Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekThirtyNine

Last Sunday, we took a drive to Loch Lomond in Scotland to visit the beautiful Cameron House. Our friends have a lodge there and they invited us to spend the day with them. We arrived at 11am and we went swimming. Wee Z loved the flume and showed off his swimming skills. I enjoyed the Jacuzzi and sauna. We had lunch and then went for a walk around the resort. It was really beautiful and a lovely sunny day.

On Monday, Wee Z was still off school for the September weekend. It was a miserable day. We ended up having a house day, playing games and watching TV together.

On Tuesday, well the weather didn't improve much. On the way home from dropping Wee Z off at school, I had to run with Miss C in her buggy as massive droplets of rain descended on us. I was pretty wet by the time we got home and my hair was plastered to my face. In the afternoon, Miss C and I did some jigsaws and watched Beauty and the Beast together.

On Wednesday, the weather perked up. Miss C went to toddlers with Mummy N and Wee L. She came home looking exhausted. In the afternoon we went to the park to feed the ducks and play on the slide. When we picked Wee Z up, Miss C was in grumpy mode and cried alot. She was in and out of her buggy, refusing to walk was quite tiring. She cheered up when Mummy N brought her some homemade soup but went mad when I opened a sausage snack up for her. It's days like these that I'm glad I can escape to work for a few hours!

On Thursday, I picked Miss C up from nursery early as she had her appointment to have her booster jags. It was pretty horrible. You never like to hear your children crying with pain. Once the torture to both Miss C and I was over, we went to Greggs to get a sausage roll and a yum-yum for lunch. We met Mummy N and Wee L in town and all walked back to school to get Wee Z and Miss E.

On Friday, Miss C didn't want to go to ballet. Husband took her and she cried a lot. Usually she loves ballet, so I don't know what was up with her. Perhaps her jags were making her feel rather under the weather. Wee Z went to his club after dinner. He goes with Miss C's God Father's daughter, who is a few years older than him and they get on great together. Her mum picked them both up and took them for chips which Wee Z was delighted about.

On Saturday, I took Miss C, Wee Z and Miss E to a birthday party. It was a fancy dress party for one of the kids from school. It was great to see Wee Z and Miss E with their new classmates and they all had a great time. Wee Z's thrill of the day was having his photo taken with a giant "E". This boy does love his letters! Once the kids were in bed, Husband and I sat down to watch Xfactor. I think this year will be even better than last year and I think Tulisa could win again!

SIlent Sunday

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Dreaded Boosters

One of the things I didn't look forward to when the kids were babies was taking them for their jags. The 2 month one with Wee Z; I don't think I went to be honest. I couldn't face it. Husband was with me for every other jag. I made him hold the kids so that I could take them and cuddle them once it was all over. Good cop, bad cop!

It was even worse when we found out the kids would have to have the swine flu jag. Wee Z was 2 and a half at the time and he screamed when he had it done. Miss C didn't really bother much.

I'd been wondering when Miss C was going to get her pre-school jags for awhile and had given up on getting a letter when, low and behold, I got her appointment letter. The 27th September. Yesterday.

Her appointment was straight after nursery so I picked her up a bit early so we could walk to the Doctor Surgery. We ran into Mummy N who told Miss C she had to be brave and gave her a penny to buy a cake to make her feel better.

Miss C was in good spirits when she arrived at the Doctors. They were running late with their appointments so Miss C started to get bored. She kept saying hurry up doctor! She was going to regret saying that when she got in the room.

When they called her in, she ran over to them and was chatting and looking around at all the toys. She came and sat on my knee and the lady asked me to cuddle her into me. I had to hold her arm down and hold her leg against me. I told Miss C to cuddle me tight and to close her eyes, which she did. I felt horrible telling her to do this.

I couldn't watch as the lady put the needle in her little arm. Miss C started howling. Really howling. It was horrible. I turned her around quickly so the lady could give her her second jag as quickly as possible. It was somewhat distressing having the lady tell me to "really hold her arm and leg down as she might fight!" The second jag was even worse and Miss C was hysterical. I turned her to face me and hugged her so tight to try and comfort her.

She wasn't interested in the stickers or the certificate she got for being brave. If she could, I think she would have told the lady where to stick her stickers. She was still crying as we went into the waiting room. The room where the other children were waiting to go in to get their jags. I could see little faces looking over with curiosity. I could see grown-up faces wincing!

Miss C eventually calmed down but wouldn't let me touch her arms. I decided to go to Greggs to get some lunch and that made her perk up. We sat on some benches in town eating our lunch and watching the people walking passed. With her penny from Mummy N, she bought a yum-yum.

By the time Husband came home from work, she was proudly showing off her plasters. She was fine. I'm sure these jags are the best thing to help prevent MMR etc but it really is quite stressful and upsetting for the kids and the parents. Thankfully, that's the jags over until they are teens!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Funny Things My Kids Say #15

My new hours at work mean I don't get to say goodnight to Wee Z or Miss C, so I always hunt them out before I leave for work to say goodbye.

On Tuesday, as I was leaving for work, Wee Z came running up to say goodbye.

"I love you Mummy!"

"I love you too."

Miss C then came running up, gave me a cuddle and a kiss and said, "I like you Mummy!"

Nice to know I'm liked.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Our Toyologist Reviews

We have finished reviewing the 10 toys from our first Toyologist box from Toys R Us. Most of the toys are still being played with and we've had lots of fun trying them out.

The favourite toy in the box was the LeapPad2 Explorer. As soon as I knew the kids were getting one to review, I knew it would be their favourite. Wee Z loves the songs whilst Miss C has been getting to grips with tracing her letters.

We were also lucky to review a game from our favourite Orchard Toys. Rhyme Robber is a really fun game and helps your child to recognise rhyming words. It definitely matched up to our experience of other Orchard Toy games.

We were also sent some arts and crafts stuff in our box. Miss C's favourite (and mine too!) was the Melissa and Doug Paint With Water pad. She loves to paint and this pad allowed her to do that without the need for lots of paint trays, colours, brushes and water. Oh and overalls and aprons.

I tried my hand at some face-painting with the Snazaroo face-paints. I'll just say face-painting is a lot harder than it looks!

We'll be receiving our next box soon and I'm excited to see what will be inside. And, of course, there are 23 other Toyologists testing out lots of toys, so if you're looking for Christmas or birthday inspiration, read their reviews too!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Loch Lomond in Pictures

A Day Trip to Loch Lomond

Scotland is fantastic for sight-seeing and gorgeous places to visit. We've been to Aviemore and Arran with the kids and on Sunday we went to Loch Lomond to visit friends at Cameron House.

Loch Lomond is about 15 minutes outside of Glasgow, and as you drive into Loch Lomond, it is hard to believe that such beauty, greenery and peace exists just 15 minutes from the bustling city centre.

Cameron House sits right in front of the Loch. It is pretty impressive as you drive through the grounds of the hotel. It was also a beautiful sunny day so the water was shimmering in the sunlight, making it even more beautiful.

We arrived at our friends' lodge which was quite spectacular in itself. Miss C was rather confused by it as the lodges are upside down houses. Downstairs is where the bedrooms are whilst upstairs is an open-plan kitchen, dinning and living room. Patio doors open out on to a balcony with the most stunning view of a 9-hole golf course. Husband's favourite part of the lodge was the built-in sauna!

We went swimming before we had lunch. The swimming pool is located inside the hotel so we were able to sneak a peek at the hotel. It was lovely inside although quite dark due to the grey decor. It felt quite wintry but in a cosy, snuggle by the fire way. We passed a little shop called The Wee Shop which was filled with loads of little gifts and pretty things.

The swimming pool was great. Wee Z was up and down the flume loads, whilst Miss C and I did some swimming. Husband and I took it in turns to enjoy the Jacuzzi and the sauna.

After swimming, we headed back to the lodge to have some lunch. We had some homemade lentil soup, crusty bread and mini sausage rolls. After lunch, we went for a walk around the resort and nosed at some of the other lodges. Husband and I were very tempted to buy one for ourselves! Wee Z and Miss C had fun running around, talking to the geese and finding all the lodge numbers.

We left our friends around 4:30 and we were all asleep in the car (apart from Husband of course...he was driving!) within 10 minutes.

It's lovely to find somewhere so beautiful without having to go to far.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekThirtyEight

Last Sunday, I went for a run in the rain. It was good and I felt like I ran faster and it felt easier. After my run and a much needed shower, we went to Miss E and Wee L's birthday party. It was lots of fun. There was a bouncy castle, games, a conga line and party food. In the afternoon, we played some games and had a "house day" as it was raining quite heavily.

On Monday, Miss C and I did some baking. We made fruit scones. Miss C is an excellent kitchen helper - she even cleaned up afterwards with a sponge and some washing-up liquid. In the afternoon, we lay in my bed with her animals and an aeroplane and recreated Madgascar 2. The rain persisted until we had to go and pick Wee Z up from school. By some miracle, the rain stopped just long enough for us to walk there and back home. As soon as we walked through the door, the rain it did a pour some more. Poor Husband was soaked when he got home on his bike.

On Tuesday, Miss C and I went for a big walk along the country roads. It's a lovely walk that we went on with Mummy N and Wee L a few weeks ago and with Husband and Wee Z last weekend. There are lots of hills, so I get a good workout doing the walk. Miss C had fun jumping in the puddles and searching for berries.

On Wednesday, Miss C and I went into town to get a few bits and we had a treat from Greggs too. We walked home via the park to feed the ducks and there was one particularly greedy one who ate all the bread by catching it in his mouth! The seagulls didn't even get a look in with him around.

On Thursday, Miss C went to nursery in the morning and it was my day off so I had some time to catch up with my TV shows. I've been loving Hollyoaks Later! In the afternoon, Miss C and I went to the local toddler group and met Mummy N and Wee L there. It rained all day, so after picking Wee Z up, we came home and had a bath before ordering in some Chinese food for dinner.

On Friday, Wee Z was off school for the September weekend in Scotland. After lunch, we decided to go to the park as it was a lovely sunny day. I wore my running clothes so I could go for a run through the park whilst Daddy took the kids exploring. I met them at the play park and we went to see the animals. When we got home, we all had very sore legs so we jumped in a bath before having pizza for dinner.

On Saturday, after work, we went to town to buy Wee Z a school jacket. We were also looking for some Christmas present inspiration for friends and family, but we didn't find anything. We really need to get a move on as I've usually got most of the presents by now!

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Breakfast #TheGallery

Breakfast can be rather chaotic in our house. Miss C doesn't eat a lot for breakfast and it can be a bit of a struggle to get her to eat even half a weetabix. She also takes ages, so something that should really take no more than 20 minutes can take almost an hour.

Wee Z could easily eat breakfast all day if we let him. He'll devour 3 full bowls of cereal and 2 yogurts and still says he is hungry. I wish I had his metabolism.

Breakfast may be chaotic but at least it isn't as messy as it used to be when the kids were babies. I used to hate giving them weetabix when they were weaning as it used to go everywhere. In their hair, in their ears and just about everywhere else you could think of. Places you wouldn't expect it to go. And then it would mush into their sleepsuits and your clothes...ugh it was awful.

Here is Miss C at 7 months old proving just how messy breakfast can be!

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

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The First Karate Competition

Wee Z had his first karate competition on Saturday. It was just an in-house competition for his class but it was a good learning experience for Wee Z.

Husband and I went to watch him along with Miss C, his Papa and his Uncle. We got seats right infront of his area so we could watch him up close and give him plenty of encouragement.

It was all quite official looking. Lots of refs in black suits, judges in black suits and seas of white karate suits with different coloured belts. There were 5 fighting areas and the kids were divided up in to height and ability categories.

Wee Z was in a smaller group and each of the boys had 2 fights. I was filming Wee Z's first fight so I didn't really see what was happening but he got a few points and made good contact punches and kicks on his opponent. There was a Doctor on hand but they were that young in his category, they weren't going at it like some of the older kids. He lost his first fight by one point and I was so proud that he didn't cry because he had lost or because he had been hit. He just took it on the chin and got on with it.

On his second match, he managed to get a good kick in and won his fight. We were cheering so loudly for him, but again, he just smiled and walked off to sit on the benches and chat to his chums.

At the end of the matches, the kids all got medals for taking part and the winners in each category were given a trophy. Wee Z was very chuffed with his medal.

It was a really fun and exciting day and I wasn't nervous at all about watching him fight. I can't wait for the next one! Wee Z can't wait either, as he says he going to win the next one!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Funny Things My Child Says #14

A conversation I had with Wee Z on Saturday night as we were getting ready for bed:

"Mummy, can sudocrem be used for lots of things?"


"Can it be used for spots?"

"Yes I suppose it can."

"Even really sore, itchy-looking spots?"

"Yes, especially those ones."

"Do you not think you should use some on your face then Mummy?!"

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekThirtySeven

Last Sunday, I woke up feeling not too bad. Surprisingly. I thought I would feel rough as after all the cocktails and shots the night before, but I was OK. I didn't go for a run right enough, but in the afternoon, we went for a big walk up the country roads. Husband was pointing out all the plants and berries to the kids as I'm not so clued up on nature things. We were knackered by the time we got home for our roast chicken dinner.

On Monday, it was back to school for Wee Z. Miss C and I came home and went back to bed for awhile. I think my Sunday morning hangover had held off til Monday! In the afternoon, Miss C and I did some painting.

On Tuesday, Miss C and I played some games, including Peppa Pig snakes and ladders that we were testing for Toys R Us. Miss C won! In the afternoon, we took a walk to the shop to get some milk before picking Wee Z up from school.

On Wednesday, Mummy N kindly took Miss C to the toddler group with Wee L. It was Wee L's birthday, so he had some of his friends there with him and they all had a picnic together. When Miss C came home, I promised I'd take her to the park. As we left it was dry but as soon as I got halfway down the road, the heavens opened. Miss C stayed dry under her rain cover whilst I tried to keep dry under a bus shelter. Thankfully, the shower soon went off and we continued our walk to the park to feed the ducks. They didn't mind the rain when they saw Miss C had some bread for them!

On Thursday, Miss C took a fall on the way to nursery. She grazed her knee and bumped her head but still insisted on going to nursery. Her teacher cleaned her up and she got a big plaster for her knee. I enjoyed some peace in the afternoon before picking both kids up.

On Friday, I dropped Miss C off at ballet and then went for a run. Husband picked Miss C up, who was very upset. I think her week was catching up on her, especially her afternoons at nursery. Thankfully, we have managed to get her changed to 2 mornings a week, which is much easier for all of us. Wee Z went to the Friday club at school with some of his friends. They had a crafts session, games session and then some bouncy castle time. He came home at 7.30pm, well and truly ready for bed.

On Saturday, Wee Z had his first karate competition. It was a lot of fun and he did a great job. I spent the afternoon making cupcakes for Miss E and Wee L's birthday party and had a disaster when my piping tool broke. We enjoyed a yummy steak pie dinner and then watched Alice and Wonderland. I was so full and so tired, I fell asleep whilst the kids and Husband watched the film.

Silent Sunday

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

In the Box

That's where you'll find Miss C...

Funny how they can have all the toys under the sun to play with and where do they have the most fun?

In the box!

Beauty #TheGallery

I thought I'd share some of my favourite nature shots as nature, in my eyes, is beauty. I love the colours and the smells of each season. I love seeing flowers blooming and fruits and berries growing on trees.


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

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Grand Opening of THE Box

Here's a sneak peek at some of the toys we'll be reviewing as Toyologists for Toys R Us...

Our first review is now live on the Toys R Us blog - The LeapPad2 Explorer

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekThirtySix

Last Sunday, I went for a run whilst the kids curled up on the couch with their Daddy and watched Mr Popper's Penguins. In the afternoon, we took a walk into town to go to the park with friends. It started off really grey and miserable but by lunch time, it was roasting! Could summer finally be on it's way?

On Monday, it was Wee Z's first full day at school. It was strange not having to go and pick him up at 12pm but Miss C and I had a lovely day together, playing with her animals and then going to the park to feed the ducks. A lovely man stopped his car and handed us 2 loaves of bread to give to the ducks, so we were there for quite awhile. Again, the sun was beaming and it was really lovely and warm.

On Tuesday, Miss C and I spent the morning playing together in her kitchen and doing jigsaws together. It was a really windy yet sunny day...a perfect washing day and I took advantage of it by washing my curtains. I can't remember the last time I washed them. In the afternoon, we met up with Mummy N and Wee L and we went for a big walk up the country roads before picking up Wee Z and Miss E from school.

On Wednesday, Miss C and I took a walk to the shops and then went to the park. Miss C brought a few of her toy animals with her too. She had them up and down the slide, on the roundabout and even sitting watching the ducks. It started to cloud over so we headed to school to pick up Wee Z.

On Thursday, Miss C and I spent the morning playing a new game my FIL had bought for the kids. After lunch, I took Miss C to nursery and had a few hours to myself until I had to pick them both up. It was lovely to enjoy some peace and quiet...and a hot cup of tea.

On Friday, Wee L came for lunch with Miss C. They were funny to watch, sitting together at the table eating their baguettes, having a little conversation. I dropped Miss C off at nursery and Wee L back with Mummy N and then collected Husband from work. It was strange to go to the shops together without Wee Z and Miss C. After picking the kids up, I took Miss C to ballet and went for a run. We received our first Toys R Us Toyologist box, which the kids were really excited about. They dove straight in the box, wanting to play with everything. I think I'll have to work out a plan of action for the reviews, as I want to make sure we give each toy a good testing!

On Saturday, I was working in the morning but in the afternoon, the kids and I cleared out their hut. It was full of toys they don't play with anymore and because the roof of the hut is damaged, they were damp and grubby, so they went straight in the bin. After dinner, Husband took the kids swimming whilst I got ready for a cocktail party at a friend's house. There were plenty of cocktails, strawberries dipped in chocolate and drinking games. It was a great night!

Silent Sunday

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Whilst the Kids were Away...

...Mummy enjoyed a hot cup of tea, 2 hot slices of toast and the remote control to watch something other than Cbeebies or Disney Junior.


Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Back To School #TheGallery

Back to school seems like old ground now my 2 have been at nursery and school for 3 weeks. However, down south, some parents are just experiencing first days of school and on Monday, a lot of parents started the school run again.

It's an exciting time! Back to some sort of routine which makes life a bit easier. Don't get me wrong, I miss having Wee Z with us during the day and I don't know what I'll do when Miss C goes to nursery on Thursday and I'm left myself...

Maybe I'll blog.

Or watch TV.

It's good for them though and they both enjoy going to nursery and school. They are learning, growing and making new friends.

That's what Back to School is all about.

Oh and how cute they look in their uniforms.

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Back to School.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Some Exciting TRU News

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post that was our entry to the Toys R Us Toyolgist search. Over the last few years, Toys R Us (TRU) have involved families in their toy testing programme and every year we have applied to take part with no success. I wasn't feeling particularly confident with our entry and when I saw that over 800 families had applied, I didn't think we stood a chance.

A week ago on Friday, I got a phone call on my mobile from a number I didn't know. I almost didn't answer it, like I normally do, but for some reason, that day, I decided to answer my phone.

It was a call to say that we had been chosen to join the TRU Toyologist Team! I couldn't believe it! I must not have sounded very excited to the person calling me but that was only because I was in shock. There were only 24 places and out of 800 applications, we were chosen!

The kids and I are super excited to start toy testing. Of course the free toys are a huge attraction to the Toylogist programme but I'm also excited to read other reviews and get some inspiration for Christmas.

Keep an eye out for our reviews! I hope you will find them useful! Is there anything you like to see in reviews? Anything you don't like? Let me know by leaving a comment. We really want to do our best.

And thank you again to Geoffrey and his team for choosing us!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Sunday Round-Up #WeekThirtyFive

Last Sunday, it was time for Bello to fly back down south. We were all sorry to see him leave but happy to have spent a few days with him. Husband took him to the airport whilst we went to visit Mama N, Wee J and his baby sister. We then took a walk to the park where we got to hold some gorgeous owls. Miss C almost made off with one of them. We went out for dinner to celebrate Husband starting a new shift at work which means we'll get to see him more at the weekends.

On Monday, Husband started his new shift which meant I started my new shift. My new shift allows me to take Wee Z to school and gives me time with Miss C in the mornings. We spent our morning stuck indoors because it was pouring with rain and luckily, Mummy N was on hand to pick Wee Z up from school. We invited Miss E and Wee L for lunch and spent the afternoon playing.

On Tuesday, it was a bit brighter but really windy. I got blown to school to pick Wee Z up! We spent the afternoon designing some bandannas as part of a parcel Persil sent to us. Miss C decided to go with a Peppa Pig theme whilst Wee Z went guessed it...numbers and letters. They then put on a rock performance for me with their toy guitar and some drumsticks that were included in the Persil Mosh and Wash pack. My head was thumping after it but the kids had fun.

On Wednesday, Mummy N kindly took Miss C to a toddler group with Wee L which gave me time to get on with my housework in peace. Miss C loves Mummy N; she's her God Mummy and they have a nickname for each other which is really sweet to hear Miss C shouting. She had a great time and I'm told she was very well behaved. After we picked Wee Z up and had lunch, we decided to go to the park. Miss C was hoping the owls would be there again, but sadly, they were not. We played in the park and got very muddy before I had to go to work.

On Thursday, Miss C and I spent the morning in bed watching Pingu. My Sister and I used to love watching Pingu at my Gran's house. My poor Gran must  have been demented watching the noisy, naughty penguin over and over again. I took Miss C to nursery after I collected Wee Z from school. Wee Z and I spent an hour doing some maths in his workbook before we had to go and collect Miss C. I'll be glad when Wee Z starts his full school day as I was ready for a big sleep after all that walking!

On Friday, I went for a run after dropping Miss C off at ballet and Husband took Wee Z swimming. I don't track my run, but I must have run for about a mile and a bit. I didn't stop once. I was so pleased with myself! When I got home, my feet were tingling and my legs were burning so I lay on the couch for awhile. I felt good though!

On Saturday, I spent the morning preparing my chicken tikka curry for our dinner party. Not a repeat of Come Dine With Me, just a casual night with our neighbours. In the afternoon, we walked in to town and had a browse around the food market that had come to town. The smells were amazing and Miss C enjoyed eating some authentic paella. It was really tasty. We also treated ourselves to some fudge and a big chocolate, marshmallow and fudge lolly for the kids to share. They loved it!

Silent Sunday

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