Sunday, 17 October 2010

Weekending with Us- Part Two- Lazy Saturdays?

Lazy Saturdays? Not in our house.

We popped into town to see if the library had any free range education/ Montessori books in. They did not. Nor did any of the libraries in the rest of our county, or the neighbouring county, have any of the 8 books on my list. They weren't particularly unusual books, maybe its all the cutbacks!

We were slightly luckier in a charity shop where, although they didn't have any jigsaws, I did find these beautiful Chinese bowls, which I snapped up.


My lovely friend Bev has quite a collection of these, which she uses with her minded children at Chinese New Year. It was lovely to watch them tucking into chicken and sweetcorn soup last time we did a 'Festivals Day', so I was watching out for some of my own. I'm chuffed to have found them.

We also picked up a threading toy for Beanie. Again I had been looking out for some cotton reels or similar for a while for him to thread onto a shoe lace. This was even better though, brightly painted wooden animals. He loves it!

The afternoon saw us doing some bits and bobs in the garden. The boys made a great raised bed from an old wooden pallet.

Just another lazy Saturday with us then!

Weekending with Us-Part One

Weekends have been a bit busy here lately. There have just been so many things that needed doing in the house or the garden that it seems like ages since we had a really chilled out weekend, just for us. So that's what the aim was this weekend!

With daddy often home from work by lunchtime on Fridays, we had planned for the weekend to start on Friday afternoon! So shortly after lunch we set off for a little wood a friend had told me about, promising it would be perfect for a certain over-energetic toddler. Expectations were high! We had been looking for somewhere locally for a while now, that we could go to for a few hours of family time. The essential criteria for our perfect place were:
  • suitable for longish walks, that's toddler long! 2 miles ish.
  • close to nature, with lots of things to look at, touch, collect and hear, but on reasonable paths for small people not to keep tumbling over.
  • Not too busy.
  • A cafe would be nice too and maybe a little adventure park.
After parking (£3, which we didn't mind as it was donated to the RSPB), we secured Moo in my lovely Joey Mei Tai and set off across the car park, only to discover these lovely specimens! Beanie was fascinated.

"Look Mummy, mushrooms," declared Beanie!

The wood was absolutely beautiful, and Beanie thoroughly enjoyed running off to find sticks, collect acorns and seek out squirrels, who were equally as eager to avoid him!

We found some lovely sculptures in a clearing, which Beanie said were curtains! I love a toddler with imagination, that uses their knowledge of what they know to make sense of new things!

We met and chatted to a few people as we wandered along the trail, including a lovely older couple walking their beautiful Jack Russell dogs. Beanie loved stroking them and kept saying " Hello darlings!"


It was a lovely place for a relaxing afternoon walk, it definitely ticked all the boxes we needed it to!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Alternative Blog Names!

I should have started writing a blog several months ago. Many posts were written mentally and ideas noted of things I loved from other blogs, that I much enjoy reading. Posting on my own was something which I was keen to do. However, procrastination, indecisiveness and general dithering over what I should call my blog got in the way. Every time I decided on a title, I doubted whether it was catchy enough, if it summed up me and my little brood well and countless other doubts too. So, her are some of the other blog names on the list!

  • Somewhere in the Middle- we live in the midlands, and I find myself sitting 'in the middle' on most things: we babywear sometimes, we grow our own (but not loads)... you get where this is going!
  • Beanie, Moo and Mama too- me and my little ducklings... but I didn't want to leave dad out!
  • Butterflies and Buttons- two of my favourite things. I just love butterflies, hence the banner, and buttons too.
  • Wonder mama- not because I'm big headed or anything like that. Trust me, I'm far from wonderful! More that I seem to constantly hurry and rush these days!
  • Time for another coffee?- Isn't it always? Not the instant kind, or those awful cappuccinos from a machine where you just press the button. But proper filter coffee. Freshly made.
  • Mummy to the Monkeys- and they are little monkeys! One is going through a 'mountain goat' stage, of climbing on everything! So maybe mummy and the Kids? In the nicest possible way, of course!
  • Adventures of our Free Range Family-  I do like to think that we allow our children to be a little free range. We use gentle discipline and like them to explore outdoors. We like them to be their own little people and explore at their own will. There are a few 'free range' titled blogs that I've stumbled across and enjoyed. They do, however, all seem to be much more free range than us though, and give me something to aspire to, both in how we encourage our children to learn and grow and in the lifestyle of our family.
But in the end Make, Do and Mend won the day. I know the phrase is more 'Make-do and mend', but I like it the way I've written it. I hope to use this blog to show you the things we have made, to talk about the things we do as a family and also that it will bring out our up-cycling/mending skills! It sums up the things we enjoy; boot sales, thrift and charity shops and also making and mending from various other sources!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Re-discovering the Creative Me

In the years BC (before children), time was aplenty. I remember long lie ins, I mean REALLY long, way past 9am! I remember turning my hand to card making, meticulously keeping photo albums of holidays, summers, city breaks, friends and one extra-special one of my step-son's time with us. Now I have to-do lists; lists of bits the children need for the autumn/winter, list of things I have been meaning to do for a LONG time, lists of things I need to do today, this week, in the garden... and so the lists go on. The photo albums haven't been updated in months, a bag of card-making and craft bits sits dusty on the shelf waiting for me to finish our honeymoon album, and several pairs of curtains(well 4 pairs actually) are that little bit too long. There's no room in this busy family filled lifestyle for a more creative me, despite the lovely old singer sewing machine sat up in our bedroom, kindly given to me via freecycle by a lovely couple whose mum sadly no longer needs it since she went into a home. I feel a duty, an obligation to put it to good use and hem the curtains, make some lavendar filled hearts for my Mother-in-law's Christmas Present and maybe even some lovely Christmas bunting. My lovely (half-knitted) scarf sits in the dining room screaming to be finished and those albums arent going to complete themselves.

Top of my lists is the need to make room for my creative side. The practical need for Christmas gifts to be made and various pairs of curtains to be hemmed aside, since we moved here in February I haven't been myself, I've been feeling down in the dumps, not sure which direction to take my life in, and generally quite sorry for myself. I'm hoping that by making time for my creative side my confidence will increase, I'll be happier in who I am and the life I live... oh and there'll be less on my to do list too. Well at least this is one thing off my list, start a blog. Chance for my literary creative side to be explored.

I hope you enjoy reading the adventures of my wonderful, fun-loving, life-loving brood as much as I enjoy and feel privellaged to share their lives with them.