Category Archives: Birthdays

Puppet playhouse theatre

One of the most successful presents we gave Rabbit for her birthday was this puppet playhouse theatre from Manhattan Toys which I chose online at the last minute, not quite sure if it would arrive on time.  Luckily I ordered it from PlayMerrily who are always reliably quick to deliver, so she got it on the day.  The description said there would be room for two children inside, so I thought they would have to take turns but all four of them have managed to squeeze in quite happily.  They have spent a long time planning and rehearsing shows, designing and making props and scenery, and performing for family and friends.  It has been really nice to see them all working together and having so much fun.

The pictures above are of the scenery for their jungle show, complete with palm trees, a snake and a teddy dressed as tarzan.  I love the ideas they came up with and the way they organised it themselves.  It was the perfect present for a five year old girl, but has been enjoyed just as much by the boys (aged 2, 7 and 8) so if you are looking for a birthday present for a child who loves imaginative play, it is highly recommended.  Especially if you are cutting it fine.  Thank you PlayMerrily for saving the day again!

This week

This week I have been

celebrating birthdays – mine, Rabbit’s and my friend’s; and Owl’s successful piano prep test

enjoying breakfast in bed twice, Birthday pavlova, brunch with Rabbit, hot chocolate with Owl and daddy after the prep test, some really good restaurant food and rather a lot of gin and tonic

reading some wonderful blogs, old and new

admiring truly beautiful food at Broadway market

appreciating a husband who can cook, clean and declutter while looking after four children

feeling thankful for good friends

loving cuddles with my children, and sharing a bath with them (two at a time!)

thinking of Jennie, Sian and Merry

The format of this post was inspired by Millie at Toddles and Tantrums.


Rabbit’s birthday interview

Rabbit is five.  This is her birthday interview.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

A knight or a goodie pirate

What’s your favourite colour?


What’s your favourite book?

That’s not my dolly…

What are your favourite toys?

Toy food, especially chocolate cake

What is your favourite food?

Chocolate cake

What is your favourite thing to wear?

Pink clothes

What do you like doing with mummy?

Making things

What do you like doing with daddy?


What makes you happy?

Ice lollies

Tell me a joke

Why did the banana go to the doctor’s?  Because he wasn’t peeling well.

Birthday interview with Monkey

Monkey is seven today.  This is his birthday interview.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

A fireman

What’s your favourite colour?


What’s your favourite book?

Moody Margaret Casts a Spell, by Francesca Simon

What are your favourite toys?


What is your favourite food?


What is your favourite thing to wear?

My Iron Man costume

What do you like doing with mummy?

Going to the supermarket

What do you like doing with daddy?

Building big Lego kits

What makes you happy?

Today and the 25th December

Tell me a joke

What do you get if you cross a pig with a bush?  A hedgehog

Half term

We have had a good half term break, and done lots of things that I would like to blog separately, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, so I will just put them all here in one place.  On Friday 15th, we had a second go at the ice and water play.  We froze sparkles in the coloured ice cubes and watched them melt, freed a plastic seal which we had frozen in a cup of water a while back and forgotten about, and added a fishing net and fish from the bath toys collection.  It was a lot of fun, and we will be doing it again, I’m sure.

Saturday 16th was a busy day with Dramabuds, haircuts, choir practice and housework.  On Sunday 17th, after church we went to the Thomas Day at the Kent and East Sussex Railway.  It was a day of ups and downs, though overall a great success.  We arrived and the children were very happy to see Thomas.  Then they were very disappointed that the train we were booked on was being pulled by a different engine.  Once we got over that, they really enjoyed the train ride and were all keen to come again another day.  It was all going so well until Tiddler got his little finger trapped in the train door as we were about to get out, and it took daddy a very long 5 seconds to undo the door.  He was checked out in the first aid tent and thankfully it was not broken, but looked very nasty which distressed him as much as the pain, I think.  So while the big three watched a magic show, in which Rabbit was picked to go up to the front and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, daddy and I took turns to try to cheer Tiddler up.  Having another look at Thomas helped a bit, a go on a roundabout nearly worked but then he cried and they had to stop the ride to let him off, but in the end a packet of Smarties just about saved the day.  The big three had a couple of goes on the roundabout, then watched a Thomas video while waiting for a platform ride on Thomas.  All four children really enjoyed that, so the day ended well, and I’m sure we’ll be going again before too long, but we’ll be keeping Tiddler well away from the door.

After all that, Monday was a much needed quiet day at home, and the children enjoyed plenty of play time and computer time, while I caught up on washing and housework.  On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, the big three went to a Dramabuds holiday camp, finishing with a brilliant show, as always.  Tiddler had a Dramabuds session on Tuesday afternoon as well.  We also enjoyed lots of visits from family on those three days.  My aunt came on Tuesday morning, with my cousin and her very new baby, which was lovely.  Then in the afternoon, daddy’s cousin came with his son for a sleepover.  All the children had a good time, and played really well together, so we are hoping they will come again soon, as it was such a success!  On Thursday, it was Grandpa’s birthday so he came for the show and stayed for lunch.  Granny F came for the show as well, but had to leave shortly afterwards.  Just as she was leaving, Granny B arrived, and the children were pleased it was a two granny day, even though they weren’t there at the same time!

On Friday, the big boys had their violin lessons, and then Granny F took Monkey and Rabbit shopping for birthday presents, and Supergirl looked after Owl and Tiddler while I did the birthday party food shopping.  In the afternooon, all four children had a wonderful time with our very good friend and occasional childminder, while Supergirl and I made cakes.  Suburban dad came home from work early to cook an amazing Middle Eastern meal for a family who had bid for it in the auction of promises at our church fair.  He made enough for us too and some more friends (Tiddler’s godparents) came and ate with us.

Saturday, was party preparation day, with several last minute shopping trips for all the things we had forgotten, and lots of cakes to ice, as well as Dramabuds and choir as usual.  And on Sunday, after church, it was time for the party.  It was a joint party for Monkey, Rabbit and another friend from church, and there were over 30 children, but also plenty of helpful adults so it went very smoothly and the children had a lot of fun.  And a lot of cake.

Today was Monkey’s birthday, and he spent most of the day playing with his new Lego, taking a short break in the afternoon to play with his Hornby set.  We also had piano lessons, followed by lunch at Pizza Express, and a very enjoyable family evening with Granny F, and daddy’s aunt and uncle who called in to deliver presents, and ended up staying for supper, cake and bedtime stories.  It was a good day.

Birthday parties

Today, while the boys were at this birthday party, Rabbit was at home with me because she was sick last night.  She was very disappointed as she had been looking forward to going, and even said that she could wear a scarf over her mouth “so that I don’t blow any germs out.”  She didn’t make any fuss when they went though, and was very good about it.  I did my best to make it up to her and we made a birthday party for her dolls and toys.

Then we added some real food and invited daddy.  I think she was happy!

My baby boy is eight

I’ve been a bit quiet on here over the weekend.  You could be forgiven for thinking that the celebration of the non-retirement of a certain elderly lady had something to do with it, and that is partly true, but it was overshadowed for me by the birthday of my firstborn.

So little Owl, it’s been eight years, hard to believe…here are some random things I remember… the smile on your daddy’s face when we found out we were expecting you; feeling you kicking along to the music when we were singing in a concert a month or so before you were born; your daddy singing to you in my tummy; the first time I kissed your little head, the first time I held you, you holding my finger – they could be anyone’s memories, but they are mine and I will never forget them.

The first outing with you in your pram; drinking champagne to celebrate when you were two weeks old; a sunny outing to Canterbury when you were two months old, and your first holiday – a week at Granny and Grandpa’s house – around the same time.  I remember your baby smile, your laugh, you thought that “Row row row the boat” was the funniest thing ever.  I remember how happy you were nearly all the time, lying in your carrycot, sitting in your blue and green chair, having cuddles, being carried in the lovely Wilkinet sling, splashing in the bath… I always said that you were an easy baby, though now I’ve had four and found you all to be easy I’ve come to the conclusion that I just really like babies.

I could go on all day and all night writing about you over the last eight years, but I have to admit that would be interesting only to me, and your daddy perhaps.  So I’ll skip forward to the here and now… my biggest boy, you are clever and thoughtful, you ask amazing questions, you read so much that I learn many things I never knew just from listening to you talk, especially about Science and History.  You sing beautifully, play the piano and violin very well and even compose your own pieces of music.  You get this from your daddy, along with your practical skills (you get your screwdriver and fix things without having to ask for help; you are even beginning to provide valuable IT support when daddy is out) and also your tendency not to listen to a word I say, but at least I know because you have the same expression on your face as he does when you are daydreaming.

From me you get your desire to learn everything all at once, especially languages.  It’s great fun starting to learn new things, but perhaps together we need to try and finish a few of them!  You also have my love of reading, especially late at night, everything from Secret Seven books to Science encyclopedias, and of course Lego books.  You can concentrate for a very long time on things you really want to achieve – building complex Lego models, drawing complicated and detailed pictures, designing and building models out of anything you can find.  When you have something important you want to say, you talk and talk without stopping, but you are also a good listener.  You are very sensitive and caring, and you love your brothers and your sister.  You love meeting new people and playing with old friends; you are confident and friendly and good at joining in everything with enthusiasm.  You enjoy tennis and football, church and music lessons, choir and Beavers.

You chose to have a bowling party, after trying it for the first time a few weeks ago.   That seems like a very big boy thing to choose; we are entering a new era of parenting and it’s fun.  You had a good time with the friends you took bowling, and with lots more friends and family members who came back afterwards for a barbecue.  And then your birthday celebrations continued over the weekend at Granny and Grandpa’s house.  You went to a street party and made a new friend; got your first Hornby set, a draughts and chess set and even more Lego; went out for lunch with your family and then spent the afternoon playing with the friend you had met a day earlier; even found time for a Latin lesson with Grandpa.

And now we are home and you are sad that your birthday is over.  Except it isn’t, quite.  There will be another bowling party later this month, because we couldn’t manage to take all your friends at once on the bus!  And then it really will be over, until next year.   And then you will be nine… I can’t comprehend that right now.  I hope you know how much your mummy and daddy love you.  I think you do.  We have different ways of showing it.  I tell you I love you a lot.  Your daddy mainly expresses his love through cake.  We both think we are the luckiest parents in the world because we have you and your brothers and your sister.  Thank you for being such a lovely son.