It’s been a long, hard week. We all came down with JJ’s cold (except Matt) and it has been a really nasty one, and is still going on. So we’ve been stuck in for a week without seeing anyone, with JJ falling apart every few minutes, the house in a mess, tired from broken nights…..

During the week the boys have done assorted world map puzzles, much playing with the wooden railway (we have a system now where the wooden and Duplo railways, Duplo bricks, Lego, Meccano, Ikea Bygga, cars and garage, and wooden bricks are all put away and only come out one at a time. Unbelievable to think that, with less floor space than we have now, we used to have them ALL out at once!!!) and Thomas stories to match, magnetix, sticker books, general drawing and cutting out, put up the cot with Matt (next to our bed with 1 side off, so it makes a sort of bed extension. Though she hasn’t settled in it so far), listened to Peter and the Wolf, and endlessly to the Little House stories.

Matt is reading Milly Molly Mandy stories to Bee on an evening. They were obviously the inspiration for Susan Hill’s Coddling Village stories which Bee enjoyed so much, with similar stories, writing styles and illustrations. We’ve also read more Teddy Robinson, and Bee has really enjoyed David Weitzman’s Old Ironsides, with it’s amazing drawings. It’s the story of the building of America’s first warship and he seems to be doing for transport what David Macaulay does for buildings. Matt did a search on the Internet and found many more books by him (Old Ironsides was found in Oxfam) so we will be looking out for some more of them.

Littlest has slept through two nights in a row, quite incredible seeing as the boys were all well over one, if not two, before they attempted that.

Mip identified the words elephant camel and lion on his plate (telling me that elephant begins with ‘e’, camel with ‘c’ and lion with ‘l’).

Dr. Seuss is JJ’s firm favourite and gets read several times a day.

I tried to make bread by making the dough in the breadmaker and then cooking it in the oven, as the breadmaker overcooks the bread. However my flour was all a year out of date and I had the wrong sort of yeast and I left it in the oven too long and burnt it, so it wasn’t very encouraging. Matt bravely ate some though (and it tasted nice – Matt).

House update – the shop is plastered, as is the remaining wall in the sitting room. The upstairs hall is painted and the old paint has been burnt off the banisters. A floorer has been to quote on leveling and carpeting the shop floor, as much as can be done. (It zig-zags across the room with dips in it.) The wiring is being done and the plumber comes in next week to fit radiators in there. Its sort of encouraging getting so close to the end of the project, but it is frustrating too as the boys have really outgrown the garden and we know that we are not really expecting to stay here for too many years. It is a lot of work to put in for a short-ish time, but it has to be done.

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