The summer holidays – week one…

To be truthful, we’ve not even done a full week and it feels like they’ve been at home with us forever. But I want to document what we’ve been up to, so that I can wave this at them when they tell me they are bored and that we aren’t doing anything cool ;)

Wednesday – finish school, chocolate trip, swimming lesson with S for E, and Lovely Bloke and W swimming and splashing.

Thursday – AM – trip to Cherry Hinton splash park and picnic lunch with AKT and her girls, PM – pool duty at school, dinner out at Green Man in Trumpington

Friday – trip to Aldi made uber cool by us taking 15 month old nephew with us. Boys love him, he loves the boys – happiness all round. Daddy home from work and boys playing with him whilst I get some work done.

Saturday – play date with Mrs C and her two little ones. The boys show them their playframe and then, err, well, they introduce them to Power Rangers on netflix. And then a play at Shelford rec, where we see a friend from school who will kick a football about.

Sunday – playing at home. Lovely Bloke and I are pooped. I’m tidying the clothes and putting them away as we intend to re arrange rooms this week… More on that later.

Bring on tomorrow and my mum and dad arriving for 10 days!!! It’s going to be a long 10 days as we annoy each other. But the boys will love it. And so will we x

“Hello Grandma! Now, what presents have you brought me????”.

It’s THE BIG DAY – Tour De France comes to Cambridge. But it doesn’t mean anything in our house at 6.30am. Instead, because we are having a very special day off school, William and I are knee deep in Lego. Literally. OK, well maybe ankle deep, but that doesn’t visualise as well, does it?

I used to spend my Saturday morning’s writing things about what he’d be doing whilst I tried and usually failed, to keep him quiet whilst Lovely Bloke and Elliott slept in. So this feels very de ja vu like – him making a Lego stand, and then throwing other bits of Lego at it, to knock them over. Like Angry Birds, but using Lego. I think. Whatever he’s doing, he’s happy. He’s wearing the necklace that Emily, his friend from school has made him. He loves it – pink, shiny and it has a shell in it !!!! He’s very impressed with it. So much so, that he’s made her a ring, with a “gem” in it. I asked Lovely Bloke what he’d actually produced – apparently it’s a piece of paper with something drawn on it. Lovely Bloke muttered something about his being happy with that, because it was keeping expectations real from an early age………

In other news, I have not published any posts on our fabulous week at Mark Warner’s Levante resort in Rhodes (it’s an island off Greece and I *totally* knew that before I booked it, honest). It was the best holiday we’ve ever had together as a family for all sorts of reasons and I totally recommend it to you – just not in August when it’s 6K a week, for 2 adults and 2 little people. As the boys at so little, I wonder if they’d let us go back with self catering for them and half board for us? I can live in hope I suppose.

But I digress, back to the main event. My mum and dad are here, sleeping upstairs. Elliott and Lovely Bloke are in another big bed together. And all feels right in the world. It’s hard to explain how I feel when my mum and dad come to visit. I just feel more relaxed. I like to know that they are nearby. I don’t even need to rush in to see them when they arrive. It’s just better knowing that they are there. The opposite prevails for the boys of course – stood on the drive, looking for Grandma and Grumpy – “Hello Grandma! <Big cuddles> Now, what presents have you brought me????”. For shame… Because my mum doesn’t see the boys every week, she buys bits and bobs for them and they think it’s Christmas whenever they visit. But she’s told me of a change in plans – she’s now putting money in a box for them, instead of buying bits and bobs. But I know she can’t help it – she’ll be putting money in a box and buying Horrible Histories mugs and notebooks as well. I hope that if I ever get to be a Grandma, I’ll be half as good as she is.

Later today, we’re off to Anna’s house, as she’s directly on the route for Tour De France – it’s going to be exciting, and also nerve wracking as I don’t want my boys to be the ones that make the TV for knocking anyone over. I did toy with the idea of putting a stake in her front garden, and tethering them to it with a piece of rope, but apparently that’s not the thing to do these days. Such a shame. So instead, I’m going to go down the bribery and corruption route. That usually works. Eventually.

Sticking with my roots and considering a road trip!

I have to update you all on this. I’m doing some stuff this summer, that’s about getting back to my roots. And I’m even considering a road trip. Some with my boys, some with my mum and dad, brother and his Mrs to be. And some, on my own. I’ve not got all the details sorted out yet. But I’m putting it out there for your input. How do you stick with your roots? Do you want to? Are you happy with your roots – where you came from?

I’m happy with a lot of it to be honest. It would be a much more interesting story if I’d had a pants childhood. But apart from being rubbish at being friends with girls as a teenager, and that being years of secondary school being the worst experience ever, I had a good one :)) Especially when I think back to swingball in the back garden, handstand competitions against the hallway wall of our house – I think there were 10 of them doing it at one point and water fights, and Chris’ dad dressing up as Father Christmas each year. Yes. There was lots of good stuff. And even more when I hit 15 / nearly 16 and met the first love of my life – Nick. So much fun. So many happy times. Yes. I had a good one, and want to do stuff to make sure I remember it!

Bear / bare with

Someone said to me the other day, that I’d not written an utterly random blog post for a while. So here goes….

You know when you write a word – like bare with, as in the Miranda sense, and you think it just doesn’t look right? Well, I’m getting very worked up about the bear / bare differentiation. Disproportionately. It’s not good. To console myself, I’m going to watch some Miranda, and then, some Young Ones on youtube. There’s more happening in the world than worrying about spelling and meaning, when a genius like Rik Mayall has died.

Is that random enough? ;)

 

Review: Disney Junior Play App

disneyWith long journeys coming over the half term holidays, we have relaxed our sanctions on the ipad a tad and the boys have had a little play with a new free app from Disney. Aimed at 2-7 years, the Disney Junior Play app appealed mostly to William who loved the Jake and the Neverland Pirates games the most. He was happy enough with the free elements of the app – which include multi-level games and a digital sticker book – but the add-ons were great too, especially the songs and video clips. As well as Jake and the Neverland Pirates, the app features other Disney favourites –  Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First in a variety of games and challenges.

If your children are Disney fans then this one comes recommended! It can be downloaded from iTunes. What I will say, is that I’m surprised by how much William and Elliott both still love it – they are getting towards the upper end of their suggested age range an still loved it. I need to find more apps for the boys and want something with an element of education and learning. Any ideas?

Disclosure: I don’t need disclosure on this, as I bought it myself after seeing other people talking about it!

Baking over half term? Have I lost my mind? Maybe…

Maison Cupcake berry donutI’m really late to the party with this, but I saw the chat about it online and am sharing this because it’s going to be my mission to do this, this half term. Husband bought the yoghurts for himself a few weeks ago on offer and now the boys love them, and so I’m going to give this a go with them! Lots of bloggers were involved in a comp. to make something with ski yoghurts, I think, so it may be a new lease of life for me with my baking efforts! I’ll keep you posted. Here’s the first one I’ll be trying…

Baked Berry Donuts using Ski Sensations – By Maison Cupcake

Makes 8-10

Ingredients
70g pot Ski Sensations strawberries & cream flavour dessert
1 large egg
125g caster sugar
45ml sunflower oil
110g self raising flour
50g raspberries

Equipment needed:
Silicone donut ring mould
Cake release baking spray (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180c / Gas mark 4.
2. Place the Ski Sensations dessert, egg, caster sugar, flour and oil in a medium size mixing bowl.
3. Gently beat the ingredients together until just blended and smooth.
4. Spray the mould with cake release spray if using. Decant the batter into the mould using two teaspoons.
5. Bake the donuts for 15 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.
6. Allow the donuts to cool for a few minutes in the moulds then gently pop them out and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
7. When ready to serve, pop a raspberry into each hole.

Tip: if you don’t have a donut mould, try making them with a muffin mould instead.

Easter in Cambridge

OK, this is going to be a kind of rambling post but please bear with me, as there’s lots I want to share and ramble about…..

So, it’s Easter Sunday and today, pretty much everywhere is closed. But tomorrow, the shops will be open for bank holiday shopping and you know what I’m going to do? Yup, I’ll be heading into John Lewis Cambridge to collect two lights that I’ve ordered for the boys lounge / hangout space – they’re getting a bit big for it to feel just like a playroom these days… Here’s the lights – how cool are they?? !!!!

watt-light-john-lewis

 

But I just want you to know that my ordering directly into the store is *not* timely at all. It has *nothing* to do with the opportunity to do an egg hunt in store. Not at all !! Honest. We did a mini egg hunt on the Isle of Wight last week and it was so much fun – for us and the boys. But we got back too late last night for me to go and buy more kit for a hunt today, so I’ve decided that John Lewis Cambridge can take the strain on that one for me tomorrow instead!

Why do I want to document this? For lots of reasons – because my boys are growing and I want to note the fact that I’m trying to evolve with them. Because I want to document the fact that we’re still holding onto some little people things by doing egg hunts together and because I feel that I want to be part of and celebrate things in my local community. And of course, because I’ve got lights in my mind today, because it is Easter Sunday – a day full of light and love for anyone with a faith that celebrates today.

I know that I’m rambling. It’s a reflection of all sorts of things that I have in my mind right now and instead of trying to make sense of them, file them and make them look pretty / organised / ‘together’, I figure it’s best to just let them be, and work themselves out.

Anyway, that’s that. That’s where I’m at today. I’ve got to get off the sofa, coax the boys into having some breakfast and then, finally, I can let them start to make a dent in their Easter eggs!

 

 

 

 

All change….

What the ???? Now I’m actually online, I can’t remember what I was going to write here! I think that’s more than a little reflective of my life at the moment!!

So, things I want to blog about but don’t have time / the words for …..

1. Veet have really naffed me off with their waxing lyrical about women and the need to not be manly. Jog on. Seriously. Idiots. I’m as much of a woman as ever, whether my legs are hairy or not. And that also applies for other parts of my body. So much so, that I took a picture of my hairy leg in the bath. I’ll add it here when I get around to it. I know, you’re welcome.

2. I am going to overhaul this personal blog. Why? Because it’s been reflective of where I’ve been for a while – well, a few years – being subsumed and disappearing slowly, and replaced with middle aged, middle class mummy ness and associated cliches and aspirations. What a crock of shite! Seriously!! I’m a bird. I’ve bought myself some cool trainers with sequins that I’d have bought when I was 20. And am going to get back to my music. And actually think about planning that bit of travelling that I still want to do. The boys can go skiing. And I’m going to get back to adventures in visiting cities and countries I’ve not discovered yet! I know, I sound like I’m having a mid life crisis. But it’s been brewing for a while, so you’ll have to bear with me….

Change is a good thing, right?

Did you miss me?

It’s ok, you didn’t even notice I was gone, did you? I’ve actually been really poorly. Like properly, in bed, unable to go anywhere poorly. I was up and about quicker after my c section than this one. Pneumonia. It’s a word that makes everyone scared. Including me. But essentially, it’s an infection in a lung, or both lungs. It’s a sausage to spot and a sausage to treat if you want to stay out of hospital.

A friend said to me that she really felt that I gave into it – I posted some self pitying statuses on FB and whimpered a fair bit. And I don’t do that. I’m not saying that I am always positive and perky. But I really did just say “I’m poorly”. “I feel so poorly, that I don’t know what to do with myself.” And it’s been a really interesting thing for me. Because I don’t like to look vulnerable online.

But actually, what’s the point of being online, if you’re only going to show the positives of your life? It’s not very authentic, is it? I’m not suggesting that I should list every time I debate and cajole my children into putting their shoes on for schools, or when I bicker with Lovely Bloke, or when I turn up at the school gate having not cleaned my teeth, or remembered to put a bra under my hooded top, or when … or when …

The list goes on forever. Life is not a competition to post the most positive things online, or the opposite – to be woe is me. I strive using #100HappyDays and other similar things, to look for the positives – because I think it’s self perpetuating and because I think it’s important to look for the good at every opportunity. Surely this is one of the most important things we can teach our children. Don’t you think?