Friday, 31 January 2014

Flashback Friday - A Sibling Bond Begins

Around about the time Miss C started to use her Bumbo, Wee Z became more interested in his sister. She was no longer this small baby that did nothing but cry, eat or sleep. She was interested in him and watched him a lot and Wee Z loved to show off to her.

I remember Miss C sitting in her high chair with the table on and Wee Z started banging the table. Miss C found it hysterical. I filmed them on my camera phone. It was so funny to watch.

Wee Z loved to help Miss C play with her toys, especially her play gym. He would lie under it with her and bat the toys to show her what to do. She would roll on to her side and then on to her front and lie beside him, staring at him and then talking to him as only babies can do. Wee Z would stroke her face and talk back to her and she'd smile and laugh at him. It was so lovely to watch.

It's so nice to look back at the two of them starting their sibling bond. Nowadays, they mostly argue. Wee Z will try to boss Miss C around and Miss C will just shout at him cause she's so stubborn. There are times though, when they do just sit together and play nicely and I'm taken back to those days when Wee Z was 2 and Miss C was 7 months old.

Ways to Save Time and Money

As a parent, I feel like I'm constantly on the go. I have so many things to do in a day at home as well as working part time. There are school runs, nursery runs, washings, preparing meals...the list is endless. If I can find ways to save myself some time, I'm all over it.

Every night I make sure the clothes are ready for the next day. Wee Z is pretty good at getting himself organised but Miss C still needs her clothes laid out for her so that she can put them on herself. I check Wee Z's school bag is ready for the next day. I'll put a washing on so that I can hang it out first thing in the morning. I set the table for breakfast.

What I'd find really handy is something that I could use to turn on the coffee maker for me first thing in the morning, whilst I was still in bed. That way it would be ready for me as soon as I came down the stairs. What a time-saver that would be! Or maybe something that would turn the shower on for me. That way, I could jump out from under my cosy duvet and into a hot shower without getting too cold.

OK, so there aren't any apps for that however, The Hive is a fantastic app that allows you to control your central heating from your phone or tablet. Right now we have our heating on all the time on a lower setting so the house is never cold and the heating system isn't having to work too hard to heat the house up. When it gets to March/April time, I tend to have the heating off during the night and time it to come on in the morning. It then goes off until tea time. But there are times where I've forgotten to turn it off or set the timer. This is where The Hive comes in handy!

The Hive app means you can control your heating temperature, turn your heating on or off, set your heating to a timer and, if you have a hot water tank, you can time it to come on. This saves you waiting for the house to heat up when you get home and it saves you money by only being on when you need it. There is also a frost protection option that means your pipes are protected from frosty conditions that could lead to expensive repairs.

If it saves me money and time, I'm all for it. Now to come up with an app for my coffee! What ways do you find to save yourself some time and some money?

Featured post

Me & Mine #3

Taken on 1st January 2014

Normally I totally forget to take a photo of all of us for Me & Mine and I can't join in. Not this month, no. I've had my photo ready since the beginning of the month. Go me!

I'd been working on 1st January and I felt awful. I'd been feeling unwell since the Saturday after Christmas. A sore stomach and a sore head. It was horrid. I was in bed most nights before the kids. That night, Wee Z asked if he could watch one of the DVDs Santa had brought for him for Christmas; Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. We decided to watch it in our bed. It was fab being snuggled up together, enjoying the film. I had to capture the moment although, Husband took the photo with my phone as he has a steadier hand!

This month I've enjoyed getting back to normal after the festivities. I've been loving taking part in a few more photo linkys too. 

Husband celebrated his birthday this month and was delighted to find we had ordered him a PS4. He got a little merry on his birthday after 2 bottles of champagne. I let him off though! It was his birthday afterall!

Wee Z has made us super proud with a few awards from school. He got Pupil of the Week and Star Writer!

Miss C has been coming out of her shell more at nursery. We enrolled her for school for starting in August which I'm sure will be here before we know it.

dear beautiful

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Rewind #TheGallery

I have to admit, as soon as I read the theme for the Photo Gallery this week, I went all Bo! Selecta. "Can I get a rewind?!" 

Moving on.

It seems only fitting that I rewind back to the 80s, as that's as far back as I can rewind in my life, and share a photo of a baby me with my Mum.

I think this photo was taken in my Gran's garden. It must be Summer time going by the size of me, as I was an Autumn baby. I definitely see a little bit of Miss C in me in this photo. I look like I'm about to yawn! Apparently I wasn't the best sleeper at night!

Monday, 27 January 2014

What's the Story? #19

This is a photo of me, taken in my Gran's living room. I must have been about a year old here. The dog I'm sitting on was one of those dogs on wheels with the handle bar at the back to push him along. Nothing like the baby walkers we have these days!

The thing I'm really remembering in this photo though is the glass cabinet behind me. You can't see the full size of it but it was huge and filled with fragile beauties. China sets, ornaments, glasses, Swarovski animals and Faberge eggs. My Gran must have had a panic attack every time I toddled past the cabinet.

As we grew up, we became more fascinated with the contents of the cabinet. In particular we loved the Faberge eggs and when my Gran passed away, my Sister inherited a beautiful basket filled with mini Faberge eggs.

My Gran collected lots of things that weren't on display in her cabinet. She had a chest of drawers in her bedroom where two or three of the drawers were filled with jewellery. She kept them all in their original boxes. We loved sitting in her room, trying on rings and necklaces. When she passed away, I inherited some of her gold rings which I will pass on to Miss C when she's old enough to look after them.

Gran also had a cupboard filled with Hush Puppies shoes. There were other brands too but she did have quite the Hush Puppies collection. She even had a stuffed toy Hush Puppies dog that I adopted for myself. All the shoes were kept in their original boxes. There were practical loafers, smart shoes for Church and I'll never forget her red sandals.

The last thing that Gran loved to collect was salt and pepper shakers. She had loads of them and they were kept in the front room. There were animal ones, fun ones, character ones and pretty ones. I think Mum sold those or donated them to charity when Gran passed away. I remember my Sister and I broke a few and Gran was not impressed.

Pupil of the Week #MagicMoments

I am one super proud Mama of my boy! He came home with the Pupil of the Week Award from school.

He got one last year, almost to the exact same date aswell, for trying hard in all his work. This year he got it for being a good example to the class and finishing all his work on time. I couldn't be prouder.

It's such a wonderful feeling to know that, even though they drive us crazy at home sometimes, they are on their best behaviour at school and shining like the stars they are.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Week That Was #3

Last Sunday, we didn't get up until after 9am. We had the morning to ourselves until the kids came home from Gran's at 2.30pm. They had a great time which was good to hear. We had swimming lessons and both kids were moved up! After swimming, we went to our favourite Italian restaurant for our dinner. It was yummy!

On Monday, it was back to school and nursery for the kids. When I picked Miss C up from nursery, we came home and had lunch. Miss C played with her pet shop felt board whilst I had a tidy up. We picked Wee Z up from school and came home to do his homework.

On Tuesday, Miss C and I spent the afternoon tidying her book cupboard. Then I decided to count them. I counted 253 books. She does love her books though. Wee Z had his after-school club so we picked him up a bit later. Husband had taken the car to work so he could pick up our new TV so we got soaked on the walk home. It was jammies on time when we got in.

On Wednesday, Miss C and I read some stories in my bed and we both ended up falling asleep. We must have needed it! Miss C never naps. I could nap every day, quite easily. Luckily I woke in time for the school run.

On Thursday, I picked Miss C up from nursery and after lunch, we went to the shops. We were trying to find something tartan to wear for nursery but we failed. After dinner, the kids went to karate.

On Friday, Miss C and I made some sweet potato soup. It tasted yummy! Wee Z had two friends to play after school. They played Xbox, watched some TV and I made hot dogs for tea. Then they went to their Friday club and I heard they had a great time.

On Saturday, I was working. After work, the kids and I played some games together. Wee Z finished the third Harry Potter book and he couldn't wait to start the next one. We popped over to see friends after dinner as their daughter turned 13. The kids had a great time running around the house with balloons.

Silent Sunday #4

Saturday, 25 January 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 19 - 25

Day 19 - At our favourite Italian restaurant for Daddy's birthday
Day 20 - Miss C having fun with her felt pet shop
Day 21 - Miss C made a book at nursery - she wrote the word "frozen" herself!
Day 22 - Felix will sleep anywhere
Day 23 - Pop tarts...yum!
Day 24 - Porridge from breakfast to heat me up
Day 25 - Playing The Little Orchard

A Day for Hats and Squirrel Spotting #CountryKids

It was a freezing cold day on Tuesday
Cold enough for me to get my hat out
We were wrapped up warm
For the walk to and from nursery

On the way home
Miss C wanted to go through the forest
It's not a real forest, just a gathering of trees
But to the kids, it's a forest

We wanted to see if we could spot
Some squirrels running around
Looking for something tasty to eat
And playing games of squirrel chase

But there were none
Very sensible these squirrels
I bet they were tucked up in their beds
Keeping warm and snug from the cold

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 24 January 2014

Flashback Friday - A Messy Girl

I often think about how much I'd like to have another baby. Another little bundle to love and cuddle and look after. Then I remember the dreaded stages, one of them being weaning, and I'm quickly put off the idea.

When it came to weaning Miss C, we decided to go with Baby Led Weaning. It was probably a time-saving decision more than anything as I just didn't have the time to cook up all these vegetables and puree them. It was easier just to make us all the same thing except make Miss C's without stock cubes, salt etc.

We started weaning her at 6 months, unlike her brother, who we started at 4 months. What I did find, by keeping her off the food until 6 months was, she took a great interest in our food around 5 months and would try to take things off our plates.

We started with some simple things like toast, cheese cubes, vegetable sticks and slices of soft banana. She wasn't too fussed at first but, once she started eating, boy could Miss C eat.

She loved pasta with sauce, weetabix and mince with potato. She would feed herself and no one else was allowed to help her. And what a mess she would get into! Food would be all over her face, in her hair, up her nose and down the side of her highchair.

Now, she still eats quite well but at least I don't have to hose her down in the kitchen sink after a meal.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Moments That Mattered in 2013

2013 was a mixture of highs and lows for us. There were really good times and there were bad times. Really bad times.

Here are some of the Moments that Mattered to us in 2013:

Visiting the Theatre With Your Children

The first live stage show I went to see, apart from something in Disneyland, was Grease: The Musical. We went to the Playhouse in Edinburgh with my Aunt and my cousin. I think I must have been about 7 or 8. From what I remember of it, it was a really good show, with lots of fancy lighting and the very catchy songs from the movie. Sadly John Travolta wasn't there to play Danny.

The next live show I saw, when I was in my teens, was The Nutcracker. We saw this at a theatre in Manchester and it was beautiful to watch. I also went to see Lord of the Flies at The Lowry as part of my English or Drama course at school.

The theatre is a wonderful experience and there are plenty of shows that I'd love to go and see. Something starring Adam Garcia is top of my list. There's just something so amazing about seeing a live performance over watching it on TV or at the cinema. Every show is unique in its own way even though it's the same show being performed.

Hotels Direct offer some of the Top Selling Theatre Breaks in London. You can book your hotel and the show you want to see with them and you could save up to 75% booking through them. I think I'd book The Lion King as I've heard great reviews on it or The Phantom of the Opera, which is one of Husband's favourites. For the kids, I'd pick Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Disney on Ice.

I think, so long as the show is age appropriate, a live show could be a great day out for a child, no matter the age. There are lots of shows around throughout the year aimed at children although, Christmas with the Pantos stands out most for me. Wee Z loved his trip to the Panto with school to see Jack and the Beanstalk. I'd definitely research the show prior to booking for things like duration, seating and interval times.

Our first theatre trip was when Wee Z was just two years old. We went to see Chris and Pui from Show me, Show me live at our local concert hall. The show was really engaging so Wee Z was kept amused from start to finish. It wasn't a very long show, maybe an hour and a bit, but they did have an interval part way through to allow for toilet breaks, a stretch of the legs and to relieve some fidgeting. The theatre room wasn't overly big either so it meant the place wasn't jam-packed with people or too warm. We sat at the end of an aisle so we could keep the carseat with Miss C in beside us and make a quick escape if we needed to. Wee Z really enjoyed the show especially joining in with the counting and singing the songs.

Miss C hasn't been to the theatre yet however, we recently took her for her first cinema experience. We went to see Frozen. The cinema can be so loud but she was well prepared and understood not to be scared. There were some younger children in, toddlers, who just cried all the way through. It didn't spoil the experience for us though. We booked the bigger seats so Miss C could sit with Daddy when she got a bit tired. She really enjoyed the film.

Miss C's first theatre experience will probably be when she goes to school and they go to the Panto at Christmas time. I think I'll be volunteering as a parent helper so I can go and enjoy the show too!

What show would you love to go and see with your children?

Featured post

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Something Beautiful #TheGallery

There could only be one "Something Beautiful" for me to share on The Photo Gallery and that's my beautiful boy and my beautiful girl. They are my "Something Beautiful" and I get to look at them every day, share in their highs and lows and be in awe of everything they do.

This photo was taken in Disneyland Paris so it's a few months old but it's one of my favourite photos of them both. Wee Z's doing his usual "camera face" and Miss C has her half smile going on. They look super cute if you ask me!

On our holiday, I don't think we had to tell them off once. Not even when they were standing in queues, waiting to get on rides. They were so well behaved and they got on together so well. Wee Z was feeding off Miss C's excitement even though he was feeling a bit under the weather with a sore throat. Miss C ran. Everywhere. We nicknamed her "the ball of energy!" It was great to see them having such a fun time together.

Monday, 20 January 2014

What's The Story? #18

This is a photo of my Gran and I, taken in her garden. I think I must have been telling my Gran a really big story by the way we are looking at each other.

When we moved back from Mexico, we made friends with my Gran's next door neighbour's daughter. She was a year older than me and she was an only child. At first we would go and chap her front door but eventually, as we became really good friends, she'd climb her fence and come through the back garden to the back door. 

My Gran had a huge shed in the garden and it still held all my Grandad's tools after he passed away. It was also home to our Barbie dolls, play kitchen and our bikes. We had this little trike that we must have used when we were toddlers. My Gran had kept it and, even though we were far too big for it and had mountain bikes, we used to use the trike as a skateboard. We would actually argue over who would get to ride the trike up and down the garden. 

If my Gran were still alive now, I know Wee Z and Miss C would love that garden too. The grass area was perfect in the Summer, which is when this photo would have been taken, to sit on and enjoy a picnic. My Gran's garden was a sun trap! 

The beauty of the internet means I was able to have a nosey at my Gran's old garden when the house was up for sale some years ago. The owners had totally changed the garden. At least they can't change the memories I have of the fun we all had there.

Me & You #1

This is us, enjoying Husband's birthday night out.

We went for a lovely meal at a local restaurant. Husband had had a bottle of champage before we left the house so he was a bit giddy. But that was fine because it was his birthday. We talked, we ate and we laughed. We didn't have to worry about being home for the kids or who was getting up with the kids in the morning. They were off to Gran's for a sleepover.

It's important for us, as a married couple with children, to remember to have time for "just us". Before children, it was just Me & You. It's good to have that time every now and again. It reminds us of why we fell in love in the first place.

Swimming Awards #MagicMoments

Yesterday both of my children were awarded their swimming badges! Husband and I were super proud when they told us they were moving up to the next class.

Wee Z is moving into the big pool for his new lessons. He will be at the shallow end of the big pool but he will have to swim a bigger distance. He can't wait as he loves the big pool and prefers it over the smaller pool whenever he goes swimming outwith lessons.

Miss C will still stay in the small pool however, she'll be swimming the full length of the pool which I think could be 10m. She can just about stand in the shallow end of the small pool so I don't know what she'll make of being at the deep end. When she moved up the first time, she freaked out and regressed. I just hope she gets the teacher she likes as I think this will help keep her confidence levels up.

They start their new classes in two weeks. I'm really glad we booked them in for swimming lessons as it's amazing to see how much they have both come on and they both really enjoy it too.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Week That Was #2

Last Sunday, the kids and I got up about 9am and had breakfast. Husband had been out at work since 7am. After breakfast, I let the kids play Xbox for an hour whilst I got on with some housework. After lunch, Wee Z wanted to make his wooden dinosaur he got for Christmas from one of his Uncles. He concentrated hard on gluing it all together. We had swimming lessons in the afternoon and both kids did great.

On Monday, it was back to school and nursery for the kids. I picked Miss C up from nursery and we came home to have lunch. After lunch, we had to go to school to enrol Miss C for Primary 1, which she starts in August. She was really excited which I think makes it easier to get my head around the whole thing. My baby starting school!

On Tuesday, Miss C and I spent the afternoon making some ballerina badges and fridge magnets. We made them from a craft set she got for Christmas. Wee Z had his after-school club so we didn't have to pick him up until 4pm. That extra hour really does make a difference to getting things done!

On Wednesday, it poured with rain for most of the day. It broke long enough for me to walk to nursery for Miss C and back. We spent the afternoon indoors. After picking Wee Z up, we came home and played some Orchard Toys games.

On Thursday, Miss C and I went to the park after lunch. It was bright and the sky was clear but it was really cold. As we started walking to the park, the clouds started to appear and they were getting darker and darker. Luckily the rain held off and we managed to feed the ducks and play on the swings before we picked Wee Z up.

On Friday, I helped Miss C rebuild her Lego Friends house. I'm not the biggest Lego fan as I don't feel you can really "play" with the sets once they are built but Miss C loves her Lego house and spent the afternoon playing with it. We picked Wee Z up from school and had chicken curry for dinner. One of our favourites! Wee Z had his karate club after dinner and Miss C watched a Monster in Paris for her Friday night film.

On Saturday, the kids were picked up at 2pm by their Gran and they headed off to her farm for a sleepover. Husband and I were off out to celebrate his birthday. He was very happy with his Playstation 4 we bought him and the bottle of champagne he got from his Dad was drunk in an hour before we went for dinner. We had a lovely meal at a fantastic restaurant but ended up home in bed by 10:30pm as Husband was steaming...another word for very drunk. He enjoyed himself though which is the main thing.

Silent Sunday #3

Saturday, 18 January 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 12 - 18

Day 12 - A spot of crafting with wood for Wee Z
Day 13 - Miss C is all enrolled for starting school
Day 14 - Making ballerina fridge magnets
Day 15 - Olaf joined Miss C for breakfast
Day 16 - A trip to the park to feed the ducks
Day 17 - How do you eat yours? I love Creme Eggs
Day 18 - Happy birthday Husband!

Flying Planes and Feeding Ducks #CountryKids

It has been a cold week
I'd rather have stayed indoors
But since it wasn't raining
We got outside to play

Sunday afternoon
Cold and windy it was
Wee Z got out his foam planes
And launched them through the air

They didn't go too high
They crashed on to the ground
But Wee Z was having lots of fun
Chasing them round the garden

On Thursday afternoon
Miss C and I went to the park
We fed the ducks some bread
And played on the swings

My nose was nipping
My toes were frozen
Miss C was laughing
Shouting to go higher

Hot chocolate was in order
Quite a few times this week

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 17 January 2014

Flashback Friday - Daddy's Birthday 2013

It's almost Husband's birthday. I won't tell you how old he is going to be because he'd never speak to me again...

Before we had Wee Z and Miss C, we'd arrange nights out with friends to celebrate our birthdays. We'd go for a meal and then on to the pubs and end up getting home in the wee hours of the morning. If we didn't go out, I'd cook a special meal, usually a steak dinner and we'd eat our dinner on our laps whilst watching a film.

Now we have the kids, we like to do something as a family although, if we get the chance of a babysitter, we take it and go and do our own thing.

Last year, we took Daddy to our favourite Italian restaurant. We got to sit at our favourite booth and enjoy pasta and pizza. Miss C looks like she's slipping off into a food coma in this photo.

This year, we've got a babysitter so Husband and I are going out for a meal on his birthday and then, when the kids get home on Sunday, we'll go for a family meal together.

Happy birthday Husband. Love you lots even if you are getting on a bit now and lots xxxo

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

New #TheGallery

I decided for the theme of New to go with the first photo I took on the first day of the New Year.

Wee Z with his head stuck in a Math workbook.

This boy is at his happiest when he's working on a puzzle, working out a Math problem or writing stories. He loves looking up the meanings of things in his dictionary or encyclopedia. He loves to learn.

He's reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and he is loving it. Often, after we've put the lights out at bedtime, we'll come back up stairs some 20 minutes later and Wee Z has his torch on, reading more of the book. We tell him to put his book down so he gets plenty of sleep but we're secretly very proud of our boy.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

My Baby is Enrolled for School

Yesterday, Miss C and I made the visit to school to enrol her to start Primary 1 in August. Miss C was excited. She thought she would get to start school today. Thankfully she doesn't. I still have her for another 8 months.

Those 8 months will fly in though, I'm sure. They did with Wee Z. I'm excited for her to start school but I also realise I won't see her as often as I do now. Some days I'll only see her for 2 hours. When Wee Z started, of course I missed him, but I had Miss C to keep me company and to have fun with. Come September, when she will start her full days, I will have no one but my cats and Husband when he's on night shift to keep me company.

Husband can't wait for Miss C to start school. When he has to watch her when I'm working, he survives a 13 hour shift on 4 hours sleep. I don't know how he copes, but he does. He's looking forward to being able to sleep again when she goes.

I know Miss C will love school. It's great that the nursery is so close to the school. She's already used to the building and she really likes the Head Teacher. And it was good to see the Head Teacher knew her name as soon as we went in to enrol her. 

Enrolling my baby girl for school was a bit hard but it's also exciting that she's going to be starting a new chapter in her little life.

Monday, 13 January 2014

What's the Story? #17

This is a photo of me with my Gran. My Mum's Mum. I've talked about my Gran before on my blog. She passed away in 2001. It was Friday the 13th when she passed away. My Gran had always said 13 was her lucky number. From when my Grandad died, my Gran missed him terribly. She had us and my Mum, but I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to live on, missing him and feeling alone without her husband. 

I loved staying with my Gran. When we lived abroad, of course, we didn't see her very often. I do remember we spoke on the phone regularly though. When we moved back to Edinburgh, we stayed in her house with her until my Mum and Step dad were able to rent a flat. We would go to my Gran's after school every day until my Mum finished work. At the weekends, we'd stay at my Gran's, preferring it there than our own house. 

Our favourite thing to do at my Gran's house was watch The Naked Gun films as my Gran was a huge Leslie Nielsen fan. I used to make my Gran her cup of tea and toast and marmalade. 

She was told she had a blood clot in her body, an aneurysm, which they could remove for her however, she could end up paraplegic. My Gran told them she'd rather die.

I love that I have some photos of her from when I was a baby. I wish I had more of her from when we were a bit older. 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

The Week That Was #1

Last Sunday, Husband let me have a lie-in until 10:30. He brought me a coffee in bed to wake me up. We had a lazy morning but, after lunch, I had to get Miss C ready for a birthday party. She had a great time seeing the boys and girls from nursery again. They played on the bouncy castle and ate some yummy party food. Wee Z stayed at home with Husband and watched the darts.

On Monday, it was back to normality and to routine. It wasn't too bad for me as I had already had a week of early rises for work but Husband had kept me up from about 4am with his snoring. By that time, it takes you ages to switch off again and by the time I did, my alarm went off. We walked to school which woke us all up. In the afternoon, Miss C played with her Playmobil swimming pool. We picked Wee Z up from school and he did his homework. He came up with some great sentences for his word homework!

On Tuesday, after work, Miss C wanted to play with her Playmobil swimming pool again. Santa did very well bringing it to her for Christmas. We picked Wee Z up from school and had to run home when it started to rain.

On Wednesday, it was a much nicer day. The sun was out! Miss C couldn't wait to get to nursery that morning as she ran all the way there. She ran all the way home from nursery and then ran all the way to school to pick up Wee Z. She only stopped for the occasional puddle jump.

On Thursday, it was my day off. I picked Miss C up from nursery and we headed in to town to pick up a few things and have lunch. We went from town to school to pick up Wee Z and his friend and his friend's big sister as they were coming to our house for a little while. Wee Z and his friend were happy playing Harry Potter on the Xbox whilst Miss C was completely taken with his big sister. They played with her toys and sat together to watch Curious George. I think Miss C might have quite happily traded her brother in to keep her new "big Sister".

On Friday, I picked Miss C up from nursery and we came home to make Chili Con Carne. I usually buy a pre-made tinned sauce but because Husband doesn't like kidney beans, I decided to try and make it from scratch, minus kidney beans. Miss C was a great helper. We picked Wee Z up from school and we were counting down the minutes until tea time so we could have some. It was yummy although I think I added to much liquid when it was cooking. Practise makes perfect!

On Saturday, I had to work. Husband took the kids to karate and then picked me up. In the afternoon, I spent 2 hours trying to get my acrylic nails off. They were really sore to get off and even though they looked lovely, I don't think I'll have them done again. We watched a film together after dinner and then had an early night.

Silent Sunday #2

Saturday, 11 January 2014

365 Project 2014 Days 5 - 11

Day 5 - Miss C in her new party dress from Bella and Pops
Day 6 - Time to go back to school
Day 7 - Fun with the Playmobil Camper Van
Day 8 - Holding hands, a rare occurance
Day 9 - A sweet treat after lunch
Day 10 - Jam on toast for breakfast
Day 11 - Not snow, hailstones!

Finally Outdoors #CountryKids

For weeks it was windy
Cold and wet with rain
Wondering if we would ever
Get outside again

Finally a break came
A day we saw the sun
So outdoors we went
To have some outdoor fun

Miss C ran a lot that day
She was full of energy
She enjoyed jumping in the puddles
She was glad to get out to play

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 10 January 2014

Sibling Moments #1

There is 1 year and 361 days between Wee Z and Miss C. As a toddler and baby, they were quite close and they enjoyed each others company. Wee Z didn't mind sharing his toys with Miss C and she loved watching him play with hers and showing her how they worked. If he built a tower out of bricks and Miss C knocked it over, he didn't go mad at her, he laughed and made it a game which made Miss C laugh those infectious baby belly giggles.

It was inevitable though, as Miss C grew into a toddler and wanted to do things her way, they would start to bicker. In his group of friends, Wee Z is often the one organising the teams or the game or showing people what to do. In other words, he's a bit bossy. Miss C, being a girl, likes to have things her way and can be a bit stubborn. Bossy and stubborn together makes for quite a headache for Daddy and I.

But then there are times when they are so sweet to each other. Sometimes Miss C will wake in the morning, open her door and, instead of coming in for Husband or I, she'll go to Wee Z's room and he'll invite her to climb in to his bed and they'll have a cuddle. Wee Z will play with Miss C and help her carry her toys to the living room from her bedroom. He'll read her a book or try to teach her something, like how to write the letters from the alphabet.

Of course, I love my children unconditionally, but it's times like those, when they are being so thoughtful of each other and getting along that my heart swells to the point of bursting. I'm so glad they have each other and, whilst sometimes they drive each other crazy, I hope they realise that they have a friend for life in their sibling.

dear beautiful

Flashback Friday - Our First New Year as Four

It was the New Year of 2010. Christmas had passed by in a blur of wrapping paper, sweetie wrappers and cardboard boxes. I was on maternity leave so I wasn't having to worry about going back to work as soon as the first week of January arrived. However, Husband was out of work and it was pretty stressful.

We were celebrating our first New Year as a family of four and that had to keep us going. New Year finally meant the Christmas season was over, places were opening again and workers were back to work. As soon as he could, Husband started looking for work. He applied for everything and anything he could, even the crappy jobs - quite literally, he applied to work in the sewers.

I don't remember which date it was in January, however, by the end of the month he had a new job. The pay wasn't great. Husband, being a engineer, was used to earning a very good salary with shift allowance due to working long hours and night shift. However, we were happy that he had been offered a job that would, after a few months, lead to shift work and some extra cash. I admire Husband for being the sort of person who would take any job just to make sure he was working and earning money himself.

2010 had looked like it was going to be a hard year for us from the start. It was particularly easy at first, but at least we were able to pay our bills and put food on the table. Wee Z and Miss C are at the heart of everything we do, and if it means we go without, then that's what happens.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Mrs MacCready Was Ever So Greedy - Book Review

We received Mrs MacCready Was Ever So Greedy to review. This is a fun picture book from the Ever So series written by Julie Fenton and illustrated by Jona Jung.

As soon as Miss C saw the cover, she knew the book was similar to Tabitha Posy Was Ever So Nosy and Miss Dorothy-Jane Was Ever So Vain and she couldn't wait to read it.

This story is about a lady called Mrs MacCready who loves to eat. It doesn't matter if the food is healthy or unhealthy, sweet or savory or even if it's full of worms. Miss C was quite grossed out at the worm part, so at least I don't have to worry about her eating any worms during mud pie making. 

Mrs MacCready ends up eating so much that her favourite string vest doesn't fit her anymore. I thought this was fun book to read but also gave me the opportunity to talk to Miss C and ask her to point out healthy foods, sweet foods and snack foods. We also talked about how we need to play a lot, which Mrs MacCready didn't want to do with the Indians in the woods, to get exercise and keep fit.

The pictures are fun and colourful. Miss C loved the ginger cat who kept a close eye on Mrs MacCready and her eating habits. He even brought her some sugar mice.

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

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A Look Ahead at 2014

I'm not one for resolutions. I'm sure I say that every year but it's true. I like to set myself goals throughout the year but I don't feel the need to make resolutions on the first day of the month of a new year. What's so different about New Years Day from any other day of the year? Apart from it being a new year of course.

I like to think about things that are going to happen in a new year though. Things to look forward to. Things I'd like to happen. Things I hope don't happen.

This year, the most important thing that springs to mind is Miss C starting school in August. I have to enrol her in two weeks time though. It's not a scary thought. It's exciting! My little girl is going to be a school girl. Yes I'll be sad that I won't get to spend as much time with her during the week but that will only make me appreciate the time we do have together more.

The kids turn 7 and 5 on their birthdays. Again, this should scare me but it doesn't. I love watching them grow. Their personalities grow, their cheek grows, their confidence grows and their knowledge grows. Just the other day Miss C was completely bemused to learn that crisps were made from potatoes. She couldn't believe it when Daddy told her as she asked what crisps were made from. They make me laugh so much. I can't wait to see what marvellous stuff they come out with this year.

We've booked a family holiday to Cala Gran this year with Haven. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm not a camping fan but I love caravans. My paternal Grandparents owned a caravan and we used to go to caravan parks all over Scotland when we were younger with them. It was so much fun. I think the kids will love it and I'm hoping the weather is good for us too.

Husband and I will celebrate 8 years marriage and 11 years together this year. I'm not sure what we're going to do to for our anniversary yet. It depends if we can get a babysitter!

There will be some home improvements on the cards too. Wee Z's room needs redecorated badly, so his room is first on the list followed by our hall.

If 2013 is anything to go by, 2014 is going to fly in too and I'll be reflecting on 2015 before I know it. 

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