Friday, 27 February 2009

A New Arrival

Isaac loves his 'baby' and as he's showing a caring side I looked for a Waldorf style doll for him so that it can grow with him as he learns to get dressed and starts exploring feelings etc. I saw a lot of dolls that were either very expensive or very girly or just not what I was after and then someone told me about Suki. After giving her an idea of what I wanted she went to work and the result is here!

Now funnily enough he reminds me a bit of my friend Adam - I think it's the hair!

He's already joined the cuddles and seems to be a hit. 

He's in his winter outfit at the moment and has a t-shirt and nappy on underneath. The nappies are just the cutest thing in the whole world. 

And here's his summer outfit with matching nappy.

I'm thrilled with him and really in awe of creative mamas who can make things like this. 

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Feeling uncreative.

We seem to have been busy in the last few days and either unwell or rushing around and the first thing to go is doing anything creative. Or so I thought. Actually considering my feeble state I've manages to create some lovely meals - there are no photos though cos we ate them all :~)

Kev and Ruth ended up eating with us on Tuesday so the usual two day pie only lasted one meal but it still means our small free range chicken did 4 meals, although the first 3 were for me!). I get bored of roast chicken so after a dinner and lunch it becomes Jamie's pie I don't bother with the bacon or the chestnuts and the amounts vary according to what I have in but it's a great base for a pie and really tasty. It takes a bit of effort to get it all together but if you used the amounts in the recipe it'd be a HUGE pie. We tend to have a thinner version and it usually does us at least 2 meals. 

The other thing I've made is a spinach and ricotta lasagna. I knew I wouldn't be up to much and so bought a tub of cheese sauce but I wish I hadn't bothered as it was so thin and bland. The basic lasagna is dead easy though as it's just a tub of ricotta mixed with defrosted frozen spinach and a bit of the cheese sauce. It needs a tomato sauce base but that can either be a jar or just a tin of chopped tomatoes. It's so much nicer than the shop bought ones and so easy I don't think twice about doing it. Because of the meagre cheese sauce this one only lasted a dinner and one portion of lunch but usually it's a good couple of dinners for us. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Bear in a box as happy as can be.

As I've mentioned before we have a favourite book called Bear on a Bike and as the dog is also known as Bear the refrain is often changed to suit the circumstances. So today was bear in a box day! Matthew's birthday present finally arrived (a Gaggia espresso maker) and the box it came in was put to good use. At the end of a tiring day it also became bed.

Not to be outdone Isaac had to copy his role model!

He's practicing his packing here...


From when he was very tiny Isaac has loved being flung around and seems very happy being upside down. He's not been doing it as much recently (partly cos he's getting heavier and I'm a wuss) but in the last couple of days he's been scrambling up onto my shoulder in an attempt to go upside down again. So here's the boy in his favourite position.

Matthew's collected a few flags on his travels. I keep meaning to make some more as it'd be great craft project and easy to do but I haven't got around to it yet. Isaac can see the ones we have when he's in his high chair and once he's bored of food he often asks to play with them. 

Some more Isaac photography. Baby and Monkey having a cuddle.

The smiley trousers. These are the baggiest trousers in the universe and made me smile all day yesterday. He's loving cuddling and kissing at the moment and spends a lot of his day with either baby, monkey, or both and then demands cuddles and kisses from me too.


Sometimes it's the small, unexpected gestures that mean so much. On Saturday we went shopping - it was an emergency after my limited wardrobe was depleted further by peeing boy! 

Whilst browsing in the charity shops Isaac befriended the staff and when he took some clothes to the counter for me to buy he spotted 'the balloon'. The lovely lady immediately gave it to him and so he spent the rest of the afternoon with it tied to the buggy and enjoying it bobbing up and down. 

He was a very happy boy and I was given an hour to shop on my own which made me a very happy mum :~) That's what I call a gift!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Birthday cheese and some painting.

It was Matthew's 40th this week - he'll be pleased I've told everyone that! He's not much of a cake eater so we had cheese instead. 

Isaac had his first go at painting with a brush in preparation for Matthew's birthday.

And then had more fun doing it this morning. He seems much more interested in brush painting than using the finger paints. 

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Small boy, big park

The weather's not been quite as good today as it was yesterday but we've spent quite a lot of it out and about. Isaac had a great time in the park this morning. Our little outing to the library and ELC took 2 hours!  A lot of that was the walk home through the park and then playing on the swings. The second pic is Isaac doing the 'swing' sign as he'd decided he was going to stop wandering aimlessly and head that way.

Oh and we have snowdrops in the park! And also crocuses, although I didn't spot those until this afternoon. Who'd have guessed they were all under 4" of snow last week.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Current Reading

Recent and current books in the book piles are: 

There's also Playful Parenting and Breastwork: Rethinking Breastfeeding but both of those have been passed on as I enjoyed them so much, and Rose Tremain, The Road Home which has just gone back to the library. 

The Barefoot books series of Bear books is a firm favourite and the library copy of Bear on a Bike has been in our sticky paws for about 3 months now (I do renew it!). 


Bear in action!

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Roll over Beethoven

Isaac's favourite pass time at the moment is 'playing' the piano. He disappeared up the attic the other afternoon and had got as far as climbing on the stool but then he couldn't reach the on switch, bless. He can't read music yet but insists on Tigger being on the stand.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Winter sun.

Just a few pics from this morning's sunshine.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Stripes & Swans

Today was a stripe overload - stripy hoody, stripy trousers and stripy socks. With all those horizontals there was nowhere to go but up. Climbing is one of this boy's favourite activities anyway but even more so if it's on mummy and trying to get hold of the camera.

As 'himself' refused to nap and it was a nice day I stuffed him in the car and went to Stratford. He fell asleep just before we got there and stayed asleep the whole time I was shopping (not that I bought anything but it's easier to try clothes on without having to run half naked around the shop catching a toddler!). He woke up as I was ready to go home but I knew there was no way he'd go happily back into the car and sit still for another half an hour so we went for a walk by the river and saw ducks, geese and swans.  

Isaac thought the swans were great most of the time but he got a bit scared when one went really close to him to see if he had food - it's not surprising he was scared as they were bigger than he was.

I loved the low winter sun and how it picked up the water droplets on the mallard.

And the swans were so beautiful - like angels' wings.

The feet aren't quite so celestial - but beautiful in their ugliness. 

The swans took exception to a passing dog and showed off their full size.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Green Rice

I've read a few books and blogs about Montessori teaching and the under 5s. One of the activities is to measure and pour rice. This sounds like fun and whilst I expected it to be thrown everywhere I thought I'd give it a go. So that we know which is food rice and which is play rice (ie gets swept up off the floor) I put some food colouring in it - the only one to hand was some green left over from dying playsilks. So here we have it, green rice (it looks nicer in real life). 

Isaac wasn't that bothered about the pouring bit but he loved spooning it into the jug and then pouring it back into the bowl (complete with spoon).

He had fun for 15 minutes or so and then started flinging the rice everywhere at which point the activity ended!

Monday, 9 February 2009

A quiet weekend in.

All the snow was great but then came the ice. Matthew was in London all weekend so I was on my own with Isaac and the bear (Finn our dog is nicknamed Finny Bear, aka the bear!). I braved the streets on Saturday to take them for a walk - and I mean the streets as the pavements were iced over and then we settled into a lot of indoor play. 

One of Isaac's favourite toys is his collection of playsilks. Playsilks are just silk scarves dyed lovely colours (by my own fair hand in this case, although you can buy them ready dyed). The great thing about them is that they can be anything you want them to be - what educators describe as an 'open' toy. Mostly with Isaac they're capes or hats or things to hide underneath. his favourite game with them is to be under them with you like under a sheet with the light coming through. 

The bear thinks we've finally realised his worth and he should sleep on silk at all times!

Whilst I was busy doing other things Isaac took to his favourite place, the dining table. As you can see it was tidy... not. He had great fun throwing things off the table and Finn camped out underneath ready to hoover up any morsel of food that came from the heavens. 

We had a couple of afternoons of rugby - well I say we, I mean I tried to watch the rugby whilst being climbed on, jumped on and generally distracted by small boy and bear. Isaac is fascinated by Finn and follows him round as though he's a god. Mostly Finn just tries to avoid him and go about his life quietly. There are moments of sharing though (most involve food!) and here's one. 

Sunday morning was paint time. Isaac got pretty bored though and it didn't last long. For a kid who will happily mush his hands into houmous and yogurt etc he's not that keen on the paints on his hands. 

There is no photographic evidence as I was too busy cleaning up but never leave an unattended pot of M&S edamame bean dip whilst you 'just nip to the loo' when there is a toddler in the house. I can back into the room to see toddler hand covered in said green dip flicking it all over the place whilst the dog licked it up. The two of them conspired later in the day too when Isaac went and got the dog's lead out and insisted I take Finn for a walk. I swear the dog is training him!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

More snow.

More snow as in we have snow again as well as we have more volume of snow. To prove it here's the garage today...

The park looked great this morning. There were loads of families out building snowmen, throwing snowballs and sledging. There seemed to be a lot of happy people (and a fair few happy dogs too!).  There was a gorgeous little girl in a red coat and a bobble hat sledging on an old fashioned wooden sledge. She looked great against the white snow. I have a better picture of her but I don't think it's right to put it on my blog so here's a glimpse of her and her sledge. 

The trees all looked so pretty with the snow on them. It was hard to photograph them though as there wasn't any sun or any warmth in the sky so everything just looks bleak but I like this shot as the bricks in the background give some warmth and contrast. 

Amongst the snowmen was this masterpiece. I'm presuming it's a penguin but I'm not 100% sure. 

When we first moved here there was an Anish Kapoor installation at Rollright that we loved going to see. When I saw this great snowball in the park I thought it looked sculptural - the mud and earth made it look like it was made of metal or something more substantial than snow. It's only now writing this that I'm reminded of the Anish Kapoor sculpture although the park doesn't have the magic of the Rollright circle, although both are beautiful in their own way.