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Freeze Frame Friday…

Me and Squigglet playing dress-up whilst packing up the house

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Silent Sunday: Daddy & Squigglet Chilling in the Playground

Daddy & Squigglet Chilling in the Playground

Taking a well deserved break post market shopping…..ah!

Treasure Box Tuesday

I’ve decided to start a new weekly post called ‘Treasure Box Tuesday’ to showcase some of the awesome toys,  gadgets and ‘stuff’ I’ve come across for both the kids & parents, in fact families in general and also take a trip down memory lane to take a look at some treasures from the past, like Weeble Wobbles are they still around? I LOVED those as a kid, I think they still make them but the originals were the best as this retro blog I discovered shows. The Squigglet is now 20 months old and starting to really get into ‘building and making’ types of activities so we’ve acquired a few great toys along these lines recently, which have been a lifesaver as we are currently staying in London for Io’s work for a few weeks and have to keep busy all day living out of 1 room!

Needless to say we go on extended buggy marathons quite frequently to visit nearby parks, kids activities and shopping areas during which we have discovered some amazing little stores selling toys, gifts, furniture, pretty paper – all sorts – and after living in a small country town for the last few years my shopping sensors have gone into overload!

This combined with my slight obsession with internet window shopping has lead to quite a collection of things on the wish list and as I love to find out about awesome stuff from real people, I am going to share the awesome stuff I stumble across too – kind of like on Pinterest but in blog form.  This won’t be limited to my London finds as by Mid July our little family will be new residents in Cornwall, which is very exciting by itself not to mention all the new and quirky adventures and trinkets awaiting discovery down there.

First up is an awesome ‘Soft Stuff’ Bumper Activity Jar I got from the Early Learning Centre.  I’d never heard of Soft Stuff before and thought that Playdoh ruled supreme in the the world of kids squishy playstuff, but I was really thrilled to find this huge jar filled with all sorts of moulding tools, shapes, presses, rollers and a few sealed packets of Soft Stuff for £10.  Squigglet plays with this set numerous times every day, usually starting at the crack of dawn when my enthusiasm for making dough spaghetti is not exactly brimming.

The only major downside to this kit is the actual Soft Stuff dough, as it doesn’t come with storage containers like Playdoh has, it dries out very fast so make sure you put it in airtight containers after each use.  I cheated and bought Playdoh after the original stuff had gone dry but I will most likely use it with home-made dough in the future when we are back in our own place.

Next up are not specifically designed for kids but I was sucked in by their cartoon food character cuteness.  I happened to stop by a Paperchase store in Islington the other day and was mesmerised by all the pretty colours, cards, giftwrap, random little things that reminded me very much of some of the amazing stationary and gift emporiums in Japan.  It wasn’t humanly possible for me to leave the store without something so I picked up this great little food container set £7 which will be handy for picnics/beach trips/lunchbox/leftovers and a character drink bottle £4.  Another happy outcome of this purchase is Squigglet loves to play with the containers and has spent hours happily taking the lids on and off and sorting them into sizes….see educational and cute kitchenware. Totally justified purchase….ahem.

Right, off to hunt out next Tuesday’s treasures……

Syria, We Hear Your Cries

The world can be a nasty and terrifying place but the most important job you do as parents is to try and keep your children safe,  shielded from the harsh realities and people that may do them harm.  I’ve been slow off the mark to write about the horrific violence against children in Syria, partly because I was so disturbed by it that I couldn’t put it into words and partly because I have Syrian friends and former colleagues and I needed to ask how their families were first.  The answer to that question was as I had feared, every day they have bad news from loved ones and relatives suffering amidst the turmoil.

Sectarian clashes, corrupt and ruthless dictators, civil wars, invading armies (including allied forces) have long been the cause of much civilian death throughout the world, but what sets these most recent massacres apart is the deliberate and very brutal slaying of children. This cold and calculating tactic is designed to get at the very soul of a people, the message is clear – stop what you are doing or we will kill your young.  It drives the deepest instinctual terror into the hearts of any parent, and any human being who could inflict such senseless killing on innocents is the most depraved animal there is.

Diplomacy is all well and good and I certainly understand that there are much more complicated issues at play that are preventing the UN and NATO from intervening gung-ho but hello THEY ARE KILLING CHILDREN and something has to be done now.

I could not bring myself to look at the images of these little lost ones and their mothers and fathers, I can’t bear the thought of their absolute fear and pain, but I’ve thought of it every day. For these children, a nightmare of the worst kind became reality and their parents were powerless to stop it. But maybe we can.

A week or so ago one of the blog networks I belong to did a call out for bloggers to write about this subject to raise awareness and gather support for the various petitions that will hopefully make a difference.  I’ve signed all three and shared with all my social media friends and I urge you to do the same (see below) What if it were your child?

Please sign the AVaaz petition calling on the UN to provide more international monitors to protect innocent civilians in Syria click here to sign

Amnesty International are asking people to sign a letter to the Russian Embassy to ask Russia to stop supplying arms to Syria.  If you would like to sign click here

If you haven’t signed the Save The Children Petition calling on the UN to pass a legally binding resolution to protect innocent people in Syria then CLICK HERE

Please sign these petitions and share this post and the petitions via email and other social networks.  You can follow the #stopthekilling or #Syria on Twitter.

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