Thursday, 31 July 2014

Summer survival is not so bad

Summer survival is going better today, one might even describe it as thriving rather than surviving! (That said, I realised I have started mentally counting down the days rather than weeks, I am really starting to feel it now.  There are twelve more week days before nursery/toddler groups recommence!)

Here is a round up of today's altogether more wholesome than TV activities (these were interspersed with periods of watching TV)

Today looked like it was going to be raining all day.  I had planned on washing the car with the children (clean car plus they think they are playing with water) so I had to come up with something else in a hurry.  My children LOVE messy play, I do not.  I do, however, recognise the benefits to them so I try to do something once in a while.  My brother-in-law is here which meant I could do something a little messier as he would be able to entertain the children while I tidied up.  Therefore I let them do this...

I put out a big sheet of paper (we use the ikea mala rolls, it's really convenient to just roll them out if you want/need something bigger) and a few different things to print with.  There was an orange cut in half, an apple, some wool, a toilet roll tube, a toy car to make tracks with, a few wee tubs, some of those scrunchy things you get for using in the bath/shower (I always end up with loads at Christmas), some foam I had lying around and of course some paint brushes.  I put them all out with some tubs of paint and just let them do whatever they wanted.  I wanted to put out a potato masher but I don't have a dishwasher and wasn't convinced I'd be able to get all the paint off so it could be used again!

As someone who HATES (did I mention I don't like messy play) messy play here is my top tip.

Have a a basin of water ready, at a height the children can reach, so cleaning up can happen in an INSTANT!

Here are a few pictures of them enjoying the fun


And here is the finished creation (hanging up to dry on my washing line, the rain didn't seem to materialise)

Then came snack (on a blanket, outside, because everything is better when done on a blanket outside!)

Trying to be a Dad has an amazing job that is really flexible and is also situated in some beautiful grounds so we all went down to have a picnic with Daddy at work

Unfortunately N is terrified of ducks so we had to cut things a little shorter than we might have (not helped by the fact she threw some bread to try and make them go "over there" not understanding this would make them come back looking for more!).  This did have a pleasant side effect though, it meant when the rain started to come down very suddenly we were already quite close to the car!

This afternoon N was in a bit of a foul mood so I let her do some baking (despite the fact that I normally I have a 1 messy activity OR baking per day rule)

We made Cheese and Tomato Melts from N's "I Can Cook" recipe book. We got given this book as a gift but N loves it and actually, so do I, the pictures mean she can follow a lot of the recipe herself and there are loads of handy tips for being able to include your children in cooking and even a little bit about gardening.

I won't bore you with another picture of my child standing at my worktop (if you are desperate you can see one here) but here is a picture of our savoury biscuits.  They were yummy!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


So, what every pregnant, Mum of two dealing with the summer holidays needs is to injure her back, right? Wrong! But that is what I have managed to do.  Still though, the children need entertaining and I'm doing my best.

Yesterday was a bit of a non-event. I largely plonked them in front of the telly, which I don't really mind per se but I paid the price in terms of behaviour later in the day :-(

We did find the energy to play with the doll's house though,

And we did have a picnic snack (complete with friend)

N and her friend made bracelets to wear with the beads I bought her for filing her reward jar.

Today has been a little more thought out and so this morning I took them to a brilliant church cafe where they stick out a heap of toys/dressing up things/books for children

Here is M with a dinasaur

 This afternoon I borrowed a friend's copy of Frozen and while M was napping I let N watch it for only the second time.  She actually cried when Anna gets frozen at the end and I did have to make sure she new it was make believe when the mountain troll thing was doing it's thing.  I think she was actually scared.

Then N wanted to go out on her bike, I really was struggling but it is supposed to be raining for the next several days so I figured I ought to make the effort.

So here we are biking

And here we are at the park we cycled to

M came too!

I kind of feel like I am flagging a bit so soon I might break out one of a handful of activities we will do this summer that cost money!

How are you all getting on?

Monday, 28 July 2014

An exciting, mundane day!

Today saw trying to be a Dad go back to work and me looking after my girls on my own (for a whole day) for the first time in about 3 weeks.  Combined with the fact we've been at the grandparent's house and my children have forgotten how to share or play independently (i.e. without constant adult input) it would be fair to say that I was a little apprehensive about it all!

As it turns out the day was not nearly as bad as I was thinking it could have been and we had some fun.

As the title would suggest our day was a little mundane but part of the joy of (frugally) living with little people is making the normal and mundane exciting!

So, some friends came round this morning.  Friends always make your normal toys more interesting.  Then we had lunch on blankets in the garden.  Instant picnic, lunch is suddenly exciting! Then we went to see some new friends in their house.  Again, the mundane becomes exciting!

My top tip for today is, meet up with other people.  They are struggling to entertain their little people as much as you are so just meet up and have fun doing ordinary things.

I was a really naughty blogger today and I forgot to take many pictures but here are the highlights...

Our day began with the train set (this is before we'd even had breakfast)

Then friends made our usual toys much more exciting

Going to see new friends meant new toys, here you can see that N learned to use stilts (while M drew with chalk)

At the end of the day M is exhausted.  I normally try and be at home in the afternoon so she can nap but about once a week I don't mind but she's not good at napping on the go so poor wee thing is now very tired indeed!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Summer activities continuing

Still summer, and we are still doing things to have fun (and learn) along the way.

We have been blessed with some beautiful weather so there has been a lot of being outdoors.  One day we even took a trip to the beach.

The sun was warm but the North Sea is ALWAYS cold!

Mummy and bump joined in too

 Playing with sand has been a regular activity

Grandma and Grandad have lots of fun toys to play with, here we broke out the cars and bikes

Everything stopped for ice cream, though!

 One day we built a tent by pegging some sheets onto the washing line and using some chairs to hold them back.  The girls had a great time running in and out and hiding

We even ate lunch in our tent

 N had fun making a necklace with some new beads I bought her for filling her button jar

And at various points the girls have formed a band!

We are now back from all our holidays and staying at home till the end of the holidays so hopefully I will get back to posting every day with more detail of what is going on.  Are you still managing to survive summer?

I have linked this post up with Coombe Mill, why not have a look at some of the other posts linked too

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monday, 21 July 2014

Surviving summer with a holiday

Blog posts might be a little more sporadic from me over the next few days, we have brought the girls to stay with my husband's parents and we are trying to spend lots of time with family and friends from when we lived round these parts!

Anyway, here is some of my offering for surviving summer, we might be on holiday but these are still at-home type activities as we are still staying at someone's home rather than a hotel or the likes!

Grandma and Grandad have a huge garden, so in typical trying to be a mum style I have been throwing the girls out there as often as possible, but we are in Scotland and the rain has been coming down so we've been doing other things too.

Yesterday we tried playing a board game with N for the first time.  We went for snakes and ladders as it is a nice simple concept.  She quite liked it, was pretty good at being able to take turns and it was all good practice for counting (counting the spots on the die and counting how many squares to move).  She lost concentration before the end so no-one quite made it to 100 although she is not very good at concentrating so other children her age (3.5) might just manage it.  I was proud of how well she tried to get it and she was even trying to roll the die "properly" (while maintaining an effort of making it conveniently land on the number most helpful for her!)

Such enthusiastic rolling I couldn't get a non-blurry picture

 Today we have been doing so playdough with both the girls, M started first with a gleeful shout of "CAKE!!" as she cut out some pretend cakes

The N joined in too...

Later today the girls' Auntie is coming to visit but I might organise a little treasure hunt by making a "map" of Grandma's house and hiding some teddies or their snack around the house for them to find together.  I'll let you know if we do it and try and include some photos...

Are you still surviving summer? Are you counting down the days or happy to have some time with the kids? What you doing to keep you all sane? (I recommend plenty application of tea and biscuits!)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Still summer, still surving

And here's how...

I don't have many photos from this morning, we walked into town because I had a few jobs to do.  The reality is that I often need to take the children with me for mornings like this and summer is no different so we went to the bank, bought some cards that were needed, went to the chemist and went to the bed shop to complain about the bunk beds that have broken after less than a month of use!

Let's be serious, times like this need to happen but they're really aren't fun for the girls so we took them to a shop to get a milkshake and Grandma (who is a big softie) bought them a cake to share!

I try and let both girls stamp around in the shopping centre if it's not too busy as that helps tire them out a bit and stops them getting bored quite so quickly.  I also take a packed lunch so that if things take longer I can provide some food which normally buys me about half an hour before I really need to give up and come home.

There was a quick pit stop in Tesco because this pregnant Mummy can only go so long without a loo break so the girls were left with Grandma and when I got back they had been furnished with a Peppa and My Little Ponies magazine each.  The girls have been looking at them almost all afternoon, in fact so nicely that I got to sneak off for a wee nap (while Grandma supervised the girls)!

Anyway, enough talking, the rest of our day has included banana loaf (follow the link for a recipe)

Playing in the garden (although as I went to take a photo the rain came on so this photo is from another day, such a cheating blogger!)

I've also just discovered that while I was sleeping N made this with her Grandma

Finally, the girls got to taste some of our home grown vegetables today! We have spent a reasonable amount of time with the girls planting and watering, here are some pictures from along the way and one of N being proud of her spoils!


feeling proud!