Butterfly days

I’m sorry it’s been a long time again hasn’t it! I realised while organising photos recently that I hadn’t shared with you the butterfly themed activities we did alongside raising 10 beautiful butterflies.  Over the next couple of posts I … Continue reading

Day 13: Wild hobby horses

Day 13 we took a wild walk through one of our local woodlands with E and M’s Grandpa and Nonna.  A lot of the usual woodland fun was had but I also went equipped for some hobby horse making… a … Continue reading

Day 11: Wild photography

E and M received an early birthday present, they are now proud owners of their very own cameras, V-tech Kidizoom Action Cams.  They have been snapping away non-stop, on Day 11 they took photos in the garden, these are some … Continue reading

Day 3: Making friends with a snail

Today was a low key wild day.  This afternoon while gardening we found a snail, we made friends… Our other wild news is… the bird feeder (made on Day 1) for wild birds is now being used, hooray! The chicken’s … Continue reading

Day 1: Puddle jumping

The first day of our 30 days wild was wet, thank goodness for puddles I thought! We headed to the woods where we have some favourite spots for puddle jumping, absolutely huge ones that E and M love to run … Continue reading

Playing kitchen

doublethecuddles.wordpress.comE and M love to play kitchen, this morning I had planned to take them to the park but they were so engrossed in their play I felt it wrong to disturb.  Halfway through the morning though of course they were no longer interested and it was too late to depart so I decided to extend the theme of their mornings play with some cooking.

I am always looking for new recipes for our weekly menu and had spotted an Abel and Cole recipe for fresh pasta which looked fun so I though why not?!? With two dining room chairs blocking the entire kitchen gangway, hands washed and ingredients on the side we were ready to embark on an entirely new adventure for us all. doublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.com

We made the dough, kneaded it and cut out butterflies and stars before allowing it to dry.  E and M managed a good number before hunger pangs kicked in so I cut out the rest while E had a (s)”nack” and M washed her hands and the bathroom while serenading us with a tune.

E and M's sterling contribution

E and M’s sterling contribution

...and with a little help from mummy

…and with a little help from mummy

10 minutes later it was ready to cook (thank goodness as after a mammoth hour and a half of making the pasta and clearing of the chaos left in its wake lunchtime was fast approaching!) Another 5 minutes for cooking, cheese grated and we all sat down to test our endeavours.   doublethecuddles.wordpress.comdoublethecuddles.wordpress.comThis was our first time cooking together but I think a great success!

Amazing news!!!

doublethecuddles.wordpress.comFor about six months I have been preparing myself for little E having an operation.  Many teary days and sleepless nights have been had, many prayers have been said, in anticipation of my little boy in surgery.  We had waited months to see a surgeon, he has been prodded and poked and we had filled out the pre-op questionnaire in preparation for his op on Tuesday 18th August.  I had planned moral support for me in the hospital so when I rendered useless my mum could take over.  A had planned time off work to stay at home to comfort little M and I had prepared lots of little presents to be opened by both E and M throughout the day to distract them from their separation.

In the last week we have noticed that something might have changed, though was I do believe that something that apparently should have healed itself by the age of one could have repaired itself at the age of two?  This evening little E was prodded and poked for the last time as we received the amazing news that the surgery could be cancelled! This evening we all breathed a sigh of relief, and although I can’t quite believe it, I am so thankful for this little miracle.

A rainy day

An unexpected lie in (6.45am!)

A comfy seat for cow watchingdoublethecuddles.wordpress.com

Colouring pictures for our friends

A trip to the woods; running along muddy paths, splashing in puddles, watching murky patterns form, sticks for drawing, splashing and throwing, digging in the mud with little fingers and sploshed lumps in puddles, waving at reflections, a muddy picnic in the boot of the car. Returning home rosy and freckled not from sunshine but fresh air, exercise and lots of mud.doublethecuddles.wordpress.com

Naptime, crochet and chores

Dancing in circles

Dinner, bath time, brushing teeth to ‘In the night garden’ (Errrrrgggghhhhh…)

A final farewell to a feathery friend.  Sweet dreams lovely Lily.doublethecuddles.wordpress.com

Twins in cots, cosy socks, a glass of wine, rhubarb crumble, compulsory Neighbours watching, cuddles with fury friends, crochet.

A late night wool delivery, hoorah!  A tiny orange pompom made.doublethecuddles.wordpress.com

Phew… bedtime

When to say no?

Apologies if you are reading this in desperation for an answer to this question, I am not about to give one, just exploring the dilemma that I face daily with my two little explorers.  Outside, go for it! But inside…

Emptying cupboards

Emptying cupboards

This morning I fixed a mobile and wait for it… my beloved bureau.  Yes E dared to touch and rip off the paper I so lovingly and carefully glued and varnished in place of the old ripped leather, I am more than a little sad about it.  Two other things await repair after this morning’s rampage, a pompom garland that needs rethreading after it’s cord was snapped and a felted zebra who’s hanging string was ripped out.   It is a good job I am the creative sort, the sort that is a jack of all trades and master of none, otherwise these items would become sad and redundant.  I shall add the fixing of these items to my very long list of things to do around running after and being climbed on by two little monkeys.

Emptying kitchen drawers

Emptying kitchen drawers

So my question to you is when is it right to say no? All too often I find myself saying this dreaded word, “no!”… don’t make puddles of water with your beaker all over the dining room, “no!”… don’t turn on the oven, “no!”… don’t climb on the windowsills, “no!” don’t empty the clothes horse onto the floor, “no!”… don’t rip my books, the list of no’s goes on.

I work as a forest school leader and a field studies teacher in outdoor education settings, recently I walked into work to find someone troubled by health and safety and potential law suits had stapled hazard signs to every tree stump in our play area.  I saw red that day, surely every outdoor education setting has an unwritten ethos to inspire and equip children to fully experience the outdoors?  The problem? the world is full of things children can’t touch and things they can’t do, children need to experience things in order to learn to risk asses potential hazards they face in everyday life and with a no touching approach to life can you really fully experience anything?

Health and safety overload

Health and safety overload

At home I want my children to be relaxed and free from these constraints but sometimes I have to say “no!” for their own good.   Also much of the time that I say no they are playing and children learn through play so although irritating play it is good for their development.  I feel I need to strike a balance, if I continue to say no as often as I do, won’t the word just become white noise? If I say it all the time when faced with a dangerous scenario will they listen? My plan is to only say no when really necessary, if it just causes irritation and no harm will be done I will try to avoid the dreaded word (I make no promises, it is tough when you are feeling irritated but I shall try).

I enclose two exerts from ‘Five Children and It’ by E Nesbit… It is useful to remember what our world is like through the eyes of a child.

“London has none of those nice things that children may play with without hurting the things or themselves – such as trees and sand and woods and waters.  And nearly everything in London is the wrong sort of shape – all straight lines and flat streets, instead of being all sorts of odd shapes, like things in the country.  Trees are all different, as you know, and I am sure some tiresome person must have told you that there are no two blades of grass exactly alike.  But in streets, where the blades of grass don’t grow, everything is like everything else.  This is why so many children who live in towns are so extremely naughty.”

“The best part of it all was that there were no rule about not going to places and not doing things.  In London almost everything is labelled ‘You mustn’t touch,’ and though the label is invisible it’s just as bad, because you know it’s there, or if you don’t you jolly soon get told.”




First shoes

E and M's very first shoes

E and M’s very first shoes

Last weekend marked the end of an era; instead of turning right in our local children’s store we turned left.  No longer in need of baby clothes we turned into the toddler section to get E and M’s feet measured for their first shoes.  The changes continued as we purchased two toddler car seats.  I watched expectant parents and those pushing around small, wrinkly babies and felt proud.  I had two happy little people walking around removing things from shelves, how far we had come…