Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last October half term I wrote this post about a family day out visiting the city.

Never,in my wildest dreams did I think that a year later my boy would be living in that city and be at university.

But he is and today we are going to visit him!

Chips is beside himself with excitement!

"I'm wishing my hours away," he said,as I tucked him up in bed last night, "so it can be morning time and we can go to see Sharky"

I was looking forward to it too. But I did not wish my sleep away....that's one thing grown ups never do!

So let's see what the day brings and whether or not we find him,in that great big city where he now dwells!

Well the day brought lots of smiles. We went for something to eat as soon as we arrived and then had a wander around the shops.

We read stories snuggled up on a Waterstones big squashy sofa and then went to the slowest cafe in the world and enjoyed a cuppa and a chat.

A really sweet Halloween story.
And that was possibly the best bit. Away from the bustle of the shops and the crowds of people.

Sat around a little round table,cup of tea to slurp and time to chat.

I want to remember that feeling because it was good. Easy going chatter,something that we do well.

Hooray for the slowest cafe in the world!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

List Love
I had been contemplating meal planning for a while.
Anything to make life easier and to help me reach the holy grail - organisation.

So early one morning,when it was dark outside and all was quiet inside,I began a list.

A list of all our usual meals,in the hope that I could create some kind of rota that made meal planning more feasible and not just every day of every week ending up with the same old meals.

I left my notepad out on the kitchen unit and got on with the 
usual school run/work stuff.
You know what mornings are like...busy.

As I got ready upstairs I could sense that Chips was not in the lounge.

''Where are you?'' I yelled down the stairs.

''In the kitchen,'' he replied.

''Keep getting ready,'' I yelped.

You have to use a big voice when you are upstairs
and your child is downstairs
a whisper just isn't going to achieve anything at all.

Five minutes later I rushed into the kitchen,bags flying everywhere,
tissues stuffed hastily into trouser pockets and the hairbrush being 
waved around like a lethal weapon.
I saw Chips hovering around my list but I did not think too much about it.
All that I wanted was for us to get out of the door as quickly as possible.

The morning passed in its usual blur.
Plenty of things to do.
Plenty of thoughts zooming around my head.

I got home and started to think what was next on the hit list and that was when I looked on my list and saw it.

There in very faint writing was a message from Chips.

And it said


Well that was it,Im not ashamed to say it brought a tear to my eye.

That little boy had found time to write me a note.

And what a sweet note it was.   

Very faint writing.

Very simple words.

Very powerful effect on a rushy,stressed out Mummy.

Thank you sweet Chips for caring so much.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saturday Swimming
We were so concerned about Saturday swimming.

Goodness knows why.

Because it turned out to be the best lot of swim lessons ever!

At the time we did not know that though.

As they say,hindsight is a wonderful thing.

There was the fact that the lessons would be with a new teacher.

And queries about doing widths instead of lengths.

And we thought it would make Saturday rushed and who wants a rushy Saturday, when all the week is lived at breakneck speed,you don't want to make a precious weekend day too rushed as well.

We had also just had the worst set of swim lessons that we had ever had.

The move to the big pool had been harder than anyone had expected. Painfully hard. So bearing all this in mind,we approached Saturday swim lessons with caution. As we ate our Saturday breakfast we discussed what the lessons may entail. We had a lot of questions and only one way to find the answers out....go to the first lesson and see what happened.

We were very early for the first lesson but our first surprise was that it was not a new teacher at all,it was Jenny,our very first swim teacher! And because she knew us well and we were very early,she said we could join the two o'clock class.

There were not many children at all in the 2pm class and it was a different feel altogether than the Friday night class. It was SO peaceful. Just a handful of children,maybe four or five in the bottom end of the large competition pool. The space the children had was unbelievable and the noise level was was blissful. At the end of the lesson I remarked to Jenny about how great it was and she grinned and told me that in Chips proper class there would only be three children altogether,I started to feel that this move to Saturday swimming was going to be a very good move.

And it was.

For the first time ever I felt pretty peaceful at swimming lessons and I think the children felt peaceful too because they swam hard and learnt so many little things that they might not have done within a class of twelve.

They had a go at diving into the deep end. This was a bit ouchy as when you fall into water at speed but without control it can hurt and produce some red sore skin! But at least they had a go.
They were taken to the deep end numerous times to jump in and I can still picture their little excited faces as they leapt into the pool and swam 25 metres to the shallow end.
They did push and glide and all sorts of little swim techniques and quite simply they got such personalised attention that it brought their swimming on no end.

For most of the ten swimming sessions there were only two children in the whole of the competition pool! I guess that speaks for itself,especially if you have ever seen how busy that pool can sometimes get.
Once the swimming baths had a difficulty with the chlorine levels in the small pool and the fun pool but the competition pool was ok so Chips and Cory were the only two children swimming in the whole of the leisure centre! That was just unbelievable too! Like virtually having the whole pool to themselves!

After such a terrible time in the last lot of swim lessons,this was pure bliss. It completely turned Chips attitude around. Gone was the little boy who intensely disliked swim lessons and in his place was a smiley boy who was confident once more and as for the swimming....well both little boys achieved their 50 metre badge this time. I don't think they had ever swam as much to be honest! With just two children to watch and teach,the teachers got them swimming continuously and it did bring their swimming skills on and give the boys more stamina.

So,Saturday swimming is going to stay for us for a while,the very day we did not want to go swim lessons has been the very day that is best!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Splashy Week
Its been a rainy old week.
We have spent lots of time at school doing 
our activities and listening  to the sound of the rain on the canopy. 
I always find the sound of rain soothing and I like playing outside
so its been nice to do both things and stay dry!
Its not often we can do this and the children were quite bemused 
to be allowed outside in rainy weather.
School runs were soggy and it turned cold enough for the heating to be put on for the first time
since Spring.

The evenings were spent ploughing through Harry Potter.
We are on book three now.
Harry has met the Dementors and Sirius Black is on the loose.
Chips remains enthralled by this book
and so do I!
Reading stories has to be one of my favourite things about being a parent.
So many good stories to share!

I began to think about meal planning.
Whether that happens remains to be seen.
I think that it would be a good thing to do.
Its just that life seems to throw up things that make sticking to meal plans
rather hard for me.
Maybe I should just give it a go.

My favourite songs of the week have been Tom Odells Another Love ans Ed Sheerans Photograph.
These two songs have kept me company through many dark nights.

The uni kid is back for the weekend.
He's piled his dirty washing on the sofa and never has a pile of dirty washing been so fondly gazed at!
Unless you count the way that I smile at the red footy shirts.
My boys....even their dirty washing makes me smile!