Saturday, November 24, 2012

 Swimming For My Bro

Today was one of those days that in advance you look at and think

How an earth am I going to make it through to the end

And if I do make it through to the end,what shape will I be in and will I still be alive or just a walking talking zombie.

I had to fetch Chipmunk from school at 3.15,then get Sharky to the doctors at 3.50,then get Chipmunk to the turning on of the village lights at 4.30,then swimming at 5.30.It seemed impossible at the worst and mega stressy at the least.

Well hey ho I managed it (had a lot of help from my mum and dad,thankfully) and was pretty exhausted that night but we did make it and the point of this post is to say wow at Chipmunks swimming.

As you may well imagine by the time we got to the swim lesson everybody was working on overdrive.
The day was bitterly cold,we had been blown all over the place by a very strong November wind that was causing havoc in some parts of the country,we had been in and out cars that much that we were almost dizzy and then you enter the swimming baths... the hot,humid swimming baths.
You walk through those doors and the heat and the overpowering smell of chlorine hits you,you go from being cold to being hot in under ten seconds,it always gets to me.
The lights are dazzling,the noise echoes around you,the siren to signal the wave machine starting blares out,children are running everywhere,the tiles are slippery and therefore a hazard for not so steady kids to walk upon ~ total sensory overload!

We made it to the poolside (how did that ever happen) in time and as the teacher was busy giving forms out she instructed the children to start to swim widths across the pool.

Now we had got a guest observer,Sharky had come with us as I wanted to keep him close after his blood test earlier that evening and the crux of this story is Chipmunk swam for Sharky.

Up and down he swam and he was using his arms!So lovely to see him using his arms and he was using both arms!

He did better swimming unguided than he did usually throughout his lessons!
It made me wonder why I pay for lessons and why I don't just bring him to a pool and say swim!

To be honest I can see why I bring him to lessons,the teachers are great,the structure of it means I make the push and he does swim once a week and infact swim lessons are cheaper than me taking him as I would have to pay for me and him to swim and that would bump the price up no end.

Sharky was impressed and my mum and I were flabbergasted but so,so pleased and proud of young Chipmunk.

After Christmas he has been put up to the next stage classes,stage three,so there is improvement.It has taken him 18 months to move from stage one to stage two classes but only a term to move from stage two to stage three classes.

He's on his way to be a swimmer!One day this little chap of mine will swim competently and won't it be worth the wait when that day comes.

Christmas Is Coming!

Rumour has it that Christmas is on its way and to welcome Christmas,oh and a certain jolly fellow dressed in red,to our area,the town threw a big Christmas countdown celebration.

There were reindeer,real ones,the cast of the pantomime,which is Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs,Fireworks,groups singing and of course Santa.

We went down with our friends and one of the main things we wanted to do was to see the reindeers.

Well it was jam packed full!We walked round the age of the crowd and tried to gingerly squeeze our way into a spot where we could just see a bit of a reindeer,any little glimpse of a reindeer would do.

The cheer went up and we stood on our tiptoes and craned our necks hoping to catch sight of one of Santas magical reindeer,people started moving and we managed to edge closer to the front,this is it I thought,

"Are they there?" I said to the boys.

"Er they have gone" said a voice.

We turned to see a security guard looking at us.

We had missed them,Santa's reindeer had gone!

As we stood trying to think of something to cheer the boys up,we noticed people moving barriers and after a chat with the security man we found out that the reindeers were coming back and you could go to see them.

One look around though told us that the que was going to be long,very long,nearly impossibly long!

We stood talking and then realised that the barriers were being pointed in our direction and as we watched the barriers were built right up to where we were stood.

Blow me down,we were first in the que!!!Even the security guard was laughing.What a bit of luck!

Walking through those barriers was daunting,everybody was watching but we were so excited!Chipmunk and his friend stroked the reindeer and I took a hasty photo and then we went.
What a thing to remember...

We were the first people to stroke Santa's reindeer!Yay!

And the reindeer were in question were Dasher and Prancer.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Playing In Leaves

Today was a really busy day,I had been hammie cleaning and the time had ticked on until it was afternoon and we hadn't had any fresh air.

I decided we would go for a walk,I didn't know where,anywhere would do.

Chipmunk went on his scooter and we hadn't been walking for too long before we found this

a gigantic pile of leaves.

So we stopped to play and had a great time


making pathways for scooters

kick those leaves!

It turned out lovely,Chipmunk had a really good play in the leaves and then we walked up to the shops for a Saturday night treat ~ choccie!

The sky was so pretty

And we saw a tree all lit up ready for Christmas

And the little boy who didn't want to come out really enjoyed himself

Linking up at Country Kids.Pop over here to see some fab posts all about outdoor play,honestly the ideas are great!

Silent Sunday

Linking to Silent Sunday

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Friday Night
Friday night was cool,I just love Friday nights!

We don't do anything special but it's just that Friday night feeling,the promise of two days off,no school,no work,a chance to chill and make time to play,walk,talk,be with the boys.

Saturdays are great but on a Saturday I wake up and see the weeks devastation staring at me,swim bags,school bags,work bags,pe bag,work planning folders,lunchboxes,a table that is piled so high with school letters,papers and just the general debris of the past week,there is more than likely dishes piled up in the sink and a pile of washing to contend with and I gaze around and the gloomy old overwhelm feeling pays a visit and I think argh 'how am I going to get all this sorted' and it's like groundhog day 

yep its Saturday let's tidy the table that never looks tidy anyway

Yep it's Saturday lets cook a nice sausage and egg cob for Sharky while washing the dishes and supervising homework,sorting washing out,oh and 'tidying the table' 
Are you beginning to see why Saturdays nice though they are do not have the same feel as Fridays!

Sunday's are even worse!Im still loving the fact that I'm at home but the work is piling up and it's becoming obvious that unless I grow a hundred new sets of arms and hands I'm not going to make it through and get all that needs to be done completed and that makes me feel stressed.
So Sunday can be fun,I do like it but it certainly hasn't got the hopeful feeling that Friday has got.

Friday is the promise of the weekend.I feel that I can achieve everything on a Friday and although deep down I know this isn't quite the case,the feeling sticks and helps me through the last day of my working week.
It's the one day when I don't worry if I sit down at night and just be and how good a feeling is that!

Looking back I think I have always loved Friday nights,even when I was a little girl.
In those days Friday nights meant a walk up to my grandmas ( quite a long distance away and we had no car so whatever the weather we trolled up there)
 My cousin and Aunty would be there and my cousin would bring her record collection round and we would play all the top 40 favourites.She was older than me and had a much larger collection of singles than I did and we would play music and talk while my grandma and my mum would gather in the other room and chat about important grown up stuff.

We would eat beef burgers on bread and my auntie would bring some Thornton's special toffee up which I used to love.I ate so much of it that for a while I could never face it when I was older.
We would watch the Sale Of The Century with Nicholas Parsons and then I would sleep at my grandmas and everybody else would go home.

Nowadays I end up flaking out on a Friday night,after a week of work and school runs Im usually just glad to have made it through to Friday night!

This Friday night we had tea,I read Chippie his Wishing Chair book,he played with Lego ( not often I see him play so I was impressed with this) then he went to bed and fell asleep after story whilst listening to me rabble on with my mum as she had rung while I was upstairs putting him to bed.
It was so restful knowing he had fell to sleep by my side.

I then went downstairs and played on Twitter shock/horror and then me and Sharky caught up on all the Coronation Streets we had missed.

It was just what I needed after a rough old week.

So nothing special but everything special,Friday night chilling.


When life is going slightly pear shaped these little everyday things have kept me going.....

You go to school happy and all tucked up snugly,hat,gloves,bag packed and a big drink to keep you going.

You come happy,that faithful scooter gets you home in style!

You go to bed happy,clean sheets,clean jammies,bedtime story and a peaceful nights sleep.

This week these few photos have kept me grounded.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why do I watch the X Factor?!?
Why exactly do I watch the X Factor then?

I sometimes ponder that very statement!

Is it for the fantastic no definitely not!I could spend my time listening to people I really like singing songs I really like instead of people I hardly know murdering songs I really like.So it's NOT that reason.

Is it to see the fabulous judges...nope,not that either.To be honest since Simon went I don't think the judging panel is the same.
Tulisa is ok,Nicole I'm really not sure about,Gary annoys me most of the time and Louis,well he's just Louis isn't he!Same old Louis!Always getting the groups,always giving the same old comments,always sat nodding his head,he is so predictable it's untrue!

Is it because there is nothing else on the television on a Saturday night... nah.. because I would definitely prefer BBC 1 on a Saturday night...Strictly (where there is actually some talent on show) and Merlin would make me much happier than X Factor.

It could be Dermot!I do have a soft spot for Dermot! Hes just so lovely and kind and he hugs everybody and he's so tiny compared to most people,you just have to like Dermot!And I love that spin he does,to be fair Dermot is a perfectly good reason to watch the X Factor,but it's not the real reason I watch it.

The reason I watch the X Factor is simple... it's because of my boys.

They love watching the X Factor and so that's why I watch too.

It's family viewing on a Saturday night.We get all comfy,we discuss who we like and probably more important who we don't like!

We talk about the judges and we love the show on Sunday when we see who is going to get voted off,everybody sits round shouting names out and waiting to see if the judges will take it to the dreaded deadlock.

It builds connections with the teens and that's what I like and so while it may not be my number one choice of tv show I will carry on watching ( and that of course has nothing,absolutely nothing to do with Dermot O Leary at all!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Reading Club
Ever since I heard that our library were going to run a reading club I knew I wanted to go there with Chipmunk.  

We love our local library and we love books,so it simply sounded a win/win situation.
And it was!

We went with some of Chipmunks friends which made it even more special and the children literally skipped,ran and jumped all the way to the library.

When we arrived at the library there was some chairs arranged in a semi circle and the librarian was waiting in the middle.
She had a box full of books and DVDs and it did look very exciting.
I went and sat with my friend and the librarian started talking to the children.This months subject was film and so all the books were ones which were made into films.I heard lots of conversation between the children and the librarian and she seemed to be certainly making them think about books and the different types of stories and authors.

After the librarian had finished talking she gave the children a drink and a biscuit ( Chipmunk really liked this bit! ) and then the children were free to browse through the box and chose anything to take home.This was really good as the DVDs are usually 50p or a £1 for a week but with the book club they are free and you can keep them for a month,which is much more manageable than a week.
They all got word searches,colourings to take home and it was so good to see older children enjoying a book club.

Chipmunk choose a Tracy Beaker book to bring home ( I'm not sure I'm ready for him to read this book,I love Tracy Beaker but I think some of the things that are in the book are not what I want Chipmunk to know about yet) and he chose Charlie and The Chocolate Factory as his DVD.
His friend chose War Horse which he was so proud of,his mum has got some reading to do!

We had a fab time and will definitely be going back next month when the subject will be Science Fiction!
We can't wait!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's been half term here and I have spent lots of time at home with the boys,the weather at the start of the week was drizzly and murky so we stayed in quite a bit.
During this week I have been happy to watch the boys mixing with their grandparents and enjoying their company.
It's not always that you get teens that want to be with older members of the family and I really appreciate the fact that my boys do.

One afternoon my dad bought his sister and her husband around to see us.They haven't seen the boys since they were very young so everybody was quite excited to see them.

And I was so proud of these boys,they spoke and mixed so well with my auntie and uncle and I did take on board how lucky I was as I watched them because it's not every teen that would give up a afternoon to sit and talk with their older relatives and it was the way they did it too,so effortlessly,you could tell they wanted to do it and weren't being forced to do it,if you know what I mean!

When my auntie left she came to me with a smile and said

"You have a lovely home and a lovely family"

And again,I could tell that she meant it,her eyes smiled as she spoke and I just knew what she was trying to tell me.

Since then I have heard T (19yrs) discussing music and groups with my dad and playing what's the capital of ... where my dad chooses as random country as he can and T has to give him the capital city of the said place and I've heard Sharky discussing the civil rights movement with my mum,the depth that conversation went to was unbelievable and as I flew around getting Chipmunk some tea and packing his swimming bag I could hear snippets of this conversation and I was smiling to myself because I heard such a lively and healthy conversation,both sides speaking,both sides listening to each others information and at one part my mum was trying to think of a name and Sharky got it and I thought woah boy you have nailed this!!!Only been doing A level history for 7 weeks but something has certainly sunk in!

After that conversation my mum came to me and said

"I really enjoyed talking with Sharky today"

And yet again I saw her eyes sparkling and smiling,she really meant it.

I think I have something here more precious than any scrap of paper telling me a GCSE result or any academic result really.
I have children that want to be involved with our family,that like talking to us and feel comfortable in doing so.And at their ages this is a really good thing.

I see it quite clearly,Iam aware of what I have got,I lovewhat I have got and I will do anything to protect and nurture this special relationship that is present in this house.

It's easy when children are young to have these kinds of talks and moments but when your teens are doing it you know something has gone very right and it makes me smile because this is what I wanted all along.Long may it stay.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Football In The Forest

Just a kick around with friends and their dads.

It meant a lot.

A chance to be in a team.
To be included.
To play a sport like a real footballer.
To have your name called out good kick Chipmunk, you're  on our side Chipmunk, well played Chipmunk. 
A chance to dash around with a group of people feeling like you belonged.

Even a day later I still smile at the memory and I'm sure you will remember that game of footy for quite a time!

Happy Halloween

Spooky Tea
Decorating pumpkin cookies
Bat Ghost