I recently joined the Parragon Book Buddy review club and as I have a 7 year old who appears to want to know facts and be told a lot of facts, I asked if they could send me a book aimed at older children. I am delighted to say that I was quite pleased when Dinsoaurs Encyclopedia popped through the letter box.
Our boys seem to think I lived in the age of the dinosaurs and well when they see what I survived during that period – it may make them stop and think that perhaps I am a little bit on the young side with 2013 being a few thousand years on 😉
What I like about this encyclopedia is that it’s great for the boys to learn about dinosaurs but also not too simplistic that an adult won’t mind reading with them. It’s packed with facts, diagrams and loads of images. In fact, the diagrams have lovely little details like ‘ Bones with tiny swellings, found in 2007, show that the Velocriaptor definitely had feathers!’ or locations of where species were found.
It does truly bring the prehistoric world to life and is written in a timeline which also helps to put things into context.
I also found it quite a tactile book. The photo of the Caudipteryx above has what looks like a crack or fold on the left hand page. I went to feel it and it’s part of the background. There are other pages which have a similar feel and we couldn’t help but run our fingers along them.
To test baking powder is still ‘active’ – put a teaspoon of the ‘maybe dogdy’ baking powder into some warm water …if it fizzes.. it’s active and can no longer be used as an excuse if your cake flops! If it doesn’t fizz – well then you need new baking powder or can use it as the excuse for a pancake of a cake!
Looks fade and dumb is forever
Pirates wore patches on 1 eye to help accustom them to the quick change from daylight to darkness during battles when they would go from the upper deck to below deck (didn’t see that one coming did you?!)
There is a constellation called Chamaeleon
I like fishing
Feel free to pop up to #5things you would like to this week’s linky
You would think that these 2 gals who are twins (aka litter sisters) would have the same temperament and builds etc etc. Well – they don’t.
I remember when we were originally looking for 2 dogs to join our family that we wanted a boy and a girl. It turns out that this litter of 5 Schnoodles only had 1 boy and he was already taken. So, we thought 2 girls it would have to be. We paid the deposit and life was dandy until we spoke to a few people about getting litter sisters and this was the feedback they gave :
You should never ever buy 2 females from the same litter
They are going to fight like mad and will probably end up killing each other
Getting 2 puppies at the same time is just crazy
So, my heart sank and I thought about it. You can’t just dismiss advice like that and I had only paid the deposit which I would rather lose than cause chaos and catastrophe for the dogs and our family.
I then decided to call the vet and get an opinion from someone who knew the kinds of things I was going to get our family into. She was great. She didn’t call me crazy and she also did say that she wasn’t going to tell me what to do. What she did ask was about the type of dog and then said she didn’t see any problem as long as they were spade at 6 months or before their first season. She said what that would do was stop them from maturing sexually and then we wouldn’t have any problems with dominance etc.
Armed with this – we decided to go ahead with allowing the girls into our family and we have had a fantastic time over the past 2.5 years. One is naturally dominant and the other submissive which helps a lot and we have also done a lot of dog training. Touch wood – there haven’t been any problems with fighting each other and in fact if the one is left by herself she misses her sister like crazy (something else we are now working on.) Their little characters shine and their mischief, whilst not immediately always appreciated, provides another dynamic to our family.
What’s also great is that the boys, who used to be afraid of dogs, have grown with our dogs and have a much better understanding and confidence. Not too confident as I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing but more than they had before ie. they don’t scream the village down when they spot a dog from 300ft away.
The only mistake we made is calling them names that sound similar and start with the same letter or sound. We are in a more advanced stage of training where the one dog has to stay whilst we call the other one. Because they are quite clever (words the trainer used – they come on the initial sound instead of waiting for the whole word. I’ll update you when we have got that far.
When we were pregnant with our second child, I recall having a discussion with my supportive husband as to whether we find out the sex of our baby (I’ll save that discussion to blog about for another day). We found out we were to be blessed with another boy and we were/are really happy.
It does mean that I am the ‘only girl’ in the house and they are lucky that I am not a girly girl. It also means loads of BOY stuff. We have bikes, cricket sets, skateboards, footballs, cars, trains (which I might add are also suitable for girls!)…the list goes on.
It also means that sometimes our living room/lounge is transformed into a sort of workshop. Take operation puncture repair above.
We were our riding in the muddy fields today, our youngest son’s bike found massive thorn and his tyre was completely flat. We had fun giving him lifts on our grown up bikes or swapping with his older brother at times in order for us to get back home. Whilst I am super supportive of all things boys, being a girl means I get confused as to how the lounge is a good place to repair a puncture?
There is a garage, kitchen, bathroom or even garden…but nope the lounge appears to be the most logical place for the repair to be undertaken. Granted – credit where credit is due – they have put something down to protect the carpet, but really?!?! The lounge?
My supportive husband has a saying when women do things he doesn’t understand. He shakes his head and mumbles ‘Women – odd’ and it appears to help him get over his confusion. I, on the other hand, don’t. Love our boys to bits but will have to let them all know that the lounge is off limits as a workshop!
There was much excitement in our house recently when a surprise package arrived through our door from the cheeky bunch at Walkers. We have been chosen to honestly review their Hoops and Crosses wholegrain snacks…and so we have!
Our 4 year old’s first word when he had finished eating a cross was ‘Deeeelicious’ and I was kind of like ‘ Hmm…not bad..light…and quite tasty!’ He did say the after taste was a ‘bit burny but he still liked them’.
The 2 of us then immediately went into a game of noughts and crosses which I need more practice at !
as there was only 1 Hoops and Crosses pro today and it was not me!
They are a clear winner in our house and I have a feeling that it will make many a long car journey that much more fun and will await the new argument of ‘he ate my go!’. I like the fact that they are wholegrain and are preservative and artificial colours free. Our boys have wholegrain cereal for breakfast and we generally have wholemeal bread in our house (I see a pattern forming here).
The latest debate that is going on in the dog world is that by 2016 all dog owners in England must have their dog micro-chipped apparently to help cut stray dogs. A micro chip is inserted just beneath a dog’s skin and contains a unique number which is on a database that records the owner’s details. Before I carry on my thought process, I should add that both our girls are micro-chipped and have been since the first week or two that we brought them home.
So, the pro’s for micro-chipping :
You can immediately tell from the chip who owns the dog.
If a dog goes missing or is stolen and is subsequently picked up by a dog warden or vet, they scan the dog and it can then be re-united with it’s owner. I personally know a story of this happening where a dog that had been stolen from its owner’s garden and after a year the owner received a call from a vet. The vet had been asked to micro-chip this dog by it’s new owners who had answered a newspaper advert and as part of standard practice, dogs are scanned to check they aren’t already chipped. The database raised a flag that the dog was stolen and it’s original owner was so relieved to get their beloved pet back.
Should an incident happen with a dog , be it a dog bite/attack or anything of the sort, and the owner makes a run and leaves the scene but the dog is secured, then it should in theory be easier to locate the owner and the police could deal with the incident.
The cons of micro-chipping are:
Most responsible dog owners already micro-chip their dogs and so the ones that should be are not.
If someone has not updated their contact details relating to the micro-chip, be it they sold the dog or moved house or the owner is deceased etc, this is not going to necessarily help in relation to dog incidents.
It will not stop puppy farms
It will not stop people from treating their animals badly
This only relates to dogs…what about unsociable cats, snakes etc etc
There is currently (to the best of my knowledge) nothing the police can do if a dog attacks another dog whilst on a walk.
So the questions that I now have are :
Will the UK government make it compulsory for people to micro-chip their cats (there are loads of stray cats about) along with any other pet?
Will they use the information they gather from the micro-chip to stop dog foul littering the pavements?
How will they ensure that every dog has been micro-chipped and stop puppy farms?
How will a micro-chip ensure that dogs are treated with care and not abused?
I have many more and those a just the start. My point is, I do believe in micro-chipping mainly because I worry with the number of dogs currently being stolen, that it will hopefully be one way of being re-united with our beloved pets. I don’t however believe, that it will be a way of cutting down the number of strays (especially in the current economic climate where pets are considered a luxury) and making it compulsory. If the government was to say that all dogs would get micro-chipped for free – then possibly – but that will start another debate on whether the government is spending it’s pennies on the right priorities.
I am not a creative person and wish I could be more imaginative yet I love how there are so many simple things do to that don’t require much more than a little imagination and effort.
Our boys love :
Playing pooh sticks (the game from Winnie the Pooh) where you race twigs/sticks on a stream, river,canal
Climbing trees when we find some on walks that are easy for them to climb
Collecting sticks (yes random I know) – I have had to relegate their stick collection to the garage or garden. We’re still trying to figure out if they can ‘regrow’ their sticks on trees by throwing them back into the tree…
Flying kites or kite wars. Kite wars is not my favourite of the two as it usually means me running over and trying to stop the kite line from being cut by the warring kites
Riding their bikes/scooters
Running up and down our passage way and sliding near the end (it’s a boy thing!)
Playing hide and seek (in and out the house)
Waving at trains (they could do this for hours…not sure if I have train spotters in the making)
The list goes on – but it’s lovely to see that so many simple things provide so much pleasure and at times it’s hours. And so what if they get a bit muddy – there’s nothing that a nice warm bath and a cup of hot chocolate won’t fix.