Monday, 30 April 2012

The Baby Shower

I've only ever been to one baby shower which was for my cousin when she was expecting her little girl back in 2006. They are huge in the USA but you never really hear of them in the UK. Is it superstition? I think it's a lovely idea to have a party for a mum-to-be to give her the chance to be spoiled and enjoy a day or night with her friends.

On Saturday night, I enjoyed my second baby shower. Mama N is due in 6 weeks time and she decided she would have a baby shower to celebrate. It was held at her house and there was plenty of cake and treats to enjoy and lots of pink decorations as Mama N is having a baby girl!

I decided I'd make a baby cake. I took inspiration from a Jane Asher book and gave the baby a pink hat, pink dummy and pink nappy. I was quite pleased with how the baby turned out! It was a vanilla sponge, butterscotch buttercream and fondant icing from Tesco. I used some of the Silverspoon pink colour creator to get a lovely pale pink skin and then added a few more drops to give more vibrant pink decorations.

I wasn't the only person to make cake as we almost re-named the party from a baby shower to a cake party! One of Mama N's friends had made cupcakes whilst another had made funky ice-cream cone cupcakes and cake pops that looked like babies. Yum, yum!

We played games all related to baby things, like who could drink their drink from a baby bottle the fastest (I won!), guess who the baby is from our own baby photos and, my personal favourite, pin the sperm on the egg, which I won too. Mama N made dummy medals as a prize which I thought was very creative.

It wasn't a late night but it was a really good laugh and I think Mama N enjoyed herself. Now we just need to wait for the baby to arrive!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekSeventeen

Last Sunday, Husband decided he would start to re-insulate our loft. This wasn't as well thought out as it sounds because he didn't start clearing the loft out until after lunch and I don't think he realised just how much junk he had up there. Needless to say, by the time he cleared out the old stuff, he had a pile of rubbish to take to the dump!

On Monday, I took Wee Z to nursery as Husband has a new job which means he has to do day shift for 2 weeks. It was a bit strange getting up and not having to get ready to go to work. Once I had dropped Wee Z off, Miss C and I went for a walk to the park. We saw all the baby animals, played in the play park and finished off by having a long walk back to nursery to pick up Wee Z.

On Tuesday, I dropped Wee Z off at nursery and then walked down to town to drop Miss C in at playgroup. I have never taken Miss C to playgroup before so it was nice to see her run in and start playing quite happily. I was able to go into town for a few hours and have a nosey about the shops and I ordered the birthday cakes for their birthdays.

On Wednesday, we spent the day indoors as it wasn't particularly nice outside. I managed to get all my housework done and then we spent the afternoon playing before I had to go to work.

On Thursday, I managed to clear out Miss C's toy cupboard and decided that I either need to get rid of the old toys or move to a bigger house. A big clear out is definitely in order and I think I'll just be asking for money or clothes for birthday presents this year!

On Friday, Miss C had ballet and Husband took Wee Z and his friend swimming. Miss C's teacher told me Miss C did a gorgeous first position whilst they were practising their routines so I was very pleased...even if she was doing it at the wrong bit!

On Saturday, I spent the morning making a baby cake for my friend Mama N's baby shower. Husband was on hand to distract the kids from eating all the icing! I love making cakes but I need time to concentrate and I was really pleased with how the cake turned out...except for the eyes. They were a bit big! In the evening it was time for the baby shower which was a lot of fun!

It's a Girl!!

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Listography - Top 5 Wishes For My Child(ren)

This week Kate has taken inspiration from Sleeping Beauty and the Fairy Godmothers' who bestow wishes and gifts on to baby Aurora and has come up with 5 wishes for her own daughter.

Here are my top 5 wishes for my children:

  1. To be happy - Something every parent wants for their children and I'm no different. So long as my children are happy then I'm happy.
  2. To be ambitious - I want my children to chase all their dreams and strive to achieve anything they want in life.
  3. To be a good person - This is something we have to help them with as they grow but I hope that through their life they will be someone people can rely on, look to for advice and find a good friend in them.
  4. To be successful - I'm not necessarily hoping for them to be rolling in cash, although if that's what they want then so be it, but so long as they are doing something with their lives that makes them happy then I hope they will be successful at it, whatever that may be.
  5. To be lucky in life and love - You definitely need a bit of luck in life and love!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Gallery - Action!

I spent all day on Monday trying to capture the perfect action shot. Miss C jumping on a wooden bridge? A baby goat bouncing around his pen trying to get on top of his mummy? The river flowing gently over the rocks?

I was happy with the pictures I took but I didn't feel like they screamed out "action!"

Husband was standing outside when he called me to look at a huge bird sitting on top of our neighbour's house. This bird was HUGE! I thought it was a pelican but Husband, as usual, corrected me by informing me that this huge bird was a heron.

I stood with my camera waiting for him to take off and he did. He flew straight over our house and I managed to capture this action shot.

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Action!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Our First Ice-Skating Trip

On Saturday nights we have started going to the family night at the local leisure centre. It's a great deal where a family of 2 adults and their children can go to the centre and use all the facilities for 2 and a half hours for just £3.00. You can play table tennis, badminton, tennis or go to the gym. You also get access to the swimming pool, sauna and steam room. There is a soft play area for the kids and when there isn't any ice hockey on, you can go ice-skating.

As the hockey was off, we decided we'd try ice-skating for the first time as a family. Wee Z had been a few times with his kids' club but it had been years since Husband or I had been on the ice and Miss C had never been before.

We hired a skating aid for Miss C in the form of a penguin called Pippa and Wee Z got the skates that just attach on to your shoes. Husband went on the ice first and was skating quite confidently from the off. Wee Z followed and did better than I thought he was going to. Miss C was rather reluctant to go but after Husband did a lap of the rink with her in his arms, she was fine and enjoyed being pushed along on her penguin.

I got on the ice and after a few laps around the rink, holding on to the side, I felt comfortable enough to go it alone. We used to go to the ice discos when we were younger and we also had lessons when we stayed in Mexico and I remember we used to whizz around the rink, no problem. I suppose it really is just a confidence thing and with more practise, I'll get used to skating again.

We went with our friends Mummy N, Daddy J, Miss E and Wee L. Wee L and Miss C were quite happy pushing their penguins, Wee L's was called Paul, up and down the ice with just their shoes on. I think they were looking at us adults wondering what all the fuss was about. Miss E started off with the slip on skates but they kept falling off and she decided she wanted proper skates. At first she was a bit shaky but she picked it up so quickly, she was soon skating herself without any help.

Wee Z held his own aswell although he didn't brave proper skates. He fell a couple of times and I was dreading him getting annoyed or upset and going in the huff but he just got back up, brushed off the ice and carried on.

Usually ice-skating costs about £15 and that doesn't include skate hire. We had to pay a bit extra for the penguins but for the £5 we spent that night we had a fantastic time! I can't wait to go again!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekSixteen

Last Sunday, we had a house day after our fun filled weekend at the carnival. The kids didn't get to bed until almost 9pm on the Saturday night but were still up about 8am. A late night seems to take the toll on them the following day and they were happy to laze about playing games and watching a film; Monsters Vs Aliens!

On Monday, we went to the park when I finished work. We went for a long walk through the forest and then went to visit the newborn lambs and goats. Miss C loved the chickens who were wandering freely around the park.

On Tuesday, it was back to the normal routine after the Easter holidays. Wee Z went back to nursery and Miss C went back to playgroup. When they came to pick me up from work, they were both almost asleep. Wee Z didn't want to go back to nursery but once he was back he was happy to see his friends and teachers again.

On Wednesday, Wee Z went to visit "big school" as he will start primary 1 after the summer holidays. He was able to explore the primary 1 area and play with the toys. He is definitely ready for school! He can't wait to be a "Primary one boy!"

On Thursday, it was my day off. The weather wasn't looking too promising but I did manage a walk with Miss C after I dropped Wee Z off at nursery. In the afternoon we played with Happyland and Ben 10.

On Friday, Miss C was back to her ballet class after 3 weeks off. Miss C always talks about ballet and how much she can't wait to go. This week was her first week wearing her ballet shoes. Wee Z went swimming with Husband and his confidence in the water is really improving.

On Saturday, after work, it rained and it poured. It was so miserable! We stayed in and watched a programme all about how the universe works. Wee Z is fascinated with space at the moment so he watched, transfixed whilst I almost fell asleep. After dinner we went to family night at the leisure centre. We went to soft play first and met Mummy N, Daddy J, Miss E and Wee L before heading for our first visit to ice skating. Initially Miss C was a bit wary, but as soon as Husband carried her on to the ice and skated about, she was raring to go on her penguin, called Pippa. It was a lot of fun although I think I'll need a few more shots before I'm totally ice confident again!

I hope the weather improves this week as I'm fed up with all this rain! I need to re-pot my sunflower but I don't want him to get damaged in the wind! He's the longest plant I've managed to keep alive!

Silent Sunday

Friday, 20 April 2012

Funny Things My Child Says #8

One of the things I miss about life pre-children is my privacy. Read I now have NONE. Long gone are the days where I could get out of bed, turn on the shower and close the door for 5 minutes to let the bathroom get all steamy and warm and then enjoy my steam-room haven in peace. I can't even shut the door to go to the toilet by myself...if I do...they just open it!

So, now that nothing is sacred in this house, I'll share with you what happened when I took Wee Z to the toilet last night before bedtime. Wee Z went first and whilst he washed his hands, I went because, well I really needed. Without going into too much detail, this week is my week to feel a bit grumpy.

As I finished the toilet Wee Z asked, "Mummy, what is that?"

"Mummy needs this for her sore tummy."


"Because sometimes Mummies get sore tummies and it helps take the sore tummy away."

Wee Z pulls his "I'm processing this new information" face and then points and says, "Mummy, your flower is hairy! You're going to turn into a man with all that hair!"

Oh. My. God.

I'd like to point out, that during the grumpy week, the lady garden pruning is not what it usually is...Well there isn't much point is there?

Apparently though, my 4 year old thinks otherwise!

Stuff Your Ford Mummy!

Here is Miss C enjoying one of the finer cars in life at Toys R Us. This was taken last year.

Then we have Wee Z having a shot in the same car a few weeks ago, again in Toys R Us. He said to us, "I'm going to have a big one of these when I'm older!"

Seems they share a good taste in cars then?!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Family Day Out to the Carnival

I love going to the carnival. We used to go to the shows near our apartment in Mexico quite a lot and we were lucky enough to visit Disneyland and Universal Studios when we went to America. I'm not keen on rides that have vertical drops or black holes but straight forward rollercoasters I can deal with. My favourite ride at the carnival has to be the waltzers. When my Sister and I used to go on them we'd be shouting faster, faster as the ride attendant would come around spinning the waltzers.

There aren't many theme parks near us that we can take the kids too which is a shame because they are a great day out. I'd love to take them to Alton Towers or Chessington or Peppa Pig World but they are just too faraway and for the cost to get into these parks, I think I'll wait until they are old enough to really enjoy the rides.

On Saturday we went to the local carnival. It comes to town once a year, around the Easter holidays and although it isn't a patch on Alton Towers, it is fun to go and it gets the kids used to going on the rides and the noise. Gosh it is noisy! The music is so loud, you can't hear yourself think!

Miss C was too young last year to really appreciate the carnival so this year she was really excited. As soon as we got in though, it was a different story. Miss C didn't want to go on anything and just wanted her Daddy.

Wee Z was a lot more keen and went on the swings, the dragon mini-coaster and braved the ghost train with Husband. Apparently it wasn't very scary but I wasn't going on to see for myself. I don't like not knowing what is going to happen when I go on a ride.

Miss C eventually agreed to try the mini-coaster with Husband and as soon as it set off she was crying. Husband hugged her and reassured her and by the time she got off she was ready to conquer the rest of the carnival. She was on the cars, the merry-go-round and the helter skelter slide.

The carnival is quite expensive for what is there. I think we were about £30 which got us 24 ride tokens and our entry but for once a year, it is a fun day out!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

What's For Dinner Mummy? #10

When we were younger, Mexican night in our house consisted of enchiladas with rice and homemade guacamole. I love enchiladas and I used to make them all the time for Husband and I pre-children. I used an Old El Paso cooking sauce and when I found out it was going to be discontinued, I was gutted. I really hate when that happens! The same thing happened when I was pregnant with Miss C and Bassetts Dessert Allsorts were stopped just as I had a huge craving for them!

Last week I was walking up the spice and sauce aisle at the supermarket and what should I find sitting on the shelves beside all the fajita making kits? The Old El Paso enchilada sauce! I was thrilled! Husband was thrilled!

I bought some chicken breasts, sliced them and fried them before adding in the cooking sauce. Enchiladas are usually made by filling the tortilla with the meat and sauce and then covering them in cheese sauce and cooking them in the oven but I prefer mine without the cheese sauce. They are yummy on their own and the sauce isn't too spicy.

Mexican night wouldn't be the same without nachos. I like my nachos with just melted cheese but Husband likes his with plenty of salsa and cheese. They are really easy to make too but I'd recommend the Old El Paso nachochips instead of tortilla chips. In an oven proof dish, Husband layered his nachochips with salsa and a cheese mix of grated mozzarella and cheddar. He then added pieces of fresh mozzarella to make it really cheesy. The dish goes in the oven for about 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden.

I was in Mexican food heaven as the enchiladas were just as good as we remembered! Miss C loved dipping her nachos in the enchilada sauce!

For dessert we had some brownies, ice cream and strawberries. Not Mexican, but delicious!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Happy 1st Birthday Miss Baby K

This time last year, Miss Baby K decided she'd make her appearance, one day before her due date. I remember my sister texting me to tell me she thought she was having contractions and whilst we were at the carnival, she text me to tell me she was going into hospital. That was about 3pm and then we heard nothing until I got a picture message of a brand new bundle of baby from my Sister at around 10:30pm.

The last year has flown by and today, Miss Baby K is 1. She had a birthday party on Saturday at her Nana's house and I hear she had a great day.

Miss Baby K turning 1 made me think about my own little babies turning 1.

On Wee Z's first birthday, we had 2 small parties for him with various family members and friends. On the Saturday before his birthday my Dad, Grandma and younger Sister came to visit. The sun was splitting the sky and it was a really lovely day. We had a picnic in the garden and my Sister helped Wee Z play with his new toys.

On the Sunday it was Wee Z's first birthday and we'd arranged a party for him in the house. My Mum and Sister travelled up to spend the week with us so arrived just as the party was starting. There weren't many kids there, maybe one other baby and then 2 older children, but Wee Z still had fun. The weather wasn't as nice as the previous day but the rain held off long enough for us to sing Happy Birthday and enjoy some cake outside.

When Miss C turned 1, it was a Friday. We were going to have a house party for both Miss C and Wee Z on the Saturday so on Miss C's birthday we had a little fairy cake with a candle in it and a trip to the park. On the Saturday, my family and Husband's family came over as well as all of our friends. We borrowed our next door neighbour's trampoline for all the kids at the party to use and thankfully, the weather stayed nice for us.

The most exciting part about them turning 1 was looking forward to all the new milestones. Walking, talking and becoming a toddler; these are all the milestones that Miss Baby K and her parents have to look forward to over the next year!

Happy birthday to my gorgeous niece xx

Monday, 16 April 2012

Little Charley Bear's Grand Day Out

Are you there Charley Bear?

He is so cuddly Mummy!

Miss C received her own Little Charley Bear Fun Sounds to review this week and we decided we'd give him a proper road test by taking him on a Grand Day Out.

It was Friday and Miss C and Little Charley Bear decided they would go with Mummy to do the shopping. Little Charley Bear was very excited to go to the shops as he loves an adventure.

Charley Bear hold the nanas!

He helped Miss C carry the bananas. They smelled lovely!

Up and down the aisles, Miss C and Little Charley Bear sat together watching Mummy's trolley pile high with lots of yummy goodies and boring cleaning products. The best part of going shopping was sharing the freshly baked baguette.

Charley Bear want some bread Mummy?

Once Mummy had finished her shopping, Miss C and Little Charley Bear came home for some lunch. They had some more of the baguette with cheese and ham.

You will eat this ham!!

Then it was time to go for a walk into town. Little Charley Bear made sure he got the best spot in the buggy so he could enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.

Don't mind if I do...

Little Charley Bear loved the town and was excited to see some of his friends!

Mummy!! It's a little Charley Bear! Why doesn't he talk?

When Miss C and Little Charley Bear came home they played together on the trampoline. Little Charley Bear had lots of fun flying high up in the air and back down again. When it got too cold to play outside, Little Charley Bear and Miss C cuddled on the couch and watched a film together.

After dinner, Little Charley Bear watched the bath time fun because he didn't want to get his lovely soft fur wet or ruin his voice box.

I'll just watch, thank you!

Miss C and Little Charley Bear read a book together but Little Charley Bear was so tired, he crawled into Mummy's bed and fell asleep. What a Grand Day Out Little Charley Bear had.

Little Charley Bear Fun Sounds is suitable for ages 2+ and encourages imaginative play and sound recognition. He talks and makes sounds when you squeeze his tummy, which is easily done by small hands. He is soft and cuddly, has no small pieces that can be swallowed or lost and, always a bonus, he comes with batteries!

Disclosure - We received this toy for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekFifteen

It was Easter Sunday last week and we spent a relaxing day at home as Miss C and I were feeling under the weather. I prepared an Easter Egg hunt for them which they really enjoyed, especially when they got to eat some of the chocolate eggs they had found.

On Monday, it was my first day back to work after a week off. I had been dreading going back but it wasn't too bad. Wee Z's God Mummy came to visit again so they played Hangman and we all chuckled at Wee Z telling the Sky man how to work the TV.

On Tuesday, we had a short visit with Mama N and Wee J before we took the kids to the Doctor. Miss C still wasn't herself, not eating much and very pale and tired looking whilst Wee Z seemed to be peeing a lot. The Doctor was really good with them both. Wee Z got the all clear and Miss C was given some special juice to rehydrate her.

On Wednesday, it was a nice enough day that the kids were able to play outside. Although it is still cold, the weather has been decent enough that we aren't stuck indoors all day, which is especially important when it's the holidays!

On Thursday, Wee Z went to his kids club whilst Husband and Miss C went swimming with Mummy N and Wee L and another mummy and her little boy. I was, sadly, working! I'm told Miss C had a great time and had Husband up and down the slide whilst Wee Z did some Easter crafts and went ice skating at his club with Miss E.

On Friday, it was my day off so we celebrated with a lie in. A lie in on a Friday is a luxury as usually my alarm still goes off at 7am so I can get Wee Z ready for nursery. For these days alone, I love the holidays! I went to get my shopping and then Husband took Wee Z and his friend from next door swimming.

On Saturday, the sun was shining and we had already arranged to go to the carnival with Mummy N, Daddy J, Miss E and Wee L. We went with them last year and had a lot of fun...maybe it will become our annual tradition. The kids loved the rides and were ready for sleeping by the time we left. We came home for dinner and then headed to the family night at the leisure centre to enjoy soft play and swimming.

We slept well last night!

Silent Sunday

Friday, 13 April 2012

Why I Hate Friday 13th

I'm not a suspicious person so my reasons for hating Friday 13th aren't because I'm worried about something happening to me if I walk under a ladder or my black cat walks across my path today.

I hate Friday 13th because my Gran died on Friday 13th.

Today is even more significant because my Gran died on Friday 13th April 2001. Exactly 11 years ago.

On that very day in 2001 it was Good Friday but for us there was nothing good about it at all. We were already in Edinburgh, where my Gran stayed and if I remember rightly we'd been there since Thursday 12th when my Mum drove us up to see her in hospital.

We had stayed in the hospital family room that night which was probably because the Doctors knew my Gran could pass at anytime. I don't think my Mum slept much that night.

My Gran died in the early evening on Friday 13th and the worse bit about it is we'd gone back to her house. I don't know why we left but I'm sure it was because the Doctor thought we should get out and have a rest at home. We were having dinner when my Mum got the call to say it was time and I remember her saying, "We need to go NOW!"

We didn't get there on time. Apparently we were late by minutes.

My Gran was on a morphine drip and they'd increased it to the point where she wouldn't have known who was there or where she was but I still think about how she was alone when she passed away.

When my Grandad died, I was about 3 years old, and my Gran, I think, died a little bit on the inside. They had been together for so long that I don't think she ever really got over the fact that he had passed away.

Gran always said 13 was her lucky number so whilst it brings back sad memories of the day my Gran left us, Friday 13th was the day my Gran was free to be with my Grandad again, somewhere out there.

I'll say a little prayer tonight. I don't know if she'll hear me but I like to think she's in the stars watching over us.

Beautiful Books For Spring

Miss C loves big, colourful picture books especially when the stories are about animals. We received two books to review that fit the bill perfectly.

Time for Tea Polly Wally is the story of a very cute little blue bird who is really, really hungry. Polly Wally goes on a hunt for something yummy to eat, meeting lots of other animals along the way. Polly Wally meets a zebra who likes to eat sweet green grass but when Polly Wally tries some she thinks it tastes YUK! This book is a great toddler book with lots of bright pictures and a surprise lift the flap page at the end of the book where we find out what Polly Wally really likes to eat.

Miss C loved turning the pages to see what animal Polly Wally would meet next!
Her favourite was Eleanor Elephant and her tasty fruit and vegetables.

Time for Tea Polly Wally is written by Kali Stileman and will be published on 26th April 2012 by Red Fox Picture Books as a paperback for £5.99

Odd Dog is another great toddler book. The pictures are lovely pastel colours so this book is perfect for bedtime reading to relax over-excited minds. Helmut, the dog, loves to eat apples. He loves them so much he doesn't want to share them with anyone, especially his next-door neighbour Igor, who he thinks might be trying to steal his apples from the apple tree in his garden. Every day he counts the apples on his tree to make sure none of them have gone missing. One day, when one of the apples falls into Igor's garden, Helmut get a big surprise!

Miss C loved helping Helmut count his apples up and this book tells a lovely story of how you can make friends with someone who you least expected too.

Odd Dog is written by Claudia Boldt and will be published on 3rd May 2012 by Johnathan Cape as a paperback priced at £5.99

We received these 2 books for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Miss C and Her Bug

Miss C hasn't been feeling herself since last Friday. It started with the poo explosion in the early hours of Friday morning and carried on over the Easter weekend.

On Friday afternoon, she fell asleep wrapped up in her Peppa Pig blanket. Her face was so pale and the sparkle in her eyes was gone.

She wouldn't eat much, not even the chocolate Easter egg we gave her. I found the piece she had in amongst Wee Z's toys in his room, barely touched.

On Sunday, Husband was up to her three times to change her because she still had an upset tummy. Thankfully she hadn't been sick as we don't really cope well with sickness but all this poo was really taking it out of her.

It was all change on Monday as Miss C projectile vomited all over the kitchen, missing Wee Z by inches. Poor Wee Z was screaming because he'd gotten such a fright and Miss C just cried because she was covered in sick.

Husband made an emergency appointment for Miss C on Tuesday as soon as the Doctor surgery was open again. I know there isn't much they can do with these sort of bugs but I was concerned about Miss C being dehydrated as she wasn't really drinking much. The Doctor checked her over and was happy that she wasn't too dehydrated but did prescribe some medicine for her to take to rehydrate her.

Miss C seems to have perked up a lot since yesterday and her upset tummy seems to have gone. You can definitely tell the sparkle is back, thank goodness! We'd missed it!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Gallery - Easter

We spent a quiet Easter Sunday at home as Miss C still wasn't herself after her poo explosion and I had started to feel under the weather too. When we woke up the kids were able to open their Easter presents from Bella and Pops and their Papa too.

We don't buy the kids Easter gifts as they get too much from family and friends. Instead I had planned an Easter Egg hunt for them. I placed my paper eggs all over the house and guided the kids with clues to find each egg. After they found all the eggs, they were given a clue to find their surprise. Their surprise was a small chocolate egg from Husband and I.

The kids loved running around trying to find the Easter Eggs and Wee Z was excited to read each clue out. I think I'll need to make more eggs next year as this hunt only lasted 10 minutes.

I think they were pleased with their surprise!

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Easter.

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