Snibston Explorers

We try to make sure we visit lots of local attractions and events, and explore our beautiful and exciting East Midlands fully – it’s been a great time so far as we are still relatively new to the area. One place we wanted to see before it was closed down (boo) was Snibston Discovery Park.  When the smallest Baby A is safely at nursery some of us bigger ones get to do more adventurous things – however having now been, we’ll be taking Baby A when we go again as little ones are extremely well catered for with a special play zone inside and out.

Snibston is an old colliery and has a tour available of the original building given by a former miner. It has extended the site to include a Discovery/Science centre, History of Fashion exhibition, old vehicles and a great outdoor adventure play park with water, sound, sand and the more regular swings and slides. IMG_0889[1]

The park is threatened with closure at the end of July, so I would encourage you to visit over the summer holidays, we will certainly be back en masse. By far the most popular part of the day were the science experiments, all very accessible and can be completed without much adult intervention which is essential when you’re six. There was a huge amount of learning that went on, as well as heaps of fun – I even lifted a mini right off the floor – oh yes!

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Learning Curve

My last post was an attempt to add a lovely, funny quote from Terry Pratchett. I failed. It appears that I’m not allowed to put things directly from that website onto my blog – I’m still learning the ropes… No offence to the great man was intended, I just finished reading one of his book and realised I would miss his genius.

What’s in a name?

I got a bit tired of reading about what the Duke and Duchess of C will call Baby 2 – as if it’s a difficult thing? Surely for a girl there is only Peppa or Mildred, and for another boy it’s a choice between Zippy and Gilbert – depending how ‘high brow’ they want to go…

And then I remembered the incredible responsibility I felt when choosing names for our wonderful average babies, not least in finding something that Mr A and I agreed on, and then from that list checking all the possible shortenings; initials making bully fodder and rhyming nightmares… it seemed to take forever. Then you worry about being too fashionable or too odd, will they spend the rest of their days having to spell their name to everyone, does the name suit them their whole lives long, does it give them any flexibility as they become their own person… what a terrible burden to name someone.

And then, when another little bundle arrives you have to find a name that ‘goes’ with your first attempt (you could go ‘Duggar’ and just choose a letter of the alphabet?), with all the original complexities you add in how they sound together, how long it will take to write birthday cards etc. if you go for more than two then you need to start thinking by week 10! We didn’t find out the gender of our littles either – so had to plan for either/or, doubling the stress.

I’m rather liking the hippy system of letting a baby ‘choose’ their own name…

Book Review for you…

Many people probably don’t know that I’m the person who does the monthly book review for Grapevine magazine, in case you don’t get the magazine (which funnily enough I don’t!) you can read it online via Beech Publications website. Obviously the book review is the best bit, but there are other interesting articles and for local lovelies there are good contacts and a ‘whats on’ page.

http://grapevineonline.co.uk/news/

My skin is singing…

This post may shock people of a sensitive nature. In five years I had three beautiful children (that’s not the shocking bit…), and I wouldn’t change that for the world – however the impact was, clearly, mighty. No one really tells you all the things you need to know about becoming a parent, and I suppose you can’t really prepare people for something so extraordinary – certainly I wasn’t warned about the amount of singing I would be expected to do.

But the biggest challenge for me has been the basics, a simple example is that I don’t get to wash everyday. I always manage a quick wet wipe, but not a full shower/hair wash/cleanse tone and moisturise affair. To get four of us up, cleaned, dressed, fed, tidied, nurtured, read to, cleaned again, noses wiped, special toy found, shoes on, coats etc etc , and out to school, nursery, work on time is jolly tricky, especially if you are  trying to remain calm and not yell.

It means that I don’t get time to shower or even brush my own hair on occasion. I have always prioritised brushing my teeth, but that’s about it.  I have early risers so the idea of setting the alarm clock for 5.30am so that I can ‘do’ my hair before they get going sounds like torture, I have even had all my hair cut off. However, this morning was a breakthrough. Smallest A is now happy to play with her older siblings for a while before I’m required to break up any fights – and so today I used a dusty face wash, toner and moisturiser – and my skin in singing. I am totally shocked by how good it feels to have taken just five minutes for myself, and how nice my face feels – bring on the lovely Christmas pamper products I have been given over the years that are waiting patiently in the loft. xx

Another family recipe set free!

Middle Little A and I share a passion for cooking and baking and it’s great fun time together… we love it so much we took up the challenge last year to find a vegan, raw, gluten free, easy-for-kids-to-do recipe each month for Complete Health Magazine.

You can read it free online – and it has lots of very interesting stuff in it (as well as our beautiful offerings) Enjoy xx

I’ve gone all Julie Andrews…

For reasons I cannot fathom, earlier today I started singing ‘A Few of My Favourite Things‘ to baby A – we were looking for a favourite toy at the time which seems to have disappeared into thin air – or more likely been abandoned in the tsunami of a siblings bedroom (which by Friday means you’ve no hope of finding anything…). I decided one of my favourite things was baby A – nearly 15 months old is just such a brilliant age and I’m really loving it. Of course nearly 6 and 4 1/2 are also turning out to be pretty great ages too, and as we move towards Christmas these ages seem particularly brilliant for the festive season. All the Little Averages are excited about the joy of Christmas, and rather pleasingly it’s not just about presents. They are equally excited about giving presents, about the decorations, taking part in the school nativity and the various projects we’re taking part in to share Christmas gifts or similar with people in the community that may not have as much as us.

We’ve gone a bit bonkers this year, as it feels like a special time child age wise to really enjoy the innocence and magic, so we’ve welcomed Sparkle the Elf (renamed Buddy) into our home… he’s been quite cheeky so far, we put him to bed every night, but then have to find him each morning – once hiding behind the fish tank, then reading a book on the shelves etc. He might turn the milk green with food colouring later…

The singing might continue, it’s allowing a bit of me that I don’t always show to come out and embrace my inner Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way of course!

Ground Hog Day

When you have a family there are many things that people are dying to tell you, usually about 9 months too late! However, there are also MANY things that no one tells you that can come as a shock – this is not a graphic post I promise.

Apart from all the singing which came as a surprise to me, and of course then having to learn all the songs… the main one is the monotony of it all. My neighbour and I call it groundhog day, that permanent deja vu as you fill the washing machine again, the dishes again, the food shopping again, the constant tissues in the bin etc etc. I’ve come up with a range of ways to combat this (sometimes overwhelming) sensation, and it’s a question I often ask other parents, so I thought it might be nice to share some of the ideas…

  • After hearing so many times from my mother about how lucky I am to have disposable nappies and a tumble dryer I started saying ‘thank you’ to my appliances as I use them.
  • One friend shouted ‘Dear God’ when the laundry pile threatened to take over the house, which made her think that folding the laundry might be the only time in the day she gets to pray, so embrace it.
  • As the little Averages get bigger I’ve started to involve them more in chores, and amazingly it can be really nice time together.
  • I begged for these little A’s, so can’t really complain about the stuff that goes with them.
  • Take a day off now and then, leave the dishes and go have fun. We keep a stock of paper plates and instant noodles for those days.
  • The little A’s have a bag each and they use it to take up their toys to their bedroom each night (in theory!)
  • I find that I can only get about 15min windows of opportunity during the day, so little and often works best.