Posted in Family Life

Making Burgers

It’s August Bank Holiday Monday and it’s HOT! This never happens on a bank holiday in the UK but seeing as we seemed to have missed summer we’re making the most of it with a barbecue.

As you can imagine a bank holiday and hot weather means everyone else has had the same idea. So when we got to the shop for supplies there were no burgers, however there was mince so we decided to make our own instead. This is something we always said we would do, make our own burgers and meatballs from scratch, alas time is always against us.

Everyone washed their hands with soap and supervision and we got out the trusty old Jamie Oliver cookbook. Daddy got out all the Jamie ingredients and added some of his own:

  • mince
  • crackers
  • egg
  • parsley
  • paprika
  • onion salt
  • pepper

The boys enjoyed breaking up the crackers by putting them in a food bag and hitting them with a mallet. They then poured the cracker crumbs into a big bowl before adding all the other ingredients. Then came the messy part, with their hands the boys squashed all the mixture making sure it all stuck together.  Next Daddy made the mix into balls and let everyone take them and pat them down into a burger shape.

They are now resting in the fridge ready for cooking later on…

 

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Posted in Days Out, Review

Brixworth Country Park

Today is a nursery day for Persephonie, so it was just me and the boys (plus Beatrix). I booked us onto two events at one of our local country parks, Brixworth.

The first was called Fires and Smores. This event gave the boys the chance to cut up some wood for a fire and then cook marshmallows over it. The boys loved cutting up the wood and Roran was straight there trying as hard as he could to do it first time. Willem needed a little bit of help to get his aim right, but soon cut some up. We then swapped the bits of wood  we had cut up for a marshmallow on a stick. We carefully stood around the fire and waited for them to melt. I dropped two into the fire. When they were ready we were given two chocolate biscuit and made our smores, and they tasted yummy.

The second event was called Kelly Kettle Challenge. This event required the boys to trim wood shavings off of some wood to go onto the fire bowl so that we could boil the ‘Kelly Kettle’, and make a cup of tea. We started with a talk about knives and how the boys should never play with them, it was just the two of them and the previous group with older children had talked about how to use and hold them safely. We were also shown all the different ways we could make fire. We then cut up some wood ready to make our shavings. Once cut up we were told to draw some marker lines on the wood, and then shown how to safely shave the wood, The boys both needed some help, and Roran loved the chance to use the knife.  We then went over to the fire bowls and how the ‘Kelly Kettle’ worked was explained to us. Willem got to use the fire starter to get the fire going and then we all helped put wood shavings on to get the fire burning. When the kettle was boiled we all got a hot drink for our hard work

In between the two events we enjoyed a walk through the woods looking for gnomes and finding all sorts of different wooden structures. The routes were all very well sign posted and although I had Beatrix in her wrap I could have used the pushchair around there. We also had lots of fun in the play park which has equipment suitable or both younger and older children. However Roran spent most of his time trying to run up a wet hill and then slipping back down.

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The boys had a fantastic day, both them and their clothes were muddy which is always a good sign they have been busy. They enjoyed both events, especially as it was something they wouldn’t normally do. They had lots of space to run around and burn off all their energy  They both fell asleep in the car on the way home.

Facilities – We took our own picnic so didn’t try out the cafe facilities. We did use he toilets and baby changing and found them in a good clean condition.

Cost – The events were priced at £2 per child or £5 per family. Parking is £3 for the day, however we have an annual pass for all the local country parks which was £49. So in total we spent less than £10 all day.

For more information visit: Brixworth Country Park

Posted in Family Life

Willem and The Magnet

willem a&eOf all my children Willem is the one that we know we need to watch. He lives in his own little world, which would be amazing, and is always thinking about the next thing he could get up to. Yesterday we got to enjoy a visit to A&E due to a little mishap with a magnet.

Whilst attempting to get my washing out Willem suddenly started to cry, so I came in to see the problem and thought he said he had been sick. I called Rob downstairs and tried to make some sense out of the words come out of his mouth. Now, another thing about Willem is that when he cries he really goes for it, and he has a lovely habit of putting his whole fist in his mouth which cause a huge amount of drool to come out (nice).

At first we thought he was saying he had a penny in his mouth so we encouraged him to learn forward as I tried to look in to see of there was something there. Then he started talking about his throat so we figured he had swallowed whatever it was, but he was telling us it hurt. We were also having to stop him put his hands down his throat, whilst trying to calm him. Eventually he told us it was a magnet (great) and he showed which one it was.magnet A nice small 1 cm square piece which he was calling a ‘plus cross’. I knew he would need to be checked out to make sure it wasn’t stuck anywhere, but was unsure if it was an A&E job or minor injuries. We’re very lucky to have one of each nearby. After a call to 111, they advised A&E in case it was stuck, off we went. Fortunately Roran had been walking around with a bag of books so I grabbed that as entertainment and my purse which had no money in.

We arrived at A&E and booked in, the receptionist was less than nice and with Willem bouncing around I felt a bit like a fraud but I knew he needed checking. We had about a 30 minute wait for the doctor, who was lovely. She spoke to Willem more than me, which I felt was a good thing as he was then happy to listen to her. She asked him simple things at first like name and age, then what happen. He backed up my story. The doctor then explained the concerns of swallowing magnet:

  1. It can get stuck in the oesophagus causing a blockage
  2. It could go down the windpipe, but he was breathing fine so no concern there
  3. If he had swallowed more then one they could be come attracted to each other. This could lead to them attaching and possible pinch some of his bowel which would possible die. I had not even considered that!

Willem assured her that he had only swallowed one and we were sent off for a X-ray.

After a little more waiting we went into for X-ray, I had quickly explain to Willem what would happen but didn’t think about the fact I, at 32 weeks pregnant, wouldn’t be allowed to stay at his side. The technician was lovely though and spoke to him about everything and that I was only on the other side of the window so he could see me. However, he was more fascinated by everything happening to even notice I had gone.

We headed back to waiting room for the results, which didn’t take long. The doctor called us through and took us in to the reception office. Here she showed Willem his X-ray and explained all the different parts such as his heart, lungs , spine, whilst showing him on his body where they are. He loved this and listened to everything she said. Then she showed us the white image of the magnet, sat nicely in his stomach, waiting to make it’s natural way through his body.

With this news we could head home knowing all should be okay. We were at the hospital just over and hour and a half, which was a nice surprise but I don’t hope to do it again anytime soon.

 

Posted in Family Life, Review

Gruffalo Spotting

Yesterday we went Gruffalo spotting at our local Forestry Commission forest. This is an exciting new activity that has been introduced along one of the popular family trials. Before we left I downloaded the special app which is free, and made sure my phone was charged. The idea is simple you go for a nice walk and along the way there are signs, peep holes and clues to which animal is coming up. When you find the footprints you point your phone, with the app open, at the sign and the animal appears. You then have an opportunity to take a photo of the children with them. When we arrival the children were so excited to get out and run around; we visit this site a lot so they know where they are going.

We headed off to the beginning of the route and sagruffalo spottersw a big sign letting us know we were going the right way. The boys loved running ahead and Roran had the chance to practice his reading skills. Persephonie had decided that she was also going to walk the route today, which made us a little slower than normal. Each animal had a set of signs to encourage the children to guess who was coming up. These included an interactive turning circle with images of the animals eyes, tail, feet, etc. Then a peep hole for them to look through, which was facing another sign with part of the animal on it, giving them a good idea. When it was then obvious who we had found there was a congratulations sign just before the ‘footprints’.

The final sign would be the ‘footprints’, where we aimed our phone to bring up the video. The videos themselves were great. The animals would appear and move around so that they looked real to the children. When they were in position the camera button would come up and you could take a picture. This idea is great but not as easy as it sounds unfortunately. Getting the children in the right position was hard. They couldn’t see the animals from the other side of the camera and would either stand in front of them, blocking the signal and making the video to vanish, or standing behind it where they would then get blocked out by the image. Also, mine were unsure where to look as they were distracted which meant that they often weren’t looking at the camera or video
that they couldn’t see. Maybe some sort of markers on the ground would have helped.

Overall the children enjoyed themselves, which was the main point. They also got some fresh air and a good run around. So did Rufus who remembered it’s that lovely time of year for fox poo! The route is only a short one so, as always, we popped to see the statue of the gruffalo who lives at our local forest, before heading home. There is an opportunity to buy activity bags from the site centre which I am sure would make the trip longer but, as we arrived early, the centre isn’t open at that point. However, it is something we will probably do during the school holidays. We are pleased to have another one of this trails at our local forest as have enjoyed all the others. It is a great way to get the children out and about and enjoying the local area, even if it’s only for a few hours.

gruffalo

For more information about your local Forestry Commission site and Gruffalo Spotter trial please visit their website

Posted in Family Life

The 48 hour week

Last weekend the boys were came down with a bug, this lead to a long week in our house.

Saturday

Roran started off with a little bit of diarrhoea, and I mean a little bit! We had been to a party and I just thought it was a mixture of too much excitement and rubbishy food. SO we packed him off to bed and thought nothing of it. That night Willem joined us in bed and announced he had been sick in the toilet.

Sunday

My ‘lie in’ and it consisted of me listen to Rob explain to Willem of you need to pump go to the toilet. By the time had come downstairs Willem had already had several ‘pump’ accidents and it was obvious we had a bug.  So it was decided that instead of our planned trip to the woods we would have a chilled day at home.

Monday

No school or nursery as we are in 48 hour quarantine. So I had all 3 children at home by myself, and despite them being ‘poorly’ they were not ill at all! This was a sign of what was to come – argument about who had been on the tablet the longest, who’s turn it was to pick what we watch, who got the toys and didn’t put them away. Added to this I had no food in the house and with my 3 that is a rookie mistake. I did make a quick dash to the shop for some fruit and snacks so that I didn’t have the constant ‘I’m hungry’. That night I was pleased to go to work, but a little annoyed all 3 for the first time in weeks were actually asleep by 7pm. After a stressful day I enjoyed some mindful mediation at my MummyNatal class and looked forward to heading home. Only to have a bump in my husbands car and spend the night awaiting the recovery vehicle. That night Roran came in to tell us he had been sick and was sick again several times in the early hours.

Tuesday

Roran was back to square one 48 hours off and was fine, the day followed a similar pattern of arguments and disagreements between the boys. Worse still I ran out coffee by mid morning and forgot to add it to my Tesco order.

Wednesday

Thank god today Persephonie, who has showed no signs of the bug, is at nursery. I decided not to send Willem as he still had diarrhoea the last few days. I however had work so my mother in law came over for a few hours and also Tesco delivered. However not only did I forget my coffee but not chocolate or shampoo or conditioner either.

Thursday

So today Roran goes back to school, yay, NO! He was sick again all night. Not happy about this at all and I’m am now too tired to listen to the arguments. The tablet has been banned as we17078668_10154934745821221_979052638_nll as several shows. We spent the morning doing activity books and drawing, I even had 5 minutes to check my emails before Persephonie spotted my laptop. By the afternoon they were bored and despite having this bug the boys didn’t feel the need to rest or nap. As it was nice outside they had a run around the garden and some well needed fresh air. Willem has been clear for 48 hours and I arranged for Roran to go to my mums in the morning so Willem can have his swimming lesson. Persephonie has nursery.

Friday

My plans were short lived, Willem was sick again all night!  So I packed Persephonie off to nursery and settled in for another day of cabin fever. No tablet still, but we did agree on a film to watch which kept the boys occupied enough for me to tidy the kitc17204539_10154934746176221_1265823762_nhen and do a little bit of work. After that I headed to Starbucks, we have a drive thru so I can grab my coffee and go. No need to take the germy children inside and share with others. This coffee was good, my first in a few days and very well deserved I think. The afternoon was calmer but I made the mistake of allowing the children some time in their rooms alone, and it looked like a pit. So tiding up and tears happened before bedtime. I did have the luxury of my sister dropping off some shampoo and conditioner so I got to wash my hair properly, which was amazing. The children went down early (before 7.30) so Rob and me sat down to watch a film.

Saturday

Rob let me lay in and it was good, I have been so tired and also struggling with back ache and braxton hicks. No one was sick last night but we felt it best not to take Roran swimming. Today felt a little bit back to normal and both boys have some colour. I can’t be 100% sure but I think we may have got past it. Fingers crossed.