My Splashing Little Man

I’m enjoying my time with Little Man. We’re taking several classes and we’ve found a lovely playgroup we both like, too. I’m finding things all so different this time round, as my son is nothing like his sister.

Boo was, and is, a ball of confident energy. She’s in constant motion, and is always looking to chat and make new friends. As a toddler, this translated as a lively, happy child, and she was a ‘runner’! Yep, she was a toddler that had to have reins, and even then, she was straining and tricky to keep by my side. I loved her enthusiasm, though there’s no doubt it also exasperated and exhausted me on many occasions!

Little Man, well he’s arguably more of a daredevil then Boo ever was, though he does have a big sister to show him all of the dangerous things he could be attempting! But when we’re out and about, he’s shy and he stays with me. Holds my hand as we stroll along, or is content in the pushchair. When people smile at him, he promptly puts the pushchair hood up and covers himself, extremely rude of him and hilarious to me!

I see the contrast between the two of them so clearly when we go to one of our classes. My Boo memories of this walk to and from class were not the most relaxing and smiley ones, as she was invariably running off, and it was a battle of wills to get us back to the car safely. Not so with Little Man, which has been a very refreshing change for me! We contentedly walk along and chat about the class and then what we’re going to do when we get home. He’s right there, happy to be my side, and if he wanders off, I know he will pop back to me, unlike his wayward sister!

This week it was a rainy walk, which gave him an excuse to find puddles, and he so loves finding puddles. So yes, he wandered off a little, splashed about, and made our morning all the more fun.

Little Man puddles 2

little man puddles

little man puddles 1a

I really enjoy this walk now and it seems it’s even better when it’s raining! It’s relaxed, we’re in no hurry, and my stress levels are low! Though there’ll always be a little nostalgic place in my heart for Boo’s chaotic chasing days there, too!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Word of the Week – 24/10/14

Thank you so much for continuing to share and to link up – I love to find out about everyone’s weeks in this way, love it!

If you’re new here, Word of the Week is a nice and simple weekly linky, with everyone welcome to pop by and share. You reflect back on the past week and sum it up in one word. Then share your word with us in a blog post, with as little or as much explanation as you like. I comment on and tweet out every post, and it’s a friendly place, so come join in! All that I ask is that if you link up, you link back to me, and visit as many of the other blogs as you can and comment on their words, please.

My word of the week this week is:

#bringbackpaper

Yes, I’ve decided that as it begins with a hash tag, it is indeed one word, and if it’s not? Well, it’s my linky, so I’m doing it anyway!

Now, this week could just have easily been ‘Croup’, as that has dominated the week here with Little Man catching Boo’s, and he’s been suffering and struggling with it. It has meant sleep deprivation, leading to general grumpiness (him and me!), lots of activities cancelled, and plenty of snuggle time. But, after last week’s not so positive ‘Damp’, I had to find something cheerier this week, didn’t I?!

For anyone that doesn’t know, #BringBackPaper is my campaign to get us enjoying more papery goodness, and it’s kept me nice and busy this week. I’ve been arranging the book swaps (plenty of time to still join in with that), catching up on my own snail mail, planning my #30DaysOfPaper prompts ready for my November Instagram challenge (they’ll be over on my Instagram feed soon so keep an eye out for those!), getting chit chat ideas ready for the Twitter party next Wednesday evening, lining up a whole new regular papery feature and I’ve liased with a fabulous lady on bringing a feature about her business along with a giveaway to you all soon. And as if that wasn’t enough, I’ve discovered a new author this week, so have been drawn into a happy bookish papery world and the post I wrote a couple of days ago on Minted has got me planning some papery Christmas gifts from them. So yes, I’m going with paper over croup!

What about you? What one word sums up your week best? Please grab the badge, link up and share.

The Reading Residence



Linky opens at 6.30am Friday, to midnight on Sunday.

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My Garden in October

I knew that this would happen now, but it still leaves me feeling a bit sad. I’ve lost my gardening addiction. I’m quite sure it’ll bloom again next spring, but I feel a little bereft without it. I spent last weekend doing a little tidy up, both front and back, but I wasn’t happily humming whilst I did it, I just wanted to get it done. That is more than I’d normally bother with by now, I guess. The back garden was an extra room of the home throughout the summer, and I’d be out there every single day seeing what was flowering and what needed doing. Now I just look out and see dampness and leaves that I need to rake. Ah well, instead of lamenting, I should enjoy the colour that I have got, as I did ensure I planted a few things to brighten the garden over these coming months, and I can look forward to spring, safe in the smug knowledge that I planted loads of bulbs back when it was warm.

Here’s what’s happening now…

The tree’s changing colours tell me it’s is autumn….

tree

The dahlias are still going strong….

pompom dahlia

dahlia

I have sedums like this dotted about the garden, and they bring vibrancy to teh dampness….

sedum

I have pretty little viola pansies in clumps and patches, and they all look happy!

viola pansy

We saw some callicarpa in a garden centre last year, so wanted to get them ready for our garden this year, and the bright purple berries are now out…

callicarpa

My acer has turned a beautiful bright red…

acer

And there are so many different shades on the leaves…

leaf shades

I knew that I was a fair weather gardener, but I’ve been a little surprised by how much not getting out there is troubling me. Not enough to actually go outside, though! How about you? Are you out there through all seasons?

Manneskjur

Stacks of Sensational Stationery at Minted

Are you looking for stacks of sensational stationery? Well, I feel I’ve found a huge pile of it over at Minted.

minted_header_logo

I’ve been exploring over at Minted.Com. With their statement of “Our purpose in life is to uncover exceptional design from all over the world and bring this to savvy consumers who won’t accept anything else” you do get a feel for what it’s all about. Minted have designers submit their pieces and the most popular ones are then available to us to buy, which gives a really great product range and support to designers worldwide.

My initial thoughts were how very pretty and enticing the website looks, and though it’s easy enough to navigate around, there is just so much to explore and peek at, I did get a bit absorbed and lost! There are 3 main sections, ‘Stationery & Events’, ‘Art Marketplace’ and ‘Fabrics & Home Decor’. I was actually pretty good, and browsed around the latter two first, knowing that it’d be the ‘Stationery & Events’ section that would take up most of my time! I spotted right away that there is UK delivery, and I really like the fact that you can order free samples and a free catalogue. If you spot a design that you like, you can customise it, order free samples to check it out, then submit it to the team of designers to do their thing. You’ll then get a proof back within a couple of days, ready for you to approve, and once done, it’ll be printed within 2-3 days, and shipped within the week, sometimes sooner. All makes sense and all seems pretty slick!

The ‘Fabrics & Home Decor’ section is crammed full of beautiful fabrics and then lovely touches for your children’s room, such as personalised name signs. The ‘Art Marketplace’ has limited edition pieces, along with photo gifts and art prints. And then I moved onto ‘Stationery & Events’…..

Minted are probably best known for their range of personalised Christmas cards, where there are literally hundreds to choose from, hundreds I tell you! These are just a few of may favourite designs, but truth be told, I could have chosen so many more.

minted christmas cards

Then step beyond the Christmas cards and you’re into a whole world of beautiful stationery. Think notebooks, thank you cards, stickers, personalised writing paper, wedding stationery, business cards, planners, invitations, calendars, table decor – I do think they’ve just about got paper covered there! So it only seems right that I now share with you a whole load of pictures of products that I am loving! (if you click on the product titles they’ll take you through to the shop for you to see more details).

There are stickers! Retro Floral Garden

retro floral garden

Princess Crown

princess crown

Sock Monkey

sock monkey

I absolutely adore this I Love You To The Moon And Back print, which is available in different font colours and with lots of frame options

I love you to the moon and back

And then there is lots of paper for my scribbles and snail mail. Such as Thoughts of a Major planner (also available as a notebook or address book)

thoughts of a major

Original Snail Mail Personalised Stationery

original snail mail

Ahoy Fox Notebook (also available as a planner or address book)

ahoy fox

BellaBunny Personalised Stationerybellabunny

With each of these that I’ve picked out, there are various options to customise them, perhaps by adding your name, it’s purposes, and different colour combinations. The possibilities to choose and design your own stationery are brilliant, though it can make it tricky to finally settle on just one…or maybe two!

For example, I love this Penguin Fun stationery (this is actually in the children’s section, but I’d argue many of the designs in there are good for adults, too, as there are plenty I’m liking, so don’t miss nosing through there)penguin fun

With this design, you can change the shape of the paper, change the letter and it’s colour, leave the back blank or add a photo or different colour, select from 3 different colour envelopes and opt to have your return address printed on the reverse of them if you so wish. Fab! The only problem that I have with this site is that it takes a while to finally settle on anything as you’ve so many creative decisions you can make!

Have you checked them out yet? What products are grabbing your attention?

Disclosure: Written in Collaboration with Minted.Com

The Blog Lowdown – Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking

Today on The Blog Lowdown, I’m pleased to be bringing you the lovely Judith, from Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking.

Please Introduce yourself:
My name is Judith. I grew up in Alaska, USA, though we now reside in as far an opposite climate as one can imagine, in hot and humid Louisiana, USA. I play at the piano, but I’m much better at violin, which I play in an all-volunteer orchestra. My son makes my coffee every morning, and my hubby brings it to me in bed many mornings. Sad proof that all attempts have been thoroughly exhausted to turn me into a morning person.

My husband wanted to be my highschool sweetheart, but I wouldn’t date him (nor anyone else, mind you) until halfway through my Senior year, and he proposed two weeks before I graduated. He was 20, I was 18, and we were married three and a half months later. In our 14 years together we have been blessed with three fantastic kiddos, one boy, 12, and two girls, 8 and 3, owned two cats, four parakeets, five dogs, six chickens, and countless fish and houseplants (both of which we have made steady progress at keeping alive!), though, much to my husbands relief, not all at the same time! (Oh, and we homeschool. We’re kinda crazy like that!)

When did you start blogging?
December, 2012

Tell us a little about your blog
It started out as a way for me to organize the loads of new information on, and explain to family and friends about, the challenges we were facing with our kids’ sensory processing issues. After a few months, we got our first autism diagnosis – our then ten year old was diagnosed with Asperger’s and the psychologist agreed that sensory processing was a major aspect. A few months later, autism diagnosis number two, for our almost two year old daughter (she’s now 3), who also had intense sensory processing difficulties, but even more scary had regressed severely in her speech to the point that she only had one functional word left, and we were communicating with her almost entirely through sign language.

My blog allowed me to share research and how our family was affected, but it also provided me a place to show that my kids are also just kids. Gradually I included more and more posts on homeschooling, family life, recipes and more, and it became a place where all families can find something to relate to, to laugh about, sometimes even to cry about. I view it as a hearth rather than a soap box. And I hope all my readers gather round and feel a sort of commradery in the parenting trenches!

Who designed your blog?
I did, with the tools provided by Blogger. I have been strongly influenced by what I have read, especially by those who have sensory issues, to keep it very simple, uncluttered, and easy on the eyes. Sensory friendly, in other words. Also, more and more people do their reading on mobile devices, so I actually chose my layout based on how it looks in the mobile format first. I have stopped reading blogs I otherwise liked because it was too hard to read on my phone, or they had no mobile format. That might sound harsh, but that is what I do most of my research and internet reading on, so I want the experience to be hassle free and not come away with a headache.

Which of your posts have been the most popular? Are there certain types that get more interest?
A post I wrote on speech delays has been my most read from internet searches. That surprised me. And the recent post I wrote to say thank you and farewell to our amazing occupational therapist had an overwhelming response.

I have found the posts that seem to touch people’s hearts move them to comment more. And the project posts get many views as well, which tells me there are always many families looking for ways to keep bored kids busy on a budget!

How do you promote your blog posts, and which methods do you find to be most successful?
For a long time I didn’t really, mostly because all my energy was tapped out elsewhere. But periodically someone would tell me how much they appeciated something I had written, or that my blog had helped them, and I was encouraged by family and friends to write more. So now I network through blog hops regularly, comment on and follow other’s whose writing I enjoy, and I recently joined Twitter, so now I promote my blog there as well.

I find that I get higher flow from smaller blog hops. Which makes sense, most readers are juggling their time, and so only have minutes to select a few posts of interest, the less posts to choose from the more time they might take to peruse and visit multiple blogs. Also many of the writers link up regularly. We bloggers are sort of loyal that way, and as a way of thanks we tend to try to support one another with visits and comments.

Which linkys do you most enjoy joining in with/reading?
I love wrap-up linkys, like your Word of the Week. Looking back on things and reflecting, and then checking out how others survived always gives me a boost! And I love Share With Me by Jenny at Let’s Talk Mommy. I also really like Manic Mondays on Mommy A to Z. I have found some great blogs and amazing women through these linkys!

I also love the lighter side of parenting, so I’m always trolling for the feel good laughs that make us all nod with understanding, as well as adding my own fumbles to share on linkys.

When are your busiest days on the blog, and why? (if you know why!)
I have found traffic to be fairly steady throughout the week, if I post regularly. Higher on the days I sign up with linkys. It dips often on Friday evening through Suday. I suppose it’s because people are shifting the focus to family time on these days. But things pick back up starting on Mondays.

For me though, Friday – Monday are my busiest days personally. This is when I do the bulk of my writing, usually late at night after everyone is sleeping. With homeschool on the weekdays, I don’t get much writing time, so I make notes and blurbs to myself all week, then I try to write out as many full posts as I can over the weekend. Then I will schedule my posts for release throughout the week. This doesn’t always work out like I’d like though, and I find myself scrambling to get posts out in a timely manner sometimes.

Can you name 3 things that blogging has brought you?
1.) It gave me a voice, a way to really gain confidence as a woman, a mother, and a writer.

2.) It brought me a sort of sanctuary which has helped keep me going. It allows me to indulge my brain, to research, to challenge the norm, to engage my adult needs and reconnect with myself. I have met parts of myself through the blog for the first time, more than once; I have found out how I really feel about certain things when I have been allowed the freedom to write them down.

3.) It has brought me joy! I love my kid’s antics and craziness, even as they test me and stretch me in every way possible. And I get to share their humor, charm, brilliance, and sass with so many others, and maybe make them smile, too.

5 great tips for bloggersMy Top Tips for Bloggers:
* Write about what you want to read about. Dig up answers to questions you haven’t found on any other site. Or details often left out. When I was first researching Sensory Processing Disorder, there were very few blogs dedicated to information from a parents perspective. But I had questions that I wanted answered by a parent, not a doctor. So I try to provide that for other parents.

*Anything can become a blog post or shared on a social network, but that absolutely does not mean that everything should be. If it might humiliate, embarrass, or hurt someone (including your spouse or children)…hit delete instead of publish. In the long run, the vast majority of cyber-friends are exactly that, linked to us through a device only. Never sacrifice flesh and blood relationships to score higher traffic flow, get more likes, or to say something you are not willing to say in person. Cyber friends are not going to embrace your children when they cry, or care for them in an emergency. Treasure the people who show up in real life, even when you’ve given them every reason not to.

*Don’t just state the facts. Share how the facts made you feel. Good or bad, and what did you do about it. If you don’t know more words for emotions than happy, sad, angry, and stressed…look them up! Readers want to connect to you, the author, even if the content is not especially of high interest, but people will often keep reading if they feel connected to the writer through emotions.

*Don’t let the technology intimidate you! I am not tech savvy, but I keep on blogging and learn as I go. I didn’t even know that our tablet came with an e-reader app for over nine months, and I certainly didn’t know how to use it! If you run into something you don’t understand, check the help settings. Still don’t know? Google it. I have yet to have a technology question related to blogging or my devices that someone else hasn’t encountered and either written about (usually in a blog post!) or made a YouTube tutorial for.

*Teach your readers how to use and navigate your blog, and make it EASY to do so. One thing I didn’t realize is that some of my followers who used the email option were not commenting because they didn’t know they could click on the title to link back to the live post and comment. Others couldn’t comment because they didn’t have their device set to enable cookies. What might be second nature to you may need multi-step instructions for others. I recently set up a page for this on my blog. I explain how to get to the Web Version from the mobile format, how to subscribe and what that means, how to search for posts or content, what the labels mean, and my commenting policy. Those who don’t need it won’t spend much time on it, but those who do are very appreciative.

My Social Media Links:
You can find me over on Twitter.

Thanks very much, Judith. Lovely to find out more about you and your family, and I do love how you describe your blog as a hearth. I really like those tips, too, very honest and all so true.

If you’ve any questions for Judith, feel free to comment on this post, and she’ll pop by and check in. And this sees the final Blog Lowdown in the series. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading? In the next few weeks I will be going back over these fabulous posts and picking out the top tips and recurring themes to share with you, so do look out for those.

Other posts you might like:

How to Write a Brilliant ‘About Me’ Page

My 20 Top Tips for Bloggers

A Blogger’s Guide to Pinterest

Follow on Bloglovin

Visit The Reading Residence’s profile on Pinterest.

Double Flip Review #ToadTest

We’ve been carrying out a couple of #ToadTests here, in our role as toy testers for The Toadstool. Both are from the new Double Flip range, who have ‘all things reversible’ as their tagline.

Double Flip Fun & Games Mat

double flip fun and games

Kids will have hours of fun playing and drawing on this mat with washable felt tip pens. Then pop the mat in the washing machine on a cold wash, hang out to dry and play again!

The activities on the mat include: creative drawing, dot-to-dot, noughts and crosses, colour by numbers, letter writing practice, snakes and ladders and other dice games for older children.

Your children won’t even realise they are learning while they play. Suitable for boys and girls between 3 and 10 years.

double flip fun and games 1

double flip fun and games 7

double flip fun and games 2

double flip fun and games 4

double flip collage

There is so much to do with this mat, as it’s crammed with activities, on both sides, and is washable, so once the kids have finished, we can wash it off and do it all again! As you can see, both of the children were straight into playing with it as soon as I opened it, though at 2, Little Man is too young to be able to take full advantage of all that it offers, though that did not stop him scribbling, and he loves the little counters for game play. For Boo it’s been brilliant. As she’s recently started school, the letters practice is a hit (you see her doing that on the table there!), and dot to dots and word-searches always go down well with her. There is hours worth of fun to be had here, and it’s all kept in a handy little bag, too. This is one we’ve taken out with us, as it’s easy and lightweight to take, and the kids are then happy with it when visiting at houses with few toys! A really lovely, quirky idea, and well-executed, too.

Double Flip Paint or Bake Pack

double flip paint or bake

Inspire kids to get creative!

This reversible apron has a baking side with a pocket, and a wipeable art and craft side. A wooden rolling pin, spoon and two star cookie cutters are part of the set and will get your kids into the kitchen. Flip the apron round and get messy with the included water colours and paint brush!

The perfect present for boys or girls, from age 3 and up.

double flip paint or bake 1

double flip paint or bake  2

double flip paint or bake  3

double flip paint or bake 5

So this one can be used to either bake or paint with. As Little Man had yet to bake without big sister being about and taking over, I took this opportunity to make some cookies with him while she was at school. The apron is reversible, so we went with the clean, crisp white side, which can just be popped in the wash afterwards. It’d be fair to say that Little Man enjoyed baking, and I’m so glad we received this one to test as it prompted me to do it with him. And at the end, you have to lick the spoon, right?!

So the baking element done, it was then Boo’s turn to test out the painting part…

double flip paint or bake 6

double flip paint or bake 7

double flip paint or bake 8

Boo’s wearing the same apron as Little Man was there, just on the other side. She liked it immediately, gasping that ‘it’s pretty’! She likes creating with powder paints, as do I as they’re so much easier to clear up than poster paints. It makes it a fast to set up activity and the range of colours and quality was good. The paintbrush retained all of it’s bristles, and the colours looked pretty.

The two products are fun and offer something a little different. Both encourage kids to use their minds and creativity, too, which is always good. They are of a great quality, but for me, the Fun and Games mat really has the edge, as it is different to anything we’ve seen before, and can be carried about, laid out and played with very easily, with plenty to do on it.

What do you think of them?

Disclosure: I received these products FOC, though all words and opinions remain my own. 

We're going on an adventure

If You’re Ever Made Redundant…

if you're ever made redundant

Hopefully you won’t be, of course. But the Husband was made redundant back at the end of February. He had just hours notice that he’d be receiving his last weekly pay cheque that day and that’s that. He’d been there for 18 years, since leaving college, so even though we’d known the company was struggling, we had no idea that they were to become insolvent that day.

As his boss was declaring himself bankrupt, it actually didn’t occur to us that we may receive redundancy money. It felt unfair not to, after 18 years of hard work, but then if he didn’t have it, he didn’t have it, and of course we’d never have been wanting to sue him – 18 years of just the two of them means 18 years of friendship, too. But then I was chatting to my sister-in-law about it and she mentioned statutory redundancy pay from the government. Ah, we’d not even thought of that. But my husband was one of the fortunate ones who’d found a new job, so we wouldn’t get it, would we? Well, my brother-in-law did, and he’d started in a new job, too. So, I made a couple of calls and it turned out that, yes, we may well be entitled to something, so an RP1 form was duly sent to us. We were advised that as soon as the case was with the courts, there would be a receiver appointed and that they would be in touch with us in due course to help us make our claim. How long can that take? Ah, depends on the case, the court, could be weeks, could be months. Vague, then!

And so we waited. And we waited. And then waited a bit longer. Just over 5 months went by, and the waiting seemed a bit much. I called the court for advice on how the case and was told that they couldn’t disclose anything to me, but for the Husband to email them an enquiry about it. So I drafted it up, and he sent it over. We heard nothing. So he called them and it turns out that the case was closed ages ago and we could just send the form in whenever we liked, no need for a case number or anything. Right, so when were you going to contact us then? Erm, never….

We filled the form in that evening, and noticed that you do need to claim within the first 6 months. We were a week away from 6 months. No-one would have contacted us, not one person advised us we were entitled to make a claim at any stage.

After posting off the form, we heard nothing for 3 weeks, and then a letter advising us that as they’d not received the information they requested a fortnight earlier (a letter we did not receive) they’d have to decline the case. Aaah! So we called, we emailed and they acknowledged the forms we sent on. Another 3 weeks of waiting and a chase up call and finally, finally, the settlement has arrived.

‘Frustrating’ doesn’t quite cover it!

What have your experiences been, if you’ve been in this boat, too?

A Visit to the Sea Life Centre

Last weekend we had a lovely, water-filled, day. We’d been invited along to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, to take a look around and enjoy their new Octonauts mission, which runs from 11th October until 30th November.

Kwazii and Peso in tunnelThe Sea Life centre tells us that:

Fans will have the chance to join Kwazii and Peso in their discovery of some real live sea creatures and enjoy a host of Octonautical activities; including an all new quiz trail, fresh activity books, stickers, photo opportunities and much more.

You can read more about the Octonauts visit here, along with the meet and greet details.

As you can imagine, the children were excited about going. They enjoy nosing around aquariums (my brother runs an aquatic shop, and they get excited enough about just seeing his shop!), they were looking forward to seeing the new Penguin Ice Adventure (as was I!) and there was the added attraction of the Octonauts being there.

On arrival, we first went through to the Penguin Ice Adventure

Picture by Sam Bagnall

We all liked seeing the penguins swimming up and down, up and down, and they move so quickly and gracefully in the water, really lovely to watch. (oh, and I couldn’t get a single photo of them that wasn’t really blurry, so hooray for this image I received!). The Gentoo spent the time that we were there all under water, though they also have an icy home above water, where you’d be able to see a few waddling about.

And then we were off to look at the many, many sea creatures that the Sea Life Centre houses…

Sealife Centre Birmingham Little Man watches

sea life centre

Sealife Centre Birmingham penguin watching

Penguins aside (I so love penguins!), I really enjoyed the jellyfish area, where there were lots of tanks and tubes with these amazing looking creatures..

jellyfish

The Husband’s favourite part was the walk-through ocean tunnel, where we were surrounded by water and sharks and turtles, amongst others, swam over and around us. It is great to feel you can get so close to them. There were also friendly Sea Life Centre staff on hand in most areas to answer any questions or fill us in on what we were seeing.

The Octonauts mission that’s currently running includes a quiz trail around the centre. As Boo was meeting up with some of her blogger family friends, this kind of passed her by, as she raced round excitedly looking at the exhibits and laughing with the other kids. She was way too excited to stop and read anything! I think the trail really suits slightly older children, though Boo may well have had a better look if it wasn’t for the fact that she was ridiculously excited!

octonauts mission

Both Peso and Kwazii were about for meet and greets, which I think is a fabulous idea for younger ones. Little Man certainly thought so as he launched himself at Kwazii!

Sealife Centre Birmingham Kwazii

After we’d explored, the kids discovered the soft play centre and as they can never pass a chance like that up, we lost them to chaos for quite some time! After they’d run around like crazy in there for a while, we departed, and given that we come right out onto the canals, we decided to have a stroll round them.

I love this part of Birmingham, and though the Husband and I used to roam around here, we’d yet to take the children. They enjoyed looking at the passing barges, Little Man was pleased to spot some geese, and Boo loved the tunnels.

canalside

canals

canal side

We had fun and learning at the Sea Life Centre, fresh air and strolling down by the canals, and two happy and tired out children. We returned home to assemble Little Man’s brand new ‘big boy’ bed and then all played a new game together. A Saturday full of adventures and family time, just perfect.

Disclosure: We received entrance to the Sea Life Centre FOC, though all words and opinions remain my own. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Word of the Week – 17/10/14

Thank you so much for continuing to share and to link up – I love to find out about everyone’s weeks in this way, love it!

If you’re new here, Word of the Week is a nice and simple weekly linky, with everyone welcome to pop by and share. You reflect back on the past week and sum it up in one word. Then share your word with us in a blog post, with as little or as much explanation as you like. I comment on and tweet out every post, and it’s a friendly place, so come join in! All that I ask is that if you link up, you link back to me, and visit as many of the other blogs as you can and comment on their words, please.

My word of the week this week is:

damp

Not the most inspiring of words! It has been wet most days here, and I seem to have managed to get caught in pretty much every shower. School runs have been fine up until recently, because of course they were dry, but now we battle through lashing rain, with a 2 year old who refuses to have a rain cover on his pushchair (and is more than capable of kicking it off!) and so ends up damp. The plus side to this, as I really have to try and find one, is that we’ve been enjoying some delicious hot chocolates when we get home!

I look out into my garden, that I was lovingly tending until a few weeks ago, and all I see is damp and soggy, with leaves that I really need to rake up, but I don’t want to go out there because it’s damp!

We’ve been tired, with Boo having a bout of croup and Little Man testing out his ‘big boy’ bed boundaries, so a few disturbed nights, waking to dark and wet mornings, leaves my mood feeling altogether ‘damp’. The news that there’s a sick bug going around Boo’s classmates does nothing to lift me either, as I absolutely loathe sick bugs hitting this house – they’re never good, are they?!

It’s then, I suspect because of the weather and the tiredness, been a week with niggles and irritations. Nothing huge, nothing significant, just little thing after little thing. I’m sure if it was hot and sunny, I wouldn’t be dwelling on them! But yes, enough to put a dampener on my normal positive mood.

But do not worry (were you even worrying?!), as you know me and I will lift myself out of this damp place, in spite of what the weather may throw at me. For I have Tots100 blog camp to look forward to tomorrow, my nephew’s theatre performance next week and it’ll be half term before we know it, too, which I’m really looking forward to. Come on sunny disposition, come back!

What about you? What one word sums up your week best? Please grab the badge, link up and share.

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