Monday, 28 October 2013

Christenings, birthdays, NFL football trip. Surviving 'storms' and the lack of juice crisis for a 3 year old! Oh and the joys of finding a local pumpkin patch!

It's Monday. The clocks changed yesterday morning and so we were given an extra hour to listen to the children fighting with each other.

On Saturday we had a family christening to attend in London so we were all up, suited and booted and out of the house by 8.30am. By the time we got to St Paul's Cathedral, Bovington Number 5 was tired. So I spent most of the christening outside of the chapel doors peering through the glass and trying to listen in on proceedings because of a grumpy and tired baby. It was a lovely service and I tried my best to stay in rather than out of the service but it wasn't working. Grumpy babies and official proceedings just don't mix! Afterwards we had Afternoon Tea at a tea room nearby where we had even more of a meltdown from grumpy and severely overtired baby and we then left. Bundled them all in the car and tried to get out of London! Baby was asleep within seconds of leaving the car park, the 3 yr old soon followed in having an afternoon siesta as did the 10 yr old. At least the journey home was quiet!

In the evening we went to a birthday party for a friend of OH's. Not realizing it was a sit down meal but handy that we hadn't eaten dinner! There was also a photo booth to go in and take pictures with various hats, wigs, silly glasses and props which was good. We got to keep four photo's and then the company are making up a whole album of the pictures taken for the birthday girl. A really fab idea I thought. I have heard about the photo booths but never been to a party where there has been one and would highly recommend them, it's a good laugh and will make a lovely keepsake to look back on too.

Our photo booth creations, it was fun and a fab idea for parties, weddings etc....

We have our own birthday countdown going on in the Bovington house. William is turning 4 at the end of the week. He has asked for a Darth Vader mask and Play Dough. We will have to wait and see! On the agenda is lunch out, a Batman cake and if William gets to choose it will definitely be bowling again with his Finding Nemo bowling ball. Just remember though, just because you walk into the bowling alley with your own ball it doesn't make you a pro!! It's William's favourite thing to do though and we end up there at every opportunity.

William ready with his Finding Nemo bowling ball

Yesterday the OH, our eldest and OH's bestie went to watch the NFL game at Wembley. They had a fab time, it was booked so long ago but the wait was worth it. They had a fab time, enjoyed some American food before the match and we heard all about it the next morning. It turned into a very long day but definitely one they would like to repeat I think.

Enjoying a Wiener before the NFL match

Having survived the first day of Half Term and the 'storm' that hit we are now looking forward to the rest of the week. The storm wasn't as bad as anticipated but we did prepare ourselves after all of the news reports. It's best to be prepared and then hopefully not need it. I remembered back to the storm of 1987, I was 8 years old and myself, my sister and my brother all slept on our parents bedroom floor because of the noise outside. I was fully prepared to have all of ours in with us but we were very lucky to not be hit as bad as other parts of the country.

With the OH off work I am going to try and put him to work with doing done work on the 'still not finished, ongoing project' aka the extension. It still won't be finished before the youngest child moves out at this rate. We have also found a local farm that does pick your own pumpkin so that is our activity for tomorrow which William is very excited about. It will keep them busy and much more enjoyable than buying one from the supermarket. I am sure we will come back with more than one pumpkin as well!

Another task to contend with has been finding bridesmaids shoes for my two girls to wear for my sister's wedding. Over the Spring/Summer it would have been fine but trying to find wedding shoes in the shops at this time if year is like a Mum trying to go to the toilet without a child in tow! My Mum and I traipsed around a shopping centre last week and had no luck in every shop we looked in. My usual shoe shopping enthusiasm is wearing thin very fast and I usually love shoe shopping!

So there we have it. A busy weekend followed by Half Term with a few things planned and a feeling of 'will he, won't he' when it comes to OH and the extension work that needs to be done!

Hopefully the rest of the week goes well, unlike yesterday when William asked Daddy for some juice, when he was informed that there was none he exclaimed 'You've ruined my life'. Errrrr, slightly over dramatic, let's hope that nothing more serious than running out of juice happens or we could be in for the end of the world!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Dare I say it? Getting ready for Christmas! It's that time of year, time to buy, hide and store presents and survive Christmas chaos (organised honestly!) Some presents purchased and Santa at Harrods booked, yippeee!

Yes it's that time of year already. If I had one present to buy I would be out on Christmas Eve dodging crazed husbands who have forgotten to buy what their wives had asked for and fighting for the last dressing gown or pair of fluffy slippers on the shelf, I'm sure the OH would really appreciate those fluffy slippers too!

However, I have five children to buy for plus family and friends. I have Christmas plays, performances and sing songs to arrange my social life around rather than drunken work parties and weekend Christmas meals and drinks with family and friends, waking up the next day and forgetting who you even spoke to the night before. What has my life become?!

Anyway, the present buying has begun. Not because I am super organised, because I am not. I am the most unorganised person ever. I am amazed I get out of the door in the mornings with my hair tied back and some clothes on rather than my PJ's, I do manage it just. Even this week I haven't managed to get out of my PJ's though but then that's due to poorly children and having become housebound for the best part of nearly a week. My new friends, the four walls, don't say much so I have been able to talk freely amongst my new found group of 'friends'!!

Onto Christmas though, I do love this time of year. I don't like the cold weather that has crept up on us this week but then I should 'just put a jumper on' said in a stern voice aka hubby styley. I love the build up to Christmas which nowadays seems to start at the moment the children start back to school in September. First the cards crept onto the shelves then the wrap and tags crept out of the woodwork and before long we are plunged into whole aisles of festive delight in the supermarkets.

I had to be on the Harrods website super early back in September to book to go and see Santa, again not my super organised skills but if you don't book at that time then you don't go! I managed to get a Saturday which was good and so now our trip to London has turned into going to see Santa plus a trip on the London Eye in the dark afterwards and Nanny and Grandad are coming along too. I do look forward to it, OH thinks it's going to be busy as it's the last Saturday before Christmas but it will be lovely and festive too. I look forward to walking through the Christmas Market as well with the stalls of gifts and the smell of roast chestnuts and people drinking hot chocolate or a nice cup of mulled wine. This is probably our last trip to see Santa at Harrods as, although it has been our Christmas tradition since 2007, our eldest really doesn't want to see Santa anymore so I am dragging him along to get one last family photo of all five children and my job is done. I will have to think of something else for next Christmas to take the younger ones to.

Harrods is always a great day though. We go up and see Santa, look around the toy section, have lunch out and have a lovely day. Last year we ate in the Disney Cafe in Harrods which is highly recommended. Combined with the atmosphere of it all and seeing all of the excited children waiting to see him it's just lovely.

Meeting the fairy at Harrods Christmas Grotto

Mickey Mouse pizza at the Disney Cafe

Bumping into Jack Dee in Harrods Toy Department!

So, as I said, I have started purchasing already. Argos recently had 3 for 2 across all toys so that was taken advantage of, as was Smyths Toys 20% off. Yet again I am trying to shop only with offers or discount codes and so far so good. Boots 3 for 2 Christmas has also started across all of their Christmas gifts, toys etc.... and discount codes tend to pop up for supermarket websites as well as places like Disney Store, Toys r Us etc.... I will hopefully be able to update with offers and discount codes on the lead up to Christmas.

Before Christmas we still have one birthday coming up. Even though our 3 year old is still poorly it hasn't stopped him from adding to his birthday list! Currently standing at a Darth Vader mask, a purple lightsaber, a Batman costume, some play dough and the all important Batman birthday cake.

Oh the excitement of it all. I will leave you with a small Xmas activity to get you in the festive mood. We made these last year and gave them to relatives as small gifts. Very effective decorations made with little hands. :-)

Recipe for Christmas gift success

One of our finished creations from last year

Multiple gifts ready to hang from the tree. Our youngest was only 4 months old and these were the perfect size for tree hanging Santas! 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

DISNEY PLANES MOVIE SOUNDTRACK REVIEW, Another must see from the Disney film studios and soundtrack from Walt Disney Records

Today's review is for the Disney Planes movie soundtrack. As with all Disney films they never fail to deliver. We thoroughly enjoyed the likes of Cars and Cars 2 and so we knew Planes was going to give us the same excitement and laughs too. For boys, girls, Mums and Dads of all ages it is a must see and the soundtrack that goes with it is just as well thought through.

From above the world of "Cars" comes "Disney's Planes," an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty's not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty's courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar.

Hitting the cinema screens back in August 2013 it has already amassed a huge amount from box office sales and continues to do so, with the release of the Planes DVD due just in time for Christmas.

The Planes soundtrack album, released in August 2013 is jam packed full of amazing, catchy songs from the film. It features the original score composed by Mark Mancina plus 4 original songs and one bonus track.

Track List from the album is as follows;

1.      Nothing Can Stop Me Now Performed by Mark Holman
2.      You Don't Stop (NYC) Performed by Chris Classic and Alana D
3.      Fly Performed by Jon Stevens of The Dead Daisies
4.      Planes Score
5.      Crop Duster Score
6.      Last Contestant Score
7.      Hello Lincoln/Sixth Place Score
8.      Show Me What You Got Score
9.      Dusty Steps Into History Score
10.    Start Your Engines Score
11.    Leg 2/Bulldog Thanks Dusty Score
12.    Skipper Tries to Fly Score
13.    Dusty & Ishani Score
14.    The Tunnel Score
15.    Running on Fumes Score
16.    Get Above the Storm Score
17.    Dusty Has to Ditch Score
18.    Skipper’s Story Score
19.    You’re a Racer Score
20.    Leg 7 Score
21.    Skipper to the Rescue Score
22.    Dusty Soars Score
23.    1st Place Score
24.    A True Victory Score
25.    Honorary Jolly Wrench Score
26.    Skipper’s Theme (Volo Pro Veritas) Score 
27.    Love Machine Performed by Carlos Alazraqui and Antonio Sol
28.    Ein Crop Duster Can Race Performed by Carlos Alazraqui and Antonio Sol (Bonus Song)
29.    Armadillo

With amazing 29 songs from the film this album doesn't fail to deliver. From the fast paced lyrics of Nothing Can Stop Me Now to the bopping, get you dancing tunes of Fly which really gets you thinking back to the flying scenes from the film. Running on Fumes and Get above the Storm also set the tone for the movie with the effort and gusto of the music tempo translating into what is happening in the film. With 29 songs to choose from these soundtrack will keep you dancing for a long time. There is nothing better than a good soundtrack to take you back to your seats in the cinema and take you through the whole film again whilst getting you on your feet and dancing at the same time. 

If you don't have the soundtrack, get it. The songs are catchy, fun and fast paced and delivers what you would expect to hear to accompany the Planes film. A well composed score to a fab film. 

CAUTION Stay away! Sickness bug, Five children and It, It being a frazzled Mummy and a Daddy who says he feels ill, argh! Oh and my rare day/night out, afternoon tea and Rock of Ages.

So I nosedive head first into a blog post whilst I have five children under the influence of a sickness bug.

As if my washing machine doesn't see enough action as it is, it is currently working 24/7 covering extra shifts for his washing machine friend who has yet to grace us with his presence in our utility room.

Poor OH was left on Saturday so I could enjoy a rare day out for my besties birthday. I left him with one sick child and all he had to do was make it to bedtime with all of the children still alive. By the time I had reached London and was heading to Afternoon Tea in Covent Garden he was already messaging me to tell me that he had a man down! Our poor 3 year old was now being sick, OH did inform me that he had sat said 3 year old in front of the cricket and I came to the conclusion that this is what may have made him sick, either that or cricket tends to induce sleep!

Anyway, Afternoon Tea was lovely even if it was spent receiving messages from the OH with updates on the emergency hospital he had set up at home. We went to The Crusting Pipe in Covent Garden. It was soooo busy in Covent Garden itself, everyone was enjoying the various street artist or wandering around the market looking at the various treats on offer. There were 9 of us ladies who lunch in total and a fab afternoon was had. Afternoon Tea consisted of crayfish sandwiches along with buffalo mozzarella and tomato, salmon and cream cheese and also ham, cheese and pickle. Followed by scones and petit fours, or fancy nom noms as I said! All washed down with a couple of cups of tea. We chatted for ages about work, home, wedding plans, weddings just been,  and the all important birthday celebration we were there for, its not often your bestie turns 29 (again!).

Scrummy Afternoon Tea thanks to The Crusting Pipe, Covent Garden

Afterwards we walked through the market, and on to our theatre destination. Being slightly early we found a bar nearby to have a drink, who wouldn't?! By this time I had an update from OH that the baby was victim number 3 to the sickness bug, he had blessed Daddy with the honour of being puked all over just so Daddy knew for sure that he was unwell. I was doing my best to reassure OH via text message that all would be OK, I couldn't say I was going to be home soon because I wasn't and hope the evening goes as well as it can?!

The show was amazing, Rock of Ages, go see it if you haven't already. Full of songs that everyone knows even if you didn't think you did. We were singing along and lots of laughs too. The evening was ended by eating chinese in a box, which the bestie was really pleased that we found and it tasted good too. Our journey home was spent discussing what our super hero power would be, a very important issue to discuss right??!!

Rock of Ages cast, they were all brilliant

So from Saturday onwards myself and the OH spent our time playing doctors the various sick children, as well as a full on clean up operation every time one of them was sick. (Yuk!). This has gone on from Saturday until it ended (hopefully!) yesterday. Today, Thursday, is the first day that our 3 year old has woken up looking half human, it hit him hard and the poor wee one has been ill all this time. Mummy was hit by it on Tuesday and I spent the day trying to die in bed whilst dealing with everyone else being ill too. OH came home from work slightly early to help out and, luckily, hasn't been inflicted with illness yet. A) because we needed one well person to help everyone else and B) there is nothing worse than an ill man!!!!

Next blog post will be much cheerier and I refuse to let anyone else be ill in this house for a good few months at least!!! :-)