What to do when it’s not very nice outside…

Make cakes of course!!

Today’s cake making class was a classic, cornflake cakes! As if we didn’t have enough chocolate in the house we decided to venture to the local shops this morning in the drizzle to buy our ingredients. When we head to the shops, Rowan likes to take his own shopping basket, which i just find adorable (and so do all the older generation of the town i live in!) This is Rowan with his shopping basket on a previous trip to the shops.

Rowan carried the chocolate bar of course whilst i loaded everything else up under the pushchair. I had to convince Rowan on the walk back home that the park was not a good idea in the rain and he seemed to accept it quite well without a meltdown – yay!

I love the simplicity of this recipe, 100g milk chocolate, 3 tablespoons golden syrup and 50g unsalted butter all melted on medium for 1.5 minutes until melted in the microwave and then mix with 75g cornflakes (or rice krispies). Rowan loved the mixing and having a cheeky lick of the spoon. I helped him dish the mixture into the muffin cases, however he is getting very good at this on his own and didn’t make too much mess! We may have used a spatula at the end, so we could lick the mixture from the bowl shhhh!

And here they are:

They are currently in the fridge chilling and we’ll have one sometime this afternoon, i hope we don’t get too greedy and leave some for daddy!

What we have been doing over Easter – Part Four Dinosaur World Torquay

Ever since Andy and his Dinosaur Adventure started on Cbeebies, Rowan has become a bit obsessed with them. We knew the weather was going to be grim on Easter Sunday so we decided to take him to Dinosaur World in Torquay. It was really easy to find and wasn’t too expensive (adults £5.95 each and under 3′s were free). We had a very nice welcome and were invited to join in the Easter Quiz that they had put on, all through the exhibition were clues to the questions being asked, you just had to find them!

Our first photo opportunity was as we walked in, a big triceratops!

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At this point i heard Rowan say ‘I’m scared!’ not a great start! He soon got passed being scared and started to enjoy all the dinosaurs on show, he even felt brave enough to stick his head in this scary skull!

For comparison sake, we got Rowan to measure up next to a Brachiosaurus thigh bone! They were huge!

We got to ride on a Velociraptor! Who was wearing a very fetching pink Easter bonnet!

Rowan got up close and personal to a triceratops skull!

And got to ride on a baby Brachiosaurus and a baby Triceratops – lucky boy!

There was a craft room, with lots of paper and pre-printed dinosaur pictures to colour in, not sure who had more fun here, Rowan or daddy!

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And our little Paleontologist went looking for fossils and found an Ammonite!

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At one point we were jumped on by 2 veloceraptors from the kitchen scene in Jurassic Park, the pesky little things!

And we did our best Steve Irwin impression on a pre-historic looking croc – Mummy had to have a word with Daddy about his terrible photo taking skills – where’s the crocs head?!!!

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All in all it was a great rainy day activity, it wasn’t a huge place but that was ideal for our 2.5 year old as he would have got a bit overwhelmed otherwise. The easter quiz was fun, we scored 100% so Rowan got a certificate and some shark teeth fossils. I think we would have got around too quickly if we didn’t have the quiz to slow us down. There was lots of interacting things for Rowan to do, like dig for dinosaurs, fossils and getting creative in the craft room. As you saw, a lot that was on show could be touched or sat on for photo opportunities, which Ro loved. When you buy a ticket for Dinosaur World, you get a Paleo pass which allows you to return for only £1 per person on your next visit before September – we may visit again if Rowan keeps up his obsession with Dinosaurs… think he was a bit disappointed that Andy wasn’t there with his back pack though!

By the way, we did have Fred with us but he slept through the whole thing!

What we have been doing over Easter – Part Three Easter Egg Hunt

Rowan went on his first ever Easter Egg hunt on Friday. It was organised by our local community church toddler group that we go to. They planned it in the park just down the road from our house, they did a great job of hiding the eggs. They put eggs in the actual gated play park for all children under 4 and then over 4′s got to run all around the rugby pitch looking for their loot.

Rowan had his basket ready, he wasn’t sure what was going on to start with, i don’t think he quite understood where all the chocolate came from and that he could actually pick it up and keep it! After a little prompting there was no stopping him!

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Rowan’s eggy loot! The boy did good!

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Rowan and friends enjoying eating some of the eggs.

 

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I hope Rowan isn’t going to expect chocolate eggs every time we go to the park now as he is going to be bitterly disappointed!

What we have been doing over Easter – Part Two Sidmouth seafront!

We have made a few trips to Sidmouth Seafront over the weekend. We live about a 15 minute drive from there and it’s really handy as the seafront is flat so is nice to go and walk along with the boys. Rowan loves throwing pebbles into the sea, he is getting very good at throwing, he puts me to shame!

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We decided to treat Rowan to a Glider 3 in 1 scooter as he has been so well behaved and has been so good about getting a new brother. We also purchased his first helmet and went for a pixar planes one. We purchased them both from Toys R Us. So where better to test it than Sidmouth seafront!

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There is also a great park in Sidmouth right at the end of the seafront, Ollie usually runs round with Rowan so Mummy can sit with a take away Costa and just chill for a little while – pure bliss!

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I don’t think we’ll ever get tired of visiting Sidmouth, Ollie and I got engaged there in 2008 during a beautiful sunset and we also had our wedding reception in a nice hotel on the seafront. I mean, how can you ever get fed up of this view…

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What we have been doing over Easter – Part One The Donkey Sanctuary Sidmouth

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I am a huge fan of the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon. Firstly, because it is only a 15 minute drive from my house and secondly, it is free to park and admission is free too (i do however leave a donation each time that i go). I was meeting a friend there and by coincidence another friend pulled up next to me in the car park, who actually lives down the road from me. So Rowan and Fred had another play mate to run around the sanctuary with!

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The sanctuary is ideal for toddlers, there is so much space for them to run around – Rowan was exhausted after 4 hours of chatting and stroking donkey’s and running round with his buddies. There is also a maze but as we were outnumbered (3 adults, 3 very energetic toddlers and 2 babies) we thought it may be too risky to go in there – it would have been a nightmare if we lost one of the kids.

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I would highly recommend the Donkey Sanctuary to anyone visiting East Devon, we took a picnic so it was a very cheap day out. There is obviously a lot of donkey’s to see, you can stroke the friendly ones that come up to you and they sometimes have a few out in the courtyard for you to go and pet. I’m sure this will not be the last time you see Donkey Sanctuary on my blog.

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When did they grow so big?

I’ve just been looking back at some of the photos that i have took of the boys recently and asked myself ‘When did they grow so big?’

Rowan  is now 2.5 years old and Fred is 14 weeks!! I feel like Fred was never really a newborn, he changes physically daily.

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Rowan is turning into such a lovely little man, considering he is 2.5 years old, he is well behaved on most occasions. His new love is  dinosaurs, tractors have taken a bit of a back seat, however is has gone full circle and loves Thomas the Tank Engine again too. His speech is getting clearer each day and he can talk for England. He is very sociable and will engage in conversation with anyone that talks to him. His favourite books at the moment are ‘Goodnight Tractor’ and ‘Goodnight Digger’ by Michelle Robinson… Granny has just ordered ‘Goodnight Pirate’, which he will get when we go to the Pirate weekend in Brixham in a couple of weeks. He loves his new tractor wellies even though they are too big, he would wear them to bed if he could and the most endearing thing about Rowan is his love for his brother. He gets very concerned when Fred cries and tells me to give him milk or pick him up if he does. He plants little kisses on his head when he thinks no one is looking and cuddles him all the time.

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What can i say about Fred… well i struck gold when it came to having well behaved boys! Rowan was an easy baby and everyone said that the next one would be a nightmare because ‘you never get 2 the same’, well they were wrong! Fred is full of smiles and giggles and babbles more than any other baby i have heard before. He is so cute and alert. We recently had his post natal check as it was delayed for 6 weeks due to him having the chicken pox, the doctor couldn’t believe how responsive he was. He had a good chat with her whilst she was carrying out the check. Fred’s favourite things in the whole wide world is my milk, his bear comforter and sleep!fredbumbo

 

I’m going to do more of these updates as the boys are growing so fast i don’t want to miss a thing!

Family Day out!

Yesterday, the sun came out and by the looks of my facebook and twitter feeds the whole country was out enjoying the sun! It’s been a long time needed as since i had Fred at the start of January all we have had is rain, rain and more rain.

Ollie worked a 6 day week last week and Rowan has been under the weather and has been a little high maintenance, so we both needed a nice relaxing day out. Our first port of call was Trago Mills in Newton Abbot. This meant that Ollie and Rowan could go and have a ride on the mini steam train and i could go and have a toddler free mooch with Fred around the store!

 

I had a glorious hour of looking round the store but can’t quite believe it myself, i didn’t buy anything!! I was hoping they had James Duigan’s ‘clean and lean diet’ as have seen it in there in the past but they didn’t have it. I did see some lovely Superdry skinny jeans but i want to shift the baby weight before i buy myself any new nice clothes.

I met up with Ol and Rowan outside the front of the store, Rowan had become a truck driver!

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Ollie wanted to have a quick look in the store for some work gear so i took Rowan and Fred to to some of the other rides Trago had to offer!

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Choo Choo!

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Just chilling and helping Pat deliver his letters!

After Trago fun we headed onto Dartmoor for a bite to eat, there are some lovely pubs on the moor so we stopped at the Tavistock Inn.

The garlic mushroom and brie baguette took my fancy,

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I was so hungry and so looking forward to my food but it turned out to be just meh! The mushrooms didn’t really taste garlicky and it wasn’t anything special. Ollie went for the sausage and onion baguette and again it was not great, the sausage tasted really cheap, i think you can guess we probably won’t be eating there again!

The plan was to go and find a nice spot and play some football with Rowan on the moor, but this happened…

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Rowan had a meltdown! He has had many of these this week, it’s been exhausting but thankfully today i seem to have my lovely little boy back. Rowan needed to sleep so instead we had a lovely drive over the moor and i forgot to take some snaps doh!

At least our little kangaroo was happy – Fred turned 9 weeks old over the weekend so i am going to write an update on him later.

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With the sun being out, it has made me so excited about the summer – the boys and I are going to spend a lot of time at the beach i think. Unfortunately last night when i got home, i started to feel pretty rotten, sore throat and shivers… If this is what Rowan had no wonder he has been the way he has bless him!

We are off to the park when Rowan wakes up from his nap, the fresh air and sunshine will do me good – how are you enjoying the sunshine?

International Women’s Day!

Today is International Women’s Day… on Twitter everyone is talking about who inspires them, so thought i would join in and let you know who inspire me.

I would have to say the Woman that has inspired me the most in life is unfortunately no longer alive. Jane Tomlinson.

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I read her autobiography back in 2005, Jane was told in 2000 that she had approximately 12 months to live, however she lived for another 7 years and in that time she dedicated her life to raising money for charity by competing in marathons and bike rides… she was truly amazing – she made me realise that anything is possible if you try.

I moved into my first house on 1st September 2007, on the 3rd Spetember, i got in from work and the news reader announced that Jane Tomlinson had passed away, i remember feeling so upset because someone special had now left this world. I re-read her autobiography and decided i wanted to try and raise money for charity too.

I had never been fit, i could hardly run 10 meters without wanting to pass out but i thought if Jane could train for marathons with terminal cancer and going through intense chemotherapy, then i could learn to run. I signed up for my local Race for Life soon after. I literally had to teach myself to run, i started by running 30 seconds, walking 2 minutes, then running 1 minute and walking 1 minute and before i knew it, i ran my first 5k race in July 2008 in 34 minutes! Racing conditions were awful, it was torrential rain and muddy, but i loved every minute of it and raised £250 for Cancer Research.

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I decided to push myself a little further and signed up for a half marathon the following year and on May 3rd 2009 completed my first half marathon. I went from someone who could not run at all to someone who could run a half marathon in just over a year! I was so proud of myself and don’t think i ever would have believed i was capable of doing so if i had not read Jane Tomlinson’s inspirational book.

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I am also proud to say that i ran the same half marathon in 2010 also and managed to raise with all my races combined over £1000 for Cancer Research UK.

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Thank you Jane Tomlinson for helping me realise that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and believe in yourself.

Which women inspire you and have they changed your life in anyway? I would love to hear your stories.

6 ways to entertain a housebound toddler!

We have been in the house a lot recently. First we were finding our feet when Fred arrived, then Rowan got the chicken pox and just as he was getting better, Fred got the chicken pox!! How we have not gone completely cabin fever crazy is beyond me!

I have needed to come up with a few things to keep Rowan entertained on the days that Cbeebies and Disney DVD’s are just not cutting it for him. So here is what we have been up to!

1.  Oats in a paddling pool

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I blew up this cheapy paddling pool that we got from Tesco and filled it with a bag of budget oats that i found in the back of my cupboard that had gone out of date! Rowan loved pretending to feed his farm animals and using his construction vehicles to transport the oats around. He had literally hours of fun doing this, only down side was we are still finding oats even though we vacuum everyday… worth the mess i think!

2.  Lasagna sheet colouring in

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I was sorting out my food cupboard and found 3 boxes of lasagna sheets, i have no idea why i had so many as i rarely make lasagna! So to make room, i gave Rowan a box and his colouring pens and let his creative side flow. Once we had coloured in a couple of sheets we decided to make a road for Rowan’s cars, 2 lots of fun in one activity – bonus!

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3.  Home made indoor sand

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5 cups flour, 1 cup baby oil, that’s all you need to make indoor sand! It smells lovely too and makes your hands very soft. We added glitter to ours, it was really sparkling but i don’t think this shows in the photo. Rowan enjoyed counting out the flour, baby oil and tipping it into the mixing bowl, he loved making mini sand castles and driving his trucks through the mixture. He kept saying ‘wow’ and had his little tongue out whilst he was concentrating.

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We have bagged up the mixture so we can play with it again some time this week.

4.  Playing with Dragons (more commonly known as dinosaurs!)

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Rowan has started to get very interested in dinosaurs since ‘Andy’s Dinosaur Adventure’ has started on Cbeebies. He likes to call them Dragon’s! I was delighted to find at a local church bric a brac sale these dinosaurs for a grand total of 90p! I love a bargain and we have been enjoying playing with them ever since.

5.  Painting with dad

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My husband is a painter and decorator, so it was no surprise he went and bought Rowan some poster paints for their activity. He used a big sheet of lining paper and they got creative on the kitchen floor, i love standing back and seeing them interact with each other… Rowan truly is a daddy’s boy at heart.

6.  Chores

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Rowan loves destroying the house, he is excellent at it so i am trying to teach him to tidy up after himself (no success with this so far) but he does enjoy mucking in with the housework. He likes to dust the TV for me and also has started to ask to wash up! I let him wash up all his plastic cups, my kitchen gets soaked but he is happy.

I MUST TRY HARDER…

Yesterday a little part of my heart died… For the first time ever Rowan rejected me.

Rowan has not been himself since he had chicken pox a couple of weeks ago, he’s been upset and needy and generally out of sorts. With baby Fred also getting chicken pox last week I have not been able to give Rowan the attention he has been used to and I think he has felt a little rejected. With both boys having been ill, both my mum and mil have been helping out – My mil lives closer so has been here more regularly and i’m sad to say been there more for Rowan when he’s been feeling under the weather. It’s not that I don’t want to be there for Rowan but with Fred being so small, with chicken pox and breastfeeding on demand I can not give Rowan 100% of my attention like my mil no matter how much I want to.

Well yesterday my in laws and husband’s Gran came for the day, I made Rowan some lunch and as he was eating it, we think he may have bitten his tongue as he went from fine to full on crying, I had Fred in my arms but went to hug Rowan to give him some comfort, he screamed ‘No!’ at me, pushed me away and gave me the most upsetting look, he did not want me near him, I could not offer him the comfort he needed and he went to his nan instead. I brushed it off by saying ‘he’s a little under the weather at the moment’ but inside I wanted to cry. Me and my big boy have alwasys been so close, being a SAHM means all my time has been for him but now Fred is here I have constant guilt that I am not fully there for Rowan when he’s not well. And yesterday I saw what impact its having on him, as I’m not the one he wanted to go to for comfort, I’m not the one who makes him feel better when he is feeling run down… I’m his mum, he should want me!

The guilt has been getting worse and worse recently, i hate it when both boys cry and need me and i can only go to one of them… which one should i choose? I thought maybe with Rowan being the older one that he would understand if i comforted Fred first and then went to him but i forget sometimes that he is only 2 years and 4 months old, he’s still a baby himself, i hate the thought that maybe he feels rejected especially because he isn’t feeling great at the moment.

This morning i have been having lots of cuddles with Rowan, fortunately Fred slept through the night again, meaning i have had a good amount of sleep and he has been happily napping all morning giving me lots of time with my big boy. I’m very aware that my patience with Rowan has not been great, for the last week he has been whining, screaming and shouting, making me cross because he keeps waking Fred, but when i realised it was because he was ill i have felt the worst guilt ever – i may have even had a little cry about it in the shower the other night, i sometimes think i am not a good mum, i get irritable with Rowan over the smallest things some days and i hate myself for it. He is generally a really well behaved little boy and i should be thankful for that.

I have learnt a lot over the last week about being patient, to not be so irritable and no matter what is going on in life that i should make sure both my boys know that i am the one to offer them comfort – i am the one they should go to feel better… i am the one that WILL make it all better… I MUST TRY HARDER!

DSC_0068My Gorgeous little man and me doing a selfie!