Friday, 31 July 2009

Noahs Ark Childrens Centre

We spent most of the day here today and it is a great place. Full of things the children can do, not just the obligatory soft play, slides, ball pool, trampoline, but also crafts, dressing up, jigsaws, play dough, kitchen area and reading area.

I took my 4 year old niece too and we had a ball. We spent a lot of the morning on the active things going down the slides and just running off lots of energy.

We then had a lovely healthy lunch (they don't serve chips or fizzy drinks), all three of the children ate really nicely and enjoyed their food.

We then went to the craft area and did some gluing, sticking, cutting and all three interacted really well. It was nice having a girl in the mix.

Shortbread star wands

We have had great fun making these this afternoon, we picked up the idea from the summer issue of the Tesco Magazine and it was really easy.


275g plain flour
200g cold butter
100g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
lolly sticks

To Decorate

egg white

basically, you add the butter and flour and mix to a breadcrumb consistency
Stir in the egg yolks and icing cugar until it forms a dough
roll out on a floured board
Cut in to shapes - we used stars, my tip would be to make the shortbread pretty thick.
The eldest MiniMad pushed in the lolly sticks and then you cook at 200 degrees C for about 10 mins or until the edges start to brown.

Beat the egg white lightly

Brush the hot cooked shortbreads with egg white and sprinkle with decorations.

Leave to cool and then enjoy!

Thursday, 30 July 2009

A nicer sort of Thursday

Today has been Thursday, but a different sort of Thursday. A rearranged less stressed Thursday. A much nicer, happier, more relaxing and preferential Thursday - yes you get my drift.
We had friends over this morning and played and laughed.
We then had lunch from leftovers.
Went to animal antics at Sure start
Went to mums and got her shopping list
Left the boys with her
Did her and my shopping
Went back to mums and cooked for the boys
Fed the boys
Got back in the car and came home to a house where MadDad had
  • emptied the bins
  • Put the recycling out for collection
  • watered the plants
  • fed the cat
  • changed the cats litter
  • got the boys PJ's ready
  • Got their clothes out for tomorrow
  • made me a cup of tea
Hurray for a summer Thursday

Pine Cone Bird Feeders

The MiniMads and I went to the local sure start centre this afternoon, for some Amazing Animal and Bug fun and the boys loved it.

The weather was kind and the rain held off, so they went on a bug hunt, enjoyed looking at them in their bug catchers. Drew the animals as best they could. Finlay did worms, which were just brown lines, but they were worms none the less.

We also sang animal songs and read animal stories and made Pine cone bird feeders with lard and seeds. It was so easy to make, just mix the lard with seeds and oats with your hands - lovely messy fun and swish it into the pine cones. Then refrigerate and hang. I have promised that we can make some more when the weather isn't great.

But Mummy my top is on the right way

Said the youngest minimad this morning and you know what who am I to disagree and you know why......................... He dressed himself, top underpants and shoes.

So he spent the day with his top like that and I didn't mind one bit!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Swimming - Proud Mum Moment

This morning has been a challenge, I am not feeling on tip top form and the MiniMads are pushing the boundaries somewhat.
Anyway I decided to take them to our regular Wednesday Swimming to burn off some energy and guess what, DS1 has just earned his 5 meters backstroke badge. I was astounded, amazed and ever so proud, that my four year old has managed a width of the little pool on his back without any floatation aids.
They both adore swimming and I tolerate it as I want them to be confident in the water and enjoy swimming.
So even though I feel sick, have had no sleep and have the nastiest headache I have had in a long time, I am trying to enjoy the small joys in these holidays.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Recycling broken crayons

If you are anything like us you will have loads of broken, half chewed and blunt crayons, so this is a great way to reuse them and also make multicoloured and non-rollable (ours always roll off the table and snap) crayons.

All you need to do is snap up the broken ones - minus the paper of course. Pop them in a heatproof mould. Mine were 99p silicon ones from home bargains and we use them for ice cubes and then heat in a low oven for about 1o mins.

Then allow to cool, turn out and you have funky crayons, that are great for little hands, compact enough to go in travel bags and don't roll off the table.

I am not organised enough to match our fruit mould to colours, but you could. My boys love them and they make great presents for friends with little ones starting to use crayons as they are easier to hold than regular ones.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Pavement Paint

In between the rain we managed to do some pavement painting. I found the idea here at kiddo and have been waiting for a rain free day to give it a try.

All you need is

  • Cornflour
  • Water
  • Food colouring
  • Containers
  • brushes or foam
You just combine the water, cornflour and food colouring in containers.

The boys loved it, they like to paint inside, but they had free rein outside and just experimented with mixing colours and making shapes.

It started to rain on us, which cut things short, but I have promised a repeat performance as soon as it is dry and we have time.

As you can see from the photo is dries a lot lighter

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Days out and car packs

If you have every been unlucky enough to have a flat tyre or a breakdown with children in the car, you will understand just how much of a lifesaver having something they can do in the car is.

With this in mind I have been busy putting together some drawing, reading and craft packs for the car and for when we take my mum to hospital etc.

I tend to save all the crayons and pencils you get in restaurants and also all the little sticker packs and gift packs you get with children's magazines. I have packs with dot to dots, colouring, puzzles, sticker books, maths and English books, beads and thread, travel games, no mess painting, Plasticine, small pots of play dough and small cutters and a tray. The list is endless really. I keep a couple in the boot of the car for emergencies and I keep the rest in the craft cupboard to use as necessary. Such a simple idea, but can really save the day.

Home made scented play dough

One of the things that my boys adore is play dough, especially the youngest MiniMad, but it all tends to end up in one miss mass of colours, so I make a batch of home made every three months of sooner, depending how long it is before they want more than one colour.
Since they no longer try to eat it I have started to add essential oils to the mixture, which takes the whole experience of play dough to a different level.
It is so easy and inexpensive to make
1 and half cups (1 cup is 250ml) of salt
3 cups of warm water
3 cups of plain flour
3 tablespoons of oil
6 teaspoons of cream of tartar
Food colouring
Essential oils
  1. add the salt and water to a large pan and wait for the salt to melt
  2. add the flour, oil and cream of tartar and heat over a medium heat, stirring continuously until it starts to pull away from the sides
  3. Tip out the dough and need for about 2 mins
  4. Split the dough in to smaller amounts and add food colouring and essential oil

This keeps in an airtight container for about three months

Spiritual Sunday

My Home is a Peaceful Haven

I bless my home with love
I put love in every corner and my home lovingly responds with warmth and comfort
I am at peace

I was up really early again this morning, a mixture of insomnia and the minimads. MadDad gets a lie in on a Sunday, so I thought I would take one of my power thought cards and think positively about my home and the people in and around it.
We do love our home, it is full of memories and also possibilities of thinks to come. Take some time to think of your home this morning and about what feelings you want it to give out to you and people entering through the door. We are all products of our environment.
We call our home the mad house, due to the fact that 7 to 7 there is never a dull moment or really much quiet, but there is peacefulness, like now, The tumble dryer is on, the rain is hitting the conservatory roof, but we are are peaceful. Eldest Mad is reading, Youngest Mad is drawing, I am blogging and MadDad is sleeping - we are all at peace.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

My new baby and My first sewing project

My mother is a sewer extraordinaire. I grew up wearing home made clothes, she made our bedding, curtains and loads of fancy dress costumes.

Guess what, I think that she must of intimidated me on the sewing front, as I am a cant sew, wont sew girl.
But times are a changing, let me introduce you to the new member of the MadHouse - Sally The Sewing Machine. She is a Singer handed down from my mummy. She is very old, much older than I am, but she sews and that is all I need.

I needed to make the boys some painting smocks and this was one of the things I remember my mum doing, although hers were much more intricate than mine as she included Velcro at the back and elasticated sleeves. All I did was re-purpose some of MadDads old work shirts and cut off the sleeves, collar and then shortened them. Voila

The very very handsome Youngest MiniMad modeling said art smock

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Mummy I want to marry you

said the eldest mini mad today. This is something that is coming up more and more recently. So I explained very patiently that I couldnt marry him as I was already married to MadDad. "Thats OK mummy, I will wait till he is dead".

That will be a long time I countered and really you should marry someone your own age that you love. "I love you mummy" he said. I know I replied I love you too and I always will love you, even if you are naughty I will still love you. We are family and that is forever.

"You are my best friend Mummy" and that was the end of that conversation.

5 minutes later the youngest Mini Mad comes in declaring he has a baby in his tummy and it is going to grow big and then I can look after it. "How did it get there?" I asked. "I ate it mummy" he replied and I left it at that not wanting to get in to the whys and wherefores with a 3 year old.

About 10 minutes later he came and told me it was twins and again I just mumbled that cool. "Mummy can we grow a baby in your tummy" fear ran through my body and he then gave me a jelly baby and said "here mummy this is the seed". Oh the minds of 3 year olds.

Things to do on essential, but boring trips out

We regularly take my mum to the hospital and I find that if I am prepared and plan things in advance that they go much more smoothly.

So I have put together small packs including colouring pens, crayons, drawing books and a reading book in a small wallet for each of the boys.

This worked really well for them both yesterday and kept them pretty entertained during the tedium of the day.

I am going to do some more so that I can just grab them when we go out, any ideas of what I can put in them?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Traffic light Jellys

My boys like most children love jelly's, but they also love making them. One of my abiding memories of childhood is sitting on the kitchen counter top eating jelly cubes.

With this in mind we make jelly's the old fashioned way and I half the cubes and save the rest for next time.

Today we have made traffic light jelly's, which takes a little longer, but the mini mads really enjoy doing. A fun way to spend yet another rainy afternoon and the real plus is that we all love eating them. We also add soft fruit to the layers if we have any, but the cupboards are bare at the moment!

Speech Therapy Assesment

The eldest Minimad was born with a tongue tie which didn't go until he was 5 months old and it has caused him to have issues with the F sound, so the preschool referred him to a speech therapist.
This morning was his assessment at home and she asked him to sound out lots of words, to try and isolate where he had any issues.
He can sound it out at the end and middle of a word, but not at the beginning, so she is going to send us details of some fun exercises we can do over the holidays and see him once he enters Reception class this September.
I think we all want what is best for our children and I was so relived to hear that he has fantastic language and vocabulary and that she really has no concerns at all.
He did the exercise with her and then disappeared to play games with Grandma Mad and the youngest Minimad, whilst she explained all this to me and then as we were finishing up she put her arm on my shoulder and told me she had had a mastectomy two years ago and asked how I was getting on. I don't want peoples sympathy and hadn't told her of my issues - although I haven't got my prosthetics on (not many people notice or if they do they are too polite to say).
She told me that you could feel the love I have for my children from the moment she walked in the house and that I should cherise everyday as they grow up far too soon. How wonderful to have a virtual stranger come in and say that to you. I have tears in my eyes.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Mondays are home bluring days and an update on the bed

Mondays for us in TheMadHouse are home blessing or bluring day as I call it.
This means that we go round and polish all rooms, vacuum, sweep and tidy and I do me we. Each of the mini mads has their own pinny and feather duster, they also have a sweeping brush and can use the hand help vacuum too.
This way the house is all prepared (as much as possible) for the rest of the week.
This weeks intensive clean is the master bedroom, so I will concentrate on cleaning in there, doing the skirting, cobwebs, windows etc.
I try and instill the boys not to have all their toys out at once and also to put things away when we have finished with them, everything has a place.
Whilst I have hoovered etc the boys have been doing some colouring and plating on the swings in the garden.
We have also made a decision to cancel the bed and asked them to come and take the damaged one back.
The eldest MiniMad has bunks in his room and they have been sharing, youngest in the bottom and it has worked well, so much so they asked if they could share. To which we said a resounding yes and spent much of yesterday afternoon re-arranging furniture.
So now the minimads share a room and we have a spare room with a sofabed, wardrobes and some of the larger toys in.
This means we also now have a study/ironing room with much more space in, so I plan to move all my scrapbook stuff upstairs so that I can do it when they are on the PC. We are also putting back my nursing chair from the garage.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Spiritual Sunday

Before I went in to hospital MadDad bought me some Power Thought Cards by Louise Hay. They are a wonderful, colourful set of inspirational thoughts which I use in quiet moments to think and center my thoughts.

I keep them in the kitchen and look to them during a quiet moment and todays card reads

I turn every experience into an opportunity

Each problem has a solution
All experiences are opportunities for me to learn and grow
I am safe

They really confirm and compound on all the positive thinking I am doing. I carry a thought card in my purse which reads "I am thinking positively towards the future" specifically for when I am having down days about my health.

One of my big things at the moment is gratitude, I find that it kind of multiplies and that if I think of all the things I am grateful for the negative thoughts can not get in. I am going to start a gratitude journal and document these things at the end of the evening. It is often the small things that I am most grateful for and I want to document it more.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Wet weather games and puzzels

As the Mini's get older one of the great things about wet days it that we can play board games and puzzles together.

One of our new favourites is Orchard Toys Shopping list, which is like bingo with food, you place all the pieces face down, each have a shopping list and a trolley and the first to get their trolley all full with food shouts shopping list. This is great as the youngest Mini Mad who is just 3 can play along too.

We also have a leapfrog Bingo game, which has a wheel to turn and works on the same format, it has shapes, numbers, colours, animals and also easy sums.

The eldest MiniMad has always loved board games and jigsaw puzzles and can find the correct piece much faster than me. He is currently doing 60+ piece ones.

We are also rediscovering blocks, specifically duplo and lego, previously the youngest has always taken great delight in knocking down or breaking what ever the eldest had made upsetting him terribly, but now he likes to try and build and play himself too, which is brilliant.

So this is what we have spent the majority of our rainy Saturday doing, oh along with a perennial favorite of the boys - play dough

Friday, 17 July 2009

Its raining its pouring

The weather is very wet at the moment, so much so that a 25 min journey took me and the boys an hour and a half this afternoon and was very hairy in places. I was secretly pretty apprehensive, but the mini's were loving every minute of it! Especially as they watched two cars fail to make it though the flooding and they gave a great big cheer when we manged to get through, MadDads voice in my head "high revs and go slow". I have a diesel and that does make it easier in the wet.

Well one thing that is loving the rain is our garden. MadDad installed a water butt when he built the raised beds and we have been amazed at how much water it collects and uses and we love the fact that it is so ecological too (one of the other things we want to instill in the children is looking after their planet).

We are really enjoying the fruits of MadDads labour and the peas are wonderful and sweat almost like sweets. The mangetout are so crisp and delicious. The kale and chard plentiful and both boys love them, although MadDad is not so keen. The potatoes are coming on well, but we planted them a couple of weeks late due to hospital, so we are waiting before trying them. The cabbage are yummy and well you get the picture it all tastes so much better when you grow it yourself with no pesticides and anyway I am running out of ways to describe the taste. The spinach seemed to have taken over so we have pulled a couple of the plant.

We are excited watching the rest and the boys seem to be even more excited than me. The eldest MiniMad came in and jumped up and down when the beans first flowered. we have eaten carrot thinning in salads. The mixed salad leaves have not done so good, neither the belotti beans or the corn. The pumpkins, leeks, onions, sprouts, broccoli, cauli and parsnips are all looking promising.

Even better still the apple tree we planted last year (we moved in to a new build, so our garden was just a building site 2 years ago) is bearing fruit. We have strawberries in hanging baskets and I think we need to have much more strawbs next year as the boys love them.

The bad and the good

The youngest MiniMads big boy bed arrived first thing this morning and the grumpy delivery men refused to carry it upstairs - jobsworths.

So I asked them to lay it down in the sitting room and we decided to go out to soft play as it was raining cats and dogs (still is in fact).

The Mini's spent 4 hours running round like the mad men they are working up a sweat and having fun.

MadDad came home early to put the bed up and we decided to open the bed and carry it upstairs as it was far too heavy for me to attempt to lift. Anyway to cut a long story short - it is damaged, not a little, but snapped in two Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

I have spent the last 45 mins on hold. "Your call is important to us, you are in a queue, please hold or call us back" Double Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I finally get through only to find out the bed is out of stock and will not be back in stock until next Thursday.

We want this particular bed as it matched his furniture, so we are held over a barrel really.

Anyway youngest MiniMad was really upset as we had been building him up to transferring to a bed boy bed all week and I was made the proudest mum in the world when the eldest Mad piped up "you can have my big boy bed and I will sleep in your old cotbed until you arrive". I nearly burst with pride. I love my children.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

You can stop the world again - I am ready to get back on

The day has improved, unlike the weather. It is heavy shower after heavy shower.

I gave in on the trying to dry a super king size duvet and a single duvet, along with all the bedding and went out a bought cheap (£10 and £5) ones from Argos. At least this way I will have a spare should it ever happen again. I rationalised that it was a cheap as going to the laundrette and the fact is that my washer can cope with the duvets, so I may as well.

One of the things the boys have discovered in the rain is that you much faster sown a wet slide if you are naked. So my poor neighbours have been subjected to them running out and jumping on the slide in the middle of the down pours.

We managed to get the shopping done this morning with only the minimal amount of stress and MadDad managed to get in to have a family dinner with us. Home made lasagna and garlic bread yum yum.

The forecast for the next couple of days isn't great (well it is for the garden and the veg, but not the children or me), so I will be delving in to our rainy day activities.

Hell in a handcart

I guess this morning is just the start of one of those day that you wish hadn't started. I guess the night wasn't that great either.

The Youngest MiniMad didn't settle at all and ended up sleeping in our bed, which meant that I had hardly any sleep. The eldest MiniMad had one of his very rare accidents (he has a chest infection and all the that coughing can not help). I spilt my cup of tea all over my bed.

Came down to put the first load of washing in to find The Cooking Fat had had two accidents during the night too.

Now the thing is Thursday are not the most favorite of my days. It is food shopping in the morning with my mum and the boys at Aldi and then I have a regular appointment on the afternoon and it is always so stressful. Today even more so, as I need to get sheets and Duvets for the youngest's new big boy bed which arrives tomorrow morning (hopefully).

Also I have had a falling out with a friend, which is really hard as I don't make friends lightly or easily and only have a few really close friends. I am trying to make amends, but she is not taking calls or answering e-mails and with two children I can not just drop everything and visit.

So I need to take a chill pill, relax a little and try to centre myself and finnish drawing out the shopping lists for the boys.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

"That wasnt a yawn my mouth just stalled"

The youngest MiniMad is going through a stage of not wanting to go to bed on his own or even be on his own and he is fearful of everything.

We have tried to rectify this as much as we can, by reassurance, by turning off the light, by turning on the light, by moving his bed, by ordering a big boy bed, by removing the stickers on his wall, by reading to him and short of actually remaining with him until he falls asleep, we can not get him off to sleep.

Tonight he has been in bed since 7pm and fighting sleep, whenever we leave the room he sobs and comes downstairs. I have stayed with him and he woke and came back down. MadDad sat with him when he returned home from work after a late appointment.

We keep telling him he is tired and he keeps just falling off and then waking with a jolt. He has just come down stairs again and done a great big yawn and informed us "that wasn't a yawn mummy and daddy, my mouth just stalled". What a way to get to get to stay up.

Learning to FLY

I am an avid follower of Flylady - it is a great routine, which means that the housework should never pile up and that spring cleaning should never need to be done.

It lets you build up new habits and also develope routines that suit you and your family. Over the last two years flylady has been a godsend. It helped me come out of my PND and also meant that when I was in hospital MadDad and other family knew what needed doing and when it needed doing.

It also means that I have time to concentrate on being with the MiniMads and that they understand that the house needs cleaning and help out. Both have their own feather dusters and pinny's and help with the polishing, wiping, tiding etc. They put their clothes in the wash basket, they get the next days clothes out and put them in their designated place too.

We felt that it was important that the boys understood how the house run and take responsibility to help out. I want them to grow up being able to look after them self and a house, to be able to load a washing machine and iron. I want them to be able to be an equal partner to the person they fall in love with.

MadDad and myself have a nice division of labour, both concentrating on the things we do best - he does all the nasty jobs, the cat litter, the bins and dishwasher on a morning!!!

He understands that I like things to have a place and that I NEED to have the bedclothes all nice and tidy and the duvet right upto the edges of the duvet cover and when I came out of hospital he made sure that they were perfect for me.

I think that what makes our relationship work, concentrating on the things that we can do for each other that take no doing, understanding our little peculiarities and in fact loving each other because of them.

Ducklings - my little swimmers

I take the minimads swimming once a week and have done since both of them were six weeks old. It is important to me and MadDad that they have confidence in the water and enjoy swimming.

The Eldest MiniMad graduated to swimming lessons on a Tuesday afternoon just after his forth birthday and is really enjoying the Independence that it brings and is currently doing his Duckings 4 badge. The youngest and I go to an organised session on a Wednesday morning and he has just completed his Duckings 2.

However, over the holidays both the Mini's and I will be going every Wednesday morning. we used to all go together until April anyway. Swimming is one of the exercises that I find really easy to do after the mastectomy, although my muscles do hurt a little on the evening.

I forgot how much fun it is taking two of them and trying to get them dressed and get myself dressed too. I do find that a lolly whilst dressing them keeps them quiet and gives me the chance to get dressed to.

How does your garden grow

We have tried to teach the boys were the produce we eat comes from since they were tiny - having a father in law who is a dairy farmer really helps. So we grow veg in our small garden.

After coming out of hospital MadDad decided that I needed raised beds to make this more accessible this year and set to work with his trusty saw and transformed some old planks of wood in to 3 fantastic raised beds. We are now beginning to see the fruits of his labours.

We planted cabbage, cauli, broccoli, kale, chard, spinach, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, leeks, beans, peas, pumpkins, courgettes and strawberry's in our little beds.

It is wonderful watching them eat all the food we have grown and also the amazement as they see things grow before their very eyes.

They each help water the plants and take responsibility for their own pot of sunflowers - feeding them and watering them too.

I am very lucky in that both the boys love eating veg, but this introduces new veg to them very easily and we are having ratatouille for lunch

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Introducing Mr Smudge aka TheCookingFat

Mr Smudge our large white cat has been with us for 13 years and used to be part of a double act with his partner in crime Snowey, who sadly left us just over 3 years ago. He is a grand old long haired cat, who tolerates the MiniMads and loved to be fussed over by grown ups, any grown up and leaves us little presents and hair all over the place. He was one of the main reasons we have a wooden floor downstairs, as it is a pain in the butt vacuuming cat hair all the time.
Things Mr Smudge does which are not at all cat like
  1. He licks the TV screen when you turn it off
  2. He comes in when called
  3. He refuses to use a cat flap, preferring to yowl until you open the door for him
  4. He likes being groomed

Ice Treasures

The MiniMads played with ice treasures I had frozen earlier this afternoon. It is a great idea that I borrowed from a friend. I froze small items eg plastic dino's, bugs and beads in layers in a bowl and then let them lose with salt toothbrushes and spray bottles filled with coloured warm water. It is especially great when the weather is warm. You could always do smaller ones in ice cube trays or weaning pots, which would take less melting and put the whole cube in a bowl of warm water.

Painting Money Boxes

My boys loves painting objects and I often keep an eye out for things in the pound shops and put them in our craft cupboard for morning like this.
Both boys have been up since six and asking to paint, so I got out of my stash a couple of small money boxes for them to paint, granted the poster paint in them had dried out, but I have plenty of that.

So they both sat at the dining table with old newspaper under and started work on their masterpieces.

I have also frozen some ice treasures for later on this afternoon whilst my mum is looking after them during an appointment for me. I will update on those later in the day.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Crafts for the Teacher

The Eldest MiniMad had his last day at preschool (nursery) on Friday and he has really enjoyed the time he spent there and I so wanted to tank his two teachers for the fantastic time he has had. He would run there on a morning and not want to leave when I collected him 2 hours later.

I know many people do not agree with presents for the teacher, but it was an effort to show the appreciation I have for them and also the fact that I entrusted them with my Perfect First Baby.

MiniMad never does any arts or crafts at preschool, I guess that is due to the fact that we do them all the time at home, so I decided we would decorate a cup for each of the teachers and fill with hot chocolate and herbal teas.
It is really easy as he just uses his finger and I embellish with a pen, so we did pigs, flowers, butterfly's and bees.

A little bit about us all and the start of the holidays

We are a family of five, trying to get through life in a happy, but somewhat chaotic house. I am a little obsessive, MadDad is practically perfect in every way and the MiniMads are happy, joyful, curly haired monsters aged 4 and 3. We also have a really old long hair white cat Mr Smudge to you and me, he kind of some and goes as he pleases.

MadDad works Monday to Friday to keep us in pennies and I am a SAHM, who is going to tentatively start work part time over the summer at home.

This is our first summer before the eldest MiniMad starts school and is a really big milestone for us

I underwent a double mastectomy in February and didn't think I would be here to experience this summer at all, so I thought I would keep a record of what we did and are going to do.

Today is the first day of the holidays for us, Preschool finished last week and all our organised mum and toddlers finish this week too. So today has been a planning day and an imagination day for the boys.

Our dinning room has become a Bedouin tent with the dinning table and chairs covered with blankets and the floor with every cushion and pillow in the house.

We have made a tepee with garden canes and played at cowboys with woody and Jessie from Toy Storey.

I have also been declared heartless by the MiniMads when they were in their Doctor modes, as they could not discover a heartbeat at all (nothing new there then MadDad would declare)

We have also been planning what we want to get up to and the best way to show it. So have done a summer holiday planner and activities, which I am going to laminate and we can stick the activities on the right day.

We have also brainstormed the type of activity we want to do over the summer break.

Splitting it in to Go, Do, Make and Read. I guess that this will get added to quite a lot when we all think of things that we want to do or explore during the summer break.
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