Showing posts with label Children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Children. Show all posts

Saturday, 1 June 2013

The start of our 50 Things journey

National Trust Wales  recently asked if we would like to get involved with a campaign called 50 things to do before you're 11¾  and I jumped at the chance as I thought it would give us ideas for things to do and motivate me to write about them.  After scouring the National Trust website I found the perfect place to start.  Tredegar House were holding a Pirate Day on bank holiday Monday, which I knew my boys would love, and it would give us a chance to find out more about what's involved.

So, armed with one pirate and two children, we went to find some treasure.



We'd never been to Tredegar House before and we were amazed at how beautiful it is.  It's a fabulous 17th Century mansion with amazing grounds that we couldn't wait to explore.  We were greeted by pirates on the way in and the boys were given questions to complete for the treasure hunt.  We were very excited to see all the games that were going on in the grounds, and even more pleased to see that there was a little bit of treasure (chocolate coins) for any game that they won.  Even Ollie got involved and the staff kindly gave him a coin for his efforts.  The weather was lovely and it was very relaxing watching the boys run around playing games in beautiful surroundings.  

Next we went on to the orchard where there were some 50 Things activities running.  We'd already picked up our scrapbook so we were ready to start filling them with stickers.  The boys decided to build a den and a member of staff showed them how to use all the branches that had been gathered locally to build a shelter in the wild.  They really enjoyed all the hard work and were rewarded with this fantastic den for their efforts. I think they'll be asking to build one in the garden when we get home though I might have to find a tree first.  It was great to watch them working together to get this finished.  They listened to the staff member, which was unusual enough, but the help and support they showed each other almost brought a tear to my eye.  After all, I'm more used to breaking up their fights.
    

Then on to the next activity which was plant it, grow it, eat it.  We're actually doing this at home at the moment but the boys wanted to grow some cress and get their sticker so it was more official in their scrapbook (obviously their mum and dad signing it off just isn't good enough).


Two activities completed and it was back to pirate fun.  They walked the plank while their father tried to soak them with wet sponges, but they soon got their own back.  They made their dad walk the plank and by the time he'd finished he was wetter than the three boys put together.  They were throwing the sponges at point blank range.  I stayed a safe distance away, making the excuse that I couldn't get my camera wet!



After playing every game, and eating as many chocolate coins as possible, we found Captain Morgan's treasure.  It was safely tucked away at the bottom of a tree and the boys were able to complete the treasure hunt questions.

Next it was time to explore the amazing house.  We went inside and gazed around us in wonder at the extravagantly designed rooms.  The room guides were fantastic and explained all about the history of the house.  I had been worried about taking the boys inside as they do like to run around but I needn't have worried.  My oldest became engrossed in a talk about the house, and my youngest two were fascinated with everything that was to be seen.  

The dining room was dressed with a table laden with food; then in another room there was a dressing up box and old fashioned games that we could actually sit and play.  This was no stuffy museum with nothing to touch.  There really was something for everyone.


After a thorough exploration we headed out into the courtyard where there were yet more games for the boys.  They had more chocolate coins and played in the pirate ship before going to make some pirate hats which was great fun.

Pirate Zac

Total concentration

Isn't this the best pirate hat you've ever seen?

We had a totally enjoyable day.  Our 50 Things adventures have started, we have played and had lots of fun, and learnt a little bit about our local history.  What more could we ask for?

And the icing on the cake was.......


A perfect end to a perfect day.


A few more photos from our day

All that's left do do know is decide which activity on the 50 Things list we should do next.  Maybe we'll make a mud pie, skim a stone, or even build a raft.  The possibilities are endless.

Find out more about National Trust Wales on the Facebook and Twitter pages.




I am linking this post up with Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Trials and Tribulations of Toilet Training


And I do mean toilet training.  None of my boys have been very interested in using the potty so we've gone straight to the toilet.  It involves a few weeks of them desperately holding onto me for dear life, but they do learn to balance themselves.  Eventually.

I'm in the process of getting my third son ready to make the transition from wearing nappies to wearing pants.  You'd think I'd know exactly what I'm doing as it's my third time, but as all children are different, so is each experience.

I've always been quite relaxed with toilet training and prefer to take the childs' lead.  My eldest son took to it quite quickly and loved to copy his daddy by standing on his little stool to wee in the toilet.  It was great at home but not so great when we went out.  I remember one thirty minute car journey where we went through four pairs of trousers and I realised that he wasn't quite ready and put him back into nappies.  I know this is against what all the textbooks say, but it worked for us.  About a month later he decided that he wanted to try again and this time it worked.  Apart from the occasional accident (usually at night) we never looked back.

When it was time to do the same with my next boy, I stupidly assumed it would be just as easy as before.  How wrong I was.  He would wee on the toilet but absolutely refused to poo.  He would hold it in to the point where he couldn't eat and he felt ill.  He used to leak (sorry if you're eating) and I had no idea what to do with him.  We tried everything that we could think of; we would let him watch us on the toilet, we discussed, begged, comforted and shouted at him; we bought books about what happens when you poo, and discussed it with the health visitor.  We even let him poo in the garden.  We were at our wits end.  He started to smell and I was worried about him being teased because of this.  Everywhere we went became stressful as we usually ended up in a big mess as bits would leak through.

The only thing that worked in the end was watching him every second, which was difficult as he would try to hide it, and as soon as he showed signs of holding it in, I would rush him to the toilet and make him sit there.  He would sob and I would feel guilty, but he wasn't able to hold it in when sat on the toilet and it would all come out.  It was terrible and I hoped I would never have to go through this again.  He did overcome it eventually, though he is still a very private person when using the toilet.

I was prepared for anything with my youngest son, but was still a bit gutted when he started to withhold his poo.  The difference this time was that my previous experience helped and I run him to the toilet as soon as he starts to hold it in.  At two and a half he is getting much better thankfully.

But now I have a different problem.  He stubbornly refuses to wear pants.  He asks to use the toilet when at home and is well controlled and well aware of when he needs to go.  He just won't wear pants.  It's easy at home, I can just leave him with nothing on, but I can't exactly do that to go out.  He also refuses to wear trousers with nothing on underneath so that's not an option.

We've had conversations around whether big boys wear nappies or pants, but he is adamant that he is still a baby who wears nappies (at any other time he insists that he's a big boy).  My mother suggested that it could be that he sees his brothers wearing boxer shorts so he wants the same, so I tried that but it didn't work either.  I bought him Thomas the Tank Engine pants as this is his favourite character, but it still didn't tempt him.


I've tried pull ups in the hope that it'll make the transition easier, but he just calls them nappy pants.  I've tried putting pants on over his nappy but he screamed until I took them off.

Experience tells me that I should just wait until he understands a little bit better , and to be honest, I'm not at all concerned.  I just wonder why.  What has caused him to not want to wear pants?  What causes any issue that a child has with toileting?  Is it something that we've said, or done?  Something they've seen on TV?  I'll probably never know.

All I do know is that children who are brought up in seemingly the same way, all have different issues.  I may as well throw that textbook away.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Project 365: Days 6 - 12

It's time for week two of Project 365 over on The Boy and Me.  It's been a bit of a strange week with poorly children so we haven't been out much.  We still managed to have some fun indoors though.

Day 6: Packed lunches all ready for school and work
Day 7: Playing catch indoors
Day 8:  Play fight with daddy before bedtime
Day 9: Doing the obstacle course on Wii Fit
Day 10: Poorly boy
Day 11: No school for ill children so we did some painting instead
Day 12: Playing hide and seek (hiding in the cupboard)

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Monday, 31 December 2012

Another year over

Another year is ending and as I sit and reflect on events from the past year, Is wonder what the new year will hold for me.

Without dwelling on anything too much, 2012 had lots of ups and down; very much like most years I suppose.  It's been too easy for me to just think about the negatives from the past year, but I don't want to start a new year feeling like that.  There have been struggles and tensions which are usually money related but lots of good times with the children too.  My youngest started walking, my older boys have won trophies for kickboxing, and we've had a few swimming successes.  In fact, just before Christmas my 5 year old did his 25 metre swimming badge which is utterly amazing as in the summer he was afraid to put his face in the water!

                   

My oldest learnt to ride his bike, and my youngest took took a huge step just before Christmas when he gave all his dummies to the Christmas Fairy.

We've enjoyed a fabulous holiday at Coombe Mill in Cornwall (which I won) and we've spent an amazing weekend at Bluestone National Park Resort in Wales where we visited The Kingdom of the Elves.

On the feed run at Coombe Mill

Santa is under there somewhere.....

It has been a really good year!

But it's now time to say goodbye to this year and look forward to the next.  So what's in store for us?  I wish I knew that but all I can do now is try to make the most of it.  I never usually make resolutions but there are a few things I'd like to do for the year ahead.

This is the year that I am determined to become more organised.  It doesn't come naturally and as I spoke about it early last year, you'd be forgiven for thinking that I'll never manage it.

I'm going to try with a few small things.

Firstly, I am finally going to meal plan.  I've managed to save a bit of money this year by changing my food shopping habits but I still feel that I'm wasting money by not having a meal plan.  I'm going to do some research online to try to come up with interesting ideas for meals.

Secondly, hubby and I started writing down everything we spent before Christmas to see where we can save some money.  I've already had a look at free online budget plans/spreadsheets so we can do this properly from now on.

Finally, I need a bit more organisation for my blogging and competition entering.  They are my only real hobbies but I feel that I need to allow myself set times to get things done.  It's something that I think I'll need to work on a bit as there's going to be a lot of organisation for me to fit everything in.  I think I need to get involved a lot more with everything.

I can't be too rigid in my plans as I'm easily bored so need a bit of flexibility in there.  If you have any tips or ideas that could help me then I'd love to hear them.

I'll keep you posted.

Happy New Year to you!


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Feel like a princess every day

Before I had children I was under the illusion that my life would change that much.  How naive I was.  At three months pregnant I went out and bought myself two pairs of stiletto heeled boots, determined that I would be a cool and trendy mum to be.  At seven months pregnant I walked into the same shoe shop and demanded a pair of flat shoes.  The sales assistant asked if I wanted to try them on.  Try them on?  I couldn't bend over that far (well, not in public for the sake of my own dignity).  I just took them.  My high heels didn't see the light of day for quite some time.

By eight and a half months pregnant all rings had also been removed due to my fingers swelling.  I was gutted as I've always loved my jewellery; but at least that was one thing I could surely keep wearing post children, right?  Wrong!  I discovered the hard way that small children love pretty, sparkly things when my son nearly throttled me with my necklace.  So that was the end of that.  I got so used to not wearing any jewellery other than my wedding and engagement rings, that any time I put some on to go out it felt really strange and would inevitably end up being taken off and put in my bag for the rest of the night.

Now my youngest son is two and has stopped being transfixed at the sight of anything shiny, and I feel that it's time to discover my fashion identity again.

I filled out a form on the Tru Diamonds Facebook page to apply to be a Tru Diamonds trend setter and was utterly shocked and amazed when I received an email to say that I was one of the finalists! So now I get to try out some lovely jewellery and tell everyone all about it.  How great is that?

I had followed Tru Diamonds on Twitter for a while before this and loved the concept.

"The world’s finest simulated diamonds, offering a range of superior quality simulated diamond jewellery, inspired by celebrity styles, at an affordable price."

I've got to admit that I love diamonds.  To me they are ooze class and charm.  I want to be Marilyn Monroe when she's holding all those sparkly jewels.


Diamonds are a girls best friend
Unfortunately, however much I may love them, my finances certainly don't.  The only real diamond I have ever owned is the one in my wedding ring.

I always wanted a diamond solitaire necklace.  I used to gaze longingly at the jewellers window displays, but ended up borrowing my sisters to wear on my wedding day.  It just wasn't meant to be.

So imagine my surprise when I opened up the lovely solid cherry wood box to find this little beauty.


It's a 3 carat, platinum clad princess cut pendant and it is absolutely stunning.

My two year old has got so used to seeing me wear it that he brings it to me to put on as soon as I get out of bed in the morning (he also gives my my iPhone; the child has got his priorities right).

It's been so nice to wear jewellery again.  Whether I've just been popping out to take the children to school, dressed in my casual clothes.......

School run

Meeting at work
.......  or dressed up for a meeting at work, my Tru Diamonds necklace has come with me.  It just seems to work with every outfit.  Even when I pop it on under my fleece top on those cold winter mornings, I know it's there and it adds a bit of sparkle and shine to my day.

Even when I get to work in my smart clothes and look down to see that my shoulder is covered in snot and dribble (my childs, not my own), at least I know that no-one will notice that.  All they'll see is the 3 carat diamond glinting in the light.

They'll have no idea that it isn't real, because it looks exactly like a real diamond.  If they wanted to test it, it would even cut glass!  If you don't believe me, just read these testimonials.

I sit and gaze at all the pretty things on the Tru Diamonds website but for once my hubby isn't biting his nails anxiously when he sees the prices.   These diamonds aren't just a girls best friend.

Celebrities wear simulated diamonds so they don't have to worry about security, and nobody is any the wiser.  If they can get away with it then so can I.  I've just got to remember to keep my mouth shut and nobody will ever know that they aren't the real deal......



Saturday, 3 November 2012

Am I just mum?

I adore my children but sometimes feel like life becomes very monotonous and mundane. Every so often I feel like I need to do something different just to prove to myself that I do exist. It might sound a bit dramatic but days of school runs, cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing and refereeing fights that break out between the boys just all seem to roll into one. I spend most days answering constant 'why' questions, and I can go from one week to the next without having a decent conversation with my hubby.

My children are amazing and I love to listen and watch as as they learn and grow; but I would like to think that I am bringing then up to be independent. They are part of me but not an extension of me, and they will have their own lives without me one day. I am independent. I don't go running to anyone when I need something and I do not see my husband as my 'other half'. he is half of the relationship, not half of me. I am a complete person. I want my boys to feel the same.

I relish the evenings when the children are in bed and the house is all quiet (and if that makes me sound like a bad mother then I don't really care). The problem is that I'm usually so tired by this point that I end up going to bed soon after them.

My life is busy. I work in my office job two days a week, I do a bit of childminding on the other days, I've got three children of my own and the oldest two have after school activities which I take them to. I've got a blog (stating the obvious), I spend some time every day entering competitions, and believe it it not, I actually try to find time to see my friends too. There's some days where I don't actually sit down until long after the children are in bed.

I'm not someone who cleans constantly. In fact, if you came to my house most days it's a bit of a mess. It's really hard to keep on top of all those grubby fingerprints. I spend a lot more time thinking about cleaning than actually doing anything. So it's not like I could really cut back. I do have some standards. I do the washing and ironing on the weekends, but there's always more to do.

At the moment I'm supposed to be sorting things out ready for Christmas. We're trying to get rid of all the clutter so I've been sorting clothes (the baby clothes have now gone *sob*), old toys and games and now I've got loads of stuff to put on eBay. I just wish it wasn't all so time consuming. I do feel better when I am organised, but that doesn't happen very often.

The problem is that I feel like I need a break sometimes. I know that if I spent more time cleaning, and more time eBaying, then the house would look much better. But what about me? I already feel a bit frayed at the edges as I try to split myself so many different ways.

I recently read a comment where a mother was called a bitch for wanting and expecting some 'me' time. What is so wrong with that? I'd happily have a year off at the moment! My boys are the most important things in the world to me, but I'm still a person too. I'm not just mum. I like to think that my old self is still buried away in there somewhere.

Maybe I'm having an early mid life crisis. I feel like I need some fun and a break from my usual routine. The thought of doing the school run on Monday fills me with dread. Then off to work where nothing ever changes, then back home to sort out squabbling children before the nightmare that is the bedtime routine. Then replay that day for Tuesday too.

So what do I do? How do you manage to find a good balance, or is it even possible where young children are involved? Am I being totally selfish by wanting some time to be me?

Disclaimer: I wrote this post while feeling totally fed up in an early Saturday morning after a seemingly endless half term week. I may have just got up on the wrong side of the bed.



Thursday, 25 October 2012

Coombe Mill - part 2

One of the best bits of staying at Coombe Mill was the feed run every morning which my boys thoroughly enjoyed.  But the is more to Coombe Mill than the animals.

On our first night there we went for a wander around the grounds and the children were delighted to find this fantastic play area.  There was a pirate ship and a trampoline and lots of muddy puddles for the little one to jump in (though these are weather dependant!)  It was hard to get the children out of there but as it was getting late, and we were all starving I bribed them with chocolate appealed to their better nature to get them to come back to out fabulous Scandinavian Lodge.

Ship Ahoy!
The Scandinavian Lodges are amazing.  The one we stayed in could sleep up to seven people so there was lots of room.    The living/kitchen/dining area was open plan and the full ceiling height made it even more spacious.  It was like a home from home as the kitchen was fully equipped with every appliance including a washing machine and tumble dryer, making those wet, muddy days so much easier and I could throw it all in the wash.  

The decking outside our lodge
Popping into reception was great as there were lots of things there to borrow or buy.  From bread and milk to homemade meals and desserts to buy.  Wellies, potties, games to borrow.  There's no need to pack your car with everything your little one needs as most of it is available to borrow on a first come first served basis.

I mentioned one of the play areas earlier; well that's not the only one.  There was another outdoor play area right next to our lodge.  The children would go racing off to it at any opportunity.  My oldest just loved the zip wire and the younger two loved the swings and climbing frame.  There's a baby swing here too which my little one thoroughly enjoyed.







If the weather is really bad there is an indoor play area.  We did have a look but never used it as, even though we stayed in October, the weather wasn't too bad, and even if it was raining the kids didn't care and would be outside playing with their waterproofs on.



We had lots of fun at Coombe Mill but we did spend some time exploring the surrounding areas.  It took us a while to get used to the narrow country lanes (though I do think that some of them could have been avoided if we hadn't followed our sat nav!), but we found some absolutely beautiful areas.  From Port Isaac on a drizzly day......














To the amazing Polzeath beach.  Who would have thought that it's October!!  The children adored it here.

 We also found a lovely little model railway museum and my train obsessed 2 year old can't believe his eyes.

We ended our week with a visit to Padstow for fish and chips, followed by ice-cream.  


Rain or shine, there is so much to do whether you stay on the farm, or go exploring.  This was my first visit to  Cornwall (and Coombe Mill) but it certainly won't be my last.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Monday, 15 October 2012

Our holiday at Coombe Mill - the animals

What seems like only weeks ago, I entered a competition over at Coombe Mill to win a weeks holiday with them and to my utter amazement, I won!  It couldn't have come at a better time as finances have been a bit tight this year and we'd decided not to have a family holiday.  Even more amazing was that this year I had really wanted to go to Cornwall as it's somewhere I've never been.

I had already chatted to Fiona, the lovely owner of Coombe Mill on Twitter and knew that my family would love it there.  I wasn't wrong.

We arrived late on the Saturday afternoon, and after a quick look around our fabulous Scandinavian lodge, we set off to find the animals.  We were greeted by some ducks who decided to accompany us on our walk, much to the delight of the children.  We then came across these fine fellows who are obviously used to being fed by visitors.  We felt very guilty at being empty handed and promised to return the following day, bearing gifts.


The next morning we were all up bright and early to go on the first feed run of the week.  I don't know who was more excited, me or the boys!  Farmer Ted arrived on the tractor and the boys couldn't believe it when he asked who wanted to drive!!.  Needless to say, Zac and Ethan couldn't wait to have a go.  We were very lucky that there were only a few children there and so every child got to have a go at driving each morning.

Here's some of my favourite photos from the feed runs


I took over 250 photos throughout the week and it is so hard to choose just a few, especially as the animals were so photogenic.


I enjoyed the feed runs just as much as the children, even with a wilful 2 year old to look after....
The pout
In the 90 minutes that we spent on the feed run, there would be numerous mini strops due to the little one not being able to do what his big brothers were doing.  He wanted to go in with the pigs, chase the ducks, feed the donkeys (he did try this but couldn't quite grasp the concept of keeping his hand flat).  He also tried to feed the chickens but the poor things ended up covered in food as he just threw it over them.  He loved it though, and started saying all the names of the animals, which is amazing as he hasn't said that much up to now.  His favourite word at the moment is 'duck'.

There was one other thing that the children loved to do every morning.  They were determined that they would be able to get the sword out of the stone!
The Sword in the Stone
I've decided that it's impossible to write about our fabulous stay at Combe Mill in one post, so watch out for the next instalment.  I've developed an innate love for this beautiful place and Cornwall as a whole and can't wait to go back.

I am linking up with Country Kids on the Coombe Mill blog

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Same old routine

I've been staring at a blank screen all day, struggling to come up with the words I need.

The day didn't start too well. I spent my morning shouting trying to coax the children to eat their breakfast and get ready for school, though that's nothing new.  It's always a mad rush to get out of the house on time but this morning was particularly bad.  It started when I woke with a start and realised that I'd slept late.  Not much but still a bit later than planned, and my mornings are planned to military precision.  I shot out of bed, made the children their breakfast, made their packed lunches and then sent them upstairs to get washed and dressed.

That's where it all started to go wrong.  Within five minutes there was shouting, fighting, crying and then laughing as my youngest proceeded to throw all his toys down the stairs.

I went up, shouted a bit and eventually got them and myself ready to go.

Then I couldn't find my keys.

I spent what seemed like ages racing around the house looking for them, trying to phone hubby (I needed someone to blame) and then found them.....in my coat pocket!

I got the boys to school on time (by some miracle) before heading back home.  Just me and the baby for the day.

Then, 3.30pm arrives and it's the same sort of thing as above, except in reverse and intensified by about a million percent because everyone is tired.

Bedtime is the worst time of day for me.  The boys are excited at seeing their father, they're tired but don't want to go to bed, and I'm heading for breaking point.  All I can think about is wine settling down in front of the TV but the boys aren't going to give up any time soon.

It soon ends in tears (occasionally my own) and the house descends into calm.  Finally no more screaming, tantrums or cheekiness.  For a few short hours at least.

I savour this time of night where I get to relax and be me for a while.  I'm not being nagged; I'm not having to break up fights, answer constant questions or respond to demands for food and drinks.

It's also the time where I sit and reflect on my day and wonder what I could have done better.  I watch them sleeping and I realise that my boys are still so small.  I don't want to spend my days rushing and having to shout at them.  I want to savour this time when they're still young and innocent.

However frustrated and annoyed I get, it doesn't take much to change all that in an instant.  My oldest looking me with his big puppy dog eyes, my middle boy giving me a bear hug, and my youngest holding my hand.  It's these small things that make all the difference.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Party Planning

Their cakes last year
It's that time of year again where I need to start planning a birthday party.  Actually, it should have all been organised by now as the party is only a matter of weeks away.  It's for my middle and youngest boys as they are turning 5 and 2 respectively.  You'd think that I'd be an old hand at this by now what with having two parties a year between my three children (with the exception of my oldest sons last birthday which I still feel guilty about).



I've spent plenty of time in the past agonising over cakes, invitations, venues, and even what sort of balloons to get.

I think my main problem when it comes to organising the party is that I'm too indecisive.  And  I leave everything until the last minute.  It's not really a god combination.

I got the Thomas cake eventually
I remember planning my oldest sons third birthday.  He adored Thomas the Tank Engine so there was no doubt as to the theme of the party.  I'd hired a hall, I was all organised, yet I managed not to order his cake until a week before his party.  There's always something stress over.  It usually turns out okay in the end, but always causes me sleepless nights in the process.




So here we are again.  Their party is in three weeks.  I booked the venue yesterday and am now in the process of trying to decide which bouncy castle/inflatable slide/soft play area is best.  I have actually enquired about cakes (well, asked my mother to anyway) and my mother has found a face painter.  The themes are sorted - Ethan wants the Gruffalo and as Oliver has also developed a major love affair with the well known little blue tank engine, he will be having a Thomas theme.  I've somehow got to blend the two but I'm sure I can manage that.

Almost done really.  Oh wait a minute....

I still need to invite people.  I have invited those with Facebook accounts (so easy to set up an event on there), but I've still got Ethan's class to invite and anyone who hasn't succumbed to the dark depths of the aforementioned social networking site.

Then there's tableware, banners, balloons and party bags to think about.  Do I go for the easy pre-packed plastic party bags, or spend time lovingly creating my own using the more environmentally friendly (and nicer looking) paper bags?

What about the food and drink?  I've always prepared my own buffets and I never cater for the adults.  The most I do for them is buy a few bottles of pop so they can have a drink.  After all, this is about the children, not the grown-ups who accompany them.

But the latest trend in the school parties is to get sausage and chips from the local chip shop.  Easier?  Possibly cheaper?  I don't know.  All I do know is that it's yet another decision to make.  I was happy with the way I do things, so don't know if I really want to change.

I adore these cupcakes
I suppose I'd better get my nose back to the grindstone and start googling every website of every bouncy castle hire company in my area.  (What is it with companies who don't have a website these days?  Or even a Facebook page at least?  They don't actually expect me to pick up the phone to make an enquiry do they?)  I'll probably spend the next two hours looking and still not have made a decision by the end of it.

I think I need a personal assistant to help me with these things.  It would be so much easier to just give my requirements and then have someone else do it all for me.

Even then I probably wouldn't be happy though.  Yes, I get stressed and worry over every minute detail, but I always get a small sense of satisfaction when it all comes together in the end.  Ultimately, as long as my boys enjoy themselves then I'm happy.

So, I've got three weeks to organise the best party that a 5 year old and a 2 year old could wish for.  Someone pass the wine, it's going to be a long night.

Chilling out in soft play

Roarrrrrr!!!