Friday, 26 February 2016

My fitness mad family

Not really skiing - can you tell ? 
We're a fairly active lot in our family. Being outdoors is by far our favourite way to relax and we have lots of ways that we enjoy spending time. Personally I love to swim, ski and me and Hubbie used to play softball before we were parents. I've also taken up Clubbercise recently which is brilliant fun and  is helping my overall fitness too.

Hubbie cycling and Big Boy scootering to school 
At Christmas Hubbie told me he was going to start cycling to work and I had to suppress the giggles as I was so sure he wouldn't do it more than once. Well, he's proven me wrong and has cycled in torrential downpours and has even mastered the steep hills between our house and his office. Some mornings he and Big Boy head off together on their respective wheels.

My little skateboard champ
Big Boy loves all forms of wheeled transport and has been making the case for a skateboard for years now. We did take him to try out some lessons with his friends and he did really well actually. As the weather is improving we will probably do this again. I did promise him he could have a skateboard when he's older, but if he's into it and being safe it may be ok sooner.

Scooter boy 
As an active child Big Boy has been proficient on his microscooter since he was 3 years old. In good weather I take him to school on his scooter and if it's just me and him going anywhere I will take my scooter too. One of his school pals had a birthday party that we rode our scooters to. I remember one of the other mums asking who the trendy mum was and I was delighted to realise it was me she was talking about. That isn't something that's often said about me !

Daddy and Big Boy on the move 
Mummy scooting 

Baby Boy is always trying to run off with his brother's scooter so we decided to see if there was one that would suit him too. The lovely folks at Microscooter recommended their mini 2 go scooter which I have seen toddlers riding when we've been out in the park. It starts off with a seat and a storage box for important soft toys to ride along and then you can remove the seat to make a short handled scooter and eventually raise the handle height until it's pretty much a full size microscooter.

The only time Baby Boy has used his mini 2 go scooter
We took Baby Boy out on his scooter one evening when we were all taking a walk after dinner - I'd love to show you lots of photos of him enjoying riding his fab new scooter, but I'm afraid he's not really interested. Hopefully if we take the seat off he will give it another go as it will be more like his brother's. For now I just have to take photos of the forlorn looking scooter that I pulled along when we went for brunch on Sunday.

Well, we love you mini 2 go
Baby Boy does love his scuttlebug and calls it his 'bike.' The lovely mums at Big Boy's school got together and bought it for him as a welcome gift when he joined our family. He can pick up a head of speed on it and I do have a job keeping up with him.

Off he goes into the distance 
It is great when we go to the park and the boys chase each other round the track. Hopefully once they are both on scooters it's going to be more of an even race.

My boys - off on adventures 

Disclosure: We were sent a mini 2 go scooter by the lovely folks at Microscooters.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Sunshine and chocolate cake

This morning the sun shone just for us.

Big Boy put on his favourite tie and smart trousers and Baby Boy rocked a new shirt that his foster carers had bought him. They wore matching jackets and made us proud.

"Daddy why are you wearing your wedding tie when you're not even getting married to anyone today ?" asked Big Boy.

There was chocolate cake in the shape of a gingerbread man. It went down very well.

Today we celebrated with the ones we love and who love us.

And this guy joined our family.

It's been a good day.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Cry me a river

Baby Boy is crying because: 

  • His brother is eating a banana - he doesn't want one, he's just crying about it
  • He wants to ride his scuttlebug and I want to put him in his carseat 
  • His baby cousin is crying in pain and he wants to show empathy with him. 
  • He wants Daddy to carry him, not to ride his scooter home. 

Big Boy is crying because:

  • Daddy found all the wrappers in the bin and knows he took 5 packs of fruit strings and 2 packs of bear fruit from the kitchen. 
  • Mummy knows he took a Kinder egg and Kinder chocolate bar and ate them in secret while she was out 
  • He's probably off his nut on sugar now 

I am crying because: 

  • My son has eaten enough sugar to give diabetes to a hippopotamus 
  • I finally watched Amy and it made me feel so sad 
  • Supervet fixed the dog - then when we were watching Gogglebox I cried all over again when he couldn't fix the dog.
  • Hubbie keeps leaving mugs with herbal teabags in them around the house - I now know why my friend hated it when I used to leave mugs with the dregs of tea in them on her sink drainer 
  • Every day I step on a rotting apple core that Hubbie has left lying around somewhere in the house - it's like the worst treasure hunt ever 

At least half term is over now so we can all go back to normal.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Who wants to be a Mark Warner Mum ?

Big Boy: On tonight's edition of "Who Wants to Be a Mark Warner Mum ?" we will be asking Mummy and Daddy what makes us ideal to be a #MarkWarnerMum Blogger family.
Mummy: Remember to speak clearly and don't leave your brother out. 
Big Boy: Ok Mummy, Can I have Haribo when we finish please ?
Mummy: We'll see. 
Daddy: So what's your first question then son ? 
Big Boy: Well, I guess to start with we'd like to find out about the kind of holidays you've enjoyed before.

Mummy: Well the first photo I ever saw of me on holiday was with my Mum on the West Pier in Brighton. 
Big Boy: Where is that Mummy ? 
Mummy: Well it's not there any more, but when I was a little girl we used to go to Brighton quite a lot. 
Big Boy: Have I been there ? Was I a baby ?
Daddy: Actually the first time you went there you were in Mummy's tummy. 
Big Boy: You took me on holiday when I was zero ?
Mummy: Yes we did. We did have a lot of holidays when it was just us two. 
Daddy: We went to America a few times...
Big Boy: Where Superman lives ?
Daddy: Yes, and then we visited Morocco before you were born.

Big Boy: When did I go on holiday with you ? 
Mummy: We decided to book a holiday to Spain. Do you remember ? 
Big Boy: Did we go on the plane ? 
Daddy: Yes we did and you met the pilot. You were really good on the flight and kept busy the whole time. 

Big Boy: We had the big white car on holiday didn't we ? 
Mummy: Yes we did and we went to see lots of nice things, but the resort where we stayed was nice with a kids club too wasn't it ? 
Big Boy: I still have the t-shirt from there. 

Big Boy: What's your best kind of holiday ? 
Daddy: Well I like a beach holiday where it's hot. We've taken you on beach holidays.
Big Boy: We've been with Baby Boy too haven't we ? 
Mummy: Yes we took you both to the beach a few times didn't we ? 
Big Boy: Do you like beach holidays Mummy ? 
Mummy: Well, I like being warm, but I also love holidays in the snow. 

Big Boy: The snow ? 
Mummy: Yes. I used to go skiing before you were born. 
Daddy: I haven't been skiing though.
Big Boy: Would you like to go on a snowy holiday ? 
Mummy: I would love to take you and Baby Boy on a holiday where you could have skiing lessons and maybe we could get Daddy to have a go as well. 
Big Boy: I want to try snowboarding. It's like skateboarding isn't it ? 
Mummy: Yes sort of. 

Big Boy: What do you like to do on holiday ?
Daddy: I like to do fun things with you boys. I like to see you having fun. 
Mummy: When we all try new things and do things together it's great. 
Big Boy: Anything else ? 
Mummy and Daddy: Well, we like to have some time together too. 
Big Boy and Baby Boy: (both laugh) 

Big Boy: Finally is there anyone in the family who might object to these plans ?
Neo: Miaow (translation: Ahem - excuse me)

Big Boy: So all we need to do now is check that Jiggles' passport is up to date and we're ready ?
Mummy: I hope so son.
Big Boy: Good luck Mummy. Can I have Haribo now please ?

Mummy: This is my creative writing entry to be a #markwarnermum - with thanks to the whole family for taking part :)

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Animal magic

Fluffy Big Bunny:

Purty pigs:

Cute Kangaroo by my boy:

Wise words from Winnie:

Nuzzling up with Neo:

Sunday, 14 February 2016

My funny Valentines

I realise that not everyone is big on Valentine's Day and it's a bit overblown with adverts for a diamante encrusted pedi roller that was described thus, "Give the gift of beautiful feet for valentine's day." In the midst of such idiocy how do you salvage something even vaguely dignified ? Well, when we were first together we did give soft toys, sick-making cards and Hubbie would make amazing meals for me that involved fancy ingredients like rose water. Now we are an old married couple (ten years this year thanks for asking) with children we have to be practical about such frivolity.

As I had planned to go and have my hair done and go for lunch with my lovely friend SJ I mentioned to Hubbie that if he wanted to get the hairdressers for me that would be a much appreciated valentine's gift. He duly obliged and I bought us tickets to see Stewart Lee next month. Everyone's happy and not a Cupid's bow in sight.

We had a cursory discussion about what we we each wanted to do this year. Go out for an overpriced set meal ? No thanks. Make a meal at home ? Yeah, but nothing too fancy. Hubbie mentioned that M&S were doing their meal deal offer again so we decided that was the way to go. I popped into town on Friday after dropping Big Boy at school and Baby Boy at nursery and chose a meal that he would love even though I can't eat it. Then I had a brainwave - well it's for 2 so why not invite lovely Jill from next door. After all she's practically family and she loves Beef Wellington too so everyone is happy.

Then this morning the boys surprised me with not one, but three bunches of beautiful flowers - one from each of them. We also got some flowers for Jill and a card from the boys so she wouldn't be left out. The boys gave them to her as they were washing the car for me (inside and out). It did mean they were all soaking wet, but as we were going swimming this afternoon that wasn't so bad. The car is all shiny now - ready to get wrecked during half term.

This evening as we were putting the boys to bed I was checking facebook and saw an announcment that my lovely friend Carol has become engaged to her partner David. Wonderful news and I haven't been to a wedding in yonks so I'm delighted to have an excuse to dress up.

For the first time this year we had a relaxing weekend with no parties to go to and nowhere else to be. It was great to take things at our own pace and to spend time with the boys. With half term coming up I want to give them a chance to have a rest after working so hard at school and nursery. Today was a good start.

The best thing of all was that I got to spend the day with the boys I love most in all the world.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

We're showbiz right down to the fur in this family

My theatre buddy is our lovely neighbour Jill who is also a self-confessed 'spare Grannie' to our boys. I cannot overstate how much of a treasure she is, helping out with the boys at short notice and popping sheets in her dryer when I've been over-optimistic about how much washing I can hang up. In return I take her to watch shows at the Churchill Theatre in Bromley. When we went to see the Noel Coward play Private Lives she was very taken with Tom Chambers so I had to make sure she got to meet him. He is a lovely man and as you can see Jill was delighted.

We did also invite Jill to come with us after school to see the lion dance for Chinese New Year and it was entertaining, but a little on the loud side for my boys. They enjoyed the fortune cookies though.

I usually take the boys to get their hair cut together. This resulted in a broken cart the first time (apparently costing £100 according to the hairdresser) and a lopsided haircut due to a lot of wriggling the last time. I took Baby Boy on his own this time and as he wasn't able to watch his Big Brother going first he kicked up a stink about it all. Once Jayde started cutting his hair he was fine, but he did have to sit on my lap so we were both pretty much covered in hair afterwards. At least it's even this time. 

I often joke that our cat is a diva, but this week Big Boy noticed something that proved it. He pointed out that had a sequin star on his fur - proper glamorous. My cat really is fabulous !

As I'm with the boys the most it's really important to us that Daddy gets some special time with them too. He does do the bedtime routine, but it's not the same as having some fun. Big Boy loves to play Star Wars Monopoly with Daddy so tonight I said if he brushed his teeth and got into pyjamas without the usual drama he could play. Big Boy did really well and was definitely the winner. I'm told that next time I will play and will be Princess Leia.

May the force be with me !

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Wake me up before we Lego-go

Me: Boys, what do you think about going to Legoland ? Would you like that ?
Big Boy: Ooh yes please. Can I go when I'm big ? I'd love to go to Legoland. Baby Boy would love it too - they have things for small children too don't they ?
Baby Boy: (prods his brother and laughs)

Big Boy: Is it far to get there ? How will we go ? 
Me: Well, there are plenty of options. We can go by car, or by bus or coach.
Big Boy: What if it's a lot of traffic ?

Me: Well we could go by train ? 
Big Boy: Oh yes that sounds good. 

Me: Well we're quite lucky we live not that far from Legoland, but when me and Daddy were little there was a Legoland in another country and the only way to get there would have been to go by plane. 
Baby Boy: Wow !!
Big Boy: Can we take a plane ? 
Me: Erm, we don't have to, but I'll see what I can do. 

Big Boy: When we get there what will we do ?
Me: It's up to you. Like when you start with Lego you have a lot of different pieces don't you ?
Big Boy: Yes. I have a lot of Lego. Baby Boy keeps trying to take mine.
Me: He does. So when you start you don't always know what it's going to turn out to be do you ?
Big Boy: No. I sometimes make lots of different things and sometimes I make one big thing.
Me: Exactly. Going to Legoland is just like that. You can do as much or as little as you like. It's all there for you to explore and find.

Big Boy: So we might see a dog on a skateboard ?
Me: Maybe
Big Boy: Or R2D2 driving in a car ?
Me: Anything is possible
Baby Boy: (incoherent babble)
Me: Yep they might have a lego bike too baby

Big Boy: Can we be different characters when we get there ? 
Me: Of course you can. 
Big Boy: Brilliant - I can have a lightsabre or a sword or a backpack
Me: You can be anyone you want to and have lots of fun. 

Big Boy: I can't wait to go
Baby Boy: Lego ! Go ! Go !

Me: Well you never know boys - you never know. Goodnight.

(Just for clarity, despite their love for it my children aren't actually made of Lego)