Weekly Report: W/c 04.01.16

After the lovely long Christmas break, it was a bit of a come down to have to go back to work last week. Having said that, getting back to our normal routine was beginning to look attractive after having had so much going on.

We started on Monday with a much needed trip to the shop to stock up on some extra groceries. It then started raining as we ate lunch, but fortunately was clear by the time Tom woke up from his nap. Expecting more rain, I opted for water play in the garden, which was a huge success. I’ve resolved to do more with the space and am on the look out for inspiration.

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Tuesday was my first day back at work. I left Tom and Mr Techno to enjoy each others’ company, returning to find they hadn’t actually left the flat all day! Big fail on the outdoor front.

We had to wait in on Wednesday morning to have a new lock fitted. So I was keen to get out in the afternoon. Sadly, Tom and I had different agendas for our walk, making it a bit of a disastrous one. Isn’t parenting fun!

Thursday started rather wet, with a walk to nursery in the pouring rain. Tom was dry under his buggy’s rain cover, and I had my waterproofs, but it wasn’t the most pleasant walk we’ve ever had. Fortunately it had stopped by the time I picked him up again, though we skipped our normal stop off in the park, since I had to get us both packed and ready to go to Suffolk the following evening.

 

Friday morning was much nicer – dry and quite sunny, though cold. Tom was not in a great mood: it took us ages to get out of the house and he then grumbled all the way to nursery. I wasn’t in the best of moods either, which didn’t help. Bad time of the month! We didn’t have our usual walk back that evening, as Mr Techno came to pick us up so we could all drive to Suffolk to see my in-laws for the weekend.

Saturday and Sunday were spent in Suffolk, enjoying the beautiful countryside. Mr Techno went shooting on Saturday with his day, and Tom and I enjoyed lots of walks and exploring.

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It wasn’t the greatest of weeks – I was in a crappy mood and so was Tom, though I suspect his was at least a bit caused by my lack of patience and empathy. I’m fine at this parenting lark when everything is going well, but don’t seem to be able to cope with things going wrong. Must work on some techniques for maintaining standards even when I’m having a bad day (tips very welcome!)

Weekly Report: W/c 28.12.2015

The last week of 2015 started with us still in Suffolk, where we had spent Christmas. After spending the morning alternating between packing and pottering in the garden, we headed back to London in the afternoon.

Both Mr Techno and I had Tuesday off. After a week in Suffolk and a week before that being ill, I was missing our familiar green spaces, so Tom and I started the day with a trip to the playground. I then left the boys to it in the afternoon, as my parents had offered to take my sister and I for a festive afternoon tea at Claridges. Which was delicious. And a bit ridiculous. But lovely all the same.

Wednesday started windy, as Storm Frank, the latest in a long list of winter storms, was hitting the UK. As usual, we seem to have gotten off extremely lightly in the South, whilst the North is taking yet another battering. My heart goes out to the people trying to cope with more flooding and disruption.

Since we had only strong winds, Tom and I headed out onto the Marshes for a morning walk, whilst Mr Techno, sadly, had to go back to work. Tom then took a very long nap, not waking up until almost 4 pm. By that point it was starting to get dark, so we settled for some painting with food dye at home instead.

Thursday was New Year’s Eve. Tom and I started the day with a short walk through the woods.

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After lunch, we headed out for a longer walk over the Marshes, with Tom in the sling. I’ve been struggling to get him into it whilst wearing a bulky winter coat, but have been taking advantage of the mild weather to get it out more often. I always notice that Tom is happier to play independently at home on days we use it a lot, which I guess must be down to it being more bonding than the buggy. Tom is very chatty in it as well, with constant exclamations of ‘hiya!’ and pointing at random trees.

Friday was the first day of 2016! We started well, with a trip to the park to try out Tom’s new wellies. He had a great time splashing around.

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When we got back to the flat I checked my pockets and realised the little wallet containing my oyster card, front door key, and five pounds was missing. We retraced our steps, but didn’t find them. Mr Techno was at work, but, after a slightly panicked phone call, popped his keys in a cab and sent them round to us. It took about half-an-hour for them to reach us, which we spent exploring the front garden.

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The space is normally occupied by our neighbour’s scooter, and is where we store the bins, so it’s unusual for us to spend any time there. Tom was occupied for a surprisingly long time, exploring the gravel and looking at the plants, so I suppose the silver lining of getting locked out is that our eyes were opened to the play potential of even the least promising spots. Fortunately the keys arrived just as Tom was beginning to lose interest and get hungry for his lunch. After the morning’s dramas, I didn’t feel much like meeting friends as I had planned to, and had to be in anyway to let Mr Techno in when he got back from work. We spent the afternoon playing with Tom’s trains and chasing each other round the flat instead. The friends were hungover understanding and happy to postpone to Sunday.

Saturday started a bit drizzly, but we headed to the park anyway in the hope someone might have found my keys and posted a note on the noticeboard. No such luck sadly so I guess it’ll be a call out to the locksmith when our landlords’ office reopens on Monday (we did call their emergency number when I realised the keys were gone, only to be met with a very unhelpful ‘nothing I can do’. Thank goodness it wasn’t both of us locked out!) Tom enjoyed some more puddles though, so it wasn’t a wasted trip.

After all the toing and froing with the keys, I was longing for a proper outing. So we headed out for a long walk over Hackney playing fields and along the river to Hackney Wick. Luckily the rain held off until we were almost home, but I still managed to get completely drenched. Tom, on the other hand, was warm and dry in the buggy.

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Sunday was a day of unrelenting rain. We actually went shopping in the morning – to buy me some new walking boots which was my Xmas present from Mr Techno (much better bought in the January sales!) Can’t wait to try them out. I then headed to Soho in the afternoon to see the friends I had cancelled on on Friday. Meanwhile, Tom and Mr Techno built a blanket fort.
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Next week we are back to nursery/work and our normal routines. I’m going to miss all this time off!

Weekly Report: W/c 07/12/15

Tom was feeling a bit under the weather for most of this week, so we took it more gently than normal. He was very cuddly whenever we went out, wanting to sit with me or ride in the buggy, rather than run around all the time as he normally would.

Monday began with a trip to the park, where Tom wanted a nice long cuddle with me before he went off to play. It was a lovely moment of quiet connection that inspired me to write about the power of silence. We went back to the park in the afternoon, but this time we were on the hunt for more sycamore fruit to use in making Christmas decorations.

On Tuesday, Mr Techno took Tom to choose a Christmas tree and wreath whilst I went to work.

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Wednesday morning began with a short walk around our local woods, on the way back from the shops. We then spent the afternoon indoors – partly in deference to Tom’s cold and partly so we could make some Christmas decorations for the tree.

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On Thursday and Friday, we walked into nursery as usual. Tom had a bit of a meltdown when I came to pick him up on Thursday – he didn’t want to put down the car he was playing with. He was clearly tired, so didn’t really want to play for long when we stopped in the park on our way home. On Friday, Mr Techno came to meet us and we drove down to Kent, so we missed out on our normal walk home.

We spent the weekend at our friend’s house in Kent – you can read more about our adventures here. Staying on a farm more than made up for the slight lack of outdoor time during the week – we had a great time exploring, greeting the various animals, and getting extremely muddy.

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Tom’s cold is much better, but Mr Techno and I have been suffering this week! Hopefully we will all be better for Christmas and some outdoor adventures in Suffolk next week.

 

Weekly Report: W/c 30.11.2015

What is it about December? The month clicks over and instantly my calendar is full. Every weekend and every Tuesday night (my Tom free evening), is now taken until after Christmas.

We had a pretty busy first week, though we started slow on Monday by meeting up with a friend for a rather windy walk over Walthamstow Marshes and up past the reservoirs by Coppermill Lane. Having had a good long walk in the morning, it seemed ok not to brave the now rainy weather and stay indoors in the afternoon for some screen-free play.

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Wednesday was a rather sad day, because we had to go to the funeral of a friend’s mother. I did have a slight wobble in confidence shortly before leaving, wondering if it was actually appropriate to show up to the funeral of a non-family member with a toddler in tow. The friend in question is one of Tom’s godfathers though and I had no one to leave Tom with (Mr Techno was working), so we went. Tom behaved pretty well, though he did ‘chat’ through a few bits of the service. We stood at the back and I took him out about fifteen minutes before the end when it looked like he might start crying. We had a wander round the cemetery waiting for everyone to come out.

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I think it was the right choice  to go – Tom struggled towards the end but didn’t really know what was happening and we were able to be there to support his godfather, who gave a really beautiful eulogy. His mother was an amazing woman and it was wonderful seeing so many people come to celebrate her life and support her family. A very sad day but also a hopeful one hearing about a life so full and so well lived.

Thursday and Friday were work/nursery days, so Tom and I walked to nursery and back as usual. The wind was pretty strong both days and Tom struggled to keep his balance, so he didn’t want to stay for long in the park on our way home.

We had a lazy start on Saturday, as Mr Techno wasn’t starting work until midday, so we spent the morning at home as a family. After Tom’s afternoon nap, we headed out into the winds to forage up some Christmas decorations for the flat.

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On Sunday, we had our first Christmas party of the month, heading to Oxfordshire to the home of Tom’s great-grandmother (Mr Techno’s maternal grandmother). The whole of that side of the extended family was there and I think Tom was a bit overwhelmed by the parade of great-aunts, great-uncles and various cousins. Though he was very pleased to see his cousin Rose, who is just five weeks younger than him. They get on so well and I’m really excited to see them both enjoying Christmas together when we all gather at Mr Techno’s parents’ house in Suffolk.

We did manage to escape into the garden with the numerous family dogs between courses – a three course meal with coffee is a lot for toddlers to sit through! Some fresh air and a run around ensured good behaviour for the seated parts of the meal. Fortunately, Tom crashed out in the car both on the way there and the way back, as the journey took us about 3 hours.

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A busy week and a very worn-out toddler by the end!

Weekly Report: w/c 23/11/15

This week did not get off to the best of starts, with Tom waking up in a foul mood on Monday morning. We had errands to run first thing, though fortunately he was fairly happy to sit in the buggy whilst I picked up groceries. In the afternoon, we headed out onto the Marshes for some bad mood therapy – more to come tomorrow.

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Wednesday was our family day, as usual. Tom and I spent the morning in the garden, testing out his new snowsuit and bopping about to the tunes played by next doors’ radio.

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Mr Techno works for a restaurant group owned by well-known chef Mark Hix and had been rewarded for two years of service with a £150 voucher for any Hix restaurant. So at lunchtime we headed to Oyster and Chophouse in Farringdon for a free meal. Tom very much enjoyed his fish, chips and minted peas, whilst Mr Techno and I sampled oysters, cockles, ox heart, hake’s head and liver. We like unusual food in this family! We rounded up with a Yorkshire Parkin shared between the three of us before heading home for a well-deserved nap.

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On Thursday, I walked Tom in to nursery as usual, but then had to travel to Exeter that afternoon. I didn’t get back until late Friday and Mr Techno has admitted they caught the bus in on Friday morning, so I guess that was a bit of a fail on the outdoor front.

Saturday morning Tom and I spent at the open day for Free Range Urban Kids, a new outdoor nursery opening in Hackney in January. Read all about it here.

Tom had a bit of a cough and clearly need some extra sleep, because he didn’t wake up from his nap until 4. The light was already fading, so we stayed in and he played with cloud dough instead.

Sunday was incredibly windy. We spent the morning in the park in the rain, splashing about in puddles. In the afternoon, we went for a walk on the Marshes. Tom did get out of the buggy for a bit, but found the wind too strong, so asked to get back in and ride his way round.

It’s been a bit so-so this week, with work commitments keeping me from spending as much time outside as I normally like.