Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Parties, Prices and Bargains



  

 Today was the Little Thriver's Christmas party.  There was a little bouncy castle to play on and party hats to make while the parents were treated to hot chocolate and fudge. 

Then we had a lovely meal of party food favourites and a visit from Father Christmas himself. The two smallest each recieved a book and a little packet of Christmas sweets. 


DD3 won the "guess the name" competition for the green elf. His name is Peppermint and she hasn't put him down since she was awarded him. He made an excellent pillow for the post party nap. 

We all won prizes on the Christmas raffle which was lovely. One if them is a family ticket to a local soft play which will be a nice treat on a rainy post Christmas day. 


On the way home I took a peek at the bargain table outside Help the Aged. The embroidery kit caught my eye for 49p along with a few of the 29p books to replace a few I've read recently. When I got home I looked the kit up on the V&A Web page. They cost £16 new! Quire the bargain!

X x X


Sunday, 12 December 2021

Reasons

 


 There's good reason why Gman is undefeated at Battleships, but I can't decide if it's genius or cheating! 

不不不

Thursday, 9 December 2021

We made it!

 


 It truly feels like a Christmas miracle! We have officially watched Gman's school nativity. 

No photos for obvious reasons but I'm sure you can picture it. There were stumbling angels, a VERY enthusiastic Holy star, a shepherd with a runny nose, narrators who whispered and those that SHOUTED their lines in a style that would make Brian Blessed proud. 

It was utterly and wonderfully perfect.

If nothing else goes quite right this year thanks to Covid or some other random disaster I can at least remind myself that I got to have this 弘

After school Gman was allowed to pick a treat for his wonderful performance. He picked an egg shaped bath fizzer with a  toy dinosaur inside. After enjoy a particularly long and noisy bathtime (because dinosaurs have to roar a lot!) he came out with this lovely nugget of thoughtfulness.

"Mum? D'you think Jesus wanted dinosaur baths instead of Murr and Frankie-says?"

I told him that I didn't think they had a Home Bargains back then in Bethlehem 不

X x X

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Tuesday's happenings


Tuesday mornings are back to being playgroup mornings which I am very grateful for. The group hasn't long started running again and for a while there was a big fear that it wouldn't return from it's Covid hiatus. 
Today, as you can tell, we made Christmas baubles. There was a lovely selection of letters, sequins, gems, stickers, feathers and all sorts of lovely things to use. It was crafting heaven for children and adults alike. 
Except for one poor little boy sat next to us. He heard me gushing over DD3's and Baby C's creations while he sat making his own. He looked at his mum stood behind him and said "Can we put mine on our tree?" His mum barely glanced up from her phone and replied "You ain't putting that on my tree!" The little boy looked at his bauble, lay it on the table and walked away to another play area that had been set up. "Urgh, he never finishes anything like this!" Complained his mum and followed off after him.

All I could think was Why would he? After she left the table there was a lot of tutting between the assembled parents. We decided if the little boy attends next week we're going to make sure he hears lots of praise from us to make up for the lack elsewhere.
Honestly it was heartbreaking.

X x X 

Friday, 3 December 2021

Never a dull moment




It's all been a bit epic! 

Poor DD3 took a tumble getting ready to leave preschool and gave herself a fairly impressive head injury. I arrived to collect her from preschool just a few minutes after it happened. Luckily my parents were with me on the school run so Nanny was able to take charge of the other 4 children while Grandad popped me and DD3 straight up to the walk in centre.
I'd only been there 2 weeks ago as Gman broke his finger at school! I'm very much hoping to avoid a third visit any time soon! 


DD3's visit took us less than 3 hours and she was soon checked for a concussion and superglued back together again. It's amazing how small the wound looks once it's all cleaned up and glued! Only time will tell if there will be a black eye or bruising tagging along with it. 
 DD3 was her usual impossibly cute self and so so brave throughout. DH insisted on getting her a Happy meal on our way home from the hospital as a special treat so naturally she's quite pleased about that. As long as it doesn't give her any ideas 不

You can call us many things but we certainly aren't boring are we? 

X X X

Thursday, 2 December 2021

This may take a while...

 

 

 It's that time of year again! The Christmas card lists have started arriving home. Today was DD3's turn to write out her cards for preschool.

Me; Can you write your name in this card please?

DD3; Yes, mama

Me; And this one?

DD3; I'm having a rest now.

Me; But we've only done one!

DD3; *Yawns* so tired mama


不不不


Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Wednesday's adventures

I have spent a happy and productive morning in the kitchen. I had a large pile, or should I say small mountain, of vegetables that needed using up and a rapidly aging collection of banana. 

I roasted the vegetables in the oven whilst filling any extra space with the banana cupcakes. Once cooked, cooled and blended the vegetables became a very tasty sauce which I will freeze in portions for various dinners in the near future. We ate some this evening with pasta and a little cheese which went down well with everyone. 

 On a Wednesday afternoon DD3 goes to preschool and I meet with my parents for a coffee and charity shop mooch around the town centre.

Today's bargain hunting found an ugly Christmas jumper (50p) for DD1 who has a Christmas jumper day coming up at school. She was very pleased with it when I showed her . 


I also found this pretty dress for DD2 for 50p. The colours are very pretty and I'm hoping it'll make a nice outfit for the spring. Knowing Dd2 though she'll wear it as and when she feels like 不

I also picked up a selection of books for the two eldest girls and Gman to enjoy. DD1 needs an almost constant stream of new books to keep her happy. It's quite rare to find her without a book in her hand or beside her. It's a lovely habit to have I think

Tonight I will be reading my next few chapters of my book which is now starting to grow on me. 
 I might bust out something crafty to do or I might just get lost on Reddit and Pinterest for a while. We will see what happens

X x X

P.s; Still no cancellations from the school but there has been an email with lots of new rules for attendees. I'm crossing fingers and toes in hope we make it. 


 

Monday, 29 November 2021

Monday's moneysaving

 


 I woke to a living room that smells of Lilys this morning. I was kindly given them on Friday with my food parcel from a community food scheme. They often have bunches of flowers to hand out, but I've never been close enough to the front of the queue to get one before. Not one of the flowers were out when I received them but one flower has opened each day since. They make me smile each time I pass them or catch their scent. 

 Today's dinner was vegan meatballs and veggies cooked in the slow cooker. It came out quite sweet and Mediterranean as I had onions, tomatoes and peppers to use up. Dessert was chocolate mousse.

My day was mostly spent tackling the clean laundry mountain that needed sorting, folding and putting away. It's quite a task for a family of 7 as you can imagine but I had Netflix for company. I've watched the first 2 episodes of Hell Bound. It's quite odd but I think I'll stick with it for a few episodes more.

When I've been taking a break from the laundry I've been unravelling a knitted sleep sack Baby C has grown out of. I've saved the buttons and zip for future projects too. There should be enough yarn to make her a nice cardigan or jumper. It feels good to reuse and recycle. 

 This evening I will take a bath and read a few more chapters of my current book "The devil aspect by Craig Russell". Its quite a good read but it hasn't really gripped me yet. I'll plod on a little longer before I decide on finishing it or not though. I don't think my low mood is helping me concentrate any.

 I will finish the evening by stitching a few more masks. So far no emails cancelling everything though, so that's a small positive. 


 Take care dear readers.

X x X

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Sinking...

 


 We attended a lovely 1st birthday party today. It was full of balloons, cake, party games and little paper cups of neon coloured fizzy drinks. We all got to forget the news reports for a few hours and just enjoy good company. The father of the birthday girl took a beautiful photograph of us all together. It's been too long since we had a group photo. Haven't they all grown since the last one? 

 Under the smiles though I'm struggling a bit. I'm feeling quite angry to be honest. I'm angry that tomorrow will be filled with emails cancelling school Christmas events that we were looking forward too. I'm angry that the coming days and weeks will be spent constantly checking for the latest news announcements. I'm angry my youngest may loose her first proper Christmas after last years non-event. 

 I understand why of course and I accept that that is just the way things might have to be, but I don't have to like it. Instead I will spend my next few evenings making a fresh batch of facemasks while chewing on my lip nervously waiting for news alerts. I will try and get as many Christmas errands run as possible before the world possibly gets paused again. I will plaster a happy smile over my face and tell the children "we'll do it next year" or "next year's will be twice a big to make up for it" and hope that's true.


 And I will make the best of it because that is what us Mother's and Wives do. 

 

   

 

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Wednesday

 


 DD3 officially has another negative test so she just has a regular old fashioned cough and cold.

Lots of rest and cuddles are the plan for the next few days.

This mornings reading cafe session went quite well until I noticed something.

Me; Gman, where are your socks?

Gman; I dunno

Me; Did you put some on this morning?

Gman; No. I forgot!

不 


X x X

Monday, 27 September 2021

Just busy living

 


 I've had lots of good intentions to post on here more often than I do but life just always seems to have other plans.

 This morning started out well until the young lady that DD1 walks to school with every morning didn't arrive. A quick message to her mum revealed she was in bed and not very well. DD1 hasn't walked to school alone yet and having the idea of doing so thrown on her so suddenly left her completely overwhelmed. Thankfully my Dad was happy to jump his car and pop her to school quickly though she was by now a few minutes late. That prompted another panic attack at the idea of being in trouble but the school were very kind and understanding about the whole thing and wavered any detention she might have recieved. 

 While my Dad was driving DD1 to school I was rushing the other 3 quickly along to their school. Luck was on our side and we streaked through the school gates before they shut. I popped DD2 and Gman into their classes and walked DD3 around to the attached preschool. 

 This week is reading cafe week so after dropping off DD3 I returned to the school to read for 20 minutes with DD2 and Gman. We all enjoyed our free drink and biscuits. I remembered to put my travel cup in my handbag so that got me extra brownie points with the staff.




After that I headed home to start on the usual weekday housework. I planned to work till around 1pm before knitting and watching something on netflix for some R&R before everyone arrives back home again. 

DD4 had just settled to sleep when I recieved a phonecall from the preschool. DD3 has a temperature and a was coughing a bit please collect her and don't come back without a PCR test. 

 Once I'd woken DD4 and collected DD3 we only had around 20 minutes to kill before the afternoon school run began so we collected conkers in a quiet corner of the park for a while. Then I collected DD2 and Gman as usual. Gman managed to get distracted and walked into a pole half way along. By the time we reached the house he was calm again but sporting a small egg on one side of his forehead.

 Dinner went nicely with everyone eating well. The smaller three had chicken fingers, carrots and waffles. The elder two had chicken finger and fried egg sandwiches with carrots on the side. Dessert was banana custard with a few choc chips sprinkled on top. 

 Now I'm sat beside the bath as the 2 smallest bath. In a minute they will be popped into pjs and into bed for the night. Then I will spend some time with each of the older children as I get them prepped for bedtime. Hopefully I'll be finished in time for DH to arrive home and I will finally get a little sit down with a hot cup of tea and read a few pages of my book in peace. 

 Looking at todays list of events though I'm not going to set my heart on it just in case something else is just around the corner 不

 X x X

 

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Thanks for telling me!

 


 I had this helpful postcard from the railway in the post today. Shame it's already the 15th of September . Our post has been hit quite badly locally with the pingdemic etc. At least it wasnt anything that important but it makes me feel for those with medical appointments that could be missed.


Some good healthy R&R has sorted out DD3. Her test has come back negative as we expected so she'll be back to preschool on Friday. She is back to her usual cheeky bouncy self again.

Maybe we're finally getting some good luck again!

X x X

Monday, 13 September 2021

It was going so well!!

 


 I seem to have no luck at all at the moment. What's worse is now seems to have passed onto the children. 

 DD3 went to preschool this morning happy and bouncy leaving me home alone with just Baby C for company. However by lunch time I recieved a phone call saying she had a low fever and was complaining of a sore throat. I had to go collect her. 

 Due to the pandemic and all that jazz DD3 has to now be tested for Covid before she can return to preschool. Which is fair enough, I'm completely on board with that BUT the advice is also she should now isolate until her test is done and the results arrive. Not so great when you have other children to collect from school! Luckily after lots of back and forth with the school and a few friends I've found someone suitable who can collect Gman and DD2 for me. But it's been a frantic 45 minutes of trying to juggle all the logistics . 

 One week we've managed back at school before the dreaded 'rona has started effecting us again. I can't wait till this whole thing is over and done with.  DD3 meanwhile has had some Calpol and has gone back into bouncy mode.


 X x x

Thursday, 5 August 2021

Forest fun

 



We had our second forest fun day on Wednesday. It proved to be just as fun as the first one. 
We made rice cake owls, journey sticks, dens in the forest and decorated tote bags.


The children all got to make fruit smoothies on the bike blender again which everyone was pleased about. Although they attracted the wasps something terrible thanks to the apple juice they contained. 
Lunch was pasta bolognaise and much easier to eat with the forks we bought from home. 


I remembered to bring some freezer bags with me in case I could rescue some leftover fruit.
The lady running the food activity said she was pleased to see me again and gave me a big bucket of leftover pears. You can imagine how much fun it was to get a bucket of pears home on the bus with a buggy, sleepy toddler, 3 tired older children and lots of slightly wet painted tote bags. Somehow we managed it


Once home and settled I weighed the pears. 8.5lbs! 
3lbs were chopped, soaked in lemon and sugar over night with the hope of making jam. Sadly the pears were just too ripe to set so we now have a chunky pear compote instead but the jars have all sealed well so they will make good fillings for crumble or added to porridge and custard. 
The rest will be processed tomorrow as I could only fit 3lbs in the preserving pan. 
The few remaining pears will make a tasty pear and chocolate crumble.

X x X


 

Monday, 2 August 2021

Rest and recovery

 


 We have sadly been hit with a very polite tummy bug. Why polite? Because it has very kindly taken down one person a day meaning it's been a lot easier to cope with rather than everyone poorly as once. Today is Gman's turn as he was the last man standing. 

 As we've been sick we haven't done much other than a lot of movies, naps and video games. Today though I spotted a lovely idea on Pinterest when looking for eggbox crafts. There's a pond for swiming and falling in, though I'm told a crocodile lives in there! A grassy mound to rest on when tired, and a tree to climb to escape the pond crocodile (of course!) You may even notice that one of our monkeys is also a Princess with a little crown to prove it because "monkey's do be princess's you know!"  

 Hopefully our little playset will keep everyone amused for a day or two 弘


X x X

 

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Family fun day

Today we went on a wonderful adventure.

First we caught the bus to our destination. Bus rides used to be a 4 times daily occurance before we moved to Eastleigh, it's so odd that it feels quite special now. Gman said he couldn't remember riding on a bus before and was shocked to hear he had actually ridden on many.

  The bus was free transport put on especially for people going to the Family fun day otherwise we couldn't have gone without DH driving us there. It felt really nice to take all 5 of the children out by myself for the day.



After signing in and dealing with a small travel sickness incident we started our first activity. We were each given sticks, rubber bands, pipe cleaners and a plastic dinosaur.
Then we had 20 minutes to make a raft that could sail the dinosaur safely across a small paddling pool of water.


All 4 eldest children really enjoyed the challenge and it's definitely something we'll be trying again at home. 


Next we made some handmade paper. A touch messy but a lot of fun trying to find the perfect leaf or flower to use as decoration. Sadly the line drying the papers broke in the wind before we could take them home but I think the children forgot about them anyway so it wasn't too much of a disaster.


Next came den building with a short walk into the nearby woodland and the children let loose with sticks, tarps and rope.  Originally we were in two teams; me, Baby C, Gman and DD2 vs DD1 and DD3. However we ended up making a sort of super tent between us complete with a mock campfire set up and sleeping areas.
It was wonderful to watch them all working together to solve various problems.


By then it was lunch time and we were all famished. Lunch was fresh salad and jacket potatoes with a host of toppings to pick from. It was here we had our only complaint of the day. The eco friendly wooden forks were horrible to use. Next week we will be packing some cutlery from home!
Dessert was chocolate mousse with whipped cream.


The afternoon activity was making berry smoothies using a bicycle powered blender and creating fruit kebabs. DD3 had a lot of mysteriously disappearing fruit
I was a little shocked at how some of the other children attending didn't recognise some of the fruit we used and even more shocked at several parents who threw the kebabs in the bin as they left. I'm tempted to take freezer bags with me next week in case a similar thing happens, the frugal mum in me wants to take home any leftovers to make jam 不
I wonder if they'd let me

After our fruit feast it was time to catch the bus back home. Evetyone was tired but happy after a day of fresh air and nature based entertainment. 
We are booked on 4 of the 5 sessions avaliable this summer and I can't wait for the next one.

X x X

Friday, 16 July 2021

Cold bellybuttons




 It's Day 3 of isolation for DD2. There have been 2 positive cases in her year group at school so that's pretty much her finished now for the summer. I'm not even going to guess if they will be back in September the whole thing feels very shakey again. 

 Thankfully we are having beautiful weather and can enjoy the garden for entertainment. The two smallest are also happy to bimble about out there so it makes for a peaceful afternoon. Except when odd things happen.


DD4 - Mama! My belly button is getting cold! 

 Imagine this said with an impressive sized pout and cross little hands on hips. 

Sure enough a hole has appeared in her dress 不


 Please excuse the state of the dress. Toddlers playing in gardens do not make for clean dresses 不 I don't have any white sewing cottom at the moment so I used the brown one I did have. 



 I then covered the stitches by going over them in white yarn. It's probably not going to be suitible for meeting the Queen but it will be just fine for more garden play for a little longer. I will start looking out for a new dress or two next time I'm near the charity shops though just in case we have any more garden casualties this summer.

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Weeds are flowers too...




 Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them - A.A.Milne


 I've been waiting for the enourmous thistle plant in my garden to bloom for a long time now. The rain storm last night seems to have done the trick and finally tempted out the first blooms. Don't they look sweet in this little glass jug?



X x X

Monday, 28 June 2021

Bargain bits and pieces

 I picked up a few bargains on my trip to town this morning. A pretty white dress for Baby C for 49p. At that price I don't really mind if it only lasts for a few wears. White is definitely a big risk 不. The sticker book is like new, and Gman is a big fan of Power Rangers  so for 29p it will make a nice addition to his Christmas pile.

 I also found 2 Lamaze toys in 2 seperate shops. 1 for 99p and 1 for £1. The dog has squeakers in his legs and the peacock is full of textures and interactive parts for sensory play. We have quite a collection of Lamaze toys now each of the 5 children having all recieved some over the years. They really are wonderful childrens toys. They wash well and seem nigh on indestructible.


  Last but not least was an odd find. DD3 spent a happy hour building all sorts of towers and buildings with the cards. Next time I get some thick card pass my way I'm going to use these as templates and add a few more pieces so it's easier to share between 2 or more children. 

 I'm rather pleased with my finds today 

 X x x

Barmy offers

 


 I thought the current 5 for £5 offer looked good when i passed by yesterday. I thought I'd treat the children to it tonight, i was wrong.

 Me; Can you tell me where the £5 offer is please?

 Shop Worker (SW); It's over there but you can't buy one.

Me; Why?

SW; We've run out of garlic bread and we aren't allowed to substitute it.

Me; Can't you sell it without the garlic bread?

SW; No, we're not allowed.

Me; So everything has to sit in the freezer until you get more garlic bread in?

SW; Yes.


  How ridiculous! 

Sunday, 27 June 2021

Sunday hunting


As you can see Baby C was a lot more cheerful again this morning. I'm so glad she is back to her bouncy happy self again.

Most of this morning was spent chasing DD2 around nearby streets as she hunted down Pokemon on my phone app. 



 Happily the Pokemon hunting took us near B&Q so we nipped in to look at the injury bench and see what was going cheap. There were plenty of bedding plants for 50p or £1 a tray. I picked up some marigolds, bizzi lizzie and petunia for £1.50

The flower tower by my front gate has needed a makeover for a while. Of all the spring bulbs I planted only 3 got to flowering stage. I'm not sure if they were crap bulbs or it was the horrible spring we had.

It should look really pretty once the new plants start to flower.

 

We had enough plants left to replant the barrel tub beside the front door too.

DD2 was my chief helper and suggested we make a pattern around the edge. I look forward to seeing how it looks later on.  We finished gardening just before the rain started which should help the plants settle into their new spots quite nicely.

It's been a much nicer day than yesterday!

X x X


 

Saturday, 26 June 2021

A loooonnnggg day

It's been a long day. Baby C has been in a terrible mood since the moment she woke up. I've tried every trick in the book to perk her up, and after 5 children that's not a short list. I've come to the conclusion that she's just having a sad day.

After a whole day of rocking, hugging and trying to distract a baby who only wants to sit and grizzle my parenting energy is definitely feeling depleted so I'm feeding everyone a quick dinner of spaghetti bolognaise.

The mince came from Friday's trip to the community pantry, the sauce is a cheap one from home bargains that everyone seems to like and I've padded it out with some tinned tomatoes and oats. 


  Dessert is going to be a slice of cake. DH picked it up for just £1.50 reduced from almost £10! I'm hoping an intense sugar hit might make Baby C smile just once today or possibly pass out from a crash into a nice long nap. 

 Cross your fingers for me!


X x X

Saturday, 12 June 2021

These aren't just sausage rolls...


 These aren't just sausage rolls....



 These are M&S pork stuffing rolls 不

 I don't half find some odd things at the food pantry sometimes. My mum gave me the sausage roll idea and it worked beautifully. Even better when there's another bag in the freezer to use up later as well. I'll keep my eyes open for them in the future. 


I finished my first kit this morning. I only had the edges to stitch up but it was quite late by that point and I needed better light to do it.  I've gifted it to DD1 for her handbag, she was thrilled with it 弘

 

 Now I need to decide which kit to do next. Decisions, decisions! 

 X

Friday, 11 June 2021

Struggles

 


 I'm finding this whole new normal stuff quite tough. After so many months of having my husband and children surrounding me almost constantly they are suddenly gone for long stretches of time. I've been spoiled with always having a spare pair or hands nearby when I needed a new packet of wet wipes or could you just pass me the ....

 The parent and baby groups haven't resumed yet and there's a sense when you leave the house that you have to be fast and efficent rather than loiter too long in any one place. I even feel uncomfortable being in the park with the smallest two for more than 5 or 10 minutes. It's an odd feeling that I can't seem to shake. 

 I'm sure I'll adjust eventually, in the meantime I'm trying to be kind to myself with little treats and rewards. Today for example I splurged a whole £2 on 6 little cross stitch kits to stitch during the long light evenings and quiet few moments whilst everyone in the house is content.

  The photo is of the one I plan to start this evening whilst sat on the sofa beside my husband. 


 X