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.

Taking on old hobbies

Candlemaking with a three-year-old. Not the usual rainy day activity. Sharp needles, scissors, hot wax, and then burning the finished product. But, it was a success. Even if all he could do was weigh out the wax, choose the colour (pink, of course), and pass me things, he was fascinated by it. It was just a shame that melting the wax took longer than I remembered as he started to get a bit fed up. I know for next time.

Before Christmas, my sister came to stay. I had this brainy idea for some Christmas tree decorations – we didn’t make them then, but we have held onto the idea for next Christmas. The thing is, it got us onto the discussion of arty crafty stuff, both of us feeling a little jealous of various friends and family who are always showing off their fancy cupcakes, homemade cards and decorations, amongst other things. Why couldn’t we be crafty like that too?

Thinking back though, I was. Growing up, my evenings and weekends were full with candlemaking, beading, making jams and chutneys, calligraphy – and those are just the things I remember. This was on top of the endless writing and reading, not to mention homework and countless extra-curricular activities. Like the writing, these things got lost along the way. I was caught up in the ride of life, finding out who I am, only to discover now that I have been led in one big circle. The things I was passionate about then, I still love now, I just needed to find them again.

Well, I started with the candlemaking as I recalled I still had a box of equipment at my parents’ house, including two large bags of wax, moulds, and a lifetime’s supply of dyes. When I text Mum about it she said she had stumbled upon it only that week, and as we were seeing each other the next week, I made the most of the opportunity to become reacquainted with it!

Next is the beading. In looking for my candlemaking book I stumbled across two large boxes of beads and wire. Some packets of beads had not even been opened! I could probably sell them on for a decent amount of money. However, it would be far more fun to use them. It is probably not an activity I can do with Harry, although he has taken an interest and I do have some child-friendly beads so maybe… I could not however find my beading book, so I will have to go to the beadshop soon and hunt out a new one to get some ideas and buy any equipment that I might still need.

I think it is going to be a homemade Christmas this year! Mum’s already expecting a candle for her Birthday :-D.