Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter!


We had SUCH a lovely Easter weekend. Poor Sam came down with a 24hr virus on Thursday and so on Friday, Leila and I left him to have nap with Harry while we went into Harrow to pick up some last minute Easter basket treats for Harry. We also picked up a new 'tutu skirt' for Leila to wear when we went to the ballet the next day. She has always been such good company, even when she was a little baby, I used to love going for lunch with her while she babbled and looked around. Now, I have such a nice time on my special dates with my big, chatty three year old.


On Saturday, we drove over to mums to leave Albi and Harry in her and dad's capable hands. After a quick lunch, we headed to the Peacock Theatre to see Coppelia. Leila was so excited, she was pirouetting in the cafe as we waited to take our seats. Once the dancing started, she was mesmerized. It was an English National Ballet production and the dancing was spectacular. As a 'My First Ballet' the running time was only about 1h45, including a 20m interval. Except for a few fidgets in the last ten minutes, she was an absolute dream. She sat on Sam's lap so she could see better and had such a marvellous time.



She was so proud of her tutu. After the ballet, we took her for a cake. We don't get a huge amount of time with just Leila as she is usually busy with her preschool and activities, so it was fun to have special time with our big girl. 


On Sunday, the kids came into our bed in the morning to see what the Easter Bunny had left! They got to wear some of their new clothes (and eat some chocolate for breakfast!!) so Easter is their new favourite holiday!


Gorgeous babies! I said it last time but they are getting on so well at the moment. When Harry was born, seventeen months seemed a huge age gap but now it seems like nothing at all. Hopefully they keep up this great behaviour for mum and dad next week!


On Sunday afternoon, Sam's parents came over for a late lunch and on Monday, we went back to my parents for an Easter roast. The children loved all the grandparent time and they got very spoilt! Our fridge is full of chocolate that I'm trying to resist!



Leila goes back to preschool tomorrow so the holiday is officially over...I can't believe we are only one term away from the summer holidays! Where has 2014 gone!?


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

hand-in-hand


^Just the best three people on the planet^

This weekend, we headed down to watch the London Marathon and have lunch with friends. It was so fun and it was great to cheer on the runners and wheelchair racers at the 25 mile mark. The kids loved the atmosphere with the charity mascots and cheering. We met up with our friends on the Southbank for lunch and it was warmer enough to sit outside-spring is here!  




Sometimes when I visit friends who live out of London and see all the space and beautiful scenery, I nudge Sam and direct him to beautiful houses set in acres that we could buy in the middle of nowhere. And then we hop on the tube and in 30 minutes, we're standing by Big Ben and looking over the river in the most city I know. So, we probably won't be moving...ever.


My handsome boys on the train home. By this point, Harry was two hours beyond his usual nap time but he didn't stop laughing and smiling all day. Sam has been working so hard lately, luckily its nearly time for our anniversary trip away! It is the first time I will have left the kids or been away from them for more than 24hrs but...it is also the first time I'll have been properly alone with my husband  for about four years! 


A picture of our road? Click on the picture and then zoom on those gorgeous precious babies who are walking hand-in-hand. 

Here they are when I caught up with them (don't mind Leila's crazy hair-do, she has quite unusual and forceful opinions into how the hairband is supposed to sit on her head.) They are getting on SO well at the moment, long may it last! Leila keeps looking into Harry's eyes earnestly and telling him 'we'll be best friends forever, right?' to which he nods, equally earnestly, without really understanding what she's saying at all. 


I was so worried about this Easter break. I thought she'd get bored, that they'd fight, that she'd miss her activities but we've just had the loveliest time. After they got over their bugs last week, they've been in such happy joyous moods. We've played outside in this glorious sunshine, had an al fresco pizza, lots of play dates and made some new friends. Leila has been entertaining Harry and I with her stories (dinosaurs that come in the night to bite her fingers) and Harry has been charming us with his kisses and giggles. I am actually going to miss her SO much when she returns to preschool and I know Harry will too. 







Tuesday, 8 April 2014

This and that

If you follow instagram, none of this will be very new BUT I am trying to keep the blog going (even its current sporadic and straggling mode). The other night, Sam and I sat together and went through the blog looking at how much the babies have grown up and changed. It was funny to see the house when we moved in and marvel at how insane we were to move house with no furniture, no family in the country and a 21 month old and 3 month old...but we survived! 

Leila is on Easter break at the moment which means everything is cancelled. She is desperately missing her friends and activities although Harry and I are so excited to have her around! She had her ballet end-of-term 'show' at the weekend and it went horribly wrong. She has been a little 'off' with ballet recently, she is a bit of a perfectionist and I don't think she likes finding it hard. At the show, the teacher went to grab her hand and accidentally knocked her into another girl. She was mortified, she was crying and embarrassed and barely joined in after. It absolutely broke my heart to see her so upset and embarrassed in front of everyone but I am glad she stuck the class out. She was refusing to go back to the class but I am making such a fuss of how well she is trying at ballet and we are taking her to an actual ballet performance next weekend so hopefully she will enjoy it again. I don't want her to quit just because something embarrassing happened but at the same time, she is three. You spend your whole adult life doing things you don't want, being three should be fun! 


I think we will try again next term and then, if she is still adamant that she doesn't enjoy it, look into some other options! 

Harry and Leila are such good company for each other. They are great playmates and (aside from the occasional fighting) they love being together. Harry has started to get in bed with Leila during the bedtime story, so far he hasn't stayed after lights out but I'm sure it won't be long. No matter how naughty they have been during the day, when I am reading the story and they are lying there, tucked up, smelling like freshly-bathed-babies and giggling together, the slate is wiped clean! 


 It rained all day yesterday and we were all going a little stir crazy so it felt good to get out today. Harry has a bad cough so I had to keep him bundled up as despite the sun, it was freezing! I am so looking forward to summer when we can (weather permitting) spend hours in the park. They love being outside so much, making up games and choosing sticks to bring home. Having the park close by is one of the best things about this house!





Monday, 31 March 2014

Mummies for Mother's Day


I was supposed to spend Mother's Day running with my mum but after we both came down with this awful cough and cold, we had to cancel. So instead, I suggested to Sam that we take the kids down to the British Museum. They loved visiting the Natural History last year and Sam and I also wanted an excuse to visit our favourite cheap and cheerful pizzeria that we used to be regulars at during university.


I loved the Ancient Egyptians when I was young. It first triggered my interest in archaeology (and later Classics) and I used to visit the British Museum all the time. Leila and Harry loved all the shiny, gold mummies although Leila's favourite were the mummified cats. To avoid giving her nightmares, I didn't go into too much detail about how the mummies were created-or why!-but she loved them nonetheless. Apparently she told preschool about the 'mummy cats'!


We took a quick peek at the Greek section too (mostly for me). By then, Leila was more in the mood to ballet and pirouette for watching tourists. I had so much fun with them and it reminds me how lucky we are to live so close to these fantastic museums and how WONDERFUL it is that they are free to visit. If we'd had to pay to enter, we'd have ended up forcing the kids to stay but it was so much fun to pop in, check out a few rooms and then leave as soon as they were getting tired. I think it will leave them with a much better impression of museums!



We then headed for pizza...mmn! I am so glad the babies enjoyed our favourite pizza place as much as we do. We shared three pizzas, which I told Sam was too much but ended up being just enough...I should never underestimate the babies' appetites!


Leila enjoyed her Ancient Egypt sticker book while we waited for food. When she says 'pyramid' it is the most adorable thing ever.


Since three ENORMOUS pizzas were not enough, we went for fro-yo afterwards. I love this picture so much, especially how Harry is using our brief distraction to shovel in as much chocolate chip fro-yo as possible.


They are the sweetest, most gorgeous babies and they made this a perfect Mother's Day!







Wednesday, 26 March 2014

proud mummy

Leila has always loved reading, since she was a baby she has adored being read to and as she got older, looking at picture books herself. For about six months she has been spelling out letters and recognising a few sight words 'cat' 'dog'. I've been told it isn't good for kids to read too early but (as an early and avid reader myself) whilst I wasn't going to push the issue, I certainly wasn't going to try and stop her. The other day I was doing picture flashcards with Harry and she just started reading the words on the back. 

Even Harry was impressed. Sweet happy boy.



So proud of my smart girl. We got a letter yesterday saying that she's been accepted for afternoon sessions from September at our nearest school. Yet another big step! 

ETA. I took her this afternoon for her MMR booster, I'd prepared her by talking about how she needed medicine, and it would be a pinch etc, but I wasn't sure how she'd react. She was great! She talked to the nurse the whole time and didn't pause/flinch for either jab. She even thanked the nurse for her medicine when she was leaving. So full of pride tonight!

Monday, 24 March 2014

a bike-riding, swimming, ballet dancing and goal scoring weekend!

Last week I came down with the nastiest bug and I am still recovering. I have my mud run on Sunday next week and I am a little worried that this won't have cleared by then. Fingers crossed! 

We had such a busy, sporty weekend. On Saturday we took Leila out on her bike and she was amazing, she used to be a little nervous but this time she was zooming along. I was having to jog to keep up and we were so proud of her! 


We got a call on Wednesday to tell us that Harry finally had a place at Little Kickers so we had 24hrs to sign him up (toddler football is cut-throat). Nan and Pops met us in town on Friday to get his new football shoes, he was so proud of them and admired himself in every available mirror-so snazzy! I wasn't sure if I'd make his first class on Saturday as I had a goodbye breakfast with a neighbour who is moving away but I was so happy to make it. I think, however, it is best if I don't go in future. He was much happier when I wasn't there to distract him, when I was watching he just kept coming over to sit on my knee.


Between ballet and football, Sam and I won't see each other until lunchtime on a Saturday! Leila is now desperate to start football too but since it clashes with football, we've told her she has to choose! We'll see which one triumphs-since she is currently obsessed by Darcey Bussell, ballet is probably winning for now. 

Harry is such a mini-Sam, I love these pictures of them reading together at bedtime on Saturday night. Due to Sam's hours, he rarely sees them before bed during the week so I love bowing out on a Saturday and Sunday and letting Sam take over. 





Wednesday, 12 March 2014

the little man

Today Harry stayed with my mum while I took Leila into preschool and then went onto my volunteering role. Normally preschool drop-off is pretty manic, trying to get Leila's coat on the right peg, say goodbye to her, talk to her teachers all whilst Harry is sprinting out the preschool door or hiding in their supplies cupboard in a desperate attempt to be allowed to stay. So, it was nice today to have a leisurely drop-off. Leila showed me a new addition to the reading corner, we got to have a nice cuddle goodbye and then on the way out I got to speak to her headteacher.

'Oh,' she said, as I headed out, 'I wanted to ask you about Harry. He'll be on the September intake. What days do you want?'

I have been talking about Harry starting preschool for a year now. I have enviously watched mothers who have all their children in education disappear into the gym after preschool drop-off. I have told everyone who will listen that I cannot WAIT for Harry to start preschool. I want to go to the supermarket alone, I want to up my volunteering hours, I want to join everyone else in the 10am yoga class down the road. Eventually I want to get my CV in shape and start looking for work. But when she asked me about his days, I didn't know what to say. And as I drove to preschool I felt ridiculously emotional. This is the next step for him and this absolutely the right preschool for him. He will love it (he already cries when he has to leave) and it has done Leila so much good-her social skills, her vocabulary and her confidence have all increased tenfold since she began. Even though I registered him, I just didn't expect it to come round so soon. Our year of 'us', him and I going to the library and art class while Leila was at preschool is 2/3 of the way over...already. Even though we still call him 'baby', he walks and he talks and he can hold his own against Leila. A big nearly-two year old baby who isn't really a baby at all.

Having children only seventeen months apart means that this how life will go. She will start full-time school in September 2015, he will follow in September 2016. She will (hopefully) go to university in September 2028 and he will follow in 2029. I have a bad feeling that empty nest syndrome is going to hit hard.