Thursday, 23 October 2014

More birthdays, junk modelling and fabulous feedback from school!

Phew! What an eventful week in the Hammond house! Mrs Hammond reached the ripe old age of thirty-eight (hope you had a lovely day Mrs H and love your presents), Libby rolled off another birthday, Anna made junk modelling and much mess as usual and I now have no money. I have survived the financial gauntlet of the three birthdays in succession and now everybody is quickly focusing themselves on Christmas. Ahh! Best bit about the week was Amy's news following her attendance of Anna's parents afternoon at school. She is going great guns, working hard, developing well and her teacher thinks she is a superstar! Well done Wiggle! A new noise (and soon to be regular) was heard this week in our house,a noise that could at present be described as the equivalent of sharp nails being dragged down a blackboard. This noise is neither tuneful or pleasant on the ear. Lucy is now learning the violin! She is so keen and enthusiastic. Much practice needed this half term please Lucy, if only to save my ears! What a joy it is to see as she continues to take on new challenges and be involved in Brownies, swimming, gymnastics, works hard at school and now learning a musical instrument!

Friday, 17 October 2014

That was never nine years!

I find it incredulous that I am now the father of a nine year old. It's not going to change, so I better get used to it. Lucy has had a wonderful birthday. Bang on six o'clock this morning, having woken the whole house with uncontrollable excitement, she route marched us all to the living room for opening of presents! She did very well, if I say so myself with a NERF bow, Harry Potter sweatshirt,  Hermione artefact box set, CD's, DVD's, much stationary and the biggest collection of loom bands I have ever seen (I look forward to picking those up from the rug for months to come). I say it lots, but she made me very proud with all her thank yous, involving Anna and real genuine gratitude for all her gifts. To finish the day - out for  a Chinese with her friend Chloe, Granny and Grandpa and Libby -  eating too much and home for Amy's made roulade (very tasty). The girls are in bed now and Amy is asleep on the couch. They take a great deal out of you these birthdays and that's just the parents! Happy birthday my darling Lucy. Role on Sunday for Mrs Hammond's big day...

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The parental walk of shame...

Having dropped off and picked up the girls to and from school a great deal more in recent months, I have a few observations to make about 'playground politics' and the plight that some parents face when waiting for their children at the end of the day. The main lesson learnt (with fingers, arms, legs and toes crossed that this never changes) is how lucky we are that both our girls are, at present, so well behaved at school. Countless times now, I have been innocently talking with another parent in the playground as the children come out and a teacher comes out a says those dreaded words to one or even two unsuspecting parents - 'do you mind if I have a quick word please?' Instantly, you see that parent's body language change, their shoulders dip and off they trudge to be told the latest antics their child has been getting up to on that day. It is almost like the parent is very publicly being given a right telling off! One feels for them, as they and their child's assumed poor behaviour, become the latest spectacle and subject of 'playground mafia' gossip and the group of parents left on the playground. If they have no idea about the content of this parent-teacher chat, some 'grown ups' simply make it up and in seconds the whole school is speculating and talking about it. I have met some wonderful parents in the last few months and it is always good to have a chat, have an empathetic moan about the difficult bits of being a parent and have a giggle; but I have also discovered it can be a very public forum for viscous gossip and back biting as well. I am eternally grateful that, so far so good, it has not been me! It is the parental walk of shame that I really do not want to take part in please girls. Really delighted to have this record of good behaviour reinforced at Lucy's parent-teacher meeting last week. Well done Lucy x

Monday, 6 October 2014

Batten down the hatches!

Many families may be cursing the change in the weather as the Autumn kicks in, the rain and wind begin and the temperature drops. Not the Hammond's - this is potentially our strongest time of year - we thrive and are in our element. It means we can do all those things we do so well - a hot shower, be in our pyjamas early, close the curtains, light the fire, watch a great film together snuggled under a blanket  (complete with snacks) and hot chocolates with marsh mellows and cream at the bistro. Last night really got me in the mood for these activities and the time of year, with a family showing of Mrs Doubtfire, followed by the 'Strictly' results show, pure Hammond bliss. Not yet lit the fire but it is coming! We are also approaching the big birthday weekend, as Lucy reminded me this evening with a 'slight' mistake. She told me there was only twelve more years until her birthday. Fantastic - going to save a few pennies if she only has a birthday every decade or so!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The curious dream of Mrs Berrywish.....

Anna is known for the unusual and eccentric (demonstrated by the attached picture, covered in shaving foam) and there are some days I am really not sure what planet she is on. A couple of days ago I popped into her room to check on her late in the evening and she uttered some interesting and intriguing words: 'Come on Mrs Berrywish, you are very warm'. When I spoke with her in the morning she was not able to identify this mysterious character, her origin or remember any of the her dream. It did however prompt, a very quirky conversation between the girls and I about what Mrs Berrywish got up to in her day to day life. Suggestions for a story would be most welcome as we could have a children's best seller on our hands! Move over Enid Blyton! I might starting working on it on the quiet in the coming weeks. I have been so busy of late, building up the new business that blogging has sadly taken a back seat. Coupled with a thoroughly enjoyable and more prominent role in the girls lives, I am loving every minute of family life whilst being at home. I had a wonderful bit of quality time with Lucy, when she agreed to help me do a car boot sale on Sunday morning, ok - there was an exchange in cash involved and a very early morning get up, but we spent the morning drinking tea, eating bacon butties and chatting. I am looking forward to tomorrow as Lucy takes her Brownies 'promise' and baring disaster I can commit to telling her I can attend. It means a great deal to me to be in control of my own family destiny. I often found myself, not intentionally breaking promises to the girls as work and the responsibility of my role got the better of me. Not any more and it delights me I can be true to my word. I want the girls to believe in me as they grow up. I am growing in parental confidence and continue to reinforce the 'earn your pocket money' programme with real commitment and focus and have been unwavering in its application. Both girls seem to be emerging from the fog and finally getting it! Really learning that consistent hard work in parenting can have an impact..