Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I forgot to tell you!

I have a job interview tomorrow.  I'm terrified and excited at the same time.  The job is part time counter assistant in the post office at the end of my road.  The contract is for 8 hours a week but could result in up to 12 or 16 hours a week (my choice!) and I think I would love it if I got it.  I haven't had a job interview in over 5 years though!  I spent 3 years in my last job and have been off for more than 2 years now!

I think an 8-12 hour contract would be perfect for me because it is enough hours to make a decent little bit of extra money, but also few enough hours that I am not really taken away from Ollie all that much.  If I were to do 8 hours in a week it would be 4 hours one morning and 4 hours on a Saturday morning (when James is home anyway).  My mum will mind Ollie for me on the other shift whether it be 4 hours or 8 hours.  If I am required to work extra hours on a week to cover holidays and sick leave for others, or my mum is unable to mind him one week.... my friend Bex is going to take him.  We have worked out an arrangement between us that if she were to mind him for 4 hours, I would take Ivy for 4 hours some other day that same week so that she can get bits and pieces done too.  It is going to work out perfectly... I just need to work my hardest in the interview!

The interview is at 11.00am so wish me luck!!!  I really really want this job!

Another PMM!

Ollie has been saying the word "fish" for months now... it used to be "bish" but soon turned to the proper word. As of the past week or so though, Ollie has been able to distinguish between a picture of a normal fish and a shark!! He can say "shark" too! Is it just me being biased, or is that quite clever? I think I just assumed that a shark looks too fish-like for someone so little to be able to tell the difference, but he can... everytime. He can tell the difference when James draws a fish or a shark, he can tell the difference when watching this video on youtube and he can spot the shark on his fish pyjamas!

I'm s**t scared of sharks.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tot School Week 7 - Home/ Family

Tot School
Ollie is 21 months

We focused on the theme of "Home and Family" this week and Ollie enjoyed it.
Home/ Family Themed Activities
We read the book "Home" by Alex T. Smith, this whole week and it is the sweetest book. It is about 4 friends who live together but decide to move and live seperately only to discover that they much prefer living together afterall.
I printed off this house from HERE, drew myself, James and Ollie in the windows and I cut out lots of household items from the Argos Catalogue! Ollie loved this activity and kept putting the bits and pieces all over the house and named them as he did! The cutest new word he said while doing this activity was "foofer" when he was holding the "hoover" cutout. Anytime he saw the rubbish bin cutout he yelled "yuuucky!". It was a nice activity and kept him occupied for about 35 minutes!
I put my own creativity to the test and drew a house scene for Ollie to colour. I drew a car, a house and James, Ollie and I. Ollie loves colouring.
We tried a size ordering activity using little people that I drew and coloured in. He instantly recognised them as daddy, mummy and Ollie. I helped him put them in order of size and we then put them together holding hands. Ollie though it was hilarious.
We made yummy yummy treats for daddy because he is having a very busy and stressful week and we know that he loves yummy treats.
AGAIN we put the Happyland house to use. It really has been appropriate in so many themes recently. I acted out the daddy going to work in his car and the mummy playing with the children all day and cooking lunch. Ollie has started more imaginative play on his own.
We went out for a lovely family lunch out on Saturday to Nando's. Ollie was superbly behaved.
Non-Themed Activities
As well as using the normal toys he uses every week (cotton reels etc), he started being more interested in his shape sorter. He got a few of them right and clapped when he did get them in the right hole. I told him the colour of the brick each time he picked one up.
He played with his In The Night Garden stacker. He hasn't paid much attention to it before but he loved stacking them up (he could get up to 6 stacked by himself and I helped him with the higher ones) and then knocking them down.
Next week's theme is Easter and we have some really fun stuff planned!

Monday, March 22, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

We had such a fab St. Patrick's Day adventure.

Ollie ADORES trains. He is about as obsessed with trains as a little boy of 1 1/2 can be! Instead of parking in Downpatrick (which we knew would be MEGA busy) we parked in a place in the middle of nowhere, called Inch Abbey. There is a small steam train that runs from Inch Abbey to Downpatrick in just under 10 minutes. We thought it would make a lovely treat for Ollie. He loved it. He chooo-choooed the whole way there.

How cute is this place?

When we arrived in Downpatrick we headed up the hill to Downpatrick County Museum which had free entertainment on all day long. We saw the bagpipers first, then we took Ollie to get his face painted and then we watched a little bit of irish dancing in the marquee.

Ollie enjoyed holding his flags.

After we spent a while at the museum, we stopped for lunch. We had the BEST fish and chips (James had a burger). Ollie didn't eat much at all because I think his teeth were hurting. We then spent some time trying to get him to go to sleep in his pram because he was getting grumpy and tired....

When he had fallen asleep, we walked up to Down Cathedral to see inside the Cathedral and to see St. Patrick's grave.

After seeing the grave we walked back down the hill to find a good spot to watch the parade. It took AGES for the parade to start, Ollie woke in the meantime but was easy to occupy.

The parade started with a display of vintage cars which Ollie enjoyed. He stared wideeyed at every vehicle that went past. There were some beautiful cars... and some funny looking ones like the Reliant Robin.

THIS was weird!! It was like a car that was being lifted by the huge robot monster behind it. Very clever.

There were bands...

More funny, huge, clever things...

Ollie was a little bit freaked out by the big people!

There was a tractor display...

...and a display of massive motorbikes!

After the parade finished, we made our way back to the train station to wait for the train to take us back to the car!

All in all, a fun day and we all ended up exhausted! It was also lovely having James off work for a day too as he has been so busy lately!

Tot School Week 6 - St. Patrick's Day

Tot School
Ollie is 21 months

We didn't really have the best of Tot School weeks this past week. Ollie has not been a happy boy at all. I think he is teething hard on his back molars... the last 4 teeth (thank goodness). He only did a couple of activities themed but did them so half heartedly. The theme for the week was St. Patrick's Day, so we did go to Downpatrick on Wednesday for the parade. He REALLY enjoyed that.

We tried potato printing for the first time. Ollie thought it was hilarious that we were using a food to paint with! His prints came out so well... he started saying "dip dip dip" anytime he had to get more paint on the potato.

We tried size ordering pots of gold. We tried size ordering a few weeks ago and he wasn't interested, thought we would try it again... he lasted longer with it this time but still not overly enthusiastic about it.

He preferred this activity a lot more! I kind of left him to his own devices with this one and he chose to put the coins on the pots himself. He then lifted the paper so they would fall off and he did it again. I picked out the shiniest 2 pence pieces I could find for him.

We took Ollie to the parade in Downpatrick on Wednesday and he really enjoyed it. He LOVED getting his face painted.

So there you have it... not the MOST exciting of weeks, but he seems a little happier now so hopefully next week is a little bit more fun. The theme is going to be "Home and Family".

P.s. You will be able to read all about the St. Patrick's Parade in the next post!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

You know your a mummy when...

You get ridiculously excited about a new stroller!!!!

James thinks I am ridiculous because I have had 3 prams already with Ollie... I tried to tell him, it's not until you have a pram and have been out and about with it a few times that you see what it is really like. I have had reasons for getting rid of all my previous prams... and I am onto getting rid of my 3rd pram.

My first pram was great. It was a present from my mum. It was the Mamas and Papas Pliko Pramette in Polka Dot. It was lovely... easy to put up and take down and it changed from a lie flat pram to a forward facing stroller. I loved it because it was a bit different and not many people had it... I'm also IN LOVE with polka dots.

I sold it because we moved to a more rural area with a forest park beside, and one trip through the forest nearly broke this pram... it rattled the whole way and back. So I sold it for....
A red Phil and Ted's Sport.

I LOVED the Phil and Ted's. It was fantastic! There were 2 reasons why we picked this pram... it was a 3 wheeler, tyres... so easy to push through the forest. The second reason we picked it was because we knew we would be trying for another baby shortly after getting it and it turns into a double...

It turns into a double by adding the toddler seat! How brilliant an idea is that? It was all going to work perfectly because I got pregnant and the baby would have been born when Ollie turned 2. I was so looking forward to pushing a double buggy but thing's don't always turn out the way you hope and we lost the baby.

I sold the pram for 2 reasons. The first reason was that there were so many extras to buy for it to turn it into a double and they would have cost quite a lot... I wasn't keen on spending that much money when I knew if we were to get pregnant soon, Ollie wouldn't be in the pram for very long... it was too much money to spend for a matter of months (and I'm still not pregnant again so it was a good call because if I were to get pregnant now Ollie would be 2 1/2 and wouldn't use it for long at all!). The second reason was that any time I used it I felt sad that it would never be a double buggy.

Oh! There was another reason. We changed our car to a tiny Nissan Micra and it would have been a struggle putting the buggy in the boot if we were ever to go on holiday and need room for suitcases!

So..... I sold it and got myself a Quinny Zapp.

Oooooh the Quinny Zapp is gorgeous. Stylish.... SO lightweight (6kg!) and folds up TINY. It takes up a fraction of the boot that the Phil and Ted's did. It is very upright, easy to put up and collapse, easy to push and steer (can you tell I've become a convert to 3 wheelers? I would never go back to 4 wheelers!) and you can put a Maxi Cosi carseat on for a newborn. The massive problem with the Quinny Zapp is that it does not recline. I knew this before buying it but didn't think it would be a problem because Ollie had fallen asleep in the Phil and Ted's a few times sitting up. Turns out it is a massive problem. I also don't know what it would then be like for a 6 month old eventually.

SO! James thinks I am an idiot for having so many prams.... but I think all my reasons are valid. Fair enough I should have stuck with my instinct that maybe the Quinny Zapp MAY not work... but I'm a girl of impulse. The Zapp has been my only silly purchase. The reasons for getting rid of the other 2 are very good.

I will be putting my Quinny Zapp on ebay this week as soon as I know whether or not I have the winning bid on a....

Red and cream Baby Jogger City Mini! When I was buying the Zapp, I desperately wanted this but new, it was pricier than the Zapp. It is 3 wheeler, super lightweight (7kg) and still folds really small and flat.... and it reclines! The hood can go into 3 positions. I think in that picture it is in the 2nd position so it goes one lower.... so really good sun coverage which is such a bonus for Ollie as he HATES the sun. I have only seen good reviews of the City Mini and just know in my heart it will be my last pram. I know Ollie will love it and it will suit any more babies we have as it is suitable from birth.

I am bidding on one on ebay at the minute and reeeeeeeally want to win. I could have my new pram here by Wednesday or Thursday then!

James said he doesn't mind and doesn't want to hear anything about it but also says I will NEVER get another pram again. This is ok because I know this one will be perfect.

How many prams have you had? I know a few people who have had 3 or 4 prams/ strollers.... Please let me know if you've had more than 1 or 2 so I can feel slightly normal.

Maybe I need to start a support group.... "Pram Lovers Anonymous" or something along those lines!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Who has taken my happy boy?

Can you please bring him back and take away this grumpy one instead!

Ollie has been SO cranky for the past week and I ahve not got a clue what is wrong. Maybe it is just his age, or maybe he is teething... but I can't put my finger in there to check it out. Luckily he is sleeping ok at night which means I have some energy to deal with the grumps during the day! If he is teething, he is on his very last 4 teeth! He already has 16 and I think at his age they just go up to 20 don't they?

One of the things that is keeping me sane during the week (amongst the grumps) is his cute speech... he says "touch... but it sounds more like "dutch"... when something is hot!! I assume he got this from me saying "Hot! Don't touch!!". It is so cute. He also now knows how to say "biccie" and I must hear that 30 times a day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I wanted to wish you all a Happy St. Patrick's Day. Hope you have a lot of fun whatever you are up to!

We are on our way to Downpatrick now, which is where the abbey and St. Patrick's grave is. There is a big, colourful parade on there today and probably lots of other fun things!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

iHeartFaces: Bundled Up

I took this photo when Ollie was 3 weeks old. He LOVED to be swaddled. It brings back gorgeous memories... sigh... he is about 4 times the size now, but as handsome, scrummy and fun as ever.

Slow cooker salsa chicken!

Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken

This meal is sooooooooooo unbelievably easy.... and delicious... and you can change it to suit your own likes and dislikes! This is the second time I have made it and each time has been a super success with hubby and Ollie.

Here are the ingredients I used for my 2 variations!

Variation 1 Ingredients:

1 whole chicken
2 Jars of Old El Paso Garlic Salsa
1/2 can of sweetcorn
1 small can of black eyed beans

Variation 2 Ingredients:

4 chicken breasts
1/2 small jar pizza sauce
1 jar of Doritos Salsa
1 small can of chickpeas
1/2 can of sweetcorn

Put all the ingredients into the slow cooker, layering chicken first, beans and corn second and salsa on the top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When the chicken is cooked thoroughly remove, shred and return to the sauce. I served both of these with rice and some grated cheese on top. We will be having the leftovers on baked potatoes tonight though. You can use whatever type of bean you like, add extra veggies if the mood takes you, and you can also use your favourite type of salsa. I preferred using a whole chicken rather than chicken breasts. There was a little more flavour in the sauce this way.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tot School Week 5 - Mums/ Mother's Day

Tot School
Ollie is 21 months old

This week's theme was Mum's and Mother's Day (as today is Mothering Sunday). It went really well and it was sort of nice to concetrate on myself and Ollie and explain to him what a mummy is for etc.

Mum/ Mother's Day Themed Activities

We read "Me and My Mum" by Alison Ritchie and Alison Edgson. It was such a sweet book with beautiful pictures.

We used Ollie's Happyland house again this week as part of our theme. I took the role of the mummy in the Happyland House and I played out all the things that a mummy does... like cook dinner, give the children a bath and send them to bed. Ollie thought it was hilarious especially as I was doing a mummy voice too! He carried on playing, putting the children in the bath saying "baff baff"... and put them to bed saying "ssssh quiet".

Ollie got really into imaginative play this week which was so so so cute to watch and it melted my heart. I had him put his teddy bear to bed on the sofa... he tucked him in and gave him a kiss befor saying "ssssh". I explained to him how lovely it was to put the bear to bed and that is what mummy does too.

I also had him 'feed' his bear. He loved it.

At Mother and Baby Group this week, Ollie secretly made me a Mother's Day card with one of the group leaders. The poen inside reads "This is to remind you, when I have grown so tall, that once I was quite little and my hands were very small".

We did a spot of baking together and made shortbread cookies for the grandmother's. I can honestly say that Ollie ate about 50% of the cookies we made!!!

we cut them into heart and butterfly shapes.

...and decorated them with red icing, pink icing and sprinkles.

I then had Ollie colour in a heart red and we wrapped the cookies up in greaseproof paper and string.

I printed off some animal baby and animal parent pictures (sorry I can't remember where from!!!!), coloured them in and glued them to card. Ollie really enjoyed the activity and got a few of them correctly matched up!

Last but not least, I thought it would be cute to do an Ollie and me handprint picture! How cute is it! It tured out really well!

Non-Themed Activities

Ollie played with his cotton reels again and seems to have got the hang of it a little better. He got a few of the threaded all by himself, but he got distracted by something else very quickly.

James remembered to print off this week's and last week's letters!

I let Ollie loose with his black pencil (I did the lines for him though).... he really liked the bee.

I drew the crab claws on paper, had Ollie colour them in red and then I cut them out. I think we are going to have make room in our study for an alphabet wall soon!

Next week's theme is St. Patrick/ St. Patrick's Day (It is St. Patrick's Day on Wednesday). We will be having green food, making shamrock potato prints and on Wednesday (James gets the day off) we will be visiting Downpatrick which is where St. Patrick is buried, for the parade and other celebrations.