Me & Mine - March 2018

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Joining up with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project with these photos of our family for March.



They were both taken right at the end of the month as it was Miss A's 5th Birthday.

It was a busy month which culminated in Miss A's 5th Birthday! The weeks' leading up were completely focused on her party as we organised the whole things ourselves. It was absolutely exhausting but went really well and I'm so glad we put in the effort.

March Highs:
  • - Miss A's 5th Birthday was the main highlight of the month. She has changed so much in the last year and continues to amaze us all the time. I think going to school has definitely matured her and she is learning so much. She is such a fab big sister to Master R, I hope they always have such a close relationship. Here's to the next year!
  • - We hosted a Mermaids & Pirates party for Miss A. We organised the whole thing ourselves from the decorations, to the food to the party games. It took a lot of preparation but it was so worth it as the kids had such a fun time. 
  • - On her actual birthday, Mr MoaB was working but his Mum and friend came down to visit and we went to the Ice Cream Farm for a play and ice-cream treat!
  • - Mr MoaB and I made the most of a child-free day to go for a bike ride in Delamere Forest. I'll readily admit that I'm not the biggest fan of cycling but Mr MoaB hired me an electric bike and there's no going back now, it's electric for me all the way! 
  • - We had lots of fun for World Book Day. I did a week of book themed activities for the kids with some of their favourites such as the Gruffalo, Giraffes Can't Dance and the Smartest Giant in Town. Miss A dressed up as a pirate from Pirates Love Underpants. 
  • - We spent an afternoon at Norton Priory Museum with some friends. The kids enjoyed exploring the Museum which was very quiet and spending a bit of time outside in the playground and mud kitchen, although it was quite cold to be out for too long. 
  • - Another afternoon out with friends was to Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre. It was lovely to see the new foal they have there. 
  • - Miss A had a few Birthday parties this month. It's so lovely to watch her interacting with her school friends. 
  • - Miss A visited the opticians for the first time. She has been asking to go for a while as a couple of children in her class have glasses. We thought it would be a good experience for her to see what goes on. It led to us spending a whole weekend doing opticians role play. 
  • - Miss A attended an Easter event at a local school. She got to do some crafts and do some sports. It was a well run event that was free - even the refreshments and amazing cakes for parents!
  • - We had a little bit of snow. Not as much as the rest of the country so no snowman for us, but we did some Snow play. 
  • - I started yoga classes and am loving taking this time out to do something just for me. I've always enjoyed yoga and believe that the yoga breathing I learnt when I was pregnant got me through the births without pain relief. I always feel so good at the end of each class. 

March Lows:
  • - One round of chemo this month. Nothing to report which it's a good thing in lots of ways but having chemo will always be a low. 


The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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Me & Mine - February 2018

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Joining up with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project with this photo of our family for February.


We have my Uncle to thank for this picture. It was taken on Crosby Beach. It's so nice when we get a picture that isn't a rushed selfie.

February Highs:
  • - Master R's language is really coming on now and he seems to say a new word each day. It's so lovely to hear and he's making what he wants more understood which makes things easier all round!
  • - Miss A was learning about space and the solar system at school so I set up lots of space themed play for her at home including building her a big cardboard rocket! 
  • - We visited Spaceport in Wallasey with one of Miss A's school friends. I'm not sure how much they learnt but they enjoyed all the interactive elements. We also took the ferry trip on the Mersey which you can do from the museum. 
  • - I've tried to do a lot of themed play with the kids this month so along with the space themed play, we've done Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day themed play.
  • - Miss A achieved her next badge at Gymnastics. She's taking a break from a while so that she has the option to try something different when we feel the time is right.
  • - Some of Mr MoaB's family paid us a visit and we went in to Chester to see the Chinese New Year lion and dragon dance, followed by lunch out at an Italian restaurant.  
  • - We had a really busy half term with Miss A and were out every day. This included another visit to Chester Zoo. 
  • - Miss A and I had a girls day out at Jodrell Bank to further encourage her interest in space. It was nice to have some one-on-one time with her.
  • - My Uncle & Aunt traveled up to see us. We spent a fab day seeing the Antony Gormley 'Another Place' statues at Crosby Beach. We were lucky with the weather as it was really mild and we timed it just right as the tide was coming in!
  • - I took the kids to a special event in Chester with the illustrator Axel Scheffler. He did a talk, drew some illustrations, read 3 stories and then did book signings. It was worth the wait in the queue as now the kids each have a personalised book signed by him with an illustration.
  • - Miss A had some fun with her Daddy trying climbing for the first time at Clip n Climb in Chester. There were a few wobbles but she was so chuffed when she managed to reach the top of one of the walls and did that wall several times over!
  • - More visitors of a friend and her Mum who I have known all my life. We went out for lunch on the Saturday and then on the Sunday morning we met at Runcorn Hill Park to play in the playground, feed the ducks and then warm up with a hot chocolate in the cafe. 
  • - Miss A is now doing some independent reading which is just brilliant to listen to. I love her enthusiasm for books and try to encourage this as much as possible. 
  • - Miss A went to a fun birthday party at the Ice Cream Farm.
  • - Miss A was selected as Star of the Week in her class for her enthusiasm for learning. I got to attend a Celebration Assembly to see her presented with her certificate. We're very proud of her. 

February Lows:
  • - Another round of treatment. It was a week later than it should have been so that it didn't have any impact on half term as I wanted to be able to have lots of days out with the kids and not be wiped out. I definitely needed all my energy as it was a very busy half term!


The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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Siblings - February 2018

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Joining up with The Siblings Project with these photos of Miss A and Master R. 


This photo should be captioned 'Are you sitting comfortably!?!'. It just makes me chuckle. Master R looks so pleased with himself that he's sat on his sister!

The relationship between these two goes from strength to strength. They are playing more and more together rather than completely separately and it's so nice to see. They like nothing more than chasing each other around. Master R loves to imitate what his sister does so quite often they're just plain silly together!

We took another trip to the Zoo this month and I managed to capture this picture of my cheeky monkeys with this monkey!!


It's so nice that they will play alongside each other now and that Master R can now really join in with all the activities we do. We've done a lot of space themed activities as Miss A was learning about the Solar System at school. This was them doing some space play-dough.


We've also done Valentine and Chinese New Year themed activities and the kids enjoyed getting messy with some noodles.






The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

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Me & Mine - January 2018

Friday, 9 February 2018

Joining up with the Me and Mine Family Portrait Project with these photos of our family for January.



It feels like it's been a strange month. We have managed to get out and about but it's all been a bit tarnished as we've all been poorly with coughs and colds at one point or other. Hopefully February will see us back up to full strength.

January Highs:
  • - We managed to have a family weekend away this month. It was all last minute and we just booked a hotel for a couple of nights in Shrewsbury. We had no real plan but it was nice just to get away and explore somewhere new. We went on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway and had a wander around Shrewsbury including Quarry Park. The kids were on great form all weekend. 
  • -  The month started with a week of the school holidays. It was nice to have some one on one time with Miss A on the days Master R was at nursery. I took her to a trampoline park and also we had a girls day out to the Panto. We had great fun. 
  • - We had some friends to stay for the night. It was so great to see them and meet their newest addition to the family. 
  • - With Master R's Christmas money we decided to buy him a scooter and he loves it. I can see lots of visits to the skate park over the next few months!
  • - I took the kids to Chester Zoo twice this month. We made a point of exploring parts we hadn't been to before.  
  • - We found a great play cafe that's not too far away in Nantwich called Imagination Lane. It's somewhere I'll take the kids again as it's a great alternative to a soft play centre.  
  • - Mr MoaB and I treated ourselves to a date lunch as the kids were at school/nursery. We don't get to go out in the evenings so it was nice to spend time together. Normally when we have a child free day we fill it doing chores and running errands. 
  • - The kids have had a few play dates this month. It's nice that they're starting to make good friends up here since we moved. 
  • - We took part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch weekend. I love encouraging Little Miss A to take interest in nature and wildlife so this was a great opportunity to spend some time making bird feeders and doing the bird spotting.

January Lows:
  • - Snuffles and colds have afflicted us all at some point in January. Mr MoaB actually had it the worst and he's rarely ill. My main worry when I get a cold is that I'll end up in hospital but thankfully I've avoided it. 
  • - I've been through two more rounds of cancer treatment this month. Apart from the tiredness for a week after, I'm getting through each round ok. 


The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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A Review of Imagination Lane - Play Cafe

Sunday, 28 January 2018

A play cafe near Nantwich, which is designed around different role play areas. It makes such a great alternative to traditional soft play.



Recently I came across details of Imagination Lane and thought it looked fun so took the kids. I think it has been open about a year - it certainly still feels quite fresh and new inside.

The centre is designed like a street with a row of different role play areas along each side and then tables and seating down the middle. The role play areas were; doctors, cafe, library, car garage, builders' yard, supermarket and theatre. There is also a baby corner for the under 2s with a small ball pit and other baby toys.

Miss A spent a lot of time in the theatre area trying on lots of different costumes. Master R predominantly spent his time either on the ride-ons or pushing a trolley or wheelbarrow around.



We were there longer than I initially anticipated so we ordered food which was very reasonably priced. The service was a little slow but they were very busy and the kids were happy playing so didn't seem to notice the wait, it was just me who was anxious to eat! It did get very busy with everyone sharing tables and standing room only at one point so it's worth getting there early to bag a seat particularly if you are going to want to eat.

Imagination Lane was very clean though a tad cold when we first arrived until the heating kicked in a bit more and there were a lot more bodies inside and then it really warmed up! You pay for entrance at the same till as you order food. It's a bit awkward and isn't ideal as people are trying to come in and there's a queue of people trying to order food.

Imagination Lane isn't the easiest place to find. It's certainly tucked away on the trading estate. Turn left as you drive into the trading estate and park up. Then head towards the buildings at the end and there's a small sign that takes you to the right and through what just looks like a warehouse door.

It was nice to take the kids to a play centre that wasn't the usual soft play. Imagination Lane was a safe environment to let them just wander between the different areas. It's a great find and I'm looking forward to taking the kids back again soon.


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New Years' Eve Celebrations 2017

Sunday, 21 January 2018

We've not really celebrated New Years' Eve with the kids before but this year I thought it would be fun to do some activities and make more of a celebration of it.


I put together 12 different activities and wrote these on pieces of paper to go inside 12 balloons. Miss A got to pop the balloons to find out the next activity. You could do one an hour, but we just did them as and when we were ready to do another activity.


The New Years' family fun activities were as follows:

1. Bean bag clock - 12 paper plates with clock faces drawn on them which I stuck to the floor with some blu-tack. Then we had to throw the bean bags on each plate around the circle. This was a great exercise to talk about clocks and time with Miss A.



2. Party games - nothing beats a few party games so we played pass the parcel and musical statues.

3. Make a 2018 crown - I cut out two crowns and then let the kids decorate them. They both did a great job.



4. 2018 playdoh - I made the numbers out of playdoh and then had lots of materials for the kids to decorate the numbers with.

5. Knockdown game - some plastic cups on the floor and then we took it in turns to put some tights on our head which had a ball down on leg. The object of the game was to knock all the cups down with the ball. Easier than it sounds!

6. Sparkler firework - we made some fun firework sparklers with jumbo straws, coloured cellophane sheets and tinfoil. You can find the instructions I used for these on the Kids Craft Room website.

7. Photobooth - I'd got a plastic inflatable frame and some props for us to do some funny photos. The photos didn't come out that well and are mostly blurred but it was a fun activity to include.

8. Smarties clock - a paper plate with a clock face and a plate with Smarties on. Move the Smarties on to each number of the clock using a straw! Miss A was really good at this!



9. Year in review - I printed out a review sheet from the Internet and Miss A filled in the answers, with some help from us.

10. Mini disco - just some good old dancing to cheesey tunes!

11. New Years' Eve tea - a glow in the dark tea for the kids with glow sticks! Miss A came in and said 'That's amazing'. The perfect reaction!

12. Watch fireworks - I found the London fireworks from last year on YouTube and the kids watched this just before going to bed.



My favourite activity was the glow in the dark tea party. It looked so good and this is something fun I'll repeat on other special occasions.

It took a bit of organisation and I needed to make sure I'd got all the supplies we needed in, but it was worth it. It was so nice to do all the activities together as a family and I think this will be a new tradition for us on New Years' Eve.

Do let me know how you celebrate New Years' Eve with kids and if you have any suggestions for new activities to include next year!

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Siblings - January 2018

Friday, 19 January 2018

Joining up with The Siblings Project with these photos of Miss A and Master R. 

It's been such a great month and the kids have enjoyed the extra time they've had together during the school holidays. They get on so well and there is so much interaction between them now. Master R has started to copy everything his sister does - the good and the bad! You can see him watching her intently and then he'll burst in to life and join in with what she's doing. His language is really come on now as well. He has a lot more words in his repertoire.

I can't believe how many pictures I've actually taken of them together this month so I'm just going to keep them in chronological order.

I took the kids along to a local church to their Community Nativity service. All the children came dressed up and were involved in the story telling. Miss A was a lovely angel and Master R was a sheep! They looked so cute!


Christmas Jumper Day at school for Miss A. Even our Elf on the Shelf, Elfie, got involved with a new jumper!

The next few photos were all taken on Christmas Eve. The kids undertook the Elf Adventure Challenge at the Ice Cream Farm. This was a really fun experience and we all had a great time.




Christmas Day and the kids opening their stockings. This is one of my favourite parts of the day. It was so lovely watching them and seeing their reactions to each little present.


Fun at Grandma's house over Christmas. We stayed 2 nights celebrating with all the family. The kids created their own sled to travel round the house on!


Wearing some of their new nightwear that they got given for Christmas! So snuggly and cuddly!

This photo just makes me smile. I have no idea what Miss A was doing! It was taken at the National Memorial Arboretum. A bit random to find a fairground horse but it is part of the Showman's Guild of Great Britain Memorial.


This year for the first time I did lots of activities with the kids on New Year's Eve. We had great fun playing party games, doing crafts and dancing. Definitely a new tradition for us.


Whilst Miss A was off school for the holidays, I used our Chester Zoo membership and we spent a fun morning at the zoo. We explored a section we hadn't been to before and saw lots of different animals.

Finally a picture taken on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway. They both really enjoyed riding on this funicular railway - the oldest and steepest electrical, operational cliff railway.





The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

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