What happened to our summer?

Well,only 9 days and September will be here.I am doing pretty well with the back to school things that I need.I still need underwear for the kids and 2 pairs of school shoes,then I think we are done. This year,after an awful shopping trip last year with 4 kids and whilst being 6 months pregnant,I have decided to get everything in dribs and drabs rather than just 1 shopping trip and I have to say it has actually been a million times less stressful. At the best of times shopping anywhere for anything with 5 children can be a nightmare. Add that to a very busy city centre with lots of other harassed parents and there is my idea of hell. Last week I took my eldest son out to get new school shoes and trainers,only to find out he is now in between a size 9 and 9 and a half in mens shoes. I don’t think it will be long before he towers over me and I’m not tiny at a respectable 5 foot 7. My brothers’ are both tall-over 6 foot and Jacks dad is aprox 5 foot 10.
I recently bought the kids a 5 foot easy up paddling pool,but due to the bad weather we have yet to try it out.I was so excited,thought I’d found a real bargain-it was £13 including postage,it was originally £23 including postage,so I was feeling quite pleased with myself. That was until we went food shopping and I saw it on sale for a fiver. Oh well.I am hoping the kids will get the chance to use it before they go back to school. I really can’t believe how fast this so-called summer of ours’ has gone and really hope we have a couple nice days yet to come. Yesterday we went to a BBQ at my dads and luckily after a rather wet start to the day,the sun came out and it ended up being a beautiful day.
This week we have trips to the eye unit for 2 and 4-year-old,they wont be too impressed as 2-year-old is still refusing to wear his glasses for more than a few minutes at a time. I made a couple batches of cakes today,1 lot was a basic fairy cake with raisins added to it-the kids have loved these and the 2nd lot were double chocolate chip cakes. I love baking but am not a natural and it seems to be a case of trial and error. For example anything I make using Baking powder seems to have a strange aftertaste-no idea what I’m doing wrong.
I did have a brilliant recipe for Carrot cake with cream cheese icing which was so good but only 2 of us,mainly me ever ate. At the moment we are teaching my 11-year-old to cook decent meals. He can already cook Spaghetti Bolognese,Lasagne and Chicken Korma with minimal help. I feel it is important to teach my children how to cook a decent meal. I also aim to teach my son how to use a washing machine as I want him to be an independent,modern man in the future.
I hope you are all having a fantastic summer whatever you have been up to.

Mummy moment

Hello everyone.I hope you are all well and enjoying the so-called Summer we are apparently having. I’m not a sun-worshiper but enjoy it best when the weather is warm and dry. I have never been one to be able to sit and sunbathe,I’m more likely to be found sat in the shade or indoors during the hottest part of the day. I wanted to add some photo’s showing how quickly the children are growing up and changing; Especially my youngest son,who is soon to be 8 months old. It has flown by so quickly and he doesn’t seem to want to stay a baby. He was crawling by 6 months,not long after he started pulling himself into a standing position either using furniture or whilst in his Travel cot. He is now the proud owner of 5 teeth, definitely the quickest cutting teeth but has seemed to suffer the most with it unfortunately. Thank goodness for teething necklaces,teething granules and teething gels.
My 2 year old son is now well and truly in the terrible two’s stage and is into everything; He can climb over the stairgate now as we found out earlier today. He can do the splits-I have no idea how or where this came from. I have never been able to do this neither has my husband as far as I am aware. I do have a very active,sporty and Athletic 8 year old that he adores but I don’t think she can do the splits. Due to all the attention it is now his party trick and he does it constantly. His speech is coming on really well and he is learning new words every day,some I noticed today that I hadn’t heard him say before include Scooby-Doo,freezing,raining,monkeys,dancing. He is also becoming quite a good little dancer and really enjoys music. He has recently started giving me a really cheeky grin if I say no to him or tell him off,little rascal.
My 4 year old is very excited about starting ‘Big school’ in a couple weeks and we are off to get her first pair of school shoes next week. I got her another cardigan and a pair of trousers this week,she already has a couple skirts,polo-shirts,pinafore dress,Gingham dresses for warmer weather.I can’t wait to drop her off and take lots of photo’s on her first day at school. It really will be a busy and exciting day as the 3 bigger ones all go back on the same day and my eldest son starts Secondary school. She has become very confident and seems ready now,initially I did have concerns as she seemed so young still and only gave up her afternoon nap a couple months ago. She was only 4 in June and I have worried more about her starting school than I did with the other 2 as they were both nearly 5 by the time they started school.
My mini-me is 8,9 in October,she is very grown up for her age and I often have to remind myself she is only 8. She has a keen interest in fashion and has her own style,she wears what she likes not usually just because her friends have something. She is tall and slim but has more of an athletic build rather than being skinny,she loves sports and last year took part in clubs at school for Tag Rugby,Cross country and Tap dancing. I was never sporty and had awful co-ordination,I am so glad that this doesn’t seem to have been passed down to my children. Sometimes it is like having a teenager in the house,she can be stroppy and moody,on the other hand she can be great company and very kind and caring towards other people.
Last but by no means least is my 11 year old son,he makes me very proud. He has come along leaps and bounds the last couple years. He is a lot more confident than he used to be and I look forward to seeing him progress and develop new interests during his time at Secondary school. He has already developed interests in Chess,Warhammer,Archery and orienteering over the past 2 or 3 years and I hope he tries out new things whilst at Secondary school. He is helpful,has a great sense of humour and is a fantastic big brother. I just hope his feet stop growing soon as I have just bought his school shoes-he is now in a mens size 9-9 and a half. I think he’ll be towering over me before long.
My children make me incredibly proud and I love seeing their personalities develop and watching them find their own interest and things they are good at. They all seem to be artistic and often sit at the table drawing or making things together (Apart from the baby of course,he just watches in awe,waiting for the day when he can join in),which is lovely to see.

Bumpeez

Bumpeez is set to become the kids latest Playground craze. It is due to be released on August 24th and will be on sale for £1.99. I was sent a pack for my children to try out.

Collectors list

They are aimed at children from 5-11 years old. My 3 eldest children are 4,8 and 11 years old and they all enjoyed playing with them. I thought that the price was a good selling point as they fall into the pocket-money price range. The Bumpeez came in a sealed pack along with a list showing all available Bumpeez. The pack includes 2 brightly coloured silicone outer rings and 2 inner pieces which have the collectable characters on them.

Having a closer look

Once inserted into the outer ring the Bumpeez can then be bounced and used to play games. My children made their own games where they had to see if they could bump them by 1 person gently throwing their Bumpeez from waist height.
I think Bumpeez will take off in a big way over the Autumn term,especially for Junior aged children. They have huge potential to become massive and will also be great stocking fillers. The Bumpeez website currently displays a countdown and will become fully active upon the official release date 24th August.
As with most collectible playground crazes there will be rare and sought after collectibles,in this instance they are called the Golden Bumpee and will contain a special code which can be used to enable anyone that gets one to receive a prize. I can see this being something my 8 year old daughter in particular would enjoy collecting and I would be happy to buy them for her,they are well made,affordable and have a traditional feel about them.

kidz5aday

When I heard about this product my initial reaction was what a great idea. My children can,like most go through phases where they are fussy eaters. When this happens it is often difficult for me to manage to get their 5-a-day fruit and vegetable portions into them. The thought of being able to solve this issue with a lovely Chocolate flavoured milkshake seemed ingenious…..
The powder arrived in a small tub which I used a scoop,followed the directions and gave it to my children. My children are good at trying new things but will quickly and honestly tell you their thoughts. After stirring the powder into a glass of milk for what seemed like forever it still hadn’t completely dissolved. I tried whisking it,that helped a bit. Then I gave it to my 8-year-old daughter to try,not a happy face,but I will give her credit for not spitting it out or saying anything negative. Her first comment was “That doesn’t taste like Chocolate”. Next,her 11-year-old brother tried it,his response was a very brutal “Yuck”. I then offered some to my 4-year-old daughter and my 2-year-old son,they didn’t spit it out but they refused a second mouthful. My husband on the other hand thought it was quite nice and finished his glass.
The idea of kidz5aday is brilliant but I feel as it is aimed at children the taste needs to be worked on.Maybe a variety of flavours. The website claims it is a tasty Chocolate flavoured shake. That is a matter of opinion. I even tried making a smoothie with it using Milkshake and fruit and my little rascals still weren’t impressed. I personally tasted it and have to admit I didn’t think it was too bad,not something I’d choose to drink for pleasure though. If my child struggled constantly to have 5 portions of fruit and vegetables I’d be more likely to give them smoothies,pureed vegetables hidden in sauces or Children’s Vitamins. I also felt that the price was quite high and not in a range I would consider.

Inspirational Quotes

I have to admit that I am a huge fan of Inspirational quotes.They seem to sum up what other’s,including myself feel in such a perfect yet simple manner. One I’d like to mention today is:
Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.Richard L. Evans
I am a firm believer that it is time and memories,not material possesions that children will remember. I am not a person highly motivated by money,is this a good or bad thing? I’m not quite sure to be honest. I do feel that this has encouraged my children to be less greedy when it comes to material wealth and they are more grateful for the treats and presents they do receive. As with many parents I’d love to be able to give my children everything their hearts desired,however,I know that realistically this will not make them the type of children I want them to be.

Another one of my favourite quotes is:
“Parents hold their children’s hands for a while, their hearts forever.” Unknown author.<a

In my opinion it sums up our purpose as parents-to nurture and guide our children to the best of our ability. I feel lucky and proud to have the opportunity to be a mother to my 5 amazing children,they have taught me so much and I continue to learn more every day I am with them.I have become more patient (slightly) since having children,I am definitely a better cook now than before I had children. I will attempt to achieve any task I am set to the best of my ability. Before having my children I felt lost. I didn’t have a Career,I went from one job to another and to be quite honest from one bad relationship to another. Having my son gave me a priority and focus I hadn’t had before. I hope my children will have more of a focus than I did. I really did feel lost for a long time.
I hope my children will make the most of opportunities they are given in life. People have asked me before who my inspirations are and to be honest my answer these days is “my children” They give me an inner strength that makes me feel strong and proud.I look forward to watching their achievements in life no matter how big or small they may be.

Listography-Children’s Films

Today I am linking up with Kate Takes 5 Listography to share my top 5 Children’s film.I was born in 1976 so the majority are 80’s films.I hope you enjoy my choices.

1.Wizard of Oz.This is my alltime favourite Children’s film.I never tire of watching it and have passed my love of it over to my daughters.
2.Annie-I first saw this at the cinema when I was a little girl.My daughter now loves it-I have recently seen a remake with Kathy Bates and am currently hearing whispers of another starring Will Smith.
3.Harry Potter-I am grateful for these film as they have encouraged my 2 older children to enjoy reading more.They captivated my childrens imaginations and all of my children enjoy watching the films,they are part of a generation that have grown up with Harry Potter.
4.The Neverending Story-This was my first glimpse at Fantasy films and I still really enjoy the films.
5.Labyrinth-Another fantastic Fantasy film,this had a great Soundtrack thanks to one of the Stars-David Bowie.

10 Things you didn’t know about me

Today I have been tagged by Wonnablogger to reveal 10 Things you didn’t know about me.

1.I studied Criminology for 18 months at University.
2.My favourite colour is Purple.
3.My ambition is to run my own business.
4.I am fascinated with the City of New York and vow to get there one day.
5.My middle name is Dawn.
6.6 years ago I was a single mum of 2-Now I’m a married mum of 5.
7.I first met my husband when I was 16. We were on and off for years and finally married in December 2006 when I was 10 weeks pregnant with our 2nd daughter. He is my soulmate and my best friend.
8.I love to cook for lots of people-especially Full English Breakfasts and Roast Dinners.
9.I love to learn but hated Secondary school due to Bullying.
10.I am a natural Blonde. (However,these days I give it a helping hand)

I am now going to Tag Oh My Daze and A New Addition

Silent Sunday


Activities for :

The Summer Holidays:Trips to the park-This is what my family always spend a lot of time doing-it’s a free activity that all of my children enjoy and the added bonus is that it uses up lots of energy-always a bonus in my busy house.
Den making-The 3 middle children tend to be the ones that do this together,they usually find a sheet or blanket and put it up over a chair in the lounge then spend ages sitting underneath plying role-play games-quite often it seems to be Mum’s and Dad’s or Schools.
Library visit-This is always a great activity for the Summer Holidays even though it’s great all year round,choosing their own books to read gives my children a sense of being independent.They enjoy making decisions for themselves.
Playing in the back garden-We are lucky to have a small Trampoline and a Sand and Water play table which the kids love playing with together.We only have a small garden and we have a raised bed where we grow our own vegetables.We haven’t grown quite so much this year as we did last year but we have had some strawberries,potatoes,onions and we are waiting for the tomatoes to grow at the moment.
Catching up with family and friends-As much as we try to do this as often as possible it is made easier during the Summer holiday’s due to the lack of time restraints.During term time,as you can imagine I am tied to the children’s school times and don’t often venture too far.
Preparation for the Autumn termNew uniforms and shoes,stationary-This year I’m feeling quite chuffed with myself as I’ve already got most of my 4 year old’s new school uniform,just need socks,pants and new shoes then she’s ready for the beginning of her school life.My 8 year old daughter just needs some socks,shoes, a couple new pairs of trousers,a new lunchbox,stationary and polo shirts.My eldest son is off to Secondary school,I need a couple more pairs of trousers for him,another jumper,polo shirts,shoes,stationary and a rugby top.I have been buying bits and pieces over the past few weeks so I won’t have to go and get everything in 1 final last minute rush.This year will be more expensive than usual as I’ve got 2 children starting new schools.I’m both anxious and excited for both of them.

Rainy Days:Art and craft activities – Craft activities such as junk modelling are always popular in our house-we always start a collection of bottles,boxes,toilet roll tubes and yoghurt pots,finger painting.

Younger childrenTrips to a soft play centre-We tend to do this more during term time when the older children are at school.Toy cars-My 2 year old son is mad on vehicles,Car’s in particular he loves nothing more than to sit on the floor with his cars making them move.For his Christmas present we bought him all sorts but I think we should have just bought him lots of cars to play with and a big box.Lots of snuggles-This is a given for all ages but little ones don’t get embarrassed or shrug you off. I’m lucky as all of my children are affectionate and vocal in expressing their thoughts and feelings.Sharing books-This has becomes more difficult as the children have got older as I used to read a lot more to the children,it is something I feel is very important and we really do need to make an effort to do it more.

Older children:Cinema trips-We recently saw Dispicable me at the cinema in 3D and Thanks to the lovely people at Skyrewards we only paid a small booking fee and a small charge for 3D glasses-all in all it cost less than a fiver for me and 3 children to get 4 cinema tickets-what a bargain.It would have been even more of a bargain if I hadn’t spent so much on snacks and drinks but hey the tickets were cheap.Out and about with their friends-tommorow my 11 year old is meeting up with his friend and they are going to the local park.I’m giving him some money for lunch and drinks. It’s the first time he’s done anything like this with his mates before and I hope it will become a regular thing as I feel he spends too much time indoors.
Camping-When kids are little they are happy with playing in the garden in a tent or playhouse during the day,as they get older it can be fun for them to sleep in the tent overnight.

Free Activities:Library visitFor us we are hoping this will be a fun,free, family activity that will encourage all of the children to have respect for and a lifelong love for books and reading.
Picnic in the Park-This is a great fun activity for kids of all ages,all I take is a blanket,sandwiches,plenty of drinks,crisps,fruit and biscuits.It can be fun at the local park,the beach,in the garden and we’ve even been known to have an indoor picnic on our lounge carpet if the weather’s bad.
Paddling poolThis is an activity that all ages can have fun doing in the garden,it encourages confidence in the water but requires constant supervision.
Baking cakes-We are constantly making cakes in my house-Mainly the basic fairy cakes or Victoria Sponge cakes,with Strawberry Jam and Buttercream in the middle.We occasionally make scones or Carrot Cake and we have a Breadmaker,which I use occasionally-I really should use it more.The kids all enjoy decorating the cakes once they have cooled down.
Film nights TV isn’t all bad,sometimes it gives me a chance to get on and do something and all of the children like watching films. My 2 year old is a huge fan of Toy Story and would watch it every day if I let him.My 4 year old loves Peppa Pig,Dora the Explorer and Sponge Bob Square Pants.My 8 year old daughter is getting more grown up and current favourites include any music channel,The House of Anubis and ICarly. My eldest will watch pretty much anything from Action movies,comedies to cartoons. One of the great things about having a large family is seeing how different they all are and how much they look out for each other,they will never be lonely and always have someone to talk to and confide in.

Mam multiple product review

I have been sent 4 products by Mam to review.

They are:

1.Mam Dummy– This was great as it stays in longer as there’s nothing for baby to grab hold of to pull out as there is with most dummies.It’s an orthodontic shaped teat so doesn’t affect tooth growth.It is 60% thinner and 3 times softer than the average Dummy on the market.  It also has large ventilation holes to allow air to circulate and therefore create less/no irritation to the skin.  The Dummy comes with it’s own “Mam Perfect box” which can be used to sterilise the Dummy in the microwave -just add water,insert the Dummy and microwave for 3 minutes.My son took to this Dummy quickly and it looks like I’ll soon have to get him some spares.He has been teething whilst using this Dummy and as a result has a tendency to chomp on his Dummies,as yet this one has not broken or been chewed through.

2.Mam Baby Bottle-This bottle was great for my 6 month old son as it has handles he can hold.He has just turned 7 months and is at the age where he so desperately want to become a bit more independent and having the handles to hold onto has helped this.The seal around the teat was really good,unlike some of  the bottles I have been using by a brand I used for years that decided to change everything.In my opinion if something’s not broke,don’t fix it.I hate fiddling about with a separate insert in my bottles.The Mam bottles are easier to use,a great shape and look stylish. The bottle is free from BPA,has a variable flow teat and also includes a soft spout.

3.Mam Sports Bottle-Non-spill. For my 2 year old son,this has been great-he’s not quite ready to use a cup,we’ve tried but he doesn’t like to sit still when he’s drinking. This sports bottle is great as it’s hard wearing,unlike some sports I’ve bought in the past.It has been put through its paces in the dishwasher,dragged around the garden,been to the park,had his bedtime milk in it so I could see how easy it was to clean.It passed every test with flying colours it comes apart easily and even has a seal which can be taken off to ensure a deep clean.

4.Mam teether– My 6 month old son has recently cut his 4th tooth,this one was a big front,top tooth and we had a bit more whingeing despite his Teething necklace.  The teether design is great as being circular he can hold onto it easily.He manages to put it into his mouth and have a good gnaw as he needs it. The Teether can be placed in the fridge for 1 hour so the cold will help soothe tender gums,my little one loves this.

In my honest opinion I have found all these products strong,sturdy and good value for money.

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