Sunday, 29 July 2012

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Yummy Summer Drinks

Just been making up some drinks for the naming day party. Made some of this Raspberry Cordial and some syrup for Ginger Lemon Fizz. I was going to make homemade lemonade, but this looked soooo yummy I had to try it.

The raspberry cordial's all ready now and tested. I found it actually made nearer 900ml and dilutes nicely at 4:1 (for my tastes anyway!) and the syrup is just cooling, so I'm hoping that dilutes down OK. Guess I can always make a last minute dash to the Co-op!

These recipes are so great because they're made in advance, I love getting things well out of the way!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Homemade party decorations

The naming day preparations continue! Today I've been made loads of tissue paper pom poms. There's a good tutorial here, but I've been using 15 sheets for a fuller look. I halved the sheets I bought, leaving sheets approx. 50cm by 40cm. Ideally I guess you'd square off the sheets, but I think they've turned out OK!

I've also made a mass load (about 15m altogether!) of bunting for the large gazebo we've got, so now its just a cake test run tomorrow then the Big Clean ready for the weekend!

Friday, 20 July 2012

For my girls

Came over all lyrical this evening! All nostalgic this week after Big Muddle's first school concert.

You grew inside me
Each tiny kick a reminder
Of the amazing potential that stirred

Then you were here
Warm and new
Lifeforce coursing through you

You were a baby
Your needs intense
Your love unfaltering

Now you grow
Every day it seems
You find another part of you

One day you will be women
The world will be yours
And tiny kicks will stir inside you

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Naming Day Preparations

Now we're back from holiday, preparation has started in earnest for Baby Muddle's Naming Day.

We had a humanist naming day for Big Muddle too, when she was about the same age. It was a lovely way to welcome her to the family, without committing her to a particular faith.

This time we're holding it at home, which is great in one way but terrifying in another! Last weekend I was gardening and sewing 15m of bunting and I still have a huge 'to do' list. Caterers have been paid today (they're also hiring us chairs and the all-important tea urn) and the even-more-important wine delivery received, so that's two things down!

I'll finish with the reading I've chosen for the ceremony, written by Anne Campbell:
You are the trip I did not take
You are the pearls I could not buy
You are my blue Italian lake
You are my piece of foreign sky

You are my Honolulu Moon
You are the book I did not write
You are my heart's unuttered tune
You are a candle in my night

You are the flower beneath the snow
In my dark sky a bit of blue
Answering Disappointment's blow
With "I am happy, I have you!"

Saturday, 14 July 2012

The week that was... Butlins, Skegness

We're now back from a fabulous week at Butlins. I genuinely do not know of a better value UK family break. We stayed in Gold accommodation and took the premium dining option so our breakfasts and dinners were catered in their all you can eat restaurant. The apartment included everything we could need, even free DVD rental from Gold reception!

We did so, so much I'm exhausted! Over the week we:

  • Saw Bob the Builder, Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam and Barney
  • Watched a pantomime
  • Went swimming three times
  • Danced with the 'Skyline Gang' at the Party Pod 
  • Went on a guided beach walk, including scavenger hunt
  • Played adventure golf (extra cost @£2.50 per person)
  • Browsed the tat at Fantasy Island market
  • Danced at the tot's disco
  • Went on countless fairground rides (all included!)
  • Watched two puppet shows
  • Spent many, many 2p's winning countless keyrings at the amusements
And we still didn't fit it all in! Big Muddle was so sad to come away, but we have booked again for September!

The accommodation courtyard

Big Muddle's dance moves!


Bob the Builder

Puppet Castle

One of the rides in Bob the Builders Yard

One of the 'big' fairground rides

Sandcastle construction

Adventure golf - she was pleased with her high score!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Car Journey Spotting Sheets

We're off to Butlins for a week in the morning, and it'll be our first big car journey with both girls. When I was young I remember the Michelin I-Spy books and how good they were, but I reckon Big Muddle might be a little young for those yet!

So I put together my own brief version (available for download here if you should want it), with just ten items (ones that I hope we'll actually see, a disgruntled toddler is not a good travelling companion!). So now all I have to do is keep Baby Muddle busy for two and a half hours...fingers crossed for a mammoth nap!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Baby Led Weaning

When Big Muddle was little, I stumbled across Baby Led Weaning. The more I heard, the more I liked the idea. So I bought the book. And it looked better and better.

The basic concept is that when you wean your baby, you give them the same food you have, at the same time. So they learn to eat properly, straight away. It really is that simple, and that's the beauty of it.

However, when Big Muddle was weaning I was back at work full time, so I didn't get to be as involved with it as I am with Baby Muddle. So now I'm having so much fun, and so is she!

Yes, its a bit messy, but it makes such good sense and they really learn a good relationship with food. And I just can't imagine going through the hassle of purees and spoon feeding now. Here's a picture of Big Muddle when she was starting out, tucking into the broccoli from some macaroni cheese, gorgeous, hey?

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The reasoning of a three year old

Me: its time for sleep now.
Big Muddle: but I'm no good at sleeping
Me: oh, really?
Big Muddle: yes, I always wake up!

How on earth can you reason with logic like that?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


Its a funny old business being a couple with children. You go from being each others world, to being united by your world's new centre. From being a twosome you're now a team and its how well you work together that defines the next phase of your relationship.

This can be extremely tough. It takes something particularly strong to weather the sleep deprivation, colicky screaming and parenting worries. If you're lucky though, you find yourself united in a new way, your bond redefined and solidified by becoming a family.

It draws to my mind a reading that we had at our wedding. Its an excerpt from A Gift From the Sea by Anne Lindbergh Morrow. I hope you like it.

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. Its is an impossibility. It is a lie even to pretend to.
 And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships.
We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror at its ebb. We are afraid it will never return.
We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense  that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. 
Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now.
Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Nothing is safe

Baby Muddle can now pull herself to standing. The babyproofing (such as it is) now has to reach a whole new level!

But how do you babyproof a house with an older child in it? You can remove all inappropriate objects, but the moment your back is turned the floor is covered with tiny plastic toys/choking hazards! You can install a stairguard, but the child will fathom it out and leave it wide open!

What compounds the issue is Baby Muddle is so intensely pleased with eating that she mouths anything she can get, the smaller the better! Guess I'd better just stock up the first aid stores and take a deep breath - its gonna be a (head-) bumpy ride!