Sunday, 24 April 2016
This week we have had some lovely sunny days, finally! That can only mean one thing, that spring has truly arrived for us. Don't get me wrong we have had some sunny days before now but then it pours down for a week, this week has been pretty much sunny skies daily. We have been taking advantage of that and going out somewhere everyday, even if we are just out for a quick walk.
On Friday we went to a lovely park with lots of open space and tree's for a picnic with one of my friends. D was so excited to discover everything as we haven't been there in a while now. I couldn't resist a few tree pictures on our walk to the picnic spot. This one above is my favourite, although it is slightly out of focus in places I think that just adds to the branches. I love how they are all separate in themselves but look as though the trees are reaching out to each other and entwining themselves. I liked the spectrum of colours in the picture too. The brown, cream and white trees along with the ivy covered trees. For me this picture sums up the beginning of spring.
We had a lovely day and enjoyed our picnic despite the dogs that kept interrupting us. D thought it was hilarious and they did no harm. We spent a good hour sitting there enjoying the sun while D ran around discovering all the things he could find.
We are linking up as usual to Photalife for our weekly #MySundayPhoto. You can visit the blog by clicking the badge below.
Friday, 22 April 2016
I don't know how to start writing this post, it's not going to be an easy one to write or to read but it's time I got it all down. Bear with me through this post as it may not be perfectly written but I don't know how it could be.
Back in February there was a period just after I had got back into posting on the blog after Christmas where I just stopped posting and never explained it. It was a hard month.
Me and Simon had sat down to watch a film on TV after D had gone to bed early and about 5 minutes before the end my Mum phoned. I had answered with the intention of asking her to phone back in a few minutes but she was really upset and I wasn't expecting the news she gave me when I asked if she was okay. My Great Granda had died. He died very suddenly in his own house. She was coming over and needed to stay with us for the funeral. We had a short talk before she had to go, I don't really remember what we said or how long we spoke for on the phone. I only remember after I came off the phone I came into our living room and told Simon, he had asked if I was okay. I didn't know how to answer that at that moment. Was I okay? Was this really happening or had I somehow fell asleep during the film. It didn't feel real. I don't think I was okay, how can anyone be okay after having that news? It was a shock to my system and I didn't know how I felt or even how I should have felt.
I know that people die every day but at that point I had only known one other person who I knew had died which was my Great Granny from my Dad's side of the family. I didn't really remember her other than some ornaments she had in her window and playing as a child at her house. I didn't have a reaction when she died it was all so surreal. I went to the funeral and I felt like I had done something bad, I couldn't cry or really feel anything. I'm glad I went even though I couldn't remember her, I did remember spending time there with her and I knew who she was. That was the first funeral I ever attended.
This time was different. I had never realised it but I thought my Great Granny and Great Granda would live forever. (I know that is crazy!) I really truly believed that they would just go on living . Simon pointed out that I tell him all the time that his Nanny won't live forever, which is true but I couldn't help my childish ideology that they would always be there. They had been together my whole life and even celebrated their golden wedding anniversary together. It was there that the last picture of me was taken with them. I was about 14 I think. All my life I remember them both together in their house, my Granda gardening and my granny making tea while talking to us. They where amazing and as a child I thought they where as old as the world. They weren't all that old to be truthful but it just seemed like they'd always be there and always together. I was heart broken at the news.
It hit me all at once not long after the phone call. Most of all I felt guilty, I had been saying for a few months that I really needed to take D up to see them. The last time we had went D was only a small baby, I think he was a few months old. We didn't stay for long, that was the first and last time they met. I regret not going and I wish I had. Right at that moment in time I hated the fact I had never got round to it, I would never ever see him again. I could never go to my Great Granny's house and see him sitting on the sofa in the living room or at the kitchen table, he'd never be there reading his news paper. Ever again. It was so definite, so very final. There was nothing anyone could do to change it. All I could think of was my Great Granny alone, I just couldn't make that picture form in my head. It wasn't there, she'd never been without him in my life or even in my mind. She had left the house without him and done other things like shopping. I would do with her and my aunt on a Saturday when we where very young but we talked about my Great Granda and the things they'd have for dinner that night or what newspaper he wanted us to bring home.
The few days following the call was a whirlwind of activity, most of our family live in England with a few of us living here so flights needed booked. Everyone needed a bed to sleep in for the time they where here and there wasn't much time to plan it. Everyone got somewhere to stay and came over. I don't remember anything that happened that week. Everything else is blurry and so ordinary that I just lost those days. I know I cried, I know we all cried. The funeral came quickly, it's was days later. I had never said goodbye to anyone and I had never seen a dead person. I don't want to see a dead person.
It was hard I couldn't cry at the funeral and I can't figure out why, I still can't. There was so many people there, our family is very big and there where friends of the family, neighbours and people he knew or who knew him. It was strange seeing my family all crammed into a living room saying goodbye to a man I thought would never die. I didn't feel like I was there, sort of looking at it from above. Which I suppose I actually was ( I was standing a few stairs up from the bottom to allow people to have room.) I could see the heads of all these people, some I knew and some I had never met. I could see my Great Granny, My great aunts, uncles, cousins, my own granny, my aunts, uncles and cousins in among the sea of heads. My sister and mum where standing beside me. I could hear and see people crying but I couldn't cry. I just couldn't. I was refusing to look towards the coffin, a wooden box that held a man who was, in some way important to every person there. He was part of each of our lives for a long time.
I don't understand how you can just say goodbye. There's no defining moment. No sudden feeling of he's gone. I still forget that he isn't here sometimes. I still feel sad, I still cry. I'm crying now. Do you say words out loud? Do you complete a gesture for them? I don't know. Life just continues on without them, it just keeps going every day and they're still not there. I can't make up for not going in the two years before he died. I can't change it. I have seen my Great Granny since, I took D up and I will keep going. I want D to know her, I want him to have memories with her. She is an amazing woman. A strong person and I love her, Just like I loved my Great Granda.
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
This past month we have been busy with our reading. D is starting to enjoy reading the words himself and takes much more interest in the writing that is on the pages rather than the pictures in the story. He does still enjoy the pictures and will point out certain things in the pictures, usually something that amuses him. We have changed they types of books we are reading during the day for this reason. We have still been reading stories that are a bit longer but not as many. We are reading shorter stories with fewer, easily recognised words and sometimes repetitive in the words or phrases. D is enjoying these types of books because he has a role to play in the reading and the words become familiar to him the more we read the books. He is recognising the words repeating in one book while we read another. He is very enthusiastic about reading and loves being able to have a read for himself even if it is just one or two words in a sentence.
Our favourite book this month has been Underpants Wonderpants written by Peter Bently and Illustrated by Deborah Melmon. Underpants Wonderpants is about a dog who is a superhero called Wonderpants. He saves the day in a very unique way, he uses underpants to solve any problem his friends might have.
Underpants Wonderpants is perfect for this stage of reading, it is engaging, easy to read with large writing and clear font. D loves it, Wonderpants can do just about anything with a pair of underpants.
There are many problems that solves in the book with some underpants. All of which are very creative, he makes a fishing net, a house for mice, a parachute among many other things. Every problem that he solves is inspiring and outside of the box, I think this is very important in a story for young children.
Having so many creative and inspiring ideas inside the book is perfect, D has just started to enjoy pretend play through dressing up and being a superhero who saves the day. Since we have been reading Underpants Wonderpants I have noticed a change in the ideas he has regarding how he has to save the day. It's no longer just D 'flying' around the room and saving a toy or teddy from falling down a big mountain or a similar scenario. He is engaged with pretend play and engrossed in the story behind why his toys and teddies need saved, not only why but how too. I've heard and watched him come up with his own creative ways to save them. I think this is mostly thanks to the creative use of underpants in the book.
Deborah Melmon's artwork in the book is beautiful and depicts the story well. The pages are all brightly coloured with fun and detailed characters. The house for the mice made of underpants has straw stuffed inside and is made of levels with a little ladder and even has a clothes line on top. You can tell she really put thought into each picture on every page. The details in some of the pictures even shows where the underpants are sewn together to create the items needed to help the animals and people.
D really enjoys reading Underpants Wonderpants and honestly so do I. Usually it is hard to keep D entertained with books that don't take that long to read as they are simply too short but Underpants Wonderpants is different and that is partly due to him trying to read the words with me and learn how to read it himself. This is drawing out the story and engaging him in what is happening more. It is also thanks to the story itself, he loves superheros and this one is certainly a great one! What child doesn't love pants?
Whether or not your child is learning to read this is a great book. We have all enjoyed the story and the illustrations in Underpants Wonderpants. It is a perfect book for the very early reading stage and it inspires creative thinking in the reader or readers. I would certainly recommend this to be added to any toddlers library who enjoys superheros or underpants.
You can find Underpants Wonderpants written by Peter Bently on Amazon by clicking the link. The book for £5.99.
You can check out any of our previous What We're Reading posts by clicking on the link. What have you been reading this month? I would love to hear what you thought about books you have enjoyed.
Sunday, 17 April 2016
I haven't captured many pictures this week however I did find a beautiful picture I took on St Patrick's Day. It needed a little brightening so I enhanced the colours slightly one by one.
This photo was taken at a park we go to quite often in the summer. The great thing that I really love about this park is that it's like a sanctuary in the middle of a bustling city that never seems to stop. There's always a car on a road somewhere nearby, someone eating after a night out or simply sitting at a park bench taking a break. This park has always had a sense of distance for me. We went here when I was younger and it was always the same. The strange thing is this is literally in a city, right beside 2 main roads and thousands of houses/ businesses and it's only a short journey from the heart and centre of the city. That's not what it seems like while you are there. This picture was taken a minutes walk away from a very busy main road which I couldn't hear. It's just so tranquil you can hear rushing water from the water fall at the bottom of the park mixed with the wind rustling the tree's, ducks quacking in the pond and happy children playing in the park behind.
This is a beautiful and peaceful place where you can do pretty much anything you want. It is sheltered by tree's in most places you look and it's large enough to take a good proper run around too. I prefer to have a run around with D before sitting down to read a few pages of my book under a tree on a warm day.
I choose this picture as it looks how if feel both close to the city like those houses hiding in the background and far away enough to be in a different world like the still waters and tree just at the main focus in the picture. The sun in the sky along with the colours of spring coming back into the world make it look like the perfect place to be. It reflects everything I love about the park all in one rectangle. The contrast of the tree full of colour and the bare trees still recovering from winter
As usual we are linking up to Photalife for #MySundayPhoto. You can visit the blog by clicking on the badge below.
Friday, 8 April 2016
March turned out to be a great month, the best month I've ever had with comping! I think I'm still in a state of disbelief to be honest. The first 4 days of march I won daily and the rest of the month I won every few days. I have been working much harder the past month or so than I was before and a friend has told me a few tips which have really helped. Now I just hope I can keep it up.
My first win of the month was this Durex Ultra Pleasure Ring which was another blog win from Mother and Malamute. I won't say too much about this one as I know my mum reads these posts. (Sorry Mum)
I won this beautiful bunch of personalised roses. This was a blog competition that I entered and won over at Lilypod and Sweetpea. I love getting flowers and I can count on one hand how many bunches I have received in the last 3 years so this was definitely on my list of things I really wanted to win.
On the third I won this lovely book from Toppsta on Facebook. D loves it and we have been reading it quite a lot before our novel at bed time.
I think this one might be one of my favourites, it has already become invaluable and is used daily. I was delighted when I read my emails to find out I had won a Lumie Elite 300 from My Family Ties I won this on D's birthday too which made it even better! This was one of the many Lumie products competitions about over the last few months and I had been hoping to win one as they seemed fantastic. I do very much agree with every review I had read, these are amazing! I use the Lumie Elite 300 every day and I love the sunset/ sunrise function.
I won 2 packs of heart shaped dates on face book from Beloved. I had entered this on mothers day, I had to tag 2 friends, I tagged Rebecca and Jenna who also won 2 packs. I think I was more excited that they won at the same time! Haha, D loved these and has enjoyed them so much I think I need to get more.
Another Mothers day competition I won was with Ladybird Books on twitter. I had to pause the video and screen shot my favourite mummy character. It was a surprise prize but I knew D would love whatever came as he is a big fan of Ladybird books and has quite the collection now! I have put these away for now as I am planning on doing a little book surprise in the summer and these are perfect for it.
I also won a bedtime help book and a bottle of Infacare from the Infacare twitter page. This is a regular competition they do with various product every week. I have been entering this one for a long time now and was delighted to win! I am still waiting on this one to arrive.
This one was a very last minute entry. I found the competition a few minutes before it ended. I thought I had won one off the jugs when I got the message to say I had won so I was delighted to discover it was actually a set when they arrived. I won this one from Samphire magazine on twitter. These are so handy for cooking with! There is a straightened edge on each which means you can scoop up all your chopped ingredients and just pour them into the pot or pan for cooking. I know we will make good use out of these and they will be a great product in our kitchen.
Last month I came across this competition where you had to tell the company what your best tips and recipes where for going on picnics. One of our favourite things to take on picnics with us is frozen fruit push pops. They are really easy to make by chopping up lots of fruits and use a cake push pop device and put layers of fruit inside it. Pop them in the freezer the night before your picnic and just before you go take them out and put them all together in a plastic container inside your picnic basket or bag. When it comes to time to eat them they will be defrosted and still nice and cold. They are very refreshing after long walks, games or just playing in the park and you get some of your 5 a day! They loved my idea and I won this beautiful picnic basket. It's perfect for us as we do go on quite a few picnics in the summer and usually just take everything in a backpack. I love that we will now be eating our picnic off real plates with actual cutlery! I won this on Facebook from It's Fresh Ltd .
This one was thanks to my friend Rebecca who tagged me in the competition from Ella's Kitchen on twitter. D loves The Green One smoothies for while we are out and about. They are the perfect drink for him and his favourite fruit is bananas so he enjoys these ones more than the others.
Every Wednesday Next do a competition on twitter for their
#ShoeOfTheWeek where they give away a pair of shoes every week. I honestly can't tell you how long I have been entering this one. I never thought I would win and was actually running late on entering as we had been out at funky monkeys earlier in the day. I enter a minute to spare and I sat in shock 2 minutes later when Next followed me back. I just sat there saying to myself "You haven't won they are just following you back, breathe!" Turns out I had won! They messaged me an agonising 3 minutes later and I did a little squeal with delight! They arrive on Good Friday and I love them!
If your read the blog you will know I have been making D some felt food recently so when I got a notification to say I had won an Easter felt bundle I was delighted! I can add the shapes onto some of the cakes I am making for D and use the other bit for many other felt activities! I am still waiting on this one to turn up. I won this over on twitter from Craft Felt
At the end of March I won another book which is of one of D's favourite programmes Puffin Rock. This one will go away with the other books for D and I know he will love it! I won this from Milton Sterilising on twitter.
Finally I had another Toppsta win, this time from their website. We have been reading this together the last few days and I must say I am impressed by this one. D loves beauty and the Beast but i have a few concerns about some of the messages the original story gives to children and in this book I feel that my concerns have been rectified and it is much more toddler friendly in the messages it gives out. I can't get a picture of this one as D is guarding it with his life!
There you have it. This month I won a total of 13 prizes which was not only my best month ever but I won over half the amount of prizes I won in 2015! All in one month. I am now only 3 prizes away from beating last years total and we are only 3 months into 2016. I am hoping to either match or even possibly top my total next month!
Tuesday, 5 April 2016
Towards the end of last year I joined in with the me and mine project, sadly I didn't keep up with the monthly pictures. However I am on a mission to get more family pictures and with it being spring there couldn't be a better time to start.
We have spent a lot of time out and about this month what with Easter, St Patrick's Day and the general upturn in the weather. I hate being stuck indoors for too long and find that we are all in better spirits when we are out in the fresh air (well as fresh as it gets in a city). We have been making lots of memories so far this spring. I am looking forward to making many more this year too.
I had planned to get a few pictures of the three of us together over March but in the end we only got two or three and only one turned out pretty well with us all looking at the camera. A miracle right?
I love this picture, we where all enjoying the St Patrick's Day celebrations and I wanted to capture
Sunday, 3 April 2016
With Easter just over we have been busy this week but I love the photo's we got on Easter Monday and there are a particular two which I love. I have had a hard time the last few days deciding which one I really wanted to use this week and honestly I couldn't. They are both completely different. I choose to show you both.
[caption id="attachment_3909" align="alignnone" width="2560"] #MySundayPhoto - Calm After The Storm[/caption]
The above photo was easier to name and not really Easter themed so I choose to put it first. I am sure by now you have noticed I love taking pictures of the sky and living in a climate where rain is more than likely at any time of year or day I tend to notice the sky and clouds any time the rain isn't hitting my face. During Easter Monday we
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We're starting another new week of homeschooling and I am starting to struggle with finding fun things to do that break up our day after...