Tuesday, 30 November 2010

I can't hear you!

I've been rather fancying a pair of ear muffs. I love hats, but hate the resulting flat hair you end up with afterwards. Ear muffs provide the perfect solution...warm ears without the resulting hat hair, These aren't quite what I had in mind, but they did the trick. They are the ones I bought for Lily last year, but she said they hurt her head so she wouldn't wear them. Waste not want not!

Emma's snow day

Please, please let me out!

Freedom! Mummy said I should wear mittens because snow is cold, but I know better.

Oh my, It is rather cold isn't it!

Wow, white stuff is falling from the sky! I wonder if I can eat it.

I wonder if you can skate on snow.
Emma's snow day would have lasted longer has she consented to wearing mittens. After about 10 minutes she started crying because her hands were cold. Not as loud as she cried when I make her come inside! Emma hates being indoors when she could be out!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Cooking with mother

Emma has recently taken to wanting to help me out with the cooking. One might say she insists upon it, which makes meal preparation somewhat challenging. I was trying to fry some onions and garlic for the start of the pasta sauce I was making this evening when my littlest lady started her shenanigans. I used to be able to fob her off with a saucepan and wooden spoon of her own, but she has recently twigged that real meal prep involves food. I was suddenly struck with the notion of giving her a few broken biscuits to play around with while I cooked and popped some Digestives in her saucepan. What a hit! Lily came out and wanted in on the action, so before long the two girls were sat happily on the kitchen floor crushing up Digestives with wooden spoons and having a ball. Kept them occupied until tea was ready, though I did have a few crumbs to sweep up afterwards. Okay 'a few' might be playing it down a bit, but at least we were all happy!
 Emma samples her 'cooking'
 And that's why I can't let her help me!
Lily pops a batch of biscuit crumbs in the oven.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


Lily is a typical four year old girl, which for anyone who doesn't have recent experience of four year old girls means that she loves Disney Princesses and pink. Preferences which lead us to the current solution to the toy situation in Lily's bedroom. Behold, the new delight of Lily's heart, her Disney Princess drawer unit!

Lily likes toys that have lots of bits. Lots of bits that were spreading their way all over her floor and stopping me from getting in there with the hoover. Something had to be done! We saw this drawer unit in Tesco the other day for the rather reasonable price of £12.48 and thought it might be the solution we were looking for. Now in an ideal world, The Solution would have been something tasteful in white and pastels with Beatrix Potter characters on it, but then I'm not a four year old girl so what do I know!
This unit is working really well and Lily is able to keep her room tidy without help. Her play food is in the bottom drawer, the middle drawer contains her Disney Princess dolls and their accessories and the top drawer is for everything else. 'Everything else' mainly consists of bags and purses of various sizes, though mostly in pink. Lily has a thing for bags. She has a couple of boxes of toys under her bed and everything else is in the playroom. I crave order and if bright pink Disney Princesses will help me achieve it, then so be it!


Monday, 22 November 2010

Naughty, but nice

Tom went to the dry cleaners with his daddy yesterday afternoon. The dry cleaners is next to a supermarket with a lovely bakery, so I told Tom he could choose 'something yummy for pudding' while he was out. I thought he might come back with some cookies or gingerbread men, but instead he chose this rather amazing strawberry gateau. Yes, it does taste as good as it looks...the leftovers in the fridge are calling to me from here! I think I'll send Tom to pick out the puddings more often!

Delicious, if a little on the pricey side!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Lily's Star of the Week party

It has now become the custom that when one of the Podlings is Star of the Week, we celebrate with a little tea party. Lily's party was held on Thursday, the day before Spencer had to go back to school. As usual, we covered the table with our star blanket and ate lots of star shaped food, including the fairy cakes we baked on Wednesday.
Lily absolutely loved being the centre of attention this week and loved the party. I think being Star of the Week more than lived up to her expectations. Sadly, come bedtime she was really quite upset that it was Spencer's last night with us and we had a lot tears because she didn't want him to go back to school. Poor Lily!
 Funny faces all round at the Star of the Week party! For some reason, Lily decided that her swimming costume was appropriate attire for the occasion.

A somewhat blurry photo of me with my little Star. It's a shame it's out of focus as I rather like this picture of the two of us.

Lily and Spencer

 A few more pictures of Lily's week with Spencer Bear. She was one happy little girl this week!

With Lily at school, Spencer passes the time with a book.
He seemed to prefer the books with bears in!

Friday, 19 November 2010

What's in a name?

Lily: There's someone in my class called Baby Jesus, but he's only a toy.

Something tells me they are practicing for the nativity play in school!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Baking stars

Spencer was waiting in the kitchen with all the ingredients for our star cakes when Tom and Lily came home.

When Tom and Lily came home from school this evening, we set about making star-shaped fairy cakes in honour of our little Star of the Week. Spencer the bear was waiting with all the ingredients and he even got to take a turn at stirring the mix. Lily chose pink icing for her cakes (no surprises there!) and Tom decorated his in yellow. Thankfully, Spencer Bear survived the experience without getting dirty and we all got to tuck into delicious star cakes at suppertime.
I'm really pleased with the Miniamo silicone moulds we used to make these. I have both the star and heart shaped sets and they both turn out excellent little cakes. I've used other makes of silicone mould in the past and had trouble turning out the end product, but these just pop out of the case no problem. If you are looking for shaped silicone cupcake moulds, I'd recommend them.

 Spencer has a look at the recipe
 Lily and Spencer stir the mixture
 Tom decorates his cakes

Emma cleans up!
I turned around to find that she had climbed onto Tom's empty chair and was eating the spilled icing off the side. That baby doesn't miss a trick!
Star cakes for the star of the week, decorated by Tom and Lily

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The bear necessities

Emma is having fun looking after the Star of the Week bear when Lily is at school. At 15 months old, my own little bear is now finally fitting 9-12 month size clothes. She's so tiny! All our 9-12 month baby girl clothes from Lily are summer dresses, so Mummy had a little shopping spree on Saturday (she is wearing one of her new dresses in these pictures). I have a terrible weakness for buying clothes for the Podlings. Bad me!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Look who's Star of the Week!

It was one happy little girl who came out of school this afternoon. Her dream of being the Star of the Week has finally come true. 

Well done Lily, we are very proud of you for being Star of the Week!

Happiness is...

 ...enjoying a windy autumn day in the garden with my baby.

Oh, how I love this time of year and the sweet child I was able to share it with this morning.

.Life is good!

More garden fun


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Guy Fawkes' night

You've got to feel a bit sorry for old Guy Fawkes. 400 years after his execution we are still burning the poor chap in effigy on bonfires across the country every year. Makes for a good family night out though!  

It is getting harder every year to find a fireworks display that is actually held on bonfire night, so this year we settled on going to one the day after. On Saturday night, we all bundled up in warm clothes (four of us in arans knitted by my mother) and went to a nearby park for the annual fireworks display.

Lily has been afraid of fireworks for the past few years, but seemed to want to attempt going this year. She was nervous about the bangs to begin with, but quickly began to enjoy the display once it got going. I think it helped that Mark's mum and dad came along, so there were lots of people with her. Tom was actually a little nervous about the fireworks this year, though he never has been before and Emma absolutely loved them! I was a little unsure about taking her since she is so young and Lily really hated them when we took her at 17 months old. My mind was made up as we were getting the Podlings into the car and a neighbour let off some fireworks. Emma pointed to them in great delight and was completely unfazed by the noise. She then proceeded to cry when I put her in the car because I had the audacity to take her away from the pretty lights!
Emma enjoying the fireworks.
She looks decidedly underawed in this picture, but I assure you she was having a lovely time!
After the fireworks display we came back home for soup, hot dogs and ginger cake. A chocolate covered apple for Lily and a toffee one for Tom rounded up their tea and then we had some fun with sparklers in the garden. It is the first time we have got sparklers for the children and Lily enjoyed them straight away. Tom was a little nervous to start with, but was soon writing large letters in the air and enjoying himself immensely. It was a lovely evening and a very late night for the children. The Podlings all slept in until 10.30am (or later) the following morning...bliss!


Monday, 8 November 2010

Portrait of a sleepyhead

As I went to download the photos from my camera this evening, I found this picture of a pyjama-clad Tom wrapped in a red blanket walking sleepily across the room. I know this picture must have been taken on Sunday morning. I also know that I didn't take it, indicating that a certain Miss Lily got hold of her Mummy's camera. I have to admit I rather like it and it's not a bad photo given that it was an action shot by a four year old! Think we might have to have words about playing with Mummy's camera though...naughty girl!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Return of the bear

Tom came home from school on the last Friday before half term with the class teddy bear under his arm. He had been chosen as Star of the Week for the effort he had put into his work. You may recognise the teddy from his previous two visits to our house (read about them here, here, here and here). This time round, Tom named the bear 'Legoman' and we were looking forward to doing lots of fun things with him during half term.

Legoman joined us in the car for the drive to Guildford for the wedding we went to, but we decided to leave him in the car for the actual wedding. The bear joined us in Starbucks for lunch on the Sunday though.

Tom and Legoman in Starbucks

 Legoman contemplating my mocha with whipped cream. Mmmm!

Legoman was probably expecting lots of fun, since we had such a good time with him on previous visits and I did, in fact, have lots of fun things planned for half term. Unfortunately, most of the family were ill for the entire holiday, so none of it came to pass. Ah well, such is life I suppose.
 Legoman looks after the Calpol!

 Lily loves the Star of the Week bear and yearns to be Star of the Week in her own class. It is a bit of a weekly disappointment for her, poor thing. I'm sure her turn will come and then she will be a very happy little girl!

Since we hadn't done much with Legoman during our 'sick week', we threw Tom a little 'Star of the Week' tea party this evening as the bear has to go back to school tomorrow morning. I'm still quite wiped out from whatever this virus is, so all the food was bought. I just don't have the energy for baking this week, so no fancy teddy-shaped biscuits this time unfortunately. Not that the Podlings seemed to mind as they had a lovely time. Hopefully 'Legoman' enjoyed his last day with us. I know Tom will be sorry to see him go.

Our little 'Star of the Week' tea party this evening.