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Saturday, 9 March 2013

Saturday is caption day!

Satcappers do your worst! 

Feeding a child's imagination

Jellybean is a lively child, with a very active brain. He likes to invent stories, to play characters and have us role play his stories, he makes up songs and does performances - and he's starting to get into characters and want to play them in his stories. 

This week he is mostly being Spiderman. 

Spiderman likes to chase baddies, and he is a good man. He isn't really a spider. He can string on his lines and swing around. He can make webs. 

Spiderman is a good guy and he has friends. He can take off his mask and then I don't know who he is. 

He is not Superman because Superman has a cape and is a little bit rubbish. 

When he is not Spiderman he has a camera and he is just a big boy. 



So there you go! He has been creating all kinds of scenarios for Spiderman to rescue us - he rescued me from the stairs, he rescued the dog from the garden, he rescued the yogurts from the fridge into his tummy. That was a hard rescue mission because he could not take off his mask because then we would know who he was and he was being Spiderman. 


It's clearly exhausting. 





Friday, 8 March 2013

Midget Gem started preschool

Yesterday Midget Gem had his first afternoon at the new pre-school with Jellybean. He has been used to going to  nursery - they were there full time whilst I was working, after all - but the last few months he's been at home with me full time even when Jellybean started doing 15 hours at the pre-school.

It's been really wonderful to spend time at home alone with him - I never had much time alone with him because I had Jellybean at home with us full time when I wasn't working, and then when he was ten months old I went to work and they were in nursery. 

So it's been really, really wonderful to spend all that time with him when Jellybean is in school, and to play one to one with him and see all the things he knows and understands that we can miss day to day when everyone is home and things just get too busy. 

He is a magnificent child. He is walking, talking, cuddling love personified. He loves to give cuddles and kisses, he is the most affectionate person I know, he is kind and gentle and sweet. 

He is also solid as a rock, very physical, strong, stocky, he is a great little gymnast and loves climbing things, forward rolls, jumping, hopping - he loves football, and loves rolling, catching, throwing balls.


He is far more co-ordinated than his brother, stronger and less likely to fall over his own feet when he's in a hurry. 

He's more timid, though. He doesn't have the same confidence as Jellybean and is slower to run into a crowd of children and join in. Where Jellybean likes to be the centre of attention Midget Gem holds back and bides his time. 

He is a performer who loves to sing, dance and do his incredible hulk impression and has a great sense of humour - but if you try to get him to perform in front of people he gets very shy, looks at you sideways and hides his face. 

Because he's been at home with me so much and he's a shy boy I thought it would be good for him to spend a few hours a week with other children away from me - he's getting quite clingy and I thought it would be a good idea to try and encourage him to spend time with other children. 

Whenever he comes to drop off or pick up Jellybean he seems desperate to join in with the bigger kids at the pre-school and I wasn't worried about him having fun - but I was a bit worried about myself leaving them both there then coming home to an empty house! 

So he spent Thursday afternoon at the school. We dropped him off in time to share lunch with his brother - Jellybean sat up at the same table and introduced his little brother to everyone and helped him unpack his packed lunch and they shared. 

Then he played with boys and girls, made me a mother's day card (I am so proud of his attempt to trace his name) and did lots of jigsaws. 

He had a wonderful time and when we collected him he wasn't ready to leave. He cheerfully waved goodbye to everyone, though, and gave us all cuddles and then blew the teachers kisses as we left. 

I could not be more proud of my baby - he's such a wonderful, charming, beautiful boy and he makes me so happy. He is like a warm little bundle of happiness and love and I am glad I get to be his Mummy. 

Now what am I meant to do with the afternoons he's not here either?! 



Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Win a £20 Groupon Voucher

I was contacted by the nice people at Groupon and offered the chance to review their service and give one of you lucky people a £20 voucher. 

I thought it seemed like a good idea because I've looked at Groupon a few times but always wimped out at the last minute from buying anything because, to be frank, the offers seemed too good to be true and I was convinced that I would be ripped off or miss some bizarre loophole out and not get the product/deal but still have to pay.

So I took up the challenge, and headed back to their website. I had the app on my phone and, now that I've used the service, it is pretty straightforward but if you're anything like me you might like to go to the full website first to really get an idea of what you're doing. 

I was asked to enter my nearest city - and I opted for Bournemouth or Brighton, because nowhere nearer was on the list - but the first time I explored Groupon I thought that the only things on offer were meal vouchers or manicure vouchers in those cities - and since both are well over an hour's drive away on country roads I didn't really see the point of driving there to get a half price meal or a set of gel nails when it would cost me so much in fuel that the discount was well and truly erased! 

Well it turns out I was being a bit dim - quite a lot dim actually; yes, there are offers for specific locations where businesses offer discounts - but there are also mini breaks, discounts on trips, and a wide range of products which changes every day that you can choose from. 

For some time we've been looking at getting a pressure washer to clean our patio and shed floors, and to wash the cars. We keep putting it off because they're quite a significant outlay and we can't bring ourselves to spend that much on something that will only be used now and then. 

So when we saw a pressure washer on Groupon for 70% off we thought it was too good a chance to miss - and opted for that. 

The first e-mail we got after entering our details and confirming our choice panicked me as it told us we had bought a voucher - which I thought meant we'd then have to travel to somewhere specific to buy the pressure washer and that they might not have any in stock - but then I read it properly and we just had to wait for the offer to end on the website. Once it ended the order was passed to the company who had listed the offer and they processed it and shipped the pressure washer to us direct - I didn't have to do anything else at all. 

Phew! 

It was so straighforward and saved us such a lot on the original price that we're now a bit hooked - and have bought two other offers ourselves since our review product. 

The pressure washer is pretty great too - we discovered almost a year after moving in that our patio is actually pink, not sludge coloured! 

If you want to get your mitts on a £20 voucher to try Groupon for yourself enter on the rafflecopter form below. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please see the terms and conditions. This was a review post - all opinions are honest and my own - I was given a voucher to try the service and a separate voucher to give away.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Hallelujah

I cannot get this song out of my head. Jeff Buckley. In my head. All day.

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.

It's been cold here. Things are broken. Things like the shower and the steam cleaner and the stores inside me which hold endless, earth motherly patience with housework and mud and that special whine sound only an over tired child can make.

But despite that I feel a little bit hallelujah. A little bit praisey and grateful.

The sun has appeared. The temperature has climbed just a few degrees and the world has come alive.

I feel like I am coming alive. I feel like a bear poking my nose out of my dank cave and seeing that spring is actually happening.

It has rejuvenated me and energised me - I am high on possibilities and opportunities and I am feeling pro active and strong.

I am also feeling lucky to have this life, this home, this family. We might not have it all, but we have almost all we want.

Hallelujah!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Accidental ducks and more

This weekend we had a visit from my husband's lovely Mummy and we took her to her very first ever poultry auction - and it was brilliant. 

It could only happen in our lives that we accidentally came home with ducks.
Genuinely, accidental ducks. 


And here is how to accidentally buy ducks. 

Go to a poultry auction. Collect your number and catalogue and look through to check which you want to bid on. 

Then you SHOULD go and get a close look at the birds you've picked out - hubby wanted some buff orpingtons - which are lovely fat fluffy chickens - and has been after some for ages. This weekend we arrived a bit late and the auction had already started; when my husband identified which lot he wanted there was already a crowd standing around the cages and he couldn't get close enough for a proper look - but he thought, since the bidding price was quite low, he would bid and just hope that they were in good condition; the auction are very good and the animals there are always in generally good condition and they insist on standards of care from those bringing animals to sell. 

So he was thrilled when he won his 'buff orpingtons' for a very reasonable price. It took a while for the crowd to disperse and when they finally did all of a sudden there were no buff orpingtons - there were, instead, muscovy ducks - a pair, one boy one girl. 

Oh!

Ah well - ducks it is! 

Whilst we were there we also got some nice new little chickens - we bought four black ones who are...erm...some kind of black chicken (I'm great at this) they're some kind of araucana but that's as much as I know! They're very pretty though.


My lovely mother in law wanted to bid and buy a chicken too, and had her eye on a very lovely broody hen, but couldn't take her home as she lives with a family of urban foxes often coming in her garden so the hen lives with us - and is really rather gorgeous! 


We brought all the chickens home and popped them in an enclosed area of the chicken run so that they could get used to their new surroundings and we went to get some lunch - and when we came back we realised, much too late, that the wings of the black chickens hadn't been clipped so they could fly. Which they had done. On to next door's roof! 

We tried all kinds of tricks to get them down but they weren't interested - so we ducked inside for a warm drink and a think about how to get them down - then they appeared in the front garden - dusk had come and they were looking for somewhere to roost down - phew! So we bustled them back into the pen, and clipped their wings before they could run away again! 

They also had lots of things that aren't animals for sale at the auction - so I bought a tray of plants for £2 and shared them with Mum in law


They were a little thirsty so I popped mine in the bath to give a nice big drink to. 
I also picked up a petrol lawn mower for £4 and a chainsaw, also £4 (I'm sure I'll think of a reason I need it one day - who can turn down a chainsaw for £4!? NOBODY, that's who!) 

Now when we were there there was just one more thing I had my eye on...and have wanted for a long time; but in the shops they are generally between £70 and £100 - which we just don't have. 

There was a lot which had two; I didn't want two - I just wanted one - I couldn't afford two and we don't have space for two; BUT there was a lady there who also only wanted one - one specific one - and who I chatted to and we agreed to pair up and out bid the scary man who was loudly discussing plans that did not include cuddles or love - and we won! She took her one, and I took my one - and this is who else we came home with! 

Best of all we paid £34 for the two rabbits - that is the princely sum of £17 for a wonderful new pet. Perfect!

Meet Max!



He's pretty gigantic! A French Lop, and a MASSIVE one at that. 


Check me out being all dressed like a hippy with bare feet hanging out in the chicken run with a giant rabbit! 


I'm hooking this post up with Magpie Monday because I got some real bargains! Who else can get a French Lop for £17? 


Me and My Shadow