Party!

Jake & Ellie turned 4 & we had a party!

Somewhat surprisingly it’s the first proper party we’ve held for them. Up until now they’ve just had quiet affairs with family: at 1 or 2 they were probably too young to appreciate a good knees-up anyway, & last year for their 3rd we’d only recently moved here to Wales & didn’t really know enough people to invite!

They’re very sociable now, especially since going to pre-school. We invited everyone in their class & a few others they’re friendly with from other classes & groups.

We hired a good-sized church hall & it’s just as well, as nearly everyone we’d invited turned up, plus the odd sibling or 3: many more than we’d had replies, which I hear is pretty typical.

Jake & Ellie were happy to turn up early while we were setting up, & enjoyed an early boogie!

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Does Hogworts take 3-year-olds then?

Jake had found one of his magic wands; he loves pretending to be a witch / wizard (yes, I’ve tried explaining; he doesn’t care!) & doing Magic.

He’d been using it to do magic spells on the Mummy, while she was preparing dinner.

Says the Mummy, jovially: “I hope you weren’t trying to turn me into a frog!”

Straight away he responded, quite matter-of-factly:

“No, I just wanted you to go away”.

Riiiight…

Well, at least his cheek comes with a sense of humour, I suppose…

Also, I think the spell he’s looking for is “Expelliarmus”, but it’s probably best not to tell him that yet – just in case it actually works!

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It’s Magic!

During term break we treated ourselves to a trip to Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, a great place for a fun family day out.

One of the highlights when we go there, if it’s on, has been the Magic Show, & this was no exception!

Jake & Ellie are nothing if not enthusiastic. When Mr Magic Man calls for volunteers they always put their hands up & shout “Me! Me!” & are always disappointed when they’re not chosen.

So this time he again asked for a volunteer, & as usual they enthusiastically thrust their hands up into the air. He asked for ‘someone brave’ & I heard Ellie – and I think Jake too – shout “I’m brave! I’m brave!”.

He must have believed her: this time Ellie was chosen, & up on stage she went!

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Dinosaurs! And Magic

We enjoyed our recent visit to the Dinosaur Park.

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As well as the obvious Jake & Ellie really enjoyed playing with a baby dinosaur newly emerged from its egg. Ellie in particular: she had to be dragged away protesting as we left! There were also great tube-slides down dinosaurs’ necks which they spent a long time on.

I was quite interested in the sets of standing stones there & their history, but that will probably have to wait until our next visit.

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There were certainly plenty of dinosaurs!

This one is Mammasaurus’ Mum, apparently

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There was a hidden lake! I was very impressed when Jake identified this as “a crocodile, or an alligator”. A big one!

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Watching over Wales?

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The watering-hole:

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There was also a recreation of a stone-age village there, including a preserved ‘real’ spring held to be sacred by the Druids. People had thrown coins into it & Jake was fascinated by it. I attempted to explain by saying that people believed that when they threw coins into the spring that something magic might happen. So of course I had to produce a coin for him to throw in! He was very excited.

At home that evening I was playing music from my iPod wirelessly from my little bluetooth speakers. Jake wanted to know how the music was coming out of the little box.

After toying with the idea of trying to explain bluetooth technology to a 3-year-old I resorted to the Daddy Pig solution: “It’s magic!”.

I can’t tell you how excited he was! Jumping around the room like a mad thing, he decided that he had made magic: that this was from his throwing the coin into the magic water!

He went to bed a very happy little boy 🙂

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!

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Hair

Jake, Ellie & I all had haircuts yesterday. The Mummy had hers done a couple of weeks ago.

While I was having mine done Ellie came up to me & said “Daddy, you look gorgeous!”

Later it was “We all look gorgeous!”

Jake’s had been floppy for a while & he really suits a short smart cut, especially with a side parting.

I badly needed hair that accessorises with my bald spot.

Ellie looked great with long hair but it was getting hard to brush & untangle & kept getting in her eyes.

She was happy with her new haircut initially but in bed last night she became really upset! More to do with tiredness than anything else I think.

For a solid 5 minutes at least she cried horribly, shouting repeatedly “I WANT MY HAIR BACK!”

(She was fine this morning & we haven’t heard a word about it since).

Jake was a little star! He was casting magic spells to help, trying to swap Ellie’s hair with Mummy’s. Using a large pot of skin cream as a wand.

“Abra-dabra, MUMMY HAIR GO!”

And when there no obvious result he would try a variation, like “Abra-dabra, HAIR BACK!”

He was brilliant. He made us laugh &, more importantly, helped calm Ellie.

After quite a few tries he got quite discouraged when his magic didn’t seem to be working, so I had to tell him that I was sure that I’d seen some of Mummy’s & Ellie’s hair swap over.

He seemed happy with that; soon Ellie was too, then they fell asleep.

Before and After

When it was just the two of us:

Now we are four & they are two:

Get the picture?

For The Crumby Mummy’s ‘Terrible Twosday’ blog hop. Click the pic for more!

Flying Solo, in the Dark

Getting the twins off to sleep on Saturday night was…a bit different.

We’d given the Mummy a night pass; she was out having dinner with a friend, or some such frippery. Between the two of us we’d got as far as getting us all into bed together, as they still co-sleep.

Usually the Mummy is in the middle sandwiched between children, with me on the side reading stories. After they’ve finished their milk & seem settled enough I’ll get up & sing a song* while slowly turning down the light. I then sneak out while quietly saying goodnight to each of them & she stays with them until they’re soundly asleep before getting back up herself.

Tonight however roles were reversed. I was on my own, in centre stage where the Mummy usually is. She’d read the stories, turned off the light & made the Daddy’s exit. I was flying solo! In the dark…

Jake at least did seem a bit unsettled. He grizzled for quite a while, probably 10-15 minutes, them went into a stint of ‘Tree Fu Tom‘ magic spell-casting.

This basically involves raising the arms in the air, pushing them quickly out in front of you & shouting “Eh, Eh, Go!”.  Again. And again. And again. He’d been doing this a lot between bath & being dressed for bed, but in front of the mirror so he could admire his smooth moves.

Now children learning by repetition is fine, but not when Daddy is trying to get them to sleep. And he wants to get up & watch the rugby. That he hadn’t been able to during the day when it was shown live. And that he had already accidentally seen the result of earlier despite trying hard not to due to a fleeting glance at twitter. Grrrr….

By this time Ellie was fast asleep. The ‘Tree Fu Tom’ sleep spell I was throwing in Jake’s direction had rebounded onto her, obviously. Ellie falling asleep is usually a cue for Jake to point it out to us, often loudly: “Lellie: aleep!”. Also to Ellie: she clearly is unaware of the fact that she is asleep & obviously needs to know. This is always followed by “Shhh, Ellie is sleeping”s, & carries on until he seems satisfied that everyone has been thoroughly briefed on his sister’s current status.

So he chatted & moved around a bit more, probably for another 10-15 minutes, but thankfully soon calmed down, settled under his “banky” (trans.: “blanket”), snuggled on my shoulder & –  again after a while – fell asleep. I snoozed too then & when I thought he was unconscious enough very carefully extricated myself & crept out.

I actually managed to watch all of the rugby I was hoping to, & I was still busying myself with that vital work when the Mummy came back. Suitably impressed, I might add. With me, that is, not the rugby. Although that was great too…

So one up for the Dads, I say! Getting two toddlers to sleep by yourself? Yes: it can be done!

* the CBeebies goodnight song, if you must know. “The time has come to say goodnight, to say sleep tight ’til the morning light….”

For The Crumby Mummy’s ‘Terrible Twosday’ blog hop. Click the pic for more!