Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Giggle baby!


Don't you just love it when a baby is full of smiles and laughs?! Yesterday Millie was a real giggle baby all day and it was so cute! I took her to Musical Caterpillars at the local Sure Start childrens centre in the morning and she was happy and smiley for the rest of the day!



Monday, 30 July 2012

Teething Bling review



As some of you may know, Millie's two bottom front teeth came through a few weeks ago (both at the same time, poor child) and ever since she has been chewing/biting/dribbling over anything and everything!

Friday, 27 July 2012

Keeping the kiddies room tidy!

When I was a teenager I will admit that my room was messy, but I had the smallest room in the house so it was always going to be cluttered because I had no where to put anything!Chester and Millie have to share a room because we live in a 2 bed house. I am sure that when the kiddies are at school and I am back at work  we will either move or extend, for now we are happy where we are. The bedroom sizes are good, they are both doubles. In fact I am sure that the kiddies room is slightly bigger than ours! However there room has become a little cluttered lately and it was starting to get on my nerves!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Let the summer holidays begin!

I always knew that the summer holidays were going to be a bit of a challenge for me. Chester LOVES the time he spends at nursery school so it was always going to be hard to try and occupy him as much as they do!

Plus this year Millie is here too so I am still learning on how best to divide my attention. This is actually something that I struggle with a lot due to the way me and my younger sister were brought up, dont get me wrong we had a great childhood with some fantastic memories but we were treated very very differently and still are to a certain extent. So I am very aware of how the oldest can often be overlooked or blamed for things that were not necessarily there fault. I am really trying my hardest to make sure I divide my attention equally so that neither feels like they are being left out etc. This is proving to be difficult because Chester see's that I have to give Millie milk/nappy change/food and thinks that he is missing out, even if he has had my attention prior to those times of the day.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Making the most of the big yellow ball in the sky!

I am the first to admit that I am not a fan of heat, honestly I am a nightmare in the sun, I only have to look at it and I am burnt even with a factor 50 sun cream on!I much prefer it when it is just mild. Autumn is my favourite season. But even I have to admit that it was nice to see the sun this weekend, even better for me was that I managed to find some shade so it was perfect temperature! But this weekend I decided that as we have had nothing but rain for as long as I can remember we were going to spend most of it outside!
It just so happened that it was my sisters birthday last week and we had all arranged to go to my parents on Saturday for some lunch and then I was going to cook dinner. As the weather was so nice we decided to have a picnic style lunch. It was a perfect family day, Chester loves the outdoors so he was busy running around and creating mischief. He was very happy that in the morning he helped his Grangrad (that is not a typo, that is what he calls his Grandad!) mow the lawn and whilst doing it they spotted a butterfly, a grass hopper and even a frog! Then in the afternoon with help from my sisters boyfriend he set up a game and called it jumping on the trampoline whilst trying to get the ball into the bucket!!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Llama snacks!

I think nowadays peoples views on crisps and snacks are a lot different from when I was a kid. Crisps were in our lunch boxes every day and our mothers were not frowned upon for giving them too us. It is the opposite now and even I have to admit that I try not to put crisps in Chester's lunch box/give as a snack every day. But this does make it difficult to find something to give him instead. I am lucky that he is a fruit lover so he will always have fruit of some sort but I really struggle with ideas for the rest.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Why are some toys so hard to put together?!

Chester has a Chugginton train set, which we rarely get out because it is so fiddly to put together. The posts that hold the ramps and high track up do not seem to click to the track so one wrong move and the whole thing that has just taken half the morning to put together collapses!

It is for ages 3 and up so you would think it would be a lot less fiddly and delicate wouldn't you?!

Chester has been asking me for ages to get it out so this morning I reluctantly said yes. 30 minutes later I was regretting my decision! It took me the best part of an hour to put together and by that point Chester was getting bored of waiting!

So when we finally got to play it he was happy for about 15 minutes before he got bored and wanted to play something else! I could of cried!

The concept is a fab idea, all the bits are interactive with the trains so they can all communicate, the execution is not so good with a fragile and flimsy track. Its not like its a cheap set I think it cost us around £60 so really I am not being harsh. I don't know about you but I am finding this more and more with children's toys at the moment? Its not like I am giving him toys above his age, all the toys he has are 3 years + and still I am finding some of them breaking at the slightest mention of imaginative play!

Does anyone else have the same problem? What toys go down well in your house? Comments below!

After it took me ages to set up Chester could finally play








Meet Roary The Racing Car at Silverstone!




Last week I was asked if I would like to go to the Siverstone classic event. Sadly it is just too far away for us to go, which I am really sad face about because Chester is a massive Roary the Racing Car fan so he would of loved it!

But if anyone is interested in going here is a peak at some of the things that will go on across the weekend!

GET INTO THE FAST LANE WITH CHANNEL FIVE'S ROARY THE RACING CAR AND A HOST OF CELEBRITIES AT SILVERSTONE CLASSIC.


POWERED BY THE AA



Roary the Racing Car and his mechanic, Big Chris, will be providing fun for all of the family at the Silvestone Classic from 20-22nd July in celebration of AA World - Britain’s most complete interactive driving experience featuring a huge range of activities for all ages, including a live Roary the Racing Car stage show on the Sunday.



From 10am - 5pm, young visitors will be given the chance to meet Roary and Big Chris in the big top, and cut their racing-driver teeth on an exciting Roary push car inflatable racing track.

In addition, children over 12 years or 1.5m in height can experience free taster driving lessons, hot laps on the Stowe Circuit, an F1 driving simulator, a giant Scalextric racetrack, a Big top and funfair withdodgems and live racing action on the big screen.



Celebrities including Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart, Brendan Cole (Strictly Come Dancing), soccer legend, Steve Bull, TV presenter Andrew Castle, and a whole lot more will join in a special Celebrity Challenge motor race being staged as part of the huge entertainment package available over the weekend.


Don’t forget to tune in and see Roary the Racing Car every morning at 8.30am on Five’s Milkshake! For more information on Roary the Racing Car, please log onto www.roarytheracingcar.com or become a fan on Facebook.

Full details of the 2012 Silverstone Classic powered by the AA are available via the event’s official www.silverstoneclassic.com website.

Louise Goodmans interview with Big Chris

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

If its not Skylanders its Ben 10 in this house!

Its funny that kids get really obsessed with something, it doesn't matter how many times they have watched/played/created what ever it is they are obsessed with, they never get bored!

I was just like this as a child, I had obsessions with Chicken Lickin, Moondial (who remembers that film?!), TY beanies and Sega megadrive Sonic the hedgehog, before the save button existed! Not all at the same time I might add!

Chester at the moment has two MAJOR obsessions (and I thought one was bad enough!)

The first one is Skylanders, for those of you that do not know, Skylanders is a computer console game where you use a portal to transport figures on to your screen to play the game! It all started last Christmas when I was lucky enough to win a starter pack. I had never heard of Skylanders before, but researched it and me and Craig agreed that Chester could play it as it seemed like a simple game. It is fun, we all enjoyed it ..... but there is only so much you can take! Chester typically took it too far and wanted more of the characters, which I have mixed reactions about. They are roughly £8.99 a character and there are over 30 to collect! So it can prove to be an expensive hobby! I do think that they good for birthday/Christmas presents and for special treats though.

Then when we got an Xbox it was like the world had ended because he had nothing to play his skylanders on! So we sold the Wii Skylanders starter pack to my sister and brought the Xbox starter pack! Soon after we acquired a spare controller so now it was even more awesome to Chester because he could play battle mode! To me this was just a disaster because it meant I had to play it too!

Chester making my friend play battle mode!

We of course limit his time on the computer because I do not want him to be one of those kids that just sits indoors playing computer games all day. So when he is not playing Skylanders on the Xbox he is playing Skylanders with the figures and using his imagination! Its quite sweet really!
Having a chat with all of the Skylanders!

So this used to take up all of our playing time, but now we share the playing time between Skylanders and his newest obsession.... Ben 10!
I think a couple of his Nursery School friends had been talking about it so he asked if he could watch it. He has been hooked ever since! So now we spend a lot of our day slamming our (own) wrists and saying "Going hero"! Then we have to pretend to change into an alien! Over the last couple of weeks I have acquired some figures and he has an omnitrix thing that he got for Christmas (before he even knew who Ben 10 was!) so he loves to play with all of that.

This morning we went round to one of his little friends houses for a play date. He insisted he took his alien figures, his friend had some too so rather than staying at home and playing Ben 10 we were round someone else's.... playing Ben 10!!

The other day I asked Chester what he would like for his birthday and his answer was more Skylander stuff and anything Ben 10!!

I dont mind these obsessions, in fact I think its quite sweet BUT only in small doses! Its starting to drive me slightly mad! I suppose I should not complain as I know it is good for his imagination, he really does come up with some great adventures for them all!

Does anyone else's child have an obsession?!

Organix toddler snacks

I like to think that Chester is a non fussy eater, and that I have brought him up in a healthy way. Dont get me wrong I am not saying I am a very strict health concious mother, Chester has his sweet treat days and occasional naughty food days. But for the most of his diet I would say it is healthy. As a mother I am always worried about what is in the food he eats, especially as he has Eczema as certain E numbers flare up the Eczema. So when Organix asked if I would like an organic selection pack of the 1-3 range I was more than happy to accept it!




When the box arrived it was packed with little goodies, Chester was very excited when he saw it all. It was packaged in very bright colours mostly yellows and oranges, very appealing to children.

One thing I did notice was that apart from on the mighty meal, it was not obvious from the front of the packaging that the food was for 12 months+. It did state in red on the back it was for 12 months+ but my personal opinion is that when you are in a supermarket you do not want to be standing for ages reading backs of packs so it would be nice if that information was on the front. You can get similar to the Cheese and herb puffs that are suitable for 7months+ so it can easily get confusing especially as they are put on a shelve in the baby food isle!

I noticed that the goodies all had a no junk promise on them, fantastic as a parent to know that i've got one less think to worry about! I read the ingredients on the back of all the packs and was pleased to see that there was indeed no junk! All natural ingredients!

When I saw all of the goodies my first thought was that Chester's favourite would be the raspberry and apple soft oaty bar. But I was very wrong! He was not really fussed by that. His favourite was the sweetcorn and red pepper oat bar! I thought that the oat bar was a really good idea, a fun way of getting children to eat veg. A nice size, easy to fit in his Nursery School lunch box and bright packaging to keep him interested.

Chester enjoying the Cheese crackers that he apparently didn't like, funny boy!

After spending the week tasting all the snacks, Chester conclusion is that he certainly would like to have the veg and oat bars, cheese and herb puffs \and mini gingerbread men in his packed lunch box. He was not overly fussed on the sweet oat bar, he disliked the mini cheese crackers because they were too cheesy! I have to say I tasted them and thought they were lovely! Not to overpowering at all! Point blank refused to test out the raisins and chopped apricots (because they contained raisins, so clearly my non fussy boy does fuss about some things!) and loved the beef stew and dumplings mini meal!
I have to say I really liked the idea of the mini meals, the dumplings were perfect size for him and it was a substantial meal that certainly filled him up. You only have to look at the ingredients list to see that they have been well thought out and only contain nutritious content. I personally would only use them occasionally as I like us all to eat the same at meal times, but I can see how to some families the mini meals would work really well into their routines.

Overall I am really impressed with the Organix range, Millie has just started trying the Organic carrot fingers from the 7month+ range and loves them. So its nice to know that I can buy Organix snacks for both of my children.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

ColourMeInRK project

Ok hands up... who has seen the new Kellogg's Rice Krispies boxes in the supermarkets?! They are awesome, the front is like a page from a colouring book so that you can put your own mark on your cereal box!

I was very pleased to hear that BritMums were running a competition sponsored by Kellogg's to decorate one of the cereal boxes. Prizes are £500 cash, a years supply of Rice Krispies or one of 10 T-shirts which will have a picture of your creation on!

I was even more pleased when I got an email from BritMums last week to say that I had been selected (along with some other lovely bloggers) to receive a large box of Rice Krispies AND a bumper colouring case filled with 58 different pens, pencils, glitter glues and markers!



So here is our entry for the BritMums #ColourMeInRK competition, sponsored by Kellogg's.....

Chester was super excited when I showed him what we would be doing on this (what now seems to be normal) rainy sunny day.

I have to say I was a little bit worried, as Chester's attention span normally lasts about 10mins at the most. I showed him all the different pens and glitters, he has a slight obsession with glitter so he headed straight for that.


I was very excited about the colour changing pens and the colour changing pens with stampers on the end! So I showed Chester on a separate piece of paper how to use them, it seems he is a fan of them too!


I was quite impressed that he lasted about half an hour before his attention span started to wander off and he was asking to watch yet another episode of Ben 10! So after one episode of Ben 10 and a T-shirt change later (Chester is the type of child who would rather not wear a T-shirt at all so I have to constantly bribe him to keep them on) he was back to decorating the Rice Krispie box!


Using the colour changing pen/stamper!

You may of noticed in the picture that Chester uses both his left and right hand to write/draw/colour. He has always done this.... he does like to be different!

The finished masterpiece! Not bad for a 3 year old!
On the back of the box it gave the Rice Krispie Website so we took a look and I was very pleased we did. On it was a colour together page, where you can fill a blank picture with colour and once you are finished you can click on a button and it brings your picture to life! Chester loved this and we did it as least 10 times!

Overall I think we had a very successful morning, Chester had a great time and so did I . If I am honest I really want to have a go myself (such a big kid!) so I am tempted to go to the supermarket and buy a couple of boxes of Rice Krispies for me and hubbie to have a colour off! Comment below if you think this is a good idea and if I get enough interest we will do it! I will post up our creations, but not tell you whose is whose and we can have a vote to decide who's is the best!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Bringing home eggs from the Nursery School Chickens

Chester's Nursery School got some chicks last year. The idea was that they all care for the chicks, bring them up into chickens and then they would lay eggs for them to take home and cook with.

I thought this was a great idea because it is teaching the children what animals are used for. Still to this day Chester thinks I am joking when I say his sausages come from a pig!

After weeks of Chester asking and me forgetting, I finally remembered to ask the staff if it was Chester's turn to take some eggs home yet! Thankfully they said yes, so he came home with 6 eggs and a folder called 'the eggs files'. Very funny.

The idea of 'the eggs files' was to document what he decided to make. I flicked through it and wanted to make sure we didnt make the usual cakes or boiled eggs. So when I asked Chester what he wanted to make I was delighted when he said pancakes!

He was taking it all very seriously and wanted to do it all by himself, I let him do this (apart from the cooking!) as I felt if was good for him to get some confidence in the kitchen.

So he weighed out some flour, cracked the egg into the bowl, gave it a stir, added some milk and then stirred some more!


I then cooked the pancakes, by the fourth one I managed to pluck up the courage to flip the pancake! Chester was totally unimpressed as it didn't go as high as Daddy Pig's in Peppa Pig! The cheek of it!

Next was by far Chester's favourite part, he got to put on his own topping and then eat!


Yes in true Chester style he poured a quarter of a bottle of lemon juice onto ONE pancake!


But apparently it was very yummy!


Then as we had some eggs left I decided that he should make baked eggs in ham, again I let him do it all by himself. While we were making them he told me all about how the eggs come from the chickens bottoms, he had seen one come out and it was very funny! Well I suppose to a 3 year old this is quite funny! 


Chester is so cheeky that apparently he needed to check the ham was ok, so he ate some!


We put them in the oven for 20mins and served them with chicken waldorf salad (Marco Pierre White showed us a turkey version, I just adapted it.... but thats a story for another day!)


Chester was so proud that he had made the eggs in ham and couldn't wait for Daddy to come home so he could show him! I have written up his report for 'the eggs files' all ready for Nursery School next week.

Featured on Rainy day mum tuesday tots! 







Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Wingham Wildlife Park



We are lucky enough to have 4 Sure Start childrens centres within a 15min drive of our house, so being a Mummy that can not sit still we make use of them a lot. Ever since Chester was a small baby we have been using the centres, they take up a big part of our week and have been a fantastic way to meet other people and learn new things. Aside from the activities they plan for the children (under 5's) they also do lots for the adults. Last week I completed a first aid course which was done over 4 weeks at one of the childrens centres, there was a crèche provided for all the children as well.

So when I heard one of the childrens centres was doing a trip to a local (ish) wildlife park, I jumped at the chance to take Chester.

The cost was £5 for me and free for Chester, this included the coach and entry into Wingham Wildlife Park, which is near Canterbury. Fantastic value, heavily discounted and a great opportunity to do something that quite honestly would normally be a struggle to afford.

Chester was very excited that we were going on a coach so was up early and ready to go! We met at the childrens centre at 9.15, everyone got on the coach and away we went! It was a 45min journey, just about tolerable for Chester! A couple of children that attend Chester's Nursery School were on the trip too so they were all chatting away to each other and looking out for lorries on the motorway!



We have been to Wingham Wildlife Park before when Chester was almost 2 but since the last time they have added some Tigers, Lions and penguins so I was looking forward to seeing them.

In true Chester style we went around the wildlife park at 90mph! Although we did seem to spend more time at the animal enclosures that we could walk through.

The first walk through enclosure we came too had llamas, walabys, deer, goats and a donkey that Chester took a liking too and try to cuddle him! Luckily it was a very friendly donkey and actually followed us up and down!




We then saw the Tigers, they were a little annoyed as they were watching the main enclosures lawn being cut! They were quite playful and were very cute to watch.




Chester then wanted to go see the penguins, I loved this enclosure as you could get up quite close and the walls were small enough for Chester to see what was going on. There was also a underwater viewing window below, although none of the penguins were brave enough to go in the water!



Unfortunately next Chester spotted some ride ons so was distracted by them! He went on a tractor, and loved the fact he could ride it himself! It was quite cute even if I did have to keep reminding him to put his foot on the pedal!



There is a big play area as well, which was good for Chester. He even got to go on an old milk cart!

We then sat down to have lunch, but Chester was not at all happy as a very confident peacock kept hanging around trying to get food off of us. He was getting very close, Chester tried his biggest RAHHHHHHHH but that didn't seem to phase it!



So off we went again, just in time for the lemur enclosure to open, Chester was fascinated by the lemurs, they were just finishing lunch and others came up to see us. I think it took a lot of will power for Chester not to reach out and pull a tail! I could see the cheeky look in his eyes!



We saw lots more animals, way to many to list. We actually went round the park twice because Chester wanted too! My favourite thing was the Butterfly greenhouse. It was amazing you could see the different caterpillars and loads of different butterflies flying around and hidden in the greenery. Very pretty.



We just about had time for a look in the shop, where Chester brought a large red and orange snake soft toy and then it was time to get back on the coach.

We had a fantastic day and is definitely on our list of days out for next year. Next time I will take Craig and Millie too!

Its days like this that make me realise just how much I use and rely on the Sure Start childrens centres, I know there are many more families like me that make use of them. But also so many that are not really aware of them or have access to them.







Sunday, 8 July 2012

Millie is growing up too quickly

Millie is 6 Months old now, and I cant help but feel sad that it has gone so quickly. Knowing that she will be my last baby (sadly Craig says no more babies for us) I just want to hold on to the baby days as much as I can!

I have certainly noticed a difference this time round and have appreciated every new achievement rather than willing the next one on, which is what I did with Chester and regret it.

Over the last month Millie has gone from a baby that just lyes on the floor/in her bouncy chair to a bigger baby that can roll over, make lots of sounds and reach out and grab things. Oh and she has started weaning. Then to make matters worse this week she has cut her first (and almost her second) tooth, plus last night she sat up all by herself.



Don't get me wrong I am happy and proud that she has achieved these milestones, but at the same time I am very sad that she is growing up from my tiny newborn that I could cuddle all day!

I love all of her new characteristics and interactions she has with us, especially her big brother who she clearly adores already. He is the one she gives first smiles of the morning too and he is the one she giggles uncontrollably at! It is just so cute!

At the same time I am noticing how much Chester has grown up in the last 6 months, it is all going to quickly for my liking! I mean the other day I sat with him and an Oxford reading tree (Biff, Chip and Kipper) book, read it too him, and then he read it to me! Where did my baby boy go?! He will be 4 in September and I just can not believe how quickly that time has gone. Thank goodness I take loads of photos so I can look back at the stages!

Sometimes I wish life had a pause button, so we could enjoy these stages for longer.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Hipp Organic savoury pouches review

Hipp Organic have recently launched a brand new range of savoury pouches with varieties specifically developed for babies from both four months and seven months. They have cleverly incorporated organic rapeseed oil, rich in Omega 3 into the new pouches, along with their finest organic vegetables and meats. Providing an easy and convenient source of nutrients essential for growth and development.



Millie has been having baby breakfast cereals for about 6 weeks now, the next step was to try to introduce some dinners into her routine. So you can imagine my delight when I got asked if we would like to try the pouches out!

Millie is only just 6 months so we tried the 2 flavours in the range available for 4 months+ . I decided to try the Carrots,cauliflower and peas on the first evening. Reading the back of the pouch before feeding it to her I can see that it is Gluten free, has no added salt or milk products, has omega 3 from the rapeseed oil (this is also displayed on the front of the pouch), contains no GM or preservatives and contains 2 portions of veg.

I was also pleased to read that it can be served straight from the pouch, so very handy if I am out and about (that is very common in this house as I just can not sit still!) It also can be resealed and stored in the fridge for up to 24hours. Perfect! Especially as Millie is only just getting used to dinners and I hate waste!

So I prepare her bowl and spoon, sit her in highchair where she is already getting excited (such a chunky monkey!)



The pouch was easy enough to open, I decided to put about a third of the contents into the bowl and see what she thought!



To my delight she loved it, I even had to give her seconds! I was then able to screw the cap back on and place in the fridge, she then had it for dinner the following evening and it went down just as well! The only thing I did differently that time was take the pouch out of the fridge about 20mins before using so that it has chance to get up to room temperature.



The next day we went to Legoland so this was a fab chance to test out how portable the Hipp Organic pouches were! I packed a potatoes, carrots and beef pouch into Millie's changing bag along with her feeding spoon. When it came to 5pm (typically just as the park was shutting so it was mega busy and raining!) I fed Millie straight from the pouch, again she loved it. Gobbling it up like the greedy monkey that she is! I probably used about half a pouch and it was surprisingly easy to push just the right amount onto the spoon. I then screwed the cap back on (wiped Millie's spoon so it didn't get her change bag messy!) and popped back into her change bag, making sure as soon as I got home that I put into the fridge. Needless to say the next day she polished off the remaining contents of the pouch!

Both Millie and I are happy with the Hipp Organic pouches, Millie because they obviously taste yummy and me because the are healthy, give her extra nutrients and come in a handy portable pouch!

We were also sent the 7 month+  pouches to try, they come in Scrummy spaghetti bolognese and Creamy tomato and leek pasta. Both of those have small lumps to encourage chewing and both have the organic rapeseed oil for extra Omega 3. So as soon as Millie is old enough and has established weaning enough I will try her on those too, so watch this space to hear all about our experience with them!

If you would like to find out any more about the new pouches hop over to hipp.co.uk


Ok, so I said I would let you know how Millie got on with the 7 month+ pouches, and a couple of weeks ago the time was right to test them out! Millie has taken to the purée food very well, so I decided the next stage was to try her on purée with small lumps, The Hipp Organic 7 month+ pouches were perfect as they state on the front of the packaging that they have small lumps to encourage chewing! The first one we tried her on was the creamy tomato and leek pasta, on the back of the pouch it states that it is a source of Omega 3, suitable for vegetarians, contains no GM or preservatives and contains 1 portion of veg. It also says that it is mixed vegetables and pasta cooked in a cheese sauce. I had not tried Millie on any cheese so was excited to see what she thought! I am pleased to say she loved it and took to it very well.

In between giving her that pouch and the Scrummy spaghetti bolognese we introduced toast to her breakfast routine. She was a bit slow on the uptake with toast and didnt really get it! So it was nice to think that she could top up what she needed from the Hipp Organic pouches at meal times later in the day. When we did try her on the spag bol (which contains 2 portions of veg) we were at my parents house for a family lunch, it was great that I could just pop it out of her change bag and give it to her straight away. Needless to say she loved that pouch too! After being on purée with lumps for a couple of weeks she is getting more and more confident with toast and finger foods so I would agree with the statement on the front of the Hipp Organic pouches that it does indeed encourage chewing! Millie is certainly a fan of the new Hipp Organic pouches and so am I.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

I found out that baking can be stressful!

Yesterday I fancied making some cakes so looked in the cupboard and decided I had enough ingredients to make some Cherry Bakewell muffins, Chester loves these so ideal to make with him.I really love baking it normally chills me out so was really looking forward to it.
 I very soon regretted this decision! Chester has been going through a reverted stage of the terrible two's over the last couple of weeks even though he is nearly 4! I am not sure if its to do with jealousy of Millie or if it is just a phase he is going through. So I have been making sure that I have been paying him even more attention (if thats possible!) just in case it is jealousy. Part of his terrible two's behaviour is to not listen to a word I say!

So I asked him to get a bowl out of the cupboard and stand on his chair at the worktop whilst I gathered all of the ingredients. By the time I had turned round he had covered the whole kitchen side in every single cake decoration I own! ARGHHHHHH! I decided at this point to try my best just to go with the flow and not get stressed at the mess that was being made. Next we weighed out the ingredients in to two separate bowls, one with wet ingredients and one with dry. This was going quite well until I went to the microwave to get the melted butter.... I came back to find Chester had started spooning the dry ingredients into the wet!! Oh well, hopefully they would taste ok!! We then poured the wet ingredients into the dry bowl and mixed.


Chester's next task was to put 12 cupcake cases into the bun tray, whilst I filled the dishwasher with the dirty bowls etc. I turned back round to find loads of cupcake cases on the floor... none in the bun tray.



 So after I had gathered them up and placed in the bun tray it was time to spoon the mixture in, I gave Chester one spoon and I had another. This was a disaster from the start, some cases had loads and others had hardly any. I then put a teaspoon of cherry jam in each case then topped with the little remaining mix!




Into the oven they went for 25mins...... the oven beeped, I went to check on them and to my surprise they were very underdone?! I have made these loads of times and it had never happened before. I then discover that Chester had turned the oven right down just after I put them in ARGHHHHHHHHHHH! So I turned the oven back up and put on for another 15 mins. Finally they were done!

We left them to cool, patience is not Chester's strong point so after hearing 'are they ready yet' for the 50th time I gave in and we went to ice the muffins. Whilst I was mixing some icing Chester was choosing his decorations. He chose some Super Mario rice paper rounds, some chocolate sprinkles and some chocolate curls. Fab choice I thought.

So I gave him 6 muffins to decorate and I had the other six to ice and put cherries on top! I looked over in horror to see that Chester had poured about half the sprinkles all onto one muffin!!! By this point I realised it was better to laugh than cry, so me and Chester had a little giggle and he carried on wasting all of my cake decorations!



Can you guess who's muffins are who's?!



So all in all what I learnt yesterday was baking can sometimes be stressful, but if you embrace it you can have fun rather than getting stressed out!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

One typical British wet day in Legoland!

We have annual passes for Legoland, but because the weather has not been very good so far this year, we have not had chance to make use of them. So last week I arranged with my sister that we would go on Monday. She has annual passes too (although hers are merlin) but they are running out very soon.

So yesterday morning we got up early, dropped hubbie to work and collected my Sister and her boyfriend. As usual there was traffic so we were a little late getting to Legoland, and as the weather was bad I was surprised at how busy it was. Listening to people that were queuing I quickly realised that it was busy because a lot of people were making use of the sun deals vouchers. Chester was very excited because he has grown a few cm's since last year so can now go on most of the rides. We asked him what he wanted to go on first and he said the cars, so off we went on the hill train. On the way round to the driving school we passed the fire academy so Chester, my sister and her boyfriend went on that while I fed Millie.



Then we walked round to the 3-5year olds driving school and was surprised to find only a short que, Chester chose to go on a blue car and to be honest he was not taking his driving very seriously.... he kept crashing! He was super excited to get a driving licence at the end of it (how he managed that I will never know) but then proceeded to have some sort of tantrum over the fact I would not buy him a driving licence with his photo on it! I had brought him one last year and yes he brought it with him this time to remind them he could drive, but I certainly was not going to fork out another £8!



Then we went over to the Boating school, where yet again Chester was not taking the steering seriously so we were overtaken by about 10 boats! It must of been the longest ride ever!

Next we headed to The Dragon, Chester was super excited about this one as his best friend from Nursery School went on it a few weeks ago. He was not disappointed and loved how fast it went and the drop! Which did surprise me a bit.


My Sister and her boyfriend took Chester onto Dragons Apprentice whilst I changed Millie.
By now it was really way past lunch time but Chester wanted to keep going on the rides so we went on Pirate falls, we both loved this one. As we had never been on it before it was great to see all the lego themes, and Chester certainly was not expecting the drop with it being his first log drop! We got soaked! Shame I didnt/couldnt get a picture of this as his face was so funny. I just find the costs of these ride photos too much!

We then finally managed to persuade Chester to sit down and eat something, we had brought a packed lunch, Chester loves a picnic but sadly it was too wet to sit outside so we took cover in a bbq counter service restaurant. The hot drinks were lovely and well deserved!

Chester's next request was to go on the 'pew pew' ride (any adult that has had to suffer any of the Chipmunk movies will know how to pronounce what I have just written) so we headed round to Laser Raiders. Now most parents might think I am a little cruel, but I took Millie on this ride! She had to sit next to me rather than on my lap, she was very happy watching all the details while I  'pew pew'd everything. Chester chose to sit with my Sisters boyfriend on this one!

We got off and spotted the Scarab Bouncers on the way out, so I got roped into going on them with Chester, not my fave type of ride but Chester loved it.

I was desperate for Millie to go onto another ride so me Chester and Millie went on the horses (which I think is called Dessert Chase?), to my disappointment it didnt phase Millie at all! She was indifferent to sitting on the horse and it going up and down! Oh well Chester liked it!



The horses must of tired Millie out as she was asleep pretty much as soon as I put her back in her pushchair. Which was a shame because Chester wanted to take her on Fairytale Brook.

It was getting a bit late in the day now, Chester still wanted to go on Fairytale Brook (this has been his fave ride since he first came to Legoland at the age of around 6 months!) so I arranged to meet my Sister and her boyfriend outside the new Star Wars lego walk through and me and Chester headed over to Fairytale Brook. On the way I noticed that the 3-5 driving school had NO que!! Have never seen that before so Chester got straight on! This time he was much more focused and drove quiet well, I would go as far as to say he earned his paper driving licence this time haha.

Fairytale Brook was exactly the same as the last goodness knows how many times we have been on it! But it is still a firm fave with Chester!

After seeing the Starwars walk through, with a child who hates star wars and would rather that it was a Ben 10 walk through, it was getting closer to 5pm so we had a quick look in the shop where Chester managed to buy another supposedly soft object to beat me up with!

Then came the nightmare that was called getting out of the Legoland car park! I have a massive issue with the system they use, so let the rant begin!! At Legoland it used to be free to park, so getting out was not so much of a problem. Yes there were que's that is to be expected, but they were acceptable and moved quickly. Now that you have to pay the que is horrific! It took us 40 mins just to get to the car park ticket barrier! I do not agree that people should have to pay £2 to park when they have already been charged a lot of money to get in and have probably spent a lot more money enjoying the day in the park. I am 'lucky' as I have an annual pass so do not have to pay, BUT I feel sorry for those that do and yesterday I felt sorry for all of us trying to get out! They have 2 members of staff at the barriers to check your tickets etc, so they are paying 2 people to do the job of the ticket barrier that was put in to do exactly that! What a total waste of money. The only word I can think of to describe it is GREED.

Anyway, rant over. We all had a lovely day on the rides, shame Millie was asleep for most of it but oh well she is only 6 months old! Chester was exhausted and did so well to walk around all day. In fact we were all exhausted but we made some fantastic memories so it was worth it!