Thursday, 17 November 2016

Wolverhampton Folk - Get You're Kids To the Theatre

It is no secret of mine that I love, like LOVE the Theatre. No secret at all. And, before I became Mommy. The Theatre was pretty much my second home. I worked there, performed there and had some of my happiest times there. So, I always love spreading the happiness Theatre can bring and that is what this post is all about.
Now, I am so sorry to disappoint. But, this post is regarding a 'Wolverhampton' Theatre. Apologies to those not from that way or not close enough to visit. But, a huge big up to those that are.

So, let's talk Theatre. You cannot deny just how good Theatre can be and is for Children. It's a wonderful sensory experience full of visuals that engage our imaginations helping them grow in confidence as both performers and audience members. It allows our Children to get creative and watch some of the best creators at work. Theatre is an all round good egg for anyone of any age really. But, for kids, it really can be something very magical. Something not to be missed and it should be experienced by everyone.
And, with that all in mind allow me to share a few productions that are coming to the ARENA Theatre, Wolverhampton this Festive period that are aimed purely at Children and will not break the bank.

Rapunzel and Her Witch
Sunday 4th December - 11am & 1pm
Monday 5th December - 11am
Tickets £5

 A fantasy for 3-7 year olds and their families.

“Stuck in a tower, hour after hour” she sings to herself. What would you do? Join us for a tall tale of princes and pigtails, of potions and pizzas, as Rapunzel begins to find out there is more to life than just the visits from her Witch…

Multi award -winning Artistic Director Kinny Gardner creates a whole new take on this classic tale, with beautiful puppets, magical transformations, and fully integrated Sign Language. Showcasing Krazy Kat’s mastery of visual storytelling, and bristling with creativity and humour, this is an ingenious and imaginative theatre show with big laughs!

Suitable for both deaf and hearing audiences.

Where's My Igloo Gone
Tuesday 6th December - 10.30am & 1pm
Wednesday 7th December - 10.30am & 1pm
Thursday 8th December - 10.30 am & 1pm
Tickets £5

Oolik is an ordinary girl who goes on an extraordinary journey…Sitting in her igloo, a drop of water falls on Oolik’s head. Then another! Is her home melting? Join Oolik as she sets out on a journey to find help. On her way she meets some exciting friends –  including YOU!”
Where’s My Igloo Gone? creates a dazzling, icy world of soaring snow geese, pet husky dogs, starry nights and fishing adventures. And the kind of cold that makes your skin tingle! Travelling through snowstorms, across oceans and into our hearts, Oolik is not the kind of girl to give up on her quest…

A fun, participatory show intertwining action with evocative live music and song, staged in the round so everyone can see and take part.

The Colour of Me
Saturday 10th December - 11am & 2pm
Tickets £5

Join us in a magical world of colour. Can you feel the excitement of the deep blue sea, the green peacefulness of nature, or bravely go where no child has ever been… inside an orange?

But do watch out for red, who is sometimes very cross...

Come and experience the beautiful rainbow of emotions that lives inside each and every one of us. What colour are you today?
With live music and projection this interactive dance theatre performance promises to delight, tickle and inspire young audiences.

Come on folks. You've got to admit these all sound pretty good. I shall be attending a few of the above with my Family. So, I will hopefully see a few of you there.

To book tickets for any of the above shows, give the ARENA Theatre a call on: 01902 321 321

Arena Theatre, Wufruna Street, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, WV1 1SE

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Momma Moose Recipe - A Slow Cooker Chicken

It always surprises me how many people I meet here and there that are bewildered when I explain that for tea we are having a slow cooker Chicken. "What? You've put a WHOLE chicken in the slow cooker?", "No way!?! I didn't know you could slow cook a chicken in the slow cooker?", "What's it like? A slow cooked chicken?"
Well, with all these questions in mind, I thought I best pop a little post up for all you non-believers.
A chicken cooked in the slow cooker is lovely and juicy. And, yes it isn't the same as a chicken roasted in the oven. It's a little softer and less crispy. But, it's a great time saver and great if you have a busy day with your Family. There's nothing better than having a fun filled, busy day and be in the knowledge that there is a hearty, healthy cooker dinner waiting for you at home with very little needing done to it.

Here's what you go to do:
  • Grab yourself a chicken (of any size)

  • Grab yourself a small dish. I guess, tea cup size. This is to stop your bird sticking to the bottom of your cooker. As the chicken is slow cooked, it does fall off the bone. So, if it sticks you're in trouble.

  • Pop the dish upside down in the slow cooker and plonk you're lady on top of it, central.

    • Now, this is your total preference here. Chuck in the slow cooker whatever herbage you have or want (within reason. Don't go lobbing a whole mint bush in there) In this particular instance, I popped in thyme and seasoned with salt and pepper. Sometimes I pop an onion or a lemon up the Chicken 'Woo hoo' for extra flavour. That my friends is up to you. Just do what you got to do to suit your Family.

    • Happy days. Now, I guess this depends on what you're doing daywise and how long you're planning on being out. I always get this prepped and on early morning with the intention of eating at about 4.30 - 5.00. This being the case pop your slow cooker to low and leave it all day to do it's thing. Obviously, adjust time and temperature according to you.

    • And, VOILA! You're chicken is ready and if you've been super on it you're veg and potatoes are prepped and ready to go to. Nice and easy, super simple. In all honesty, If yo can quickly chop your potatoes and get them in a pan of cold salty water and your veg chopped and ready to go - You are on to a winner!

    Let me know if you give this bad boy a go. Plus, please share if you have any other super slow cooker recipes that we simply must know about.

    Thursday, 10 November 2016

    Our Reaction To John Lewis Christmas Advert

    It is that time of the year again. The John Lewis Christmas advert kind of time. And, as A Family we love love love anything to do with Christmas. So, as you can imagine this advert has been a big hit in our household. So much so that we filmed our reaction watching it. Proper Gogglebox styley. Actually, we totally stole the idea from that super parenting duo - The Fletchers (Tom and Giovana.) But, it's just such a lovely thing to share with everyone. Especially, when the Internet and the World is such a miserable place to be right now. Enjoy!


    Wednesday, 9 November 2016

    Yesterday Sucked. Today Was Better.

    Yesterday proved that I am only Human and that at times things don't always go to plan. And, I believe that goes for everyone. We all have bad days, we all get over whelmed and we all feel out of our depth and that's because we are only human. Well, most of us have a fair bit of super hero running through our veins but you know what I mean.
    It's so easy as a Parent to put way too much pressure on yourself and allow silly things to get you down.
    I mean I woke this morning with yesterdays awful day still on my mind when what I should have done was wake fresh and ready for a new day. I should have left yesterday in yesterday and focused on today because bad days happen, they come and they go. Ultimately though, they do go. So, stop applying that pressure on yourself and give yourself a break. So, you have had a bad day, that's okay. It's done, you did it and it has gone now. Chin up.

    And, on that note, just in case you were wondering - Today, for me was loads better than yesterday and I hope yours was too.

    Tuesday, 8 November 2016

    This Momma Had A Bad Day

    See my Son's face above? That totally mimics mine right now. I tell you if I were a drinker I would totally be drunk by now. No question.
    What a day! What a flamin' day. I can honestly say that I have not had a day that has gone to pot quite like today has in a very long time. And, it has grabbed me by the nipples and shook me, I'm not going to lie. I am exhausted and totally through with today.
    It started with all good intentions.
    An early 6am wake up call from the eldest which was a bit of a boob ache. But, acceptable. I could deal with that. Breakfast went to plan and my Daughter had a fairly lengthy lie in - Winner! So, I cracked on with my jobs and could see that my eldest was feeling a little better. Thank the heavens. He had his Flu vaccine last week and it seriously knocked him about at the weekend. H ecoughed himself sick in the car on Saturday. But, that's another story.
    Once my Daughter had woken and eaten, we headed to Town. Now, I don't normally go out much in the Morning unless I can guarantee being home by about 11.30 as that is nap time for all bar my eldest really. So, I had my Morning all planned and in my mind was pretty certain that I could get all done including the food shop before nap time.
    Everything was going somewhat to plan. Clothes exchanged, I'd been to the bank, brought a Christmas Present or 2 and been to the library to return and borrow books (surprise surprise.) It was whilst in the Library I noticed my little girl starting to come down with what my Son had developed over the Weekend. She was red eyed, snotty and very groggy so we called it a day. Got to the car, got coats off, hats off, gloves off, got them all in their car seats belted up, shopping in, push chair flattened and in, got myself in and drove to the ticket booth with a queue of leaving traffic behind me. I pop my ticket in the machine, go to pay only to find out that I no longer have my card. Shit! Where the hell is my card? There is a queue of cars behind me wanting to get off this god forsaken car park and I cannot find my card. I don't have my card. Oh man. Cue me bashfully getting out of my car to usher the traffic behind out of the way as I embarrassingly explain that "I can't pay."
    Once I have managed to work my way back to a car parking space I feed a very hungry baby in the drivers seat whilst my 3 year old cries that he is hungry and my Daughter gets crankier by the second in the back. Feed finished and I GO, I go go go as fast I possibly can. I must have looked ridiculous as I literally threw the pram open, chucked the kids in and ran full force to the bank with my Son under my arm like I was taking part in a bush tucker trial or something.
    Please tell me it's there, please tell me it's there, please tell me it's there. YOU BETTER GOD DAMN BE THERE!

    The poor lady on the desk at the Bank must have thought I was about to rob the place as I skidded around the corner and flung myself into the branch quicker than Dash from the Incredibles. I was out of breath, my Children were screaming and my wooly hat was hanging off the back of my head like Dappy. Only, not a cool Dappy, a really uncool Dappy with crap hair as I thought I could totally get away with not wearing any product today. Yeh, that worked!

    "My card." I panted. "My card! Tell me you have my card!"


    Okay. So, my Morning sucked. Like sucked real hard. But, surely it can't get any worse can it? ... Cue the sick. Like, sick EVERYWHERE .... Greeeeeat!
    Off home we go and I desperately wanted and needed to go food shopping. But, in my mind all wasn't lost on that front. I could go home, let my little lady sleep and then go shopping early evening. Plan!
    No plan!
    I'd got the kids ready after all their naps to go shopping and quite literally threw myself down the stairs landing in a big sore heap on the floor crying like a baby.

    In all honesty. It would be nice if today was forgotten about and wrote off promptly.

    Monday, 7 November 2016

    My Birth Story 3rd Time Round

    None of my 3 labors have been straight forward really. 11 days late, 4 day labor, high blood pressure, dropped heart rate, ventouse and episiotomy with my 1st and reduced movements, induced 2 weeks early, 3 pessaries and a drip with my 2nd. So, honestly I was not expecting wonderful things this time round. But, as awful as some parts of it was this labour was probably the smoothest and most enjoyable (if you can use that word and labor in the same sentence) out of them all.
    Now quite alot of you have asked about my labor. So, I thought I'd jot it all down in here for you and then you can do what you will with it.

    Due on the 22nd of September but arrived on the 30th. I knew he would be late. I didn't voice it. But, I knew it. So, when folk were saying "It's your 3rd. It will fly out nice and early." I knew they were wrong and there would be no such thing as early with this one. But, I did start to question my instincts when 3 weeks before my due date tightening's had started and they were a fair bit stronger than any Braxton hicks I've ever known. They weren't comfy and my uncomfortableness only got worse from there on in. The tightening's didn't stop. That's it. They were there, going no where but giving me nothing to show for them.
    "This is it" my Husband kept saying. "Today is the day" he'd say as he went to work leaving me in the knowledge that really it wasn't 'it' at all and I had to go through another day in pain, super tired due to lack of sleep and getting more and more fed up as the days went on. This went on for over 2 weeks. I was getting more and more tired meaning my anxiety levels were growing with each tightening and passing day. I was ready for labor. I had prepared myself mentally and was actually quite looking forward to it. But, the more the days went on like this the more nervous about the whole thing I became. I desperately wanted the birth to go okay. I didn't want a repeat of our Son's labor. And, the longer this was going on for the higher the chance of a tired, stressed baby just like labor 1 and this was starting to panic me. If I was this exhausted from it all, how tired must the little human inside me have been?
    I remember attending my 38 week midwife appointment and her being convinced that I wouldn't be seeing her again as the baby would have arrived by my next appointment for sure... I saw her again, twice.
    My due date arrived. But, no baby. My pain continued and my tiredness was increasing but I was trying to remain positive and I think I was doing quite a good job of attempting high spirits. I was out walking every day and keeping pretty active in the hope that things would kick off soon. Nothing.
    At 7 days overdue I was booked in for a sweep. So, I attended with my Husband, had the sweep and then received my induction date - 7 days away. Another 7 days like this if my body doesn't go into labor naturally?!? I can't do it. I am tired from the pain, tired from no sleep, tired from the worry and I have another 2 small children that need me to be alert, positive, on the ball, fun and the best Mom that I can be. But, at that moment I couldn't be any of those things. So, I broke down a little. I got upset and told the midwife exactly how it was. I wasnt lying or making it up. I knew my body and i knew something was going on and had been for a while. She listened as I cried and popped me on the monitor. within no time at all my induction date had been changed to 6 O'clock that evening - Oh shit! Now hold on a minute ....
    Hubby went home to sort the kiddlets, dog and house while I was taken through to the Ward. It was all becoming real now. I would meet my baby in no time at all. There was no going back. Not that I thought there ever was but you know what I mean.
    6 O'clock came and it appeared that sweep was doing it's thayng. I was contracting nicely on my own and they didn't want to interfere anymore really. So, left me be to see what would occur. Karl was sent home and I hit 4cm on my own on the ward. At this point Karl was called back (3am) and I was sent to delivery where my waters were broken and with gas and air my baby boy was born at 6.48am.
    The delivery it's self was a nice experience really. Yes, it hurt like hell and yes at the time I would have used anything but the word 'nice' to describe the experience. But, actually compared to my 1st and an induction it was. It was just the build up, the slow labor that really sucked. I felt silly. I felt like no one believed me. How could I possibly be in the pain I was in and it not go anywhere? I knew that was what people would have thought. Not only was I tired from all of that. But, I was tired of letting people down r rather that was what it felt like at the time, especially my hubby who was so desperate to meet our new arrival. Every day I'd call to say I'd been having more contractions and every day we would go to bed that night excited waking up the next morning to no labor, no baby.
    I am so thankful to the midwife that could see how upset I was, how worried I was. I'm glad that she took a moment to listen to me and recognise that this wasn't right.
    In the grand scheme of things a slow labor is nothing compared to what some Mothers have to go through and I really shouldn't have moaned or be moaning. But, at the time I was in the grip of worry and it felt awful. It's funny isn't it? I'm not the kind of person that wears her emotions on her sleeve. I don't get upset in front of people easily and I rarely get emotional. Anxiety isn't something I feel often either. Most would describe me as too laid back on a daily basis. But, when my baby was involved I just couldn't help it. I got to boiling point and boiled over.

    There. Totally laid bare for you.

    Friday, 4 November 2016

    Halloween 2016

    Halloween came and went a bit for us this year really. It isn't something the kids are that stoked about at the minute if I'm honest. However, I'm sure that will soon change as I did notice that my eldest's excitement around this time of year is sure growing. So, who knows perhaps next year we will be the spookiest house on the block with 10 pumpkins to boot.
    We weren't total Halloween scrooges though. Oh no. We did get a little spooky. The kids and I spent a lot of time chatting all things Halloween and driving around all the new estates in town checking out the ghoulish decor, blood stained windows and cobwebbed bushes. I know, I know try explaining the blood stained windows to a 3 year old. Ermmmmmmm. Blood staining aside, he did enjoy looking at the scary houses and seeing the Children all dressed up for their night of trick or treating.
    I did also dress the kiddlets up. Well sort of. It was skeleton pyjamas for Mini-Moose, A skeleton all in one for Minier-Moose and a Tigger Babygro for Miniest-Moose. Come on, I gave it a go didn't I? AND, we had 6 pumpkins sitting outside our house. Now, my intentions were good honest. But, this Momma may have forgotten to by candles. So, carving our pumpkins was a no go. However, it would appear that Halloween themed stickers work absolutely fine and sticking them onto pumpkins is actually really fun. My little ones loved doing this. Plus, there was no scary knives to contend with. WINNER! Oh and I did have a skeleton, a spider and a ghost hanging off the railings in front of my house.
    What am I talking about? We didn't have a quiet Halloween at all ours was totally wild. Obviously .... (Tumble weed)
    So, there you have it. That, in a nutshell (A small nutshell) was our Halloween. Nothing fancy, nothing frilly. Not really worth writing about really let alone reading about. But, the intention with my Blog has always been that my Children can one day look back on it and relive their childhood and see what they got up to. So, there you go kids - Halloween 2016 you got up to .... Nothing. Well, nothing much. But, what we did do you very much enjoyed. :-)

    Thursday, 3 November 2016

    My Children Watch NO Grown Up Television

    It is totally true. Now, I feel that I always have to say this when writing down my experiences and 'own doings' with my Children. But, please don't take this post as something you 'should' do. I am in no way knocking those that choose differently from me. I am merely just jotting down mine and our choices. So, no disrespect to anyone.

    Anyway, back on it. Yep, it is totally true. Neither of my older kids have watched ANY 'grown up' television. Not with their Dad or I anyway. It is just something that we have never done. We have never felt the need for our kids to watch T.V that is older than their years. Now, don't get me wrong my Children watch the television. And, a fair bit of it if I am honest. My Son loves nothing more than a good film after a busy day. It is his moment of calm really. A little chance for him to unwind and chill. My Daughter is just sort of getting to grips with the whole T.V thing at the moment. She never showed much interest before. That is slowly changing and she is becoming more aware of the screen and seems to be enjoying it a little more every day. I don't mind them watching television or films at all. They probably watch more than they should or should I say the television is on far more than it probably should be. But, I think that's okay in our house. Our Children are super engaged and busy daily. My belief is that the T.V won't hurt our kids. But, everything they watch is age appropriate. It always has been. Yes, I have had to endure hours of CBeebies instead of This Morning and yes, I have missed out on loads of wonderful Loose Women episodes. But, that's just the way it goes. Most adult television is not suitable for my Children. They are only young and I don't feel they need to hear or see what is aired on our screens. I know, you may think shows such as the XFactor or The Voice etc: are harmless to them and they may well be. But, for now I don't want my little ones watching them. They are only Children for a very small amount of time, the World is a crueller place than ever with Media being hotter than ever and I wish to cherish their younger days and innosence as much as I can and I don't feel that 'grown up' T.V helps my case at all at the minute. There is so much undertone to telly these days. It's all so political, so serious, so intense, so graphic they just don't need to see it or experience it yet. And, yes if that means I sometimes have to sacrifice my own down time for the sake of what they may see then so be it. I'm happy for them to be shut off a little from the drama. Don't get me wrong, they are very aware of the World around them. That is because I talk to them and tell them the truth and we have fairly open discussions regarding what is going on today often. Not because they are sat watching the Soaps, reality T.V or a 12+.
    I could be totally wrong with my views on this subject and it may well be that I do them more harm than good in shielding them from 'grown up' television. I don't currently think that I am but you never know I could be proved wrong. For now this is the right decision for us and I will continue to monitor what my children watch. In my eyes, there are just some things that a 3 year old does not need to see.
    I totally get that many children all over watch all sorts of Television and I am not saying that is wrong because it is not. There is no right or wrong with it there is just a choice and we have all made our choices. I have made mine and have chosen to share that choice with you. Will my views on this change? I don't think so. Not for my Children anyway.
    When will I let my eldest watch a little 'grown up' telly? When I feel that he is ready for it. That may be next week, next month or next year. That choice is mine. And, who knows he may love a bit of Strictly Come Dancing. When the time is right he can advance into the World of 'grown up' T.V. and yes I will share that day with you. But, for now Children's T.V will do just fine.

    Wednesday, 2 November 2016

    16 Months and Not Yet A Walker

    It's exactly as it says on the tin. It really is. My Daughter is 16 months old and is yet to start walking. Am I worried about this? Nope. Not currently. I was a little a few months back. But, I now realise that my worry was not really 'my' worry. It was more other peoples worry rubbing off on me and I was worrying because I wasn't worrying and perhaps I should have been worrying because others were worrying ... Sort of thing. The more folks would say "She really should be walking by now" and "Gosh. She could do with strengthening her legs." The more I'd start to wonder if now was the time to worry. It would appear not as the Health Visitor has paid us a little visit due to the new born and has reassured me that it's very common, totally 'normal' (whatever that means) and that she will do it in her own time. Oh and nothing will be done until she is 24 months because after all her checks she seems to be totally on track. This I am totally happy about obviously. But, you know what? If truth be told, I could have told you that myself. I had no doubt in my mind that she was and is heading in the right direction. She's just taking it easy. Plus, if there was an issue then we would deal with it as and when we needed to. But, currently until we got hat 24 month mile stone there is no issue. So, I will not be making one until then. I'm happy for my little girl to just take things in her stride and go at her own pace. It's not like I can MAKE her walk anyway. I can't force her and I won't force her.

    She will do it. I know she will do it!