Reading and potatoes

Elliot has been using a trial of Reading Eggs recently. It is a brilliant online reading game. He had a go a few months ago but this time something seems to have clicked and he is just starting to ‘get’ the idea of reading and blending sounds and all that sort of thing. It is lovely to watch him learn – even if he is a little obsessed with using the laptop! In fact, he’s trying to kick me off already!

We recently took part in a grow your own potatoes project which they enjoyed. Last week was harvesting time. I love how excited they were! We have already eaten most of the potatoes. Maybe we’ll plant some more. Also growing in the garden is a raspberry bush, strawberry plants, one solitary courgette plant that survived the slug assault, and a couple of fruit tree grown from pips/seeds last year. Unfortunately apart from the avocado which is rather obvious, all the other trees are unidentified. I guess we’ll have to see whether they start bearing fruit in a couple of years! Growing things and learning about where food comes from is such a nice thing to do together as I’m not exactly an expert gardener and tend to be learning as much as the kids!

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Starting afresh

So, it’s been a (very, very, very) long time since I blogged! We now have 3 children. Elliot is 4.5, Carys 2.5, Lydia 5 months. We have a lovely house which is never tidy or quiet (unless we’re on holiday).

Not sure why I’m updating this as it’s not like I have time to blog, but I’m hoping to use this as a record as we start our official Home education adventures. Elliot won’t be going to school in September and so this is going to be where I try and document some of what we’ve been up to and anything interesting we’ve been discovering.

We don’t plan on doing any “lessons” as such for the time being. Elliot has learnt (and continues to learn) so much in his first few years of life without being ‘taught’ and so we plan to continue just muddling along with life and learning as we go along.

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When Grandma and Grandpa came to stay

So, I’ve got a bit behind on my blogging, this actually happened a couple of weeks ago and I’ve not had time to write, but better late than never.

My mum and dad came to see us from Thursday 10th-Saturday 12th Feb. It was lovely. We hadn’t seen them since Christmas and miss them loads. It was the first time they’d seen our new house. There was actually space to have them in the spare room, rather than them having to sleep in the lounge!

We went to soft play on Friday morning, played, read books, talked about ‘life, the universe and everything’, relaxed,  cuddled and generally enjoyed each other’s company.

On Saturday we all went to Barnard Castle for a wander around. We had lunch in a little Café (well, most of us had 2nd breakfast), and then we wandered to the park, round the castle and by the river.

Twas lovely – lovely weather, lovely company, smiles all round! Unfortunately then it was time to say goodbye. We will see then again for a longer period over Easter and will look forward to that immensely.

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A lovely few days

Elizabeth and Reuben came to visit on Tuesday and Wednesday. We had a lovely time. It was so nice to have company in the day time, for me and for Elliot. Reuben is 2 days younger than Elliot so they make pretty good playmates.

On Tuesday we chatted and caught up with life. We played with Megablocks and various other toys, and then went for a wander to Lidl after lunch. The idea was for the boys to both go to sleep. Reuben happily obliged, Elliot not so much! On the way home Elliot grumbled about being stuck in the pushchair and requested that I got him out to let him walk. I was a very kind mummy and let him do so. This meant that the last 5 minutes walk home actually took around 20 minutes, what with stopping and starting a lot, going in the wrong direction occasionally, and generally going at the pace of a 16 month old child with small legs but endless energy!

After dinner (rice and bolognaise), it was bath time (cue cute bath pic:)

Once the boys were in bed we chatted, watched some “Not Going Out” and played rummy, but not at the same time because Nathan couldn’t cope!

On Wednesday we decided to go swimming. This was a brave move considering it was half-term. However we got there early enough for the pool not to be too crowded and fun was had by all. Both boys were obsessed by the whale in the toddler pool and we even managed a go on the water slide.

Then the boys had lunch and the grown-ups shared a scone in the cafè. Both boys had a nap on the way home and then later in the afternoon we took them to the park to keep the late afternoon grumbles at bay. Sausage casserole for dinner and then time to say bye 😦  But, I had such a nice 2 days.

Then, on Thursday we had a lovely morning.  Melissa and Eilidh came round to play. Elliot and Eilidh spent the morning giving each other kisses and cuddles which was very cute

They really do love each other – except when they want to play with the same toy in which case we get tears!

We love having friends round. It keeps everyone happy!

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Random happenings

So it’s been a while since the last post. Things got rather crazy around here what with moving house a week before Christmas, then visiting family for a week, coming back and having an ill (therefore grumpy) child, trying to instil some sort of order into the new house, and now having a teething child, who is soo clingy. And now the snow has returned!

Anyway, to update you… the move went really well, had lots of help from some church friends and everything got moved without too much hassle. We had 5 days in the new house before travelling to see family for Christmas…

… Which was lovely. Managed to relax a bit and enjoyed spending time with lovely people. Pogo’s favourite new toy is either a metal teapot which he can bang the lid of and store things in (like plastic fruit or 2 pence pieces), or his till, which has noisy buttons to press and a cash drawer he can store things in (like 2 pence pieces or chocolate). Are you getting the recurring theme? He likes putting things in other things (and getting them out again). Which reminds me, he has put the tv remote somewhere and we can’t find it. Hopefully it was not in the bin which got emptied and collected yesterday! We’ve checked the washing machine, the saucepans, the cupboards, and no sign of it yet. Oh well.

I think he’s getting some back teeth at the moment. All the signs are there: red cheeks, general grumpyness, disgusting nappies, disturbed sleep (although I’m not sure that counts as a sign with this child – see last post). He is also being exceptionally clingy to me. He screams if DH comes home and tries to cuddle him, or takes him away from me so I can cook dinner, or if I go to the toilet without him, or if someone else tries to put him to bed, or… you get the picture. It’s very annoying and I really hope it’s just a phase and that we haven’t created a child who will only be comforted by his mummy. Although it is rather nice to be wanted!

It is currently snowing, fairly heavily. I love snow 🙂 I shall leave you with that happy thought!

Ta ta for now

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My Son has never found sleeping easy. From about two weeks old he only slept anything between 9 and 12 hours a day in total. I’m told they’re supposed to sleep around 16hrs a day when that mini. In his entire 13 months of life he has slept through the night on about 6 occasions. I am very jealous of people whose children sleep through the night from when they are two months old.

During the day time he will only nap if he is being pushed in his buggy, and in fact has decided to skip his nap about 4 times in the last week. Darling son, 13 months old is too young to stop having a midday nap. Most other children sleep in the day till they are at least 2! Please take note of this.

At night we’ve tried various methods to help him sleep and stay asleep. We’ve tried letting him cry a little, although we were never very comfortable with the concept. All that happens when we let him cry is that he gets more and more stressed out and worked up. He fits and screams and ends up covered in sweat, so we decided that wasn’t working and gave up!

He went through a phase for about a month of only waking up once around 4am and then going back to sleep until 7:30 which was wonderful. Unfortunately that phase stopped  when he was about 11 months and since then he’s gone back to waking about 4 times a night, and is increasingly hard to settle.

We tried taking the side off his cot so that when he woke up I could just snuggle beside him rather than lifting him out and having to put him back down again when he was settled which inevitably woke him back up. This helped greatly with getting him to sleep in the first place, but in the middle of the night he seems to get so upset that he needs a proper cuddle to calm down.

So, we decided, mostly for the sake of my sanity, that if he didn’t settle back down quickly after waking up in the night that he could just come in our bed. Sometimes he comes in as early as 10:30 (like last night), sometimes he stays in his own bed until 4, or even 6:30. To be honest, we quite like having him in with us. He sleeps better, usually only waking once if at all, which means we sleep better. And he’s very cute when he’s asleep, not to mention he’s like a cuddly hot water bottle! Admittedly half the time he decides he’d like to sleep horizontally across the bed and ends up kicking one of us in the head, or we end up using him as a pillow, but we can move him back to a vertical position without really disturbing him which we could never do in his own bed.

At some point I’m sure we’ll try and encourage him to move back to his own bed but for now we are embracing co-sleeping and not worrying too much about it. If it gets me more sleep, I’ll try anything!

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A snowy birthday

It was my birthday today. I’ve had a lovely day even though we didn’t really plan anything special. We have some snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a snowy birthday before so that’s quite exciting. I opened cards and presents in bed at 8ish. DH bought me a lovely coat which I really liked but the sleeves were too short for my gangly arms so we had to take it back 😦 But, he also bought me tickets to see Martyn Joseph and chocolate, so I’m very happy! I got some cheques too – most of which are to pay for my bike that we got in the summer, but there is about £100 spending money left so I shall have to have a think about what I’d like!

After breakfast we walked into town to take the coat back and do a little bit of Christmas shopping. It was really nice in the snow and felt quite Christmassy even though it’s a bit early to feel Christmassy, but it is the first Sunday of advent tomorrow and after my birthday, so I think feeling Christmassy might be just about allowed.

After lunch we took some nice family photos in the snow to send with our Christmas cards to friends we’ve not seen in a while, then did some boring milk and bread shopping. The boys then had a nap whilst I worked out how many Christmas cards we needed, and then we had pasta and meatballs for tea.


This evening we went out to a Christmassy evening at a couple from Church’s house which was lovely. We built and decorated a gingerbread house which looked fantastic when it was finished. We drank lovely mulled wine and ate mini mince pies. We’ve just got back and relieved our babysitter so now I’m ready for bed. Looking forward to church tomorrow and lunch out (again). This is one advantage of moving a lot, you get invited to a lot of Sunday lunches!

DH has just informed me that my birthday lottery ticket (we have a tradition of buying one lottery ticket on birthdays) only matched two numbers and so we are unfortunately not millionaires this time around 😦 oh well. We have a roof over our heads and yummy food to eat and a small boy who’s very cute. What more could I possibly want on my birthday except maybe a whole night’s uninterrupted sleep?!


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