Monday, 31 January 2011

365 - 031

Big Monkey is waiting for the daffodil to grow that she planted last autumn with her class at school.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

365 - 030

Little Monkey was invited to a Birthday Party today. Big Monkey wanted to come too as she knows the little girl. She does like to take care of little ones. The parents of the little girl kindly allowed her to join in, gave her party food and even a goody bag.
The party was held at a Leisure Centre where they had transformed the gymnastics area into a toddler gym. The Monkeys had a blast, climbing on the equipment, balancing and jumping into a new version of a ball pond. Instead of balls it was filled with foam squares which apparently made it even harder to get out. I didn't try it out as the birthday girl's dad spent an extraordinary long time trying to scramble out again.
Little Monkey had an even better time when he realized that the puzzle cubes could be lined up to make a choo choo train and the hula hoops could be the steam and the steering wheel. He was really disappointed when it was time to eat cake! The fairy cakes had purple icing so his party world was soon in order again.

They were running around so much my little phone camera couldn't keep up and all the photos turned out blurry. I think that is proof that they enjoyed themselves.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

365 - 029

What I found when I stepped out of the shower this morning:

This made me happy which reminded me once again of the article about whether having kids does make you happy.

365 - 028

I didn't get round to post yesterday's photo. Just when I sat down to start up the computer my back started to hurt. Badly. So I laid down on the bathroom floor and praised underfloor heating. Luckily that helped a lot but by then I wasn't in the mood to type anymore. So here's yesterday's photo:

Little Monkey took a break in building big airplanes to water the pot plants outside. He tried to go on his tricycle first but as I refused to come outside to push him he had to find some alternative thing to do. In his opinion it was not too cold for me to come out. He thought me very unreasonable huddling up to he radiator. But neither did he want to use the tricycle that he can actually pedal on. Nor did he want to come inside. So we had to find the watering can. Now it's not particularly dry right now what with the recent rain and everything but it is one of his favourite activities. He was a lot more helpful when it came to cleaning the fish tank, he got his own little magnet to get the algae off the glass. He happily produced train tracks criss crossing. However, he lost the inside magnet a few times so the fish got a bit of a surprise when it floated past them. Each time they checked whether it could be eaten. It's all about food for these guys.
Big Monkey had a friend visiting, they too insisted that it wasn't as cold as I made out and spent the time singing and playing the harmonica for passing pedestrians.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

365 - 027

Yesterday excitement rose. The weather forecast mentioned snow! It was short lived and no snow came. It did get rather cold though. So you can imagine my joy when I spotted this:
Isn't that beautiful? The idea was that the amaryllis blooms for Christmas but I planted it rather late for that to happen. I expected it to bloom while we were away so this is a lovely surprise.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

365* - 026 I spy: Ball

Ha! Who said I'm doomed about having a drawer for balls only? Look Kylie! The balls are all neatly in their drawer. And the pillows are all on the ... floor? With tools tucked under them?
That's because they are an airplane or maybe a train. Since we've been away Little Monkey has found his love for airplanes. The moment he comes downstairs or back from nursery the first thing he does is getting the pillows off the day bed and announce "I ma' airplane, big, BIIIG airplane!". Then we all have to go and sit on the cushion. Then he tells us to put the seat belt on and off we go. Where? That's not important. Important is only the airplane. The big airplane. Why there are now tools under the pillows, that I haven't found out. Daddy Monkey thinks this is now a train rather than a plane and the tools are the track. On the positive side the pillow train/plane is in the play room rather than the hall or the kitchen where everybody has to dance around it. I wonder whether this means that his airplane enthusiasm is waning?

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The Domestic Goddess 365 - 025

Remember that one? Nigella? Well, I had a domestic goddess moment last weekend. Not only did I cook a nice Sunday roast, not so unusual in itself but I used up all the left overs and made chicken soup
out of the chicken carcass. I even used the pumpkin and made another batch of soup from those left overs. On Monday morning I even used up the mango that came in the organic fruit & veggie box. I haven to confess I often don't use it because of that stone in the middle. How bad is that? We all like mangoes but I sure wish it came in a more convenient form like a banana. Which reminds me there weren't any in this week's box? No cabbage either, yay, that gives me a chance on using up the one that I still have in the fridge. But there was a nice big broccoli which surprisingly is the one vegetable every one in the family will eat. Even Little Monkey who at times eats nothing but pasta with butter and cheese will happily munch some broccoli trees. That and cucumber always gets eaten. As for Nigella, well I'm not too fond of her story book like recipes, I prefer this one by Jamie Oliver. Allegedly you can cook a two course meal in 30 minutes. Personally I haven't managed this because I can't chop anything as fast as a chef and I also can't leave all the pots waiting to be cleaned at the end. I have to rinse them at least a little. Oh and I can't mix the salad or the dough with my hands, yuk. Still, it's food the way we like it so I can't complain really.

edited to add:
That Mrs Wookie is a clever one. If you have a problem ask her, she knows everything. Really. I will fill up the sink next time, what a simple idea. Brilliant.
Also I need to say the 30 Minutes meal cook book is really good, I recommend it. The flaws are totally on my side. Did you know he brings his daughter to school sometimes? Not at my school but I've heard. And that's the only gossip I can tell.

Monday, 24 January 2011

365 - 024 Quirks

While driving to the petrol station this morning I thought it's rather peculiar to drive all that way past several other petrol stations while keeping a close eye on the petrol gauge to that particular one. It's not because it is the closest (it isn't), or the cheapest (are there any cheap ones?) or because the attendant is always so friendly. He should really, I always rock up with a close to empty tank and well it's a big tank a very big tank actually but that's not it. No, it's because once, a long time ago I came across a filling station that ran dry while I used it, it sort of spluttered really horribly and then just stopped after only a few litres. And maybe it's because some are really hard to hold so the diesel runs in terribly slow. And the one I always drive to, it's really easy to use and well, I don't want to risk driving to another one and then stand there for hours while trying to fill nearly 100 litres of diesel into the tank. Slightly paranoid rather than quirky coming to think about it. Ah, well, any quirky habits you have?

Sunday, 23 January 2011

"To be" is not fo me

Little Monkey has finally understood the advantages of speech. In fact he talks without stopping, he hardly takes a breath! But while I said recently he isn't too keen on verbs that's not exactly true, he likes verbs he just doesn't like "to be". Maybe he likes to be efficient? Only one verb per sentence? It's all I 'appy!, I running!, I jumping!, I sleeping! He can't pronounce the "h" at the beginning of words so he sounds rather French. He has, however, stopped calling me Maman but he still likes animaux.

The daily photo
is Big Monkey's marble run she got for Christmas. By coicidence the photo includes a ball, well a marble which is today's I spy challenge on Mommytography. But I won't use this as I have a whole drawer for balls of all shapes and sizes that I started just last Friday when I tried to organize the Monkey's playroom. It's another attempt to restore organization, which doesn't stand a chance really. Little Monkey just can't bear having his train track out of sight and Big Monkey's Schleich horses need space to roam so my need for tidiness is doomed. Sometimes only shutting the door helps...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

365 - 022 New Year's Resolution

I know it's a bit late but better late than never, right? I wonder whether posting it online will make it easier to keep? I was going to post a photo of my resolution this year today but then Kylie asked about the bath tub in my bedroom. I really don't want to think about the tub but maybe posting about it will help it to get to where it is belong?

When we renovated the bathroom we decided it should be the one for the kids to use and the old fashioned roll top tub didn't fit into the contemporary design we chose for it. However, we didn't want to throw out bath tub just to buy a new one once we get round to re-decorate the en-suite bathroom. So we put the tub into our bedroom, it was only meant for a few weeks. But, but... it's still there over a year later. It has become filled with stuff we can't be bothered to find a home for. Left over fleece, old socks to be turned into monsters, Christmas crackers...

It has really pretty legs, no? But seriously out of place. I wonder whether I can shame us into getting the work in the en-suite started. In February is the new prognosis, I'll keep you updated.

Friday, 21 January 2011

365 - 021 "Toddler hide & seek"

ahh, today I found something better than laundry to photograph. Little Monkey hid in the cupboard and amidst lots of giggles he told me, "I in cu'bard". Hey, who needs verbs?
Anyhow, being in the cupboard reminded him to suggest we'd play hide & seek. He counted and I hid. My first attempt under the blanket in my bed was discovered way too early for my liking. Mainly I had to giggle about him asking me where I was hiding. I wasn't sure about the rules really. The moment he stopped counting and screamed, "'eady or no, I co'ing" he also started screaming "mummy, 'ere a' you". Now, do I say something then? And what do I do if he doesn't find me? Because after hiding for 10 minutes behind the bath tub in my bedroom (don't ask, it's a sore topic) I called out for him just to be told that he is now hiding. I wish I had hid in the bed then. Ah, well. Anyway he wasn't really hiding he was tearing the pillows, duvets and sheets off the bed to build a tower, with boat, plane and a kitchen...

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Taking a photo a day

Right, this year I try something different, I want to take a photo a day but don't want to have to scrap them all instead I'll try and post them on here. Except I'm already behind. I haven't taken a photo since I came back from holiday. Well, it would have been either the washing machine or laundry or something like that every day. Been there, done that and I do not need a photo. I reckon I will be finished tonight with the laundry just in time to start on the regular wash regime. *sigh* ah well, I've signed up for this:

2011 Mommytography 365 Project

I am participating in the 2011 Mommytography 365 Project! For this year long project I will be posting an image a day, to get me out shooting, using my camera and learning new things with it daily. Anyone interested in photography can join, no need to be a Mommytographer. We have teens to adults, male and female, as well as people from all over the world. Come join the fun!

I'm heading off now in the search for something more uplifting to photograph than another load of dirty laundry. It's sunny here in London.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Townmonkeys meet the Green Monkeys

We're busy, going from one beach to another, now from one island to the next. We're now on St Lucia.
But first let me tell you about the Barbados Nature Reserve. On the way there we got lost - of course. It seems the only way on getting anywhere on a Caribbean Island.
So after a few detours and surprises, like hidden signs, hidden entrances and plain mistakes on our map we made it to the Reserve. Where we promptly ended up at the wrong attraction, the signal station which is on the other end of the parking lot. But hey, they have monkeys there. They seem to wander around and only come back for their lunch to the reserve.
There are lots of tortoises at the reserve who wander around in search for excitement or better said food. For some reason Little Monkey was petrified of them. He would only walk in a wide pert around them. Tricky as the little paths were very narrow. There were a few little deer and some rabbit like animal, a mara. We didn't see any more monkeys until it was time for the feeding.
At first there were only masses of tortoises and a few deer munching on the coconut halves and fruit. But then the monkeys came to have their share. The monkeys aren't indigenous, they have been brought in a long time ago and now run around in the wild and in the reserve where they come and go as they please. The farmers aren't too happy about them as they ruin the crops.

Here you can see the tortoises in the background, the monkeys simply walk over their backs and at times snatch the coconuts right from under their noses.

My monkeys loved wandering around and spotting animals, and even though Little Monkey was scared of the wandering tortoises, he loved pointing them out particularly when they weren't too close. Obviously. One of the tortoises stepped on Big Monkey's toes and wandered over her foot. "oooh Dad", she said thinking it was Daddy Monkey.

While Little Monkey was scared of the tortoises to the point that he screamed whenever one came near, he wasn't scared of the monkeys, he thought them very funny. Obviously a connection going on here...

There are also a few parrots and Big Monkey spent a long time chatting to one of them which every time she said hello, swirled around. It, too got some lunch and Big Monkey took great pleasure in commenting every bite it took, in between of saying hello.

Friday, 7 January 2011


Little Monkey climbed onto my lap and said, "Mummy, I wav you. I waaav you." awww, one Mummy had a melted heart yesterday.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Feeling hot...

It's really hot here as you would expect. But somehow I've forgotten how hot it can be in January when you just fly far enough. I think it's weird, January is all about being cold... Well,normally. Now it's all about trying to find a cool spot, a cold drink, maybe some ice cream and avoiding poisonous trees (who came up with that?).

Monday we actually did some serious sight seeing, we visited Andromeda Botanical Gardens. Well, we wanted to have some lunch and that's where we ended up. The kids liked it here so we had a wander around afterwards.

This was really neat with lovely plants like the ones we normally only have indoors. Yes, palm trees too. Palm trees rock. ahem. Right, photos of pretty plants:

The Monkeys had a fab time and enjoyed walking around finding red signs that showed our route.

Monday, 3 January 2011

For Mrs Wookie

This is for Mrs Wookie because there are many, many palm trees here. And a holiday without a palm tree picture is not complete, right? Right of course...

Pool time


After all the snow we had recently Daddy Monkey insisted on some heat and booked us a holiday in the Caribbean. On New Year's Eve we took off from the cold and arrived 8 hours later in the sun.

But first there was the flight to manage, Little Monkey thought the plane looked too scare and he insisted we should go on a little plane. He did well once we were in the air but indulged in two of his favourite activities which are going to the toilet and opening doors. He didn't, however, actually use the toilet - scary noise, you see, well at least not all the time at least - he just enjoyed to go in and shudder at the thought of the noise that might happen.

He only stopped when he got an ipod to play with and Big Monkey took a break from watching TV or playing with the Nanny Monkey. Luckily the plane was not full and we had lots of space and nobody complained about us wandering up and down and checking out the state of the amenities.