Thursday, 18 September 2014

Word of the Week

When I started to think about Word of the Week this week I found that with all the new changes afoot in the past month my Word of the Week had to be

This week has been full of questions.

On Saturday I had the following conversation with DS3 (4)

DS3:  Am I going to school today?
Me:  No, today is Saturday, the weekend.  You don't have to go to school at the weekend.
DS3:  Is tomorrow the weekend too?
Me:  Yes, and then you go back to school on Monday.
DS3:  (punches fist in the air) YESSSSS!!!!

As you can see, he's really settled in and loves going to school - I'm lucky if I get a goodbye kiss these days...

Other questions raised now that we are well in to the swing of the new term - "Have you done your homework?"  Said often to DS1 (although if you read earlier in the week you'll have seen how I've managed to get around that).  Also the quite predictable "What are you going to do with yourself now?", which is being asked of me with increasing regularity at the school gate.  The answer?  Well, watch this space - I think it might need a blog post of its very own sometime.

By the middle of the week DD1 had brought home a letter about the HPV vaccine so I found myself asking "Should she have the vaccination?".  I really need to make a decision.  I'm sure that she should but will feel a bit better about it once I've read up on it first.

Then on Wednesday morning I got a call from the Primary School.  DS3 had fallen over and badly hurt himself.  Could I come and pick him up?  He was fine by the way, but the rather impressive lump on his head was a bit of a shock!  Back to school he went the following day, almost as if nothing had happened.

My very own Mr Bump!

There have been lots of other questions this week too - DS2 wanted to know if I had signed his permission slip for taking a musical instrument home from school. You can read Wednesday's post to find out how that went!

My mum asked if I would go for shopping and lunch with her on Tuesday.  The answer to that is always a yes!  It was so good to get out for the day and do something without the children for a change - we had a fab time.

And the final question from my tribe of five as we close the week, as always, "What's for dinner?????"

Arrrghhh!!  Honestly?  Is it ever anything else?

Click on the badge below to see who else is linked up with The Reading Residence and Word of the Week this week.

The Reading Residence

Twizzles - The coolest and most hair raising doll on the market! Review

Its been a while since we were sent any toys to review here so when we were given the opportunity to take a look at the new Twizzles made by Zuru we were only too delighted.

Twizzles are cute little characters with crazy hair and come with accessories for styling them and changing their look.

I'm not really into the whole boy toy, girl toy thing but when ours arrived my two girls immediately took it off to play with, and the boys?  Well, they weren't really that interested to be honest.

The toy itself (a little dog called Peach) is about 4 inches tall and has tufts of hair and little bow and jewel type accessories which can be swapped around and put into the holes in its head.  There weren't any real instructions on the box other than to press the head down, pull the tail and watch it spin.  With a bit of trial and error we eventually managed to get the head locked down and with a flick of Peach's tail her head span around making the wisps of hair on her head go all crazy and funny looking!  DD2 was particularly impressed and wanted to do this over and over again!

Although we don't usually go for typically girly pink toys often (unless you count the My Little Ponies that are breeding under the bed!) she really enjoyed this one mainly because of the styling aspect.  The other thing she liked was that it came with a cute little cupcake which Peach's head followed around and around (due to a magnet inside I think).

As a stand alone toy it held her interest for quite a while but I imagine if we were to add some more Twizzles to our collection then DD2 could spend hours swapping all the different types of hair and accessories around and create even more fabulous styles!

This toy now has pride of place next to her bed at night.  Praise indeed!

I think that it would make a great little gift for taking to a birthday party or even as a stocking filler for any child who enjoys styling or collectable toys.

Twizzles are suitable for children aged 3 and up and come in six designs - Berry, Cherry, Cinnamon, Caramel, Sprinkles and Peach.  Their RRP is £9.99 each.  They are available from all good stockists including Argos, Asda, Smyths, The Entertainer, ToysRUs and Tesco.

You can find out more about Twizzles and watch their official trailer here.

We were kindly sent a Twizzles Peach toy for the purpose of this review.  All words and opinions are our own.

Family Fever

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Wicked Wednesdays

There were a couple of contenders for this week's Wicked Wednesdays (aren't there always?!), but this was a particularly last minute effort - hence the poor picture quality as I snapped it this morning with my iPad. It was 8.00 am. Yes that's right, I said AM.  He was so excited at getting his school musical instrument yesterday and couldn't wait to show us his new skillz.

The twins looked on in amazement and awe at the shiny trumpet.  Me, less so.

For the love of God, what have I let myself in for?

DD2 maintains that it sounds just like a fart...


Monday, 15 September 2014

Dear Teen Son...


Following the recent ballot by myself and your father (hereafter known as the Parents Union) a unanimous vote has been reached to carry out strike action in regard to the tidying and cleaning of your room and person.

The strike action, effective immediately, will be continuous until such time as you meet our demands listed below:

  • Pick up your own socks and underwear and place them in the laundry basket located in the bathroom
  • Removal of all school shirts from the floor of bedroom and place them in the laundry basket
  • Ensure a coat hanger is used for school blazer (one provided and located on back of bedroom door)
  • Ensure all tablets, phones and other devices are not left charging day and night
  • Use deodorant daily and cut own fingernails without reminder (you cannot underestimate just how important this one is)
  • Removal of school bag from bottom of the staircase where it is currently placed in an unauthorised (and lethal) position
  • Removal and disposal of last years' exercise books from the bedroom floor
  • General care and attention to detail to personal space as exhibited by Pre-Teen Daughter

During this period of strike action we, the Parents Union, will operate a "work to rule" policy.

Meals will still be provided as will packed lunches for school.  We will not remind you of mealtimes and any meals left uneaten during this period will be offered to our other employers (your siblings) or simply thrown out.

We will offer no out of hours prompting for homework and all homework planners and other school correspondence must be left next to my diary at the end of the kitchen worktop for signing.  There will be no further reminders to do this.  This letter will be considered to be your final reminder for this and the fault of any detentions picked up at school as a result of failing to remember these instructions will be borne solely by you.

In regard to the proportion of strike action concerning your room and belongings, it should be noted that unless uniform and other clothing is placed inside the laundry basket, once there are no more clean clothes left it will be up to you to either wash them yourself or live without clean clothing.  Should clothing end up in the laundry cycle it will be processed in the usual way and you will be presented with a pile of clean laundry to return to the drawers and wardrobe all by yourself.

We will not be entering your room during the strike period although we may from time to time operate a flying picket outside and in other areas of the home where we encourage other members of the household to do their fair share of cleaning and tidying.

We believe that this strike action has become necessary due to you (Teen Boy, employer) failing to meet our daily demands with regard to our working environment as parents.

Should demands, as listed above, be met then the Parents Union shall cease all strike action with immediate effect, in accordance with our Union guidelines.

Yours faithfully

Nominated Representative of the Parents Union

Just. Pick. It. Up.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Word of the Week

Oh dear, I seem to have completely neglected to join in with Word of the Week over at The Reading Residence for some time.  I had great intentions last week but then, well, life just got in the way!

Anyway this gave me the perfect work for this week:

Impatience isn't really a great quality is it?  Having said that I have been feeling impatient for very good reason this week.

My twins have been as school for nearly two weeks but half days only.  We are all really impatient for them to be full time - three school runs a day really breaks things up for me far too much and means that I don't get as much time blogging as I'd like, as well as doing housework of course, ahem ;)  I think it will also be good for them, as they really want to be just like DS2 and stay all day.

Unfortunately, with the return to school comes the return of homework.  Most of last weekend was spend being impatient for DS1 to finish his homework.  I had hoped that Year 9 would make him a little more responsible but it appears some things never change.  Teens, eh?

I have been impatient to start blogging properly again.  The holidays gave me a nice little break but I really enjoy the quiet time on my own with the kids in school, tap-tapping away on the keyboard and getting my thoughts down.  Last week it just felt a little too much for me to manage.  This week has been better but I have loads to get down on here and not quite enough time - next week will be better again I'm sure!

It's Autumn, or Summer, or a bit of both, I'm not quite sure but I really want some crisp mornings and crunchy leaves to walk through on the way to school.  My ulterior motive - a new pair of boots which I am impatient to wear with thick tights and skirts!  Come on Autumn, hurry up and get here!

Click on the badge below to read some more words of the week.

The Reading Residence

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Secret Formula to the Perfect Kids Holiday

Although I've been fairly absent from my blog over the summer you might be surprised to know that there has been no family holiday for us.  Aside from the cost of family holidays taken in school holiday time, we find it increasingly difficult to find a holiday destination that pleases all of us aged from 42 down to 4!  In fact, we've tried holidaying once only since our twins arrived and, well, it didn't end well that's all I'm saying.

The whole experience made me question what is important in a family holiday and what my children's holiday must-haves would be.

The #BlackpoolsBack campaign recently surveyed 2000 children from Britain aged between 6-17 years about this very thing, with some surprising results which are shown in the infographic below.

Click to enlarge

Iain Hawkins, spokesman for the #BlackpoolsBack campaign, said: "We tested the holiday opinions of 2000 children aged 6 – 17 asking them to rate their perfect holiday based on a wish-list constructed from a number of factors including: a real sandy beach, theme park, travelling time, weather, location, attractions, swimming facilities, food, distance to the beach, language and method of travel. And it’s great to see that Blackpool managed to tick all the boxes. Even Orlando and the Costa del Sol couldn’t manage that."

Merlin Entertainments, the largest entertainments company in Europe, and Visit Blackpool are driving the exciting and bold family-focused #BlackpoolsBack awareness campaign, and the hard work is already paying dividends with an amazing 13 million visits to the iconic north-wet seaside resort in the past year.

#Blackpoolsback underlines the multi-million-pound investment and regeneration in the town and is a reminder that the resort is home to an unrivalled concentration of world-class family attractions. It also reminds parents of what the best of holidays looks like through the eyes of children – and what really makes it work for them.

I have to say that reading this made me feel a whole lot better about not having gone on holiday abroad this year.  My teen definitely agrees with the Theme Park as an essential too.  Blackpool is not far from us at all and with all it has to offer maybe we'll give it a try next summer!

You can find out more about Blackpool's attractions at

This is a Sponsored Post

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wicked Wednesdays

Remember that uniform that was lovingly washed and ironed ready for the start of school?  Remember hair neatly brushed and tied back?  She was so smart...

What a difference a week makes, eh?