Saturday, 31 December 2011

High expectations...

I started off with such high hopes as a parent, always speaking in a singsong voice, trying not to raise my voice and reading books about developing children (in the evening when I could and possibly should have been watching trash TV and unwinding)

When did it change to survival, letting them use the wii or TV for a little more than I should on occasion just to have five minutes peace?

Even if all I do is usually just try to wrestle the house into some kind of order (I know some experts say you should leave the housework and spend quality time with your children but surely eventually it would be hazardous to health and we would all be lying maimed on the floor somewhere having tripped and fallen on an array of toys!)

I must admit though I have a mental checklist in my head and tick it off throughout the day, did some arts and crafts, got some fresh air, played a board game, tried to get some fruit down them…

But the guilt I feel as a parent for not continuously coming up with new and engaging ideas for play and development is INTENSE!  Who would have thought being a parent is just one giant guilt trip?

Should I just accept I shall never be perfect, I will just be me and hope that is enough…


Friday, 30 December 2011

Oh no he’s not…

Yesterday we also squeezed in a trip to see a pantomime another prerequisite of the festive season.  We watched an amateur dramatics performance of Sleeping Beauty.  It kept us all quite entertained with all the shouting “he’s behind you!” and youngest was ecstatic that a dragon featured in the script (he made a point of hugging the child that played that part at the end!)

Plus I enjoyed watching the bad fairy; I think I must have something for guys with heavily white powered faces and eyeliner…

At one point a bike wheel went flying into the audience in the front row, it was not intentional it was meant to skid along the stage… then later the King’s slipper went flying from behind us and clouted my eldest son on the head!  I was starting to worry if we would all survive till the end of the show!

With every round of applause the youngest asked, “Is it finished yet?” I don’t think it helped I was plying them with chewy colourful sweets to keep them sat serenely, by the end all that sugar was screaming let us run around now mummy!

Am tempted to sign my eldest son up to auditions next year, am not sure if its because I would like to develop his acting ability or because I think being on stage seemed a lot safer than sitting in the audience!!!


Thursday, 29 December 2011

An afternoon spent crafting

Am I the only person that is secretly pleased when I hoover up moon sand!  Thinking gleefully less of the stuff for next time!!!  I do enjoy getting my hands dirty crafting away with the boys but also hate it in almost equal measures…

So Mister Maker eat your heart out this afternoon we are making dinosaurs.  Almost immediately I was concerned as eldest asked if the moulding powder he saw me mix with water “is that milk?”

I was then left stirring moulding powder whilst the boys deserted me for Tomica.  Do I lack some special skills to make activities sound fun and engaging… maybe I need a raised Hi-dee-Hi voice?

Odds on I either concrete myself to the worktop or make runny dinosaurs.  I was initially pleased with this purchase as it was fairly cheap, but after I factor in the cost of the bowl, spoon and fork I just threw away its not looking such a bargain.   It did say use a disposable container but I was not prepared…




I moved the boys onto Cars Mosaic Cubes, these were better with the tiny fiddly pieces there should be plenty of mileage on this activity!!!  Cue cup of tea and chocolate time methinks.




Mister Maker I salute you.  I have a new respect for your obvious talents.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Jack Draws Anything

Just stumbled upon this website, how adorable is six year old Jack and his lovely drawings:




Artistic Jack is drawing to raise money for The Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh through the Sick Kids Friends Foundation as his younger brother receives treatment there.  He has raised a staggering £27,920.50 so far.

So to show a little support I thought I would run a competition to win a paperback copy of his book.  To enter just follow on google friend connect and let me know how to contact you.  I will then order a copy from Amazon to be sent directly to the winner after the competition has closed (10/01/12).


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Nice relaxing bike ride





Or so we thought but we were sadly mistaken…






We past lots of contented couples holding hands walking leisurely down the promenade.  Whilst we coaxed and encouraged our soon to be reluctant young bike riders, who got bored after 5 minutes and left hubbie lugging both bikes…



Well I guess as a family we do want to get fit so that probably counted as a strenuous weight bearing exercise for hubbie.  I on the other hand had the pleasure of carrying the youngest on my shoulders.  Least we burnt off some calories for the grand opening of the next tin of chocolates…

I must admit hubbie and I were quite envious when a young girl whizzed past on an electric scooter.  Her mum looking suitably relaxed!

Monday, 26 December 2011

We survived Christmas 2011

On placing the stockings on their door at the grandparents’ house I managed to make an all mighty crash, I breathed in and prayed the boys did not hear it before I had to scarper. Luckily they slept on which was a huge relief as I cannot go anywhere in a hurry in my slipper boots, which are far too big without tripping onto my face…


Last year we had to commandeer the grandparents’ dog to help out with the unwrapping. This year both boys were experienced in the art of unwrapping and made quick work getting through the presents off Santa, family and friends.




Here she is feeling rather redundant but enjoying a nap:



Despite this we still hit the wall of fatigue around 1pm and none of us could find the energy to unpack and remove the ties of yet another toy, let alone find the strength to help play with them… until of course we ate copious amounts of Roses and then we were good to go again.

Most of the presents were a huge success, except the expensive Scaletrix and a few others as the boys wanted the wrapping paper off them to collect with their robot arm.  I guess we should be pleased least this Christmas they really wanted to help tidy up!!! And for the princely sum of £4.99 it worked out cheaper than hiring a cleaner.

It was refreshing seeing many of the plastic ties holding the toys in place being replaced with string, although think my mum was secretly disappointed as she thinks they are great for sealing bags of food!

I was a rebel this year and did not have my one sprout of tradition; I put my foot down and refused! I think at 33 now I should make a standpoint against the vile little green vegetables.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas day or at the very least survived it…

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Hooray it’s Christmas Eve

Without trying to sound bah humbug I really am pleased:

I don’t think I can stomach another visit to a grotto and feign excitement especially after the bad Santa incident (see here)

Or find the energy to try and stop my boys eating all the contents of their selection box presents in one sitting

Our cupboards cannot bear the weight of any more chocolate (we currently have 5 tins of roses, 2 Cadburys giant gift boxes and a token scattering of other chocolate coated edibles!)

I am running out of places to hide presents, they are currently squished and crammed in every available space taller than my boys

It’s been a LONG week and I want to open the Christmas bottle of Baileys

Thankfully I listened to a mummy friend’s advice and did not save the wrapping till tonight.  I had convinced myself it would be very relaxing to do with Christmas music playing, chocolates opened and Baileys in hand… after spending HOURS wrapping last weekend and being bored out of my mind after present number three, it is with pleasure I can relax tonight!

Blogaholic Designs”=

Friday, 23 December 2011

Bad Santa

Santa comes in many shapes and sizes, big beard, little beard, kindly face, face hidden in beard… you get the picture…

I guess if you go to enough grottos there has got to be at least one bad Santa in the midst of the festivities. 

Yesterday bemused myself and my fellow mummy friend and was definitely not quite the usual Santa approach we were expecting:

He regaled in stories of how he had been drunk in charge of reindeer after too much sherry

He told our children the contents of their presents before they opened them…

After unwrapping their presents he said left over paper gets put through letterboxes of elderly peoples homes and set on fire… (luckily our children were oblivious to this and were too engaged in their millionth selection box of the season!)

He was elderly himself and can only imagine he was trying to be rock and roll, anyway at this point we made a prompt exit!

Sometimes it’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry, I think it’s turning into one of those weeks!  I guess at least he is doing his bit to raise money for another worthy cause and I don’t doubt his good intentions but some people are made to be Santa and some should stick to other pursuits!


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bath time fun with Crazy Soap

My lucky boys had a fantastic package in the post today five Crazy Soap products to review.  They actually begged for a bath tonight when they saw the delightful new bath products “it’s going to be fun, fun, fun” eldest shouted to the youngest.

He than proceeded to tell his brother we can change our skin different colours.  Excited raised voices, “we don’t like pink skin we need blue or red skin.  Then we can make bubbly toys with the foam…”. 

The only downside of the bath time body paint is you do need to give them a good scrub afterwards, as the colour does stay on quite well, but they loved that!

The foam soap is really pliable and entertaining to make into simple shapes or decorate daddy with and for £2.50 its great value.


The bath goo felt funny to touch, the boys were really interested and it made oodles of lovely bubbles.

All the products smelt pleasant and fruity, not overpowering and my boys did not have any adverse reactions to them, as sometimes they can be quite sensitive to bathing products, so I am very impressed with this range.

If your children are reluctant bathers than these products are what you have been searching for, bath time has never been so much fun!  Getting your children back out of the bath is your new problem, my boys were very sad when bath time finished!

Crazy Soap are available from Tesco, Morrisons and Lloyds Pharmacy.

Why not follow them on facebook.

Working out in STYLE with Davina for Next

When it comes to exercise I must admit I am a bit like Garfield.  Luckily I must have a high metabolism as regardless of how much cake or chocolate I chomp on I manage to keep a constant weight.  Yet just because I look thin (okay thinish!) does not mean I actually am healthy.

Given how many calories I have ingested to support me through those many sleepless night with my boys I should get into fitness, to hopefully live a long happy healthy life with them.  Plus seeing as I send my eldest to swimming, gymnastics and ball skills on a weekly basis it only seems fair that I am a good role model and take up a regular form of exercise.

So along with driving, cooking, I think I need to bundle in working out with those New Year resolutions.  To achieve this aim I think I need a new fetching workout kit, so was very excited to hear about the announcement of The Davina for Next collection, what better timing!




I have fallen in love with the Charcoal Cuffed Joggers, £25 and the colourful vests £18 each.  It’s hard to pick my favourite I might just need to try them all!  Davina has also taken care of all the important little extras like a place to keep your MP3 player and reflective strips to ensure safety if you are prone to early morning jogs.

Exercise need not be painful, with dual density mid sole technology (gosh that was a mouthful!) reducing fatigue and supporting your joints.  Exercising is no longer a chore but enjoyable and comfortable.  I think given this the White Sports Trainers, are a bargain at £45 (Santa I NEED these hint hint!).




I can visualise myself doing stretches and plunges wearing these lovely numbers.  Even an exerciser avoider like me could live the dream!  Wait till my mummy friends see me, they will all be off to Next quick smart to get their own!  I would be sorely tempted to return to my Zumba sessions in these.

And best of all this is workout gear you will not be embarassed to answer the door too.  If my postman knocks mid dvd workout no more hanging my head in shame in my usual old worn out oversized joggers!  I will flaunt my fabulous style.

Available to buy online at Next and instore from Spring 2012.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Has Christmas become too commercialised?

How lovely is this article here, a Christmas list to Santa written in 1911:

“I want a baby doll and a waterproof with a hood and a pair of gloves and a toffee apple and a gold penny and a silver sixpence and a long toffee.”

Although with the cost of gold the penny might be a stretch, if I substitute it for a gold chocolate coin that list would be significantly cheaper than the one my eldest wrote with TOMICA, countless Wii games, and an inflatable go-kart for starters…

I would like Christmas to cost less but with Christmas list’s getting progressively longer and more sophisticated, I would not know where to start and not sure I could carry the burden of guilt if my boys had less than their friends.

Maybe next year I should go back to basics perhaps making some of the gifts… not that anyone would thank me for that!  My creative ability is on par with my cooking (see here).  I have however made a new blogger friend over at life, love and living with boys who might just have the know how!

Can’t cook…

Reading all the lovely blog posts from those that can cook has put me to shame…

I have a brand new slow cooker and bread maker both two years old now and still waiting for their first use, looking sad and dejected in the cupboard.

I even won a recipe book for telling Take a Break’s My Favourite Recipes about my hopeless experience of cooking sausages at University.  After putting holes in said sausages I cooked them but left the knife in there too, plastic sausages from the melted handle were the end result.  When on a student budget it was heart-breaking going back to super noodles for tea AGAIN!

Anyone want a friendly wager that next year the bread maker will make it out of its box!?!  Will the recipe book I won ever be utilised?!? Or will it become another prize for my blog…

I am determined, so lets get those pesky new years resolutions underway:

I shall be a better cook and get driving again (see here).


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

VROOOM!

I actually passed my driving test six years ago, but have not really driven since.  Passing my test on the fourth attempt was such a huge achievement, given how badly I started out.  Back when I was 17 my first two tests involved the letter D (for dangerous driving) far too many times… I actually gave up with the process for 10 long years.

I think I am still traumatised by my early experience, I recall vaguely driving over a roundabout (to be fair it was at least a painted one and not a hump in the middle of the road!), possibly breaking the speed limit and trying to go through a red light.

But at the mature age of 27 I was better positioned.  My brother passed at 17 no problems but then I also took an age to learn to ride a bike.  Obviously my mum did not refine my motor skills when I was younger…

Now we finally have a car, not unlike Peppa Pig’s shiny red one, it seems silly to embark on trips outside in torrential rain by foot… the boys and I got drenched yesterday after attending a birthday party.  Soaked through on the long walk home! 

Next year I will be driving our little red car.


Monday, 19 December 2011

The life of a cat…

One of my cats does not so much as eat his dinner out of the bowl as grabs his paw and hurls cat meat out then hunts it across the floor; I just trod in a lump (luckily I was wearing shoes this time!).



He is often found stretched luxuriously across my laptop enjoying its heat whilst I try desperately to see the screen.



He basks in attention until he is fed up and a quick claw to the hand is your announcement of the fact!



The other day he managed to smash a cup when he was lingering on the worktops. He did not even have the decency to look sheepish, like a pet dog would; no he just swished past me “talk to the tail”.



The boys love them both, even though our other cat has recently decided he prefers to live outside and will only grace us with his presence for food! As much as I coax him from the doorway looking cat friendly and homely he is having none of it! He is enjoying his freedom after leaving the confines of the rescue centre.

I can see why people say the cat owns them instead of the other way round!

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Another day another fundraiser…

The other day we visited the local care home for the elderly for their annual Christmas fundraiser.  I was slightly hesitant after the previous year when my youngest on having a lovely greeting from one of the residents blew a particularly wet raspberry in her face… I was very apologetic understandably

This time I thought well he is another year older I will brace myself for a return visit.  All went well, no raspberries… but then he decided he wanted his face painted.  Moments later as a fearsome tiger rrrraaaaahing the residents loudly, one poor lady jumped out of her seat!


I must admit I did keep a close eye on her for the rest of our visit just incase!  I was very pleased to see her unscathed from the incident. 

Now I wonder should I go back next year or give the poor residents a break?

Friday, 16 December 2011

Glow ‘N’ Speak Animal Flashlight

The little tikes Glow ‘N’ Speak Animal Flashlight got a very animated response.  Out of the box the arguments over who would play with it first were heated and in full swing.  After lengthy negotiations we managed to arrange a schedule of taking it in turns…

Hippo was put to good use as they pretended to be camping under their quilts.


With an age recommendation of 18+ months I thought my two would be sceptical (as they are 4 and a half and almost 3) but given their reaction I think this toy has quite a wide appeal.  My eldest certainly had not outgrown it as I possibly first thought.  The flashlight was very simple to operate which is also great for children nearer to 18 months.

To operate you squeeze the handle and the hippo opens its mouth, the light comes on and he makes a giggly happy noise and you can hear bubbling water.  It’s hard not to smile when the hippo sounds so cheerful (even if your as sleep deprived as I am!).

My eldest is of late a bit nervous of the dark at bedtime but he seemed more reassured tonight knowing Hippo was at hand if needed.

These flashlights come in a lovely variety of different animals; my boys quite fancy a Lion and Tiger too now!  Costing from £9.99 they would make great stocking fillers for Christmas.

We would rate this fab toy 5/5

Click on the picture for more information:


Thank you to Mummy News for giving us this opportunity to review.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Eyes down

I think I have found a new pulse racing pastime, forget my tombola addiction (see here).

Bingo is my new compulsion.  I was lost with the lingo, looking blank at the rhyming numbers being called.  For ages I was trying to figure out why clear the door was 21, very puzzled I turned to my mummy friends who enlightened me to the fact the caller was actually saying “key in the door”…

Game play stopped at one point because I asked hubbie are we going for a line or house and he in a rather loud voice replied “LINE”.  Everyone turns, much congratulations, I am blushing trying to explain no just seeing what I needed to get.

Perhaps I have a gambling problem… because despite being a bit clueless and winning men’s aftershave that could strip paint it has not deterred me and I am relishing the next opportunity to play again.

The night was a great success and a considerable amount was raised for the school.  Hubbies cakes were well received and I even enjoyed a sneaky glass of wine (heavily diluted with Lemonade but I have always been a lightweight!).



Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Poor hubbie

One of my favourite past times is volunteering my hubbies services to a variety of local causes.  Baking, fixing laptops, making flat pack furniture, assembling sheds… he is the man for the job, even if the job recommends more than one person he is there making giant wardrobes on his own!  Not quite sure how he does it without crushing himself but the end result is always impressive.

Last night I had him on epic cake making duty for a school fundraiser; he made a batch of rocky road bars and 50 odd fairy cakes.  I in the meantime watched over the process and took the credit as a member of the friends of the school committee!  I did some token sprinkling of hundreds and thousands to make a contribution haha.

Hubbie on the other hand told people at work what he did with his evening “I baked cakes until my eyes bled!”

Bless maybe I do work him a little too hard!





Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tis the season to get comping...

I enjoy comping; I have done so now for over 12 years, admittedly sporadically.  I dip in and out and then have a break for months, even on occasion perhaps a year.  I am not so keen on this time of year, because of the return of the advent competitions.  I should relish all those extra chances to win something nice and shiny but it turns my fun hobbie into more of a chore and sadly I lose my comping mojo!

So I am skimming the list of prizes for items I genuinely would LOVE to win, which might make a big difference to my life as opposed to the usual tat I have been prone to enter in the past.  The selective comper is most likely a happy comper

Where is the joy in unwrapping the latest offering from your postman when its something you ask yourself “WHY DID I ENTER FOR THIS?”  As I recently did over an eye lash serum win.  I have enough problems trying to care for my skin and take the trouble to moisturise but look after my eye lashes… like that is ever going to happen with two boys under five to chase after!

Loquax is making my life easier with a quick click on the cross I can blank away any beauty, sporting, camping prizes and focus on treats for my family.  Loquax I salute you (although the school raffle might miss the random mix of prizes lol!)




Monday, 12 December 2011

Nature’s Path cereal review

We were kindly sent two boxes of Nature’s Path cereal to review courtesy of the fabulous Mummy News, Munch and O’s. These are suitable for children following a gluten or wheat free diet, neither of which mine are, but if my boys like them it means children on a restricted diet should love them as mine are used to all singing all dancing cereals… (hubbies bad influence I am afraid!)


Youngest on seeing the two boxes was very enthusiastic and said “I want to eat it NOW”. The simple packet appeals to me with just a cute hedgehog, squirrel and rabbit on them, you know your children are enjoying the contents and not just being lured in by glitzy over the top packaging. My eldest really loves rabbits so the O’s were an instant hit.


They were both really tasty in a bowl with milk but we found them to be a great stand-alone snack straight from box. Boys liked them, as they were nice and crunchy. I especially loved the Munch and would happily eat them myself. Although I might find getting the packet off the boys a bit tricky…


The RRP of £2.75 is slightly more than I would normally pay for cereal of these pack sizes, (Munch is 284g and O’s are 325g) but I think it is well worth the extra, as you know your children are getting a quality organic product that is still appealing to them. It is also very reassuring that such pleasant cereals exist for those that are on a gluten or wheat free diet. If this is the case for your family these cereals are not to be overlooked!


Also I was impressed Nature’s Path make a donation to support the work of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, it is nice to hear of companies giving back. But on seeing the picture on the side of the packets my eldest did ask, “Do Gorilla’s eat this?!?”

We would rate these 4.5/5

Saturday, 10 December 2011

My favourite Christmas song

It used to be “I wish it could be Christmas everyday” but having thought realistically I have enough problems with it being once a year so I can no longer consider this a contender.

I must confess since leaving university unfortunately I am not such an avid listener of music, in my spare time I prefer to read and now I am blogging remind me what is spare time again?!?… So I cheated and looked up Christmas songs on YouTube to jog my memory!  Too many dust bunnies have taken residence lately…

After much deliberation I am going to pick “Walking In A Winter Wonderland” - Dean Martin.  I do love a good classic (I await a good ribbing for not liking something more rock and roll from @The_Last_Slayer!).


Friday, 9 December 2011

Competition

My son won the Small Steps cover star competition earlier in the year.  I had such a warm feeling when he was announced as the winner.  But look at him, what a cutie (okay I might be biased but who can resist that happy cheeky face!).


Part of his prize were five vouchers to claim Little Dish meals (http://www.littledish.co.uk), well these have been collecting dust in my wallet for far too long (the closest supermarket to use them is a bit of a hike from here) so I thought they would make a lovely prize.  Your lucky child could soon be tucking into a healthy and delicious meal (just hide the boxes and no one will know you weren’t slaving away for hours cooking from scratch!).

This competition will close on the 17th of December and is open to the UK only. 

The vouchers are valid until the 31st of December 2012 so plenty of time to use them (even if you’re a bit like me and they get lost in your wallet with the tombola stubs, the tickets for the school performance and countless receipts!)

To enter please sign up as a follower of my blog and leave a comment letting me know how to contact you

For a BONUS entry:
Comment on any non-competition post and let me know you have here

To find out more about Small Steps (and perhaps enter your own children in the fabulous cover star competition) click the following links:

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Writing to Santa

By some backward reasoning I actually chose my boys Christmas presents throughout the year (taking advantage of various sales) then today in the process of writing to Santa, I tried to align what they wanted with what I had bought!

Youngest worked like a treat, anything I hinted at he nodded in delight with a happy sparkle in his eye.  Eldest was another story entirely.  He was most particular about what Santa would bring, I was not allowed to keep it vague.  However I guess I got off fairly lightly with it only costing an extra £50, but next year I might not be so lucky…

In 2012 I will start my Christmas shopping AFTER we have wrote to Santa.  Although hopefully that doesn’t result in a future blog post “Everything out of stock or only available at inflated prices help!”




Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Trimming the tree

Was so looking forward to decorating the Christmas tree, but after 5 minutes the boys were bored and the breakables were being brandished in a disturbing manner around the room. 

Poor penguin tea light holder looked quite alarmed and the Christmas songs were drowned out by shouts of “I had that!”

Hubbie made us empty all the boxes looking for a missing tree branch, which after a LONG time he then realised, was just a grove in the design and not requiring a branch…

The eldest gave it his best, spreading his allocation of tree branches proudly but in the opposite direction of the rest of us.  Bless him!  They went to the back of the tree, but we did not change them, its nice he wants to be involved.  He compared the process to peeling a banana so you can imagine how it looks!

Thankfully when the tinsel came out youngest was like a magpie and mesmerised by all the shiny things, that is until he stuffed a bit of packaging up his nose.  Hubbie had to calmly get him to snort it out, when I am all of a panic.

So much for a calm relaxing family event, maybe next year…




Tuesday, 6 December 2011

To camp or not that is the question?

Around now I start thinking about our holiday choices for next year.  Is it wrong at the ripe old age of 32 I have never been camping?  I am quite partial to the idea, the matching sleeping bags, the marshmallow toasting and the fresh air.



I have however observed the process second hand:



The constant smell of BBQ’s filling the air



The strategic placement of cars and windbreakers to mark campers territory



The fetching drowned rat look sported by campers when their tent has blown away during the night in the blustery welsh winds



The hike to the nearest toilet block building up a sweat due to the sheer distance involved



I do think I would like to get closer to nature but given that the youngest can work a zip, escape might be on the cards.  I can imagine him roaming around the countryside looking for mischief.  Least he has yet to master the locked door…

So perhaps I shall continue on my journey of enlightenment slowly and plan to stay in a caravan for the first time in 2012 and gradually become more rustic in my approach. 

Wish me luck one day I may be a happy camper!




  

Monday, 5 December 2011

Budkins Review

Today my boys received two of the Budkins characters from Le Toy Van, Raphael the pirate and Billy the cowboy.


They survived a thorough testing similar to the one Buzz and Rex experienced in the Caterpillar Room (only Toy Story fans can appreciate this!).  The head, arms and legs were pulled so hard I thought they would come off but no not for these well made characters.  The arms, legs and head are adjustable and they can sit in a manner.

The characters are very detailed and great for children’s imagination.


The boys enjoyed playing with them with their duplo instead of their usual lego figures.  Raphael and Billy had quite the adventure, being rescued out of the mouth of a savaging T-Rex, riding round in a range of vehicles and going off to work!  I also told the boys a story incorporating the characters which is another way they brought a lot of fun to this household.


These little figures would make perfect stocking fillers and the choice of characters is quite staggering.  There will be something to appeal to every child’s interest.  These characters can be purchased from a range of stockists, a list is provided on the Le Toy Van homepage.

We would rate these great characters 5/5




Santa Watch

December is here and with it an onslaught of visits to see Santa.  My first white lie occurred yesterday when the eldest said “he wasn’t real I could see another beard underneath”.   “Oh sweetheart,” came my reply “that’s his spare beard if his sleigh is flying in strong winds and the beard blows off he has another ready in case!”…

Eldest seemed content with my response but help it’s the beginning of the end; I hope I can carry on being this creative!

What should I be expecting and can you lovely parents give me some clues on how to deal with those potentially tricky questions please.


Sunday, 4 December 2011

Kevin the Crocodile

Proud moment on Friday as the eldest brought home the school crocodile for being a good listener (I wish I could say the same about hubbie normally to be found in World of Warcraft of an evening ignoring my requests for cups of tea!  Although today he has man flu give me strength!!!)

Kevin is a very sweet crocodile with a little bag with his own toothbrush and a set of mini books.  His job is to listen and you write about what he heard.  So if the boys are arguing I say “oooohhhh I think crocodile is listening”.  Instant best behaviour!


This is the first time my eldest has had homework and we are both very excited.  Although I do wonder if my enthusiasm will be so strong many years later coaxing him to revise for his exams or helping him with tricky Algebra equations…

I guess I should count myself lucky with the perfect timing; we got to keep Kevin for three nights, as his visit fell over the weekend.  But still… do I have to give him back?