Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Festive update

What a lovely few days over the Christmas period!

Harry and I went to Northern Stage on Christmas Eve to see the under 6's show, which really felt like the start of Christmas. Harry hung his stocking and made a snack plate for Santa (hedging his bets by providing milk and beer) during the afternoon. He has stayed quite relaxed about it all and was awake at a fairly civilised 6.30am on Christmas Day, dragging his stocking behind him to our bedroom!

We have seen all our close family on my side and Harry has really enjoyed it and not wanted anyone to leave.

All my food preparation has turned out well (apart from discovering the home-made cranberry sauce still in the microwave on boxing day, having been forgotten!).

Harry and Peter have enjoyed being at home, exploring their presents and a few local trips out to the park.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

A week of mixed fortune

Mixed fortune in that it has been a wonderful week for Harry, who has been an angel of making my life easier with good behaviour and keeping himself busy but a rather less wonderful one for poor Peter, who is suffering awfully with (I think) 4 front teeth coming all at once.

We have had some unexpected fun with a large tub of mixed small stones and buttons. I knew Harry would love sorting and pouring them but I was very wary about letting Peter near them, given his love for tasting his toys, but he loved them too. He flicked them with his fingers in a small pot, scattered them around the floor and put some back into the pot. Putting things inside other things seems to be one of his favourite skills at the moment, the concentration on his face is brilliant!

It is difficult to plan structured activities sometimes with Peter thrown into the mix, but his daytime sleep is becoming more reliable now so I have put in some effort to do some Christmas themed activities this week with Harry. We used some Christmas objects to do size ordering and Harry found this harder than I expected actually, as he has no problems sorting biggest and smallest, but has never tried ordering several items, so it was a worthwhile exercise!

We also made a Christmas tree decorating game which Harry has been playing when he comes down in the morning (he is always first!)

A big highlight this week has been meeting up with our home ed friends at Durham's Botanic Gardens on Wednesday to exchange Christmas gift bags for the children, to which we each made a contribution. The children had fun breaking up the ice in the pond and Harry was particularly enamoured by a piece which had some foliage frozen into it. Peter wasn't enjoying it too much, however, and had a burning temperature by the time we got home, so cbeebies got a good airing in the afternoon!

I thought Harry needed a bit of a treat today as Peter has given us a challenging week, so we headed to Shields Road, which can be an adventure in itself sometimes :-), to return some items to the library and look in the charity shops, as Harry loves a rummage in the toy sections. We were pleased to find two lovely puzzles, a book and a small bob the builder toy, followed by fish and chips for lunch, all for the bargain price of £8!

That brings us to today, the 22nd of December eek!! It's nearly Christmas (although it feels far too warm)! I am really quite excited and have been planning food shopping tonight to tackle in town tomorrow on my own as Stuart is home for the holidays.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmas crafting continued....

Well, what an unexpectedly wonderful day yesterday turned out to be! As the first snow fell outside (to the delight of the children), we listened to Christmas music and created some festive biscuits, wreaths, snowmen and trees with two families from our NCT group. We brought out the CD player after a rather rousing (if I say so myself) mummy sung version of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer failed to impress!

The 3 boys and 1 little sister were very enthusiastic and it was lovely to see Harry working so well alongside his friends, full of focus on his task. 

Later Harry set up his own "drum kit" while I cooked tea

Peter was very wise and hung back, before taking the first available opportunity to explore the kit once Harry and his bopping drumsticks were well out of the way!

A day which made me appreciate so many small and simple things and which made me breathe deeply at the end of the day and feel blessed. So great as the commercial juggernaut of Christmas looms large - I hope for many more.

Today we have done the Santa visit at Wallington. As is his nature, Harry was rather underwhelmed and preferred stamping on the icy puddles and sliding on the ice patches which were lying around! Last year we only just managed to travel the snow was so bad and we were playing in shin deep snow after seeing Santa. It is nice to be starting to gather points of reference for the children's lives as the years pass.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Christmas crafting

This is the fruit of my labour this evening! All ready for a visit from one of my lovely NCT friends tomorrow, where we shall encourage the boys to create lovely Christmas themed crafts. Actual results to follow - I suspect output may depend on 3 year old mood swings! 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

At last, here I am!

Well here we are, I have been meaning to do this for a long time, but life happened! I am hoping this will be a record of our adventures through infancy,early childhood, home education and everything inbetween.

We are:

Harry (age 3yrs 10mths) who loves most things, all done at 100mph, including dancing in the mud and has inspired the title;

Peter (age 11mths) who doesn't sleep but is otherwise an increasing source of joy and delight to us;

Stuart, who is an incredibly hard working tax accountant and is more fun as a husband and daddy than that makes him sound and

Me, Hayley, former tax accountant, somehow now full time mother and home educator (wasn't in my plan - how did that happen!?)