Friday, 27 March 2020

The Things We Did - Day 7


Well we've made it to Friday!! How's this week been for you? Better or worse than you expected?


We had a really lazy start to the day and I was all for counting today as the weekend. But once we got going we were ok. We've spent most of the day in the back yard, playing basketball and drawing and this morning we had a dance party. Not sure how the neighbours feel about me singing Toss A Coin To Your Witcher relatively loud!


I also became a work of art....if it keeps them happy!


We've dropped in and out of the Chester Zoo live tour today and we watched the Red Pandas, Elephants and Butterflies. 


School work was completed and so was mini Nerdling's kickboxing challenges, though we need to work on his tuck jumps.

It's been an emotional week, but we've made it and I think next week will be a lot more settled.

The Things We Did - Day 6


I wanted to shake PE up a bit today, so we completed the Cosmic Kids Star Wars: The Force Awakens yoga. It was absolutely amazing! I loved how they told the story through yoga and kept it fun, both Nerdlings loved it. Mini Nerdling is already choosing which session to do next!


After a brew and play with the blocks we spent a good couple of hours in the back yard just playing and enjoying the weather.


While we ate dinner, we virtually visited Blair Drummond Safari Park and learnt about Red Ruffed Lemurs.

We're making a list of all the places we've "visited" during lockdown and were going to try and visit them in real life to support them as soon as we can manage.

We spent more time in the back yard in the afternoon and though I never normally do these kinds of things, I thought it'd be fun to ask mini Nerdling while he was playing.

Just for fun... ask your kids these 16 questions

Mini Nerdling, age 6

1. If you won a million pounds, what would you buy?  An expensive rocket.

2. How long does it take to get to America? A thousand miles

3. What does Mummy always say to you? Stop being silly

4. What job would you like to do when you're big? A detective

5. What is the capital of England? London

6. Where do babies come from?  Mummys

7. At what age do you become an adult? 21

8. If you could change one rule in your family house what would it be? I can play Xbox every day

9. If you could be a superhero, what superpower would you have? Invisibility

10. What would you do to save the planet? Fight bad guys

11. If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be? Popcorn

12. How much does it cost to buy a house? £1000

13. Why do you think we should be nice to other? Because we don't want to hurt each others feelings

14. What does love mean? You want to be with them every day.

15. What are you scared of? Spiders and blood grosses me out

16. What is so important to you? Finding things that are interesting

He actually enjoyed it and really thought about some of his answers!

Mini Nerdling made his own pizza for tea and I just got it in and out the oven for him. He did a fab job!


After tea he got in his kickboxing gear and him and Nerdish Dad went and practiced his kicks and punches. It took him a minute or two to settle into it and take it seriously, but once he did he did absolutely amazing!! 

We're nearly at the end of week one of schooling from home, how's everyone managing? 

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

The Things We Did - Day 5


I'm late typing this today as I wasn't really sure if I was going to do it as I had a bit of a cry at dinner, feeling like I was letting the kids down and not doing enough for them. But that wouldn't be very honest of me and I don't want anyone thinking their alone if they feel the same.

Baby Nerdling was up for 3+ hours again last night and doing anything this tired is hard work! She'll settle back down once these teeth are through (hopefully haha).

While baby Nerdling finished her breakfast, mini Nerdling was doing jigsaws, but upside down...I honestly don't know how he does it!


We started the day joining the online taster session of Oh Happy Sign and it was really lovely. I wasn't sure how well baby Nerdling would engage with a full class without it being "in person", but she did absolutely amazing and signed nappy, hat and train!


After that mini Nerdling cracked on with his school work while me and baby Nerdling did some singing to nursery rhymes, her current favourite song is Happy Birthday.

We then watched the turtles, sting rays and sharks being fed at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth which was fascinating (I think I enjoyed it the most), we learnt that sharks can have birth marks and that the reason sharks don't eat the other fish in the tanks is because their taught target feeding and are basically lazy! The video is up now if you want to check it out.

Bubbles and chalk outside before dinner! Mr Frog came outside to help today.


After dinner, we face timed with Grandma as I normally go out for a brew with her on a Wednesday and I'm trying to keep things as "normal" as possible. We've also been face timing Nana and Grandad too. It's been good for me too seeing other grownups! 

When we'd done, mini Nerdling completed his daily kickboxing challenge and drew in his journal, then we all had a bit of quiet time. Baby Nerdling played blocks while listening to nursery rhymes, mini Nerdling read his Harry Potter and I sat there quietly trying not to breathe too loud and disturb them haha! 


Before tea we had another hour in the back yard and we had a dance party and then the kids took turn to fly around the yard in my arms (I'm stronger than I thought!) 


Overall a really good day, with just an emotional blip from me in the middle. Hope everyone is doing ok.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The Things We Did - Day 4


Today has been a lot more laid back than yesterday, baby Nerdling was up for 4+ hours in the night and I was slow to get going. I made sure we did "school work" this morning so that if we did nothing else all day, it didn't matter. I know some people have timetables etc set up, but I'd put far too much pressure on myself if I did that and I'd fall apart of it wasn't kept to perfectly! With having a toddler to work around as well, timetables need to be flexible.

We did make sure that mini Nerdling completed his kickboxing challenges, which were even more challenging today as baby Nerdling was tickling him in-between sit ups. 

In the afternoon we got into the back yard and ran around with bubbles for a bit before sitting on floor and drawing with chalk. Both Nerdlings thought this was amazing! Such a simple activity but they both really got into it. I only had to stop them because baby Nerdling tried to eat rocks.




When baby Nerdling went to bed, me and mini Nerdling got a couple of his Toucan Boxes out and crafted for a while before bed. Both need drying time over night, so we should finish both of them tomorrow.



Other people might have been hoarding toilet roll, but this mum here has been hoarding craft supplies!!

Tonight mini Nerdling has alternated his bedtime reading with Awful Aunty by David Walliams. He always has more than one book on the go. This though has led to him asking to learn about Roman Numerals tomorrow as that's how the chapters are numbered and he wants to understand.

I know this has turned kind of diary like, but it's very therapeutic for me, so I hope those of you who are reading are still enjoying it.

Monday, 23 March 2020

The Things We Did - Day 3


I'm a bit later today because I needed a bit of time to rest haha!

We started the day joining Joe Wick (The Body Coach) to do PE and both Nerdlings absolutely loved it and are looking forward to doing it tomorrow which is brilliant!

We then joined in with Wake Up And Wiggle with Oh Happy Sign. Baby Nerdling was very excited but very confused and was looking behind my phone for Charlotte. Charlotte is currently offering online courses so you can join in wherever in the world you are. They'll be brilliant!


We managed to do both maths and English sent home by mini Nerdling's teacher for day 1 and while he was doing that baby Nerdling and me were learning to count with Number Zoo.

We spent some time out back running around popping bubbles which is absolutely hilarious and freeing.

Mini Nerdling's kickboxing school is now doing daily challenges, so both me and him completed today's. I was exhausted, but it was a lot of fun and felt good to be exercising.

There's was plenty of playing with blocks again for both of the kids, I've found that it's really encouraged mini Nerdling's imagination and today there were spiders and all sorts going on.


I've asked mini Nerdling if there's anything specific he'd really love to learn about while we're working together, so he's having a good think. He did ask me what Hippo's ate, so we checked that but he said that didn't count as his final decision!

We've settled pretty well into the nighttime routine now of him writing in his journal and then heading off to bed to read.

How did everyone else's first official day of schooling from home go? 


Sunday, 22 March 2020

The Things We Did - Day 2


It's Mother's Day today in the UK and I suppose I'm lucky in the fact we don't normally go anywhere to celebrate so the current situation hasn't really affected anything except for me not getting a card from baby Nerdling. Mini Nerdling had made one at school before they finished and honestly it's perfect, under each petal of the flower is a reason he loves me. Nerdish Dad did make sure I got a present though and had ordered me some new books.


One of the pieces of work from school is a homework grid and one of the options is to help out with one chore per day. Mini Nerdling already has chores so we've said we'll try different ones to see which ones he can do and enjoys and then he can help out more. He loves helping out so he's very excited about this. This morning I taught him how to strip his bed, we had a go at making it too, but getting the bottom sheet on a bunk bed is hard enough for me! He did finish it all off by arranging his pillow etc.


Baby Nerdling is still teething really hard and struggling with it so while she napped on me, I let him have some game time on the Xbox and he played his usual stuff on Roblox which he really appreciated.

With how beautiful it's been today, I normally would have gone for a walk, but I know how narrow the paths are in the woods and it's more important that we social distance properly at the minute. So instead we went into the front yard and we planted daffodils. Yes, it's completely the wrong time to plant them and they may flower or they might not, but honestly we had such a nice time doing it, it really doesn't matter.



For the rest of the day, both kids played with blocks and built a fort which was being attacked by zombies (pretty sure this was mini Nerdling's idea not the baby)! Mini Nerdling finished his kickboxing exercises and updated his journal, before going to read Harry Potter in bed.

Today has felt a lot more "normal" than yesterday, but tomorrow will be the real test before we settle into a new routine.

I hope everyone's weekend was as close to what they wanted as possible.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

The Things We Did - Day 1


I'm not sure if anyone will be interested in this, but I'm doing it more for me as an outlet than anything else. I've decided to do a blog post a day ish, to just share what me and the Nerdlings have been up to and learning. You never know it might help others too.

Last night I chatted to mini Nerdling about how for now, me and his dad are going to be his teachers as well as his parents and that it's a weird situation for us all and there may be times that we all get angry or frustrated, but we all need to try our best. His only response was to say that it wasn't a weird situation, it was a different one so it's fine. I swear kids deal with things so much better than adults sometimes!

Today obviously is Saturday so I just wanted a nice chill day and that's what we've done for the most part. If mini Nerdling had his way though we'd have already completed the 10 days of work they've been sent from school plus more!

What we have done though, is get into the back yard and blow bubbles.


We've tested him on his spellings he got last week, he's done his kickboxing exercises and he's drawn and put up his lockdown rainbow in the front window.


Before bed, I've also given mini Nerdling a journal so he can write a few words or draw something at the end of every day. I used to do this with the oldest when she was younger and she loved it. I'm also remaking the jar I had full of different questions that they can pull out if they want.

The Nerdlings have both just got on with normal stuff too, like building blocks, colouring, sword fighting and eating everything in sight. Baby Nerdling was up for four hours in the night last night as she's finally getting more teeth and they're all coming in at once, so she's grumpier than usual today. It's definitely going to be a challenge keeping everyone happy and content at all times, but with some good and hard team work, but we'll do it.


Some days I may miss, some days there may only be a few lines, but hopefully it'll help me and maybe even just one other person, keep on track. Feel free to comment or message about how you're doing, we're all in this together.

Friday, 13 March 2020

Black River by Will Dean - Blog Tour Review


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I have the absolute privilege of being part of the blog tour for Black River by Will Dean. Thank you to Anne Cater for having me involved.

Black River

FEAR

Tuva has been living clean in southern Sweden for four months when she receives horrifying 
news. Her best friend Tammy has gone missing.

SECRETS

Racing back to Gavrik at the height of Midsommar, Tuva fears for Tammy’s life. Who has 
taken her, and why? And who is sabotaging the small-town search efforts?

LIES

Surrounded by dark pine forest, the sinister residents of Snake River are suspicious of 
outsiders. Unfortunately, they also hold all the answers. On the shortest night of the year, 
Tuva must fight to save her friend. But who will be there to save Tuva?

It may be Midsommar in Gavrik, but this is the most chilling episode yet in the acclaimed 
Scandi thriller series from British writer Will Dean.

My Review

Black River is the third book in the Tuva Moodyson mystery series and it's an absolute blinder!I didn't think it was possible for Will Dean's writing to get better after Dark Pines, but he keeps proving me wrong with each subsequent book. Though I do think Black River can be read as a stand alone, I think you'd miss out not reading the others as some characters we've met before (that and they're just good books!)

Gavrik is so vividly portrayed, I really felt like I was there with Tuva and I was fully immersed in what was happening. If I ever went missing, I'd love a friend like Tuva who'd stop at nothing to find me!

There is such a creepy and atmospheric feeling throughout the story, you feel personally worried like you need to look over your shoulder. It's quite intense and I felt breathless when I stopped reading I think my heart was pounding so much.

I never really go into the story when I review as I'd hate to ever give spoilers, but I can honestly say that Black River is brilliantly written and there's such an intricate thinking to make sure everything feels so real to the reader.

I gave this book 5 stars.



About The Author


WILL DEAN grew up in the East Midlands and had lived in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden, where he built a house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest. His debut novel, Dark Pines, was selected for Zoe Ball’s Book Club, shortlisted for the Guardian Not the Booker Prize and named a Telegraph book of the year. The second book in the series, Red Snow, is now out in paperback.

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Helene by Karl Drinkwater - Blog Tour Review


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum I'm extremely excited to be sharing my review of Helene by Karl Drinkwater. A big thank you to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for having me along.

Helene

Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI.
As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.
Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it's not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.
On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality.
Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?
Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.
My Review

Before reading Helene, I have read both books currently in the Lost Solace universe and was very excited to get more information about how things came to be. However if you haven't, Helene would be an absolute perfect place to start your journey and such a good introduction!

Considering Helene is a novella length story, there is so much packed into it and I became ridiculously attached to both ViraUHX and Helene and there were quite a few tears from me! We get to know both characters as they get to know each other, so it's a very realistic, honest and organic way of identifying with them.

One of the things I love about the whole series is that Karl Drinkwater uses scientific terms and doesn't feel the need to explain them as they already make sense in the context they're used.

I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I think the fact that Karl Drinkwater is an author of horror too, really adds to his sci-fi writing. The sense of claustrophobia and foreboding throughout is both subtle and builds throughout the story.

I absolutely loved Helene and I can't wait for more stories in the Lost Solace universe.

I'll finish my review by saying, don't worry ViraUHX I thought Bubble Cup was hilarious!

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He's a full-time author, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you'll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn't writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.



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Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb - Blog Tour Review


Today on Life Of A Nerdish Mum, I am extremely excited to be sharing my review of Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb. The Lori Anderson series is one of my favourite and I jumped at the chance to take part in the blog tour. A big thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books as always for having me along.

Deep Dark Night

Working off the books for FBI Special Agent Alex Monroe, Florida bounty hunter Lori Anderson and her partner, JT, head to Chicago. Their mission: to entrap the head of the Cabressa crime family. The bait: a priceless chess set that Cabressa is determined to add to his collection. 

An exclusive high-stakes poker game is arranged in the penthouse suite of one of the city’s tallest buildings, with Lori holding the cards in an agreed arrangement to hand over the pieces, one by one. But, as night falls and the game plays out, stakes rise and tempers flare. 

When a power failure plunges the city into darkness, the building goes into lockdown. But this isn’t an ordinary blackout, and the men around the poker table aren’t all who they say they are. Hostages are taken, old scores resurface and the players start to die. 

And that’s just the beginning...

My Review

Whenever I read a new Steph Broadribb book, I always make sure I've got enough time to sit and read it all in one go as I know when I start reading, I don't want to stop! Deep Dark Night turned out to be no different and it grabbed me right from page one and didn't let me go until I finished. It was fast paced and breath taking, I found myself holding my breath as Lori got into scrapes and I was willing her to get out of them.

The writing, as ever, is absolutely outstanding and I really felt like I was there in the building alongside Lori and JT. Sometimes authors put their characters in peril, but you don't really feel any tension or any worry that they might not get out of the situation. This isn't the case with Steph Broadribb, I really worried at times whether everyone was going to come out safe on the other side!

The characters are all so well rounded and fleshed out, that I feel like they are "real" people and I think this really adds to the immersion of the story as I worried more about them, than I would someone I possibly didn't "know" as well.

Overall another absolutely amazing book by Steph Broadribb and one I'll be recommending to everyone!

I gave this book 5 stars.

About The Author


Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA. As her alter- ego - Crime Thriller Girl - she indulges in her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. She is also a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls. Steph is an alumni of the MA Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori Anderson thrilliers, She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens. Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym, Stephanie Marland was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.

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