Squeezing the last drop of summer

So the sun shone on Sunday, it had been a week of wind and raindrops.

We went to a lovely party and the girls played in the garden there. Determined not to waste a precious drop of what could be the last of this years summer we met up with friends after and went blackberry picking. The Cornish Coastal town we live in is small, and yet they took me down paths I have never walked. It was lovely, the children more keen to find doc leafs for the one nettle sting, the pain long forgotten, but the mission not, than blackberries. Us friends catching up on life and the bits we had missed. We ambled and chatted and filled our buckets.

When the day was over, we just couldn’t go home, so we sat on the harbour wall and ate fish and chips with mushy peas. The sun rays bounced off the sea. I felt like I was on holiday and yet we could see our house. It was comforting to get such a pleasurable feeling so close to home. The girls played at the waters edge and jumped the ropes that tied up the fishing boats. Time seemed to stand still, and I felt so happy. The last drops of summer are always the best. This year has been wonderful, filled with sand and smiles and really special friends. Sunday was just perfect, as I lapped up the fading sun, watching my family play, I realised life really doesn’t get better than this.

 

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To me she’s the worlds most beautiful butterfly

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And we walked down paths we never knew existed and yet we have lived here years!

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September sun, in the garden at a party.

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We swing and we talk

It was wet and windy last night and this morning there was a distinct chill in the air. Even though I would have loved to have spent the morning with my little one in a cosy coffee shop, I gave her the choice on what to do. The park it was.

Everything in the park was soaking wet and once we got there she decided that she couldn’t possibly go on anything other than a swing. We were of course the only ones silly or brave enough to be in a park on such a cold damp morning. As I pushed her higher and higher a conversation started. We chatted about everything; what was the swing made out of? what is rubber? what is rubber matting for? was just a few of her questions. She then went over conversations that she had had with our friends and her granny who had taken her to the park a few months ago. It was at this point that I realised I hadn’t really ever had a proper conversation with her ever in a park before. Parks are nearly always filled with friends, new and old. On a really quite day the sister is at least there. So she has no time to stop and chat to me normally, the air is normally filled with shrieks and laughter.

My mind also went back to another park moment, so long ago now, it was just before her first birthday and we took her to that very park. It was the first time we had taken her for her enjoyment and not just a baby in a car seat watching her older sibling having fun. It was that very swing I pushed her on. She smiled so much that morning, but of course didn’t utter a word. How three years can change everything.

My wet park morning may have ruined my very inappropriate footwear I had on, but I gleaned so much from my little one and we had conversations we wouldn’t have had at home with the distraction of toys and etc. I am so glad that on a wet damp morning we were the only two who braved our little local park.

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My little one, her first ever swing November 2010.

The plait, The Gap and the note!

My oldest daughter ( aged 6 ) reminds me so much of myself as a child and seems to love all that I loved. I am sure I am not alone in totally embracing that and I find myself doing things that I loved as a child for her. The whole tooth fairy thing I embraced, I was worried for a while got slightly out of hand. I loved the joy of the tooth fairy visits as a young girl, the sheer magic of what went on ,the notes she left me and the tiny gifts. So when it was was my turn to ‘become’ the fairy, a fairy door appeared in the bedroom, sparkling fairy dust scattered across the bedroom carpet, even a small glass milk bottle was left outside the fairy door on one occasion. But then the notes back started! of course they did!  shes a mini me! not content with a one way communication system, she wanted direct contact, she wanted her questions answered! ‘What do you look like? leave me a picture! ‘ OMG! I managed to talk her out of that request, so then she asked for another fairy gift! ( as she loved them so all the way from fairy land)  then I started to wonder if she had sussed me out and was testing me? It was all too much, was my six year old the double bluffer?

Fortunately we have now reached tooth number three, things seemed have calmed down. She looses it, I do the coin ( and a note, with a touch of sparkle, I just cant help myself!) and we are then done, there’s a flurry of morning excitement, but it doesn’t go past that, and go on for days… weeks even like the first one.

So going back to today and my recreating of childhood memories. The sausage meat plait! Did anyone else make this in home ec.? I was so chuffed with mine as a child, I had plaited pastry! on my own. So tonight we did this 1970’s master piece. ( but with Veggi Sausage meat)  She LOVED it, I knew she would! and it looked great, just as I had remembered it. She wants to have it in her lunchbox tomorrow. ” The whole thing?”

Its so lovely having the opportunity to do all those things you loved as a child. The little wild one is nothing like her sister or me, shes like her Dad, so she goes to Tennis, we take her to parks with zip wires and drop slides, she keeps snails and caterpillars. I am learning through my other half what makes her tick and I am embracing things I never thought I would. I find myself cheering as she literally throws her little body off a drop slide at our local indoor play area. The other mums gasp and I cheer her on! its not what I wanted as a child but the hubby totally gets it and I am trying, you have too, she has absolutely no interest in my veggi sausage meat plait!

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First day at nursery

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The little Fleur: Aged 3 years and 10 months.

First day at Montessori Nursery

When I grow up I want to be a cleaner.

So we survived, all of us. I went straight into the little town we live in, for the first time in years without a little hand holding onto mine, I had no buggy, I had no baby-wipes in my handbag. I was my own person again. The shop I needed to go to wasn’t open in our little sleepy Harbour-side town, in fact most of the shops were still closed, it wasn’t even 10am. I didn’t want a beach cafe, or even a sea view, I wanted somewhere where I wouldn’t see anyone I knew and I just wanted to sit on my own and drink coffee. Of course I bumped into someone I knew, its the nature of where we live, we laughed and chatted and she grabbed her coffee to go.

I ordered a pastry I didn’t even fancy, just because I felt I deserved it and I read a paper, I then walked through town and spent a fortune on nothing much, just because I had time to browse and flick through books and think really. I don’t quite know if I have actually thought much in the last six years, you tend not too when you are negotiating where the nearest loo is for a desperate toddler,  or wondering where you put that nappy/snack/library pass.

She had a lovely day, and came home with a glowing report and a series of photos of exactly what she did, she said she loved it, and they seemed to love her ( well they would say that wouldn’t they?) but when we asked her if she would like to go back, she said ‘no’

The older sister had a chat and she told her she will be going back and wanted to, so I am left unsure as to what she really wants. We will give it another go next week and then assess if its the right thing. But she did do the washing up there, so she’s well on her way to being qualified for the job of her dreams.

When it all gets too much… I make bread!

I would like to write about my day today.

I feel like today is a milestone day, today I met my Bluebell girls new year two teacher. She’s great and said all the things I wanted to hear. I feel she will care for and look after my child. I know she will teach her well and I know I will be able to approach her if I need too. This is all I need to know to make the year easier. A Mum who has had three children go through the school said to me ” If every child was taught by her the world would be a better place” you really couldn’t ask for a better comment! I wonder if teachers realise just how important they are? If you are happy with your child’s teacher you feel so much happier in general, your child feels secure and suddenly school doesn’t feel like a chore any more. Do they really know that they hold the key to a whole year for you and your child’s life being a good year or a bad year? We have been lucky so far, school has been kind.

I took the wild one to a playgroup today that I don’t often go to. She was so well behaved and so calm, I realised she has reached a massive mile stone. She didn’t feel the need to tear from activity to activity, not really appreciating any of them much and getting little out of anything. For the first time ever she didn’t even venture outside to the garden there, she was enjoying the calmer things going on inside. She included other children in her games and didn’t mind when they got it all wrong and messed up her systems she had in place. In a nutshell she was more grown up than she has ever been. Tonight is the last night she is my full time baby, aged 3 and 10 months she will start a nursery tomorrow. For the first time ever I will leave her in the care of adults who I don’t know and who she doesn’t know. I have struggled greatly with this decision, and as a result I have been putting off nursery places for ten months now. She will be fine, she is a social butterfly, and she is only going for three hours…. a week! I hear you laughing, but its enough for now. I am not ready to hand her over yet, shes too big a part of our lives, and ‘big’ school is only a year away. Too soon.

I feel I am on a count down. Only one more year to hang out in the day with my friends who have little ones and do lovely kiddy things together, one more year to be able to go to places during school time when its nice and quite. One more year to say, hey its Monday morning, shall we go for coffee, for fun? Its those things that sadden me. School takes up so much time and the evening together are so short and the holidays wizz by in a frenzy of everyone being so busy and off at the same time. I am not looking forward to next year at all.

I have a friend and we often chat about home schooling together, its our secret dream. I don’t think it will ever happen for my two as the older one is a conformist who loves to be in uniform and loves to be part of a structured system and who thrives on routine. She also has friends at the school who are her lifeline at the moment and she would not want to be parted from them.The fact that I misread the homework sheet the other night and as a result she made mistakes was a big clue as to why i shouldn’t home school as a teacher as well! I did chuckle to myself.

I made bread tonight, my last batch was a disaster, as I did it all in-between pitching a tent, going out for lunch with my family and meeting my best mate. If you aren’t doing all that  bread making really is easy. And yet there is something so rewarding about getting a freshly made loaf out of the oven and knowing you have produced it. Tonight I needed to make bread, I needed something wholesome and simple, that would ground me and something I could comfort eat when my thought’s spiralled out of control about tomorrow and the next year.

I read an article last night that I really appreciated and have included a link for other Mum’s with little ones to glance through if they are interested. I will be spending the rest of the year making mud pies and fairy castles! and I will love every moment of it! click here

Holiday memories of Summer ’13

Well we have just returned home from a whirl wind visit to Paris and Giverny. My Mums 70th birthday present. I felt so sorry for the girls on the plane, they were asked by everyone if they were going to Disney. ” We are going to FRANCE’ the little one proudly said ” to see Monets gardens” the older one added. They must have felt sad deep down not to be saying yes. I will take them one day, just for being so very cool about it!

France was a blast of colour and history, we stayed in a Château, crumbling walls and period furniture. It was amazing, the girls looked like little princesses dancing in the extensive grounds, and eating their breakfast off 1920’s china plates. The gardens were incredible and the Bluebell girl had done her research and enjoyed seeing the water-lilly pond for herself. My Mum was in her element 23 years later to return to the place of her dreams. It was lovely.

Paris was for me really, I spent so much time there as a fashion student and I loved it then and now. Again I haven’t returned for many many years, I don’t know it like the back of my hand any more, and my French is terrible, but my heart stopped when I saw the Eiffel Tower and the girls were amazed by it. Alas we didn’t have time to stand in line, but I promised them next time we will get up early and be one of the first. I mean it, I keep my promises!

Our other holiday this summer was Italy, a much needed family visit. Italy is like an assault on the senses. A hubbub of noise and flashing lights in the summer. Even the car parks pump pop tunes out at you. The shopping malls have bumper cars and everywhere you turn there’s a ride on or ten for the kids to go on. Our girls went wild, screaming with delight everywhere we went, their volume getting louder and louder everyday. The nights were late, even the children fairs don’t even bother to open before 8pm, restaurant bookings were after 9pm. It was a crazy week and we were left exhausted. The girls revelled in seeing their grandparents and their cousins, spoilt by their Aunty, it was wonderful. They came home sun kissed and salty from hours swimming in the warm sea, tired out after not going to bed before midnight any night, but smiling and dreaming of lidos and water slides. I am looking forward to catching up on home life now, but hanker after warmer seas, I am flicking through holiday brochures and dreaming of our next adventure whenever it may be.

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Running with delight through the most famous garden in France

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A bit of French!

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Naughty Papa stole a pear, the Bluebell girl savoured every mouthful

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I cant believe we stayed here! eeek!

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This place was every girly princess fantasy she has ever had!

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I love you Paris x

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Joyful Fleur!

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The bridge! yep THE bridge!

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Am I REALLY sleeping in this room tonight?

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and they dance with delight at their “castle home”

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Princess and the Pea springs to mind

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Breakfast is served. Yummy!

So the years pass

Pre-School: When I grow up I would like to be an artist!

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Reception: When I grow up I would still like to be an artist!

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Year One: When I grow up I want to be a synchronised swimmer ( but not in the Olympics , just for fun)

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Year Two: When I grow up I want to be, A horse riding teacher on my friend Graces farm, I will teach the small children, she is going to be a farmer. I also want to be a surf lifesaver when I have the time, and a mermaid.

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My gorgeous girl, I know your dreams will change as the years go by, but I hope whatever you end up wanting to be you do it. Life is full of chances and opportunities we just have to grab them and take them. If I could pick a job for you I would pick one that is suited to your quite nature, that lets you be outside where you are so happy, a job that allows you to be the lovely person that you are.  As a parent I hope you stay close as I would miss you so if you travelled far, so a surf life saver would be perfect on Meor beach, but I have travelled the world so I cant deny you that wonderful experience.

Enjoy school as each year passes you will learn new things and gain new experiences as well as friends. As you walk through those school gates I hate the fact you are on your own for the day and I cant be there to mop up tears and make things right again, but I know this is the first stage to spreading your wings, it has to be done. In my heart I yearn to home school you just to keep you safe, but I know you love being surrounded my your friends and teachers, and I know you strive to learn all the time, I can not give you what you really need. If I can give you some advice through, please don’t be a mermaid, I don’t think the pay is that good and there’s definitely not a pension scheme !

I love you Bluebell girl and wish you all the best for year two, the last year as an infant.