Week 2 of Living Arrows and for us this week has been all about getting back into a routine. If you are wondering what a Living Arrow is then this post should bring you up to speed.

The Christmas holidays always feels quite long to me (maybe because post Christmas my purse is usually pretty empty) and this one was no exception. That said, I loved having everyone at home, it was really more the children wanting to go back to see friends.

Moose

This photo was of Moose with his very first reading book from school! He was really keen to get stuck into reading and to show me what he could do. As soon as we got home he sat up to the table and asked me to listen to him read. Moose took his time and there were a lot of words he couldn’t quite get but quite a few that he recognised! He has obviously been trying hard and it is already starting to show.

Bess

Bess and I went to the cinema to see Fantastic Beasts 2 this week. I know that it has been out for ages but I managed to side step any spoilers thankfully. Bess loved it, she loves all things Potter anyway so it was a pretty safe bet. I really enjoyed the film too and it made me want to go back and do the Harry Potter Studios tour again.

Even though she is now a super cool teenager, Bess couldn’t resist having her photo taken in the cinema foyer when she saw this promo for the new Lego movie due out next month.

I feel another trip to the cinema coming on.

 

Living Arrows

 

 

Donna from What The Redhead Said has a weekly post called Living Arrows which encourages people to link up and post a photo or 2 from the week just gone with a bit of a backstory. I love the idea and have been attempting to get involved for a little while now.

You are the bows from which your children as Living Arrows are sent forth” – Kahlil Gibran

Now that the blurring in my left eye seems to be getting slightly better and I am getting back to feeling a little more human, I am trying to be a bit more on the ball. So, here it is. Living arrows!

Moose was poorly for 2 days last week. We spent the time curled up on the sofa just relaxing and watching television (with me praying that he wasn’t about to upchuck on me at any given moment, obviously). After his sickness bug had passed he was a little more active but to be honest not much.

This photo was taken on Sunday. It’s not the best photo I have ever taken, granted. Moose seemed to snap out of his lethargy at about 2pm and suddenly wanted to play. He went up to his bedroom and chose a toy to play with. He calls this toy “Auntie D2”.

I don’t correct him

It’s a cute little Moos-ism and I love it. He has others. I know I could set him right but it makes me smile everytime I hear it and god knows it will be corrected soon enough by the world outside our doors without any help from me.

Living Arrows

I love Halloween. I know it’s not for everyone and there is much talk about it being an unwelcome American import but that’s not how I see it.

Granted, there are certain rules which I believe must be observed to make it fun for everyone but when that happens. Well, when that happens Halloween is an opportunity to make the street where you live feel like a community. How can that be a bad thing?

I really enjoy helping my children to get dressed up and go trick or treating. We are very strict on 2 things when we are trick or treating

  • No decorations or lit pumpkin means no knocking.
  • You must always remember your manners.

Something I have become increasingly aware of though as the children have grown older is that people have very differing views on the age at which it is considered okay for kids to trick or treat.

I was standing in the queue at the supermarket yesterday while picking up a few bits and some people were chatting about this. I say chatting, they were having a good old moan.

“Well I think primary school age is the only ok age to trick or treat at” one lady said. The other agreed “I don’t want great big teenagers at my door”.

I silently took their point and considered where I stood on the matter. I was undecided.

As it happens I was forced into hopping off my Halloween fence when my daughter asked me this morning whether she would still be allowed to trick or treat tonight.

Bess is 12. My middle child. 12 (I have decided) is an awkward age. 1 year younger and you are in definite child territory in terms of gift buying and 1 year older and BAM, she is a bona fide teenager.

I thought carefully before replying to my daughter’s question but this is where I have decided I stand on the matter.

There is no “too old” for trick or treating

As I said previously, the rules must be obeyed of course but in a society where we are forever bemoaning the fact that our children are not staying children for long, how can we take this away?

Until Bess tells me that she doesn’t want to take part in Halloween (or any) activities then she will be included. I don’t want to have to tell her she is too old for anything, especially something fun!

If a teenager wants to knock on my door to trick or treat then he or she (as long as they observe the rules) will always be welcome.

I think we should encourage our teens to embrace their youth and get involved in events rather than viewing them as potential troublemakers.  What do you think?

Happy Halloween!

Half term seemed to creep up really quickly and then be over just as fast! I mean, ok Moose didn’t actually start school until the third week of September so it was a really short half term for him but still!

I made absolutely zero plans for this half term holiday and usually I hate that because it leaves me often feeling guilty for not providing much entertainment for the children. Bored children (as any parent knows) doth not a happy half term house make.

Luckily my sister, Jo from The Knight Tribe did the same thing. This meant that our children got to catch up with some of their cousins!

We didn’t go very far afield. The beauty of having cousins to play is that they basically entertain themselves. We spent days playing at Jo’s house, we ventured to soft play on one day and we took them all to our local country park on the last day.

We brought along our Beagle, Fudge and Jo brought their Labrador, Rosie. Despite Fudge usually being a very grumpy old lady (she is 13) she seems to get along really well with Rosie and we had a lovely day!

It’s so important to me that my children grow up with a good relationship with their cousins. My siblings are all people who I love dearly and watching our children play together is one of my absolute favourite things to do.

My sister and I managed to have 2 sets of babies quite close to each other

Bess and Leo were born 9 days apart and Moose and Emily were 18 days apart. Both pairs have always been really close. During that first half term of school Moose really missed Emily so he was really excited to spend lots of time together over the holiday.

So, although our half term didn’t really include any expensive activities or a lovely beach holiday (maybe next year, MrG?), we spent it doing something valuable. Taking time to reconnect with each other.

I am thankful for the family my children have around them and I am grateful that after such a lovely day we made it back to the car before the rain started to fall!

 

 

The Ordinary Moments

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last month or two, you must have seen the latest cleaning craze which has hit social media. The likes of Mrs Hinch and (my personal preference) The Organised Mum have been everywhere and so, the Zoflora has been out out for many a Mum and Dad.

The thing is though

I am not a naturally organised person. Cleaning is not how I express myself or what I consider to be any kind of fun. With that in mind I wasn’t feeling too enamoured when I was sent some Ace cleaning products recently – I mean, sure, I was happy to try them out of course. If anyone could pose a challenge it would be my adventurous 4 year old, Moose!

But me and cleaning? it was all a bit, meh! I have 3 children so stains are not a stranger in our home but I have always been a bit disbelieving of the claims of some of these cleaning products – mainly due to experience.

The day after our products arrived, my 4 year old son arrived home after school and it was like the planets had aligned. He got changed into his play clothes and when he handed me his polo shirt I had to laugh, I have no idea what he did at school that day but it was MESSY! Perfect timing.

Exhibit A

The first thing I did was to soak the shirt in a mix of COLD water and Ace for whites. It has to be cold water because hot water decomposes the active ingredient of bleach in the product and renders it ineffective. I didn’t know that either until pretty recently and I am 36 and have kept 3 other humans alive, so don’t feel bad if you didn’t know either.

After a while of soaking (it was going to be about half an hour but I was distracted and ended up coming back to it about 2 hours later – oops) most of the stains were gone. I then just popped the shirt into the washing machine and let it do it’s magic along with a little capful of the ACE for whites to give it a bit of help.

This was the result. Before and after – just for you!

So the shirt is again like new. I know this won’t last, there will be more stains and plenty of them. All marking out how Moose has played that day. Now that I know I have a cleaning product which works, that seems a more pleasant prospect than it had previously.

To help with your stains at home, head to ACE clean UK to find out more.  ACE can also be found in Tesco, Sainsbury’s Morrisons and Waitrose

Long live stains and creativity and pushing the boundaries – and thank goodness for ACE!

*This is a post is for an entry into Britmums #ACEforschool Challenge, sponsored by ACE*