28 November 2009

Wintery indoorsy type stuff

Outside is never too cold for walking (or more puddle jumping, in yesterday's weather and top to toe waterproofing) but it is far too cold for sitting while the children play rolling down hills and digging holes in the mud with sticks. I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a wimp. Nowhere near as nesh as hubby though, he can't stand the cold at all!

We are inside a lot at the moment. I still don't feel settled with two adults in the house, and although things are mostly very peaceful there are stresses that just weren't there before. Martin and Jenna especially butt heads over silly things, and so everyone gets fed up with each other. We escape in our usual ways. Walking, reading, making. Jenna draws such sweet pictures - like this one of her on her bike.We cook together more and more. I have to keep reminding myself that the children don't need to be managed half as much as they need to be included.We have a couple of new things bought with money my grandma gave Jenna after her birthday (it took so long to decide what to do with the money I can't believe it didn't get spent on bills!). We found a shop that sells nice wooden toys near where we go to get our washing liquid refilled. And as ironic as it is for my children to have a doll's pushchair when we don't use one for our babies... This was what Jenna wanted most in the world. Morgan chose the little sweeping brush (£3!) and has been industriously cleaning with it ever since.

The siblings invent their own fun quite a lot. I love that the baby can get herself to standing and sitting and back to crawl mode now. Not without injury sadly (those bruises on her head - I'll show you in a minute lol)! She doesn't protest much, not about anything. She's such a happy little thing and loves to join in with her big sisters.
Craft begins to take a central role in our days again. Especially Christmassy crafting. We didn't do wrapping last year, but in deference to those who prefer it (and because we haven't done stamping for AGES) we made wrapping paper a couple of days ago.
Then we decorated candles, for gifts and for our own table.
Reading together.
Some pictures from a very quiet day today. First thing I had a lie in while Martin got up and took the children to a Dad's group event. Then I had a parcel from Ashleigh and some gorgeous knitting for Rowan (and birthday presents for me!) before going to meet mum, who had booked me a back massage. What a great day lol. But look at those baby bruises!

Lastly, I realised this week that I haven't shared our Season Table for ages, so here are our end-of-Autumn seasonal decorations. :)

27 November 2009

Jenna's Space Adventure

Last week I had a recording job to do. I am now the voice of someone's phone system, though I'm not giving anyone the number - it was embarrassing enough talking to the computer without thinking about how many people now have to listen to it being played back.

After just over an hour I was paid (rather generously for saying it was such a quick job), and off we went. We had made sure that Morgan didn't have to come too (she would have been climbing the walls so she went to Happy Tots with my in-laws instead). Really (ignoring the portable nursing sling-baby, in a Continuum Concept way of course lol) it was just us and our big girl.

What to do in Leicester with a Jenna and a small pay packet? Well, the National Space Centre beckoned. It was expensive to get in, but (unexpected bonus) we got free annual passes and Morgan will be free when we manage a return visit because she's under five.
There was a lot of reading, and Jenna wasn't interested in being lectured, but wow there was a LOT to see, and some of the activities were great fun.

All I expected was some fun running around somewhere new. But Jenna now really understands that day and night come from the earth's rotation and why it's dark for some of her American friends when it's daytime here. She knows the names of most of the planets in our solar system, and has some concept of what the Earth is like as a whole and what is up there beyond the sky. Whatever targets we might have set before going, or whatever we might have thought we were going FOR, it totally captured her imagination and that is all I hope for from a day trip adventure.

26 November 2009

Autumn's End

The leaves are all damp now, no more crunchy crisp gold from the trees. The mud, though, is really rather good for stomping in (especially now I have shoes without holes!) and I'm always surprised by just how much green there still is. Long may the colours last! Last week, we had a good wander around Darley Park in the wet and the cold. And it was good.I'm not regretting one of these passing days right now, just loving the inexorable turn towards the dark cold bare icy winter and the joy of celebrating birth and life and love once more. It is going very very quickly but somehow I don't feel quite so resistant this year.

25 November 2009

Play

These posts are lazy, but I do so enjoy recording the favorite games in our house from time to time. ;) I was thinking today about how, when I look back at my pictures, the days seem to run together so similar and so uncomplicated.

It isn't that we've just done NOTHING, or nothing new. Things are new and interesting, changing, every day. We have played a lot but we haven't only played. We have learnt a lot but mostly things I can't pin down in a picture or an essay. And things aren't always easy. We have been for walks that I didn't photograph, even to events that just don't seem as big as a quiet moment in play.The pictures don't tell much of the story at all in weeks like this. But somehow I think they tell most of the important stuff.

24 November 2009

Birthday fun and games

I had my presents last week - new shoes that don't hurt my feet or let in the wet (at least from the underneath, I WILL still be needing wellies at some point lol). A wooden box from Em, and Tantrix from Squee. It had its first outing to a games night already and was much enjoyed, though Benj won. It takes him about thirty seconds of a new game to start strategising and he is very smart, so I lost dreadfully in spite of plenty of puzzling practice.So yesterday we asked Jenna and Morgan what we should do for Mummy's birthday. I had already looked outside at this point and seen grey sleet being hurled from black clouds, but still, I gave them free choice. With a car, they might have suggested ANYTHING, I was a bit scared. But no, Woolaton Hall (where there is a really huge Natural History collection that we don't get to visit very often) and then Attenborough for lunch and tree climbing. Who am I to argue?

Woolaton is the most exposed place EVER, think top-of-a-hill-above-Nottingham and then imagine huge grounds and no trees near the house and lots of big stone steps. It is wild and beautiful (and before the sleet started pounding us again we saw the deer, which is always a treat). We got soaked running up to the house (and back again) but it was actually kind of fun.

Then off for lunch, a convenient round trip. We don't usually eat at the Attenborough visitor centre because it's just extravagant on our budget, but when we can we do. It's local and fresh and free-range, the chocolate is fairtrade, and the salads are huge! The sheer quantity of food makes it good value, I suppose, but we don't really eat out very often. (Except Subway after the library lol, which doesn't count. OK it does. But it's SANDWICHES, right?) Anyway, as usual, I digress.We always have to run around outside. No matter how dark and rainy and cold it is. The baby sleeps, snuggled. And it is perfect.The crazies, waiting for Rowan and I to get in, take a portrait of themselves in the car.And I get my choice of tea: butternut squash curry. And nobody complains.There is birthday cake too, because my inlaws bought it for me and sent us home with it when we saw them the day before. The children don't like it (too sweet) but somehow I manage to eat two slices anyway. Hey, it IS my birthday.Though in actual fact, me getting a birthday at all was nearly derailed in the afternoon previous, when Jenna fell out of her bunkbeds when engaged in monkey business with Morgan. She was so sick, and complaining of feeling dizzy, so Martin had to take her to A&E, leaving me nursing the baby and feeling frantic that I couldn't be with her and know that she was OK. She came home on my birthday, at 1am, still very bruised but otherwise unharmed (as you can see from her pictures above). It was a slightly dramatic way to start the day, and to end a blog post, but all is fine. Probably more than fine, as the remaining irritation between her and us evaporated in concern for her wellbeing, and we are as close as we have been in over a week to feeling really contented together.

So, calm and quiet today. I feel like I've had a little holiday actually. :) It can bluster outside all it likes, it's warm and safe in here and I am feeling very loved!