Blended Family – Their Two Dads

There are many challenges being part of a blended family.  Balancing parental duties and responsibilities is often one of them. Trying to maintain positive relationships between everyone is another.  Ensuring regardless of what is happening in the adult relationships, that it has minimal impact and bearing on the children.

These are not easy things to do.  There are ups and downs along the way, a bit of a juggling act of people’s emotions and opinions.  It feels like a constant (rather steep) learning curve that changes continually.

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For instance – there is the childrens ‘real’ dad.

He is in the childrens lives regularly, he loves and adores them I’m sure.  His relationship with me is a bit of a rollercoaster.  There have been periods where we have got on great, almost returned to a solid friendship where I’ve been sure that he’s finally moved on.  And then there are periods where for what ever reason (and usually I am unable to figure out the trigger or the reasoning behind it) that the relationship is terrible, communication stops entirely and this can go on for months.

The effect on the children is what worries, frustrates and makes me down right angry.  I do as much as I can to protect them, with reassurances that whilst mummy and daddy don’t always see eye to eye, what we both do is love them to the moon on back.  So no matter what, just remember how much we love you and don’t worry about anything else.

It is so difficult to explain to children the intricacies of adult relationships when to be honest, I don’t understand them myself.  When your 4yr old (as she was at the time) tells you that Daddy says ‘you broke the love mummy.. why did you do that, can you not fix it‘ or when your daughter says ‘Daddy doesn’t want to talk you anymore, why aren’t you friends?‘ the hurt that it is obviously causing them breaks your heart.

Them being witness to the ups and downs has an impact on how they view other relationships.  For the first year of Ron being in their lives they fully expected us to split up.  Their assumption was that nothing was permanent and even with reassurance from Ron and I that we would be together forever (here’s hoping lol!) their response would be, but you and Daddy aren’t together now.  Even after we married Natalie once asked ‘mummy, when will you get deevorced again?’

Trying to reassure them of the permanency of Ron in their lives has been trickier given that we don’t live together.  This is of course set to change, but at the moment the facts are that the children have a part time dad, and a part time step dad. However, 2 part time dads, do not a whole one make!  What the children do get is just the good bits from their two dads.  Which is great for them, the laughs, the fun the excitement of seeing them.  However, what they don’t get is the continuity, the discipline and structure.  .

The alternate weekends at their ‘real’ dads consists of no rules.  No bedtime, no brushing of hair, a bath only occasionally.  Food that a child would choose rather than what constitutes healthy well balanced meals.  So for them Daddy is amazing, its all fun times, no telling off, no boundaries.  I try not to be too critical – afterall, this is his time with his children and his parenting style is his choice.  It is only every other weekend, and how much can it hurt for them to go a weekend without brushing teeth or hair, eating too much junk food and running riot.

But I have to be honest, it niggles, I can feel the hairs on the back on my neck rise when they come home like ragamuffins full of tales of staying up till midnight, having icecream for breakfast and nutella sandwiches for lunch. AND if I’m really honest, I’m jealous.  How can life with me compare, at home they have bedtimes, they have to eat their vegetables, we have routines and rules about behaviour and consequences for non compliance.  Is there any wonder that occasionally during fall outs they throw at me ‘I want to live with Daddy’ – heavens.. who wouldn’t! (Well, actually me, been there, tried that!)

The girls know which day Rons here, and they look forward to seeing him.  They know he’ll play games with them (limbo and the quiet game are their favourites, and Monopoly occasionally too), they will be able to climb all over him, receive big bear hug cuddles.

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They are still learning the boundaries with him, they push them here and there (generally when I’m not around) and to Rons credit, he is calm, never raises his voice, is consistent and rational with them (ha ha.. things that generally I’m not when the girls are pushing my buttons).  But in the main, as they only see him for a few hours a week, its all positive fun stuff..

They see their two dads as the men in their lives that play games with them, that throw them in the air and tickle them till they scream, that give them treats and money when the icecream van is outside the house.

Where does that leave me?  

  • The person that offers stability
  • The constant in their lives
  • The person who they know is there day in day out, night in night out.
  • The person they turn to and want when they fall, when they are upset and need comfort.
  • The person they learn from, who teaches them

Overall – the person who blends it all together for them and tries to make sense of their unconventional family

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Sharing the workload

A while ago to help combat the need of my constant nagging of the girls (especially in the mornings getting ready for school) I introduced the daily jobs list.  This is a laminated tick list of the everyday things that I expect the girls to do without me needing to ask – simple things like brushing teeth, putting dishes in the sink, making their bed.  In the main it works pretty well, they like the fact that they tick things off themselves, and has certainly reduced the frustration, raising of voices and fallings out in a morning as they know what they have to do.  Don’t get me wrong, there is still an element of me saying ‘whats left to check off your list girls’  or ‘have you done everything on your list’ but at least I’m saying it rather than repeatedly screaming instructions at them to get their school bag ready, get dressed etc.

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I also introduced the fuzzy chart. This is a reward chart of sorts. They can earn fuzzy’s for going that extra mile, doing jobs without being asked, being kind, caring, considerate, sharing without being prompted to.. that sort of thing.  Things that make you feel warm and fuzzy – hence the name – Fuzzy’s

They can not ask for fuzzys for doing a job/act of kindness, initially they could only be given them by me, and my decision is final.  I felt it important that my children behave well, be considerate and kind simply because it’s the way the should be, not just because it meant they might get something for it.  The fact that then their good behaviour is then recognised by a reward of a fuzzy is then a bonus rather than something expected.   When they reach 50 fuzzy’s on their chart, they get to choose an activity that we can do together as a family.  They enjoy getting fuzzy’s and have now started to reward each other with fuzzy’s if they have seen one another do something they feel warrants it.

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We all know that household chores seem to be never-ending, and I decided this week to share the load with Jess & Nat.  Undoubtedly it’s probably quicker and easier to do everything myself, but then how do they ever learn to do things for themselves, how will they ever appreciate the time, effort and hard work involved in keeping a clean house, the laundry pile under control and clean dishes in the cupboard.

With the promise of financial gain for taking on household chores they got stuck in without complaint.  The chance to earn pocket money was obviously very appealing, as they happily:

1. Folded socks and towels

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2. Loaded the washing machine (I did then check and remove all the whites from the coloureds – but its a start)

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3. Washed and dried up

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4. Jessica even tried her hand and mowing the lawn – under my strict supervision I might add.

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I am pleased that they are taking on added responsibilities, learning essential life skills and hopefully they will not take for granted their dear old mum quite as much!

Holidays are here! Whats the plan?

Its the school holidays – and boy are we ready – well I am for sure, and given that the girls asked every single day last week if it was the last day of school, I’d deffo say they are too.

I try and be a little prepared for holidays – they are off for over 7 weeks this time, and you can guarantee, without a bit of a plan, by day 2 they will be bickering, falling out and the unforgivable phrase of ‘I’m BORED’ will be uttered.  I still have to work for a couple of days a week, but the rest of the time is ours! One of the the things we’ve been putting together over the past few weeks is a summer bucket list (an idea from Mary who has her own blog, and writes for my business blog Life with Mini Me).  Basically a list of what we think are ‘must do’s’ over the summer holidays (Yorkshire Tots was a good resource for ideas) and includes:

Summer Bucket List

  • Cannon Hall (of course, what holiday wouldn’t be complete without a day there!)
  • Paddle in the sea and have sandcastle building competition
  • Picnics
  • Fairburn Ings (they loved the pond dipping last time we went)
  • Barnsley Metrodome – swimming and slides for all ages
  • Garden party – invite friends round with cake and games
  • Water day (slides, water fights, paddling pools),
  • Room on the Broom trail (at Wakefield)
  • Garden camping (where’s the tent????)
  • Rock scrambliing (Brimham Rocks in Ilkley)
  • Open air swimming (thinking Lido in Ilkley)
  • Den making (collecting cardboard boxes everywhere I go)
  • Knowlsley Safari park
  • Row a boat (boating lake at Shibden Park)
  • Messy day – this involves a number of messy activities including covering the garden in lining paper, covering it in paint, them in old t-shirts and shorts and in they get.  It also involves me guarding the front door with the garden hose in hand!
  • T-Shirt tye-dying (hmm.. should be interesting)

So I see our plan as

Mondays – Summer bucket list activity

Tuesdays – Work (Boo!)

Wednesdays – Work (Boo!)

Thursdays – Play dates – mums from church, and friends of mums from church, and anyone else that fancies coming (all are welcome) are going to meet up at Church on Thursdays, all bring the kids, pot luck picnic type of thing.  Good weather means outside activities, bad weather means inside activities – FREE day with minimum organisation involved

Fridays – play it by ear day.  I do like to keep a day a week where we can do things spur of the moment, impromptu activities can often be the best and also means less pressure – a duvet day with DVD’s sometimes is just what the doctor ordered

With the exception of work days, all things are flexible and weather dependent of course – but rather than floundering each morning trying to decide how best to use our day, we have idea’s and something to look forward to.

We also did our Bored Board this week.  Hearing the kids go ‘I’m bored‘ drives me crazy!  I came across an idea recently which I thought was fab.. wish I could remember where I saw it, was either in a mag or maybe a blog.  And it was to put together a Bored Board – basically get them to make list of home based activities they might like to do, and when ever they utter that unmentionable phrase – refer them immediately to their Bored Board for inspiration.  The kids loved coming up with ideas, and have already used it over the weekend – a totally brilliant idea.  A good suggestion was to do it before the holidays really kick in, as once kids do actually get bored, they find it almost impossible to come with ideas of what they can do.

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Their Bored Board includes things such as:

  • read a book
  • write a story,
  • make finger/sock puppets,
  • put on a puppet show,
  • baking
  • talent show
  • scavenger hunt
  • write their blog
  • paint a picture
  • do jigsaws
  • do make up and nails

.. the list goes on

So here is to the holidays, with lots of fun family time.  Keeping fingers crossed for at least a bit of sunshine over the coming weeks, and most definitely hoping that we’ve enough planned to keep ‘I’m Bored‘ from passing their lips

What do you have planned for the holidays, love to share ideas

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The Weekly Daly roundup #1 19/07/15

Whilst I would love to find the time to do a daily (Daly lol) blog, its never going to happen, and it gets to the end of the week and I try to remember what we’ve got up to.  I want to make a concerted effort to recall the highs, lows, good, bad, what was enjoyed, what wasn’t enjoyed, the mundane and the out of the ordinary and to finish on at least one thing I can say I’m grateful for.

I’ve come across a linky that I like (for anyone else that might happen to read this thats a non blogger its just a link up with other bloggers on a certain subject) –  entitled The Week That Was – Captured that I think will give me a bit of a prompt each week.

High

  • Watching the girls in sports day and seeing them achieve 1st place in their respective races

Low

  • Losing my temper with the girls on the morning of their last day at school when they hadn’t got any of their stuff ready as they’d said they had the night before causing us to be late.  However, this led me to make a resolution to not lose my temper for the whole of the weekend – major challenge!

Good

  • Remembering to buy and sort out teacher presents (my intention was to make stuff with the kids.. but hey, best of intentions and all that!)

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Bad

  • forgetting to take J’s PE kit in to school for a dance workshop (see good mummy bad mummy blog post for details!)

Enjoyed

  • an impromptu picnic in the park after school

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Didn’t enjoy

  • getting on the scales after supposedly starting a health kick to see a 1lb gain!

Mundane

  • Getting half way to work on Saturday to remember I’d forgotten an essential piece of kit and having to turn around, put my foot down and whizz home to collect it

Out of the ordinary

  • Managing a whole weekend without raising my voice to the kids – huge concerted effort, lots of deep breaths, thinking before speaking, looking for alternative ways to handle situations and keep a calmer household

Grateful for

  • My childrens ability to forgive me for my failings, without question, without delay – inspires me to try and do better next time

Phew.. busy week!

TWTWC

{The Ordinary Moments} #2 Good Mummy / Bad Mummy

I had one of those horrible moments this week where I really felt like a totally bad mum.  There are no doubt many times during the week that I’m not the best mum I can be, but I try, and generally feel I don’t do too bad a job – after all the kids are usually happy, healthy, clean (well most of the time) and they have managed to survive my parenting for the past 8 and 6yrs without too many mishaps.

This week Jessica had some sort of dance/gym workshop going on (I wasn’t too clear on the details, one of those things that she mentioned to me whilst I was talking on the phone and cooking dinner at the same time, so it did not really register properly). She had told me a repeatedly (much to her annoyance) that she needed her full PE kit with her to join in. Her having come home in some of it a few days earlier after Sports Day meant it wasn’t in her kit bag as usual.

On arrival at school in the morning it dawned on me that we’d not brought it in. Bad mummy!  Rushed to tell the teacher and find out what time she needed it – phew – as long as it was dropped at school reception before 1pm it would be fine.  No probs I thought, got some admin work to do at home this morning, a meeting scheduled for 12.30, so could easily drop it off on the way to the meeting – all sorted – good mummy status resumed.

However, on leaving my meeting at 2.15pm, as I walked to the car, I suddenly got this sinking feeling, a wave of guilt washed over me as I realised that I had totally forgotten to take the PE kit she needed to school. I felt sick, tears pricked my eyes as I thought how upset she would’ve been, that she might not have been able to join in.  How could I have got so distracted as to not be able to remember one simple task.  I was gutted, felt like the most terrible mother in the world.  Ok, so I tried to put it in to perspective – it wasn’t the end of the world, she might have been able to borrow some from lost property, it was just a little workshop – but the bottom line was that I’d let her down and I felt awful for it.

As parents – do we not all say our first priority are our kids.  I know I do, but in reality, their needs often come lower down the list than they should.  It’s not a conscious thing, I think I find it all to easy to blame work commitments, being too busy, multi tasking, too tired – my list of excuses could go on.

To do list

As she came running down the path after school, I looked for a pained expression, I was expecting red rimmed eyes and tear stained cheeks.. but no.. happy and smiley as ever.  I rushed towards her full of apologies and excuses as to why I didn’t do as I’d promised.  She smiled, hugged me, said ‘its ok mummy, really’  One of the things I love the absolute most about my children is their ability and willingness to forgive in an instant.  No laying on of guilt, making you pay in someway for your mistake so that you learn your lesson.

Just straight forward, I love you so you are forgiven.

Such a humbling experience to be taught so earnestly from your child

What do you learn from your children?

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The dreaded sports day

This week was the girls sports day at school.  I’ve never really liked sports day in all honesty.  In my experience it highlights just the winners and fails to recognize personal achievement, and the participation of everyone regardless of ability.  I don’t like seeing crest fallen faces, disappointment and frustration when a child doesn’t achieve what they hoped.  I don’t like hearing jeers from other children and the competitive nature of some parents astounds me.

So I attended this years with reluctance. I have to say though, that I enjoyed it.  The school seemed to have a different approach this year.  Pupils were in 4 teams and had to work together in races/games to achieve tokens, 4 for 1st place, 3 for 2nd place and so on.  So regardless of if a child came first or last, they still received a token that was then put in to their teams box.  A good way I thought to reward all achievement regardless of placement.

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During each event the children regardless of what team they were in were encouraged to cheer for each other, and give rowdy applause for all participants at the end.  I even found myself shouting ‘Go Reds’ (Natalie’s team colour)

At the end of the sports day, the team with the most tokens was the overall winner – but a win that the whole team had contributed towards and were rewarded for.  It was refreshing to witness such a positive sports day for everyone involved, where the focus wasn’t on the winning, but on taking part (a bit cliche I know), team work and recognising everyone’s effort.

My girls loved it – Natalie was beyond excited at achieving 1st place in 2 of the races/games, overall her team came 2nd.  Jessica was very happy to have come 1st in one of her races and quite indifferent that her team came 3rd overall.  In past years I have had to deal with tears, upset and disappointment, this year was smiles and skipping.

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I’d like to think it wasn’t just the winning that had made them happy, but the fact the whilst they had competed with others, both had won and lost, it was done in a very positive, self esteem building manner. Hats off to the school AND to my girls for trying so hard.

Getting lean in 2015

A bit of a health kick is in order.  Just 7 weeks before our holiday which means my thoughts have turned to shorts, strappy tops, bikini’s and if the health kick fails more maxi dresses that you can shake a stick at.

Weight issues have plagued my life, as they do for many people.  I have been pretty stable for the past few years and comfortable in my own skin, but over the past 6 or 7 months I’ve seen a bit of a creeping up of the numbers on the scales. Some people call it happy contentment, I call it stuffing my face more often than I should!

I became more concerned of the ‘gain’ a few months ago as I noticed a few items of clothing were not quite as comfortable and made a concerted effort to shift a few pounds.  I did – but boy was it hard work – gym everyday, watching every mouthful of food.. when did dieting get this hard.. oh yes.. after I turned 40!

Complacency has crept back in, and a few of those pounds lost have returned. I don’t mind so much being squishy round the edges, the wobbly bits are generally well hidden, but I know from experience that weight gain is a slow burn.  A few pounds leads to a stone, leads to 2 stone and it goes on.

Having once been one of life’s larger ladies (in fact a very large lady), and taking extreme measures along with years of hard work to get where I am now, my weight is something I am conscious of and keep a close eye on.  I will always have the brain and mentality of a fat bird,  what I see in the mirror isn’t what other people see (or at least that’s what I’m told!). How I looked 10 years ago, is not a look I want to return to.

So here goes the health kick – dusting off the trainers (they are the scruffiest, oldest things ever – but comfy like slippers) –  its been a few weeks since I hit the gym (blaming this on being busy with house selling preparations), fruit bowl full to busting, and getting the brain in gear to ditch the choccie biscuits and embrace the carrot sticks.

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I have always said I enjoy cooking,but in reality, its that I enjoy eating!  Everything I cook I want to taste good, but it also has to be fast to prepare, fast to cook – from start to on table within 40 – 50 mins is generally my rule.  Providing balanced family meals is not the easiest in my house.  Jess thinks a vegetable is swear word, Natalie deffo takes after me, an appetite for pretty much anything, anytime, anywhere – so I do try to keep a watchful eye over what she has, and then there’s the fact that I’m married to a wheat sensitive vegetarian!

I used to be really good – I would menu plan at least a month in advance.  It worked a treat, shopping bills reduced, I always knew what we were having, so could get things out of the freezer if needed, make sure we’d not run out of anything etc.  I’d often batch cook – so double up on the bolognaise, and make a lasagna out of the left over etc.

Time to re-introduce it I think.

Off to the leisure centre we went tonight – I’m lucky that both girls are competent swimmers and don’t need me at their sides constantly, they are quite happy to take sinkers (toys that they throw in the pool, they sink and then they dive in to retrieve them) whilst I plough up and down doing lengths.  Managed to get in 40 lengths tonight so mission accomplished.  I even resisted the cheesy chips that traditionally always follow a family trip to the swimming pool (ok, so I lie, I had a couple of the kids, but just a couple!)

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A bikini bod I’ll never have – this is a fact I have accepted, but perhaps with a bit of planning, together with a modicum of self-control on the choccie biscuit front, I might just be able to shift those extra pounds in time for the Ibiza sun.

Blended family – A positive

There are many positives about being part of a blended family.  One of them being that the children happily have regular contact with their dad (whom they adore) – every other weekend off they go to spend a couple of days with daddy.  They get thoroughly spoilt in my opinion whilst with him, but I try not to question his parenting style (at least not directly to him, I might have a bit of a moan about it to others now and again), and he pretty much returns the favour.

Whilst I miss them terribly on the weekends they aren’t here, there are things I enjoy.  A clean and tidy house for one, and date night with hubby is another (without the need to search and beg for a babysitter).

Date night isn’t always some major event.  Sometimes it’s just staying in, a curry and some telly – but it’s just the two of us. Time for us to catch up, talk, laugh, talk some more.  It’s often time we use to talk about where we are heading, individually, as a couple and as a family.  It ensures that we are always working towards shared goals, on the same page so to speak.  It’s all too easy with busy lives especially given we live in different places to not chat over, discuss and share our thoughts, aspirations, concerns from the littlest insignificant things, to the whopping great bit stuff.  I love our date nights regardless of what we do.  Hubby is great for making all my stresses and strains drift away.  Life becomes more in balance again, after our chats I seem to be able to once again see the wood for the trees, clarity and calm returns to what is usually a bit of a highly strung life.

This week I fancied cocktails (or rather mocktails given the lack of alcohol content for me). Hubby is always happy to oblige, especially as if somewhere along the line it includes food, we enjoy a bit of spice now and again, so went to a Mexican where i knew had a pretty decent non alcoholic cocktail menu.

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In my Mocktail wanted a bit of sophistication, to indulge myself a little, I was thinking tall glass, umbrella, sparkler even and the obligatory cherry.  Hmm.. now what I got was a jam jar with a handle… granted it had the cherry.. but in a jam jar!

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Excuse me, but this is not my idea of a classy ladies drink, it felt more like I was holding a pint topped with a bit of fruit.  Isn’t part of the cocktail experience that of feeling a bit chic, a bit special.  I was sadly disappointed.  The drink itself tasted great so hubby simply couldn’t understand the problem, but gotta say, was a tad deflated.  It may well be the modern, urban, fashionable and trendy way to be serving up drinks now a days – clearly I am none of these, and quite happy not to be too.

The drinks and subsequent food served its purpose – a much enjoyed date night – a chance dress up a little, get the lippy on, hold hands like teenagers and put the world to rights.

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What do you do for date nights? 

Ordinary Moments #1 – Simple Pleasures

The summer term of classes has finished, so I now have a couple of weeks where I have a little more free time as I’m not instructing as much. It feels really odd not to be rushed off my feet everyday, and for the first couple of days I found myself feeling quite lost and not quite sure what to do with myself.

So I decided to let myself have a few little indulgences this week, do some little things that make me happy, some simple pleasures that I normally don’t get time to enjoy.  Here are a few so far:

1. A spot of gardening – love growing things, I don’t  always do it successfully, but I’m having a few triumphs this year – lettuces, and the courgettes are coming along, I have a reasonable sized cucumber in the offering – something I’m particularly proud of as I failed dismally at growing cucumbers last year.  I’ve also got potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries – however – the jury is still out on the peppers and butternut squash at the moment!

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2. An afternoon bubble bath, home alone, no kids shouting Mum every 2 seconds – just me, the bubbles and total silence

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3. A catch up over a brew with my bezzie mate – an hour of putting the world to rights, can’t beat it.  She is off work at the moment with a broken foot – so would be wrong not to take advantage, stick the kettle on and crack open the chocolate hob nobs.

4. Pouring over an armful of magazines, total guilty pleasure –  in my younger days it was Heat, Closer – any celeb trash – now-a-days its Essentials and Good Housekeeping – what happened to me – ditched the gossip for recipies and crafting tips!

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5. Homemade pamper time – was told somewhere, by someone I’m sure, that Avocado, natural yoghurt and oats was a natural Botox.. hmm.. not really sold on it, but I enjoyed adding a bit of garlic and lemon juice to the left over mix and putting it on pitta bread with a few toasted pine nuts rather than my face!

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6. An afternoon nap – don’t think I’ve had those since the girls were babies and we would doze together for half on hour on the sofa.  A powernap is certainly the way to go.  No longer the frazzled, snappy mum when they finished school, they had a chatty, almost serine mother – Jessica did ask what sort of happy pill I’d taken and could I take it everyday (cheeky!!)

7. Wimbledon – as a child, I hated tennis, but my mum loved it, and Wimbledon was an annual must watch thing – so over the years I came to not only appreciate but really enjoy watching it. To carry on the tradition, I now inflict it on my children. I’ve still not managed to watch a full match, but seen a couple of fabulous games here and there

Its been a week or so of enjoying a few simple pleasures, nothing major, nothing life changing and something I should definitely try and fit more of in to my ‘Daly’ life.

What are your simple pleasures?
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Blog of a 6yr old – entry No1

I said in my opening first blog that I wanted this to be a family affair – I want the kids to blog along with me, this is as much a record of their ‘Daly’ thoughts, feelings, happiness,  challenges as it is mine.  Natalie has been intrigued when I’ve talked about blogging, and tonight she decided she wanted to join in.

To make it easy (for me as much her!), we just chatted about the weekend, what is written below are her words entirely, no paraphrasing, no adult slant – totally 100% 6yr old magic

Me – Natalie, do you want to blog about what you did at the weekend? We can write down the things you remember

Nat – Yeah, thats easy.  Grandma was here so we baked scones.  She said they were the best ever, they were too. Oh, and on Sunday we went to visit our new house. I get my own room and everything.  I asked the lady if I could buy the house and how much it was.  I said that I have £95, it says so in my bank book, but I told her I didn’t want to spend it all, I want to keep some, maybe a pound for sweets.  I’ll share the sweets with Jessica.

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She thought that was funny. The lady had fishes and they were in a in a tank that changed colour, I hope she leaves them for us when we move in.

Me – What else did you do at the weekend

Nat – We went to our new church and I made new friends.  It was fun but weird, the same but different.  I want to go again this week and go to the wacky warehouse again afterwards.  The giant cookie we had there was yum yum in my tum.

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If we move, I will go to a new school – how will people know my name? Will someone tell me where to go?  What will I do about lunch, the school dinners might not be as nice as my school now, does that mean I can take sandwiches. If I am taking sandwiches can I choose what goes in them – ham and cucumber but no tomatoes.

With her thoughts on food (which is where Natalie’s thoughts usually are) off she went.  Interesting to see in our short chat things that are on her mind, school obviously features heavily, as well as icecream, sweets and ham with cucumber sandwiches – classic Natalie!