Monthly Archives: September 2010


My Priorities – Should our children fit in?

Way back when I had pink hair and lived my life in the minute I never thought I would be conventional.  I left home at 16 due to me and mum clashing and not agreeing on my “lifestyle” choices!  Back then I wanted to be different, I didn’t want to fit it, I didn’t want to become another ant on a large planet of ants, I wanted to be someone and I was happy to stand out for all the wrong reasons. I was never the easiest child or teenager, I would rebel against convention, against expectations and would be difficult for difficult’s sake, I was the black sheep of the more »


The Gallery – An Apple Tree

This apple tree is 3 years old, we planted it after we moved in and started work on the garden.  It is small and only bore 6 fruits last year, but this year its branched are bowed under the weight of its fruit. For me this feel like parenting, sometimes you feed the children, nurture and look after them and it feels like they are just ignoring your advice, but then it just happens.  It clicks and there is please and thank you without prompting.


Cooking with Children – Lamb Stir-Fry

 We were given a some welsh lamb and the ingredients to make a welsh lamb stir fry from the Cool2Cook2 book which has been produced by Meat Promotion Wales (Hybu Cig Cymru) to help get kids cooking. I love getting the boys in the kitchen, so we set about following the recipe on Saturday evening.  The boys chopped all the vegetables, whilst I did the ginger and MadDad prepared the lamb, which was welsh and organic. I have to say that the recipe was really easy to follow and the boys did the majority of the work, with me and MadDad supervising. We really enjoyed it and there was 4 empty more »


Spiritual Sunday – Grateful

I am so grateful to Interflora who sent be a bouquet of flowers just because they like my blog.  They even matched them to the blog colours too. I am grateful that it is my mums 67th Birthday today, after her hospitalisation and all that came with it earlier in the year, I didn’t think we would get this far and we have and she is doing really well.   I am grateful that she got on to a special COPD trial at the local hospital, even though it makes me taking her twice a week. I am grateful that we have had a week of Mini going to school without any more »


Quality Time with Mini – Face Painting!

Mini and Maxi usually got to football practice on a Saturday morning, but mini has a bit of a cold after starting school, so we decided that we would spend the morning together and let MadDad and Maxi go off to Saturday Club together, whilst we had some quality time together. So we got out the face paints we had been given as part of the TRU Toyologist programme and had a morning of painting and fun. Mini decided that he wanted to try out some different ones for Halloween, so I give you the skeleton and vampire looks. But before you think I got out of this scot free, just more »


Mourning more than the children being at school

Since I am laying it all bare about how I feel about the boys being at school, it is only fare that I really admit as to why I feel so bad. Back in July 2008 I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed, an oophorectomy is the technical term.  As you may know I carry a genetic spelling mistake which makes me very high risk for a number of cancers.  My Aunt died from ovarian cancer and my other Aunt who had already had a hysterectomy had primary peritoneal cancer (she is currently in remission).  So my risk of ovarian cancer was over a 60% lifetime risk. We talked to more »


The Gallery – A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home

I have said before that my main motivation for my boys is happiness, I think that if you are happy you can do anything, take on any challenge and be what ever you want to be.   Also I find happiness infectious, a smile can light up a room, so for me picking out images that reflect this weeks Gallery was hard, not because I didn’t have many to chose from, rather I have lots of images with smiles on. So enter our world for a moment, Mini is using my hoodie to be Obi-Wan_Kenobi, who is is here (well after MadDad) and the other photo is one of a series of more »


Electronics – where do you draw the line or how much is too much? 1

We have a lot of technology in TheMadHouse, lots of electronic gadgets, gizmo’s and games, but for my sanity I we are introducing technology free time. It has never been an issue for us in the past, but both the boys are getting to an age where they would gladly play on the Wii, their leapsters, Daddy’s ipod touch or the PS2 for all their waking hours.  We are getting tantrums when they are told “no more electronic time”.  We have never had to ration it in the past but that is where we are headed. So we are going to be changing the rules on our reward system and the more »


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 Maxi always runs to be in, but I walk away with a heavy heart and a hollow emptiness that nothing can fill. I used to have a career when we lived down South, I was a successful Facilities Manager and my colleagues were shocked by the fact that I was pregnant.  I was the most un-maternal more »


Wonderful Whitby Abbey

We are lucky enough to live a mere 20 minutes away from Whiby and thankfully the boys love the place as much as MadDad and I do.  We take every opportunity to escape the humdrum and melt in to the old fashioned perfectness of Whitby, but we don’t often go to the Abbey, in fact I can not remember the last time we went. So on Friday as the sun was shining, school had not yet started and MAdDad was off, plus we were looking after my 5 year old niece (as her Nanna is terminally ill), so we decided Whitby was where we were going. We loved it, yes it more »


TheMads go Mad at Butlins

As I was going to be at TheMads we decided to make it a family break and take the children to Butlins, now I have never ever been to Butlins and the last time MadDad went was over 35 years ago, so I think we had preconceived ideas. We stayed in the Shorline hotel and I have to say I was super impressed with the size and layout of the rooms.  The boys room area had junior bunkbeds and a TV and DVD player, which showed children’s TV channels.  The room had a big fridge and also tea and coffee making facilities.  It was perfect.  The only issue we had was more »


The Mads – I love my fellow nominees

We have just got back from the inaugural Mads ceremony at Butlins Bognor and I have to say I have had a fantastic time.  The event itself was amazing, celebrating everything good.  You can see a list of the  Mads nominees and the winners here, but I wanted to use this post to tell you about the e-mails that were sent and received the day before the event. So ladies – tomorrow it’s handbags at dawn 😉 as one of us emerges victorious: Queen of Family Fun. I’m still amazed I made the final and feel honoured to be in such great company. I think we all share very similar philosophies more »


Stape – Our Secret Place

I have blogged before about our secret favorite place.  Well we have been back and it was magical as always. The water was lower and my Niece took a tumble, but all we could here were the birds and the slow, slow trickle of water. We drank tea from the flask and water and I drunk in the boys playing together, imagination running wild and Enid Blyton childhood I want for them. Long may it continue.


Why We Need More Male Primary School Teachers

I spent Thursday night at 9pm glued to BBC2 watching their School season, more specifically Gareth Malone’s Extraordinary School for Boys. It highlighted what is a real worry for me the feminising of teaching and the lack of male teachers in our primary schools.  According to a recent piece in the telegraph am only make up 12% of of the teachers in primary schools. As a mum of two boys I find this a worry statistics and would love for my boys to go to a primary school where the teaching mix was much more appropriate to the society we live in. We are lucky in the Maxi has a Male more »


I am on my Way to The Mads, well I will be on Monday

On Monday we will be on our way to Butlins at Bognor Regis for the finals of TheMads 2010, where I am a finalist in the Best Family Fun Blog. Name: Jen Blog: www.muminthemadhouse.com Twitter: @mum_themadhouse What am I going to be wearing? Clothes, yes, shallow I know, but I have no idea! I would really like to say thank you to everyone that voted for me and we are all really looking forward to going to Butlins, as we have never, ever been before (and one of Maxi’s classmates told him it was better than Disney)!


The Winds of Change

Change, that words sweeps a world of emotion over me at this time. It makes me feel a little scared, a little worried, a little apprehensive for what will be, for you see my world is turning and changing.  My whole family is experiencing the winds of change. I have lost my youngest companion, my wonderful Mini to school this week and it is a huge change in my life. My balance is off, my sense of direction skewed and I am not sure which way I should be facing. For you see, my child, my wonderful confident, happy child has embraced this change in his life with open arms and more »


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 boys school clothes hung in their wardrobes in sets and they get them out the night before along with a pair of underpants and socks.  I also get my own clothes out the night before.  School shoes I am a big fan of the spray on protector and then we use good old leather polish.  The more »


Ambling at Amble

Amble is a real gem, a small fishing village on the Northumberland coast, with a brill rocky area, which is great for playing, rock pooling and jumping on and a small secluded beach too. We had the whole beach and rock area to ourselves and enjoyed a pleasant morning.  I had a great time taking photo’s of the rocks, the wonderful amazing patterns that the sea makes on them.  Next time I will be taking paper and crayons to take rubbings of the rocks.


Our Art Corner in the Kitchen

We have decorated the kitchen this week and I have also rearranged the art corner, with the introduction of the boys small table in to the kitchen are and the addition of some great storage from Ikea for the pens etc. We have painted the kitchen Willow (a soft soothing green) after MadDad decided that the green I had chosen was too green! The table is from Ikea and I painted the top with blue chalk board paint ages ago and the boys love to use chalk on it.   It works really well, as it means the boys can come in to the kitchen and do art or puzzles etc whilst more »