Friday, 6 January 2012

Simple things....

Apologies for the fact that I haven't posted for a while, Christmas took over somewhat but we're back to usual routines now so I'm feeling a little less stretched. This may still be a quite month for posts though as I am supposed to be studying for an exam - this may also mean I post loads as I search for ways to distract myself!

I took a photo today which goes well with a couple of other photos I have taken recently so I thought I would share them. Essentially they show that despite the toys scattered all over the house occasionally the simplest things can draw the attention of my two and often - as today's photo shows - provide a hilarious game.

First up the washing machine
 Then the usual boxes

and finally this evening's game, hiding under flannels! (this went one for quite some time)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Kids in the kitchen

In an attempt to get more involved in the blogging world I thought I'd join in with The Gallery over at Sticky Fingers. This week's theme is The Kitchen.

Being in military housing means I don't get much say in what our  kitchen looks like, our current one is marginally bigger than the last but still not big enough for a table and not really even big enough to do cooking with the kids who currently help me out by both balancing precariously on the same wooden step dangerously close to the hob.

Once a week I take my kids to a cooking class (well it's for Oliver but Zoe comes along to provide entertainment) and it's fairly stress free as long as Oliver doesn't eat all of the ingredients before we begin (what is it with kids and butter?) Oliver learns about cooking & different types of food and we go home every week with a recipe card and some yummy treats to share with daddy when he gets home from work. (We go to Crafty Cooks for anyone interested)

Sometimes I try to recreate this relaxed cooking experience in my own kitchen and occasionally I make it all the way to the end without needing to raise my voice but more often than not the kids are either arguing over who gets the most space on the step, one or both of them is caught testing the ingredients, or the ingredient adding is done with a little too much vigour resulting in most of it on the floor! This week I thought we'd have a go at making flapjacks which in hindsight isn't the most child friendly recipe but Oliver & Zoe helped where they could......
Testing the syrup
Calmly pouring the oats (this didn't last very long!)

It all looks very civilised in the photos and it really was for a little while. However as is usually the case I ended up finishing up having convinced the kids that they were better off playing in the living room out of my way.

One day I hope I'll have a kitchen where I can let the kids help me more but for now I think I'll keep paying so that they can get the full cooking experience elsewhere!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Playgrounds in the rain

So I promised Oliver we could go to the new playground today and even though it was horribly drizzly I figured I'd better not disappoint so off we went.

Predictably as the weather wasn't great the park was empty so Oliver went straight for the zip wire & kept himself entertained going back and forth without incident.

Zoe went straight for the wooden castle structure and I hovered close by waiting for her to slip. Miraculously she didn't and she made it up the stairs and across the bridge to the top of the slide where she positioned herself for a leisurely slide down on her tummy. Fortunately she was going feet first, as due to the slight dampness of the slide she went down like a rocket and flew off the end gaining a fair bit of air before landing on the floor on her belly.

Luckily she wasn't injured as being the sympathetic type I am, my first instinct whilst picking her off the ground was to laugh. She didn't seem too traumatised by it all, just a little shocked, but funnily enough she decided after that that she didn't really want to go on the slide again.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas Crafting

This year I thought I'd try and get the kids involved in more of the Christmas build up than before and so I felt a bit of Christmas crafting was in order. This began with a casual comment by a friend about homemade wrapping paper and was then spurred on by a few ideas on pinterest.

Firstly we made the wrapping paper. In my mind I saw brown paper with neat red and green hand and foot prints scattered reality the kids went a bit crazy with the paint and then got realised they could paint themselves instead! I finished up with some interesting wrapping paper and two very green children!
The second crafting effort involved Christmas cards which I did with Oliver, again using hand and footprints. These turned out much better than the wrapping paper.
I still need to do some with Zoe in the next week or so.

Finally, Christmas decorations. I did this last year with Oliver & a friend and recalled it being fairly easy and not too traumatic, I was however living in a hot country at the time and so all crafting was done outdoors, in door crafting tends to be slightly less relaxing.
A friend made the salt dough as she was doing some for her kids anyway so all my two had to do was cut out some Christmas shapes. As an added bonus i let them stick beads into the shapes although this turned out to be a bit of a waste of time when it came to the painting stage - the kids enjoyed doing it though.

and the final result.....
It took me a while to persuade Oliver that his decorations didn't need to all be brown and some of them are only painted on one side but all in all it was a success - and Zoe only ate a bit of dough, a few beads and a small amount of paint!

Now lets hope the recipients are grateful - what teacher/creche worker wouldn't like to receive a badly painted star at Christmas?

Sunday, 27 November 2011


You may be expecting a post about a superhero with a fan attachment on his back and if this is the case I am sorry to disappoint. FanMan is however a bit of a superhero in our house.

Officially FanMan is actually called Milo and is a "Coolfan" but in our house he's known as FanMan. He's been with us for nearly 2 years now I think and has been a bit of a lifesaver.

The idea is that rather than blowing on your child's food to cool it down you put the plate under the fan and it cools the food for you, thereby saving your breath and stopping the spread of germs that you would usually blow into the food.

The fan sits on a simple stand and can be removed if necessary (when travelling I will often just take the fan with me) and the fan blades are made of foam so than when you child sticks their fingers into the fan when it's going round (and they inevitably will) they won't hurt themselves.

The blades are also easy to replace which is handy when you have a child that likes to test the durability of things. The owner of Coolfans very kindly sent me replacement fans when I explained my predicament!

It does seem like a bit of a gimmick at first but FanMan has been invaluable on so many occasions that now I can't imagine not having him around and have actually bought a couple as gifts for friends with babies. Excellent product!
Visit the website for more information Coolfans

Why I don't take the kids shopping very often........

As mentioned previously we spent the first 3 years of Oliver's life in Cyprus. Now Cyprus isn't really a great country for shopping and as a result my kids didn't accompany me to the shops very often (assuming you don't count sitting next to me while I browse the UK shops online) and so they are not used to patiently standing in long queues.

When we returned to the UK I was visiting my brother and we decided to brave the shops near his home.

One of the first stops was the bank to do some address changing. I joined the queue while my brother sat at the side with the kids. I turned around at one point to see Oliver head towards the bank window so I ran over too him thinking he was going to move things from the window display. How wrong I was..... in fact he had found a switch on the wall at his height which obviously called out to him and so he switched it off. Not knowing what it was I quickly switched it back on again, and rejoined the queue clutching his hand tightly.

A few seconds later as I finally got to the front of the queue a flustered lady came into the bank to complain that the cash machine had gone blank and swallowed her bank card. It would appear that Oliver had in fact switched off the cash machine!

I did the only thing I could think of, I finished up what I was doing and exited the bank very swiftly...... Wimp? Moi? Absolutely!

First up - an intro....

So here we go. My first foray into the blogging world. I'm slightly nervous but I'm confident that there is sufficient going on in my life to fill at least a few posts!

First up a quick intro which I'll put into my "About me" section when I find it!!

I am a 32 year old stay at home mum (doing a little bit of work and studying when I have time) with 2 kids and a husband.

My eldest Oliver is 3.5 years old. He's tall and skinny with a mop of mousy blond hair which is always in need of a cut! Like most 3 year old's he's full of energy and loves running about, riding his bike, going to the park. He can however be a solitary creature at times and at play groups will often sit quietly playing on his own hoping that noone else will try and join in and want to use his toys!

Next up is Zoe who is 1.5 years old and likes nothing more than sitting down and eating all of the food in the house. She's a fairly tough cookie as a result of having an energetic older brother and can be very independent and stubborn when she wants to be but is never short of cuddles and kisses. 

My husband is in the forces so we move around every few years which makes life interesting and pretty varied but provides fantastic opportunities. Oliver was just 8 weeks old when we moved to Cyprus and Zoe was born out there. Currently we are back in the UK and expect to be here for a while and we're all just bracing ourselves for the kids first cold Christmas!