Sunday, 22 July 2012

Studio Gibhli: Kiki's delivery service

Hooray! It's the school holidays...

Yesterday we have been enjoying the first bit of sunshine we've had in a while. The campervan is out and ready for our holidays, we have unpacked it, repacked it and now we just need to add a few extra bits and pieces.

Then we finally had our first barbeque of the season. It took me almost an hour to walk to the local shops with my 2 year old, who decided to bring his new scooter with him, but he cant ride it any faster than 1/4 mile per hour. And then he lay down in the middle of the road, outside the bank and on the walk home.

Then when I finally arrived home, triumphant with my sausages and bread, it took my husband the best part of an hour to get the gas BBQ working and by the time the sausages were cooked, my son was too tired and grumpy to eat them and threw it on the grass. And breathe...

Anyway, this morning we have had a nice relaxing start to the day, with fresh bread and jam from the local deli, strawberries and Kiki's delivery service. I have heard of Studio Ghibli before and my husband is a big fan of Japanese animation, so he bought this for my daughter.

It was just magical. If you've never tried one of his films, I urge you to give it a go!

However, now the relaxing has to stop because there is a distinct waft of poo coming from my son's nappy. See you soon x

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Footsteps on the floor

On Friday, my daughter had her graduation ceremony from her Infants school. I was very lucky and had a seat on the front row.

There were 60 children taking part and they put on a really funny play about how far they had come since Reception class, when they couldn't dress themselves, had accidents on the floor and wanted their Mummies! They reenacted the classes they had enjoyed, and pretended to be in a time machine, going back to the First World War and the Great Fire of London. They did impersonations of their teachers. Some of the children pretended they were doing a boring PE lesson and broke into some fantastic street dancing. And then they sang their hearts out in two beautiful songs about working together and having self-belief. I was absolutely in bits.


"I can do anything I want
I can climb the highest mountain
I can feel the ocean rolling wild and free
I can be anything at all
I can climb the highest mountain
If I just believe in me"

My daughter has had a really hard year because she lost her Grandad just before Christmas. So for most of her Autumn term, she barely saw her Dad after school as he was at the hospital and her Granny was always sad. Since her Grandad died, life has still been very different and for a while, she lost a lot of confidence and needed a lot of reassurance and cuddles from us and from her Teaching Assistant.

So when I saw her dancing on the stage with such confidence and a smile on her face, singing her little heart out into the microphone, I thought my heart would burst with pride. At the same time, I felt a tinge of sadness that she is coming to the end of the age of innocence and I wonder what life will be like for her in the Juniors and as a teenager.

I work with children with mental health difficulties and I am all too aware of the pressures upon young children today, to be thin, to be popular, to be cool. I just pray that she can keep some of that confidence that I saw on stage when times get tough. I hope she can continue to believe in herself and what she can achieve.

I realise that I am an important part of that process too.

On Friday after school, she raced outside and was jumping on the wet trampoline. Then she ran in across the kitchen to grab herself a snack. Part of me was ready to yell at her for leaving soggy footprints across the floor. But after she had gone, I stood with a cup of tea, looking at these tiny feet, realising that they wont be tiny forever and they wont be in this house forever. I am determined to cherish every day I spend with my children, try not to nag and and allow her to be confident and free.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Festival fancy dress

Last weekend was pretty miserable in lots of ways. The rain continued to pour down. My son had a speech and language therapy assessment and I was told that his speech was delayed and he needed additional support. And something strange happened to my foot...I was in so much pain I spent much of Saturday morning in the local A&E department, getting it x-rayed. Turns out I have an extra piece of bone sticking out of the side that shouldnt be there, very strange. The nurse and doctors said they had never seen it before and need a second opinion. In the meantime, I have been told to rest, elevate it and put ice on it FOR A WEEK! Ha ha! That is not going to happen is it, with two small kids to look after?

So part of me is worrying a bit now, that I wont be able to go to the festival at all. The other half of me is determined not to worry too much and carry on with my preparations.

So over the weekend, I have been finalising my fancy dress outfits ready for the Silly Olympics theme at Camp Bestival.

Mr S will be wearing a 70s England tracksuit top, with a bad curly wig, lots of fake plastic medals from the local kids farm and a cycling proficiency badge...

My daughter decided she wanted to be an "Olympic Princess". After lots of thought, she decided she wants to be Princess Peach. I have been working on her costume for the past few weeks and I'm pretty chuffed with it actually! It has cost me nothing as it is made out of an old pillowcase, a cut up batgirl costume, some felt and a few fake jewels which we stole off my Mother's Day card. Last weekend I ingeniously made her crown out of a pringles box which we sprayed gold, covered in the above jewels and glued it onto a headband. Blue Peter eat your heart out...

Today I was supposed to making a Mario costume and was about to start sewing a hat, when I realised that he will probably rip the hat off after 5 minutes and then he will just be a toddler in a red t-shirt and dungarees. So I have just won this rather tasteful Superman muscle suit off ebay! I'm sure I will be able to take lots of embarrassing photos that I can use to bribe him when he is a teenager. And if he runs off, hopefully I will be able to spot him.

And I have decided that I really dont want to do the Silly Olympic theme, so I am going to embrace the evening disco look instead, in a 1970s rainbow maxi dress, silly sunglasses and afro wig. I saw the dress in a charity shop window and it was so bonkers, I knew it had to be mine. And it fits perfectly!

So we are certainly not going to look tasteful, but we will definitely be dressed to boogie!

Hey Mrs M, if you're reading this, what are you wearing?

Monday, 2 July 2012

Monday musings

I've been a bit naughty and not been blogging for a couple of weeks, but hey. Sometimes life gets in the way!

I have busy sanding and restoring my ebay habitat table, which has been very satisfying. In a former life, it had lived in a hairdresser's salon, and was looking pretty grubby when it arrived. However, it's amazing what you can do with some sandpaper and a tin of wax. I just need to get the seats covered and an oilcloth and it will be perfect.

Here's the arms of the chairs, before and after sanding (sanded one on the left!).

The main reason why I wanted a bigger table than my ikea £25 out of the paper one was that when we have friends around, it feels like there was never enough space for all the kids to sit down! The radius table is great because it has benches, so you can squeeze 4 little ones on. My table has only got 1 bench so far, so I shall be scouring ebay for another when J doesnt need his highchair any more.

Anyway, yesterday I was supposed to be going to see the Stone Roses, but the logistics of finding someone who could babysit overnight and take my daughter to school with a 2 year old in tow were too tricky. So in order to christen the new table, I invited a couple of friends over and their 4 children, cooked a big Sunday roast and demolished rather a lot of wine with them, whilst the kids created havoc. I set up a cinema in the front room with a studio ghibli film on, with airbeds, cushions and my massive granny blanket. Out in the garden, the kids made "stone babies"- that's a stone with a face drawn on in felt tips and threw balloons filled with water. And unbeknown to me, my bedroom was turned into a makeshift soft play with cushions and an old mattress from my daughter's toddler bed. And the biscuit tin was mysteriously empty this morning. We had a lovely day and I was only a tiny bit hungover during the school run this morning. oops.

 I love when you buy a new piece of furniture and it just works. I dont know how I lived without it now.

 Table: Habitat radius via ebay. Sargeant Pepper pepperpot from Sainsbury's, boxes of duplo/ craft stuff/ sylvanian families ice cream, hamsters, model's own!

In case you were wondering, i have two hamster cages because my daughter's hamsters started fighting like crazy and had to be separated. If you buy hamsters from the pet shop and they advise you to buy two, ignore them!

Actually, when they are not fighting each other, they are quite cute. Here is Jack, who lives in the girly pink cage...