Wrapping up Christmas

I hope you all had a great Christmas! We spent lots of time with family and it was lovely.

My mum arranged an end-of-year piano party for Aaron, Tabitha and three of their friends who also take lessons with her. They each performed several pieces to the assembled parents and grandparents, followed by a buffet lunch.

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Colin had a few days off at the beginning of the week leading up to Christmas. We enjoyed a lovely walk with his mum and one of his sisters and her children.

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We also visited Colin’s parents. This time Esther wasn’t too sure about their dog Misty and she especially didn’t like me giving her attention; she kept crying whenever Misty was on my lap!

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Colin celebrated his birthday on the 23rd. He was working all day so we didn’t do much, plus he has declared that he is now too old to do birthdays.

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He also worked Christmas Eve. Tabitha and I spent the day making napkin rings and placecards to decorate the table. Colin’s sisters dropped some presents round in the late afternoon so we ended up going to the playground in the dark with them, which was a much-needed breath of fresh air.

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As Christmas Day fell on a Sunday this year, we decided to do presents in the morning before church but have a simple buffet lunch and leave the full Christmas dinner until Boxing Day. This turned out really well as Colin and I could just relax and spend time with the children.

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On Boxing Day we had my parents and my granny over for Christmas dinner, most of which Colin cooked. We rearranged the front room a bit so that we could fully extend our dining table for the first time. New books were read and new board games were played, but I somehow managed to go the whole day without taking a single photo!

On the 27th we met up with Colin’s aunt, uncle and cousins from London. Again, I pretty much forgot to take any photos. After a lovely long lunch, we went for a walk at Wistlandpound Reservoir just as dusk was falling. By the time we were half way round it was really dark, although Venus was very bright in the sky.

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On the 28th it was back to my parents’ house for lunch with them, my granny, my brother and sister-in-law.

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Tabitha and Esther went down with a nasty cold before Christmas and I thought I’d managed to escape it, but last night I developed a very sore throat and have been aching all over. Poor Esther still has a runny nose and a cough. However, she only woke up three times last night which is a huge improvement! Let’s hope it wasn’t a fluke!

Family moments

We’ve had some very hot weather this week. It amuses me how the British can’t seem to deal with heatwaves or snow; anything other than rain is outside of our comfort zone.

On Monday we packed up a picnic lunch and headed for the public paddling pool in a nearby town. I dipped my legs in and felt very envious of the children playing in the nice cool water!

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I’ve been searching for a better way of carting around supplies for a day out whilst babywearing and discovered that granny trolleys are perfect! There’s plenty of room for baby gear, picnic stuff and swimming things, and I can also use it for carrying shopping back home.

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My mum invited us to stay for lunch after piano lessons on Tuesday so that the children could play in the paddling pool in her garden.

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Tabitha took this photo on Wednesday after we got back from karate. It was Colin’s day off so he drove us there. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that he passed his driving test last week! He has had a few lessons but mostly just lots and lots of practice with me over the last year or so. It’s great having another driver as he can now do things like nip out to the shops or even just fetch the car from the car park.

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It rained most of the day on Thursday. Tabitha re-discovered her Wii dancing game and even Aaron joined in. He is a fantastic dancer but refuses to take lessons!

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Esther was appointed the judge, a job which she clearly took very seriously.

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While I was pregnant I cleared out one of our lofts, and today I decided to make a start on the second. I found a crinkly fabric baby book which Esther will enjoy now that she is starting to tolerate spending time on her tummy. I have to be careful where I put her down now as she shuffles quite a distance on her back!

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We nipped out to Lidl as we had run out of bin bags and I spotted a pull-the-tab phonics book which I thought Tabitha would enjoy. Aaron very sweetly helped her to read it while I was busy making lunch. Her blending is coming along well and she can now read lots of cvc words with a bit of prompting.

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I leave you with big sis and little sis playing together.

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Flutterby butterfly

When we woke up on Sunday morning, we noticed that two of Tabitha’s chrysalides had turned into butterflies. She was so excited! By the time we got back from church, another one had emerged.

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By Monday morning there were four butterflies, leaving one final chrysalis. Tabitha spent hours watching it hopefully, but then she went to the toilet and Aaron was the only one to actually see a butterfly emerge.

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Tabitha fed her butterflies each day with fruit, flowers and sugar water.

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On Thursday, which had a better weather forecast than most days this week, we met up with some friends in the park to release the butterflies. Two of them flew straight up into the trees, but the girls were able to hold and watch the others for a while.

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Watching caterpillars grow and turn into chrysalides and then butterflies has been a really interesting experience. I highly recommend the Insect Lore kits if you have never done it before. Tabitha enjoyed it so much that we may order another jar of caterpillars to do it again in a few weeks!