits and bobs to help other people make lovely things!)

However, my living room has suffered. Storage is a little out of control and in no way as organised as I'd like it. However, I was super happy to receive a Leitz Box to store my crafty bits.

The Leitz box is super easy to put together - it has a pop button system and was created in minutes which is a very different story to most other storage boxes I've tried.

It's roomy and strong- can easily hold a whole ton of paper, books etc... I had no fear of it collapsing when carrying from room to room. 

It is a tad bright- bright pink, and I was a bit unsure about it at first as all our other storage is white. But actually I think the bright pink brightens up the room and is a bit of a focal point in an otherwise white room!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

When you drop us off at nursery, you can drive all around the world if you like!

And so continues the variety of crazy things Bean is currently rambling on about at the moment!

He is completely delightful to listen to, frequently insisting that if I give him an ice lolly 'he will play with me'. He spends his days confusing Devon with Heaven and asking me "where was I when you was married?!" and insisting that he has to carry round a little box full of plastic spoons and stationery.

He's becoming quite a little character at the moment, we have to have the nightly routine of emptying his pillow case as he stores the trinkets and goodies that he finds throughout the day. This week we've emptied the pillowcase to discover most of their toy kitchen contents inside as well as all of his sister's jewellery.  

The pocketing of items does seem to be happening more frequently- should I be worried?!

I had to smile today, as he came up to me half way through our Ikea trip and let me have a peek at what he had kept clutched inside his pocket since we left home - one of his sister's  Sylvannian family chairs. You could tell it was quite uncomfortable as he walked but he kept tapping it fondly to make sure it was still there!

Today they went to a light party and my heart melted as he came down the stairs fully dressed in his builder costume, ready for the party. He beamed every time anyone at the party asked if he was 'Bob the builder'. 

Sometimes I want to bottle him right here and now. My little snuggly boy who loves a cuddle and who has moved on from 'Mine want to do it all by mine-self' to,,,,,,,,,, 'you do it mummy because we're best friends.....'

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Blackberry Picking in the Fall

It sounded so much nicer to say 'Fall' for some reason. This is unusual because American things rarely sound nicer to me. Anyhow, we left blackberry picking a tad too late this year......and so had a quick walk to nearby grasslands for a nosy this weekend. They are urban style, South London kind of grasslands but they are nevertheless very endearing. Bean particularly loves going for walks there because the tram lines run straight through meaning that trams appear from nowhere.

Despite it's proximity to the trams, there was a glut of juicy blackberries and we managed to get enough to make a Blackberry and Apple Crumble and some Blackberry muffins. We also managed to stain our fingers and get a fair amount around our mouths (although obviously we didn't eat very many at all!)



It was decidingly a more successful nature/ grow-your-own type experience compared to our previous carrot growing attempt earlier this week! Our very cute mini little carrots took 5 months to grow! We loved them all the same but thank goodness we weren't relying on them for sustenance!
With our make-shift punnets (classy tupperware) full to the brim, we headed for home. Unfortunately, the skies turned a similar shade to our blackberries and we had to make a dash for it up a hill to home. This was a little tricky as Bean had stung his leg on some stinging nettles so had a welly boot stuffed with doc leaves! We landed home just as the heavens opened (much to the little people's disgust, they were looking forward to getting soaked!) I, on the other hand was delighted to be home and thankful not to have to carry a very heavy Bean uphill anymore!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Paper Dolls

The traditional activities are so often the best aren't they?

Pip and Bean's favourite story of the moment is 'The Paper Dolls' by Julia Donaldson. It's a gorgeous story.....whimsical and full of beautiful illustrations that float off the page. So obviously, this weekend we had to put pen to paper, have a little snip and create our own paper dolls!

There were full on discussions about hairstyles and skirt colour. I did make Bean some boy paper dolls at first but he was not impressed as the skirts were more fun to decorate. (Having two sisters, he does keep insisting he'd rather be a girl.)

So keen were they to play with the paper dolls and make them dance, that they chose not to colour them all and took them naked (Bean found this hilarious!) to fly around the house. There was a full hour of paper doll dancing and twisting and turning ("just like strictly" they chorused!) before the poor paper dolls were relegated to the front of the fridge door with the other artwork.

But Bean made some extra large giant paper dolls with Nanny - a full reconstruction of the whole family! We've gone paper doll crazy in this house!

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 sister 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.....

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

Happy Adventuring!