My Sunday Photo 28/2/16



The cute marks on her nose are from carpet burns inflicted during an indoor gymnastics demonstration, by the way 🙂


My Sunday Photo: Horsing Around!



It may not be immediately obvious from this photo, but this is from Jake & Ellie’s first horse-riding session!

We have been taking them to dance (ballet & tap), gym & music classes. They went over the age limit for Monkey Music, they seemed a bit bored with the gym classes as they didn’t seem challenging enough, & although Ellie enjoyed the dancing Jake seemed less keen.

So when they turned 5 we decided that they were old enough to decide what they wanted to do, rather than what we thought they should do.

Jake chose Tae-Kwon-Do! I’m not sure how we found out about it, but there’s a great session at our local YMCA, & they’re both loving it. (There’s a funny story about that: ask me later…)

Ellie was mad to do horse-riding. So we did.

It was great! Sadly my ‘phone’s battery ran out just before they got on their horses, so I couldn’t get any more photos.

It took a long time to get going, which is OK as you’re dealing with animals & you have to get the health & safety right. Then they all lined up in the field on their magnificent ponies, our 2 first-timers especially looking very pleased with themselves.

We thought they’d just plod around the field, but they took to the streets! They all rode around country lanes for nearly an hour, & even broke into a trot!

Jake & Ellie both loved it; they were so happy when they came back!

We’re definitely planning to it again; the main problem of course is that it’s not cheap. Great fun though 🙂

My Sunday Photo: Extreme Photo-bombing!


Doggie Don’t!

We were talking about a new game that Jake & Ellie got for Christmas: Doggie Doo.

Basically it involves feeding pretend doggie food to a pretend doggie then rolling a (real) dice which gives you the chance to get pretend doggie to do a pretend doggie poo. Whoever has the most pretend doggie poo at the end of the game wins.


1-DSC_0441Just what is it about poo that young children find so hilarious anyway?

Ellie however wasn’t convinced.

“I don’t want to play Doggie Doo because it’s too smelly.”

Us: “It’s not real poo, it’s just plastic.”

Ellie: “Oh. Well I think that’s just silly. And quite odd.”

It’s amazing how grown up she can be sometimes!

The game however is actually quite fun, as long as you understand that with 3-year-olds any rules are entirely optional & can be ignored at any time – usually when 1 of them isn’t winning.

And it’s not at all smelly, but definitely very silly!

For more posts like this just click the pic:

Wot So Funee?

Saturday is Caption Day: Honk!

1-DSC00258Got a witty, profound or just plain silly caption for this picture? Then leave it in the comments below!

Then click on the little boy’s head here & you will be magically transported to the funsome Mammasaurus’ blog for many more pictures crying out for a witty / pithy #satcap caption.

Could It Be Magic?

There was a lot of magic in the air this morning.

In the car on the way to playgroup, using a PlayDoh stamp as a wand, Ellie decided to turn Jake into a Princess.

Jake wasn’t too happy about this.

“No! I’m Jake!”

“I turned you into a Princess!”

“No! I don’t want it! I’m Jake!”

“You’re a Princess!”

And so on…

I felt I had to intervene. A full-blown magic battle can get ugly: I’ve seen ‘The Sword in the Stone’!

“Ellie, Jake doesn’t want to be a Princess; could you turn him back into Jake please?”

Princess Jake was still protesting, so I repeated my request.

Ellie: “I have!”

“OK, thank you, good girl”

Fortunately Jake was able to confirm his change of status, & seemed happy with his current form.

So much so that he decided that he needed to do some magic too. I’m not sure what he was using as a wand; I think it was a ‘Horton Hears a Who” DVD.  I hear improvised magic is often the most effective!

He wanted to turn me into a frog. I’m not sure why.

“Jake, I don’t think you should turn me into a frog while I’m driving. Frogs can’t drive can they?”.

He seemed convinced by this so for the rest of the journey, as far as I know, nobody was turned into anything that they didn’t want to be.

Winter’s back here, it’s cold & wet. As we got out of the car we got hailed on.

So once inside, & after a bit of very British complaining about the Weather, Karen & I got Jallie to do a magic dance to bring the Sun back. So when it gets sunny again you know who to thank!

Dangerously there was an actual Harry Potter wand there.  Or possibly it was a stick from Karen’s garden; I’m not sure. Either way it looked the part, so after a couple of well-cast “Expelliarmus” spells from Jake I found myself back home much sooner than I expected!

Wot So Funee?
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Get ’em while they’re young!

We had a rather telling – I think – moment this morning.

English: gio compario
Photo credit: Wikipedia

We were watching Nick Jr. when that ‘Go Compare’ ad came on where Gio Compario (yes, I know his name; I am that sad)* is sitting at a bus-stop having a whinge to an old lady. Exactly how he escaped Stephen Hawking’s black hole isn’t made clear, but never mind…

Now he only sings a single, brief  “Go compare!” in that ad. I’ve checked.

Immediately after it finished Jake started happily singing – well, I think you know.

I’m really not sure whether I should be utterly horrified or very proud.

Actually I think I’m a little of both.

* He’s really opera singer Wynne Evans, from Carmarthen in Wales. He was in town performing recently, and I hear he’s rather good. 

Note: This is not a sponsored post. But if anyone wants to send me any money that’s fine…

The Scientific Method

I’m all for encouraging intelligent scientific debate. We had one here this morning so I was pleased.

We were watching a DVD where a bunch of kids & their teacher were singing & dancing, which Jallie were really enjoying. The teacher, a quite chunky lad, dresses up in character for the songs. For this one he was dressed as a lady, a rather well-padded lady.

Ellie, ever observant, says: “She’s fat!”

I didn’t have a lot of time to worry about where she picked this up from, & about her getting body-image problems before the age of 3, because she straight away followed up with:

“I’m not fat. I have boobies”.

Right, ummm, yes… Daddy was a bit lost for words.

Jake, however – who I proudly like to think has an inquiring mind – was a bit sceptical about this, & approached Ellie confidently. “You don’t have boobies”, he says.

“Yes I do” replies Ellie, lifting up her T-shirt to prove it.

“No you don’t. You have a mini”.

Ellie: “I have a mini and boobies”, lifting up her T-shirt again.

Jake: “You just have a mini. I have a willy”.

“You have a willy. I have a mini. And boobies” (T-shirt comes up again).

“I have a willy. You have a mini. You don’t have boobies”.

“I’m a girl. Girls have boobies. I have boobies”, responds Ellie, with a grasp of logic that makes me smile.*

“‘I’m a boy. I have a willy. I don’t have boobies”: also quite hard to argue with.

This went back & forth for a bit, then:

“You have a tummy-button”, poking the appropriate place as an offer of proof.

“You have a tummy-button”, also poking appropriately.

Then they went back to enjoying the singing.

Like good scientists they were able to respect each other’s contrasting point of view & to disagree amicably, then move on to find an area of agreement.

I’m pretty sure that’s how the structure of DNA was discovered isn’t it?

I’ve got that Mr Nobel‘s ‘phone number on speed-dial now, just in case…

* Yes, I know it’s a ‘non-sequitur’. Any concept that we can’t even give a proper English name to shouldn’t have to be explained to a 2-year-old, in my opinion 🙂 

The Nappy Continuum

Jake’s reluctance to stop doing whatever he happens to be enjoying seems to be getting worse.

He’d needed to have his nappy changed for some time & had resisted all our efforts at doing so. If he was a Sim he would have had a huge cloud of green gas following him around wherever he went.

We knew it was a bad one as for some time he’d been walking around like John Wayne after a 24-hour horse-ride. Over shingle. Also at one point we’d caught him leaning against the door-frame doing his best Samson impersonation. Not to mention that when we said “Jake, have you done a poo?” he said “No, I doing it!”. Which is unusual, as usually he denies all knowledge.

The Mummy & Ellie had gone upstairs to get ready for bed; we told Jake that if he wanted to join them Mummy had to come downstairs to change him first. (The division of labour in our house for such things is generally that the Mummy does the nappies & I do the potties).

He finally decided he would go up – ‘Wild Columbia with Nigel Marven’ just wasn’t doing it for him I guess – so the Mummy was set to come down & do the business.

“No!”, he cried, “I want Daddy to change my nappy!”.

I’m always prepared to take one for the team, so reluctantly I agreed & shouted the good / bad (depending on your perspective) news upstairs.

But no! Then it was: “I want Ellie to change my nappy!”.  At which point of course I realised that this had just been a delaying tactic. Or a joke. Probably both.

What was that about being outsmarted by a 2-year-old?

This new development was again faithfully relayed upstairs. Mostly because I thought it was very funny.

The look of shock, surprise, confusion & horror on Ellie’s face was, I’m told, priceless. But, little trooper that she is, she straight away appeared at the top of the stairs to say: “I’ll be there in a minute! We’re watching Goldilocks”.

She would have had a go too; I just wouldn’t want to be there to see it. Or worse, to clean up afterwards.

I did get to enjoy the privilege of changing him after all, & yes: it was very messy & very smelly. And then Jake trotted off upstairs. Where they all enjoyed watching Goldilocks, probably. And I had to go out into the cold & the pouring rain, in the dark, trudging through the mud & long grass to the bin at the bottom of the garden carrying a very smelly nappy & its associated detritus.

Ah well, at least I still have Nigel…

Update: This morning I suggested to Jake that he change Ellie’s nappy; he was having none of it. And if I hear anyone say “typical man!” I shall be cross…

Update 2: Today we ended up watching most of 2 episodes of ‘Wild Colombia with Nigel Marven’ & we all really enjoyed it. The twins especially liked the bit where a snake bit our Nigel on the nose.

Flying Solo, Part 2

Well we moved to our tiny little house in Wales so that the Mummy could spend less of her time commuting & more of it with the twins.

Life has its little ironies doesn’t it? Every now & then she has to go to north Wales, & today was one of those days. The roads between north & south Wales are really slow: winding, mostly single lane, over mountains & through valleys. It’s actually quicker to get to the north on the motorways from our old home in the Midlands!

She had left home before the twins were awake. They were with ‘Karen’ & her little group between 8.30 & 3, but it was still up to me to get them up, washed, dressed, make their breakfast, prepare their lunches, pack their bags & meet any ad-hoc needs that arise. It all went without incident, although it was obviously a mistake trying to feed myself as well. Next time I either get up earlier or don’t eat!

When I picked them up at 3 I was welcomed by running hugs & shouts of “Daddy!” by 2 happy little children. I love that. There had been a couple of minor upsets – Ellie seemed a bit wary of a new older boy there – but overall they’d had a great time.

For once the sun was out today! We spent a lot of the rest of the afternoon rolling around in the grass in our tiny garden. We had fun, inside & out, but they are still really demanding. They’re physically very capable, they’re smarter & are becoming very interested in asserting their independence & a lot less interested in being told what to do & having their lives run for them. I believe it’s called ‘The Terrible Twos’.

I mean no disrespect at all to parents of single children, or even of 2 or more of different ages – diligent parenting of any flavour deserves maximum respect in my opinion –  but I’m convinced that looking after twins has a difficulty level several magnitudes higher. And triplets? I can’t imagine that!

“You want some water? OK, I’ll get you some water”- “Oh Jake – did you hurt your knee? I’m coming!” – “It’s OK Ellie: it’s just a worm, it won’t hurt you” – “You finished your grapes? Yes, I can cut up some more” – “Yes, you want some water” – “You want some water too? OK” – “You’re stuck? Just a minute, I’m coming” – “Jake don’t take that, Ellie is playing with it” – “Ellie, don’t hit Jake!” – “Yes, I’m getting your water” – “And grapes” – “Ellie’s on the trampoline now, Jake, you can have a turn soon” – “Don’t eat that please – it’s really dirty!” – “Mummy will be home after dinner”. And so on.

And this is when they’re playful & happy…

By dinnertime I was already pretty tired. That however went amazingly well: for the first time I can remember they both pretty much cleared their plates! And I’ve no idea why! After a very silly fight over the trampoline it seemed obvious they were getting tired, so I resorted to the tried & tested: “Who wants cake?”. Fight over, instant attentiveness.

Luckily I did actually have some!

Ellie had been complaining of tiredness even before dinner so we headed upstairs quickly. Then it got chaotic. They were fighting over nearly everything: my battery checker, the baby monitor, my (out of juice) phone, anything. Running around, chasing, shouting “Mine!” “No, mine!”, snatching, tantrums. I was forced into “If you’re going to fight over it nobody’s having it!” confiscation mode. I think they were both not only overtired but also missing their Mummy.

There was also a poo incident, of which I’ll spare you the details. The cushion cover is beige; I’m pretty sure it’s washable…

Well I somehow managed to get them in their sleepsuits, in bed & with their milk without any major injuries or damage. As usual I read them a bedtime story. Now they’re fighting over ownership of the animals in the bleeding book!! “My bear” “No my bear!”, “My bee!” “No my bee!”. There are actually 2 bees, 1 each. The logic of this suggestion just doesn’t seem to register.

I have to admit at this point I got cross! “Please stop fighting! Both of you!”. I didn’t shout, but my voice was raised. And thankfully they seemed to calm down. Although most likely out of pity for poor struggling Daddy.

And we never got to finish the story. Will Rabbit find a new home? We may never know!

Then I accidentally managed to send them off to sleep with a laugh & smile! I asked if ‘pretty please’ could I go to sleep now? “Pretty please? With cheese?? And peas?”. Adding words 1 at a time that rhyme & were (sort-of) food-related. “And beans?”, “And grease?”. I was tired, OK? “And sneeze?”.  And was getting a little silly. Ellie especially found this hilarious & was soon asleep with a smile on her face, looking at me with an expression that seemed to me to be one of pure love. Jake, putting up his usual fight, followed soon after.

They’re very trying at times, these twins of ours, but it’s moments like that that make it all worth it & that remind me why being their Dad is still the best job in the world ever.

Poor Mummy though! She arrived home after they were fast asleep on my shoulders & so didn’t actually get to see them at all today. She tucked into the dinner I’d left in the oven while I stayed with the sleeping beauties so she could spend some much-needed QT with her friend Dexter.

So: Phew! This is a big week workwise, so I may have to do this again very soon! At least we know we can do it anyway.

There are flights to the North aren’t there? Or maybe we could hire a chopper? Anyone know how much that costs? Sigh…

This post is not only for The Crumby Mummy’s ‘Terrible Twosday’ blog hop but also for this month’s Multiple Mayhem Carnival. Have a look at them both: there are always great posts there!  Just ‘click the pics’.