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Four weeks in and Isla seems to be settling into her new life as a schoolgirl.

We were worried about how she’d settle, because of her track record at Pre-School of getting upset when we left her, and there has been a certain amount of tears at the classroom door, but maybe not as many as we feared.

It is clear that she is enjoying school, and that she loves her teacher (so funny but when she was playing with Eve the other day, she was telling her that her shoes were very “phonics-y” and I noticed she’d really picked up her teacher’s accent!).

It hasn’t been without drama though! On her first full day after the two week settling in period, and her first time in the playground with all the ‘big’ children, a little boy ran straight into her, sending her flying and leaving her with a very nasty looking black eye!

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It meant I got the dreaded call from school that lunchtime: “Nothing to worry about…but… technically it’s a head injury, so if you want to take her home, you can…”

I decided not to, because she’d been doing so well settling into school, and I was worried that, if we came and took her home, it would plant the seed that mummy & daddy coming to pick you up if you aren’t having a good time is a possibility. Plus I really didn’t want to make her feel that the accident was something more significant than it was and turn it into a big issue in her mind.

So I asked school to let me know how she was in an hour. It was a dreadful hour and I couldn’t concentrate on a thing at work, worrying if I’d done the right thing. And how much would all this set her back – would she be frightened of other children in the playground, would she not want to go ? And what about Lilly? Did she see what happened? Was she worried about Isla?

Luckily, when they called back they said she’d had a nice afternoon in the nature garden, and wasn’t bothered by her injury now at all. Phew.

In fact, when I picked her up, although her face certainly looked ‘interesting’, she was positive overall about her day, even excited about getting to play in the playground with Lilly, and didn’t really seem to think that the incident was that important a part of the day anyway – as you can see she was more than willing to pose with big smiles while I took a picture of her poor face! Turned out Lilly had been with her when it happened, and afterwards had sat with Isla in the playground and looked after her. By the end of playtime, Isla had been fine.

The other slight concern we’ve had is about whether she’s making friends. She’s told us she isn’t going to make friends with any boys, because she doesn’t like boys. So that’s one half of the class ruled out! And then as soon as she was able to play in the playground she only wanted to play with Lilly, not her own class friends.

And then, one night, Lilly said: “There’s been a bit of a problem at school. Isla’s been crying at the end of playtime.”

We had a chat with her about it and from what I can get from Lilly, she has been better lately. Lilly told me: “When it’s the end of playtime, I tell her that it’s nearly home time – even though it isn’t – and she believes me, so she just waves to me and says ‘see you soon'”

As always, Lilly has been a superstar big sister!!!

In the last week Isla has been talking more about some of the friends she’s made in school, and I think on occasion she has been playing with them, rather than just Lilly, in the playground. Yesterday (Saturday) she was talking about one schoolfriend and saying: “I miss her soooo much”, so that at least indicates she has made some friends, despite telling us a few weeks ago she didn’t want to make any friends, only Lilly!

So that’s the first month done, and in fairness I think it’s gone as well as we would have hoped. It really helps that her teacher is fantastic, and Isla is very enthusiastic to learn from her.

Only another 14 years to go…!!!

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This weekend we had an afternoon trip to New Brighton, on the Wirral.

It’s somewhere Tony and I had been waaaaay back before the kids (and once, when I was a student, I got on the wrong train and ended up in New Brighton – I thought I was in actual Brighton and panicked), but for no particular reason we’ve never taken the girls there before.

We had a pretty pleasant afternoon. First of all, the girls loved going through the Mersey Tunnel as they’ve never done that before. And loads has changed in New Brighton from what we can remember, there’s a huge new retail and leisure complex and other bits and bobs. By the time we arrived, everyone was starrrrrvvving, so we called into Subway for our lunch. This was a novel experience and the girls loved their Subs (even though they were just plain ham!) and the fact that they got actual drawstring bags with their Kids Meals.

After that we walked along the prom a little way and saw an Actual Real Lighthouse, which the girls were quite pleased with.

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After that we called into an Arcade and then outside to the little fairground.

Unfortunately, for some reason, when Eve went to ride on the merry-go-round she wouldn’t sit still or sit down in the car, so after several warnings we had to take her off so that the ride could go. Not sure why she was so uncooperative because she was very good on all the rides when we went to Gullivers the other week.

Anyway, this resulted in a meltdown, which worsened when Isla and Lilly wanted to go on the swing ride, because Eve wanted to go on too, but we just couldn’t trust her to sit still, so we didn’t let her go on. This provoked the Biggest Tantrum Eve Has Ever Had… which believe me, means it was a pretty big one.

I dragged her off, kicking and screaming, to the far end of the fair, where she lay on the floor for a good ten minutes loudly demonstrating her displeasure and I did a lot of: “Oh dear Eve, don’t you look silly, everyone is wondering who is making all this noise” etc etc.

The big girls had fun, anyway…

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It’s funny because Eve has been so much better behaved lately – much less terrible twos. But I guess it’s often one step forward, two steps back…

Anyway we made our excuses and left shortly after this, Eve had totally exhausted herself with her epic tantrum and wanted to be carried all the way back to the car. And everyone enjoyed their second ever trip through the Mersey Tunnel too.

All in all, a fairly pleasant afternoon and I’m sure we won’t leave it so long before going back again next time.

 

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We’re not going on holiday this summer – but I have booked plenty of days off work so that we can have some lovely days out.

We started last week with three great days in the scorching weather that we’ve enjoyed for the last few weeks.

On Saturday, Tony had to work, so it was just me and the girls. After carefully considering how ambitious I could be while flying solo in charge of all three, I decided to take them to Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington.

It’s great there – they have a huge playground with equipment suitable for all ages, lovely gardens with plenty of spots for picnics, a pond full of huge fish, a free children’s zoo with rabbits, birds, donkeys, pigs, goats etc. There’s a land train, and, in the holidays, there are trampolines, bouncy slides, and a pottery painting workshop, all at an extra cost of course (though it’s free to get in, apart from parking).

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It took us forever to get out of the house – getting three children properly suncreamed takes a good 20 minutes! But once we were out we had a great time. They all loved the playground – Eve went straight for the huge Helter Skelter Slide; Lilly’s favourite thing was climbing to the top of one of those spider web net climbing frame things. A slightly hair-raising moment when Lilly was right at the top of the frame – and Eve was as far away as she could possibly be on the other side of the playground – a time when I really needed to be in two places at once! But we survived!

 

After that we had a nice picnic under a shady tree, followed by a wander over to see the fish, a game of hide & seek (modified after it caused war to be more of a hunt-for-an-interesting-object-game) and playing house under a weeping willow for quite a while.

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Then the girls all went on the trampolines and had great fun bouncing together!

Walton Hall Gdns trampoline

Walton Hall Gdns ice creamsAfter all that fun, we relaxed with ice creams and a look around the farm. Eve was particularly interested in all the animals – she especially loved the pig which had its snout pressed right up against the fence oinking at her!

Last time we took the girls to the farm Isla hadn’t liked the noise of the peacocks and had cried wanting to go home. This time she was much better, telling me: “I’m being very brave, aren’t I?”

We had a great day and spent about four hours there in all. But that night I was absolutely shattered!

 

On Monday we met my mum in Liverpool and took the girls to The Beach at Liverpool One.

We’ve taken them there for a few years now – it’s basically an artificial beach in the centre of a shopping centre. A bit disappointing this year as they’ve taken the ‘sea’ away from the beach for “health and safety” reasons, which basically means it’s just sand. But it’s still lovely and the girls had a fantastic time making sandcastles and playing.

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It was a great reminder though of what a pain sand is! And getting three kids to eat sandwiches at the beach without getting sand in them is basically impossible!

It was really interesting to see the three personalities at work. Lilly went into creative artist mode and got very serious about making a dog sand sculpture. When they had beach games for the children, she didn’t want to join in because she was too busy with her creation! She didn’t even want to stop for lunch (but she did!). Isla really enjoyed playing with Eve and making sandcastles with me, but kept herself to herself and didn’t try to make friends with the other children. Eve had the time of her life exploring a tunnel through the giant sandcastle on the beach with the other children, and was happy to go up to other groups of children and start joining in with their games! At one stage I saw her go up to a girl of about 10 who was holding the hand of a little baby (probably her baby brother). Eve walked up to the other side of her and put out her hand, telling the girl: “hold my hand too”! And when they started the beach games, Eve was first up!

And on the last day before I went back to work, I took the girls swimming with Nanna. They’ve been asking to go for ages, and they loved it. Amazingly, Eve wasn’t so sure at first and just wanted to sit on the edge splashing her feet. But by the time we left she was quite happy to be in the water playing games and pretending to swim! Lilly was happy just doing her own thing – she really believes she can swim now and insisted in trying without her arms bands – which was when she found out what arm bands are actually for! And Isla was happy ‘learning to swim’ and playing silly games with me up and down the pool.

All in all a great three days, now I’m looking forward to my next two days off work next week… just need to come up with exciting plans to keep up the momentum!

 

 

 

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That’s it, our middle baby finally turned four, and now there’s no escaping it… she’ll soon be a schoolgirl and completely all grown up!

Our cheeky, mischievous, fun loving yet shy and sensitive little girl turned four last week and the sun shone while we enjoyed a family party in the garden to celebrate.

Like any four year old to be, Isla had been looking forward to her birthday for quite some time. At the begining of the year, she asked me, is it nearly my birthday yet? I told her it was still quite a while to wait. Was it before Easter, she asked. No, it’s after Easter, I said. So, the day after Easter Monday she woke up and announced: It’s My Birthday! Oops, not quite Isla…

On her real birthday, she woke up feeling a little bit off colour and complaining of a sore tummy. She can be a bit of a drama queen at times, and we’ve heard the sore tummy thing lots of times when we suspect it might not be 100% true, so we hoped for the best.

Isla enjoyed coming down and opening her presents and seeing all the birthday banners we’d put up – her main present was a Leap Pad2 after nursery tipped us off that she absolutely loves the one they have.

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After breakfast we went upstairs to get ready for her party and she went a bit downhill again, complaining about a sore tummy and generally wanting to lay on the bed and rest. I had downloaded some music for her birthday party – quite into her pop music is Isla – so we stuck a bit of One Direction on to coax her out of her lethargic mood… she climbed out of bed and jumped about a bit to Live While We’re Young, but then I could tell in her face that the jumping had made her tummy feel worse so she crawled back into bed again… poor thing… the sore tummy was real after all, how typical!

We carried on preparing for the party, which was a Paw Patrol theme (for the uninitiated, Paw Patrol is a Nick Jr tv programme about superhero puppies!). You can’t seem to buy much Paw Patrol stuff in this country, although I think you can in America, BUT the nick Jr website had loads of brilliant printable Paw Patrol party stuff, so I’d printed and made Paw Patrol hats, banners, party bag labels (doggy bags!), a Pin the Badge on Marshall game and various other bits… so I was quite chuffed really, it looked great!

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Family came over about 11am and Isla had perked up quite a bit so we tried not to worry.

Isla opened lots of lovely presents from everyone – mainly lots of garden toys (the bonus of summer birthdays!), and the main showstopper being an enormous new slide, which had been hiding in the garage since daddy / granddad spent hours assembling it a few days before, and which was too big to come down the side of the house. So, it had to take a detour, down the street, round the end of the estate, and into the doctor’s surgery car park (luckily closed on that day) which backs onto our garden, so that it arrived, rather dramatically, over the fence!

Well it went down very well with all the girls the second it hit the ground!

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After that we had our party food, played party games and brought out the Paw Patrol cake i’d made for Isla.

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Unfortunately, Isla couldn’t eat any cake, despite looking at it longingly… she asked me to save it for later, and ten minutes later the inevitable happened and she was sick 😦

On the bright side, she bounced back very quickly and was soon feeling much better… so much so that she later scoffed a Curly Wurly with no ill effects!

So, despite unfortunately being a bit poorly on her big day, I think all in all she had a lovely birthday. And now she’s a Big Girl 4 Year Old. And what an exciting 12 months are in store for our second little angel.

Happy birthday darling xxx

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A few weeks ago we decided to have a day trip to Llandudno, to see the sea and walk along the beach. We were going to drive along the Great Orme and, unusually for us, decided we’d stop for fish and chips rather than take a picnic.

Like all great plans, it didn’t quite work out as we imagined!

First we drove through Llandudno and couldn’t find anywhere to park! So ended up deciding to drive the Great Orme first. A spectacular view as always… and we thought we’d get those fish and chips in the café up at the top.

Great Orme all of us Great Orme girls

Unfortunately the café up at the top doesn’t sell fish and chips… so we set off again in search of a chip shop with three hungry little ones in the back (“I’m hunngryyy!”, “Are we at the beach yet?”, “I’m starrrrving!” etc)

It seemed to be more difficult than it should be by the seaside to find fish and chips… but maybe it was because it was Sunday. Anyways, we eventually found what we were looking for, but by that time we were in Rhos on Sea, where we sat and are our chips on a bench overlooking the sea. The tide was completely in but we walked along the prom afterwards and found a little inlet where there was a beach. The girls had lots of fun throwing stones and shells into the sea and a teeny bit of paddling (the water didn’t look all that clean to us!)

Beach Eve Beach all

Not quite the day we planned but everyone enjoyed themselves and it was good to get some sea air. I think we’ll be taking a picnic again on our next trip though!

Makes me really want to take the girls on a proper seaside holiday…

 

 

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Why is it…

…that when I attempt to brush Eve’s hair all-out war ensues, and I find myself feeling like the losing participant in a WWE wrestling match?

But, when her big sister does her hair (sometimes pretty roughly), she’s as good as gold?

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In fact, I think she finds it pretty relaxing…

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*sigh*

 

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My gosh. It’s been just over a year since I posted anything on here… but hey, life with three little daughters and a full time job doesn’t leave me with much free time at the moment. But I’m off work for two weeks with the girls while the inlaws are holiday – they are our key childcare providers, so while they enjoy a well-earned break touring round Canada, I’m playing at full-time mummy for a while!

It’s a tiring job! Especially the mechanics of the school run with Terrorist Toddler Eve, whose passion for mischief and capacity to do the opposite of what she should be doing still knows no bounds. So, if you had been a bystander last week around school drop off / kick out times you would likely have seen a very frazzled woman, no doubt dressed inappropriately for the changeable weather, trying to keep pace with a sprinting toddler, while urging a dawdling 6-year-old and trying to calm a hysterical 3-year-old who gets into a terrible panic if Eve runs ahead or Lilly lags behind…

Anyway… here we are at the tail end of a bank holiday Monday. Eve and Isla have been tucked up in bed early, Lilly is lying on the sofa next to me playing games on an old iPhone.

We’ve had a really full day today. First we visited the Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland. Random, I know, but it was the hubby’s idea, as he’s currently learning to drive a large goods vehicle and so has trucks on his mind a lot at the moment!

It was better than I expected (and much better than the one in St Helens, which is one of the worst ‘museums’ we’ve ever had the misfortune to visit!) To start with Eve was quite well behaved, she really enjoyed pressing buttons and looking at the mini tram set. Of course, eventually she went downhill and started pegging it all over the museum, causing Isla to react hysterically, chasing her and screeching at the same time… only making Eve sprint even faster, of course. Eventually it was time to make our excuses and leave, but not before the girls enjoyed sitting on an old fashioned fire engine and ringing the bell, sitting on the top deck of an old bus, and even squeezing into a red phone box (none of them had the foggiest what it was!) and pretending to make phone calls.

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So all in all, a partial success!

We then headed back to pick up the bike we’d ordered for Lilly yesterday at Halfords. We rang ahead and it wasn’t quite ready, so we braved an hour in a local beer garden, seeing as the sun was shining. There were a couple of incidents when the girls decided it was fun to do a lap of the little path around the bowling green – first Isla falling and scuffing her knees, then Eve deciding to go off course and try to run off to the back of the bowling green, causing me to sprint after her, not sure where she was headed! In between all that, the girls played nicely (Naughty Pirates is their current favourite made up game) and didn’t wander off too far.

Unscathed, we headed off to pick up The Bike. We decided to buy one for Lilly after she took it upon herself to teach herself to ride without stabilisers a few weeks ago. We tried to teach her last year, but she was having none of it. Then this year, typical Lilly, she decided to do it, and she just did it. Same as with all her major milestones – walking, reading, everything.

Anyway the bike she had was old and too small for her. So today we collected her new bike and took them all to a local park for a ride.

Isla had her ‘cupcake’ bike, we took the Scuttlebug for Eve. They absolutely loved it, riding round and round, up and down the bandstand, all over the place. Lilly was fantastic on her bike especially considering it is much bigger than the one she’s been practicing on. Eve was a little bit big for the Scuttlebug, but she gave it her best shot (before she decided to resume her favourite hobby of randomly sprinting off towards a road or other danger, causing mummy and daddy to have to chase and tackle her to the ground!)

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By the time we got home, me and hubs were shattered – as usual!

But luckily so were they and we got away with putting Eve and Isla to bed pretty early (sneaky mummy and daddy!)

Anyway, that’s bit of what we’ve been up to, hopefully I’ll be back with more before another year goes by!

 

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