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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 12:20am on 14/09/2015 under , ,
We took the girls to a friend's son's 4th birthday party today. River doesn't often get to go to parties. This may be the 2nd or 3rd ever for her. Anyway, she was excited to go because she anticipated being able to make new friends and play with everyone. So unlike me.

However, very much like me and Matt, it took her a long time to warm up once we were there. Lots of leg-clinging and quiet mumbling and hiding behind us and asking to be carried and not joining in the second go of pass-the-parcel because the first round had "quite tired her out". Then she kind of lurked on the edge of a boisterous game the more confident children were playing (the ones in masks were superheroes and were putting the others in prison). River decided to join in with her Leopard Girl persona (a role she's returned to many times over the last year) and instantly made a new friend by the simple method of showing her special claws and magic leaping skills.

We were the last to leave (always my habit at parties -- I dread going to them and then overstay my welcome) and by then River was totally at ease. She had invited every adult to our house, telling them our address and describing the street. She invented new games to play with the birthday boy. She advised Gary, birthday boy's father, on how to handle the balloon game correctly.

We were told repeatedly how confident and lovely she is.

Willow was at ease earlier than River -- she embraced the idea of wearing a mask and obviously loved having hers on. She happily ran all over the garden kind if alongside the other children (2 years old is a bit too young for genuine interaction). But the game of Musical Bumps was a failure for her. She loved the dancing bit but she didn't understand what was happening when the music stopped and all the other children sat down. After a moment of stunned confusion, she walked out of the room and sat down in embarrassment and distress on the stairs. So I stayed with her until she'd rebuilt her ego. By the end of the party she was running around with a huge balloon and smiling at everyone.

At times like that I think we're doing okay as parents. And then we get the times where I just shout or refuse simple requests or shout or ignore or shout. Need to find some way to prevent the shouting. It never helps.

Home-schooling: we're not taking it very seriously as River is only 4. But she's been doing a lot of writing this week, trying to sound out words herself. And she's been playing counting and adding games with Matt. Tonight, Willow requested a robot video while we were having tea, so we watched a robot spider then a robot dragon then a scene from Wall-E. River asked what a cartoon was, so I made a flip-book and Matt drew a sequence in it of someone bouncing a ball. Then River pestered and pestered until I made her a new flip-book (she wouldn't use the reverse of Matt's) and drew a sequence of a feather landing in a boy's hand and a bird coming down to get it back and then flying up to the sun -- remarkably complex story-telling and really unexpected.
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 07:11pm on 15/08/2015 under
This week we learnt that Matt's dad's cancer is incurable. Well, I've deleted several sentences here. There's not much else to say about it.

I've had the rest of this post written for a few weeks and was planning on adding to it. But I'll post it now and be done with it.

WILLOW AT 2 YEARS OLD

Read more... )
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 04:29pm on 05/05/2015
another test
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 04:27pm on 05/05/2015
a little test
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 03:57pm on 02/05/2015 under
Post that I wrote last year and never uploaded. )

Update from the last couple of months. )

She's still very sensitive to bright light and loud noise. She still cries when she sees or hears someone else crying, or when she's too caught up in a sad game (oh the tears we had when she and Matt burnt the big paper snowflake after Xmas; she was being a fairy and the burning signified the end of her snow magic). She still wants to be a ballerina and a sea scientist.

She's still quick to show affection.

I love her.
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 03:08pm on 24/03/2015
I've had a half-written post on my desktop for many months. It's called "River at 3-and-a-half". She is now nearly 4-and-a-quarter. Oops. I could spend the rest of her life updating that post and never actually putting it up here, which would just be silly. I'm also horribly out of practice with writing. So, new year, new attempt at more regularly maintaining my... no, I really need to learn the lesson that I shouldn't make any resolutions about posting here more: I'll only end up feeling guilty when months fly by without a post again.

Cut for length )
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 03:51pm on 16/09/2014 under
The plan this summer was to try and do something every day.It didn't have to be vastly exciting or different, but we didn't want to regret wasting all the free time. I think we managed it, anyway. It feels like months and months since last term -- a huge contrast to the way the first half of the year zipped by a lightning speed for me. The best decision we made was purchasing season passes to all the Manx National Heritage sites. We have now visited them all, and I've really enjoyed re-discovering them through River's eyes.



So in the final week of our holiday we managed to cram a fair few fun things.

More photos etc under the cut. )

I'm back at work full-time now, and so glad that I prioritised family time over house/craft projects this summer. It's the first time I've ever felt like I didn't waste my long holiday. Hurray!
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 03:32pm on 25/08/2014 under
Another full fortnight of summer busy-ness.



More photos under the cut. )
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 09:25pm on 10/08/2014 under ,
We managed to do lots of things in the past two weeks:

Cut for length, and there are a few photos in there too. )



It's been a great summer so far.
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 11:10pm on 25/07/2014 under
Oh free time, how I love you!

I only have a handful of pupils continuing piano lessons through the summer so as a family we can look forward to lots of joyfully unstructured days. I feel like a cow that's finally back in the pasture after a long dark winter stuck in the barn.

So this week has been amazing, as far as I'm concerned.

I've made chocolate tiffin, sunflower seed pesto, moussaka, raspberry trifle, cream crackers. I've re-organised and de-cluttered and thoroughly cleaned the kitchen. Except for the oven. The weather's too hot for that level of exertion.

River and I dusted the living-room furniture and cleaned the stairs; Matt hoovered the carpet; we all re-organised the big bookshelf; I cleared the piles of rubbish that always accumulate on top of the piano.

Matt finished putting down the floorboards in the attic. We ordered the parts for the attic handrail, and the wood cladding for the ceiling.

We harvested raspberries, chard, courgettes and lettuce from the allotment. And, even better, ate them all!

We all went to Silverdale on Tuesday and had a great time on the water-powered roundabout.

Willow learnt to crawl!

I taught Matt and River how to play Disney's Winnie the Pooh theme on the piano.

We all walked down to the river and spent an hour playing in the glorious cool shade.

The girls and I spent a morning and lunch with good friends.

Last night, incredibly, I did not have insomnia and Willow only woke up twice!

The weather has been amazing -- so hot, so sunny, so holiday-ish.

And Matt and I have even managed to have actual grown-up conversations!

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