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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.


Read more... )
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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 05:55pm on 21/02/2014 under ,
Now that River's 3 we thought we should be starting some holiday traditions. We already have the old advent calendar (this one) and the Buying Of The Tree. But we wanted more! Read more... )
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 03:14pm on 16/12/2013 under , ,
Oh dear. So much for weekly updates! Well, last time I posted I mentioned that River had croup. I then caught her throat infection and felt really grotty for a couple of weeks. And then life overtook us. Again.

Willow's larger knitted vest is finished and doing a fine job keeping her lovely round belly nice and warm. River's birthday scarf is finished and apparently the best scarf in the world -- worn with much pride when we go out. My shawl is on the needles but nowhere near finished. I am contemplating a hat. Hats always give me headaches, but I keep making them in the hope that I'll eventually find the one true hat that doesn't hurt my head. Daughters' animal hats are all knitted now but I have a lot of fiddly sewing to do so they've been neglected a little. I need to take photos of these things. For the next entry, maybe...

How are the girls doing?

A couple of videos under the cut. )

 photo treecarpark1113.jpg

Gosh, though -- it's hard looking after two children!
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 07:26pm on 03/11/2013 under , , ,
The first few months of Willow's life have been a huge contrast with River's early weeks. No pain, no despair, no isolation, no borderline PND. It's been wonderful, in fact.

The only downside is all the enforced sitting we have to do. I can't feed her in the sling -- she just seems to hate it. Instead, we're spending many hours sat on the sofa. It's been getting me down, because I do like to be busy and productive as much as possible. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I realised I could get things done while breastfeeding. So I've started learning Italian on Duolingo and I also dug out my knitting needles.

Here we have Willow modelling the delightful Pebble:

Read more... )
And a bonus picture of BatWillow with her grandad, pondering all the crime she's going to fight.

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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 09:46pm on 26/10/2013 under , , ,
We had a golden summer this year. The heatwave, which seemed to oppress so many people on the mainland, just made our windswept island pleasantly warm and, sometimes, wonderfully hot. We spent hours on the beach and had many many picnics. Because we know we'll never have three months off all together again, we tried to do lots of family things: climbing hills, visiting the wildlife park, going to the Royal Agricultural Show, finding new playgrounds.

River carried a big rock to the top of a hill to add to the cairn there.

LOTS of photos under the cut. )

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Nearly 38 weeks pregnant now. The home-birth midwife team are on standby to come dashing round at the first sign of labour, apparently. If I was to have the baby now it wouldn't be considered premature! Gosh. I hope I don't have it now. I still have 2 full weeks of teaching, rehearsals, exams, church services, and sorting-out-of-house-and-finances to do first.

Anyway, how am I doing? Boringly well, just like last time. Still no varicose veins, haemorrhoids, stretch marks. No swollen ankles (which is actually better than last time). Lots of kicking and hiccuping going on in there, and the baby has started to drop down into my pelvis just a little.

It hasn't been a fun pregnancy, though. Queasy until week 24. Then, after 2 weeks of blissful health, I caught a chest infection which knocked me out for 4 weeks (Matt and River had it too, so we were all pathetic together). Just got over that and then a week later came down with some kind of sinus infection which left me bunged up and sleepless for 2 weeks. Then, just before I got over that, the Braxton Hicks contractions started -- and they always make me feel a little bit sick. So there we are. Out of the last 32 weeks I've had 3 weeks of feeling good. Oh well. Other women have had it much worse than me, I know.

I had to have a glucose tolerance test to see if I had gestational diabetes. I don't have gestational diabetes, but I do now have a hatred of glucose tolerance tests. You have to starve for 15 hours, have a blood test, drink half a litre of Lucozade, wait 2 hours, then have another blood test. Why would anyone choose to drink that vile stuff voluntarily? Synthetic and gassy and nasty and awful. By the time I got home after the second blood test I was shaking and queasy, and didn't feel better until I'd had a lovely solid meal.

River is growing fixated with my bump. Since we told her there was a baby in my tummy she's developed several coping strategies:

Mummy pig, am I in your tummy? *snort noise* )
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 03:34pm on 15/05/2013 under ,
Oh gosh oh dear oh my -- a lot of time has passed since I last wrote one of these. Where to start? I'll break it down into sections, and then maybe it won't be so overwhelming to think about. (And now she's nearly 30 months! There's just never enough time these days.)

A LOT of words under the cut, and a couple of videos )
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 03:51pm on 24/03/2013 under
A quick entry on pink. River is 28 months old now and has shown no preference for the colour pink at all. I'm guessing this is because:

1. She never sees any advertising. Our TV cannot receive digital and we don't have a satellite dish, so all her viewing is either BBC iplayer programmes, or clips on youtube that are relevant to the games she's playing (eg. a few days watching fire engines or volcanoes or whales or wherever her interest currently lies).

2. She seldom goes to clothes shops, thus avoiding the overwhelming pinkness of the girls' section. All her clothes have been given to us secondhand so I've hardly bought anything since she was born -- and I admit I do tend to weed out the excessively "girly" clothes (pink and/or covered in sparkly tat) and the t-shirts with slogans on them.

3. She never goes to toy shops, thus avoiding the horrific pink aisle. We can't afford to buy new toys so hers are all either secondhand gifts or bought from charity shops. Again, I've tended to avoid buying pink things but she's never complained about this.

I'll be interested to see if she ever does go mad for pink, the way some parents insist their daughters do ("We didn't do anything! She just loves pink!" etc). For now, I'm rather glad that our ongoing poverty has kept her away from such limitation.


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