A new era, and the herald of jealousy..

Boo walked at 9 1/2 months, by 10 months he could practically run, which led to all sorts of fun and games. Elvis has always been more vocal than Boo ever was, and at 6months couldn’t sit up unaided in fact he didn’t do that until he was 7months. So rather naively, I thought Elvis may be slightly slower to his feet..but no. Having turned 9 months, Elvis not only got up on his feet but the same day also proceeded to ‘coast’ happily around the furniture. I watched on in awe, surely they’re meant to just stand there for a bit first?! I can’t remember Boo ever doing the coasting, but he never crawled either, he just got up! 

So yesterday, day two of Elvis coasting around, was to put it bluntly the worst day I can remember with my boys. It was a day where Boo spent the entire day screaming, throwing things, pushing Elvis over and hitting me. I think I may have to rename him Taz. Literally by the time Mr G got home I was at the end of my tether,I slumped in a heap against the wall and cried. Then the diet went out of the window and I sat on the sofa consoling myself with Mr KitKat and Mrs Wispa (other chocolate bars are available..just not in my house as I have probably already eaten them).

I’m sure no-one told me parenting would be so hard, or more to the point emotionally and mentally draining! Having sat feeling sorry for myself, and Elvis deciding he wouldn’t go to bed we sat watching Rastamouse while I pondered on the days events. Why was Boo behaving so horribly?! Then it occurred to me, the dynamic has altered very suddenly, Boo has previously been able to put special toys on the table in the knowledge Elvis can’t reach them, now of course he can. I am spending more minutes of the day watching Elvis – trying to avoid big bumps – and less time with Boo discussing the way things work. So this is a jealous thing, I hope, I just need to work out a way to balance my attention better..wish me luck!

Win 1 of 5 ‘The Big Party!’ Dvds!

Justin Fletcher best known in our household for his role as Mister Tumble stars in this live show DVD! Boo rapidly joined in with the instructions, and giggled at Justin’s arrival – “look at Justin driving the car!!”

We soon learn that the party is to celebrate Englebert’s birthday, and the DVD is a series of songs, dances and activities presented in pantomime style ideal for pre-schoolers! It is quite cleverly produced as there are plenty of calming activities included so children don’t get too excited – I did worry about Boo getting too excited, but he just became quite absorbed and joined in with the songs and animal noises!

On this wet morning it has kept Boo very entertained, and Elvis has enjoyed sitting on my lap while we sang the songs with actions! In fact I will now look into taking Boo to a live show after seeing his response to the DVD! A big Thank you to Abbey Home Media for sending us a copy of the DVD to review.


Abbey Home Media have kindly agreed to giveaway 5 copies of the DVD to readers of the blog!

To enter you must be following the blog via GFC, and tweet the phrase by copying and pasting

‘#Win 1 of 5 ‘The Big Party’ DVDs with @goriami 

Then leave ONE comment below with your twitter ID telling me you’ve completed the steps!

There are a total of 5 prizes to be won.
I reserve the right to re-draw the winner, in the event that the original winners do not reply within 72hours.
Only one entry per person. 
Only entrants who complete all required entry steps will be eligible to win.
Only one prize per household. 
Winners details will be passed onto Abbey Home Media for prizes to be dispatched.
Sorry, this competition is only open to UK residents
Competition closes 9am Wed 26th October 2011

Turning back time..

Most of my second hand purchases which are for myself, are things which remind me of childhood or I actually live in a very sophisticated child-free zone….(ok so those ones are rare..I confess I’m really a bit of a child at heart!).

Todays offering, is close to my heart! About 10months ago, whilst heavily pregnant I randomly got talking to MissieLizzieb on twitter about gum ball machines. I’d had one for Christmas when I was 10 or 11, and had it up until I was about 25 when it just vanished – I suspect Mr G may have thrown it in the bin (like he did with the Christmas presents in 2007) but he denies this..MissLizzieb had owned one to but knew what had happened to hers…her husband smashed the globe bit…tut tut..I’m shaking my head in disapproval to MrLizzieb!

We popped to our local carboot two weeks ago, we’ve not been for a few weeks and bluntly I was very excited to have a rummage through other peoples unwanted things!! Literally as I walked in, there it was in all its glory:

The price £3, larger than my original one, it clearly holds at least 1.5kg of beans!!  I cleaned it and filled it with jelly beans and it has pride of place in the kitchen! Mr G is not allowed to touch it, or vend sweets, oh no no!

Me and My Shadow

Green People Sticky Hand Sanitiser!

Boo has recently decided he doesn’t like hand driers so when we are out and about he will often refuse to wash his hands. I have resorted to carrying hand sanitisers with me everywhere, but have found that they mostly dry his little hands out and with winter coming I have visions of his hands getting very sore.

So I was fairly excited when Green People sent us a bottle of Sticky Hand Sanitiser to review, with a natural anti-bacterial agent – extract of tea tree oil! If you don’t know of Green People it is a company specialising in organic skincare, created by a mother in 1997 to help her daughter who suffered from eczema and allergies, and now an award winning Certified Organic skincare brand!

The bottle is a little larger than most hand sanitisers we’ve used before, the pump is easy to use and dispenses sensible amounts, meaning Boo could use it by himself. It dispenses as a foam which Boo thought was great fun, and it was easily absorbed into his skin! We loved the smell, Boo described it as ‘like sherbert’ (and I have to agree it reminds me of lemon sherbet crystals!).

It was sensitive enough to use on Boo’s face when he was covered in chocolate ice-cream, and easily cleaned the sticky lolly remains from his face and hands! It also works well to clean surfaces, and I used it on a cloth to clean a rather dirty highchair tray while we were out on an adventure yesterday!

I’m pleased to say that we’ll be sticking with this hand sanitiser as it doesn’t dry Boo’s skin out, at £9.45 for 100ml I think it is a reasonable price especially as you can use it for cleaning toys and surfaces as well as sticky hands and faces!

Grandad Goriami.

As anyone who reads my blog probably realises, I like to reminisce over my early child hood years, and today is no exception! My father worked in London, commuting daily on the packed trains, so we could benefit from the joys of growing up in the countryside. I hated winter as it meant I rarely saw him until the weekends and they went all too quickly. The summer months meant when he got home from work it would still be light, and I’d squash my nose against the glass front door waiting for his car to appear in the road.

He’d never be allowed to sit down once he got in, he’d take off  his tie and straightaway be outside mowing the lawn while I ran alongside or I’d insist he take me on a long walk with the dog. I suppose it was the benefit of being the youngest in the family by several years. Looking back, I’m surprised how he had so much patience with me when he must have secretly just wanted to sit down quietly with his newspaper and a cup of coffee. I also wonder if I am not patient enough with Boo.

Boo adores Grandad, every day after his toast he asks ‘Can we visit Grandad today?’ to which I mostly reply that we’ll have to ask Grandad to see if he’s busy. Unluckily for Grandad, he only lives about 15minutes drive away, so we tend to visit fairly frequently. Luckily for Grandad, Boo can’t drive or ride a bicycle yet or he would probably be there every day. I try and only visit for a few hours at a time, although sometimes come tea time we are still in the midst of an adventure! I could write an essay on why Boo loves Grandad so much, but I’ll keep it simple. Grandad makes learning fun. They collect acorns and talk about how acorns grow to be giant oak trees, they ‘fish’ for paper clips in a bucket of sand with magnets, and best of all…Grandad encourages Boo to let his imagination run wild!

‘The Patio Construction Site’ All Rights Reserved 2011 Goriami Family

To share or not to share..

When Elvis arrived, Boo seemed to have instantly become a brilliant big brother, admittedly we perhaps spoilt Boo when Elvis first arrived, and maybe this is why he welcomed him so warmly?

Elvis has started to move around under his own steam, he’s speed crawling and pulling himself up on the sofa. He’s not 9months yet, but Boo was walking by 9 1/2months.. It looks as though Elvis might go the same way.. Why is this relevant? Well, since Elvis can now move around, he can reach Boo’s precious collection of cars.. and this means tantrums and tears. Boo is quite happy for Elvis to play with the Lego Duplo, as he feels that is a toy ‘to share’ where as the cars no, they are ‘his’.

Sharing appears to be the hardest lesson to teach Boo, and while he will share – if he gets given sweets or other foodie treats he will instantly offer them around – he doesn’t seem to fully grasp the concept. But is it so wrong that he doesn’t want to share his cars? I mean I have things which are ‘mine’ and I wouldn’t let Boo, or Mr G touch? E.g. My jewellery box and my handbag?

Generally Boo is very good natured, and I wonder whether I’m taking the ‘sharing’ thing to far? Is it worth Boo being made to feel resentful over a box of cars which he has collected over the course of over a year (infact since I became pregnant with Elvis)which he fears will get ruined by his baby brother (and in truth they may well do..) While i do not wish to encourage him to be possessive about things, is it wrong that he learns to look after his things and in doing so keep them away from his baby brother?

The Tilda taste panel wants to get you cooking!

Ever since being sent a fabulous rice recipe book by Octopus Books, rice has been on the menu in our house! I had always seen rice as something that went with a main meal, instead of the substance to make a main meal! My rice of choice is Tilda, I found that it is easy to cook and has taste and texture I much prefer to other brands, so it was with much delight I accepted an offer to try out their new chilli and lime microwave rice!

To my further delight, Tilda actually sent me 3 bags of their microwave rices, Sweet Chilli & Lime, Egg Rice, and Basmalti, along with a couple of recipes for me to try out! The recipes form part of the new Tilda Taste Panel, the three members of the panel are food writer Jo Pratt, Indian cuisine expert Maunika Gowardhan, and nutritional expert Azmina Govindji these ladies are all Mum’s and understand the importance of eating healthy but also the difficulties often associated with cooking when you have children – e.g. time! They will create recipes and give advice to busy parents to help them keep mealtimes healthy, tasty, and easy! If you join the Tilda Mummy Tasting Panel you get the opportunity to receive money off Tilda Products and be kept upto date with all the latest Tilda Mummy Tasting Panel ideas!

The recipes can be cooked in 10 minutes, initially I was sceptical as often it might say 10 minutes but in practice it takes longer! However I can vouch for the speed and ease of creating these delicious dishes! I started off by trying the recipe for Special Fried Rice, I always worry that the rice will stick to the wok, but using the Tilda steamed rice I just opened it poured it into the wok and it cooked without any stickiness or mess. The result was a very tasty meal which could compete with the takeaway, at a fraction of the cost and in less time than it would take me to go to the takeaway!

I made a variation of the Special Fried Rice using the Great Taste 2011 Gold award winning Sweet Chilli & Lime steamed rice, I had never tried this flavour of rice before so I was quite excited! It smelt fantastic,  a really sweet tangy smell of lime combined with unmistakable hint of chilli. I found it was quite a firey flavour, but the lime really made it a pleasent taste, taking the edge off the heat of the chilli! Would I buy it again? Most definetly! It made such an amazingly tasty meal and will be great for quick winter warming dinners!

If you’d rather watch how to cook they’ve even got a great range of videos on the site so you can cook along with more complicated and slightly longer to cook ideas, I’m planning on trying out paella next week!

Disclaimer: I received 3 bags of Tilda Rice to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Getting a little hot with Very Lazy Food

We were sent a jar of Very Lazy Food’s Chilli con carne cooking concentrate to try, with the weather turning dreary and nights drawing in my thoughts are turning to warming ‘comfort’ food so this seemed like an ideal opportunity to try out a winter favourite!

I have to confess I made Mr G do the cooking, as I knew he couldn’t really go wrong and it gave me a night off! The jar says to add tomatoes, minced beef, kidney beans and red pepper, as Mr G has an aversion to red pepper he didn’t add any, but followed the instructions otherwise! He has described this as a super lazy way to ‘create’ in the kitchen! It was as easy as pouring in a jar of sauce, but with alot more flavour! If you are wondering why you should buy this concentrate instead of a simple jar of sauce I shall explain!

Mr G got a real enjoyment from cooking the chilli, but without the stress of having to find a recipe season ‘to taste’ or any of the other stuff that goes along with cooking from scratch. It is a halfway house, providing the opportunity to cook a proper ‘home cooked’ meal within a limited time and even with limited skills!

The finished product smelt superb, and looked delicious! I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to eating spicy food and my home made chilli is really a spaghetti bolognese with added chilli, so I was a little worried what I would think! The Very Lazy Food Chilli con carne has a strong flavour, it is warming but not exactly ‘hot’, if you imagine quite a peppery flavour then it is that sort of warming flavour! The small jar easily created enough chilli for 4 ample portions, and while I did need to take a breather and enjoy a cool drink after a few mouthfuls I would certainly happily enjoy it again!

Very Lazy Food currently have a competition on their site to win a Year of Very Lazy Cooking to celebrate their sponsorship of ITV2’s Hells Kitchen USA why not enter for your chance of a year very lazy cooking?

Disclaimer: We were sent a jar of Very Lazy Chilli Con Carne Concentrate in return for the review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Making mistakes..

I’m having a bad week, I made an error of judgement for which I am kicking myself. To cut a long story very short, I enrolled Boo in a pre-school, and after arriving to collect him early and being unimpressed with what I saw (on top of a whole catalogue of other issues with the place over the week) I have removed him.

If I had any doubt that I had made the right decision, the communication with the woman running the place when I told her we wouldn’t be returning really cemented things. I may look exhausted and tatty around the edges, but it doesn’t mean I cannot recall what was said one day to the next, and trying to convince me I am stupid or inferior does not make me a happy Mummy.

So, here I am feeling guilty, that Boo is at home with me and Elvis, when if I had made a ‘good’ choice, he would be off playing with his new friends. Actually, Boo is playing very nicely with his farm set, and has just given me an explanation of why there are so many cows on it, apparently he needs lots of milk to feed the farmer who gets very hungry working hard all day long.. Well, he knows where the milk comes from so I guess I must be doing something right!