Well, we bought Rosie's school shoes yesterday.
Patent leather Dr Martens.
She loves them and has been wearing them non-stop. (Even if they don't exactly go with her shorts or her strappy sundress...)
I love them too, but even so, there's something about seeing my baby girl in black school shoes - even gorgeously shiny Doc Martens - that makes me want to cry a bit...
Where did my baby go??
Well, we had a lovely few days this past weekend. Charlie was fortunate enough to get a place on another Little Hearts Matter PGL weekend, so we needed to take him down to Dorset on Friday afternoon.
It's a good two hours from here, so we thought we might as well stay down there and make a weekend of it. We took Mum with us too, much to Rosie's delight, who was thrilled to bits to have Nanny all to herself for the weekend!
Charlie had a fantastic time at the weekend - abseiling, zip-wiring, climbing, archery, tunnel running and low rope courses. The weather was glorious (he was a little slapdash with his sunscreen, and burned his neck for the first time ever. Safe to say he won't be skimping on the factor 50 in future...)
There were a few LHM staff on site, as well as a cardiologist, plus all the PGL staff too, so the kids could really throw themselves into everything. The venue, at Osmington Bay, was amazing - right on the coast. The picture on the left is the view from Charlie's bed! (I don't have any pictures of him - but I think LHM took some, so will share them if I see them!)
We had a great time too, even though we missed having Chas with us - we were only there for two full days but we fitted loads in!
The Sea Life aquarium in Weymouth was brilliant on Saturday morning - one of the best I've been to.
There were so many fish and sea creatures to see and quizzes/treasure hunts for Rose to do on the way round, which really kept her interested. There was also quite a bit of Finding Dory stuff on the way round, which made her very happy!
There were lots of play areas and rides included too - Rosie and Pete got a little damper than anticipated on the crocodile coaster, but Rose thought it was hilarious!
I was originally queueing up with Rose to take her on the ride, but, ever the gentleman, when Pete saw how wet all the riders were getting, he came and swapped places with me because he knew I wouldn't appreciate getting drenched! (After almost 17 years of marriage, he's well acquainted with the old adage: 'Happy wife, happy life' ;-D)
We spent the afternoon on Weymouth sea front. It was so pretty - a proper seaside town. There was a tall rotating tower there which took people slowly up to the top so they could look all around the area, and the tickets were included with our aquarium tickets, so it was really good value.
Mum wasn't keen at first (she doesn't do heights really!) but having paid for it, wasn't about to waste her ticket - and actually really enjoyed surveying the scenery. She was also greatly relieved when she found out that it wasn't going to spin around like the waltzers at the fair!
Rose loved the beach, although it was both hot and windy so we didn't stay too long, because the fine sand was blowing everywhere.
The next day we headed off to a stately home/gardens/animal park place called Kingston Maurward - it really had something for everyone!
The weather was glorious - we all had fun meeting/feeding the animals, and there were loads of differently-styled gardens - Japanese, Walled, Red, Statue, Rainbow - all set around a beautiful lake.
We followed it up with an outdoor cream tea under a shady gazebo - a truly lovely day.
We picked our happy but somewhat grubby/sunburned Charlie up that night and had a fab meal at a French restaurant. Despite having already had a roast dinner for tea, Chas still managed to polish off steak frites in no time at all!
We were headed for home the next morning, but first we went for a wander round the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester, while Nanny had a mooch around the shops. The museum was quite small but absolutely packed with dinosaur models, artefacts, bones, facts and interesting hands-on things for the kids to try out. There was also a quiz sheet to fill in on the way round, which resulted in a medal at the end.
The holiday traffic wasn't too bad on the way back - thank goodness. We were so lucky with the weather, and it felt like a lovely, typically British holiday weekend!
Well, as I said in the heading, it's been a pretty busy week.
It was holiday club at the local church and I think I have made the journey there and back no less than 16 times - maybe more!
I had to drop Charlie off early and pick him up late every day because he was a helper this year. Plus it was Rosie's first year to go, so she needed dropping off and picking up too.
Holiday Club was a total success as far as Rose was concerned. She loved all the craft, games, songs and stories. She was also pretty chuffed with the many opportunities to earn points, which she can cash in for prizes tomorrow morning at the 'Holiday Club Extravaganza'!
The theme was 'Jungle Jamboree' and the kids had to dress up as a jungle animal on Thursday. We were pretty chuffed with the tiger costume we concocted - we already had the tiger mask, the orange tshirt is Charlie's, and the neon orange leggings were a left over and never-worn part of a three-pack of leggings! Some orange tissue paper rolled up to make a tail and vast amounts of black duct tape for stripes and we had a pretty decent tiger. The people at holiday club obviously agreed, because she won first prize!
Chas loved being one of the 'big ones' this week and helping out with the running of the club. I think it was a bit of a shock for him to realise just how much work goes into something like this though - he was ready for an early night by the end of the week!
I treated the pair of them to McDonald's for lunch on Friday, and they both enjoyed playing on the iPads there while they were waiting for their food. Times have really changed since I was a kid - it was fish and chips out of paper when I was little, not iPads!
We have a fairly busy week ahead as well - Mum is coming over on Monday night so I can take her to hospital on Tuesday morning to get the plaster taken off her broken wrist. It's still pretty painful though, so I think it'll be a while before she's able to use it properly. (And to top it off, it's also her birthday that day too!)
Then next Friday, Charlie's off to an outward bound weekend in Dorset run by Little Hearts Matter. They have a cardiologist on site, so the kids are able to join in with all the activities without any worries. He's looking forward to catching up with his heart friends Danny and Noah too. Both of them have the same condition as Charlie and we've known both of their families pretty much since the beginning.
So Rosie will have a weekend pretending to be an only child!
Well, even though it's the summer holiday, the weekends are still flying by. Pete's got nine more working days (and counting!) until he's got just over two weeks off, and we can't wait!
Lots of stuff planned, a few trips away and much fun to be had with the majority of the holiday still stretching in front of us.
Charlie's been busy the past few days - the church in the village runs a holiday club for a week in the holidays. A couple of hours every morning, and Charlie has gone every year since he was four. But once you hit senior school, you age out, as it's only for kids up to 11.
However, Chas was really pleased to be asked to be one of the 'grown-up' helpers this year, so he's been there for hours this past few days, putting together display boards, getting craft supplies ready, practising sketches and the like. It was almost 10pm before he got home tonight and he is loving it. (The fact they all ordered pizza for tea while they were working might have had something to do with it too!)
And of course - because Rosie's starting school in September, it's the first year she's allowed to go to holiday club too! She's very excited at the prospect as well! The theme this year is 'Jungle Jamboree' and (because we've got insider info from Charlie!!) she knows she's going to be in the Cheeky Chimps team.
Charlie's helping with the older children, so he won't be in her group, but he'll be there if she needs him, and she'll see him when all the kids are together.
She's really looking forward to all the fun and games, and, of course, winning lots of points to 'cash in' for prizes at the end!
So, like I say, a busy week ahead - Charlie has to be there an hour before it starts, and for a while after it finishes to help prepare and clear up, but fortunately our neighbour will be there too and will give him a lift sometimes, otherwise it'd be eight trips back and forth for me every day! (But it'd be worth it anyway for the two hours peace to get the house tidy!!)
We saw the new Finding Dory film this weekend, and we all really enjoyed it. There aren't many films that both the kids (and parents!) can really enjoy, so it's great when we can have a cinema trip for everyone to enjoy (rather than sleep through, as I did with the Angry Birds Movie!) Pete is such a star though - he never wears a jacket at all unless it's FREEZING, but he always wears a hoodie to the cinema because he knows I get cold in the air-con, so I can borrow it to snuggle under!
He might be a bit rubbish when it comes to DIY, but I wouldn't swap him. He lets me have a lie-in and brings me coffee in bed at weekends, always gives me the cherry off the top of his Belgian bun, drops me and Rosie off on school days so I don't have to battle with parallel parking AND keeps me cosy at the cinema. :-) After almost twenty years together, he knows what makes me tick!
Anyway, it's late, so I'd better hit the hay - our leisurely holiday mornings are on hold for the next week while Charlie's off early to holiday club!
Wow, she's grown so much. I can't believe she's heading off to 'big school' in September.
Rosie had a lovely time at her party to celebrate her last day at Playschool and came home laden down with books and works of art.
At the end of the day, the teachers lined up and clapped the kids out one by one with music playing and bubbles blowing. It was a lovely end to a golden two years for Rosie, and she loved every minute!
Some of the kids were upset to be leaving, but although I know she'll miss her teachers, she absolutely can't wait to get to big school in September.
But first - we have the whole summer stretching ahead of us, with lots of fun things planned!
Welcome to Charlie's News! Charlie was born on November 5, 2003, minus the left side of his heart - a complex congenital heart defect known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He had two open-heart surgeries in his first five months, and had his third stage Fontan completion in March 2010, aged six-and-a-half.
Charlie's heart is special - but not as special as he is!