Time really does fly between these updates. It’s been almost a month since update #4 and now but I can’t really believe it. As always, life has been busy. But it’s been much less hectic in terms of travel. After several long distance trips over the last few months, this month we stayed at home and I was quite happy about that! In fact, when Sam went away for a few nights with work (more on that later), it seemed so quick and easy helping him pack after packing for all four of us!
We’ve made a bit of effort to get out and do some trips recently. Little H started swimming lessons after enjoying it so much on holidays. So we made use of the half-term break to go over to Whipsnade and use our ZSL membership. We always love it over there; the park is wonderfully situated high on the downs with amazing views. It does make it windy though and it was a pretty chilly day; Little Z didn’t enjoy the wind and refused to nap the entire time we were there which made it a little fraught towards the end. But Little H had a great time running around and didn’t use the buggy board once! The animals of the visit this time were penguins and giraffes.
The following weekend we went down to Wisley to meet some old friends we haven’t seen for about a year. We had a nice lunch in the restaurant and then wandered around the grounds and the glass house which I always love – they have some stunning succulents which are massive. Unfortunately, the weather turned. And I mean it really turned. It chucked it down so after much trekking about we retreated for tea and cake before then heading home. It was a lovely day though.
The other ‘big’ event this month was that we finally got our new conservatory. The super-structure (windows upwards) of the one that was here when we moved in was old, creaky and prone to leaking. Also the roof was corrugated plastic which made the dining room and kitchen really dark (those windows look out into it). The two guys installing it got the old one down in just a few hours and then installed all the new windows and most of the roof on day 1. Then on day 2 they finished the roof and sealed everything up. Then it was done. Whoop! The new roof is anti-UV tinted blue glass so it’s now really bright in the back of the house and we can also see the sky again!
Sam also went away to Mallorca for a work conference (he works for a Europe-wide leisure company who have resorts there!) leaving me solo-parenting for 4 days and 3 nights. It was tough going and, as always when I’m on my own, it gave me real respect for single parents. We were cruising through and all in reasonable moods up until the last night when the general mood imploded just before bedtime. I’m not entirely sure what happened as I had collected Little H early from nursery so she could unwind before bed.
They were both watching ‘Tangled’ whilst I tidied away the dishes when next thing I knew they were both crying. I think Little Z had been bumped near the eye with doll Rapunzel’s head and Little H felt bad. I calmed them down but they both cried on/off for the rest of bedtime…which took 20 minutes longer than normal. That was a ‘Bad Moms’ on TV night with a ready meal from the freezer. I was very glad when we collected Sam the following day.
‘That time’ has also arrived – time to start looking at schools. Goodness, it’s a bit of a political minefield with everyone having their own views and opinions. But exactly like when dealing with a small baby, people want to talk about it to reassure themselves that they are doing the right thing. I’ve been trying to avoid that though and focus on finding somewhere Little H will hopefully thrive. Plus, we live in a busy town so Sam and I are trying to be realistic about where she is likely to get a place. We went to our second nearest school and had a good look round with the Head. Then our second school visit was a weekend open day so we took Little H along. I think she found it a bit daunting which is not unsurprising given she’s so familiar with her nursery setting. So we reassured her she still has another year until school. We’ll need to spend time preparing her as we approach summer next year.
Sam and I had our 8th wedding anniversary at the end of the month. (How has it been 8 years already?! That went so fast!). Celebrating on our own was never going to happen. So we went out for a family meal together after my Timehop showed me a picture from the lovely meal we had last year with Little H. We had such a nice time and everyone was in a happy mood. I’m starting to strongly believe it’s best not to plan celebrations because we seem to have a better time when we do something on the spur of the moment!
Looking to the weeks ahead, the season has definitely turned now and the wet and cooler winter temperatures are setting in. So I am now trying to find ways to encourage us all outside, to avoid us becoming those people who always shelter inside. The inevitable Christmas preparations are starting. With my eco / sustainable hat on, I am trying to avoid plastic, buying wasteful gifts and considering homemade options where possible. Then, the bigger challenge is also underway: starting to plan for Little H’s fourth birthday party in the New Year. I think by February I’ll need a holiday…!