Little Girl Talk: Kenniscoots

20141204_192508Splashing and playing in the bath…

Little Girl: Daddy, I need kenniscoots!

Daddy: You need what, Darling?!

Little Girl: Kenniscoots! You know…. (she thinks for a few seconds) kenniscoots!

Daddy: I have no idea what you mean, Sweetheart! Where would you find kenniscoots?

Little Girl: Erm….. in a boat!

Daddy: Do you mean a life jacket? Or a sail?

Little Girl: NO!!!! KENNISCOOTS!!!! (As if Daddy is completely stupid!)

She starts splashing her hands at her sides forward and back.

Little Girl: KENNISCOOTS!!

Daddy: Oh! Do you mean oars?!

Little Girl: Yes!!! That’s what I said! Oars!!

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The miracle of life

Miracel of life

This evening I was scrolling down my news feed and was delighted to see a picture of friends celebrating the arrival of their little baby boy born today – their fourth child. I shared my excitement with them and carried on scrolling….. The next photo was of a little baby of a friend of a friend also born today. This little boy is fighting for his life. His lungs aren’t working properly and he’s struggling to breath. He lives in Hawaii and has had to be flown to an island miles away from his mummy. His mummy hasn’t even had a chance to hold him yet. My heart went out to them. I was moved to tears and lifted them up in prayer….. As I carried on scrolling I saw a scan picture from a friend who was announcing she is twelve weeks pregnant with her first baby…. The next status was of the excited faces of friends celebrating the arrival of their baby girl born today. I sent my genuine and heartfelt congratulations to both families…. Further down my news feed there was a family celebrating their son’s eighth birthday. This little boy is a miracle child. As a baby he was diagnosed with a very rare brain condition and his parents were told he wouldn’t live past the age of two. He has defied all the odds and is growing up into a strong and healthy young boy…… The very next notification is from another family with a child with the exact same brain condition. Their little girl was also eight when she passed away just a few days ago. The family were thanking people for their condolences and posted a heart-wrenching video celebrating the life of their beautiful little girl….. Life is a miracle, yet it is also fleeting. Today I am counting my blessings and reminded to make the most of every minute of every day.

(Little) Girl Talk (previously known as Toddler Talk!)

10422175_10152863123098628_6408966506118892040_nI’ve had to start renaming these blog posts because at four years old my daughter is most certainly no longer a toddler. Particularly if today’s conversation is anything to go by.

Somehow she had managed to get a hold of my make up bag. I’m normally pretty hot on making sure it’s out of her reach but clearly hadn’t managed today. I was busy feeding my little boy and pretty much spent about 45 minutes coaxing, asking and pleading for her to give it back to me (I’ve seen the state if her toy ‘lipsticks’ and where she applies them, and wasn’t about to let her do the same to mine!!)

Eventually the make up bag was back safely in my hands with only a minimal amount of white eye shadow applied to her forehead and nose. “I just want to make myself beautiful, Mummy.” She says to me as if I was being so unreasonable wanting the make up back. So I explained to her that she has little girl make up she can use (which as soon as she received it, the pastel coloured glossy goo was hastily scooped out and smeared onto every inch of her new doll – everywhere, that is, except where make up is actually meant to be applied. “Mummy, I put make up on her eyebrows and nose because that makes her beautiful.” Uh huh. Yes, whatever you say darling….) and Mummy has grown up make up that she uses, I quickly added so as to confirm the fact that she wasn’t to take it again.

This then lead on to a whole new conversation:

“Mummy, when I a grow nut can I borrow your make up?” (‘Grow nut’ being her word for ‘grown up’ which is a darn site better than a few months ago when ‘grown ups’ were ‘dronuts’!!)

“Of course, darling.” (Little does she know that when she becomes a grow nut, I mean grown up, she won’t want to go anywhere near her boring old mum’s make up!)

“Mummy, when I a grow nut I do lots of things.”

“Yes you will. What like?”

“Like….. I drive a car!”

“Yes, of course you will.” completely shocked at the suddenly sensible ideas that were going through her head.

“I …… could teach children like Daddy.”

“Yes.” suddenly wondering if that’s something I should start to discourage now or a little later in life?!

“I ….. sing songs on the stage at church! Like you, Mummy!”

“That’s a lovely idea, darling.”

“Mummy, what else I do when I a grow nut?”

“Erm, you could buy a house!” with a smile on my face.

“Nooooo, Mummy!” she looks at me like it was the silliest suggestion ever. “Not buy a house, silly! I buy lots of TOYS and PRESENTS!”

Of course, darling, because that’s actually what grow nuts REALLY want to buy if we would just admit it to ourselves!! 🙂

Christmas Dinner Preparations: Stage 1

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Get ahead gravy!

I can remember, once upon a time, when Christmas didn’t really begin until December. Now, as soon as Halloween is out of the way, the shops are full of tinsel, wrapping paper, stocking fillers and mince pies! I’m not going to complain, though, because if I leave all the Christmas preparation to the last minute it will just become stressful rather than enjoyable. This is why I’m starting Christmas Dinner now.

I was watching Jamie Oliver one year and he was making this ‘Get Ahead Gravy’. I thought it was a fantastic idea because it meant you could make it in advance and just defrost and warm up on Christmas Day. Not only that, it makes loads more gravy than if you were just using the juices of your turkey and it tastes AMAZING!! (You do add the juices of your turkey at the end so they don’t go to waste. 🙂 )

The gravy is quite involved and takes a while to make which is why I would only do it for a special occasion like Christmas.

You can find the recipe here.

Look out for my Christmas Dinner Preparations: Stage 2 next week!

DOH!

That moment as a parent when, you’ve spent all morning in town, ignored funny looks from passer’s by, bumped into a couple of friends, taken your daughter to nursery, been to the petrol station, tried to ignore the funny look from the kiosk lady, picked up your daughter from nursery, had a friend over for coffee, nip to the bathroom and then notice in the mirror…. you’ve been wearing a ‘Hello Kitty’ sticker on your jumper the WHOLE day!!!!

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Why we WON’T be ignoring Halloween this year

IMG_6110For most, Halloween is a fun night for children to enjoy dressing up, trick or treating, carving pumpkins and pretending to scare and frighten each other. For some it can quite a controversial festival: some see it as a bit of harmless fun, whilst others believe it’s a festival for celebrating evil.

As a child I was brought up believing the latter. I wasn’t allowed to participate in anything to do with Halloween. My teachers were asked by my mother to provide me with another activity when the other children were doing Halloween activities, and I always had to try and think of an excuse when I was invited to go trick or treating. I didn’t like feeling excluded. I felt different to the other children. I got teased and made fun of for not joining in with Halloween and, to be honest, I just wanted to be like everyone else.

As I’ve grown up and become an adult I’ve come to realise that Halloween really isn’t the harmless fun that many people say it is. I won’t go into detail about that here. I’ll save that for another post (or you can read this article by J John: 6 reasons why I believe Halloween is far from Harmless), but it meant that I simply wanted to avoid Halloween as an adult. I didn’t want anything to do with it. We would always make sure we were out of the house when the trick or treaters came round and at work, I wouldn’t bring Halloween into any of my lessons. I just treated it as any other day…. that was until I had children of my own.

Since becoming a mum I’ve realised it’s absolutely impossible to ignore Halloween. Like Easter and Christmas it’s become incredibly commercialised and targeted towards children. Wherever we go there are ghastly costumes in shop windows, scary sweets for sale and frightening advertising all promoting Halloween. Not only that, all my daughter’s friends talk about their Halloween costumes and going trick or treating and my daughter comes home from nursery asking to do the same thing.

So, how on earth was I supposed to approach the issue of Halloween without her feeling left out and excluded like I did as a child? That’s when I thought, ‘Why don’t we stop ignoring Halloween but just turn it into something different?’

Soon after I came across World Vision’s ‘A night of Hope’. World Vision are asking people to remember during Halloween that, whilst most children are enjoying friendly frights and safe scares, for the children of Syria living in war the fear is very real and it’s every night of the year. So for the first time ever we will be getting involved with Halloween. We will be carving hearts into our pumpkins as a symbol of hope for the children of Syria and we will also be raising money for them by baking cupcakes and selling them to friends and family.

My daughter is only three. She’s never known a frightful Halloween before, but now she will know Halloween as a night when we remember children around the world who aren’t as fortunate as us. We will raise money for them in simple ways and turn a night of fear into a night of hope.

You can find out how you can get involved with World Vision’s ‘A Night of Hope’ here.