Sunday, 5 June 2016

The Chicken Swing

A few weeks ago, our local farm posted an amazon wishlist of items they were hoping to have donated. I burst out laughing when I saw The Chicken Swing and ordered one straight away.

It arrived earlier this week - classed as a "Dog Toy" - and the kids and I have been so excited. It was a beautiful, sunny day today so we brought it to the farm.

I had been preparing the kids for a minor degree of disappointment: "they probably won't be able to hang it up for a while, so we'll have to visit again another day..." but the farm staff was wonderful. They gratefully accepted it and Tom took us to the chicken coops so that the children could choose where to hang it.

"Chickens, brought you swing!"

Tom even let K go inside with him. He was terrific - so calm and comfortable with the chickens.

And the chickens now have a swing!

We'll be sure to go back often and visit. Hopefully we can get a video next time.

Friday, 6 March 2015

juniorette at eleven months

It was a big month for Juniorette.

At the beginning of February, she took her first steps. By March, she was walking independently and getting faster and more confident/competent with every step.

in the garden

National Portrait Gallery

playing football with Junior and friends on Clapham Common

at the playground

Sadly, Juniorette also suffered her first bad cold during the week of my birthday. Boo :(


And the biggest change was starting at nursery when I went back to work.


She had a few settling in days and seemed to be mostly fine - in fact, she slept through half the sessions. The full days and on/off schedule going three days a week have been an adjustment for all of us, including Junior. She had a harder time getting used to the new environment than Junior ever did. She seemed to feel the effects of separation anxiety more acutely. But she is also teething, which makes it difficult to tell when she is uncomfortable or uncomfortable. Still, she has her big brother nearby during the day and she follows him around like a puppy. He read a book to her one day, and gives her frequent pats on the head. She came home smiling and covered in paint on her first day. We took that as a good sign. And after a few weeks, she stopped crying on drop-off and pick-up. She will be just fine.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Juniorette at 10 Months



Our smiley girl is now ten months old and is >this< close to walking. So we went to Clarks for her first shoes.


And started brushing her teeth with her first toothbrush.


We have been spending cold winter days visiting London's museums. Junior and Juniorette enjoyed learning about hexagons at the Science Museum.


We also saw the walrus at the Horniman in Dulwich.

Photo by S

Juniorette is not afraid to assert herself with the bigger girls:

"Yeah, I'm the Captain of the ship. No big deal."

"Ummm, Captain, I don't think you should push that button..."

"Ack! Mayday! SOS! Bail out!"

And she is teaching herself the colours in Japanese.


But one of the funniest things is watching her do things that Junior did at the same age.

Same basket, many of the same toys, same self-satisfied smile.

And waking up to snow was a thrill for all of us. She's too small to play in the snow this year, but it won't be long before she follows in her brother's footsteps. He's her favourite role model.


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Happy holidays


Juniorette's ninth month was mostly spent celebrating: Junior's birthday, S's birthday, xmas, New Year's. Junior was old enough to get excited about presents, and also old enough to get presents with small parts.


He was elated with his LEGO Juniors construction set. As was Juniorette. So we spent much of xmas day trying to keep Junior engaged with his gifts, while stopping Juniorette from eating bits of plastic and chewing on wrapping paper.


Fortunately she was happy to help fix the broken dishwasher - did I mention she started pulling up on furniture almost as soon as she figured out how to crawl?

We spent much of the time over xmas and New Year's with local friends. It was so nice to have playdates and good company.

South Bank Jubilee Playground



Wandle Park

Riding bicycles in Colliers Wood Rec Grounds


Museum of London, Docklands

Teaming up at softplay


We had a lovely, mellow, family-oriented holiday season. 2014 was a great year. 2015 is shaping up to be memorable and fun as well.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Junior turns 3

Happy birthday to our three-year old!


Junior turned 3 and we had an extended celebration for him. We had an early birthday party for him while my mother was visiting - we invited a few friends over to decorate gingerbread people. Even Juniorette got in on the action.




At three years old, Junior is talking practically nonstop. It is endlessly entertaining and fascinating to hear his stream-of-consciousness thoughts. He seamlessly mixes real life with imaginative play, to the great confusion of anyone who doesn't spend much time with him. Dinosaur - where? And it was riding a motorbike? No, you were riding a motorbike? And there was a lion???

He is also a great fan of The Octonauts, Pixar films, Wallace & Gromit, Spiderman (and Spider-Woman), The Gruffalo, and random videos on youtube. He hasn't watched much Peppa Pig recently, but he wears his Peppa wellie boots when splashing in muddy puddles. He wears his Dracula shirt and cape - from Halloween - at every chance. He believes the cape makes him fly (thank goodness he hasn't attempted it yet); he doesn't really understand who Dracula is, nor the difference between good guys and bad guys.


His natural athletic abilities continue to blossom. It is hard to contain him - he doesn't sit still and he's too fast for anyone to catch him. We don't often let him ride his scooter because he's *too* good. At least I can still walk with him while he's riding his bike (just!). He won't need the stabilisers much longer at this rate, though.

He has moved up to the preschool room at nursery, and his (OUR) next big challenge is potty-training. He gave up his binky virtually overnight when I told him that the Binky Fairy would bring him a present. He chose a yellow race car, helped me put the binkies on a windowsill, and went cold turkey the next morning when he discovered his present. He has incredible self-control, and at the same time, zero control. His tantrums are getting louder and more persistent; his stubborn streak is as strong as ever. He is funny, aggravating, determined, confident, busy, energetic, sweet, protective, and creative.

Looking forward to seeing what the next year brings!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

8 months

The big excitement this past month was having Grandma come visit.



It was all so ...normal... having my mother around for three weeks. She has spent enough time with us over the past few years that she knows our routines, our neighbourhood, our supermarket, the local buses and tube stations - and probably more back streets than I do. She has the energy to play with the children (though no one is fast enough to keep up with Junior), and she spends the rest of her time Making Things. She knit a sweater for Junior while she was here and finished the incredible robot curtains she made for the kids' room. While regular talks on the webcam are nice for keeping in touch, it is still that much more special to spend time together.

Wimbledon Library

Meanwhile, Juniorette just keeps getting more and more agile. She mastered crawling, and started to enjoy herself at the local softplay centres.




She still has a knack for sleeping in unexpected positions, as well.

Not exactly how her sleepsack was intended. Don't worry, I didn't leave her like this.

We celebrated Grandma's last day with a dance party before bedtime. Juniorette finds her big brother hilarious! Actually, we all do...