pARTy planning

On March 19th Little Splodge is going to be turning two.

For her first birthday her party was combined with our wedding reception for a number of reasons … mainly restrictive finances and the fact we couldn’t expect family to cross the country (and in some cases the globe) twice.

So this year we’re going all out for her birthday.

The theme is set, the community centre is booked and the invites are on their way from the printers.

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I’ve even got an arty themed menu worked out in my head.

All that is left is to come up with games and activities suitable for 1 – 4 year olds to play … and figure out how to use my extremely limited baking and artistic skills to make something like thisOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Me And Mine (January)

I have been a follower of the lovely Lucy’s Dear Beautiful blog for a while now and always looked forward to the Me and Mine posts but fo some reason never joined in. Now it’s in its second year and we’ve had a serendipitous photo shoot with our girls earlier in the month.

So here’s my chance.

The photographer we went to took some truly beautiful shots and made the children look like perfect little angels.

BUT

It is this shot, completely unedited and fresh from the camera, that really shows our family for what it is.

COMPLETELY INSANE

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Now, I’m not saying we’re always in a state of utter confusion and disarray … probably only 90% of the time.

Now that you have seen our family at our photographic worst here is a shot that I think our photographer would prefer to be seen by the world

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What If She Was A Boy?

I’ve never really made any comment on the gender stereotyping argument that rages on the Internet.

I be truthful I’ve never really given it much thought. Little Splodge has a whole range of toys from dolls, to blocks, to cars.

It’s only now that we’re expecting Beanie Baby that I’m beginning to wonder if we’re treating Little Splodge differently than we would if she was a boy.

For the last few weeks I’ve been wondering about the best way to help Little Splodge realise that there is a new baby coming and what that is going to mean. On multiple occasions I’ve caught myself online looking at doll prams, doll cots even a doll high chair to get for when Beanie Baby arrives so that Little Splodge can look after her baby while I take care of Beanie Baby.

Would I be creating what is essentially a doll’s nursery if Little Splodge was a boy or am I unintentionally trying to make Little Splodge into a girly girl?

Like Free Books?

Little Splodge loves books and at the tender age of 17 months has over a hundred books on her shelf. But, no matter how many books we seem to have we’re always running out of books to read that we haven’t already read and reread.

So, to keep up with Little Splodge’s love of stories, and in the interest of being thrifty, we’re big fans of our local library here. It is literally round the corner from our house which makes it very easy to get to … even for tiny toddler feet.

Despite popular belief libraries aren’t the draconian halls of silence we’re led to believe and our little library even holds a baby and toddler group where the littles are encouraged to take part in simple arts and craft activities related to a story they just heard.

Sadly, since I’ve been back at work we haven’t been able to get to the group but we still make great use of all the free books to help Little Splodge learn to read and to provide us with a wide range of bedtime stories.

This is this week’s haul of books. At first glance the majority seem somewhat advanced for a one year old but having read two of them at bed time last night they’re proving to be excellent for story time.

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Pumpkin Patch Kid

We’re not really what you’d call green fingered in this family.

We try to be but we have a rather relaxed approach to gardening where if it grows that’s great, if it doesn’t well never mind.

We do however eat an incredible amount of fruit and veg for a family of 3. (I swear we can buy a trolley load of fruit on a Saturday and by Monday our house is basically a fruit free zone.)

In an effort to cut the food bill as much as possible we have been trying to grow some of our own food.

Last year we were quite successful and had a magnificent haul of potatoes, parsnips, broad beans, spinach and lambs leaf lettuce (although these ran a little more rampant than we ever imagined.)

This year, for various reasons, our veg plot has been all but abandoned so in an effort to redeem ourselves and teach Little Splodge where food comes from we decided to have a go at growing some pumpkins.

We put them in the ground a little while ago now not really expecting very much to happen but so far this has happened in our tiny little patch.

garden pumpkin patch

 

It’s even better than it looks because as well as having a mass of leaves and flowers we’ve already got our first pumpkin growing and we’re hoping it’ll make a nice jack-o-lantern and a delicious pie come Halloween.

pumpkin close up

It’s still a dinky little thing at the minute but we have high hopes for it seeing as only a few short weeks ago it was a tiny bud and is already about five inches wide.

As if all that wasn’t exciting enough for Little Splodge when we went to do our morning check on our pumpkin we found these little visitors making themselves at home and helping themselves to some lovely pollen.

bees on pumpkin flower

 

So far we think our pumpkins are proving to be a bit of a success story.  We’re on track to get a nice big pumpkin, Little Splodge has a chance to see where her food comes from and we’re encouraging mini beasts into the garden.

We’re really rather proud of ourselves.

Splish Splash I Was Taking A Bath

Little Splodge has a bath pretty much every night.

I’d like to say it is a nice calming part of our evening routine that lulls her gently into a state of sleepiness ready for bed.

This is not the case.

Little Splodge is something of a water baby and enjoys nothing more than a good old splash about.

We do encourage a certain amount of play time in the bath and provide her with ample bath toys to help her learn about full and empty, cause and effect and other very important life skills that can only be taught by squirty turtles and colourful buckets.

Tonight, however, little splodge decided that her bath toys just didn’t cut it anymore and instead decided to give our calm and serene already chaotic, plastic octopus filled bath waves large enough that we probably registered as a tropical storm.

Obviously, as any good mother would I got a photo of it.

Bath Time Splashing

I would have got video but, in all honesty, I was too busy trying to avoid being completely soaked.