Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Lego Fly Trap and a Big Puzzle App

We started the week with a quiet morning, Squidge and Moppet watching Skylander Boy and Girl videos and Sprout watching some cBeebies and telling me lots of things about various games he was playing and ones that he was thinking of getting such as the old Sim City. He also started to build a prison out of Lego, and showed me some of the features of the cells. Squidge made some pain au chocolat, and we had friends over to play in the afternoon and had a really lovely time.
Later on, Sprout had a fly in his bedroom that was annoying him, so he built this contraption from Lego and used it to trap the fly and then release it unharmed outside :)

Squidge played a new hidden object puzzle game, and spent a couple of hours working out the missing pieces and the connections. 

Squidge had a friend round to play the next day, and they spent lots of time on the trampoline, and came inside to do some dancing too :) Sprout watched some old Nerd Cubed videos, and showed me the new Pewdiepie video of Sunset Overdrive. Later on as I was starting to make dinner, Moppet came in and told me she'd eaten a coin! After much questioning she was still insisting that she had, so it was a trip to A&E to be sure. A nurse checked her with a metal detector, then after a bit of a wit a doctor did the same, with no sign of a coin at all. They gave her the all clear and then the doctor let her have a go of the metal detector, so we had a very late night but a happy (and currency-free!) girl :)

The next morning was all about the guinea pigs, with them each having some quality snuggle time with Sprout :) He's so very lovely with them, chats to them all the time, and here he was explaining to Sandy (one of the two surprise babies from earlier in the year) that "Mac [our cat] is a hunting cat, but don't worry because I'll always look after you".

Casper (the big man of the guinea pig clan)  was the happiest this morning, doing his little vibrating purr :)

Moppet was looking at the anatomy puzzle block and asking me what all the things were on it.

Later we made ghost pizzas...

...and Percy Pig cakes :)

We did an early trick or treat at a friend's house, this is just before we went in and the boys are doing their best scary ninja look and Moppet is just excited :)

Sprout had had a tough afternoon for various reasons, so he and I went out after trick or treat :) We had a really nice time, lots of chatting, briefly addressing a problem he was having, then loads of laughing, chair dancing, jokes, puns, and talking about road trips, his favourite hotel type, giant burgers, the Minecraft sandwich mod, where Gruff and I met, Sprout's favourite caf├ęs and types of food, various apps, cars without drivers, and cars with such good suspension that toy dinosaurs don't fall off the back seat.

He also told me about some videos from these guys that we were watching the other day.

The next morning we carved the pumpkins we'd picked at the farm last week. Sprout started off planning a magic chest design, changed it to an Oni, then asked me to modify it at the end to be a slenderman :)

We made this little guy with some vampire teeth and a couple of dice...

...and these are the finished lanterns. Squidge wanted to direct me making his, he wanted a spiderman one. Moppet drew her own scary face on for me to cut out.
Afterwards Squidge was really excited as he completed his huge Deathly Artisan puzzle adventure game, and then immediately downloaded another and made a start on it :)

Thursday was our annual tradition of the Funsters Hallowe'en party, which is busy and chaotic and LOUD but the three of them totally love it :)
Moppet started off with a play in the kitchen...

...while we found a little ninja in the oven :)

They had some party food...

...played some games (with some epic dancing on all their parts!)...

Then their favourite bit, all the hallowe'en sideshow games :) Get the ball in the pot at the haunted castle...

...retrieve the eyeball from the witch's brew...

...human pop-up-pirate...

...the mad scientist's electric wire challenge...

...and meeting Minnie and Mickey all dressed up for hallowe'en! While we were queuing Sprout told me about a Nerd Cubed video where he can't remember the compass positions so he remembers them with the mnemonic Never Eat Shredded Wheat, and he showed me where that starts and goes round to :)

We finished with a game of Lion King tic tac toe :)

Back at home Moppet was asleep within minutes, while Squidge watched some Chop Socky Chooks and Sprout watched the Mythbusters episode about the exploding toilet myth, and told us all about it.

Sprout made a start on exploring his new Minecraft server the next morning, with Squidge watching, while Moppet watched some Dora and Diego. They all did some pour painting on a pumpkin too...

Sprout watched some Pewdiepie videos about Facerig (which Sprout has had since prerelease but doesn't get the full effect of until we manage to upgrade his PC a bit!), then played on Hack n Slash for a while, changing the parameters of the bad guys to make them beatable :)

Squidge and Moppet wanted their faces painting to go trick or treating, Squidge as a sparkly batman...

...and Moppet as a dragon :)

Some lovely friends took us trick or treating with them as it was the first time we'd been, and the kids had a totally fab time :)

When we got home Gruff had set up their pumpkins outside, along with spooky eyes peering out of the bushes (eye shapes cut into toilet roll tubes, with a glow stick inside)...

...and glowing pumpkin balloons in the lounge! We treated ourselves to fish and chips, then Squidge and Moppet both fell asleep pretty early, while Sprout stayed up for a while and played Saints Row while I got some work done.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Once upon a time...

We sometimes do story chains, where we take turns in weaving bits of a tale or two!
This was today's with Squidge and Moppet...

Me: Once upon a time there was a little Furby called George. He was very fluffy, and was pink with blue...
Moppet: ...Furbies! He my bet wend [best friend], THE END!

Squidge: Once upon a time there was a tiny person called JJ, and he was a super ninja with flying feathers!
Me: He flew to China and soared up the highest mountain, and jumped off to test out his flying feathers. He whizzed all the way down to the bottom and landed in a...
Moppet: ...power ranger hut! He went pew pew! [does gun gesture]
Squidge: He killed all the bad guys with his ninja powers, but then they killed him and he died, but then he came back to life and...
Me: ...all the bad guys were so terrified of this magic ninja that could rise from the dead, that they ran for the ocean shouting, "Eeeeeeaaaaaauuurgh!" and flapping their arms, and then swam off into the sunset. As soon as they'd gone, JJ...
Moppet: Oh I see myself! My shadow! My shadow! La la laaaa, la la! [aaand, onto Squidge's turn! Storyteller number two is taking a break.]
Squidge: ...JJ realised he'd lost his flying feathers, and he'd teleported to the bad guys with none of his weapons. Then he saw a dragon megazord it was red and it was ginooooormous and it had wings, and he got inside it and controlled it. You see? Then he went inside his ninja costume and turned the light on and found all his ninja weapons. Yah yah yaaah! [Does ninja moves] More bad guys came and...
Me: ...they saw the cheese sandwich JJ had made and squealed, "Oh no! Not cheese sandwiches! They're deadly to our kind! RUUUN!" And JJ and his friends quickly made lots and lots of cheese sandwiches and threw them at the bad guys. "Nooooo, we're meeeeltiiiiing..." And then Moppet appeared because she loves jumping in puddles with Squidge, so they both jumped in icky bad guy puddles until it was time to go, then they got in the car which had...
Moppet: ...a steering wheel! Brum brum BRUM! THE END!

Squidge: One day there was a dude who did this [runs up to wall and kicks both feet onto it and lands backwards on the bed]...
Me: He had seven feet, all with suckers on the bottom, so he could do lots of tricks like bouncing off walls and climbing on ceilings *schloop schloop schloop*
Squidge: And then the bad guys came and tried to kill him! So he...
Me: ...schlooped his foot suckers onto their faces like this *schloops on Squidge's cheek*, and threeeeew them into a far away land. Byeee!
Squidge: Then he bounced on the trampoline...
Me: ...and he bounced so high he went weeeeeee over the roof and went splat into the giant puddle of paint on the drive. Splash!
Moppet: THE! END! [laughs raucously] 

This all took considerably longer than it reads now, and had rather a lot of actions and laughter, it was fun! :)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Daddy and the Dolly

I just wanted to record for posterity a really sweet thing that Gruff did for Moppet today. Moppet was due to pop out in the van with him to go to B&Q and buy a pack of screws. She was excited that her doll would get to ride in the van and in the trolley! At the last minute she decided she wanted to stay home with me, but she was still excited for her doll to ride in the van and the trolley. Gruff took the doll with him, and brought these photos back for her <3 (I love that he only needed a little packet of screws, so not only did he take a trolley into the store for a tiny little item, he pushed the doll round in it on his own with no kids, just to do something sweet for Moppet. Love him!) 

Pumpkin Picking and Uranium Licking

We started the week with lots of neighbour kids round to play, one of them was showing the boys the Songbots songs on YouTube that she'd sung at school, then the boys showed her some Barenaked Ladies song videos they liked, like Pollywog and Popcorn. Squidge and his friend went off out to play and I showed Sprout the Ok Go video of Here It Goes Again, which he loved and was then wondering how long it took them to learn; we watched their Rube Goldberg machine one again after, which he loves, then found some videos of the They Might Be Giants science songs they like listening to in the car, which led to Little Birdhouse in Your Soul which he thought was excellent.

Alien vs Predator was next up, and he was hugely patient while being the alien and lying in wait for those pesky marines.

It was a weekend of DIY, with Gruff frequently being checked on by Moppet, especially once she realised he was inside the wall!

Forest school the next day, and while we waited and Sprout ran off to play with his friends, Moppet and Squidge pretended to be stars...

...then lay and watched the clouds, with Moppet asking where they go to when they move away.

Mini den building was the project of the day, which Sprout did with his friends (mainly collecting wood and bracken), and Squidge and Moppet did together, both taking turns using the loppers to get the wood to the right length and then directing me to build it how they wanted. 

Moppet alternately collected bracken and grass and put them on the lean to to keep the fairies dry.

Sprout hunting for wood with his loppers...

...and showing me the clay snail he made to live in the little shelter. 

Squidge made a little man for theirs...

...while Moppet made an elephant :)

Back at home Moppet found much hilarity in showing me her tummy and then hiding it ;)

Then she and her dolly climbed inside my jumper (while I was still wearing it) and told me that was their tent and they'd be staying :)

Sprout persisted in a really hard part of GTA V, even through severe frustration. He tried over and over again, eventually leaving it to play some noughts and crosses :)

Once the younger two were asleep later, he wanted to talk about when he was a baby, so we did that, and then he showed me a Dan TDM video about an edible kawaii toilet kit, which he found hilarious :) We then moved onto videos of actual Japanese high tech toilets of various kinds :)

Moppet watched an episode of Dora where they were finding an animal for every letter of the alphabet, and Sprout decided he wanted to see if he could get to Z faster than the programme, so we did. Just needed a bit of googley help with X ;)

A flying visit to the Potteries Museum the next morning to meet friends, and we started off having a look at the statue of the Saxon warrior again and watching the video of how it was made. 

Also we remembered to ask this time what this meant, as we only had an educated guess from friends to go on before. Apparently it means 'strength through unity' :)

Sprout's first choice of exhibit was the secret garden...

...then they played a fishing game and looked at the preserved animals. Squidge wanted to know how they did that so I explained what taxidermy is.

Moppet smelt what a fox smells like, and was NOT impressed.

Sprout and Squidge played inside the big tree trunk, and Sprout found a toy rabbit in there, on whom he proceeded to perform heart transplant surgery. As you do. 

Once surgery was complete, Moppet dressed up as a ladybird and played in there too :)

She also wanted to know why the mugs had frogs in them, I explained it was an trick people played on each other a long time ago

They played dinosaurs while Sprout simultaneously read everyone the article from his BBC Science Focus magazine about why chocolate is good for you.

Moppet took a ride on a Mammoth (which she insisted said 'mooooo')...

...then we were supposed to be meeting friends at the park but when we arrived there was a big hail downpour so we had a car picnic and then headed home to warm up :)

Sprout wanted to know how much dollars and pounds were worth comparatively (a lot of the games and various tech that he looks into is priced in $), so we had a look and talked about exchange rates, and ended up looking at some other rates too and talking about our family finances too as I get paid in euros which has to be converted to pounds. 

He then went to watch Pewdiepie's videos of To The Moon, while Squidge and Moppet played at being superheroes :)

Sprout was determined to complete a GTA V mission the next morning, and was very persistent with it. He also talked to me about what he thought the dangers of texting and driving were, and how much worse that could turn out if you were a pilot.

Moppet played her Baby Home Adventure and Baby Birthday Planner games on the iPad, then got me to read some That's Not My... Books to her, then she 'read' them out loud to herself :)

Squidge played megablocks for a while, and built this dude for me...

....and then built this guy who he says is the 'ultimate', and has guns and rocket packs :)

Followed up by this wrecking ball robot, and a flying robot that speaks French :)

Squidge had his friend round to play, they bounced on the trampoline and then collected sycamore seeds, then got me to count them, in Squidge's pot there were 259 so he was very pleased :) Later on he went out and played football in the street while Moppet watched some Dora with Gruff.

Sprout played a jigsaw app on the iPad for a while, then watched some Five Nights at Freddy's videos, then left a comment under Pewdiepie's video, then looked up some information about the sequel, then played the Roblox version while he skyped with a friend. 
After that he offered to let me play Octodad with him. The first time didn't go well and he had to turn off cooperative mode to get through the level (the shame! Haha :) ) He then did something very sweet though, he said I could come back on, and he started us on a different level. It took me a couple of minutes to realise that it was a level that didn't need me to use the tentacle I was in control of at all, but he never mentioned it or made me feel silly, just let me 'join in' and completed the level. <3

Once it went dark Squidge and his friends went outside with the Night Sky app to see what stars and things they could see. 

Sprout and I did some more iPad jigsaws together, he especially likes this Kadinsky one.

He played on iGun Pro for a while, showing me the different ways the guns load and fire and that some you have to clear the casing out after one shot in order to use it again.

Squidge then played on the gun app for a bit, and then designed this guy on Foldify.

He played at being a spy for a while...

...while Moppet played with the camera!

We had a home ed group trip to Pizza Express to try some ingredients, find out some pizza facts, and top our own pizzas :)

We'd planned pumpkin picking for the following day, but realised we were pretty close by post-pizza, so took a very convoluted (not lost, I just didn't always know where we were haha) drive to the pumpkin patch.

They all chose their favourite, plus we got a couple of extras too.

We drove over to their grandparents' house next, with the three of them eating their pizzas and Moppet practising her Italian: "Buongiorno! Buongioryes! Buongiorno! Buongioryes!" Ha :)

Sprout spent the afternoon playing chess as Grunt from Amnesia (the claw, you see)...

...while Moppet provided the musical accompaniment. 

Squidge played with some Transformers and Rock Lords...

...then while Squidge went to play catch with his grandpa, Sprout designed a Lego space base complete with ships, battle and government backstory, tech specs, and details of a marooned astronaut who'd been there for four (moon) years. 

One of the ships had a tractor beam so I told him what I'd read this week about the cutting edge of optical tractor beam research having moved a tiny particle 20cm, he thought that was cool but funny :)

He also said the ships were made from degraded radioactive material, and after a funny conversation between him, me and his grandpa about isotopes, half lifes, Chernobyl, glow in the dark watches, lead pipes, and licking radioactive paintbrushes, he decided that the advert would say that it could get you to the moon quickly but it wasn't safe to lick :)

Moppet and her grandma had a pig tea party...

...and Sprout and Squidge watched a video of a 'singing' goat.

When we got home the boys decided to paint their little creatures from forest school...

...while Moppet watched Room on the Broom a couple of (dozen) times :)

Once Moppet and Squidge were asleep, Sprout came and told me about a prank that Sky played on Dan TDM with command blocks during a live stream, and then we watched a video from veproject1 of motorised versions of historical designs for perpetual motion machines to see how the inventors had envisaged them working even though they wouldn't really.

Sprout had had his fill of socialising by the end of the week so we had a day in for him to chill out in his own space. He played lots of Roblox while Moppet watched some Rugrats and Squidge watched the whole of Frankenweenie completely entranced :) (He tends to watch things in little bursts and bob between the tv and other things, but this film had him completely drawn in!)

They ran outside with their friends later to see this rainbow, and Squidge took a picture :)

I took Sprout out for some one on one time the next morning while Gruff spent some time with Moppet and Squidge. He'd chosen the arcade. We were a bit early so we sat on the car park and chatted and listened to music, and he was excited to see a magpie and asked me to take a photo.

He told me about a new three wheeled futuristic car he's seen adverts for (the Toyota i-Road), along with some of its features and what he thought of them...

...and I told him about Sinclair C5s and Reliant Robins.

Once in the arcade he headed straight for his favourite, giant Doodle Jump :)

"The game's blowing my face! IT'S BLOWING MY FAAACE!"

He really likes collecting all the tickets and seeing how many he has for prizes at the end, and was pleased to go home with a Jawbreaker lolly and some Starmix :)

Afterwards I took Squidge out for some time with me too, and he wanted to do the same as Sprout had.

His favourite thing was the grabber machine and he got some things from it for himself and also for Moppet which was really sweet, and he bought a chocolate bar from the vending machine for Gruff and when he cashed in his tickets and ended up with lots of packs of sweets he was so excited to take them home and share them with his friends :)