Monday, 18 July 2016

Stumbling across lots of fictional character fun!

So as you may have already read, we headed up to London at the weekend for some Pizza Express and Ice Age fun.

But on the way to that fun we stumbled upon something epic! 

A BFG fun day in Leicester Square! 

Chester is so excited about the release of this movie, he loves the book, so you can imagine how excited he was when we stumbled across this free fun day! 

As soon as we walked in we were offered free ice creams

We then were asked if we would like to have our photo taken on The BFG's hand! Both children were super impressed by this and it is their prize possession from the day! 

We then wandered around further to find some of the Dream Jars that will be scattered around London this summer for everyone to find, and Chester and Millie even got to make their own! Chester's is filled with a dream about Monsters in his room and Millie's is filled with a dream about a baby going down a slide?! 

Chester was very impressed with the snozcumber (is that even how you spell it?!) and the fact you could climb in it! Although he did say it was a little slimed, eww! 

It really was a fantastic start to our day trip to London! 

To top off our day we also managed to spot Stay Pufft AND a ghostbuster in Waterloo Station!! It certainly was an awesome fictional character kinda day! 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Kayaking fun with the Beavers.

For a while now Chester has been part of an awesome Beaver colony. 5th Sittingbourne. He is a funny little boy so sometimes he doesn't always want to join in with the activities, and he won't even entertain the idea of camp! But over the last few months the leaders have manage to coax him out a bit more.

This weekend it was arranged for the Beavers to go Kayaking! Chester woke up and said he didn't want to go (what a surprise!) but we took him anyway and he had an amazing time! 

They all got a quick lesson on how to use the paddles (that's probably not the name, can you tell I am not down with the boating language?!) 

Then they all had almost an hour on the water! 

They even got to play some games, which were lots of fun and great for their confidence! 

I am so pleased that Chester gets the opportunity to take part in these kind of things. It's really great for his confidence and his social skills. He really had an amazing time, and I think we are super lucky to have found such an awesome Beaver Colony! Millie is on the waiting list too, she is counting down the days until she is old enough to join. I suspect she will be the exact opposite of her brother as she is really looking forward to Beaver Camp! 

Pizza Express and Ice Age Collision Course come together!

Yesterday was one of those really memorable happy family days!

We had been invited up to London to check out the collaboration between Pizza Express and the new Ice Age film, Ice Age Collision Course. (A huge thank you to Ruth and Katy for organising!) 

We found our way to Pizza Express on Dean Street, to see what all of the fuss was about! Chester and Millie instantly noticed the additional activity sheets on our table, and happily got stuck in whilst we waited for our food! 

One of the activities on the sheet was to draw your favourite Ice Age Character along with your favourite pizza, for a chance to win a family trip to Hollywood and a VIP tour of the world famous Fox Studios! How amazing is that?! 

Well Chester and Millie love the Ice Age films so happily discussed their favourite characters, Chester loves Diego, the tough as nails Saber Tooth Tiger. Millie loves Sid the happy go lucky Sloth! This kept them entertained until our food arrived. 

As a family, we really love Pizza Express. The Children's menu is amazing value for money at £6.95 for 3 courses, it always makes my two feel really grown up that they get to have a 3 course meal. Especially as their choices can mostly be found on the adult menu in some form or another. 
Both children had dough balls to start. Chester had the American pizza, Millie went for the Margherita. Then for dessert they chose the sundae with fruit sauce and strawberries. Of course they also had the famous Bambinoccino which they both love, only so that they can pretend to be drinking coffee like the grown ups! 

Of course, I didn't miss out. I was treated to my favourite starter Brushetta con Funghi and then the amazing new summer main of Hawaiian Pizza Express, which was a perfect balance of salt and sweet flavours. With an amazing pineapple chutney and salty prosciutto, on a white bechamel base! I am not always a fan of tomato bases so this is now my new favourite pizza, I hope it stays on the menu for longer than the summer! 

With very full bellies we walked round to Twentieth Century Fox where we were greeted by Sid and Scrat. The children couldn't believe their eyes! 

We were then very privaliged to be treated to a special showing of Ice Age Collision Course complete with drinks and popcorn! 

We all absolutely loved the film. It was very funny and had the adults laughing as loud as the children! It managed to keep my two sat in their seats and glued to the screen the whole time, with both of them declaring it was 'awesome' at the end! 

On our way out we managed to sneak another cuddle with Sid and Scrat, which really topped the day off nicely! 

A big thank you to Pizza Express, Twentieth Century Fox, and Ruth & Katie for organising our fantastic day! If you are stuck for plans in the summer holidays, I would totally recommend Pizza Express and a visit to the cinema to see Ice Age! Both my two came home very happy! 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Chester's Football poem

From an outsider looking in Chester seems like a really confident child. He happily plays with other children, and will voice his opinion in most situations.

However, put him in a class full of 30 children and ask him to read something out loud, and he becomes a totally different child. 

Over this last School year his confidence in the classroom, where is learning is concerned, has come on. It's been a very slow process, but he is getting there. 

On Friday, he came home with a letter from School about this years Spoken English competition. I asked him if he would like to take part, as I do every year. To my surprise, this time he said yes! 

I didn't want to make a big deal out if it, so gently asked him what he would like to read. Well, it was a day of surprises as he said he wanted to make up his own poem! So over the weekend we sat and experimented with different words and ideas, and eventually he settled on the poem below, which he has called 'Football'!

Today at School as part of the 'audition' process he had to read this out to his class! I presume the results will come out over the next couple of days, only 4 get to go through to the final and from what I hear lots of Children in his class were very good! But whatever the outcome, Chester came home so happy today because he had managed to read this out loud! That to me is a big fat win for his confidence! 

I am so proud of him and I really hopes this experience encourages him to be more confident with his public speaking! 

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Something for me!

I am very good at putting everyone else before myself. I am not complaining about that, it's what I have always done, and it makes me happy when my kids are happy. But for quite some time now I have been meaning to find some time for myself. Just me, myself, and I.

3 weeks ago I started going swimming. Initially I tried to go at 6:30am, but quickly realised that as I am not a morning person at the best of times, it would be more realistic for me to go in the evening! 

I quickly got into the swing of it, and on my first session I swam 22 lengths. Then I got a little cocky and swam 40 lengths on my second visit. But the next day I ached all over so realised that was just too much to start with!

This last week I managed to swim 3 times and each time I did 30 lengths, so in total across the week I swam just over a mile! A pretty good achievement for me, seeing as I am very unfit! The best thing is that I am really enjoying myself. I am WANTING to go and I am looking forward to my swim days! 

It has made me realise that it is OK to be selfish sometimes, for my own wellbeing I need that time for myself. To do something I enjoy, whilst improving my fitness. I have even enjoyed some relaxing time in the Sauna and Steam rooms! 

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Introducing Ham, the Hamster!

This time last week we popped into Pets at Home to have a look at the fish. We already have fish, so the children like to pop in every now and then and have a look at what's new in the world of fish!

As we were browsing round at all of the other animals, we came across an adoption area. Chester read the descriptions of the animals out loud so Millie understood. But there was one animal that stood out for Chester and Millie, and that was Ham, the Sirian Hamster. His card said that no one wanted him and that's why he was up for adoption. The children were quite upset by this, and they were both fascinated by Ham. 

We carried on browsing around the shop, all the time I was wondering if we should adopt Ham. I had a Hamster when I was younger, he was called Harold! I remembered how much I loved him, and loved caring for him. So when the children went back over to Ham and asked if we could adopt him, I called a shop assistant over to help us. The lady was actually super good with the children, she spoke to them rather than me, asking them questions and making them aware of what a big responsibility having a Hamster is. 

So it was decided. We were adopting Ham! 

We chose a nice home for him, made sure we had all of the supplies we needed and off we went! 

Chester and Millie were very excited to see Ham enjoying his new family home. 

On the shop assistants advice they have been talking to him, making sure his water is topped up every day and that he has enough food. Over the week Ham has become more and more adventurous, it seems though, that so far the only person he will go too is Craig! The children are not overly happy about this, but understand that Ham needs time to get used to us all! 

His favourite thing to do is go in his Hamster Ball! The ground floor level of our house is all wooden or vinolay flooring so he has great fun whizzing between the rooms! Chester and Millie love following him around and helping him if he gets 'stuck' in a corner! 

We popped back into Pets at Home the other day as the children wanted to buy Ham a 'toy' and when they excitedly told the sales assistant it was for Ham, he excitedly replied with 'oh Ham, I remember him, I put him in the adoption area'! Which then lead to a 10 minute conversation about how old he was, and how he was getting on in his new home! The children were thrilled! 

I think Ham is a great addition to our family and I am so glad that the children are loving their responsibility as chief carers for him! 

Do you have any pets?! 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Chester's Rollercoaster ride of emotions watching the football!

I'm sure I don't need to tell you how much of a massive football fan Chester is. So when he found out The Euros would be on this summer he was beyond excited! We try and encourage him to be interested in sport, be it playing it or watching it, we are happy for him to get involved.

Of course as a family from England we are supporting our team, but for Chester he is really struggling as to where his loyalties lye. As an Englishman he wants to support his country, but as a Crystal Palace fan (and a Goalkeeper himself) he feels he should be supporting Wales, who have 3 Palace players on their squad! We have tried to explain to him that international football is different to the premier league football he is used too, but he just wants to support the Palace boys! 

For the first England match I thought it would be a great idea to make a big deal out of it to show Chester how to coming together as a family we can support our country. So I done a BBQ for before the match and then, because I know just how much Chester loves Lindt chocolate, I pulled out a surprise box of Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection for us all to share whilst enjoying the match! 

They were of course a huge hit, and certainly got everyone excited before the match!

The next England match was a really tough one for Chester. It was England v Wales, he was at School and sadly they were not permitted to watch it. But I was at work and we were permitted to take the time out to watch it. One of my work colleagues offered his front room for some of us to watch it so as a thank you, and knowing how well they went down here, I gave him a box of the Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection too! 

Now, I have to admit that even I found the match very hard to watch! You spend all season hoping your goalkeeper saves the goals and then your country have a match against him and you have to hope he doesn't save the goal! Very mixed emotions! I recorded the match for Chester and he watched it as soon as I picked him up from after school club. Chester couldn't get on with supporting his country so did what he does best and supported the Palace boys! 

Do your children struggle to know who to support when it comes to international football?!