Thursday, 31 May 2012

Howe do you do... looking on the bright side?

The Annual Wax, though a painful bore,
Could be worse, I could have to wax more!
I could be afflicted with downy bum cheeks,
Or hairy palms, or zebra streaks...

... just a thought

... I feel... yes there's another coming on...

My physique might be riddled with lady lumps,
But you can't make cute babies without a few bumps!

It's a work in progress, feel free to add any of your own.

I'm on a mission to turn any frown upside down, so next time you have a glum, fed up thought - if this weather continues it could be sooner than you think - turn it around. The results might surprise or at least inspire you:

The rain stopping play, is quite an intrusion,
Perfect for another picnic / den-building fusion...

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Howe do you do... routine!

Routine is King!

That's what we tell ourselves, at least it is in this house, and it has worked with moderate success over the last four and more years. You hear phrases like 'the kids need routine' and 'they thrive on it!' I wholeheartedly agree.

Where things might have gone a bit wrong is when components have inadvertently slipped into the routine that you didn't mean to be there.

A case in point, I've just put my kidlies to bed. We have had a bath and bedtime routine for as long as they are old. It has gradually expanded and digressed into a ritual of some significance: the addition of more stories; the necessity for them to put their own clothes in the washing baskets; to turn on their own alarm, but they share a room so we have to remember who did it last night and hence who gets to have the first choice of story in return; Baby Girl's insistence that she choose her own 'wappy' (I implore her every night: 'They're all the same!'); a song; the choice of song. You get the gist.

The most recent addition - and it was too cute to not to continue - is The Boy's urging me to "catch" the kisses he blows me. But you see, this didn't stop at one; a once sweet end to the day is now a battleground.
'I'm only going to catch one,' doesn't have the same ring as, 'I've glued it to my heart'. Don't think it helped that I pretended they were bouncing off the walls. See... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Ditto to the idea of replacing our usual bedtime song with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer over Christmas, I should have acknowledged they are creatures of habit, slaves to routine; you just try re-introducing Mr Sandman on 1st January! Rage. Pure Rage.

What goes on in your home, any crazy routines you've fallen into? Food colouring in the bath? Little people 'helping' while washing up? Lengthy farewells at nursery? 'I love you more,' 'NO I love you more!'... please share the crazy!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Howe do you do... pregnancy?

Poor Oscar Wilde!

I have a great affection for Oscar Wilde, with his witty and candid aphorisms and scandalous behaviour. Those who know me well, will know how much a fan I am!
He is not known for his compassion, so I don't wish to condemn this quote about his wife's second pregnancy. Furthermore, it is a pretty close depiction of me during the months of Baby Girl's gestation, and I do like a candid report of things, so it makes me titter... many things have changed since the nineteenth century, but not this!

"When I married, my wife was a beautiful girl, white and slim as a lily, with dancing eyes and gay rippling laughter like music. In a year or so the flower-like grace had all vanished; she became heavy, shapeless, deformed: she dragged herself around the house in uncouth misery with drawn blotched face and hideous body, sick at heart because of our love. It was dreadful. I tried to be kind to her; forced myself to touch and kiss her; but she was always sick, and - oh! I cannot recall it, it is all loathsome."

From Franny Moyle's brilliant book Constance, The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde (John Murray).

Ouch! Would love to have heard her side of the story. She was a remarkable woman: in part responsible for us now not wearing restrictive clothing and boned undergarmets and a fashion icon of her time. (Think Kate Middleton 100 years ago.)

NB: I should state, this is a thermometer, not a pregnancy test... I knew I was pregnant! (Apparently temperature testing is 'du rigeur' when your children regularly kick holes in their uterine sacks!)

The Boy has just seen this picture and marvelled at it: "Mummy you were soooooo fat! He then saw one of me in bed in the penguin PJ's he knows and loves and said incredulous: "But you can't sleep like that!"... Quite dear boy, quite!

And of course it was all worth it!

So was it just me... and clearly Constance Wilde? How was it for you?

Friday, 18 May 2012

Howe do you do... TV catch-up?

I'm feeling good. I have put in some quality hours with TV. She needed it!
She has been suffering some prolonged Pepper Pig marathons recently and we all know what that's like. Peeeepa Pig, do do do do do do do do!

So when Baby Girl woke me up at 3.30am to tell me she needed a drink, and I found myself at a loose end I thought, perfect chance to do a good deed for TV.
I rewarded her patience and selflessness with a smaltzy Glee and a thought-provoking Cougar Town. This week Jelly Bean's pearl of wisdom was: 'Don't expect to get anything out, if you don't put 100% in'. Wise words indeed!
I was glad I had decided not to try to multi-task the ironing into the mix but had given TV my full attention!

My vacuum has also lost it's wheel, I have to carry it around... a lot like a baby. You see, and here we all were thinking I only had two dependants... Happy Friday one and all xx

P.S. If you aren't with us on Facebook, why not check it out... today's topic:
Is there anything scarier than a naked doll? 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Howe do you do.. telescopes?

Excitement is rife in the NFM household as we draw towards The Pirate Party, this weekend. We have been tinkering with our pirate outfits, which are now becoming quite elaborate, and a brainwave managed to get through the mayhem today.
You may recall a few weeks ago I intimated that I was designing a telescope. Turned out that fascination in CDT, although good grounds for marking me a misfit at school, wasn't entirely wasted!

First I took the inside of a kitchen roll and the inside of a roll of tin foil. Then cut slits of about 2 cm around one end of each.
The kitchen roll, being the larger of the two, needed the slits folding in and the tin foil ones were left out. I then just pushed the tin foil roll inside the kitchen roll.
This piece of engineering makes a retractable telescope, virtually the same as an actual telescope... well, except it doesn't make anything bigger. But I think it will go down well at the Pirate Party. For Baby Girl at least. It was Easter so the decoration ended up being a bit camp!
Still it was perfect for an afternoon of 'Ahoy there'ing and 'piece's of eight' (no idea what that means), and will hopefully be a hit at the party!

If you liked this, why not also try: Red Bottle Rocket and
Red Bottle Rocket - Part 2

If you enjoyed this post, I'd love it if you share it with your people... and 'follow me'... if you like?

Kind regards

No Fun Mum
Children's Picture Book Writer (in waiting) and Expert in Pre-School Conflict Resolution!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Howe do you do... technology?

Anyone fancy worms for tea? I'll just pop and get my can opener...

Today's post is about technology usage in the presence of the kids and was inspired by Ben Arment's short blog earlier this week, which I don't seek to argue with as it is noble and its sentiment is spot on.

However I would like to open the conversation up a bit and perhaps engage some feedback?
Have you ever noticed that Internet has a capital 'I', a bit like God. I worship daily and I use it, as Ben mentioned, as my link to the rest of the world.

I use it...
  • When I'm stumped for ideas of things to do with the kids
  • When I have a parenting question that needs answers
  • As entertainment for the kids
  • When I feel like Dr Doolittle's push me pull you
  • When I need to ground myself into the adult world for a moment
  • When I've spent a number of hours with two toddlers: swinging off my hair, repositioning my house and being generally unco-ordinated and irrational (me and them)
  • To show the kids my treasured kid's TV shows on YouTube
  • To show them slideshows of pictures of themselves
  • To connect with someone when something funny has happened at home. I'd like to use the metaphor of, does a tree falling make a noise in an empty forest? A joke isn't funny when there's only one of you laughing. Or the only one knowing why you're laughing!

So I'm still going to monitor it, 'cos this machine is addictive, The New York Times says so, and I agree. But I'm going to continue to use it, as long as the kids aren't climbing up the cooker, without too much guilt, and follow it up with an activity to engage the kids, because what a resource!

An apt illustration of my very point can be found here: Willo the Wisp. And next time you're reaching for your laptop, blackberry, Iphone, beware you don't get caught in a thinks cloud!

For more ideas: Websites and Reprimands

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Howe do you do... the Magic Faraway Tree?

A few weeks ago, we had a couple of kid-free days. Imagine, no wake-up calls, no well... anything! We faltered around for a bit like new-born foals, wondering where to place ourselves. We went out and had lunch, and at the end, we remembered what we'd eaten! We played cinema roulette, big mistake, but the perfect opportunity for a little snooze!
The following day we decided to walk the substantial mileage (the long way) to Frodsham, our neighbouring market town, to take back a DVD. Armed with left-over pizza and some chocolate buttons (some habits die hard) we went on our way. It was actually rather lovely.
Although remarkably quicker, the car would have stolen from us the opportunity to see how our local landscape has changed in the last five years, or at least the non-buggy-friendly bits. Houses have been built, new benches erected and a horse track of some grandeur (its all rock and roll).
One thing that, thankfully, hasn't changed is the Magic Faraway Tree. Well, I say magic. It probably isn't actually magic. Faraway, on foot, yes. Essentially there is a wood between here and there called Snidley Moor. Now if that is not the perfect place for a Magic Faraway Tree, I'll eat a spoonful of cinnamon (try it, or don't, make someone else try it, it's really funny, probably best it's not a child, I digress).
Herein lies a tree, a largely hollow tree, it claims to be one of the oldest birch trees in the wood. You can well believe it, gnarled and cloaked in lichen, you have to hope it won't suddenly breathe its last gasp while you're fondling its nether regions because inside is a notebook and the tree invites passersby to add their thoughts and musings.
This is a special tree because we discovered it on the day that we found out I was pregnant with The Boy (Yes The Daddy did walk me that far, we were novices!) but we didn't add a note about our news - we were buzzing with excitement, think it was superstition that stopped me, even with all the wood to touch - I wish we had though, for posterity and to perk up the content of said narrative. It is mostly 'Hello from the Wednesday Ramblers', 'Hello from the Thursday Ramblers'... do you see my point?
I would like to suggest to The Powers That Be (The Woodland Trust, I think) that it should be made a Wishing Tree. A safe harbour for your hopes and dreams in this crazy, stormy world. And it would make taking the kids, when the time comes, that little bit more magical... and better fodder to get stuck into while eating your picnic.

Grandparent Appreciation Moment
I would like to say a (words aren't big enough but gigantenormous almost does it) thank you to our parents for affording us these days of being kids again, or at least not being the parents. All our love xxxx

If you liked this, why not also try:  Walking with Monsternauts and Not That Primrose Hill!

If you enjoyed this post, I'd love it if you share it with your people... and 'follow me'... if you like?

Kind regards

No Fun Mum
Children's Picture Book Writer (in waiting) and Expert in Pre-School Conflict Resolution!