The Engineer (An Ode to Samsung)

A short time ago I wrote about an ongoing problem I've been experiencing with my Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer. Following on from this, I was compelled to write this little poem in a somewhat futile attempt to vent my frustration at the passing of the proverbial buck! Enjoy!

The Engineer (An Ode to Samsung)

He arrived at the house
With His Bag of Tricks,
He umm'ed and He ahh'ed
And He jauntily whistled.

He opened the door
And gasped in surprise,
At the water inside
Puddled as at low tide.

He pulled and He heaved
But He kept up His tune,
Trying to look like He
Knew what He was doin'!

With a wink of His eye,
He announced He was done,
The problem was mended
Because He had attended!

Zooming off in His car,
His work now completed,
The fridge rumbled to life
And continued...

Water, water everywhere,
The Engineer had not a care.
As He penned His report,
Blaming the Owner,
Samsung smiled...
And The Engineer?
Well, He called with another.

By Sinéad Hoben

The Slightly Annoying Elephant - A Fun Interactive Ebook for Toddlers by David Walliams

Recently I had the good fortune to review a fun new ebook by David Walliams. With two of my older children aged 8 and 10 already huge David Walliams fans, I was interested to see how Sophia, my 2 year old, would take to the author's latest story, his first picture book.

Illustrated by the amazingly talented Tony Ross, this special edition ebook includes lots of fun animation, videos features and even an introductory video by the author himself!

The Slightly Annoying Elephant eBook

The Slightly Annoying Elephant (Special Edition) is a story about a young boy who goes to the zoo and ends up adopting an elephant. The elephant visits the boy's home and turns out to be a rather unwelcome house guest!

I'll not spoil the story, but needless to say, as with all of David Walliams' books, it's a wonderful tale, full of the quirky humour we associate with the author and my daughter absolutely loved it. In fact, it wasn't only Sophia who enjoyed the story, but her sister Sarah and her brother Jack also got almost as much enjoyment from it.

Unlike paperback books, this ebook is extremely interactive. In fact, it is crammed full of so many brilliant activities that it's hard for me to do them justice!

At the beginning you are presented with a choice of having David Walliams read the story to the child or your child can either read it themselves or have it read to them in the traditional way! But, in our house, every single time the choice was for the author to read the story. He has a great way of making even the most ordinary of sentences sound funny and this resulted in my children giggling together as they listened.

Each page of the story also offers children the ability to touch items or characters on the page to see silly things happen and this was perhaps my favourite aspect of the book. It quite literally brings the story to life and I can't even begin to imagine how much enjoyment this particular feature of the book would have brought to me when I was a child!

Aside from the story, the activity sections include:

Arty Elephant - a colouring in section which allows children to colour pictures of the elephant and to incorporate the finished piece into the story if they want to. My older children loved this as they could then see their own artwork hanging on the walls or appearing on the television in the story.

Jumbo Workout - a musical fun game which gets children to tap on coloured lights to make the rather funky elephant boogie. Sophia really loved this and nodded her head and danced along to the music. It's also a fun way of introducing or reinforcing the names of colours.

The Elephant in the Room - a jigsaw section with an easy, medium and hard jigsaw. I must admit to being slightly amazed at how quickly Sophia understood how to drag and drop the pieces into the right places! This is actually her favourite section and it would be lovely to see more jigsaws added to the ebook.

An Elephant Never Forgets -  a card matching game featuring characters and scenes from the story.

Trumpet Chorus - tapping on numerous elephants hats and trunks the reader creates their own own tune.

Sophia easily worked out how to navigate and use each of these features and found her way around the ebook with ease.

Overall, The Slightly Annoying Elephant has become a firm favourite in our house. In fact, Sophia enjoyed it so much that on the first day we got it she refused to allow any one else in the family to use the iPad. Since then she has worked out where it is stored (inside iBooks) and at every opportunity runs off with my tablet and starts the book up. On our first day of reviewing the book I managed to video her in action (see above!) refusing to let her sister Sarah have a go. You might even notice her kissing the elephant a few times throughout!

The Slightly Annoying Elephant ebook is published by Harper Collins and is available from iTunes, priced at a very reasonable £3.99.


I'm a Desperate Housewife!

Okay, here's a question. Was this a compliment or an insult?

Felicity Huffman or Me 
I went to get my hair coloured on Saturday and the following conversation occured:

Hairdresser: Oh, do you know who you look like?

Me: Hmm, me?

Hairdresser: No, you look like one of the Desperate Housewives! Do you watch it?

Me: No

Hairdresser: Oh, you'll not know which one you look like then.

Continue reading "I'm a Desperate Housewife! " »

Funny Things Kids Say!

A few days ago Jack, aged 2, soaked his shirt sleeves playing at the sink. So, I did what any mother does and changed his shirt. All I had that was ironed was a short-sleeved one so, as it's cold, I put a cardigan on over the top.

Being Jack, he soon pulled the cardigan off and got on with playing.

A little later we were getting ready to go out and I told everyone to get their coats.

Jack suddenly let a shriek out of him and announced, "Oh no, my fweebs (sleeves) are rubbed out!"

He had earlier watched his big sister rubbing out a mistake in her homework book!

What funny things have your kids said?

For more funnies visit BMums, the friendship network for mothers...

Children's Toys

Where do all the children's toys come from? I look around my house and there are toys everywhere. I look in the attic... more toys, the garage... more toys, the garden shed... yes, you've guessed it, more toys!

Tiny toys for me to trip over, huge toys I've no space for, electronic toys that gobble up battery power, outdoor toys indoors...

As Christmas rapidly approaches, I am beginning to truly dread the once yearly visit from dear old Santa Claus.

I'm starting to feel like I'm being pushed out of my own house by all the toys that have taken up residence since the arrival of our three children.

I know I need to have a big clear out and head off to the Charity shops but right now I just don't have the time, energy or inclination. I also feel somewhat mean even considering throwing away toys the children would enjoy playing with if they remembered they had them!


Saying No

Don't Say No! Our little boy Jack has a recently launched a new charm offensive. A very clever psychological attack on the heartstrings on us, his parents. He has started ending questions with "Don't say No".

For example, I was driving to a local shop last week and on the way he said, "Buy sweeties mummy, don't say no." How could I especially as the whole journey all I could hear repeating over and over from the back seat of the car was "Buy sweeties, don't say no mummy...Buy sweeties, don't say no mummy"?

This new phase of demands applies to everything he wants be it a Thomas the Tank Engine dvd, a snack, a bath, a drink, out to play... need I go on!

Pretty smart for a 26 month old boy, don't you think?

Breastfed babies are supposedly smarter than those babies that aren't... I wonder did all that time spent breastfeeding, aside from developing his brain more quickly, allow him to ponder on how to effectively charm his mummy?

I wonder who else he'll use his newfound skill on in the future?