Thursday, 16 December 2010

We are here at last!

I am currently at a friend's house, Ken's best man lives four miles away from us, as we don't have internet so this will be a quick update and photos will have to follow as I forgot to bring the camera memory card.

Let me start by saying that I cannot recommend moving with two ill children while you have a temperature of 103/39.5 during the worst snow for the last forty years. The van was nearly four hours late, the ramp kept icing up, I was too ill to do much prior to packing and pretty useless on the day, Ken managed to get a paternity day off and came home 10.00 the evening before, and friends from church and Mum saved the day. They stayed in shifts all day and cleaned the house through, or looked after the children. At six we were waved off, collected Isla from Mum, fed her and ourselves and finally arrived at midnight.

Ken's parents had decided that they would help us move in but that staying with us would be too complicated and probably add to the confusion. They rented a holiday house five miles from our house it was a haven! When they heard that we were going to be so late they arranged with the owner for us all to stay there for the night. We were joined by Mark, an absolute stalwart, who took time off work and drove up from Norfolk in the snow just to help us move in. He did the same helping us move to and from Germany. Either his life is just too dull and even shifting boxes seems like a good idea, or he is a wonderful friend. I think it is probably the latter. The holiday home was bliss - from dark night and cold snow to a warm, wood-stove-warmed living room with a cup of tea. A fresh bed, warm shower and not a box in site.

Actually, there weren't any boxes in site. They were meant to arrive at 8.00 the next morning but as the men had finished so late the day before, they couldn't set off until the following morning and consequently didn't arrive until lunchtime. Irronically, it took them the same amount of time to drive from Derby to Newcastle as it did the day before to drive from Derby to Macclesfield! The van was unloaded, some boxes were unpacked and we withdrew to the holiday house again somewhat exhausted.

I rapidly came to the conclusion that with unpacking it takes 10% of the time to unpack 90% of the boxes and 90% of the time to work out what to do with the final 10%. Two weeks after moving in we are mostly unpacked. There are things we have decided to leave in boxes, like the best china and most of my books, but we are starting to feel settled. We have had a couple of annoying trips to Ikea, (one where the fire alarm went off for three and a half hours and we had to wait in the carpark. Then the child care place argued that since Angus had already been in child care he couldn't come back in! As I had dropped him off and not even walked across the foyer before the alarm started, they eventually relented, but not without an argument), bought random items that we needed in order to shape our stuff to the available storage, and are now feeling that our things have homes. Last night we put up the Christmas tree but I haven't yet written Christmas cards. Angus has started nursery and is already talking about his friends and been in the school nativity. Most of the Christmas presents have been bought and life is starting to develop a pattern. I may even start to like it up here.... That would be turn up for the books.

I will keep you up to date as and when internet allows or offers of internet are given. If I don't write again before Christmas, have a good one and remember Christmas is not about presents, fun though they are, it is a birthday party.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Goodbyes - Positive, and not so.

Written on Friday and not finished, but I will post anyway. We currently have a combination of fevers, colds, eye infections, chesty coughs, runny noses and about 1 foot of snow. Not the best conditions for moving. Where we will be moving to currently has a blizzard. The boss of removal men suggested they take huskies...

Anyone who has moved house and relocated, not just moved within a town or area but further afield, will be aware of the limbo that accompanies almost everything. Although intellectually you are aware that sometime next week all will change, life on a daily basis is still continuing: laundry still needs doing, the dog still needs walking, Angus still needs taking to school, and so on. Yet, when planning things, discussing events that will be happening over the next few weeks and so on, there is the repetition of, "But of course, this doesn't affect you," or reminding myself that this is not something I need to concern myself with as I will be living elsewhere. In effect, you start being disconnected and excluded from your current life.

We haven't started packing yet although we have done some re-arranging and a bit of rationalising, but on the whole our house looks little different from normal. To be honest, if Ken resigned his new job next week, we would carry on as before and nothing would have changed significantly. And yet, next week all will change: We will still be the same family but in a different place, needing to recreate routines, new places to go, to shop, to walk the dog, and so on in a new house with new patterns of living.

About the only thing making this seam even vaguely real is the need to say goodbye. I know in my head that there are some people whom I have grown to admire, enjoy the company of, respect, even love, who I will possibly never see again. Grasping the emotional reality of that is elusive, but practically I can at least reflect on the good times we have had together, thank them for being a part of my life and hope that at some stage our lives will cross again. Will some tenacity and good planning with some that will happen, but with many, I know it won't.

Last night I attended my last Mountain Rescue Team training session. Being a part of a MRT is a strange beast - some people assume things about your mountaineering ability that is complete myth (although you may actually aspire to it!), others assume that you are just a rather melodramatic rambler. The reality is that you are neither - you are a keen hillwalker with time and the inclination to help others. The adrenaline you get on a call out, opportunity to play (rarely) with helicopters, and the satisfaction you get from knowing or at least hoping, that you have made a positive impact on some stranger's life, are all plusses, although sometimes elusive. The team are a great bunch of people all connected by the hillwalking helpful approach. Consequently they are usually a sociable bunch, mostly friendly and accompanied by the usual mix of internal politics and personality clashes that you get with any cross-section of society. But I do love hanging out with them on a Thursday evening! I have thoroughly enjoyed at least 95% of my time with the team and I will miss them. Even though I have seen few outside of an MR activity, I will still miss them and can certainly say that I am grateful for having had their input in my life.

The not so positive good bye was at the vet's yesterday. Angus's rabbit Snow White developed a tooth abscess a few weeks ago and despite the vet's and Mum's (Snow White lives at my Mum's house) best attempts, by yesterday it had spread to her jaw. The kindest thing was to let her go. Angus and I went to the vets and we held her and said goodbye, thanking her for the fun we had and the joy that she had brought to our lives. Later Angus and I buried her in Mum's garden. It was a sad time for him and he cried a bit but in typical child fashion, then started talking about getting another rabbit when we move to the house we will be borrowing.

Hopefully more of the goodbyes will be more like the first and not so traumatic.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Isla's First Birthday

Isla's first year has flown past. I still remember the day we first met as though it was only yesterday, although thankfully I feel much better and a lot less tired than if that was really the case!
Last week Angus and I were reflecting on all that Isla has achieved this year, and she is wonderful! Angus told a friend of ours today how much he loves Isla, and judging from the way they play together, the feeling is mutual. I am so proud of my children - neither of them are angels, although Isla is close, but they are unique, wonderful little people and I am so curious to see how they will develop and grow, and what talents and gifts have been bestowed upon them. Mine is just the task to care, watch, and encourage, and offer the occasional nudge and word of guidance!

Isla had a family party on the Saturday before her birthday as her Dad was away at his new job for the actual day. Mum and Clive came over for a birthday tea, and Grandpa and Grandma came to stay for a long weekend. Presents arrived through the post for a few days, and came from friends, and there are allegedly still family presents on their way!
Enjoy the photos! As they were taken indoors in the dark, the lighting is terrible.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Life on the Go.

I am sitting in front of our lovely log burner, basking in its heat and reflecting over the highs and lows of the last month.

The true low was looking around Newcastle and the surrounding areas and not finding anywhere at all where I could envisage living and feeling at home. One month ago I was nearly in tears thinking of what life was to become and questioning everything I could think of about what it is that gives me peace and makes my life worth living. My family, of course, scored highly, as did my faith, but other than that, what makes me tick? I am not sure that I really found the answer, but aesthetics seemed to be high as well and the areas we were looking in scored a negative for that. Fortunately, after much prayer, reflection, discussion and maths, we started to look at a different area and finally decided that if we were careful we may be able to afford to live in the Tyne Valley, a beautiful area to the west of Newcastle with the River Tyne running through a rural valley. We subsequently found several villages that felt comfortable. Right Move led us to a house in Heddon-on-the-Wall which we will be renting from December 1st.

Heddon-on-the-Wall is a village build alongside Hadrian's Wall and has a part of the wall visible in a field near to where we will be living. There is a good school there, a nursery and a somewhat aspirationally named "Shopping Precinct"! There are four shops there, a vets, a nursery and most importantly of all, a coffee shop-come-deli! Hurrah. As soon as Ken saw that, he knew I would be able to find some peace!

Ken started work last Monday and is commuting on a weekly basis. He enjoyed his first week there although was complaining of having a somewhat "fried brain" by Friday evening. He likes his colleagues and is finding the job challenging in that he is looking at areas of engineering that he has not explored before. I think he is also excited by the opportunities he has although he is having to adjust to a company with far fewer resources than he had at Siemens. His new company is, after all, about the size of just his previous department!

The high was last week when Isla reached her first birthday, but that deserves a blog in its own right. Tomorrow night! In the meantime, I have to write lists and work out what little jobs need to be done before we leave; what services need to be stopped; things unjoined; items returned, and so on. Hopefully I won't end up with a list of lists, but I think there are going to be several lists on the go. At least I won't have to worry about forgetting things, just making sure I don't pack the lists!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Summer highlights

Now I know that it is well past summer so this is a bit late, but let's just say that I have been otherwise occupied!

I still don't know how to load up a slide show, so you will just have to tolerate inbedded photos and a large posting. The photos are from a somewhat delayed flying lesson which was for my 40th last year, our annual summer vacation in Scotland with the family, the Great Dorset Steam Extravaganza where my brother was showing his steam engine, Angus's birthday in Swanage with Grampa Steam, and a rather lovely day onboard Waverley paddle steamer for Grampa's 70th birthday and Ken's 40th.

Queen Victoria, my brother's engine, spent the five days powering a saw bench in a demonstration arena. Below, a four year old girl with the saw bench, decided that Isla needed accessorising!

Dad and Angus on QV. Angus is wearing his first boiler suit and is very proud of it! Needless to say, it had to be red.

Being Tom Cruise after my flyinh lesson. It was a gorgeous day and I had a fantastic time. Thanks Mum!

Angus and Isla blowing out birthday candles. As this was the day after the steam rally, a bakery had arranged the cake for us and a restaurant kindly let us have a small party there. People can be wonderful!

Earlier in the day we had been on the Swanage railway with my Dad, Jen my sister, Jackie, Ken and Isla. Angus did enjoy himself.

Angus and Graham on the beach earlier in the summer, and below, Ken and Isla taking a break from climbing with the Big Boy Cousins. We had lovely sunny weather for most of our hols this year and have already booked to go back. Christina, a neighbour from Germany joined us - I can highl recommend taking a nanny on holiday with you!

Monday, 27 September 2010

Angus's New Bedroom

Just a quick one as Ken is out playing squash.

Angus was talking about what he wants his new bedroom to look like. He has decided that it has to be red and that he wants bunk beds with Daddy sleeping on the top bunk. Isla and I are to sleep in the pink girls' room. "But," I said, " what if Isla and I don't want pink? What if we want, say, green?" He replied, "Good, because then I can have red and pink, with a stripe in between. I can have red dinosaurs on the pink bits with green eyes, and pink dinosaurs on the red bits with green eyes. Will that look pretty Mum?"

Uhhh, maybe, but I am not sure...

The Decision - again!

So, we had it sorted: Ken had decided Germany. We told Siemens; we told Newcastle; and naturally, we told Germany. We told everybody else.

You just know that something has gone wrong, don't you!?

The short version of the story is that when they (Siemens and Ken) started to negotiate the nitty gritty, it all fell apart. Siemens were inflexible on certain issues and so was Ken. The differences were too great and so Ken declined. I was gutted. Although I could understand Ken's perspective, I didn't realise until he declined just how much I had been looking forward to moving back to Germany. Of course I was aware that it wouldn't be the same as last time as our experience there was to a large degree a result of those whom we met and befriended, some of whom are no longer there, but all the same the lifestyle and climate were enviable compared to Macclesfield!

Now we are moving to Newcastle. Or just south of there at least. There are some benefits: The climate is certainly much drier than Macclesfield (actually, I believe that rainforests are probably the only places on earth wetter and damper than here!), but it is significantly colder. I grew up in South England so even here feels cold: Newcastle is colder still! However, on the plus side housing is cheaper so we should be able to buy a larger house which will ameliorate the situation somewhat.

Do I sound somewhat negative about the impending move? It's partly prejudice on my part. Growing up in the south, anything beyond Bristol was up North (crazy when you look at a map but we had to travel past or through Bristol to go anywhere) and all the North was uncivilised and industrial in my mind. When you hit Scotland all was well again. Psychologically there was this geographical blank, except London and where Dad lived, which was very nice and surrounded by beautiful countryside. Macclesfield seemed very adventurous at the time and now this will be considered southern compared to where we will be living. Take a deep breath, count to ten and then slowly exhale...

Then there is the motive for the move. Ken has an exciting new job to go to and I don't. This isn't pity, just that whenever I have made a move before there has been an inner motive and this time there isn't. I will have to make a life there and I am not really too sure what I will be doing. I may eventually return to teaching but I sincerely doubt that. I will probably have to pursue something else. In the meantime I will have to find alternatives to all the things that I value and enjoy here. Could be exciting, could be disappointing, could be draining. And then there will be the people who will no longer be such a significant part of my life.

Sorry if I sound glum today, it's just that the "For Sale" sign went up this morning and I spent all of last week getting the house ready for prospective purchasers. It's not home any more, it's a show home. Of a kind. Actually, that has been a really good motivator to get lots of little jobs done! Thank you Ken, Mum and Parents-in-Law who have all helped! And now we are leaving.

I'll let you know how we get on.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

The Decision...

has been made. Well, Ken has a plan anyway!

Over the last couple of months the strain of making a decision, coupled with a various family events has been interesting! But you don't want to hear that, you want to know what Ken has decided. It really was a difficult decision as the comparisons weren't exact - each of the three offers had different strengths and different weaknesses and different issues attached. Finally the only criteria that allowed the three to be separated was this:

Which one would I regret?

Which of the three would Ken regret not taking in six or seven years' time? Obviously there are events that can't be predicted which could alter the answer to that in hindsight, but as far as can be forseen there was only one choice that Ken would regret not pursuing:


So that is the decision. The offer from Gateshead is still open and they still want him but Germany would not be so easy in a few years' time as it would be too disruptive on the children's education. And Ken and I did have a wonderful time there last time. Obviously it won't be the same as we won't be living in the same village near the same town with the same friends, both German and American. We can't replicate, but we both loved the lifestyle and want to offer the children the chance to speak a foreign language and experience a different culture.

So, I said that we have a plan. This might not come about. They have laid off 400 folks in Erlangen where Ken would be working and the unions are so strong in Germany that he might not be allowed. They also have to allow for Ken's inability to speak German having said that he must work in German. In reality that won't happen. Then there is the package they are offering to make it worth our while to move over there. If all that does not tie up then we pull out of the plan and take Pete up on his Gateshead offer. If that doesn't come about for whatever reason then Ken stays in Congleton and we look at buying a larger house on the local council estate and support the Church in its work there.

Plan? Sorted - I hope.

You were right weren't you? We followed as the poll predicted. Holidays in Bavaria anyone?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Interesting... because

... nobody is leaving any comments or reasons for their decisions. Are (most of) you after cheap holidays to Bavaria?! Bavaria does sound much better than Newcastle - and Ken would say a heck of a lot better than Macclesfield!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Ken has been working as Siemens for about ten years now. He was taken on as a design engineer, however, due to internal politics, the design work has been taken over to Germany, and Ken is currently spending most of his days doing testing on other products. Frankly, he is somewhat bored and frustrated.

Two months ago he was headhunted by a much smaller and rival company. They don't do exactly the same products as Siemens but are more innovative and Ken would be working on a broader range of products than he currently does. Siemens heard about this approach and asked Ken what they would need to do to keep him in Congleton. He told them. They offered it to him. Then an even bigger boss heard that Ken was bored and offered him ten years in Germany, to start on October 1st. We said five years. They said they would take whatever we offered them. Siemens want to keep Ken.

This is all very flattering, but now what do we do? Ken has three groups of people after him and all have their upsides and their downsides: breadth of product and closer to Ken's parents versus smaller and less secure (and a part of the country I am not keen on but Ken is); no move and a new product to design if we stay here versus less security as what happens when this product is completed; excitement of Germany in the same area as previously versus no m-i-l support for childcare, learning German for Ken.


Please log your suggestions on the poll. We need all the advice we can get!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Steam, steam and more steam...

Angus probably didn't stand much chance of NOT being interested in steam engines. Anyone who has paid even a little attention to the development of Angus, will be aware by now that his current phase (one that has been going on for quite a long time now), is steam. He doesn't really mind what form his steam fix comes in - locomotives, traction engines, lorries, Old Glory magazine, books about steam, completely imaginary - but he does seem to require a regular supply. In fact, his interest has really morphed somewhat into obsession: he now spends a large part of his life being a steam engine. This does has its benefits as it can be a really useful tool for making Angus walk anywhere, an activity which he appears to find relentlessly dull. Permeated with steam fantasies, even a walk to the shops can become tolerable for him.

A couple of weeks ago, the extended family celebrated my Dad's 70th birthday, his brother's 65th birthday, and it would have been their Dad's 101st, all within a few weeks of each other. For various reasons we all (about 35 of us) descended on York. We had a wonderful weekend and York is a beautiful city, well worth a visit. Sadly I saw very little of York. I saw the hotel, the walk from the hotel to the National Railway Museum and from there to the railway station to go home. I saw very little else! Okay, I did see the inside of the NRM, in fact I got to spend two whole days there with Angus completely entranced by the place. You see, the NRM holds not only steam engines, but one in particular: Mallard. Mallard is no ordinary steam engine, it holds the record for the being the fastest one ever. Angus can direct you to several You Tube clips about Mallard which he has memorised. He quotes from them, acts them out, and from a few months ago, began imagining meeting Mallard in the NRM, driving it, turning its dials and leavers, checking its steam pressure and putting coal in its firebox. Seriously!
4.20 on Sunday evening and Mallard's footplate was opened to the public; Angus got to stand there, play, pretend and live out his dream with lots of phooshing noises and woops of whistles. He looked at me through the driver's window and said, "Mum, I'm happy." Fantastic.
York was all the more fun as Angus's cousin Frazer was there too - also somewhat steam saturated!

Is Isla smiling because Angus is with her, the pages are being turned and the movement is fascinating, or because she is being initiated into the family interest? Or all of the above?
In preparation for the trip, Angus decided he had to educate Isla. A few weeks ago while I was cooking dinner I heard the following conversation and snapped the above picture.  The conversation went something along the lines of, "This one's a road loco - look, it has a solid fly wheel. This one is a showman's - it has lots of lights. This one is red..."

Isla doesn't stand a chance, does she?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Six months old already!

It truly is hard to believe that Isla is six months old, but she is. And she is adorable, but then I would say that, wouldn't I?

Actually, she really is! She wants to go to bed at about 7.00 in the evening, wakes up between 7.00 and 8.00 in the morning, has about three short naps through the day, and smiles a lot. She feeds well, is very sociable, isn't sick a lot (unlike her brother!), and is hitting all her milestones. We really are blessed. And it is just as well....

Angus us being a bit of a handful at the moment. He is causing problems at school to the extent that they are getting some support in for him. He has some freaky behaviour which is making them wonder if there is some underlying problem. Hopefully there's nothing to worry about but he can be very hard work indeed. Just as well Isla is a place of peace and harmony! I'll let you know what they say about Angus when I know some more.

In the meantime, last week while Angus was at school and the sun was shining in our lovely conservatory, Isla and I played with the camera. Enjoy!

Saturday, 27 March 2010


When choosing a name for a new child there are various things that you are advised to take into consideration:

trendy names that date.
the combination of initials.
names that when combined with the surname, sound bad.
names that are too difficult to spell or say.
And so on.

Nowhere did either I or Ken read "Names that when combined spell something else."

Isla M Thompson. People liked it. We liked it. The intials look fine and don't stand for anything that we know of and it sounded good.

Because of the way Isla is spoken, no-one picked up the combination of Isla and M.

Not until we had a letter from the Child Trust Fund addressed to Islam Thompson.


Anyone any ideas? We already have her passport. It may not be a problem but who knows what the world will be like in 20 years' time. Would she get a visa to Israel if we wanted to visit my friend who lives there? Would it lead to misunderstandings about her beliefs? We don't know but I am not sure that it is worth taking the risk.

I think the easiest way is to insert a name between the Isla and the M. Changing names becomes more complicated (and expensive!) and it is also easier to do it before her name becomes "attached" to too many things. We would have to choose a hard consonant to ensure that the words are really broken up.

We had thought of adding "Patricia" after Ken's mum but then she becomes
Isla PMT. Not good.

Equally we can't have Grace, another name we liked, as a friend pointed out that she then becomes "I slag." Also not good.

Suggestions? At the moment we are probably going with Kathryn. We know that there is a children's character called Katie Morag but I don't think this would be a problem and Ken is running out of patience having to think about names again!

P.S For bureaucratic reasons we have to do this before Tuesday as after then the cost doubles!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Mothers' Day

Happy belated English Mothers' Day. I know in Germany it comes on a different day and I have no idea whether they even have a Mothers' Day in America. Here, we had it on Sunday. Ken and Angus bought me a plant, but as yet I am still to ever have a Ken-initiated Mothers' Day card either from him or Angus, but a plant is a step in the right direction for which I am grateful. I did, in all fairness, also have breakfast in bed, but I suspect that this was more to do with helping me multi-task as I was feeding Isla at the same time and Ken was concerned that we would be horribly late for church.

That afternoon we went for a photoshoot at a local photographers. I have enclosed a link as this really is going to be the easiest way for any of you to see pictures of Isla. I know they say that the second child always has fewer pictures taken and it is so true. I have come to the conclusion that it is to do with the need of the older child to be looked after and you just don't have enough hands or energy or undivided attention to wonder over all the achievement of your new bundle. Be warned, with a little support, Isla was sitting for her alone pictures and she is only four months old... She was also tired and so didn't smile as much as usual. Actually, she didn't smile at all!

Any ideas for what combination of pictures we should order?

Here’s how to view your images from the Mother's Day Weekend Photoshoot:
  • Go to
  • Click on ‘Portrait Photography’
  • Click on ‘Client Area and select ‘Portraits’.
  • Your password is: thompson

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Life in (random) short phrases.

Angus is mostly asleep.
Isla is asleep.
Angus is now reading (short words but hey, he is only three)
Isla sleeps through the night.
Angus still adores Isla and loves giving her a bottle and playing with her.
Isla is trying really hard to sit up and already stands a little.

I have lots of blogs in my head that I haven't written:
How great it is having a helpful Mum living around the corner.
How great it is having helpful inlaws who come to stay.
How great it was visiting my brother and his partner (I despise that expression!) in Belgium.
How great it is being able to scrap life and reflect on all the blessings that we have.
(That's not a blog, but it is true!)

The snow has been awesome this year and I haven't been able to go out to play in it due to small babies and breastfeeding. This makes me sad.

I love being able to breastfeed.

Too often my day seems to involve too much cleaning up pooh.

Why are my chronological age, physical age and emotional age incompatible?

Blue is really annoying right now and seems to revel in lying, standing or sitting in passageways and doorways that I want go through.

Spring is coming and I am really hoping and praying that I am going to be able to go climbing this year.

I have just been appointed Scout Skills Instructor for this area for Climbing and Mountaineering.

I am starting to enjoy some pink, flowery stuff - is this the start of a slippery slope or am I becoming a victim of marketing?

It is very different having two children from one.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Consequences of Pink

I have never been much of a "girly". Okay, so I do like a night out in a posh frock occasionally, but on a daily basis I tend toward pragmatic, not fashion or even attractive. It's true that I would like to feel more comfortable in feminine attire, but I don't and it's not exactly suitable for walking the dog anyway. Make-up only comes out on rare occasions. Boy babies somehow seemed more likely to fit in with this and the girly part of toy shops would leave me feeling either disinterested, appalled or with a feeling of dread.
Along came Isla.

Then came the bouquets of pink flowers.
And the pink cards.
And the pink clothes.
Oh dear...
I thought we were meant to moving away from gender stereotyping. It appears not when you are under five. Not when you can be marketted to!

It has occured to me over the past weeks that there are various consequences of having a "pink" baby. Some I may bring myself to comes to terms with; some I can imagine becoming potential sources of tension and some will be non-negotiable, at least for now.

Hair slides
Bows and other accessories.
French plaits and other time-consuming hair styles
High heeled shoes
Nail polish
Crop tops
"I'm not going climbing - I could break a finger nail...!"
Fairies and Princesses and other areas of Disney marketting
Boy bands
"Tweenager" marketting
The whole "Boys are little terrors and girls are little angels" thing.

And so on.

This got me looking around and I found a website called Pink Stinks. Well said.

Monday, 25 January 2010

A Quiet Evening in...

Angus is asleep, Isla is asleep, and Ken is away. I finally have a quiet evening in all to myself and a chance to unwind and catch up. I may even get around to loading some photos if the phone doesn't ring again!

Isla is doing well. She had her 6 week check up last week, even though she was actually ten weeks old! There was a lag after Christmas. Isla weighed in at 10lbs 5oz and is already able to stand with a bit of help with balance. This is so different from Angus! He didn't stand until about four or five months old although he also had good head control, and as many of us know, he was laid back to the point of laziness. Isla is far more assertive and quite determined to find a way to communicate to you exactly what she wants. A tongue being poked out means she is hungry; a wide open mouth and she wants her Schnuller (pacy [how do you spell that?]/dummy). Get those around the wrong way and she is not a happy bunny. She doesn't like being left out of things and will cry and get very cross if left in her seat. She would much rather be held and shown what's going on, or just cuddled! She mostly likes her changing mat and smiles at you, but only rarely tolerates a bath. Her play mat (Angus's favourite when her age) is a no go area but today sat in his doughnut play ring thing and really enjoyed it. Vertical seems preferable to horizontal and she regularly wants to practice standing and will complain until you help her up.

I see trouble ahead..... Two headstrong ladies in the same family ( maybe I should make that three, or is it four, or even five....?!) could lead to fireworks. We should all start praying for Ken now I think...

Angus is still smitten with her and told me today that he loves her. Actually, he loves a lot of people right now and is being very affectionate. He is still proud of his sister and regularly tells me things that he is going to teach her. Today he was going to teach her how to use my i-touch but he is also going to show her how to chop wood for the fire with the axe, how to light the fire, use a Bow saw, use the hand drill, run, tell her about Mallard his current obsession (a steam train - Google it), and do a pooh in the toilet. There is a certain amount of irony in that last one as he hasn't cracked that area yet and is going to see a hospital specialist in a few days. He is thoroughly enjoying being a big brother and wants to share his toys with her and asks me when she is going to grow big enough to play with. Fortunately scrapbooking has an advantage here as he can see when he did different things by looking in his book and this gives him a bit of insight into time scale.

I have just tried to add photos and it won't let me. Guess that lets me off the hook until next time. I will spend the rest of the evening finishing Thank You letters and editing photos for next time.