Monday, 25 November 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - November 25th

This is an interesting week as I'm out twice and papa penguin is out once!

Monday - Chicken Stir fry
Tuesday - Papa penguin is out I'll get something out of the freezer
Wednesday - Salmon Risotto
Thursday - he is out again so I'll have last nights left overs!
Friday - Party food
I'm joining my cousins this weekend for their daughters birthday and then on Sunday its the kids christmas party with my friends and their bubbas - a 5 year old, two 4 year olds, three 3 year olds, a 1 year old, a newborn and 2 bumps! I'll be away all weekend leaving papa penguin to defend for himself!

Kids dinners
Monday - Stir fried chicken teriyaki
Tuesday - Pasta with a tomato and hidden veg sauce
Wednesday - Turkey dinosaurs, Waffles and Brocilli
Thursday - Pasta shapes on Toasts
Friday - Party food

Meal Planning Monday

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Gallery - Nature

The picture I have chosen for this weeks theme Nature from Sticky Fingers was taken on a recent trip to the local park when we stopped to get something out of the buggy.  It just so happened that we stopped by this gorgeous shrub/plant/tree.  I thought the colours on it were amazing! I couldn't stop staring at the leaves.  Even toddler penguin said it was beautiful!

We took home two leaves of each colour but sadly the didn't last long and shrivelled up by the time we got home.

I also wanted to share this photo taken on a cold but fresh autumn day at Polesden Lacey National Trust.  There were so many fallen leaves on the floor we had so much fun jumping and kicking and throwing them.  We ended up building a tower and putting toddler penguin in the middle.  He thought it was hilarious!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Which school? Choices choices!

We moved into our house in January 2012 when toddler penguin was nearly 2 years old.  We chose this house because it was close to a very good cute little school in our local village.

Nearly 2 years later we are in the process of applying for a school and turns out this perfect little school is just an infant school and only goes up to the ages of 7 years old.  The feeder school that the majority of their students go to doesn't have a great reputation at the moment.  Even though baby penguin and toddler penguin will be at the same infant school at the same time, I'd like them to both go to the same school, you know for the photos on the wall ;) Baby penguin will start infant school when toddler penguin starts junior school in 2017....scary!

I have always had it in my head that the school run would be done on foot.  Since I hate never being able to find a parking space and if I have to park miles away and walk I'd have to get the buggy in and out the car.  The schools in our area do not have catchment areas but are generally done with special needs or looked after children first, then siblings then they go by distance.

Below is a sketch of our house and the location of our nearest schools. The purple dot is the junior school that schools 1 and 2 feed to.  School 3 is a combined infant and junior school.

So here are the facts. 
1. I do not live in Iceland as per the is purely an example!

2. School 1 is a 15 minute walk.  There is no parking at this school. On the walk home there is a library and some ducks we can go and feed.  This school is for ages 4-7. We would then have to apply for a place where the purple dot it. I'm not at all happy with this school at present though it has recently been taken over. School 1 we viewed two years ago when we were looking at their nursery.  I can't remember loads about it but I remember thinking it was a really good school.  It does have an outstanding ofsted report and I know a few mums whose kids go there and they are really happy.  They do however organise their classes with a mixed age so that children at the same ‘level of learning’ (as opposed to their actual age) are taught appropriately.  There is a risk that baby penguin would not get in at this school as they won't both be there at the time of her entrance to the school.  Toddler penguin will have moved on. Also silly bad point is that they have a red uniform.  We have red hair and I hated my red uniform at school!

3. School 2 is a 7 minute drive or a 30 minute walk.  This school is also for ages 4-7. And as above we would then have to apply for a place at the purple dot. There is a lovely park halfway home.  We could walk or drive there.  School 2 is under going refurbishment with what looks like will be a great new hall.  It is also of outstanding ofsted. The outdoor play area for the first few years of learning is huge and I know toddler penguin would love this.  However would he ever want to go indoors and do practical learning.  I know the first few years children are encouraged to learn through play but in my opinion they should get used to getting their nose stuck in the books! ;)  They also have a swimming pool!

4.  School 3 is an oversubscribed (in fact they all are) infant and junior school (ages 4-11).  It is a 35 minute walk or a 10 minute drive.   I walked out of this school tour feeling warm and fuzzy.  It just felt right. The others I thought were great schools.  They have the paperwork to prove it, yet this school with just a good ofsted report just felt right to me.  On the plus side both kids wouldn't have to change when they turn 8.  On the down side its a very long walk and I would feel like driving every day.  Especially there in the morning.  In the summer we could walk home but there are no parks to visit on the way.  Though as mentioned above I could easily drive us to the one near school 2.

I mentioned above that I wasn't happy with the feeder junior school that the kids would go to when they turn 8.  My husband and I have come up with an alternative solution for this.  We go private.  There is a lovely co-ed private school near us which if I were to take on more work (I'm a childminder) I could pay the fees.  However there would be an overlap of them both going there and we would have to pay double fees for a year.  It could be done.....if I worked full time and papa penguin did a bit of overtime here and there and got a nice bonus!

I can't believe how difficult this decision is. 

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - November 18th

This is an interesting week as I'm out twice and papa penguin is out once!

Monday - I'm out for some Ping Pong Dim Sum and papa penguin is having a meat feast pizza
Tuesday - Papa penguin is out so I'm going to have some simple pasta and pesto
Wednesday - Coconut Chicken Curry with Okra - I must do a blog post on this as its yum!
Thursday - Mexican Chicken Stew
Friday - I'm out again no plans yet where we will go. Papa penguin is going to raid the freezer!
Saturday - Spaghetti Bolognese
Sunday - Slow cooked Lamb with onions and thyme

Kids dinners
Monday - Stir fried chicken teriyaki
Tuesday - Pasta with a tomato and hidden veg sauce
Wednesday - Fish fingers, Waffles and Brocilli
Thursday - Pasta shapes on Toasts
Friday - Sausages, Hash browns and peas

Meal Planning Monday

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Reasons to be Cheerful

Wow its been 28 days since my last confession reasons to be cheerful!

Its not that I haven't had anything cheerful to write about its thats I've been stumped for words!

This week I have two poorly children :(  Baby penguin has had a cough for 3 weeks.  Originally the doctors said it was related to her MMR jabs, now its a chest infection with mild asthma.  The change in weather and the drop in temperature has hit toddler penguin hard and his asthma is back with a horrible dry cough.

So what have I got to be cheerful for?  My kids!  Apart from cranky evenings of tiredness, during the day they are still chipper and I'm getting lots of cuddles!

Baby penguin who will be 13 months in 2 days is finally sleeping through!  We had a full nights sleep on Monday, Tuesday was pretty rough as she was coughing all night and last night even poorly she still slept through.  We might be on to something here!  Its amazing how much better I feel if I've had a full nights sleep.  Last week she was still having two bottles, one at 1am and another a 530am.

Currently toddler penguin (3.5yrs) is at his pyjamas as they are raising money for Barnardo's.

I wasn't sure about sending him to nursery this morning with his horrible cough but when I mentioned he wouldn't be and he got really upset. He was super excited when I told him to take his pj's off and put pj's on! I bought them quite recently from mothercare and we love them!  He must have had a growth spurt recently as not many of his aged 3-4 yrs and obviously his 2-3 yrs pj's fit him.  These Elmo ones are aged 4-5 years so I really hope they last next winter as well.

At the moment baby penguin and I are supposed to be at a monkey music class but instead she is napping and I'm enjoying a cup of clipper white tea and some bourbon biscuits and enjoying the peace....before I get the hoover out!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Gallery - A younger me

This weeks theme from Sticky Fingers is A younger me.

I don't have many young pictures of me on my new mac book but I managed to find this one in one of my mums facebook albums!

I love this picture of me.  Its funny but I actually remember this pond.  I used to have nightmares about it.  I have a feeling it might be a swimming pool that was left to go mouldy...I'm sure my mum can clarify this for me!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Weekly Meal Plan - November 11th

Monday - Schnitzel, potatoes and parsnips (from the veg box)
Tuesday - fun beans on toast - papa penguin is at a conference
Wednesday - Bucatini amatriciana
Thursday - Red Thai Fish Curry
Friday - Freezer food for papa penguin - I'm off out for dinner with a friend!
Saturday - Banagers and Mash
Sunday - Steak Casserole and Pie Topper

Kids dinners
Monday - Egg, ham and pea rice
Tuesday - Pasta with a tomato and hidden veg sauce
Wednesday - Nuggets, Waffles and Brocilli
Thursday - Spagetti Hoops on Toasta
Friday - Thai Curry

Meal Planning Monday

Friday, 8 November 2013

What am I doing?

For those that are interested.....I'm still here.

I sit down at my macbook to write a blog post but realise I haven't checked my emails for a while, or I haven't been on Facebook yet today or maybe I'll just check the weather.

I have been a bit uninspired for blog posts recently. Out and about I think all the time I'll blog about that but when I sit down to write I'm stumped for words!

So time to make an effort!

What have I been doing?  Papa penguin works all the time and is never home!  I'm gradually adjusting to his new promotion and my new role as a full time housewife/stay at home mum/part time childminder.  I look after a 7 year old three afternoons a week at the moment.  Its the most hectic 3 afternoons of the week and keeping him and my two kids occupied is challenging but I think we are coping! Its been tough keeping up with the housework but with the help of my home routines app I've got myself into a great routine with all the washing and cleaning. However most evenings when the kids are finally in bed at 7pm and I've got dinner ready the last thing I've been wanting to do is go on the computer.  I can barely keep my eyes open!  

I've continued to meal plan but been really lame and publishing them.  My friend recently mentioned that she missed seeing what I was planning to eat for the week. I best get my butt in gear and get online each week just for her!

I have however done 80% of my Christmas shopping!  All the kids are sorted and I'm wrapping toddler penguin and baby penguins' presents up tomorrow so Grandma can take them home with her ready for when we wake up at her's Christmas morning (there are a lot and we need the car boot space for the travel cot, high chair etc!)

Now its time for bed!  I shall be back!