Baking with the children

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Jet loves baking, and he is always asking to make things. Usually involving chocolate. I gave up trying to get Jet to embrace healthy cake – he never ate it, so it was just a waste of ingredients. And maybe he’s right – maybe baked foods shouldn’t be healthy, maybe they should be sweet and crumbly and delicious. Putting in the right quantities of butter and sugar results in food creations that my children will actually eat. So I’m going with that!  Continue reading

Before the barbecue

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A few months ago, Chris had a vision of a deck at the back of the garden. This was largely conceived as a *simple* way to cover up all the rubble, broken glass and oil drum fire debris left behind by previous homeowners that used to constitute the end third of the garden. Without ever having done it before, he placed a ceremonial pencil behind his ear and started saying things like “4 bee 2” like a pro, and lo and behold, a deck took shape.

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A fairly normal Saturday #2

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Throughout the summer, the children take it in turns to ruin our day, one of them always waking us up at silly o’clock whilst the other slumbers on undisturbed, as if they got together one night after lights out and drew up a rudimentary schedule. Today was Stella’s turn to trot into our room at 5.10 and try to squash her freezing cold feet between my thighs as I stared blearily at the clock in disbelief.

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Orange, fig and walnut loaf cake

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Every month or so, my mum has a magazine declutter. She passes them my way, where I happily sift through to see if there are any new recipes I fancy, rip out a million pages and file them in my recipe folder. Well, I say file, they are shoved into the front to spill out every time the folder is taken out of the cupboard, until I get around to trying them. Then I might deem them worthy of actual filing and slip them into one of the plastic sleeves for wipe clean posterity. This is one that gets to enter the hallowed baking section. Definitely.

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What Stella did next

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Stella is talking so much more, it now feels as if you are actually having a conversation with her. Some of the words are still missing from her phrases, replaced by garbles, but her meaning is increasingly clear. When I interrupted her reading by scooping her up to get her dressed, she exclaimed indignantly, “Mummy! Agoo-gee-goo book!” At breakfast time she spied my fruit, put her own down and demanded, “Mummy. Agoo-gee-goo apple. Eat!” At bath time, Stella saw the cat perched on a stool that she considered too close to the bath. “Juno! Noggin da baff!” she instructed, wagging a finger.

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Killing time #1

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Puzzles

Those who know me well know that I am partial to a range of these. From a kakuro to a griddler, crosswords both numerical and word-based, there is a puzzle for my every mood. I love to sit down with one of my favourite pencils (everyone has a favourite pencil, don’t they?) and get down to business. I even have a clipboard dedicated to this purpose.

Yes, I do know how rock and roll I am. Continue reading

More from my delightful girl

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Stella is really growing up. She likes to brush her hair, she’s got a penchant for ‘shoesh’ – her own and others’ – and likes to put on “coves”, trying on hats (anything that can be put on one’s head makes a very suitable hat), sticking trousers on her head and pushing her little legs into the sleeves of a jumper.

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‘At.

The baby who didn’t like milk has grown up into a hungry little person who scoffs most of what is put in front of her. If she’s upstairs exploring (taking all of her clothes out of the drawers), a surefire way to get her to come downstairs is to let her know there is food in the offing. Meals or ‘nack’s, or even just seeing someone go into the kitchen prompt her to shout “Eat! Eat!” and run for the high chair. When she has finished her drink or snack, she will bring you her empty bowl or cup, saying “ere go”.

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The Latest from Jet

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Charity begins at home

Jet, like most people, loves finding money. Normally ‘finding’ money implies a certain serendipity. You don’t know who the money belongs to – it is anonymous cash, perhaps dropped in the gutter by an unknown stranger. In which case, with no hope of reuniting it with its rightful owner, go for your life! Pocket that change without a pang of guilt! It’s what anyone would do.

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A few words from Jet

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Jet’s competition winnings – he guessed how many bricks were used to build a massive snowman and got £70 to spend on Lego! He magnanimously bought Stella a Duplo set, but hasn’t let her actually play with it😉

In December, Jet and I went to the Lego show together. It was awesome – I am already looking forward to going next year. Anyway, we enjoyed ourselves in all the build areas and here’s Jet with his droids, which he made out of massive rubber Lego bricks. They all had names that went letter letter, number number, like his heroes R2 and C3PO.

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Lovely little things she does

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Stella chats away 19 to the dozen. Even though most of it is babble, in some cases the words that are emerging sound a bit like the ones she is trying to say, such as ‘ba’ (bag, but this also doubles as bath), ‘bo’ (box). In others, her attempts to say what she sees bear no resemblance to the original at all. Still, her vocabulary is coming on rapidly now and her personality is strong.
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Jet’s CV #1

At the moment, Jet is fascinated by postcodes. If anyone looks like leaving the house – the mere mention of the word ‘shoes’ or a glance towards the door and he demands to know which postcode they will be going to. When told, he will nod sagely. “Ah, N13. Palmers Green. Yes.”  The database mind starts flicking, almost audibly. “Nana and Grandad live there.”

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Please don’t go

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Look. I know what I said. I know I haven’t always been grateful. I know I don’t always approve. I know I send the occasional indignant tweet, like when Ruff Ruff describes a sphere as a circle (that’s just wrong!). I know I get cranky every time Numberjacks comes on and my three year old freaks out because the baddies are so scary (seriously, you need to give us some warning!). I know I laughed at all those plot ideas people suggested for the new series of Topsy and Tim. (but that show really is twintastically irritating. And sexist. And smug.) I know I sometimes add sugar or salt to Katie’s recipes. And I know I said those things about Mike the Knight (but he is a tit. I don’t take that back.)
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Concerns over Daddy’s personal hygiene

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One morning Jet came into our room and climbed into the bed for a cuddle.

Putting his face on Daddy’s pillow,”You’re a bit stinky,” he said to Chris, charitably. “You smell like a, like a… like a dirty pillow.” (I really do not know where he got his inspiration from on that one.)

It is always a pleasure to be told you smell by your three year old boy, not often known for excellent personal hygiene themselves.

Later on in the day, Chris took the children shopping. Jet had been uncharacteristically lovely to his sister, showing her around his nursery and holding her hand as they walked down the road, so Chris decided that he deserved a special treat and bought himself Jet a Star Wars lego set.

Walking back to the car, Jet benevolently suggested, “Would you like a special treat, too? For being a good Daddy?”

He had clearly been thinking about what Daddy should choose for his special treat, and was quick to make this suggestion.

“You could have a shower.”

Little Hearts, Big Love

The Fabulously Froody Douglas Adams

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Getting off a tube train in the not-as-leafy-as-it-sounds North London suburb of Wood Green, I indulge in one of my favourite bad habits and continue to read my book as I walk along the street. In my hand is a dogeared copy of one of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers’ novels, I forget which. Stopping to cross the busy street on my way to the bus stop, I look up to check the traffic and notice, to my delight, that one of the men walking towards me on the crowd is holding the same book. We sort of awkwardly gesture at each other with our paperbacks and exchange a wry smile in a manner typical of a Londoner who feels they have made a connection of sorts with a total stranger.

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Pinterest wins #1 Courgette and Carrot Muffins

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A few weekends ago we spent an idyllic day at my parents’ house, overindulging in barbecued meats and almost every type of carbohydrate known to man before pointlessly deciding which of my mum’s three desserts to have, only to finally, inevitably, succumb to having some of each. Prior to staggering home, we took a look around my dad’s vigilante allotment to pick some blackberries, french beans and courgettes to take home, Jet having only inadvertently trampled on a few of Grandad’s carefully tended vegetables.
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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award

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sisterhood1I am grateful to have been nominated for the Sisterhood of World Bloggers by Charlotte from Our Daly Life. Being awarded by other bloggers is a lovely treat, giving you a virtual cuddle for your blogging efforts. Thanks so much, Charlotte. One of the great parts about blogging is being welcomed into this awesome community of people, supporting each other and taking a really genuine interest in each others’ experiences.

So, I am about to unleash another torrent of random information about myself, prompted by the questions Charlotte has set.
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Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the sandwich wrap!

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I’ll set the scene:

We had just returned from playgroup. Jet fell over on the way back, but soldiered on through my blearily recollected version of Rumpelstiltskin, and bravely traversed several walls to make it home. Having illustrated him a custom plaster to order, I had my drawing skills criticised (“Why is Bob so big?” Apparently my explanation that the angle Kevin was leaning against Stuart, who was in turn sitting down, was a less than adequate explanation for this discrepancy.), cleaned up his knee and applied some antiseptic cream along with TLC. It was definitely time for lunch.

 

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I was (wrongly, it turned out) quite pleased with this effort

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And she’s off!

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Stella has been trying out her legs to see what they can do. Having found from an early age that they were pretty useful for kicking with, she earned herself the nickname Kicky-Legs McGee early on. In fact I have a large number of photos of Stella where her legs are just a blur, such is the force with which she is kicking them. I also used to really fear her coming through the ceiling when she was put down for a snooze and she’d just kick away in her cot upstairs…

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Liebster Award #3

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Thanks bunches to the lovely Tummy Mummy for nominating me for a Liebster award🙂 Check out her blog – I love this quote that I have stolen from her Liebster post:
“I want to make the point that whilst becoming a mother is significant and wonderful, you still remain a woman with your own interests.”
How fabulous, and very well put. She also shares my admiration for Frog and Toad, as you can see from her twitter header.

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8 ways to get your child to walk down a road

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Have you ever had difficulty trying to get a small person to walk from A to B? Although most of them have superb perambulation skills when it comes to pursuing their own agendas, when it comes to your’s they can adopt a pace more befitting of a snail. Therefore, parents throughout history have become remarkably adept at the following encouragement techniques. I share mine here, so you too can arrive at your destination at least a few minutes prior to completely losing the will to live!!!

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Pinterest fails #2

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Welcome back to my series on Pinterest fails, where you can laugh with me, but never at me as I attempt things that look like a good idea.

In this instances, I have to be honest – I didn’t see this on Pinterest, although I am fairly certain it would be on there. Neither is this, strictly speaking, a complete fail. If I only had one child, it would have been, but luckily Stella came to the rescue! In addition, the failure of this is partly self-induced. But my blog, my rules, okay?!
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Lockway!

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We were leaving the park the other day, after an impromptu visit that occurred on our way back from a milk restocking expedition. Walking along with him holding the buggy, suddenly I heard Jet’s brain whirr into action and he ran off ahead a little way, standing with his legs wide apart and his arms outstretched, blocking the path.
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Pinterest fails #1

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I have mentioned before my aching desire for my boy to sleep in beyond 4.30 am. In order to achieve this, we do our level best to exhaust the little tyke every day in the hope that he will need more hours’ kip. But where that fails, and it almost always does, I like to leave him a little selection of activities set up so he can play independently when he comes down, leaving us to languish in bed until 6 if we’re very lucky. Continue reading

Out of the mouth of one crazy babe – More of Jet’s amusing musings

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I haven’t had the best of days with Jet today – I should have been more suspicious as to why he was so quiet upstairs for so long, but when he finally came down, I kicked myself for my lack of curiosity.

Jet: (Urgently, wearing nothing more than a rather wet t-shirt) I need your help.

Me: (startled) Okay. What’s happened?

Jet: There’s a plug emergency. And it’s a bad one, I’m afraid.

This did not bode well. Continue reading

Teaching Jet to read

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Just thought I’d share with you some ideas I have started using to introduce some basic reading skills to the boy. One of my motivations for this is that he’s into it. He loves books and I think it would be nice for him to be able to read them by himself. He’s always asking what things say. But also, I am constantly on the lookout for things he can do independently when he wakes up at the crack and decides it’s time for everyone to stop lying around and get on with life. Continue reading

Hot?

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Along with the rest of the population, Jet has been quite hot this week. Whenever the mood takes him he is to be found parading in the altogether.

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My house and garden are now littered with discarded pants and I have become more accustomed to the sight of my boy’s bits and bobs than I would care to be. Continue reading

A fairly normal Saturday

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5.30pm… Chris got up with the kids, so I lay in bed for a bit, bracing myself for the day. I showered and dressed whilst they all had breakfast.

7am… I bribed Jet with ‘gummy bears’ (he thinks his multivitamins are a delicious treat – a fact I use to my advantage) to get himself dressed, which he managed to do all by himself whilst I put Stella’s clothes on. I managed to fill the paddling pool so the water could warm up a bit before the kids would go in it later, a small act of unusual preparedness which made me feel like I was winning at life. Chris left for work before 7.30.

8 am… We walked to Enfield without too much trouble, although Jet did want to hold my hand to walk on a variety of walls, which was tricky given the pushchair and shopping trolley.

8.30pm… We went to the fishmongers where Stella was cooed over by one fellow customer, whilst Jet impressed another by eating an alarming quantity of ice from the shellfish display:/ But in his defence it was really hot today, and at least it took his mind off running away. Continue reading

Why, Vtech, why

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Like most people who have children, my house looks like an explosion happened in toys r us and a plastic apocalypse ensued. We are unofficially sponsored by V-tech, market leaders and makers of edu-tastic, ear-worm spouting robots, baby walkers, electronic books and play computers. In short, they make something to delight and exasperate all household members.

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