Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Quiet Birthday for G

Just because of work and some stress with the house G didn't want a big deal for his birthday in fact last week he looked worn down and if I had treated him to a show up west, it probably would have killed him.
Not that I would ever do such a thing anyway.

But I thought we could do with a change of scene so yesterday with some home made bunting and some balloons the girls cleared away their toys and a quick whizz of the Dyson we made it look like we loved him!

The weather was suitable for a quiet birthday nice and grey.

Me and the girls got up at 6am and after breakfast both of them sat and made cards.
I've taken to reading or quiet time in the kitchen after they stumble out to let their cereals and porridge go down.

I put a bowl of G's favourite together along with some pastries from the Patisserie and bless her, mini waitress carried them up three floors.
Then back up again with a basket of presents.
All very bleak and all very quiet.

I love how P has her eyes closed for the suprise

A nice jumper, a book of ariel photographs, domino's from the girls. The family have put some cash together and binoculars for looking at the night sky will arrive tomorrow.

Then it was of to the super to buy cake and dinner for this eve and the rest of the day was spent watching the Olympics, stringing beads resting and browsing books as this pesky cold is washing me out.

T was so helpful I let her light the candles she was so happy to be doing something for the first time that she nearly cried!

Where does the time go. Everyone who knows me says it seemed to take years for G to reach thirty he seemed to be in his twenties FOR EVER!
Now it's flying by.

Happy Birthday Dear


Monday, 30 July 2012


So we are on summer holidays and it is safe to say the the girls are driving me mad.

There was excitement to see the torch. Walking with close friends to our chosen spot felt like the town coming out to see the turning on of the Christmas lights. We caught a glimpse of it in two towns which was nice and T got to ride on the bus I think that might be the highlight.

 This is our torch bearer!!

My girls get up around 5 or 6am and I decided that rather than waiting till late morning to take them out we would get moving before eight and come back before ten then hang out and go out again late afternoon.
But I have not always got my timings right. I have been looking at the tide times to see if I can catch a bit of sand at the beach.
So there has been a lot of this.

If I can get the tides early enough then I think we might try lots of beaches along the coast.
Only problem is there are a few nutters around either waking up from the night before or still going looking for a party.

I am the last person that you will find in Macki D's, but I have found a small place for them in my parenting and due to a play time running on and the need to find a high street chemist for blister plasters we ended up in one.
Neither of them wanted hamburger but ate them and I sat quietly for 20 minutes.
Except for the 100 other people in the room and the thumping music.

They covered the front steps in 'side walk chalks' and I could do with finding the ironing board for my table cloths and napkins.
Some poor bloke put his machine through the water pipe! 

When will my girls sleep for longer?
It is getting harder to get P not to take extraordinarily long naps late in the afternoon, she does get up from 5, even if she has gone to bed at 7 or 11.
There is no stopping or waking her
I think I've got about another 6 weeks left of her routine.
I'm not sure what I will do then but something will have to break, it is bound to be me.

P is difficult to walk with. T will wander along with you and you can have a chat and look at stuff.
P is a runner, she isn't being naughty (she is) but she is being dangerous. There is a fine line between the two.
So it is either hand holding and yelling or running and chasing her and I am not sure which is worse but I am not running after her.
It's worth noting that P ditched her buggy before she was two preferring to walk and it's the speed of her legs which can be the problem.
And it isn't as if I can never leave the house with her.

I am well aware I am loosing valuable time with T when I am dealing with P which is a bit sad if I really think about it.

So for our last two trips out I have insisted on hand holding or naughty step, T has gotten on board no problems but P will last about 20m before attempting a run.
When she is holding my hand she is grabbing stuff with the other, jumping on drains, dangling from my arm, pulling etc.

She sat here for 20 minutes following numerous refusals to hold my hand and then fell asleep on the pavement. It's annoying, we were on foot and I was following their playing lead, we were popping out for a book going via the beach and they turned this into a two hour play session going through a couple of parks.
I thought it would be fun.
Then they were too tired to walk home and the heat was unbearable and it was all such a disaster.

We are about to walk to town for a small gift for G's birthday and I am getting out the reins that have up until this point been redundant and see if that helps the situation.

I have not had a working oven for a few months and this weekend I found this recipe and had been reading over and over again dreaming of a bit of alone time to bake something. But we have some bloody damp on the side of the house and I think the oven will be put off in favour of some scaffodling instead.


I also have a heavy cold and a sore thumb that means opening a jar or driving is painful.

double aarrgh!!


Saturday, 21 July 2012

Preschool No More

We heard that T's preschool was to close it's doors permanently at the end of this summer term and when I told T before the Easter hols she was definite that we should go along and visit.

She was also especially concerned (at 5) that this might mean that P would not be able to go to pre school as she had.
I had planned that P would start there this coming September or following January. 

Luckily for us T is on holidays earlier than state schools so we were able to pop along one afternoon whilst pre school was still in session. Also luckily for us a lot of the children were off sick so apart from a couple of attendees we had the run of the place.
We also took P with us.

Much to our surprise we had a call after Easter asking if we would like P to attend for the last term as she had such and enjoyable visit and they knew I wanted her to experience their method.

So we enrolled, maybe the last to ever enroll and two mornings a week she went along to CIRCUS.

This is her after her first morning.

G is asleep too.

There are a limited number of preschools in this city of ours, there are a lot of money making nurseries with limited preschool places and a few pop up settings that pack away into a cupboard after every session.
It was by chance that a stern mother had recommended this place to us after I realised that there was no way we were getting into anywhere else even though I had been on waiting lists for over a year and actually hated some places I had pinned my hopes on.

T started there at just two and a half.

Just look at those dolls!

These past 10 weeks have seen P go from nodding to chatting and asking questions like
You coming? and Making I lunch mummy?
or my fav, I need I wash I hands!

She can sing along with songs, name her class mates and tell which book they have read that day and tell me if she has been in the hall, garden or in the blue or yellow rooms.

It is planned that the pres school will open it's doors again within two years. Finding suitable premises and having that site certificated by health and safety and the education departments etc will no doubt drag the process out.

There is a church hall near to us that the residents are trying to buy, it has been suggested that the preschool move their once the building is renovated.
But would it work?

I was thinking about the location yesterday. As it has been for the last twenty years it is slap bang in the middle of the city and attracts such a wide demographic of families from those where English is not their first language, families who are here on business, those who have just about two pennies to rub together and the rest of us who live locally or just didn't have somewhere with space.

I live in a upwardly mobile middle class pocket where families and their free spirited children move into because they like the houses and schools and it is close to the station. There are also trendy ale pubs, knitting and quilting shops.

Did you see those dolls?
Could it work?
There might not be enough variables.

So why has this setting been so successful for my girls?
Can't put my finger on it.

Every child up to 5 completes the Early Years Foundation Stage and these records are returned to you at the end of the preschool setting and then again at the end of their reception year.
Had the staff in this setting not been so experienced and a lot of them in continuous study themselves, would I have been given the wealth of information and guidance required to support T & P with their development.

The one thing that stands out hands down is the conversation between the children and the staff  which was excellent and continuous and in our house we talk a lot.
When I visited other settings I am reminded that there was a fair few newly qualified's sitting in the chair doing a lot of nothing.

On Thursday there was a big play date in the hall that both T & P attended.
On Friday it was the last session.
Over the week you have been able to see things slowly being packed away, the old beige
Stanner Stair lift is gone and there were boxes piled high in reception where other users of the space were making their way to a new homes hopefully.
A rather sad but very vintage overhead projector sitting next to the yukka.

I found it very hard to say goodbye so did my usual, see you next week.
I had been really rather teary on the Thursday and pretty much silent on the Friday.

I am so sad that this little ol' preschool is no longer available.
I have to remember that we were just at the end of a twenty year line of little ones through it's doors.

So what now?
P will enroll at the preschool at T's school but they won't take her until she is three in the September so she won't start until Autumn 2013.
In the meantime, I will have to be on 'it'
She will need a level of input that is higher than whats on television so I suppose I am going to home preschool for a year from September.
That is going to require daily activities and interactions with other children.
Oh my, play dates!?

I can do it.
I can do it.

The suns out today and the washing is finally being done

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


So our final whistle stop before the journey home.
There was enough time for my girls to whisked away by the older girls and to blow bubbles, GIANT bubbles at the front watch some movies and eat an lovely hearty meal.

Long enough to catch up and talk about the family and the journey and be amazed at how much the older ones have grown.
And just enough time for G to get drunk enough to walk a pig dog and a wolf up the lane at 2 in the morning.

When I get a working oven I will de bone a chicken and roll stuffing inside and roast it.


On the way to the bakery to get short bread that actually crumbled due to bad packing but still managed to be eaten and put into puddings.
How super cool are these bikes.

Breath taking beach.
There are a few of the smaller stones in our pockets.


This is the dog that snorts a little. The older girls tell me that she doesn't photograph well from any angle, I wouldn't know because she doesn't stand still long enough to be photographed from any angle. Her name is Dusky, is that spelt right and she is BEAUTIFUL and she has such a lovely face.
The girl can move quickly.

At breakfast the girls sat on the table because as much as T loves anything with a pulse wearing a fur coat these four leggers moved a little quick for her. It was almost too much and it was just better to put them up here until the excitement was over.

This is the wolf.
T's eye were wide at this tale.
It's a bit true.

Her name is Kuner, I will have spelt the incorrectly I am sure.
She looks quiet small but I assure you when she stands up she is the size of a horse.

Before too long it was time to say our goodbyes and make our way back.
I feel as though I have re introduced me and my little family to this larger group of relatives and now it is time to make sure that we continue to be in contact.
I love G's family and they are very supportive but this is my family, there are a few more sprinkled around. I just want T & P to know that on my side there is a very health and loving line.

My mum came today and gave the girls some summer holiday colouring work books. T's front page had this in it to complete.

 This was taken on the first Monday that we were away

Job Done!

Journey home was interesting. P fell asleep in the terminal and it was like carrying a sack of spuds on the jet. G had a hangover and I don't know how he made it home.
I was pleased to drive my own car but it felt like I was steering a dodgem.
And depspite the long day it was still past 9pm before everyone fell asleep

Happy holidays and my tooth is fixed


Monday, 16 July 2012

On the way back East

We went for a meal at the Ben Nevis Inn.

This is G's and what fascinated me is the potato. Do they mash into a brick or do they take a large potato cut it and then roast it. Have I been away from the dinner scene and not noticed a foodie trend.
It was a waxy spud, does that have anything to do with it?

See that path disappearing off behind the wall, let alone the mist rolling in, well if you are coming down that path you will probably be coming inside the Ben Nevis Inn.
There is a huge window at one end and you can watch the walkers and runners coming in.
Oh! here comes another one!

The girls had had their 'talk' earlier and were on good form, I had hoped that they would be knackered by this point but no, chatty as ever.

I asked the waitress what they had for children to eat and I ordered chips and fish bites. Now if that order was down south the fish would be some mushed god awful crap.
Pieces of fish in batter about the size of a child's palm and the nicest crispest taste with fish so well cooked. I went veggie but should have ordered the same.

By Wednesday it was time to say our good byes and I had to fight back the tears which I never do so well and pretty much lost it driving up the drive.

Such an emotional twit!

We drove back east to the Black Isle which is just above Inverness to see another cousin and her family. We were to be there for the night before flying home the following lunch time.

For a place that looks so remote the house wasn't that difficult to find. When we got out of the hire car, I am not joking there was no sound it was like it had been hoovered up.

So silent, nothing, can you imagine what it is like to wake up to that when you live in a city or busy town. Amazing.
If you need to de stress you should try it.

We went Olympic today.
The torch!