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Last night in our house …

Last night in our kitchen when I’m trying to make a cake …

Daughter: “Mum, what is Tou-rex?”

Me: *Thinks hard before answering* “Its a condition that sends messages from the brain sometimes making the person do things that they don’t want to do”.

Daughter: *looks puzzled* “Er, like what?”

Me: “Sometimes people with Tourettes have what are known as Ticks where they twitch or move involuntarily. Sometimes they say things they don’t mean to say like swear words. You might meet people with this condition one day but it is very important not to laugh at them. It must be very hard”

Daughter: *Looks even more puzzled* “So what’s this for then?” Points to a box …

Me: “Oh, that’s Trex – I use that for greasing cake tins!”

Just when I was pleased with how grown up a conversation we were having!

The difference between Trex and Tourettes

I’m joining in this week with the lovely Helen over at Actually Mummy…

Wot So Funee?

The Rules of Trick or Treating …

The obligatory picture of Tara with an axe

The obligatory picture of Tara with an axe


…or ‘How Not To Behave WHen Trick or Treating’.

I’ll admit I’m a miserable git when it comes to Halloween. I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when its over. We sort of ‘do Halloween’ without ‘doing Halloween’ if that makes sense.

I could harp on about how awful it is celebrating spooks and evil beings (that good old Catholic upbringing coming in again) but there’s not much point. I think each to their own, if you want to celebrate Halloween, go ahead – have a fabulous night! We do carve pumpkins and the girls make their own decorations for the house, which have been brilliant this year. See, I’m not totally miserable!

One thing I cannot abide though, is Trick or Treating. Its not just the accepting sweets from a stranger thing, whilst teaching our kids about stranger danger – although that is a jolly good point. I find it hard to think of something I’d like less than to drag the kids around the streets, knocking on people’s doors.

Before you start thinking that my kids are deprived …they have all been to a party tonight (Tara dressed as Tinkerbell, but what does a 2yo know?) and I’ve given them so many sweets myself that the dentist will be a-knocking tomorrow.

Some people get Trick or Treating so wrong though. I’ve seen it all here tonight. Here’s my guide on How not to Trick or Treat…

  • Silence – I’ve answered the door to more kids standing there looking terrified than to anyone saying ‘Trick or Treat’. Parents, tell your kids to at least have some manners and say hello at the door.
  • Say Thank You – nuff said!
  • Dress up properly – A school uniform with a Scream mask does not make a costume.
  • Too Scary – This is a message to the adults. There is absolutely no need to walk around with a face like you’ve just stepped out of Seattle Grace ER.
  • Adults, you don’t need to hold out your hand for sweets – If you are older than 16 its just sad!
  • Don’t say, “We’re not from round ere. We’d get the cr@p beaten out of us round our way”. I kid you not, a woman said it to me tonight. My kids are still stunned.
  • Don’t also say, “Keep away from that cat, Lad” “He can’t stand cats. Hates ’em!” – Got news for you, love. That cat lives here and is lovely. You don’t and you’re not. (And I don’t know if her son is really called Lad)
  • If you call round after 8PM and wake my kids up, you’ll end up with the dregs of the sweets that we’ve been saving from party bags since last October.

And so its over for another year. I’ve got no more eyeliner left from drawing spiders on the kid’s faces and I’m off to eat my own body weight in Haribo. Happy Halloween!

Center Parcs Competition – What we like to do together

How to give yourself a stressful day…Wake up and decide to enter the Center Parcs Challenge to become one of their Family bloggers by creating a one minute video.

Doesn’t sound too scary? Not unless you have never even used the video function on your camera before, never mind edited any video on the computer. I didn’t even know we had a video function until this morning!

I have talked on here before about how much we love going to Center Parcs and have spent many a happy week at both the Whinfell and Sherwood Forest sites. Millie & Violet both frequently mention their favourite holidays there – Could be something to do with the non-stop swimming? They completely got behind our ambition to be Center Parcs bloggers – Violet even told the checkout lady in Costco this afternoon that we were making a video for CP as we were going to win a free holiday! High hopes of our video making skills 😉

But here’s our offering…a few hours later. We actually had tons of fun discovering what the girls like doing together and even after filming had finished, they stayed outside GETTING ALONG!!

We tried to be clever and come up with a selection of activities that spell out C E N T E R P A R C S – Get it?

So what did I learn from today?

  • The kids REALLY want to go back to Center Parcs – Whinfell is our preferred location but Sherwood would be great too!
  • Tara will only do so much performing if her fluffy poodle isn’t allowed on set – These child stars eh?
  • The girls do actually get on well with each other
  • I am more of a perfectionist that even I realised – You will never know the faffing I did to get the text and music on that video.
  • I cough A LOT! Several retakes were done!
  • Stephen Speilberg needn’t give up his day job just yet.

So there’s our first foray into video entertainment – we’ve thoroughly enjoyed it – Hope you do too!

How to get children to drink in hot weather

children's drinks

How do you make sure your children drink enough? Especially toddlers? We are in the middle of a heat wave here in the UK (not a sentence I think I’ve ever typed before). We keep hearing about how important it is to keep hydrated. Not a problem when you are an adult but a wilful toddler is very different.

I’m interested to know what tips you have got for getting liquids into your children. Have you any magic potions or implements that work wonders?

Here are the Costello tips for preventing dehydration:

  • We try small portions of drinks and change them often – Its more work and washing up but at least the drinks are fresh and cool and don’t overface the kids.
  • Massive fans of crushed ice in this house. I’ve discovered bought ice for about £1 per bag this year which I love and just bash it in a food bag, wrapped in a clean tea-towel. The children think they are having an exotic cocktail instead of boring old juice.
  • Vary the flavours – we have a fantastic selection of juice flavours and mix and match them. 
  • Tara (aged 2) is into straws – last night she refused to drink unless she had 6 straws in her cup. Once the straws were in, she guzzled 2 whole cups full of juice. Mine is not the place to reason with a 2 year old.
  • We freeze everything! The drinks for school are frozen the night before and defrost in time for lunch. Squeezy yoghurts are still cool by lunchtime if they are frozen when they go in. Smoothies on sticks are great ice lollies.
  • Our children crunch on huge ice cubes – This completely goes through me but they love em and it keeps them quiet for ages!
  • Cheapo shop brand ice-lollies are magnificent value and quick if you’ve not made your own. The rate we are getting through them, we’d never manage to freeze new batches in time. Farmfoods are the best value I’ve seen so far and even branded ones are amazing prices too. (yesterday I got 12 FAB lollies for £1.97)

So, what tips have you got? Long may the heatwave continue but be careful out there. However, judging by the amount of water in the paddling pool Tara has drunk today she should be fine for the next week!