Monday, 29 November 2010

Portable North Pole (unsponsored post)

Bored at work today, a colleague sent me a link that his 3 year old daughter had loved - a personalised video from Santa! Go to Portable North PoleI set up one for Elf, emailed it to myself and treated him to the video just before he went to bed tonight. 


You get to set the scene, I chose reindeer training, and add personal details such as name, age, photos etc. You then add in a task that he's been asked to do (we chose eating his vegetables) and whether he's been good at this task or not. You also get to upload a photo of a gift that your little one has been wanting for Christmas. Elf was amazed when he saw a picture of Humungousaur!


The option to buy is at the end, but we haven't done that bit yet, so I'm not sure how long the video stays live for. Try it and see how amazed your little ones will be!


Elf watched the 3 minute video enthralled by the whole thing, completely taken in and now realising of course that Mummy does indeed have Santa's email address!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Attitude? What attitude?

Elf when tiny... ahh so easy then!
A month ago, I posted a war cry - This week's challenge is Overcoming Attitude in a 4 Year Old. I'd been letting Elf get away with too much (we'd just moved house, he'd just started school etc) and then I caught myself thinking I'm letting him get away with murder, all because I've taken my eye off the ball.


I got some lovely advice and support from fellow bloggers (thank you), and friends and family, and I can report that his attutide has certainly got better, thanks to the following strategies:

  • our conker jar (we emptied it half full to buy a Ben 10 magazine)
  • Mickey Mouse (watching MM drives me mad but it's made him forget about watching Ben 10 which is too old for him)
  • a set of rules for a reward chart (getting dressed by himself; tidying up; reading his book each day and practicing his writing)
  • a better attitude from me!
I feel much better equipped now to deal with him. He is still tired, so I try to keep his bedtimes early, and not give him too many activities to do. Mr Humdrum has started a new job and is home earlier (which presents a whole new blog piece on Be Careful What You Wish For - coming soon!) and Elf enjoys playing with his dad, even if I have to chivvy both of them up the stairs.

Without sound smug, I am pleased with the effort I made. I know my friends who have had to "get back with the programme" have also seen the benefits - well done to all of us!

Now what's the next challenge going to be?

This last week I've been ill with the most horrid cold I've had in years, and it's made me tired and miserable. I felt unable to blog or even read blogs - I'm still not 100% but feel I need to write something!

Friday, 19 November 2010

School dinners

Today we were invited to the school for a Family Lunch. Having picked and paid for a school dinner (marguerita pizza) I waited outside the school office with the other mums and dads. Elf came rushing by, thumbs up, saying "I've come to get the dinner register!"


Then we were taken in by our own children to the dinner hall and asked if we were packed lunch or hot dinner. We sat in our allocated seats, next to L and his mum, who I'd met at the last coffee morning. 


The kids knew the drill. Wait til you're called, then queue up at the hatch - the dinner ladies look at the coloured star on your jumper (just for kids!) - green = veggie option, today's pizza and red = meat option, hot pot today. We then had to choose between half a jacket potato and spoonful of plain pasta, and again between roasted veg and sweetcorn. Add a slice of bread, choose your pudding - jam biscuity thing - and sit back down. 


You put your hand up if you have finished your main course and then the dinner lady will say if you can start on your pudding. Water is available in a jug, and a box of kitchen towels. Good eaters get stickers. 


The kids were as proud as punch that we were in there having lunch with them. As it was raining, we had wet play in the classroom. Out came the wet play boxes rammed full of jigsaws, puzzles, crayons, colouring books - which is what Elf and his friend did. 


I now know why he comes home with so many pictures from the same colouring book!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The Gallery - Before and After



Last week (this week?)'s Gallery theme was Before and After. I have to admit I shamelessly copied emulated The Gallery's own entry, two amazingly identical pictures of her and her daughter. I remembered when Elf started school that I was sent by my FIL a photo of Mr Humdrum, a bit older than Elf, on his first day at school in Dumbarton. How similar are they? As they say In the Night Garden, isn't that a pip?

Sunday, 14 November 2010

What the ...?

Elf announced at dinner tonight that he didn't like wet broccoli. 


What?????

Friday, 12 November 2010

The Gallery - Seasons

This week's photo challenge from The Gallery is Seasons. I took this photo a few weeks ago when my parents came up to visit us in our new house for the first time. It is the beginning of Autumn, a lovely time of year for me. It's sunny but cold. My dad had major heart surgery in July and the last time I saw him he looked, well, not like my dad. This time, however, he looked back to normal, like my dad again.


We walked over the common opposite our house to the shoreline, and fed the ducks and swans in Swan Lake. Elf loves feeding the ducks and eating the bread himself, he just loves stale bread! Mr Humdrum is with them too. (I love photos taken of the back of people.)


A new season, a new start...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

November 11

Today on the way home from school...

Elf: I've been learning about the War.

(I NEVER get told what he's been learning, so this must have been special, hence the initial capitals.)

Me: What did you learn?

Elf: Well, people fighted in the war. Not just soldiers, but people who look aftered soldiers too. And when they were killed or got deaded, we remember them with poppies.

I tried to have a longer chat with him about his great-grandad who was a naval CPO in the 2nd World War, about how we should be proud of him and thankful that he fought for us, and that war is still going on in some countries now.

I am amazed that teachers are able to get through to 4 and 5 year olds, whose idea of war is a fight between Decepticons and Autobots...

Sunday, 7 November 2010

(I always feel like) Somebody's watching me

Yes that was an old 80s hit by Rockwell. I used to think I could breakdance around this time.

Anyway, I digress. Who can you see in the hedge? He's been put in the hedge opposite our house to look after us.

Yes it's Mr Pumpkin! So last week ...

Friday, 5 November 2010

A yummy savoury flapack recipe

I normally mess up flapjacks. They were the first thing I made in Home Economics (yes it did used to be called that in the 80s) along with fresh orange juice. But my oven in the last house used to not cook them properly, making them crumble rather than slice.

I saw this recipe on Netmums www.netmums.com (I can't do links on my ipad) under the heading Healthy Lunchboxes. My friend with her 6 week old baby came to visit today along with her parents, so they were the perfect guinea pigs.

Here's the recipe:
Savoury cheesy flapjacks
2 eggs; 150g rolled oats; 150g grated cheese; 50g butter

Mix together all the ingredients, press into a greased 8" tin and bake for approx 30 mins at 180 degrees C.

If I can do it, anyone can! Or rather if my oven can do it...!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Hallowe'en Bingo

Most of you have already done your Hallowe'en blogs but I'm a bit late. Having just moved, we decided to host a Hallowe'en party on Sunday for Elf's old nursery friends, we call them the Puddlers, as his nursery was called Puddleducks.

I didn't quite know what a 7x4-5 year old Puddlers' Hallowe'en party would be like, and I organised the following games:

- Hallowe'en bingo - pictured - by far the best game of the party (Elf said so!). I spent an hour making the bingo cards and symbols to call out. I was going to get the kids to use a crayon to mark off the symbols but then I thought if I used pennies, we could re-use the game. (We are having a Hallowe'en party every year now after all the decorations we made!)
- Musical statues with a scary face - do what it says on the tin!
- Corners using frog/bat/pumpkin/cat card images from an Asda decoration set
- Dress up like a mummy - involving wrapping toilet roll around a mum to make them a mummy. No one wanted to do it at the start, then when they saw how silly the mums looked, they ALL wanted to do it and now we have no toilet roll left!

We had loads of decorations and scary fairy cakes 'n' biscuits, and I cooked a sausage'n'bean casserole for the adults. It started at 4pm and the guests were gone by 8pm. A really really good party.

The next day I was forced to make a new bingo set, so that we can play bingo every day! It's a rocket/alien/planet themed set, made with card, felt pens, paper, sellotape and motherly love! I can take orders, about a fiver for each set and don't expect Picasso standard drawings!