Monday, 26 December 2011

Skiing Avec Les Enfants.

A belated Happy Yule, Merry Christmas and a Happy Channukah to all!

We have up sticks and fled to Granny's Magic house for the festive period as Paul is long overdue a chance to kill himself by flinging himself down snow covered mountains at speed. Phoebe, aged 6, seems to be following in her father's footsteps by being desperate to try anything to get an adrenalin rush!

So, the girls and I arrived on the 22nd to help Mum and Rob, in Rob's words, throw up Christmas in the house! Much hilarity, tree decorating ensued. Mostly because Grande told them that Father Christmas was transmitting signals via the christmas tree lights which they, of course, bought hook line and sinker! This was inspired, almost as inspired as my telling them that alarm sensors in the house were Father Christmas's secret cameras!

Mum and Rob then took the girls down to St G to see Davide in the Ski Rental place to get them fitted for boots and skis. Phoebe was delighted that she had grown enough to go up to the "big kids" skis and boots (for the unaware as I am, big kids have 2 buckles on their boots and little kids only have 1) and is very proud of her Eagles whilst Clara was thrilled with Ladybird ones. Of course they also need Helmets (go on, guess what lucky Daddy got as his Christmas present!) and we are exceptionally grateful that Davide had a pink one for Clara as the tantrum ratio increases with the decrease in pink levels.

Daddy and Uncle J arrived on the 24th and were received by two small excited girls who couldn't WAIT to get to bed (most unusual but equally most welcome!). Once they had laid out the mince pies, carrots, sugar lumps and port for Father Christmas they were dispatched post haste to bed where they promptly passed out! The adults then indulged in a Seafood feast.... and lo, it was good (unless you are Paul who got Oyster's revenge the next morning!)

Ski School started on Christmas Day so we had a very hectic Christmas Morning. We had to wake the children (goes against every parenting instinct I have!) to see if Father Christmas had been, which he had! We then had a fun half an hour of stocking opening and squeals of delight as they found the things they had asked for. Phoebe was THRILLED with her Innotab, as was Clara but I think her best present was the lipstick she found. This was a late addition to the Christmas List but she banged on about it as she knows I won't buy her lipstick but Father Christmas was. Poor Paul got some funny looks asking for help in the lipstick section of Boots at Gatwick! Funny what makes a Christmas for them isn't it!

Anyway, back to Ski School. Mum came with me up the mountain for the start of ski school at 10am. We took them up, got boots and skis on them, deposited them on the astroturf path (so they can learn to walk in skis), said Bonne Chance to one of the instructors and took up position in the local hotel to wait until 12.30. As we couldn't hear Clara howling we assumed all was well and when we returned at 12.30 we found a beaming Phoebe and a soggy Clara. Yup she had apparently cried the whole lesson and didn't like skiing as it was too fast. Phoebe was as happy as the proverbial piggy and she said she loved it and went really really fast and couldn't wait for the next lesson!

Evil parent that I am the tears didn't disuade me from sending Clara today and whilst she sobbed en route once boots were done up and skis were on she was, for the most part, ok. My stubborn parenting paid off as I came back to two shining happy faces at 12.30 today. Clara told me she had been "very very brave and said WOOOOO HOOOOO" as she skied today and she enjoyed it and can't wait for tomorrow. Phoebe insisted on showing me her skills and my jaw was on the floor as I watched her ski down the hill on her own, stop and climb onto the travellater thingy-bob back up to where I was waiting! She was sooooo proud of herself and she tells me she has been put up a class away from the babies in into the blue class. I am not sure what implications this has but it is nothing but a fabulous thing!

Now I know they are enjoying it I may try some stealth photography tomorrow to see if I can catch them in the act and show them off!

Paul is also enjoying skiing and is delighted that a, he has "advanced" skis this year and b, he is good enough to keep up with Mum, Rob and J! I am told he underplays his skills and is more than capable of just keeping up!

I am enjoying hiding out in the restaurant drinking Vin Chaud and watching movies on Mum's ipad with my new earmuff headphones!

Happy Days

xx

Monday, 12 December 2011

£900 and other stories...

Well, I survived the first PTA event and we even MADE MONEY! Total made was £900, profit at around £650 but you have to speculate to accumulate and all that jazz! My partner in crime, Emma, and I are both feeling flush with pride at not only managing to pull it off but doing well and the school are thrilled. Hopefully a few of the parents will have seen that we are friendly, approachable and other people will want in on the fun!

After all that fun yesterday today I set myself the, not too small, task of clearing up the house. Paul helped out like a trooper as he had a half day as we had Clara's Christmas Performance to attend. We can now see the floor in the living room and most of the floor in the dining room and some of the surfaces too! Very exciting :D.

Anyway, Clara's Christmas Performance. Serious kudos to the reception teachers and TAs for their hard work. Teaching 60 children the entire of "The 12 days of Christmas" complete with actions is no mean feat! Clara was a snowflake in "5 Little Snowflakes" and, bless them, the teachers requested a white tee shirt and leggings. Do they not know Clara?! She doesn't DO trousers and a tee shirt. Thankfully Matalan came to the rescue with an adorable snow fairy dress that she wore instead! She did her dance beautifully and loved being on the stage. Most hilariously there was a bit of argy bargy going on when she wasn't on the stage as she wanted to sing Just To Us and someone was rudely standing in her way! Other favourite moments include one of the donkeys sucking it's own toe and several cases of impressive nasal excavation! You have to love 4-5yr olds really!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Father Christmas Mayhem.

It has been a busy old week this week. We have had Phoebe's birthday and all the fun that entailed. Then we also had to start selling raffle tickets for the Winter Fete we are putting on at the school. Thursday took the biscuit for "busy days" though. Paul had the morning off so he could come and see Phoebe's school performance of A Camel Called Humph. And the day went like this:

Get to school early to try and sell a few tickets. Got cold so headed to Phoebe's classroom where she got changed. Paul dropped Clara in her classroom where she skipped off happily for a change.

Bagsy chairs in the main hall for the performance and commence the start of selling the tickets whilst chatting to the other parents.

Watch Phoebe and her buddies do a marvellous performance of Humph the Camel. They were fabulous and all performed brilliantly. Paul and I were very proud of Phoebe and all the other children we know in the class.

See children go back to class and head quickly to the parents meeting room where Paul got into Full Father Christmas Regalia and proceeded to go around the school poking his head into classrooms and running passed windows. He then did a massive circuit around the outside of the school during playtime. It caused utter mayhem but was an absolute tonic for the soul to see the children's faces. It was especially brilliant when some of the KS2 children decided to stalk him around the school. This resulted in Paul hiding in some very odd places and ending up having to get changed back into his own gear in the admissions office as yrs 3&4 had blocked the route back to the Parents Meeting Room!

Get home with Paul and our friend Emma and sit down writing out the backs of the raffle tickets. Then I had to drop Emma back and pop into the cinema to get some more prizes for the raffle before heading back to school.

This trip was foiled by hideous traffic so the girls went in and sat with Phoebe's teacher who, bless her, despite tutoring still took them to see the Early Years teachers put on a performance of The Gruffalo! I got there half an hour late for the end of school, missed the performance but was able to participate in the Gruffalo party activities the teachers had set out which was lots of fun. Oh and of course take the opportunity to sell a few more raffle tickets!

Then we met back up with Emma and her son N (who was doing a gymnastic performance at the school) and headed to get a quick pizza dinner before going back (oh yes) to the school for a Books At Bedtime event.

Books at Bedtime was a fantastic thing the teachers put on for the KS1 children. All the children came resplendant in PJs, Dressing Gowns and, in our case, Womble Suits (Fleecy all in ones... I can't remember why we call them Womble Suits but we just do...). They got hot chocolate and biscuits and to sit and read books and have them read to them by the teachers. Then the teachers put on a brilliant performance of "Little Red Hoody" a play of their own creation which was truly hilarious. Naturally the children loved seeing their teachers being silly and got so involved it was fabulous!

It was then, and only then, we could head home and bung the children into bed! Not sure it was possible to have so much fun in one day. It was exhausting yes, but oh so much fun!


Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Phoebe.

I have a 6yr old!

I have a 6 yr old who can read, write and do maths!

How?!

She was only born 3 days ago it seems!

I am so lucky to have Phoebe in my life, she is funny, intelligent and great company! She has had a brilliant birthday, 2 parties that she enjoyed and we now own enough Harry Potter Lego to sink a battleship (well almost!). She is putting it together herself too (well with a little bit of help from me) and doing so well.

My favourite thing that happened was the trials of her new stuffed white owl named, of course, Hedwig. Poor Hedwig had a few problems settling in with the rest of her toys. They weren't sure about the newcomer. One moose stretched out and made the paw of friendship but the other moose wasn't too sure and the rest of the toys just weren't having any of it. Phoebe tried reading them all stories to get them to bond but no joy. In the end Moose 1 convinced Moose 2 that Hedwig was cool and that helped matters. Thankfully things were solved after just 24 hrs when Phoebe bought Frank the Sausage Dog with some of her Birthday / Christmas money and because Frank because the new newbie Hedwig was happily accepted by the rest of the toys.

For those worried about Frank, don't be. Because he came from the same shop as Carrots the Horse he had an "in" with the toys and was accepted without issue.

Who would have thought the politics of toys would be so complicated!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Back... overwhelmed!

I know I haven't blogged for aaaages but things have been manic here!

Why did I take on the PTA... WHHHHHHHHY? Oh, that is right because no one else would!

I am feeling very overwelmed by everything at the moment... wonder why? Here is my "To Do List" for the next week


  • Tidy and clean house ready for Phoebe's Birthday party on Saturday
  • Make Hogwarts Cake for birthday party
  • Do the catering for the party
  • Find Clara a passable Snowflake costume... she has exacting standards.
  • Sort out final raffle prizes
  • Get volunteers for the Fete or I am going to be running it with just Emma for help (Paul will be in the FC costume in the Grotto).
  • Sort out the Tombola
  • Make 300 mince pie pinwheels
  • Make a Snitch Cake for Phoebe's School birthday party
  • Cater said birthday party
  • Set up school for Fete
  • Advertise Fete
  • Post mahoosive bag of stuff back to Baker Ross
  • Wrap family Christmas Presents.
  • Post Family Christmas Gifts
  • Fit in visit to Hamleys for their Friends and Family Evening.
  • Do all the laundry
I am telling you people there just isn't enough Gin in the world to help me overcome all of this. I am fretting that no one is going to show up to the Fete and I really do just want this to run fairly smoothly.

I am looking forward to a massive bottle of wine and a take out next weekend once everything is done and dusted!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

Potter room DONE!

And has been for a while but getting it all tidy whilst there is lots of lovely light to photograph it at it's best!




I am so proud of doing it by myself and Phoebe is in heaven in there and loves the spells on the wall and is loving her veyr own Firebolt! 

Whilst I was in the mood I decided the dining room needed a make over too so I painted the walls white and put some wallpaper in. It has brightened it up amazingly well:


The whole house has now been redecorated! It has only taken me 7 years since we moved in but hey... it's done and it looks awesome!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

We interupt Phoebe's room to show Clara's!

Phoebe's room is most of the way done. I have still got to wallpaper (there is a radiator in the way) and paint the back wall, dress the window (ideas on a postcard?!) and then we are just waiting on the stickers from America.

In the mean time I decided to do Clara's bedroom as well as I bought the paint with Phoebe's on a BOGOF. That and I was sick of Clara going on and on and on about her ruddy pink bedroom! So yesterday I painted, and I mean painted, with a brush the walls PINK. I was going to do one wall PINK and the other 2 small walls a paler pink but the funny thing about mixing paint in the shadow behind C's bed and in a red bucket so it wasn't quite as pale as I would have liked. Today I wallpapered for the first ever time and managed not to horrify the neighbours with cursing too! And now Clara's room looks like this:




I am particularly pleased with my inspirational idea of going around the quote with a cloud like bubble. This was absolutely nothing to do with being bone crushingly lazy and not being able to face removing it bit by bit and never getting it back on the wall right. Oh no... not at all!

Clara is one very happy, quiet, bunny now!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Operation Phoebe's Room Commences.

We made a decision a little while ago that we would put moving out of town on the back burner as we can't afford it right now. So that means I am able to indulge Phoebe and Clara in personalised rooms.

Phoebe is first up as her room is long overdue for a titivate. Now her window no longer leaks she has been allowed to pick a colour. Rather predictably she has chosen Blue so I bought a lovely pale blue colour. She has also been allowed to choose a theme, she chose Harry Potter and Hello Kitty. Right, so not too complicated then! We have agreed that the Hello Kitty side of it will be restricted to the light switch cover, bedding and night light already in residence and I will Harry Potter the rest.

So with that in mind and the cool stuff in this book that my lovely friend gave me for my birthday! :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Harry-Potter-Film-Wizardry-Warner/dp/0593066480/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1316883635&sr=8-2
at my disposal I made Phoebe a Potions chest!

I started with this:

http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/40216357/

from Ikea that I have had lying around the house forever. I painted it cream with some acrylic paints and then applied a load of the potion stickers from the book! This is the net result, I am tempted to varnish it to finish it off before we put the room back together though! :



Phoebe is THRILLED. And quite agrees that it is better to store things like pens, pencils and the like that real potion ingredients. Mostly as we think letting Clara have access to Polyjuice Potion would be disastrous!


Friday, 23 September 2011

First Week of School done!

Oh dear LORD! Thank heavens that is over. Clara has settled really well but it would seem that all her capacity to be a nice charming child we know and love has been used up at school! At home she has been, well I have wondered if she is possessed on more than one occasion! I handed her over to her swimming teacher on Wednesday with the words "Satan is in residence!" and was proved right when at the very end of the lesson she proceeded to have a tantrum that her goggles weren't tight enough. If they had been any tighter the pressure would have sucked her eyeballs out (or pushed them right to the back of her skull... I am not sure how that whole physic pressure thing works!). And then another one getting dressed, I was somewhat relieved to pile her into bed that night.

The problems come because she is tired. However to Clara admitting this would be like, well, Gaddafi admitting he really thought the Libyan protests were a good idea! So instead until she settles and gets used to the new regime I need to put up and shut up with the stroppy one! At least she is enjoying school and, apparently, learning too! Hopefully it won't be too long until she is more settled and less exhausted!

In other news Phoebe got 10/10 on her spelling test today. I am very proud of her, she is doing great guns on everything at school! Her reading confidence has increased so much and she is actually having a go at reading things other than her school books. She is a smart cookie and I couldn't be prouder!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

We are taking over the school!

After I was elected as chair of the PA last week. Phoebe came home on Monday telling me she was "The Chosen One"... after a little digging I ascertained this had nothing to do with slaying Vampires (phew!). In fact she and a boy from her class have been voted to be Counsellors representing their class on the school council! This means that they will be passing on issues that their class are worried about to the school council along with the rest of the school counsellors!

I am SO proud of her!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Long time... no blog!

Hello... I have not fallen off the face of the planet obviously! However I have been madly busy since coming back from Greece at the end of August. My time was filled with car shopping (ball ache) and then also getting Phoebe back to school and settled in her new class and Clara started off in school oh and taking over the chair of the Parents Association! I feel like I haven't stopped, however today was Clara's first full day of school so things should return to some semblance of normal I hope!

First things first, car shopping. Oh my lords is there anything worse? However after much time and effort we are now the proud owners of a not too old, not too many miles Ford Focus. It is a bit zoomier than our last car but after a week and a half on the busses it was good to be back with wheels again! The busses were great, it is the people I take issue with. Especially those that expect perfect manners from children but don't actually show the children manners! Would it kill people to say excuse me before barging past a 5 yr old?!

As for school, Phoebe went back a week and a half ago and is now, very proudly, in Year One. She has a lovely new teacher whom she adores. She is in the Red reading band and doing well, this weekend was a bit of a culture shock with the homework she got! She had to write the numbers 1-30 and also had a page of spellings to learn (just simple ones like "the","on","in" etc) ready for a spelling test next Friday and 2 reading books to read over the weekend. I was very surprised by her attitude to doing the homework and it wasn't that bad doing it really.

Clara is now in Reception. Today was her first full day at school and she wasn't too keen on going in this morning. Apparently she had her period like Mummy, a cough and a sore foot (except she then limped across the room on the wrong foot...). Mostly she isn't keen on having to wear Grey and Purple. She is a pink and sparkly kind of girl so I do see the problem but it is rather tough luck that not many schools embrace pink and sparkly uniforms! Once she is there she loves it, she loves her teachers (same ones as Phoebe had last year so she knows them and they know her) and she has made a few friends I think. Getting specific information out of her about what she is doing at school is like pulling teeth though, but I suppose that will come in time!

Oh yes and the chair of the PA... I must be crackers but I have a cunning plan and just need to put it into action now. It was a little bit of take over the chair or no PA so it was an easy decision to stand. I need to contact the school and see what they want from the association and what we want from them. Should be entertaining once we get cracking though!

I shall finish with a pic of my gorgeous school girls that I took this morning!


Sob sob... so grown up!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Cat love...

Not sure who is happier here...


Phoebe is in cat heaven here... and to our surprise most of the cats are either putting up with her or, in Nile's case, actively seeking her out. The little dog Nancy is also being uncharacteristically sociable when it comes to the girls!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Holibobs, week one!

As I mentioned in my last entry we are currently staying with my Dad and Stepmum (AKA Papou and Yia Yia (prounounced Yah yah) to the girls) in Greece. This is a total hardship as we are having to put up with such things as 30 degree heat, a (borrowed) private pool, glorious beaches and nightly sunsets like this:


I am sure you all appreciate and, indeed, share my pain.

I jest of course. We are having a wonderful time! As Paul could only really take a week off the girls and I came out without him for a week which was a challenge for me. This meant getting a taxi, train, negotiating through the airport and then, of course, a 3hr flight on my own with them. They were, for the most part, fabulous in the airport. Not least because we discovered that the South Terminal of Gatwick has set up an area for children which shows Cbeebies at one end and CBBC at the other! I have never been so grateful for Captain Barnacles and his crew in my life! The plane was long but thanks to firm rules and a new battery in my laptop they stayed pretty well entertained and well behaved for the ride. In fact the only disaster of the journey was the fact that Phoebe's beloved Moose managed to go missing somewhere between the departure lounge and the plane. We didn't discover this until take off so we had to wait until we were on the island before I could alert anyone (except the airline hostesses of course)! Anyway, Dad was waiting for us when we got off the plane and due to the airport set up I was able to send the girls through to him whilst I waited for the bags. There was a momentary moment of panic when I thought my second bag, containing all Clara's birthday presents and a large box of smelly cheese from my youngest sister to my Dad, wasn't going to come through but it did eventually! Phew! We just had time for a quick ice cream at the port and then we were on the Flying Dolphin to get to the island.

YiaYia was waiting for us at the port on Alonissos and whisked us up to the house where the girls proceeded to get reacquainted with the menagerie here (2 dogs, 15 cats, loads of chickens, a goose, a duck and a turtle)! We put luggage away and then decided it was time for a quick dip so headed up to the pool they have use of in exchange for feeding the owners cats! Oh it was bliss to cool off in the pool... much needed!

Anyway since we have been here there has been a lot of swimming, both Phoebe and Clara have been keen to show of their watery skills:


We also had a birthday party on the beach for Clara who turned 4 on the 20th! She was SO excited to have a birthday in Greece and picked herself out a big strawberry heart cake. Yia Yia also made fairy cakes and we had a lovely day.



Because they aren't very into wrapping things on the island we sent Clara on a treasure hunt with Papou whilst we set everything out on the table. When she got back she was in ecstasies over her presents. Which included Playmobil swimming pool and a princess set, a swimming dolly and a swimming ariel as well as a multitude of other pink and glittery things that set a young princesses heart alight!

Paul arrives today in a couple of hours ready for our second week which, I am sure, will be as wonderful as our first! The girls are downstairs with their Yiayia painting rocks they found on the beach and can't wait to see him!


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Car-ma?

Boy we have had an "interesting" time of it recently!

It started last friday when I was driving the girls from swimming to soft play to celebrate Phoebe achieving her 10m swimming badge. The girls distracted me and I took my eye of the road for a few seconds and managed to rear end someone. Of course as we were in stop start traffic it meant that 4 cars in total got bumped. Thankfully every one walked away from the accident despite all being, obviously, quite shaken! Thank goodness we have bells and whistles insurance so all was covered and, I believe, sorted quickly. The downside is our car was so damaged it has been written off. SOB! When I get back to the UK we start the unpleasant task of car shopping... uff! This means negotiating a balance between needs and wants. I want a car that is functional and Paul wants one that is a bit peppier than functional!

As if that wasn't enough I went to finish the laundry this Monday and our washing machine has totally given up the ghost. As it is 10 yrs old and has been very reliable it isn't a big surprise but honestly the timing could have been better. Paul and I had a conversation in which I pointed out that if it came to a choice of car vs washing machine then the washing machine wins hands down. It has duly been ordered and hopefully Paul will take delivery of it today.

Of course these things happen in threes. So approximately 2 hrs after discovering the washing machine had met it's maker the builders arrived to re render and fix a long standing leak in Phoebe's room. Only to remove the render and discover this:


Yup, the window arch has collapsed meaning the work they need to do is going to cost approximately 5 times the amount it was. Not Good. It had to be done thought so the wall now looks like this:


Hopefully though that means the leak in Phoebe's room is no more and that we (read I) can redecorate it for her in the near future to make it look much prettier and neater! She doesn't "do" pink so I am currently thinking about maybe a pale blue / lilac colour in there to set off the fab Laura Ashley Butterfly wallpaper we bought for the back wall.


http://www.lauraashley.com/wallpaper/summer-meadow-butterfly-wallpaper-cerise-pinkmulti/invt/3485087/

Maybe with some Hello Kitty Vinyl stickarounds on the painted wall... not sure yet.

Anyway, I was very grateful when Wednesday came and myself and the girls got on the train, plane and boat to get to my Dad's house in Greece! Hopefully when we return all will be well and life will return to a blissful normal... well as normal as it gets Chez Moi anyhow...!


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Houston The Tooth Fairy Has Landed...

Or will later tonight anyway!

After much wobbling, last nights incident with the ketchup bottle Phoebe first wobbly tooth fell out tonight! The excitement it caused in the house was second to none and, in true Phoebe style, she waited until Paul was home before it came out so she had a full house for an audience!





She has put the tooth in a special pot next to her bed (she was given the option of under her pillow) and is making herself go to sleep as fast as she can so the tooth fairy has lots of time in which to come and visit her!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Thank all I hold Holy for You Tube and Charlie and Lola!

Phoebe attempted to open a ketchup bottle with a flip lid with her teeth. All fine (well not really but y'know..!) except she forgot that her 2 bottom incisors are wobbly. Blood Bath ensues! Proper vampire dribbling down chin and accompanied screaming! Then follows 30 minutes of 

"Mummy I never want my teeth to fall out because they [sob] Huuuuuuuuuuuuuurt [heaving sob][bit more wailing for good measure]. I can never eat again... [though process of a 5 yr old soap dodger] or have a bath because my teeth HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRT [air raid type crying]"

Gah! Until I had a, frankly inspired if I do say so myself, idea to look up wobbly teeth on you tube to show her it is normal. Et voila... C & L's episode about wobbly teeth comes up and peace is restored, tea eaten and there is a lot of wobble action going on up there to get it out so she can get some money from the tooth fairy! I might have also told her I need to alert the tooth fairy to a tooth as her Tooth Sat Nav is broken so if it falls out after bedtime then she either has to tell me so I can send her a "T-mail" or wait until the next day. 

I do love it when parenting gets, ahem, creative!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Why. Just Why.

All this violence, all this destruction. It is all so senseless.

Today I drove past Reeves Corner and had to explain to my two curious little girls why the building was a wreck. I told them some very naughty people got together to cause as much trouble as they could like starting fires and stealing. Clara said they should be put on a step, Phoebe suggested a Dungeon.

The horror last night of looking out of my living room window and seeing an enormous black cloud of smoke rise into the sky, realising that the footage we were watching on the television was being filmed by the helicopter we could see circling and seeing the coverage of all those people loosing  their homes and businesses will stay with me a long long time. I feel sickened by it all, angry with those involved in such mindless thuggery and so much pity for those who have lost through it all.

Tonight my town is quiet but I still feel on edge. My children begged me to stay with them tonight as they are unsettled by the "naughty people". How dare these idiots make us feel like this, how fucking dare they do this to anyone.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

My daughter the adventurer!

The 4 brats were given the chance to choose what they wanted to do today. As it turns out French France in the Alps DOES do hot... 30+ degrees of hot if the car thermometer is to be believed! Clara, Rowan and Lexi chose a ride in the bubble car, which I am reliably informed made the ticket seller laugh a lot as they literally went up to L'etape, walked out of the exit, round to the entrance and came back down again! Then they had a ride on the horse bikes which has been long anticipated:




I am assured by both small girls that they had marvellous fun. Rowan liking the fake horses decidedly more than the real ones she tried the day before.

Phoebe, however, chose the Tree Top Trail. We were dubious as to whether she would go through with it or understand all the rules but she surprised us by not only paying close attention to the instructions she was given and, for the most part, obeyed them! She then went around the course twice loving every minute of it!


As we headed home later we saw some one landing from Paraponting (aka jumping off a mountain with a parachute attached) and asked if she could try that next time! Oh boy!

These activities were followed by some serious play in the lake. Which may or may not have been warmer than the previous visit but as it was a darn sight warmer weather-wise all 4 children after getting past the "bits and tits" were in the water mostly merrily with large ring inflatables!





Once we headed home they were given an al fresco bath in the paddling pool, tea, tech and then bed before the grown ups enjoyed a couple of slabs of black and blue meat!

A fine fine day!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Snape snape severus snape...

This has been the feem toon for the holiday... I showed the children earlier in the week and it has been going on in an earworm loop ever since! If you don't know what I am talking about then I apologise in advance...


Anyway to cheer the three small moany ones out of a grump I put it on to amuse and video'd them singing along:


Oh the hilarity! Particularly the excitement over a naked Dumbledore!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Postcard from French France.

Bonjour!

We are currently residing in The Magic House as it has been christened by my children. We are here with our friends Jane and Mike and their two children too and much fun is being had. Clara and Rowan are competing for Biggest Tantrum Award and currently are neck and neck Clara's points for quantity and Rowan for Quality! Lexi is embodying either Lord Voldemort or Nanny McPhee depending on the mood and Phoebe is mostly content so long as she has a piece of technology to hand, failing that a large body of water to wade about in!

Today we were visited by our friends that currently reside down the mountain in Geneva, Sarah and Rob. Much fun was had with them as we had a big raclette stone lunch (children fed previous and deposited in front of TV... we rock as parents don't we!) and then took children up in the much anticipated Bubble car in Les Contamines. We went up to L'Etape where there is a little lake that the kids could paddle / wade or boat in. They loved it! Lexi had requested to be face painted so went up the mountain in Lord Voldemort face paint:


This did elicit a few looks but as Lexi is blissfully unaware of Other People in general we didn't think much of it. It did amuse us gratefully to see The Dark Lord wading about in his orange shark swimmers!


The little lake up there was great but alas they quickly spotted the boats and insisted on a go in them. Phoebe got her own little row boat as she is the only child who we know can get herself out of jeopardy in the water if she needs too and the rest all climbed into a couple of pedalos! Phoebe did get in the pedalo after a bit of rowing in hers, she got up quite a speed when she got going so it isn't surprising her arms got tired!



Phoebe, Rowan and Clara's highlight of the day was their quest to kill the fly population of France. I should add that for reasons best known to themselves all sights of flies have resulted in excessive girly squealing and over the top tears! However I am not entirely sure any of us were ready for the three girls marching into the living room with Rowan leading them to the flies, Clara following behind holding a daisy and saying "Buzz buzz" to entice them out and Phoebe bringing up the rear with the fly swat ready to thwack them!

Phoebe also managed to make a highly amusing appearance at the top of the stairs to our bedroom in full view of the entire population of the living room wearing only a pair of Hello Kitty knickers and carrying a, thankfully empty, bottle of Kronenbourg! Bless her she wasn't in the slightest bit put out when all 6 adults collapsed in fits of giggles.

You can say what you like about the 4 of them but they are usually highly entertaining! Mores tales from the mountains when I get a minute or two!

Friday, 22 July 2011

End of an Era.

Clara is no longer a Preschooler. As of 12.30 this afternoon she no longer attends our fabulous preschool. In September she will be joining the ranks of Butterflies at Primary School. She had a wicked last day at preschool. Lots of fun and laughter and playing with her best buddy F. We gave them the tutus and tiaras we had made in the morning so they could be put away with the rest of the dressing up clobber in readiness for September. Then at 12.30 I came up to school and bought the presents we had made for the staff and Becky's extra special pressie.

Clara and I made Pinwheel Flowers yesterday using some little flower pots and matching pinwheels we found in John Lewis. We had lots of fun with the clay to go in the bottom and Clara absolutely adored running around this afternoon giving out her presents. They went down a treat with everyone which I am glad about! Then we gave Becky her pressie which was another Momiji doll to go with the one Phoebe bought her last year. I also managed to find a card that said something along the lines of "All I need is a nice tiara and a cape and I could save the world" which struck me as a very Clara thing to say!

We have been so lucky in having the wonderful Becky as the girls Keyworker. Not only have we worked closely together when the girls have been upset but she has supported me amazingly through all sorts and has become a good friend. Both of my girls adore Becky and Phoebe was thrilled to bits that she was able to come and cheer her on at sports day! The girls also both adore Becky's girls which is ace and nothing gets the shrieks of joy going more than telling them they get to spend time with M & A! I am sad that Becky won't be caring for the girls anymore but I think I am lucky in that she will certainly be in their lives for a long time to come!

It was also the end of Primary School today so Phoebe graduated from being a Butterfly to a Sparrow. Her new teacher Miss B is lovely and Phoebe is very excited to be going into year one! Phoebe and her two friends L and N made cards for all the teachers last night and us devoted Mummies pooled our resources and got the teachers a pamper voucher each as a thank you for all their hard work. As a special treat for the children we took the kids to an ice cream parlour for the hugest ice creams you have ever seen! It was noisy, pink, filled to the brim with sugar... they loved it!

I am glad that we finished Reception on such a high in lots of different ways. It has taken me a while but I have made two fabby friends in E and S and it is such fun hanging out with them and their gorgeous boys! In a funny way the friendship was absolutely sealed today by discovering how far we could lower the tone. Sounds a bit mad but if you can't lower the tone considerably with friends... In this case it was smirking over the word Flaps. Yes we really are that purile!

Today has had 2 big endings but, unusually for me, I can see worlds of possibilities lying ahead of me which is rather nice! Lots of things to look forward to over the summer and lots of things to look forward to in the new academic year!

Clara-ism of the week!

Clara (AKA Bear) is not a morning person. She is especially not a morning person when she has to be woken up instead of waking up herself. She is really really really not a morning person when she has to be woken up and showered in the morning as Daddy got nattering to some friends last night and brought the girls home late... but anyway I digress! Paul was in the shower with Phoebe and asked me to get Clara up and ready for the shower. Eventually I cajolled Clara out of bed and into a cuddle but she was determined not to go in the shower. Paul asked if she was grumpy... I responded "Does a bear poo in the woods?!" and Clara raised her head off my shoulder and shouted:

I do NOT poo in the woods!

There may have been some falling about laughing after that, but she succeeded and went to school for her last day unwashed but dressed as Snow White...

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Tulle everywhere....must be the end of term!

Why o why o why do I always leave things until the last minute?!

Clara finishes Preschool tomorrow so tonight I have 6 tutus to make. Thankfully I have already made the felt tiaras to go with them. When Phoebe left I made superhero capes:


So for Clara's departure I thought I had better go a little bit more pink and girlified. Especially as her teacher tends to refer to them, particularly Clara, as The Pink Princesses!

I am dreading tomorrow, I just know I am going to sob as my baby leaves Preschool for the last time!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The 30 seconds of peace phenomenon.

So picture the scene. You have two children. Generally you put one child in the front and one in the back, both on the passenger side of the car. How long does it take you to walk around to the drivers side?

You would think nano seconds as it isn't a huge distance but you would be wrong. It takes as long as possible because those seconds walking around the car are the last quiet moments you are likely to get until you deposit the children else where! Inside the car you can dimly hear the sound of the children preserving breath ready for a however-long-the-journey-is monologue of their stream of consciousness!

I love them dearly but ever single thought that crosses their minds comes out of their mouths whilst they are in the car. And you are required to listen, and answer appropriately. Or is that just my children on that last bit... or to specify the younger one! So that precious gap of a few seconds before you enter the encloses space is so so needed!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Proud Oddmother checking in!

Yesterday the lovely Rachel (aka The Rubbish Pregno) gave birth to 7lbs 8oz of baby girl gorgeousness! Making myself and Paul Oddparents for the first time! They asked us last time we saw them and we, of course, were thrilled and said yes! Polly is just beyond precious and I am so chuffed! We now have to plan an invasion for squishy cuddles, handing over of pressies and, as an aside, fixing of laptops! I can't wait :D

Congratulations Rachel, Ben and Ikey! Enjoy your new status as a family of 4... it rocks!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

I stood up and was counted.



Today I went into London to meet up with some t'internet weirdy friends to attend the Pro Choice Demo that was taking place opposite the houses of Parliament today. I attended to protect my children losing their right to an abortion should the need arise. I sincerely hope it doesn't for them but I want them to have the choice as to what they want for their body and their life. Simple really, no one else should legislate against a woman's choices over her own body!

Friday, 8 July 2011

The moment we should have known we were doomed...

When you walk into the kitchen after your child has been bugging you for food and you discover this:



Phoebe was 2.5 years old!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

A few corkers from Phoebe's folder...

Tonight was parents evening for Phoebe. She has nearly finished reception and after a glowing report I wasn't too concerned about it this time (I was a nervous wreck at her first one!). She has entertained her teachers no end, loves learning and is doing really well in school! We took home her folder to have a quick peruse of what Phoebe has been up to in class and there are some real corkers in there that I would like to share with you:

On a fly coming into the classroom:

I have a plan! Let's get an old woman in like in the story and she can eat it! That's my plan!

On having a blind tasting session with a pineapple:

[spitting it out] Urgh! I don't like this, it has pineapple juice in it!

On going out into the playground on a chilly day:


I don't need my jacket! I am going to run around and get warm!

On driving the school scooters:


I'm a good driver! I beep my horn when someone is in my way...

From coming in from the outside play area:

I think I found a Meteorite! I think it fell from the sky! (it was a rock)



We are so proud of her! She is doing so brilliantly and, more to the point, LOVING learning which is just what we want for her! She is such a funny bright little girl but also loving and kind. Couldn't ask for more in a child really could we!

Life just doesn't get better than this...



Peace and quiet, Humous Flower for lunch and a Disney Princess Annual.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A proud day today.

First up it is Clara and her Ballet Open Day. She has been doing ballet for the last (school) year and absolutely ADORES it! She was positively humming with excitement today as she knew I was coming in to watch her dancing. Alas we weren't allowed to do video and I am way to scared of Miss Penny to attempt a stealth vid! However I did get some lovely pictures of her!

Warming up!
Doing the Fishfinger Dance... I am not kidding!
My little ballerina!

She was brilliant and is going up a class now to join her sister in Pre-Primary (yes both in the same class for a term... mwa ha ha ha!).

I am also very proud of Phoebe. We got her school year end report home and she is doing brilliantly. She is ahead of where she was expected to be in loads of areas and seems to just adore learning! She is a bright wee cookie that girl and as a reward for such a good report she has been allowed to watch some Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. She has seriously impressed me with her knowledge of the Harry Potter Universe, even to the point that instead of telling us Harry got a Broomstick she told us he got a Nimbus 2000! She is so funny at the moment!

I don't have a recent pic of her so instead here she is showing off her other amazing skill... hulahooping!

I had an awesome weekend, hope you did too!

This weekend I saw my oldest mate get hitched to his lovely lovely new wife! I was asked if I would do the photography for them so I got prime location for piccy taking too (of which I now have approximately 380 photos to work through....). Here is a sneaky pic of one that just shows how delighted they are to be married and how in love too...



It was a fabulous day, the weather was warm but not too sunny, the pimms was cold, food delicious and company was excellent! I really truly couldn't be happier for them! I was delighted too that I got a thank you in the speeches (really wasn't expecting that!) and a gorgeous necklace as a thank you (also totally unexpected). I am very lucky to have such wonderful friends!

I also completed my Super Secret Project this weekend. I haven't been able to blog about this as the recipient reads the blog and it was a total stealth project! However my lovely Aunt, Cally, was diagnosed with Cancer earlier this year. It hit her, and the family quite hard and personally I felt the need to DO something. Alas there is very little one can do except offer support but something I made last year for my Step Sister's Hen got me thinking. So together with Mum we contacted as many of Cally's friends and rellies and got them to make patches for a quilt. Which I then sewed together on Friday / Saturday. I took it into her in hospital yesterday as a surprise and she was absolutely thrilled with it. Now when she is feeling grim she can curl up under her quilt and remember how much everyone loves her and is always there with her in spirit when she needs us. I know it isn't quite the same thing but in my worst depression days just knowing there were people who loved me come what may and what I was fighting for was a great help. I hope the same counts for Cally as there really are so many people who love her!

Friday, 1 July 2011

School here we come!

Ahhh the face of innocence:


Yeah right, if you believe that you will believe anything! Alas this is the girl who KNOWS she is cute and not only uses this to her benefit but one might well be spot on to describe it as a weapon of mass destruction too! She has social skills far advanced for a 3 year old... always has and it is very very easy to forget that she is actually only 3! The child can work a crowd brilliantly!

I had Clara's Reception Parents School Meeting today! Thankfully she is a Butterfly (this has been an ongoing worry as she has had numerous strops about being a Dragonfly) and the lovely Miss P and Mrs M who currently teach Phoebe will also be teaching Clara. Ergo they are wise to her cunning tricks. I am very relieved to say the least as Mr J (Dragonfly teacher) failed Clara's test by [shock horror] not noticing she had her hair cut. Oh how I wish I was joking! Those that know her know I am not!

So now we just need to get her uniform sorted, we have dresses and shirts but no jumpers yet. She needs a PE bag and her PE kit doing. She has her playground posse sorted (Phoebe's friends L and N who think Clara can do no wrong as she is, and I quote, "Too Cute"... oh dear). She can't wait to start although she is reluctant to leave Preschool and her Doppleganger F!

So batten down the hatches Primary School! The Bear cometh!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

My new hall rendered Mum Speechless!

I cannot tell you how delighted this makes me. We have worked hard on it, I mostly in a design capacity and Paul in the do everything else capacity! It has gone from this:


in it's beigy insipidness to this:


monochromatic beauty!

The carpet is the piece de resistance and well worth the price we paid for it, it goes along the top hallway too and that has also been painted white so it is nice and bright up there. We now have real wow factor as you open the door!

Next step: The Front Door... uff! I have secret things to do this week but after that it is operation make the door presentable!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Phoebe and Clara test Ikea Wardrobes...

So last night the girls were meant to be upstairs getting ready for bed (yeah right, I got sick of them whinging downstairs so sent them up so I could ignore them for a bit!). Much giggling was happening... and then it all went suspiciously quiet. This is never, EVER good!

So I gave them a few minutes (I knew it was wishful thinking they had actually gone to bed and fallen asleep) and went up. No children in Phoebe's room or Clara's room. Interesting. No children in the bathroom or my bedroom... even more interesting.

Then I heard a very slight giggle in Clara's room. Very suppressed and silenced as soon as it started. Absentmindedly I opened Clara's wardrobe and found both of them sat in there with the biggest grins on their faces! Phoebe has been on a mission to find a brilliant hiding place for months but usually can't contain her giggles and gives herself away!

So if you are interested a Hensvik Wardrobe (from Ikea) shelving will hold around 4 stone on it! I know Ikea test things rigorously but I do wonder if they test them for that weight! I wish I had taken a picture but I was worried about it breaking as they had been in there a while and I didn't have my camera to hand!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Teaching anatomy to a three yr old...

Clara is, as many know, boob obsessed. Well as I dried her for her shower she took the time to play with my boobs with much joy. Then her father entered post shower and laughed with us, especially as I asked Clara some questions about her and my body, and her Daddy's.

Me: What did mummy's boobs make?

C: MILK!

Me: Where did the milk come from?

C: Yours nipples

Me: that's right... do you have nipples?

C: [searches down top] YES!

Me: Does Daddy have nipples?

C: [Goes for a hug with Daddy] Yes!

Daddy: Mine don't make milk though, they are muscles not nice boobs like Mummy's [thank you dearest!]

C: [looks confused]

Me: That is because Daddy is a boy darling. What does Daddy have that we don't?

C: [mulls it over for a little bit] APPLE JUICE!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

What songs are Preschool teaching my daughter?!

Clara is sat next to me singing what sounds like the following:

Here is a Box
Put on a lid
Wonder what's inside
Wonder what's hid

Here is a Mummy!
Without any top
Out of the box she comes with a POP

Erm....

I suspect I am hearing things again as when Phoebe started and they were practicing I was convinced the lyrics for their Father Christmas song were rude as they sounded very like:

Father Christmas
Father Christmas
He Got Stuck
He Got Stuck
Coming Down the Chimney
Coming down the chimney
So that's Christmas Fucked
Christmas Fucked....

it wasn't of course but I didn't hear it the right way for ages and ages!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Right body... I want words.

Now listen up... there is a time and a place to get iffy and there is also an order to things.

1, Cystitis is hideous.

2, Bloated stomach and IBS stuff is hideous.

3, Cold is hideous.

All three together is just rude and, more to the point, unnecessary! Stop it, pull yourself together and get well this instant dammit! If I have to spend another day on the loo tomorrow I will be most displeased.

That is all.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Conversations with a 5 and a 3 yr old.

In the car on the way home from Phoebe's ballet lesson.

P: Mummy, guess what at Christmas a pixie snuck in and left us Christmas Pyjamas whilst you were making snacks and we were in the bath. Then Father Christmas came and left us PRESENTS! Will he come again this Christmas?!*

Me: Well, Father Christmas only brings presents to certain people...

P: Who are they?!

Me: Well who doesn't get presents from Father Christmas...

P: Naughty boys and girls.

Me: Ok so what is the opposite of naughty?

Clara: Asleep.

Hmmm, I can't help but think she has a damn good point!



*No idea where this conversation came from, she is very into menembering (sic) at the moment.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Parenting FAIL.

Oh dear. I pulled a doozy today...

not feeling great anyway (see previous post) so I spent a large portion of this afternoon dozing on the sofa willing my stomach to stop churning before we left to get Phoebe at 15.30. I got a little confused as normally we don't see Yo Gabba Gabba but I thought Nick Jr had been playing with timings but didn't think more of it until the titles rolled and I told Clara to get her shoes on because we had to get Phoebe. As I looked up at the clock in the living room the following happened in my brain.

Time to get Phoebe
School ends at 15.00
It is now 15.30
OH MY GOD IT IS 15.30 AND PHOEBE HAS BEEN WAITING FOR ME FOR HALF AN HOUR, THAT IS WHY WE DON'T WATCH YO GABBA GABBA, IT IS ON WHILST WE ARE DOING THE SCHOOL RUN... FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

At which point I rang school to tell them I was on the way and was shoving shoes on Clara's feet at the speed of light, diving in the car and getting to school.

She was absolutely fine, happily sat with her beloved teacher and bending the ears of the office staff when I turned up! I was guilt ridden even more because she made it onto the Superstar board today for excellent writing! So I took them out for a McFlurry to celebrate her achievement...!

Wail... will I never learn?!

Symptoms of hangover:

Headache : CHECK
Lethargic : CHECK
washing machine stomach : CHECK
Bloating: CHECK

Did I consume my own body weight in alcohol to deserve such punishment? No I had too much dairy. I feel so so rotten today and I don't deserve this fall out from just dairy. S'not fair.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Phoebe's Book


Phoebe's Book a video by ***Vix*** on Flickr.

Look what my clever clever girl made all by herself! There was absolutely no parental input in this book it is all her own work!

Paul and I are so so so proud of her!

Monday, 16 May 2011

List of thing that I have to get done by the 23rd July...

Decorate Bathroom.... well not so much decorate as freshen up as it is going from white to, well, white!

Paint upstairs hallway... going from cream and flaky to white to make it look a bit bigger.

Decorate stairway... cream to white (again... are you sensing a theme here?) and paper one wall with funky frames wallpaper!

Strip and repaint front door - Going from Red with Black Furniture to Blue with Silver.

Wallpaper Phoebe's  bedroom... it STILL hasn't been done!

Paint the upstairs window on the outside...

Plant pretty flowers in our one and only flower bed that is currently filled with weeds and one allium. It's not a good look when the rest of the garden looks fab!

Oh and lose a shed load more weight... actually that needs to be done by the 17th June as I have a Hen Party to go to and I don't want to look like a sack of spuds. 30 day shred is en route... this could get painful!

Why you may be asking does all this have to be done by the 23rd July... well the inlaws are coming up for the first time in 2 years. Time to get the house looking lovely and pristine. However I have proven to Paul that his painting the ceiling and I do the rest of the graft during the day actually does work so it is less of a PITA to decorate now than it was!

Actually thinking about it, no point in doing the Hallway until after the new bed has arrived is there. All we need it to have a freshly decorated hall gouged by getting old beds down and new beds up!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Hoover fixed... so the bed broke. Sigh.

After Paul's wizardry with the hoover... there is something about him that makes technology start working. Must be The Engineer Effect, if he is around everything behaves... he leaves the premises and everything flicks V's at us and stops. Gah!

Anyway after that we got into bed that night and heard an ominous creak and felt a little drop. A brief inspection revealed the bed base (a metal mesh) is looking rather sorry for itself. We are, of course, blaming the girls penchant for bouncing on the bed... nothing else naturally [cough]. Whilst lying there, very very carefully, we realised that the mattress we were lying on is 10 yrs old. We bought it new when we moved in together and needed a kingsize bed to cope with Paul's height. Apparently he doesn't like his feet dangling off the end of the bed... who knew!

So today we took our poor battered little bank account out on another excursion. Bed hunting. Thank heavens for t'interweb where we spotted a lovely bedframe at a not too bad a price:


http://www.bensonsforbeds.co.uk/SpecialOffers/Spring-Sale-Offers/Bedframe-Offers/Servillia-Metal-Double-Size-Bed-Frame;52192.aspx

Which should go beautifully in our bedroom! I am faintly surprised Paul was ok with it actually as normally he doesn't go for swirly things... maybe he is finally conceding he has no decorative skill whatsoever! It should arrive on the 1st June, which means we have to treat our bed very very very nicely for the next 16 days! Dammit.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Friday the 13th from HELL

Dear GODS! What have I done to deserve your wrath?!

Today has sucked, big time. Clara has been in a foul mood since the moment she woke up until the moment she finally passed out. Her last words were telling Phoebe to shut up because she was trying to go to sleep. I mean she threw a tantrum when I said she could go to her Dopplegangers house for a playdate on Monday! Phoebe has been ok actually, possibly aided by the fact I now chat with a couple of Mum's after school meaning she can rough house to her hearts content with their sons. And she took it on the chin when I said no DS tonight as she got a warning.

I had to pick up the money pit car today which cost a bloody fortune. Put it this way I could have 3 Ipad2's for the same amount! Instead I have fans and breaks that work and I will be grateful for them. If you listened carefully you could hear my poor credit card sobbing as I punched in the dreaded numbers!

As if that wasn't enough my hoover declined to work for me. I changed the fuse (broke a fondue fork in the process) and tried 4 different plugs but nada. Just as I am planning which hoover to replace it with Paul comes home and with one deft yank of the cord unhooks it from where it had got pinched and I hadn't seen. Don't you just HATE that?

However I have lost 4lbs and this is a Very Good Thing. I also have pink wine and a indian take out headed my way so things should start improving momentarily....ahhhh pink wine.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

What shall I doooo?!

I want to do some study, wake my brain up a little from the 6 years of Stay At Home Mumming. Maybe go a little way to finding me a bit more. But what shall I study? I want something useful because I have a degree that I don't use practically (Theatre Studies & Music Tech). I have no idea where my academic talent lies.

I don't want to make the same mistake as my A'levels where I studied English because I loved reading. I do love reading but I like reading the story and I don't enjoy delving into the whys and wherefores. I did enjoy Chemistry but would that be do-able in a not in class kind of way?!

Uff. Why is it I can make a billion choices a day for the girls but I can't make one for myself!

Friday, 6 May 2011

A poignant reminder.

I haven't been feeling the bloggy love recently hence the silence. However I read something today that firstly broke my heart and secondly drove me here to share my thoughts.

Yesterday a mother and father lost their son. William was just shy of 3 yrs old and a bright bubbly and charming little boy by all accounts. He didn't wake up yesterday morning and his family's world was shattered into pieces. I can't bear to imagine it, waking up one morning to discover life as you knew it would forever have a gaping whole in it that was filled by someone so beloved.

I have woken up to similar and that broke my heart age 10. But to lose a child is something I can't and don't want to fathom. My arms ached for my children to pull them close to me and treasure them as I should. William's life and his family's loss stand as a poignant reminder of what a precious thing family truly is. I cannot wish that their hearts will be mended because I don't think that will ever truly happen. I can only send them all the love and peace I can in the vain hope that it helps soothe the pain a little.

Please hold your loved ones close and just for a moment, in William's memory, remember how lucky you are to have them in your lives. Spare a thought for my friends as they attempt to put their world back together. They are in my thoughts now and always.

V
x

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Oh bliss, sweet peaceful bliss!

Granny and Grande have the girls, they have had them since Thursday Evening! We will shortly be driving to them to meet up for the remainder of the Easter Holidays. Oh, it has been lovely though!

Yesterday we got up late, bumbled around and then caught the tram to a local common and had a lovely grown up picnic. We even had Pink Fizz too so decadent! We lazed in the shade of a gorgeous tree, sipped our wine and ate lovely food, lay back and read our books, people watched, tutted at the male students intent on shrieking out as many names for a penis as they could think of and generally did nothing!

We got home, lazed and read some more and then donned glad rags to go out. We had a lovely meal at a local fish restaurant and drank wine without the worry that we had to race home. It was wonderful.

Another late morning this morning, a wander around the garden centre and some bumbling in the garden (I am at war with the ridiculous number of dandelions!).

Now it is time to go and pack, shower and jump in the car. We both feel relaxed and refreshed from our 2 days off from parenting and ready to re enter the fray. Hopefully it won't be nearly 2.5 years until the next time we can have some time just to ourselves.

Both of us adore the girls, they are the lights of our life and the best thing we have ever done together. But time off is needed sometimes, just to breathe and be ourselves. Find Vix and Paul again instead of Mummy and Daddy!

Monday, 18 April 2011

My Hero...

I mentioned a while ago that my beloved Paul was running the marathon. Well he did it yesterday and his time was 5hrs 06 mins and 46 seconds! I am so so proud of him.

He is having pangs that he didn't do it faster but a combination of heat and people traffic worked against him. Still given that I couldn't stagger 26 miles in that time I think it is a tremendous achievement.

Here he is at 13 miles



and here again after the race:


We got a rickshaw back to Mum and Robs house as the girls and Paul were all exhausted (ok ok I was too!) and on the way home he got congratulations from a cyclist and a couple on the street gave him a round of applause! He was thrilled!

Everyone in the family is so proud of him and the amount of money he and his mates have raised for The Neuro Foundation is brilliant! Although his just giving thingy bob doesn't close for another month so if you have a few pennies spare:


http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=GaryPaulandStephenruntheMarathon&isTeam=true

Friday, 15 April 2011

Wooo Hooo! First stone off and a fab reason to lose weight!

Today I have officially lost one stone since I started dieting :D. I am rather chuffed with myself especially as this week involved rather a lot of cake (I am looking at you Jane with your irresistible brownies and you Mahri-Claire with your delicious mega cupcake!).

I also had some fantastic news that one of my oldest and best friends is actually tying the knot this year! In approximately 3 months so now I have an excellent reason to lose more weight... I wonder how much I can manage in that time! I am stupidly excited about this wedding as the couple in question are just lovely and it is the first wedding we are going to sans enfants! I am also doing the Photography but thankfully they are keeping it very simple which should make my job a lot easier and take any undue pressure off. It does give me an excuse to rent a fabby lens though and spend a little on some more memory cards! Not to mention finding a gorgeous dress to wear for such a momentous occasion!

So much to look forward to this year!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Skewed perspectives.

I have been thinking about this a lot recently. Why I expect so much from myself...

Well for a start I have 5 siblings. One real sister three step sisters and a step brother but the steps have been in my life for so flipping long I generally ignore the step bit. I defy anyone to truthfully say they have never compared themselves to their siblings. I know I certainly do and, at least in my comparisons, I come off a lot worse.

But a friend said something to me the other day that really made a penny drop. She asked if I thought my perspective was skewed as I come from a family of fairly high flyers. And I really think it is, hard not to be really when in your family you have:

A very successful businessman
A Consultant anaesthetist who also used to run the hospital.
Nurses
More Doctors
An Officer from the Army.
2 Pilots
TV producers
Actors
Event Managers who have done incredible events
Talented Artist
Talented Singer

Not to mention you were the lowest achieving academically in school.

Now I don't hold anything against my family for doing so well and, without exception, I am ridiculously proud of them! But sometimes being "just" a mother feels like I am scraping the barrel of life. I forget my arty stuff, my sewing stuff and general all purpose juggling. So is it any wonder I fall short of my own expectations?! My mission over the next few month is to just accept what I do, take pride in it and enjoy it!

Two Bowls Phoebe....

Pasta And Sauce.... What together?! In the same bowl?! Sauce and pasta? Pasta and sauce?! You have to be kidding me!

Well if you are Phoebe anyway.

She used to eat Pasta, which was excellent as it was one of the few meal bulkers I could reliably get into her. And then she stopped. No reason she just didn't want it anymore. Riiiiiight. So we worked around it, instead of pasta and sauce she just had the sauce and had more, maybe with a little bit of bread to bulk it out. But I didn't make a fuss as that would be detrimental to Phoebe.

Until today when I pointed out to her that pasta was exactly like noodles and I had a lot of evidence that she liked noodles. I convinced her to try a plain bit of pasta and she ate it! I held back the whoops and suggested that maybe, just maybe, she might consider having pasta in her sauce today. Nope, brick walled. Then I had a lightbulb moment... ok so not IN the sauce but what about two bowls. One with Pasta and one with sauce.... YES! So off she toddled in the garden (they were eating on the patio) with her two bowls and when I joined them she was EATING it! Of course she was forking a bit of pasta, dipping it into the sauce and then into her mouth but hell she was EATING!

Net result of this two bowling is that she has been full of food all afternoon so moaning for food has been minimal! Wooo and indeed Hooooooo! And she looks pretty pleased with herself too:



And in the essence of fairness here is one of Clara too:


(Ps yes they are in sunsuits and it is 10th April! It has been glorious all weekend!)

Friday, 8 April 2011

How we intend to survive the Easter Holidays.

Clara broke up last week and whilst my beloved smiled at me and said "but at least it is just Clara" I smiled back and told him that "just Clara" was like saying "just a nuclear bomb!" however she survived as did I so I call that a triumph!

Phoebe broke up at 13.30 today so now we have 2 weeks stretching ahead and I am writing this blog to remind me NOT to feel overwhelmed by it! Next week is sorted thankfully:

Monday: Granny is coming over
Tuesday: Rowan's 6th birthday party
Wednesday: friends are coming over for a mass play date (for which I have purchased plastic eggs and will be hiding them around the garden and house)
Thursday: Clara is swimming so I might do a picnic in a park that morning.
Friday: Granny coming again
Saturday: Into London as Paul has the marathon the next day, added bonus that I have just found out that Angelina Ballerina will be in Peter Jones on this day too!

Then I just have 3.5 days to work through until we head back into Central London to celebrate Easter with Granny and Grande! I think ast least one morning we will head to the cinema as our local is a Vue who do the splendid Kids Am feature. Kids Am means we can all go for 95p a head :D and they are showing Tangled that week... RESULT! Ok so they need snacks etc when we go in but that is minimal cost frankly and still cheaper than going on a normal viewing!

We also appear to have developed a serious Dora The Explorer crush chez moi. The girls adore it and love joining in... and as a side effect their attempts at spanish are highly comical! It is the first TV show they have ever got so involved in. In fact as I type this Clara is clapping, stamping and shouting COCKADOODLEDOOOOO as she helps them wake up the sun! So I suspect Nick Jr will aide us in our quest to remain entertained :D

How are you planning on entertaining the beasties during the break... any ideas I have missed?!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

My feet hurt... morning at Legoland.

As there was a splendiferous offer on for one adult and one under 6 to get into Legoland for £15 I decided to take Clara today as Phoebe was getting a "passport trip" to a local Hellhole, er I mean soft play!

So after dropping Phoebe off at 9am Clara and I tootled off down the motorway to Legoland! We got there at 10.30 ish and made our way into the park. We did the hill train and worked our way back up. A few small issues involving Clara, queues and changing minds before we settled on a boat ride first. Wrestling a small child for a steering wheel whilst hoping you manage not to be the first person to accidentally capsize a boat isn't the easiest thing but we managed to get around the course with minimal crashes!

Next we headed for the water play area and Clara was delighted to find I had been organised (for a change) and had packed her bathing suit and a towel so she stripped off and dashed into the water for a bit to have some fun! We were really lucky with the weather and it was about 22 degrees and absolutely BAKING hot so I was rather jealous of Clara's cooling off.


After that I was reliably informed it was time for Ice Cream... repeatedly. So we popped into one of the eateries to shut her up and bought a lovely chocolate chip ice cream


We then went on the Sky Rider and enjoyed bumping up and down a lot.

After that we headed to the loos and bumped into a friend who uses the same forum as me. I haven't met her before but she recognised Clara from pictures and it was confirmed by my calling her shortly afterwards. There are two sentences you expect to hear from this forum to identify fellow users, in jokes mostly but referring to oneself as a "looper" is a dead give away that they are also a user! I did expect to bump into someone as the deal was posted on the forum and lots of people were interested.

Clara and I then went and looked at a watery ride but The Boss decided it was too fast and too wet so we didn't go on it. Instead we walked further up the hill and saw all the mini towns and lego buildings and found some cool slides on the steps!


once we got to the top of the hill I was informed it was lunch time so we stopped off for a very nice lunch of chicken goujons, chips and peas and a nice drink of milk. Well Clara did anyway as I wasn't hungry. Not too bad a price either at £4.75 for the meal.

Then we wandered down to the other side of the park where the faster rides were. We were going to go on the rapids but they were closed when we walked past. Instead we went and found a mini rollercoaster, Clara LOVED it! I wasn't sure of how her reaction would be because she can be a bit funny with stuff like this but she was in utter heaven! By then it was time to head home and pick Phoebe up from school so we caught the hill train back up the hill and got in the car. This happened before I even got to the motor way:


I call that a result!

In fact the only thing that irked me was not enough cashpoints near the places that only took cash (like in the knights bit where the face painting and gold panning was). We didn't have time to go and get cash from pretty much the other side of the park so missed out on those which was a shame as she would have LOVED having her face done and the panning for gold looked like fun.

As we went on a school day the queues were non existant so minimal moaning occured. I can imagine it would be less fun in the summer when the place will be rammed to the gunnels! I also don't fancy paying   £130 for all of us to get in, especially at peak queue times!

Still it was nice to have a special Mummy - Clara morning and we had fun so net result was pretty good!