Saturday, 25 April 2015

Wild about the Hammonds!

Days off have been a little rare in recent weeks and we have spent a perfect spring family day out at Pensthorpe at 'Wild about the Wensum'. We seemed to bypass the 'education about nature bits' and moved swiftly onto the playground and a massive picnic in the sunshine! Surrounded by the complete Norfolk population of yummy mummy's and feral children, we blended in quite nicely! Lucy did manage to get a nature brownie badge and Anna and I had a go at archery! Popping balloons with arrows turns out to be a very satisfying activity. Unusually all the Hammonds took some exercise, a strange and alien state of affairs, on the rowing machine. I am afraid I bummed out and metaphorically died half way through with my legs turning to jelly! 

Monday, 13 April 2015

The one with many planets and culottes!

The girls headed back to school this morning with a smile and a real skip in their steps! Anna was armed with her space and planet project work she had been diligently grafting on all holidays (boldly going where no wiggle has ever gone before) and proudly wearing her new shorts. Brave girl really, as it was a bit nippy this morning! She was grinning from ear to ear once she woke in the knowledge she would see her beloved Mrs Barker again. I have never seen a child adore her teacher so much as Anna does! Lucy, was sporting her new and trendy half skirt - half shorts (apparently called culottes - this is a new one on me) and seems to have had a fabulous day and settled quickly back in. Amy and I breath a huge sigh of relief as we get to spend time with grown ups again - well I do anyway!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

A sensitive soul that needs careful nurturing...

Lucy is a very sensitive and reflective soul. She takes everything to heart and often has very emotional reactions to constructive criticism, advice and does not often respond well to change. She also really worries about school and doing well. We are slightly concerned about her being a sedentary character and beginning to put some weight on. This is a difficult enough subject to tackle with anybody at the best of time, even more so given Lucy's sensitive nature. Lets get one thing straight here though, from the day she was born until the day I die, Lucy will always be one of the most beautiful and amazing things ever to happen to me and I will always believe her beauty to be breathtaking, regardless of whether she puts on a little weight. I want her to grow up a well adjusted, confident young lady who is happy in her own skin and does not try to be what society believes she should be. I simply want her to be happy, hold her head high and be herself. Both Amy and I regularly struggle with our weight and we know the effect this has had on our confidence and self esteem. Rather than allow this to develop in Lucy, we feel best to head this off at the pass and try to address a difficult subject. So, all week, Lucy has been encouraged to eat less, more healthily and add some more exercise to her routine to support with this. So far she has responded well to this, but the difficulty will lie in trying to foster this change in lifestyle when she goes back to school next week and the busy routine once again begins. We will try though and persist. I think this change in lifestyle will do us all good. I am not good as a champion of this, but I am responsible for supporting Lucy in her development and this is a key area of this. It is not easy and I will try. I have never been good at looking after myself, just others and this does not help matters. Lucy - you are much loved and so special and important to us. We don't want to change you, just support you to understand the consequences of your choices and how they can have an impact of your health, well being and the future. I am really not sure how I feel about all this and not even sure we are doing the right thing. Lucy is so special in so many ways and I don't want her to think that all that matters is how she looks.
Really looking forward to my Saturday night date with Lucy going to the cinema! (not so happy with the choice of film in Cinderella, but you can't win them all!)

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Norfolk fresh air always blows the cobwebs!

I have always loved a bracing walk on a Norfolk beach, always made better when with family. In celebration of our niece Evie's landmark eleventh birthday (can't believe how grown up she is) we tagged along for an Easter egg and Haribo hunt, topped off with a cup of tea and slice of cake at a beach hut. The weather was glorious and the company delightful. The spring sunshine and the beautiful view blew off the cobwebs after a busy few days at work. I love to watch Lucy, Anna and their cousins playing together - they do seem to share a genuine bond and get on well, not because of genetics, but just having fun together. Off they wandered to the sand dunes in the distance to play leaving the grown ups drinking the tea in the sunshine. Surely, this must be how a family day should pan out. A bit warmer and I could have quite happily have had a doze lying on the sand. Happy Easter to all my girls and wider family x

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Seperation anxiety - never us!

This weekend Amy and I spent four wonderful days in Paris - grown up time! This was a really big thing for us all as a family, the girls in particular are not used to us being away for such a length of time as a couple and a new experience for them both. I am not making us out to be parents of the year, but a great deal of our daily lives and focus goes into working and into helping, entertaining and ensuring the girls have all they need and grow up with opportunity. Amy and I are not good at finding time for each other and remembering we are a married couple as well as parents. In the busy life we all lead, I think we all need to take a step back and selfishly say 'I simply need time to myself away from my kids'. A big thank you needs to go out to Granny and Grandpa for making this possible and caring for and looking after the girls whilst we were away. Its one big favour we owe you and I hope you enjoyed our girls company as much as we do. They have their faults, but they are great fun to spend time with, affectionate and real characters. We did miss them and fell into the trap of talking about them lots whilst we were away, but I know Amy in particular loved Skyping them and reading them bed time stories each night. I am used to being away and separated from my family. Amy and I had a lovely time and it reminded me of the solid foundations are marriage is based on, despite some really testing and stressful times in the last few years. I did also discover that even with technology and a map, that Amy has a worse sense of direction than me, which is truly saying something! I have to say, that despite a couple of rows on the last day, as my tolerance for shopping wavered and my back hurt; as much as I love the girls, I would love to plan some more grown up time with Mrs Hammond in the future, as it was a special weekend. x