Tuesday, 28 December 2010

One of Felicity's playgroup offerings over the last few weeks. We have been quite mean to her- having been offered numerous blobs of paint/streaks and totally obliterated paper- when we know that she can produce nice pictures (they don' t have to be of anything in particular -just more than toddler blobs that we would expect of her brother!)- so I actually gave her a challenge and said that I wanted a snowman with blue eyes- and here he is....... along with copious cuddles and praisings and admirings and photos and filings in the cumulative picture file
A heap of Christmassy K***** kids- this so sums up my threee at the moment- a pile of togetherness- complete with the pinchings/pokings/joy/squabbling/fun that this entails- can't live with each other/can't live without each other.
An so it was Christmas/ And what have we done/ Another year over/ And a new one just beginning.........
And christmas came- it seemed so long in coming then was all of a sudden upon us and I didn't do half of the things that I promised myself- peppermint creams/Kringle loaf/crafting -spent all day Christmas eve going in circles trying to do bits to make Christmas day easier and getting more frustrated then was madly wrapping Ms presents at 10pm at night. But anyway the kids had a great time- all loved their special presents and I don't have too many things that need to be homed this year as family etc did great things like books. SJ had a Christmas of lego, FI of paper dolls and TP just loved his helicopter (which we bought him -even though it WAS plastic and WAS a battery toy) and has scarely been separated from it (and goodness forbid one of the others dare to approach it-let alone touch it). Principles are one thing but there are exceptions and I haven't seen too many wooden helicopters with winch arms ( like Whiskey Bravo on Sea Patrol) around........
Anyway I think over the next few days I am going to write myself a list of the things that I wish we had found time for and see if can incorporate them into our 'activity advent calendar' next year- of which we managed about 50% this year- December is such a busy month- seemed to spend half of my evenings creeping up to the activity chain and secretly snipping off 'another' activity that we didn't achieve.
I don't think that my four days at work going into Christmas helped- let alone my six hospitals in 10 hours day!
And the day before Christmas eve Felicity slipped on the ice and got a possible buckle fracture to wrist and us bad parents haven't sought official medical advice!
Need to try harder...

Friday, 17 December 2010

Playgroup? Pre-christmas explosion in activities

The result of a week at playgroup for Felicity! It got to the point I told them to feel free to ration her paper!! These are done with a salad spinner- no fancy equipment here. These ladies are strictly old school playgroup- with a 'painting table' and a 'sticking table' and with kids free to wander where they will. I must admit they do sing a few Jolly phonics songs at the begginning as their lip service to EYFS and I know that a few boxes get ticked behind the scenes but the remainder of the time is spent 'having their hair done by three year old hairdressers (braver women than I) or visiting miniture shop keepers.
It is very interesting-there has been lots of discussion on some of the HE forums about whether or not Playgroup is a good thing for any children OR for children who will be HE. There seems to have been quite a lot of thought that PG is 'spawn of the devil'. Well I have to say that my older two have loved Playgroup- Sebastian went until his vouchers stopped (at which point he was probably ready to finish) and Felicity 'would' be off to school fulltime in Jan- but will instead have another two terms at Playgroup- and they have got a lot out of it- maybe one or two not so desirables- but then they acquire those playing with children at the park sometimes! Tristan is due to start in January- so we will see how that goes. I think one of our sucess elements has been the fact that we have carefully considered how much they do- we have never utilised 'all' of their vouchers just becuase they are 'entitled' to them- playgroup has been an opt in decision.
Anyway other than this we have survived a week of intense pre-Christmas activities- 3 parties, Pantomime, Playgroup, Ballet, Gymnastics & Trampoline, Swimming & shopping- WOW I am meeting myself coming back- my poor socially deprived children!. Would say that I am looking forward to a weekend off-but now I go into four working days (some would say a 'rest!!!). Our seesaw of activities contsntly seems to have big swings in it- we either seem to be rushed off our feet chasing around- or I feel guilty that we aren't 'socialising'- that is entirely my guilt and wanting to outwardly demonstrate that my children aren't socially limited- rather than outside interference- but occasionally I crave a quiet cuddle on the sofa with story books or DVD!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

SJs freehand Hama beads- we tend to have little fussys with these- but this was quite a step on for him- moving on from filling in a shaped peg board to free hand pictures on a large plain board. He seems to be have a developing stage on a concentration front- all of a sudden finding him sitting doing a 'map' of the house or an activity book- however this has been long overdue as he regularly drives us to distraction by bouncing around the house- especially at tender moments!
Well half of the country has been snowed in and EVEN Nottingham gets an inch or so- the kids made a real fussy out of it on days 1 & 2 but by day 3 even they had realised that snow makes you cold-especially when you persistently pull off you carefully and lovingly applied mittens.

We have been doing quite a lot of baking recently and Felicity was particularly proud of her spider buns! We are trying to be good and cook more at the weekend- particularly bread.
We have done an advent activity calendar this year and have a number of baking acitivities on it. SJ has some Christmas cross stitch kits- he has been begging for more 'sewing' for a while- so we have one or two things on the go.
This year we have decided to celebrate the advent season more- I have felt for a few years that we have this big 'build up' for the stated day and so we have decided to celebrate the whole month in stead. This is probably a good habit to get the children into- especially as the shift work means that 'christmas' may be a mobile day for us anyway. Sooo we have factored in some family activities- pantomime, a couple of HE parties, Christmas walks etc as well as the flip side- making Christmas boxes for local homeless. It has been nice to do local this year as we did the overseas shoe boxes last year- so it has been good to think of a diffrent target audience- may even get me to hit the crochet a little harder for hats and scarfs next year!