Amazing* Easter Holiday Activity Suggestions (*Debatable)

So It’s Easter holidays and I’m so excited because… well… actually maybe i’m not very excited… because it was like, the shortest half a term ever and 3 weeks of it were chickenpox ridden so… to be honest I’d kind of like school to keep em for a bit but…

Anyway lets not complain!

Instead lets pretend that I am really looking forward to enjoying quality time with my kids who are like ALWAYS HERE. I’m thinking of it a bit like the pox round two, dreading it but then also looking forward to getting it out of the way.

BEFORE SUMMER.

But lets not think about that yet… *shudders*

So two weeks of kids – what to do? I did a little Google and landed on a Netmums page of suggestions which was jolly lovely! But as I read though the list I couldn’t help feeling that some people lead rather different lives to my own.

Here are a few that left my mouth slightly ajar…

  • Mattress Manoeuvres – Drag a mattress downstairs (say what?!) into the most suitable room and put cushions around it and on any hard edges. Voila! Your own indoor soft-play centre. When they are tired (when is this?!), grab a heap of books and lie around (say what?!) reading.
  • House work – Small children can help with sorting clothes and matching socks. A Smartie for every pair matched correctly is a great motivator. If my kids saw me clutching a pack of Smarties they would rip them out of my hands before I even had a chance to say ‘Can you help Mummy with…’. Young teenagers will love to be shown how to properly iron a shirt and be allowed to do such a grown up task. Now I don’t have teenagers and it’s been a long while since I was one but I don’t seem to recall learning to iron as a particular highlight.
  • Teddy Bears Picnic – Write out party invites, make paper hats, cut out and colour paper plates, prepare a pass-the-parcel, make miniature sandwiches and snacks. I can hardly be arsed to throw parties for my own children’s birthdays.
  • Duvet dayYou are allowed at least one of these in your Easter break! A day when you all stay in your PJs all day. Borrow or swap some new DVDs, stock up on popcorn and chocolate, have a big bath together in the middle of the day… Sounded awesome until the big bath bit. WTF?!
  • Afternoon disco – Get out your old tapes/CDs, decorate the lounge, turn the lights down and put up some fairy lights and tin foil Disco balls. Have a “bar” and mix fruit juice cocktails. Invite a friend or two. Dance! Does occasionally putting the radio on in the kitchen count?
  • Get down the farm – Most of the farms aimed at children and families are open all year round and a Spring day is a great time to visit. Spot the new baby lambs and try to resist bringing one home. I think I get points here because we’ve done this! We preferred to play spot the premature dying baby lambs though and then talk about death a whole lot.
  • Long Lie In – All snuggle in bed with a pile of books or a DVD – bring breakfast upstairs and don’t get up until you’re ready. If this is something that other people really do then I’m just going to go off and have a little cry.
  • Soft Play – Feed the kids before you go and bring a bottle of water so you don’t have to buy expensive cafe food. Tell them that’s the deal before you go! ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??! 

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The Chickenpox Diaries – Part Deux

Day 1

I was just starting to feel like, hey it’s been a couple of weeks now so surely we’ve escaped the eldest getting it?

But then, hang on what’s that small red bump? Oh dammit.

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Day 2

F seems totally fine so I carry on with my plans of heading out to see friends.

I drink tequila, do ‘sexy dancing’ and turn up home in the early hours stinking of Burger King. I wonder at what age it will be achievable for me to have a civilised night out? It’s certainly not 35…

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Day 3

It’s Mother’s Day. I’m hungover and would have appreciated a lie in but instead small people come in to prise my eyes open with their fingers.

They have made sweet cards for me but let’s face it they don’t really get the whole point of this do they? Everyone could do with a refresher on the T’s & C’s to be honest. Perhaps re-branding it to ‘Keep The Kids Out Of My F*cking Face Day’ would help a bit?

Later we decamp to my Nana and Pop’s house, a magical place where all illnesses and behavioural issues magically (yet temporarily) disappear.

We get home and have time for a quick game of ‘death-copter’ before bed. I won’t go into the specifics as it’s rather harrowing but let’s just say it’s not one of my favourites.

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The Chickenpox Diaries

Day 1

Text from husband…

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(We sometimes text using only emojis and no words because it is honestly quite funny but I realise it does sound a bit sad if you say it out loud and maybe even worse if you write it down on the internet).

Anyway turns out he means the littlest has chickenpox, tenuous at best. Never mind I am in London seeing friends. Not my problem.

Day 2

Who cares i’m in LONDON still! :)

Day 3 – Subtitle: THE DAY OF NO SLEEP

Back home now and S seems mostly ok in himself. That is until bedtime when he decides to forego sleep in place of thrashing about like a wild animal.

The only thing that calms him down is Fireman Sam. How long do you think a 2 year old would be able to stay up watching Netflix?

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Yes I was surprised too.

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Reward Charts – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Rewards charts seem to be one of those opinion dividing things – some people swear by them, others don’t like the idea of having to bribe a child to behave. I’m of the opinion that I don’t really care why the child is co-operating as long as they are (with the exception of hitting) and I’m also of the opinion that most things in life are worth having a bosh at (with the exception of heroin).

Soon as reward charts don’t commonly involve either of those things and supposedly MAKE BEHAVING FUN we got stuck in.

When it came to drawing up a chart we did consider a simple two pronged approach:-

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But although this seemed to cover all the bases, J thought we ought to be a bit more specific rather than honing in on the overall personality type. So the criteria we set were:-

  • Getting yourself dressed
  • Eating  your lunch
  • Being nice to your brother
  • Eating  your dinner
  • Good phonics practice
  • Dry pants
  • Going to bed nicely
  • NOT CRYING ALL THE TIME ABOUT ABSOLUTELY NOTHING

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Til death do us part

One of the things we have been talking quite a bit about lately is dying.

No one has died luckily, but new interests in fighting and attacking and baddies also bring with them questions of what happens when you get inured and don’t get better.

Personally I choose to keep a somewhat open mind about what happens when you die, I would love nothing more than to imagine a heaven where we are all reunited but on your average day that often feels a little bit far-fetched. Fingers crossed though right?

Anyway whether you are a believer or a non believer one of the most popular ways to describe what happens when you die to a small fretful child is to say something along the lines of:

‘Blady bla has gone to be a star in the sky. If you ever miss them just look up and the shiniest, sparkliest one will be blady bla watching over us all’ 

Which sounds bloody lovely!

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Except my guy ain’t buying that. Because essentially he is now thinking about a bunch of dead people floating around with a bunch of dead rocks in the great cold, expanse of nothingness that is space.

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And that is not cool. So he wants the specifics.

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Today You Are Two!

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Happy birthday sweet boy!

We got you your own scooter and tied it up with a big shiny balloon; together I saw them stamp out every ounce of babyhood that was lingering behind.

You’ve changed so much these last few months. You talk so much more, maybe slightly less than other kids your age but we don’t care about that. Your pronunciation is rubbish which I LOVE. You say ‘buuubrees’ (blueberries) ‘bapple’ (apple) ‘bthuses’ (buses) ‘beebuts’ (buttons) and ‘duddles’ (cuddles) and these versions will stay around a lot longer than they might if I didn’t keep reinforcing them, especially the duddles, always the duddles.

At two you are a fractious, defiant little ball of energy but a loving one who is a total mummy’s boy. You’re a bruiser, you wade in pushing and shoving and stand up to your brother and laugh as he throws footballer fake falls. I can tell I’m going to have to keep tabs on you.

Playing with you is a daunting experience, one minute you are laughing and the next you are shaking with anger that the train you are pushing won’t fit through a much smaller tunnel. It’s too small lovely, it’s just too small. The laws of physics are a tough lesson to learn I know.

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Sorry seems to be the hardest word…

…unless you are four and it means absolutely sod all.

Teaching kids manners, courtesy and societal norms is one of the biggest responsibilities of being a parent. But it doesn’t come without it’s challenges. Like any animal the natural urge is to snatch and grab and push and shove and thwack people over the back of the head with Buzz Lightyear.

Even as an adult, knowing right from wrong, it is hard sometimes not to wonder about kicking irritating people in the shins for, well being irritating. But we don’t because it’s not nice and it’s also a bit illegal, especially if you don’t make it look like a shopping trolley accident.

Instead we learn that the correct action is to smile sweetly and make small talk - ‘Oh no of course that’s fine, no I don’t mind AT ALL!’ - before going home for a good old fashioned bitch.

In our house we try and operate a no snatching, hitting, pushing or saying nasty things to each other policy which is REALLY successful every other Tuesday for 10 minutes if there is an adequate supply of biscuits and Spiderman is on the tellie.

The rest of the time it’s more like…cry1So I’ll be like ‘Hey it’s not nice to hit your brother about the head’ and he’ll be like ‘BUT HE WAS RUINING MY GAME!!!!!!!!!!!’

And then I’ll be like ‘Well I don’t care, come and tell me, don’t just hit him! Say you’re sorry please!’ And he’ll be like…notsorryAnd I’ll be stood there thinking – hey is this kid really sorry? Just because, I don’t know, he doesn’t really look that sorry and he almost, kind of like, sang that apology. I mean he may as well have been doing the can-can whilst releasing party poppers, such was the atmosphere of general exuberance.

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Gin Bunny Prints

It occurred to me the other day that although I have been banging on about my foray into greetings cards on social media I haven’t talked about it on here; and soon as many people just follow this blog via email or visiting direct I thought I would give a quick into into my new venture how it all came about.

A couple of months ago I wrote a post about how me and J got together, the last image I drew was of us sitting on the sofa. As it seemed to resonate with a lot of people J said ‘Hey you could make pictures like that into cards!’

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So I did! And Gin Bunny Prints was born.

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I got to work creating a small range of cards, mostly self indulgent stuff featuring gin, bunnies and the like (hence the name) and launched about two weeks ago.

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The Change

I was sat on the sofa the other day, minding my own business, when the youngest one wondered up and punched me in the face with his tommee tippee cup.

The blow was hard, for a not quite 2 year old, and as I watched the bruise rise around my left eye I couldn’t help but thinking it was somewhat metaphorical – signifying that the baby days were well and truly over.

Welcome to TODDLERHOOD, season 2.

realyo1I think I may have blocked out some of the horrors of the first series but lately I’ve been having flashbacks. I remember my first son tantruming to the extent that his face turned deep blue and his body lay jerking on the floor. I remember screaming, convinced that he was having some sort of seizure and dashing for my phone to call 999.

As it turned out he was just a ‘bit’ pissed off that I had broken his banana in half. And at that moment, all the anger at being given an incomplete bit of fruit, was deemed more significant than actually – just breathing.

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