Oh the excitement of being 6!

And so my little minx
Today you are finally six
And there could be no better things in life
Than the joy of no longer being five


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Your world is made of pirates and spies
Mine is one where I sometime have to tell you porky pies
Like the one where I say that I am as excited as you
To see you rush through the years as quickly as you do


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My boy with sweet big blue eyes
The sunshine that brightens up my sky
My handsome clever bunny
I am ever so proud to be your mummy


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Keep learning and loving life the way you do
Because it has so much waiting for you
And as for us there are no bigger joy
Than watching you turn into this awesome boy

Happy 6th Birthday my gorgeous V!

On being jet-lagged and confused…

I came back from Chicago on Friday morning and since then I have been trying to regain control. Control over my thoughts, my emotions, my body clock! Boy, my body clock… It would be not so much of a problem if I didn’t have to live with somebody else’s body clock who is trying to be awkward.

I was foolishly mislead by the first night back home.

I kept them awake all day and both gave up after a warm bath, dinner and hot chocolate at 6.30 pm. I carried two peacefully asleep little boys into bed and fell asleep at about 10 pm myself. Both boys slept until 8 am for one and 9.30 am for the second one. EASY!

Until last night when V decided to have a full blown party until 1.30 am and then we slept in until 9.30 and I spent the rest of the day hoping it wouldn’t happen again tonight. It didn’t, THANK GOD! He fell asleep at 9.30pm. I won’t get too excited because I simply refuse to jinx it, so please don’t get excited either.

I haven’t had much time since we came back for anything other than dealing with laundry, food shopping and regaining the love of my dog who I suspect would rather have kept his super dog sitter who stayed with him all week.

I am a bit daunted by the week ahead because I have a crazy tendency to over fill my diary.

Looking at it right now, I am about to burst into tears and roll around the floor. But I can’t because I am sailing the boat alone this week and aside of a school trip to which I volunteered (?!), my boy’s 6th birthday that I am trying to make special in the middle of complete chaos, the house sale which requires that I gather documents of all sorts and visit the solicitor, the council and god knows who else (soon to be discovered) and work, WORK!

Of course tiredness isn’t helping but…

I can do it.

I CAN DO IT!

*start sobbing*

version francaise a suivre

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Nous sommes rentres de Chicago vendredi matin et depuis je suis en mission de regain de control. Le control de mes emotions, de mes pensees et de mon horloge biologique! En parlant d’horloge biologique, le probleme ne serait pas vraiment un probleme si je ne devais pas gerer l’horloge de quelqu’un d’autre, a savoir le plus jeune d’entre nous…

Tout se passait si bien, j’ai meme eu l’espace d’un instant l’audace de croire que j’etais une ninja du gerage de decalage horaire.

La premiere journee s’est passee comme par enchatement. Je les ai garde eveilles toute la journee et ils se sont paisiblement endormis apres un bon bain, leur repas et un chocolat chaud. Quand a moi je suis allee me coucher vers 22h.

Nous etions tous reveilles entre 8h (E et moi) et 9h30 (pour V mais pas sans les trompettes). Parfait, je me suis dit. Et ben non pas si parfait car le soir suivant, V nous a fait une java digne d’une rave party jusqu’a 1h30 du mat!

Il y a eu des pleurs, des cris, des calins, des pleurs encore et puis finalement j’ai eu le dernier mot en lui imposant un camisole humaine. Je l’ai plante dans mon lit en le serrant et finalement, FINALEMENT, il s’est endormi.

J’ai passe la journee a me demander s’il la rave party allait reprendre ce soir et bien non. Il s’est endormi a 21h30 mais je ne veux pas crier victoire trop rapidement.

Quant a moi je fais la liste de ma semaine a venir et si je me laisse aller je vais eclater en sanglots.

Entre la vente de la maison et des papiers a denicher je ne sais ou, les visite chez le notaire, a la mairie, la visite scolaire d’une synagogue, et les 6 ans du fetard a organiser au milieu de cette folie, j’ai envie de me rouler en boule et de pretendre que tout se fait tout seul…

Je vais commencer a traduire mon blog en francais pour la famille et les amis qui ne parlent pas ou peu l’anglais alore revenez nombreux

The beginning of the next chapter

Never underestimate how life can take you to a completely different place in the blink of an eye.
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Six months ago from today the year was ending in some sort of a bang (quite literally at some point) and we were drained, exhausted and running on empty.

At this stage all I wanted was to see the end of 2013 and start a new year. I had lost direction, purpose, drive, plans!

2014 had to be better. Much better. I felt it in my guts. Without fail by February we were given the opportunity to totally change our life and relocate to Chicago. The shock was followed by a frenetic dance. The excitement the prospect of a different life brought was second to none.
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For the last few months nothing else has occupied my mind like this has.

I have grown lists longer than my arm. I am constantly adding to them and dealing with a new form of paperwork, a new appointment, a new person to inform or account to close every. single. day.
Somehow this has removed the emotional upheaval from the equation. However it came back to bite me in the bum this week.
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We currently are in Chicago to visit the area and talk about emotional upheaval! In the last few days I have varied between “how cool is this place” to “I want to go HOME in England and never come back!”. Right now this is more “we can and we will do this and it will be great”.

We are ever so grateful to have the loveliest, most generous family here helping us settling. Friends who have done it before and who are giving us the most amazing practical and emotional support.

So yes, we can do this and we will do this. It will be great and it is a fresh start we needed. There will be tears, there will be a lot of people missed, there will be awkward and some stressful situations but in the end it will make sense and that’s all I want to take from this experience for now because I really need to keep ticking things off this list!

Frozen, our review

Do you want to build a showman… Have you seen Frozen? If you have, then you know exactly what this is all about! The boys and I have been singing the soundtrack over and over for weeks now! Well one of my boys and I really, the other one thinks he is too cool to sing in front of Mummy so he prefers to hide and sing anyway.

 

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Just a week ago I felt that we were the only family left on this earth who hadn’t seen Frozen. And then pop in my inbox an invitation to attend an exclusive screening of the singalong version in a swanky hotel of Soho, followed by a Q&A with the Co-Writers and Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Bucks.
This was perfect timing, with E’s birthday the following day and C off for the day we decided to make it a big day out in the big smoke.

And it was following a game of UNO in the train, a visit to the Science Museum and a lunch at Pizza Express that we arrived at the hotel to enjoy some yummy cupcakes and a good chat with my lovely blogging friends, Lizzie of Mummy in Manolos (by the way you HAVE to check her review, Lizzie is an amazing illustrator and you have to see her illustration of Elsa) and Jacqui of Mummy’s Little Monkey.

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Frozen is love story but between two sisters. Forget Prince Charming who saves the princess, these two strong female characters are in charge. And they are complex and fascinating characters.

You can’t help but love both of them. Anna is sweet, strong, funny, full of patience and tolerance for a sister who rejects her. Elsa is tormented, fragile, builds a protective ice tower around her. She wants to love and be loved but she is scared to give into these feelings and by doing so harm, the ones around her and especially her sister.

I am not sure what makes Frozen so special but it is, and I believe it is because of these two strong female characters.

Can I recommend you and everyone else to see it? YES! absolutely yes. You can purchase your copy of Frozen following this link.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London

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Last Wednesday we braved the storm and the Tube strike to go and see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. I love this theatre, it has something very intimate and it is fully charged with history. The last time we were there was to watch a performance of Shrek, but it was without the boys.

This time we took them with us. Their first West End show…

I was so excited about it, it was unbearable! I couldn’t wait to see their faces and hear their reactions…

The fact is that they were happy and excited but considerably less than me. Until they took a glimpse of the Oompa Loompas on a picture by the theatre entrance. The mood uplifted greatly and was set there and then. They now couldn’t wait either.

We sat comfortably and let the show begin!

As expected it was amazing. The whole cast was excellent, Charlie, Willy Wonka, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt… and the Oompa Loompas were all totally brilliant…!

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There is really two parts to the show: the before the break and the after the break.

Before the break it is all about setting the scene but unfortunately this is quite a slow process. E was mesmerised from start to finish but V got bored and ready to go home by the end of the first part… I was so worried it wasn’t going to be a good memory for him, but it all changed in the second part.

After the break it took off with a bang: splashes of colours, lively songs, fast paced story and the OOMPA LOOMPAS!!! As you guessed we liked the Oompa Loompas very much.

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The second part totally made up for the slow start and I would definitely recommend the show as a family show however I have reservation for children under 7.

Disclaimer: we were offered 3 tickets out of 4 to watch the show

 

 

And now he is 7…

E turned 7 years old yesterday and I sometime look at him and feel I don’t know him anymore. Yet we are so alike. We are both independent, sometime short tempered, stubborn and grumpy.

We withdraw within ourselves when we are sad, tired or not in a good mood…

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But what I admire most about my child, my baby, is his ability to take on a challenge and try his best at whatever he does. He will spend hours perfecting what he has decided to do whether it is building a cardboard house, writing a few lines for school, swimming or learning to skateboard.

He dedicates himself to the task and won’t let anyone or anything distract him. I wish I had a bit of that because this has surely nothing to do with me.

He loves school and learning. He is such a hard worker.

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He has the best sense of humour and he is caring and generous. He is a brilliant big brother always supportive and aware of what others feel.

He doesn’t like cuddles or kisses but if I insist he will give me a quick hug. If sometimes he allows me to hold him a little longer and a little tighter it is because that’s what he wants. He is in charge.

I am so proud of him and I hope he knows it, as well as how much I love him…

Silent Sunday

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For more Silent Sundays visit http://www.cosmicgirlie.com

Traveling the UK this Easter

January has its way of making us feel all doom and gloom with a shrunk bank account, a larger waist size and a damaged liver. So aside of planning how to refill the bank account, shrink the waist size and nurse the liver, planning holiday breaks has this power to rejoice the mood, don’t you think?

I have recently announced a decision in the house: we are going to travel the UK at least once a year! Of course this came as a little bit of a shock to my British husband, who can’t wait to do what most Brits love doing on holiday: escape the UK.

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But why? I know the weather is unreliable and the cost of traveling in the UK often mounts to as much as traveling abroad BUT have you looked at your country recently? It has some of the most beautiful scenery and it is full of history and hidden treasures.

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Being French I am used to staying in the same country on holidays. The French travel in France. After all have we not got the most beautiful country in the World?! This is the reason why they constantly ask me when are you coming back? and why are you still living in the UK?! That’s shocking to them.

Anyway I am thinking Easter Break and I was wondering where to head. There are so many places I want to go to I don’t know where to start. Of course in a minute I will have to stop procrastinating and go back to work but in the meantime I am going to go and spend some very useful time on Pinterest and locate our future destination!

I am already feeling a lot lighter, let’s find some chocolate!

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Fill up the stockings and get crafty with Marks & Spencer goodies

Last week the boys were sent a selection of M&S Christmas crafting kits and gifts, to their utmost delight.

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What I loved about them is the quality of the products but also the very lovely design.

Our favourites out of the pack are

The Christmas Decorations that they both painted one side each. I love the fact that I will be able to put them on the tree every year from now on.

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We loved the card games too. They are perfect stocking fillers and the design on the cards is beautiful.

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The puzzle with the same design as the cards is also very nice.

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And there was the lantern garland which was supposed to look like this

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but ended up like that…

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That’s what happens when you leave a dad in charge of the craft activity with two eager boys….

Find out more about these products at Marks & Spencer’s website. Each of the products mentioned above are £5 and under.

Disclaimer: We were sent the products for the purpose of this review.

The Snow Gorilla at the Rose Theatre, Kingston-upon-Thames

The Snow Gorilla, Kingston upon ThamesYesterday night we attended the press night of the Snow Gorilla. We live locally but it was the first time we went to the Rose Theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames and it is the perfect venue for a show like this one.

This was magical and the kids left with with stars in their eyes.

The story retraces the life of a circus struggling to survive but refusing to give up, meeting a young orphan Sunny who soon becomes the saviour of the circus family.

Everything is there: the circus acts that are breathtaking, Flamenco dancers that got a whole audience totally mesmerised, beautiful songs that left me crying (I am easy on that front), great acting and a gorilla that got the moves!

Everyone from the youngest to the oldest left uplifted and with a huge smile on their faces. I often complain about how a British crowd is hard to please. I find them too often clapping and cheering inside, but not that crowd.

Find out more info about it and book tickets here The Snow Gorilla and go and enjoy a truly beautiful family show!

Disclosure: We attended the show as guests.