‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 – #3

‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 – #3

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Driving home from school last Thursday, our eldest Isis Mae, decided to tell me that she needed various things for her school trip the day after.  Hmm…. this was interesting as we were nearly home, we had no spare money, there wouldn’t be a great deal of shops open once James was back from work, and she had to be at school early the next day. Panic struck.  Nanny to the rescue, James’ mum said they would pay for the parts that Isis needed so once James was home from work, I took Miss Isis off to Sports Direct to buy her the things she needed.

This is so rare, being able to go shopping with Isis on my own.  It just doesn’t happen.  So we decided to not rush and take our time weighing up the best options, price wise and fashionably.  She was so excited for her trip but was going to be outdoors for the majority of it and the weather was freezing.  We worked out what she needed, she had no trainers, well, she has some twinkle toes but they will not cut it for rock climbing, and also, they’re brand new, if she still fit in her old ones, maybe she could’ve worn those but… yep, trainers were a necessity.  She has some school pumps but informed me that one of those was missing.  Why do they always lose one?  As it was so cold, she needed base layers…. to be honest I was quite frustrated that school would plan such a heavy outdoor themed trip at this time of year… she also needed some waterproofs.  She had a new tracksuit for Christmas (pictured above) from my Auntie so she had decided she would like to wear that.  I told her that so long as she kept her waterproofs on outside she could wear it, as her brand new tracksuit was supposed to be for to and from dance on a Saturday.

We enjoyed looking around together, because of the practical need that was involved Isis didn’t really get too much choice other than my asking when I picked up said base layers, ‘are these okay?, do you like these?’ etc.  when it came to the trainers again, we were focussing on flexibility, grip as they would be used for rock climbing, and walking in frosty conditions.  I found a pair that would be suitable but they weren’t the most attractive.  Isis found a pair that she loved, they were a pink version of some teal ones that I own.  She tried them on and was really excited to buy them.  So they were a definite.

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I found a great half-price outdoor coat that was waterproof, a brilliant walkers jacket.  Isis requested the purple version, there were pink, black and purple.  She loves purple, so purple it was.  I could see she was getting the shopping bug and looking eagerly around at tracksuits too.  I reminded her that she had a tracksuit she could wear already at home.  We then went to the supermarket to buy some lucozade etc. to go in her pack lunch the next day so she would have plenty of energy.  She loves to push the trolley until it gets a bit heavy and therefore difficult to steer, that’s when I take over.  She helped me pack the shopping, it’s so sweet, she always wants to do that now.  Even Shayla has started joining in recently.  It’s cute but difficult in the small space, you know the expression…. too many chefs spoiled the broth.

When we returned home she put on a fashion show for Daddy to show him what we had bought:

First were the base layers, that definitely showed off her slight frame

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Then she put her tracksuit over the top which is the top picture in this post, then she tried on her waterproof trousers and jacket

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She was so excited to go the next day, off she went to bed absolutely beaming.  I was so grateful that Nanny had been able to help us financially.  We would’ve gladly paid if we’d had it as she was just so excited.  It was definitely worth the cost (I know that’s easy for me to say when it wasn’t us paying, but you know what I mean).

When she awoke the next day, I told her to also wear a long sleeved t-shirt above her base layer and below her tracksuit.  She chose this t-shirt that we purchased in our Boxing Day haul 2013, probably the last time we went shopping together, just the two of us.

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She definitely is a Daddy’s girl, so like him in character, mannerisms and just loves being with him.  I love spending time with her as she reminds me of him so much.  Our little comedian.  Isis wrote a blog post about her trip to Hothersall Lodge, so proud of how she loves to be part of the blog.  You can read about her trip if you click here.  Hothersall Lodge asked to include it on their Facebook page and website.  Very proud.
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‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 – #2

‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 – #2

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awaiting instruction

Sunday morning my little monkey prince had a free taster trial at ‘Rugby Tots‘.  They’re just about to start in our area and we had signed up to hear about the classes as soon as they were available.  James wasn’t feeling too well, so I took our little man.  I think I probably would’ve taken him anyway but I know on some of the weeks Daddy will be going with him.  Judah is in the age 2.5 – 3.5 class.  He was a bit whingy before we were leaving home as he had not long woken up, and evil Mummy wouldn’t let him have a 3rd banana after he’d eaten his breakfast.  I explained that we were going to do something nice and he put his coat on and eagerly came with me.

I had no idea how it would go, his first baby ballet class, he had pretty much hidden in my arms and was unsure about what was going on.  When we arrived, he just ran straight and started giggling happily running around with one of the foam rugby balls.  I had to get him back to take his hat and coat off and sign him in.  With it being the first week, and I guess for the first few he had a name sticker so the coach could decipher which running toddler was which.

In this age group they expect the parents to join in, so each toddler had a parent on the court with them.  I hadn’t realised it would be an activity that we could actually do together.  I was in a dress ready for church afterwards so wasn’t sure how it would go down haha, but was infact really good.  It was nice to have a bonding time with my son, over something that he was so enthusiastically excited over.

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the assault course they ran around

Now this isn’t a review for Rugby Tots although I may write one at one point, I would highly recommend it.  There aren’t too many structured physical activities that I’ve seen for little boys of this age.  The main reason we took him to baby ballet was so he could learn musicality, rhythm, discipline, his left from his right, and timing.  This is so similar, with them having to know the colours, how many hands they hold the rugby ball with (always ‘two’ they had to shout), doing warm ups that including the counting to ten, knowing right and left, body parts etc.  Perfectly designed for this age group.

I was so impressed with the way all these little excited children had been running around like wild animals, but when the coach told them to go and stand on their shape, they did.

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standing on his green circle listening to coach

I had to lead him around the assault course, play catch with him, sit with him and help him do warm ups, hold his hand as he learned to balance and stand up foam cones that had been knocked over previously.  A great exercise, all these little toddlers running around and kicking down all the cones that they could.  So sweet to watch.

Silly Mummy made the mistake near the end of class when we were doing some parachute games of coming forward when coach asked and telling Judah to stay on his shape, until I knew what the toddlers were doing.  Well, that was it, no other toddler stayed on their shape, and even though it was for seconds, he believed he was being left out, so for the last 5 minutes of the class he cried.

I felt terrible and was trying to console him…. to which he replied, ‘I’m just tired and crying.’  Wow, I was gobsmacked, my little man was this self-aware at 2 and a half.  He knew he was tired and therefore more teary than usual.  So sweet.  I absolutely LOVE that he can communicate with me, I am even more in love with the fact I somehow have a very self-aware little boy.

I dressed him back in his coat and hat and gave him his drink of water (in his beloved minion cup).  He was much happier.

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tired little eyes
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happy enough to walk out without needing to be carried or crying

I wasn’t sure what to expect when we were setting off to Rugby Tots, but I was so pleasantly surprised, by how well thought out their curriculum was, by how much Judah LOVED it, and how it was a time that we could share together.  This is definitely something that we are signing up for.  It’s an awkward time on a Sunday morning, but between James and I we will be able to manage taking Judah to class and all being at church as a family on time.  So, it’s one I’m looking forward to, even if it does make Sundays a bit more of a rush.
Feel free to link up and grab our badge below for this week.  You just need to have had some one on one time with one of your littlies that stood out to you.  A precious 5 minutes in the car waiting for someone, up early having breakfast, or a wonderful day trip.  Any quality one on time you can link up below.

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NB.  This post was not a review but we would highly recommend Rugby Tots, they do free taster sessions in areas all over the country.  Check them out!

‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 – #1

‘Just the 2 of Us’ 2015 – #1

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by the light of the MAGIC mobile

It’s been a while since I posted a ‘Just the 2 of Us’ post as without anyone at home other than myself, I can’t really abandon my other children to go off for some one on one time.  I understand that it is quite an idealistic idea when we have four children, but I desperately want to be able to snatch these moments when I can.  We have an au pair coming in February for 6-9 months whilst I get on top of working from home again.  We have had so much illness and cancelling babysitters that it has been a nightmare to keep on top of teaching and I’m also going back into performing myself so will make a huge difference to have another pair of hands.  I will write a separate blog post all about Martina (our au pair) in the near future… we’re very excited about her coming.  I will be able to grab those little one on one moments easier too with Martina able to be with the other children for those short bursts.

Sunday night Eden awoke in the night, may have been my fault as I made a trip to the bathroom, but I don’t think I was any louder than usual…. there’s been a lot of nose blowing going on over the last couple of weeks… hard to tell.  Eden has always been a great sleeper (yes, sorry to be one of those Mum’s) unless she’s teething or unwell, she sleeps through brilliantly and always has (we’re blessed).  So when my little miss decided to wake and was chatting to herself I went into her room to settle her.  This is so rare… I gave her the pacifier that had dropped out of the cotbed and watched as she wrestled with getting comfortable.  She then turned on her mobile and was just drifting watching the lights change colour.  She’s always been great at self-soothing but she just wasn’t very sleepy.  As I sat in the chair next to her cotbed just watching her, she kept trying to get back up to play.

Then I broke something out that hasn’t been used for maybe 6 months, the night feed.  I’m still breastfeeding every few days so she still feeds from me comfortably.  I fed her until she was sleepy again and then placed her back into the cotbed and walked out the room.  I knew that then she would settle and she did.

Such a simple moment, but as I was sat there, I was thinking about how this was probably the last night feed, I wouldn’t have known 6 months ago that it was just going to drop.  I really treasured just sitting there with her, and I guess because we have been so lucky with her sleep patterns I didn’t mind being awake and just holding my little princess.

I was thinking about how much heavier she was, how I had to hold her with both arms instead of one to support her comfortably in a position she could dose away in.  My little baby girl is becoming a toddler.  You wouldn’t know it as she still looks so young (I was asked yesterday if she was 6 months old) but she is growing up and her personality is shining through more and more all the time.

It’s 9:30 now Monday morning and she’s still asleep, so I’ve been enjoying a lazy morning with my little man, having breakfast with him and playing games whilst we wait for princess to awake.

I look forward to continuing ‘Just the 2 of Us’ throughout 2015.  We will be posting every Tuesday so feel free to link up any one on one time you may have had with your littlies…yes 5 minutes stolen here and there count.
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Just the 2 of Us – Week Ten

Just the 2 of Us – Week Ten

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ladies choice – Isis loves Krispy Kreme

So this week life was so crazy I really struggled to find time with the children on their own.  I take Isis to her dance coaching classes but on a Tuesday I have Judah and Eden with me and on a Wednesday well, I guess there are always people around.  That is the closest I could think to just the 2 of us earlier in the week.  I have realised that now life is a bit more hectic for me and I don’t have much relief from children, it’s harder to get quality one on one time with any of them, as usually it is me with all of them.  I am getting more creative though in my planning and thinking about when I can snatch these moments and make them part of our natural routine.

Dropping the girls back to their Mums after church I realised that if I wanted that could be when I take Judah for some little one on one time, even if it’s just a walk around the park, a drink, going to do a food shop (he loves the supermarket).  If I make sure that the focus is them enjoying the time and not the other task then maybe those things could work.  Just have to be purposeful about it.

So I have Isis on her own on a Saturday morning when Shayla goes into her first class.  We had 45 minutes so I asked Isis what she would like to do, explained this was our ‘Just the 2 of Us’ time and we were going to try and chat.  She decided she’d like to go to Krispy Kreme’s.  Probably because I took Shayla-Rae last week *chuckles*.  Isis is a little chocolate fiend and had a chocolate themed donut and a chocolate milkshake.

We talked about how she is at the moment.  I explained how life was hectic for me as I run her around a lot to various clubs and dance classes, so I knew that she was very busy too.  I asked her how she was finding it?  She’s so cute, told me she is tired a lot but very happy, and enjoying all of it.  I asked her if it was worth it and she said ‘yes definitely’.  Good, I had been worried about how it would affect her.  Saying that, Isis was having some problems at school and after multiple meetings with various educational practitioners it all came to a head a few weeks ago.  She comes home most days now with some certificate or another for great behaviour.  I am so proud of her, she has a lot on her plate for one so young but she handles it all well.

She enjoyed all her food and then we had to dash to dance to get ready.  We didn’t have much time to sort her hair so we went for simple pigtails this time.  I like the more simple hairstyles when they wear them.  She looks so cute in her dance wear.  There are a lot of opportunities coming up for Isis with dance now so I know in the years to come we will have to be careful with what we say yes to and what we say no to.  Not everything that is good is beneficial for us, and also being too thinly spread is not going to help anyone, especially as educational demands ramp up as she gets older.

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All ready for tap

She makes us so proud, and has worked really hard this week.  She gets up and goes through her exam routines before going to school, and then again when she gets back from school.  Saturday morning she ran through everything before going to the dance classes.  She is becoming more confident every time and I know by the time half-term and the exam comes round she’s going to be amazing.

We chatted about a girl in her class that she hasn’t been getting on with very well.  This little girl came to my after school singing club on Thursday and has a beautiful little voice.  I informed Isis that the little girl has asked to join the singing club after attending this week.  I let her know that her and this little girl will probably have a lot of duets together so it would be best to put their differences aside as they will work very well together.  She said ‘ok, I’ll make friends with her.’  So, I’m interested to see what the outcome of that will be.  This little girl is not a bully at all, she has just moved from another school and she’s quite confident, and talented, so I’m guessing that there may have been a bit of jealousy involved (which may not have come from Isis, she has a strong group of friends).  I hope that if they start to see each other as team mates they can get past that, also as Isis realises that as much as I have got her back and will always support her, my job is to be fair and allow everyone to shine, not to overlook little lives that need to blossom just because they don’t get on well with her.  We’ll see how it goes.

I can’t wait until life calms down a little bit, I would like to take the girls to do more interesting things together.  We’ve decided to make Saturday family days once Isis has gotten these exams out of the way.  If you are an avid reader of our blog you will see that I strive for routine.  I thrive on routine, but I am definitely in a season of life where it just isn’t going to happen.  Things alter weekly depending on the needs of the children.  I foresee this being a long-term thing as there are four of them with their own individual needs which will adapt and shift as they grow up and move through their own little phases.

I am learning to roll with the punches.  It is massively out of my comfort zone.  I get really bad IBS as a result of constant anxiety, but I am pleased to say that instead of hiding under the bedcovers (which I strongly want to do most days) I am overcoming my anxieties.  Step by step, day by day and the children will not suffer because of things I struggle with.  I am sure that as I keep facing my anxieties and conquering them (even if they are little things) they will diminish and eventually fade away.

I enjoyed my time with the eldest this week and just wish it could be longer.  Need to find a way to work time in, but for this season this is where we are at.
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Just the 2 of Us – Week Nine

Just the 2 of Us – Week Nine

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This week we’re late posting late as we were all so unwell the past couple of weeks that stealing away any time just wasn’t possible.  We were all cooped up apart from a little walk around the Woodlands opposite our home that we chose as the set for our Siblings shoot this month.  Stolen moments with the princess is all that I have been able to manage this week.

Yesterday, Isis had an ‘eco council’ meeting with school, a child from each class was voted to represent their class and attend meetings to determine how to improve the carbon footprint from the children in the school.  Shayla and I will be using this time to hang out, the babies were asleep in the car after a busy day but I didn’t have my bank card with me so I wasn’t able to buy her a drink or anything so we just sat in the car and she read her school book to me.

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James and I had tried various different reading books, flash cards, sticker books to help Shayla to read before she went to school but she just wasn’t interested in the actual words.  She is very easily distracted and just wanted to look at pictures and enjoyed us reading to her.  She enjoyed writing and would copy letters and learn to write that way, but phonetics was just not on her radar.  I was getting to a point where I was thinking ‘should we be concerned?’ but then it was close to her starting school.  She was mostly excited about learning to read when she started school so we thought we’d see how it went.  She told us about how much she was excited to learn to read in her 5th birthday Vlog found here.

Since starting school Shayla has just taken to reading like a duck to water.  She now is reading fantastically, spelling out the phonetics and blending very easily.  It has shown me in just these few short weeks that she is a VERY quick learner and all the concerns have gone out of the window.  She adores school and is such a blessing to the teachers, often coming home telling us about various stickers, certificates and awards she’s won that day.  I am so thrilled as we were worried how she would get on as school is definitely not Isis’ favourite place.  I wrote about that on Shayla’s first day at school.  Again, Shayla has blown any concerns out of the water and is being a dream child and pupil.  She is such a delight to everyone who meets her.

I enjoy listening to Shayla read, as a teacher of children (I am a vocal coach), I am VERY familiar with working with children that want to learn and those that don’t.  Shayla definitely fits into the former category and must be amazingly easy for her teacher to work with.  After Shayla had finished her book we just chatted about various things.  I love her little random chats about the things she likes and the ideas that she has.

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the aftermath at ‘Krispy Kreme’

Shayla and I had a quick sneaky trip to Krispy Kreme whilst Isis was in her dance class this morning.  Shayla gets a 45 minute break before she goes back for her modern class so I took her for a donut and a ‘mango cooler’ drink.  She loved her drink and made it last long after dance class, sharing it with Isis and Judah when we arrived home too.  The donut definitely did not last as long, devoured in minutes and the evidence left all over her face.  We will be changing how we do the dance run soon as Isis’ timetable will dramatically change once she’s finished these upcoming exams.  Most of our day will be spent in and around the dance school so with Daddy now only really having Saturday’s with the girls we will be going as a family to town and making it a family day in and around town.  Not the cheapest way to do things but as it warms up we’ll be able to munch a picnic in the park as opposed to having to eat out.  Also, we can take sandwiches for them to munch in the changing rooms in between classes but doesn’t make it as much like ‘family time’ that way.  We’ll have to see how it goes.
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Just the 2 of Us – Week Eight

Just the 2 of Us – Week Eight

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poorly Judah

The other night Judah awoke us in a terrible state.  It was the night of Shayla’s birthday party and we’d been asleep for about 2 and a half hours when a little boy snuck into our room in tears.  James went to cuddle him and realised he was covered in something…. James hoped it was tears, unfortunately he was wrong.  Judah was absolutely covered all over him face, the back of his head, all over his body, in a concoction of phlegmy vomit and a runny bum.  It was disgusting, I wished I was a better Mum as James turned the light on and Judah reached out to me for a cuddle *yak* I just couldn’t hold him without contributing some vomit myself *ew*.  James picked him up delicately by his sides and took him to the shower.

James deals with these bodily functions a lot better than I do.  I seem to have a weak stomach for these situations, it seems to have gotten weaker as well since having hyperemesis through both pregnancies.  I deal with all the blood, needles, injections etc.  James doesn’t deal well with that, as all the waiting room heard when we last took Eden to the paediatric unit for some blood tests.  I used to be a dental nurse so I cope better in those situations than he does.

Once Judah was clean, he spent some time hugging the toilet and being sick some more, which was horrible to see, not because of the sick, but because this was the first time we’d ever seen his frail little body in this state and dealing with it himself.  Both James and I nearly cried.  I then took Judah downstairs as he was wide awake but also needed to keep being sick and also going on the potty frequently.  He needed observing and assisting in his little time of need so I stayed up with him.  So from 1:30am (he’d woken us about 12:45am) until 7:30am we were downstairs together.

Obviously, for this post I would normally take lots of photos of my quality time with my little people but this wasn’t really appropriate.  However, as exhausted as I was, I really enjoyed just being able to be with my monkey prince, meeting his needs as best I could.

We watched ‘Dungeons & Dragons’, his current infatuation, for about 2 hours, then he decided he wanted to watch ‘Cats’ which is not the Broadway musical, but in fact ‘Puss in Boots’ this we watched twice through.  I kept him hydrated, stroked his little head and cleaned his little face (and bum) after each little incident.  He kept asking for food, but I wasn’t sure at that stage what we were dealing with so I explained to him that he couldn’t have food as he had a ‘poorly tummy’.  He understood, poor little man.  I gave him some flat lemonade leftover from the party (as advised by a dentist that I used to work for, she always said it was the only acceptable time to drink fizzy pop as it settles tummies and provides some energy) and sang many songs to him.

After a few hours he stopped being sick, and we were able to just snuggle up properly without needing to break for him to bury his head over a bowl.  I just held him and sang his requests which include ‘Jesus loves me’ (think Whitney on The Bodyguard), ‘Peppa Pig theme tune’, numerous songs this sing in Kids Church and ‘twinkle, twinkle’.  Around 5:30 he finally fell asleep which is when I snapped the above photo.  I was too tired to carry him up to bed, so I laid him on the big sofa (on top of a towel I didn’t mind getting ruined of course) and covered him over with some blankets.  I tried to get comfortable on the 2 seater, not as easy but then after watching Judah for a short while managed to catch a small nap.  Drifting in and out of consciousness until at 7:30 I noticed his little body had moved from his sofa and he had gone back upstairs.

I wondered if he’d gone up to wake the girls and start playing, or if he’d heard them awake and gone to join them, but I found him asleep in bed next to Daddy.  I crawled in too and decided I would rest, 2 and a half hours sleep after a late night before party prepping (I’d been up till 3 baking cakes) was just not enough, and unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to go to church that day.  This always makes me sad, but I needed to make sure that I could function and be useful for my family the rest of the week and without much opportunity for rest, in the ensuing days I opted for sleep.

As upsetting and tiring as this whole time was, it was lovely to find some stillness and opportunity to just be with my baby boy for such a long time.  This is an opportunity we don’t get often, although, I can’t say it’s one I will be willing to reoccur anytime soon *winks*.
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Just the 2 of Us – Week Seven

Just the 2 of Us – Week Seven

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awful capture on James’ iPhone 4 whilst zooming in

Last week, Judah and Eden started swimming lessons.  This will be a regular Tuesday occurrence  Judah goes in first for an hour and Eden follows on the hour after.  This is a task I cannot accomplish on my own as someone needs to watch the other child whilst I am in the pool, I have really appreciated James being at home (still waiting for his DBS to come through for him to start work) so that we can start these routines.  Part of me is dreading him starting work as life will then be very different, but my Mum and my sister have already volunteered to help assist in Tuesday’s madness of my going to work in the morning and then the swimming lessons that follow.

Anyway, back to the swimming… it is so lovely to be able to have the quality one on one time with each of them in the pool.  Learning to swim is something that requires trust and security in the person who is holding you in the water, and although at only 10 months Eden of course has grasped this quicker, Judah (who likes to be in control) is learning to trust me.

I remember this fondly with Shayla when she was younger, she would be so secure in my arms, she caught on to swimming so quickly because she knew that I was there when she needed me.  Judah (who doesn’t even like to go on the swing as he wants to be the one to control how he moves) is slowly getting to the place of trust.  When he was younger he had no problems with anything, he trusted us implicitly.  He is now at the age of questioning everything and I was very impressed when he allowed myself and the swimming instructor at alternate times to assist him jumping into the pool.

Eden literally took to swimming like a duck to water, the instructor couldn’t believe that she’d not even been swimming before (well aside from 10 minutes in a hotel pool that was too cold back in March).  She kept referring to her as a water baby.  Also, with Eden though it is misleading as she only looks about 3 months old in size but is exactly where she should be, if not slightly ahead, as a 10 month old.  They’ve both been twice now and loved it.  Judah always seems a bit nervous at first and isn’t quite trying to maneuver himself in the water but NEVER wants to get out, and Eden just loves the lesson, and is ready to get out after an hour as she starts to get chilly then.

I am so proud of them and am really loving this quality time, I almost don’t want Judah to get independent enough to do a Stage 1 class without me, but obviously, even if I wanted to he would never be held back by me *smiles*.  For now though, this is our time.  Just Judah and I, followed by just Eden and I.  Judah also gets to go on the park for some quality time with Daddy once his lesson is finished and has been enjoying that.

Below are some snaps that Daddy captured for me of their time together munching ice-creams.

photo 1 (4) photo 4 (2)
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Just the 2 of Us – Week Six

Just the 2 of Us – Week Six

balletboys, dontcallmestepmummy

Yesterday was a day of firsts in more ways than one.  The beautiful little miss Shayla-Rae started school for the first time, you can read about it here, and Judah went to his first baby ballet class.

I have replayed the scenario of Judah going to baby ballet over and over and over in my head.  Comments such as ‘boys don’t do ballet’ and more offensive, homophobic comments too made me really think about our decision.  I hate the way society sometimes tells our effeminate teens that they must be ‘gay’ because they like being creative.  OK, this sometimes is the life of our more creative males, but it doesn’t mean that if you’re creative you have to be gay.  I tried to reason out in my head the potential connotations for Judah if he ends up continuing to enjoy ballet and pursue it as he ages.  James and I discussed it and decided we don’t appreciate the potential of people thinking they can speak into and over our child’s life because of a choice we made when he was 2 years old, but we also decided that we’re not going to live in fear of it.

Baby Ballet is designed for pre-schoolers to learn musicality, rhythm, mathematics, the difference between their left and right, balance, discipline and just for them to have a bit of fun whilst learning all of the above.  We decided that as Judah loves dancing and is always jumping around he would start baby ballet, with a view to attending the street dance class as soon as he is old enough.  The only class that is offered at the dance school at this age is baby ballet, and like many footballers who’ve had to learn the skills to improve co-ordination and balance we figured we would go for it and help break the stereotypes.  If more people put their boys in for these classes we would see a change long term in the way people view it.

Anyway, this is about mine and Judah’s day.  James wisely suggested that he have his lunch slightly earlier and a nap so that I didn’t have a tired screaming child when I tried to drop him off, and also Judah would have more of a chance of enjoying it.  When I went into his room to wake him from his nap he was so excited.  I told him that he was going dancing and it was time to get his uniform on.  They can wear whatever they want that is comfortable for the classes but I figured if he ends up doing an exam it’s worth having the uniform.  He has a white leotard and navy shorts.  It looks like a school PE kit apart from the top is obviously more form fitting than a boy would normally wear.  A little different than how we’re used to viewing him but he looked cute.

He had his ‘minion bag’ as he calls it from Despicable Me with his water bottle, and his clothes for when he’d finished stored in it.  The bag is HUGE on his back, it looked so cute, I’ll have to grab a snap of him with it next week as I didn’t manage this time.  James wasn’t feeling the best, recovering from being unwell at the weekend he decided to stay home with Eden (even though he’d really wanted to see him on his first day), he didn’t miss much.

When we had finished parking it was really lovely to walk through the shopping centre just holding his hand.  He hasn’t been in the shopping centre without being in the pram before.  He held my hand and walked through.  My absolute favourite thing about yesterday was the sheer squeal of delight when we took the escalators down instead of the lift.  You would’ve thought he was on ‘The Big One’ (Blackpool Pleasure Beach) he was so excited.  I didn’t realise how to him we were really high up and he’d never been on the moving stairs before.  This is going to be my favourite part in the future weeks too I think…. so cute.

We went to get his feet measured for his black ballet shoes (the girls have pink and the boys have black), he was so excited to have something new.  It made my heart smile to see his happy face, then we went up to the dance class.  They had just started and were sat on the floor warming up.  Judah was having none of it as this was very unfamiliar set up for him.  I remembered that when Shayla went for the first time at the same age, she waltzed in and never looked back, but Shayla had been watching Isis eagerly at the door for about a year before she first attended.  She had wanted to get on the other side of that door for a long time.

Judah had always been kept away from the dance run, whether at home or sat in Costa Coffee whilst Daddy or I ran the girls up to their classes, as maneuvering a pram around there and then carrying babies up the stairs when there are 40 children (at least) and their parents switching classes in a tiny corridor is just a nightmare.  He sat at the side with me and did the little trick that he does at the playground when the girls aren’t around.  He shuffled closer to what they were doing and then would back away, he kept edging closer in throughout the lesson but then would back off and snuggle back into me.  He was dying to get involved, by the end he was smiling and conversing with the teacher who was brilliant with him.  I kept whispering in his ears that if he was brave and joined in then the nice lady would give him a sticker and I would treat him to a McDonald’s but he was still having none of it.

Once the lesson finished he had a run around the studio replicating some of the things that he had seen.  Also, whilst I chatted to the receptionist about Isis’ coaching classes he played in the changing rooms with the young lady who helped the teacher run the class.  We discussed how she would be around whilst I take Isis to coaching classes and that I would bring Judah along today and tomorrow so that he could see the building again and that next week, now that he knew the teachers were not scary, I was going to put him in the class and run away to the changing rooms to hope that he would just join in without my being there.

He starts swimming lessons today also, and I’m looking forward to just having these moments of quality time with my little boy who doesn’t get much one on one time with Mummy really.  We will see how it goes with the ballet, I’m sure he will love it but if it isn’t working for him, we certainly won’t be forcing it.  He’s the child who knows all the dances to the songs they do at kids church on Sundays so I expect it won’t take him long to get into the swing of things.

Excited for this regular one on one time with my little boy who is growing up very quickly.  He is my handsome prince and I hope to get more photos next time, difficult when he was mainly clinging to me or too close to the other little children who I didn’t have permission to photograph.
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Just the 2 of Us – Week Five

Just the 2 of Us – Week Five

dontcallmestepmummy, justthe2ofus, justus2

The above photo is eery to me as it looks exactly like my sister Lauren in profile.  It makes me keep looking at it, so much so, I’m trying to remember if she had a coat like this when she was younger because it’s playing tricks with my mind.  Anyway, enough of the freaky trip down memory lane.  Last week before we had to say goodbye to the girls I managed to sneak out with little miss Isis Mae for breakfast on the beach.  It was lovely she chose a little cafe called ‘Coast‘ that is right on the stony beach (you have to walk out quite far to find sand on the beach in Worthing).

Isis decided to start making random things out of the stones that she could find, part of me wanted to say, ‘Oi no, this is supposed to be our time.’  I promptly thought to myself, she is still only 8 years old and praising her creativity is an important part of our time together, so I sat and smiled and reveled in the stone creatures that she made.

dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, just the 2 of us, justus2
this is a person… can you see it?

We chatted about random things, and she found a stone that was great for skipping on the water (you know the ones, the flat ones).  James had been searching for some a few days before and I mentioned this was the sort of stone Daddy had been after.  She kept it in her pocket and presented him with it later, bless her heart.  Isis ordered a bacon sandwich and a children’s hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream.

dontcallmestepmummy, blended family, just the 2 of us, justus2
poor Isis captured with her mouth full, can’t take me anywhere

We chatted about some personal things, as Isis is older this tends to be the case really.  Sometimes we go deeper when we have our one to one time.  Isis asks me questions sometimes about the past and I like to be honest with her, and also as tactful as possible.  There will always be two sides to every story and I would never bad mouth her Mum to her, I just tell her what I know are the facts and even all of those she doesn’t need to know.  There may have been a lot of hurt in the past between James and her Mum, but this is all past now and everyone is happy with their respective partners and the children are blessed with two families that love them very much.  This might not be the ideal but it works for now, and we’re happy to re look at it, whatever it may take if the children are at any time starting to show signs of suffering due to our arrangements.

Isis got a call on my mobile from her Nanny, she made me laugh, looking like a little office professional, working in her lunch break at the beach.

dontcallmestepmummy, justus2, just the 2 of us

We tried to have a wander down the beach as there are some cute art shops and designs in the little beach huts opposite this cafe but none of them had really opened at this time.  We were about to go onto the beach to find some more stones, when we remembered that they were being collect in about an hour and we all still needed to do our Ice Bucket Challenge.  So we went back to film these.  Take a look if you get chance, the girls were very brave, they did have ice in their buckets as they had wanted to.

We would normally take the time to do something more together, and I am looking forward to the future cinema trips, bowling, shopping experiences etc. where I get to spend time with each of the children as individuals but on that day, in the short time that we had, I savoured our time together.
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