Category Archives: Family

FUNharmonics – London Philharmonic Orchestra for kids

Official London Philharmonic Orchestra logo

Official London Philharmonic Orchestra logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the recommendation of a fellow London-mum blogger I have just booked tickets for the family to see the London Philharmonic Orchestra, FUNharmonics at the Southbank Centre in May. Presented by CBeebies’ Chris Jarvis, and featuring an 80-strong orchestra, it’s billed as  “the perfect introduction to the extraordinary drama and colour of orchestral music.” Continue reading

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Stanley says… #3

Stanley: “Oh no, I can’t dress up as Michael Jackson as a little boy because I haven’t got brown skin. I’ll have to be Michael Jackson as a grown up.”

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Stanley says… #2

“I’m not willy obsessed anymore.”

Stanley, aged 4 1/2

I’m sorry darling, that’s a lifelong affliction.

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My List of Shame: are organic veg boxes harming the environment?

Excuse the handwriting

Ok, ok, the headline is a bit extreme. It’s not like those weekly waxed-boxes are flying private helicopters to climate change conferences or anything. I’m just wondering how many shrivelled turnips and soggy Swiss chard are filling up food waste boxes because of people’s good-intentioned ordering. I know in our house we have been shockingly wasteful with food at times, particularly when we get a box of veg we’re not too keen on. Would the environment actually be better off if we bought our veg from the end of the road, as and when we needed it?  Our purses would certainly be fuller, but the produce would most likely have been flown in and certainly not organic. Continue reading

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It’s not pasta, but they ate it

I’ve have heard of children who will eat things other than pasta or rice, but always assumed them an urban myth. I can shove a fish finger or a slice of pizza in mine without too much protest, but vegetables usually only gain access when they are chopped up almost invisible and stuck to little tubes of penne.

So in the spirit of sharing the kind of parenting tips I’d like to receive, here are two meals that my kids have eaten recently that do not contain pasta, but do contain SPINACH and LENTILS. They are not rocket-science recipes, but they did perform miracles.

1) Spinach pancakes

This is a basic pancake mix with spinach blended in to the mix. Trust me, it is surprisingly tasty. I found it on a blog under the headline ‘Spinach pancakes your kids WILL eat‘ – and they were right.

Spinach pancakes for kids

Yum… honest

Ingredients

Two handfuls of spinach
120g plain flour
120ml milk
1 egg
1 tbsp melted butter
Pinch of salt
Bigger pinch of sugar
Small amount of grated nutmeg (1/4 tsp)

Method

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I’m more tired than you. No, I’m more tired than you

Recently me and Boyfriend seem to have got into a bit of competitive ‘tireding’. It goes a bit like this:

I say (having been given a lie in until 8am): What time did Gertie wake up?
(I mean: I hope it wasn’t so early Boyfriend thinks he can go back to bed)

He says: I’m not sure, about 5.30am. I’m shattered.
(He means: 6am. I’m so much more tired than you)

I say: Oh dear
(I mean: I bet it was more like 6.30am. Stop complaining about being tired. I look after the kids all week while you swan off to work. That makes me MORE TIRED THAN YOU)

He says: How are you feeling?
(He means: Aren’t you lucky you had a lie in. You’d better give me one tomorrow)

I say: I’m quite tired. She was up a fair bit in the night.
(I mean: Didn’t you hear me? I’m more tired than you. Don’t go thinking I owe you a lie in tomorrow.)

He says: Oh was she? I didn’t hear.
(He means: I heard you and you were up ONCE in the night)

I say: Is there coffee in the pot?
(I mean: Did I mention I’m tired? I need a coffee just to get going – that’s how tired I am)

He says: It’s probably cold
(He means: I made it hours ago, while you were enjoying a lie-in – something I haven’t enjoyed for months…)

And so our day begins.

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Five things a good mother wouldn’t do

In the midst of all this blogging and crafting and baking I realise I am at risk of coming across a bit Stepford or supermum. So, just to set the record straight – here’s five things a good mother probably wouldn’t do (but I have).

1) Skip the plate stage and put food straight on the floor.
Yes, I confess. But desperate times lead to desperate measures (why won’t the buggers just EAT??), and anyway, they seem to prefer it a la linoleum.

2) Allow play with inappropriate objects just because it keeps them quiet.
“Don’t be ridiculous of course a 15-month-old shouldn’t be allowed to play with a £500 mobile phone. Oh, it keeps her quiet for 45 seconds you say? Go right ahead.”

Then there’s the destructive play. I run a constant ticker tape, calculating energy-required-to-tidy-up-mess-being-made VS energy-saved-by-getting-a-break-while-destruction-is-wreaked. Eg toilet roll unravelling = well worth it. Emptying clothes draw on the other hand, is not.  This is Gertie’s latest ‘toy’:

See how happy and contented and QUIET she is? Definitely worth it.

3) Allow big brother to dress little sister just because it keeps him happy. This picture was taken in March and yes, we did leave the house like this.

Believe me, this is better than some of the combos Stan has chosen for her.

4) Invent role-playing games that allow you to doze while playing. Classics include doctors and nurses where you are the patient; Christmas Eve when you are the sleeping child waiting for Santa; night-time at the farm etc. But my personal favourite is ‘Builders’ – I am always on a tea break. He falls for it every time. Ha!

5) Do anything for a good photo op – even if it makes your child cry. Oh come on, everybody does that – don’t they?

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A Gertrude by any other name would still look as sweet

My daughter’s name has been listed in the top ten most hated baby names. Apparently Gertrude is considered too ‘ugly’. This doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me – there are members of my own family who refuse to speak her name and insist on calling her Trudie. Continue reading

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Painting pebbles

Stan is off school sick again so we are back to trying to find enough activities to fill a day that feels very long when you can’t go out and have no visitors. Inspired by the fab Red Ted Art’s blog, today we made these cute little fellows:

Painting pebbles: Five Little Ducks

The idea is that they are props for singing ‘Five Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day”. We collected the stones from the garden – possibly the bit Stan enjoyed the most – making sure we had a mummy and daddy (in our sexist version mummy duck quacks away and no little ducks come swimming back, but when daddy duck gets on the case they all come rushing home). Continue reading

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Day trips from London: Mountfitchet Castle

Mountfitchet castle

We gave Stan his first castle experience at the weekend with a visit to Mountfitchet Castle, near Stansted. Continue reading

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