Friday, 30 November 2012

Rudolph the Reindeer Craft

Emma and I had fun doing this adorable footprint reindeer craft together this morning. I can't claim the credit for the idea as I had seen something similar on Pinterest and was inspired to have a go with Emma. We didn't have any brown paint, so in addition to doing a fun craft, Emma had a lesson in colour mixing!

After the footprint was dry, I added the antlers with green glitter glue and attached a red pom pom nose and googly eyes. I thought it was so cute that we have made one for each set of grandparents and another to turn into a Christmas card for her playgroup teachers. It would be lovely to make these each year and have a record of how her little feet have grown each Christmas.

Learning to make brown. When doing footprint crafts, it is not a bad idea to keep the legs bare. Somehow the paint never seems to just stay on the feet!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Walk at Dusk

This afternoon we took a lovely walk through Biddulph Grange Country Park at dusk. The low light levels meant that very few of my photos turned out well, but it was such a lovely walk and so very relaxing. It was a cold, crisp afternoon and a low mist lay on the ground. As the light levels dropped, a golden moon came out, shining brightly and reflecting in the still waters of the pond. It was dreamlike and beautiful.

We finished off our walk with tea, juice and homemade chocolate muffins back at the car before heading home for tea, bathtime and bed. The Podlings all went to bed sporting those adorable flushed cheeks they get when they have had a bracing walk in the cold and have come inside and warmed up again. They should all sleep well tonight!

Moon over still waters

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Painted Ladies

The Podlings were all invited to the third birthday party of a little friend today. Iona's party was held at a local leisure centre and there was a bouncy castle, lots of balloons, lovely food and lots of friends to play with. Iona's mother ( a very lovely lady) is one of the most organised people I know, so it was a really delightful  party and they had a great time! Lily and Emma were particularly enamoured with the face painting. Lily had hers done first and Emma was basically a bit of a misery guts until she got hers done exactly the same way! Soap and water were enemies today!


Friday, 16 November 2012

Children in Need

Today was Children in Need, so Tom and Lily were supposed to go to school in their pyjamas to raise money for the cause. Tom wasn't too thrilled with the idea to begin with, but warmed to it when he realised that everyone else would also be in pyjamas. He looked so sweet going off to school wearing the new rocket pyjamas he got for his birthday under his smart duffle coat! Friday afternoon means privilege time at Tom's school, so he chose to bring two of his favourite soft toys to play with today. It sounds like he had a great day and there was certainly much merriment amongst the children coming out of school.

Lily, the poor little mite, was so looking forward to wearing her nightdress to school. Sadly, I spoke too soon when I said we were all well as she woke up at midnight last night and I was up with her for much of the night with a recurrence of the stomach bug. A sadly disappointed little girl had to stay home today, but I did let her wear her nightdress up to school when we went to collect Tom so she didn't feel left out. Hopefully that really will be the last of the virus. We are so fed up with germs now!

Lily showing us what she would have worn to school today, had she not been home sick. At least she got to wear it to pick her brother up from school.

Bed is too small for my tiredness

I mentioned my epic ironing backlog in my previous post. It may be the bane of my life at the moment, but at least Emma is enjoying it. She walked into the kitchen this evening whilst I was clearing up tea and declared "I'm tired! I'm going to bed on your washing." She promptly climbed on top of my overflowing ironing basket and made herself comfortable.

Cheeky monkey!


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Checking in

My poorly Emma bear last Friday.

Oh my, what a fortnight! A lovely visit from my parents, followed by a week long visit from a horrendous stomach virus that took us all down, one by one.

My parents arrived on the 2nd of November and we all went to a fireworks display on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon saw us celebrating the 70th birthday of Mark's mum with family at her home and Monday we celebrated Guy Fawke's Night with Sparklers in the garden. We had a peaceful few days just enjoying my parents being with us before the stomach virus hit.

Emma started the ball rolling when she took ill last Thursday evening, but my parents went home on Saturday and managed to avoid catching it. Sunday morning, Tom and Lily woke up within half and hour of each of other vomiting and were ill for two days. Monday morning I woke and I just knew it was my turn! Oh my goodness, I haven't felt that ill in a long time! I was in bed for two days and I still don't feel right. Thank goodness Mark was able to stay home from work to look after the Podlings, because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to. I nearly passed out twice just because I tried to stand up. Fun! Mark then started to go down with it on Tuesday and was ill all day yesterday. It has not been a good week!

Half term, followed by my parents' visit, followed by a week of illness now means my house looks like a bomb has hit it and I am so behind with the ironing it is unreal! It is going to take a while to get my house back in order, so blogging is likely to take a bit of a back seat until I do. I don't function well in chaos, so I need to deal with it before I go nuts! Suffice to say we are all well (finally) and I will update when I can. Life goes on, I just may not be blogging about it quite as much!

Tom with a sparkler in the garden on Guy Fawke's Night

Emma and Molly 'hanging out' after playgroup one morning

I love this photo of Emma and my dad. Grandad became Emma's number one favourite playmate during his visit. She wanted him to play with her all the time. "Come on Gwangwad, let's play!" became a familiar refrain around our home that week. During a late lunch of pie and chips one day, Emma insisted on sitting next to grandad, who was eating in the lounge. Such a sweet moment.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Six Honest Serving Men

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
I give them all a rest.

I let them rest from nine till five,
For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!

She sends'em abroad on her own affairs,
From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!
~ from the 'Just So Stories' by Rudyard Kipling
I recently bought the Podlings a beautifully illustrated copy of Rudyard Kipling's 'Just So Stories'. It is many, many years since I read these wonderful stories myself, so it is with great delight that I am reading them aloud to the Podlings. It was with great amusement that I read this poem from 'The Elephant's Child' as it could have been written about Lily. Lily has what I like to call 'an enquiring mind'. In short, she is insatiably curious and asks questions constantly. She is a very bright little girl and has a laudable thirst for knowledge that is, at times, a little exhausting to keep up with! I shall always think of Lily when I read this poem. Love that girl of mine!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Our Halloween Tea

Our Halloween party tea was fun to throw together and rather low effort on my part as most of the bits and pieces were shop-bought. The fairy cakes were homemade, but everything else came out of a packet, making this a very low preparation party. Mark was able to get home from work early enough to join us for tea and to enjoy the games afterwards, so the Podlings were happy to have us all together for the evening. A good time was had by all!

The Podlings' lovingly decorated fairy cakes

I amused myself by carving a face in an orange to make it look like a Jack O' Lantern!

Each of the Podlings had a gingerbread skeleton waiting on their plate. Here Emma is trying to work out the best way of getting the eyes off it!

Party time for Podlings!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Halloween Fun

This year's Jack O' Lantern, carved by yours truly whilst waiting for the fairy cakes to bake. 

Halloween normally falls during term time, but this year it fell on half term week. This meant that rather than a few hours in the evening, we were able to have a whole day of family fun. After they raided their treat baskets and indulged in the rare treat of chocolate before breakfast, I made Halloween themed pancakes for our actual breakfast. We watched a couple of new Looney Toons Halloween specials on DVD (Tom is in to Looney Toons in a big way at the moment) and read lots of books from our Halloween-themed book basket. Lily and Emma were already dressed in their costumes by this point and were soon engaged in lots of imaginative play. Mark's parents arrived after lunch and the Podlings were thrilled to have their grandparents here to share the day with them.

The Podlings braved the freezing cold to have a good bounce on the trampoline (poor Nanna had to wrap up in three blankets to stay warm!) and then they came inside to decorate fairy cakes. After a Halloween themed tea we played The Doughnut Game. This involves hanging ring doughnuts from sticks and dangling them at head height in front of the Podlings. The winner is the first person to take a bite out of their doughnut, but they are not allowed to touch the doughnut with their hands. Tom won this year, but much fun was had as they tried to consume sticky doughnuts dangling from string in front of their noses! They then had a few rounds of the Ghost Hunt game that Tom got for his birthday before I had the fun of trying to calm them all down for bedtime! We finished the evening off by reading Julia Donaldson's 'Room on the Broom' at storytime. I think it's fair to say that the Podlings had a great day!

Chocolate before breakfast = A Good Day

My attempt to make Scotch pancakes look like skulls and ghosts! Raisins for eyes and white chocolate chips for teeth. If you squint you might be able to see the resemblance! 

Grandad helping Tom to decorate fairy cakes

Nanna helping Emma with her cakes. Emma, you might notice, has a great deal of melted chocolate around her mouth!

I iced faces on orange chocolate buttons in an attempt to make them look like Jack O' Lanterns.

Lily takes cake decorating very seriously and made some very pretty little cakes.