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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Chapter Books for Little Ones

I have 3 children all at different reading stages which is a tad tricky to manage. Pip is now completely besotted with reading which is just so lovely to see. She'll read at any given moment- she's always trying to squeeze a page or so in while I'm  trying to clean her teeth or plait her hair. She's progressed quickly and is now onto chapter books and is relishing 'Milly Molly Mandy', and 'The Naughtiest Girl in the School'. It's been as much a joy for me as it has for her as I re-live all the books from my childhood. 

However bedtimes have become trickier because Bean still wants to snuggle up with picture books and Pip is wanting to read on her own but I can't quite leave behind the story- bedtimes. Tonight I amazoned Famous Five so that I might be able to satisfy both appetites!

Now, Squidge is an odd little thing In many ways particularly with regards to her reading habits! I haven't yet managed to read her an entire story! She won't sit still for a minute, she'll bring me a book but won't actually let me read it. I was a little worried that this means she won't love books in the same way that the other two have (scandalous for an English teacher's daughter!) But recently she's taken an interest in books albeit grown up books....it's adorable to watch herself source a book (often nabbing it from her sister) and perch herself on a step and gabble away to herself, pretending to read. Occasionally, she'll topple of said step as she'll have picked a book a tad too heavy for her to lift. It's ever so comical to watch but that said, I am still hoping for the day she brings me a book and then we snuggle and read together.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

There must be other people

Blogging just does not seem to be fitting with my life at the moment. It is becoming just one more of those things that I can't fit in. But I desperately want to, I desperately want to have those memories that I can look back on. I have visions of when they've all left home, at least I'll have my little blog to relive it all. (Although hopefully I'll be travelling the world or doing something altogether more exciting.)

But it just doesn't seem to be fitting with my working life, it's vastly becoming one of those things that just doesn't get done. There isn't anyone to set a deadline for writing a post. No-one is going to tell me off if I don't write tonight. But in the same vein, I don't want to regret not writing it, don't want the memory of a post to fade before I've put pen to paper. 

And so here I am, midnight and writing, midnight and in 6 hours the alarm goes off to begin again. To begin the cycle of work and washing and little people's fun but not of writing and crafting and reading. For those things seem to be squeezed out and they are so very hard to drag into the hurly burly of everyday life.

I keep thinking, there must be someone who manages to write with a full time job? There must be someone who has 3 children and writes and gets more than 6 hours sleep? I want to meet them. I need to read them. 

Just need to sleep faster and more efficiently methinks.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

The not so midnight picnic

Pip and Bean have been regularly begging us to have a midnight picnic, they are fascinated with the idea of staying up late when only mummy and daddy are normally up. 

So the other night I relented and said we could have a 'pretend' midnight feast but not at midnight.....at bedtime. The compromise did not seem to bother them as we were pretending to dance around a toadstool and toast marshmallows. Bean made up a 'midnight feast song' and taught us how to sing the chorus of 'dee dee do doo, toasty marshmalloooo'. 

Squidge is also currently taking care to ensure that we don't get as much sleep as we'd like. It's a good job she's cute as she's quite the little pickle at bedtime! She is delighted with herself that she has learnt how to 'kiss' and so spent this evening's bedtime snuggling under my arm and then surfacing for a kiss before giggling and snuggling again. This remained on repeat for a further hour before she finally conked out! She is regularly waking up around 4.30am but unlike any other of our children, she will snuggle down in our bed and go right back to sleep. I am obviously a little worried that if it continues, she'll always expect to sleep in our bed and we'll have a nightmare to get her out. But, in another way, it's a godsend because our sleep is relatively undisturbed. I can remember many a-night-up-late with Pip or Bean because they thought that coming into our bed meant playtime! At least Squidge is easily comforted and will doze back off.

It's the biggest thing with children.....sleep. How much the parents get, how much the children sleep- the happiness of all is dependent on sleep! When Pip was born, I was quite obsessed with sleep- so much so that I became insomniac for a short while and used to count the hours I had to sleep every night. Flash forward 6 years and I'm amazed that I'm now far more relaxed about sleep and just thankful if I get a reasonable amount. That's what having the third child does for you!

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.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Why stollen beats Gingerbread Houses hands down

Blimey. I did not realise a Gingerbread House would be so difficult to make. 

For the last couple of years, Bean and I usually make stollen and Chutney as our little Christmas numbers. Chutney was still on the cards this year (we made a scrummy ginger and cranberry one, full of Christmassy flavours although just a tad too much ginger.) But this year, I really fancied making a gingerbread house. This is largely due to my friend Gidge making one every year that looks truly splendid. I now know that it's not as easy as it looks. 

Next year I will stick to Stollen. Our gingerbread house started to go wrong when I couldn't get the dough onto the pan without it breaking. I also had a little person clinging to my legs, so this did not help- she just wanted a little taste which turned into wanting a big taste! When it finally cooked, I couldn't get the thing to stand up (not helped by the ever keen Bean trying to stick cocktail sticks in the sides.) It did eventually stand up, albeit in a lop sided manner and with crumbs galore breaking off everything you tasted it. 

The little people were happy because there was a whole heap of broken off cuts to munch on and they appreciated my little house. It wasn't laden with sweets as they had hoped nor tasting particularly sweet but it was at least edible. Definitely not up to my stollen standards, the Germans/ Swedes definitely got it right with that pud!

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!