Friday, 31 July 2009

Grabbing every minute

While the boys were at Nursery, Anya used her solo time with me for as many grown-up activities as she could squeeze in (this is likely to be the last time without annoying brothers around for a while).

She started every morning with a crash-course of swimming lessons - she loved every minute of them and asked if she could go again. I've resisted swimming lessons so far (and she is just about the only child I know who doesn't have them), the thought of shoe-horning them in after school with three tired and grumpy children is too much for me and I'm not willing to give up the whole family's weekend. Also the system for allocating the lessons at the local pool involves queueing for at least three hours. Instead we try to go swimming as a family as often as we can face. After this week maybe I will have to reevaluate my priorities? Any way - rant over, Anya can now star float, mushroom float, swim well on her back and with a bit of practice will have mastered breathing on her front.
We spent the days making cakes, painting a T-shirt, writing, reading and having grown up chats (as well as exciting things like shopping and cleaning!).

On her last day of freedom we went for lunch and bowling with her older friends (it was the last day of freedom for most of them too). Anya wasn't happy with her bowling performance but had a great time.

Deep thought of the week - "Children are the anchors that hold a mother to life" ~ Sophocles (I must be feeling a bit hormonal as this made feel all warm inside! - now must go and stop the children form killing each other)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Growing up

Tomorrow Patch leaves Nursery and Euan is leaving the baby-room for the bigger stomping ground of the toddler-room. I thought I would be sad that my babies were growing up, but I am really enjoying living in the present. That involves moving on and not looking back over my shoulder yearning for the past.

Sometimes I do wish I could hold onto a moment, it would be lovely to be able to pop into photos and visit special times. But I would only like to visit not stay there - I guess this means I'm truly happy (bluerrhh!!). Remind me the next time I'm screaming at the kids!
Here's one of those moments I would like to visit for a couple of hours.

Being happy in the present doesn't stop me from being completely sentimental. Patrick chose Once There Were Giants as his bedtime story, this is a book about a little girl growing up, I can never get to the end without welling up. Tonight I was a blubbering wreck by the time she got to go to school (about a quarter of the way through the book!).
Maybe I'll feel emotional tomorrow but I think the joy of saving £400 a month might help over come the tears!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Another 33 days and we'll need an ark

This is the first week of the school summer holidays, predictably it has rained seemingly non-stop. We live in a beautiful part of the world with an endless supply of outdoor activities and children who love running and jumping into them. A little sunshine would make us all a whole lot happier (not even sunshine but a break in the rain!). The as the pictures show we have braved the rain a few times.

On a brighter note after 3 trips to the hairdresser Euan allowed her to get close enough to give him a pudding basin fringe. I have to admit that there is a close line between looking like a freak and being able to see! I am planning on trying to tackle the back when he's asleep.

I have mentioned before my most fabtastic sister, Ba Bags, she visited us this weekend. She took Bucks out for a one-to-one day out on Friday (as a typical middle child he craves attention). Bags also looked after all 3 children on Saturday so that Tim and I could have a grown-up day. We went for a long walk around Tittesworth Reservoir.
This is a message for the Toothfairy - Anya accidentally swallowed her tooth today. She has been brushing it very carefully so that you would like it. She says that if you look in her mouth (she will be having happy dreams tonight so that she smiles), you will be able to see a new gap on the left hand side. Thanks xoxox
Thought of the week - "Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain." ~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Home-grown wonder

This week we had our first feast from the garden - we had courgette and french beans, followed by.....


Maybe the highlight of the week was when I took the boys for a hair cut here's the pictures for before....

and after - Yes Patrick does look like he's been scalped and no Euan didn't let her get anywhere near him, this hairstyle was the result of chasing him around the hairdressers for 20 minutes.

It was Anya's last day at school before the summer holiday, school had an achievement assembly shortly after the hairdressing debacle so I wasn't feeling up to keeping the boys quiet and still for an hour and gave it a miss. I had an awful-mother moment as I was the last to collect her from her classroom and on my way in her teacher said - "Oh you missed Anya getting her award", shortly followed by Anya asking where I'd been. So much for me sneaking in the back - I blame Euan who refused to get into his pushchair then sat on the floor every time I directed him towards school. She won the most improved award (a pad and pen set).
Quote of the week - Anya's reading book talked about animal mates, she asked what a mate was. Trying to think quickly I answered a bit like a husband and wife. She asked why animals don't wear wedding rings. Mmm - because they are more like boyfriend and girlfriend. So how do they have kids? I'm beginning to find this getting increasingly tough - Well, you don't have to be married to have children (hope Mrs Brookes doesn't read this!), your friend's Mum and Dad aren't. Anya - Is that so it's easier for them to get away when they've had enough? (If only!!)

Thoughts of the week - This comes from a support thread on weight loss - 1. No-one dies and people say, "oh she was beautiful" they say "wasn't she LOVELY" 2. Imagine George Clooney watching you as you hoover up fish fingers. ~ SetSquare
Finally I've put this garden photo in to prove to myself after days of rain that last week we had one sunny hot day and lovely evening. I'm hoping for a repeat in the next 7 1/2 weeks.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Start running and don't look back

Patrick had his first solo school visit this week - he was very quiet about it and held very tightly to my hand when we went in. The teacher had to busy him away to play with salt dough so I could leave without any tears. I was a bit worried about how he would get on but when I picked him up he was very happy and full of stories about playing with Anya and ice-cream wrapped in strawberry (i.e. Arctic roll) for lunch (seems he's got his priorities for school sorted). We're both looking forward to September now.

I also had to bring Anya home from school when picking up Patch - she had complained about sore eyes in the morning but I had just yes, yes'd her and sent her off. By lunch time one eye had swollen up and she was upset, the doctor thought it was likely to be a reaction to something.

The following day was sports day and I thought I'd got out of sitting for three hours trying to keep the boys from tripping up the passing runners. But no, Anya wanted to go (those sporting genes really have appeared from no-where). By the time I managed to find Anya's class to drop her off, every seat was taken so our spot was a long way down the field, to be honest I think we would have had to be there at 2am to get a decent spot. Anya got two third places (the bean bag race and the quoits race) in the four races she was in (yes four races in the whole afternoon!). Euan did us proud in the Pre-schoolers race and would definitely have been placed had he not turned around and run back just before the finish line (he was by far the cutest though!).

I am very thankful that the school doesn't go in for a parents race. I've been told by a friend about how competitive her school's one got. A father was seen to go and get changed in gym kit 5 minutes before the race, the shame was he lost!

Sunday was an awfully long day - we drove down to see Tim's parents who were visiting his sister for a party. We went for lunch, it was nice to see how much everyone had changed but was a pretty quiet affair - I have a feeling that there were a few bad heads.

Quote of the week - "Mine balloon sky" ~ a well put together sentence by Euan after letting his balloon go.

Thought for the week - "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are" ~ e.e. cummings

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Lick not bite

We have just got back from a lovely sunny week in the Isle of Man visiting Grandma and Grandpa - in all the visits I have made I think this is the first time I haven't needed waders. We stayed in a fantastic cottage (the last time we stayed there I found out I was pregnant with Euan so it has really good memories as well as an amazing location - it is the white cottage in this photo at the bottom of the huge hill - more about that to come).

The whole family came including Ruby dog and Martha cat - Martha has just been diagnosed with kidney disease and we had to bring some hugely expensive food with us for her - the dog found this very tasty when left on her own briefly!

From the cottage there were two tracks out - the first led down to a stony bay, we spent lots of time finding the perfect skimming stones (I think that men are genetically drawn to skimming in the same way they are pulled toward barbeques). The other way led up the 'mountain' behind the house. Tim's old school friend, Dave, visited us so we took the extra pair of carrying shoulders to help us on the adventure of the climb. Everyone did really well and got to the top with minimal complaining - we had snacks at the top before coming down and hitting the beach.

The beach we mainly used was Port Erin - The Island had a festival celebrating the sea during the week we visited. One of the days we happened to get involved in the festival by luck. On a gorgeous evening a sailing boat carried a group of costumed story tellers to the beach, each one told old Manx tales to small groups of children around a bonfire while the sun set. We planned on staying just for a short while but ended up listening to all the stories and having sausages and kipper pate for tea before heading back. It really was the stuff memories are made of.

We spent a lovely day with Tim's parents (I have a feeling that they both slept well that night!) - we went for lunch, for once the children were relatively well behaved. Then went to the Rest Home for Old Horses, Anya and Patrick we able to chose a horse to adopt for a year - Patrick decided in a few seconds, it took Anya about half an hour of worrying! As ever we ended up on the beach.

Other than going to the beach everyday, we all managed to eat our weight in ice cream (in fact that was the only thing that Euan did eat!) - there were lots of different flavours and each round of cones had to be sampled by all.

We have far too many photos of the children - here are some random ones that made me smile:
The holiday was lovely but very hard work. I sort of pictured long lovely lunches in seaside cafes followed by reading a good book on the beach while glancing at 3 happy children building sand castles - it didn't happen and I don't know what planet I was on to even expect it? It's full on from 7 til 7 at home and a 3 hour boat trip doesn't involve travelling through a magical dimension so it was the same on holiday. But as they say a change is as good as a rest!

The best of the hundreds of arty photos, will have sort through some of my favourite ones:

A select few of the very many quotes of the week - "seaweed is like grass but wetter" ~ Anya,
"mummy"(a good new word)"round and round"(meaning bus)"boat" "motorbike" and "MMMIIINNNEEE" ~ new words liberally used all week by Euan.
"If you love it you'll have to marry it" ~ Anya to Patrick when discussing ice cream flavours - brought back many memories of school.
"I can't remember our old house but I do remember I have a tent bed" ~ Patrick - it was a long week away for him!
Thought of the week - "How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward." ~ Spanish Proverb

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