30th September 2012. View of Istanbul from the famous Topkapi Palace, home to generations of Sultans.
29th September 2012. Today was a brilliantly busy day. So many sights, and a crazy night out so plenty of photos to chose from. It's been very hard to pick just one. This is the Basilica Cistern which is the largest of many underground cisterns in Istanbul. It was very atmospheric and eerie place to be. It was built in the 6th century and then forgotten about for centuries.
28th September 2012. Yesterday the village park, today cocktails in Istanbul! I am having a self indulgent weekend away with my Mum. We used to travel alot together before the children, this will be the first time in about 6 years we've been away together. I did quite alot of research on where to go before we left and this place ( The Richmond Hotel) is famous for it's stunning views over the Bosphorus and these delicious (and rather potent!) apple cocktails.
27th September 2012. The routine at the moment is picking The Whirlwind up from school at 3.15pm and then spending up to an hour at the park opposite the school. Today it was all about the dandelions for The Giggle Monster while The Whirlwind ran around with her new school pals.
26th September 2012. The Giggle Monster is spending more and more time on his ride ons.
25th September 2012. Now The Whirlwind has started school, the morning routine begins at 7.30am. If the kids are awake before this (usually they are!) they snuggle up and watch a bit of morning TV. Now the mornings are getting chillier the matching blankets are a must.
24th September 2012. The kids' great Aunty sent them some dressing up gear through the post today, they were thrilled!
23rd September 2012. A warming roast on a rainy afternoon was the order of the day today. I took this with my iPhone, I can't wait to get the new iPhone with a better camera!
22nd September 2012. It feels as though the kids are suddenly getting older. This morning I took The Whirlwind to her first swimming lesson while The Hubster took the boy off for his first football lesson. She did so well, I took her to Sainsbury's for a piece of cake after. I think this may become a regular thing!
21st September 2012. The kids were very excited about the apple crumble in the oven this evening. I got my camera out to take a photo of them sitting side by side in front of the oven watching it, willing it to hurry up and be ready. I was too late, but this one made me laugh, it looks like The Giggle Monster is doing some sort of prayer or spell to make it cook faster!
20th September 2012. The Giggle Monster has rediscovered the spice cupboard. He had a thing about it last year when he first learnt to walk. He would stagger over, pull it open and take out all the spices and herbs. Now he pulls them out one by one, takes the lid off and says 'What that smell, Mummy?" and I have to tell him. Not many toddlers know their Basil from their Tumeric but this one should the amount of times we've played this 'game' this week!
19th September 2012. The Giggle Monster and I went on a lovely Autumn walk through the woods today. He loved these 'eeeves'.
18th September 2012. The Giggle Monster joining in The Hubster's back exercises!
17th September 2012. The kids embracing upon The Whirlwind's return from school. Well, the Whirlwind embracing The Giggle Monster anyway!
16th September 2012. The Giggle Monster is a bit of a pain with food. The only vegetable he will eat it at the moment is 'propee'. And boy, does he love it with a passion! He does get quite excited when he sees it, and today he wanted to carry it round. As you do. Here he is with his beloved 'propee'.
15th September 2012. The Whirlwind with her blackberries. Last year we discovered a secret place in our village that not many people know about. No, I'm not telling you! Looking forward to turning them into apple and blackberry crumble muffins tomorrow!
14th September 2012. The Hubster still, after nearly seven years together, makes me think 'wow' when he walks in the room! Cheesy, but true.
13th September 2012. Last time I put a link from Facebook to my 366 Project, an old friend commented that we look like a very happy family. And we are. But, of course, The Whirlwind has days when she is tired and grumpy, The Giggle Monster has tantrums, and The Hubster and I have our off days too. I guess it's more obvious to take pictures of the children happy and having fun, but then perhaps not such a true reflection of every day life. The Giggle Monster had a half hour tantrum this morning. The source of the tantrum - he didn't want to be carried down the stairs, but he didn't want to walk either. That's two year old tantrums for you!
12th September 2012. We had a quiet morning at home today after a busy couple of days. The Giggle Monster loved playing with the play dough, or rather requesting me to make stuff! Here he is feeding a 'sausy' (sausage) to a snake. The staple food stuff for snakes, didn't you know?!
11th September 2012. The Giggle Monster has lost out a bit being the second child. I took The Whirlwind to classes and groups most days when she was his age, but I feel like I've hardly done anything with him. I'm now making up for lost time. Yesterday I took him to a little Mini Monkey structured gym class, and today I took him to the free play session at the gymnasium at our local university. He loved it!
10th September 2012. It feels like no time since I was laying in hospital, exhausted but exhilarated, as the midwife held up a cross, red faced baby and said 'Congratulations, you have a beautiful baby girl'. But here we are today. The Whirlwind's first day at school. She was very excited, and thank goodness, had a lovely morning. I am so very proud of my girl and if I could have one wish in the world, it would be that she carries on loving school this much.
9th September 2012. The Whirlwind fishing with her doggy in a local ford.
8th September 2012. The moment after I say "Help yourself to a piece of bread, Mister".
7th September 2012. The view of Miniland from the Sky Rider ride.
6th September 2012. All of The Whirlwind's friends are starting school today, but her school are waiting until Monday to welcome the reception children in. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to go to Legoland, a place I've been wanting to take the kids for ages. It was great- hardly any queues and we were blessed with amazing weather.
5th September 2012. Music used to be a huge part of my life. Most of the time I used to be either listening to it, watching it or making it. I've really let this part of me go since having children. I ordered some CDs based on friends' recommendations last week and they arrived today. It's been so long since I bought a CD. I felt ridiculously excited when they arrived. I had forgotten how good it feels to open that brand new cover and pop the gleaming disc out for the first time. Look forward to listening to these two some more!
4th September 2012. Today we met up with Ella's Best Friend. They met a year ago at preschool and became Best Friends within the first week. It was very sweet, this little girl is The Whirlwind's first friend she made independently of me. Sadly they are going off to different schools, but I'm sure we will stay in touch as they get on so well.
3rd September 2012. As part of my Day Zero Project I have been reading books recommended by friends. I am enjoying it as am reading books I probably wouldn't ever have tried or known about. The only problem is when I start a good book I just want to read, read, read which isn't really possible!
2nd September 2012. Our local garden centre. Madness.
1st September 2012. Hmmm. There seems to be an awful lot of photos of me with friends eating and drinking in the daytime just lately....! Today we had lunch in the city and then saw the matinee performance of Dirty Dancing. It was absolutely fabulous, the actors and actresses had been cast so well.
31st August 2012. We have quite a routine when it comes to the tea-to-bedtime part of the day. After their tea I kick them out in the garden to play for half an hour or so while I clear up. They are always so happy at this time of day and play so nicely together. Today it was all about the broomsticks.
30th August 2012. The Giggle Monster has been loving musical instruments this week!
29th August 2012. The Whirlwind's very first pair of school shoes! I can definitely say they will not stay this shiny for very long!
28th August 2012. We've wanted a VW campervan/caravelle for so long now and finally the right one came up. The kids absolutely love it! They spent about two hours just hanging out in it this morning!
27th August 2012. My Mum and I took the kids to the cinema today. The Giggle Monster was really enjoying it but after a while he got sleepy and snuggled into me and dropped off to sleep!
26th August 2012. I'm not proud of spending money in this place, but sometimes it is paramount to survival! Today was one of those days.
25th August 2012. Nearly ten years ago I met a lovely group of friends through my teacher training course. We don't see each other often now but we had a fabulous anniversary celebration today. The Hubster took the kids away for the day and night and I had everyone round to stay. We had a classy afternoon tea and then a rather raucous night out- so much fun!
24th August 2012. Outdoor theatre time again! This time The Whirlwind had her oldest little pal with her, they met at 5 and 10 weeks old!
23rd August 2012. A great day out at our favourite place The Dinosaur Park!
22nd August 2012. We had a great time at a local maize maze today.
21st August 2012. A day out is always more fun when you've got some little pals to run around with!
20th August 2012. The Giggle Monster found a great way to cool off this morning!
19th August 2012. I woke up to this sight this morning. Pretty special!
18th August 2012. Last night The Hubster and The Whirlwind went camping. Some friends of his were holding a mini festival in their garden. The kids absolutely loved the whole camping experience! This photo really captures the beautiful colours this weekend, it was a real scorcher!
17th August 2012. We went along to some outdoor theatre again today. It was Wind and the Willows and this stunning hall provided the perfect backdrop. Before the performance there was a boat building session and raft race. We are so lucky that our council put on so many fantastic free events.
16th August 2012. Today we 'did' Yarmouth seafront and it wouldn't have been complete without a donkey ride on the beach!
15th August 2012. The kids had their hair cut today. I usually ply The Giggle Monster with a continuous flow of raisins to keep him still and happy, but today we were all out. He was dead chuffed with this alternative though and it kept him quiet for an hour and a half!
14th August 2012. There were loads of these little fellas at Blickling Hall today.
13th August 2012. My Aunty is staying for a few days and she bought the kids a bug viewfinder so today they were bug hunting in the garden.
12th August 2012. Getting into the whole Olympics thing. I so lost, against two teenagers!
11th August 2012. I got to the end of the day and realised I hadn't taken a picture. So here's my little sleeping beauty.
10th August 2012. We went to see some outdoor theatre today. The kids really enjoyed the show. We finished the morning off with a picnic and ice cream.
9th August 2012. We had a lovely day at Fairhaven Water Garden today. Although we only really get to see these guys in the school holidays now, the kids always have a great time together.
8th August 2012. "Wow! A big, big cat!' - The Giggle Monster, at Thrigby Wildlife Park.
7th August 2012. The nice thing about the Summer Holidays is that when we are at home in the afternoon, The Giggle Monster has a nice long nap which gives The Whirlwind and I a chance to do things like snuggle up on the sofa and read books.
6th August 2012. We were just about to take the children to bed when the doorbell went. I had just brought the chairs from the kitchen into the living room to mop the floor. The kids ended up staying up for almost an extra hour, and during this time they went crazy! They spent the whole time running and jumping around the living room, so much so that their hair was wet with sweat! Where they get this energy from at the end of the day I don't know!
5th August 2012. We went to the VW Whitenoise festival today and lusted after some gorgeous VWs. One day! The Giggle Monster prefered this bus though. It was so sweet, every time he came past he waved and said 'eyo Mummy, eyo Daddy, eyo Eyee!'.
4th August 2012. Shopping in the city with two under fives - not the most fun. Especially when they are a bit wriggly and you are looking for teapots. Ah, at least we got a cute photo out of the trip.
3rd August 2012. The kids love Gramps. He may only see them for a couple of hours every couple of weeks, but he does make sure that those hours are fun-filled. I love this shot. It doesn't look great this small, but in it's normal sized form you can really see the joy in their expressions.
1st August 2012. We went to a Play Day today organised by our local council. There were lots of free activities for the children. This was The Giggle Monster's favourite!
31st July 2012. A striking resemblance?!
30th July 2012. Today we went to Redwings Horse Sanctuary. The kids loved the horses.
29th July 2012. Barbecuing in the rain. How terribly British!
28th July 2012. What a beautiful bride our friend Holly made today! It was a super day, they make such a lovely couple.
27th July 2012. The Giggle Monster was feeling much better today so we went to The Playbarn. The Whirlwind loved these spacehoppers!
26th July 2012. The poor Giggle Monster is so poorly today. Bless him, he's not been talking, has been laying on the sofa and he's had 3 naps. I took him to the docs earlier and he has a throat infection. On the plus side, the three naps meant The Whirlwind and I had some quality time together. We did some crafty stuff and then played this game. I saw a similar game to this on Pinterest the other and adapted it to suit The Whirlwind. I wrote letters in chalk all over the garden and then I said a word. She had to identify the initial sound and then find it and squirt it out with her water pistol. She loved it!
25th July 2012. Making sand cakes!
24th July 2012. At 4 o'clock we decided to head to the play area in the woods near our house. It was 30 odd degrees today but lovely and cool in the woods.
23rd July 2012. As it was such a beautiful, hot evening we decided to take the kids to the park for an ice cream before bed. This included a slug and frog hunt in the meadow behind the park. I just love the colours and the light at this time of day.
22nd July 2012. While I was on the long journey back from Newcastle, The Hubster and my mum took the kids on the broads. Looks like they had a fun time!
21st July 2012. I spent the weekend in Newcastle with my old university housemates.We hadn't seen each other for 2 and a half years but we immediately fell back into our old ways. This mainly meant lots of food, lots of wine and bringing up all the silly and dizzy things I have ever done. Joy! No, really, we had THE best time and I just love these guys. We've even put a date in the diary for next year so it's not another 2 and a half years 'til we meet again.
20th July 2012. Looking good!
19th July 2012. Today was The Whirlwind's last ever day at Preschool. I was very sentimental about it, thinking 'oh, this is the last time ever that we'll all drive down this road to Preschool together', 'this is the last time ever The Whirwind will be with all her friends at the same time' etc etc. The Whirlwind, however, was just excited that there was going to be a Teddy's Bear Picnic. I was really trying to hold back the tears when she said goodbye to her lovely keyworker just before we left. It really feels like a chapter of her life has come to an end. But of course, with every end is a beginning, tomorrow is the first day of the Summer Holidays! Yay!
18th July 2012. Another rainy day today so The Giggle Monster entertained himself with the age old 'emptying a box and getting in it' game.
17th July 2012. I had a couple of friends round this morning with their little boys. As it was time to go one of the mums noticed her little boy had a shoe missing. A full scale shoe hunt ensued, until eventually it was located in a big bucket of muddy water. Of course I had to take a photo before it was retrieved!
16th July 2012. This week is The Whirlwind's last week at Preschool. We made the most of the rainy afternoon by making some cadrs for the lovely staff.
15th July 2012. We visited a place I used to come to when I was a child today. Burgh Castle is the remains of a Roman fort built in the 3rd century. Funny how as a child you don't appreciate such wonders of the world.
14th July 2012. I had a lovely day out in Cambridge today with two of my favourite girlies. Cocktails for lunch, making the most of some time without the kiddies!
13th July 2012. Do you ever get too old for Pick 'n Mix? I hope not. (I really must pull my finger out with these photos!)
12th July 2012. The Whirlwind at 10.30 pm when we finally reach home after a long afternoon and evening of traveling. The sign of a fabulous, but exhausting holiday!
11th July 2012. The apartment we have been staying in belongs to The Hubster's parents and they came out last night. This mean we got to have a night out to ourselves which was lovely and well needed! We started off with Mojitos by the river soaking up the last rays of the day, followed by a tasty meal at a restaurant we discovered on out first visit to Tavira, rounded off with a couple of drinks in (shamefully!) an Irish bar!
10th July 2012. I love this picture of The Whirlwind and The Hubster chuckling away together in a cafe on Tavira beach.
9th July 2012. Today was The Giggle Monster's second birthday so we decided to have a special day out to Aquapark, a local waterpark. Unfortunately he wasn't too keen on the slides and things, but he did have a whale of a time splashing about in the shallower, warmer footbaths and climbing up and down all the steps! The Whirwind, on the other hand, had a wild time!
8th July 2012. The Giggle Monster is mad about holes. Whenever he sees one, he sticks his finger, or hand in it. On the beach he was in hole heaven. There were abandoned holes to jump in and out of everywhere. Once he'd had his fill of that, he decided it was time to fill my 'hole' in (known to most other people as a bellybutton!).
7th July 2012. The Whirlwind would have spent all day in here if we had let her!
6th July 2012. Woohoo, we are on our way to Portugal!
5th July 2012. Our brand new bathroom!
4th July 2012. I have been feeling at my wits' end the last few days. The Giggle Monster should be renamed The Grumpy Monster. He has been so whingy and whiny and he has learnt how to say 'NO!!!'. Thank Goodness when I was brushing his teeth on Friday night I realised why - he has his last two bottom molars coming through. Sometimes the only thing that calms him is Jake and The Neverland Pirates, so Jake and The Neverland Pirates it is!!
3rd July 2012. The decking is one plank short of being complete, yay! The Whirlwind is dead chuffed with her new scooter ramp!
2nd July 2012. My Mum bought The Giggle Monster this sandpit for his birthday. It's an absolute hit with both the kids!
1st July 2012. Due to our holiday at the end of the week we 'moved' The Giggle Monster's birthday to today. We had a brilliant day at Thetford Forest where he celebrated with his little pal who turned 2 yesterday. We decided to invite just a handful of families each and have a BBQ but given that most of the families are now four, it meant we were catering for nearly 60 people! Despite the small issue of the food being served a little later than planned, the day was a huge success!
30th June 2012. We are going to Portugal on Friday and while we are away it is both my Mum's and The Giggle Monster's birthday. As we have a busy week ahead we decided to give my Mum her pressies today and have a little cake for the two of them.
29th June 2012. Today was The Whirlwind's first session at Big School. She was very excited! She said she enjoyed it but when I spied on her at break time she was looking a bit lost and lonely. It really tugged at the heartstrings. Hopefully next week she will feel a little more comfortable.
28th June 2012. Don't they look so enthusiastic and excited about their trip to the beach?! We lasted all of 40 minutes before we turned round and came right back home. We got the train to Cromer and The Giggle Monster whinged the whole way. The sea cheered him up for all of 5 minutes, then The Whirlwind complained of being cold. Luckily the day went uphill once we got home and they had a lovely afternoon splashing in the paddling pool.
27th June 2012. One of our favourite puddings at the moment - strawberries, bananas, ice cream and butterscotch sauce, yummy!
26th June 2012. My Aunt and Great Aunt are down for a couple of days so we took them to Wells beach for the day. I had forgotten what a stunning beach it is. The kids had a lovely time paddling in the shallow waters.
Pic to come.
25th June 2012. A few weeks ago The Whirlwind came home from preschool with a sunflower seed in a yoghurt pot she had planted. We decided today that it was getting too big for the yoghurt pot so transplanted it into the flowerbed. It should thrive with all this sun and rain we are getting!
24th June 2012. My two favourite girls!
23rd June 2012. We went to the local attraction Fritton Lake today. It's a great day out for all the family, so much to do from playing on the wooden play equipment, to boat roads and woodland trails. The kids' favourite by far was the huge 'jumping pillow'. I have to admit it was my favourite too!
22nd June 2012. We went to a new play place today and met the kids' cousins. The Giggle Monster particularly loved this machine that sucked up the balls!
21st June 2012. The one good thing about all the rain we have been having lately - the slide is soooo much faster and therefore so much more fun!
20th June 2012. I took The Whirlwind to see Peppa Pig at the theatre today. It was a great performance; very interactive and lots of catchy songs. Unfortunately our lovely day ended with The Whirlwind tripping over our new decking and crashing head first into the metal garden table. Poor thing! Her first proper 'egg' bump!
19th June 2012. Our weekly visit to the Dinosaur park. A super day as always.
18th June 2012. We're having our bathroom done this week. The Giggle Monster is intrigued as to why there is a toilet in the kitchen!
17th June 2012. Today was Father's Day. We had a really lovely afternoon - a cup of tea with my Dad, a walk in the countryside with some friends rounded off with a pub lunch by the river. Perfect! The Giggle Monster took a bit of a fancy to The Whirlwind's glasses!
16th June 2012. Today was The Whirlwind's Sports day. She wasn't quite right today unfortunately, she was quite quiet and clingy which isn't like her. I was very proud of her though as she joined in all of the races.
14th June 2012. The Whirlwind is at preschool all day on a Thursday. On the rare occasion that we are not doing anything and just hanging out at home this means when The Giggle Monster naps, I actually have an hour and a half to myself. Bliss!! I probably should have done something productive like mopped the floor or cleaned the bathrooms. That would have been far too sensible so instead I took to the sofa with cup a tea and the Istanbul guide book that dropped through my door this morning in preparation for my trip over there in September. Heaven!
13th June 2012. We have a season ticket to the Dinosaur Park and go most Wednesdays. We all love it there, it's such a big place with lots to do. It feels like every time we go we discover something new! Today the kids discovered a new slide tucked away that went really fast. The Whirlwind also spent ages leaping as high as she could off this rock!
12th June 2012. I had a simple mission today- to take two nice portrait photographs of the children in natural sunlight. Surprisingly, The Giggle Monster is quite easy to photograph. However, The Whirlwind is a different story altogether. She just does not stay still for a second and she has many 'interesting' facial expressions. So I have several would-be-okay-if-it-wasn't-blurry-or-her-ear-wasn't-chopped-off photos of The Whirlwind and about three nice ones of The Giggle Monster.
11th June 2012. A combination of things lead to this display of naughtiness. Today is a Monday. Today it is 11th June and it has been 12 degrees and raining all day. Today I went food shopping at 5pm when I was rather hungry. Not a healthy result.
10th June 2012. We had a lovely day at the zoo today. The kids hardly ever hold hands so it was very sweet to see this.
9th June 2012. The Whirlwind very carefully chose her best party dress for a trip into the city today. She made this stunning crown during a craft session in the library, I'm sure you will agree it really sets off the outfit ;-).
8th June 2012. A spontaneous night out with my Mum and some of friends this evening was soooo much fun! Tapas, Mojitos and some crazy dancing. Brilliant.
7th June 2012. The Whirlwind got some Sylvanians for her 4th birthday which was 6 months ago. I wondered whether she was too young, but having loved them myself when I was younger I got a little over excited. This week has been half term and she has been asking for them out every day when The Giggle Monster has been napping. For the first time, she has become really engrossed in the world of Sylvania and I have really enjoyed watching her playing.
6th June 2012. The last few days have been fairly mild with a mixture of sunshine and showers. Perfect weather for puddle jumping! As the grey clouds zoomed in we wondered whether these would suffice as umbrellas?! Though looking at The Giggle Monster's trousers it was possibly too late to worry!
5th June 2012. This morning I completed the 20th item on my Day Zero Project list- Experience Go Ape. It was absolutely brilliant! The most fun I've had in ages! In this picture I am about to leap off this platform on a tarzan swing into a big net. It was the scariest part of the whole course as you are free falling for a bit. Great to get that adrenaline pumping round!
4th June 2012. We went round to some friends' this afternoon for a Jubilee BBQ. I lost sight of The Giggle Monster for a second and this is where we found him. We definitely need to buy him a sit-in sandpit!
3rd June 2012. It wasn't until mid morning on the 4th June I realised with a sinking feeling that I hadn't taken a photo the day before. Not even half way through the challenge and I had failed. But The Whirlwind soon perked up with 'Don't worry, I took one 'esterday on your phone!' The Whirlwind's concept of yesterday is basically any day in the past, so I wasn't feeling too hopeful but she was insistent so I checked. She was right, she took this stunning picture when no-one was looking! The Whirlwind saves the day!
1st June 2012. Today we had a family trip to the hairdressers. The Hubster, The Whirlwind and The Giggle Monster all had their hair cut. The kids were very still and well behaved while they were having their turn, but when it was Daddy's turn it all went a bit pear shaped. The Giggle Monster just wanted to run up and down the steps and play with the display of hair products and The Whirlwind had ants in her pants too. Hairdressers and small children does not make a good combination.
31st May 2012. I'm always encouraging The Whirlwind to draw. 'Come on, let's draw some people! Or.....some flowers?! How about a house?' But she never wants to. She can, but I think she is bit of a perfectionist and gets a bit cross if it doesn't go to plan. I found this on the Ipad after I had gone to bed. Well, what artist actually draws real things anyway? A perfect piece of modern art. Maybe I'll put it on Ebay and see how much I can get for it!
30th May 2012. Since his 'highly adventure' last week with his sister, The Giggle Monster's favourite spot in the garden is the flowerbed.
29th May 2012. We bought a boule set today from the supermarket. Unfortunately The Giggle Monster kept retrieving the little white ball so instead we played a throw the ball in the bucket game. Anything to help The Whirlwind with her ball skills so she doesn't end up as useless as me!
28th May 2012. The Giggle Monster just loves water play. I couldn't find his hat this morning so popped this one on. Unfortunately he then thought is was his and got quite cross when The Whirlwind put it on later on!
27th May 2012. The Giggle Monster has always been a pretty clean eater. He started to refuse to wear a bib about 6 months ago and amazingly no clothes have been ruined yet. However, when we give him a chocolate dessert (Petit Filous) he always manages to get it all round his face! I think it's because he loves chocolate so much he doesn't want to waste any of it so practically gets his head in the pot!
26th May 2012. The Whirlwind and one of the Bure Valley steam engines.
25th May 2012. Because of the hose pipe ban we can't fill up the paddling pool this year, but I put a couple of washing up bowls worth in the pool today and put the slide in. This provided hours of entertainment!
24th May 2012. Today was an absolute scorcher. The Giggle Monster really didn't get the idea of a water fight! The Whirlwind took full advantage of me being still for a minute to take this pic and soaked me!
23rd May 2012. This whole photo project thing isn't about the quality of the photograph. I have no creative tendencies, no natural flair. It's become more of a diary, a little snippet of our day to day lives. I do love this photo though, even if I do say so myself. I think it may even be my favourite of the project so far.
22nd May 2012. I think the whole country has this smile on their face today. It is sunny! At long last. It has been the most miserable April and May I can remember. AND the weather forecast for the next week is sun, sun, sun. We celebrated with a morning trip to the park, followed by a picnic and play in the garden at lunch, and finished up with at a play at another park in the afternoon.
21st May 2012. Edward-Toilet-Roll-Hands!
20th May 2012. We were all supposed to go camping this weekend. After a week of not sleeping and The Giggle Monster developing yet another cold, we decided The Whirlwind and The Hubser would go it alone. They had a great time, The Whirlwind is definitely A Camper!
19th May 2012. It's been so long since The Giggle Monster was last on the beach. In fact, the last time was when he first started to walk when we were in France. Of course he was very intrigued by the sea and this pic was caught by Nanny Sue literally one second before we both got our feet soaked!
18th May 2012. As The Whirlwind lead The Giggle Monster (very naughtily) down the back of the flower bed, I heard her say, "Come on Mr, follow me! We're going on a highly adventure!'. Admittedly, our garden is looking rather jungle-like at the moment after all the rain!
17th May 2012. To most people this is a very ordinary photograph. A couple of boys playing together. One with his back to the camera, nothing to shout about. But actually to me, it's something quite special. I've been quite concerned lately about The Giggle Monster's lack of interest in other people, children in particular. In social situations he often just sits on my lap and will sometimes cry and shout if children try to talk/play with him. But this morning a good friend of mine came round to play with her little boy who is a few months older. They played cars together, giggled away as they copied each others actions, and even played a bit of football. They played alongside each other and together for hours. It was so lovely to catch up properly with my friend and wonderful to see my little boy interacting so well.
16th May 2012. My friend and I arranged a play date for this afternoon and it really made me laugh yesterday when I got a text through requesting that The Whirlwind brought her Rapunzel costume with her so they could both dress up! I didn't get a photograph of them both together in their matching dresses unfortunately, but here's The Whirlwind with a rather fetching hairpiece addition.
15th May 2012. This is a very poor quality Iphone pic, as my camera is being a little temperamental after being dropped in the sand last Friday! We are still having issues with The Whirlwind at bedtime. I'm really hoping this new Leapfrog Tag pen is going to be the miracle cure. She absolutely loves it and was very excited to go to bed and use it. Fingers crossed!
14th May 2012. Drummer Boy. Looks like The Giggle Monster is following in the family footsteps with his drumming skills!
13th May 2012. A warm and sunny day today kicked us out of bed early and we were at Thetford Forest by 10am. I love this place.
12th May 2012. It's been a busy one today. We had one party in Lowestoft at 2pm and then we headed back to Norwich for a party at 5. We have quite a routine to our days usually. Tea at 5.30/6pm, followed by bath, Crazy Time and bed. Crazy Time involves running, bundling, spinning, giggling - basically anything that expels that last bit of energy the kids (somehow!) have left at the end of the day. It was funny that as soon as it got to 6pm, even though we were at a party and out of routine, The Giggle Monster felt the need for some Crazy Time. This evening this meant running up the slightly sloped garden, pelting down at full speed and launching himself on top of me. Thank Goodness for Ariel stain remover is all I can say!
11th May 2012. My friend and I had planned to take the kids to a soft play place today as the weather has been very poor recently. However, we woke up to glorious sunshine and despite threats of showers later we decided to risk it and have a day out at Pettitts. We had a brilliant day. We practically had the place to ourselves, we had to strip off our layers it was so warm at times, the kids behaved and no rain!
10th May 2012. I bought a 99p red plastic football at the supermarket today. It unexpectedly lead to hours of fun!
9th May 2012. The Giggle Monster was up for hours in the night last night, The Whirlwind woke up crying with a barking cough and I had a sore throat. I decided to give pre-school a miss and relax at home for the day. Of course these yummy chocolate chip fairy cakes helped to cheer us up.
8th May 2012. We had a little break in the awful weather today, it was distinctly warmer and it didn't rain. I had to pop into the city to bank a cheque so we decided to pop by the park near our old house on our way home. I think we may have to buy a matching blue scooter soon!
7th May 2012. We tried to get out today. We got rained on after half an hour so we came home and these three snuggled up on the sofa and watched Toy Story Three.
6th May 2012. It's Bank Holiday weekend in May and this is what we put The Whirlwind in for her walk around Felbrigg Hall. It was sooo necessary. It was freezing. Two of my fingers went completely white and numb after eating our picnic and it took about an hour to get the feeling back in them. Ridiculous!!
5th May 2012. Today The Whirlwind and I had a much needed girly day. We got the bus into the city, did a spot of shopping, followed by the cinema and a spot of lunch.
4th May 2012. I had a craving after lunch for some sweet stuff so The Whirlwind and I headed to the shops for some snacks. She was complaining about it being windy, so we talked about why the world needs wind. Of course Daddy's 'wintertubines' came up (wind turbines). I explained how wind is needed to make the turbines spin and how this energy is converted into electricity which travels along wires to our houses. We talked about all the things that need electricity in our home. When we got home, The Hubster had just changed a lightbulb, so I told him what we had been talking about and asked her to explain to Daddy. She actually did a really good job! Hmmm, sometimes she listens to her Mummy then!
3rd May 2012. Big boy cup!
2nd May 2012. A spot of shopping.
1st May 2012. It's all about the 'tars' this week.
30th April 2012. A balancing act.
29th April 2012. We had some brie left over from yesterday's gathering so we cooked one of my favourite dishes. Brie, tomato, loads of garlic, basil leaves and lots of seasoning, left to stew all day and then mixed in with hot pasta. Mmmm mmmm.
28th April 2012. We had the family around today for some food. A very sweet foster child was part of the group and he entertained us all by spontaneously picking up a microphone and performing songs for us. The Whirlwind soon fancied a bit of the limelight so disappeared up to her bedroom and came down in this outfit. She was a little more stage-shy than the previous performer so Nanny Sue had to join in too.
27th April 2012. Whenever my Dad comes round, The Whirlwind demands he gets on his knees and becomes her 'taxi'. She loves roaming around on his back, shouting out directions. (Poor Gramps!). This is the sort of fun grandparents are needed for as us parents are too knackered!
26th April 2012. The Giggle Monster has been loving his new trains Aunty Jane brought with her on her visit last week!
25th April 2012. We've had days of rain since they announced the drought on the 6th April. We are due a month's worth in the next five days. This little fella ( and me!) really wants our fun garden playtime back!
24th April 2012. The Whirlwind hasn't shown too much interest in sounds and letters so far. As she is now only months away from starting school, I'm trying to muster up a bit of enthusiasm so this week we have been making a sound book. She has really enjoyed going around the house searching for items that start with a particular sound, and then taking a photograph for her book.
23rd April 2012. We pondered for a while on whether to get this third sofa. Thank goodness we did, as these guys are brought down everyday without fail to join us for the day!
22nd April 2012. We went for a walk in the woods near our house this morning. We took a different route to usual and went a bit off the beaten track. Considering Norfolk is flat we found ourselves going up and down some really pretty steep hills! It was so much fun though. At the end of the walk was a pirate ship themed climbing frame. We lost track of The Giggle Monster for a moment. This is where he was when we found him!
21st April 2012. One of neighbouring villages has just started holding a Farmer's Market every fortnight. We went along and there was stacks of great, local produce. Unfortunately we had all of our shopping for the weekend, but next time it's on we will definitely shop here. We did treat ourselves to some yummy cakes though and came back and scoffed them with a cup of coffee and some music. I think this may become a new Saturday tradition!
20th April 2012. The weather is bizarre at the moment. It literally is four seasons in one day. Today at 3 o'clock it suddenly started to hail. It was a short, sharp shower and we watched the clusters of ice bounce off the grass from the patio doors. Once it had stopped The Whirlwind said, 'Can we go outside?'. I, being the one who washes the clothes and mops the floors, said no. But then she looked at me and replied, 'But Mummy, I've never seen hail before. I want to go and touch it.' If you know me, you will know I rarely go back on my word once I have said 'no'. But how could I deny her after that reply?! So out we went to explore the hail.
19th April 2012. The Whirlwind normally does a whole day at preschool on a Thursday. They offer it as a way of preparing the children approaching Reception for a full day at school. I thought it would really tire her out but it doesn't usually. She hasn't done a full day for about two months for various reasons, the Easter holidays, illness and The Hubster being off work. Today it clearly did tire her out as this is her on the sofa at 5 o'clock!
18th April 2012. The Giggle Monster has starting bringing his teddies to the table to 'share' his food. Cute.
17th April 2012. The Whirlwind loves egg sandwiches. I mean, really loves. To the extent that when I told her on the way home from preschool it was egg for lunch she squealed with excitement and wriggled in anticipation all the way home. She then gobbled hers down and sidled over to her brother who still had half left and looked at him with huge puppy dog eyes.
15th April 2012. My Aunty came to stay today and she bought with her lots of new toys. I think the favourite was a barn themed wendy house. The Giggle Monster thought it was hilarious and was in and out of it all day, much to our amusement as it made his hair stati!
14th April 2012. The Hubster and I went to a wedding today. It was very special as the lovely couple met at a party we held at our house 5 or so years ago. It was a super day and much fun was had. The Hubster and I very much enjoyed a children free day!
13th April 2012. The Giggle Monster discovered puddles at the weekend, so after a downpour this afternoon we got the kids kitted out in their rainsuits and wellies and went in search of some. There were hardly any in our village but they did spot this one in the train in the playground!
12th April 2012. What better way to teach your kids about sharing than 'encouraging' them to share your Easter eggs ;-)
10th April 2012. I don't seem to get many of Daddy and daughter anymore. I thought this one was lovely.
9th April 2012. A couple of weeks ago when I was sitting out in beautiful, 20 degrees sunshine, I invited some friends over for a BBQ today. In true British style, this Bank Holiday it has rained from start to finish. But they still came over and we made pizzas instead and the kids had a good old play. This mainly involved emptying the toy boxes and riding around in them/putting them on their heads, and hiding under the kitchen table!
8th April 2012. The Whirlwind, who has gone to sleep at 7 o'clock very happily every night for the last nearly four years, has suddenly stopped going bed so happily. Minutes after we tuck her in we hear the tentative pitter patter of her little feet making their way downstairs to tell us that she can't sleep/needs a drink/is hungry etc. Today we have had quite a lazy day; an Easter egg hunt in the house, some painting, a pub lunch and some Jake and the Neverland Pirates. So when it came to bedtime I thought I'd keep her up with me while I tidied up. She sat at the table staring at this poor plant, the most recent victim of neglect out of the many that have preceded it. Then she said, 'Mummy, I think we need to tell everyone just not to buy you flowers and plants anymore. All you do is kill them, every time!' It tickled me so I took a quick pic!
7th April 2012. Today we went to Sheringham Park with some friends. It was really quite a chilly day but lovely to get out still. It was the first time we had visited this National Trust Park and we were very impressed. The Giggle Monster made a new discovery- puddles! He had a great time running through them, splashing about and throwing sticks and stones into them. It was all great fun, until he fell in! And yes, of course, I have photographic evidence (!) but I really loved this shot. It's The Whirlwind with her two 'big' friends. We regularly meet up with this family and have done for the last nearly four years. It's never seemed to matter that there's a huge age gap between the children, that ours are preschoolers and theirs are teenagers. We just all have a nice time together, enjoying the great outdoors mostly. These two truly are a credit to themselves, and they're parents of course. I expect there are some teenagers who wouldn't tolerate two young children around, but these guys go out of their way to talk to them, play with them and look out for them. If my two turn out anything like these guys I will be thrilled to bits!
6th April 2012. Today we followed an Easter trail at Salhouse Broad. We went with two other families. The kids had great fun spotting the coloured eggs with letters on and the adults enjoyed (?!) the challenge of working out the animal anagrams! This is, I think, the third photograph in existence of the four of us!
5th April 2012. While I was getting ready this morning I realised that I hadn't seen the kids for at least ten minutes so thought I'd better check what mischief they were up to. This is what I found. Aw!
4th April 2012. Sleeping babies!
3rd April 2012. One, two, three and JUMP!
2nd April 2012. What do you mean, why is this the photo of the day?! You can't beat a bit of Kelly's Cornish ice cream.
1st April 2012. It was supposed to be a grey, drizzly today so it was a lovely surprise to wake up to sunshine. We made the most of it and headed out for a walk around Whitlingham Broad. I love having this broad on our doorstep. There's so much to entertain the children. The Giggle Monster is always thrilled by the dogs, ducks and swans, and today there was lots of boats and trains to wave at too. The Whirlwind even found a swan egg which was a lovely thing to find on a Spring walk in the Easter hols and lead to lots of talk of baby animals. The Hubster took this picture of The Whirlwind with her 'tickle stick'. I think it was some sort of (particularly fluffy!!) reed.