Growing seeds.

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When it’s cold and miserable outside what better time to grow some seeds. No need for digging about in the soil. Seeds are perhaps the best things to grow with young children. No mess, cheap and they grow rapidly so results are obtainable quickly.

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The science bit: Mung beans are small green legumes, high in potassium, magnesium, fibre, a great source of protein and B vitamins. You can add their sprouts to just about anything; we ate them mixed into a salad. These little beans are so awesome that they actually boost immunity and protect against infections and viruses. In short, eating sprouted beans as opposed to unsprouted and cooked, makes their nutrition more absorbable and easier to digest. What’s not to love I ask you.

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All you need is some containers (we used some old Pot&co ceramic ramekins), some cotton wool and some seeds. I won’t patronise you by making this into a ‘how-to’ but basically you just make a bed of cotton wool in the container, sprinkle on a good amount of the seeds and add plenty of water. Keep checking that they aren’t drying out everyday. We put ours on the windowsill where it was lovely and sunny.

 

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And here they are after about a week of growing. We gave then a quick rinse before eating.

 

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Rufus was so pleased to have grown such splendid sprouting beans that there was no battle in getting him to eat them. He gobbled them up just as they were! I’d love to hear what you’ve had success with growing lately.

E

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An adventure amongst the Yews.

 

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Oh how I love the weekend. Sebastian and I made a promise to ourselves and the children to get out into nature every weekend. It is such escapism for us, it’s exactly what we need to reset before another busy week begins.

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This week, we went on an adventure to one of the oldest yew forests in Western Europe. In fact, the mighty yews are so ancient that they are some of the oldest living things in Britain. This really is childhood unplugged.

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The woodland is full of dens made by other children who have delighted in the old yews before us.

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Off to add another log to the den.

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Francis really wore himself out grubbing about in the leaves. He gummed away at a bit of old twig. He’s cutting his molars this week and boy do we know about it.

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More gumming!

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Lot’s of the trees have fallen down in storms or old age; it is fascinating to look at the web of roots exposed and a superb opportunity to teach children about what goes on underfoot.

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The best thing about the great Yews? They make brilliant climbing frames. The branches are low and twisted and call out to be clambered upon.

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Checking out the moss and the mushrooms. Oh how I love the squidgy leg poking out above his boot.

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Rufus digging in the mud. At this point Francis was wailing because he wanted his nap and we were begging him to come home but only a slice of biscotti could lure him away.

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Sebastian is my hero on long walks. The children always get super tired and beg to be carried.

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Francis thought it was brilliant to be out of his Ergo and to be carried like this. Though not so easy for Daddy!

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It’s adorable how Rufus takes so much delight in walking through nature. He will often trail behind, digging in a ditch for that special twig or hunting for a rogue bear and then all of a sudden run up behind me and slip his little hand in mine. I never want those moments to end.

On the ride home the children dozed and we listened to some Iron and Wine as I felt the weekend slipping through my fingers. I hope you had a good weekend too,

E

Mother’s Day

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How was your Mother’s Day? I was woken up by rosy-cheeked Rufus and Francis clambering onto our bed with some beautiful pink roses and a cup of tea. My favourite mornings are those that start with everyone piling into our bed and absorbing those first few moments of morning tranquillity. But not for long! Soon the bags were packed, children bundled up and picnic made, we were on the road to an open-air museum near by.

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Rufus loved running around the old houses being a ‘museum detective’. He especially loved trying the bread which was baked on an open fire inside a house.

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Francis spent a lot of the time in his Ergo on Daddy’s back eating dried fruit. He goes through kilos of the stuff every week! Look at his black eye he got when we had to make a visit to the doctors recently. Poor baby tripped and banged his face on the metal bed frame.

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We also got a taste of freshly baked biscuits made with the wholemeal flour that is stoneground there.

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It’s so sweet to watch Francis begin to explore the world on his own. Inspecting each stone or leaf so attentively. Roll on the warmer months of bare feet and less bundling. Though I do adore him in that woolly hat.

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Check out my Mother’s day gift. We believe it is important for the children to think about what they would like to give other people on special occasions. It teaches them to think outwardly and gives them ownership of their choices. Rufus was dead set on giving mummy a car. What else could be more necessary and cherished than a car. I am very flattered.

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It was a marvellous day. There is no better feeling than getting into bed, having spent the day gazing upon the hills and the trees and drinking in the clean March air that we are so grateful for.

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Hope you had a great day. I’m looking forward to catching up with reading and baking over this coming weekend.

 

Book Review: The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner

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Last week, late on a Wednesday evening, I found myself wandering the aisles of the supermarket, in search for some calm. A strange place to search for calm you may think but after spending all day cooped up indoors with a teething Francis and a fractious Rufus, a change of environment was what I craved. And anyway, the weekly food shopping needed to be bought so I didn’t have much choice. As usual I diverted down the book aisle first, the most soul nourishing aisle and therefore most important. I was actually searching for Marie Kondo’s raved about book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying’ when instead I was hit in the face by bright pink of The Unmumsy Mum’s self titled new book. It was on offer and I had heard good things, so in the basket it went.

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The Unmumsy Mum writes candidly about motherhood as she has experienced it, which makes for a great laugh and plenty of ‘thank God it’s not just me moments’. Sometimes being a stay at home mum (God I dislike that phrase) is just hard, so when a gem of frankness and hilarity like this comes along it must be lapped up and absorbed. Author Sarah Turner’s honesty is refreshing; even though I disagree with some of what she says (no matter how dreadful my children’s behaviour has been that day, I could never call them a d*** head), it’s great to read about motherhood with the filters off.

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The best bits:

Sarah’s breakdown of ‘Soft-play Hellholes’.

I really despise soft play. Like really despise it. As if a rainy Saturday with two tiny human beings full of energy wasn’t bad enough, factor in the sensory overload, wet socks (nope, not Robinson’s Fruit Shoot) and everyone else’s energetic children, welcome to hell. Yes we have been there, done that and got the sweaty, Fruit Shoot stained t shirt but once was enough.

The Breastfeeding Highs and Lows.

Breastfeeding is hard. Okay I said it. Yes it’s pretty handy when you’re stuck on the bus with a crying baby and you can whip out your boob with perfectly prepared not-too-hot-not-too-cold milk but the rest of the time, it’s hard. The engorged breasts, the smelling of old fridge as Sarah puts it and the need to always be boob-accessible is no party. Her story about her being hand expressed by her husband had me howling.

Your Day versus His Day.

This chapter struck a chord with me. We’ve just moved and Sebastian has a new job which means for the first time in a few years we aren’t together all day every day. It would be all too easy for me to look at him with resentment for going to work, getting a lunch break, wearing trousers without porridge on them. And he could resent me for being able to stay in my pyjamas all day and being able to take trips to the library whenever we feel like it. But Sarah’s chapter on this struggle put things into context for me; you’ve both had a hard week, unless the baby is teething or someone is poorly.

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Have you read this book? What did you think? Did you think Sarah took the mocking of parenthood too far or was it just the anecdote that you needed?