Saturday, 23 April 2011

Our annual pilgrimage...

The family Hammond made it's annual pilgrimage to the dinosaur park under considerable and sustained pressure from Anna who has been nagging us senseless to go for weeks now and as the weather was unbelievable yesterday we seized the opportunity. It is safe to say that Anna has the most eventful day of all of us. First, getting a 'croc' related blister that pretty much ensured she had a piggy back or ride on shoulders all the way round. Possibly a very shrewd move! Secondly, she managed to pee on a dinosaur's tail as she had an impromptu visit behind a hedge. Lastly, she could be seen about an hour later giving a T-Rex a really good slapping! Now how many people can say they managed to include all that into their day. I look forward to our visit next year, just for the simple reason to see what Anna comes up with and how she spends her day!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

She's a chip off the old block!

Anna is industrious, hard working and knows when a job needs doing in the house or the garden. Here she is helping her daddy with his household chores and workload by watering the plants. Good girl! Oh and by the way, it's the bank holiday weekend, the sun is shining, the forecast is brilliant and the paddling pool is out in the yard. Oh happy days indeed! I have found the last four days quite tough as I truly have not seen the girls at all this week since I went back to work and I am really excited about the prospect of another four days with my family. Sunshine, barbecue, chilling out and a bit of gardening. What more could I ask for?

Monday, 18 April 2011

Pregnancy and the evolution of christianity.....

I went back to work today and have seen the girls for about twenty minutes and I am reminded of how good it was to spend time with them last week. The silly things they get up to that just keep the material for my blog and this record of family life just going and going.

Anna went through a day of diligently looking after 'Baby Jack' and attempted to empathise about what it was like to have a baby in your tummy. Guided by Lucy, they played a lovely game of mummies and schools. I was slightly worried because the whole thing was approached with such naivety and lack of real knowledge that it sounded like a teenage mother training camp and Anna's pretend pregnancy was rather hilarious.

Lucy, on the other hand has been dabbling in more profound issues in her life. She is extremely interested in Easter, Christianity and above all chocolate, and is very pleased that somebody decided to combine them all with the arrival of chocolate Easter eggs. She has, however, taken this a step further and I quote: 'Daddy; chocolate biscuits are very good for you and make you better when you are poorly. When Jesus was on the cross the good people gave him a chocolate biscuit and that made him better, which is why he came back to life on Easter Sunday.' It is a very interesting theological argument from the young lady on the left sporting her lovely new hair cut! Thanks for the lovely, yet slightly bizarre memories of last week girls - they kept me going on my first day back to work....

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Mixed holiday feelings..

The girls have enjoyed lots of things this week and I have loved being with them immensely. However, having now relaxed and slowed down, I find myself very tired and longing for some child free time just with Amy so I can remind her how much she is loved and that being my wife is special to me too. I also want to recharge my batteries. If I am honest, this week has been full of mixed feelings.

Anyway... Anna is delighted with her new safety hat for her bike, so much so that she has taken to wearing it inside. We have started a new family tradition this week and have set up the 'who can grow the tallest sunflower family competition'. I, of course will be the winner - perhaps with some secret chemical enhancement and I am contemplating sabotage that I will implement in the not too distant future (only kidding). The quality of the cake making in the house this week is exquisite and very tasty. This is not doing much for my waistline though. I have to say that I do not need any encouragement to eat sweet things and neither do the girls.

I feel a sense of sadness coming on, though, as I have to go back to work next week and will once again not see as much of my lovely family, but a bloke has got to earn a crust. Holidays and time off with my family are a double edged sword in the fact that I need a rest from the day-to-day grind and quality time with the ones I love just lifts my spirits. On the flip side, the fact that the girls are so busy and frankly quite exhausting, means that sometimes I also need a holiday from my children too! Amy and I work very hard and life can be a real struggle. Don't get me wrong, it is a struggle that I will always want in my life, as my girls are so special and make me feel amazing. Just sometimes you need a rest and time with your wife....

Monday, 11 April 2011

Spring time chilling and fun...

I am on holiday, the sun is shining and we have had a fantastic three days so far of fun and chilling out in the spring sunshine. The normal pace of life we have as a family has slowed and slowed as the days have gone on and I feel the most relaxed I have felt in years.

We went for a picnic and bike ride in Sandringham on Sunday. Anna went bonkers on her bike as she weaved through the picnic tables filled with frightened pensioners at break-neck speed, completely fearless and with a beaming smile on her chocolate covered ice cream face - she nearly took out at least a dozen people. I was not sure whether to beam with pride or worry.

We have had coffee at the bistro (several times with marshmallows and cream!), ice cream in Wells today, hill rolling, lunch out at our favourite pub in Burnham, digging the garden with the girls and planting seeds, hunting for worms, tea and more tea with our neighbour Libby in the yard in the sun and I even chilled out enough to have a beer! Proper family life instead of the hustle and bustle of the working week. The only downside is the Hammond weather curse has struck and the cold and rain sets in tomorrow. All good things come to an end...

P.S Lucy beat me 6 - 1 at 'shut the box' this morning in ruthless fashion and with an audience. I have no dignity left!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The tooth fairy has arrived!

The Hammond house is finally being graced by the presence of the Tooth Fairy after weeks and weeks of waiting as Lucy's wobbly tooth has finally fallen out while she crunched on a bit of toast at teatime at after school club. This tooth fairy business is going to cost me an arm and a leg. Lucy has just gone to bed armed with a pink envelope under her pillow in which she has placed a note asking for five pounds for her tooth. Nice try young lady! I have removed the tooth and placed a pound coin in the envelope and that's my final offer! No more negotiations on this matter, your father has spoken and had harsh words with the tooth fairy in regards to price freezing. Has anybody in my house not noticed that we are in the middle of one of the worst recessions that this country has seen?!?

Friday, 1 April 2011

The fearless and the poser...

Anna is completely fearless, which she demonstrated this afternoon as she hurtled around the yard on her bike, fell off several times and just laughed it off and got back on. She does alarm me as she has not yet worked out how to use the brakes and will not let me show her. She's been a real chatterbox this week, it has been delightful that we can now have a conversation with her as her sentences develop as each day goes by. She loves spending time with me now and loves a bit of rough and tumble with her daddy. Face to face whilst she is giggling herself silly and smiling at me with her beautiful eyes is an amazing and memorable experience. She is a joy to watch as she meticulously looks after her toy baby, wrapping her in a blanket and talking to her. Then she spoils it all and sends the baby to the naughty corner for not doing what she is told!

Lucy is becoming a right poser for the camera this week and I have to say even though she is genetically connected to me (which could be a real problem), the camera is good to her and it turns out she is as beautifully photogenic as her mummy. Here she is, sporting her new school uniform ready for the summer. I was very worried this week as she told me during the rhyming game we were playing yesterday that 'Miss rhymes with piss, daddy!' Thankfully she had no idea what she was talking about..