Monday, 31 August 2009

one for the yanks!

Mr. B has a lovely aunt and uncle who live stateside. This is a 'hello' post to Auntie Alison and Uncle Ed.

They haven't had an easy time of it lately - Ed has been very poorly and Alison has had surgery, and I wanted them to know they are ALWAYS in our thoughts and we all send our love.

We haven't seen them for a while (since the wedding in fact) as a trip out to them is just too expensive, and the same for them (and of course Ed being ill)

So hey guys, hang on just waiting for Alison to wheel Ed in to read this too - we love you and miss you loads!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Pleased to report

Another satisfactory Dentist visit! a thorough clean for Mr.B and Me. A fissures sealant on middle daughters poor tooth (her far back bottom molar, an adult tooth, has no enamel!) and nothing for the other two small people!

lots of smiles all round, a few stickers and once again we walk away happy smiley people!

thank you Mr.Jones!

Now Mr.B has gone off to Reading for the weekend (the music festival for those NOT in the know!) can we keep everything crossed for dry weather and unblocked toilet blocks please?

Monday, 24 August 2009


the girls go back to school (3rd and 7th September) I am going to take the time to knit a bit, read a bit, sew a bit and most definitely make a cup of tea and drink it hot whilst catching up on a bit of blog reading - I may even share some of the better ones with you (as long as you promise to come back to me please?!)

our weekend away

I can hardly believe that it is our 2nd wedding anniversary already! the day is as fresh in my mind as it was 2 years ago, we really enjoyed ourselves.

This year we celebrated our anniversary with a lovely long weekend away at Hanbury Manor, a Marriott Hotel in Ware.

We save up our Tesco clubcard points throughout the year so that we can have a weekend away, this is the 3rd time we have done it and I had really wanted to go to Hanbury manor. Of course, I was terrified the place wouldn't be everything I hoped for - but it was, and more. the building is lovely (if a bit of a mishmash!)

Our room was cosy, its a Marriott hotel so you can expect a typical standard, but this was a little bit different, a bit more sympathetic to the fact it is an old building, with quite a history. It even had its own little entrance hall (sorry Mr.B it had to be mentioned!)
the only sound we could hear at night was the breeze swaying the trees and the crickets singing.

Breakfast was taken in the Oak dining room, which has a lovely large brick balcony which overlooks the balcony - we were able to sit out there on Monday morning, that is quite something on a lovely day to be eating melon and croissants, drinking freshly squeezed orange juice overlooking such an amazing landscape - how the other half live eh?!

the weekend was spent just lazing around, making full use of the spa facilities by swimming a lot and using the steam room (swimming at 10.30pm on Sunday was fun, especially being the only folks in there and being able to mooch back up to our room in our robes!), we took lovely walks in the grounds and found a nice pub to walk to on the Sunday for a yummy roast dinner.

On our Sunday evening stroll we passed one of the function rooms, lights on and doors wide open, a poor little hedgehog had got confused and wandered in.
Mr.B - my hero - whisked a tablecloth from one of the table and scooped the poor mite up and placed him safely outside, I shut the doors so he didn't wander back in!

I think the most fun we had though was on Monday, we discovered a secret pass time whilst walking along the river Lea on Sunday - Cray fishing! Its seems that stretch of the Lea has a swarm of American Signal Crayfish, carrying a plague which is killing our native crayfish. Of course it is illegal to catch crayfish without a licence, but it is also illegal to throw an American Signal Crayfish back into our native waters.
So Mr.B and me whiled away an hour or so before going home dangling bacon on the end of a piece of thread in the water, every now and then one of the greedy buggers would grab hold and was lifted out - about a dozen in total! Tea was yummy that night, although the girls came dangerously close to naming them all! It took me a while to get my head round cooking them - and Mr.B had to put the first couple in!

yummy chewy multi vits?!

just over a month ago I was asked if my younger children would be willing to try out some vitamin tablets for Haliborange.

my kids have a multivitamin tablet everyday already (our usual is boots own) as well as a couple of omega 3 tablets (from eyeQ), so substituting the different multivit in wasn't a problem.

Kids Multivitamin fruit softies, look like sweets - a good thing for children who don't like tablets I guess. My kids LOVED them! and rather than eating those ones first (as they do with the boots ones to get rid of the flavour with the omega3 tabs!) they have decided they are definitely worthy of the 'last-tablet-to-be-taken' honour!

so well done Seven Seas, a tablet with all the vitamins they need (always a worry when kids can be so picky when eating), attractive to the kids, and taste nice!

my only issue is how sticky they are when the 4 year old takes it out of her mouth to give me a kiss, then puts it back in, then takes it out to drink her milk then puts it back in................... cue hand wash!

A great day out!

Way back at the start of August, we met with some friends from swimming classes, they have a daughter who is a year older than middle child and a son the same age as smallest child.

We decided that if the weather was good we would visit an indoor play centre in Garston called Gambados, we figured if the weather was good it wouldn't be too crowded, and we were spot on.

At first I thought the entrance cost was ridiculously high. To start with you have to pay a £5 registration per family, this is a one off cost though. Then each child has to be paid for and adults are charged at £2.50. This took the total of the visit for me and the 2 smaller children to around the £25 mark!

As you walk through the front door you are greeted by a loud noise - this could be a hen clucking or a baby laughing! Then you are taking up to the main entrance on an escalator with the sweet scent (some could say sickly) of bubblegum! at the top there is another gadget with noise making buttons for the children to press.

once the paperwork and payments are sorted the children (and adults) are released into a fasmantagical (OK its not a word, but don't you think it should be?!) world of wonder. Inside there are bumper cars (children under a certain height can not go on alone, what a shame I had to ride with the demon smallest child!), stationery bicycles which, when cycled fast enough, light up a string of lights on the ceiling. There is a climbing wall (supervised) a soft play area with wavy slide. A soft ball shooting range, a musical area. Giant chalk boards, a sensory room and a dance stage.

A separate room has been supplied for adults, with glass walls so you can see your lovely offspring having fun, inside is a TV, comfy chairs, WiFi for your laptop, or Internet enabled PC's for you to use and magazines and newspapers to keep you occupied.

and on a hot day we were grateful for the air conditioning.

However not very grateful for the completely ruined socks, children have to wear socks but as there are folks walking around in shoes the floor is 'invisibly filthy' and as a result the socks were black by the end of the day.

I have to admit the one thing letting them down is their coffee shop - 'yum yums' - the tea was insipid, the coffee tasted like the kettle needed descaling and, at 12.30, the children's lunch box section was not filled. But we did have lovely jacket potatoes, but again we were lucky we got the last 2. A strange thing to happen at lunchtime!

so was it VFM? My experience was yes, although buying lunch there bumped the price up by another £15! the cost of entry is 'supposed' to be for 2.5 hours, but we were in there for 6 hours! and the children still did not want to leave. It was quiet when we went, but if it had been busy and we were on a timed entry I would have smarted a bit at £25 for 2.5 hours, but I guess its relative to your expectations. The children did not have to queue too long for the climbing wall or the bumper cars, which is always a good thing!

Would we go again? yes but only using one of the many offers available (check their website) or by buying an annual ticket which works out at around £2 per visit if you go weekly. Something we may well think of investing in when my bursary comes through, alongside the annual Whipsnade passes we already have.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

To the 'lady' in Morrisons carpark yesterday

I may be a fat cow, but I can go on a diet.
you my dear are stuck with that face forever!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

more conversations with a 4 year old

me to her 'whats your favourite vegetable?'
her to me 'little round cabbages'

ahhhh Brussel sprouts then?