Tuesday, August 31, 2010

the last few days before school

I've found that I can carry Joshua on my back in the Storchenwiege, making life so much easier. He's so much bigger than the other guys and I'm also a lot more confident with the sling this time round so I am delighted to find we can do back carries now leaving me with hands free to get on with more. The guys are coming back into themselves after being quite out of sorts after the big party month of August. We've been trying to take it easy; eat well, sleep well, no t.v. and it seems to be working.
Rebe and Benny played at being spies for a good deal of the day yesterday. Basically the game involved wearing black (or navy as we only have one black thing) and having a spy watch that Rebe made for them out of loo rolls.

We picked a pound and a half of completely perfect blackberries. Benny gobbled as many as he could before I managed to get them into the freezer. I'm planning to pick as many as we can and have stores for various goodies in the winter.

Benny has been doing a bit more gluing and sticking...on his hands.

This is what happens if you let Benny 'hold' a ball of string.

Rebe's excitement about starting school tomorrow has reached fever pitch. With a little effort we channelled all this excitement into making things today.
She's never happier that with paper, pens, glue and scissors!
Here is a fox. She painted round her own hands and feet then stuck them onto a body, I helped her with the neck and she did the rest herself. She also made a bowl with 'Sam' written on it and she even made a paper chicken to go in it.

Here is the small mountain of things she made for her teacher tomorrow, including instructions on how to grow flowers, a box for her crayons and a spy glass. While she was making these things she was asking me a million question about school and what her day would be like. Then she said 'Oh mummy I've got so many questions to ask the teacher tomorrow'... poor woman, she won't know what's hit her!
Joshua got this medal today...

for laughing! He actually laughed, four times no less. It was the loveliest sound in the world. He was laughing at Rebe who was chatting to him. It just made my heart melt. I know I'll be spending a good deal of my time now trying to make him laugh :-)

So now, kids are (finally) in bed, books are covered...
...uniform is laid out ready...

...school bag and school shoes waiting by the door for our big grown up school girl to take them up and set of on her academic adventure.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Roald Dahl Dinner

Just after Christmas my dearest friend came to visit us and she gifted us this book, which we just love! We thought that we would have a Roald Dahl dinner and make our main course, pudding and a drink from the book. Rebe also had the genius idea of getting dressed up as characters from his books, so she set about with paper, cardboard and glue to make us all our costumes...
Rebe was Sophie from the BFG, complete with cardboard glasses and her nightie. Benny was the fantastic Mr Fox

And of course Andy and I were the Twits.
I didn't manage to get a picture of us in our costumes. I had a cardboard walking stick and Andy had this really great beard...

Here is Benny modeling it, the dots are flecks of food he always has in his beard.
In the afternoon (after I had taken all those bags to the charity shop, well done me :-) ) we set about cooking our feast.

Benny is great at peeling the carrots.

Rebe's trusty goggles allowed her to deal with the onions.
We made...

Bean's Apple Cider
(really delicious, will be so lovely warm in the winter)

Bogis's Chicken
(Now this smelled just divine while cooking, but it was a lot of faffing and ended up being very bland)
Wonka's Whipplescrumptious fudgemallow delight
(The sauce was scrummy, but no-one really liked the marshmallows and it was very rich).
It was a great dinner, although we didn't really like the food, this was one of those 'process rather than product' moments! I am going to convert left overs into; Bogis's chicken pie, Beans' apple cider ice lollies and
Wonka's fudge brownies...let's hope we like these more!
Now I'm off to hide my glass eye in Andy's beer!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

woodland walk and simplification

After our crazy couple of party weeks, we had our first 'calm' day yesterday; no where to go, nothing we had to do. We did some house work in the morning then after lunch we decided to go for a walk in the woods to see what we could find. Benny took his potty with him in a bag.
It took ages to get to the woods (about a 3 minute walk) because all the blackberries are ripe and Benny LOVES them.

When we got there we found this little gnome who said she'd guide us through the woods and help us find hazelnuts. We were particularly in search of hazelnuts because I had found some when out walking through the woods with my dad and brother a few days previously.

Joshua enjoyed watching the light through the leaves and the branches swaying in the wind.
I knitted the bonnet for him while I was pregnant, I think he looks gorgeous in it.

We found this birds egg (no idea from which bird)

and this mushroom (no idea what kind...I know sooo little about what is around us hurmph!)

We found lots of hazelnuts thanks to the gnome. We're going to ripen them on a windowsill and then make something (probably some kind of cake) with them.
I felt very neanderthal wandering through the woods foraging for wild food breastfeeding my baby in the sling. Ugg!

Looks very idealistic doesn't it?! But what the camera doesn't show is that Benny then pee'd in his pants and was so uncomfortable he wanted to go home just as Rebe was really starting to enjoy herself. They had a big row about whether or not we were going home, he bit her, she slapped him. I shouted, they both cried. Rebe tripped over skinned her knee and dropped all the hazelnuts and cried some more, Joshua woke up and cried too....so we went home.
Still, once we got home and cleaned ourselves up and had a cup of tea peace reigned again...

Rebe made this cool violin out of duplo.

I have been reading this book at the moment. It was a present from some friends for my birthday. It is really interesting and come at a time when I am yet again feeling overwhelmed by stuff.
So, I have been sorting out the toys again. I really take the point that less is more and that by reducing the number of toys in the mix you are giving your children the opportunity to really play with what they have and the chance to use their imaginations rather than having all games and play provided for them on a plate.
What didn't occur to me before though is that this is also true of books. So, although it did go against the grain somehow, I have sorted out our books too. I have sorted a box of books to go to the charity shop, ones that are either broken (well they went into the recycling), character (like tellytubbies) or ones I really hate reading. The rest I have tried to sort seasonally and have put most of them upstairs into the toy cupboard so that I can rotate them periodically once the kids have thoroughly enjoyed and explored the books they have on the shelves. We'll see how it goes, it will be interesting!

I also sorted through the piles and piles of clothes everywhere... and have only left in the cupboards things the kids actually do and can wear....

No less than 4 bin liners full to give to the charity shop...how did this happen that we had so much excess stuff?!
I feel lighter and happier and less cluttered.
The other part of the book that really interests me is the rhythm of the day. This is something important to me and I am looking forward to the start of school for us to be able to implement a new one. So I have been thinking about that and am excited about how it will again simplify and calm our lives...
Gosh that was a long post, I'd best be getting on with my day x

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Breakfast in bed
'Happy Birthday' on the Uke

Big bubble wands

scrummy cake

me and my daddy

pub for drinks

delicious dinner

wonderful company...wonderful day.
I'm happy being 30!

Monday, August 23, 2010


It was my 30th Birthday Party yesterday. I just LOVED every second of it. The weather was just gorgeous so we had it down on the beach. We parked our picnic rugs and little tent for the babies on the grass in front of the beach. So many special, lovely people came to celebrate with me. I was so happy to see everyone and so touched so many people made the journey down to see us. Benny ate this whole box of pringles... he just wouldn't share them. They made him go a bit odd and dizzy and he sat down on what was left of the banofee pie...but then that's what parties are for!!
Babes in the tent

Look at the amazing cake my dear, dear friend Helen made for me! What could be more perfect than giant ball of wool on the beach...and it tasted gooooood too!

tiring work!

Bubs with Joshua in the sling

beach play

Benny and his wee buddy were making a great game out of tooting the car horn
It was a really brilliant time. Thank you to all who came and thank you for all the gorgeous gifts (I'll post about them later).

There was time for a quick half game of back gammon before dinner...just to relax!

Although some of us didn't manage to stay awake til then...

Fab. wonderful, brilliant, fun, exciting, great day!