This week I have not written anything on the blog at all. That is quite unusual, and it was not for lack of things to write about. The lack of blogging has been caused by a busy weekend, a week of sleep deprivation, two sick children and technical problems (solved by the lovely Jo from Mum Friendly, The Adequate Parent and other places too numerous for me to remember.) Now that I am back, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the posts I would like to write, so I think I am just going to have to combine them or they are not going to get written.
Last Friday, Suburban Dad had the day off to help with preparations for the party we had planned for Saturday. He spent a lot of the day in the garden tidying up, cutting the grass and taming the weeds and overgrown borders. I spent most of the time inside cleaning, doing laundry and making cakes, but late in the afternoon I joined him outside and had some fun with the children. They had been making a woodlouse house, which by this time had quite a lot of residents for me to admire, and then the big three and I had a lot of messy fun repotting the seedlings grown from the seeds they had planted at Morden Hall Park on the last Bank Holiday Monday.
On Saturday, we had a joint party for Tiddler and Owl. It was roughly between their birthdays which are in April and June, and they both thought it was a great idea to have a sharing party, as Monkey and Rabbit had done in February. We hired a bouncy castle, provided large quantities of food and let them get on with it. I think there were 27 children altogether, and it was very lively but quite successful. We attempted to do a Science experiment in the Tuff Spot, which turned out to be a rather unimpressive volcano – well I think the little ones quite liked it but it didn’t impress any 8 and 9 year olds.
In the afternoon, after most of the children had left, we had a lovely and more peaceful time with our friends from 3 Kids and a Gluestick, daddy’s cousin and two of his children, and Granny and Grandpa. The highlight of the afternoon was making giant bubbles with Dr Zigs bubble mixture and wands. Rabbit was particularly good at this, and very patient. We finished the afternoon with a barbecue, and luckily the weather was perfect all day.
On Sunday, the children and I had a quiet morning at home to recover from the excitement, while daddy went to church. In the afternoon, a friend of mine came to visit. As she arrived, Rabbit, Tiddler and I had just decided to do some painting in the garden. We started with the easel and then moved on to the Tuff Spot. We squirted several different colours of paint in, added some cardboard tubes, plastic balls and toy cars and experimented with different ways of making marks and patterns in the paint.
The children also enjoyed showing my friend the giant bubbles, and then with her help they made vegetarian kebabs for another barbecue lunch. In the afternoon, we went for a lovely walk in Banstead Woods. The bluebells were still out and it was beautiful. We didn’t get very far because the children discovered a tree in which someone had built a platform of planks, and underneath a den, so of course we had to spend the rest of the afternoon on tree climbing and attempts to extend the den.
On Monday, after another quiet morning of work and play at home, we went to Morden Hall Park for the afternoon with our friends from 3 kids and a gluestick. After an expensive visit there for the May Fayre, it was nice to visit when it was free. The afternoon got off to an eventful start when Tiddler fell in the stream, but one we had got him out and moved away from the water we had a lovely time. We ticked off a few more of the things on our National Trust 50 things list – making daisy chains, making a grass trumpet (not very successful but we had a good try), playing pooh sticks and holding scary beasts (worms and woodlice!) We also discovered a hollow tree which the children had fun climbing in and out of, and we want to go back to take some bark rubbings. We finished the afternoon with a play in the natural playground, which the children really enjoyed. I am sure we are going back soon so we will review it properly then.
On Tuesday, the big boys went for a Maths lesson (and Lego play session) with my friend, while I took the little ones to Toddler Group. I really enjoyed it and had another go at crochet, which a group of us had started to learn at Toddlers last week. In the afternoon, another friend and her daughter called round and ended up staying for an hour or so. The children had fun playing schools (!) which led to making clocks out of paper plates, and playing with letter and word tiles and magnetic letters. After that, the big three went to Dramabuds. It was a good day, but in the evening Tiddler was sick, and he spent the night in our bed. He was sick several more times and none of us got much sleep. Sadly on Wednesday we had to miss Tiddler’s swimming lesson and another outing to Morden Hall Park with our Home Education Group. I can’t remember what we did at home (I am quite tired!) but I’m sure when I look at my photos I will be reminded. In the evening, Rabbit went to Rainbows and Monkey went to Beavers. Thursday was another day at home, in which the children did lots of Maths, English and Science, and worked on their Prehistory projects. Owl went to Cubs in the evening.
We had lots of lovely plans for today (Musicbox, meeting with friends afterwards and then a visit to a PYO farm) but sadly they too had to be cancelled when Rabbit was sick this morning after breakfast. The children spent the morning playing with playdough while I caught up on some housework. Owl also wrote an issue of his local newspaper, in which the top story was a shark being found in the Ponds! In the afternoon, the children played, watched television, did some of their Prehistory project, tidied their bedrooms and did some music practice. It was sad to cancel so many fun activities, but quite good to get some down time at home.