Monday, May 16, 2011

Testing Times

The children all seem to be having fairly 'big' birthdays this year in the sense that they are sometimes considered milestones. Lucy reached the age of three and seems to be rapidly progressing to little madam after toddlerhood, still caught in between wanting to sing nursery rhymes and wanting to dance around to the latest tunes booming out of her sisters ipod.

Matthew turns five in less than three week (eek!) Traditionally this used to mark the beginning of going to school, now that tends to happen at 4 but even so five seems to be one of those birthdays! Heather will reach the grand old age of seven in just a couple of months and this too is a landmark, her last birthday before she reaches junior school. They all seem to be growing up so quickly and as the exam season begins it reminds me of all those years that have seem to have slipped by without me noticing.

Having said that the kids also seem to be doing their best to drive me mad, I think lots of bank holidays and excitement haven't helped but there has been a definite deterioration in behaviour, the volume in the house has risen considerably as has the amount of time the children have spent in their beds, time out or avoiding me because they know they have done something they shouldn't have!

Lucy's favourite trick at the moment is to scream as loudly as possible as soon as you say no, the others irritate her or she wants you to do something for her, usually picking her up. Mathew was in trouble for the first time proper at school last week and I had to speak to the teacher, he did have the sense to look chastened but even so I was still not happy and Heather seems to be practicing to be a teenager, ignoring us of having a strop. When asked to do something she thinks is beneath her she sighs 'fine!' and flounces off, we haven't quite had the slamming bedroom door but I am sure it is not too far away.

Bizarrely at other times they seem to be model children, helping each other out and playing together nicely. All I know is at the moment I have days where I feel like locking the doors and running away as fast as I can and others where I count my lucky stars to have such wonderful kids, I am hoping that we come out of these awkward phases soon as half term is approaching rapidly and June is very busy with events at school and home.

On a more positive note Heather lost both her two front teeth this weekend and is now sporting the typical kids look with a big gappy smile. Matthew is desperate to catch her up and has started trying to wobble his teeth but is frustrated to find they are still stuck fast, and probably will be for the next couple of years.

Anyway I am off to look for my sanity and patience, I am sure they are around here somewhere.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Sometimes life simply isn't exciting, there is nothing particular happening, the kids are at school, there are the usual run of the mill tasks to complete and running the house and family seems to take up an inordinate amount of time. This weekends project was re-gravelling the drive. It has to qualify as one of the most boring jobs ever. The most exciting part was the delivery itself, the huge bags arrived on a lorry with a crane. As we have oaks on the drive with tree preservation orders swinging a crane through them was going to be difficult. In the end we settled for the kerb just off the driveway, the whole 3ton!

Several people passed as I struggled up and down the driveway with the wheelbarrow filled with gravel and Lucy trailing behind me with her plastic play wheelbarrow. Most of them advised me I would need something bigger to shift it. By the time it was time to get the kids from school the bag had a dent in it. Luckily the weather was lovely and with the help of the three little ones we managed to make good progress. After that Mr T arrived home, between us with a little Laurel and Hardy esque fooling about we managed to drag the bag up onto the driveway. By the evening with team work from our neighbours we managed to do the whole lot. The end result a gravel-tastic driveway that will probably end up driving us mad as the kids redistribute it all over the place, but despite appearing to be the most tedious of tasks, we had fun, weird!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Y is for Yesterday and Z is for Zoo

Yesterday (well not quite now but it was when I wrote the post and failed to upload it) was the royal wedding. It was lovely, there was flag waving, romance and street parties. I vaguely remember a street party which involved eating party rings, wearing union jack bowler hats and sitting outside and not being very sure why.

Ours was lovely, having had a wonderful breakfast party with terrific friends who put up with my three very excited children we watched a very nervous Prince William depart for and arrive at the abbey. Then we were off, despite Lucy falling over en route to the car we just about managed to get home to see Catherine set off and Heather was entranced by the whole thing. Matthew watched most of it but Lucy stole my phone and disappeared off to play fairies or something like that. She arrived back towards the end and declared that she liked princesses and watched the carriage journey.

As soon as they were safely ensconced at the palace everyone was outside carrying tables and chairs, hanging bunting or balloons and preparing the music for the party. Then we all dashed in to watch the kiss on the balcony. We were lucky enough to see the jets that did the fly past as they came over our house much to the excitement of the kids.

At about 2pm we all took our food and drink out and the children spent the rest of the day bouncing on the castle, climbing on the climbing frame and when they were pooped out doing some colouring. They touched base with us once in a wall to eat and drink and once Grandma and Grandpa arrived they bossed them about as well. It was a great opportunity to get to know our neighbours who we hadn't seen much of. All in all a great day.

Z is for Zee end

Ok so the zee is a bit of a cheat! But it is the end of the a-z blogging challenge. I am proud to have in the main persevere and got to the end and it definitely was a challenge, not only coming up with topics that related to the letter of the day but also remembering to post on a regular basis, when often I only get 1-2 posts completed a week!

On a totally different note today the US declares that Osama Bin Laden was dead and around the world people were celebrating. Whilst it may be good news that he is dead, it has to be said that 'the war on terror' is far from over. If anything his death will inflame more terrorist attacks in retaliation. Rumours are already circulating that somewhere in Europe there is a bomb just waiting to be detonated, that it wasn't really him, although hopefully the DNA results will dispel the doubters.

I still think that there will be forthcoming plots and we will still hear reports of foiled terrorist plots, one man's death doesn't kill his legacy and while I do not share his politics or ideas in anyway, there are many who do and will step up to fill the void now left.

I am hoping that the world can be a safer place as that is what I want for my children, a place where they don't have to be afraid about who is planning what against the place they live just because of their nationality. After all none of us plan where we are born, we can't choose our parents and so we should seek to negotiate where we can, after all I was taught we were all created equally and should treat others as we wish to be treated. These days this seems idealistic, even naive but who knows maybe one day we can learn to tolerate difference and get along with one another without having to resort to war - just watch kids in a playground, many of them highly skilled at negotiation and manipulation - maybe we could learn a thing or two!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

X is for X files

This program is one of the few that stood the test of time. The characters made an impression on people and even when the plots became endlessly insane at time the loyal watchers still watched. Buffy is another one that not only spawned spin off series but came to a natural end rather than being killed off by ratings chasers. Perhaps this is the reason why Dr Who had been such a big hit. The fans hadn't finished with it and so they fell back in love with, even those of us who have grown up and should know better than to hide behind a sofa!

I think that these shows somewhere spark a curiosity in me, the unexplained, the why and wherefore of the world, probably things that we will never know, or if we do know it will be like the Galileo revelation. Even if discoveries are supported by a body of scientific evidence there will still be detractors and those attempting to prove they are right and the other people are wrong.

The X files though reminds me of all the times when you hear a piece of news and you get a shiver down your spine, get that odd deja vu sensation or know who is on the other end of the phone before you pick it up. I have had a few odd things happen, a few 'feelings' that I wished I had listened to before acting and it seems to me that sometimes we 'know' without knowing and that we can't explain that, yet. Truly an X-File.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

W is for Wedding

Did you know, there is a very small wedding happening on Friday? You may have heard about it from the news, papers or radio, simply walking anywhere, as you can't fail to notice the union jack bunting and decorations everywhere. There are some who are complaining about the coverage and saying it is too over the top, but I prefer to embrace it. How often do we get lots of people united for a good reason, we have the Olympics next year but I doubt there will be many Olympic street parties.

I am lucky enough to be able to attend one, in fact I was lucky enough to have three separate occasions to go to but alas, one of me and a closed road with three kids mean we will be spending the majority of the time at our home street party rather than gallivanting across Essex visiting others.

I have the bunting prepared, and in this day and age I have also prepared the warning notices for the various bouncy castle, climbing frames and trampolines that people could injure themselves on. The fridge in the garage that is usually empty contains party food that the kids are looking forward to as it is normally carefully rationed. Heather is looking forward to watching the wedding, Matthew not so much he would rather be out playing and I am not sure how much Lucy understands. I hope the rain holds off, it looks as if we will see some wetness on the day, a shame after all the beautiful weather we have been having.

Anyway however you spend the 'free bank holiday' raise a glass to the man who will probably be our king someday and his new wife and if you can get to a street party don't forget the silly union jack hats!