Wednesday 27 February 2013

08/52 - A Portrait a Week

A bit late with the weekly portraits of Coco and Henry this week.
Behind, late, haven't got around to it yet - there is a theme around here at the moment!

Coco  - "I'm just writing in my diary" at half term in the headdress she put together from the feather/leaves I made.
Henry - Bold as ever at the top of the slide, he is still pretty much up for trying anything, but sometimes he tells me "it's quite hard Mummy".

Taking part in Jodi's 52 project.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

From Borough to China Town

I wrote this post last week, but due to the small people being around all week for half term I didn't actually get around to posting it... better late than never... maybe!?

Last Saturday we had a day wandering - a bit like Hugh and I used to do pre children.
We started off at Borough market, we didn't get there quite as early as we planned to (that never happens!), but we were still early enough not to feel like we were in everybodies way with a buggy and two small children.

Just looking...

Coco had her camera with her... and Henry who thought the market was just a free for all.

Checking out the langoustine. Yum.

Found some great mexican food at the Cool Chille Co. we'll be trying these tomorrow - probably with one of Lia's recipes.

Henry and Coco both liked my 'dirty' toasted cheese sandwich. Essential Saturday morning coffee.

After a while somebody got a bit weary...

So we walked along to the Tate...

Where there was some silly shenanigans going on in the turbine hall with people pulling their kids around on tarps. We joined in, obviously.
And I popped to the shop and bought some children's birthday presents.

As Henry blatantly didn't sleep we decided on doing a bit more walking to try and get him to snooze in the buggy... so over the wobbly bridge we went.

After a bit of a dawdle and a bit of a bus ride we made our way to China town and as Coco had been bringing home dragon masks and snake puppets and Chinese lanterns from school in celebration of Chinese new year all the week before we decided to have a Chinese meal...

... the new year meal at Yauatcha to be exact. Dim sum yum.

And we let Coco choose some macaroons to bring home for pudding...
Quite a lot considering we didn't really have a plan at all. It's days like this that make me love London, there is so much on offer and so much to enjoy, discover and rediscover. This time last year: What we did in half term (which is pretty much exactly the same as last week - even including my sister visiting)!

Sunday 17 February 2013

07/52 - A Portrait a Week

Coco: In your own world on our day out - we could have lost you 100 times, you danced to buskers, stood in awe looking at statues, ran like the wind in the turbine hall at Tate Modern and dawdled through the market.
Henry: Thrill seeking - one minute you are having the time of your life and the next you are screaming 'my turn' and are distraught at the prospect of not having another go at being pulled around on a piece of fabric!
Like Abigail I couldn't choose between these two photos so I've put them both in - I probably would have chosen the screaming one, which is a bit unfair on Henry as generally he is very good natured, the problem is, when he screams he screams loud.

One portrait of each of my children for each week of 2013 - started by Jodi at Che & Fidel.

Friday 15 February 2013

Small Photographer #2

Henry taking a photo of me taking a photo of him.

The result of me always having the camera close to hand and insisting on trying to photograph everything is that both Coco and Henry are pretty into cameras.

Henry quite likes playing with Coco's 'child friendly' camera, but most of all he likes the real deal. Yesterday I was trying to teach him to only touch the buttons and NOT the lens. Hmmm probably 10 minutes of my life wasted there; note the multitude of finger prints on my lens above.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Happy & Love

Coco's spontaneously and speedily executed card for Hugh - which she actually left by his side of the bed on Monday when he came back from being away for a few days.

Quick snap just before leaving for school as Hugh wanted to take his card into work.

I failed to make my wonderful, ever patient husband and partner in crime, who I LOOOOOOVE very very much a card. Which is bad.
I love you Hugh!

Monday 11 February 2013

Waking Henry

One of the things I dread doing at the moment, but have to do almost daily is to wake up Henry.*
At five to three I creep upstairs and as gently as possibly I say, "come on Henry, wake up, time to go and get Coco".

Generally this is ignored and his eyes close even tighter in a childlike denial kind of way. He resists, he cries,
"No Mummy, sleep time" he says. "Lie down" he protests as I pick him up from his warm cocoon of a cot.

Then I have to tell him that we're going on the bike.
"Buggy... car!?" he desperately tries to negotiate, and it's only with the promise of banana or raisins that I normally get him transferred to the bike seat.

When the helmet is pulled on he really wakes properly with the volume of his own protests... sometimes the wailing is the soundtrack all the way to the school gates.

I'm really trying to bring his sleep time earlier but sometimes even if I put him down at 12.30 he doesn't actually drop off to sleep until 2 or later. It's so frustrating!
Not fun for Henry, and not much fun for me.

This is the face that is saying, "no, please don't make me get up Mummy". Or maybe, it's just "this is weird, why are you taking photos of me in bed?".

*Yep one of those disclaimers - which I feel compelled to add whenever I'm about to moan about anything.
I know I should just be counting my blessings that he still has a nap, and I much prefer that he naps and I have to wake him than that he didn't nap at all but, you know, I still don't like doing this.

Sunday 10 February 2013

06/52 - A Portrait a Week

Henry: You need to learn to use the break properly before you go so fast on the scooter, and your Mummy needs to remember you're not as in control as you seem.
Coco: Curled up on my Dad's knee listening to him her a story. Sometimes I forget how young you still are.

Doing project 52, like many others, as started by Jodi at Che & Fidel

Friday 8 February 2013

At Home - Bits and Bobs

Some photos from around the house this week. Just because.

1. Been drinking lots of tea, even more than normal, this is a new Christmas mug; yes I always make loose leaf tea in a pot we have a house blend (I'm so refined you know), you should pop by and try it sometime.

2. A reminder that I no longer commute to work, my slightly tired looking oyster card holder has been retired to the mantlepiece. And a feather that's been hanging around for ages.

3.  Love our plate wall... might have to expand it soon.

4. Coco's card to Henry - she has started putting glasses on herself in self portraits. Oh look - a plate to be added to the wall - well a saucer in fact from my lovely tea cup that broke.

5. Making paper feathers and writing to-do lists (ish). Do all those post it notes sticking out of the top of my diary make me look organised? I'm trying...
They are these ones that I got ages ago from Papermash and have been not using because they are so pretty (not that you can really tell in this photo) but then I decided to get over myself.

6. My pens, make no mistake these children are not allowed to use these pens. I have quite a lot of rulers too. And a coaster with a feather on (there's a bit of a feather theme going on). Our plastic pockets that are tucked away sort of out of sight in the kitchen and hold all sorts of delights from postcards to library cards to bits of books that have been pulled out and are patiently waiting to be returned from whence they came, and other stuff I can't bare to throw away like the Tootsa MacGinty label from Henry's jumper because it's printed beautifully on such a satisfyingly heavy card. I'm beyond help.

**Ok this post has just taken me about two hours to write. How, I don't know... and I just read it back and it's so boring, but I'm publishing it anyway because I've just spent two hours doing it and not posting it would be a waste, but seriously I do think I'm going mad sometimes. Why do I take photos of my pens? That's not really sane is it. I have limited free time without kids and I do ^^ this ^^ what am I thinking. 
Josie's post from yesterday feels VERY relevant to where I am at the moment and my blog is my outlet, so forgive me if you've got this far in reading, which means you must be really bored, oh, you're at work? That explains it then.
Now I'm typing as if there is someone reading this. Which I'm sure there isn't.

Monday 4 February 2013

Coco's Photo Challenge

A couple of weeks ago, while on a very mundane trip to the shops I gave Coco a photo challenge (mainly using her annoying camera that I mentioned in this post)

She had to look for colours and take photos of them.
We made a list, and off we went.

It was a great way to keep her occupied while I did our chores*
Yellow lines, which we'd actually had a big discussion about earlier in the week (I know, it was about as thrilling as it sounds).

For red she got Henry's coat and part of a road sign.

Pink was accomplished by a very instagram-like selfie and she found a very productive market stall. There were lots of bits of shop windows (the blue photo at the top was a shop window) and a good number of near-miss photos of the road while trying to capture a red bus.

I'm going to devise some more challenges for the coming months (or am I just forcing my hobby on my daughter.... hmmm, oh well, she can always say no).

*I was being a single parent for the weekend, which I worry is generally a bit boring for Coco, I tend to take it slower and keep things simple, there is an unmistakeably different pace of life around here when Hugh is away.  I've been trying to sum it up in a separate post, but somehow can't capture what it's like, except that everything is harder than normal, so then I just sound like a right old moaner! Got a solo weekend looming now... better get the next photo challenge ready.

Sunday 3 February 2013

05/52 A Portrait a Week

Coco: On the sofa after a night of being sick ("about 13 times"), she takes feeling ill pretty well. She is sleeping on the sofa as I write and missing a birthday party :-(
Henry: Loves cleaning his teeth and toothpaste and opening toothpaste, eating toothpaste, giving Coco her toothbrush and all teeth cleaning related activities.

Joining up with Jodi on her 52 project.

Funny that both these photos (taken on different days) have ended up looking very beige. I'm finding it quite a challenge to get nice daylight photos, especially of Coco in the week as by the time we are home after school the light is already beginning to fade. I need to get better at taking effective low level light photos and at taking my proper camera with me when we are out and about.

Friday 1 February 2013

Clutter on the Mantlepiece, Clutter in my Head

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment -

I've got so much to do that I can't seem to even write a to do list.
Even the small simple easy-win tasks feel too much - meal planning,* food shopping, sorting out all the too big/too small kids clothes that are currently all over our spare bed, and have been for about a week now (etc etc)
When I have time I have no energy and when I have energy there are these funny small people hanging around that seem to suck it from me!
At five o'clock when I'm pulling something out of the hat for Coco and Henry's supper ('pasta pesto again' says Coco) I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, the free time of the evening and I'm mentally planning all the stuff I'm going to do. By 8.30 or so after the marathon of dinner, bath, stories, bed, our dinner*, clearing up I just feel... flat. Done.

I've got so many plans and ideas and things I want to be involved in/stay involved in, people I want to see and things I want to do and also I want to enjoy THIS time, with my family, now.
And it's all exciting, and it's all good.
So I'm going to stop complaining.
Thanks for listening.

*who am I kidding - I always think I'll do meal planning and I never do.
*yes, Hugh, I know you normally cook dinner and probably clear up too...