Nothing better than a quiet afternoon doing jigsaws... especially when it means I get chance to do my ironing (which has been piling up because the iron broke at the weekend!)
PS Rosie has discovered the joy of hair ribbons! :-)
That's the first line of an old hymn I used to sing when I was little, but it really fits the bill at the moment.
Time seems to be running away with me lately - we've only got about two weeks left of the summer holiday now, and the first month has shot by.
We've fitted a lot of fun in though, with quite a bit more left to come - some of which Charlie has NO idea about yet... I LOVE surprises! Watch this space!
He and I went to see Cats at the Millennium Centre a week or so ago, which was fun. I've never seen it before, although we knew some of the big numbers. Charlie loved watching it, and really appreciated how much work all the dancers were putting in, having done a bit of dancing with his theatre group.
We've got a busy couple of weeks ahead - we're off to meet Charlie's heart friend Thomas at the safari park on Tuesday, then on Wednesday we're having a visit from Grace - the baby girl with HLHS like Charlie, whose mum worked with my brother.
Then Charlie's off to stay with Nanny for a couple of days, which he's really looking forward to (although I imagine Rosie will miss him like mad again!)
And the week after that, it's back to school on the Wednesday. But Rosie has a final 'taster' session at playschool on the Tuesday, so Charlie's coming with us to that. I wasn't sure if he'd want to come, but he was well up for it - he's looking forward to going back to his old stomping ground! Many of the staff who looked after him are still there, so I imagine they'll be pleased to see how much he has grown. He was pretty blue and breathless when he was there, as he didn't have his Fontan until he was six, so they'll be amazed how much better he is these days.
Rosie's first proper day at playschool is September 9 (Will's birthday!) and she can't wait to get there. She was a bit miffed yesterday as Charlie was choosing his new pens and pencils for school because she didn't get to pick any for 'little school'.
And as always, once the kids go back to school, we'll be starting the mad roll down towards their birthdays, with all the fun and mad cake-making that brings!
Here's a pic of the cheeky pair in Pete's office - Charlie's getting scarily grown up, and as for Rosie - she is such a pickle. :-)
Well, we went to fetch Charlie yesterday evening and he had a fabulous time!
He threw himself into everything with his usual gusto (including the canal where they were canoeing, apparently...) and has a new-found liking for rifle shooting and archery.
He had loads of fun with his old friends, and made lots of new ones too. It really is brilliant for him to have friends with the same type of special heart as him, to share experiences as they get older. (Although I'm not sure how much profound heart-related talk there was - I think most of it was about Minecraft and Lego...)
With 12 boys in one dormitory, sleep was in somewhat short supply, so he was pretty tired but still chattering nineteen to the dozen.
Rosie is SO pleased to have her big brother back again, especially because he bought her a teddy bear as a present.
He did manage to leave behind a pair of shorts and his new torch, but I phoned the centre this morning, and a nice man found them and is going to post them back to us! Frankly though, I'm amazed that's all Charlie forgot - I sometimes think he'd forget his head if it wasn't screwed on!
I thought we'd have a quiet restful day at home today, but he and Rosie had other plans, so I'm writing this while they're leaping around in the Wacky Warehouse.
What did our parents do before the advent of softplay centres?!
That's all for now folks – hope you're all having a lovely summer holiday.
Well, we just got back from dropping Charlie up in Brecon at the Little Hearts Matter PGL weekend.
He was chuffed to bits to meet up with his heart friends, especially Danny and Noah, and is really looking forward to all the fun activities that are planned.
(As an aside, I wish I'd gone on some of these sort of trips when I was a kid - I could quite fancy a bash at archery and rifle shooting. Although I'm not so keen on the abseiling and canoeing side of things!!)
We go to pick him up on Sunday evening, so Rosie has two whole days as an only child! She doesn't seem overly thrilled at the prospect as yet - her lip started trembling as we walked back to the car, and she kept saying 'I want Charlie back'. She keeps getting all teary when she remembers he's not here and asking us to bring him home again. Bless her - they might bicker, and he might tease her at times, but she loves him lots.
So Pete is just reading her bedtime story, and then we have an evening to ourselves. Not quite sure what I'll do without Charlie chattering away about Top Gear and Minecraft.
I'm sure Chas will have a ball, and I can't wait to hear about everything he gets up to... but I don't half miss him already!
Am attaching a pic of the two of them in their PJs the other day.
It's late, and I'm tired, and we've got a pretty manic week ahead, but I just had to post to say how proud I am of my Charlie-Boy.
There was a big show at a local theatre tonight for his musical theatre class. The lady who runs the class also has a massive dance school, so the show was predominantly dancers - from tots in tutus (I was totally picturing Rosie strutting her stuff...) to astonishingly brilliant adult dancers on points.
But there was a big section for the musical theatre kids. They were singing a few numbers from 'Hairspray' and, like I said in the heading, Chas was awesome!
He's never been the most co-ordinated of kids. I think the fact he couldn't hop or run properly, let alone dance, until after his Fontan when he was six and a half meant he was a bit delayed in some of his gross motor skills. Not to mention he'd be breathless and blue within less than a minute.
But tonight, I watched him singing, dancing (perfectly in time) and acting (he's quite the comedian and got a couple of laughs from the audience) for about 15 minutes, non-stop. He beamed throughout the whole performance. He just loves being on stage and relishes every minute in the limelight.
He was so well practised, along with his friends. He knew exactly what to do, and when, and he did it brilliantly.
Watching him up on stage in front of 400-odd people, it was hard to believe he was given only a 50-60% chance of even reaching school age.
Honestly, I could explode with pride sometimes. I find myself sitting on the edge of my seat, grinning like a loon. I have to restrain myself from telling everybody 'That's my son up there!!'
There's another two nights of show to come, plus he and Pete are heading off to London on Saturday for a BHF-ad related photo shoot, and then he's off to Birmingham Symphony Hall on Tuesday for a Taiko drumming performance with school.
His life is so full - and he loves it.
Keep up the good work Charlie-Barley. I really am impossibly proud of you. xxx
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!