#30dayswild with the Wildlife Trust – our activities for days 16-30

Park gymnasticsWe’ve reached the end of the Wildlife Turst’s #30dayswild nature challenge and feel really proud of ourselves for taking part. I must admit that in the last week our efforts to fit new activities in around school combined with roasting hot weather were less successful than earlier in the month. We repeated some of our simple activities like taking slow wonder walks and appreciated the ideas given to us by the 30DaysWild app.  On the days we felt our activities were a bit mediocre it was a good reminder that every small act like picking up rubbish in the local park, taking our re-usable bottles out with us and having home-made picnic’s outdoors is an important way for kids to feel connected to nature and conscious of the impact their actions have on the world around them.  Here’s a summary of our latest acts of wildness as well as one from my wishlist that we didn’t manage this year but want to remember for next year.

Day 16 – reading one of Euan’s favourite nature stories at bedtime ‘The winter hedgehog’‘. When I said to E we hadn’t really done a random act of wildness today he immediately replied “yes we did, we went outside, we looked at flowers and Luca picked up pine cones on the way to Alfie’s party”. Oh yes!
#30dayswild_winter hedgehog - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 17 – we hadn’t even left the bedroom before Euan had hit upon his first #30dayswild activity for the day – pretending to be Walter the slug from Beatbugs using Luca’s IKEA tunnel! We visited my parents house for Father’s Day as G was working away and the boys had lots of fun playing in the garden with their cousins.

Day 18 – both boys were home with coughs and colds so making lunch using wild garlic pesto was about as wild as it got! My friend Sonia made the pesto after reading our blog post about foraging wild garlic in Cranham Woods. Luca and I went to the woods a few weeks later but the wild garlic was past it’s best and I’d forgotten to get the other ingredients needed so I’m claiming the delight of Sonia’s delicious pesto as my own! (and making a note to self for next year to buy hard cheese and olive oil before I go picking).
wild garlic pesto - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 19 – today was Euan’s sports day and the perfect opportunity for lots of drinking from re-usable bottles. As the activities went on for much longer than we anticipated we re-filled Euan’s bottle 3 times for sharing between us and L and I found mint leaves to infuse in it while seeking shade in the school’s peace garden. We were too busy keeping cool and following E’s class round the activities for pictures but I did snap one of E’s favourite event – Daddy bundle.
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Day 20 – getting up close and personal with a police dog called Napier. It was a wonderful opportunity for little ones to discover that animals can be more than pets and that police men don’t bite either!

Day 21 – on the longest day of the year, the summer solstice, G and E set off for Selsley Common to recreate E’s rock writing creations from our previous visit. G’s been working on his #SpacesGloucester music project and needed some extra footage for the film to accompany one of the songs. They worked together to produce the word ”LOVE” on the ground with the intention of filming it from the sky using a drone. The skies were a bit too windy in the event but they got some ground level footage and had some wonderful Father and Son time together.

Day 22 – a challenge for Euan to make something from nature out of Lego. He browsed my Lego-ing Pinterest board for ideas and opted for a parrot (with no instructions just careful observation of the photo)
Day 22 - #30dayswild - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 23 – we visited the allotment and planted the gift of wildflower seed that came with our #30dayswild information pack from Gloucestershire Wildlife
Day 23 - #30dayswild - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 24 – after Euan’s swimming lesson we took a walk to Gloucester Cathedral for a celebration day to mark the completion of Project Pilgrim.  Among the wonderful list of activities E took part in (archery, gargoyle face designing and badge making ) was making a mussy tussy, a posy of herbs and flowers used in medieval times to ward of nasty smells.  Euan was able to name the lavender (the bees really like it at the allotment) and rosemary (I’ve eaten Rosemary crackers before) but not sage (It doesn’t smell of anything).
Project Pilgrim celebration - E making a tussy mussy

Day 25 – park time straight from school with dinosaur friends on a hot day

Day 26 – George has Luca on a Tuesday but was finding it too hot to venture out.  So here’s an idea I came across on Pinterest while taking part in the #GreatBritishBeeCount to save for next year – making a solitary bees hotel
https://www.bakerross.co.uk/craft-ideas/kids/solitary-bees-hotel/

Day 27 – making pot pourri from rose blooms salvaged from a neglected garden in front of flats in our neighbourhood that are going to be knocked down
photogrid_15304612849482021670661.jpg

Day 28 – visiting Sanford Lido for an outdoor swim. It was so wonderful for Luca who was able to touch the bottom in the kids pool and the combination of sunshine and fresh air as we splashed really gave us the sense of being on holiday.

Day 29 – exploring the fabulous new garden area in front of Gloucester Cathedral.
Day 28 - #30dayswild - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 30 – last day and blogging about all our acts of wildness.  Sharing a random picture of the chickens we say hello to at the allotment every time we visit!
allotment chickens - nipitinthebud.co.uk-3
If you missed our first 15 days you can read about it here.  A big thank you to the Wildlife Trust for hosting the campaign and our local network of officers and volunteers who provide the wonderful activities in Gloucestershire.
#30dayswild collage - nipitinthebud.co.uk

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July 2, 2018 at 10:47 am 14 comments

Me and Mine project [June 2018]

19-6-18 - Sports Day Me and Mine June 2018 - nipitinthebud.co.ukJune flew by in a blink and I can hardly believe that the next time we join in with Me and Mine Euan will have finished another school year. He loves school and this month’s family portrait was a selfie taken at Sports Day. He really enjoyed throwing games but his favourite activity was definitely the Daddy Bundle.
19-6-18 - Sports Day_bundle - nipitinthebud.co.uk

June was still a really busy month for George between continued work on his Spaces music project website and preparations for the launch in September. He’s also a badminton coach and had several Sundays where he was tutoring, including the Father’s Day weekend. We managed to catch him for a quick card and present opening before he left for day.
17-6-18 - Fathers Day - nipitinthebud.co.uk
The boys and I spent the rest of the day with my Mum and Dad. My younger brother visited too with his family and it’s always really special time getting the cousins together.
17-6-18 - Fathers Day at Mum & Dads - nipitinthebud.co.uk
What family memories have you been creating this month?
To share yours or view other Me and Mine posts take a look at the linky on Lucy’s blog.

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

 

July 1, 2018 at 6:29 am 1 comment

gardening with kids – new friends and allotment grown elevenses

toddler and dog playing ball at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.ukLast week I visited the allotment for the first time with just Luca as Euan was at school and we’d not managed a weekend visit.  It was a beautiful sunny day and while we waited for Dave to arrive Luca made a new friend, a spaniel called Zac.  Zac kept picking up stones and dropping them at our feet as we talked to his owner Lesley.  She said he likes to play catch with stones but soon went off to find him a ball when we realised how good he was at intercepting every single throw and wincing at the clunking sound of stone on teeth.  Luca was in his element combining his love of balls and dogs and Mummy time.

Luca playing ball with Zac at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk-1-3.jpg

boy and dog at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk

toddler and dog at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Allotment - toddler and dog playing ball

excited dog at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk-1

Zac was getting so exhausted by the sun and ball play and we could see he would never voluntarily stop bringing the ball back to us.  So Luca and I said our farewell’s and headed down to Dave’s plot, not before stopping to say hello to some other allotment animals.

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We had a little explore while we waited for Dave to arrive.  I’ve always loved the ramshackled sheds at the allotment but over the years, as new plot holders have arrived, there have been more new ones cropping up.  I’ve always loved this shed which has gradually been grown over Virginia Creeper and turns an amazing red colour in the Autumn.  I encouraged L to go and knock at the door but he wasn’t at all keen!

allotment shed covered in Virginia Creeper  - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Our patch is coming along well and we picked some lettuce to take home.  We only have 2 carrots growing after our long weeks of waiting but it’s 2 more than last year!  Still no sign of our kohl rabi but I’m happy to see that the tomato plants we put in a few weeks ago are looking fab.   It’s thirsty work gardening so we always take our Oxo Tot twist top water bottle and on this occasion snacked on broad beans.

allotment thirsty toddler_oxotot twist top bottle - nipitinthebud.co.uk

thirsty toddler_oxotot twist top bottle - nipitinthebud.co.uk

It was the perfect time to pick the broad beans as there were very few black fly on them.  Dave plants his broad beans in November and I used to do this as well when I learnt that they escape the black fly by being ready to pick just that bit earlier than beans planted in February.allotment toddler in the broad beans - nipitinthebud.co.ukallotment toddler broad beans - nipitinthebud.co.ukallotment toddler eating broad beans - nipitinthebud.co.uk

We weren’t able to visit the plot at the weekend but hope to on Saturday.  So much changes when you can only visit every other Saturday.  Thank goodness we have Dave to keep an eye on things for us, especially with the upcoming heatwave next week.  If you’ve you’ve missed any of our other gardening with kids posts you can catch up with them by clicking the link.  Cheerio for now and happy gardening.
Keeping it real logo - debsrandomwritings.com copy

Photalife

June 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm 14 comments

foraging elderflowers to make cordial (with a little help from my friends)

elderflower cordial making - nipitinthebud.co.ukI love foraging and I love making cordials but since having children little of either has happened. My last attempt to make elderflower cordial was with a 1.5 year old Euan and it took all of his nap time just to prepare everything. My resounding memory was how time consuming it was between the car journey to forage, de-bugging the flower heads, chopping lemons and sterilising bottles. I had over-picked last time which meant doubling up quantities and I reached a new realisation that making in bulk is not always the best option!
elderflower heads - nipitinthebud.co.uk
When my friend Sonia said she’d like to make cordial for the first time and offered the use of her kitchen if I wanted to join her I was so excited. Luca and I foraged the elderflower from our local park next to Euan’s school and we picked just the specified quantity for the recipe Sonia was going to follow. It felt like no effort at all, just a lovely outdoor pastime and we were even able to use foraging as one of our #30dayswild nature activities.
Toddler picking elderflower - nipitinthebud.co.uk
It was so simple to turn our foraging and preserving into a play date and social activity. It was a gorgeous sunny morning when Luca and I went out foraging and we played in the park for 45 minutes before picking so our flowers would be as fresh as possible when we arrived at Sonia’s. Luca was such a willing helper and the flowers were beautifully pungent. Folklore suggests picking on a dry, sunny day results in more flavourful flowers and this certainly seemed to be true for our resulting cordial. We also didn’t see a single bug on our flower heads so the timing was just right.
Toddler picking elderflower for cordial - nipitinthebud.co.uk
The preparation of the elderflower heads for infusing this time round was as simple as giving them a little shake to check for bugs before sitting them upside down on top of slices of lemons. Sonia had a beautiful glass dish and her careful layering of lemons and positioning of flower heads was like watching an artist at work. I was inspired by her diligent approach and resolved to take more care next time I prepare food as I’m rather slap dash, focusing more on the speed and convenience of getting it done than giving due care and attention to the task in hand.
elderflower cordial sliced lemons - nipitinthebud.co.uk
elderflower cordial making_flower heads - nipitinthebud.co.uk
When I’ve made cordial before I’ve followed the method from the River Cottage preserves handbook where you soak the flowers in water with lemon zest overnight and then add the sugar and lemons the next day. This suited me when I made it as I wasn’t keen on having a sticky mixture infusing on a hot day and with 3 cats in the house. Sonia’s recipe involved using her Thermomix to make a hot syrup and then pouring this over the lemon slices and flower heads. She left it on the counter top overnight and Luca and I returned the next day for bottling and tasting. The flavour was much more intense and finely balanced from all of the ingredients soaking together. Some recipes recommend leaving the infusion for up to 3 days but I think there’s a danger of the lemons going bitter when left that long.
elderflower cordial soaking - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Elderflower cordial bottled - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Our elderflower cordial was so delicious to drink. It’s going down well with the boys today who are both home with coughs and colds. Both the elderflower and the lemons with their vitamin C content will be giving their immune systems a boost. Sonia plans to use her cordial in cooking too starting with a favourite cake recipe which includes home made gooseberry curd (she’s quite the foody and a real inspiration for re-kindling my love of preserving and trying out different recipes).

Sonia’s Thermomix elderflower cordial recipe
25 elderflower heads (we had about 40)
1.5 litres water
1750g sugar
4 lemons thinly sliced
50g citric acid

  • Make a syrup with 1 litre of water and the sugar.
  • Slice the lemons and layer in the bottom of a glass or stainless steel container.
  • Place the elderflower heads stalks upwards on top of the lemons.
  • Sprinkle the citric acid over the top and pour in half the syrup.
  • Add the remaining 0.5 litre of water to the syrup and mix.  Pour over the flower heads and lemons, cover and leave at room temperature for at least 10 hours or overnight.
  • Strain the cordial through a fine sieve (we used a muslin) and pour into sterilised bottles or jars.  Once cool store in the fridge.

preserved elderflower lemons - nipitinthebud.co.uk
A happy outcome of making the cordial this way was that we ended up with beautiful preserved lemons. I always feel a bit wasteful when making cordials or jellies involves throwing away pulp I wish I could dream up a use for. My initial idea was to keep the lemons to simply add to a glass of water but I love them so much I’ve just been eating them straight from the jar. I’m never going to make elderflower cordial any other way from now on and Sonia and I have decided to instigate seasonal foraging play dates ever after. Perhaps we might even try some of these other elderflower recipes.
preserved lemons - nipitinthebud.co.uk

June 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm 3 comments

best friend brothers |June 2018 siblings project

Telly watching brothers - nipitinthebud.co.ukThis is my second month jumping in with the Siblings project and unlike the Me and Mine project where it’s hard to get a picture of all 4 of us, I have no shortage of pictures of the boys together. They’re so used to me grabbing my camera and Euan especially is really co-operative about being snapped. I’m still learning about how to get them both in focus at the same time but sometimes the blur or less photogenic faces are exactly what capture a moment or memory.  Birthday kisses for Daddy, shot on my phone at 7am, is a case in point!
Birthday kisses for Daddy - nipitinthebud.co.uk

I think ice lollies will continue to feature in blog posts for the next few months. Euan’s current faves are Nobbly Bobbly’s and Mystery Lollies (where the flavour is not what you’d expect from the colour ie. the orange lolly is apple flavoured, the green lolly is peach).  Luca loves these traffic light lollies.
Brothers with ice lollies - nipitinthebud.co.uk

We’re visiting the allotment as often as we can but between school and busy weekends it’s sometimes only alternate weekends (as you may already know from reading our various ‘gardening with kids’ updates).  It really warms my heart not only to see them developing a genuine enjoyment for growing and a knowledge about the plants there but also the commaradery between them when it’s time for a break or I task Euan to keep an eye on Luca while I pop to get some tool or other from the shed.  They both love Dave our allotment guardian.
brothers working at the allotment
allotment growers - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Having an allotment has been really helpful for completing some of our challenges to get out in to nature or carry out an act of random wildness as part of the Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild nature challenge. We’re halfway through and if you missed what we’ve been up to you can read about our first 15 days here.

We had a fab trip to Cornwall during half term. One of the highlights was the time we spent at the beach and simply noticing how children get absorbed by what their doing, often only looking up to connect with loved ones to share comments about what they’re making. At Perranporth beach we spent a lovely couple of hours quietly observing the boys in their separate activities – Euan digging a big hole to sit in and Luca making sand shapes or walking backwards and forwards to the water to paddle. From time to time Euan would call to Luca to come and look at his work which Luca would dutifully do, smile and nod an ”oh yeah” and then toddle off again!

My last photos really amuse me and were the result of remaining in the background when I overhead this conversation.

(Euan) ”Hey Luca would you like me to draw some tattoos on your foot?
You would. Well ok then, would you like a duck or a bird?
A duck, great. There you go then.

(Luca) ”oh yeah. Gack. Nice

The duck was actually on the top side of Ls feet. He liked them so much Euan drew another bird on the bottom of his foot. Luca then attempted a scribble of his own and this was the only photo I could get as he turned my attempts into a chasing game and was full of wriggly giggles. Some people might have prickled at Euan’s question to Luca and intervened but I didn’t feel it was necessary to set a limit at this stage. As predicted Luca was thrilled by both the experience and the result.
toddler tattoos - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Euan's tattooed feet - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Euan tattooed his own feet beautifully too and when he asked me if he could do more drawings on Luca’s arms I gently said ”I think tattooed feet is enough” to which E replied ”yes I think you’re right”.

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful
Debs Random Writings

June 15, 2018 at 12:39 pm 9 comments

#30dayswild with The Wildlife Trust – our activities for Days 1-15

We’ve been having so much fun with the #30dayswild nature challenge. I thought I’d log details of what we’ve been doing as I’m sure we’ll want to join in again next year. On days when we’ve not been able to venture very far the Wildlife Trusts #30dayswild app has been brilliant and provided us with suggestions for things we wouldn’t necessarily have thought of. Like cloud watching which we do sometimes anyway but hadn’t considered it a challenge option. It was perfect on a hectic Friday that included all the fun of the school fete.

Day 1 – adding our bumble bee sightings in Gloucester to the #GreatBritishBeeCount

Day 2 – playing, drawing and bee spotting in our friends garden in Stroud. Nothing extraordinary about that but when you don’t actually have a garden of your own and haven’t seen your friends since January it’s pretty special

Day 2 #30dayswild - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 3 – more bee spotting in Gloucester for the #GreatBritishBeeCount but our first honeybees and carder bees in a friends garden this time

Day 4 – an early start to day 4 of #30dayswild with the return of the school run. 4 snails, 1 spider, 3 black bugs (not sure what they are), some ants, 5 cats, a swath of self-seeded poppies. Not bad for a 10 minute urban walk. The bees weren’t up yet 🐝.

Day 5 – a visit to the park after school with our picnic tea and spotting honeybees in the hedgerow on the way home (having forgotten to take any pictures at the park!)

honeybee in the hedgerow - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 6 – inspired by Zoe’s Artworks #30dayswildlifedrawing we collected leaves and flowers on the walk home from school for our 6 year old artist Euan to sketch.

Day 7 – my favourite so far, a blissful morning digging for worms, running barefoot through the grass, mud painting rocks and sniffing leaves from the herb garden at a friends house. Life doesn’t get much better than this when you’re 2 (and what a fabulous nap this boy had after all that fun!)

Day 8 – inspiration from the #30dayswild app on school Fete Friday.

Day 9 – a busy day out with the boys as a tourist in our own City! No wildlife encounters unless you count having to say ‘Hello‘ to every dog we pass on any walk with Luca. We spent the day in town enjoying the celebrations to mark 1100 years since the death of the Warrior Queen Aethelflaed who thought off Viking invaders and re-built the City. St Oswalds Priory where Aethalflaed was buried was transformed into an Anglo-Saxon camp for the weekend and the boys were excited to hear George perform his Aethelflaed song, produced as part of his Spaces Gloucester music project, as part of the celebrations.

Re-enacting Aethelflaed’s burial at St Oswald’s Priory – https://twitter.com/Glos_Lad

Day 10 – birdwatching, albeit from our bedroom, using our National Trust binoculars to observe a nesting seagull on a chimney pot

birdwatching_nesting seagull - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 11 – visiting the allotment with Luca who made a new friend called Zac and spent a happy half an hour playing ball with him. Later on we spotted a squirrel and snacked on Dave’s broad beans.

Allotment - toddler and dog playing ball

Allotment - toddler podding broad beans

Day 12 – more collecting of leaves and sticks on the way home. Euan and I turned sycamore seeds into dragonflies – an idea I’d pinned years ago!

#30dayswild - day 11 sycamore dragonflies - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Day 13 – foraging elderflower heads with Luca to make into cordial

#30dayswild - day 13 elderflower picking

Day 14 – bottling our elderflower cordial with the happy accidental result of making preserved lemon slices!

Elderflower cordial making - lemon slices

Day 15 – a toddler paced wonder walk back from school simply noticing curious things along the way.

It’s been interesting to see how our focus on #30dayswild has waned a little with the busyness of school and hectic weekends so it’s been really good to have the Wildlife Trust’s app to turn to for ideas. Best of all has been following the hashtag #30dayswild on Instagram and Twitter and seeking inspiration from others taking part in the challenge. I wonder how our next 15 days will look …..

June 15, 2018 at 12:26 pm 7 comments

gardening with kids – foxgloves, fizzy pop and photos

cherryade treat after allotment work - nipitinthebud.co.uk
We’ve only been getting to the allotment every other weekend but with the warmer weather we’re beginning to see more rapid change from visit to visit. Since sowing our first seeds towards the end of April we now have carrots, beetroot, runner beans, shallots, tomatoes and lettuce coming up. Kohl Rabi and watercress are still keeping us guessing and we’ve got some plan B plants we can allocate to their seed beds if they don’t ever appear. There’s not much space for anything else but I just couldn’t say no when Dave offered some sweetcorn and potatoes so we planted one of each anyway!
6 year old weeding - nipitinthebud.co.uk

We had lots to do in a short space of time on Saturday but both boys were keen to help out. Euan was pleased that Dave had left out some rubber gloves for us – he’s not yet got used to the idea of mud under his nails! He was pleased to see how easily the weeds came out when pulled up from the roots. Luca was a bit too enthusiastic and I hadn’t thought to point out the fact that we’d finished when I turned to see him pulling up some of our precious few carrot seedlings. He’s still trying to master walking along the wooden plank that separates our growing area from Dave’s blackberry bush so a few things were trampled in his eagerness to help.toddler weeding - nipitinthebud.co.uk
Euan was concerned that a fox glove plant was growing on the edge of our plot and that Luca’s leg had brushed up against it. We had spoken to him last summer when Luca was less mobile about the risks for children and animals if they ingest any part of the foxglove plant. Euan is extremely conscientious with any information like that but I could see he was becoming agitated by the thought of Luca touching it. He was finding it harder and harder to be rational about the risk being in eating them (which Euan knew he would never do but wasn’t so sure about a curious toddler). I asked Dave if he minded us removing it for Euan’s peace of mind and he didn’t and as I managed to dig it out with it’s roots intact he re-homed it down on his plot in the area where he likes to sit on his bench and take a break. They are beautiful plants after all and the bees especially love them.

re-homing foxgloves - nipitinthebud.co.uk

We took a break after all that work and the boys were excited about having Dave’s special drink, watered down Cherryade. In all honesty I think it’s E’s favourite part of allotment visits because we don’t have fizzy drinks at home and he’s always keen to know if Dave will be there at the same time as us! I took some pictures of the boys having their drinks and invited Dave into the frame too. It was nice to also have proof that I’m at the allotment with them when Dave offered to take one of me with the boys.allotment growers - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Mum and boys on the plot - nipitinthebud.co.uk

Euan excitedly asked if he could take a picture too and as he’d had some practice using my camera while we were on holiday I was happy to let him. I think he did a really good job considering he’s much smaller than we are.6 year old photographer's photo - nipitinthebud.co.uk

”Can I take some more pictures of the allotment” he asked shyly and when I said yes he took himself off photographing flowers, plants and other interesting things. He has a lovely eye for spotting things and is really responsible about putting the strap around his neck and holding the camera carefully.
I may have to dedicate an entire post to his photo gallery if he keeps this up!As always we came away from the plot with some fresh produce from Dave. Euan thought the cabbage made a rather good hat!cabbage hat at the allotment - nipitinthebud.co.uk
We’ve also been taking part in two nature challenges this month – #30dayswild with The Wildlife Trust and the #GreatBritishBeeCount with Friends of the Earth, photographing and logging sightings of bees. They certainly love purple and pink flowers especially the foxgloves (although they were too fast to snap them as they zipped in and out of the lovely bells).

June 8, 2018 at 11:00 am 6 comments

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About Nip it in the bud


Welcome to my blog about growing and cooking allotment veg since 2009 and growing sweet boys since 2012. Take a walk with us through our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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How to get your kids to eat your home made casserole? Cover it with their favourite #cullyandsullyuk chicken soup. Winner!
I learnt a new word today and if there was an emoji for it then it would be this! PIZZLED, when your pissed off and puzzled all at the same time. Thank you #rubywaxfrazzled for the language education and Euan for the always hilarious faces (he was 4 years old and eating lunch out with his new 2 month old baby brother so his face could be saying all sorts of things!) #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog
I don't suppose many people recall the exact date they found out they were pregnant or have a photo to mark their total delight. 15/8/15 we found out our second miracle Luca was on his way. We'd become second time parents in our 40s and 22 years after we started dating. Our boys were so worth the painful years of waiting. (And our picture to mark the occasion is thanks to Mum and Dad babysitting Euan so we could go to a friend's wedding evening do.)
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Best friend brothers. Our #siblingsproject post for this month (link in bio) #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife
It's so hard to grieve the loss of your Mum when just looking in the mirror each morning reminds you of what you're missing. Dad always said "thankfully you get your looks from your Mum" with a cheeky twinkle in his eye.
Regrann from @the_tightrope_walker - Emotional Impact 🎗. “CCLG parent survey reveals the emotional impact of childhood cancer.” I read an article by @cclg_uk ; it highlights many of the daily feelings that most parents & carers experience after a child is diagnosed with cancer. We have been unbelievably blessed to have had fantastic support around us since Dylan was diagnosed. The parents at school devised a meal rota & every Friday for months someone would drop over a week’s worth of home cooked food for us to put in the freezer. The amount of pressure that took away from us was immense; we would often be in hospital on rotation with Dylan overnight so it really helped...it particularly helped Ruari as Nick & I were often not home until late 💔. Whilst we are surrounded by wonderful friends & people who bend over backwards to help there is still an indescribable darkness that hangs over you once you receive the news that your child has cancer. Emotions are often unpredictable as are the minutes, hours & days. Some days you feel able to talk, other days you just don’t want to get out of bed such is the weight that you carry around constantly. This article touches on so many subtleties & there is little I don’t identify with. The sense of loneliness & isolation, the stress & crippling anxiety, the grief at the loss of a “normal” life, the lack of awareness, the things people say that cut through you...it goes on. The article also highlights the improvement needed in focusing on the parents & carers who are going through horrendous emotional & psychological battles whilst watching their child being treated for cancer. There is such a long list of unseen side effects besides the side effects of the treatments that these children have to endure in order to hopefully be cured. Childhood cancer affects absolutely everything; life really is never the same again & whilst we all wait for our “new normal” we’re still working out how to come to terms with losing the old normal & dealing with perpetual shock. If you have a moment, please read it (link in bio). You never know who might benefit from this kind of awareness. #ccam #livingwithcancer #emotionalimpact #childhoo
3 years of first day at a school photos. How is this little guy growing up so fast - nearer 7 years old than 6! #lovethisboy💙 #nipitinthebudblog
This morning's special time/art therapy with E 💕
I've been living in this t-shirt for the last week. The lovely Jo @drift.n.dream made it for me to go with E's rainbow t-shirt and I'd planned to write a blog post about the joy of rainbow babies after loss. Instead it's soft cosiness has been comforting me through the loss of my Mum at a time when it can be hard to even leave the house. I think I may well have to get more custom orders done with encouraging little mantras on - what would you choose?
I'm making @seasonalshaheen 's spicy tomato chutney today with allotment grown tomatoes (details on the blog). I love this recipe as it's great if left to mature but also good straight away, especially as a base cheese on toast or pizzas. #nipitinthebudblog #allotmentgardening #chutneyaddict
When you have special time with one boy and the other decides Daddy isn't all that interesting and falling asleep on the bathroom floor is a better option! @hand_in_hand_parenting #nipitinthebudblog

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