Wednesday, 21 January 2015

New Year's Resolutions for 2015

So reviewing last year's resolutions was interesting. Some got completely missed - like Roo's GMing one. Well, that's not quite fair, there was a fair amount of reading and talking, we just didn't get round to an actual game.

Anyhow, here are this year's -

Papacrow is going to start doing yoga, give up eating too much junk and keep doing writing.

Mamacrow is going to start writing a letter a week (have done one in three weeks so far, so it might have to be one a month), give up stressing about mess (ha!) and keep doing ballet.

Saurus is going to start going out with friends at least once a month, give up hiding in his room and keep doing karate.

Roo is going to start going to school, give up biting his nails and keep on doing Warhammer.

Wig is going to start doing touch typing, give up over reacting and keep on collecting warhammer figures.

Fluff is going to start doing cricket, give up being negative and keep on reading.

Petal is going to start doing tap dancing, give up biting her nails and keep on doing ballet.

Dot is going to start regular swimming lessons and keep doing tennis and tea parties. I don't seem to have a giving up one for her, I will have to go back and ask!

Hoofie is going to start doing swimming, give up waking up in the night and keep on talking.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

A Birthday Hoofen

Last year did go awfully fast. Even faster than the year before. However, I don't find it hard to believe he is two.

Well, just look at him! He's just bursting towards tomorrow, as the Beth Nielsen Chapman song (Sand and Water) says.

He LOVED his birthday. To be honest, it didn't feel to me like enough - maybe he really needs a birthday week?! Still, there is his party on Sunday to look forward to - a quiet, select affair of the little cousins who share his birth year and are respectively a month older and younger than him, and their collective older siblings.

He's one of those people who finds such joy in life that it enhances the joy of any on-lookers. Of course he is at that glorious toddler, not quite baby, not quite child stage that I've always adored, but there is an infectious quality about the pace at which he takes life, its just such a perfect balance between happily busy and relaxed contemplation.

He has a long list of interests that he enthusiastically pursues with both hands wide open - dinosaurs, of course, and trains - he loves Thomas the Tank engine. I feel a bit like I've come the full circle! Although instead of teletubbies, he's a stanch fan of Octonaughts, Pepper Pig and Frozen. Also quite serious documentaries about the cosmos. Because space is fascinating, don't cha know.

He may not be the itty bitty baby any more but he's still universally adored and doted over. He blossoms under all the affection like a beautiful little bloom in a hot house, beaming benignly upon all - and he's mastered kissing. He can pucker up and bestow quite excellent smackers on various cheeks. He's also a great hugger.

He loves his bath and indeed, just playing with water in the sink. I'm looking forward to warmer weather and the allotment needing watering - he loves the hose and is that bit bigger now he'll probably manage it very efficiently.

Cooking is another great love, he adores joining in and helping, particularly stirring things and peeling mushrooms - he's great at that.

He's walking a lot more now too, and wanting to get out of the pushchair and walk... I can forsee a future without a pushchair even which feels... Odd. I shall get one of those pull along bags-on-wheels contraptions I think.

He is, quite simply, an unfolding marvel, a private wonder in our very own living room.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Roo is fourteen

He is a suave, sophisticated Roo about town. His hair has sway. He directs his sarcasm at himself almost as much as at others, now.

He sets goals, has plans, and finds practical steps and ways of implementing them on a day to day basis.

And underneath it all? He's a loving, protective big brother, an imaginative soul, who gazes out at the world and ducks and rolls with the punches.

He gives me more ideas and titles and characters than anyone else, all complete by chance.

Still the possessor of a formidable Paddington Bear hard stare, he is good at letting frustrations and difficulties roll off his back. Except when he isn't. He bounces back quickly though, you can't keep a good Roo down for long.

And yes, he didn't get dressed all day. Ah well, it was his birthday. You only turn fourteen once.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Monthly Projects for 2015

So we've had the normal brain storming and discussion and coincidentally occurring bright ideas, and here are our monthly projects for the next twelve months -

January - Buses (routes, timetables, history of, mechanics, buses in songs & picture books)

February - lichens (biology, different types, how evolved, how grow, symbiosis)

March - The United Nations (history of, current form, scope and influence, reasons for existence)

April - The Human Body (skeleton, a gentle look at muscles, internal organs - particularly the digestive process - a brief look at reproductive organs & processes)

May - Rudyard Kipling (history of his life, political importance, Just So Stories, Jungle Books, Puck of Pook Hill, Rewards & Fairies, Bateman's)

June - Prehistoric art, particularly cave art (looking at, different types and periods, progression, techniques)

July - Water Colours (use of, out and about, water colour landscape sketching)

August - Picnics (history of, different foods from different traditions, planning and preparation out and about)

September - Cake making (history of, cultural differences etc, interaction of ingredients, following a recipe)

October - Greek Myths (the main pantheon & myths, different variants, a look at sexuality for the older ones, link to modern re-tellings such as Atlantis)

November - Piano (history the instrument, history of piano music, basics in piano making and re-look at reading music)

December - Star Wars (as well as the usual christmas stuff, look at the whole body of work, films, cartoons, graphic novels and novels, in preparation for the new film)

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Word for the Year

Last year my word was 'NOW'.

It was a bit of a flop to be honest. I guess I found out I already 'do it NOW' to best of my mental capacity and pushing myself to do more of that just resulted in me feeling like a failure before I'd even begun because I wasn't already doing it and I started getting really quite stressed about it.

When I realised I was heading all the way to resentment about it a few months into the year, I called 'enough' and gave myself permission to drop the whole idea.

For me, this whole 'one word to focus on' thing should fun and helpful and meaningful of course but ultimately positive - so it didn't work out last year, oh well! On to 2015!

This time the word just popped straight into my head as soon as started thinking about having a new one for 2015.

It is -


A fair bit of my 'new stuff and behaviour' focus last year was about things personal to me - writing, ballet, getting fitter, having more me time as Hector got older, things like that. So now I feel the pull to swing back the other way a bit - I'm thinking family board games, big old train tracks on the floor, big family games of cricket in the park with even the teens joining in. That kind of thing.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Nine Fluff Riders...

So Fluff is now nine. I have received the strong impression that he really rather likes being nine.

 He doesn't grow in exciting, noticeable fits and starts like Roo and Wig. He does it rather quietly and kind of all over at once, so you that you hardly notice until you stand back and take a good look now and then.
 He's really enjoying life at the moment. He's come into his own a bit - he loves his football, his reading has really taken off, he made some new friends in 2014.

He has many interests and he's interested in many things - as you'll soon find out if he starts talking at you. Like Roo at that age, he barely pauses to take breath!

Here's to many more interesting years!

Thursday, 1 January 2015


So sometimes you need to move closer and sometimes you have to walk away.

Two steps forward, three steps back...

I'm not always good as this, sometimes I make a few miscalculations, toes get trodden upon...

We're dancing. In and out, forward and back, closer and farther away.

Of course, it's not just you moving closer and walking away. Everyone is doing it.

It's like we're all dancing on pieces of elastic.

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