Category: mini mads

Free kids coding lessons

Coding is now on the school curriculum, my boys really enjoy coding at school and when we were offered the chance to  try out a free kids coding lesson with Barclays code playground we jumped at it. Within two hours (one for Maxi) both of the boys had created a game with the help of the Digital more »

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So where those Startrite shoes made for scooting?

You may remember we have been working with Startrite on seeing how their boys school shoes hold up.  Well they have been wearing them for eight weeks now and I thought I would share with you how they have been wearing. I am going to preface this by saying that the boys last pair of more »

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Weekends With The Kids: Ideas Of What You Can Do To Fill The Time

Those two days after Friday can feel like a huge chasm, when you have kids to entertain. It’s easy to get stuck into the same routine and lose all inspirational ideas. Here are a few new ideas to help with bonding between yourself and your children. Make the most of the time that you have!

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Weekends With The Kids: Ideas Of What You Can Do To Fill The Time

Those two days after Friday can feel like a huge chasm, when you have kids to entertain. It’s easy to get stuck into the same routine and lose all inspirational ideas. Here are a few new ideas to help with bonding between yourself and your children. Make the most of the time that you have!

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Blowing away the cobwebs

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The comfort of a soft toy

Maxi was never a child to find comfort in an object or a soft toy, but Mini has always had a comforter.  His bears are worn and threadbare from over seven years of constant cuddling and affection.   Now at eight Maxi goes to bed every night with a menagerie of soft toys to chat more »

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A space party for an out of this world parents evening

It was parents evening at the school this week.  Safe to say we walked out of the school with the biggest grins on our faces.  Mini’s conference was exceptional and he is coming on in leaps and bounds and his English work is fab (probably down to all the reading he does).  Maxi is too more »

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Cooking with Kids – Cadbury Pebble Cookies

Cooking and baking is something I do a lot with the boys.  I cooked with my mum growing up and a lot of the skills I have are all down to her.  Cooking and baking is great for children as it teaches them lots and lots of new skills including measuring and weighing (you can more »

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Hands on Maths for Maxi (year 4 or 8 year old) – Shapes

axi is currently working on shapes at school in maths and this week brought home an Islamic pattern sheet and he had to identify a number of polygons on it and colour them all in different colours. Maxi is 8 years old and in Year 4 at school (key stage 2).

tangram

For someone like me that finds this type of mathematics really hard it is nigh on impossible to look at that page and see anything other than triangles.

Thankfully First 4 Magnets had sent us a magnetic tangram this week. We were sent the yellow one and it retails at £1.99.

Complete square measures 125mm x 125mm
Seven separate magnetic shapes
Made from high-quality die cut foam on a flexible magnetic backing
These challenging and addictive puzzles are based on the ancient Chinese tangram puzzle. Each puzzle is made from premium foam with a flexible magnetic backing providing a secure grip to a steel surface like your fridge. Each puzzle is die cut and supplied as a square so you can easily break the individual shapes apart to create new shapes. A tangram contains a small square, two small isosceles triangles, a medium-sized isosceles triangle, two large isosceles triangles, and a parallelogram. An isosceles triangle has two equal angles and two equal sides. A parallelogram is a four-sided figure with each side parallel to the opposite side.

When I received it I put it on the fridge and everyone in the house has played with it, including Maxi’s friends who have come to visit. I decided to set some challenges for the boys to follow some patterns using the tangram and it was great fun for everyone.

On the suggestion of Cathy from Nurturestore this weekend will be spent turning a sleeper offcut in to a geoboard.

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Experiences bring more happiness than things

A snapshot of this years family experiences so far.

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September Picture Postcard

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Dumb ways to die – my new earworm

Thanks to the minimads   Introduce your children to it, if they haven’t already got you singing it!

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What activities have been keeping the boys busy this summer

e kit did make for some interesting conversations about crystal structures and we spent one evening researching this on the computer and looking at salt and sugar under the microscope. Now the boys are at school I think this will get a lot more play as it is something they can start after school and continue with the next day.

The Human Body

As a family we LOVED this kit. It costs £27 from Hobby Craft, but is jam packed with things to do, games to play and experiments, such as building your own stethoscope and finding out about finger prints. It really tapped in to the boys imagination at 7 and 8. I think it was perfectly pitched for their age range. The kit is full of primary coloured based kit and is really engaging. It is not something you have to spend hours with all at once, as it is broken down in to different sections and covers the five senses. This has been returned to again and again over the summer and we still have more to do and use, plus it comes with a 48 page book. A super buy.

Puzzler Brain Games for the DS

This came in to its own on one of our many long road trips. It is perfect for all ages and both the boys, their cousin and the Frugals played with it. At under £12 it is a great value game for any DS owner. Rather than use it in main game mode, which is a 90 tournament designed to improve your brain, they played it in practice mode, which is more like accessing mini games. The 20 puzzles are based on training 4 different brain function categories – Visual, Word, Mathematical and Memory. During all thge time it was played over the summer the boys never had the same content twice, which was pretty impressive.

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Encouraging boys to write – Comic Strips

Even though we have been having a #’freerangesummer, I have been trying to make sure the boys still do some writing and record what we have been doing this summer and I was delighted to see this fab video that the Etherington Brothers made where they give Scottish Friendly some of their top-tips for creating a comic.

In fact it inspired some comic strip making in The Mad House. Firstly I printed off some blank comic strip layouts and we discussed what we wanted to make a comic about and the boys and their friends they were going to do ones about their day at Lightwater Valley.

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The best rides for 7 and 8 year olds at Thorpe Park

The Flying Fish was one ride that the boys rode again and again together. Both at the front and the back. In fact sometimes they didn’t even get off!

The boys were also able to go on X, Zodiac, Banana Ride, Rocky Express, Storm in a teacup, The Detonator and Wet, wet, wet. We had an amazing couple of days at Thorpe Park and stayed in the Crash Pad, which is kind of like being in a caravan, compact, but has everything you need.

Top tips for getting the best value:

Book your tickets at least two days in advance at home
Print them off
Second day from £6.00
Consider staying onsite if you live any distance away.
My friend Cass at Frugal Family has a super competition at the moment to win tickets to Thorpe Park, so get yourself over there and enter.

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Postcard from Butlins – Day Four

Day four

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Postcard from Butlins – Day Two

 

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No screens after 6pm #screenfree

We are also trying to reduce our dependance on screens for those I am boarded moments whilst waiting for food to be served or waiting in queses with small games and have recently been sent Dobble from Esdevium Games, which is a card game and the perfect size for keeping in my bag. It is a card game, which is based on the concept of snap and needs, speed, good observation and super fast reflexes. You can play up to five different mini games from the one tin of 55 cards (which are circular) and is a great game for all ages and is currently less than £10.

What are your favorite screen free pastimes?

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#ScreenFree family games night

We tried lots of different flavours of Coke including vanilla, cherry and plain and couldn’t decide which was a winner on a unanimous basis! Maxi and I love vanilla, MadDad plain and MIni Cherry. But we all agreed they were a real treat and something different to make the family games night special.

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Half term week

Teaching the boys hangman
The log flume at Thorpe Park
Making the most of the sun – Maxi
Sunshine means water – Mini
The men in my life in the Crash Pad at Thorpe Park
Cakes by the minimads
Washing machine flooded our kitchen (insurance assessor coming on Thursday)
An adventure playground to ourselves on inset day
My monkey
What you don’t see is that it was Maxi’s first week at Cub camp, he learned to canoe, BBQ, make a wooden catapult gun, planted seeds, made a cresshead, walked a lot and went to a theme park. He had the best time ever. Mini and I missed him a lot, but we made the most of our time with reading, playing, football, baking and one to one time. Oh and not being woken by Maxi the early riser at 5.30 am!

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Words of love

Then I move on to Mini’s room…………………..

“I love you” I say

“I love you more” he responds

“I love you MORE” I reply

“I love you the MOST” he says with such conviction it makes my heart ache

Not possible I think to myself, not possible.

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Fountains Abbey

I love spring days out as a family. Exploring places and enjoying each others company. Over the Spring and summer we try to ensure that we spend one day at the weekend out as a family. The thing is that the boys love being out and about as much as me and MadDad do and we spent Sunday pottering in the garden and the weekend was pretty screen free for all of us.

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Encouraging individualism in children

Both the boys really enjoyed personalising their hats from Next and took a lot of time in picking the colours they wanted and it was the perfect quiet time activity. We sat at the table after bath time and discussed why it is OPK to wear what you want and that it is what is on the inside that matters not the outside.

How do you encourage your children to be unique?

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Keeping children entertained on car journeys

I also am a great planner and in the boot of the car I have travel packs for journeys. If you have ever been unlucky enough to have a flat tire or a breakdown with children in the car, you will understand just how much of a lifesaver having something they can do in the car is.

With this in mind I have we have activity packs in the boot of the car. I have folders with everything they could need for a specific activity. So if there is puzzle books, then I will make sure there is a couple of pens of different colours and also a highlighter for the wordsearches and a small dictionary for crosswords.

I tend to save all the crayons and pencils you get in restaurants and also all the little sticker packs and gift packs you get with children’s magazines. The pound shop is also a perfect place to get things for this too.

Other things you could include in the packs are:

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Where’s Wally?

Comic Relief day today at school and it was dress up as Where’s Wally (or Waldo, for any American chums) or a character from the books and pay a pound for the privilege which they decided to take from their pocket money. My boys never sit still so this is the best you will get picture wise. They decided that we needed to have a family nerf fight this morning!

They also packed MadDad off to work with red nose day cakes to sell.

What are you doing for Comic Relief?

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Team Skylanders

The good points:

The boys do not fight when playing Skylanders together. Although there is a lot of “battling” in the game, this does not creep out in to real life like it can in some games with the boys.
It is a pretty social game. They can share their figures with friends that also have Skylanders, even if they use a different games platform as the figures are universal.
Maxi loves the Mini games.
Even if you do not have extra figures you can still play a lot of the game.
No more worries about what birthday present to buy as it seems all the children play Skylanders, so a character is a great present.
The not so good points:

It can be hard for an adult to get their head around. I initially thought that we had to but the other 48 figures to be able to play all the game.
It is complicated getting to know which element each figure belongs too (for adults)
It could get expensive if you gave in to pester power

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Parental control with Video Games

1) How many PEGI ratings are there?
A) There are five age ratings; 3, 7, 12, 16, 18

2) Which 3 PEGI age ratings are legally enforceable?
A) The 12, 16 and 18 ratings are legally enforceable for retailers – 3 and 7 are advisory only.

3) How many PEGI Content Descriptor icons are there?
A) Content Descriptors explain a little bit more about why something has been given a particular rating. There are 8 in total

4) What does the Spider icon mean?

A) It means “Fear” – i.e. it might be frighening for younger children (handy to know, as my younger daughter is quite sensitive!)

5) What does the Fist icon mean?

A) It means that the game in question will include depictions of violence.

6) Parental Controls are available on Smart Phones; True or False?
A) True.

7) Parental Control features on a video games console can be used to control the amount of time that your child plays on the device per day? True/False?
A) True. This is an absolute GODSEND for me to have found out, especially when it comes to no.1 daughter, who is notoriously difficult to wrench away from games!

The second part of the challenge was for us to set up Parental Controls on our Xbox. You can see how I got on below:

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Noise with Muck on…coping with cleaning boys clothes and eczema

I have commented that Mini is known in this house as “noise with muck on”. He stays clean for all of 5 minutes and his clothes take the brunt of his lifestyle. I expected this as a mum of boys, however, I also have to contend with Eczema which for me rules out using harsh chemicals when cleaning the boys clothes.

Maxi is my main suffer but both boys have periods of really sore and itchy skin, so I was delighted to be able to try out the new Ecover Zero products.

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Kids get Arty – Kadinsky

So when Mini asked if he could have the watercolours out to paint and started painting concentric circles in squares, I decided to sit down and we had a fab discussion.

Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944) was a Russian-French painter. His style of painting originally belonged to expressionism, and is sometimes included in symbolism. Kandinsky was one of the artists who gave shape to the abstract art in the early twentieth century.

Kandinsky was inspired by music. So whilst mini was painting I popped on Vivaldi’s four seasons. We talked about the fact Kandinsky thought that each colour has its own language and expression. Kandinsky tried to convert musical compositions into paintings. He heard colours in music and he saw music in colours. Mini told me that black must be sad music.

We also talked about the fact that paintings do not have to be of things or people and can be looked at in lots of different ways. I loved the fact that it is something that MIni could easily mimic and didn’t feel that there was a right or wrong.

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Encouraging remembrance in Children

Mini is obsessed with planes and tanks and was very respectful when we went to The Imperial War Museum at Duxford, especially when chatting to a retired serviceman about things on his birthday.

How do you talk to your children about Remembrance Day? It is hard to balance the memories without scaring them.

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Get outside this half term

It is our half term next week and we are big fans of the great outdoors and very lucky to have some wonderful diverse countryside on our doorstep. We are less than a minute from a fab woodland area 5 minutes from the beach and 15 minutes from the North Yorkshire moors.

One of the things that stop people getting outdoors is that they are not appropriately dressed. We have been trying out some splats and have to say they are the perfect footwear for our damp autumn and are easy for the boys to put on themselves, warmer than wellies and are great for Mini, who can not get into wellies with his wide feet and large instep.

I often find that this half term is one of the most exhilarating to be out in. We need to make the most of the daylight before the darker days and nights creep in. So here are some

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Now is the perfect time

Cut flowers in vases.

Radio 2 is playing Roy Orbison in the background.

Stop the clocks, for now is the perfect time.

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Polarn O. Pyret in action

As you can see from above, they have worn them on numerous occasions and they are brilliant. We received some colourful denims in blue, which both the boys have worn. They have an adjustable waist and look great rolled up on Mini or full length on Maxi. Mini is seen wearing a block stripe top , what I like about this is it washes and dries really well without pulling out of shape and it made from the softest cotton. Maxi is seen in the PO.P stripe top, which is currently in the sale at £11. This is made from organic cotton and Maxi loves it. It has become his go to top. He has issues with sensitivity and this top does not itch, scratch or rub in any way. We were so impressed with the clothes that I have even ordered some more in the mid season sale, which just shows that the boys love them.

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Everyday Echo’s

They all tell you the same cliches:

You won’t know that you did with yourself before they came along

There is nothing quite like being a mother

You will have so much respect for your mother once you are one

They grow up so fast

We heard them all and so many more, but we didn’t listen. We had waiting many a long year to have a child. We both longed for children, but had convinced ourselves and each other that we were fine as a couple and that we couldn’t keep on trying and failing at being parents. Then one day we had a little boy and then 15 months later another new born. Those first years past by in a blur of nappies, exhaustion, feeding and joy, inescapable joy. I can not put into words how lucky we are to have two amazing, unique and challenging children.

Those children that each night before bed we both go and watch sleep, just as we did from the first day we brought each of them home. It is part of our nighttime routine. MadDad goes to one door and I the other, then we pass on the landing as we swap. Then we move on to our room safe that we have breathed in a special piece of our family to infuse our sleep with. I like to use the excuse that I want to make sure they are tucked in and their lights are off and books off the best, but in truth I want to just watch them and breathe in their smell.

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It is the abductors fault, not the parents

and in light of April’s abduction we have also discussed not going with someone that you know unless Mummy or Daddy say it is OK and if we are not there and have not agreed it then unless they child is with them, then they are not to go with them, with the exclusions of family.
I do not live in constant fear of them being taken. I am well aware that some people might think I am being naive, but they are my children and this is my parenting choice. I feel that they gain so much from being allowed the freedom they are. We live in a village where lots of children play out. I let them get on their scooters and scoot to their friends house. I know where they are most of the time. They also take a walkie talkie out with them too.

I remember growing up with similar ground rules and I also firmly believe that we are more aware of the dangers these days, but they are not necessarily more people like this around, it is just we are aware of them more.

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How to encourage teeth brushing in children

The video comes on the back of research that Aquafresh conducted of 1,500 mums of children aged 2-12 that reveals that more than one million under-fives in the UK have at least two fillings, as mums struggle to get kids to brush their teeth. Other findings from the research are:

• One in six (17 per cent) mums say their child has at least 3 fillings

• 13 per cent of mums have children who have at least one filling by the time they start school (aged 3)

• Almost one in four (24 per cent) mums say their children only brush their teeth once a day and one in fifty say they don’t brush at all

• The research showed that almost half (47 per cent) of kids under 12 have been told they have dental decay, one of the most preventable diseases in the UK

• Over half of mothers (53 per cent) admit to finding getting their kids to brush their teeth stressful – potentially leading to arguments in over 2.5 million families

• One in fifty mums even admitted that their kids never brush their teeth.

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Capturing Family Moments with Panasonic

Take a look at the very short edited video and let me know what you think of the quality. I was really impressed at the footage taken in the reading room at The British Museum as the light was really poor and photographs without flash did not turn out, whereas the video camera took perfect pictures. The camera retails at £240 on Amazon and I really wish that Panasonic had given me one rather than just loaned it to me! So if you are reading this Clara, it got lost in the post, OK!

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When lines cross

Sunday came and Mini apologised to all the parents for his behavior but this wasn’t enough for this parent who has stated that he is pulling his son from the team. This has been such a terrible experience for all of us. We have come very close to pulling both boys from their teams and moving them to another club. MadDad’s enthusiasm for the game has been shattered and we have all felt emotionally bruised by this judgement in to our parenting.

It was the first week back at school and Mini was tired. He is six years old, he had a tantrum. I am not trying to make excuses for Mini, but these things happen and nobody should be making judgement on our life without walking a mile in our shoes. The fact that this parent is so offended by his behaviour now makes me wonder just who has the issue here. I do hope that his son still plays as all the children seem to have a fab time and love playing.

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Back to school – value for money, uniform

My boys put there school clothes though the wringer! They are not gental with anything they wear and their uniform is no exception. I was delighted when Matalan offered me £100 to spend on their uniform, espeically as I have purchased it from them previously and it has stood up to the boys day to day use.

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Summer Holidays so far in Instagram

We are busy making the most of the summer holidays, so I thought I would do a collage in Instagram showing what we have been filling our days with:

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Emotions

here has also been firsts too. Our first visit to the Skate park with Frugal Family and the boys first visit to the high street on their own. It has been a veritable feast of emotions for all of us. I love my time with them. I love that they are fun to be with and that they enjoy spending time with me as much as I do with them. Long may it continue.

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Raising Olympians #RaisinganOlympian

But then it came to me. Both my boys are very academic and sporty and excel in these areas. However, Maxi is a pretty sensitive young man and although he is more than happy to get up and speak in front of an audience, he finds dressing up and expressing himself challenging. This year he was asked if he would like to be part of a drama group and even though it was way out of his comfort zone, he accepted and did an hour after school every week leading up to a show this week.

Both MadDad and My sister in law took the time off to come and see the show we me. We didn’t know a lot about it as Maxi had kept us in the dark, all we know was it was Joseph and His Technicolor Dream-coat and that he had a solo in it. What can I say, my boy astounded me and left his Daddy speechless. He was amazing., He stepped out of his comfort zone and put his whole heart in to his performance. He smiled through the play. He sang with gusto and his solo brought a tear to my eye. But the best thing about it was that he enjoyed the whole experiance.

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Wordless Wednesday (Internet is down)

Olympic flame

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Jubilee Celebration

I hope everyone else has had a great long weekend too.

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The things they say and do – The joke edition

hildren and jokes. I am not sure that the boys really get jokes. They have up until now made up ones that made very little sence to me or anyone else for that matter, but had then rolling in the aisle.

But the times they are a changing…………………..

Maxi: Knock Knock

Mini: Who’s there?

Maxi: Love

Mini: Love who?

Maxi: Love you too

Then they both kiss!

Mini: Knock, knock

Maxi: Who’s there?

Mini: Atish

Maxi: Atish who?

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The things they say and do, The Beavers Edition

Maxi has been a Beaver for nearly a year and last week Monday was the eagerly anticipated first night of Mini’s induction in to the world of Beavers. He was ready a whole hour before it was time to go, in Maxi’s old uniform (which was kindly donated by a kind sole off twitter).

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Ouir holiday so far, gale force winds, snow and Mini blowing away…….

A perfect couple of days. Here to more this week.

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The things they say and do – Singing out of tune and girlfriends at 5

Whilst they were playing, Miss Frugal (who is the eldest of the bunch) taught the boys kiss, dare, truth or swear, which led to much hilarity in the car when Mini was picked truth and told me he had a girlfriend, but he had to share her with his friend at school too and that they took turns on which days they could kiss her on the cheek!

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Weekending

Our weekend in Instagram. Youn would never have guessed it was March, we have had a weekend of all seasons in one day!

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What was Number 1 in the charts when your child was born?

I have been tagged by Mum of 3 boys to tell you who was at number one in the chat when the boys were born

Maxi – 16 March 2005

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Trying not to pass my food dislikes to my children

MadDad’s mum doesn’t like mushrooms and tomatoes, neither does MadDad. When you ask him he puts it down to the fact that he had never tried them until he was older and he doesnt like the texture, he never learned to like them. In fact between me and MadDad we have quite a few food aversions, but we have always ensured that we try not to pass these on to our boys.
Growing up I didn’t like turnip, but was made to have a tea spoon each Sunday on my dinner and told to mix it with my carrot or potato and I was expected to eat it. Guess what I actually like turnip now. With regards to veg, both the boys will happily eat their way though the garden, to which I am so thankful and I put down to the fact that we grow a selection in the garden.

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The Happiness Project

After a week in which I found a note from Mini saying nobody likes him, when I saw Kate’s blog post about what makes our children happy, it was something I was keen to do with them.

So I presented them with a large sheet of paper and asked them to draw what makes them happy. No prompting and just left them to it.

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Family Film Night – Dolphin Tale

Once a week we have a family film night in the Mad House. We all curl up on the sofa with our PJ’s on and watch a family movie with popcorn and drinks.
This week we watched Dolphin Tale. We never got the chance to see this at the local cinema, so it was new to us all and we loved it. It is the real life inspired story of Winter (the dolphin) who had to have her tale amputated due to infection after getting it caught in a crab trap. It features Harry Conick Jnr, which a lot of the ladies like, but I have to admit that it is Morgan Freeman that makes my heart miss a beat, however, it is Winter and the children who really steal the show.

We sat though the whole film and even had to pause it for comfort breaks, which doesn’t normally happen. It is an engaging, thought provoking and uplifting film and it even had me shedding a tear near the end. Yes it is schmaltzy, but it is the perfect family feel good film.

I can tell when my boys have enjoyed a film as it gets put on time after time and since receiving this they have watched it at least three times and we now have the winter webcam saved on the computer under favorites!

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When you give up your dream you die

Ah that quote has stuck with me since Flash dance, which was all those years ago in 1983 and yes that is the original one! One of mine and MadDads biggest dreams has always been to own a second property, preferably in France. As we get older and realise that we are happy to try and live on one income that original dream of a second home in France is fast becoming a long distant dream. One we longed for when we were booking idyllic holidays abroad, when we had sufficient income to be looking for an investment property we were too busy and had no idea that we wouldn’t always be living this way.

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Learning about remembrance

My boys are growing up and learning about the world they live in all the time. Today was the first time Maxi has took part in the remembrance parade in the village adn also the first time that Mini has sat in the congregation.

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We ditched the dummy

We did it! No actually he did it. Mini diched his dummy last night, just like that. I asked him if he thought that it was time to go and he siad yes and off to bed without one he went and slept though the night. he is an utter star and I am so proud of him.

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First day at school 2011

back to school 2011

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Back to School with Tesco Clothing and £15 voucher to give away

have to admit the set that we got from Tesco Clothing was a godsend last year and the shirts and polo’s washed really well. As last years trousers didnt have adjustable wastes they fell down on my stick insect children, but this year they sent us a pair of the finnest trousers for each of the boys, which have adjustable waists and are a wool blend, so quite luxurious and hard wearning.

Not only did they send a uniform set for each of the boys, but they also gave me a £30 voucher (which I have spent on a dress for The Mad Blog Awards).

Giveaway
I also have a code to give a lucky reader and commenter their own £15 voucher for Clothing at Tesco. Al you have to do is leave a comment on this post and I will draw the winner by randum number generator tomorrow night (29/08/11) at 8.0opm.

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My Boys first baths

hankfully things have moved on since we had the boys and now you can see video’s on you tube of how to bath your baby and Johnsons Baby have a whole youtube channel and a specific tutorial on bathing your baby. My top tip would be to get any prospective d

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Because it’s Friday

Take some time to enjoy the small stuff

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When good words turn bad!

arly on down the journey that is raising children, MadDad and I decided that we wanted to call the boys sexual organs by the correct names, so Penis, Testicular, Scrotum, it is. Along the years Willie has nipped in too, but we don;t have pet names for them. Partly this was down to my experience growing up. My vagina was called a “frou frou” and my brothers penis was his tail. For a long time I thought that boys had tails to help them balance like animals and I don’t remember when I learned

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Eczema – How we deal with it

Both of my boys have eczema, different types and in different parts of their bodies, but it is something that breaks my heart. Baby’s are supposed to have smooth, delectable, heavenly soft skin and Maxi certainly didn’t and often doesn’t. He suffers the most out of the two boys and when he is having a flare up we have to wrap his body oin cling film to help the medication and to also help prevent him ripping his skin to shreds.

Over the years I have tried everything and anything on his skin and after six years are finally settling on a routine and products that work for us. Intially we were pushed down the oilatum and Diprobase route by our GP, but I have issues with SLS and SLA’s they make my skin red raw and the palms of my hands when using these products with him were red, sore and itchy. So we moved on to products with no parabens and no SLA’s in, which has made a vast difference.

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Teabagging…… I had no idea

Maxi came running home from the green the other week

“Mummy, Mini has been teabagged”

Now forgive me, but I had no idea what teabagged was, but it didnt sound good. So I dedided to look it up on Wikipedia and safe to say I was gobsmaked and decided that I needed to investigate further.

So I got the boys together and asked them to demonstrate to me what teabagging was (with some trepidation as to what I was going to see). Maxi made Mini kneal on the floor and then ground his pubic area in his face, which thankfully isnt exactly teabagging, I tried very hard to keep a straight face and look suitably offended by what I had just seen.

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Laughing at, not laughing with

We are going through a learning curve here in the mad house. I try to let my boys have freedom, I believe in letting them play outside and try to encourage them to be independent, but with two boys who are 15 months apart there is a fine line to walk. Mini wants to be out with Maxi and I want to encourage them to look out for each other. In order to help facilities this we have purchased a set of walkie talkies for the boys, which work really well when they remember to take them out! But yesterday things went wrong.

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Retail pressure at school

The boys school holds a Scholastic book fair twice a year (They used to just send Red House catalogues home) and last week Maxi and Mini were exposed to the sort of retail pressure that no child should ever experience and I encountered the worst sort of emotional blackmail.

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How to decorate an Easter Egg. Let’s not take it to the eggstream

o parents, STOP IT……….. This is not about having the perfect egg, the best decorated or anything like that, this is about your children doing something. So sit on your hands and let them do it ON THEIR OWN.

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Proud, you bet I am

I read somewhere and for the life of me I can not remember where something about parents who’s children eat everything shouldn’t be smug.  Why?  Why can I let people know about the crap sides of my life, but not the good things? I am a proud mum and yes I am somewhat smug, my more »

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We are too LOUD

My boys are LOUD. Which means that I have to shout to be herd over their noise.   I didnt realise this until we stayed with friends this last week and it really brought it home to me just how much noise me and the boys make. So the fact that I woke up with more »

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Things I have learnt this week

In homage to the very nice Its a small world after all, I have decided to do a short list of things I have learnt this week That Mini’s current favorite animal is a fox That Maxi loves crab meat That neither of the boys are ready to ride their bikes without stabilisers That the more »

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Mummy can you scratch my bum?

We had a pretty quiet weekend consisting of football practice and then a football party for the boys on Saturday and a Sunday which mainly included lots of comfort food and cuddles, which was fine by me. One of the plus point of buying the boys DSi’s for Christmas is that me and MadDad get more »

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My Boys

It is not often that a picture perfectly captures a moment, but also the peoples personalities too, but we are lucky enough to have one. When we were at The Mad Awards 2010, the wonderful Nikki Hall took some photo’s of my wonderful whirlwinds, which perfectly captures them. So when Photobox offered me the chance more »

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The odd one out

I have that follow feeling in my tummy, the one I describe to the boys as butterflies, but truth be told it isn’t.  It is a physical pain caused by dropping them off at the school door each morning.  At least today Mini went in without the tears and upset of last week, at least more »

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My Top Tips for Starting School

I feel like an expert, now I have survived the first four days of both the boys going to school, so I am compiling my top tips for starting school, so I can remember them for next year (oh and look back on them after the each half term break)! School clothes I have the more »

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The Gallery – One Day in August 2010

Not the best picture in the world, but this was taken on MadDad’s phone on Sunday evening after a week of sickness in TheMadHouse. The reason I chose this is it is in stark contrast to the the images that Josie, Sian and Eva (working with Save the Children) who travelled to to Bangladesh on more »

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School Shoes from Clarks

A while ago I was asked if I would post a video from Clarks about the six steps to shoe fitting, to which I responded honestly that we hadn’t actually been to a Clarks shop  in more than two years due to a very bad experience with Mini and that we used the local independent more »

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Hearing but not Listening

My boys, especially MiniMad seem to have issues with listening. I and the preschool were so concerned with Mini’s hearing that he was referred to an Audiologist. Thankfully it turned out that Mini’s hearing was perfect, although it took four different attempts to get him to co-operate with the tests.  You could see that he more »

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Wordless Wednesday – A big Thankyou

Just look at this wonderful drawing I received from the very clever Suzie over at Itch 2 Stitch.  We adore it and have framed it and popped it for all to see.

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Bringing out the Lioness in me

Just don’t go upsetting my cubs in front of me, as it will bring out the lioness in me.  She has surfaced this week and I am still upset and angry about how my boys, Mini in particular has been treated. Every Monday there is a youth group at the local church and although I more »

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A Family of Emotions

Mini just can not control them, they are so visual, so transparent.  It is like looking at me. I see burning red and hot orange embers.  The lava flow that just erupts before he has a chance to think about anything else.  He has no hold on them, no way to stop acting on the more »

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Writing Workshop – Tainted Blood

Mini sometimes I look at you and it is like looking at a mini me in the mirror.  My boy, you are going to have to learn to control that temper of mine that you have.  That boiling anger that I can see clearly inside.  You are going to have to grow and learn how more »

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Writing Workshop – The best things come to those who wait

  The best things come to those who wait, well that’s what they say. I am not good at waiting, no I don’t have a patient bone in my body. If I want something then I want it yesterday.  I want it NOW. I have been known to stamp my feet and bat my eyelashes more »

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The Gallery – Men

This week’s prompt over at The Gallery is Men. Pictures of the men in your life – dads, sons, uncles, teachers, partners, brothers.   Let’s hear it for the men! So I give you the men in my house:   My wonderful constant companion thought life, he can be many things to many people, including a maker, more »

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Please Vote for me!

I am such a happy little blogger right now, I have reached the top five in the Family Fun Blog Catagory in The Mad’s, the awards for  Daddy and mummy Bloggers in the UK.   To say I am overwhelmed is an understatement, especially when you see the others in the Family Fun Blog Category, more »

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The Gallery – Joy

Joy, I have been brought lots of joy in to my life, MadDad especially brings me more than I can ever express, but sometimes it is so hard to capture that Joy in an image. That first day when we brought Maxi home after the hardship of getting him – Pure exhausted joy of my more »

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Writing Workshop – Do not be defined by what you can be, rather who you can be

What can I say about a mothers love, the love I feel for my two boys The need to give them happiness throughout their lives To see joy in their faces To be privileged to experience with them so many firsts. First Steps First Smile First tooth The first feel of sand in their toes more »

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Nature or Nurture

I have clever children, there I have said it.  I have got rid of the elephant in the room.  They are very bright and intelligent (gifted and talented they call them at school, but that term just doesn’t sit well with me, as all children are talented in someway).  But before I go on about more »

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Writing Workshop – What were you doing this time last year

  It is karma that this prompt came up on this weeks workshop, as I have been discussing this with my wonderful friend Wendy (my homestart lady) today. We took the boys for a good old run out and about yesterday afternoon in the woodlands near home and stopped for a well needed pot of more »

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Shrove Tuesday, Lent and Ash Wednesday

So lets do this in order shall we….. We used up our eggs (fresh from the butcher) and all had a wonderful evening meal with tons of pancakes. In fact it is one of my most pleasant memories from childrhood, pancake day, reinforced every year by the same routine and due to the joy that more »

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My Most Surreal Mummy Moments

Well I have been parenting for nearly 5 years now, so I am obviously an old hand at this lark, yeh right.  But one thing can be sure, is that my children surprise me everyday. One of my moments actually happened at Parents Evening for MaxiMad, he has a red book that is filled in more »

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2010, the year we will…….

Cuddle Mummy in the night if I get scared -Maxi Learn to write my name – Mini Be a footballer – Maxi Learn to write mummy’s name – Maxi Spend less time on the PC – Me Dance more with a smile on my face – MadDad Give up my dummies – Mini Swim a more »

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Toilet humour and the best present of the holidays according to the minimads

My Brother bought MiniMad  “Pooh is that you Bertie?” It has been the biggest hit of the holiday, we seem to be reading it constantly and the boys love the toilet humor, in fact we have been parping, boffing and tooting ever since. Who would have thought a book about farts could have been so more »

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Cooking with Children – Tarka Dal and Naan Bread

I love cooking and more than that I adore cooking with my children.  I love watching them measure, weight, pour and get excited about the tastes and textures of the food we grow, make and eat. MiniMad and I made dal and naan breads last night, a real store cupboard meal, which is warming, filling, more »

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Bonfire Party

What can I say about the wonderful night we had the Bonfire night party at my brothers and sister in laws social club. It was a wonderful night, with 200 people turning up for the marvelous fireworks that my Brother and the team put on (he is already trying to make next year bigger and more »

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Childrens Halloween Party

We have been to my Brother and Sister in Laws social club this evening for the children Halloween party and it was and always is a fantastic night. It is a night for all the children and most of them dress up (except for MaxiMad who goes as himself) and have a great time. Cheesy more »

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A Warm October Day

Today has been a totally unseasonably warm day for late October, maybe global warming has started, but I am not complaining as it is half term and the mini’s need lots of exercise.  On a typical Thursday we do our shopping with my mum, so we set off to our local Aldi and got the more »

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A Very Proud Mummy

If any one would like to ask me what I want for my children it would be for them to be happy and balance individuals. Well MadDad and I spent the evening at the minimads school talking to the boys teachers and I have come away a very happy bunny. We were told we should more »

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Autumn Days and the Grass is Jeweled

My wonderful Fly friend Wendy sent this craft all ready prepared for the minimads all I added was the colour changing felt tips which had been supplied by my mother in law earlier in the year. Basically she printed out the tree and the leaves and we coloured them in with the colour change felt more »

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My Little Drummer Boys

Pa rum pum pum pum. When is a tin not a tin – when it is drum or shaker of course. The mini’s have had a fun evening playing with my tins and wooden spoons. I love the fact that they are getting so much more imaginative as they grow.  

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Twister Blister

It was one of those heart in mouth moments that every mum of boys gets, but at least they are playing nicely together.  Welcome to the MiniMads new game…………………………………………… Twister Blister (and yes that is MaxiMad in his pj’s)

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Bed Head

The bigger the hair, the less sleep had by the whole family. Last night was a sleepless night!!

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He thrived, I survived

Well today was MaxiMads first day at school. He went to the preschool at the school, but this was his first day in reception, his second time for school lunch and his first full day. As you know if you read my earlier post, I was not looking forward to this day. In fact I more »

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To Tired Tuesday

No Words today, just wanted to share some of my favorite recent photo’s which never fail to pick me up when I am down.

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