Because two noisy, bossy, head-strong, stinky, cheeky, cute, obnoxious, tiring, unhelpful female offspring is never enough......we thought, balls to it, let's have some more! With the arrival of twins in 2011, we now have four girls and chaos reigns. Welcome to my space and read all about the mundane, everydayness of Trouble Towers and all who live here.
We have been sent a Ravensburger Aquarelle Watercolour painting set to try out. There are several sets to choose from. We have the fairy set.
As the girls are getting older, they are moving on to more sophisticated art. This watercolour painting set is aimed at children aged from 8 to 13 years old.
You are provided with three different pictures, a paint mixer with pipette and a brush, and a set of watercolour paints.
The enclosed booklet helps you to mix the paints with each other and the right amount of water to get the exact shade you need. You also get a little practice card so you can check your colour before you use it on the main picture.
The pictures have raised lines to help the paint keep in the right place. I was very impressed with this feature. I left the girls (aged 5 and 8) to it, and they had great results with no supervision.
The 5 year-old decided to 'add' to the artistic quality by cutting the edges of the picture off. Each to their own and all that.
They are currently arguing over the third picture. Nice.
Overall, we really liked this set as it helped the girls understand colour mixing and encouraged careful, grown-up painting instead of the usual slapdash. Well recommended for budding artists. Disclosure - we were sent a free Aquarelle for the purposes of this review. Opinion is all our own.
The weather has finally gotten a bit nicer and we are getting out and about a whole lot more than we were last month. The twins have finally got to try out their bubble BBQ they got for Christmas. Easy for little hands to make bubbles with. It gets very messy, as you can imagine, but it's easy to clean. There is a fan in the centre of the BBQ to save little ones having to blow their own bubbles, and a selection of 'tools'.
Our new bike trailer. We got it three days ago from a local seller on EBay and have been to the supermarket in town twice already. The twins love it. It's a lot more fun than jumping in the car and gives me some much-needed exercise too. You can get a little bit of shopping in the 'boot' behind the seats. We go on the back roads and are not in a rush. Today, we stopped and fed some ducks in the canal en route. I can see a little bike ride being a daily event.
My slippers from Gifted Goodies. Made of wool and fitted with a slipper sock, they are keeping my feet lovely and toasty. After all, it's not summer yet, we don't want to get too carried away. They fit lovely, have little non-slip dots on the soles, and a cute flower on the top. They are available from the Gifted Goodies website.
Scoobies - WTF are they? They are all over my house. Apparently, the children at the girls' school are mad on them. What do they do? What is their purpose? They appear to be breeding IN MY HOUSE!!
Disclosure - Yup, blatant affiliate links on the stuff we're loving right now
My twins are in to everything. We have had to baby proof our
house way more than we ever did with a single child. Twins seem to get up to
more mischief, whether this is because they can work as a team or because they
egg each other on to do things, I don’t know, but I do seem to spend a
disproportionate amount of my time running round getting them out of tight
spots or putting things away quickly before they have chance to break it or use
it as a weapon against one or more of their sisters.
They can be a real worry. Toddlers have no sense of danger,
and it’s frightening that things that seemed relatively benign before you have
children quickly take on a whole new meaning once those children are mobile.
For example, window blinds. Did you know that blind cords can cause a real
hazard to young children? ROSPA state that there have been 26 deaths since 1999
caused by blinds, and there is now a campaign in place to make blinds safer. For
more information, you can check out ROSPAs website.
I love the blinds we have in our house. As much as I like
our curtains, they are just not practical for rooms like kitchens and
bathrooms. We have venetian blinds in
our kitchen which are great for wiping down (and for snooping on the
neighbours). We also have vertical
blinds on our patio doors but have had to push them back behind the sofa to
stop the twins from playing in them. It’s not ideal but needs must while they
are young. They will soon learn not to touch them and lose interest. In the
meantime, you can buy various safety devices (like those from here web-blinds),
and try and minimise the risk to your little ones.
Please take a look around your house and check all the cords
on your blinds. Are they dangling down? Do they form a loop that a small child
could get caught in? If so, please do something about it before it’s too late.
This is a tribute to Alice in Wonderland the Guinea Pig. That was actually her full name. Trouble One did call her it in full for a few days but we decided we should just use 'Alice' as her everyday name.
We got Alice when Trouble One was three years old and I was pregnant with Trouble Two. We adopted her from a sort-of rescue centre at a crazy lady's house in a village near the sea. She was only a few months old at the most and was already pregnant. She didn't fight when we picked her up to look at her. I understand she came from a household with not much experience of looking after guinea pigs - hence why she was pregnant so young. We popped her in a carry case and took her back to my mum's house where Trouble One had been waiting, not knowing where The Dad and I had been.
She loved her from the off. She fed her every day, and we got her a little triangular run thing for the garden. After a month or so, she gave birth to her three babies - a girl that Trouble One named Cilla, and two boys that eventually went to live together at my mother-in-law's house.
She shared her home with Cilla for a while until one day, when they were playing in the large outdoor run, a cat got in and took Cilla. She was too little to fight back. The Dad had stopped the nasty cat who'd come back to get Alice. He literally rescued her from the jaws of death, but it had been too late for Cilla. We told Trouble One that a cat had been in the garden and Cilla got scared and ran away. We spared her the full horrific details. She was very upset, and clung to Alice that little bit tighter.
After a year or so, we decided that Alice needed a friend. We went to a local rabbit rescue centre and found Daisy, a single lady guinea pig who needed a home. We had taken Alice with us to meet her potential room-mate and they hit it off straight away.
Sadly, Daisy died after a few months. From what, we don't know but T1 and T2 (now aged six and three respectively) were gutted. Alice had been living alone ever since. We never found her a suitable friend - all enquiries to local rescue centres had turned up males, or females already happy in pairs.
Anyway, she lived happily at our house. She had all the carrots and grass she wanted. She was brought in to the garage in bad weather, sleeping in a plastic tub. To be fair, The Dad did most of the care. The children loved Alice very much but usually forgot to do the important cleaning out and other stuff. The Dad was amazing.
Alice had a lovely temperament She never once bit any of us, even the baby twins who sometimes were a bit rough with her. She would happily sit on Trouble One's knee eating a carrot and being stroked.
On Wednesday, we had some really windy weather. The Dad checked on Alice at 8pm, topping her supply of carrots. The next morning, after T1 and T2 had gone to school, we noticed she was missing from her run, and the catch on the hutch had come loose.
It was pretty obvious that the door had blown open, and as guinea pigs hate wind, Alice had panicked and tried to find somewhere else to sleep. We checked the entire garden, shouting her name and rattling a carrier bag - which normally works. Nothing.
The Dad found her a couple of hours later, having clearly been attacked, just over the fence in next door's garden. We were relieved we'd found her, to be honest, even if it wasn't good news. The plan up to that point was to tell the girls that Alice had died peacefully and that we'd buried her. It would have been traumatic had she then turned up safe and sound. At least this way, we had closure for everyone.
Alice had made it to almost seven years old (which is pretty old for a guinea pig), yet had met a sticky end. I feel terribly guilty, like there's something we could have done, like taped her door down so it didn't blow open. But my thoughts now turned to how I would tell the girls.
We told them as soon as they got in from school. We told them that Alice had died of old age in her sleep peacefully all snuggly in her straw bed. They were devastated, and sobbed and sobbed.
Today, we buried Alice in the garden near to where we'd buried Daisy a couple of years ago, and Hammy the Hamster last year. Trouble Two couldn't face it and sat tearful in the living room watching a back episode of Milly Molly for comfort.
The Dad dug a little hole near the fruit trees
Trouble One had written a eulogy, which she was too upset to read, so The Dad did it for her. Grandma had popped in after work, and she hugged T1 while The Dad put Alice in the little hole (carefully covering her with kitchen roll so the girls didn't see the very obvious injuries). I supervised the twins who were playing in the bottom garden, blissfully unaware of the events.
Trouble One has made a gravestone out of clay. We are waiting for it to dry out and we are going to pop it in the flower pot that sits atop Alice's resting place.
So, this is a tribute to the loveliest, sweetest guinea pig I have ever known.
R.I.P. Alice in Wonderland the Guinea Pig.
Trouble One (aged three) with a very pregnant Alice