Archive for the ‘twins’ Category

Your dinosaur bone is connected to your….

April 30, 2013

20130430-073012.jpg

Advertisements

Weekly roundup 20 April

April 27, 2013

I’m writing Saturday through Thursday today on Friday. You’re about to be treated to a stunning example of how bad my memory is.

Saturday:

TMD still felt a bit rough, so we kept today low key. Snort went for a haircut, we bought some bread at the baker’s, and we went to a charity shop. Scored a giant Tupperware of weird little toys (littlest pet shop?) for a tenner. Came home, dragged a blanket out to the garden, and the kids played outside with the Tupperware toys for hours. Had both lunch and dinner outside. Was gloriously hot, and therefore the virgin wearing of the new Spiderman Crocs.

We also watched some of the marathon, followed by rapid channel switching when we saw some gymnastics championships were also on. Cue manic gymnastics ‘shows’ in the lounge.

Sunday:

Wickedly awesome. We have a medieval barn near us, and they were hosting a spring festival. We saw an old fashioned cider press, and the older guys near it were so pleased to have two children show an interest. They told us all about apples being pressed, where the juice was stored, etc. kids played old fashioned skittles and beanbag toss games, looked at vintage motorbikes and cars, and bought some chocolate cake to take home(yum) and their first marshmallows (both were disgusted by them)….and organic ice cream to be consumed while watching a ferrier at work. Learned about horseshoes – why horses have them, how they are put on, etc. Also taste tested cheeses and i discovered a passion for spring onion and sundried tomato cheddar. Amazing.

There were vintage tractors outside and Coco spent ages on lots of them, shifting gears and totally in her own tractor driving world.

The best thing about this place was the old fashioned engines and smaller machines. Kids loved it, especially Snort. Saw electricity generated, grain being ground, etc etc. Lots of them were steam powered and has Snort’s major love, pipes, so it was fascinating to see how they worked and the water being spit out.

I don’t recall the afternoon. I think we were out in the garden again, though it was not sunny or warm. Brr.

Monday:

Snort had gym this morning. There were like 6,000 kids there and it was vaguely unpleasant. If this wasn’t a fluke, we may consider other options. He really wants to join Coco’s class, and she is open to that, but I’m not sure. I think he had more instruction on the beam today, and the coach attempted a half hearted, ‘Hey, while you’re jumping on the trampoline, can you do circles with your arms?’ He was like, ‘No.’ Ha.

After we drove to collect Coco and then went over to Snort’s boy-crush’s house, a friend from his old football class. What shall I call this kid. Wonderboy. So Wonderboy, my two, and Shorty spent all afternoon running free. I’m noticing a change in the flavour of play dates, for sure, and I don’t know if it is that kids are ageing, or because these particular kids know each other well. The adults are left alone most of the time while the kids play. Wonderboy’s outdoor trampoline had a big pull over Coco, and Snort fell hard for his Spiderman soft toy.

Tuesday:

Best. Day. Ever.

Started with Snort’s dream, a trip to the post office to collect missed parcels with Grampy. He is very into ‘our whole family’ doing things together, and delights in having relatives around. Much talk about when my parents are coming, and when we will next see his Auntie. I mentioned to Grampy that I wanted to go out into nature somewhere – it was so sunny and beautifully warm. He’s all, hey, I’ll show you something.

And hell if FIVE MINUTES FROM OUR HOUSE isn’t a giant corridor of woodlands, with paths spidering off in every direction. Lots of hills, scary drop offs, apparently a river (!), and flowers exploding everywhere. I am never as happy as I am in the woods. I want to go here every day. I want to get rich and buy a big chunk of forest and live there. One of the best years of my life was giving alone at camp in the off season – five hundred acres of woods and only little old me there. It was amazing, except at night when I thought axe murderers lurked behind every tree.

We then dropped Grampy at home and went to, uh, a place with lots of horses and donkeys and playgrounds and magic. They both groomed a donkey, I gently brought up the subject of riding horses again (don’t ask), they spent ages in the giant outdoor sandpit, the soft play, etc etc. we bumped into TWO families from his old football class, and hung out with one for a long time. We also bumped into another home ed family that we see everywhere we go. They seem awesomely nice but I cannot remember the mum’s name. Clearly I need to ask her. I keep wanting to call her Nori, but I think that is the seaweed you make sushi from? They are vegan and she once talked me through how to make sushi, it sounds easy and delicious, I still have not tried it.

Side note: this home ed thing is socialising ME. I have to get over myself and ask people for phone numbers all the time. I’ve never done this in a dating way as I’m a serial monogamist and people have always approached me, and I’ve always been someone to have a small but very close circle of friends. So this faux hitting on families is a new experience and going well!

We tried to make this recipe for one minute chocolate mug cake. It was not a success. Ha. Instead we invested cheese and veggie sausage tacos and had dinner in the garden.

When TMD came home we all played in the garden awhile. Bubbles are a constant delight to the children.

Wednesday:

I wanted today to be an at home day. Those hills and treacherous, yet beautiful, hours in the woods were like a full body workout. All my muscles hurt. So why I allowed the kids to talk me into taking them to soft play, I don’t fucking know. We were there almost all bloody day until I called uncle and begged to go home. They made lots of little friends of all ages, including some adults who Snort utterly charmed, and it was nice, but damn. Sore muscles!

Really noteable thing for me is Snort’s determination. The kids were in the toddler area, and one of them decided they were pirate and the ball pit was the sea. So they dived for treasure, which was balls. Treasure was thrown out of the pit today’s me, who was the land. Snort eventually determined he would empty the ball pit and worked like a fiend. I felt a bit of uncomfortable social pressure because, shit, ball pits are not ‘supposed’ to be emptied, but we knew we would clear up afterward and I was not going to quash him. Soon other kids came to help. Soon older kids (in school uniforms) came to tell him off and immediately try to tidy. It was an interesting dynamic and gave me much to observe.

Think more garden time in the afternoon, largely consisting of me sitting in a comfy chair inside and counting down for them to have horse races. Yeah.

Thursday:

Okay. Second best day ever.

We started a pottery class for home educated kids this morning. Was amazing! Coco was pleased there was a ‘teacher,’ and I was pleased he said this would be a self-directed learning experience. He was on hand to offer helpful techniques and answer questions, didn’t talk down to the kids, let the, use sharp knives which mine loved, and was just chilled. Lots of familiar faces, and lots of new faces. Look forward to the next session very much!

Afterward we walked to a nearby square for a picnic with Catgirl, and a new mum and her two slightly older boys joined us. Snort and these two kids were like fucking hooligans (aka like every home educated kid in a park, when did he get so old?!), brandishing sticks and chasing pigeons while screaming with abandon. I found myself totally immersed in chatting with the adults, only having to occasionally check on him. Then our other friends we see every week, let’s see, we shall call the kids …I don’t know….came. The older boy, who struggles with aggression, shoved Snort really hard into the ground. Sigh. This happens every time we see these people, and Snort in general is so sensitive he often falls prey to this sort of thing. Whereas the boy tried to shove Coco, who shifted her body weight away and gave him such a cautious, menacing look he stopped dead in his tracks. Snort in generally is very joyful and trusting and open, and can’t understand why anyone would purposely do anything to hurt someone. Coco is more guarded with new people or people that she knows can be rough.

Catgirl, Artiste, and us decided to head over to the science museum, and on the way we bumped into another home ed family we know. Had a quick, nice chat. (Also, the quiet joy of always seeing people we know, feeling we belong, it is nice.)

Science museum was deeply awesome. They had a new exhibit with giant Lego blocks, hard hats, diggers, and construction jackets. Saw ANOTHER home ed family there, and I spent ages chatting with the mum because her kid has severe allergies as well. Going to meet up with them soon. Again, it hit me how old the kids seem because they were able to play and run around to find Catgirl and I trusted them. That simple act of trusting my children pays off hugely.

Snort had a devastating moment. He’d been working with a group of about nine year old boys on a school trip to construct an absolutely massive house, and was totally captivated with it. Of course, once it was built the older boys knocked it down. He cried so hard and so noisily that staff came over to make sure he wasn’t hurt. My sweet boy.

We spent hours there, loosely doing our own thing and then joining back with Catgirl. Had a big talk with the kids about blood – red blood travelling through the body to feed it, then turning blue when the air is used up, so it travels back to the lungs for more. This was really mainly Coco and me, so imagine my surprise when TMD came home and Snort gave her a big explanation about the blood, and he had all the concepts right and was so enthusiastic. Also had a good look at the brains, saw blood being pumped through our veins (Snort remembered the word ‘veins’ from a few weeks ago!), made giant bubbles, and Coco made another stop animation movie. She concentrates hard when doing these movies, loves taking the pictures, and is generally more interested in the process of creation than the final project. She’s amazing.

Snort was very interested in the movie set lighting controls (a famous series of shows and movies are made here in the city, and they donated some stuff to the museum).

Again, we could have stayed here all day and basically did, but I was achey. Unfortunately we missed seeing Jazz…..I thought of inviting ourselves to her house but thought that would make me an ass. Little did I realise that Lauren had texted to invite us. Whoops. Hope to see them soon!

Late afternoon we watched 101 Dalmatians for the first time. We all enjoyed it. It was literally the first tv/DVD they’d seen all week. Guess they overdosed on it when they were ill!

Friday:

Kids made a giant ‘bed’ filling the entire upstairs hallway while I was in the shower. They took care of their babies for a long time, then gradually wandering downstairs. I stayed upstairs listening to the radio and writing this post (bliss) and came downstairs to an elaborate toy layout. No wonder they’d been so quiet. Every small toy they owned was neatly laid out on the floor in a giant area. If you’re my fb friend you may have seen the pic!

Snort has been carrying around a picture his friend Walnut made, so we decided to make some pictures for Walnut (Aussie’s boy) as we decided we quite like mailing things to people. Coco picked Halloween stickers and therefore followed a bizarre conversation I never expected with a three year old, whereby I explained Frankenstein and vampires (which she was particularly interested in), along with candy corn and ghosts stuck in bottles. I helped the kids write their names on their respective pictures, and they were SO CHUFFED.

Ten minutes later and Coco is using a blue circular laundry basket as a pool. Bunny is under her shirt. She proceeds to climb into the pool, have a water birth, and then put Bunny straight to her chest with a cloth over Bunny. Can you guess what sort of YouTube videos we have been watching lately? Ha.

At gym the coach wanted to see Coconut on the balance beam. She froze when the coach held her hand and backed off. She agreed to do it with me holding her hand and coach watching – interesting as Coco always does the middle of the big beam by herself but wouldn’t with the coach watching. Yet she was confident enough to run up to her and ask her what a piece of equipment did. We then talked about how Coco loves handstands, and the coach showed her a great thick pole to put her feet up against to help her balance. She absolutely refused to try it, and from then in just wanted to sit. Coco is definitely a perfectionist and I found the whole thing interesting, and also from a schooling point of view I wonder what it would have done to her self esteem.

Catgirl randomly said to Coco while at gym, ‘I love you!’ This is a pretty big deal and I’m happy the kids are fostering a close friendship with her.

After gym, Catgirl and Artiste, Chuckles and Actor, and Coco and myself went across the street to the playground for a picnic and a run around. I texted another home ed mum who we had happily ran into before gym, and she came over to join us. Snort’s footie friends invited us to the zoo this afternoon, but I’m just not feeling it and Artiste and Actor were like my booster club, encouraging me to remember that this journey involves me and I’m not a martyr. They are correct!

Instead the kids played together inside for quite some time, before we spilled into the garden. snort was bottomless. Neither kid had a sweatshirt on. I was wearing a sweater and a scarf. Our internal temperatures do not match up. They pretended they were angry birds for quite some time, and I was drafted into being a bad piggy who got chased around. We had dinner outside, and then I brought music outside and we gave quite an elaborate dance show to anyone who happened to be overlooking our garden. Keeping it classy. We also read graphic novels/comic books. Ironman, of course. Snort loved it. Coco was more interested in some new medical apps I downloaded, kids ones where you pretend to be the doctor for animals or babies. Though she also loves one for medical students that has detailed pics of the body.

Weekly roundup 13 – 19 April 2013

April 20, 2013

Saturday:

Well, it was Coco’s turn for the high fever. And TMD got sick as well. Snort was a bit chirpier, but we were all definitely unwell. Handy as we had booked non refundable hotel rooms for the weekend, as we were supposed to be going to see family. Oh well. That’s all that can really be said, because most of the day was spent lying listlessly and watching tv. Again.

Tonight and last night I did the bedtime thang alone with Coconut, as TMD stayed down with Snort. Coconut liked the one on one time, we had baths together, cuddled till she fell asleep, etc. Was really nice.

Till about eleven pm, when hell cracked open. Cue two very confused and uncomfortable hours where both children are alternating earth shattering screaming, requesting apple juice, and somehow we all ended up together in the lounge. Of course the kids got the couches, TMD was on the floor, and I was sitting upright wrapped in a sleeping bag until I escaped upstairs. Awesome.

I couldn’t sleep most of the night because I found out our friends from our last home, who have a set of twins six months younger than ours, well…both of the parents have cancer. It makes me very anxious to think about it. Very. So I will stop writing now.

Sunday:

Snort much better. Coco still unwell and fevered. Odd for her because I swear I don’t think she has ever had a fever. I think this is the flu. Again, not much can be said about today except that Snort wanted to have some fun, but was trapped in by the rest of us. He and TMD did go on a mercy mission to buy bananas and chocolate bourbons, but again, lots of everyone laying around, wanting an adult to lean on.

Had a post bathtime discussion with Coconut where she clarified she wants to learn to read now, and was keen for me to teach her. Uh, okay. I thought she was coming on really well anyway, probably ‘advanced’ for her age, though we don’t place much stock in that, and I sort of didn’t think ‘teaching’ was going to be required. Well, whatever. I anticipate staying in again tomorrow so people can continue to mend, and if we don’t all go batshit stir crazy, perhaps she’ll be reading Shakespeare by nightfall. Wish me luck! Ha.

Monday:

Woe is me, etc etc. Kids much chirpier and playing, but still spouting snot and coughs and gag induced vomiting over fever medicine. TV is finally blessedly off, though, as they are no long limpets on the couch. I guess that’s a good thing. I still feel like a limpet, though.

Um, writing this next bit Tuesday night. Yesterday is a blur. I had a great hour and a half in the morning where I actually did some stuff around the house, played with the kids, and soldiered on pretending I was Ma Ingalls. I even whipped out sharpies and index cards and started labelling the hell out of everything we own in the ‘learn to read’ quest, ably helped by children scribbling pictures on paper and sticking them everywhere with blue tac.

The next thing you know, it’s evening and I have a migraine and everything is shit again.

This is the day I finally understood the phrase ‘touched out.’

Tuesday:

Every single night since The Sickness has been hell. Imagine my delight when I woke up at 8 am. I was very confused because normally I have to be up by 7, but…

TMD stayed home from work today and spent the day in a coma in bed. Coconut still has bright red cheeks and can’t stop coughing. Snort is dripping snot but appears to have finally semi-mastered blowing his nose. He also is totally covered in a rash I’ve never seen before. Luckily, we had a pre-booked doctor appointment, so my crazy out of control worry and diarrhoea only had to last twenty minutes before we found out it is viral rash.

My crazy self may have also mentioned to the doctor that Dr Google may have suggested that one of my kids’ constantly itchy bum and crazy personality for the last couple of weeks may be worms, and she was like, well, it’s really fucking common. So is dry skin. So keep the area round the ass lubricated, and hey, let’s treat you all for worms just in case.

This is the day I learned that liquid worming medicine for humans in ‘white banana’ flavour tastes just like banana flavoured Runts, my favourite childhood candy. It was so awesome I wanted to drink the whole bottle.

(It tasted so good I am sharing this gross bit of our lives on here because it made it bearable. In reality, I don’t think this kid has worms but wouldn’t it be great if they DID and this one small spoonful of awesomeness could cure them?)

Snort has not dropped another centile and is, in fact, holding steady at his new shorter centile, somewhere below 50 percent. Coconut holds rock steady at somewhere between the 9th and 25th. You’d have thought I was short. I’m not. I’m tall for a woman, the sperm donor was 6 foot. My parents are both very tall, my sister is a giant (about an inch taller than me, though she claims more) TMD says this is my grandmother’s genes coming through.

I honestly remember nothing about the morning before our 11:40 doctor’s appointment. Genuine giant hole in my recall. At the appointment I ripped a leg muscle by, oh, standing up. So my memory of this afternoon is icing my leg, massaging myself with Arnica, grimacing over (unrelated) sore boobs, and lying still on the couch while the mostly recovered children are acting like wild animals. Snort informs us,’I am all better now. I’m ready for adventures. Swimming pool adventures, outside adventures, even riding in the car adventures.’

I also asked what they’d like to do when they grow up.

Coconut: Be a doctor.

Snort: Be Spiderman! I want to have webs, to have little buttons to push to make webs.

Okay then.

Wednesday:

TMD home sick again after a night of hacking her lungs out and helping children who are also doing so. The air is perfumed with Vicks.

Still, we had a nice family chat this morning. In the autumn we are going abroad with my family, to Italy for a short break, and we were talking about who was going, how we’d get there, etc. We also starting learning the Italian for ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye,’ and ‘ice cream.’ Obviously the phrase ‘ice cream, please’ garnered much interest, and a talk about what sort of gelato they plan to have. As always, she wants chocolate, he wants ‘white.’ I think their minds will be blown by the gelato displays there.

A few days back we started looking at a guide book of the city we will be in. I think this Italy flavoured learning will probably loosely carry on, reaching fever pitch excitement just before the trip. Still, September is a long time away! We shall see.

The kids and I played a few apps, then spent the bulk of the morning cleaning the kitchen. Coconut is always the first to volunteer to help and is so keen, and Snort joined her. I’m on a mission to get things back on track, and it was great to have help.

We then spent a big hunk of time reading together on the couch, followed by pursuing Coconut’s idea to make glasses like the character in one of the books. She did all the cutting herself while I held the paper. They look totally fierce. She is fierce.

20130417-130022.jpg

Snort’s nose dripping is slowing. Coco is still coughing a lot, and both cheeks are bright red. She is also walking the tightrope between low and high fever. We begged off meeting with friends today and tomorrow, and I think that was a solid choice.

The kids played in their rooms awhile, then TMD woke up and played with them. Both my leg muscles on the outside of my thighs are very painful, so it was a relief! I then started getting another wicked headache so came upstairs. I immediately passed out and woke at six, when I discover TMD had watched two Toy Story movies with our recovering kiddos. The kids also spent some ti,e sticking oddly shaped sequin things (a leaping stag, wth) onto card with glitter pens. They also all rescued a butterfly (?) in the garden, and planted more chili pepper seeds in empty butter containers. Snort’s previous batch haven’t grown at all. Coco’s tomatoes are doing okay. And the cool potato experiment we have going, allowing us to see the roots and develop of potatoes, is smashing! Will probably detail this in another post as I bet some of you would like to try it.

Snort is desperate for us to go out and buy Kinder Eggs. He has set up all his cars on the landing upstairs and wants to make a video for YouTube like the ones he watches. Maybe tomorrow will be his lucky day.

Thursday:

Begged off home ed meet up. Coco had a raging temperature in the night and was very unsettled. She is obviously getting better, but on the other hand that fever and the coughing shows she still needs rest. Snort is gutted. He said, ‘Oh, man, please. I want to go on an adventure. Please.’ Adventure is our word for basically everything we do, and considering we haven’t left the house except for the doctor since last Wednesday, we are totally overdue an adventure. I just don’t think today is the day.

Played a few apps, Snort played wildly with his homemade Angry Birds toys, we watched a bit of Toy Story 2. Coco played with our red and white dry lentils in a box filled with some Cars guys. She’s now playing with a toy dog she’s calling Snoopy and taking him to the vet.

Coco then asked to lay down with me. We agreed we’d eat first – her and Snort played like maniacs while I cooked lunch. Then she asked for a cuddle and snuggle. Next thing I know, she’s asleep in my bed. This kid has not slept during the day in almost two years. She’s poorly. So I go hang out with Snort, who also passes out. I enjoy the breeze through the windows, the time to read, and then she wakes up screaming in pain. She’s obviously got another ear infection, on top of everything else. That poor fucking kid. I ran down here to get pain meds and the thermometer, as she’s covered in sweat and raging hot, but she passed back out before I got back upstairs. Add this to Snort’s horrible crackly breathing, and the crazy mom in me wouldn’t be surprised if we end up in hospital.

I jinxed it all. I made a joking comment to TMD this morning like, ‘Man, she will need a nap today after the hell of last night. But I know she won’t sleep. Hell, if she did I’d know to call an ambulance.’ Nice, huh.

And TMD said to me this morning, ‘We are so lucky he’s on his inhalers daily. Otherwise he’d be admitted to hospital with this thing.’ And after days of clear breathing, brotha needs rescue inhalers and sounds like I’ve sounded on days I could barely breathe.

Now that I’ve got that all out, I’m sure they will both be fine. I’m also sure we will be cancelling gymnastics tomorrow.

Okay, post nap they were noticeably better. We still essentially hung out in my bed and watched movies. A bit of reading. Coco went to sleep as normal, and Snort was up till all hours due to the gigantic nap.

Highlight of the day was TMD bringing home Kinder Egg knockoffs with mini superheroes inside. Seriously dope. Yes, I said it. Snort’s dreams came true because we made a video of him and Coconut and the beloved eggs against a backdrop of cars. He watched his video a lot. I’d show it to you, but we discovered too late he was bottomless and this ain’t that kind of blog.

Friday:

Went to Nana’s, which was possibly too much as Coco spent much of the day in her tired zone, where she constantly gets hurt and then cries. Once home, Snort kept falling asleep sitting up and I experienced hell trying to keep him awake. Fun day, though.

We did lots of free play, drew pictures, chased bubbles in Nana’s garden, and unravelled a ball of red wool multiple times and spun a giant web in the lounge, then pretended to be bank robbers and stepped around/under them. I also invented a wicked game – well, bastardised an existing one. Have you ever done that team building exercise where you write your name at the top of a paper then hand it round….everyone writes a nice comment then folds it over so no one can see what they’ve written. I did that but with sight words, lots of names that are important to us, emotion words, random words, etc. The folding meant they only had one word to focus on at a time, but at the end a sheet of about ten words to pick words from. Sounds lame but was totally fun. I swear.

Only other noteable from this day is that we have been talking about right and left for a few weeks. As we got into the car, I made a crack about wondering if I would remember how to get to Nana’s house since it had been so long since we’d been there. Cue two kids who gave me perfect directions. ‘You’re going to turn left here at the shops.’ ‘Right! Turn right here! No, I mean the next street!’ Was cool.

Breaking point, and a true pet peeve.

April 10, 2013

Ketchup ketchup ketchup ketchup KETCHUP KETCHUP KETCHUP.

I heard you. Please stop asking.

KETCHUP KETCHUP KETCHUP KETCHUP. fifty hundred times.

Rage boils.

If you ask again, I am throwing the ketchup in the bin.

….

Ketchup.

It slams into the bin.

It’s official, I am my mother. Of course, I am also the fucking sap who pulled it out of the bin five minutes later, washed it off, and gave this child ketchup. Because I’m apparently either fuelled by crazy rage or a total sap. Today, anyway.

Dancing can be awesome as dancing alone. It doesn’t need to teach us to read or multiplication.

April 10, 2013

I’m hiding in the bathroom for a possible two minutes of peace before we leave for ‘dance class.’ I think it’s a fairly relaxed group that focuses on creativity, not learning steps, which is great. Going with Jazz and Lauren, which is even greater.

I’ve heard good things about this dance place, but have to say I was given major cause to roll my eyes at the description. It reads like its up for inspection, listing all the things your child will gain. Okay, fine. The bit that was a bit ridiculous was literacy and numeracy skills. Really, can’t dancing for dancing’s sake be enough? Must we prove to the letter how educational everything is?

I hope it’s on there to look good. Like a bit of the old one, two, three, one, two, three…..as opposed to games or dances created just for literacy and numeracy. I’m all for learning in creative ways, but I’m also all for arts and creativity with no apologies or excuses attached.

Ode to Plants vs Zombies

April 9, 2013

People say, what does home education look like? What do you do? For us, we are child led. Of course the kids are only 3.5, but we have no plans to try to recreate school at home as they get older.

What does child led mean?

Well, they like Plants vs Zombies, Snort in particular. The game itself offers a child a chance to learn strategy, use maths (storing those suns to buy plants, people!), basic reading (‘It says a huge amount of zombies are going to attack,’ says Coconut), develop memory skills (all those fucking plants, my god), talk about emotions (Why does that potato guy look sad? etc), and have fun. The fun is the incentive and the reward, as well as the fact that all three of us often play together all snuggled up in one chair.

But the spin off activities have been adding to the great fun. I’ll write some of them here, but hastily add that I did no lesson planning, and actually most of these were child inspired. I often follow their lead and am pleasantly surprised by how accidentally creative we are, and how many subjects actually branch off from one hobby.

brains

Coco loves medical stuff, and always has, and the whole zombies eating brains thing has prompted ongoing discussions about brains. The skull that keeps them safe, the different parts of the brain and how they have different jobs, how the brain interacts with muscles, etc. and then obviously quite a lot of science spin off stuff from there!

drama

Snort can do a wicked impersonation of a wide variety of the zombies from the game, and we often have fun physically acting out the game. Some of us are plants, some zombies, and sometimes we just sit back and watch Snort perform.

art

Using a deep lid of a cardboard box, we lined it with green felt for grass, and TMD helped the kids make trees and other plants so we could build our own Plants vs Zombies set.

gardening

Snort almost shat himself with joy when he saw chili pepper seeds at the shop. Now we have planted chili peppers and tomatoes, along with some potatoes that we have been chitting for a few weeks. Lots of talk of how plants grow, etc, which is also science, of course. Photosynthesis for the win!

exercise

Yes, I jest, but the ten minutes of zombie exercises the other day were truly awesome.

taste tests

Waiting for the chili peppers to grow is agonising, so we had some chili peppers delivered with our shopping last night. Hence having a taste test of green and red peppers this morning at 7:30 am. Snort, king of not trying vegetables, was keen to reassure us that Coco was wrong, that his mouth would not be on fire. Ha. One absolutely GIANT bite directly into the middle of a green pepper promoted a facial expression that is burned into my retinas. He deigned to lick the outside of the red one, hammed it up, and then watched with interest as I fanned my mouth and gulped milk.

I’m sure there’s been lots more related stuff, but these are the first examples I could come up with in a limited span of time.

Stay tuned for a possible upcoming ode to Angry Birds, which is promoting an ongoing explosion of creative thinking, crafting, and physics. I never thought I’d let my kids play video games this young, but am seeing them as a valid and fun way to spend some time, and seeing the continuous outpouring of creative learning is winning me over.

Weekly roundup March 30 – 5 April 2013

April 8, 2013

Saturday:

TMD’s take:

After some early morning Shows and playing and some plants vs zombies we decided to go to a local soft play after picking up a package from grandma at the post office (snort’s favourite thing to do!) lots of fun was had before coming home for lunch.

Following their lunch I dumped some Lentils and rice in tray and they decided it made a good place to play with their playmobil – this lasted just long enough for me to eat a jacket potato. I’d hoped it would hold them for longer and it would have if they hadn’t started fighting over one brown haired playmobil girl and it all went to hell.

Coconut asked me to make Tom and the orange helicopter (which she’d wanted earlier(damn her memory)). One of our toy helicopters was not good enough as none of them have doors that open… However two yoghurt pots taped together with a door hacked in the side and propeller on the top seemed to suffice. Along with an orange jacket addition to a playmobil guy as Tom. This is all to go with her fire engine and fireman Sam obsession. Tom Thomas is the helicopter rescue guy. While this crafting nightmare was taking place Snort was looking at angry birds pictures on google images (go figure) and on finishing the “helicopter” I’m greeted with the question “we make angry birds?”. What could I say… I had to give it a go. These turned out waaaay better than the helicopter and if you’re lucky Existere may put a picture up for you to see. Anyway Snort was chuffed and Coco got in on the fun too.

20130331-094842.jpg

Having watched me do some making I figured it was their turn so I busted out the glitter glue/scrap paper eggs that I’d prepared earlier and they both got busy with these. They LOVE glitter glue and this is usually a Coco thing but Snort got really involved and was very proud of his egg declaring it was for Nana and Pops.

Coco and I played market while Snort played plants vs zombies with Mama and then I came up with a cool way to hit the green piggies off these plastic cone things we have with the birds. A hit with both kids. They watched some shows while I cooked dinner and then we all went out into the back garden, had a circus show, played hide and seek and generally had some fun. Time for a quick spiderman show before bath and bed.

The circus we did was collassal, y’all.

Sunday:

Woke up to eggy excitement. We have sold Easter as being a celebration of spring- sort of celebrating the pagan side but keeping the secular/Christian name. So the kids were informed of the Easter Bunny (okay, not exactly pagan, ha!) and were off egg hunting. TMD organised it all – small plastic eggs had mini eggs in, large plastic eggs had stickers in. There was a large poster hanging on the kitchen door labelled ‘Snort and Coconut’s Easter Egg Hunt Picture,’ and a drawing of some hills by water, sun in the sky, nice big tree. The kids then placed their sticks on the drawing – both LOVED this and got very into it. They then found their actual Easter baskets and ate a freakish amount of chocolate.

We then played/hung it/did weekly online grocery shop/etc. After lunch we headed into town, as an art gallery apparently had a great installation for children. We got there and it wasn’t actually on till 6 pm, so we went off for a wander and they had ice cream. Nutrition for the win. Found some temporary stuff set up for the weekend, and the kids got to try those giant trampoline things. You know the ones. You are strapped in, and your harness connected to high poles on either side. The kids FLEW in the air and both absolutely adored it. Pure joy. They then ‘rode zebras,’ these weird bike/soft toy hybrids that are propelled by you bouncing up and down.

We then happened upon a street performer playing drums and xylophones, much like the first concert we attended a few weeks back. Well, SHIT. The kids stripped off their backpacks and jackets and just boogied down. Lots of exuberant, free dancing and twirling along the riverside. Twisting around gates, leaping along the cobblestone, spinning. I took a video and cannot wait to watch it.

Afterward we climbed onto a smallish boat for an hour long ride. Went along the water section we had been down before, and then a huge trip through the city, under bridges and into areas i didn’t even realise had water near them. I LOVED it. So did everyone else, particularly Snort.

Monday:

Late start due to the clocks going forwards yesterday so they’re still on a lag! Coco up first so we did my last prepped craft (I’ve been so organised this weekend!!) a chick made out of a paper plate with orange concertina legs. Snort did his once he woke up and used up all the eyes and feathers making quite the masterpiece.

Also today we (writing this a week later so is a bit sketchy) went to the shop and bought sunglasses, had a snack in the cafe, came home and had lunch, got the marble run out, snort made mama an angry bird card (“I had an idea and I made it!”) made refrigerator cake (coco’s idea) then had a birthday party for mama! We watched the ballet of ugly duckling which they both really enjoyed and then Grampy arrived for some wild play time before bath time.

A lovely end to a lovely weekend.

Tuesday:

Much of the early morning was TMD’s dad being Cushion Man, a baddy who has the ambition to smack small children about their bodies with a cushion. Spiderman and Tree Fu Tom delighted in this game…..right up until the point we had to leave and Bunny could be found nowhere. Consequently we missed half of our monthly storyteller near the water, but at least Bunny was safely recovered.

Both kids took their pushchairs – Coco with Bunny and Giraffe, an old toy new to being carried around, Snort with a baby doll. Storytelling was like a home education reunion, with us knowing loads of people there – and we were particularly happy to see Catgirl and Artiste, FreeSpirit and kid, and SushiMama and children. Snort practiced writing the first letter of his name a lot during the colouring portion of the hour, something he hasn’t been very into but loved this morning. After the story we played out in the sun and freezing wind with Catgirl and Artiste, before heading onto the ‘pirate ship.’ Totally awesome to navigate tight spaces and stairs with two kids pushing toy prams. I was totally that parent, but luckily I don’t think we annoyed anyone.

We then had lunch in the cafe – I left the kids at a table while ordering, as it was the last table. School holidays are so shit! The world is so crowded and unpleasant. Afterward we mated the executive decision to go on an ‘inside boat ride.’ Imagine a giant greenhouse that floats, and you’ve about got it. What was amazing was the twenty two feet wide stairs with no handrail and a straight drop to the icy water. Luckily an older couple adopted us for the trip down and back up the stairs. They were totally lovely and helpful and we had a nice chat with them.

Snort passed out on the boat, Coconut toyed with her new sunglasses, I tried to not let the burning sun melt my face off. Quite a temperature shock after the chill of outdoors! We then came home and played in the front garden – away from the water and wind, it is actually quite perfect outside. After lots of playing, Coconut managed to slice her finger open on a hunk of glass obviously left in the flowerbeds when new windows were put it, so that smashed the joy out of spring. We are inside now and the kids are chilling with a bit of telly.

Wednesday:

Early morning was Coconut singing to herself while playing with the alphabet magnets and other magnets, while Snort pottered around.

As soon as TMD left for work, the serious birthday present making began. We hauled tonnes of craft supplies into the kitchen. Snort had his very own, very definite idea of the present he wanted for Mummy – making superheroes for her. He worked for almost two hours with total intensity – I cut shapes, he coloured, drew, and directed me in future shape cutting. He used his figures as a guide for how to make them, and they do look FAB. Coconut made a sparkling butterfly, a bunch of drawings. I want to make little books about why Mummy is loveable, and we did make two covers.

The kids also spent some time wearing bowls over their heads and ridding horses made out of stethoscopes. Astronaut cowboys for the win.

Coconut then decided we NEEDED to make cookies as I said it was too early in the week to make Mummy a cake. Cue them elbow deep in flour and sugar. It’s still coating their pyjama arms – yes, it’s 10:19 and they are still in their fleece monkey pyjamas. The recipe was vegan, and I think for sugar cookies, though it didn’t specify. Odd. Still, we added chocolate chips and dipped the dough balls in sugar. Most everything we cook is totally fucked during the mixing, playing, pouring stage, and everything tends to turn out edible. I think these cookies should be harmless, if not gourmet delights. They’ve said ‘Mummy will be SO HAPPY,’ and that’s the main thing.

Well, screw Mummy, apparently. Kids most of the cookies, then played superheroes for like an hour. Both dressed a superheroes and with the little figures. Had a bit of lunch, not the homemade pizzas I’d envisioned, then repeated science experiment/homemade crazy straw that’s ten feet long thing. More playing, wild chair dancing, kids writing and taking turns taking cafe orders from each other, five minute group tidy, and are now playing with our wooden fire engine together.

Let’s not forget that I led zombie exercises. Yes, they were zombie babies and I was their zombie mama/zombie football coach. We alternated arms reaching and growling for brains, stomped our energies into the ground, shook aimlessly like a confused zombie, and did facial grimacing. Healthy living for the win?

We played plants vs zombies for a bit, and then all cuddled up in my favourite chair where I read ten thousand of those shitty little board books. You know, the tiny ones where the stories are heavily abridged and the book is so small it’s tricky to let two kids see the pictures without your normal sized fingers obscuring the entire book. Also watched a cool YouTube video on how to make ketchup. If you go to YouTube and type in, ‘how to make….’ you can find anything. We also watched some Olympics coverage – synchronised swimming, swim races, and diving – both were into it. Snort then watched a bit of male gymnastics and was glued to it.

Thursday:

Lots of two knights attacking me. Lots of marble run, including a nice discussion about how the big round bit has the marbles swirl around just like poo does before going down the toilet. Pipes are always a fascination to Snort, and Coco joined in this am with a song about wee and poo. We also did a weird spot of Snort and I being teachers, with pointers and everything, while Coconut say at the little table and wrote notes/drew pictures on what we were saying. Kids have now taken off all their clothes, bar underpants, seconds before friends are coming round. They’ve said my blue circle chair is the beach and they need their clothes off to swim. Fair enough, I guess.

Catgirl amd Artiste came round from 11:30 till 4:30ish. Playmobil, garden fun (hide and seek in the snow, freezing hands from shovelling in our ‘pond’ AKA sandpit full of water and dirt and gross stuff), Angry Birds cartoons that are newly discovered and will ruin both households’ lives, lots of talk abut hoarding and craziness with Artiste, three naked children swimming in the pool AKA blue chair, discussing screen time and home education, etc.

Friday:

Frosty, sunny walk to the pharmacy. Lots of shadow play on the way – stepping on each other, doing shapes from gymnastics, watching the effect the sun has on them. Then went to the shop the kids believe is the source of all things good and bought Spiderman crocs, boy short underpants, cards for TMD’s birthday, etc. Snort was over the moon to find chilli pepper seeds, as he wants to grow real chilli peppers like the ones from Plants vs Zombies, which we play every single day. Coconut chose tomato seeds. Had nice chats with various people while out in both places, and a lady on the shop commented on how confident the kids were!

Came back and I blew up six thousand balloons, to the peril of my lips and lungs. They are scattered ‘artfully’ throughout lounge. Kids then played for about an hour on their own…I wasn’t watching them, not really, but I did manage to see a hell of a balloon based dance party. I was then drafted in for the weird throwing stuff for them to fetch as they pretend to be dogs game.

On Coconut’s gleeful suggestion, we decided to bake birthday cake cookies. Aka We know how to make cookies, and despite all the amazing cake memes on Facebook lately, we stick with cookies. Talked about solids and liquids, as the recipe called for melted butter. Couldn’t find the candles, so the kids shoved in Christmas cake decorations, tiny football players, a bottle cap, and other assorted crazy shit. They’re sort of adorable. I’ll post a picture soon.

We then had a joint dance party with naked-but-for-underpants-and-old-lady-dress-up-hats. Some
seriously rocking moves. Then Snort found baked beans in the fridge and requested them. So we had a weirdo snack time – bowls of baked beans, and then the kids made cheese tacos and consumed their body weight. Used the opportunity to talk about wholes and halves again, and introduced quarters.

I need to remember how much I appreciate these 2.5 hours.

April 5, 2013

I dreaded it, this day called today. Coats and sweaters and shoes and hats and backpacks and a walk through the cold to the doctor. Loading kids in and out of cars as we shopped for compost and short style underpants.

But all the things I would have missed!

Standing on the path outside the doctor’s, making our shadows do various body shapes from gymnastics. Watching them form and dissolve with the shifting clouds.

Snort’s exhuberation at finding chilli pepper seeds at the shop, so we can grow plants like the ones in Plants Vs Zombies. The stupidly fun trying on of Spiderman crocs, as the kids chat with with a random lady and we sit on the floor in the middle of the aisle. Buying an insane amount of balloons for TMD’s birthday.

A morning out of the house, only errands and standing in lines and putting coats off and on. But also so much more.

Today. Our reality.

April 3, 2013

Some people are making perfect crafts out of all organic materials. We are pretending to be zombies as I lead my zombie babies in exercises – reaching for brains, arms falling off, facial grimacing.

Some people have four year olds giving piano recitals. My kids are naked except for a Spiderman mask and a superhero cape, standing on their kitchen chairs, dancing wildly to whatever song they hear.

Some people serve huge, homemade meals with fruit and veg of all colours of the rainbow. We are covered in flour and salt and making cookies at ten in the morning, pyjamas still on.

Some people are painting delicate pictures onto perfectly smooth river rocks, keeping them in wicker baskets in their minimal toy rooms. Our lounge looks like preschool in Crazy Town, rope nets and feather crowns and six hundred toy cars waiting around every corner to make you trip.

Weekly roundup 16 March – 22 March

March 22, 2013

Saturday:

After my fall down the stairs yesterday afternoon, I was terrified my pelvis would throw in the towel. So I virtually spent all day in bed. Hoping TMD will add her thoughts in here, and from now on I will italicise whatever she writes so you can tell us apart. I think they just did loads of playing all day, and a bike ride may have happened. I know post dinner they played in the (endlessly rainy) garden, though.

The only noteable thing I was present for was Snort’s discovery of some small change on my nightstand. He took it, asked for a pot, and says he wants to save up for the Spiderman house we saw last week. TMD and I aren’t sure about the whole pocket money thing yet, but I guess this bear watching as he is deadly serious about trying to raise money.

Ah, the other lovely thing was in the morning – the kids were sitting on the stairs (I used to love playing on my stairs when I was little, too!) and said they were a plane. They decided to fly to Grandma and Papa’s house, then to see Blondie in Big City. This was a vivid and detailed game – looking out the plane windows to see our house as they flew over, etc. Super cute, and the sheer number of games focused on seeing Grandma and Papa makes me feel sad we aren’t physically closer to them.

Saturday:
Kids watched Mr Ben and Spiderman
Dressing up: coco as spiderman, snort as knight – play leading to wrestling!
Coco writing, snort playing with superheroes
Decorating birthday card for Gnome
Plane trip playing on stairs
Visit to Gnome
Ate lunch then watched some shows
All out in garden stomping in mud and general fun but cold stuff
Did stickers and scrapbooks for ages. Snort really got into his knight sticker pictures
More dressing up while watching Mr Ben (well obviously!)
Playing being at gymnastics (all couch cushions on floors and lots of scary jumping)
Superheroes
Playmobil
Sword fighting with wooden spoons (it’s been a knight themed day apparently!)
“Helping” me wash up after dinner
Bath and bed
Playing the bedtime game we’ve played all week: they pretend to sleep and I have to be Santa and bring them gifts
Books
Snort would not sleep so ended up back downstairs with mega blocks and superheroes

No bike ride on Saturday, that was Sunday and I think we went in the garden earlier. But I might be wrong.

Sunday:

A morning of free play for children and various getting stuff done for adults. I managed to bbbbbbbbbbbb trttttttttt b bbhhhhhhhhbbbbbbvzzuuiopitt Sara’s,&@@&@@@@@@@@@@&&&&&&& mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmm mmm nmnnnnnnmnn (

(okay that was snort helping me while we discussed letters!)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm,,,,,,,,,,,,,. ..,,……………l.ll’

( he wants to send this to Mummy’s friends)

Anyway, I managed to finally burn some CDs, upload pics to Facebook, etc. We then went to a friend’s house – one of TMD’s oldest friends, who has previously been mentioned on this blog as Gnome. The kids adore her, particularly her magical skills in pulling stickers out of ears.

In the afternoon I was treated to some alone time while TMD took the kids for a bike ride and trip to the playground. Coco apparently crashed into a bush, and managed to slice her neck open on the aforementioned bush. The story has been told to everyone (we were bike riding in the park, I crashed into a bush and cut my neck, mummy had to get me bunny ) we meet, and it never varies. It reminds me of her broken arm story (I was at gymnastics with nana and fell off the rope, I had to go to hospital with nana and mummy and get an elmo arm plaster).

I was also treated to a new game of Snort’s invention. Both kids, naked of course, pretended to be dogs. I had to throw their toys for them to fetch. They were panting and barking and I had to keep petting them and calling them dogs. We played this for FORTY MINUTES. Children amaze me.

Also had a lovely little discussion about electricity in the evening, again Snort’s idea. We were looking out at the streetlights when he earnestly told me it was electricity making them work. We talked some more about things that electricity powers.

Monday:

Lots and lots of morning free play, with a bit of Yo Gabba Gabba background noise for some of it. Coco then went to Nana’s, and Snort and I trundled off to gym. He had some individual instruction on the trampoline and the balance beam, where I learned a better way to help children along it (I was a hand holder, but actually standing behind with my arms under armpits or near armpits when more confident encourages better balance). Snort had the best time. Afterward he ran up to the coach to say bye and kept saying, ‘I had a fun day! Thank you for my fun day!’ He’s very open with his affection, and I think she was taken aback because Coco is pretty much the opposite.

We then came home, and Racer, one of his football friends, came over. Snort was overjoyed, because he always wants ‘JUST Racer. Not curly or Crabby or…..etc. JUST RACER.’ As it turned out, only Racer was available. Coco was happy to come home and play as well – lots of superheroes, musical instruments, time upstairs in their room doing god knows what, etc. Of course, Racer’s mum failed to put the kids seat back on the toilet when she was finished, which led to ear piecing screaming as Coco fell in the toilet! She was totally trapped in it, butt in water (she was naked with a tree fu Tom leaf on top, very Garden of Eden) and so terrified and my first thought was, ‘Shit! I wish I was holding the camera!’

She also made a gorgeous card at Nana’s. Racer’s mum was all, ‘What a nice Easter card!’ Coco scrunched her face into one of her many gurning positions and said, ‘It’s not an Easter card! It’s a baby chicken hatching out of its egg card!’ Oh, she is too cute.

After they left, more random free play. Largely naked, wearing pastel coloured old lady hats and calling themselves cowboys. Did some Bendaroos stuff, some tv, and just more play. After bath, Snort came in to show me a cloud he made out of a wedge of toilet paper he got wet. He carried it around all night, and when it tore into two pieces he said they were Tom & Jerry and played with those for a good long while. Love it!

Tuesday:

I think we should stay in today, as Snort has had a cold and was up coughing much of the night. Coco also had a weird spell that almost required an exorcism yesterday, so she may find a more restful day good, too. We will see. We have a busy rest of the week, so some time in might be nice! Snort slept in while Coco hung out with Grampy. When everyone was up they wanted to do more Bendaroos, and while I was hunting for an aluminium foil substitute (we are out!), they set up a scene with old winter cake toppers. We moved it into a shallow box and added gold glitter, fake snow, and red food colouring. It’s like a tiny massacre has happened. Or maybe just Christmas festivities in Blood Town. Either way, I hear them from here and they are totally engrossed – their small people are making snowmen, snow angels, etc. Also some serious talk about a snow factory.

The kids then watched a show their Grampy made while recording at the zoo, and of course Grampy watched as well. Twice through, while we talked about the different animals and dinosaurs. Then played the ‘ball game’ they play every week – kids at top of stairs, Grampy at bottom, they throw balls at each other. Kids now happily playing with superheroes, sandwiched between the play garage and batcave.

Loads more playing with Grampy, largely consisting of torturing his limbs into various contortions and driving toy cars on him. He then took us out for lunch (where Snort had a bad allergic reaction…note to Grampy, don’t touch an egg allergy kid with your mayonnaise fingers!), and we had a quick trip to the library. While there, the kids played on the computers for the first time. Home we came, where we greeted the postman and got a package from Aussie! Then a bit of time in the back garden before coming in to warm up, eat, etc. Started The Mouse and the Motorcycle, our very first proper chapter book!

Coco made me pretend to be a sick baby, and sang a song to me that essentially channelled my thoughts from their babyhood.

Go to sleep
Go to sleep
Please go to sleep.
I love you but please go to sleep.
Sleep and think about my song.

Lots and lots more playing, some tv, more playing, etc. After bath time, Coco said to me, ‘I washed everything all by myself. With no help. Smell me and you will smell how clean I am.’ I love kids.

Wednesday:

Some time for free play and tv this morning, but had to leave pretty early to get into town. Had a bus ride and wander along the water before meeting Lauren (does she need a blog name if she uses her real name in her blog?) and her daughter Jazz at our usual museum haunt. Looked around the museum a bit, had lunch at the cafe. Then had an epic walk back to the church for concert. We are talking chasing seagulls, examining fountains, playing under sandwich boards, etc. Fun!

Went to a guitar and flute concert – kids were very interested in the flute and the names of the performers. All three did some fairly groovy dancing, and I adored Coconut’s ‘slow music dance.’ Kids were a bit unruly/exploratory for my comfort (still don’t know if that if a good or bad thing, and maybe I need to chill out!), so we went out into the church garden and the kids enjoyed running around, cuddling each other, big sticks, and mud. A cool side benefit was bumping into – is friend the right word? It feels like it – a nice guy from our church. Ah, perhaps a post on atheism and our cool new church to follow. This guy is just very sweet and I like him a lot.

Came home and I blogged while the kids watched Sarah & Duck, a new favourite. Played a bit of the Cars app with the new car from Aussie. Kids then played superheroes for ages – Snort dressed as Spiderman, Coco playing with the little figures.

Thursday:

Art & bagels morning. So lovely I want to do it all the time. We all ate our body weight (and then some!) in bagels….and 57 plums for Snort. We then got out paper to practice writing/tracing, which morphed into colouring, stickers, etc. Both kids did quite a few pictures, and there was just a glorious pile of stickers and markers all over the place! Coconut is getting really good at writing her name. She’s not tried without tracing, but I reckon she could probably do it.

Kids now playing a game where it appears Snort is a baby horsie and Coconut is his trainer? And the next couple of hours are glorious. The kids made a ‘cosy house’ in the front entryway, built an entire pretend city a bit further into the lounge. Loads of cooperative imaginary play. Lots of designing little spaces tailor made to their ideas. Filling my big blue circle chair with stuffed sea creatures and fishing with string. And in the final minutes before friends arrive, both are playing with superheroes.

Catgirl and her mum, Artiste, arrived first. We had a grand time playing with various toys, having lunch, making hot chocolate with the ‘help’ of a four year old and two three year olds, etc. The other mum and two kids arrived a couple of hours later. Coco and Catgirl played in the garden a bit, in the dismal and dreary rain, and the rest of us just sort of did our thing. Some of our thing was Snort being a zombie and telling me which plants to be to defeat him. Some of it was Coconut and Snort dragging a blanket downstairs so they could hide under it and pretend to be in my tummy. The other family left first (you guys, that mum took another toy of ours and i had to call her out and it was MORTIFYING even though it was a genuine accident this time) and Artiste and Catgirl weren’t too far behind.

We then head over to spend the late afternoon at MIL’s. The kids are sleeping over for the first time, and they helped set up the baby monitor, unpack the bag, and check out their new Spiderman blow up beds. Then TMD and I went to dinner; we were in separate cars and I have to say, I have missed the awesomeness of driving alone in the dark playing music very loudly. Sheryl Crow, a CD my friend Brian gave me years ago. It. Was. Awesome.

Now at home and half waiting for a call saying we need to go pick up Snort. I’m a bit nervous, but here’s hoping the night goes well for all.

Friday:

No call last night, but a rather panicked call this morning asking us what Snort meant when he asked for a stripey cucumber. That sorted, I luxuriated on the couch with a thick blanket and early morning tv. Fucking luxury.

Then went to pick up Coco for gym – she asked if she could live at Nana’s (after I jokingly asked her if she’d want to). Snort gave me some huge hugs, but otherwise wasn’t bothered. I’m glad we waited for this first sleepover – and that the kids are so securely attached. No tears, no problems. Coco was grumpy though, as she explained she didn’t get enough sleep. As I understand it, they didn’t sleep till 8:20 which is well past when Coco usually sleeps.

At gym, Coco had individual instruction on the beam and trampoline. Her coach took Bunny and put her at the end of the floor beam. Coco started at the far end and had to come get Bunny. Then her coach did it on the full height beam (but it is textured and still has mats piled up to beam level for the middle bit) and Coco did it totally on her own, even the beginning bit where it is a straight drop to the floor. When she got to the far end – and me – she asked for hand holding. Still, pretty good, though.

Her coach also got her to let go of Bunny on the trampoline. Normally she suggests holding Bunny while Coco jumps and scares Coco off. Today she handed over Bunny and took instructions. But god bless her, she can’t make her arms go in big circles. She sort of does mini circles by rotating her elbows, so it’s like she’s doing a double Arsenial Hall whoop whoop thing with her arms. Every week I think, Oh, I’ll help her with that at home, but then I forget until the next gym session. Bless us both. It’s a similar situation with clapping under your leg as you kick. I need to take videos of these things, because before I know it, her tiny girl gymnastics cuteness will give way to more precision. And I don’t want to forget how earnest she is about trying the clapping, even holding up her trousers so she can slap her hands on bare flesh to get the same clapping noise. She’s just so short!

Our post gym picnic park play date with Catgirl and Chuckles was called off due to the hardcore rain, so we came straight home.

In the car we listened to the They Might Be Giants CD ‘Here Comes Science,’ inspired by our HUGE LOVE AFFAIR with the very funny ‘Snacktime’ album by Barenaked Ladies. I’m going to post separately about these CDs and others, as we would like to do a swap and get ahold of Beth Neilson Chapman’s ‘Mighty Big Sky.’ So stay tuned! Coco chose to listen to the science music, and requested the blood song several times. It’s no surprise she picked the medical track from an album of electric cars, elements, and palientology, as she adores diagnosing and treating anyone who walks through the door!

This afternoon has featured a group plants vs zombies session, playmobil, another chapter of The Mouse and the Motorcycle, picture book reading, and individual time doing a fun literacy app called Endless Alphabet, I think. It’s free and both kids like it a lot. Then some Tom & Jerry, more playing together and on their own, etc. A friend sent Snort a particular little toy he wanted (CHEWOO, apparently a little squirrel guy it is impossible to live without) and he’s played with Chewoo and company a lot. He has been carrying a bucket of superheroes around and a basket of Chewoo and friends.

addendum:

Snort just becomes more and more a storyteller every day. He recounts long conversations we have had, creates huge stories out of thin air as we are walking along, verbalises very complex and ongoing stories with his toys, etc. It is a joy, but when he talks fast it can be hard to actually pick it all up! Can’t wait till he’s a bit more clear, because I am prepared to be blown away by his imagination.

Coconut’s vocabulary seems to have had a big leap. She’s randomly throwing out words like ‘realise’ and…well…other words I don’t think I’ve heard her say. And talking about shit like icebergs. Where the hell did she learn about icebergs?!

Dodgy week’s sleep for both of them, particularly Snort. Very dodgy.