Worm sausages and tomato snail ketchup

I just can’t help it, my children ask a perfectly sensible question – e.g. ‘what’s for dinner?’ and I’m compelled to give them a very silly answer like ‘cabbages, snails and frog gravy…’. The kids are somewhat wise to this now and tend to double-check with their dad – I sense in years to come they’ll probably not grace my answers with much more than a shrug but yet I persist.

Cabbages are now code in our family for food you might not like (I managed at least 2 years of claiming chocolate was cabbages before they got suspicious and paid more attention to what I was eating). I’ve added snails and frogs recently as cabbages (no offense to those who eat the foul things) didn’t seem quite, well, gross enough any more.

The silly answers extend to questions about what, exactly, has gone into the food we serve the children. R made some sausage rolls for Eli’s birthday party on the weekend and we had some chipolata sausages left over that we cooked for dinner that night. Tilly took one look at what was on her plate, prodded it with a fork and did a typical kid ‘what. is. this?’. In error she asked me, ‘worms’ I said. ‘From the garden. It’s been raining and you know how they all come to the surface so they don’t get drowned?’ (useful to chuck in a quick science lesson if you can), ‘well Daddy thought they were looking particularly juicy so, ta da!’. ‘Mmm’, says R, ‘it’s worms, enjoy!’.

Lex, full of 6 years of knowledge says, ‘No it isn’t, it’s sausages!’, and starts scoffing his dinner. This reassures Tilly a bit but still, she can’t be 100% sure until I confirm it. ‘Tell the truth Mummy, it’s not really worms?’. ‘Well’, says her compelled to be silly mother, ‘it could be worms or it could just be the sausages left over from the sausage rolls.’. This is apparently not enough reassurance and I put her out of her misery and confirm her brother’s answer (eventually).

Honestly, it’s really entertaining coming up with inventive (and mainly disgusting) descriptions for everyday things – ketchup tonight became squashed tomato snails (Lex will apparently be using Google tomorrow to double-check that I am talking nonsense about the existence of tomato snails). I do try to do it in a way that the kids will find funny – not scary – and encourage them to question and not just accept, without thought, whatever adults tell them. The look on their face before the realisation that it’s just mum being, well mum, is pretty priceless though.

Summer fun with the cousins

Sunday was a fun day at Grandma’s – all the cousins (with Tilly missing) had a great time. Lex and his same age step-cousin T discovered they both are big Lego Ninjago fans – all the better to break the ice when you haven’t seen each other for a year. A game of boules kept the boys entertained in the garden, complete with a measuring tape to check distances and action replay on the camcorder (although they never figured out if T’s ball brushed or not). Finally a game of football in the park and a few runs around the obstacle course completed the day. Lex had a brilliant time but was so tired he was sobbing through most of the bedtime routine. Eli was ok when he was with me, sadly summer events (and lots of people who would like a cuddle with him) and ‘stranger’ and separation anxiety have arrived hand in hand at the same time.

Today SIL and the local cousins came to visit for the afternoon. A trip to ELC after our family dentist appointment yielded a new paddling pool with a shaded area, sprayer and slide which (after I finally worked out how to get the air bed inflater to work) wasn’t too bad to inflate and fill. This, plus the water play table and SIL’s paddling pool enabled us to sit and watch whilst the kids had a great time.

Well, the big kids at least. Eli clearly isn’t feeling 100% and was not impressed by the padding pool, being wet, the grass – pretty much everything. He cheered up at points but really just wanted to have an afternoon of cuddles poor dot. Currently he is in bed but waking up every half-hour or so needing another feed to settle him. The air-con is on so he won’t be too hot at least.

The only hope now is that this won’t be the single decent week during the summer holidays – looks like it’ll change by the weekend sadly.

Now, off to settle the baby once more.

Beginnings and ends – school year 2011/2012

Today was the last day of the 2011/2012 school year. Lex, Eli and I enjoyed the school summer picnic out on the field and took a leisurely stroll home after lunch. Lex then went around to have a water fight with friends who live around the corner.

I think he is relieved that school is finished for summer – the poor kid has a cough that he just can’t shift and is constantly shattered. We’ve bought him a children’s multivitimin to see if we can help him feel better. If the cough doesn’t clear up in a few days I think I’ll be taking him to the doctor just to check what’s up.

Here is Lex the year before – he’s grown up so much since the start of reception!

Today was also Tilly’s last day of nursery. She started in the baby room just before she turned 11 months old (September 2008) and is finishing (after moving through each of their four rooms) at 4 years 9 months so she’s been there for almost 4 years! I’m really sad that she’s finished as we’ve been really happy with the nursery and will miss it. Eli is unlikely to ever attend there as it will probably be much easier to send him to the pre-school attached to the children’s centre next to the kids’ school. We gave them a thank you card and two boxes of chocolates – I’ll take Tilly back on her first day of school so that she can show everybody her school uniform.

Finally we have Eli at the start and end of the school year – it’s hard to believe that this time last year I was very pregnant and still 5 weeks away from meeting my gorgeous little boy.

So now we have 6 weeks of no 7am alarms or nursery runs (in fact no more nursery runs at all!) and we start it with family dentist day tomorrow…

We may yet have a summer

OK, so actually I doubt it but today was nice! Tilly is at the coast with my Mum in order to attend a cousin’s Christening and so it is just my boys and me at home. Much as I love my daughter, she has a raging case of middle-child syndrome at the moment and it has been quite quiet and conflict free at home – I know she’ll be loving the 1-to-1 time with my Mum too.

Lex, Eli and I had a lovely afternoon at a friend of mine’s house – there were a gaggle of kids 0-13 years and enough young boys to keep even my socially awkward lad entertained. I was able to sit and chat whilst cuddling Eli and the food was yum. After lunch we took the kids to the park, definitely a good day.

Tomorrow we get to see R’s step-brother and his family and they get to meet Eli – Lex normally gets on quite well with his step-cousin so it should be another good day. Only having to keep an eye on one child (Eli is easy to keep near me) should reduce the stress I normally suffer at MIL’s house – my two big kids do seem to bounce off the walls there in a fairly hideous fashion!

Fingers crossed I may even have a lie-in tomorrow – no squabbling, or even chatting nicely, siblings at 6.00am would be a relief – I am very tired.

PTA Summer Fete 2012

The annual summer fete did seem for a moment that it may be a victim of the soggy summer we’re suffering this year but no – we were spared a soaking and had a great day. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to help much this year as it seemed that Eli would be too unpredictable to make it possible for me to sit on a stall all day, however, both Mum and I ended up helping on the cake stall and it went really well. We’ve already put in our request for that assignment next year as it was a lovely stall to work on – not too busy, no silly games to administer and cake! Since we were working the big kids had a fab time running wild – Lex with friends from school and Tilly with the policeman who was allowing kids to investigate his car.

Tilly spent at least 2 hours chatting to the policeman – when there were no other kids interested in sitting in the car she would sit in the passenger seat but if anyone else wanted a go she happily popped in the back. I have absolutely no idea what she managed to say to him over that length of time but he was quite chilled out and patient with her. Towards the end of the day she came and bought him a cake and then sat watching him while he ate it – poor guy. One of the few times she spent time out of the car was when she had to wait for her turn on the pony rides.

The horse riding was, as usual a massive hit with Tilly – our tentative plan for her birthday is to buy lessons for her in lieu of toys (since she has plenty!). Hopefully, between parents and grandparents we should be able to buy enough lessons for her to have a decent chance to begin learning how to ride.

Tilly’s third favourite part of the fete was the face painting – she is so different from Lex in that regard, he has never enjoyed having his face painted, she loves it.

Now Lex has been at school for almost 2 years he is completely comfortable running off with various friends around the field. We barely saw him during the day except when he wanted food, drink or cash. By the end he had headed off with his nearly-twin (same name, same birthday) to play at his house adjacent to the school. I am pleased that he is so happy at school and with his friends – there are issues in the playground but he’s not without people who enjoy his company.

Eli was obviously too small to get much out of the day but was entertained by the people moving around. Mum and I were able to swap him between us when needed and it was definitely easier than it likely to be next year when he is running around.

Anyway, I didn’t see much more of the fete than our little corner but it all seemed to go well. Our stall made over £100, which, considering we were mainly selling 30p cakes is quite impressive. We were quite impressed by the quality of the home made cakes provided for the stall – some very talented bakers amongst the parents. I decided that double chocolate rice crispie cakes were the way to go – I think I did ok, all 24 sold.

Our little bit of the Olympics


We got up very early this morning in order to be able to go into town to see the Olympic torch relay. Unsurprisingly, Lex was already awake but neither Tilly nor Eli was. Eli managed to avoid waking up – despite the blinds and curtains opening plus the usual household noise – until we moved him and took him out of his sleeping bag. Funnily enough he wasn’t too bothered by the whole experience.

The plan was to buy breakfast in town so off we went. Now, I had this idea that some people may turn out to watch with us but was not entirely prepared for the busy roads, queue to get into the car park and people already lining the roads. We found some friends and the kids squeezed in with them. Conveniently we were located by a bakery and so sausage and bacon butties were purchased (with a bit of foresight about what would happen once the event was over).

Then we waited and waited and waited a bit longer… Policemen came past, various logoed vans came past and we waited. Bigger logoed vans/buses passed us, everyone got very excited and then they told us it would be another 5 or 6 minutes and we waited.

Finally the torch arrived and then a few minutes later it was gone. Oh well, at least we went and the kids can say ‘we were there’.

 

Where we’re at

Right, clearly I am rubbish at posting regularly but let’s see if I can keep motivated this time. This will be a bit of a mishmash post but I’ve got to start somewhere.

Eli will be 10 months old in 2 days – currently he is asleep in bed upstairs by himself. This is a recent development as until a few weeks ago he would sleep on me each evening until I headed to bed. Now that he goes to bed alone (give or take two or 10 trips upstairs to settle him again) I have a bit more of an evening. Whilst baby cuddles are lovely, finally sorting out the lounge (2 bags of paper recycling!) and getting my BFN coursework done is a relief. Sadly nights have been somewhat awful recently – he’s heading into another developmental spurt (love the Wonder Weeks for warning me) or maybe more teeth are on their way. He finally got his first two teeth last month so teething has started in earnest. He is also now an accomplished crawler and is working hard at his standing and cruising. He is much more cautious than the other two ever were so is likely to be a bit later at walking, it does seem strange that Lex and Tilly were both walking at the age he is now but they were both much less bothered about falling over!

We are still using cloth nappies full time – we even took them to Center Parcs at Easter – and am enjoying having decent weather to dry them outside. My favourites are definitely my Tots Bots Easyfits during the day and Tots Bots bamboozle stretchies at night (with a Motherease airflow wrap). Our cotton night nappies just weren’t up to the job – Eli seems to be a fairly heavy wetter and wet sleeping bag and bed was tiresome. The bamboozles have been great though.

This week Tilly starts her settling in sessions at school. She gets two afternoon story sessions and then two full mornings. She is very ready for school! Currently she would like to know how to read and so we are teaching her (in a very low key way) and she is starting to recognise a few letters and blending simple CVC words like C-A-T. Her best friend from nursery will be joining her at school and they seem to be at a similar level which hopefully means they’ll be put in the same groups.

Lex is only a few weeks away from finishing Year 1. He will be in a mixed Year 1/2 class again next year but as of yet we don’t know who his classmates will be nor who his teacher is. He continues to be a very able reader – currently he is reading Harry Potter (Mumsnet cliche but nevermind), the Enchanted Wood (Enid Blyton) and the Witches (Roald Dahl). We are working on his handwriting as this is a bit hit or miss – I’ve decided that the school is basically good but there are a couple of places they are a bit patchy on so Lex gets some homeschool.

So, that’s a start – will once again try and do better at regular updates, however, am likely to fail sadly.

It’s a hard knock life for Tilly

Today for the first time that I can remember, Tilly decided to take herself to bed for a nap. It probably didn’t help that she was woken up by Lex before 6 (although he did just sit on his bed with her and read her stories) or that she has to work hard at swimming lessons. The proverbial straw was a slip on the stairs. She slipped and knocked her back, a few tears and a cuddle ensued but she clearly wasn’t feeling right. She then decided to take herself to bed, and there she stayed until I retrieved her thinking that she needed a bit of a gap before bed time. She definitely felt better for the nap. Here’s hoping she wakes at a reasonable time tomorrow.