Archive | November 2012

Through the Eyes Of A Toddler

The theme in the Gallery this week is Eyes.

It immediately made me think of this photo that I used in a post a while back. I can’t even remember which post it is now but one comment on it has stuck with me every since:

Life seen through the eyes of your child is like seeing life all over again.

It is completely true. Z is completely fascinated with all that he sees. Everything is new and wonderful and is a brand new adventure.

We are usually always in a rush. Isn’t everybody? We are rushing to be on time, or to get there slightly early for once or rushing because we are late. Little Z usually puts an absolute stop to the rushing by declaring “Look! Wow…nice”, or words to that effect.

Like the time he made me drop everything just to point out that Alexander Meerlov was on TV

Or like this morning when he made me stop trying to strap him into his car seat to make me look at the “birdie” that was perched in the tree merrily chirping.

Or like the time when he was utterly shocked and amazed that the washing machine had, in fact, broken!

Or how he just watched the water during a trip to the lakes in complete silence. (For about 30 seconds)

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Check out the other entries by clicking below…

Dearest 23 Month Old

Hello Toddler…we’re going on holiday!! Oh yes, after almost 2 years we are braving it and going abroad. Some (a lot) of people are saying we’re crazy to be taking a toddler on a plane but I’m sure it’ll be fine. Millions of people do it every day, right? I’m sure it’ll be ..umm…we’ll see. I’m slightly concerned you hate sand though. A week on the beach. Hmmmm.

Anyhow, you said your first 3 word sentence this month, hurrah!! It was “Look At DAT!!!”… So so cute. You don’t actually say hundreds of words do I was getting a bit worried that you might be referred for speech therapy and planning on hiding under the window when they came round for your 2 year check so was pleasantly shocked when you said it. You also like asking “What da doing??!” very regularly. You tend to just babble through, unconcerned, through any words you don’t know and just gesture wildly. It’ll probably come in use on holiday in parts they don’t speak English.

You’ve also learned how to open the most difficult doors at your Aunts house. You’ve been opening every other door in your existence for a whole now but, one day recently when we came back from watching Skyfall, we were greeted with an almighty booming declaration of “HE OPENED OUR DOORS!!”. We stopped dead in our tracks, petrified at first…then registered what was bring said. It brought back a flash of Jurassic Park. You know, that scene where the dinosaurs learn to open the doors to the kitchen and people realise they are doomed. Doomed!! (Not that you are anything like a dinosaur, you understand? Although you do regularly mess all my pots and pans up! And last week you managed to flip the lid of the cooking oil and spill 2 litres all over the floor. Do you know how hard it was to clean that up? I was sliding around 2 days later despite having mopped it repeatedly).

You’re much more confident in yourself now and show a bit more determination if someone takes a toy from you. Our stance is still very much “share share” but that secret worrying part of me now worries a bit less about your self confidence. And maybe I won’t sign you up to karate classes just yet.

We are going to have to start organising your 2nd birthday party soon!! I’ve already seen the perfect cakes. (yep there’ll be two, again!), both are Sesane street related. Actually, I should probably order both today. And maybe the decorations…and maybe all the plates and stuff too. Argggh, let the party madness commence!

So until next time baby Toddler….mmmmmwah!

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The latest Gaza and Israel Conflict

The last week has been a sad one with the tension and violence increasing between Gaza and Israel. There was one difference for me this time, I was initially shocked to see it being tweeted all over Twitter. Blow by blow accounts of what was going on and a cycle started. I started following some of the key accounts on both sides following this latest round of violence. Then unfollowing because it was too intense and upsetting….then re-following. Etc. I eventually honed it down to a few, mainly, British journalists and activists. To see violence played out like this, like a ticker tape of death and destruction is both a bit surreal and can be very upsetting. Especially when you start placing yourself theoretically in their shoes wondering “what would I do?”.

Like the family of 10 that got bombed in Gaza killing most family members…or the Israeli mum of 8 children fearing for her children’s lives. If that was us, here, I would have half a chance of legging it with Little Z in our arms. But what do you do when you have more than one child? How do you protect those that mean most to you?

The statistics from the United Nations web site show the following:

Latest statistics:

• As at 22 November (15:00 hrs), an estimated 103 Palestinian civilians, including 33 children and 13 women have been killed. Over 1269 Palestinians are reportedly injured, the majority civilians.
• As at 22 November (15:00 hrs), an estimated 298 houses in Gaza have been destroyed or seriously damaged. More than 1,700 houses have sustained minor damage.
• As at 22 November (15:00 hrs), four Israeli civilians have been killed and 224 are reported injured, the vast majority civilians.

(Note: Other sources show the final stats are slightly higher than those shown above).

These are just the latest stats from the latest conflict. The stats from the 2009 are much higher, in the thousands and equally alarming.

Majority are civilians. Children, innocent women and innocent men.

How is this not important to people in “War”? People seem to think it is OK to say “Well, this is the nature of War”….really? Which means it is OK if children, and the innocent are caught up in the cross fire / that bomb / that rocket? Because it is War….and “it is more complicated than that / there are militants / it was a mistake”.

And the World leaders continue to sit by and not do very much other than use the word “condemn” quite a lot. There is ceasefire now, of course this is brilliant but for how long? This has now been going on and on and on for years, decades, and the death toll is tallying up like a ticker tape gone slightly mental. And even now, in the 21st century it is OK because “this is the nature of this situation….and the situation in the Middle East is complicated”.

So this cycle continues. The bombing….the death…the injury….rebuilding….negotiations almost brokered….negotiations breaking down….escalating tension….and back to violence.

But it is not OK to kill so many children and innocent. It is not OK for World leaders to sit by and do nothing. It is not OK to plant bombs on buses. It is not ok to fire rockets at civilian areas. It is not OK to keep a population living in the West Bank surrounded by a wall, that is at least 2 x times the height of the Berlin wall, because of self defence. The latter may not be in Gaza itself but is an atrocity all the same.

Keeping children and the innocent safe and free is the most fundamental basic human right. It is completely tragic that this does not exist.

This is the picture I was once sent in a forwarded email to show the comparison between the Berlin and the Palestinian wall. It runs 800km in the West Bank. The wall takes a variety of forms mainly either a cement structure or a wired / electric fence.

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You can read more about it here.

What You Can Do..,

I originally wrote this as an angry rant just as the 8 days of rocket fires between Southern Israel and Gaza was coming to an end.

I’ve since read some brilliant things about what people like you and me can do to help put an end to some of what is going on, particularly to help the people of Palestine.

Dorky Mum has written a very detailed and excellent post about the general situation in Israel and Palestine. She calls it a David and Goliath situation which pretty much hits the nail on the head.

Did you know that since the ceasefire last week that the blockade is still in place? It is currently being negotiated. Oxfam reports the following:

Since the blockade started, a third of Gazas businesses have closed and 8 out of 10 of its population now needs aid to get by.

Oxfam currently have a petition aimed at lifting the blockade. They need 10,000 signatures. You can help by adding your signature right here.

MummyBarrow

Cottage Croquet Set In a Bag – A Review

Big Game Hunters are a company that specialise in big family games for the garden. They recently sent us a Cottage Croquet set to review.

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The set contains 4 beautifully crafted mallets that are light enough for a child to hold (suitable from age of 6 upwards) and each provide a grip which is ideal for anyone that may be overly eager on their swing. The quality of the mallets are what impressed me straight away. They are excellent quality and sturdy, yet a light enough weight for this to be suitable for the whole family. Also included are 4 brightly coloured balls and all the associated pegs and hoops.

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Little Z couldn’t participate in playing this as the mallet was almost the same size as him but he did enjoy trying to steal the brightly coloured balls and declaring they were “mine!”.

The whole kit fits into a nylon waterproof bag making it easy to transport and store away.

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We really enjoyed playing with the set although we haven’t had a proper go with the hoops yet. That’s on our list once the weather gets better. Incidentally all equipment does clean easily after a roll around the park.

Overall we were very impressed with this set and would recommend it for a family that are looking for a garden activity for a variety of ages.

We were sent the cottage croquet set to review. No payment was received. All views are my own.