Tag Archives: family

conversations with my toddler #3

My toddler is twenty-six months now (how did he get so old?!) and his language is getting better all the time. He speaks in sentences and even strangers are starting to be able to understand him although I mostly still have to act as translator.

minions talking

Mind you, there are times when even I struggle to work out what he’s talking about… like in this conversation we had at the lunch table the other day:

Toddler: *putting down sandwich to speak (so this must be important)* “Mummy?”

Me: “Yes sweetie?”

Toddler: *brightly* “Woo da dotta ow?”

Me: “Er… sorry poppet, what was that?”

Toddler: *slightly more forcefully* “Where da potter foul?”

Me: *Still baffled* “Where’s the…? Sorry, can you say that again?”

Toddler: *leaning forwards and looking at me earnestly* “Where da dotter howl?”

Me: “Um… sorry, I still don’t understand what you’re asking for…”

Toddler: *loudly and forcefully* “Where. The. Potted. Owl?!”

Me: “Oh! The potted owl!” *looks around wildly*

(we don’t have a potted owl)

(what even IS a potted owl?)

(I offered him a biscuit.)

Little Hearts, Big Love
Conversations with my toddler #1 – Toast
Conversations with my toddler #2 – Wheels

Harry Potter limerick (limerick challenge #24)

Since we gave him the first Harry Potter book for Christmas, my seven-year-old son has been obsessed with all things ‘Harry’. He’s read the first three books repeatedly (he wants to read the fourth but I keep putting him off because lovely characters are murdered in it!) and seen the first two films, his bedroom wall is covered with the pictures he’s drawn of the characters and synopses he’s written of the books, and he also writes his own Harry Potter stories.

His love of the books has even rubbed off on his five-year-old brother who now also draws masses of Harry Potter pictures too and is valiantly wading through ‘The Philosophers Stone’ himself despite it being at the extreme outer limits of his reading ability.

Harry Potter and Dumbledore

By my five year old – On the left: Harry Potter dancing (above Hogwarts and the Hogwarts Express) and simultaneously kicking Voldemort while dementors fly above. On the right: Dumbledore.

Given all this, it was clear that my ‘Limerick Challenge‘ – where my sons choose a theme, I write a limerick and they illustrate it – was going to venture into Harry Potter territory at some point. This week it has. Here goes:

 

Harry Potter, a famous young wizard

Cast a spell to make light in a blizzard

But distracted by flakes

He made some mistakes

And turned himself into a lizard!

 

Harry Potter Lizard

By my 7-year-old: Harry Potter in a blizzard, accidentally transforming himself into a lizard.

In case you’re not acquainted with Harry Potter, a ‘spell to make light’ would be a ‘lumos’ spell. My seven-year-old decided that a lizard spell would be ‘liliros’ so hopefully you can see how, if caught in a swirling snowstorm, Harry might make this mistake.

As usual it’s silly, although it’s not one of my favourites I have to admit – I prefer writing weird ones about animals that talk and fart and try to get jobs on aeroplanes and, y’know, stuff like that- but there you have it. My boys were very pleased with it anyway!

Prose for Thought

time off – #WhatImWriting

Hooray – ‘What I’m Writing’ is back! I hope you all had lovely Easters with plenty of sunshine and chocolate!

chocolate eggs

So, what am I writing?… um… well the thing is, I haven’t really done much writing at all recently. The boys were off school for two weeks and just went back this morning (am I a bad mother if I add a ‘hooray!’ to that sentence?) so I haven’t really had much time.

But let’s see… I did write a blog post about our family easter (much egg-related fun was had) and shared a poem I wrote with my grandfather when I was a child (William Wordsworth would probably turn in his grave if he got wind of it though so perhaps I should keep that quiet!). Plus I managed to write the BritMums poetry and prose round-up which felt like quite an achievement when overrun with little people. But that was it. Oh no wait, I also wrote a post with tips for finding time to write in the school holidays… hmm, they didn’t pay off quite as well as I’d hoped!

The rest of the holiday was spent loafing around in the garden, meeting up with friends and their kids, eating chocolate, decorating/hiding/smashing eggs, saying “No you can’t play Minecraft again!”, going to barbecues, looking incredulously out of the window at blizzards, eating chocolate, reading books, watching Game of Thrones (Season One – for the first time), visiting family, taking the toddler on an emergency dentist trip when he smashed off half of his front tooth (he’s fine but will be sporting a vampiric look until he loses his baby teeth…), nearly going to soft play then realising that was obviously an awful idea, drinking cups of tea, watching Harry Potter, going on walks and eating chocolate.

I may also have eaten some chocolate.

So it was fun but also tiring (in the way that looking after young children is) and I’m SO ready to have a bit more time to write (even if it is mostly just in toddler nap times). Today I’ve been frantically typing notes for my kids novel. I’ve mainly, merely succeeded in tangling myself up about time travel and it all needs unravelling, but I’m up for the challenge!

How about you? I’m looking forward to hearing all about what you’ve written!

Writing Bubble

egg-cellent easter

It was Easter Sunday yesterday and we had a very egg-citing day (sorry, couldn’t resist).

easter collage

Although my five-year-old had concerns that the Easter Bunny would be eaten by my parents’ new puppy, thankfully no such catastrophe occurred and all chocolate eggs were safely delivered! We then had an Easter-egg hunt, decorated eggs (do you recognise the fictional character that my seven-year-old made his into – above?) and had a lovely family lunch. The boys also had great fun smashing the big chocolate egg (pictured above, both before and during the smashing) which we all enjoyed stuffing our faces with afterwards. The sun even came out and allowed us to sit outside WITHOUT COATS ON!

My two year old loved it all and spent a lot of time saying things like, “Locklit! (chocolate) My locklit! I want it, a locklit!” Yes, I’m afraid his usual good manners were entirely lost in the face of such temptation but who can blame him really? I’m afraid we all may have overindulged a bit. Today I’m in recovery – I will be eating nothing but carrots ;)

I hope you all had a very Happy Easter too!

P.S We’re taking Easter off from #WhatImWriting so there will be no link-up tomorrow – I’ve barely written a thing in the Easter holidays anyway, so have nothing to report!

Little Hearts, Big Love

yellow

When I saw that ‘The Prompt’ over at Mum Turned Mom this week was ‘Yellow’, I figured it might be time to give my daffodils poem another airing. I say ‘my’ daffodils poem but in actual fact it owes rather a lot to William Wordsworth  (since it’s a silly version of his poem ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’) and a great deal to my granddad with whom I co-wrote it about twenty-five years ago! When I was a child the two of us would often write silly poetry together and this is one of my favourites. I can still remember sitting together one mealtime, throwing lines across the table and laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.

daffodils

I Wandered Lonely as a Puff of Smoke

I wandered lonely as a puff of smoke
That floats from a chimney and over the hills,
When all at once I saw a bloke,
Carrying a mass of daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Swaying along on rubbery knees.

His face was flushed as red as wine
With drooling mouth and vacant gaze,
He followed an erratic line
Staggering in a drunken daze.
Ten dozen saw I in his arms
Stolen I’m sure from nearby farms.

The waves frothed wildly at his heel
Yet he was far to drunk to see.
A passer-by could not but feel
A portion of anxiety.
I gazed and gazed then watched him take
A tumble deep into the lake.

When later on my couch he lay,
In much apologetic mood
Recalling how I’d had saved the day
He was struck with gratitude.
Yet to this day pure horror fills
Me at the sight of daffodils.

 
And in case that’s left you yearning for the original:
 

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

By William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

mumturnedmom

 

Nikki Young Writes

escape – #whatimwriting

It’s 10.40 on a Tuesday morning and I haven’t written my #WhatImWriting post yet! This isn’t like me, it’s normally written and scheduled for 6.55 am by the time I got to bed on Monday night.sad rose

But this hasn’t been a week (or two) of sticking to routines, it’s been a fortnight of running from pillar to post and coping with three kids (one with an ear infection), the house, work stuff and an ill husband all by myself. I’ve known my husband for twenty years and I’ve never seen him in such a bad way as he was last week. He had hand, foot and mouth disease and tonsillitis and the combination basically meant he could barely eat, sleep, talk or move. It was pretty awful. Thankfully he is now on the mend but it’s left the pair of us pretty knackered.

But we all got through it and although I may have dropped a couple of balls along the way, in general I think I managed to keep most of them in the air and juggled them into the right position! Phew.

Weirdly (is it weird? I dunno) the blog posts I wrote while this was all going on made no mention of any of it. It was just business as usual as far as the blog was concerned. I admit I avoided anything personal – my last #WhatImWriting post was a jokey quiz rather than saying anything about my actual writing week –  but then that’s not too unusual for me anyway. Funny thing was, blogging that way made me feel better. I always thought blogging could be cathartic because of the potential to share stuff but last week I found the catharsis was there by having an area of my life that kept up appearances and continued regardless. Not to mention the fact that two of the posts I wrote – an alphabet story and a piece of micro fiction –  were creative. The fictional world was my escape!

Anyway, as you may imagine, I haven’t done much other writing recently. I’m nowhere near the goal I set myself of having three picture book manuscripts ready for submission by the end of Feb. It’s disappointing but I have to cut myself some slack. I can’t do everything.

Better go –  it’s half term and the kids are milling around. Have lovely, healthy weeks everyone!

Muddled Manuscript

milestones

My baby turns two next month. I know I shouldn’t really call him my ‘baby’ as he’s clearly a toddler but he’s my third, my youngest and my last and I can’t really think of him any other way. He’ll always be my baby even when he’s a great, hulking teenager I suspect.baby hand hold

I think my reluctance to give up thinking of him as a baby also has something to do with my experience of motherhood third time round. It’s felt different this time in many ways: more relaxed, easier and with no sense of urgency about getting to the next stage.

I remember with my first son I was so excited at all his achievements and keen for him to move onwards. A walking, talking child is so much more interesting than a baby, after all. With my second son I felt completely ‘in the thick of it’. There’s two years between my first two and the demands of looking after a baby and a toddler were such that I was happy to just get through it. There were many happy moments but I had a definite sense of wanting to move onwards and upwards rather than wanting to slow things down. Day to day life was really tiring!

Third time round it’s been totally different. There’s three-and-a-half years between my youngest and my second-born and since my middle son is an August birthday, he started school mere days after his fourth birthday when the baby was only six months old. So I’ve had plenty of time to sit back and really enjoy baby number three. We’ve ambled through days contentedly (well apart from the extreme sleep-deprivation but I’ll gloss over that) and while I’ve delighted at his development I’ve felt no urge at all to hurry things up. In fact I’ve often wanted to hit the pause button because he’s been such a poppet. He’s been totally doted on by the four of us  – he’s our baby and I sort of want him to stay that way.

So when it comes to thinking of his second birthday I feel a bit odd. Nostalgic almost. I know birthdays are a time for celebration but, well, I’m not sure how I feel about rejoicing in this particular milestone.

So I think I’ll focus my attention on other things. Like what a good fit he is for our family. He’s my third boy and you might assume I wanted a girl this time round (believe me, I’ve been asked that by complete strangers – there’s a whole other post I could write on that particular subject!). While that would have been nice (I assume), the fact is when I considered (while pregnant) the attributes that – in an ideal world – I’d like my third child to have I was unknowingly imagining his personality.

He’s laid back, contented and affectionate, he adores his big brothers, thinks my husband is the funniest person alive and, of course he’s my mummy’s boy regularly racing towards me for ‘a cudooo’ (cuddle) :) The last two years could have been so much harder if he’d been different. He’s awesome. And my older boys have welcomed him into our family with open arms. They’re thrilled to see him every morning and every day after school, they call him a “cutie boy” or a “sweetie”, they taught him to draw, help him build lego… my oldest has even written poetry about how much he loves him! The three of them are an amazing little team. I adore them all and I’m so lucky.

Now that’s something to celebrate.

Linking up with #ThePrompt over at Mum Turned Mom. This week it was ‘celebration’.

mumturnedmom

new year

xmas morningHappy New Year everyone!

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and I’m still in a bit of a festive daze with my mind stuck back somewhere in the middle of last week. But it’s the second of January now so I thought it was time to post a little something in an attempt to re-boot my brain and my blog for 2015!

For the sake of my sluggish brain (and fingers) I’ll keep it brief. So here’s my summary of the festive period in the Bubble household:

Family

friends

feasting

films

boys

baking

booze

bickering

relationships

reunions

reading

reminiscing

slumping

slobbing

sleeping

singing

resting

racing

running (late)

wrapping

walking

wonder

warmth

loafing

laughing

living

LOVING

joy

sleeping baby goldI’ve been really struggling to write this week. My ideas are still there but the words just won’t come. I think it’s because there’s too much going round in my head and my brain is struggling to focus.

But I saw that this week’s prompt over at Mum Turned Mom was ‘Joy’ and I wanted to write something for that. I knew immediately (and rather obviously, I suppose) what I wanted to write about: my boys. I wanted to write about how much I love them and how proud I am of them and how happy they make me. But yeah – everything I attempted to write was rubbish.

Then I remembered a poem I wrote back at the start of the year. I’ve posted it on my blog before but, well, there’s no harm in posting it again right? It doesn’t tell you all about my boys’ unique personalities, about how thoughtful and sensitive my first-born is, how funny and affectionate my second, or how laid-back and irresistible my youngest is. It doesn’t describe what a fabulous little team they are, how supportive and loving and united they are (it also does’t describe the times they bicker either!) But it is about them and the joy they bring me.

I wrote it about my youngest boy but I have felt the same about each. Moments like these have a bitter-sweet edge but are definitely almost heart-explodingly joyful:

Beloved

You are warm in my arms,
Snuggled to my chest,
Soft hair tickling me
With every breath.
My gaze caresses you,
Drinking you in;
The curve of your brow,
Your flawless skin,

Plump cheeks flushed
In the nightlight’s glow,
Pink lips tracing
A cupid’s bow,
Your eyelashes fluttering
As dreams drift by,
Contentment caught
In a sleeping sigh.

As I stroke your fingers
And brush your nose with a kiss
I ache at the thought
Of losing moments like this,
And wish I could capture
Forever this time
When, tiny and perfect,
You are utterly mine.

mumturnedmom

legoland limerick

view of mini land from the Sky Rider

View of Miniland from the Sky Rider

Yes, we went to LEGOLAND! This isn’t remotely a sponsored post (ha, I wish!) I just wanted to write about it because we really did have a great time.

We went for two days (over my son’s fifth birthday) and stayed overnight in the Legoland hotel which was amazing. Expensive but worth it. We had a pirate-themed room which was plush enough to keep us parents happy, and fun enough to totally capture the boys’ imagination. There was Lego art on the walls, a pirate bunk bed, a treasure trail across the carpet which led to a safe that the boys had to unlock (to reveal lego gifts inside), and a big box of lego to play with. The kids even had their own section of the room with a TV tuned to the lego channel! Awesome.

The park was great too. We had a Q-Bot which meant we could jump the queues (you still have to wait after you’ve chosen your ride but just not in the queue which makes a massive difference especially when you have an eighteen- month-old in tow!) and we managed to go on twenty-one rides! The boys LOVED it and although the park was crowded and we were knackered with walking and sleep deprivation (thanks to the baby) we kind of fed off their excitement and had a great time too.

My five-year-old said it was ‘the best birthday ever!’ so obviously I had to write a limerick about it:

For our five-year-old’s birthday we planned
A trip to the great Legoland
We all had such fun
(Three kids, Dad and Mum)
That our real, brick-free life seems quite bland!

*** EXCITING NEWS ***

If you’re visiting via #Prose4T then you might be interested in my new writing linky which starts next Tuesday 9th September. It’s called “What I’m Writing” and it’s for writers, poets, bloggers etc. to share posts about your creative process: aspirations, successes, doubts, rejections (we’ve all had them), trials and triumphs. I’ll be running it with Chrissie from Muddled Manuscript. More info is here. We’d love to see you there!

Prose for Thought