Sunday, 29 July 2012

How does it happen?

How do children's bedrooms breed so much stuff?

After Dylan went to the gym and I went swimming this morning I decided I would spend 15 minutes organising in Stephanie's bedroom, I mean it shouldn't take long should it just to put a few things away. Yet once I started I realised there was a lot more to organise than I thought. I started by moving out anything I could see that she has not used for a long time. I decided to put these items into the attic. When she gets back from her Dad's if she hasn't requested specific things I will sell them on.

Here's what I moved out in the 1st 15 minutes;

After moving these items I could see space to organise some of the toys etc on the floor so spent another 15 minutes doing that. I planned on doing some more another day however as I was getting ready to go to the allotment we had a thunder storm so I decided to go and do a little more in her bedroom. I removed this amount again and collected a black sack full of broken/ missing pieced toys and did some more tidying. I ended up doing about an hour in there, there is still more to go!

How do toys etc breed?

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Olympic celebrations

Yesterday we began the day by going for a swim. Then we got ready to go to Rochester castle to join in the celebrations for the opening ceremony of the Olympics. We ran the Medway Mile which is a mass fun run which has happened on the 27th July for the last few years here to mark the count down to the Olympic games. It is a fantastic family event with lots to keep the children entertained whilst waiting for the mass race. There are shorter children's races, a mascot race, and a competitive racers mile before the mass race. All activities are free to take part in including the fair ground rides etc for the children.

It is a fantastic evening of fun, we always take a picnic with us as there are burger vans there but they are expensive and I find it strange that the only option is burgers and chips at an event where there are lots of initiatives on display by the local council to get people to eat more healthily..

I am disappointed that last night was the last one of these fantastic events. I think there should be something similar set up as a yearly event, it's great to see everyone come together. Oh and I ran the mile with Stephanie and we completed it at her pace with a time of 11 Min's 09 seconds. Dylan decided not to run and came in about 7 minutes later.

Here are some of the pictures from the evening;

Face painted by the Better Medway team

Stephanie on the big slide

Dylan on the big slide

Swing ride

Making smoothies, they both want one of these bikes!

Celebratory ice cream after running the mile.

One of the local Olympic torch carriers bought the torch with her and very kindly let the children hold it so I could get their photographs with it.

Watching the Olympic ceremony on the big screen whilst waving GB flags. Was great to watch the children running around playing together with others who they did not know. Yet when the people on the screen started to sing the National Anthem the children stopped what they were doing and watched joining in with the words. Very spontaneous and very sweet.

After this we watched the firework display which was fantastic, we were too busy watching to take pictures- sorry!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Tired today

All this getting healthy with the children is tiring work!

After breakfast I took Stephanie out on her bike with no stabilisers for the first time. I spent most of the time holding onto the back of her saddle, then catching her seconds after I let go. For some reason she seems to lean to the right very heavily as she rides. As I didn't let her crash to the floor she is happy to keep trying until she gets the hang of it. The promise of a trip to build a bear when she manages to ride it herself is working wonders...

From bike riding to swimming where we all swam for just over an hour and a half. Dylan took himself into the big pool and swam LOTS of lengths. Stephanie swam in the middle sized pool lots of lengths. We had to come out of that pool at 11 as there was an aqua aerobics class in there. I took Stephanie in the deep pool for the 1st time. She loved it, swimming as deep as 150cm ( as deep as I was comfortable taking her as it came up to my shoulders and she is only just 110cm tall). Definitely need to do this with her again.

We then had our lunch in the park opposite the leisure centre where the children ran around for a while. Came home Dylan prepared the dinner for us. We then went to the library and on to the dentist. I decided that I would save a little bit of money and get some more exercise by not driving all the way and walking the last bit of the journey. It is about a 15 minute walk.

Once home Dylan finished the dinner he made a very tasty tomato pasta bake with chirozo, peperoni and salami in. He added some chili powder to the  tin tomatoes as he was cooking was very good.

Then Dylan went out on his bike with a neighbour before we headed down to the allotment for an hour of weeding and digging.

We are definitely notching up the exercise this week. I just hope we can maintain it once September comes around. Sorry about the lack of picture today but I must admit to being very tired today, I didn't sleep well last night so that probably hasn't helped. Maybe tomorrow I'll have the energy to upload some pictures to show.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

a no tv/ screen day

Today the children have not used a screen at all. We started our day by going swimming. We then sat by ther river and ate the lunch I had packed.

A view across the river

Dylan eating.

While we were at the sports centre we collected our race t-shirts for Friday and Dylan mentioned that he would like to use the gym. I enquired and they have an introductory offer on for the youth gym it cost £15 for 6 weeks and as we will be on holiday for 2 of those 6 weeks they are going to extend it so he still gets 6 weeks. We booked in his 3 training sessions where he will learn abot safe use of all the equipment in the youth section. I had wanted to do it with him but it will cost £45 for the same period for me and we would be in seperate parts of the gym anyway. So I will go for a swim when he uses the gym. I really hope he enjoys the gym as he doesn't really enjoy exercise and I want him to ind something he likes and enjoys.

When we got home we played in the garden, well Stephanie did she made a tent using the cothes airer and some blankets to sit and play with her trolls in. She then played in the paddling pool. Then the children sat together and played Monopoly;

I wonder what fun we can get upto tomorrow....

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Another beautiful sunny day

Today was a day at home kind of a day. Stephanie had a friend round to play. As it was so hot I filled the paddling pool;

lots of splashing and shrieking with laughter.Which was great to hear. I sat and watched from the backdoor as I got sun burnt yesterday and don't want to make it worse. On the rare occasion I did step outside I got Dylan to suncream my back. Yesterday I got Stephanie to do it bless her I think her 6 year old hands didn't quite do the job right (don't tell her i said that)

We made pizzas for tea, there is still some left so we will have those bits for lunch tomorrow.

Dylan baked Herman for us, he put cinnamon in. It tastes very nice and I'm afraid I forgot to take any pictures until after we had all eaten a square or 2!

Herman looks a bit flat as Dylan forgot to add the baking powder, still never mind it tastes scrummy still.

After taking Stephanie's friend home we went to the allotment. I spent just over an hour weeding the potato bed it is almost done. Dylan sort of helped- he was having a grumpy teenage moment and wasn't very cheerful in his helping. Stephanie took the tray I was filling with weeds to the compost bin to empty it every time I filled it.

Oh well a new day tomorrow we are off swimming. I'm off to watch TV and do some knitting I really want to get this cardigan finished before we go away in August.

Monday, 23 July 2012

first day of the school holidays

We decided to start our summer holidays with a trip to the beach. I was very surprised to be able to park easily- although surprised by the £7.50 charge for the privilege. I think I may have a scout round and see if I am able to park on a nearby road next time!

We had a lovely day, lots of digging, sand castle making, Frisbee flying and swimming/splashing. Both children dozed in the car on the way home. You will all be relieved to hear that although tired- I did not nap (phew!! LOL)

Here are some of the pictures from today;

 excuse the pics I think I need to replace my camera

Sand the 'natural babysitter'

After several hours of fun and a picnic we had an ice cream each and came home. We started by going to the allotment for an hour of weeding before coming home for a barbecue.

The TV didn't go on until just after 9, it has been on for 1 hour only this evening. My laptop has been on slightly longer as Dylan and I have booked a day trip to Thorpe park for while Stephanie is at her Dad's for the week. So we have reduced screen time and hit our lots of exercises target for today. Tomorrow Stephanie has her friend round to play she is planning  water fight with the paddling pool out as well as some baking.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

starting our get moving!

I decided that even though the children were at their Dads yesterday I would begin the 'get moving campaign without them. Yesterday I went to the allotment and spent an hour and a half digging, weeding and harvesting. This is what I bought home with me;

Look at the promise in the plum tree this year; There are lots of branches as full as this one I just hope they don't all come ripe whilst we are away like they did last year!

Today I decided that before I collected the children I was going to go for a walk. I went to a local farm nature reserve I have been looking at for years but somehow I have never made it. The walk I did took me about an hour and 45 mins and consisted of some very steep hills. Those hills made for some excellent views look;

I had a lovely walk and I really enjoyed the time just to be. I am going to do more of this, I will go for walks with the children but I never go alone usually.

I collected Stephanie, Dylan phoned while I was out to ask for another night out. We went to my aunt's to play with the new puppy. Very cute little bundle of fluff.
After coming home for dinner Stephanie and I went to the allotment. We planted the pumpkin seedlings, weeded among the peas/ beans. Stephanie ate all the ripe berries of the raspberry bush.

When we got home I made 2 loaves of bread and I blanched 3 of the cabbages I picked yesterday and popped them in the freezer, I gave 3 away to family today and have 2 left in the fridge. 

I told Stephanie of my plans to limit us all to 1 hour of screen time per day during this holiday. She doesn't seem to fussed, thought to be fair she barely has any anyway. It's Dylan that will find this hardest. I have 5 minutes of my screen time for today left. I'm off to research and decide which beach we are going to tomorrow before I go to bed.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Get moving!

I am trying to ensure that the children and myself are getting more exercise. I took up running before I completed my race for life last month which I really enjoy. I was getting up at 5.30 and running before work. I must admit to being a wuss though I stopped when it started raining the other week. I am aiming to get back to it though.

I have noticed that when we are home we, as a family, have got very lethargic.I have been trying to encourage the children into moving more. It is easier to get Stephanie going than Dylan, yet she often needs coaxing out the house initially.

I filled out a quiz a few weeks ago for the change 4 life yesterday we received our personalised plans. Stephanie has a game board which she places stickers on each day that she is active for over 60 minutes. Dylan and I have a table where we record our activity each day. Stephanie has seen her plan and is very excited to get it started next week. Dylan is at his Dad's so has not seen them yet. I suspect it will take more than a table to encourage him. I am hoping that a little competitiveness with me will help. I am going to give it a good try to get them moving more this summer.

I also have intentions of not buying crisps/chocolate for us in a bid for us to improve our eating habits which have slipped recently. This may be somewhat scuppered- I have received 2 boxes of chocolates from the children in my class today, maybe if I eat them this weekend it'll be OK......

Stephanie has a swimming lesson on Saturday so she'll get some exercise before going to her Dad's. I'll be going to the allotment lots this weekend. There is lots of work to do there this weekend as I never got there last weekend. We will also be going several times during the week.

So from Monday we are going to get fit- Monday because the children are at their Dad's this weekend and they eat worse there than they do here.

Our planned activities so far for next week are;

Monday- possibly go to the beach
Tuesday- Stephanie has friends round, lots of garden play planned
Wednesday- Swimming
Thursday- Nothing definite yet, Dylan has a baby tooth extraction for his brace in the afternoon, perhaps go out on bikes in the morning.
Friday- Medway mile
Saturday- up for negotition
Sunday-up for negotition

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Feeding Herman

Today was feeding day for Herman our German friendship cake. On day 4 he likes to eat;

225g granulated sugar

115g plain flour

wash that down with 235ml milk

Good stir!

Then he looks quite full like this, so we stir him only for next 4 days until he is fed again on day 9!

If only I could feed the children once every 4 days- would save me so much food/time/money................

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Kent county show

Today we went to the Kent county show, it is something of a tradition which we have built up over the last few years. We love to go and watch the different displays with the animals, as well as have a chat with the many exhibitors who attend and learn more about their jobs and hobbies. Today we watched a little of a horse competition, we watched the farriers making horseshoes, a man using a lath to make something with wood, another man hand making a wooden spoon, chatted to a couple of people who explained to us how they use dogs to find missing people. I was absolutely fascinated by the statistics which show certain ages/ genders of people are likely to go a set way when they go missing for example one group will always go left when they come to an obstacle an other age group will go to somewhere where there is water. Facts like this fascinate me.

There is plenty there to occupy the children, as well as joining in with my discussions with various people the children also learnt how to make candles from beeswax sheets, they learnt about railway safety, about brownies/scouts and Dylan even had a virtual driving lesson.

We took food with us to eat to keep the costs down. We did sample various foods and drinks as we walked. I bought some cheeses which we particularly like. We had these when we got home for an alfresco tea.

Here are some of our pictures from the day, we all took a turn on the camera so they reflect the different things we all found interesting.

farriers busy at work

Dylan get me I like this car

A biology lesson occurred here

Can we have some for pets?

One of my fave pics- they were playing together, they seem to be bickering lots at the moment so was nice to see them happy together.

The finished candles.


Not from the show- but our Herman cake.

Something I learnt today, very serious and we all immediately agreed is wrong is that supermarkets are expecting dairy farmers to receive less money for their milk than the cost of production. On the list of supermarkets involved in this was asda, Morrison's and I was very shocked to see the coop! I always think of the coop as being ethical. I am now going to find somewhere else to purchase my milk. You can read more about this on the NFU website. The information I collected on this today urges us as consumers to write to the customer service department of your local supermarket voicing your concerns and ask how they are ensuring that producers are receiving a fair price for their products. I will be doing this- will you?

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Happy list

I promised I would find a happy place again after my self indulgent post the other day. Today I am feeling much happier. 10 things I am happy for this month are;

  1. My children, they make me happy everyday.
  2. Dylan is doing well at secondary school- he received a school award for his ICT work, he got up to 10 pound to spend on a book he chose an autobiographical book (I forget whose, I will borrow once he has read it). We got to go to an award ceremony at the school where he was presented with his prize.
  3. My family, today I have had a phone call from my niece who will be 4 on Thursday to tell me about her school trip to the safari park and my 9 yr old nephew asking my advice on his veg patch.
  4. My upcoming holiday- my sisters and I are going to the lake district camping with our children for a week in August.
  5. friends- I have been to my friends daughters birthday party, I helped her out at it and had a such a good time playing with the children. Another friend popped around this evening to give us a Herman the German friendship cake. I'm looking forward to growing Herman with my children.
  6. My ability to read- I am loving the book of the moment (Shades of Grey) I have been told about these books by so many friends and colleagues and decided I needed to see what the fuss is about- I am hooked and I only started last night.
  7. My garden- while I was home with a poorly Stephanie I spent some time sorting out my garden having lived in a flat for 3 years I really do appreciate the ability to just step outside.
  8. I am no longer an NQT- I had my final report signed off yesterday :-)
  9. I am heading to the Kent Show tomorrow, this has become something of a tradition for my little family we go every year the children love to go and look at the animals and find out more as well as seeing all the other attractions. We love the Eco village bit and usually come home with more ideas of ways we can improve.
  10. baking- I love that I can open the fridge/ cupboard and no matter how little I think I have in there I can always cook something.
There we have it my list for this month. Once again thanks to Astra for hosting. Post a link to your list in the comments, or if you do not have a blog feel free to post your list in a comment.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

be careful what you wish for!

I have been longing for the past couple of weeks for sometime off, it's getting to the end of term my house was a mess, I had tonnes of end of term paperwork to do, and I'm just well, tired. I got the couple of days off of work. Unfortunately it was because Stephanie was poorly.

My poor baby- she had a temperature of 40 and was vomiting :-(
Here she is asleep after I manage to cool her down in a bath.and some calpol. She slept for hours and I got the housework done.

Then I spent sometime knitting her new school cardigan and reading my library book. I haven't had much time for reading the past couple of weeks and so I hadn't read this book it's due back tomorrow but I can't renew it as somebody else has reserved it. I spent a lot of today reading too I think I may just finish it in time. It is a good story and I am having trouble putting it down.
Stephanie had stopped being ill by yesterday teatime but still had a temperature when she went to bed. Thankfully she woke up absolutely fine today so we had a chilled day at home together where we played barbies and hang man and did some gardening;

we harvested this little lot from the grow bags in the garden. There were some strawberries and raspberries too but Stephanie snaffled those.

Playing barbies in the sunshine.

So today was lovely to relax and be home with Stephanie, but I wish I could have done it without her having to be poorly yesterday.

Back to the book now- night all.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

not today!

 (picture from here)

Today I feel like hiding, I don't want to do anything. I think It is because I know I have a stressful week at work coming up and I don't want to do it. I want to stay right here curled up on my sofa just as I have spent the past 2 hours. I know I can not but that knowledge is not making it an easier for me to find the motivation to move.

I do however need to get up and do some stuff. I need to pop to the shop for potatoes etc. The children will be home shortly I know I'll have more energy then.

Normal service will resume shortly....

Sunday, 1 July 2012

How rich are you?

I have had a beautiful day out with Stephanie today. As I watched her running along trying to race steam trains I had a realisation I guess you could call it.

If someone was to ask me how rich I am I would say not I'm not I'm skint! But watching Stephanie playing today I realised I am rich; I have 2 beautiful and healthy children, I have my health, I have my family and friends, a roof over my head and a job. I have so much compared to many. I don't need much money to have all of this.

I had a lovely day out all it cost was £2.50. We went to a park, took a picnic- leftover pizza from last nights dinner, fruit and salad from the fridge and a pack of crisps each already in the cupboard. There was no parking charge at the park. It was a 20 min drive so not too much fuel used getting there. The money spent was only because there was a special event happening so there was a bouncy castle and stalls there. Stephanie had a go on the bouncy castle- £2 for 5 minutes and a go on the lucky duck stall 50p.

Dylan didn't want to come; he slept at his Dad's last night I phoned this morning to tell him what we were doing but he didn't want ot join us, only to ask when I collected him if we could go to a park!! (Children!)

Here are some of our pictures from today;

Sharing her dough balls with the ducks

hanging around

Can I go in the water mum?

I'm gonna win!

On the train

Oh I am sorry, I told a fib! I spent £3.10- they train was the princely sum of 30p each to ride.

So just how rich are you??