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Elf excitement

The excitement is mounting with each passing night. Every morning, the Wildthings insist they are let downstairs to ‘see what the elf has done next’. Once they are allowed past the stairgate, every little thing that’s slightly different or out of it’s usual place elicits a ‘LOOK WHAT HAROLD’S DONE!’ shrieked at the top of their voices. They even asked Grandma yesterday about her elf (quick thinking on Grandma’s part meant that she now has to make up elf antics too!) and accused ‘Harriet’ of throwing the cushions off the sofa.

Over the last few days there has been Christmas tree decorating, festive lights being mysteriously turned on over night, sinks full of bubbles and graffiti. I think it’s about time Harold stepped things up a bit. I wonder what he’ll get up to next week…

 

Advent calendars and elf antics

The Wildthings always end up with more than one advent calendar each. This year, they have a chocolate one from Grandma as usual and they are old enough to know about the CBeebies calendar on the website. I have an issue with chocolate advent calendars, so I am rebelling and have created my own, which supplies them with a Christmassy activity each day (apart from Day One, for which I was unprepared and they got stickers!). Yesterday was colour by numbers. After initial disappointment that it wasn’t a) edible, or b) computer based, they loved it, and spent a happy 45 minutes colouring together.

Harold is just getting warmed up with his elf antics. Nothing too exciting so far- he sat up doing a puzzle one night with some other toys, and the Wildthings found him this morning with a pile of DVDs and Peppa Pig playing on the TV. Please note that I was *not* responsible for anything in the picture. All props were arranged by daddy!

Christmas begins…

Since last year, Christmas has begun on December the 1st, with the arrival of our elf, Harold. This year, aged four and a half, the two older wildthings are very excited about Christmas and it’s rubbing off on their two year old brother!

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Harold brought with him a stack of 24 wrapped Christmas bedtime stories and a letter telling the boys that we were off to Longleat to see Father Christmas. Everything there was fantastic, with the exception of the Santa Train, which was a bit of a let down. Father Christmas’s beard was slipping, showing his less than white moustache, the elves looked like they’d rather be at home in their onesies and it just wasn’t worth the money. The rest of it though, was fabulous. Maybe next year, Harold will send the boys to Longleat for the lights, singing tree and beautifully decorated house full of panto characters (incidentally, these characters definitely didn’t want to be at home in their onesies, they were enthusiastic and in character at all times- brilliant) and send them to a garden centre to see FC! Anyway, here are the Wildthings having a wild time…

 

Firstly, apologies for the appearance of the blog. I’ve been gone a while and everything’s changed! I’ll try to suss it out before my next post.

In an attempt to drag the Wildthings out of their post-camping holiday slump on the sofa, and having already exhausted the dog-walking/going to the park options, we did some (slightly experimental) messy play in the garden. I put paint onto a tray, covered it in flour and supplied them with bottles of water, teaspoons and yoghurt pots. After a while I added a bowl of soapy water… then another. After they’d had their fill of the messy fun, we hosed everything down. At this point I made the mistake of trusting a four year old boy to hold the hosepipe. Result… a jet of water in the side of the head, obviously!

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Jam Tarts!

Thanks to Mike the Knight, the Wildthings developed an obsession with jam tarts on Sunday and were still talking about them on Monday, so there was really only one thing to be done. We baked some!

They are so easy, I can’t actually believe that I haven’t made them with them before. I’ve included the ‘recipe’ we used at the end of this post, but to be honest, you don’t need one.

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So, I promised you the recipe. We made our own pastry, but really, shop bought would be fine.

125g/4oz plain flour

pinch of salt

55g/2oz butter, cubed

30-45ml/2-3 tbsp cold water

Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add a little water at a time and mix with a knife to bring the crumbs together into a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and refridgerate for about 15 minutes… or skip all of that, take your packet of pastry out of the fridge and carry on from here!

Roll out the pastry to about 3mm thick and cut out circles. Lay these in a shallow pie tray (I have *no* idea what these are actually called! Tart pan maybe?! Who knows!)- remember to grease if it’s not non-stick! Place a heaped teaspoon of jam, lemon curd, marmalade or a mixture as the Wildthings did, in each case and bake for bout 15 minutes at 180. Our took a bit longer in fact, but it’s easy to see when they’re done. Have fun!

Well, that was an adventure!

I decided this morning that the Wildthings and I would take the dog for a walk. I’ve been avoiding the one woman, three children and a dog scenario for a long time, unless we’re in a contained area and can easily get home or back to the car. I’m not sure what came over me this morning, but I decided to brave it and take them all on a two and a half mile trek through woods and fields! So, baby Wildthing in the sling, spare pants and trousers for the recently-potty-trained Wildthings rolled up in my pocket, plus enough tissues to keep us going for a week and away we went.

The Wildthings have suddenly acquired some road sense, so the first part of the walk was uneventful. Just under a mile in, as we trudged through the woods, I had my first moment of panic that they may just decide to sit down and not go any further. My fears were unfounded though and they soldiered on, jumping in puddles, examining what appeared to be a dinosaur (see photos!) and stopping to watch trains whizz past. Cue my second panic of the morning- we were shortly going to have to cross the railway. As it turned out, the railway was the least of my worries. As we turned down the footpath leading to the crossing, I was thinking how pretty the hedges looked. A few metres further on when the brambles were strung like party decorations across the path at eye-level, I wasn’t thinking such lovely thoughts! The Wildthings had to walk with their arms up to protect their faces from the nettles. There was even a landslide to contend with!

We crossed the railway safely (phew!) and as we walked out into the open field, the rain came. And it really, really rained. Sideways. One of my wellies leaked and baby Wildthing woke up. The rain didn’t bother him a great deal, unlike his brothers, one of whom did his favourite trick of rushing around in front of me and stopping. Occasionally this works and he gets put on my shoulders, but not today, pal! Despite the miserable weather, Wildthings 1 and 2 both loved their adventure, they ‘just didn’t like the stingy plants’. I think we’ll give that particular route a miss for a while, but I am feeling particularly smug this afternoon that they walked every step of the way, there were no tantrums and I didn’t lose anyone!

Too many adventures, too little time!

Oh dear, I really did fall off the blogging bandwagon with a crash didn’t I! Life’s been full of little adventures recently, with the twin Wildthings turning three. They had a fantastic playhouse for their birthday. We put them to work digging the foundations by telling them that daddy was building a new shed 😉

I must make sure I get some photos of them playing in it now it’s finished. They’ve already made a start on the DIY!

So, with Wildthing birthdays come parties of course! Unfortunately I was suffering from some unspecified lurgy and wasn’t up to being the cake-maker extraordinaire that is my alter ego. We decided that if I couldn’t manage it, the children would just have to decorate their own cupcakes- it was a hit! They had a lovely afternoon in the sunshine, generally playing and making a mess, then we did it all again with family a few days later.

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