Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Now you are four.... {Leonidas}

Dear Leonidas,

Today is your 4th birthday, I told you we'd get there eventually after all those weeks of counting down the days!  I know this has seemed such a long time coming for you as your friends have been four for ages now and you have been asking me for so long when it would be your birthday.

You are so very grown up now, going to school every day and even sometimes even saying goodbye to me at the gate and going in on your own. We are all very proud of how well you are doing at school, speaking Greek all the time and getting on so well with the other children.

You love playing with your friends, and on the whole you all get on very well.  You love to go out, whether it is to the park, beach or pool or visiting Daddy at his shop.

You have learnt so much in the past year, you can read brilliantly and there's no stopping you when it comes to picking up more information.

Your latest love is playing on the Wii and it amazes me how fast you have learnt how to do it all and handle all the different controls, already I'm having to get you to help me!

Last year you became a big brother and what a great brother you are, you enjoy showing Louka how to  do things and telling him what he will be able to do when he is the same size as you. You have adapted really well to sharing your Mummy with him, even though understandably you do get annoyed when he tries to take things you are playing with.

You make me laugh every day with the brilliant and funny things that you do, and you are always full of energy and noise! Although you drive me mad at times we wouldn't have you any other way!

I hope you enjoy your birthday and your Spiderman party that you helped me to plan and that your 4th year is as happy and full of fun.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

365 Project - week 21

Making decorations for his 'Spiderman party' next week

Last year I showed Leo how to play his Leapster game, today Louka picked it up and knew exactly what to do!

After who knows how many times I've built Leo tracks I think he's now mastered it - 
he did this all by himself

Choosing a Dvd together - not that Louka actually had any say in the matter even if he had understood!

Dot-to-dot with Nana

At a birthday party, here is Louka enjoying some party food!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 24 May 2013

Flashback Friday - Some things never change!

Why is it that no matter how many brightly coloured musical  interesting toys you have, babies always have more fun with things that were not designed to be played with.

Louka playing in the kitchen

And that this is true for every baby as after you've taken a photo you realise you've been here before....

Leo in 2010

Although it turns out I do have a new spoon!


Monday, 20 May 2013

Slimming World Scan Bran Challenge

This morning at my Slimming World group everyone was talking about the 'Scan Bran Challenge', apparently it's been taking the UK groups by storm and everyone is doing it!  One of the ladies in our group tried it last week and lost an amazing 5lb so many of us thought it was worth a shot and have decided to give it a go this week - I've never seen so many people buying Scan Bran before!

Slimming World Scan Bran Challenge

Scan Bran is not one of the most popular foodstuffs about but as an aid to slimming alongside food optimising it really works.  Scan Bran is basically fibre, and in the simplest way possible helps your weight loss by *ahem*  'clearing you out'

The challenge is to eat 5 slices (1 healthy extra or 5 syns) a day for 6 days of one week along with drinking lots of water - the water is necessary to help flush your system out.

The secret is to find recipes that make the scan bran edible, although I have heard of people eating them like crackers with various toppings, to me that sounds as edible as eating a bit of MDF, in act I think you could probably make quite long lasting furniture from the stuff!

I've made a 'Chocolate cake' several times before using the dreaded scan bran, which bears little resemblance to actual chocolate cake but is edible and in a Slimming World kinda way not too bad.

This week I'm going for it though and am going to try a variety of different recipes - I'll let you know how I get on.

Scan Bran Challenge - Slimming World
Part of today's Scan Bran Challenge - recipe coming later this week.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

365 Project - Week 20

I read this book so many times to Leo got rid of it along time before Louka arrived, I was so pleased to be given another copy and Louka loves it just as much.  Just like Leo he loves the last page and as soon as he sees himself he dives at the book and mushes his face on the mirror!

Everyone loves it when Daddy is home by bedtime!

The best things in life are free!

Gotta love a sleeping baby!

Louka is so interested in everything Leo is doing now, sometimes Leo is not happy about this new developement but on the whole he is loving showing his little brother everything. 

Louka loved the soft play place today, he's been in once before but now he's crawling and trying to climb on everything it is much more fun!

My favourite photo today is quite a random one for me but while Leo was drawing on his chalk board this just appealed to me.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Summer Dreams

The summer season is well underway here in Cyprus, and in a months time the schools break up for the summer holiday.....yes you did read that right, the school year finishes mid June and the kids are off until September!

Aaron has been back at work now for over a month and so far we have survived, the next challenge is to do so without Leo being at school every morning. I want to enjoy the summer with the boys and get out and about even though I do find it very hard with both of the boys.  It's always so tempting to take the easy option and do the same old things but last summer I feel I missed out on lots of things while struggling with a big baby bump in the heat.

I've been thinking of ways to keep us all occupied, both the boys and me, and in typical style I decided I had to make a list.

It's more of a list of ideas to come back to rather than a definite 'we must get all these done'  and as I don't like the name 'bucket list' Lauren from Real Housewife of Suffolk County suggested 'Summer Dreams'

1. Take Leo on a boat trip
2. Go on the mini train we went on last year
3. Go on a bus trip
4. Buy, write and send a postcard to someone in the UK
5. Visit the Thalassa (Sea) museum in Agia Napa
6. Have a picnic on the beach in the evening
7. Do a scavenger hunt
8. Make / decorate cupcakes
9. Have a 'kids cocktail evening'
10. Finger painting with Leo and Louka,  after finding a recipe for edible paint!
11. Play with water balloons
12. Make 'moon sand'
13. Go to the library
14. Make cornflour 'slime' (and see if he enjoys it more this time!)
15. Make 'shaker' bottles for Louka
16. Go bowling
17. Have a 'movie night'
18. Build a den
19. Make decorations together for Louka's first birthday
20. Make homemade paint with chalk
21. Have a 'picnic breakfast' by the sea
22. See a show

I'll no doubt be adding to the list as I think of new ideas, after all there's a whole lot of summer to fill here!   I'd love to see other ideas too so if you have a relevant post feel free to let me know.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The one where I'm not smuggling a beach ball in summer

Apart from the birth of Louka, 2012 was not one of my favourite years, it started off with Aaron being out of work and us getting used to the fact we were to have another baby.  Then Aaron got a job which was great although I was plain terrified at the thought of being pregnant, dealing with Leo and eventually having a baby almost without him as he had to work long hours, 7 days a week.

Then it got hot,  oh boy did it get hot!   I will never NEVER forget how bloody hot that summer felt being nine months pregnant in August!  I wasn't happy, it was so uncomfortable, it's hard going at the best of times when the temperatures are consistently in the high 30s / low 40s but with a very large baby bump it was horrendous!

I wrote a post 'When the sunshine's grey' and for the first time I had a good old moan on my blog. I was whinging but I stand by it all - I was pregnant, hot, bored and generally not a happy bunny!

When Aaron started work again this year I was worried, in some ways more worried as I realised I now have two children, and unlike last year Leo will not be at school for the 3 months of summer.  He's now been at work just over a month and slowly I'm getting used to the new situation and forming some sort of vague routine. 

It's not easy, not as easy as I would have imagined many years ago, back in the day when I thought how lucky 'stay at home mums' with their coffee mornings and happy times spent playing with lovely children but it's still a damn sight better than going to work!

I'm very lucky that Aaron has a job and is happy to provide for us, we don't have much but we survive and I really appreciate the fact he works his arse off for us. As hard as my 'job' is I wouldn't want to work 7 days a week for 7 months. 

This summer is going to be long, and hot like all the others and it's not going to be easy for either of us but it's always going to be an improvement on last year!

A week or so ago I had my first swim with Leo and it was brilliant....

Last year I could not take him to the pool without my Dad's help. I couldn't hold him, play with him and struggled getting in and out of the water.   Everytime he came near me he ended up kicking my bump and it was so uncomfortable. 

It's still going to be hard work, taking both the boys to the pool, Louka likes the water but the act of juggling the pair of them, watching both, going for a wee etc is quite tricky! I'm lucky to have my parents or  great friends around who are always happy to lend a hand - or hold a baby!

I'm looking forward to the summer,  spending time with my boys, my friends and realising that I'm very lucky in many ways. 

What a difference a year makes.....

It might look idyllic but trust me, I was not having fun!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

365 Project - week 19

Sunday was Easter here in Cyprus and Leo was over the moon with his Spiderman egg, a week later and it's still in the fridge as he announced on Monday that he didn't like chocolate anymore. I daren't eat it though as I'm sure he'll change his mind very soon!

With thanks to my Mum, Monday was a fab child free day at a local pool with one of my best friends!

Tuesday, and Sarah's last night in Cyprus so once Aaron got home from work we went out for dinner and drinks in Protaras. The dinner was nice but once we got into a bar for cocktails I wished we'd skipped the dinner and gone drinking instead as we only had time for two before being picked up by my Dad at midnight! 

Unfortunately that was the only thing about the evening that made me feel 18 again - and as Louka woke within an hour of us getting home I realised it had been a very good thing that we had been for dinner!

Louka playing with Sarah's suitcase, maybe hoping to stop her leaving!
The week went all too fast and we were so sad to see her go, don't know how long it will be until we see each other again now :(

On Thursday I popped round to see my friend Sam, it seems like we've not seen each other properly for ages and the kids enjoyed a little play together, even with Louka joining in.

Popped into see Aaron at work today and Louka joined his brother for the obligatory photo in a buggy!

I couldn't quite capture it in a photo but Leo was playing ball with Louka today, rolling it between the two of them and Louka was waving himself around so much with excitement he could hardly stay sitting upright!

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Can I call you back?

These last few weeks seem to have passed in a bit of a blur as I attempt to get used to the arrival of the summer season and Aaron's return to work, but despite a rather neglected blog I have so far survived.  I may have lowered my standards somewhat - random tidying up involving hiding mess or moving it somewhere else, far too much time spent by Leo playing on the Wii while I'm cooking/feeding Louka/ cleaning...   but I do have two children who are (mainly) clothed, fed and happy... well minus the teething and tantrum moments!

Louka is still not a good sleeper ( there's another blog post there!) and because of this I'm often in bed not long after 9pm. Considering I'm usually just finishing cooking dinner at 8pm or still tidying up it seems like I'm not getting anywhere fast.

I have the longest ever list of blog posts in my head to write and I miss being able to keep up with myself! Over the last few weeks I've missed so many of the blog linky's that I love joining in with, although I'm quite impressed with myself that I've kept up to date with my 365 project, even though I've been a bit rubbish at keeping up with the others who join in each week.

I still read a lot of blogs but rarely have the chance to comment and that just feels rude!  I usually read on my phone or on my laptop but whilst doing something else and never get round to going back again.   

I've still been going to Slimming World and got my stone award a few weeks ago although I've put a couple of pounds back on since then and am finding it hard to stick to at the moment. I was doing much better when I had a bit more time to plan and prepare food and I need to get back on track as I veered way off when may friend was staying with me!  The 30 Day shred got abandoned when my knee became too painful but I've not replaced it with anything else as when I have some spare time sleeping or blogging wins over exercise every time!

I've also been busy with Greek lessons two or three times a week, plus an exam a few weeks ago  with one more to come next week - which reminds me that I probably should be revising!

Image credit

Saturday, 4 May 2013

365 Project - Week 18

On Sunday, my friend and I took the boys on an Easter Egg hunt at CyHerbia Organic Herb Gardens. A brilliant day and the boys loved it!

Our first proper beach and pool day of the year and first ice cream!

Spent a lovely afternoon at my friends house on Thursday and Louka had his first swim. I wasn't sure if the water would be too cold for him, or if Leo and his friend would be bothering him with all the splashing they were doing but he loved it. 

One of my best friends from England arrived Thursday night and we spent the day at a local hotel pool with the boys, it was a great day - Leo played very well on his own for ages, we swam together and he eventually remembered he could float with armbands on and I took Louka in a proper pool for the first time. However I managed not to take a single photo all day until I realised late at night when we were sitting on the balcony with our drinks, pizza and laptop listening to old music on youtube!

We had a day at home today with the paddling pool out interspersed with a bit of technology, Sarah had brought her ipad and Leo was very impressed with it, even Louka had a go! 

Me and Mine

Considering how many photos get taken in this house each month we have very few of all of us, I think the first photo taken of Aaron and I with the boys was at Christmas when Louka was four months old!

We kept meaning to get one all winter while Aaron was off work, knowing it would be difficult once he went back as he works 7 days a week and gets in after the boys have gone to bed. The week before he started we had my parents come up for a BBQ and I made sure we finally got our photos. They were worth the wait though, we ended up having loads done trying to get one where everyone was smiling and looking in the right direction, not easy with a baby and an uncooperative 3 year old!


dear beautiful

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