Thursday, 29 November 2012

Feeling better

Meg was much better today thank goodness.  We actually made it out of the house this afternoon, running some errands in town and stopping at the playground on the way home.
It was cold and frosty, and the winter sun was low in the sky.  We found some ice near the slide and all three spent some time breaking it, picking it up, watching it melt in warm hands.  Betsy made a nest for her little piece!
I downloaded a stop motion app to my phone last night, so this morning Freddie made his first animated film.  I was camera operator, he was creative director!  6 seconds of dino gold...
He followed it up with a sequel:
I think we'll have a lot of fun with it.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Another day at home

Meg's still unwell (worse today, back on the inhalers) so we had another day at home.  

Betsy had a marathon sleep and didn't get up until 11.30, so Freddie and I watched White Fang.  What a great film!  While we watched we chatted about the wild west, gold mining, animal cruelty and dog fighting, Native Americans, pioneers, wolves howling at the moon.

Later, I got Rob's childhood train set out.  Meg looked slightly interested, but in the end sat near the track holding a train and looking sorry for herself.
The Hexbugs came out for the first time in a while.  I need to buy a job lot of batteries for them.
Freddie got the microscope out.  I tried to get a drop of blood for him to look at, but despite me jabbing a pin in my finger a dozen times I didn't get any!
Games came into their own today, though to be fair they usually do here.  Betsy played World Of Zoo on the Wii.  They've unlocked all the animals now.  Freddie continued with Dragon Vale when Rob got home, as he has the Nexus during the day.
I need to plan another home day tomorrow.  Umm, painting, marble run, make a birthday card for my mum....I need inspiration!  Off to pinterest I go....

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A chink of light

It's been quite a tricky day.  Meg, miserable.  Betsy, unwell this morning though thankfully better this afternoon.  Freddie, bored and wanting me to play with him.
An order of glow in the dark Hama-type beads arrived this afternoon, so Betsy and I made a couple of patterns and we got the black light out.  A fun hour in a long day!
 Betsy has a glow in the dark dummy!
Tonic water glows in UV light (no gin, sadly).
The girls had a glow stick bath while Freddie played his current favourite game on the Nexus (Dragon Vale, he's building a village and hatching dragon eggs).

Monday, 26 November 2012

Back again!

I took an unscheduled blog break there!  We got a microscope, Meg was ill again, the kids did pony care at the stables when it was too wet to ride, lots of things I've forgotten now.  Whoops.
Now it's nearly December.  I'm crafting madly for Christmas, and planning Elf on the Shelf shenanigans, and advent activities.  I love this time of year.
Today has been a very relaxed affair.  I had hoped to go to a new group nearby but Meg woke up with a very runny nose and a case of the grumps.  So we stayed in a did lots of cool things.
Betsy has been asking about knitting for a few days, so I suggested we try finger knitting.  I did it using her fingers and between us we made a short scarf for her dog.
Betsy also did some sewing using one of her sewing cards.  I told her that the needle should go up and then down, and she drew herself a diagram as a reminder.  Brilliant!
All three kids did a foil art craft, borrowed from Jarvis next door.  They all enjoyed it, at the same time.  This doesn't happen all that often, and I loved it!  I've ordered our own kit so we can make some more.
Freddie played a game with the Playmobil people, involving a lizard, a shark, parrots and pirates.  I filmed it for him, he loves doing this.  I'll stick it on youtube later.  Meg watched it on my phone a few times, she was fascinated.
Freddie looked through the boxes upstairs to find something to do, and stumbled across the science box I put together recently.  He wanted to make a potato clock, and chose a sound experiments kit.
The potato clock is ace.  He chose to use apples.  He stuck the wires in as directed, and hey presto!  An edible battery.
Then we got to work on the sound experiments.  First he measured and cut some plastic tubes to make panpipes. We saw some musicians in town last week playing panpipes, so this was a cool connection to that.
And just because I can, here's a quick video of the panpipes in action!
Unfortunately, by the end of the day Betsy was feeling rough.  Two sick kids, I'm tired just thinking about it...

Monday, 12 November 2012

To the zoo (again)

We met up with a home edding family at the zoo again today.  It was a wet day, so the zoo was pretty quiet.  We hung out at the play centre for a couple of hours before heading over to the Discovery Centre.  We had it almost entirely to ourselves.
The boa constrictor was more active than usual, unfurling itself to show us how long it is.  It was following the kids fingers on the glass, and actually knocked its head on the glass.  It was a bit intimidating!
Meg liked looking at the turtles, and we saw a green anaconda, the crocodiles and lots of butterflies   The leaf cutter ant colony has gone though, which is a shame.
When we got to the activity at the end, there was a chameleon to look at, and the keeper to answer our questions.  The chameleon was 6 months old, and the egg she'd hatched out of was tiny.
I'm very excited - when we got home the blacklight had arrived!  The batteries are charging now so we can have lots of UV fun tomorrow evening.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Two playgrounds

I took Meg to the doctors again this morning.  She's had a rash for a week and it looked really horrible.  Turns out she has shingles.  Shingles!  The steroids seem to be the culprit, lowering her immune system which triggered the dormant virus to reactivate.  Poor Meg, it's hard to pick her up as she's in some pain on one side of her body.  Time to start building her resistance up, thank goodness she's still breast feeding.

I was able to take her to the GP without Freddie and Betsy as Rob had the day off.  They went to town and Fred had a haircut.  After lunch, we went to Wycombe Rye, a gorgeous park with a lido, a river, a mill and two playgrounds.

The autumn colours were spectacular, even on a gloomy grey afternoon.
The first playground is your standard metal framed play equipment set up.  Swings, slides, climbing frames, that kind of thing.
After the kids had had enough there we walked along to the next playground, past the very pretty mill.
The playground is set under the trees, and made of wood.  It has a network of raised wooden platforms and rope bridges, and lends itself to all sorts of games.  
We spent much longer here.  We played a game where Freddie was a dinosaur to be captured, Betsy was a puppy, Rob was a dinosaur catcher.  Lots of fun!  We watched some teenagers doing the most amazing acrobatic feats on the outdoor sunken trampolines, somersaults and all sorts. The kids span on a very fast little roundabout.
We walked back to the car park along the river as dusk was falling.
Rob is taking *all* of the kids to his parents tomorrow.  My first night not in the same building as Meg.  I'm staying home to reorganise the entire bloody house.  I'm itching to get started!  But also worried about my Meg.  I anticipate a huge nursing session on her return on Sunday....

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Going with the flow

I made a conscious effort to hang out with Freddie today.  Writing that down, I feel bad that it is even worth commenting on.  Surely that's what I do every day?  Well, yes and no.  I play, I provide food, I read words to help him in his games on the Wii and the laptop.  I chat, answer questions, laugh at jokes.  But it's not been enough, or not quite right.
I took some washing up to put away in his room, and he was watching a Christmas DVD Betsy has picked up in the library yesterday.  I watched it while I sorted the laundry, and when I was finished I sat and watched the rest of it with him.  It was lovely.
Later, he asked me to play him at Dinosaur Strike on the Wii.  He thrashed me of course, and it was another lovely moment in our day.
We were due to go to our home ed group this afternoon, but everyone seemed so relaxed and happy that I was unwilling to clock watch and get us out of the door on time.
Instead, Betsy built a castle from a kit I got at Wilkos the other day.
I'd also bought a cool looking build-a-skeleton kit and asked if they wanted to have a go.  It would be about the same size as Betsy!  They both said no, so I'll put it back in the cupboard to strew another day.  
Freddie peeled a hard boiled egg that I was having for a snack, and he used the shell as the base of a rather grusome concoction of water, food colouring, washing up liquid, milk, an egg, various spices, lemon juice and other items he found in the kitchen.  He spent ages on it.  The kitchen is very aromatic!
There was a gorgeous sunset today.  Betsy spotted it and took some photos on my phone, while I took some with my camera.  Freddie came back from Jarvis's to tell us about it, and Meg loved the colours.  I told mum about it and she said that her grandchildren appreciate beautiful things.  She's right, and it was a lovely thing for her to say.
The other thing of note is that Meg is starting to use the potty.  Hooray!  I don't think it will be too long before I have no children in daytime nappies.