Monday, 30 April 2012

Well hello there!!

Long time no see!  I know, I know....I am rubbish at this whole blogging regularly business!  Although, after reading a friends blog, I have decided that I am going to join in with Boy Oh Boy's 31 day blog challenge.  You will be sick of me by the end of it!! lol.

What is a 31 day blog challenge I hear you ask? Well, for the next 31 days (starting tomorrow) I will do a blog based on the following list.
Lets see how I do with this! I may have to set an alarm each day to remind me! lol.

So, what have I been up to recently.  Unfortunately, it has not all been fun and games.  The daughter of a close family friend lost her 2 year battle with Leukaemia.  At the young age of 8, she was a huge inspiration to so many people in the way she kept smiling and battled her illness for so long.  Last Wednesday was her funeral and I have never seen a church so full.  It was truly heartwrenching to see the tiny coffin and to listen to the words of family and friends remembering her bravery.  It's at times like these when I realise just how lucky I am to have my 3 gorgeous boys.  Last year I was inspired by Lucy's bravery to take part in Shine's 1/2 marathon night walk to raise money for CRUK's work towards Leukaemia and although after completing it I said never again (it truly was the hardest challenge of my life!!), I am seriously considering doing it again this year in Lucy's memory.

Moda Ooh La La Jelly Roll
Other things that have been going on this week, I have purchased a Jelly Roll to make a new quilt topper.  After seeing a post on the Crafty Bums facebook page, I was dragged into the excitement of a Jelly Roll Race.  Although I wasn't able to take part in the race, I do have my Jelly Roll ready and waiting for me to start.  I really can't wait now!

On the potty training front, so far, so good!  Still no major accidents, Noah just has to master remembering to pull his pants down now when he goes to the potty!  Also, this week Noah starts at the local Sure Start centre 2 mornings a week.  I am really looking forward to having those two mornings to myself.  I won't know what to do with myself!  Other than that, we did have a small bought of sickness with both monsters on Friday night, meaning that hubby ended up spending the night on the sofa with them both so I could get some sleep for work the next day!  Thankfully, it appears that it was only an upset tummy and not a virus and both boys were back to normal by Sunday.

Jackie. x

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wordless Wednesday

After hearing some sad news this morning, I saw this post in my Facebook news feed.  It made me smile, so I wanted to share it with you all (with permission from the owner of the pic).

It is official, at the end of every rainbow you will find a Fiat Punto - M. Foster

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Well, the time has come for my littlest monster to be potty trained.  I must admit, this has been something I have been dreading, but as Noah starts nursery in September and needs to be 'dry' by then, it was something that I couldn't put off any longer.

Potty training has been the bain of my life with Aled.  We started with him just after he turned 3, for the same reason as why we are starting with Noah now.  Aled turns 4 next month and almost a year down the line, he is only now really getting it!  We still have accidents with Aled, but they are no longer on a daily basis.  I hit an all time low back in September/October when I was called to the nursery on a daily basis to change him.  The nursery's policy is that they will change them if they are wet, but not if they soil themselves.
In October the nursery staff suggested changing him from the afternoon session to the morning session.  This helped ALOT!  Although I do still occasionally get that phone call, it is more like once a week or fortnight to being on a daily basis.  It had got to the stage where I just had a meltdown in front of the nursery teachers about it and broke down crying!
This, along with other developmental issues we have with Aled are something that we are working hard on at the moment, but that's for another post.

Noah however, is doing fantastically!  We are only 3 days in and, yes, we are having accidents, but on the whole he is understanding what the potty is for and is using it I would say at least 85-90% of the time. :-)  After the awful time I have had with Aled and the potty, I am so relieved that it's going well with Noah.  Fingers crossed, we will have a completely dry toddler by the time September comes round!

Talking of September, I just want to add that I had my confirmation letter this morning that Aled has got a reception class spot at the same school as his nursery.  I am so pleased that he is going to the same school.  They have been fantastic working with Aled and I am glad that I don't have to start again somewhere else with him. :-)

Jackie. xx

Friday, 6 April 2012

Bank Holiday Fun

As it's Good Friday and our only weekend day as a family together, we decided to spend the day at Legoland Windsor.  Normally we drive there, but today we had my 13 year old's girlfriend with us, so couldn't all fit in the car.  The solution, we decided to take the bus!  Now I have been driving since 2001 and getting a bus is not something I do very often and certainly not something I enjoy!

Waiting for the bus
I did a bit of research on the net of the costs and thought, at £16 for a family ticket, not bad.  That's about as good as it got!  Off to the bus stop we all trundle and ended up waiting about 50 minutes for a bus.  50 MINUTES!!  I understand that they don't run a normal service on a bank holiday, but really, they didn't seem to run to any timetable!  We got off at the town centre and luckily the second bus to Legoland was waiting at the terminal so we were able to get straight on.

We then get to Legoland and head straight for the puppet show.  We were just in time for the showing of 'The Three Little Pigs'.  Brilliant, the kids loved it (and so did the grown ups). While the show was on, we also had our picnic.  My biscuits from my last post went down a treat.

Pirates of Skeleton Bay
The older two went off by themselves so that they could enjoy the bigger rides and we went off towards the pirate show.  Aled does love the pirate show.  As usual, it was great.

Me and Aled dino spotting.
As our boys are Dinosaur mad, we headed off to the Dino Safari ride.  After a 30 minute wait, we finally get on the 2 minute ride.  That was the only ride we managed to get on, the rest of the park was just rammed and the queues were humongous!

We did manage to do some of the things that we don't normally do, such as play with the lego in the Build & Test area.  The boys loved the giant lego bricks and also the earthquake simulator and seeing their creation get knocked down!  I don't know who was the bigger kid in there, the 2 year old, 3 year old or my 32 year old hubby!

From there we wondered around the maze and then onto the Enchanted Forest, a cute little trail with lego animals in it.

A little walk around the resort and then we get a phone call from the older two about 4pm to say that they were waiting for us.  We head off up to the top and have about 15 mins to wait for the bus.  As we were leaving the park, we get handed a box of cereal!  Very random, but thanks! lol.

On the bus home, Noah starts to chill out, but Aled is just as hyper.  Back we get to our town centre to find that there is a 55 min wait for the bus home!  Bugger that we thought, so got us a 6 seater taxi!

We are now about to start a family game night and have Harry Potter Cluedo set up and ready to go.

Jackie. x

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Multi-tasking....as only a woman can do

Last night I had a rare night in, so decided to get on with some of the things that I can't get done during the day with the kids under my feet.  I decided to get on with my next Crafty Bums Quilt Along block and also bake some more of the butterfly biscuits for our picnic at the park tomorrow.

So, as per the recipe, I make up my dough and refrigerate for what was supposed to be half an hour.  It ended up being much longer as I got on with my Log Cabin block.  I have come to the conclusion that this is NOT my favourite block! It is so fiddly and also having to iron in between each and every strip can get a little annoying.  It was just typical that my sewing machine was playing silly buggers and kept loosing the thread!  Overall though, I was happy with the end result.



When my eldest son came home at 9pm, I did ask him to finish of the biscuits.  As he loves food tech at school, I thought this would be a piece of cake for him.  How wrong I was!  He didn't flour his surface, so the dough kept sticking to it and he just seemed to not have a clue.  I think in teenage talk, that's his way of saying he doesn't want to do it.  So of course, I ended up taking over from him, mid sewing of my block.  Here's some of the finished batch.  
I am hoping to make another batch today, as we have two days of picnicking ahead of us.  I'm thinking maybe some safari animals from the set my sister-in-law got me.



Talking of multi-tasking, I am also doing that now.  Don't you just love tablet pc's.  I am able to write this blog while supervising my little monsters in the bath. :-)

Right, off to shampoo and wash the little monsters.





Jackie. x



Tuesday, 3 April 2012

End of an era......for now

Well, last night was my last night for a while as an Explorer Scout Leader.  

I came to the decision to take a step back from my leadership role and spend more time at home with the hubster and my eldest son.  (Obviously I am home with the little ones, so spend plenty of time with them).  What with working both an evening and a weekend job and and scouting, we very rarely see each other any more, so something had to give.  My weekend job is only seasonal and ends in Nov time, so I am hoping to return back to the Unit then.  

It felt very sad to say goodbye to all the young people.  Those kids have taught me that not all teenagers are troublesome and there are some really good kids out there, regardless of their background.  I felt rather choked when I told them at the end of the night that I was taking a break and also when I got a B-R-A-V-O from them.  For those who are not from a scouting background, a B-R-A-V-O is a kind of well done or cheer from the unit members.  In our unit, the member spell out the word Bravo at the top of their voices.  

I will still be doing some admin work for the unit, but for now, I am hanging up my uniform and necker ready for another day.

Jackie. x

Monday, 2 April 2012

Cooookkkkiiiiieeeess...

Hello!  It's been a while, hasn't it!

Thankfully the flat is now rid of all the sickness, although it did take over a week.  After my last post, the sickness bug went through all three of the boys and I must say, it wasn't fun!

Thankfully, I have a much more pleasant post to share with you today.  I recently took out a subscription to the new Cake Decorating magazine, which is a fab weekly magazine that not only gives some lovely freebies, but also tips and recipes of how to decorate your cakes and biscuits.

I came home from work yesterday to find these beauties waiting for me:

The magazine came on Saturday while I was at work, but as I was out Saturday night at a Quiz night (our team came in 4th :-) ) and working all day Sunday, hubby decided that he would bake some biscuits in preparation for me to decorate.

This morning I decided to do this and before I'd even had breakfast I started to mix up some icing.  It was a bit tricky at first as I don't have icing bags.  I normally use my Pampered Chef squeezy icing bottles to do my butter icing, but for some reason I didn't think this would be suitable for 'normal' icing.  The first three butterfly's I iced I did this using the tip of my bottles and pushing (well, pumping really!) them through with a small straw!  I then watered down my icing to do the 'flooding' of icing in the middle.  After three biscuits I decided to take some of the icing, thicken it up and just try to ice the outline of the remaining biscuits.  Guess what...it worked!  Sometimes I really do make life harder than it needs to be! lol.  So, I finished all 12 of the biscuits.

After a few hours, I added some dots in a different colour and a line for the body and voilĂ , here are the finished butterfly biscuits:



They could be better, but for my first go, not bad I think.

Jackie. x