This week we’ve been lucky enough to get some great weather for a change. Monday was incredibly hot and Tuesday was even warmer. After than it cooled a little but not enough to actually have rain or cold days. This means we’ve had park days, water fights, ice cream and car washing! It’s been so nice to enjoy the weather for a change.
As you know, we’ve recently re-decorated our house from top to bottom. In fact, I wrote about it in my “Look at my House” series. However it honestly wouldn’t have been possible without a whole load of help! When we first moved in, my brother offered a lot of help (as did my mum, though mostly financially – bless her). Over the years we lived here, my best friend Nat also helped out on the odd days here and there. However, while the bulk of the work has always fallen on Chris and I, the girls have always been keen to help too.
In collaboration with Dyno, I was asked to share my trials, tribulations and even triumphs when it came to kids helping out with DIY. I have to be honest and say that sometimes having their help is more hassle than it’s worth, but that’s not to say they don’t both try! For the most part, we decorated while they were at school, but they would often come back after school and want to help then. Here is some tips I would like to offer:
- An old set of clothes for them is absolutely essential. Its completely unrealistic to expect that they will manage to paint without getting paint all over them – both skin and clothes. Usually I picked something they didn’t particularly like anyway, or something they were pretty much outgrowing. Tying hair out of the way is also a good idea.
- Make sure you cover the floor, skirting boards etc. even more than you would normally. I always throw covers over furniture when we’re painting the ceiling, but sometimes I’m less concerned when I know its in a place I can just be careful. However with the kids helping out, there are bound to be drips, spillages and goodness knows what, so cover up those floors even more, put masking tape on the skirting boards and keep a close eye on them!
- I have to admit that my girls are fairly well behaved anyway but I would recommend not leaving them alone for too long. When you have to nip off and get that extra brush or a new tin of paint, the chances are it won’t be long before they find it funny to start painting each other!
- Small brushes. I’m sure this one goes without saying really but the smaller the brush, the smaller the possible accident, mess, mistake etc. Sure you might have to go over the parts they’ve done but you stop the risk of having a big paintbrush mark when it gets dropped or swiped over a part of wall you didn’t want painting.
- Expect that they will get bored. Kids have a fairly short attention span to most things and if they’re not especially enjoying themselves, they will get bored and ditch you. Maybe adding some music to the equation or making it fun, will make them stick around but be prepared to finish off by yourself!
The kids helped us out in pretty much every room of the house, in some way or another. They can be a great asset but also a huge hassle. The nice thing is, they’re nearly always willing and love the thought of helping out. In reality, the job probably isn’t as fun as they expected or they’d rather be sat playing on an iPad or something. However every now and again they might surprise you and you’ll really appreciate their help – or maybe just their company. Not to mention, the other they get, the more likely they are to be of use to you!
This week Lily and I have been trying out the Aquafresh Brush Time app at bedtimes. It falls at a great time as we actually have our annual dentist appointment next week! I remember a time, when the girls were little, when they loved to brush their teeth at any excuse they could. These days however, brushing teeth has been added to reward charts and then just the daily routine, in order to make sure it’s done. Would you believe that a late night out and an immediate bedtime home (or better still, falling asleep in the car) and not having to brush teeth, is seen as a treat?
Anyway we agreed to review the app as I hoped it would be something fun that would make Lily want to brush her teeth. Megan is getting better anyway as she’s already having to deal with wipes for spots and deodorant to stop sweat, so not wanting her breath to smell is a big factor at 11. That said, she certainly got amusement from Lily using the app.
We started off by propping my iPad up on the shelf. I probably would have used my phone normally but I knew I needed that for taking pictures. As you load up the app, it tells you exactly how you’re supposed to brush your teeth, including how much toothpaste to use etc. After that you can either jump straight in with “brush now” or you can select “mix it up”. For our first time, we just used the “brush now” option but afterwards we had a fiddle with all the backgrounds, characters, music and dances.
As the character on the screen, does a little dance, the kids are supposed to brush their teeth. There is a timer at the bottom counting down 2 minutes and motivational phrases pop up every now and again (like “half way there!”). One of the songs, actually has instructions as part of the lyrics. With each time you use the app, you earn the ability to unlock extras in the “mix it up” section. There are new songs, new dances etc. which all unlock with a certain amount of brushes.
The app is completely free and is available on both iTunes app store and Google Play. It’s probably realistically aimed at children younger than Lily (she’s 8) but I have to admit she enjoyed dancing around while brushing her teeth and it did motivate her to do them every day while we reviewed it.
Once again I’m still really busy so I thought I would make the most of this random break to do a little catching up. It’s Monday, after school and it’s 27 degrees, would you believe?
First thing we did after school was grab an ice cream and a drink and now we’re at the park. It’s very rare that the weather is nice enough after school (rain being fairly standard for the school run) and so we’re making the most of it! The girls have only three days left of school this term and after that Megan will no longer attend Primary School – I honestly can’t believe it.
Last week was the start of the wind down, though obviously there have been transition days too. Monday saw School Reports being released, in which both did well and had glowing comments about both their personalities and their achievements. Tuesday was a re-arranged Sports Day as it was cancelled the previous week due to rain and a wet field. Both girls participated and I went along in the afternoon to watch Lily play rounders and Megan play kingball. Wednesday and Thursday was Megan’s school play – Go for Gold. She had one of the lead parts and while probably biased, I thought she was great. For some weird reason she was cast as an Olympic Athlete which is ironic to say the least as she hates sports.
Then came Friday and this was Megan’s Leavers Do. It was basically a disco type party that only the Year 6’s would attend. We nipped home after school to get changed and ready but needed to be back in Saxilby by 6.30pm. Megan looked so grown up that I honestly couldn’t get over it and when I picked her up she looked even more beautiful than when I dropped her off – with a flush of enjoyment in her cheeks and a cocktail umbrella tucked behind her ear!
The busy week didn’t stop there as I had loads of work to do Saturday, plus we were supposed to be going to a 40th birthday party (in the end I didn’t feel well enough to go). Lily also had a birthday party to attend on Sunday and so that topped off a hectic week.
This coming week will be the same, with today as our only calm day until term breaks up on Thursday. We have a KS2 Church Service tomorrow morning, for which I agreed to walk to and from the church with the kids, then Lily has a school trip on Wednesday and Megan has a Leavers Assembly on Thursday morning. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to them breaking up but at the same time it will be the end of an era for sure!
Watching: Fringe (I started back at Season 1 and I’m up to 4), Orphan Black (catching up on Season 4), Orange is the New Black (had to wait till after Paris but then binged Season 4), re-watched Season 5 of OUAT with Nat before we went to the convention, The Great British Sewing Bee, of course Game of Thrones (last episodes!!), the usual Casualty, Holby City, Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow etc. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Just Go With It, Zootropolis, Twilight, Olympus has Fallen, Deadpool,
Reading: Wait for Me, Kingdom Keepers: Disney at Dawn, Cinder.
Sewing & Making (for Closet Geek): Ears!! It’s still been all about the ears. I announced the last day of £6 ears and my social media blew up. In total I think I took orders of over 50 sets in the end. Other than that there was a Woody dress, a Jessie dress, a Belle dress and apron, a Baymax dress and jacket, a custom Sleeping Beauty fabric dress, some custom pencil cases, plus the usual bows and jewellery orders.
And in other news…
– We went to see Zootropolis at the cinema and I loved it.
– We spent a whole day looking for a new car for Chris but he ended up with a really nice one and it was totally worth it. We also got ice cream from Blyton on the way home!
– Lily got a short story printed in a book. It’s not technically printed yet but we got a certificate and I had to give my permission for it to be published.
– Megan had her first day at secondary school on a taster day. It didn’t go as well as she’d hoped but she has another in July.
– I helped Nat to pack up all her belongings and load them into my car and hers. She then moved in with us a few days later.
– Nat and I went to Paris for a very long weekend. We saw loads of tourist attractions, plus attended a OUAT convention and spent the day at Disneyland Paris. It was a great trip but it was lovely to be home.
– We got new broadband. Not a major event in itself but its all connected to Chris now having a BT contract so its all good. Also it seems faster which is great.
– Had our first viewing on the house since being on the market since April. It didn’t come to anything but at least it’s a start.
Looking forward to in July:
– Honestly, nothing really. Most of July is busy with school things, like Sports Day, Transition Day, school reports, end of year service, Leavers Party, Leaver assembly etc. but otherwise I have nothing planned myself in July.
On the whole I avoid putting the actual age I am, on my blog. It’s not that it particularly bothers me (turning 30 never did) but I have to admit that inching closer to 40 does somehow make me feel old. However I’m sucking it up this year and trying to embrace it – and I’m going to let you know what a great birthday I had!
For a start, it was a Saturday (May 28th). Amy and Olivia came down to visit for the weekend, Chris was off work and even Amy’s O.H. was coming to spend the day with us! Though technically my birthday had started at midnight where Amy and I were still up and sitting in the dinning room, we soon headed to bed and started again properly in the morning. Chris sadly woke me at 7am when he got up and though I had hoped for a lie-in, it wasn’t to be! I got up and was greeted by many “happy birthday”s and Amy kindly made me a cup of tea! I sat down on the sofa to open cards and gifts from them all, which was really lovely.
The girls got me the Evil Queen from Snow White, in hag form. This is a Disney Tradition that I’ve been after for a while and I’m not sure why as she’s ugly as hell, but I love it regardless! Chris got me Seven Dwarves on a Log – again another Disney Tradition that I have loved for literally as long as I can remember. It was always far too expensive to consider getting but now it’s mine, yay! Finally Amy and Liv got me a box of goodies, including an Ursula decoration, Regina in Pop Funko, an art print of Belle and the Beast and a Tinker Bell scarf (I put it on straight away, so forgot to photograph it). There was also a limited edition print that Amy had found in a charity shop, which is literally amazing!
After this we sat around for a while relaxing, but the kids started to get hungry so I put on some breakfast. We had freshly baked croissants and pain au chocolat, along with margarine, nutella and chocolate/peanut butter spread. We actually didn’t even manage it all which was a surprise between six of us.
Everyone went off their separate ways then, to get dressed, to have another cup of tea etc. My mum arrived around lunch time to give me her gift and then Amy’s O.H. arrived too. After a while we headed out to Nottingham with the plan to play mini-golf but it actually turned out that we went shopping and ate at Five Guys. We headed home, got the girls to bed and then my friend Nat and her O.H. came around. We spent the evening chatting, laughing and drinking wine until about 1am.
While it maybe doesn’t sound like the most spectacular of birthdays, the evening was everything and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thankfully its a whole year now until the next one but I’m glad this one turned out pretty great.