Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Off to 'Little School'

As well as being Will's birthday yesterday, it was also Rosie's first afternoon at playschool, or 'Little School' as she calls it.
She has been itching to get there for months and months, and was so excited when she realised it was finally September. She's been counting down the sleeps until she started - which is quite complicated when you still have an afternoon nap as well as a night-time sleep!
She'll be going three afternoons a week, from 1-3.30pm, although she started at 1.30pm yesterday because it was her first day, and it gave all the other kids a chance to settle down before she made her entrance.
She was so excited at the prospect of going to playschool "I'm going on my own - without Mummy" and kept telling me what was going to happen - that I'd drop her off, give her a kiss, wave bye-bye and then pick her up later once she'd finished painting/playing in the sand/colouring/singing/jigsaw puzzling and all the other fun things she had lined up for herself.
We pulled up at the kerb and she was off like a rocket, striding up the pavement towards the school gates. I told her to wait for me, and she turned round indignantly and told me (again) "But I'm going on my OWN to Little School!"
She was quite peeved when she realised I actually had to escort her into the building itself...
She said hello to the teacher at the door, marched straight to her coat peg (which has her name and a picture of an ice cream cone on it!) and hung up her jacket.
The teacher - who also taught Charlie when he was at playschool - told me that she'd seen Charlie that morning, and he'd made her promise to send Rosie outside when the school's playtime bell rang, so he could see her and talk to her over the playschool fence!
Anyway, my confident little pickle handed her red toy car over to a different teacher, to go on the 'Red Table' - each week they have a different theme for the table, and the kids all take suitable things in from home to show their friends.
And then, she was off, up to her elbows in the sandbox. She paused in her digging just long enough to give Pete and me a kiss, and then was straight back to her sand, without so much as a wave or a wistful glance!
We made our way out of the door, and left her to it!
A couple of hours, and a very quiet, uninterrupted cup of coffee later, and Pete, Charlie and I went to pick her up.
She came skipping out of the door when her name was called, clutching an armful of paintings of people (her favourite thing to draw/paint at the moment...) and so excited to tell us all the things she had done - playing in the sand (obviously!), bouncing on a space hopper, painting, play doh, cutting, sticking, hugging Chas over the fence, singing a song (apparently about ten beans, which involved clapping her hands on her knees...) and having a snack and a drink.
The verdict? "Little school was really, really fun, Mum!"
She goes back for her second day tomorrow, and she can't wait!
So proud of our grown up little Rose!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


So, today would have been Will's 12th birthday.


Sometimes when I picture him, he's the warm, peach-cheeked baby I held in my arms a dozen years ago.
Other times he's a tall, serious, sandy-haired boy, heading for his teenage years.
I so wish I had been able to watch him grow.

We held Will for the 15 precious minutes he breathed here on earth, and for twelve hours afterwards.
I have held him in my heart every minute of every day since.

My eldest son. My firstborn.
His life and death made me the mother that I am today.

I wish, that day, 12 years ago, that I had been able to see just a glimpse of where my life would be today.

But as the nurse wheeled Will away from us, tucked snugly in his little crib, it truly felt like our world had ended, with the future stretching ahead of us, empty and unknown.

But as we visited Will's grave today, and I hugged Charlie and Rosie close to me, it reaffirmed what I now know to be true - Will's birth and death was not the end.

He was a truly special beginning.

Happy Birthday beautiful boy. You are so loved. xxxx

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Into his last year at primary school!

Have a fab day Charlie-Boy. You're getting so big, and we're so proud of you. xxx

PS I've got lots of blog catching-upping to do, I know, but Rosie starts playschool next week so I should have a bit of time! Watch this space!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Puzzle fun!

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! :-)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Time is gliding swiftly by...

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. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

Home safe!

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.