Weekend Box

I’m a little bit box mad. It’s not my fault. It seems to be the ‘in’ thing at the moment, so I can’t be the only one. I get my weekly shop delivered by Abel & Cole. I get a Simply Cook box monthly, a Love Lula beauty box monthly, the occasional Graze box (including for Harry) and coffee box (previously Kopi but have recently been trying Pact). I’m sure there are more that I have tried, but my latest discovery is the Weekend Box which is aimed at kids. I stumbled upon a promotional ad on Facebook which enabled me to get the first box free. It arrived on Thursday amid a pile of post that was – amazingly – ALL addressed to Harry. Wasn’t it his lucky day?

There are four activities in the box and it can be ordered fortnightly or monthly for £7.50 a month (including P&P). I have selected monthly which means Harry will have one activity each weekend. For us, this is a much better option than fortnightly as we don’t struggle for ideas of things to do, but at the same time it is nice to try new things. And Harry gets just as excited about boxes as I do (see I’m not the only one).

2015-08-18 08.10.16Someone else likes them too!

What I didn’t realise about the boxes until it arrived was that each one has a theme. This one was Africa and the activities include making a Massai necklace, an elephant mask, a game of mancala and a fruit-loaded meringue (I believe each box includes a recipes, which obviously requires additional ingredients, but the craft activities provide all the bits and bobs – all we needed was scissors, pencil, paintbrush, that sort of thing). The activity cards have various facts about Africa and the thing that the child is making and when they have finished they can put a sticker on it. Then, when they have completed all four there is a certificate on the box that they can colour in and write their name on.

2015-09-05 13.25.21Opening the first activity!

2015-09-05 13.45.39 Another budding artist!

Harry’s choice today was the mancala, which I was quite excited about as we always played a variation of this game as children called awari. It was 2/5 for difficulty which was possibly a bit low, especially as the boxes are aimed at 3 to 6 year olds.

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Harry struggled painting the cupcake cases (although this might have been because I mixed the paint too thin and he was in a pain-in-the-bum mood today) and he is at that age where he likes making up his own rules to games although he is starting to understand more when you explain the rules of games to him – then when he does understand, boy do you have to stick to them! Of course, I was showing him how to play it the awari way – mancala is slightly different but instructions are provided so we will have to give that a go tomorrow! I think he wants to do the elephant mask next! Definitely worth signing up to a free one to see what it was like and something tells me we will be getting more in the future (box obsessed child).

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Rolling, swimming and writing

A week ago Charlie rolled over for the first time.  He had been so close for a while but finally managed to get his arm free. He is unstoppable now! Straight over as soon as I put him down! His neck is high, and he’s trying to pull himself forward and roll back again. As it happens I also got his discharge letter yesterday. He has been to see a paediatrician because our doctor was worried about his tone. In particular his neck lagged. Nothing to worry about but they gave us an open appointment should we have concerns.  Fitting that the discharge came in the same week he rolled over!

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Looking very proud of himself!

Harry is loving school still and always the first one in! He’s been practicing Christmas songs for the nativity all the time. And he’s finally pooing on the toilet. So happy and proud of him! He also did really well in his swimming lessons today and next week he’ll be starting to go on a Saturday instead as a place became available so one more thing sorted in terms of starting back to work! Oh and we made an awesome knight’s castle – almost a shame Father Christmas is bringing him one too!

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And NaNoWriMo is going fabulously! On 45,000 words so I’m hoping for 75,000 by the end of the month, maybe more. Book 4 was originally going to be two books and I can see why now! I am surprisingly in two minds now about how it is all going to end, despite having written the ending already I can see another option. But that’s probably a good thing as there is a spark of hope.

Half-term and other fun

Once again time has passed me by and it has been a week since my last update. In that time I have had my sister to stay, which was as lovely as always, and started NaNoWriMo. Because yes, it is that time of year.

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Charlie and my sister during lunch at the deli.

It is also bonfire night. As I feed Charlie I can hear Harry getting very excited about the fireworks outside. I’m not sure how well he can see them but for someone who has never seen a firework before I don’t think that matters. I wanted to take him to the uni display this year but James was away and thinking about it,  Harry is very sensitive to noise so I’m not sure he’d have been ready for it.

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We had a brilliant half term. We were all worn out by the weekend having filled our days at the soft play area (including a Frozen day complete with Anna, Elsa and Olaf impersonators) and the park, then quiet craft time at home. Our project was a treasure chest which kept us very busy as once we’d made the chest we needed to fill it. So necklaces, crowns, daggers…

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This week I have confirmed starting back at work at the end of February.  Mainly though I have been concentrating on my writing. I made it to 15,000 words today and I have the flow going nicely.  Certainly making up for last year! Hoping for 25,000 by the weekend and perhaps the end of book 3. I decided this year to finish what I abandoned last year and when that is done to finish book 4.

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I should update more often while putting Charlie to bed!

Where has the time gone?

I can’t believe it is two months since my last post. I am sitting in Caffè Nero with Charlie on my lap and typing this on my phone so it is rather slow. Not as slow as the laptop would be though. Charlie generally lets me get on with my work but he’s feeling a bit sorry for himself today! He is showing signs of teething, poor baby.

August was a busy month getting ready for school and going on various trips away. We covered a lot of the country as usual and did lots of new and old things. We particularly tried to make it special for Harry. Highlights were Chester Zoo, West Lodge Rural Centre where Harry had his first ever horse ride, Granny’s 90th birthday with all the family, and watching the jousting at Bolsover Castle.

It was then school for Harry! He has settled in very well and making fantastic progress with his speech and phonetics. He is always singing new songs. PE is his favourite and he has started to mention a couple more boys other than Billy and Thomas. Pooing also had a miraculous turn around the week before school started and he has only had a couple of accidents, he just needs reminding to go.

James is now a senior lecturer and is ten times as busy as ever. I have done another thorough edit of my book and sent it off for the Chicken House children’s fiction competition. I have also applied for a Masters. Now trying to arrange returning to work stuff while finally getting round to sorting photos! We just got back from a great castle  filled weekend in the Welsh Marches and now it’s next stop Christmas!
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Here’s what Charlie thinks of me writing blog posts!