Saturday, July 23, 2011

Afternoon on the beach

a few hours of sand and sunshine

less than a week...

then myself and the kids will be off to Germany! I'm feeling weird about it, we're going for five weeks this time! P was supposed to get two weeks of work to come along towards the end, but now it looks like he can only get one. We'll really be missing him! 

It's weird leaving the house behind for five weeks, too, here I am struggling every day to keep the place tidy, and as clean as necessary, and to cook nutritious tasty meals, and to carve out as much time as possible for cuddles and playing. To go home to stay in the little apartment attached to my parents' house, a bedroom, bathroom and sitting room, no kitchen! With virtually no cleaning or cooking  and in theory endless time to spend with my kids and family, but in practice there'll be a bit of a struggle between my mum and me, her trying to be my mum and do it all, and me trying to be a good daughter and try and do as much as I can... It was a bit like this two years ago (less so last year as all day morning sickness, a stomach bug and crazy hot weather had me weak as a kitten most of the time!). I love my parents to bits, yet to actually be under their roof for an extended period of time always turns out to be much more idyllic in my head. But coming home for five weeks is something I feel I owe my parents, a chance to get to know their grandchildren. And for Ti and Emm to play with their cousins, and to make a connection to their mum's country and language. I'll be able to do it this year and next, and then my break will be over! 

I am looking forward to it though, especially as my sister is due a baby at the end of next week! 

This weekend will be outings, and takeout, and I will try and fill the freezer with some more nice dinners on Monday and Tuesday, so my poor abandoned husband won't be eating frozen pizzas every night! And then I have to pack the suitcase and nappy bag, and mentally prepare to flying with a toddler and a baby (It was hard enough last year, with just Emm, this time I have two, and Ti has just started solids, and found his voice, and using it to screech and shout a lot! 

There's also the Neurology appointment for him, on Tuesday, I have some niggling concerns about his development, but am hoping it's all within the range of normal. It's a routine check up appointment because of his 'abnormal eye movements' in March. Thankfully those have disappeared since the last check up, but it just made me a lot more aware of any possible problems... 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

the garden

Reading this I was longing for a farm, and a serious vegetable garden (and proper summers!). 

We're not serious gardeners and put very little work in, but our tiny 30x30ft garden grows lavender, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, parsley, sage and bay; damsons, cherries (about 10 cherries on the tree this year, 9 eaten by birds, one shared excitedly!) gooseberries (green and red), elderberries, blackberries, redcurrants, some alpine strawberries and rhubarb. There's also a small vegetable patch with potatoes, pak choi, garlic, swiss chards, radishes and a few different kinds of beans. Only enough for a little taste, but fun, nonetheless. We have flowers, too, lilac, marigolds, nasturtiums, mexican orange blossom, giant daisies. On this little patch of garden we also have a two ducks, a small duckhouse, a shed, a lawn, two clothes lines, a pebbled path and a wood chipped patio, a few chairs, a bench, a small table, a swing seat and a little slide for Emm. 

Sometimes I crave the serene tidiness of other peoples landscaped gardens, but then, I love being out in ours! Pulling the odd weed, feeding the ducks, hanging out the laundry, looking for a little contribution to dinner... And while some of our friends have lots of brightly coloured toys in their little outdoor space, Emm seems to always find something to do in ours! Looking for eggs, and berries, examining pebbles and plants, drawing with chalk, having picnics, sliding, driving her little car and loading up the trailer, playing with a bowl of water and some cups... 

It's our connection to nature, unusual and a little messy, but fun, and relaxing, and ours!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

visiting the grandparents

We're back from a nice and relaxed visit with the grandparents, to
admire the new 6pd 4oz girl cousin, and to see off P's brother, who is
going to Canada for a year.The kids had such a great time again, they
love each other so much! Emm's two big cousins were fighting over who
got to sit next to her, for every meal! We're hoping to have the two
of them over for a sleepover next week, to give their parents and tiny
new sister a little babymoon time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Emm's birthday present for her little friend

This was a last minute project. Emm drew on coloured paper with her favourite pencils ('Stabilo 3-in-1') then we printed some photos from a playdate (using a polaroid 'pogo' printer) and stuck them on. She picked some decorations and sparkly bits and we stuck them onto the picture, and onto an IKEA 'NITTYA' frame.
Her friend shouted "I love it, I love it!" when she unwrapped it.
Happy faces all round!