Thursday, 27 September 2012


I really enjoy hand stitching. While I stitch I get to think. Hand stitching gives me more time for my mind to wander and think about them both than sat at the machine

I have just been hemming Joseph's trousers and as I stitched I've just felt an overwhelming sense of love for my boy. I love making things for both of them. 

Tomorrow is book character day, he's going as Peter Pan; with Izzie's green jeans, a simple green tabbard and a felt hat with red feather. 
It's simply made, very homemade looking but he was so excited to try it on and was really thrilled with how he looked - throwing his head back and laughing in true 'Joseph' fashion as he looked at himself in the mirror. Moments like that make me feel so happy, that as a mum a piece of scrap felt and a few hand stitches can bring delight to my boy. 

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Ben's speech

The most memorable one liner from the film 'The King's Speech'  is;
'I have a voice'
Ben has found his voice and it is delightful.

He is truly becoming a little boy not only brimming with character but with opinions, demands and questions.
Some of his current most used one liners are
'What about me?'
'It's not funny - hmph'
'It's my turn'
'Where's my biscuit'
'Not that one, I want THAT one'
'More toast and jam please' (the boy can pack away slices of the stuff)
'It's not fair- hmph'
'Where are my scissors?' (he currently loves to cut things and can cut really quite straight)

The list of new words is ever increasing and it's lovely to hear him sing, something which until he went to Nursery we haven't heard him do before. 

Ben is becoming a proper little boy - however I do love the fact that there is still a bit of baby in there too which manifests itself when he's sucking his thumb asleep. There are times I stand, stare, stroke his hair and take in a deep breath of his sleeping angelic loveliness.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

How to train a dragon / viking party

Thought I'd do a post showing all the different components of Joseph's 'How to train a dragon party' with links to the tutorials I used for inspiration.

The costumes - 
Viking hats - I used this tutorial found here on Samuel wisdom blog. I made the horns on mine flat - just wrapped the cardboard in foil, then masking tape. Pva glued them and then last minute decided to paint them white. Note - do not use metal headbands, they are a nightmare to trim the ends off and I ended up redoing two of mine subbing the metal ones for plastic. 

Cost for 6 viking helmets
6 x baseball caps - £6 (thank you Sainsbury's sale)
6 x headbands - £2.40 (Thank you Home Bargains)
Foil - 75p
Masking tape - £1
Duct tape - £1.50
Cardboard - free (thank you Aldi)
Total - £11.65 or  £1.94 each :)

Viking capes -
I used the tutorial found at I am Momma hear me roar here 
I just measured the width of Joseph's shoulders and used that as the diameter measurement for  the circle. I then overlocked the edges of the furrier capes, added velcro to fasten and a button for decoration.

Two metres of fleece - £6 from The Shuttle.

Viking shields -
Came up with the idea solo mio - slightly proud :)
Take one silver platter from poundland, get husband to hammer four holes in two near top and two near bottom, cable tie a canvas strap to shield through holes, then cover the centre of the shield by super gluing a cardboard circle to it. One shield ready for decorating. 

10 silver platters - £10
canvas straps - free I chopped up two canvas belts
cable ties -£2

So that's the costumes - 10 viking costumes for  £ 29.65 or £2.97 each :)

Cake - I used the tutorial found here on instructables
It was my first attempt of decorating using food colouring - not my favourite part of the party prep - I found it really hard to get a decent colour and I was rubbish at icing - fortunately Nathan came to my rescue and was a dab hand at it with much more patient than I was - bung on some sweets and jobs a good un.

Games - The children arrived and were set off on a dragon egg hunt. They each had a specific number to look for, which gave them all an equal chance of finding the same amount of eggs.

When they had completed their hunt they received their Viking shield - part one of Viking training completed.

They then went to decorate their shields with black and silver paper 'jewels'

The Viking princesses also had headbands to decorate. For these I used some brown vinyl my mum had stashed away. Attached some velcro and then the girls decorated them with poundland jewels.

The children then went to play pass the parcel - not particularly viking themed but a party classic. (Grandma just getting them organised into a circle :))

 and then pin the tail on toothless the dragon.

 After this section of Viking training the children got their Viking capes.
 It was then time for some food and the birthday cake.
(My mum had made some viking buns very similar to the ones found 
here  but they got eaten before I got a photo - she used banana foam sweets for the horns)

The last part of Viking training was the obstacle course. 

Daddy doing a demo :)

At the end of the course they collected a bean bag which they then had to 'feed' to the dragons.

Of course most of them wanted to do the course over and over again. When they had finished this last part of viking training they received their Viking helmets or the headbands they'd made earlier on.
Time for some Viking posing :)

Everyone seemed to have a really fun time especially the birthday boy which is the main criteria I would say for a good party?

I was pretty wrecked and grateful that our fab families were around to help with the tidy up as in my current pregnant state I had to waddle over to a chair and sit down when the children had left :) It had been a lot of hard work but really worth it and at least I've got the boys Halloween costumes sorted out - Vikings it is :)

How to train your dragon party

So Saturday finally came for Joseph. Bless him, he asked every day for a week if it was his party day.
The morning was Busy with a capital 'B'  Had to turn the house over to look for the gazebo cover. One day, I dream that this house will be a house of order and I will know where everything is at any given moment - a girl's gotta dream big :)  Anyway it was totally worth all the planning, prep and work during and tidying up just to see this little boy oozing with happiness at 'His party'.

Almost ready to go, showing off the dragon tee I appliqu├ęd for his birthday t-shirt.

Party in action (from top left clockwise)
Pictures 1&2 -Dragon egg hunt
3 - Jack helped Joseph open the present he brought him :)
4 - Viking shield decorating
5 & 6 - The girls also had viking princess headbands to decorate with jewels
7 - Grandma took charge of pass the parcel.
8 - Jack won
9 - Pin the tail on the dragon.
10- Uncle David has a go at pin the tail - 'urhh where's it gone?'
11 & 12 - Dragon birthday cake
13 - Daddy explains the obstacle course
14 - Daddy demonstrates the obstacle course!!
15 - Joseph in action on the course
16 - Lottie and Ben show off their full viking costumes 
Centre picture - Joseph in his full Viking costume

The dragon cake in all its orange icing glory. Nathan had to come to the rescue the night before as I was having a mild crisis with the icing of it. It turns out he's a dab hand at it and much more patient :) Just looking at the photo spot where Ben has pinched the sweets  lol!

  Party in action ( top Left to right )
1 - Emily completing the course.
2 - Nathan gets through the tunnel :)
3 - Belle completes the course :)]
4 - Ben in action
5 - Joseph in action
6 - Joseph and Ngaika show their Viking strength
7 - Lottie and Ben in their viking gear (again :))

The party goers enjoy watching Nathan demo the obstacle course.

Charlie bear - the cutest viking around :)

Flat out after an afternoon of fun - I was totally sharing the feeling :)

Our five - year old viking :)

Thursday, 13 September 2012

And so the boy went to nursery

My little buddy, started nursery on Monday. You went in put your name in the basket, coat on your peg        ( you have an eagle on your tags) and then  you went into the home corner and said 'Bye Mum'
That was that.
I came home, sorted out the kitchen, made some appointments, studied my scriptures, put the washing on, hung washing on the line, started making the rest of the viking hats for Joseph's party, picked blackberries on route back to nursery. Pretty productive though I couldn't wait to see your  little face and give you  a huge hug. You ran out of nursery with a big smile, a sticker (wearing the same trousers you went in with - Fab!) We had a lovely afternoon; had lunch, made blackberry muffins, did some side by side craft - you are really into cutting at the moment, had some quiet time, snuggled on the sofa, you  played with your cars whilst I did some more jobs and then before we knew it, it was time to collect Joseph.

Nursery send home a report on the things you did on your first day.

Second day at Nursery, Daddy did the morning school run. On this day, you cried when you went into Nursery. It made Daddy feel really sad to leave you like that. Mrs Rodgers rang to say that you had settled and were happily playing. It made us feel better hearing that. 

 Daddy insisted on picking you up - he wanted to make sure you were OK and you were. (same pants - wayhoo)
On the third day, I took you in and you cried again, this time you took a little longer to settle and you were a little cross, but you did settle and had a good time. You ran out so fast, with a big painting and your bag  that you tripped up, I was glad I was there to give you a big cuddle and a kiss to make it better - you're my boy.

In the afternoon you fell asleep - it's been a tiring week for you.
(I love to watch you sleep)

Today, the fourth day. We talked about you going to nursery you seemed happy to go until we stepped on the playground and you started to say ' No, no, not me..... not not me' in a really cute whiny voice. You cried again, but by the time we had walked half way down the playground - you'd stopped and were playing. Tomorrow (Friday) you don't go to nursery and I predict you'll cry when we drop Joseph off and you don't go.  

The age of Lego

We have entered the age of lego.
I foresee that it will last a long time!
It seems it is an age that many of the male members of the family have been through themselves and one they are quite happy (if not excited) to enjoy alongside the boys as apparent by the Sunday afternoon lego playing session, this weekend.
Joseph was thrilled with the lego he got for his birthday. 'It's so cool'
Star Wars lego, an ambulance lego and a police boat lego = lego heaven.
After school I helped him to make the ambulance lego, as I was steadily building, Joseph was really good with the praise 'That's good......yes that's right.... I'm really proud of you' 
Daddy had to take on the task of building the star wars lego. Evidently the age suggestions on the front of the box do actually have a bearance on the difficulty - funny that :) Joseph was still up at 9 o'clock waiting for it to be built and had time to chat to Uncle Tom and quiz him over how the building of the x-wing was going back at their house.
'Is it finished?'
'Is it good?'
'Will you bring it for me on Saturday?'
At 7:30am, his first words were - 'Can I ring Uncle Tom to ask if he's finished the x-wing?'

Because Joseph is into lego, Ben is too. Though I love that he loves his x-wing, which is made with 3 pieces in total :) (It must have R2D2 on it though)  

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

So to school he went

Last night when the boys went off to bed, I labelled school uniform and completed the homework task. Again I felt sad, sad that this era of Joseph being at home more than not is coming to an end. Our big boy starts school. I'll not know exactly what he's been doing, saying, feeling for a large part of his day. I won't be there to make things better, help him or point him in the right direction when he needs it. He's growing up, starting his educational life, becoming more independent and it's natural and right and exciting in many ways but it's still a bit sad that we're moving on because what we've had has been really good.
I love my boy. 
I'll often say to him 'Joseph, guess what'
'you're my best friend' and I totally mean it. Just like Ben is and Nathan is (the ultimate one x) Joseph is my best friend, there  are just somethings that only he can do to make me complete.

When I took these photos yesterday, the one above totally shocked me as he looks so grown up. The one below is more like the boy I know :)

Love the boys answer to 'what do you want to be when you grow up?'

This morning we all did the walk to school. He was excited. Halfway down the street I had to fiddle with the waistband on his trousers to stop them falling down, and the sleeves on his jumper are too long - he looks a little like the boy in the last scene from the film 'Big!' He went straight in, found the duplo, quick kiss goodbye and that was him settled in - that's our boy :)
Ben and I collected him at 12 as he's only doing half days this week. he ran out big smile, big hug and a sticker. I asked him if he'd had a good time - 'Yep' What did you do? 'played' What did you play with? ' lots of things, can't remember. Who did you play with ' can't remember'  Is Mrs Mudge nice 'yep'. I imagine that most days, after school conversations will run pretty similar.

On your way, inside and on your way home on your first day.

School sent home a report of your first day - a nice insight into what you were up to when we weren't there.

On the last day of the holidays my true loves gave to me..

 a feeling of sadness. As I watch them play at Selby park, I felt sad. Sad that the holidays were coming to an end, we've had a great time. We've had time to slow down, time for lazy mornings or lazy afternoons  and sometimes both, time for impromptu trips to the park or baking with whatever's in the cupboard, time to spend with family and friends and plenty of time for each other. 

We've been to two  family weddings and on a holiday to Northern Ireland, we've been to the temple 3 times, been to the beach three times.  There have been bare bums a plenty as Ben has begun potty training and more often than not Joseph has be found without shorts on just because.. well just because??! and neither of them are fussed about wearing shoes outside. Some days have been cold and rainy, others warm and dry but everyday they've been all mine and  I've loved it and I think they've loved it too.  
Photo collage of our last day - 
Hide n seek,  
traditional swing photo - not sure Joseph will fit into this type much longer,
photo shoot with Joseph lol!, 
uniform try on, 
Back to school celebratory meal of Sausage, chips n beans with Ice cream factory dessert as requested by Joseph, Dad taught the boys what to do with squirty cream
We decided to have a theme for the school year, something that we want the boys to really focus on at school and nursery and that is to 'Be Kind'  I stitched it late at night and have discovered that I need to be more kind with myself as it's obviously not straight and it really bothers me, no really it does :)

After tea Nathan gave Joseph a lovely blessing to help him during his school year. Joseph sat really still and seemed to grasp that this was something special for him. 

On holiday I...

This was the homework Joseph had to take to school with him (yes of course he did it all by himself)

The last week of the holidays..

...involved a rather chilly visit to the beach at Filey. We did see a seal which was rather exciting, had fish n chips and Nathan and I sang along to the 80's hits on the radio on the journey to and home

Joseph was not put off by the chill in the air, he paddled, dug and ran around for a couple of hours.

Ben hopped between  Aunty Ann and I  for snuggles, for a couple of hours.

Had a park play date at Brayton. Ben loves Izzy to look after him :)