I do love the first few weeks of Spring. Everything and everyone seems to be especially joyous after months of cold, dark days. It means that the endless hours spent standing in parks and playgrounds whilst my kids run riot seem a lot more bearable as I can actually feel my toes! I also seem to know a whole load of March folk who celebrate their birthdays about now – so there are lots of parties and cake which is obviously going to brighten up life. However the downside is that it is also the anniversary of my brother’s death. He was killed on a typical spring day – showery one minute and the next filled with glorious sunshine. Rainbows and gales a-plenty. At his funeral he was buried with the sun shining down and all of us squinting from the brightness of the light. It didn’t feel right that we were burying him on such a beautiful day, but maybe it was just a reflection of the way in which he had lived his life. A normal happy-go-lucky kid, playing in the moment. It wasn’t right to be burying him at all. He should still be here now, perhaps with his own family, definitely with his own life. But as he isn’t it is the amazing memories that I have of him, the Spring and the sunshine (with a shower thrown in) that will remind me of my wonderful little brother.
He loved this film, so this is for him; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUVnfaA-kpI
As you may be able to tell from this blog I have a little bit of the slapdash about me. I am not someone who spends hours trying to perfect something. More of a better-get-it-down-as-quickly-as-I-can type. If I get it down at all! It is not something I am proud of as it doesn’t really set you up well in life, and it is definitely not something I wanted my kids to inherit. Luckily (in fact lucky, lucky me) I married a man who is all about the detail, is a stickler for getting it right and is what is commonly known as a perfectionist. The genes are strong in him and today I had proper proof that Big Cub is much more like his pa in than I realise. We had Parents Evening a few hours ago (it definitely lends itself to those capital letters) and I am one super happy ma! Big Cub got heaped with praise for being a gentle, kind boy (again that’s like his dad) who tries really hard, doesn’t give up and keeps on going til he gets it right. There have been a few ishoos with the handwriting vs fine motorskills malarkey and Big Cub is also left handed. Writing and drawing have not been easy and I know that at times this has got BC a little bit down, and it does bother him (don’t get me started on the whole ‘why do we have to get our teeny tinies writing when they should be playing’ thing.. .) Anyway, over the last few weeks there has been a fantastic improvement and it’s all down to his determined attitude. He doesn’t give up and that makes me so proud. When I had kids I wanted to inspire them and make them proud. I didn’t realise that a lot of the time it’s them that inspire us. Maybe (and I only say maybe) it will make me a little bit more determined to keep on with the blog. I will NOT give up!
Sooooo, this weekend has been a tale of two halves. Yesterday was all go-go-go with a trip to London town to see old pals (and their new offspring) and to gallavant up and down the stairs of the Museum of Childhood. I have gotten very lazy of late about schlepping up to the capital. It seems such a haul with the cubs and their energy and I can’t help but pine for train journeys of distant pasts where I had a book and my daydreams and could spend an entire journey staring out of the window. Now it involves my own body weight in organix snacks, at least one Cbeebies comic and an entire library of pre-school classics. Yesterday the journey passed without incident (aside from a hairy moment on the tube when we realised we were trapped in a carriage with a deranged ranting nutter) and we had a jolly old time. The museum layout didn’t really do it for me or the kids, and the cafe was super duper pricey, but we did have fun spotting Star Wars classics, listening to a very lovely lady act out this fab story with some kids, getting down with some Harry Potter spells and then having a run around in the park next door.
As is always the way with Big Cub it was the outdoorsy bit that cheered him and he had a fab time racing my half-marathon-running-friend round the park. All in all a very successful trip and made me realise that I need to visit my buddies in the big smoke much more regularly!
Unfortunately today has been a day cursed by torrential rain, chest infections (me) and hangovers (Chips). It was also tarnished by the
fucking irritating students next door playing music and whooping loudly in the early hours, which stopped me going to sleep after I resettled Little Cub at half two in the morning. A plague on all of their (very smelly) house. The plus side to being trapped inside all day was that I did a helluva lot of cleaning and washing so at least the domestic drudgery box can be ticked off.
Early night for me then. Fingers crossed for unbroken, peaceful sleep. Sigh.
Hola! And a Happy Leap Year (leap day?) to you! And what a marvellous sunshine filled day it has been. Mine has also been full of contract law and tort homework which is slightly less jolly, but even so I am definitely feeling full of the joys of spring. So much so that I have been (when not slogging away at the law books) lusting after all things daffodil, snowdrop (have a visit planned soon) and spring-like in general.
Everyone seems a helluva lot cheerier now the days are getting longer and brighter. So seems like a good time to get back to the blog. Hurrah!
All hail the lego!
I have always been pretty impressed with the mighty brightly coloured plastic bricks (although to be honest was never really that into them when small – I was more Playmobil-orientated), but this Easter holiday they are transforming my life! Big cub has always been pretty good at entertaining himself, but normally his games involve making ‘inventions’ (for which read mess). His favourite inventions are his world famous food machine (involving many kitchen utensils, food packets, cookery books and many small play-food items) and his diamond maker (involving any shiny objects he can get his hands on). Much to my disappointment the diamond maker is yet to produce any genuine gems, but I live in hope. Whilst these games have been great for getting him out under my feet – and his imagniation, natch! – they have been slightly irritating to clear up and nearly always result in a vital household object (like a corkscrew) going missing.
For the last couple of months though big cub has been all about the lego. Many, many food machines have been constructed, the diamond makers are getting more and more intricate and whole mornings and afternoons can go by and my only contact with big cub is to provide a range of tasty snacks for the budding engineer (or engineers if he has mates round). And the amazing thing is that the lego can all be contained within his bedroom! No tidying up required, just a general sweep into the lego box (and a quick check of the little cub’s mouth to ensure she hasn’t hidden any in her hamster-like cheeks) and that’s it.
So if we ever ask big cub where he wants to go the answer is ‘the lego store’. A place of magic and wonder! Yesterday we had a rare ma and big cub afternoon alone to hang out, and we spent a very happy time pottering around the lego shop, marvelling at all the different creations, buying a teeny lego key ring for his book bag and then eating creme eggs on the beach. Really and truly a perfect way to spend it with my son. Happy sigh.
I am getting more rubbish (if that’s possible!) at updating this blog, but luckily inspiration has struck in the form of the BMB Comment Group. I am now a keen follower of some rather wonderful blogs. Big up to Helloitsgemma; Domestic Goddesque; MrsShorties Mind; Jojo’s So Called Life; Little Red Buttons and In a Bundance ! I am in serious awe of these ladies as their blogs are so goddam good. All very different, but all extremely interesting, and have really made me realise the power of the blog! I am not sure when they have time to blog so regularly and so entertainingly, but I now have new shiny aspirations to try and do the same. Thanks guys.
The last week or so has all been pretty inspiring really. Me and the big cub trained it up to London with some pals to take part in the March for the Alternative demo. Both me and him were open mouthed to see how many folk had also felt moved enough to take part too. It was big cub’s first experience of peaceful protesting (he normally favours a more extreme approach with his own personal protests!) and I was so glad that I took him. The services that are due to be cut will directly impact on his life – in some ways much more than mine – and he was quite rightly cross that things he has gone to all his life (Sure Start centre, the library etc) may not be kept open for his sister to visit too. We both got into a-whooping and whistle blowing and it was great to see such a wonderful mix of people coming together to make their point.
Mother’s Day was also full of wonder. A lie in – what a treat! The cubs and their dad did well presenting me with some lovely cards, a cup of tea and a delish fairy cake (made by me – ahem). I also got lots of kisses. Sob. We then went out for an amazing afternoon of treasure-hunting, spoof keep fitting, banjo playing, trampolining, hula-hooping and (more) cake eating. All put on by some very talented friends of friends in their rambling manor house out on the edge of Brighton. I am pretty impressed at the moment about what people can do when they come together. It not only fills me with hope, but it makes me want to be part of it too.
Yep, sleepless nights are here again. Littlest cub has broken her record of over a month without a snotty nose and accompanying cough by getting a full on cold yesterday, and with that we are back to midnight wakings (and 1am wakings, 2am wakings, 3am wakings etc until the cold light of dawn). Big cub was pretty predictable with sleep. The first six months or so were a bit rubbish, but then we got quite a few solid nights of full-on sleep and following that we were pretty much guaranteed unbroken nights from the time he was a year old. Littlest cub is soooooo different. We have had a few weeks where she has slept fantastically well (hurrah!) but most of the time nights can be rather testing to say the least. I’m pretty sure that one of the problems is that she shares a room with big cub, and as he is quite knackered from starting school we are very quick to whisk away noisy teeny cub so big cub can get enough sleep. It doesn’t help that big cub does wake when smaller cub starts shrieking (depsite countless people telling me that he wouldn’t wake up when she did) and starts yelling ‘get her out of here, get out of here!’ as loud as he can.
We do a lot of musical beds. To be honest we do a lot of stuff that I swore I wouldn’t do with my second kid. Lots of feeding in the night, moving into different beds, out of different beds, patting, shushing, pacing, shouting and on one memorable occasion I even found myself sharing the cot with little cub. Not the comfiest forty winks ever, but it did stop the screaming. Which at four in the morning is all I’m really interested in.
What is helping the sleepless nights, is the sunny days. Although I am feeling slightly shattered this morning, with coffee in hand, sun on my back and Fleetwood Mac playing loud I am feeling optimistic that tonight is another night and one that will be sleep filled. Keep your toes crossed for us. And if you have any tips for soothing screamers, shushing shriekers or hints on how to I can not only feel awake but look awake too then they would be very, very welcome!