Friday, 30 September 2011
Thursday, 29 September 2011
This isn't exactly a boardroom meeting.
No, this is worse.
Negotiating the pitfalls of the sandpit can be very tricky.
So come with Britt, the little ones and I, we're going to play in the sand!
1: Stride confidently to the sandpit and find an area that doesn't immediately encroach on other parents and children. That's the easy bit.
2: Smile warmly at other parents, but be prepared to be totally ignored (especially by nannies and stressed don't-want-to-be-here-dad's ).
3: If you've forgotten your bucket and spade always survey the scene and work out which spare toys belong to the sandpit and are technically 'up for grabs'.
4: If your child smashes another child's sand castle, tell your child firmly, this is not acceptable.
5: If another child smashes your child's sand castle, smile warmly at the other child and tell them this is totally acceptable, smash away!
6: If your child takes another child's spade, tell your child firmly to give it back.
7: If another child takes your child's spade, tell your child it's meant for sharing
and smile warmly at the other parent.
8: If your child throws sand, reprimand them immediately.
9: If another child throws sand, smile warmly at their parent and say "So cute, How old are they?"
10: Never raise your voice to someone else's child, even if they've demolished all your sand castles and are happily throwing sand in your face, as this is an open invite for an expletive laced rant from their parent.
Ok, ok, I know what day it is, but Bookworm Thursday sounds rubbish.
I also know that our kids were book crazy today.
Every single book ended up on the floor (most unread of course)
but a certain Mr Oliver Jeffers was most read author of the day.
So our little bookworms, Oliver and Elsie, gave two certain older books
the Bookworm Wednesday books of the day award.
Conrats Mr Jeffers.
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
It's so important for mums and dads to have some 'date time'.
To take a break from the little ones and let their hair down.
It benefits the kids too, they get to feel some independence
and have fun running their grandparents ragged.
So we left the little ones with said loved ones and took a short flight
to Barcelona for a long weekend of fun and frolics.
Our hotel was super cool (details to follow) and located in the
heart of this vibrant city where we got a real taste of
the Catalonian capital, literally.
We discovered a lively, atmospheric tapas bar five minutes walk
from our hotel, ok, to be honest, it was recommended
by our charming hotel porter. Gracies Mr Porter!
This gastronomic gem is called Tapas 24 (TapaC24).
A place where the food, the wine and the atmosphere stimulate all the senses.
A place where they plonk down in front of you, crazy-delicious
dish after crazy-delicious dish.
The queue outside was a give away, Tapas24 is a must visit restaurant.
Much fun was had and the conversation only turned to the kids occasionally
when we weren't discussing what dish to devour next.
"Statues are old and broken, but they are not rubbish."
Oliver. Age almost three.
Great to see our little dude appreciating some local culture.
I must post some photos of his Play-Doh creations,
I'm sure they're inspired by his love of statues.
Oliver's top ten statues coming soon.
"We went to the zoo, zoo, zoo, how about you, you you?"
(sorry, couldn't resist)
Lots of fun was had meeting penguins, giraffes, zebras, hippos, llamas, a gorilla
and lots of other funky creatures. Oliver did run to a play ground every
time he saw one though. So perhaps he's more interested in swinging around
like a monkey than viewing them.
He was also pretty apprehensive viewing the larger animals. Perhaps we
discovered his sensitive side for a couple of hours at least.
And forget tap dancing penguins, we have our very own little 'Happy Feet'.
Elsie was so excited at viewing the penguins, she did a little dance for them.
All in all, it was a pretty crazy day as both of them were running in opposite directions
at every opportunity.
Unfortunately the zoo didn't want to adopt a couple of extra little monkeys
(only joking kids... not)
Monday, 26 September 2011
We've all seen the movies.
The waters break.
The couple start panicking, running around like headless chickens.
Then dash to the hospital with the bags that were already packed.
That's exactly what to do, right?
There is no right to be honest.
Everyone will have a different experience.
When our midwife confirmed Britt's labour had started,
she advised her to go and have a glass of wine, something to eat and sleep.
There would probably be no baby for another day.
So, when you're expecting a half English baby in New York, there's only one thing to do...
...head to the local English Fish and Chip shop.
Haddock, chips, mushy peas twice, and a pint,
surrounded by memorabilia and posters of Britain's finest.
The meal was also accompanied by a good dollop of HP sauce and contractions every ten minutes.
All this, in the heart of Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Britt would have the energy she needed for the long labour ahead. And boy, was it long!
Thirty six hours later a baby boy entered the world.
Hello family fun.
It's pretty obvious that we should shield our kids from certain images on TV.
But when are they ready to see scary monsters and evil villains?
Can a three year old watch the vampires on Scooby Doo without having nightmares?
Can they be entertained by Big Baby in Toy Story 3 without being scared silly?
They certainly can, Oliver loves Scooby monsters and evil characters like Hades
So we certainly got a shock recently when he burst into tears while watching, wait for it...
"Too spooky" he wailed.
It turns out an episode featuring a Tooth Fairy went too far.
The Tooth Fairy is actually a beastly babe who sneaks into your bedroom at night and
is far too spooky for our little chap.
Lesson learned. Kids can be very unpredictable and if we want a good nights sleep,
bed time stories should be about zombies and vampires and we must absolutely
avoid terrifying tooth fairies at all costs.
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Children think differently.
They don't know the rules. They haven't been moulded yet.
So why should they play on the grass or paved area when there's a very narrow
strip of pebbles that can provide all the entertainment they need?
Kids, I salute your imagination and non conformist way of doing things.
Long may it continue.
But please Oliver, stop dropping pebbles on Elsie's head.
Family Hanson went to Chiswick House Dog Show yesterday.
Lots of dogs, friendly people, small stalls and lots more dogs.
It was a great opportunity to get our little monkeys
even more comfortable around large hairy canines.
We obviously succeeded as they both managed to run free
and enter a competition enclosure during judging.
Neither were awarded a rosette.
Friday, 23 September 2011
On returning from his new Nursery School, Oliver mentioned his new friend, Ruben.
Ruben's name was mentioned on a few occasions, so one day at nursery,
Britt asked a teacher which little chap was Ruben.
It came as a shock to hear there was no Ruben.
Or any boy with a similar name.
Well, fancy that! Our little Oliver has an imaginary friend.
But he never talks to him or hangs out with him.
Strange, but no big deal.
A few days passed when we arrived home one afternoon and switched on the TV.
An excited Oliver announced "Mummy, look... it's Batman and Ruben!"
Yee-Haw! Let's go exploring.
I've mentioned before that Stockholm has so much to offer,
especially for families who like to get out and about and discover new things.
Skansen is no exception. Founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius as the first open air zoo
and museum in Sweden. It can be found on the beautiful tree filled, island of Djurgarden.
The zoo contains a wide selection of Scandinavian animals. You'll come face to face with
brown bear, reindeer, wolf, moose, seal, bison and many more.
Getting up close but not too personal with a brown bear is an incredible experience, they're such large creatures and so full of character.
Make sure you also say 'Hej hej!' to the vibrantly painted, traditional wooden Dala horse.
Make sure you also say 'Hej hej!' to the vibrantly painted, traditional wooden Dala horse.
There's also a children's zoo (not that kids won't love the main zoo) an aquarium and
some old fashioned merry-go-rounds and carousels.
The open air museum brings together original 19th century buildings and farms from all over Sweden. These buildings were painstakingly taken apart and rebuilt at Skansen to provide a unique picture of traditional life.
You'll also meet friendly folk in period costume, yes, it really is like going back in time with other time travelling tourist chums.
All in all, there's so much to discover, and it's out doors in the fresh air, with great views and you'll meet a real bear and a wooden horse and... am I starting to sound like a travel rep?
Thursday, 22 September 2011
It's not just monster masks that provide fun and entertainment for kids.
Invite a Royal round for afternoon tea.
The results are hilarious and it's just plain surreal.
Especially when he strips off his clothes and runs around in his underwear.
What would Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge say?
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
It's not even October and the Christmas cards and biscuits are already in some shops.
They'd have us buying wrapping paper and lining up to see Santa in July if they could.
Reminds me, we'll need to book the kids in to see him early this year, we couldn't get
into see the Westfield Shopping Centre Santa last year!
But don't worry, I'll be leaving my present buying until Christmas Eve as usual,
that should help balance things out a little.