Sunday, May 22, 2011

Boys will be boys

Zachary has now reached the age where the funniest thing he can say to anyone (or anyone can say to him) is "so and so SMELLS!" He finds this absolutely hilarious and it's brilliant - we've been leaving him messages round Animal Crossing on the Wii, and he's been returning the favour (with our help!). I think Uncle Jamie started this off, although he was trying to get Zachary to say "Daddy smells of bums" but luckily for nursery and the public in general, we've managed to get it down to just "Daddy smells!" Today, Leigh was telling Zachary he'd caught a smelly bug from him, and that smelly bugs were only found on smelly boys - Zachary loved this and laughed a lot...although some of the laughing did sound a bit nervous, as though he's pretty sure Leigh was joking, but not quite 100%. Zachary has also been watching 'Ginger Warrior' (that's Ninja Warrior to the uninitiated), and telling us we're going to Bourbon at the weekend - if's Bournemouth!

Leo seems to be unstoppable in the food department, and there have been 3 similar incidents over the weekend. On Saturday morning, Leigh got up with the boys and got some shreddies in a bowl for Leo to snack on before breakfast to keep him occupied, and stave off those hunger pangs. When Leo had finished the bowl, he got himself into the kitchen, up to the table and when Leigh turned round, had got his arm shoulder-deep in the shreddies box! Then this morning, after we'd all had breakfast, cleaned teeth etc, I was washing up in the kitchen, and Leo was up on the chair again, pulled over the leftover pancakes and snaffled one (just like he snaffled the chicken for the pizza topping mid-week). And finally, we were at a garden centre today - I was helping Zachary choose some pick 'n' mix sweets, trying desperately to both fill the bag and at the same time stop Leo reaching into the containers, taking out sweets and simply popping them in his mouth! I missed a raspberry jelly thing that way, but managed to catch a couple of toffees he was parading around. Surely we're feeding him enough???!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Bought on a whim

I'm not a very spontaneous person, and having 2 children has quashed most of what little spontaneity I had - the constant need to know where we are going and what we're doing so that I can be properly prepared has seen an end to that!!!! So I very rarely buy things on a whim (except clothes for the boys!), especially anything arty or for the house. Anyway, one of the first trips I made with the boys after they'd both had chicken pox was to Attenborough Nature Reserve which is close to us, and in the cafe there they were displaying the work of a local artist, who uses pyrography to etch pictures onto wood pieces.

Most of the items weren't really my taste (or superb examples of the pyrography technique...), but I saw one I really liked and just bought it! I never do that! Maybe I was heady with the first taste of freedom in ages and the thought that I hadn't really spent any money over the last few weeks went to my head! Here it is

it's finally been hung up, and what I liked about it was the relative simplicity of the burned picture and more than that, the grain of the wood. It hasn't come out brilliantly in the photo (and the photo appears to have been taken at a particularly strange angle), but the swirls and patterns reminded me of this painting, which is beautiful

I'm still really pleased with my purchase. Which is a relief!

Vegetables as bribery??

Zachary was a great eater when we were first weaning him and would try almost anything. Then at about 13 months, he suddenly stopped wanting to try new foods and stuck to a pretty tight range of food he would eat. Now this wasn't as bad as it sounds as he has always been a great eater of bread, cereal, yoghurts and fruit, the biggest issue was with main meals and we ended up limited to beans on toast, homemade chicken burgers, homemade fishcakes, peas and sweetcorn. So he was getting all his food groups, but after about a year and a half of this, I was starting to get a bit fed up of constantly making the chicken burgers and fishcakes, and it was difficult eating with him at friends' houses or out at pubs (pubs not so bad as chips and beans were always on the menu!).

As he approached 3, we decided to try a crack down on the eating thing and be more firm in encouraging him to try new foods...just as we decided this, Zachary - on his own - decided he was going to be more open to trying new things. Great! This is going pretty well - we now have pasta, carrots, chicken and chicken nuggets, fish fingers, sometimes rice and cous cous, and pork well in hand. The next issue we've run up against though is that although Zachary will try things more readily, actually getting him to finish a meal proves very difficult some days and he will take an absolute age to eat his dinner. Yes, we've resorted to bribery and the promise of computer time with Leigh, and/or pudding has worked reasonably well in the past. Today however...

Zachary tried green beans for the first time and loved them, they were the first thing eaten from his plate. Then we almost got away with using the promise of more beans as his reward for eating the rest of his dinner! (this worked for a while until he decided he really didn't want to finish the rest) Vegetables as bribery - ace!

I'm putting him to work early!

Funnier still was Leo attempting to mop the kitchen using a mop which is nearly twice as big as him...but I didn't get the camera in time and he'd given up by the time I got back with it!!!