Usually, when I get home from the morning school run, I am greeted by two hopeful dog faces wanting a walk.
A couple of weeks ago we changed the rooms in the house around a bit and converted what used to be my DH’s study into a bedroom, so that the kids can all have a bedroom each. This means we have a downstairs bed, and the dogs think it has been put there especially for them.
There is intense competition for it and the rule seems to be; You move, You lose.
So these days, when I return from the school run, I only have one hopeful face at the door. The other face is attached to a body busy snoozing, usually upside down on the bed in my DDs new room.
Such a great watch dog!
DS has a number of physical issues but the one that troubles him the most is his hypermobility.
His handwriting suffers most, in class he rarely manages to grip his pencil for more than 5 minutes before his hand hurts too much to write anymore. One of the things the occupational therapist has asked him to do is ‘play’ with some of this theraputty before he starts writing. It’s supposed to strengthen the muscles in his hands and warm them up before he starts work.
On Monday, I got a phone call from Welfare. ‘ There is no need to worry, but we just wanted to make you aware that DS has managed to get a bit of putty in his hair.’ I have to say this was a new call from the school about one of my children, so I have to give DH full marks for originality. But to say he had a ‘bit’ of putty in his hair, is like saying that the fate of the Titanic was a ‘bit’ of a disaster.
Everyone who saw it just shook their head and said ‘Oh Dear’.
DS had no idea how the putty got there. Apparently one moment he was holding it in his hands, the next it was in his hair. Surprise!
When he got home, I combed some out and then, once my ears had stopped ringing from the screaming, I did a bit of Googling. Apparently what we needed was baby oil.
DH bought some home and DS sat around for 30 minutes with half a bottle of oil dissolving the pink putty. Five lots of shampoo later, DS had some very clean, putty-free hair.
At least we didn’t need to cut it out.
I’m sorry to say it, but it’s *that* time of year ago. I know it’s early, but these slots get snapped up fast.
We always have our Christmas Day shopping delivered. In fact, we usually book two slots. Just In Case.
At this point we use bottles of very expensive champagne as place holders and put notes in our diaries to alter the order to something less indulgent before the order goes through.
I can’t remember the last time I went to the supermarket for Christmas supplies but I suspect it was pre-children.
How does everyone else do their Christmas food shopping?
This is DD1 and our second rescue dog, who she has taken on the task of training.
He was an Irish street dog and was rescued from a pound when his seven days were up. A very lovely rescue called Heathlands Animal Sanctuary brought him to the UK and fostered him for three months before we met him and took him home.
He’s a good old fashioned mutt. DNA tests have shown he’s got a labrador grandparent, and a husky grandparent, and the rest is a real mix. But he’s very keen to learn and is a good partner for DD1 in both dog training and agility classes.
Here they are practicing the ‘Watch Me’ command, where he is supposed to be looking at his owner and ignoring what’s going on around him. You can see the concentration on his face as he waits to be told what to do next.
He’s not perfect, and is partial to stealing food and disappearing after interesting smells when in the woods, but he’s a loved member of our family now and the thought that he was so close to being killed because no one wanted him makes me very sad.
We all have to make the most of the nice weather while it lasts.
We’ve just had the last week of our summer break and the weather has been lovely. After our washout of a summer holiday in Ireland, we had to make the most of it so got out and about as much as possible.
One of the places we visited was Knebworth House. We’d never been there before despite it only being 40ish minutes from home. It could do with a lick of paint but though it was a bit young for the 14 and 13 year olds, the 8 and 10 year olds had a great time on the slides and adventure playgrounds. Be aware there are some height restrictions on the slides, but DS is the shortest of us at 133cm and he could go on everything.
We got an icecream, which was reasonably priced and the younger two got a bit wet playing under the water feature, but dried off pretty quickly afterwards.
Then we drove up to the house and gardens (observing the 10mph speed limit so the kids could hatch a couple of Pokemon eggs) and had a stroll around the gardens and maze. DS liked the dinosaurs, DD3 liked climbing the hills and rolling down and the teens tore themselves away from their phones long enough to appreciate beauty of the house itself.
So, in short, it’s a nice place to visit especially if your kids are 10 and under. There seemed to be plenty of things for under 8s to do as well.
There weren’t too many wasps, I didn’t feel like we had been ripped off by the entry price and it was much more fun than school shoe shopping.
We’ve been on holiday in Ireland for two weeks now and can confirm that the weather is shite.
There is so much to do, and such beautiful scenery, but you will probably need to be wearing wet weather gear with a fleece underneath to enjoy it.
The flipside to this is that you never take it for granted when the sun does come out.
On our third day in Dingle, it stopped raining for a bit so we decided to drive up to the top of the Conor Pass.
I had been a bit put off by some of the trip advisor comments; one in particular described ‘semi perilous’ drivng conditions with narrow roads, rock faces and steep drops.
But the lady who lived next to our holiday cottage said the road was two lanes all the way to the top from the Dingle side. And there was a view point at the top where we could turn around if we didn’t feel up to coming down the other side.
The view from the top was stunning, and I could see how the road worked on the way to Tralee, so decided to have a go at the other side. It was fine, you just had to keep an eye on what was coming towards you and stop somewhere where they could pass before they reached you.
There are a number of places that can only accommodate one car, so you do have to be prepared to back up if necessary. But the drops aren’t sheer, there are stone walls between you and certain death.
To be honest, if you are used to driving in London, you’ll be fine!
And it was definitely worth it, as once we got over the pass we found our way to Fermoyle Strand, one of the most beautiful (and emptiest) beaches we’ve ever been on.
Last Thursday was my birthday. It was also the first day of the school holidays for us. This was not a good combination as the kids were overexcited and over tired and DH didn’t get home until almost 9pm as the Metropolitan line fell over.
I has to wait the entire day for my presents. Three of the kids took gifts DH had bought and wrapped, and claimed them for their own to give to me.
But DD2 is 13 and used her own pocket money to buy me this cup from the local shops.
I have to point out that I turned 46 on Thursday, so was NOT born in 1995, but apparently ‘It was the oldest one they had’.
This makes me feel very old indeed.
Happy Birthday to me!
One of the advantages of getting a new car is that we can now sneak up on our cats.
They used to recognise the old one, and when it pulled up they would be sitting on the path, crying and waiting for us to get out. If we didn’t get out quickly, they would walk onto the road which is not the best idea if you are a feline.
But now, they ignore the new one, and seem surprised when we get out of it.
This is our ginger cat on the roof when we came home the other night. He seemed quite comfortable up there, and watched us go into the house, but joined us with a frog in his mouth 10 minutes later…