Sunday, 5 February 2017

My birthday surprise was a weekend in Stratford on Avon, and tickets to see The Tempest at the RSC.  It was wonderful, despite the car breaking down as we left (necessitating a breakdown truck taking us home, and £300+ repairs needed!).

Me and him at the theatre.

Cake on our return.

The kids had a great time with mum.  They went shoe shopping and to Costa Coffee, something of a tradition when she has them overnight.

Car trouble meant we couldn't get to TVAP.   There was some excitement when the breakdown truck arrived to take the car to the garage.  It was a huge one, and the kids enjoyed the ride.  

Betsy and Meg discovered a drawing app and they really got into it.  I showed them how to email their pictures, and they produced dozens! 

A couple of Betsy's:

A couple of Meg's:

The car was ready to collect the next day, and we had a nice walk along the canal to the garage.

Meg spent some time on Teach Your Monster to Read, and made mud cakes in the garden. Fred and Betsy played on the trampoline.  It was sunny but really cold!

I've been making firmer plans for our Iceland trip.  All of us need passports and I was aghast at the price of passport photos from Snappy Snaps (£11!).  So I did it myself.  I put up a large piece of white paper for the background, and set up a temporary photo booth in the lean-to.

I uploaded them to who check they are passport compliant, and post them out for £5.  A much better price!

Rob and the kids visited the grandparents for a few days.  Rob took them to Waterworld, a water park with lots of flumes and slides and rides.  They had a brilliant time, and as always loved spending time with Granny and Grandad.

While they were away, I did some sorting of their bedrooms.  Fred has moved into his own room, and Betsy and Meg are now sharing.  In practice Fred spends about half the week sleeping with the girls, but they all are really happy with the move.

I also watched loads of Miss Marples, and did some sewing and knitting.  The cat kept me company.  Bliss.

The next week was busy.  We had a few jobs to do in town.  It was very cold, the ice was getting thicker and thicker on the canal.  We watched the ducks slipping and sliding along.

Meg played hopscotch.

Some ipad stylus's arrived, and all three kids enjoyed doing a letter formation app.

Fred had two training sessions for his new dog walking job.  The girls and I went with him for the first one, and left him with Anna the dog owner for the second one.

Ice from our pond.

They continued with swimming, diving and parkour.

We went clothes shopping for my brother's wedding.  

We met up with friends at 360 Play.

We had a fantastic visit to a farm.   We've been here a couple times before, for pond dipping and for lambing.  This was a lambing visit again.  The farmers are really interesting and welcoming.  

The kids got a lift to the lambing shed on the quad trailer.

We saw some lambs that were about 2 weeks old.

Then on to the lambing shed.  Some ewes were in pens with their new lambs.

One of the farmers talked to us about the sheep, while a ewe popped two lambs out behind him.  He showed us the amniotic sac.

It was freezing, and the lambs were steaming!

He dipped the ends of their umbilical cords in iodine, and gave them a precautionary dose of antibiotics.  He said this is the only time they give antibiotics when there is no sign of infection.

We went to see the orphan lambs - those who were not getting on well with their mums, or one of triplets.  They were piled on top of each other under a heat lamp.

The kids were able to hold one of these lambs.

They feed by sucking formula milk through tubes, from a teat.

Fred and Meg helped make some formula.

Back to the lambing shed, and we saw a ewe assisted to give birth.

 It was a really great visit.  I'll be arranging a pond dipping trip in the summer.

The next day was the wedding day!  It was a really good one for us, as it was very local and very relaxed.  We walked to the registry office, and then back to Tom and Jessica's house.

In the evening we had a meal at a pub a short drive away.

This week has been pretty busy too.  TVAP on Monday, with the theme of 'revistalise'.  Kids and parents did a 45 minute exercise class (really fun!), then they made some bath bombs.  Also lots of playing - soft play, bikes, made up imaginative games.

On Tuesday we had a couple of hours up at the zoo.  It was extremely misty!

We went into the new butterfly house. It's fantastic.  They've made a much better home for the crocodiles. Meg loves the crocs.  She spent ages looking through the viewing window.

This was her view!

There are lots of butterflies to spot.

This Indian leaf butterfly was amazing.

We had a really good look at their proboscises as they fed.

Right at the back, you can just see the body of a bay croc.  It's snout was just above water level.

We had a look around the childrens farm.  One of the goats escaped, and they managed to shoo it back in.

Maras in the mist.

Wednesday - swimming and parkour (and some on-the-go sock knitting).

Thursday - a day at home, thank goodness.  5 loads of laundry (me), Roblox (all 3), some PS4 with online friends (Fred), first solo dog walking session (Fred), and we had a neighbour's kids over for dinner and playing.  In fact I doubled my usual quota of children for a couple of hours, 3 Robloxing and 3 playing Sylvanian Families.  

Friday - Mohawk for the first time since November.  As always, great to be there.  There was animal handling with the lovely Owen, soft play, singing, sensory room, sensory sound garden etc.

Spring is on the way!

Meg's first top tooth came out.

We had a very productive day yesterday.  We cleared out the girl's bedroom, and they chucked loads and loads of stuff away - rubbish, recycling, charity shop.  Their room is so much nicer now, and they were really excited about the extra space.

Today I worked, and Rob took the kids to see Kubo.  I loved that film when we saw it last year.  Such beautiful animation and a deep story.   The kids enjoyed it again, and Rob loved it too.

Fred watched a Godzilla film this afternoon, and went for a run with Rob.  Betsy is playing Murder Mystery 2 on Roblox with Erin.  Meg's been playing Spore.

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