Art in August #8 – Cheeky Turtle

My cutie turtle

My cutie turtle

I really wanted to do some ‘proper’ art today, watercolours or sketching or even colouring in, but I used all my energy taking the children swimming and then tidying up their mayhem from this morning. Hubbie said I should take a picture of the playroom and call it my installation art!

Instead I’ve fallen back on the old faithful and used the latest loomband pet. This was a tricky build because it needed a double loom but the spare I have is a cheap imitation one, so I had to hold it all together with one hand and loom with the other. Now daughter wants one too so I get to do it all again tomorrow, but with her ‘help’. Eek.

He’s my second favourite pet to date, after the dragon. We’re building up quite a zoo. My daughter wrote a book about them today (until we fell out when I gently pointed out that her bs and ds were back-to-front. Think I’ll have to leave teaching to the professionals!)

Is it September yet? I forgot to buy wine.

Loom Band Story

Loom Band Story

Outside the Pool

Outside the Pool

Wonderful Teachers and Winding Down For Summer

Gorgeous thank you

Gorgeous thank you

Today my daughter has her ‘Moving Up Day’ at school, when she will spend the day with her new teacher for next year. I can’t believe it came so quickly. Any regular followers of the blog will know that I didn’t take to school very well (slight understatement, as I ended up on medication to handle the extra stress of the school routine) so it might come as a surprise that I am sad the year is over and I will miss Reception and the teachers.

We took leaving gifts in today, even though there is still more than a week left, because there are so many other things going on between now and next Wednesday. I nearly cried when my daughter’s teacher hugged me and said thank you for choosing to send my daughter to their school (she knew it wasn’t an easy choice).

It shows you get out what you put in. It’s important to me to build strong relationships with the people who are in loco parentis for my children. I felt like I was being a pain, constantly talking to the teachers, double-checking everything, basically being that controlling parent. Clearly I haven’t been that annoying! And, for me, it has been returned ten fold.

Thank you card

Thank you card

My daughter’s teacher often goes out of her way to reassure me that my daughter is happy, well rounded, well liked. The teaching assistant listens to my rambles every day, and makes sure my daughter is happy and settled.

And, on Friday, when my daughter sobbed because she didn’t get the year one teacher she wanted, her Reception teacher took us through to meet the teacher she’s been allocated and they both spent ten minutes reassuring my timid daughter that she’ll have loads of fun next year.

To do such a thing at 3.45pm on a Friday, when suffering from laryngitis, shows care above and beyond expectations. As a result my fearful daughter, who has been crying about going into year one since Christmas, said “I’m so excited about Moving Up Day.” What more could a mother want?

This morning the teaching assistant, who has held my daughter’s hand at drop off every day this year, and talked me down off the edge more than once, said, “I’ve been worried about your daughter all weekend.”

Bless them all.

And so we wind down for summer. Not the best start, with Daddy having tonsillitis, but we’re muddling through. Loom bands have been ordered to keep little hands busy, craft has been stocked up and the paddling pool purchased.

For the lovely teaching assistant

For the lovely teaching assistant

All writing projects are on hold, although I’ve spent the last few days enthralled by the K’Barthan series by M T McGuire (you are personally responsible for the filthy state of my house, I’ll have you know!) does that count as working?

The blog will be sporadic in the coming weeks (nothing new there!) especially as I can’t seem to work on the iPad since I foolishly gave in and upgraded to ios7. I’m hoping to get in a few posts about days out and book reviews, but I’m going to give myself a holiday too.

It’s been a long and stressful year, with lots of achievements and a few battles. I feel like July might become my new Year End, when I take stock and down tools. It’s only six weeks, and I’m going to try and enjoy it with the children.

Of course, I’ll be on here moaning how they’re driving me mad in a couple of weeks, but for now I’m looking forward to a change of pace.

Happy holidays!

Wishing You a Good Friday

Meeting the Easter Bunny

Meeting the Easter Bunny

At last, Easter is here! Two weeks into the school vacation I feel like the bank holiday is the finish line and I’ve more or less survived. We still have five days before the children go back to school/nursery, but at least there are some family members around to share the small-child entertainment that has left me exhausted.

We have been blessed, though, this holiday, with gorgeous sunny days every day. The kids have been able to run free with me just providing conflict mediation, hugs, plasters, food, drinks, craft supplies, cautions, rules, reward stickers and the occasional trip out for variety. Yesterday we went to play on the new indoor equipment at our favourite Farm, followed by a visit to the Easter Bunny. It was a great day.

One thing I’ve noticed this holiday is that the children have remembered how to play together. With my daughter starting school last September, they seemed to separate, with the age difference much more noticeable. My daughter had less time for her brother, and they squabbled more than cooperated. It’s been wonderful (and terrifying) to see them back to conspiring against me. For example when they decided to empty the sandpit into the paddling pool and across the decking, then fill the sandpit with water from the hose, breaking about five family rules in the process. I didn’t care, I just prayed they wouldn’t draw my attention to it, leaving me no choice but to tell them off.

When my daughter did finally come in saying, “Look, Mummy!” all proud of the carnage, I actually said, “You’ve broken about five rules, which are they?” and after she’d sheepishly acknowledged them, I said, “no matter, I’ll pretend I didn’t see, so long as you tidy up.” Which of course they didn’t, but it took less time to sweep wet sand than it would have done telling them off and finding them something else to do!

Sand Carnage

Sand Carnage

Rules and consistency are all well and good, but sometimes you have to be flexible. It was also another classic case of different parenting priorities as, when I posted my dilemma to Facebook, expecting people to laugh (because of course I wouldn’t stop them playing nicely just because of a bit of mess) I had a range of responses leaving me feeling somewhere between a dragon for having rules in the first place and a lazy parent for choosing to ignore them!

Anyway, this was just a short note to say hello, I’m still alive, and wish you all a happy Easter weekend. The forecast here is actually for rain, making me feel bad for all the working people who have been looking forward to their four days of freedom. But hopefully they’ll stay in and read a book, as I have Dragon Wraiths on a freebie promotion all weekend. If by chance you haven’t read it, do go grab a copy! (I’m trying out a new GeoRiot link, which is meant to take you to the Amazon site for your country, so do tell me if it works/doesn’t work. And thank you to Sally Jenkins for the idea.)

TTFN.

All Quiet on the Blogging Front

Busy busy...

Busy busy…

This is just a quick note to explain my silence on the blog recently and to say that normal service will hopefully resume in a week or two.

This week I’ve been concentrating on drafting my children’s book (working title George and the Arch, but that will change!) I’m around a third through, at 22,000 words, and have realised that writing a first draft uses ALL my energy and inspiration.

My daughter’s school teacher pointed out that there are only 11 full weeks of school left before the summer vacation, which means I have that much time to get George ready for the Chicken House competition AND get Class Act ready to publish (I haven’t even sourced an editor yet). Argh!

The reason for my silence over the next two weeks (more specifically the next four days) is that the children are on their Easter Holidays. In four hours the children and I will drive to Skegness to stay in a static caravan for the week with my good friend and her two children. I’m terrified. Please God don’t let it rain!

I’m looking forward to it too, but the idea of four days in a small box with four kids aged 2-6 does fill me with fear! Ear plugs and wine at the ready! 😉 I don’t even know if there will be internet…

So, enjoy the peace and quiet and I’ll hopefully have some new things to write about when I get back! Wish me luck.