Matt’s Birthday

Joel

First some photos of what the bigger boys got up to yesterday! It was an open meeting of the Peterborough Small Model Engineers (who run the trains at Thorpe Hall, where we go on Sundays). With a Bar-B-Que and opportunity to drive some of the trains. Matt is starting to get to know them quite well.

Matt on Samdog David on Samdog

Fairly peaceful day today. After Library story time P and her 16 month-old son came over for coffee in the garden. After lunch the cleaners came. They are being very good, they are very flexible about what they do. Today T caught up with the last 6 months of ironing (not as bad as it sounds as we iron very little, usually only one work shirt for Matt per week is considered essential). If we look creased and crumpled, then nobody has been blunt enough to mention it yet!

Then I made profiteroles with the boys for Matt’s birthday tea, which we ate in the garden. Also tried using c lay today, not very successfully and they did some painting. Their fingers aren’t really strong enough yet to do clay, playdough is better. B painted pictures. Ise painted pictures, his hands and the sink.

The boys went to bed a bit late and then we discussed some Charlotte Mason home-schooling ideas. More on Charlotte Mason later.

No coal for my fire

Its being hard to find time to write this, Tuesday evening was spent with David, Wednesday I went to cell, Thursday Matt went to music practice (and I don’t know how to operate this without him yet – let alone type at more than 2 w.p.m.) and now it is Friday evening.

Yesterday I discovered my friend Tammy’s blog. She is home-schooling her son Sam, who is half a year older than Benjamin. On reading it I discovered all the amazing things they do with Sam and decided I couldn’t possibly do this and should I enroll B in school straight away? Woke up this morning still feeling very incapable of doing all this, so a bit of a stroppy start to the morning.

Decided I must get to Central Library more often for some better reading material for the children. Although we go to our local library (just down the road) every week, it is very limited, also that I must find some planning time.

This morning Matt took my car for new tyres, while I tackled the laundry mountain. Then this afternoon we went to the Muddle-Puddle meeting. We were ‘doing’ native Americans. I don’t think B or Ise really picked up on the theme. They had a nice time anyway and made nice bead things. Then over the road for Central Park and a play in the sandpit. Came home for a Bar-B-Q, which we cooked under the grill as we couldn’t find the coal, much to Benjamin’s disappointment.

Joel has discovered his hands this week, so he spent most of the week holding them together and watching them. He still continues to be very easy-going and smiles and chats lots (we’ve not quite worked out where he gets this from). I think he is only waking up once a night now.

Click the pictures below for a bigger view. Benjamin being a train driver and B and Ise playing ‘Jack in a box’ in the shoe box.
Train driver B Playing Jack in a box in the shoe box

Happy Faces this morning, but as it doesn’t start till 11:15, we had quite a while at home first. Isaac was sent to the stairs quite a few times this morning and at one stage I even smacked his hand even though we had decided not to do this. He just doesn’t like to do what he is asked to do and seems reluctant to learn! He gets so wrapped up in what he is doing and it is a struggle to get his attention. But when we tried out smacking a few months back, we felt that he was making less eye contact with us and not relating so closely, so we decided it wasnt going to be a productive method with him.

Then off to Happy Faces, home for lunch, and then off to Ferry Meadows with the boys on bicycles to avoid a repeat of the mornings frustrations. All had a nice time there, and Joel stayed asleep all through it, and during tea and getting them ready for bed!

Busy Sunday

Once a month I (Matt) play percussion at Church. So this means going for all three services and playing at each one. It is good fun, but makes for a long day. After the second service (two in the morning and one in the evening) we went to Thorpe Hall. There was an exhibition at the little trains and we were doing our usual Sunday trip to the trains anyway. B and Isy enjoyed a few rides on the trains. There was a model exhibition in the house. I thought we would go and have a look, but that the boys would just go round it quickly having a look at each bit, then come out. However B was totally taken by it and went from train to train looking at each one. Isy was very good and clearly enjoyed looking at the models, he even managed to not touch everything he saw.

Later we came out and the boys wanted to take Justine around the expedition! We went around again and B said “Mummy I haven’t shown you this one yet”. They loved looking at a small model train that went around a tiny track. It was hard to pull Benjamin away

When we got home B wanted to make a long white engine. He must have got the idea from a part finished engine he had seen. So the next day that was the first thing he wanted to do. So we started to make a ‘pretend model train’. They’ve got their gloves on to drive the steam train and apparently they needed their wellies on too.

At Exhibition In front of Gladys We made a model train Click the pictures to view full size.

Colourstrings and the park

The day started off quite early (6am) for me (Matt), so I spent a couple of hours playing trains with the boys and being grumpy with them because of not coping with getting up early. I realised that I was being grumpy, but struggled to do anything about it. I got the opportunity to go back to bed and woke up feeling better. Suddenly the day had been rescued.

We went to Colourstrings Music Kindergarten, which is our usual activity for Satuday mornings. First is the class for Benjamin’s age group, then the one for Isaac. They both consist of singing songs either with actions or various pieces of percussion and some ‘dancing’ around the room. They are run by Bridgid, who is the loveliest music teacher possible, but she is moving at the end of this term, so we are not sure what will happen to the classes. The songs and activities are aimed at introducing children to music and continue in later age groups to a knowledge of music theory and the learning of an instrument.

Benjamin sometimes joins in quite a lot with this, but today was a bit reluctant, choosing to play his claves and castenets etc. quite quietly while looking at me with what he calls his ‘fish face’. At one point there is always an activity where the children choose a bear from the basket and the children cuddle and rock them, then Bridgid sings a lullaby. Benjamin has got into closing his own eyes and pretending to fall asleep. He really loves this bit and cuddles himself up on my lap for it. Isaac went for it and really enjoyed his class.

We headed over to the park with children’s bikes, buckets and spades. Benjamin only wanted to play in the sand. I only wanted a Hot Chocolate and something sweet from the cafe in the middle of the park (which I highly recommend). So we did both. The Hot Chocolates helped to keep out the breeze, which was a bit chilly and the boys played in the sand. Then we let the boys have their chocolate teddy biscuits (not that we would usually do this kind of thing of course!). Isaac concentrated very hard on his and it took quite some time for him to eat it. Benjamin’s was gone in no time and he took me back into the sandpit to play. I had a lovely time first just with B, then with I too.

Home for lunch. I had another sleep and finally took them over to the model steam railway for about an hour. They didn’t want to leave until all the engines had been put away. We only had a chance for one ride, but after this Isaac saw a train that looked like Duck, so he was watching that carefully.
Benjamin in the Sand (Fish Face) M, B and I
Bikes Britannia (Little Train)
Other pictures from today are, Benjamin and bucket, B in sand, Isaac after cake, Justine and Joel.

Dentist and Muddle-Puddle

Began today with a visit to the dentist. I needed a filling in a wisdom tooth, which is due to be removed in hospital at the end of September. Our dentist is very nice. He chatters away in a broad scotch accent, most of which I can’t understand, but it is very reassuring.

This afternoon was a Muddle-Puddle meeting at Activity World. Muddle-Puddle is the under-8s home-educating group run by Merry (click to go to her blog). Activity World is a big indoor play centre, a sort of three leveled soft play-climbing-playground.

Benjamin is really starting to join in with the other children now. He spent lots of time running around with Sam, Johnny, and Merry’s girls. Isaac mostly pottered on his own, but very happily. At one point Johnny came up to me with Fran (Merry’s eldest) and said “It’s alright, my girlfriend and I will look after your little ones.”

Isaac was very tired and tearful when we got home. So we put them in front of a DVD, while they recovered. Then baths, tea, etc. and bed.

Teddy Bears Picnic

The weather forecast being good, I decided that we would pack up a picnic and head over the road to central park after NCT toddler group. On parking outside the park I remembered that today was the ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’ organised by SureStart and so every toddler/nursery group in Peterborough would be there. But too late to avoid it now. Nice time at toddler group. E was there with H, 11 days old, and chatted to S about home-birth (her third is due September and this will be her first home-birth).

Then on to the park. Horribly busy, but we found a nice quiet place for our picnic. Benjamin ran all over chasing blackbirds. Isaac ran all over chasing Benjamin.

Then on to Tesco’s and back home for baths. A bit frazzled by then, we’d been out for a long time.