Sunday, 20 November 2016

More well than not!

It's been a lovely couple of weeks, very chilled. 

We took my mum to Rushmere Country Park.  She hadn't been before, and liked it as much as I'd hoped.  The kids were really happy to be back, as it's been a while since our last visit.  We did our usual circular walk, starting at the big slide, past the fairy doors, giant chair, spider and elf seats.  

Swimming and parkour the next day, getting to both feels like a victory at the moment!

The Into Film Festival is on, and we had tickets to see The Jungle Book at Milton Keynes. Almost all of the Aylesbury tickets got booked up straight away, but we loved the MK Odeon! The film was in 3D, and we got to sit in the really posh big seats at the back.  The film was great, we all really enjoyed it.  Another bonus was bumping into some friends, so we sat together.

Rob and the kids went to stay with his parents at the weekend.  Rob, Fred and his dad went to watch Port Vale win at home.  Fred made a vlog!

Betsy looked dreadful when she got back.  No appetite, really pale.  No surprise that she was ill during the night.  Again. Sigh.  She was off for a few days, so we missed TVAP, swimming and a meet up in the woods.

Once she felt less awful, Betsy spent a lot of time drawing.  She did this excellent picture of big cats (plus a tabby).  And she's been doing great copies of Pokemon picture from google images.

Meanwhile, Meg became a cat, and communicated her needs through the medium of drawing.

She wanted water.

She wanted her iPad.

She wanted to sit on my lap.

Meg and I often walk to the shop to pick up bits and bobs, and we've really been enjoying those moments.  We chat about the water (it's still and flat, or it's choppy and wavy, or it's sparkling with sunlight diamonds).  We say hi to the swans and the ducks.  

Fred and Rob went to see Steve Backshall at the theatre on Wednesday evening.  I think Fred felt he'd outgrown his Deadly 60 days, but they both came back sparkling and enthusiastic! Steve was very interesting and entertaining, and they loved it.

On Thursday Betsy was more or less back to herself, though still needing more sleep than usual.  She was up for an activity in the afternoon, and the girls had fun decorating fairy cakes. Sprinkle overload!

We braved the crowds and went to town for the Christmas lights switch on.  We missed most of the fireworks by standing in entirely the wrong bit of the square, but the atmosphere was fun and the lights pretty.

Jarvis came over for a few hours on Saturday, which was great.  His dad took Betsy and Meg swimming with them later, with Fred choosing to stay home.  Fred has been playing lots of Roblox games recently - Mining Madness, Miners Heaven, Apocolypse Rising, Limited Universe, Ultimate Driving, Dinosaur Simulator, Tix Factory Tycoon, Murder Mystery 2, Roblox Day Z, Prison Life 2.0.  Some of them he play with Betsy and Meg, some of them he plays with online friends, and some alone. 

The weather is colder, and the fire has been on a lot.  Rosie the cat approves.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Illness/post illness catch up.

So, illness did continue into the following couple of weeks.  We didn't stay with the in laws, and we did miss Jodrell Bank.  I am Never Booking Any Activities Ever Again.

We barely left the house that week, but amused ourselves at home.  There was lots and lots of playing with toys, much more than I've seen for ages.  The three of them come up with some great games.

We had a very welcome visit from Zoe and Billy, so we weren't entirely isolated!

Rob took the kids to his parents at the weekend, as everyone had been looking forward to seeing each other.  They had a lovely time.  Betsy made a thank you card for her great aunt and uncle while she was there.

The following week I was feeling confident about sticking to our plans (visit to Kew Gardens, Jarvis having a sleepover here, day at Mead Open Farm).  Betsy was sick on Monday morning. Nooooooooo!

So, week 4 of illness.  I was grumpy!  I cancelled plans for Monday and Tuesday (very sad we didn't get Jarvis here).  She was ill for most of Monday, but woke up feeling fine the next day.  We stayed home again, and had the chimney swept, that was interesting.  The chimney sweep was very friendly, and happy to chat with the kids.

The next day everyone was finally well enough to go out, so we went to the Halloween event at Mead Open Farm.  They spook up several barns - The Shed of Dread etc!  Live actors wait around the corners to give you a fright.  The first one we went into was described as medium scary.  Oh my word.  They lied!  Clowns, weird lighting, mazes.  Terrifying!  I thought Betsy was going to freak out, I nearly had a panic attack in this bit where you're completely squashed in by huge air pillows (I haven't felt that panicky claustrophobia in years and years).  We made it through, and Fred said he'd had enough and didin't want to go in any of the others.

Unfortunately, the other two spooky places were much milder, and more funny.  If we'd gone into one of those first, I think he would have enjoyed them.

The whole place was absolutely rammed, the busiest I've ever seen it.  But the kids had really wanted to see the Halloween stuff, so it was worth fighting the crowds.

After such a long spell of quiet time mostly spent at home, suddenly we were very busy.  On Thursday we went to a woodland meet up, with a fire, miniature broomsticks, and musical funghi.

On Friday I took a trip down memory lane, and met up with an old school friend and her children at my childhood local park.  It was a beautiful day, clear and cold.  The park is so much better now (though I loved it when I was a child).  Play equipment is so great now!

We had fish and chips from the best fish and chip shop (then and now) and ate in the park.  So good.

On Saturday we met up with another old friend and his family, this time a friend from university.  We went to a bird of prey centre and had a brilliant time.  We saw two flying shows, a critters show (with a skunk, a macaw and a parakeet).  We held owls, stroked ponies, and marvelled at the odd looks of turkeys.

On Sunday Tom babysat while Rob and I went to Brixton Academy to see PJ Harvey.  She is amazing.

This week has been business as usual.  TVAP on Monday with a Halloween theme.  Plus sparkly tattoos.  It was a beautiful day, so warm in the sunshine.

Halloween trick or treating was the best one we've ever had.  So many people dressed up, including the accompanying adults!  It was fab, and the kids loved it.

Tuesday was a very much needed day at home, where I did 5 loads of laundry.  Back to swimming and parkour on Wednesday.  The kids were all a little apprehensive after being away for 3 or 4 weeks, but they hadn't forgotten how to swim/dive/do cool stuff at the gym, so phew!

On Thursday we took the car for the MOT, and popped into the newly opened Dunelm Mill.  All three were impressed, and I bought them all a new duvet cover.  Dinosaurs for big and small, butterflies for middle.

We took inspiration from one of the TVAP activities earlier in the week, and did a vinegar/bicarb reaction in two of the Halloween pumpkins.  I got out the volcano we made a few years ago, and they spent ages with it.

Friday was a bit of disaster.  It was Mohawk (yay) but it was poring with rain (boo).  Zoe was running a brilliant dry ice session outside, which was great except the grass was getting muddier and slippier by the second.  In the end the inevitable happened, and Fred slipped and landed on his back.  He was sore, and wet and muddy, and upset, so we came home.  He felt much better after a bath and a sit by the fire.  Meg toasted some marshmallows, we left Mohawk just as they lit the fire and she was sad to miss it.  Marshmallows at home remedied the situation.

Yesterday was the 5th November, and we went to see the fireworks.  Lots of fun.