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Lately, I’ve been seeing lots of gushing via Facebook and it’s got me wondering what the  hell is going on and if I’m missing a vital ‘soppy gene.’

Lots of posts and memes have been littered with things like “Three things I’m thankful for today” and have gone on to describe angelic children, dances through the cornfields whilst singing along the way, and general loveliness.

My two however have decided to belt seven bells of crap out of each other in the form of wrestling since school finished last week.

Why? For the love of God, WHY can’t they play nicely without deciding to divebomb the other or get the other in a stranglehold on the floor? Is it a boy thing?!

So on seeing these lovey dovey memes and posts I decided to post my own three things I was thankful for to counter-act all the saccharine bullcrap as I refuse to believe you’re all Sound of Music Julie Andrews wannabe’s

The three things I’ve been thankful for this week?

 

- Bedtime.

- Wine.

- Social Media

 

:-D

What’s yours?!

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With two small children, it doesn’t take long for toys to take over and invade the entire bedroom.

It doesn’t matter how many toy boxes and storage boxes you have either, as they seem to breed and jump about everywhere when you’re not looking.

Especially when you’re a cuddly toy lover such as the 10 year old. (Don’t tell anyone I told you that…)

So every now and again, we find ourselves having a little clear out of stuff they don’t play with any more, and things they have outgrown.

It keeps the room tidy, and it also makes room for new toys that they get at birthdays or Christmas, or pick up along the way.

It’s crazy how easy it all mounts  up, especially when they get plastic tat (sorry, toys) as freebies in their magazines, or from the occasional Mcdonald’s trip.

They’re a bit more of a hindrance than a help though, although they’re getting there. They’re more able to sort out and sell their unwanted stuff now they’re getting a little bit older, as they understand that in order to make room for more toys, they need to have a sort out every now and again otherwise they just get overwhelmed with stuff.

I’ve found Ebay a great way of getting rid of old toys, and it can also make a little bit of pocket money as well. (Nooo, not to buy more plastic tat with! )

One good thing about selling on there is that it’s perfect for children’s outgrown stuff – not too bulky or hard to post.

TNT  is a delivery service that’s perfect for stressed parents trying to clear their clutter, and have an express option too for fast service.

With the 10 year old’s birthday coming up soon, we need to be having a sort through soon as no doubt there’ll be lots of presents coming in!

Suppose I’d better get a move on…

 

This post is in collaboration with TNT.

 

 

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As a blogger, I spend quite a lot of time on social media and over the different platforms, see lots of pictures and stories of various children.

Recently joining Instagram, it got me thinking if sometimes we’re responsible for over sharing.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with sharing your lives and pictures with a wider audience, especially when blogs revolve around the family , and are enhanced by funny stories, pictures, or craft activities or whatever.

I post photos of my two on my blog, but it’s always back views, or partially obscured faces for privacy reasons.

Something like this when we went castle moat exploring.

exploring castle s

As well as never mentioning names.

Pictures of children fast asleep in their beds oblivious to the fact that they’re being pictured and put on the internet for others to see, or of  bathing babies etc.

The worst we ever had to contend with when growing up was the fact that mum or dad would whip out their camera and take embarrassing photos of you and put in the photo album to bring out in front of future boyfriends/girlfriends to embarrass the hell out of you.

Today’s children though have a bigger nightmare – the fear that their mum and dad may be uploading pictures of their tantrums, or discussing their toilet habits or whatever.

You just need to look at the immensely popular blog (and now book)  Reasons My Kid is Crying to see my point.

Sure, it’s hilarious, I’ve had a good laugh at some of the tantrums on there (they’re funny because they’re so completely true! )

Do all the toddlers know and understand they’re being put up for adult’s entertainment though? Could be quite embarrassing when they come across it in later life.

Ditto with all the sleeping babies sucking thumbs (“M’uuuum! I can’t even sleep in peace without you showing everyone!”) or baths.

What goes online stays online, as they say.

Are you an oversharer? Or am I an over thinker?! :-)

 

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According to today’s Daily Mail, Prince George will be celebrating his birthday with a Peter Rabbit themed party when he turns one this week.

With his grandparents running a party items website, I suppose it makes perfect sense that they’d throw a party for him complete with a theme.

What better way for a one year old to celebrate than with a fun birthday, bright tablecloths and games?

Some might argue that at the age of one, you don’t really know what’s going on, so what’s the point in a party – isn’t it really for the parents?!

I suppose they might have a point, as my now 10 year old started to fall asleep in his high chair halfway through the birthday tea.

At least he managed a little bit of cake before face planting and pushing up zeds, leaving the rest of us to party in his absence as he napped.

I think suitable themed parties at one are great though, and Peter Rabbit is an excellent choice.

Here, it was a Winnie The Pooh tea party for the now 10 year old, complete with Winnie the Pooh cake, table cloth, paper plates, etc. (We skipped on games though. He’d only have tried to eat the pass the parcel. Being one and all.)

The now 7 year old had a Tigger themed party when he turned one. Being a little party monster, he managed to stay awake through all of his.

Again, Tigger cake, napkins etc. Not to mention party bags with things like chocolate buttons or bubbles in (for the parents to blow for them, of course :-) )

It’s all good fun.

Over the years, the 10 year old has had Winnie the Pooh, Fimbles,  and Thomas The Tank Engine themes before progressing to soft play parties when the nursery and school years were reached and class parties took over from little tea parties.

The 7 year old has had themes including Tigger, and Bob the Builder.

Little Prince George will have a great time at his, and it’s great to see even as a Royal you can have a classic, childhood tea party for your birthday.

 

 

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It doesn’t seem like five minutes ago since both the 10 and the 7 year old started school, but here we are today with them heading off to high school in September and leaving Infants behind to join Juniors.

It’s the start of a new era, and as one chapter in their lives closes, they’re ready to turn the page and go on to the next one.

How is it three years ago since the start of primary school for the youngest?!

Time goes by so quickly.

Children have been signing shirts at school this morning, so they can remember their friends and leave messages of encouragement for their future on.

(I remember doing that myself on the last day of high school.)

Mums have been holding it together at school whilst waving their little (or not so little) ones off into primary school for the first time.

Snaps of them both in their uniforms on their last ever day in primary school and last ever day in Infants uniform has been taken for future posterity, and nostalgic purposes.

Onwards and upwards for some fantastic new adventures…

 

 

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School breaks up next week for the summer holidays, and the sun seems to have come out to play with a vengeance lately as it seems hotter than the Caribbean here these past few days!

As I don’t particularly want to be stuck indoors over the next six weeks with miserable weather, I’m kind of hoping it stays like this so we can get out and do things.

(Don’t forget your suncream. :-D )

A traditional, nostalgic childhood summer is a lot easier to do when the sun’s shining.

How about some of these?

- making daisy chains

- make your own lemonade with some lemons and sugar and try selling it to your neighbours from your little stall

- Space hopper races. Remember those?! Sit on, and grab the ears and off you bounce.

- roller skating (I used to love roller skating, and could regularly be found skating up and down the street. The six year old has a pair and likes trying to balance on them – he’ll be whizzing up and down in no time…)

- skateboarding. This is more the 10 year’s old idea of fun – he likes practising on these more than rollerskates. If you’re lucky, you may have a skateboarding ramp at your local park to practise on.

- making dens. Growing up, we were lucky enough to live somewhere where there were plenty of fields and we used to hide out in them and make dens out of straw and stuff. We could have spent hours in there.

Think Famous Five and the adventure exploring. Like that but without our own island… :-)

We needed some refreshments in there in order to be able to stay out for ages, so a backpack would have been ideal to keep our water bottle or biscuits in. Den building’s busy work you know.These from  Skate Hut would have been ideal – plenty of room to fit all our stuff in, and interesting findings such as pine cones/interesting looking pebbles! Kind of a great place all round for a cool, nostalgic summer – the most magic of childhood holiday memories are those which are made out of the simple things such as skateboarding and rollerskating.What was your favourite outdoor childhood activity?

This post is in collaboration with Skate Hut.

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woodland walk2

 

walk grass2

 

purple flowers2

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As we live in a smallish house with not much outdoor space, it came as a bit of a surprise when the 10 year old said “can we have a dog?!”

He’d never expressed an interest in owning any pets before, so it was a bit out of the blue.

I think all children at some point love a pet of their own to look after, and he’s obviously no exception.

I remember having a goldfish called Goldie when I was little (very original name, there!)

After pointing out that maybe a dog wouldn’t be practical in our house as they need more room, we thought about other pets that would be a better option.

As children who have never owned a pet before, we thought of ones that would be easier to manage than big dogs who would take a lot of looking after (walking every day, pooping it’s scoop :-) ) etc.

Which is where I mentioned my childhood goldfish.

I used to love sprinkling fish food in for little Goldie and watching him swim round his bowl.

We thought fish may be a good first pet, as they could easily help to look after them, and even small children could help feed the fish.

You’d need a good tank or bowl to keep them safe in, and if you did want to go down the little fishy route, All Pond Solutions  have some great ones especially for children with a seahorse or surfing design.

There’s something quite therapeutic about watching fish swim round and around, too. I may have to try sitting in front of  fish tanks and watching the fish swim round next time they’re winding each other up.

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming along…..”

 

This post is in collabation with All Pond Solutions.

 

 

 

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The school holidays are fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me you want to be out and about in the fresh air with the kids this summer.

Let’s face it, they have a habit of going stir crazy if they’re cooped up in the house for too long. Either that or they’d get square eyes from looking at their ds consoles too much.

No, we’d much rather be outdoors where it’s (hopefully!) nice and sunny.

One of our favourite activities in the summer is filling a picnic basket with sandwiches and juice cartons, picking up a football on our way out of the door and heading off to the local park.

Not only is it a free activity, food always seems to taste best when it’s eaten outside. Plus, they get to work at a big appetite with all the running about, and going up and down slides!

Tree climbing is also a great favourite. They’re always happiest when they’re climbing things here. Find yourself some nice sturdy roots and huge branches, and get climbing. A traditional children’s activity that never gets old.

tree climbing

One other thing that we’d love to do is go camping, and feel a night under canvas might be on the agenda these summer holidays.

What better way to drift off to sleep than looking out at the twinkling  stars?

Whatever you decide to do in the great outdoors, it’s always wise to make sure you’re prepared for the elements. (I mean, the weather’s not exactly been predictable lately, has it?!)

E-outdoor has a great range of clothes and equipment for your chosen activities, from suitable kids clothing, to climbing gear, to tents and sleeping bags for your camping adventure.

Not forgetting cooking equipment such as stoves and cook boxes.

After all, every camping trip needs sausages and beans eaten out of a tin, followed by a sing song to make it authentic and add to the fun.

Now, I say roll on the summer holidays and lovely, sunny weather…

 

 

Disclosure: This post is in collaboration with E-outdoor.

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It’s now June, which means  it’s that time of year again when school children troop out onto their playing fields in their P.E kits to skip rope and race each other.

(Not competitively you understand. Oh no.)

This is also accompanied by the school’s annual request for helpers, where they need suckers willing parents to help herd the children onto the fields, show them what they should be doing, and generally just make themselves useful.

The request always brings me out in a cold sweat and I can usually find a shoelace to tie or something urgent and/or interesting outside that needs my immediate attention.

Don’t  get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t WANT to help. It’s just the thought of being in charge of a whole team of small people and being a RESPONSIBLE ADULT brings me out in hives.

Heck, I can just about manage to organise me and my lot, without a whole army of other small people to contend with.

They’d probably call me Mrs So and So as well. Which would be another whole level of freak out, as I’m not old enough to be a Mrs So and So.

That’s the mother in law’s name, not mine.

Eeek.

No. I’d much rather be on the sidelines, cheering on instead from my own little comfort zone.

How about you?

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