Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Wales weekender

Making a dash for the border on Sunday we managed to miss the bank holiday traffic and kiss goodbye to the torrential rain that was blighting Yorkshire. Grace didn't make a peep on the way over the Pennines, focused solely on Peppa Pig DVDs and a snack pot of fruit. 

Hitting the hills around Wrexham we hooked up with Laura and Matt who kindly laid on the picnic of Kings at Erddig National Trust park and ordered us to sit and eat. Grace might have let out a weeny 'no way Jose' to the sitting down, but she did munch her way through a fair portion of carrot sticks before stuffing her face on mini pork pies and sausage rolls. I'd like to say I ate like a fairy and had nothing but crudités and the delicious beetroot and sesame dip, but you know me better than that by now and I do believe I polished off just about everything edible. Gannet.

Anyway, I digress. Apart from finding we'd parked the picnic blanket on a lonesome dog turd (much annoyed), we had a lovely wee while sat by the stream, watching Grace play in the water and watching Husband Matt look like a fairy when he tried and failed to walk on water crossing from one side of the steam to the other on the stepping stones. Funny as! 

Grace was treated to a ladybird cake handcrafted by Laura, and we all got a solid nights sleep, helped along by a few bottles of vino and a beef casserole. Zzzz.

Turns out we didn't sleep all that well. Grace woke in the night for the first time in memory and insisted Daddy slept in her bed on the floor. Thermarested up with a kids duvet, the Husband was snoring within minutes leaving me to wrestle a child who was relishing in the novelty of being in bed with her Mummy. Eventually she fell asleep but I retreated to the foot of the bed to nurse my bruised ribs from being kicked and whacked from a sleeping child.

That said, it didn't dampen our day as we headed out to Cilcain for the summer fete, complete with Teddy Parachuting. Ice cream and a brass band later, we strapped up Mr Ted and sent him up for his virgin jump off of the church roof. What a brave bear....

Fortunately Grace slept all the way home which was a godsend considering we sat in a jam on the motorway for over an hour. We were soon home though and back to reality of life, work and childcare, eat (eat some more), sleep. Repeat. 

Smashing weekend. One happy Grace Bear, one daredevil Teddy. Two knackered Parents. Night all...

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Stop talking, I'm telling a story...

The bedtime routine used to be simple. Clean cut. Bath, a story or two (three on a bad night), kiss kiss, sweet dreams and retreat. Clean. Straight in and out, no messing. 

Not so anymore. Grace has taken charge. 

I can thank preschool for this change. Story circle I think they call it. Where they sit and listen, quiet as a lamb while the reader holds the book a certain way so the whole class can see the page.

Yes, I have preschool to blame. 

For I'm in the throes of 'a squash and a squeeze' last night, the flavour of the day, and all of a sudden I get told to stop! Stop!

"What's the matter?" I enquire, nonplussed.

"You're holding the book wrong!" She tells me, moving my fingers to the spine and turning the book to face the room. "Like this Mummy!" She nods, satisfied.

I pick up where I left off, adjusting to the new position, enjoying our time together. As I draw to a close, I'm aware that Grace is looking fidgety. 

"My turn now Mummy!" She declares, peeling the book from my grip. 

"Really?" I concede, half an eye on the clock.

"Yes, now sit down cross-legged and be quiet. Listen!"

And so I sat. And I listened. So endearing hearing her interpret the pictures in her own way, pebbled with the odd 'be quiet!' aimed at me for joining in or laughing, or something. One book led to two and more. More! MORE! A moment to be cherished.

A bit like the moment at the end of a long day between a child's bedtime and your own. 

It was short last night. A bittersweet combo of Grace finding her storytelling wings and me needing to hit the sack early. 

Night all.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Mr Skinny Legs

If ever there was an arachnaphobe, it's me, with Matt the Husband close behind. I'm the quintessential jibbering screaming wreck who won't rest a wink until that 8 legged critter is sent packing. 

Not so Grace.

So I'm called into her bedroom the other day, summoned if you will, to inspect the mid-range monster slowly cruising the wall at the side of her bed. He's dawdling, no sense of urgency in light of the pending doom. It riles me he just saunters back and forth, that irksome hairy beast. 

I call down to the Husband who comes bearing the power of a Dyson upright. My Knight in Shining Suction. Explaining to Grace that the spider is nothing to be scared of (even though she's clearly not) while we suck him up into a whirl of dust bunnies, Grace looks shocked and concerned. We've crossed the line.

"Where's Mr Skinny Legs gone?" She asked, bottom lip quivering.

Stumped, us grown ups, we look at each other.

"Where's he gone Mummy?" she prompts me.

So we lie. We cover the fact we are shit-scared of Mr Skinny Legs and his many cousins, and we lie. We tell Grace that Mr Skinny Legs had come to the wrong house and that he lives in another village. He's getting forgetful in his old age and can't remember the way home. So the Hoover sucks him up and when we send the dust and Mr Skinny Legs along with it out into the bin, he can get his bearings and find his way back to his own home. 

Big fat liars. 

I'm not proud. But I got away with it.

Mind you, Grace isn't daft. At bedtime that night she peeked down the side of her bed to see if he had made a return. He hasn't of course. And I'm grateful that she hasn't seen through the bravado to the fearful me as I don't want to prejudice her. Yes, I know sending him up the Hoover isn't the most passive ways to remove him from the house, but the scooping him up in a glass thing never worked for me as I'd usually drop the glass before I got to the door or window by shaking so much! No, I'm grateful though. Grateful that she hasn't seen me back in my single days when Mr Skinny Legs would have been met with the crash of the cat scratching post slamming against the wall. 

God bless Mr Skinny Legs. And God bless me!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Three and counting

Who would have thought three years ago that we would be where we are today? We've come a long way together, Grace and me. I so want to sit and pen my thoughts and memories, hopes for you Grace, but life is crazy busy just now so I'm bunging this timeline of pictures on here instead, while I can, and just as soon as I can grab half hour to gather my head and put my thoughts down, I want to capture how I see you through my eyes as you turn from two to three years old. Until then, here's a little snippet, some favourites of mine...

3 years old

3 years old

2nd birthday

2 years

1st birthday

1 week old

5 days old

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Postcards from Granny

Taking a break from holidaying ourselves we are still keeping focused on the summer feeling by enjoying the steady stream of postcards hitting the mat. Grace is particularly fond of this one being that it has the much-loved ice-cream van emblazoned on it.... The challenge will be to prize it away from her come bath time...