Charles...Aged 3 Loves...

A friend recently posted a similar photo to this on Facebook. I asked if I could pinch the idea and this is my result.

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Water Play, Water Fight.

With Harry still suffering a tiny bit with chicken pox and Charles possibly about to get it, mixed in with hot muggy weather I decided we should take our new Flexibath and some of our Munchkin Squirty Fish into the garden to have a bit of water play to cool ourselves down.

At first we were having a wonderful time, just splashing, fishing out the fish, and then one thing lead to another and it became a full on water fight. They started it....I promise.....ok....I started it.
I have memories of really fun water fights with my brother when I was little so it was fantastic to reignite some of that fun and those memories but with my own boys.
Charles ended up soaked and was a really good sport.
I also ended up soaked with mascara all down my face, hense the lack of photos of me this time.

By the end we were all cooled down, for half an hour at least, and feeling a lot happier.
This is how he does thumbs up.



Charles' Guide to Riding a Bike. Part One.

I'm Charles.
For my birthday I got a Thomas bike from Mummy and Daddy. Yay! Harry got me a Thomas helmet. It also has James and Percy on it, it does.
I love my bike. So far I've just played with it indoors. Daddy asked if I wanted it in the garden but I said no. I don't want it to get dirty. I like to sit and watch the TV on my Thomas bike. I also got a Thomas bottle and bottle holder. Daddy put the bottle holder on my bike. I now need water/juice/milkshake in this cup at all times, even if I don't plan on drinking it.
It was Fathers Day yesterday. We went out for some minarni and then we went in the mummy new car to the windmill, which Mister Maker made, and went for a walk.
Daddy got my big big bike out of the boot and Mr Harry Snail went in his pushchair because he's too little to walk properly.
I can't ride my bike properly yet. I did try and pedal but my legs kept going the wrong way, mummy and daddy said.
Instead daddy showed me how to brake.
He put me at the top of some slopes and made me roll down and practise hitting the brake.
I almost hit into Mr Harry Snail and the pushchair. Mummy put the pushchair there because just behind where she is standing is the sea and some big rocks. There is a small barrier which would stop me but it was safer to crash into the pushchair. I wasn't going too fast anyway and daddy was there to catch me.
I can steer a little bit too. I did almost steer off the curb a couple of times. It was a little bit funny but if I did steer off the curb I would have almost fallen in the sea and got wet.
That's why its best that you learn to brake before pedalling.
I had fun on my bike. I am very clever at braking. Look, look.



Vanilla and Chocolate Marble Cake

Being a stay at home mum means I obviously don't have a regular income and therefore can't treat my husband as much as I'd like on Fathers Day. We bought him some Family Guy PJ/lounge trousersand planned to buy him a print of a map that we've seen in a local Antique shop...although they have odd opening times so we are yet to purchase it.
I thought the next best thing to do would be to make him a cake, and I knew he'd appreciate it.
I don't normally bother with icing etc and tend to stick to basic and plain but following his recent requests of a sandwich style cake with jam and cream I came up with this.
He very much enjoyed it, as did I, and stated it was "by far the best cake you've made yet". *Takes a bow*

You will need:
4 eggs
250g self raising flour
250g caster sugar
250g butter or margerine
a glug of milk (I'm never precise over mine and tend to go with my instincts)
3 teaspoons of vanilla essence
Buttercream icing
Cocoa Powder (as much as you feel necessary, I used 55g)
Jam or Fruit Spread (I used Raspberry and Pomegranate but you can use Strawberry or similar)
Bits to decorate

First mix together the butter and sugar. Then add the eggs and flour and mix until well combined.
The divide the mixture between two bowls. Add the cocoa powder and some milk to one bowl and mix well. To the other bowl, add vanilla essence and milk, mix well. I made more of the chocolate mix than vanilla.
You can then choose to add it to a greased cake tin however you want. Either mix it all together in a swirly pattern or "blob" it all in. I made a layer of chocolate at the bottom, layer of vanilla and then layer of chocolate.
Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees) for 40 minutes.
Once cooled cut in half and then spread a layer of jam or fruit spread. You could add buttercream if you want but I'm not a huge fan of it. Infact I would have preferred to spread some Nutella on it here rather than jam but had to keep my man happy.
Place the lid back on the cake and then spread the buttercream over the top and around the edges.
Decorate with whatever you like, we used silverballs, coconut and almonds.
Serve with a smile.

Pull a cute face....additional chocolate around the mouth optional

Although I didn't use Strawberry Jam in mine I am still going to link this up to Mummy Mishaps: I Love Cake, because it can easily be used with strawberry jam....I just didn't have any in my cupboards or fridge.
Click on the badge and see some inspirational Strawberry themed cakes.


A Most Perfect Third Birthday

On Thursday we celebrated Charles' 3rd birthday.
We planned a special day for him and daddy even took the whole day off work to celebrate with us.
We were due to go to the Dinosaur Park but we visited there the previous Sunday instead which Charles' friends (as a birthday celebration treat)
Firstly we opened presents in the morning. Charles' main present was due to be collected at 9.30 so he only had his presents from his nanny and some tops from us. It was lovely that he would have been satisfied with these presents though as he didn't mention getting anything else.
We got dressed and whilst Charles and I went to Jo Jingles, daddy and Harry went to pick up the big present.
We both really enjoy going to Jo Jingles and the lady who runs it (I really should find out her name!) noticed Charles' 3 today badge sent to him from his Uncle. Towards the end of the session the children were able to play with the bubble machine and then we sung/sang/sung Happy Birthday. It was  funny because Charles just stood there with his head down frowning through embarrassment yet secretly loving the attention.
They then came and collected us from the children's centre and we headed straight home. Charles asked if he had anymore presents to which my husband said no. Charles then proceeded to cry until I said that he MIGHT have more presents, which eventually made him stop.
He walked in the house and we directed him to the playroom where he found his Thomas Bike. He'd chosen this bike but thought he was getting it for Christmas.
He did seem a bit more excited about the helmet at first, which was his present from Harry.

He had a quick sit on it and ride around in the house and then we got both of our pushchairs ready and began our walk to the train station.
We realised almost halfway there that we wouldn't catch the train we were hoping for so diverted to the park for half an hour or so. Charles loved this.
Once we were done at the park we caught the next train to Norwich. There was only 2 carriages and as a result it was pretty tight to pack in with our 2 pushchairs. We folded them up and packed them away and sat down.
We soon realised we were in a carriage with two loud, sweary men and even after a warning from the conductor they didn't stop so we simply moved carriages.
Harry decided to scream most of the way there because he was tired. We soon pulled up at the station and when I stood up I realised my seat was wet, not because of me, and I thought the worst....I've sat in someones wee (it could have been spilt drink...who knows?!) so we made a quick beeline for Matalan so I could get some new, clean leggings.
Then we walked to the bowling alley. This was Charles' first time and we paid for 2 games. We had a few problems with the balls not coming back and skittles getting stuck but we had a really good time and Charles enjoyed it which was the main thing.
He won both games.
When I said "Wow Charles, you won!!" He simply replied with "no mummy, I'm three"

We then went for a dinner treat of Nandos which Charles almost ate all of (wow!!) and made a swift exit after Harry spilt a whole pint of coke over the table and floor.

Then was time for the train home which was a nightmare and we had to stand all the way back....right next to the toilet. Delightful.
We walked back via the park and remembered the speed boat racing was on. We saw a couple of boats but after eating ice creams we were too bored and a bit chilly so walked home. We went the picture-esque way back through the marshes and played dodge the slugs!
We also discovered a helicopter! and some almost shipwrecked like boats (photos to follow in a separate post)

Charles said he had "the most perfect birthday ever" and really enjoyed himself. It was wonderful to see him smile and to be so happy.


Peace and Innocence in a Graveyard

On Friday we visited the church my grandparents married, both my boys were Christened, and that my paternal grandad and 2 aunties are buried in (the graveyard anyway).
I've been feeling really stressed, worked up and depressed to a degree about certain decisions we made last year and about issues surrounding Harry's Christening.

I'm not sure I feel brave enough right now to go into detail, I should do as I have nothing to be ashamed of but there's a time and a place and though I think this is the place, I'm not sure this is the time.

I wanted to go to the church to see if it would clear my head at all. To bring a kind of peace to this dark fog.
Part of me was hoping to bump into the Reverend there so I could discuss these issues and get reassurance from her.
She wasn't there so instead we went for a walk around. I was disappointed to find the grass overgrown everywhere so it was hard to walk in and push the buggy.
We visited my families graves, I really pay more attention to my grandads than my aunties simply because I only knew one of them and didn't really have much of a relationship with her.

Charles isn't aware of what a graveyard is, he is far too young in my opinion to need to know about anything related to that subject.
I watched him as he walked through the grass, almost skipping along, totally unaware of his surroundings and the sad meanings behind most of them.
His innocence filled the air and was beautiful to watch in a weird way.

I do have a slight obsession with grave yards. Not in a morbid way but in that I love walking around and reading the headstones, looking at peoples names, year they were born, year they died, age, and if they are buried with anyone else.
So many graves were left to just decay and very few were now looked after and cared for.

A few caught my eye, and whilst I was there I took some photos of them, as well as the church and of Charles.
Three were decorated with Union Jack flags. I really smiled when I saw this. The Jubilee reunited (or was supposed to reunite) us as a nation and I felt proud that the people who put these flags down didn't forget those who had passed and wanted them to be part of it too.

And this next one made me smile a lot. The words were so beautiful and I felt a tingly goosebumpy feeling as I stood next to it.

I love this Church and part of me regrets not getting married there, although I am glad that we got the boys Christened there.



Birthday Fun at the Park

We missed the train we first wanted to catch to Norwich and it just so happens that there is a big park on the way between our house and the train station. With over an hour to spare and us already outside the park we asked if Charles wanted to go in. We were greeted with a very excited boy and cheers of "yay! thank you, thank you, thank you" so in we went.
We only stayed for around 40 minutes but both boys had so much fun and it was a great addition to Charles' special day.
On the way home we walked through the park again and planned to watch the speedboat racing but we got too cold and impatient and ending up leaving....after we had an ice cream and I took some cool photos of the boys first of course.


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