Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Calke Abbey Meet

We had a marvellous day out at Calke- where we met up with a few families from a parenting forum. One family shared a special place with us- which resulted in two hours + of free play -ranging from tigers and crocodiles in jungles to picking crab apples
 Lovely to get together with other HE families- as well as schooled. Always nice to be where HE is the majority for the kids. Days out are always good when you go home with a half naked child, another with a wet foot where he had 'walked' into a lake......... Managed to sneak into the NT shop and find a little pinky gem towards someones christmas present.
My little girl is growing up and loves being in the company of other girls- cue mermaid pictures, princess games as well as rough and tumble.

Calke abbey- we will be back and going off the beaten track next time...

Friday, 26 August 2011

And the summer rolled on........

This year has been the summer of playing out......an awful lot in the back garden where I have been celebrating the fact that I am not having to meticulously watch the toddler (what you have to do in a garden with multiple steps as it is built into a hillside- and you havent 'childproofed' it as you want them to learn to respect it...... Swings are very 'in' with the older two this year- funny as I looked at it last year thinking 'that takes up an awful lot of space for play value'- as M suggested to me- they are 'hanging out' on the swing- gosh tween activity!!
Two little page boys very proud of their outfits (will look even better with socks!!). I am so going to have to practice the relaxed parent thing rather than neurotically trying to keep them clean all day. They are going to be fed then changed into the outfits immediately before getting into the car to the church. They are getting so excited- even just for the rehearsal ( am going to make a decision at rehearsal as to whether TP goes down the aisle or not- have visions of him squealing/running and bumping Auntie Annabel out of the way in his joy to get 'there' first!!)- we have had a few conversations about the fact that, whilst Uncle Dan quite happily throws them into the air repeatedly most of the time- he may not want to do that all the time on his wedding day!!!
Have been waiting a while for this photo (no it isn't an advert for Micro scooters!!)- may even change the title photo on blog (although I love Loobys little purple dress in that one!). It has taken quite some posing!!! Am even considering whether I need a scooter too- to keep up with them now TP is OFF.
We are trying to get down to some serious housing- the house has suffered a little during the family rebuild that was required post Masters- but we need to get momentum moving again- it is getting to the 'everywhere you look' point and until house further forward we cannot make future plans. I have been trying to clear some stuff out- trying to reduce hoards, some of my books, some baby things (Ms cousin has produced a boy this week- finally a baby boy in the family- think I know where the 'garage' and a few other 'boy' bits are going). Scouts are having a ragtex collection- so am going to sort some wintery stuff- coats optimistically put away last winter 'just in case'- maybe even attack some of the things like old curtains on the loft????
So a bank holiday of family time- around jobbing- and collecting some crabapples from a fellow freecycler (planning crab apple jelly??).

Monday, 15 August 2011

Celebrating free play

Well- the first of my 3D creations photographed in the flesh. Will admit to being fairly proud of this one. DD got this wrapped up for her birthday- don't think it quite sunk in that Mummy had actually made it- but DS1 was enamoured and has put in a request for a Guinea pig for his birthday (have just finished that- will photo that one next time). Quite enjoyed doing this one anyway and seemed to come together quite quickly. The book has a reindeer done in more or less then same pattern which I may have a go at for this advent.
Anyway life has been trying to be full of free play- lots of garden time and lots of mummy free imaginative play- which I am trying to celebrate and value- but sometimes feel guilty that we should be 'doing' more (why I don't know- 'tis the mummy guilt thing). M had been doing some strimming in the garden (sounds extreme I know- but when your garden backs onto woodland with voracious brambles- it is sometimes the ONLY way) and had chopped off lots of these long leaved stems. Found the younger two being birds ( both had about five stems tucked in their pants- just visible at back- plus their wings)
TP very proud of being able to join in with most games nowadays...
SJ, however, as usual went down the crafting route and decided to plait his together.
Feel slighly like I am struggling with balance this summer- between doing activities and having free time. Am trying to do a little decluttering of the house- or 'simplifying'- have addressed some un-utilised toys by putting them away- to see if they are missed. Need to maybe address the book shelves next- but know that I will struggle with this. I can't quite sort this in my mind that- if we have something already- whether it is better to hang onto it- in case someone may value it at some point or to get rid so that the groaning shelves may be rearranged to make things easier to access and friendlier on the eye.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Summer Projects

The new discovery over the last couple of weeks are these little 'mosaic' kits- both the big two have been going mad over them (and I keep coming across little squares on the floor). Am having to ration them at the moment.
This is Sjs latest kit (birthday present given a couple of birthdays ago- put away for 'older'). He has quite impressed me with this- both with concentration and his ability to be gentle- some assistance given.
The finished product- unfortunately TP is adament that it is a toy and thus unfortunantly has to live on a high shelf.
Busy, busy days as usual-time flying by. We have my sisters wedding approaching in the next month- so have been fitting out for page boy suits and bridesmaid dresses- then of course these need shoes with them. HE kids don't necessarily possess black shoes and HE mummies don't really want to have to buy them just for one day......especially not for a newly three year old! Last weekend I went to the hen party ( a three day extravaganza to Blackpool!!!)- which reconfirmed my hatred of the 'city scene'- I just about made it into a bar/club- sooo loud- gosh middle age approaching- I just wanted to go home and read my book.
Otherwise we have been doing some summer activities and lots of garden play. Both of the older two have been 'promoted' forward in swimming classes- SJ now into the deep end of the pool and FI has jumped a class to advanced beginners (think she will found it tiring- but swimming teacher adament to give her a go and being as she has had her for 2 years I trust her judgement). My last baby has started his swimming lessons too- tears from mummy seeing him swim off- the last one....... SJ has also taken up football lessons- which is interesting as his parents can't stand the sport- but understand that he wants to have the skills to join in with Beaver friends.
The little two have done some lightweight camping with Daddy- running about madly, blackberry picking and coming back absolutely covered in bruises and scratches. SJ went off for a weekend with Nanny- which I gather was spent sitting at the sewing machine making clothes for his soft toys ( a wedding dress!!! and a parachute).
The older two are currently working their way through our local library challenge (reading six books through the holidays). This year I have stipulated that all of SJs must be read by himself and that FI needs to personally read half and the other half can be read to her. This means we have been giving our bookshelf readers a rest. We are working our way through The Magic Faraway Tree with FI and SJ has currently finished the Jack Stalwart series and eagerly awaits the release of the next (just before his birthday-how handy).
And today I have booked something very exciting for the week before Christmas......very out of character but one of those -if we don't do it this year then we won't ever............