Pumpkin magic…

Another Halloween and more fun pumpkin carving.

There are three things that i’m doing differently this year…

1) Buying pumpkins early so I can actually do some pumpkin carving on the actual day rather than running around like a headless chicken trying to find the large orange balls of goodness, from shops which have long sold out!

2) Teeth and ‘advanced’ carving: well, advanced for me anyway! I used a craft knife to slice off the outer orange layer to reveal the whiter areas underneath and also the teeth lines looked quite good.

3) We’re going to really try to use the pumpkin after Halloween for cooking, such as crisps, soups, chips, chutney, juicing even. I’ve lost track of the number of pumpkins i’ve seen around the town which are just rotting and dead outside people’s houses.

We managed to get 3 very pale and small pumpkins from the allotment! Not sure what happened there, whether it was the very damp season with limited light or the variety?! In preparation for the carving I stuck post it note faces on the little guys, which the boys loved – Jac especially liked that!

So, it turned out well and I now have two large bowls of pumpkin pieces for the freezer and can’t wait to start experimenting : )


Jamie’s new tricks…!

Jamie has been involved with a few landmark events in the last couple of weeks…

The first was brushing his teeth all by himself! Up to this point, either Claire or I have done them while he’s been in bed and then got him to practice doing them himself. He hasn’t been very keen to do much of it himself and i’ve been suggesting that he needs to start doing them. So, out of the blue he just went into the bathroom and stood in front of the mirror and brushed them for ages. I then finished them off but was really surprised and pleased. It’s another thing he feels he can do and he seems excited about being able to do it.

The other thing yesterday was Jamie and one of his friends nearly starting a fire in garden! Kids seem to be obsessed with fire and matches but Jamie nearly took the interest a bit too far. There are two things which probably prompted the whole incident. The first was the fact that we have a wood-burning stove as our main heat source in the living area of our house, and he always sees us lighting it etc.

The second thing was recently the boys have been watching Bugs Life a fair bit. Not too bad you might think, but there is a scene in there where the circus bugs put on a stunt called ‘FLAMING DEATH’! Essentially it involves setting up a line of unlit matches, which light each other in sequence when the end is set off. It acts like a fuse. Anyway, the two kids were in the garden and had setup a little pile of twigs and were ‘pretending’ to light a camp fire. pretending being ‘actually’ doing it! Jamie apparently told Claire that he had got a chair and climbed up to the DVD player shelf to get the box of matches from there. This was actually a cover story, because he really got them from the shed, from one of the shelves, after Claire had told them all not to go in there! Clever kid!

The other thing which he’s been doing more and more, is asking WHY all the time!! It’s not getting annoying yet, but it could do. I’m just trying to answer his questions as best I can but some things are so hard to answer, without long or more technical answers – a good challenge!


Growing up boys…

Recently, i’ve noticed a few things about the boys which have made me think that they’re growing up faster each day. Sometimes there are periods where things just move along, with quite subtle changes, but then there are things which stand out.

Last week I let Jac climb down the stairs by himself! We’ve been a bit nervous about this and he’s been able to do it for a while, but now I just let him climb down without holding his hand and staying 6 or 7 steps down from him. He holds the bannister and goes down facing out and half-stepping/half sitting to each step – he has had the tendency to want to jump down in the past – Jac the no-fear toddler!

He’s also really into 3 books – all picture encyclopedia type things. He loves just going through them and pointing out various objects etc and practicing his words. He can say some things like ‘tractor’ and ‘bike’ very clearly but some things, like lion, he still uses the sound – GGGRRRRRRR!

Jamie is also growing fast. He’s much more connected to everything and aware of what’s going on – gotta watch what we say now! The other day we were getting some bread from Sainsburys and he went to the toilet and was quite firm that he wanted to do it all by himself, so Jac and I stood outside the cibicle for 10 mins! 

He’s also just brushed his teeth by himself for the first time. He was quite careful about doing each side, top and bottom, then I just said i’ll finish it off.

Just went to Go Bananas in Stroud yesterday, as it was a wet and uninspiring kind of day. My dad’s, partner’s son (kind of the boys Uncle) was staying for a few days and we thought it would be a good activity. He really liked it and it was apparently the first time Jamie had tried the whole place out, rather than just playing in the ‘up to age 4’ area. He was sliding down all the slides, except the really steep red one, and loving climbing up through the various levels.

Jac was also going nuts in there and also trying everything out and wasn’t at all put off by the balls pools or the other kids running around. He wasn’t sure about the rope bridge things but he still went across with me.