31st March 2012. The Hubster and I discovered this amazing wine on our honeymoon in Venice, nearly three years ago. It's not cheap in this country unfortunately, but we like to convince ourselves that as we don't go out that much we deserve to splash out on a bottle every now and then. However, The Hubster has just handed in his notice and is setting up his own company. He probably won't get paid for a couple of months so no more of this lovely stuff for a while! I will savour every sip.
30th March 2012. The Whirlwind has always been the younger one. She adores her older cousins and we have a family that we regularly get together with who have two teenagers who are both fantastic with her. It was so lovely to see The Whirlwind looking after and leading her little friend at the Dinosaur Park today, yet strange that she was the older one doing the looking after-ing for once. I think this little lady has a new surrogate big sister!
29th March 2012. The Whirlwind as she passed me on the Easter Bonnet Parade. She went for a minimalist design, just a green feather and a solitary egg.
28th March 2012. The kids and I have had such a lovely day today. I have to admit I have been finding it hard with the two of them lately. They really get on pretty well, but The Giggle Monster is being very demanding and really draining me at the moment. I feel so guilty that I get so little quality time with my little girl. But today they played so nicely in the garden together all day making mud pies and homes for ladybirds. I let the Whirlwind stay up a little bit later thus evening and we made some cakes for her Easter parade do tomorrow. I love the light in this photo.
27th March 2012. Another glorious day today (20 degrees!) so The Whirlwind and I went out and bought a paddling pool. The Giggle Monster LOVED it. Riding on the side and bouncing up and down was particularly fun!
26th March 2012. Bubbles!
25th March 2012. For some reason The Giggle Monster wouldn't settle in his cot for his afternoon sleep but he was obviously tired. So I took him into our bed and we snuggled down and he fell straight asleep. Not a habit I want to get into, but a rather lovely way to spend the afternoon, especially when you've been out 'til 3 am the night before!
24th March 2012. Today was my gorgeous friend Sarah's hen party. The last time I went out for a night on the town was my own hen do three years ago. We had sooooo much fun. There was dancing, cocktails, shots, laughs and giggles a plenty and of course, lots of willy shaped stuff. And some more dancing. And wine. And rather sore feet. And heads. But it was so worth it, we had a blast. Bring on the wedding in three weeks!!
23rd March 2012. The Giggle Monster has not shown any interest in vehicles until the last couple of weeks and suddenly he's getting excited over campervans, trucks and aeroplanes. He had a great time 'driving' this truck at the park.
22nd march 2012. Just chilling.
21st March 2012. We had a friend over today to put some decking up in our garden. The Giggle Monster has had a great time pottering about and clambering over his new 'climbing frame'.
20th March 2012. Eating in the garden again on request of The Whirlwind.
19th March 2012. A rock and roll star in the making. We may have to lose the wings first though.
18th March 2012. It's been a miserable, rainy weekend. We spent the day at the in laws and on the way home the sky was amazing. There had been a thick cloud covering all day but suddenly this expanse of blue started appearing on the horizon and gradually pushed the cloud cover higher and higher. By the time we got home all the clouds had disappeared. I know you can't see much in this photo but I love the view from The Whirlwind's room. It sums up just why we love the little village we live in. To the left you can see trees, fields, the countryside and to the right you can see the landmarks of the city; the Cathedral, the football ground, County Hall. We live minutes from the city, but minutes from the countryside too. We wouldn't have it any other way.
17th March 2012. Me, the Hubster, lovely friends, my gorgeous Mum, some yummy food, a few classes of wine = a perfect Saturday night in.
16th March 2012. I'm always the one with the camera and I don't think there are any pictures of me on my blog, so here I am.
15th March 2012. The whirlwind is loving using my camera at the moment, especially to take pictures of herself. Sometimes I don't even know when she's been doing it, like today. I burst out laughing when I scrolled through the photos from the day and came across this little gem!
14th March 2012. Today we went to Banham Zoo. These guys sure like to be watched!
13th March 2012. We have ALOT of toys. They live in a variety of different coloured and sized plastic boxes in a number of rooms. I forget what toys they have, let alone them. So I had this brainwave that I would take a picture of all of their toys, note where they are, and then print them off and arrange them into a book for the kids to flick through and chose what they would like to play with. I think I may have a wee bit too much time on my hands!
12th March 2012. A bit of travel porn to pick me up on a Monday morning.
11th March 2012. Eating al fresco. Somehow it just tastes better!
10th March 2012. What a beautiful Spring day. We spent it with some lovely friends at one of our favourite kids' attractions, the Dinosaur Park. The Giggle Monster and The Whirlwind must have spent at least an hour on this trampoline, giggling, bouncing and falling over. Cute.
9th March 2012. Sorry kids. They will be replaced. But just look at those eyes! Blatantly, they are saying 'Eat me!!'.
7th March 2012. The Whirlwind making a wand at the Fairy Funtime session. The wings remained present for the rest of the week.
6th March 2012. I took The Whirlwind to a Mini Ballerinas session today at Center Parcs. She loved it and I was really proud of how well she listened and how she tried all the moves.
5th March 2012. So, I thought by now I would have a handful of amazing photographs of exotic flowers, spectacular sunsets and joyful, family shots of the kids and I splashing about carelessly in the warm, Caribbean sea. Instead I have a photograph of my kitchen, some bags and some biscuits. Hmmm. This was a pretty sweet moment though, The Whirlwind was tucking into her tea when she announced in a deadly serious tone, 'Mummy I've got something to tell you. I've got my eye on those biscuits!'
4th March 2012. Packing. There's been ALOT of packing action in the Simmonds' household lately. For the past five weeks there have been two suitcases by the side of my bed, added to on a daily basis for our Caribbean holiday. On Tuesday I completed the packing and organised the hand luggage. On Thursday I unpacked them all. Today I repacked the bags, with very different clothing. On Monday we are off to Center Parcs. Not quite the Caribbean, but it will be nice to get away.
3rd March 2012. I love being a stay at home Mum. I am so lucky we are able for me to be a stay at home a Mum. But at the moment I am struggling with being in the house. Don't get me wrong, I love our house. I feel safe, warm and cosy in it. But I feel I am constantly trying to get to the bottom of the Housework Chores list. But this never happens, because there is always something else to do. I'm like a dog chasing it's tail.The hardest thing is trying to do all of the house work with two demanding preschoolers under my feet. I feel guilty when I sacrifice play time for housework time, but I cannot stand the place being filthy. Today The Hubster played with the children in the garden for most of the day. We should have been spending our first day exploring our resort in St Lucia today. I tried to sit down and relax in our home, but failed. I gave the kitchen a really good clean. It gleamed. For all of an hour. *Sigh*
2nd March 2012. This morning we were supposed to be flying off to St Lucia, so we had to get out to distract ourselves. We had a lovely walk through the ancient Foxely Wood, followed by a tasty lunch at a nearby pub. The Whirlwind and The Giggle Monster both insisted that their respective pink and blue teddies accompanied them on the walk!
1st March 2012. Oo I had some lovely photos of some daffodils, but I've managed to refrain! This photo captured a rare moment. The Whirlwind is sitting down. She woke up this morning and our girl was back. She hasn't been herself for the past week. She's had a horrible bladder infection but after a dose of new medicine last night she is back on form. It is wonderful to see.
29th February 2012. I'm glad February 29th doesn't happen very often. This one has been rubbish. The last week and a half hasn't been a barrel of laughs to be honest. We should have been counting down the sleeps until our big holiday, but instead we have been wondering whether everyone will be healthy enough to go. It turns out they're not. I took this photograph with my iPhone as I was dashing out of the Doctors earlier at 5.45pm clutching the fourth prescription of the week. I looked up and the sky looked stunning. This doesn't really capture it. It made me realise that beauty is everywhere. St Lucia I'm sure would have been an amazing holiday. We would have seen some spectacular sights and had some memorable experiences. But every cloud has a silver (or pink, in this case) lining. We're all healthy, apart from a few minor holiday-altering ailments. We all love each other. We are happy. That will do for now.
28th February 2012. It's much more obvious to see the changes and development in The Giggle Monster as he is learning new words and mastering new skills every day. With The Whirlwind sometimes development and progression is about refining her existing skills. I got her a book a few weeks ago to practice her cutting. She really struggled with it, in fact I had put it away and thought I'd have ago in a few months as she was getting a bit frustrated. But today we made Grandma a birthday card and I thought I'd draw some petals for her and see how she got on. She really surprised me with how well she did. I love the look of concentration on her face in this one.
27th February 2012. Guess who got a shower after her bike?!
26th February 2012. I seem to have developed a flower obsession! Wow, I could get used to this amazing weather. We went for a walk in the woods today and The Giggle Monster was fascinated by the huge number of ladybirds about. We spent quite a bit of time in the garden looking at the colourful flowers and amazingly, the crocuses came out over the period of the day.
25th February 2012. We woke up to another beautiful, sunny day so decided to ignore the fact that everyone was poorly and go to Eaton Park. We arrived just before 9 and assumed we would be the only mad people out so early on a Saturday, but to our surprise we were joined by 300-odd joggers as well as a number of dog walkers and cyclists. Apparently it's the place to go if you're a runner in Norwich! It was really nice to get out of the house but unfortunately The Whirlwind really didn't have the energy for it so we didn't stay long. This photo is of the boating lake. The sun was so bright when I took it I wasn't sure how it would come out but I'm pretty pleased with the result.
24th February 2012. The Giggle Monster had his first haircut today. He had a great time going up and down the steps and rearranging the hair products display. He just about kept still with the bribe of raisins. The hairdresser didn't take much off but he looks so much more like a little boy now rather than a baby. I'm going to miss his 'wings'!
23rd February 2012. It was 17 degrees today in Norwich. 17 degrees! In February! Madness. The Hubster, The Giggle Monster and I made the most of the beautiful weather and spent it in the garden. The Giggle Monster was fascinated by the flowers and the ladybirds. Unfortunately seconds after this photo was taken he pulled it out!
22nd February 2012. Makes a nice change from princesses!
21st February 2012. Pancake day! This one is fresh cherry, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, though I think the classic lemon and sugar is my favourite.
20th February 2012. This photo is proof that I would rather put a really naff photo up than fail this challenge! Today wasn't any better than yesterday. In fact, I think it was worse. I'm usually pretty strict with my 'no tv between 9 and 4' rule, but it was relaxed today. I couldn't even make the most of it on get on with jobs as The Giggle Monster wanted me on the sofa too.
19th February 2012. The Giggle Monster's face sums up the feeling in our household today. After having the first snot free day in about 3 months yesterday, we woke up this morning to discover the snot was back with a vengeance. The Whirlwind also had a tummy upset and The Hubster has hurt his back and has been laid up in bed all day. I'm hoping that they all wake up feeling a little bit better tomorrow.
18th February 2012. 'I want to be like you-oo'. Aw, The Giggle Monster loves his Daddy!
17th February 2012. I love Clarks' canvas Doodle shoes. The Whirlwind has lived in them every summer since walking. These will probably be her last pair as next year she will probably be too big for them. She's growing up so fast. These will be the Giggle Monster's first pair. This time in two weeks hopefully the kids will be running about in these in sunny St Lucia. The countdown begins!
16th February 2012. I like food, alot. I like good, expensive food at good, expensive restaurants. I also like Pizza Hut. And half term wouldn't be half term without a visit to the joint now would it?!
15th February 2012. Typically I didn't have my camera handy so this is an iPhone pic, but this morning these two were feeling the love. They couldn't stop hugging each other and giggling. Bless. The Whirlwind looks so protective over The Giggle Monster in this one, and has such a look of contentment on her little face.
14th February 2012. This week I am really enjoying taking pictures of the great outdoors. Being Valentine's day I guess I should have taken a photo somehow related..... maybe this looks a little like an upside down heart?!
13th February 2012. My little gymnast.
12th February 2012. The Hubster woke up at 6.30am this morning and decided to hit the beach. As you do when it's minus 5. He came back with an amazing set of photos. He took this one from a beach hut which had these little hearts cut out of the banisters.
11th February 2012. My lovely Mum paid for The Hubster and I to have a night away in North Norfolk for our Christmas present and we chose this weekend. It could have been a dreary, drizzly February day but instead we were blessed with a stunningly, beautiful sunny day. The drive to North Norfolk is lovely anyway but it was so nice to sit back and relax and watch the countryside roll by, still covered in snow from the previous weekend's fall. We made a random stop and had the loveliest walk through some woods. It's funny as this is the sort of thing we do with the kids most weekends, and here we were without them doing the same thing. But it was very different, walking along hand in hand with The Hubster totally absorbing everything around us, the shapes and shadows of the trees, the sparkling ice and the patterns in the snow. Details that usually don't get appreciated because I'm too busy chasing a toddler, or wiping a nose. I had so many photos I could have chosen from but the sun played such an important part of our day yesterday, I chose this one.
10th February 2012. How are you keeping warm during this cold snap we are experiencing? The Giggle Monster has got it sorted. This spider outfit has got a huge padded stomach, great insulation
9th February 2012. Haircut = 2 hours of sitting down, drinking cups of tea and reading trashy mags. Utter bliss.
8th February 2012. We haven't played with this lovely, wooden vegetable chopping set for a while. But The Giggle Monser marched over, pulled out the chopping board, popped on the cucumber and chopped off the end. We will add 'chef' to the growing list of potential carers for him. It's so lovely to watch him playing imaginatively. After this he sat a couple of soft toys on chairs and fed them peppers and ice cream and made them cups of tea. I love the 'glug, glug, glug' noise he makes when he pours the tea from the tea pot. I don't remember The Whirlwind playing in this way so young, but I guess The Giggle Monster has got his big sister to watch and learn from.
7th February 2012. A beautiful, sunny day today meant our poor, two day old snowman lost his head, much to the dismay of The Whirlwind.
4th February 2012. We got our summer clothes out today in preparation for our hols, and The Giggle Monster took a real shine to daddy's hat. Yeeeee, ha!
Bit naughty to have two in one day, but I thought this pic was pretty cute. My modern day princess.
3rd February 2012. My boys. Contemplating some serious...er.... stuff.
2nd February 2012. The Whirlwind is having a sleepover at JoJo's (my Mum's) tonight. I asked The Giggle Monster to give her a kiss goodbye and he was more than happy to oblige.
1st February 2012. Despite being gloriously sunny, today was possibly the coldest day of this winter. Yet Ella and her little pal still wanted to play outside, crazy kids! This photo was taken through the window from the comfort and warmth of my friend's toasty living room.
January 31st 2012. Oh the things you can do with a plastic tub. This week The Giggle Monster has mainly been playing with this tub. His favourite activity involves pushing it up against the bed, turning it upside down, climbing on top of it and then launching himself off it. He's also had it on his head quite alot. He's been sitting on it, especially amusing when he forgets to turn it upside down first! This morning he added this one to the repertoire. Who needs toys!
January 30th 2012. The amazing thing about this photo is that The Whirlwind took it! I suppose because I have regularly had the camera in my hands for most of the past month, she has started taking an interest in taking pictures too and will quite often ask to take some. I thought this was pretty good!
January 29th 2012. It's so sweet how The Giggle Monster gains so much comfort from his soft toys.
January 28th 2012. Woooohooooooooooooooo!!!
January 27th 2012. Every morning, before anything happens in this household, I have to have sit and savour my first cup of tea of the day. The kids sit in their PJs on the sofa and watch cartoons as the steaming cup works it magic. The sofa is huge, so it's so sweet that they sit this close together.
January 26th 2012. Crazy Time usually occurs between the period of 6pm and 6.30pm. However today I was treated to an extra morning session. Maybe it was the 5.30 am start. Lucky me!
January 25th 2012. So far my entries haven't included my face. So I thought I'd add The Whirlwind's stunning representation of it. There's a definite resemblance. I think it may be the three chins.
January 24th 2012. Today was a proper January day-cold, wet and grey. A perfect day for painting.
January 23rd 2012. Beat those January blues away with these beauties! Spring is on its way, yay!
January 22nd 2012. We like to have something a bit more exciting than a sandwich at the weekends. We had some puff pastry that needed using up so we raided the fridge for ingredients that we could chuck on it. The Whirlwind started off by spreading some pasta sauce over the base, then she ripped up some ham (these were the rivers I was told) popped on some mushrooms (caves) and covered it with snow (cheese). 20 mins in the oven and our puff pastry pizza was ready. It was so tasty and The Whirlwind was so proud of her creation she even tried and liked the mushrooms which she hasn't touched for years. Result!
January 21st 2012. The Whirlwind has been asking to make 'fruity waffles' for weeks after seeing them on Jungle Junction. I didn't need any more excuse than this to make a trip to The Waffle House in the city. Delicious!!
January 20th 2012. Today The Giggle Monster experienced a monumental First. He had his first ever Dippy Egg. I cooked it to perfection and he loved it. True to his name, he giggled his way through the meal. Putting the soldiers into the egg and saying, 'dip, dip dip' is the way this kid rolls, apparently.
January 19th 2012. I drive past the local garden centre 8 times a week on the nursery run. I had completely forgotten the free entertainment here until I was reminded by a friend the other day. The Giggle Monster loves animals, and was absolutely in his element running around pointing and squealing at all the weird and wonderful fish in the aquarium area.
January 18th 2012. I always imagined The Whirlwind and I would spend hours at the table colouring and painting as she got older. I was really looking forward to it. But being 'The Whirlwind' in every sense of the word, she has not been up for sitting still and concentrating for any length of time. But in the past two days, suddenly she has decided it's what she wants to do. Yesterday she spent ages colouring in her favourite characters from her Little Miss book. Today we made her pictures into a little book. She is so proud of it!
January 17th 2012. I opened my curtains this morning and this is what I was confronted with. We don't have a cat. I have never seen this cat before. One way to get the adrenaline pumping on a cold, winter's morning! The Giggle Monster thought it was most unreasonable that I wouldn't let him open the window so he could go and dance around with it on the windowsill.
January 16th 2012. Beauty and the....Bug. Dressing up fun.
January 15th 2012. Reading the bedtime story is possibly my favourite time of the day. Snuggling down with my little girl, wandering off to magical worlds. I get to do it most of the time, but it's only fair when The Hubster is home he gets the pleasure.
January 14th 2012. Today we took a trip to the coast. We are so lucky to live so close. There was a Gruffalo's Child event going on and The Whirlwind got to make lots of Gruffalo related things including a plaster cast of an actual footprint of the Gruffalo's Child. I know, I am sure you are very jealous. I wonder how much I could get for it on Ebay? Anyway, it was one of those days where I had a lot of great photos to choose from. In the end, I went for this one that The Hubster took with his iPhone on the beach. This was the first time The Giggle Monster had worn wellies and so was rather unsteady!
January 13th 2012. January. The month for baking cakes if ever there was one.
January 12th 2012. 'Are you looking at me?!
January 11th 2012. 'Wow, look at all the birds!'.
January 10th 2012. I took the kids up to The Whirlwind's room to tidy up. It just reminded me that there really is no point in trying to do anything productive like tidy when the kids are in tow. This was the result. Considerably worse then before we started!
January 9th 2012. Giggle Monster is 18 months today. And I still didn't have One of Him in the Laundry Basket. Got to be done really. So here it is. He's been in it most of the day actually. By choice, I hasten to add.
January 8th 2012. We've just invested in a new, bigger slow cooker now we have 4 huge appetites to satisfy. Today it was christened by The Hubster who made a delicious beef and dumpling stew, yum! There's nothing like that wonderful meaty/herby smell wafting through your home on a cold, winter's Sunday.
January 7th 2012. Only a week in and I nearly failed the challenge. I spent the day in bed feeling pretty poorly. The Hubster took the kids to the zoo and unfortunately the camera ran out of battery as soon as he arrived. Well, it's had a busy week. I took this with my phone just before bedtime. Desperate times. The Whirlwind was VERY excited to be wearing these pyjamas, so much so she talked about it for about half an hour. 'Mummy, I am soooo excited to wear my new jamas. Awwww, look at the tiny, little pink owls! Look at the tiny, little green ones!! There are soooo sweet! Mummy, I love you SO much for getting me these!! I am going to wear these forever and ever and ever and...oh. Are they 4-5? Maybe just 'til I'm 5 then.'
January 6th 2012. The Giggle Monster lost his giggle today. Darn teeth. Daddy managed to find it within minutes of being home though!
January 5th 2012. For the last few days, I have been feeling pretty rough. Some days are about literally just surviving the day. If this means kipping on the floor while your toddler tramples all over you, so be it.
January 4th 2012. "Hugo, dear. I think we have a problem....." The Whirlwind was thrilled with these two Sylvanian toys she got for Christmas. The caravan was supposed to come with an attachment to connect the two together but it, annoyingly, it was missing. The ELC were very good when I phoned up and they sent a replacement the next day. The Whirlwind was so excited when it arrived. Only for me to go and ruin it by connecting the front of the car to caravan. Whoops.
January 3rd 2012. Yesterday The Whirlwind was Cinderella. Today she was Rapunzel. Being a princess apparently involves LOTS of bling.
January 2nd 2012. Curtain twitching fun. They spent at least half an hour laughing hysterically as they took turns to hide and jump out. Simple things.
January 1st 2012 - Whitlingham Broad. The Giggle Monster walked all of 100 metres before he spotted this perfect resting point. We wondered where he was off to as he veered off the path, but he knew where he was headed.