Mummies surviving Easter – day 2

So as promised here is day 2 of surving Easter holidays with simple easy and cheap fun.

This activity cost –

£0.90 for 3x bars of cheap milk chocolate

£1.00 for a pack of mini eggs – enough for 2 on each bun (when making 12) and 4 left over to nibble in whilst busy baking!!

£1.25 for own brand crispy rice

£2.25 for the bun cases which Carl bought and I was literally bowled over by the price but turns out they are the silicone ones so will hopefully last us for a long time!

We had marshmallows and golden syrup already in – plus these are kind of optional anyway.

This activity took 10 minutes, but could take a lot longer depending how long you want to drag it out for, for example breaking uo the chocolate could have taken much longer if I hadn’t helped.

Placing the bun cases in the tray could have also been extended- read how below.

But we were rushing a bit because Grandad was on his way. So from packet to tummies after a rest in the fridge took 40 minutes.

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Smashing the chocolate into smaller pieces using a hammer!!

(Watch children using a hammer and encourage small gentle taps – wrap the chocolate bars in a tea towel to prevent damage to the wrapper and germs getting in!)

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Breaking the chocolate into smaller pieces by hand
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Making patterns using the coloured bun cases. Oscar chose to do a repeated pattern that he has learnt about at school.

Other learning opportunities using bun cases for young children could be:

Colour recognition

Counting

Sorting by colour

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Melted chocolate after the first minute

We melted the chocolate in the microwave as I was looking for the quickest option, though a bain marie could also be used.

I powered for 1 minute then stirred and then another minute and it had melted to perfect consistancy.

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In goes the crispies.

We poured some in slowly and mixed until covered in chocolate then poured some more in guessing the correct amount. It was approx 2 cereal bowls full. We then added mini marshmallows and 1 tablespoon of golden syrup.

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Making a mess

Time to put the mixture in the cases, this bit gets extra messy even more so when just I did it!!

Then add the mini eggs

And they are ready to chill in the fridge before its time to serve!!

Lick the bowl while you wait whilst teaching your 5 year old how to wash up! 😉

Perfect chocolate snack for easter.

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Ready for the fridge

 

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Ready to eat!
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Mummies Surviving Easter – day 1

So the Easter holidays are here. A time of joy, chocolate, cheer and oh shit what will I do with the kids for 2 whole weeks?!

The weather has so far been amazing so we have been super lucky in that respect that the garden has been our go to place. Oscar has a massive trampoline, which is a horrible eye sore but my god does it work wonders when there is a hyperactive chocolate fuelled ninja obsessed 5 year old on the loose!!

As promised though I have done some fun activities with him this week, and I still really cherish the times he still wants to spend with me, rather than watch someone open a bloody kinder surprise egg for the 9 millionth time on youtube! (Eye roll).

So the activity of the day today was – a smashed egg picture!

We had a cracking time (hahaha)

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So all week I had been saving our egg shells. Each time I cracked on I would carefully just crack the top off and save the rest of the shell as best as I could. This got quite tricky so really don’t worry if they’re not in perfect condition.

 

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Starting the morning with a soft boiled egg

We then filled the egg shells with different coloured paint from the local poundshop.

I layed some left over wallpaper we had from Oscar’s first bedroom in this house – amazing spaces. I unrolled and kept in place on the garden path using a chair and the slide. (Paint easily wipes off these surfaces)

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I then let Oscar loose with the paint filled shells and encouraged him to throw and splatter the eggs till his heart was content!

If you are feeling really brave for bigger splashes of paint you can get your child to stand higher on a chair or at the top of the slide! (Always supervise your child when they are standing at the top of a slide or on a chair!)

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Our finished result looks eggsellant I think. So much fun and so easy to do. Give it a go and share your pictures!
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The baby behind the blog – #thelittleone

Thank you to Michelle from The Muddled Mother for the tag in this fun post, I’ve really enjoyed writing it.

So you hear about me all day long and quite often Oscar my 5 year old. But sat there as good as gold (usually) is the baby behind the blog my little Princess. Here is life in her words ❤

WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING 3 MONTHS OLD

I am still so new to the world and the world is still so new and scary to me but there are loads of great things about been 3 months old. I am starting to see more things around me that is fun, my arms and hands can wave about and hit things, I don’t know for sure but I think I make them do that. Everyone picks me up and cuddles me and says how cute and small I still am. And the best of all, I can cry at anytime day or night and 5 minutes later my eyes are rolling back and I’m halfway through my yummy milk. My favourite.

… AND WHAT’S THE WORST THING?

Sometimes all this new looking at things, waving my arms about and trying to roll over is just too tiring and when I get tired I really need to shout it from the roof tops.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TOY?
I have a little pink bunny rabbit teddy that great grandma Tinks (there is a family story behind the name) is my favourite to snuggle. I really like hard teething toys too but get a bit grumpy when I cant get them all in my mouth, so usually mummy’s finger is the best because it fits in right at the back were I can chew my hardest.

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO DO?

My favourite thing to do is lay down and kick my legs about. Everyone says I am such a good baby because I really don’t need much attention or fuss (though they still give me it, I guess that’s because I am pretty cute?) But I really am just so happy stretching out my little legs it is so much fun after been cooped up for so long in mummy’s tummy.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO WEAR?

I seem to wear a lot of pink, I think that is because mummy and daddy were so excited that I was a girl! But in all honesty I would be happy just wearing nothing so I can kick my legs and wave my arms till my heart is content, like in the bath, that’s just the best! But mummy always puts clothes on me because I like to grab at my tummy when I am naked, I scratch nip and pull and sometimes I get so carried away I don’t know when to stop and it hurts.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SONG?

I love all the songs that Mummy and daddy have on their wedding playlist (though they are top secret until the big day they say) I am getting really good at bopping away to them when we listen to them. Even though mummy can’t sing very well I always smile when she does because I know she is trying to make me happy.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD?

There is only one food for me and that is my milk, I am crazy for my milk. And I get it on demand, whenever I want. Hot, cold, day or night I am not fussed that milk is just the greatest!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING TO WATCH ON TV?

I do enjoy watching that bright box when mummy puts it on for Oscar my big brother, I don’t really mind what I watch its just fun to watch the tiny people move about and all the lights and music and different sounds. I enjoy to watch cartoons with Oscar, PJ Masks is his favourite but I quite like to watch Peppa pig. I like to watch documentaries with daddy and with mummy I enjoy looking at all the pretty dresses on “say yes to the dress.”

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK?

I get to have a story every night when Oscar goes to bed, at the moment he always choses but soon enough that will change. Tonight we read Brown bear Brown bear, that is one of the best, I liked the all the bright pictures and the silly voices that mummy does when she reads it.

WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?

When daddy blows raspberries and kisses my tummy that always makes me giggle, his beard prickles and tickles me and it is just so funny. Mummy makes me laugh when she pops up from nowhere and says “hello” in a really funny voice. I just can’t hold it in, they are just so funny!

WHO DO YOU LOVE, AND WHY?

I love mummy because she always knows what to do when I cry and strokes my face real good when I need to go too sleep but am too upset to realise (that is quite a lot).

I love daddy because he gives me the best kisses all the time. He tickles me with his beard and that makes me smile.

 I love Oscar because he sings songs to me that he has learnt at school, sometimes I even stop crying to listen.

That is everyone who lives in my house that I love but I have so many more people in my life that I love so much and they love me loads too, they tell me all the time. I cannot wait to grow up with this family I have because there is just so much love from everyone and I feel pretty lucky.

If you’d like to learn more about where this little one series came from you can visit The Secret Life Of Baby.

I am tagging Natasha and Mummyandmoose

Amy at All things amy

Mandy at One slice of lemon

Ashly at The good the bad and the poopy

and Amy at The smallest of things

Looking forward to hearing what your little ones all have to say 🙂

#THELITTLEONE

What I learnt whilst planning a wedding.

So planning a wedding is a minefield, a minefield that the higher percentage of engaged folk haven’t come across before. There are so many pressures that you could not have even dreamt about and never incorporated into your 10 year old self’s dream fairy princess wedding. Why can’t I just put on a pretty white dress and say I do?! What do you mean there are 12 different shades of pink?!

For me there has been so many very problematic areas of wedding planning. So you can either laugh at me and my mistakes that I have encountered and hopefully you won’t have to make them. That or just elope…

Wedding planning is so fun…. said no one… ever.

Superglue is super sticky. No jokes!

I learnt this cruel fact whilst DIYing my centrepieces. I had pinned over 50 repeated images of centrepieces which I was going to have a go at creating for our big day. Once I knew the theme I was happy with, my first question was how much will this cost me? So I spent days, weeks well actually 2 months stocking up my eBay basket full after searches and searches of ‘rustic table decor’ ‘burlap and lace items’ ‘wooden wedding’. After realising that paying at least £100 in centrepieces was as realistic as it gets in the wedding world so I decided to go it alone.

I played about with what I had to hand trying to keep to the same themes as the images I had trawled through on Pinterest In scooted through my recycling bin and found wine bottles (lots of wine bottles!! So I thought brilliant, these linked into some pictures I had seen and loved the idea of I could defiantly have go a upcycling some old bottles and what better thing to have as a centrepiece than a drink I am known too love?! So I got bidding on some cheap burlap with a lovely lace trim and picked up some bargain super glue five tubes for one pound.
1 Metre of Natural Hessian Ribbon with Lace Detail, Available in 2.5cm, 4cm and 6cm Widths (6cm)

After so long of deliberating  about my centrepieces I was ready to set off and give then a go. I got Nalah off to sleep and excitedly up to the table and started to carefully wrap the pretty burlap around my empty prosecco  bottle.

Brilliant. It looked fantastic beaming from ear too ear with the successful job I had done I stand back to take a photo of my masterpiece.

Ginger Ray Mr & Mrs Wooden Heart Rustic Table Party Confetti Scatter – Vintage Affair

Oh shit! My left thumb is stuck. Actually stuck. Not like the times in school when you pretend your stuck to your mate so you cant possibly do any work, but actually full on am going to have a wine bottle on my hand on my wedding day stuck! I had horrific visions of the registrar saying, “you may now place the ring on Hannah’s left…erm…bottle.”

After a lot of swearing I managed to peel my poor skin from the bottle and burlap leaving a little bit of my thumb behind. It stung like crazy and I was left for the rest of the day picking glue and bits of hessian off my fingers and nursing my new poorly!

So let this be your lesson, superglue is super sticky and defiantly not for the faint hearted or fair sensitive skinned of those among us.

And p.s double sided tape actually does the job successfully  with no mess, damage or skin loss!

10pcs LOVE Heart Wooden Embellishments Crafts Christmas Tree Hanging Ornament 8 x 8cm

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Why I am Rocking Motherhood

I have been nominated to complete the Rocking Motherhood challenge by the lovely Kirsty at That noise is mine. The rocking motherhood challenge was started by White Camellias in 2016 and asks Mums to list 10 ways in which they are #rockingmotherhood.

So when I first read about this challenge I thought am I really up for this? Am I really Rocking Motherhood? And who am I to say I am. But after a lot of deliberating and questioning myself over the last few weeks I turned to my children, I looked at their happy smiling faces and realised maybe, just maybe I might be doing something right.

So here goes, here is my list.

1 – We create memories.

Everything we do I try to make sure that all the memories our preserved. I take photos of EVERYTHING, my camera phone is constantly in my hand, because in years to come even if they don’t want to look back at the memories we shared I certainly will. I am conscious not to over share on social media, though sometimes this is so hard when I am so incredibly proud of my beautiful babies, but I have photo albums, digital albums, photo books, scrapbooks, framed photos, you name it showing of every little milestone and every little grin. Last year me and Oscar created an ultimate scrapbook after he had read Winnie the pooh “sunny day scrapbook” we included a photos and did drawings of everything he deemed as fun from the previous year, so you can imagine we had an absolutely brimming full folder of colourful photos, stickers and drawing. He is so excited to do it next year, It is also great for me to look through, if we are having a bad day, or mummy guilt creeps in, to show me what we have done, what we have achieved and how happy he is.

2. Imagination

This possibly comes from me working in nurseries for 5 year, or perhaps the role model of my own parents. I always encourage Oscar to use his imagination, which has resulted in him been able to play happily on his own, be amazingly artistic and very creative and precise with all his lego models. In our house anything can be a game, a cardboard box can be hours of fun, a cardboard tube can be a shooter, a wand, a sword or a telescope. Nothing needs to cost the earth and I am so grateful that Oscar has grown up knowing fun can be found anywhere.

3. They always come first

3am in the morning and Nalah was laid wide awake laughing and cooing (very loudly) Cue mummy getting up to see her, sleep just doesn’t matter anymore, change her, feed her, get peed all over, puked in my hair, but do you know what, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Yeah my coffee might ALWAYS be cold, and I may never get to eat a hot meal again but the love that I get back from these amazing children makes up for that in every single way.

4. Teamwork

Before Carl came into our lives, Oscar was parenting by very different views and nothing was ever consistent for him. Now we give him strict routines, boundaries and most importantly of all stability and the benefits of this really do show, in his behaviour and happiness. The consistency of our care has left Oscar feeling confident in his decisions and knows he never has to second guess or wondering if someone will just change their mind, we may have the odd naughty days but on a whole Oscar is now a very well behaved, confident, clever young boy and for that I have Carl for been the best team mate. We intend to do exactly the same with Nalah, but for now we just share the kisses, the cuddles and the stinky poonarmies!!

5. The little things

I think that such an important part of been a parent is giving your child opportunities and experiences. And while trips to Diggerland, Thomas land and various zoos have all been absolutely amazing and invaluable experiences in Oscar’s life we don’t have to do those big things to give them the best start. Its all about the little things.
Little things we have enjoyed these last few weeks:

  • Washing the car
  • Decorating Oscar’s bedroom
  • Weeding the garden
  • Trips to the park in the rain
  • Learning to ride his bike
  • Bath time
  • Reading books
  • Baking.

And the same with Nalah, although she is still so young and really wouldn’t appreciate a trip to Peppa pig world, its just the simple things she too enjoys, her favourite things at the moment is too watch us, she enjoyed sitting out in the garden watching us do gardening, she enjoys watching me cook tea, she enjoys playing with a shiny scarf or a wooden spoon, she loves peekaboo and silly voices. It really is these little things, that cost nothing that get the biggest smiles.

 

So that is how I rocking motherhood, and after writing all this I feel quite confident that while I may not be perfect, I am doing and Okay job at this motherhood lark.

I would love to read about how Maria at the The blogger mommie is rocking motherhood.

Lazy mum’s Newborn survival kit

5 things that I literally couldn’t have survived the newborn days without.

You have waited 40 weeks, eagerly anticipating the most exciting time in your life, you have the cot, you have the pram, you have 100000 beautiful pastel baby grows and those ultra cute itty bitty baby shoes. You have followed every tick list “what you need for a newborn” “what to pack in my hospital bag” “what will my baby need”.
Here is my ultimate guide on other very random things that have helped me survive the best but longest days of my life so far.

1. Microwave rice

I did warn you it was random things. I am no Nigella in the kitchen, like at all, I can burn a bag of crisps. So with that been said microwave rice, 2 minutes in the microwave, warm up some sauce (sweet and sour is my preference – and I can then use the jar for my wedding centrepieces), bag of prawn crackers, you have a £3, 2 minutes, easy peasy fake away. Of course I am not too sure of the nutritional value to have the regularly and its always optional to add veg, chicken or prawns but that may take an extra few of those pressure minutes (and pounds) that you want to spend with your beautiful new bundle. So when Carl is busy working on late evenings, a quick, easy and my favourite meal is in the shape of a microwave rice package.

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Tip – Using the prawn crackers as a scoop to eat the rice saves on washing a fork and makes it easy to eat whilst feeding your baby!

2. Flask

So 2 days into mummy hood and bottle feeding, my first question was, when can I have a cup of tea? I was forever making a cup of tea at the same time as making Nalah a bottle. Only to find out that when the bottle was cool enough to give Nalah, my cup of tea was just the right temperature for me too. Obviously feeding Nalah had to take president so I was forever having to down my cold cup of tea. How do people have a warm cup of tea I kept asking Carl, until on my birthday along with loads of other thoughtful gifts I opened up my literal life saver, a travel flask! Now I can sip on a lovely hot cup of tea or coffee whenever I fancy.

ThermoCafé Stainless Steel Flask, 1.0 L

But the flask is actually a double header on this list. After the health visitor advised me on all the new health scares and changes, that bottles should all be made up fresh with freshly boiled water and not kept for any longer than 2 hours. Wanting to give Nalah the absolute best start and follow advice this is what we did. But making up a boiling bottle every 3 hours throughout the night, boiling the kettle and then waiting a further 10 minutes for it too cool down was not our idea of a fun time. So we went a head and bought a larger flask for Nalah’s bottles. Now the water is at the right temperature to sterilise the formula but also takes a lot less time to cool and I don’t even have to get out of bed to make a bottle, no more cold kitchen tiles under my feet!

3. Baby wipes.

Well you will have read this one on the Website and checklists and endless magazines you read throughout your pregnancy. Though baby wipes are actual life savers.

  1. They clean poo, wee, sick – that obvious that is what they are made for. Our favourites are the water wipes because they are so much gentler on little babies new skin.
  2. Make you feel fresh when you’ve not had chance to shower properly in a few days. Brilliant make up (if you’ve bothered to but on some – 4 days ago?) wipes, arm pit, neck and the rest fresheners!
  3. Speaking of the bathroom, when you do ever get to visit, baby wipes are also a brilliant two minute cleaning solution just to keep things grime free until you are ready for an actual deep clean.
  4. Speaking of cleaning, kitchen sides, oven tops, microwave door, sink taps, cupboard doors, skirting boards, mantle piece, kitchen table, baby toys, wiping a bit of snot of your 3 day old leggings or sick from your 2 day old top.

           Baby wipes can save the world!

WaterWipes Chemical Free Baby Wipes, Natural & Sensitive, 12 x 60 (720 Wipes)

4. Washing machine

So I know that babies create a lot of washing, I have had one, but 5 years ago I never remembered quite how much washing I did during the baby stage.
Bibs, we must go through at least 5 bibs by lunch time, dribble, sick drool soaked. And you can’t just put them on the radiator because they dry all hard and crispy so washing is a must.
And its not just the dribble and sick… Poonarmies are the worst. We have only had a few horrendous episodes so far but they have completely thrown us! The worst was straight after birth, I had just been stitched up following my Caesarean so was unable to move. We were both cooing over Nalah and telling her how beautiful she was (at this point she was in the clear cots wrapped in 4 towels) and suddenly we heard a very loud, very wet trump. Suddenly Carl, (who had never changed a nappy before) was faced with the first tar poo, that Nalah was covered head to toe, kicking her heels in and balling her fists in. All over 4 towels (which thank god we didn’t have to wash!) He managed though and I think that set him in good stead for the rest we have faced! The worst are when I pick her up out of her Moses basket and realise there is yellow wet liquid seeping into my palms! Thank god for washing machines!

Make more time for the fun things in life with the Indesit Innex XWC 61452 W Washing Machine – 6kg of capacity

5. Prosecco

Well okay, I could actually survive without this (I am not an alcoholic) but really this represents ‘me time’. Every mum, dad, carer needs me time. Even if it is just 10 minutes in the loo. My me time and escapism when you are barely managing to keep your eyes open and string a sentence together is here. Coming to write my blog. It is like me going out of the door for work, even if Nalah is sleeping just moments away from me it gives me time to think and focus on something that I feel is productive (It may not be it may just be read as the ramblings of a severely sleep deprived mad women.) but its the thought that counts. And if I can do this with a nice cool glass of prosecco in my hand well then why the hell not!

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Proud Parent Moment

The school play

One of the proudest moments as a parent is watching your little prince or princess up there on the stage performing their hearts out in their early school plays.

Oscar’s first school nativity was last December and boy was I a proud mum, 39 weeks pregnant may have added to the watery eyes as I clapped till my hands burnt.

When he first told me about his school play he informed me he was going to be a “Pexican”. Googling pexican and I was none the wiser what this was or what its role was in the nativity. Until one day he came home with a sombrero and drawn on moustache I realised he had meant a Mexican… though still none the wiser to where that relates to the Nativity 3 month on!

But he was so proud there singing and dancing at the front of the stage with his sombrero and waist coat singing his heart out. I was so worried I wouldn’t make it, with our little girl due any minute and had made back up plans which I had gone over 20 times with my mum to make sure he would see a familiar smiling face in the audience. But we made it and it was honestly one of the proudest moments of my parenting life, I mean they even sang in Spanish! They are 4 and 5 year olds!!

Last week he has just had his Spring sharing assembly. I had no idea what his would entail as I have defiantly never heard of a sharing assembly before, even with experience in early years and primary school. But none the less I was eagerly looking forward to it.

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Oscar informed me he had a line to say, which of course I had to listen to over, and over, and over … and over again. “we have been planting some beans and have written some instructions.” I could almost recite it in my sleep! He spent the last two weeks singing songs about beanstalks and doing digging actions and reciting the story of ‘Jasper’s beanstalk’ whenever he got chance, you know like, in the bath, at the check out in Morrisons or whilst waiting at the dentist.
Jasper’s Beanstalk by Nick Butterworth (3-Apr-2014) Paperback

So fast forward to Friday and Oscar was up extra early and told me today was an exciting day (for me – not him- apparently) because I would get to see him in his ‘show’. We all made the trip to school extra early, but were still the last ones there, and sat excitedly waiting for it too begin, camera phone poised to capture the actions. To be honest, it was a bit of a drag to watch 60 (yes 60!!) children each say a sentence,  but then there was Oscar and I was filled with pride, my little buzzy bee saying his lines extra loud and clear (like he had practised so many times.) But that wasn’t the best bit, the best bit was during a song they did the actions of a duck and I could’ve cried, when I was 4 I was in a school play and I was a duck doing the same actions I felt ridiculously emotional and proud.

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My Duck Day

In my duck day, my mum made me an amazing costume (featuring the yellow tights if you’ve read ‘the nightmares of world book day’) the best part of the costume was firstly my felt feet that my mum had actually cut out and sewn together using materials from her classroom at work, and secondly my fluffy bum! She had sewn white fluff on some pants (which I wore over the yellow tights of course) with a matching hat (which could have also been a second pair of pants.) So I could wiggle my bum, flip my flipper and flap my arms till my little heart was content. So when Oscar only had a cardboard headband with a bee on I was a little disappointed, what magnificent costume I could have attempted and properly failed miserably at making for a bee!

3 Piece Bumble Bee Dress Up Set

I have high hopes with risk of sounding like a completely pushy parent, that Oscar makes it to a speaking part in his next nativity you know angel Gabriel, Joseph, a wise man.. regular Nativity kind of characters!! I remember in year 5 I finally (after a lot of begging) got the lead role in our school play of red riding hood, including a solo! I cannot sing to safe my life so they really must have been low on volunteers that year. The next and final year of primary school I hit the ultimate height and was MARY!! This was a dream come true, I was so excited I could have fainted…
Oh no wait, I did faint, on stage, in front of over 200 parents, right after Joseph said “I think I need a rest my dear.” I woke up too my head teacher frantically shaking me until I sat up and threw up! Nice!!

5 lazy and skint activities to keep the kiddies happy.

Here is my tried and tested list of 5 things to do with the kids when your feeling skint and really don’t want to leave the house… these don’t even require you getting dressed!

I don’t know about anyone else but when it comes to the half term or the (dreaded) 6 weeks holiday I want to cram it as full as possible. I don’t want my children to feel let down in anyway that we haven’t done as much as absolute possible. I also don’t want it to come September and when Oscar is asked to wrote about what he has done this summer that he can list the entire netflix shows.
But realistically we don’t want to be spending £40 a week on these trips. Don’t get me wrong they are fantastic and are worth every penny, if you manage to get some good photos and forget the tear fuelled 5 hour journey home ever happened.
So here is my tried and tested list of 5 things to do when lets be honest you just don’t want to pay!

⦁ Bin bag slide

What you need:

  1. Slide (any size will do)
  2. Bin bags
  3. Washing up liquid
  4. A fearless child
  5. Cold glass of wine (that’s for you obviously)

This one is for a nice sunny day, when the kids want to be in the garden and you want nothing more than to sit back enjoy the sun and maybe a nice cold glass of white. This was far the best day we have had in the garden, I don’t know who laughed more.
So basically it is a DIY slip and slide, the only time you are needed it to set up the bin bags, fill a bowl of water (I used the washing up bowl) and occasionally take photos and laugh at the muddy wedgies your child may be getting! Water works fine but adding washing up liquid directly onto the slide makes for an extremely fast and hilarious ride. (small print always supervise your child on a slide especially when slippy)

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Science Lab

What you need:
  1. several empty plastic (or wine) bottles
  2. a jug
  3. bath bombs
  4. bi carbonate soda
  5. food colouring
  6. water
  7. doctor outfit (that’s optional)

This one doesn’t really require much adult input either, after you have set up the make shift chemistry lab you can sit back and enjoy, every so often make sure they’re not drinking the magic potions! I used old bath bombs that (lets be honest when do I ever have time to be in the bath long enough for a bath bomb) I had received at Christmas, we all have some lurking somewhere. These added to bowls of hot water filled Oscar with amazement for a long time. Let them explore what happens when you add different ingredients, we added food colouring, bi carb, vinegar, fizzy water. It was defiantly more fun then I’ve ever had in a science lesson. This game then progressed to playing doctors and Oscar pretended (I screwed the lids on tightly after the potions were poured) #noonewantsawetteddy. Lining all his teddies up and making them better. Simple free easy fun activity that he has asked to do every time he see a bath bomb!

Heart Bath Fizzers – Pamper / Spa / Bubble Bath – Women, Woman, Lady, Ladies, Her Most, Top, Best Popular Present, Gift Ideas For Secret Santa

Cardboard box

What you need:

  1. A box
  2. A big imagination
  3. Scissors

Everyone knows that you buy the most expensive present for your child’s birthday or Christmas and the one thing that they want to play with is the box. Well this has ran true in our family too. The best yet we have had was the pram box, it was massive, but I’ve heard washing machine boxes work amazingly too. Though even if you don’t have any massive deliveries making their way to you, you can make do with smaller boxes. We have had hours of fun with box play:
⦁ A boat/ submarine/ lifeboat is Oscar’s top favourite
⦁ Castle
⦁ Prison
⦁ House
⦁ Shop
⦁ A Ball pool
Obviously the more creative can really go to town on this decorating, painting and creating real works of art like I’ve seen on pintrest. But really all we needed was the box, lots of imagination and mummy with some scissors to cut some windows and a door.

⦁ Baking/ play dough

What you need:

  1. Butter
  2. Flour
  3. Sugar
  4. Mixing bowl
  5. Licking spoon
  6. Cutters
  7. Icing and sprinkles
  8. Rolling pin
    or
  9. Salt
  10. Flour
  11. cutters

This one obviously requires slightly more adult input than the others so may be one to leave for when your feeling less tired/ hungover. You can go crazy on Pintrest searching all sorts of weird and wonderful and lets be honest really bloody difficult recipes and bakes. I am literally the crappest baker so we stick to really simple recipe.
100g soft butter (or margarine)
50g Caster sugar
150g Flour
Then we cut them out using gingerbread man cutter and then I give Oscar free reign to decorate as he wants, this keeps him occupied for ages!

 
12 Pieces Metal Cookie Cutters, 3 Stars Shape, 3 Flowers Shape, 3 Round Shape, 3 Hearts Shape (Assorted Sizes)

 

If your not feeling like baking, or arestressing because you have no icing sugar because you made the last batch far too watery and ended up having to use the whole pack to make it thicker! (we’ve all been there). Don’t stress. Playdough bakers is just as fun, a lot less messy, only down side not so tasty!

Simple playdough recipe – 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of salt, 1 cup of hot water mix into a dough adding more flour if it is too sticky. – Set your child up at the table with a rolling pin, cookie cutters, dough and leave them too it.

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⦁ Playing Christmas/ birthday

what you need:

  1. Wrapping paper
  2. Cello tape/ masking tape (is easier because the child can rip it themselves)

This one is the easiest lazy parent game ever ranking alongside logs, sleeping lions and doctors (when you’re playing the patient in a coma). Its great to play after Christmas or the few months after when you still haven’t bothered to put away the presents or stockings and have surplus wrapping paper left over.
How to play: So your child is Santa, if you have a Santa hat this makes it more enjoyable I believe but isn’t a necessity! You go to sleep on the sofa or in bed for more realism. Your child then wraps any toy they can find (if you have no masking tape and they cannot cut the cello tape I would advice to cut lots of small pieces and stick them on the edge of a table so they can use them rather than asking you every 2 minutes to cut it/find the end for them. A few hours later when they have wrapped as many presents as they could they fill a stocking or pillowcase and then wake you up saying happy Christmas. You then open the presents with a big fake smile on your face (the one you practised for the pair of socks your great aunt got you last year) and once you have carried out your best fake excited act for about 5 minutes it is over. Or they can start again and you can have another nap.
Your welcome! Happy playing!

Hurry up…we are going to be late!

Hurry up… we are going to be late.148950945060132188154.jpg

I have always been quite clinical about getting to places on time, I hate been late and always ensure I set off in double the amount of time to get somewhere, for example, me and my mum were going to Manchester to watch Billy Elliot at the theatre, it is a 45 minute journey on the sat nav, so just to be safe we gave it 4 hours! Despite this, I am not saying it always happens, it usually doesn’t. Like in this example we did actually end up only just making it in time for the beginning of the show because we had so much time we decided to have both breakfast and then lunch, which meant cutting it very fine and apologising a we squeezed past the already seated audience. But been on time has always been something that panics me and I am very conscious of.

Ever since I have had a small child, suddenly everything takes so much longer and everything requires so much more time. Putting my shoes on and getting out of the door was a 2 minute if that, job that I could be doing eating a croissant and texting at the same time. After Oscar was born the shoe task and getting out of the door at best takes 10 minutes.

Since starting school I feel like our life is now a constant rush, a constant list of things we need to tick off and schedules we have got to meet.

So after realising every other word I am saying from opening our eyes too closing them on a night is HURRY UP,

1. Are you dressed yet?

2. Come on quicker!

3. We are going to be late!

4. We have literally 2 minutes!

5. It will have to be a quick story !

6. Your going to miss your bedtime story if you don’t hurry up!

7. Come on why haven’t you finished yet?

8. LAST TIME HURY UP!!

So after the mummy guilt had kicked in and I realised I am raising my child like a strict army Sergeant sticking to tight schedules instead of letting him live and cutting him a bit of slack in the meantime.

After the gut wrenching realisation I knew I had to do something about this. I mean does it really matter that a five year old (who can’t even tell the time) goes to bed 3 minutes past his bedtime? My baby won’t be a  little boy for hardly anytime at all and soon he won’t even want me too tuck him in to bed at night or read his favourite story.

So I vowed to give an extra five minutes, relax when I see the time ticking by. The time that counts is now, not when we are all fast asleep drooling the night away. And most importantly I vowed to not say “hurry up!”

 

That night I ran Oscar a bath, he went in the bathroom whilst I sat outside the door feeding Nalah. I always make him sing whilst in the bath so I know he is okay. He was singing B I N G O and Bingo was his nameo. I glance at the time, its 15 minutes till bedtime, but I remember my earlier promise and try not to watch the clock tick by. I manage to hold out for another five minutes and gently prompted Oscar to now be getting out of the bath.

“yeah I will do after.” He replies

“after what sweetheart?”

“after I’ve got in.”

“what?!?!” cue full mum rage. “Hurry up, what on earth have you been doing, get straight in and then straight back out or else no book.”

“I was just busy singing mummy.”

So okay I failed on saying “Hurry up” the word of mums all over the world, but there is always tomorrow. And lets be reminded the world didn’t end because he was  in bed  3 minutes late.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Night Fever

When I see that it is Friday I give a little cheer, no school run, no early breakfasts, no getting dressed (just me?) for a whole 2 days. Weekends are my favourite, staying in our PJs till gone noon, slobbing out watching films, no-one caring if breakfast/dinner/tea all merge into one. And obviously spending lots of precious time with my small people.

No deadlines, no schedules, no school bells or rush hour traffic, just us in our bubble.

Until I pull out the book bag, look through the homework book and Bam! There it is our list of jobs to do to make it through the weekend. And when I say our I mean mine, no one gives a 5 years old homework like, “write a sentence explaining how frost is formed” or “write a paragraph about an animal who lives in a cold climate and list 10 things about this animal” without expecting the parent is going to have to be searching through trusty google to find these answers. And then sit for a further two hours painstakingly spelling out the words they need to write, p o l a r finger space b e a r. “No no no thats a rrrr (speaking like a pirate not an A, oh cross it out you will have to start that one again.”

No one tells you that when your child starts school, you too have to learn the alphabet phonetically, not only that , the actions that go with it. P p p (whilst blowing on my finger – I am meant to be puffing out candles apparently) O (pretending to flick the light switch on and off) L, you can imagine how long spelling out Polar bear took let alone the rest of the PARAGRAPH!!

Spring is here.

This weeks was one of the tamer weeks, only 4 tasks to complete, doable I thought. In recent weeks there has been 8 tasks which I had to literally set a timetable up to complete.

This weeks topic was Spring. We (Sorry Oscar should I say) had to look at plants in the garden or in the park and discuss the life cycle and then he had to draw or paint his favourite flower. Well we kind of bypassed the garden/park bit on this occasion but in our defence it was really miserable and wet out, which we found out later on. So we chatted (discussed) the life cycle of plants. Basically I told him that in winter a lot of the plants are dead, without googles help I am afraid I do not know much more than that. So I set him of on something we can do easily, paint a picture. Getting all excited I began to pull out Oscar’s paints he got for Christmas, the ones I’ve not really been letting him get out because there for ‘best’. Oscar shrugs and tells me his favourite flower is a daisy and that he is just going to draw in and then colour the yellow middle in with felt tip. Well I sigh, least that it one activity down. 3 to go.

The second was maths, it asked you to draw how many flowers each person had to help you work the answer out, but Oscar had already worked the answer out before we had chance to get his felt tips back out so he just wrote 5 on his sheet.

The third activity was “go to a shop or garden centre and look at packets of seeds, talk about what they might grow into.” I read further on and activity 4 is, “plant some seeds or bulbs, what do you think will happen.”

What? I have to actually leave the house? But its Sunday, I was so cosy in my PJs and mum bun and baby sick on my shoulder that I may or may not have wiped off since last night.

Okay so feeling productive we have to do this homework and make a go of it (I could do with Nappies and coffee anyway). We all make ourselves presentable, washed and dressed and leave the hours a good few hours later. I get out the pram in the rain, swearing as I trap my finger in it. Nalah is crying, she did not want to come out in the rain either.

We make our way to the shops, getting blown away by the distant cousin of Storm Doris.

Once in the shop I am pleasantly surprised to see a full wall of seeds (it must be a spring thing?) and even more happier with the prices, phew so just 50p for a pack of seeds, that should do. Oh but no wait, I need plant pots, I will need a trowel, gloves? £2.50! £2.50, no we won’t bother with the gloves we can just wash our hands. So we choose, some sweet peas, sweet Williams, sunflowers and carrots (god knows how you grow carrots, but we can give it a whirl). So we head off back home, unload the wet pram and now dripping rain cover and even grumpier baby into the car.

SUNFLOWER – GIANT Yellow 3 metre plus – 40 seeds

Once we are home luckily Nalah has a little nap so I grab that opportunity to start getting all green fingered, “come on Oscar shoes on coat on quickly we need to do this now” I shout. So there we are in the rain having a bloody lovely time, me trying to take photos for ‘evidence’ trying not to test the waterproofness of my phone out too much. Then I asked Oscar to write a sentence about what we had done, cue the jolly phonics and long drawn out spelling marathon (no one needs to know I had to use spell check to spell out favourite.)

The whole experience could have been over there, just 2 hours later and we could have been finished, well Oscar was. Lucky him. I know had to evidence what we had done. So for me this was just the beginning.

So I am no tech savvy at all. But because Carl has just recently bought me this laptop, and I know where the printer is I think I can save a few quid and a trek into town to print instant at boots, (So much easier.) So first I think all I need to do is get the photos from my phone to the laptop, easy you may thing. No actually apparently it is impossible! Well without social media it seems. So first I plug my phone in, nope, that doesn’t want to work, unrecognisable.

Then I think maybe bluetooth, both phone and laptop are paired, yes, I am doing great this might actually work. Nope, sending failed.

Right I know email, that is easy I will just make a draft and then pull the photos from that, I write the email, open it on my laptop, suddenly no WIFI. Not connected, unable to connect. What?!

As you can imagine this has already taken sometime and Nalah is waking from her nap.

I turn the laptop off hoping it might reconnect when I turn it back on, nope! It decides now is a good time to do a full update, taking a long 50 minutes! So once it has updated the internet is back working, phew! But no emails or drafts are showing. So I go to my last plan, I really didn’t want to have to, good old Facebook upload. So I apologise to my Facebook friends as they really don’t need to see Oscar’s homework in their news feed. And finally I can pull the pictures.

2 hours later and I have 4 pictures of Oscar planting his seeds on my laptop, now to print! This requires a lot more huffing puffing and swearing as I have to install, reinstall and download god knows what to make the printer and computer connect. But somehow I manage it and suddenly there are pictures splurging out of the printer. I did it!

Okay so the print quality was crap, the ink was barley there, the black was green and there were random bright red and Oscar thought his face looked just like his grandads. But they were there stuck in his book with all his writing and tiny daisy drawing. Finished! 4 hours and 30 minutes of my sunday it took, £4.50 it cost in materails, but hey we might get a pretty graden, and Oscar is certain to get an awesome smiley face stamp next to his work so happy days!

Update – Oscar was sick in the night, great big beans stuck to his face, so unfortunatly his homework won’t be needed today! Nooooo!!!