The Gallery: The Kitchen

I’ve written many times how my enjoyment of cooking is a relatively new thing. Before I had children, I didn’t have the time or inclination to bother, especially as I lived less than 5 minutes walk from Marks and Spencer! My children adore baking (well probably it’s the stirring and general mess making that they like), especially the taste test afterwards, so it’s only fitting that my photos for the Gallery this week show that activity. I’d love to go out to the kitchen now and take lots of pictures, especially as I totally love my new cutrtains and matching blind that I’ve got in my new house, but it might dispel any myths that I am in fact a domestic goddess if you saw it in its current state! So here’s when I’m at my happiest in the kitchen (apart from when the kids are in bed and I’m sat at the table with a glass of wine and heat magazine!):

And if you look closely, you can get a small glimpse of my new curtains which I love!

Pop over to Tara’s blog at Sticky Fingers and check out other people’s entries!

 

The ‘Star’ of the Show? (Or maybe not!)

You’d think the fact that I was a music teacher for ten years, and that all the way through University I performed as a soloist and as part of a choir that went on all sorts of foreign tours, that this would have been as a result of all my hard work and successes at school, taking part in every extra curricular activity going, leads in all the school plays?

Well, as it happened, school plays just didn’t seem to be my thing. I loved them, and wanted with all my heart to have a good role, but I was never chosen *sob*. I guess the fact I recited lines in a monotone manner, lisping through my braces, not even making eye contact with the floor through my 6 inch thick glasses, and my plump figure and E cup boobs by the time I was 13, which made it impossible to dance a single step, in retrospect, might have had something to do with it, but at the time I just didn’t get it!

By secondary school, I’d kind of given up on my dreams and opted instead to sit in the orchestra pit tootling on my flute, but in primary school, everyone had a role. Everyone was important. Without the 6th angel, I’m pretty confident Jesus would have been doomed and the entire nativity would have needed rewriting! One year, on the day of our school nativity, the girl playing Mary was too ill to play her part. Being the slightly geeky child that I was, I knew all of her lines, and volunteered to step in and take her place. How deflated I felt when the teacher decided that (despite clearly hearing me offer) the best option was to have a big doll play Mary, held by Joseph, with the teacher shouting her lines from the side!

As I progressed through primary school, my roles in the play kept coming: a workhouse boy in Oliver, a Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz, and 2nd Owl in Toad of Toad Hall among but a few.

At the time, I really thought it mattered that I didn’t have a big part, but the letter came home from my daughter’s school on Friday to say that she’d been chosen to be a ‘dancing star’ in the nativity. I’m presuming this isn’t the big, main star that guides the shepherds to Bethlehem, otherwise with my daughter’s dancing, they will definitely be taking a detour en route, but I can’t wait to see it! Every day, she sings me the songs, and amazes me at how a four year old can remember all those words, she’s even learnt to skip with both legs, rather than the one legged lunging she’s been doing until now, and I have a daily countdown as to how many days it is until she does the school show. I don’t care if she’s a dancing star or a tree trunk, as long as she’s having fun! I’ll be going to the performances, probably secretly blubbing with pride in a darkened corner somewhere. She can’t wait for Mummy and Daddy to come and watch her, and I can’t wait either, and I think I’ve got away with the whole costume making thing quite easily too, I just need to find some black leggings and gold tinsel, I bet ‘Mary’s’ mum is quaking in her boots at all the stuff she’s got to make!

SIlent Sunday…

 

What do you mean “What is it?!”

This was the question asked by one of my friends when I posted one of the pictures below on Facebook recently! Before I had children, my idea of home cooking was piercing the film lid several times before placing my meal in the microwave. Then I had my daughter and I decided I’d try really hard when it came to weaning her, to make food from scratch. She was fussy from Day 1, and wouldn’t ever touch baby food from jars, so really I had no choice! I discovered, that actually, I could make food that tasted good. My husband and daughter both ate my food and it didn’t make them ill – go me!

The trouble was, and still is, it’s not usually recognisable! I was commenting on a post over on (Mostly) Yummy Mummy’s blog a few weeks back, saying as much, after she’d written about her attempts to create masterpieces using breakfast cereals as part of Nestle’s Team Whole Grain initiative to help encourage us to all include whole grain into our diets. After confessing my appalling artitistic skills, they got in contact to see if I’d like to have a go too!

Clearly, anything that involves food will also involve me having two little helpers, but I have to say, thanks to the recipe cards they sent me, this was a perfect after school activity now it’s getting dark so early. The only thing I’m slightly embarrassed by is that some of these were made by a 32 year old, and some by a 2 year old, and I’m not sure I can actually tell which are which! So I won’t tell you what they are, I’ll leave it for you to decide, and if you get stuck, why not pop over to the Team Whole Grain website. You can find a whole range of their cereal art recipes to try out here, and they really are great fun!

The making...

More making!

And answers on a postcard, here’s our finished works of (cereal) art…

Exhibit 1

Exhibit 2 (they're not wolves, as I was asked!)

(In order to write this post, I was very kindly sent some cereals and recipe cards. Thank you Nestle!)

How to Poo (A 4 Year Old’s Guide)

Warning: This blog post talks about poo! If that’s not your thing, this post is not for you, however, I’m hoping that any mums out there might be slightly amused by it, just momentarily!

It appears that age does not necessarily provide you with the experience you need, and nor does previous experience for that matter! I blogged a couple of weeks ago, about how well my son was doing with his potty training. You can read about that here. However, 4 weeks in and he still hadn’t done a number 2 on the toilet. Instead he’d wait until the second he put his pull up on, then do the business. I wasn’t worried, in fact I’d heard that this was quite normal, I was just finding myself still dreaming of the day when I could reduce my shopping bill by the price of nappies!

We’re now in week 4, or maybe 5, and haven’t had a wee wee accident in a long time, and today, for the first time ever, he took himself to the toilet and did a number 2. This is less than 24 hours after my 4 year old daughter decided to give him a lesson on how to poo in the toilet! It went something like this:

  1. Make sure you are sitting comfortably.
  2. Squeeze! It might be a shy poo, so you need to tell it not to be shy and that it’s fun in the toilet (her words not mine)!
  3. Demonstrate! I’m sure I shouldn’t be putting this picture up and I will probably delete it soon, but this happened during the ‘lesson’ last night, I’d only gone to get their pyjamas after their bath, but he found it so interesting and clearly inspirational, because we had our first success today!

I’ve learnt from this that grown ups aren’t necessarily the best teachers, and that clearly my son is a visual learner!

Silent Sunday…

The Gallery: 11.11.11

I was feeling very optimistic about sharing some pictures and reading what everyone was up to on 11.11.11, but then I had the dullest day ever, I spent it cleaning, and I’m not sure that pictures of my beloved Cillit Bang would have worked, so I was quite disappointed that I had nothing to share. That is, until I went to pick my daughter up from school, only to find that she had been chosen to look after Benji Bear for the weekend! So 11.11.11: Meet Benji!

He walked all the way home from school with us…

He even got to the door first…

He had a chocolate lolly as a special Friday treat…

Evie showed him where she lived on her big map…

He tried her favourite dinner…

He did some karaoke (well he was a backing singer along with Bambi!)…

And was then very tired, so snuggled down for a good night’s sleep!

There’s only one family in the whole world that got to look after Benji Bear on 11.11.11, and that was us so we’re very lucky! I can’t wait to popover to Tara’s blog, and see what everyone else got up to! See you at Sticky Fingers!

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