An attempt to catch up

Well, before I get another email from Joan I’d better update this blog. I was trying to keep it updated—but it’s so easy to just not do it in the evenings. So a review of the month it is.

The month has had two major events:
Hazel’s second tooth came out on the 20th. Once again it was just hanging there for a day so Michael pulled it out for her, and yes, she got another £5. (And yes Michele—I think she did want the money!) She is quite pleased this time that she has a gap, even though the other tooth is there. I finally gave her the silver ‘My 1st Tooth’ box she got when she was a baby from my cousin. She only got the box then because I had temporarily lost the first tooth that came out! I know—only I’d misplace that, but I found it before she knew it was missing. (Yes, she knows.) I have also managed to talk her into keeping the 1st four teeth only—but she still won’t let the Tooth Fairy come. Kieran says he will have the Tooth Fairy as he wants to save some money for me. Though I still think Hazel will get upset if the Fairy will be in his room—we may have to leave it downstairs for him. The second event of the month was that we took their stabilizers/training wheels off their bicycles on the 23rd. They were more than ready for it and Hazel proved that fact by just taking off. Mind you, she did have a fall right away. She was so excited and turned back to tell us and obviously lost control and fell. She was straight back up and off again, this time paying attention. Kieran took a little longer to get going, but once he got the knack of starting off he was fine. Balancing wasn’t an issue for either. We took them to one of the local playing fields so they could practice on grass first. Two of the older girls from Badgers were there with their friends and came over to see the maiden voyages. We only stayed for about an hour as it was very windy and cold.

The month’s normal activities:
Educationally
things have been moving along very nicely. Hazel is doing more work during the week. Her reading just astounds us every day. She is a wonderful story reader—she reads fluidly (no stuttering or stopping, just seems to instinctively know all the punctuation marks meanings) and always uses the right tone to emphasis the dialogue.

Kieran has also increased his activities. Kieran has been showing a lot of interest in Space lately so I’ve given him some ‘Space’ themed sheets. They’ve both done some little books about the planets and are constantly asking questions about it all. Hazel seems to like Saturn the best, I think it’s the rings that has her fascinated with it. Kieran is planning for us to go up to the Space Station; though I keep saying it’ll just be him going up there. We have an outing next month to see a large telescope, I think Kieran will be amazed at the size of it compared to his.

They are also showing interest in frogs lately so we’ve read up on them a bit. Unfortunately we haven’t found any frog spawn yet, but they keep searching. We have a ‘rainforest’ near us so we’ll be paying a visit there on a rainy day. (Which reminds me—the sun has been here for almost the whole month—Yippee!!) I so don’t like the idea of indoor places on sunny days.

Hazel’s interest in birds and the local fauna hasn’t waned a bit, so we have decided to really get stuck in and learn all about it. They have signed up to keep track of a 1sq kilometre area for the RSPB and another nature group. We have a bird hide which we just found within our area, so that will be a bi-weekly trek. We will be noting on fauna as well as animals, so looks like we’ll all be learning quite a bit about our area.

Group Activities are going well for both kids. Irish dancing is still a minor obsession with both children dancing everywhere still. They had three weeks off from ballet/tap class as the teacher took an extended half-term break. Hazel just started back today and enjoyed getting back into it. They are doing the ‘environment’ at Badgers. They don’t really seem to do anything of significance there if you ask me, but they both like going and playing games. Hazel has seemed a bit un-enthused about her gym class this past month, I think she misses some of the girls from the old class. Hopefully she’ll show more interest as we really want her to continue as we can see the benefits it has for her dancing.

Outings have been very low-key of late. We have had some great local walks and some visits to the local markets and some shopping trips in town. The weekend before we took their stabilizers off we took them to one of our commons to have a ride. It was the first time since before Christmas that it was dry enough to take the bikes out for a ride. They had a good time and we also enjoyed a walk off the trail as well. I did some bird spotting and they all climbed about on some trees. There is a huge tree that has a branch that goes down to the ground and back up. Very much like a hammock. Hazel adores it, as she has always been fascinated by hammocks.
We have been to our local lake for a few walks and to feed the ducks and geese. The kids are able to name most of the varieties of water birds there. Hazel is enjoying the Drake Pochards—she likes the way they dive below the water surface. There have been quite a few children there during the week as it’s been so pleasant, we’ve even run into some friends there which is always a bonus. They like when there are a few children there, they just aren’t too thrilled on a weekend when they have to wait in lines to go down the slides.

The kids and I have also been to another local common for the first time in ages. We didn’t manage to stay too long—it was so blustery and cold and we weren’t prepared for it. It is on a hill and very exposed-which I hadn’t taken into account before we left. We will be heading back as they have some good bird sightings there and the paths aren’t as bad as I remembered. The last time I was there you had to watch every step! They have cows crazing there and are starting to introduce a group of Exmoor ponies back to the common. I think there are about 8 ponies now.

We’ve also just been walking more. Michael has had them out for some long walks with their scooters. The three of us walked to the market on Wednesday so Hazel could spend her ‘tooth’ money on some new dolls clothes. It’s just over a mile each way—and they managed to do that walk, spend almost a ½ hr at the market trying dolls clothes on, stop and watch the men working at a travelling fair, and have a play in the park all in under 2 hours. I so couldn’t imagine them having to sit half the day away!

At the beginning of the month we went to our local Pancake Day race. The children enjoyed watching it. We ran into some other local HE families and some kids from their classes. We also went to the church hall afterwards and had the pancake lunch. The food was just passable—but we had fun. We ate our main lunch at a table with an elderly woman who lives along the canal. The kids felt a bit odd at first when I told them to sit at the table with her while I got the food—they couldn’t believe we just joined her. In the end we all had a nice chat. She left when I went to get the sweet pancakes, and when I turned to check on them, another woman had joined them. They chatted away very happily to her and enjoyed the ‘community’ atmosphere.

We have also had my cousin over twice this month. She hasn’t had the best of news lately. In January we were ‘high-fiving’ that she was cancer free for almost a year—to have that blown to smithereens this month. She has yet another tumour. She will have some operations over the next month or so, and hopefully it’ll have a positive outcome. It has happened just when her life was taking off again—so it was a big set-back the 1st two weeks or so, but her fighting spirit is back.

She and the girls have been doing so well of late. She took her eldest out of school for a year or so this term. H (5 ½) is dyslexic and the schools won’t do too much till she is seven. My cousin has her in a group for dyslexic children for a few hours three mornings a week. What a change in one little child that has made! H has always been a very loving, but a bit wild and fairly uncommunicative little girl. She is so much calmer now, and her conversation skills are amazing. I don’t think I ever heard more than a two-word sentence from her before Christmas. She blew me away with almost a whole dialogue when they came in. The funny part was—I hadn’t actually ‘realized’ how little she has spoken in the past until that day. I just was shocked by the sound of her voice—it was the first time I clearly heard her speak—amazing! I’m shocked that I hadn’t put that together yet. As someone with a lisp I’ve always been extra careful and attentive with children with speech problems—and I hadn’t even clicked how little H spoke!

Favourite quote of the month: One day a week or so ago we were all chatting as you do about the future, well Kieran’s future this time. He changes his future job every ten-minutes or so, but one of the repeats is to own a farm. He mentioned, once again, that when he has his farm we can all live there, but he’ll live in my house as he doesn’t want to get married (something that he almost always says). He’ll let Hazel and her family (she normally wants 5-6 kids depending on the car she likes best!) have a house on the farm as well. So she surprises us by saying: ‘I don’t think I want to get married, but I still want kids. Maybe I’ll marry someone really old, that way I can have the kids all to myself.’ I truly have no idea where that came from!

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