Sunday, 23 December 2012

Thea walks

Thea has been thinking about walking for a bit and doing the occasional step when she absoutely needed to, but on the whole, she has been resolute that the fastest way of geting anywhere is to crawl. And she is quite right, she crawls extremely quickly (like a prancing pony, Grandpa Beard says!).

But over the last couple of days she has suddenly seen the use of walking, and got really into it. Here is the proof:

What fun.

Monday, 17 December 2012

A Monday

It the first Monday of the holidays and so we have been bumbling around doing stuff as we fancy it.

The day started with carboard boxes. You can never have too many!

Then we played with Mary Poppins (who can remember why the crocodile is named Mary Poppins? And why he is still a he despite the name?). Interestingly, both children are perfectly happy to allow him to eat their arms, legs and heads despite neither being very fond of crocodiles that they see in books.

Then we danced around to crazy Christmas music. Everyone's favourite is "Santa Claus is coming to town". Thea starts bopping as soon as she hears the introduction and Nathaniel does a good wiggle.

Then we made the most of the Christmas tree. Thea is entranced by the decorations and spends as much time as possilbe removing them for playing purposes. The ringing bells are rung and then deposited over the house and the balls and placed in things. This affords hours (literally), of fun!

Meanwhile, Nathaniel and I have been enjoying Thea's hair which can only be described as a ginger mullet! I do hope she grows some on the top of her head next....

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Nathaniel has been dabbling in reading for a good year, but not with any sticking power, and not wanting to be a pushy parent, I have just let him play with it when he wanted to.

But he is being horrid at the minute, and that normally means that he is bored! So we got out the dreaded castle books!

And one day later he read his first book!

He is very proud of himself!

Update: The next day he read the next one, and it looks like the third one is not going to be far away!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Play Dough

It seems to have suddenly become that time of year when you find yourself faced with a long afternoon to entertain ratty children in. This is partly Thea's fault - there is only so much time she can spend playing in the garden in the cold until she can walk, and she is refusing to even try at the minute! Nathaniel is going through an easily bored stage - he needs a new challenge, but is resisting all my efforts to provide him with one.

So it wasn't a very promising afternoon. But then Nathaniel remembered play dough, and it was a roaring sucess!

Nathaniel made worms and words and cogs and bread and biscuits. Thea put play dough marbles in and out of tubs. I made butternut squash and lentil soup (not pretend).

Its really interesting watching Thea play. At the same age, Nathaniel would put all the items into a container and then look around for something else to do. He had completed that task and needed a new game. Thea is more creative. She put all the balls into the pot. Then she poured them into another. Then she dropped them from a great height into another making a good noise. Then she put them in another and squished them all together. She found sufficient variations on this theme to last a whole hour of play dough and only then resorted to taking nibbles out of each one with a cheeky grin on her face!

A most acceptible afternoon.

PS I wondered what Thea had been doing so quietly while I was typing this. She's just come back into the room and now I know. She has taken little bites out of every item in the veg box!

Sunday, 2 December 2012


It's starting to feel a little like a Victorian Christmas with sharp white frost coating every outside surface each morning.

Today it was particularly cold and so we slipped and slid along to the moor to see what was happening there. In the last few weeks we have had so much rain (more obsession about the levels of the Ouse, now available online), that the moor has looked like this:

So now, after the cold, there is quite a lot of ice. We had fun breaking it up and throwing it, all the time trying not to let Nathaniel go skating, either by accident or on purpose!

He got quite ambitious regarding the amount of ice he thought he could throw:

In the afternoon we went to the advent spiral at school. This is one of those wonderful traditions that doesn't really work with a bunch of pre-schoolers, but having participated for a few years, when they are a bit older, they really appreciate.

Everyone assembles in the gym (freezing cold!), and sings carols while, one by one, each child walks through a spiral made on the floor from boughs of fir trees. When they get to the centre, they light their candle from the central candle and then place it along the sprial. So after a few have done it, there is a spiral of flickering candles as well and greenery. Its very beautiful, but entails getting toddlers to sit still and quietish while 200 kids walk around the room!

Our two were pretty good, probably because they got to walk the spiral about half way through, breaking up the time rather well, and becuase we were sitting close to the "band", so they both spent most of the last 20 minutes watching the instruments carefully. Nathaniel was particularly enamoured by the flutes.

I guess someone has to be.