Charlie and the Silver Bell

When I was growing up both my Dad and Grandad used to write me wonderful stories which they would read to me. Whenever we visited Nana and Grandad I would love hopping into their bed in the morning to hear Grandad’s latest tale. He’d even send me tape cassettes (this was the 90s remember) with stories recorded on them so I wouldn’t go too long without. My favourite stories were about a boy called Peter Edward North (his friend’s called him Pen!).

I love writing stories myself (whenever I get the time!) and i’m so excited to write stories for own little baba. I hope that she gets my love of books because stories can take you anywhere, they introduce you to a whole world of magic.

This is a story I wrote a few years ago for Josh, Jess and Joe. It’s called Charlie and the Silver Bell.

N.B creative license was used here because Charlie never has and never will be a hunter!

Charlie and The Silver Bell

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Charlie loved to catch her owner’s gifts, and leave them at their door.

Birds and Mice, Toads and Frogs she always wanted more.

She loved her owners very much, and wanted them to see

That no other cat would ever love them quite as much as she.

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Her owners, on the other hand, were not such a happy pair,

When they saw the little presents they would often just despair!

They talked and talked, and thought and thought, of a way to make them stop.

“Ah ha! At last!” cried Jack, “I have the perfect plot!”

 

He rushed out and bought a collar with a shiny silver bell,

And they hung it round Charlie’s neck where it would jingle jangle.

“Brilliant!” cheered Carrie, “Now the gifts will cease,

And thanks to you, my smart smart man, the critters will be at peace!”

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Charlie loved her silver bell, it filled her heart with glee

To think her owners loved their gifts so much they’d bought a special one for she.

She vowed to work extra hard, to catch them even more

She’d begin right away to leave some at their door.

 

But try as she might, for days and days, Charlie had no luck.

She tried mice and birds, toads and frogs she even tried a duck!

She knew the animals were mocking her, they laughed from all around

But whenever she tried to stalk her prey they always found her out.

 

Now a Magpie in the garden, had been watching poor Charlie

He had seen the sparkling silver bell as he sat upon his tree.

“Cat!” he squawked from on his post, “I know the reason why

You cannot catch a single thing, no matter how you try!”

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“That silver bell upon your neck is making quite a din,

And while you’re wearing it you will not catch a thing!

Now I propose a deal with you, I’ll peck the bell right free

But you must make a promise not to try to pounce on me!”

 

Charlie sat and pondered, could the magpie’s words be true?

She loved her shiny silver bell but she loved her owners too.

“Ok Magpie” she meowed, “I’ll accept your deal today,

You can take the silver bell, and I’ll let you fly away”.

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The Magpie hopped down from the tree, and pecked with his long beak

And the shiny silver bell came off with just a tweak.

Now Charlie, who was just a cat, decided to be sly

And with a wriggle of her bum she leapt on the magpie!

 

The Magpie squawked and flapped his wings and feathers flew around

And the shiny silver bell bounced upon the ground.

The Magpie escaped her paws, and left the garden quick.

And Charlie was left alone once more with a few wounds to lick!

 

“Oh Charlie look!” said Jack that night, “I found your shiny bell

It was lying in the garden, I nearly couldn’t tell!”

He clipped it back around her neck and gave little a smile

“There you go Charlie dear, no more hunting for a while”.

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Now to this day poor Charlie still has that shiny bell,

And no one else will help her after the Magpie did tell

Of how she broke her promise, and tried to pounce on him,

And how she can’t be trusted with hide or hair or limb.

 

But Charlie’s owners are happy now when they open up their door

Because there are never any presents sitting on the floor.

And the animals in the garden no longer live in fear

Because when Charlie is coming, they can always hear!

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Window to the Womb

We’ve just got back from seeing baby girl! We were torn about paying for a private scan because it is quite expensive. Jack in particular thought it was going to be a waste of money and we should just wait until the baby arrives to see her again now. But as our last NHS scan was at 20 weeks (apart from the surprise growth scan we had yesterday due to my “small” bump) I felt 20 weeks was a long time to wait without seeing my baby!

The huge benefit of a private scan as well was that the kids could come (they’re not allowed at the NHS ones). We felt it would be good bonding for them to see their baby sister in my tummy. I’m not sure they were as excited as I had hoped they would have been but still it was nice for them to be involved!

I have an anterior placenta and yesterday at the growth scan we were told her head is very low already so I wasn’t optimistic that we would get good pictures. But the sonographer was patient (and got me to cough and move about) and we got some decent ones! These are all at 28 +6 weeks.

Her face was all smushed against my tummy where she was pressed up close and she kept covering her face with her hand. She has super chubby cheeks and she’s just perfect. And she’s all girl which is a relief because those pink clothes won’t go to waste!

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Chubby Cheeks!

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Chewing her hand (she wouldn’t put that hand down! She’s going to be a thumb sucker!)

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Hand on head- drama queen! Look at that smushed nose as well.

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I think the poor darling is going to have my nose!

We also got this adorable heartbeat teddy which has a recording of her heartbeat in. There were loads to choose from and we got the kids to help pick- luckily we all easily agreed the husky was best!

The scan cost us £69 plus £20 for the teddy (there were bigger ones for £30). Whilst I don’t think we would have got medical peace of mind from them (there really wasn’t much focus on baby’s well being despite it being a well being scan), for bonding and pictures it was worth every penny. I actually wish we had upgraded to HD but I was convinced we wouldn’t get a good face shot!

Have you had a 4d scan? Let’s see those images!

Code Breaker

I haven’t written on here in so long. What with Christmas and general family life it has been a constant whirlwind of activity and I haven’t had a minute to sit and think.

Today I am 28 weeks which means, whether you believe the third trimester starts at 27 or 28 weeks, I am in it! I can’t believe the 2nd trimester is already over. There are 84 days before the due date and excited as I am to meet baby, I am happy for those to go slowly!

Today’s post is a little different because it’s not going to be pregnancy related. Whilst i’m a first time biological mama, and babies are a whole new ball game for me, I am already a step-mum to three children. On Sundays, Jack takes Joe (7) to play rugby and I stay at home (in the warm and dry) with Jess (8) and Josh (11). I like to make the most of this bonding time so we always make sure to play a game or do some form of activity (preferably not involving a screen!).

Today I created a game for them which you may like to try with your own children! It was called code breaker and they both loved it. They worked well as a team and the best bit was it was super educational and they barely even realised! You would need to adapt the clues and the code depending on the age of your children but the base format would work for anyone!

The object of the game was to crack the code to open the box. Inside the box was a small selection of sweets so that their effort would be worth it! In order to crack the code they had to find and solve 8 clues, and then follow the code breaking instructions.

They were given the instructions of what they needed to crack the code which would involve using the answer to clues to do some maths!

First, I enlisted Jess’ help to draw a map of our house. I got her to think about where the big furniture was in each room and where the doors were so the map would be an accurate representation. When she had finished I marked the location of all the clues on the map with red crosses.

The clues were all things they would either have learnt in school, or would be able to find by looking up in books. No internet allowed! I wanted them to use the index and to think about what book might have the information they needed.

They worked together to hunt out the answers:

and then to do the maths!

All in all, the game occupied them for a good 45 minutes. 45 minutes in which they looked at books and completed maths problems- enjoying themselves the whole time! They were very proud of themselves when they entered the code onto the box and were able to open it to reveal the sweets inside! The game took me 15 minutes to set up and cost nothing (the sweets were already in the cupboard) so it was a real winner!

Definitely something to try on a rainy day with your own little ones!

Have you come up with any great games to entertain the kids on a rainy day inside?