Saturday, 20 December 2014

Nigella I am not....

This week the boys and I were photographed making our Christmas chocolate log for the Nottingham Post Christmas baking feature.

Now, compared to the other beautiful, more complex recipes in the feature, mine does look a tad simple....swiss roll, chocolate. That's about the gist of it. This has got to be the best kind of baking for young children though. I would love the boys to be interested in cooking and baking as they get older. I will certainly make sure they understand the importance of being able to cook a healthy meal or two by themselves before they leave home (sob) but for now, age 6 and 3 they can stir and lick the chocolate bowl to their hearts content and I will revel in the fun they have from these simple things.




Check out the Posts Christmas baking feature at... 




http://www.nottinghampost.com/Christmas-baking-fun-kids/story-25734508-detail/story.html

Friday, 21 November 2014

How rude

"Mummy, if there was a competition for talking the most I would enter you in it because you would win."

That is all.

Friday, 7 November 2014

Living the dream...

Today I took two steps closer to successfully living vicariously through my children.

First of all the littlest member returned from pre-school with the news that he had been chosen to be Joseph in the nativity. You cannot imagine my delight. The first musical my mum took me to see was Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat. A trip to London to see Jason Donavan in my favourite musical- I was hooked. I know we are talking about a different Joseph but that's just a technicality. 
In my eyes this means he is one step closer to living my...I mean his dream

The big, little one decided he wanted to write me a poem when he got home. Check out this beauty....


I was very impressed! Fireworks seem to have brought out his creative side. Obviously this is a sign of his inevitable life choice to be a writer. 

I think pushy parent is a bit strong. I shall call myself a prompting promoter of all things positive. 





Monday, 3 November 2014

Baby blues

The time has come...


We returned home from work today to find a school admission letter waiting for us for the youngest member of the clan.
I have gotten it out of the way and applied for his school place online. He sat next to me the whole time, obviously completely disinterested and paying much more attention to Frozen on the tv.

Will he still want to give me a cuddle and watch Frozen with me after he has started school?!

I'm excited that he will be starting such a significant chapter of his life next year, terrified because he will have only just turned four and utterly heart broken because he won't be my baby anymore.

The hubby has been getting a bit concerned lately- my broodiness and vivid dreams of us with three children have all pointed to one thing- another baby. 
However, we have decided that two is enough for us. My utter uselessness at being pregnant, the logistics of having another but most all of the chance of another having a heart defect have actually made the decision a very easy one. That doesnt mean I don't crave that feeling of holding a new baby and new baby smell! I will simply have to get my fix by being a baby hogger around my friends and family. 'Yes of course I want to see you, now let me cuddle the baby!'







Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Our NHS


Sometimes things aren't always Rosey. 
We have had first hand experience of how fortunate we are to live in a country where there is so much medical expertise available and where we have a national health service. 
When our youngest son spent three months in hospital after he was born he received excellent care from people that were clearly very passionate about their work. But putting the superb expertise and intelligence aside, these people were also nice to us. And they didn't have to be. Now I would like to think that most people would show at least a little sympathy to a mother and father who's baby was fighting for his life, but it was more than that.
The intensive care nurses in the neonatal unit at Nottingham City hospital for example, were some of the kindest people I have ever met. I was in complete awe of the fact that they had the strength to monitor a room full of very poorly babies. They also made the effort to answer questions without showing their exhaustion (which must occur after a twelve hour shift in a room full of beeping machines). They knew how to deal with my feeling of sheer helplessness and even encouraged skin to skin contact which meant so much more work for them.

I have had a couple of days in hospital myself recently for something minor and the care was second to none. Yes I had to wait a while and yes the staff were run off their feet. Alongside these things that people so seem to focus on, I felt absolutely confident in the diagnosis and treatment I was given and was made to feel very welcome and not at all a burden. 
I'm not very brave when it comes to these things and I'll be honest and admit that when I was taken to theatre to be put under I was scared. The staff talked to me to put me at ease and just as I was drifting off, the nurse at my side told me I had nothing to worry about and that she was going to look after me. The next thing, I woke up to her at my side handing me a drink of water and talking to me again. She didn't have to be that nice, but she was and it was so appreciated.

Since then I have had to have a dressing changed regularly and have heard so many people moaning about and criticising the NHS. 
I know mistakes are made and when they are, the results can be catastrophic to people. But these mistakes are rare. Inbetween all of the bad publicity covering what is so wrong with our health service, the staff continue to treat thousands of people with excellent care and consideration.

So (and this has turned into a bit of a rant) next time you are thinking about having a bit of a moan just consider that it may be you who needs hospital treatment (I hope not) and when you do, the staff are paid to make you physically better- them smiling and being kind is done because they care. That's what makes the NHS great.






Thursday, 4 September 2014

So long, farewell, auf wierdersehn, goodbye....

Good luck to all of the little ones starting back at school today and to those starting their first ever day.

More significantly, good luck to all of the parents. 
What an emotional event. Packing them off with their book bags and plimsoles, attempting to look happy and confident for their benefit whilst every fibre of your being just wants to scoop up your baby and sob about how much you love them and how they can't possibly be ready to leave their mummy.

Our oldest started in year two today and was a very happy boy as he was reunited with his friends. When the children are happy to go to school itdoes make life easier for us parents and I was feeling quite good and downright confident about the whole situation.

That was until it dawned on me that this time next year I will be walking out of the school gates empty handed as our youngest will be starting. 

If anyone needs me for anything around that time they shall find me huddled in a corner sobbing into one of my baby's sheety beety's. 

For now I shall live in denial.




Monday, 25 August 2014

It's not your birthday song...

Birthday's are a time for celebrations, parties, presents and apparently immense sibling rivalry and jealousy.

"How many presents did I get for my birthday Mummy? How many cards?"
How many people came to my party?"
"Can I have something today too?"

These are just a sample of the questions that burst forth from our six year olds mouth when it was his younger brothers birthday a couple of weeks ago.

This is obviously completely natural and somewhat expected but we did feel that this year the oldest is old enough to take a joke. We therefore decided to make up a song to remind the boy that it was not his birthday that day. A little bit like the Mad Hatters 'un birthday' song but far less tuneful and rather slightly more insane.

He tried to look grumpy about it but couldn't surpress a grin and then giggles as we continuously took the mick out of him throughout the day.

You might think this sounds like cruel parenting but we were on holiday so usual parenting standards were completely out of the window....

The big lad ended having just as many treats as his little bro. Oh well if you can't spoil your children who can you spoil?


Saturday, 2 August 2014

Gold Stars

These are the latest Gold Stars activity workbooks from Parragon Books...


Recently Parragon released research statistics which suggested that almost half (47%) of parents in the UK are worried that their childrens' education will suffer over the six week break from school.

This research got me thinking. I personally believe this worry most likely doesn't occur until they are at exam stage. Our oldest is too young for us to worry about him falling behind at school over the summer holiday. However, there is the worry that such a lengthy break from school will have an effect on his ability to settle back into the classroom environment. 

The research also suggested that almost a quarter of parents (23%) admit to feeling under pressure to spend lots of money during the summer. I don't know how convinced I am that the figures quoted in the research (£228 on the average child) are related to purely educational pursuits. I think it depends what you class as educational. A family holiday for example will most likely always be educational in some way. Whether it be how not to navigate the directions to your location correctly, or how not to spend an extended period of time together in perfect family harmony. Seriously though there is pressure to spend money entertaining the children and educating them at the same time is an added bonus.

First impressions of the Gold Stars Work Books from the boys are that they are fun which is the best reaction from young children to get them interested in something.

The pages of gold stars at the beginning of the books for the children to rewards themselves after completing each page is very appealing.

"It should be borne in mind that children do need a break from more formal learning as imagination and creativity depend on it. The 'Summer With Gold Stars Challenge' allows for structured learning alongside a full and fun summer holiday. Parents can rest easy in the knowledge their children are continuing to learn and develop, whilst having fun, enjoying the long summer break." This is a quote from an educational consultant at Parragon Books. 

If the boys enjoy the workbooks then they will want to learn and at the same time they will be entertained for a while. Win win. 


Monday, 28 July 2014

Summer Days...


So, the summer holidays are here. 

Six weeks of endless "what are we doing today Mummy" and "I'm a bit bored" has arrived. 

We are a family that likes to get out and about. Often we do question why we cram so much into our weekends, when we go back to work Monday feeling exhausted. We know the answer of course. Time flies. The boys are only going to be this age once and we want to make the most of the enthusiastic, full of energy stages that they are both at.

I have, however decided that we need to combine full days out with days at home playing games and in the garden. Six weeks is a long time and I think for everyone's sake we need to have a nice balance of the two.

The sunshine we are currently experiencing lots of, obviously helps with my plan for a combination of days away and days at home. Yesterday we had a lovely full day at the seaside...



Living in the Midlands the seaside often feels a million miles away. We forget that actually we can get to one of our favourite places in less than two hours.
This is the beach at Chapel St Leonard's. A massive, beautiful sandy beach where the sea is never too far out for a paddle or a swim and shells for collecting are a plenty all over.

This photo was taken at eight o'clock last night. Past the boys' bedtime which makes playing 'beach cafe' even more exciting!

Parking at Chapel point costs a pound for the whole day. We took a picnic on the beach and after a few hours on the sand walked along the front to Chapel village (about twenty minute walk with the little ones). 

Our usual order of one toffee, one rum raisin, one mint Choc and one strawberry ice cream went down very well. Then the boys had some of their pennies to spend. '2p machines' are a favourite!

We had a lovely day and did not need to spend very much money to have lots of fun.

One of the boys' favourite games to play on the garden is 'tea party'. They set up their little table and chairs and get some of their toys sat round for cups of tea and snacks! Now, they are happy for the cups of tea to be pretend but when it comes to the snacks they expect the real deal and not surprisingly their 'friends' are always hungry!

Definitely a smiley face with this in his hand! The big lad prefers the raspberry flavour and the little one likes the chocolate...and Mummy likes both!

 Here's to an awesome, fun filled summer.

If all else fails you could always invest in a bouncy cage...



This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie's BN. Learn more at  http://bit.ly/1mRpMCL







Friday, 25 July 2014

Bye bye 20s


Today is the last day of my 20s.
A lot has happened in the last ten years. Marrying my Jon Bob and having our boys obviously being the highlights!

Memories such as the first time Samuel's feet ever touched the sand at the seaside and the first time Freddie said 'I love you Mummy' are mine forever.

Today we have had a lovely day just doing everyday things and being reminded of just how lucky and blessed we are....


Monday, 21 July 2014

Champagne, XPlus and talking apes...

Our child-free weekend started very well on Friday night. 
We were lucky enough to be invited to the opening of the X Plus screen at the Showcase Cinema Delux in Derby.



Firstly, it was lovely to go somewhere new. Because we have a showcase in Nottingham we very rarely venture further afield for the cinema but it made for a great night out. 
The hubby is the last to associate the words 'shopping centre' and 'fun' but in the early evening the food court at intu derby had a lovely holiday like feel to it and so we enjoyed a bit of pre cinema grub.

The set up at the entrance to and the foyer of the cinema is very attractive and looks more like a swanky nightclub.

We were made to feel very welcome and enjoyed champagne and canap├ęs in the lovely bar before finding our seats in the new X Plus screen.

Wow, the sheer size of the auditorium and screen has a great impact when you first walk in. It feels more like a theatre or concert hall. The screen runs floor to ceiling, wall to wall and has a significant curve in it which increases the impact of the picture.



For me, the most impressive factor of the new X Plus is the sound. A clearly very proud gentleman from Dolby explained before the film that they had doubled the number of speakers in the auditorium and installed over head speakers also. To test the impact of the sound system the lights were dimmed and we heard the sounds of a storm building to such a climax it was actually a bit scary.

The film we saw was The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. This is definitely a cinema film. When I say this I mean the greatness of this film lies in its awesome visual and sound effects. 
Who knew that Ape's could be so terrifying...Toby Kebell's Koba is the what nightmares are made of!
The story is a fairly simple moralistic tale- "Ape's do not kill Ape's" is a motto used amongst Ceasar's primate family. However Ceaser's fondness of the human race appears as weakness to a hate-filled  Koba who ignores the groups motto causing misunderstanding and ultimately war with the humans.

This film is for sci-fi and action film fans. The Clarity and realistic quality of the 3D images on the XPlus screen were better than any I have seen on cinema screens before. Hopefully the enhanced picture and sound quality is equal in 2D films also.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Lots For Tots Nottingham

Here is the summer edition of  Lots for Tots Nottingham. I have an article in it all about getting out and joining groups when you have a baby...

http://issuu.com/lotsfortots/docs/lots_for_tots_nottingham_issue_5

I didn't mean to

Possibly the worst excuse in the world has made its way into our house on a regular basis.

"I didn't mean to"  is used as a reason for doing anything that they know they perhaps shouldn't have.

Our boys are generally very well behaved. At home, however, where they are masters of their universe, they can often turn into little beasts.

I'm sure that they think that learning the meaning of 'I didn't mean to' gives them a free pass.

I didn't mean to shoot my brother with the nerf gun- really? Even though I saw you aiming at him?

I didnt mean to tip the whole tub of pens on the floor- hows that then? Did someone make you tip them?

I didn't mean to eat the other ones biscuit or drink all of their pop- classic.

What they really mean when they say it is that they didn't mean to get caught.

I might start using it on them....'I didn't mean to wash your hair' or 'I didn't mean to cook broccolli for dinner.'

Not sure it would go down very well

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Summer blockbusters anyone?

The other day I really fancied a trip to the cinema with the mother but was utterly disappointed at the choice of viewing. 

I don't get to the cinema nearly enough as I would like to, so when we do go it needs to be for something I know is for me (with the exception of 'East'- if you are reading this I can only apologise again Sarah).

There seems to be a serious lack of summer blockbusters this year. Usually there are two or three films being released over summer that are a must but so far 2014 has been quite disappointing.

Television viewing has been rather lame of late also. I have been grateful for this as I was completely hooked on reading Thornbirds which is a lovely, beautifully sad novel. Now I am inbetween books however there seems to be a lack of entertainment from the talking box on the wall. 
The only thing worth watching lately has been Fargo. An edge of your seat, can't wait for next week sort of series. Billy Bob Thornton plays the cool, calm, psychopath so brilliantly that he is genuinely terrifying and who'd have thought that bloke out of the office would end up a Hollywood star. Yes Bilbo Baggins, I mean Martin Freeman plays one of the main characters. A timid, pushed around man who takes a hammer to his bully of a wife's head and see's his life spiral out of control.

When it comes to the cinema all is not lost.....Fury. 
The trailer can be seen at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2713180/

World War 2 drama, Brad Pitt, Shia LeBeouf, written and directed by David Ayer...the combination for compelling viewing I think. However, we have to wait till October to see it.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Lenton Centre

Today we had our eldest son's 6th birthday party at the Lenton Centre in Nottingham.

I cannot recommend it highly enough for a fun filled children's celebration. 
For a very reasonable price we had the pool for an hour and then a big room for party food and music afterwards.
We were allowed to have up to thirty children in the pool but as some of our group are non-swimmers the life guard (who was on duty for the full hour) roped off the deeper area making it easier to manage a group of younger children. We had use of the floats and toys which were a massive hit.

The staff set up the tables and chairs for us in the party room and we were allowed in there anytime to get set up.

The birthday boy had a fantastic time and we will definitely be having parties there again.

For more information visit the Lenton Centres website at http://www.thelentoncentre.org.uk/Home.php

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Terrible two

Lately I have been having problems with my voice.

I have had all of the hilarious comments about me talking too much (namely from my darling husband) but I have decided my vocal issues of late can be put down to three things:

1. Let's get the first one out of the way....yes I like to talk. I love a good gossip, a natter, a chin wag, a chat, a catch up, which ever way you like to say it, I'm always doing it.

2. My job involves a lot of talking. If I'm not conducting ceremonies (which in some venues can require virtually shouting at times) then I am answering the phone, asking questions for a registration or taking someone's notice of marriage.

3. My boys.

Let's 'talk' about number 3.
I have never felt more outnumbered in my life. They have started tag teaming me on a regular basis. 
If the following words are spoken by either of them, then apparently it is ok to ignore me whilst laughing hysterically:
-poo (you can't beat the classics)
-bottom/bum (closely related to the first in the list)
-smelly (you're starting to see a pattern now)
-big bad Barry (if you watch Ben and Holly you might understand this)

"I didn't mean to", "it wasn't my fault", "he told me too", are all excuses that I hear on a regular basis that exhaust me!

They are either the best of friends or the worst of enemies. Both occasions cause me bother. If they are in good spirits with each other then they egg each other on to be mischievous. One of their favourite morning past times is to wait until I go to the loo and then play 'knock a door run'. Very annoying especially as they both usually end up in the bathroom with me. There is no escape!
 The worst of enemy occurrences means lots of shouting from all family members and usually involves one or both children ending up being sent to their room.

I have always worried about the time arriving when the boys all go off when they are older to watch the footy or whatever they are into. 
I'm starting to worry less about when that starts.


Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Big Screen

I love the cinema.
A couple of hours emersed in an entirely different world, surrounded by amazing sound and visual effects and your favourite actors. What's not to love.
Our eldest son is already a fan of the pictures and has been lots with us and his grandparents as treats.
During the last half term I decided to introduce the littlest little man to the world of cinema.
The only experience he had already had was a ten minute 4D Polar Express ride at Drayton Manor early this year. It did not go down well. The combination of the pitch black room, the humongous screen and the moving seats, fake snow and wind was all a bit too much for him.

This time we went for something a bit more gentle. Tinkerbell and the pirate fairy in 2D...it doesn't get much more gentle than that.

We got there nice and early to get a good seat and let the little dude get used to the surroundings. The only bit that he didn't enjoy was whilst there were no images on the screen. I think the anticipation of not understanding what was going to happen was the scariest bit. As soon as he started to realise that it was just like a big television, he started to relax. He sat on my knee for the whole film but that was just a good excuse for me to steal lots of cuddles!
He concentrated on the whole film and even danced to the pirate song. He did get slightly confused about who was controlling the big screen and at one point asked where the remote was!

I think the key to the success of this first cinema trip was being prepared.  His big brother and I spent the journey there explaining what we were going to do and what would happen. We took lots of snacks and drinks and I had a sneaky beety and trot (muslin square comforter and dummy) hidden in my bag in case of emergencies!

The cinema can be very expensive and I would have been reluctant to pay full price not knowing whether or not he was even going to enjoy it. At Cinemworld in Nottingham they have a weekly 'movies for juniors' screening which costs less than £1.50 per person. Great value!
See the Cineworld website for more info...http://www.cineworld.co.uk/whatson/category/junior


Sunday, 11 May 2014

Weird wake up call

Today it was the husbands turn to have a lie in.
It was all going very well until he got the strangest wake up call ever... "Daddy, mummy says you need to come down because Freddie has got his head stuck in a chair. Also, I am watching teenage mutant ninja turtles."

Unsurprisingly the other half was more interested in the news relating to the stuck head than the television viewing of the big lad.

So, Freddie had managed to put his head through a gap in his plastic red chair and for the life of me (without removing his ears) i couldnt get it back out.
Panic was setting in. Freddie was screaming and wiggling which was not helping and there was talk of ringing for the firemen.

Daddy saved the day, and was obviously more confident in the staying power of Freddie's ears as he removed said boys head from the chair.

Ahh relaxing Sunday mornings, you cant beat em!

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Not exactly mid-life crisis

It has just hit home....I turn thirty in a few months.
I never even considered for a moment that it would bother me. But it does. I like being twenty something.

I have always felt older than I am. I don't mean physically or mentally I have just always gotten the impression that people have perceived me to be older than my age.
This has never been a problem in my head....until now. 

I was twenty three when I got married and twenty four when I had our eldest. By today's standards that is rather young but I was absolutely ready for marriage and motherhood. However it is hard to believe that that was seven years ago! How can I nearly be thirty?!? 

This week at work I registered a newborn baby who's mum was only twenty one years old. She was lovely and we were having a nice chat about midwife care when she said the following, and I quote..."things would have been much different when you did it."
That sentence knocked the stuffing out of me and I felt old. I wanted to burst into tears and tell her that I was only eight years older than her but obviously, ever the professional, I smiled and nodded.

When I told the hubby, he burst out laughing saying, and once again I quote..."it's like she thinks you gave birth in the Call The Midwife era." Less than helpful.

I have been shopping to buy some 'young' clothes, I may start listening to radio one instead of my James Blunt albums and I think a spontaneous membership to a gym I will never attend is definitely in order.




Sunday, 23 March 2014

On Demand

I wonder if anyone has ever kept count of the number of demands made by small children in one day.

I estimate that in our house at the moment we get about....six million! Ok, that's an exaggeration, I would say the littlest dude makes at least a couple of hundred a day and the big lad probably about a hundred.

The demands start from the moment they wake up. The earliest requests being for immediate sustinence to fill their tummies and immediate entertainment, in the form of the television. 

This post is called 'On Demand' because I blame modern technology for a high proportion of the demands made by our little monkeys. 
It's not enough to just want to watch a certain channel at a certain time, the boys know that thanks to 'On Demand' and the ability to record programs so easily they have a virtually endless supply of their favourite programs.
Obviously, one child's favourite program could not possibly be the others so the arguments and tantrums that are television related are rather high.

Our eldest cherub once looked at me in utter disgust at my response when he asked me if I could pause the upstairs television while he went for a wee.  I'm afraid this TV doesn't have pause on it I tentatively replied. Fail.

Some of the littlest ones favourite demands at the moment are: 
Polar Express DVD- this has been put away for next Christmas and yet we get a daily demand for it.
Biscuit please- this boy would live on custard creams if we let him.
Mr Tumble Game on the Ipad- I have had to put a stop to this because of the trouble  it causes when I switch it off.
Daddy- just a general request for his favourite person which occurs numerous times when the other half is at work.
Mummy Smells- this is my least favourite request. It is a game on The hubby's phone where you talk to a funny cat and he repats what you say in a squeaky voice. The first phrase the boys used was, yep you've guessed it, Mummy Smells. 

I'm surrounded by boys. 



Thursday, 20 March 2014

Free time


I have found myself unavoidably with time on my hands. 
It is not a common occurrence.
If it does happen it is usually thanks to the onset of some unwelcome germs, as is the case at the moment.

Therefore it is quite likely that I will attempt (when the little ones are otherwise occupied) to keep myself from going stir crazy by blogging.
I am not renowned for being the greatest at staying at home.  I suffered with months of sickness when pregnant with both our boys and being housebound almost drove me to despair. 
I am under instruction to take it easy which I promise to do (other than the occasional whip round with the hoover- ssshh, don't tell).

Today I have mostly been......

Learning about taps and toilets.




Oh no, she's already lost it I hear you cry- the cabin fever has kicked in already! 
No, seriously, I have actually learned more about taps and toilets today that I have (or ever wished too) in my life so far. 
I have decided that I am pretty useless- when I turn the tap, water comes out of it and when I push the button on the loo it flushes. And that's about the limit of my knowledge.

Thank goodness for clever people.
One of our neighbours happens to be a plumber and he kindly rang to attempt to diagnose the problem with the toilet. My uselessness even extended to me being unable (for some unknown reason) to successfully send him a picture of the flush. Anyway, whilst said plumber neighbour was talking me through the ins and outs of a cistern (I have even just googled that word to make sure I was spelling it correctly) I made the decision that if ever we did have to fend for ourselves in some unlikely apocalyptic, World War Z type event I would certainly be classed as dispensable. 



Now, don't get me wrong, if zombies did take over the world and Brad Pitt proved to be rather useless at saving us all, I am not sure me knowing the workings of a toilet would be massively useful.
Anyway, I feel I have veered from the point (if there is one) and need to return to today.

Today, the extremely useful and much loved father of mine, aka Grandpops braved the germs to help fix the kitchen tap. Now Grandpops is an electrician, but he also acts as mechanic, plumber, gardener, child minder and general handyman. The boys are inevitably growing up with absolutely no doubt that their Grandpops can fix anything ( no pressure Dad). Freddie is Grandpops mad at the moment and spends much of his time waiting for the next opportunity to help Grandpops with his jobs at home. 
So before the onset of all my Mothers Day ramblings next week which is inevitable, here's to you Dad and your ridiculous ability to mend things.

I vow to listen more intently when people are telling me how to fix things and to attempt to appreciate things don't just work because they do!

Ps hope you like the extremely exciting photos. 





Tuesday, 4 February 2014

May the force be with you...

Star Wars.

Old school return of the Jedi style or controversial modern Attack of the Clones style; the big Sawyer boy has found the force.

Light saber battles that always end in tears (usually Daddy's) are a daily occurrence.
Recently Star Wars games have even started to occur in the bath. Characters such as Captain Barnacles and Bob the Builder are being subjected to rather violent good vs evil battles of toy abuse proportions.

The reward chart treat this weekend was a magazine.... Walking down the aisle at Morrisons you would have thought Christmas's and birthdays had all come at once for the big lad.
"Mummy....they do a Star Wars magazineeeee! Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

The boy now has a poster from said magazine of all the 'baddies' staring at him from the wall next to his bed.

Now I'm quite partial to a Star Wars film. I am however finding the repetition of viewing the same scenes (always the fights) over and over again slightly tedious.

This evening, our lovely hairdresser was at our house cutting my hair when the big lad came bounding in with this gem...


"The fear of loss is a path to the dark side."

It was us at a loss...for words.

What a strange philosophical outburst for a five year old.

It was a relief when we discovered he had just copied it from his Star Wars annual, including his outstanding picture of Yoda.





Saturday, 18 January 2014

Weekend vs Weekday

In the rather one-sided battle of Weekend vs Weekday there is usually one out right winner.
Weekend.

Of course weekends are lovely. They often mean no work (for some), lots of family time and a generally more relaxed attitude towards the day ahead.

However, as usual with parenthood not everything is straight forward.

I have decided to create a list of pro's and con's for weekdays vs weekends in order to thoroughly compare.



Weekday.

Pro's: 

ROUTINE - oh you lovely thing you. A parents best friend. Everyone knows where they are with a good routine. 

Tired children- although this can also be a con it normally means a better nights sleep for all.

Work related adult conversation- surprisingly life should not always revolve around Mr Tumble and dancing to Agadoo.

Shopping- in particular the supermarkets are considerably quieter during the week which makes it marginally more bearable.

Con's: 

Bad weather school runs: the weather is rather unsympathetic to parents and school runs. Come rain or shine (or gale force winds which is my favourite) those kids are going to school.

Only 24 hours in a day- getting two kids ready for school/nursery, dropping them off (thank goodness for good friends) and getting to work for 8:30 is a challenge.

Poor Daddy. We are very lucky in that the man of the house (the oldest one) is home for a very reasonable time after work. However, he still only usually gets to see the grumpy end of our days. Tired, irritable and emotional (and that's just me) Daddy often gets the raw end of the deal.

Weekend.

 Pro's:

Lie in (see con's) - I believe the absolute key to a successful marriage is letting one parent have a lie In on Saturday and the other on Sunday.

Getting out and about- we love going out for the day. Parks, picnics, family visits it's all good fun.

Wine. Enough said.

Chocolate. Enough said.


Con's

So called lie in (see pro's)- every weekend without fail our boys have broken nights and ridiculously early starts. It is guaranteed that one of us will have to be up by 6am on both a Saturday and Sunday. 

Lack of routine- seriously if I could marry routine I would. 

Mummy and Daddy - a bit of a strange one because the whole point of family time is that everyone is involved. However, there is a distinct change in both boys' behaviour when both of us are around. I don't think we are alone in this, friends of mine with little people have concurred.
The eldest acts more babyish and the youngest becomes a grumpy teenager. 

In summary, I conclude that weekends are times to make lovely memories and spend special occasions with friends and family. However they are also a time for major family rows, threat of divorce and boarding school and the serious over comsumption of highly calorific treats by all in order to pacify and recouperate.


End of report. X



Saturday, 11 January 2014

Chalk and a rather strong Stilton

We have two boys.
Three years and two months apart in age.
They have the same mother and father.
They were conceived in pretty much the same way (family members cringe now).
They are being raised the same, surrounded by the same people, going to the same places.

And yet they could not be more different.

This is not a complaint, just an observation. I love the fact that our boys have such different personalities. Don't get me wrong, they want to play with the same toys to some extent, they enjoy playing together, most of the time, and words like 'bottom' make them both laugh equally as much.

But I find it astonishing that we could create two so incredibly different people.

Sometimes I feel guilty (welcome to parenthood hey) because it may come across like I care about them differently. 

Our eldest used to cry every time I took him to nursery. It got so bad that I had to accept defeat and ask my husband to take him for fear of an imminent nervous breakdown. When I say cry I mean screaming at me from his car seat that he didn't want me to leave him because he loved me too much.  Sob.

I was completely shell shocked at how difficult it was to leave him.

Our youngest also often cries when it comes to saying goodbye at nursery. And yet I have always had a completely different emotional reaction to what I did first time round.

I have asked myself if this is because you are more resilient when it comes to your second child? Your now officially a pro. Is it because you are so tired having to get two ready in the morning that nursery is an absolute comfort despite tearful goodbyes?

No, I think it is because I am genuinely a little bit afraid of our youngest. He is such a tough little nut. I know the tears are just for show and that he keeps the nursery staff on their toes for the whole day.

He was so poorly for the first months of his life that you'd think I would feel even more worried about him but this is not the case.
He is such a character and I am so proud of his feistiness.
I feel like it is his way of proving to everyone that he is not going to let a minor thing like a dodgy ticker stand in his way or hold him back.

I would prefer if the feistiness did not always manifest itself as defiance towards his Dad and I if we even remotely suggest him doing something major like getting dressed. But no one is perfect!

Just as a bit of proof here is a picture of him in his current meltdown. He saw the IPad, he wanted Mr Tumble Game, I refused....


Just for confirmation he put himself on the naughty step- at least he knows the routine.










Thursday, 9 January 2014

Frozen

Last week I took the big lad to see Disneys Frozen at Cineworld.

Before the film started (after half an hour of adverts) there was a fantastic short Mickey Mouse cartoon. It was old school Mickey Mouse combined with the latest visual and sound effects.
The children were giggling throughout so that was a very positive start.

Well, before I even get on to how much the little ones enjoyed the film, I must say my friend and I were completely mesmerised throughout.
I cried, laughed and left the cinema feeling generally pretty good about the world.
I already knew that you can't go wrong with Disney but this film really took me back to how magical it felt watching films such as Beauty and the Beast, Alladin and The Little Mermaid when I was a child.

From the offset the film was filled with catchy songs, which is a winner as far as I am concerned.
You can always tell that a film has had a good impact when as you walk out of the cinema children and adults alike are singing or humming the last song that was heard.

The story revolves around two princess sisters who's parents die in a tragic shipwreck when they are young.

One of the sisters (Elsa) has magical powers making her able to turn things to ice. Her younger sister is Anna and when the sisters are children Elsa accidentally hurts her sister with her powers.
Because of this Elsa has to conceal her powers from her sister and the rest of the world for fear she cannot control them.

When Elsa comes of age and is made Queen her powers are exposed and after her people become frightened of her Elsa is forced to flee into the mountains to be alone.

Anna bravely goes after her sister knowing that she has a kind heart.

Obviously there has to be a baddy, this time in the form of a manipulative young prince who pretends to be in love with Anna.

A handsome reluctant hero (Kristoff) comes into the film from very early on and helps save the day.

Where would any film be without a hilarious talking snowman! Enter Olaf. The absolutely laugh out loud character that really does make the film superb.
The constant battle Olaf has on his hands, to stop Kristoff's reindeer eating his carrot nose is a constant source of comedy. Olaf sings a song about how much he would love to see summer, completely oblivious to the fact that sunbathing on the beach is not a favourite past time of snowmen. Classic.

My favourite part of the film has to be the act of true love required to save Anna's life. The characters and the audience alike assume this act is going to be true loves kiss. It is actually the love of one sister for another that saves her. When Anna is willing to save her sister by sacrificing herself the whole cinema was silent with awe (and that is not easy when the majority of the audience are under 10 years old).

This is seriously a winner and an absolute must for all the family.
I can't wait for it to come out on DVD!