Wednesday, 22 April 2009

In memoriam

My grandad holding Lily when she was four days old. It is one of my favourite pictures of him. He adored babies and I am so sad that he will never get to hold my third child.
My grandad passed away this morning. Although he has been ill, his death was rather unexpected and has come as a bit of a shock to us all. I was extremely fond of him and he will be sorely missed.
"Farewell to Thee! But not farewell
To all my fondest thoughts of Thee;
..Within my heart they still shall dwell
....And they shall cheer and comfort me."
...From "Farewell" by Anne Bronte, 1820-1849

Thursday, 16 April 2009

How do you eat yours?

It is well known that there are many and varied ways of eating the humble Creme Egg. Lily's particular approach is as follows:

Step 1: Bite off the top
Step 2: Stick you finger into the egg and scoop up some fondant

Step 3: Consume aforementioned fondant, preferably leaving large amounts of it all over your face

Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 until egg is empty
Step 5: Consume chocolate shell
Step 6: Send your mother into apoplexy when she realises that she left the baby wipes at home!

Egg hunt

We spent Easter Monday with Mark's family in Derbyshire. Once again, we were lucky with the weather and the Podlings spent a lovely afternoon playing in the garden. I managed to put together a little egg hunt while Mark's mum distracted the Podlings. They quickly caught on to the aim of the game and had a great time hunting out the eggs. I had to persuade Tom that he didn't have to give every egg he found to Lily just because she asked for it...the sweet boy is generous to a fault! The hunt didn't last long, but the Podlings obviously really enjoyed it. They ended up with roughly the same number of eggs in the end, so I guess the result was a draw. Tom isn't really that bothered by chocolate (unless it is on a biscuit), so he just peeled the foil off his eggs and left them in the bag. Lily, on the other hand, is rather fond of chocolate and she clearly thought she'd hit the jackpot!

The game is afoot!

Found one!

Now if I could just remove this pesky foil!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

For the Grandparents...

No set of holiday photos would be complete without dozens of pictures of your children! Here are a selection of some of the (many!) family shots we took over the weekend. Some of them need editing to sort out the light, but if I waited until I'd done that to post them , they'd never get on the blog!

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Our Lake Break

Ennerdale Water
We had a fabulous couple of days in the Lake District. The weather was glorious and a good time was had by all. Because it was a Bank Holiday weekend, Mark wisely steered us clear of the busy lakes and took us to quiet spots on other lakes. The Podlings had a wonderful time throwing stones into the water and picnicking by the shore. Tom called the lakes 'rock pools', which I suppose is logical on the grounds that he was throwing rocks into large pools of water. He might be disappointed next time he goes to the beach though!
Me and my bump (27 weeks pregnant) by Coniston Water.
I still have three months to go...I'm going to be huge!
Tom by Coniston water
We stayed in a Premier Inn in Carlisle on Saturday night, which the Podlings thought was a grand adventure. They loved us all sharing a room and I had a bit of trouble stopping them from talking after we went to bed. Not as much trouble as I was expecting however and both children slept soundly all night. We had a hearty breakfast the following morning and then drove up to Gretna Green for a brief look around.
The Old Blacksmith's shop at Gretna Green, where young couples from England would elope to be married.
After leaving Scotland, we drove back down to the lakes and had a little walk down to Ennerdale water, where the Podlings spent a happy time hurling rocks into the lake. It was getting late by then, so we headed to 'civilisation' to try and find some food. We expected everything to be closed, what with it being Easter Sunday, so we thought we'd stand a better chance of finding an open corner shop in a larger town. This was our reasoning behind heading to Whitehaven. Had we known anything about Whitehaven, we would probably have saved ourselves the trouble! We found somewhere to buy picnic food, but Whitehaven is not, shall we say, the most picturesque spot for a picnic. In the end, we put some picnic blankets down in Tesco's car park and ate there. Yes, we do some odd things!
Ennerdale water

Tesco car park - The best picnic spot in Whitehaven...seriously!

We finished up our visit with a lovely scenic drive through the lakes and had a late tea in Penrith. We didn't get home until eleven o'clock on Sunday night, so the Podlings slept in very late the following day. Tom didn't surface until about 10.20am on Monday morning!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Easter break

The four of us are off to the Lake District for a short break. We'll be back late tomorrow night, so I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Easter.

"He is risen; He is not here." Mark 16:6

'Cats Bells, The English Lake District' by Jason Friend

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


Me: Lily, don't throw the blocks on the floor. If you don't want to play with them, put them back in their box.

Lily: How 'bout you put them in the box. I got a poorly leg.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Social butterflies

The Podlings at their toddler group party

It was the last week of term this week, so the Podlings had two Easter parties to attend before the holidays (my children have a better social life than I do!) On Thursday morning we went to our toddler group Easter party, where all the children wore the hats they had decorated the previous week. There was plenty of party food for the children and we all had a lovely time.

Tom wore his bonnet just long enough for me to snap a couple of pictures. Can't blame him for taking it off really...putting a boy in a fancy Easter bonnet is a bit mean!

On Friday, the playgroup held its Easter party, so I dropped the Podlings off at nine and went back up at eleven to watch the children have their Easter bonnet parade. It was quite obvious that the two bonnets that won the Easter bonnet competition had been made by creative mums, with little or no help from their offspring! I took some lovely pictures, but they all have lots of other children in them. I have a personal policy not to post pictures of other people's children on the Internet, so I guess they'll be staying in the family album.

Lily dressed in her party clothes, ready for her playgroup party.

Lily had her face painted at the playgroup party and was quite proud of her chick

Easter bonnets

Tom's bonnet

The week before last saw the Podlings and I making Easter bonnets at the toddler group we go to. I spent a happy half an hour the night before cutting out felt shapes and bending pipe cleaners in preparation for the craft session the following morning. Lily, lover of all things crafty, had a great deal of input in the making of her bonnet. Tom glued on a chick and a few feathers and then left me to get on with the rest. It tickled me pink that the majority of the children at the group had very little involvement in the making of their bonnets, but the mothers and grandmothers were all having a fabulous time!

Lily's bonnet

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

A Podling picnic

We've been enjoying some lovely spring weather this week, which has allowed us to spend a lot of time outdoors. The Podlings spent almost all day today playing in the garden and haven't spent much time in the house at all. Although the weather wasn't exactly tropical, it was just warm enough for us to enjoy our first outdoor picnic of the year.

The Podlings love picnics and would have them all year round if they were allowed to. We will sometimes lay down a blanket in the playroom or lounge when the weather is bad and enjoy an indoor picnic just for the fun of it. This afternoon I took some muffins, cookies, satsumas, Mini Cheddars and strawberry juice into the garden for a special afternoon treat. As we enjoyed our food, I read them "Polly's picnic" by Richard Hamilton. The story tells of how a little girl's picnic is spoiled by a succession of greedy animals and is one of the Podling's favourite books. It seemed fitting to read it whilst enjoying our first picnic of the year. No doubt it will be the first of many such picnics if the weather permits.

Our Easter bunny

Every day for the past five days I have seen a small wild rabbit grazing in our back garden. Our garden has deep bushes and trees around the edges, plenty of grass and is quite safe from predators, so I'm pretty sure he's moved in. I finally managed to get a photo of him today, though the picture quality is poor as it was taken through the conservatory window and after a British winter the glass needs a jolly good clean. He's quite a little chap and the Podlings are extremely taken with him. I hope he sticks around for a while.


I don't know what gave them the idea, but the Podlings spent a happy ten minutes gathering up all the downstairs cushions and piling them up on the sofa in the playroom this afternoon. It kept them busy carrying cushions one by one from the lounge and the conservatory, which meant I was able to finish up what I was doing in the kitchen without Lily's usual assistance. I suspect the ultimate goal may have involved much jumping around (followed by much telling off by me!), but their tea was ready before I had the chance to find out.