Living Arrows 13/52

The Easter Bonnet parade always arrives to great excitement.

Unfortunately for my children, the enthusiasm which I had in CM’s first parade when I created a Daffodil monstrosity which saw her win a prize has dwindled.

Now it’s a case of pulling out my Easter craft box and each of them visualising their bonnet and telling me exactly how we’re going to create it.
Which I think it definitely supporting their imagination and project management skills!

And they were each so proud of their creations.

Especially E. He won a prize for his creation. And wasn’t for sharing it.A fun Easter Bonnet

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Living Arrows 12/52

This week start with poorly children and needing to work away, but wonderfully ended in celebration.

CM turned 7.

7 seems to equate to teenage-dom.
If this is not teenage-dom, and it gets worse.
I doff my hat.
I held this hope that getting through those sleepless nights of endless feeds would see life easier at a later age.
The challenges are different. The exhaustion the same.

But the happiness.
The happiness grows.
And means more, as their appreciation develops.

For everything life throws at us,
The tenderness as she believed she was meeting a baby Panda.
As always,
She tips me over the edge.Chessington World of Adventure Pandamonium

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Siblings – March

We are in countdown to a seventh birthday, which seems traditionally to mean the trips to the beach after school have started, Spring is breaking through.

This month I seem to collected a few photos of these three together, but our trip to Jackson’s Bay was the most needed. B has been off school, and so poorly with it, he sleeps all afternoon and getting out after school just seemed the right thing to do. Especially as my reprieve from overnights in London is over, knowing how much I’ll miss them increases the need to make the most of the moments.

CM is on an absolute high, everything needs a countdown, we have so much to look forward to, but most pressing is her birthday.

E is just awesome, still as inquisitive as ever. I do wonder if he can start a conversation which doesn’t have five questions at the start. Today’s conversation was focused on his concern that in London my hotel room doesn’t have a couch. He hooked me in. It turns out in his head I do exactly the same in London as I do at home- work at my desk, go out with friends, sit on the sofa, go to bed. When responding that I go to an actual office, and I have meetings, his response: “Oh, so you do meetings rather than work?”. 

But of these three.
I wrote yesterday about how much the bond between them seems to be changing so much as the boys personalities develop as strongly as their sister’s. Maybe because these are the months where they seem closest in age. Now there seems to be a bit less of the older sister, and more of three siblings, equally strong-minded, equally loving. The arguments are now impassioned, as E’s sense of justice grows ever stronger. But the fun they have, the laughter, just been fortunate enough to be able to listen to it. It is what makes life wonderful.Siblings - March Siblings - MarchSiblings - March Siblings - March

The Me and Mine Project

Living Arrows 11/52

Last week I decided the give us all the day off, and we jumped in the car, headed over the Severn Bridge to Bristol, and spent some time at The Wild Place Project, as guests of Trunki.
I love days where I get to see all aspects of my children- the good, and the bad. I am taking back our weekends, as I have really come to miss our time together, and as much as I didn’t mind taking us all out for the day, it reinforced that weekends should be about us.
B was coming down with something, something which got him quite badly that night, so in the day he was a little more clingy – a little more shy.
E however seemed to be in complete extrovert mode, and I’m trying to reign in my excitement, as Trunki had brought some photographers. Every time I lost sight of him I found him posing for one of the wonderfully patient photographers.
We are in the countdown to CM’s seventh birthday, when I lose the sympathy vote when I tell people I have a 6-year-old and 5-year-old twins (and then quickly feel guilty, and reassure it’s not as close as that), but these past months the bond between them has increased. I didn’t think it could, CM has always been the best big sister, but now it seems they’re siblings without the age gap. Yes, CM’s the bossiest, but E’s the most argumentative, and when B wants to sulk – well, sometimes he puts me to shame.
And this was the race.
You know when they all got off the start line together, when E didn’t cheat, when CM wasn’t having a strop, and when B had enough energy to compete.
They really are, with complete bias, the best. Living Arrows with Trunki
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Living Arrows 2016 10/52

When CM was born I went out of my way to make sure that toys and stimulation were gender neutral. I discovered pretty early on that toys designed for boys were far more fun than those aimed at girls.

When the boys were due, it probably just came down to survival. Anything and everything was ok if it made a happy home.

The boys fitted in with CM, missing out on tv programmes had CM loved because her tastes had changed. There was no ‘In the Night Garden’ it was all about ‘The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse’.

When CM started playschool all of the gender neutral parenting went out the window, she came home demanding pink, dressing up costumes were all about Disney Princesses and fairies.

And the boys, well, the boys have started Reception and it seems they have set themselves out as ‘boys’ boys’, they are very physical and full of energy.

I hate the idea that the differences in gender are apparent, further than nurture, but it does seem that CM’s energy has always been contained within her, especially with B it is around him, all-encompassing.

E is a half way house, and I have often described B as ‘cheeky’ and E as ‘naughty’. E has some of CM’s inner energy but a lot of the physical.

One of the things that has always set E apart from his siblings is his interest in clothes. I can put the boys to bed in their pj’s and when I wake them the next day E will be fully dressed in his version of ‘smart’, which is actually, usually pretty smart.

I have lost my temper far too many times with clothes spewing out from their wardrobes and units, as both have gone to great efforts to dress themselves.

This Saturday saw this go one step further. For CM gifted E his favourite pair of trousers from her wardrobe. Which he wore all day.

And when we came to get ready on Saturday for an evening at Cardiff Bay, a joint celebration for Mum’s birthday, Mother’s Day and CM’s birthday, well the only alteration E was willing to make was to wear his favourite rugby shirt. The trousers were staying on.

We got a lot of looks, apart from my parents, the only person to say something was the waitress, who on asking where he got them, and finding out his sister had given them to him, nodded at him approvingly.

It seems the amount of glances E received didn’t go amiss.

Sunday morning saw B deciding not only would he ask E if he could wear said trousers, he’d also ask CM for a top to go with them.

Little Mermaid Sunday best

Part of being a parent, to me, is deciding on which battles you need to win.
And on this one, not only did they win, but they taught me well.

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Living Arrows 2016 8/52

With a difficult week looming, Mr J decided the best thing for us was to take off to the beach.

Southerndown was his choice, and whilst the weather was too bitter for my ears, the children couldn’t care less.

The beach is their territory, their main grudge as we left was that we forgot the swimsuits.

Reassurances that we’d come back when the weather improves did nothing to cheer them up.

Promises of bike rides in the park in the afternoon worked a little better.Living Arrows - Sundays at SoutherndownLiving Arrows

Living Arrows 2016 7/52

This week is going to be a bit of an odd one, him and our eldest have gone up to Yorkshire for the week.
I have the boys for a couple of days, and then they’re off on their adventure to my parents.
I am preparing myself for my own company, because typically I’m working at home this week- for the first time in forever.
And, whilst it’s not been longer than I’ve been away from her. Already it seems odd to be in our home without her.
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Living Arrows 2016 6/52

I wonder about these boys of mine.

When they are doing ‘stuff’ they are such individuals, their preferences are clear, their styles distinct.

But when it comes to comfort, reassurance, their need for the other is loud and clear.

I wonder after reading an article over the weekend about the effect of marriage on twins.

A long way off obviously.

But some days, with all three, it seems they just have a bond of siblings.

But others, that the boys are content to be so much in each others’ space.

I wonder.Twins at 5 years

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Living Arrows 2016 5/52

“The apple of my eye.”
This boy and his apples.
All of our little people are obsessed by eating ‘healthy’.
Not because that’s all they eat, but they have caught wind of my off-setting rule.
For this one, it’s apples.
And it’s not merely a case of nibbling at the edges, or asking for it to be peeled.
When this one gets hold of an apple, the only thing that’s left is the stalk and the pips.
A child's love of apples A child's love of apples
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