- Published on Thursday, 26 May 2016 10:00
- Fabula Mum
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PostMan Pat / Special Delivery service
If you’re sat at home with a toddler you really need to take out of the house for just a few minutes hoping that today is the day the Hermes with finally find your house or that DHL might knock before just shoving a card through your letterbox then you might not be a fan of watching a delivery man who takes all day to deliver one parcel.
The creators quite cleverly have two theme tunes to this show. One which will bring back warm feelings of nostalgia and the new one.
“What’s it going to be today?”
I tell you what Pat, why don’t you just deliver the parcel without worrying about what it is or whether you can find an excuse to take the helicopter out for a spin?
“Where’s Pat?” Everyone keeps saying. I’ll tell you where he is, he’s being outwitted by a magpie, perhaps it’s time to consider a different courier company.
- Published on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 20:21
- Alexandra Hurton
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The last year has been a tough one. It seems weird writing this type of post in April, but at the end of my first year at university and through the summer, I had a really bumpy, up and down time.
I set fire to my kitchen and had someone smash into me on a driving test (yes really). Now though, I feel like I have come really far and I’m proud of myself. I’ve booked up my next attempt at a driving test (I left it for a year to get my confidence back) and have almost finished year two at university.
This year, I also feel that I have become a better parent. I feel I have become more patient and lenient with Lily. I am very much in the ‘super strict’ parent camp. I thought it would be the best style for me, and although I still am quite strict, I’ve learnt to pick my battles wisely.
A friend of mine commented the other day that “living with a toddler is like living with a girl constantly on her period – you’re constantly walking on eggshells!” and they’re right. Toddlers are some of the most independent little souls you’ll find. I find myself continuously hearing the phrase “I do it myself mummy thanks” and all you can do is let them get on with it!
It’s hard to do that comfortably. As a parent, your natural instincts are to protect and care for and you’ve spent the past couple of years doing everything for them. I never expected I’d have to let go of that until Lily was much older, but even the smallest things have started to become her things. The biggest shock was potty training. She needed our help before, whereas now, she will happily go by herself, wipe and wash her hands and needs very little help.
I’m proud that I’ve been able to let her have that bit of freedom to start thinking about what she is doing and how she can do it by herself. Fingers crossed I will be able to let go when she’s older too.
What is hard for you about letting go of the small things? I’m sure it’s the hardest part of parenting because you don’t expect it.
- Published on Thursday, 31 March 2016 21:37
- Mr & Mrs Eddie
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- Published on Thursday, 24 March 2016 14:09
- Newbury Team
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There’s something magic about chocolate creme eggs – the illusion of a real egg inside, but a hit of sweet, gooey yumminess instead. You can turn them into an actual Easter activity with the kids this weekend by having a go at making them yourself.
You will need:
800g milk chocolate of your choice
500g white fondant icing
Yellow and orange food colouring
And any sized mould to suit your appetite.
⦁ Take 800g chocolate and melt it in a bain marie to 45C. Never a microwave, it won’t achieve a good melt and may burn the chocolate.
⦁ Pour two-thirds of the chocolate on to a large marble surface. Ideally you will have this installed already and call it your counter. Temper it with a palette knife and a scraper, moving, spreading, piling in, spreading again, moving, until it starts to solidify.( this is purely to make the chocolate shiny )
⦁ Place it back into the remaining third of still melted chocolate. Mix well until evenly smooth. Pour the whole lot into your mould and tap on a work surface to release any air bubbles.
⦁ Leave it for two to three minutes. Pour out the excess. Put the shells in the fridge for 20 minutes.
⦁ Put 100g sugar and 100ml water into a pan and dissolve to make sugar syrup
⦁ Take 500g of white fondant icing, cut it in half, kneed yellow food colouring into one half.
⦁ Grate the icing and mix it with sugar syrup until it is the consistency of buttercream icing
⦁ Fill each shell half with white fondant then a teaspoon size of yellow for the yolk and stick the two halves together with a little melted chocolate.
Have a lovely Easter holiday!
- Published on Saturday, 12 March 2016 19:53
- Alexandra Hurton
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During February, I took part in an internship as part of my university course. Now juggling the needs of a very grown up toddler with coursework commitments and so on is tough. Adding something on top of that showed me what real-life will be like once I’ve graduated.
At the moment, we’re in a great cycle of Lily’s childcare fitting in neatly around my lectures, so we still get half the day to do something together as a family. During my internship, I learnt how different life is going to be. We’ll need to practically double our child care, and the days Matt is away working are going to be even more complicated.
Internships are meant to show you what you can expect from a career once you leave university and the expectations that will fall on you. For me, it felt like a trial run for juggling two careers (Matt’s included), parents’ evenings, household chores and career commitments. I feel like I need to be similar to a balance artist form the circus.
In light of this, I have come up with three key points that I think will help.
Confirm everything at least five days in advance, then again the day before. This gives you time to not only change childcare arrangements, but also plan ahead with all your commitments. Knowing where you need to be and when is vital, but if something falls through and you get an extra hour to seize, you can make it really count. For this, a diary is essential. We all have them on our phones, but I’ve found a hard copy better. In my area, signal drops in and out so much that I can’t rely on my phone to keep updated. An added extra for this can also be writing contact numbers next to appointment entries just in case!
I love a good, useful group chat on platforms such as Whatsapp. At university we have them for group work assignments, but for parents, they can be great between the parents and babysitter. That way there is no confusion over confused conversations or missed information for everyone. It’s there for each party to see and respond to. For example, if Lily is being looked after by a family member or family friend, Matt and I can both keep in touch and see if any plans change without having to be called out of meetings. Texts are more discreet than phone calls – though both are technically unacceptable in work meetings, but you get the idea.
At 6pm after long days at work and so on, no one really feels in the mood to cook. Try and take an hour or two on a weekend to pre prepare meals for busy days for the freezer. Dishes such as lasagne, Shepherd’s pie and pasta bake can all be reheated well and fit perfectly in small takeaway dishes. If you own a slow cooker, then this can also be a great way to get dinner started early and ready for when everyone gets home and the end of long and lately, very cold day.
With everything else in parenting (and studying) this has been a learning curve. If you’re studying at university and juggling parenthood, don’t shy away from the possibility of internships. At university they are marketed as great work experience, but for parent-students, it’s a great opportunity to test timings and childcare arrangements. Take this trial-run chance if you get an offer – it’s more than valuable.