Monday, September 13, 2010

The Ghost of Film Reels Past

Olivia recently got Toy Story and Toy Story 2 on DVD and really loved it. F and I decided that she might just be old enough to behave herself at the cinema so thought we would give it a go and take her to Toy Story 3 when it was on.

In the event she was actually an angel and very well behaved. Daddy treated her to a modest bag of Pic and Mix (the automatic route to her heart) and she watched the film either sitting on the plastic booster seats that cinemas have these days or sitting on my lap.

Expensive business though as I must have been out well over £25 for tickets, snacks and drinks etc. Just imagine how much it will set us back when Gracie is old enough to come along!

Apols for the photo, but clearly light levels were low...

Friday, September 10, 2010

One Fine Day

Recently some friends came up to visit for the day on their way home from a holiday up north to their home down south - the bonus of us living in the Midlands (Hello Family E!).

We had planned to go to a kids theme park about 15 miles away but due travel chaos with the road there being closed and a ropey weather forecast we decided to invite them to spend the day at our favourite National Trust property with great adventure playground. The idea was that at least we could get there and if the weather was rubbish we were close enough to just take them back to our house.

In the end the weather was fine, my Mum, sister and her kids came along, and we all had a great time. Well, all of us apart from little G, who is just slightly older than Olivia, and who unfortunately ran in to a table very early in the proceedings and gave himself a ferocious black eye. Hope he felt better soon!

My girls like nothing better than a playground and a picnic (cheap dates :) so they were in heaven.

Here is the rowdy rabble.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Getting Late in the Game to Show Any Pride or Shame clearly we have become the most rubbish bloggers ever. I blame Twitter, but then that is a different story. So...we now need to play some serious catch up!

Let's start with out holiday.

We had a great time at Centerparcs Elvedon and then at a family holiday cottage in Suffolk. Here are a few glimpses at the fun that the girls had...

Monday, August 02, 2010

All the things that she said

Things you need to know: we were at a friends' BBQ on Saturday. To the best of my knowledge, no one had discussed matters lavatorial. Olivia's birthday is in January.

"Daddy," announced Olivia, "For my birthday, I want a poo..."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Do You See a Face You Hardly Recognise?

Here is today's pizza art from Miss O clown pizza faces. Slight cheating as the mini pizzas were shop brought but couldn't muster the energy to wrestle with dough today.

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Born to Run

Today was adventure day and so (determined to wring every last cent out of the National Trust membership) we went off to Wimpole Hall and farm ( This was a fairly good compromise as Mummy got to indulge her costume drama disposition

and love of beautiful gardens while the girls indulged their love of running around like mad things.

Later the girls got to go and see the rare breed farm and play in the play area.

They even got to try their hand at milking (although luckily this was on a machine mock-up so no animals were harmed in the making of this blog).

Friday, July 09, 2010

And the Fluttering of Wings

Today was the end of year Disney themed party at the girls' Toddler music group. The room was decorated with paintings of scenes from Peter Pan, the leaders were all dressed as Pan, Wendy, Pirates etc. and we took a duo of Tinkerbells! Rare moment of being still and cute captured for posterity.

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

We'll Stay and Be Happy. With Those Who Have Loved Us Today …

A friend pointed out the following article,'Children, a Bundle of Joy?':

and it got me thinking ( and blogging).

I love my kids loads but for the highly strung, like myself, it is quite stressful as toddlers do run you ragged. However nice the kids are, and of course ours are taught their manners, respect for others etc., at the end of the day they are inquisitive little monkeys who will always be found poking something or eating something just to see what happens.

We have some friends whose kids are kept on such a tight leash (metaphorically!) that they hardly have an opportunity to be kids. But allowing them to be kids brings in unpredictability, which some parents don't cope well with. I guess it is about striking the balance.

Yes, sometimes I miss my Caribbean holidays. I definitely miss having the money to afford them! I miss having lazy weekends because me and F's tag-team approach to lie-ins isn't really the same. I miss being to be spontaneous and just go out at the drop of a hat, although we are very lucky that we have my ultra-ace Mum who kindly does allow us to have some semblance of a social life.

Having said this the new life is different, that difference does not have to be a negative variance. It is fulfilling to guide little people grow to their potential. Although the responsibility not to break them is anxiety-inducing, raising children is rewarding.

Nothing beats the last snuggles at night and the first excited hugs in the morning (although perhaps if they could be 2 hours later :). Seeing your child learn to walk and talk and be independent is endlessly fascinating. I hope that as they grow my girls will remain close friends with each other and me.

As an adult I find being part of a close family very rewarding. Although I know there are times when she cheerfully could have killed me during my childhood/adolescence, I now have a very close relationship with my Mum - I value her opinion and experience on all sorts of things, miss her if I don't talk to her or see her most days and I hope my kids will feel the same about me.

So, am I happier or less happy with kids? I would say on balance that I am happier with my life now which has a number of things bound up in it - man I love, kids I love, house I love, job I love, close extended family I love.


Saturday, July 03, 2010

So Hold On

Here are the girls having fun at the local adventure playground. It is part of a National Trust property so our membership means we can go whenever we like. We are very lucky to have somewhere like this on our doorstep.

The girls, with infinite sense of adventure, absolutely love the mini zip wire!!!

Have some video as well which I will get around to uploading later.

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Wrapped Up in Time

Olivia has been desperate to make a den since they made one at nursery. Here is our impromptu washing drier and blanket construction.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Truth Universally Acknowledged

Mummy, blogger and more recently Tweeter, my latest enterprise while the kids are asleep is Tweeting the whole of my favourite (and conveniently out of copyright!) book 'Pride and Prejudice' in the original. This could take some time but then I like a challenge!!! Further evidence that one's brain doesn't turn to custard when one has children!

More here :

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I've Heard it Said When They Go to Sea

When we went to see Nana and Grandpa F we also visited the beach. Olivia had been a few summers ago elsewhere but Gracie had never been. Now that she is a little bit older Olivia fancied a go at making sandcastles, having seen them on 'Charlie and Lola' and 'Peppa Pig'.

Gracie had a go as well, rather less sucessfully.

The girls regularly go swimming at the local indoor pool and couldn't wait to have a go at 'sea bathing' (oh look, I've gone all Jane Austen - more of that later.

Here they are enjoying the little seaside pool which means you can enjoy a swim even when the tide is out!

Gracie roared with laughter while Daddy swung her in and out of the water.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

With Your Make-up and Your Teddy Bear

For some weeks Olivia has been nagging me to let her be a clown. The effect below was rather improvised with just the contents of my make-up bag, but Olivia seemed happy. Here is her moment of clown-faced glory!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Haven't got around to posting these yet as I am a bit rubbish - here are the girls playing in the wendy house their Nana made for them. They had a picnic in it when we went to visit F's folks the other week.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Sick inside

Well, it seems like I spoke too soon, and the jabs aren't to blame. Grace was very fractious at bedtime last night, but we put that down to the kerfuffle over Olivia's chutney-juggling incident. When I went to bed after posting last night's blog, Grace was already in our bed, not that I'd heard her crying.

At around two-ish, I woke to discover Grace had Technicolor yawned in our bed. There's nothing quite like picking up pieces of half-digested carrot in the small hours. For the second night in a row, we had to strip our bed and attempt to find a clean bottom sheet that fits our non-standard sized bed.

Here we are at nearly 10:30 the next morning, and I'm off work looking after Olivia, while Grandma has a very unwell Grace. Grace has already chundered at Grandma's and she's running a very high temperature.

I'm pretty sure we can rule out Liv's immunisations as the cause of the problem.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

And You're Sick To Your Stomach

The other day I happened to see a Tweet from Papa Bradstein. "Anyone who says dawn is beautiful isn't watching it with their baby, who's been up since 3:30." it said. My sympathies, I thought. Thankfully, we've not had any such nocturnal adventures for a while.


Last night, I went to bed just before midnight and was surprised to find K___ still awake and surfing the web on her iPhone. An hour later, we were still both awake. A few minutes after that, Olivia walked in and projectile vomited over herself, K___, our bed and the floor.

Let's rewind a bit.

Yesterday, Olivia went to the doctor to have her three year, four month booster injections. These are the last immunisations she'll require until she's 15, when she'll have the BCG injection, and follow on from earlier injections babies have at two, three and four months. There are two injections given, one in each arm. The first is for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and polio (known as the dTaP/IPV or DTaP/IPV vaccine) the second measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

When I went to pick the girls up from their grandma's house, Liv was hamming up how much pain she was in. Grandma revealed she'd been fine five minutes previously. Nevertheless, she started getting all teary about her injections and the fact that the plasters were coming loose. Grandma gave me a leaflet with the possible side effects from the immunisations on it, and I shoved it into my pocket and forgot about it.

In the aftermath of Liv's Exorcist-impression, I definitely got the long straw, getting to comfort Liv and take her to brush her teeth, while poor K___ was left to strip herself and the bed and attempt to clean up the mess on the carpet. On one of my many trips downstairs to get clean cloths or bowls or chemical products or whathaveyou, I grabbed the leaflet from my study and had a look. Vomiting is listed, but it's not one of the more common reactions for the MMR immunisation. However, for the dTaP/IPV or DTaP/IPV vaccine, vomiting is common, affecting between 1-10% of children.

Eventually, I put myself bed downstairs, while Liv slept in our bed with K___. After all the excitement, I couldn't get to sleep and I distinctly remember 03:00 rolling round.

Today, Liv has been off her food, eating just a few mouthfuls of plain biscuit. She was made sandwiches for tea, but didn't want them in the end. Her main nutrition today has been from 4 cups of milk. After putting the kids down, I went downstairs and started checking my email. I was only at it a few seconds when a huge commotion upstairs pulled me away.

Liv had vomited again, this time all over her bedroom.

I'm off to bed as soon as I've posted this. I hope I get to stay there tonight. I blame Papa Bradstein!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Not Just the Taste, the Touch , the Smell

When we got home from our adventure Olivia and Mummy set about making pizza for dinner. Olivia decided that it stood to reason that you couldn't just make boring, ordinary pizza ... Tiger pizza was where it was at! Here is her handy work, complete with sweetcorn whiskers:

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That Everything Could Be Explained With Mathematics

Today's adventure was a visit to Woolsthorpe Manor, home of Sir Isaac Newton. The National Trust have done a recreation of the interior with period furniture and there is an interactive science exhibit and a barn activities for kids. Olivia enjoyed dressing up in seventeenth century clothing:

Here is Daddy M alongside THE apple tree:

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Only Me and the Sea

Today we went to The Deep, They pitch themselves as one of the best aquariums ( or actually 'submarium') in the world and I would have to say that it was an amazing place and we had a great day out.

Here is Gracie enjoying her ' adventure' ( as our family days are always called). We were in the Twilight exhibition (stuff that generates light, not bites you on the neck):

Here is what she was entranced by:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I've Touched the Treasures of the Earth

Ladies and gentlemen...may I introduce a piece which is, by the architect's own admission, 'the best thing I've ever made in my whole life'.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

I Thought It Was Confetti In Your Hair

...turned out to just be yogurt...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Line Us Up Like Fairground Ducks

Yesterday I became Mummy to a few extra toddlers...of the feathered variety!

While we were all getting breakfast ready in the morning I was chatting away to F but stopped mid- sentence, amazed to see a mother duck and about 6 ducklings walk past the patio doors. We have seen both ducks and drakes in the garden before which always greatly amuses Olivia and Grace. Well spring has sprung and now there are babies!

Anyway, we didn't think too much of this until we got hone about 12 hours later to find two very anxious ducklings wandering around in circles, calling for their Mummy who was no where to be seen. Not really sure what was best to do, we called the RSPCA for advice and they asked us to call again in 2 hours if there was still no sign of Mummy Duck. The hours past and it became clear that she had abandoned them and so we called the RSPCA.

Obviously as it was getting on into the evening by this point they couldn't come that night but asked us to put the ducks in a box and put them somewhere safe such as a shed. Having only a tiny courtyard garden we don't have outdoor storage and so we did what any good host does with a houseguest and invited them in to the dining room. The RSPCA had recommended just putting water down. Olivia and Grace were obviously in bed by this point and were none the wiser about the new additions to the family.

They seemed very happy in their new home overnight and this morning the girls took great delight in peeping in to the box. Olivia ran straight in to nursery this morning and told her teacher straight away.

The RSPCA have just collected them and taken them off to a wildlife centre about 30 miles away. I think the girls will be sorry to see them go but 2 toddlers are enough for any Mummy!

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Older than Me

Mummy: Olivia, go to your room
Olivia: It's not fair, you are mean

Sometimes I have to remind myself that she is 3 not 13...

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Dreaming of a Spark

Yesterday we all went off to the park. Olivia and Mummy were roller-skating...only Olivia got bored after 0.4 seconds (a new family record). Mummy lasted about 5 more minutes before being overcome by the indignity of a 35 year old woman skating by herself, given that this was a park in the East Midlands of the UK and not Central Park or Venice beach.

Anyway the lack of skates speeded up our trip to the park no end and the girls had a lovely time.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

From a Careless Mistake That She Can't Wash Away

Warning: not for the squeamish!

In the spirit of full disclosure and to note 'The Numerous Joys of Parenthood' no. 1324...this is what happens when your tiny toddler poos in the bath. The girls were playing when Gracie suddenly threw a pea out of the bath. I momentarily wondered where she had got it until I leaned in to look in the bath and realised that where she got it was yesterdays tea. Bath and bath toys bleached, children scrubbed and we started bath time all over again!

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And the Wax Paper Bag of Yesterday's Bread

Mummy and Olivia have a new hobby...pitta bread art! This was prompted by Olivia seeing a pitta bread tortoise on 'Big Cook, Little Cook' on CBeebies and making me re-create it faithfully for her lunch.

She didn't eat it.

Then yesterday she announced that what she wanted for her lunch was chicken. I pointed out that she didn't eat meat but she just gave me a withering look and declared 'no Mummy, chicken made of pitta bread!'

And she ate it all!!

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