Fall is nigh

It’s been a slow week around here.  Some of us having been feeling a little bit under the weather, and well then there is THE weather.  It has cooled of significantly and we have been able to close the windows and the curtains at night, which makes for a quieter and darker night’s sleep.  But it has also been rainy all week- so no park crawling this week.  In addition to our usual library and market excursions we went to a children’s centre with Nicole and her gang and did a fun little craft project, inspired by Lori.  

I can feel summer fading away as the weather cools and school approaches.  All my friends on FB are posting “first day of school” pictures and it makes me excited but sad.  I can’t wait to see London in the autumn, and I’m exciting for school to start, but I’m not looking forward to taking the bus to the kids school three times a day.  

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It can be pouring rain one minute and then next minute the sun is out and the clouds have blown away. And then a few moments later it’ll be a downpour again.

Monday I spent getting everything squared away from our last IKEA trip.  A few more things here and there in anticipation of our first guests! My parents are coming in three days and the kids are so excited.  I’m excited too, both to see my parents and to have them be part of our life here for a bit, and I know my parents will wholeheartedly embrace it.  Both of my kid’s “Bacas” are hands-on grandmas and I look forward to having another adult to share some of the day to day labors of parenting with while Richard is at work.  

I’m just waiting for a few photo prints to arrive in the mail and then I think the house will be adequately (though not ideally) decorated.  Just a weird side note- I can’t seem to find what I would call a “top” sheet, or “flat” sheet.  It seems the British only use fitted sheets and comforters? Someone correct me if I’m wrong here…

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On our way home it started to rain and Miriam started to cry and she said “Mom! Is my tiger melting?”

Nicole watches other children during the day, and has an assistant named Maria.  So when we went to the children’s centre Maria and the extra littles came along.  Maria asked me if they have “children’s centres” in the states and I couldn’t really think of anything equivalent.  From what I understand, a children’s centre is a government funded program/location designed to build community and help parents.  During summer holidays they have carnival type events like the one we went to, where they had a face-painter, an entertainer, a bounce house, and provided lunch.  During school term they host playgroups for mums and children who aren’t in school yet.  They encourage good parenting skills, like engaging with your child during play, and have other resources for parenting.  It’s all “free” to the public,  (I say free because it is obviously paid for by taxes.) I was impressed though.  Nicole and I joked about participation being mostly parents who don’t necessarily need the things being provided (education and lunch) but while we were there I felt like there were many families benefiting from the program.   

I remember hearing a podcast once about some of the basic parenting skills that middle-class, educated people take for granted, and how some moms are raised in such dysfunctional homes that they really have no idea how to be a good mom. It is easy for me to criticize other mothers for this or that- but really I have only my paradigm to relate to, and its likely that they are giving as much in the ways they are capable of, as I am.   

Whoa soap box!  Anyway- I’m giving credit to the UK government for offering this to it’s parents and kids, and I look forward to taking Simon to playgroups and meeting other mums. 

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Pears from our tree.

Wednesday was library day, and then the Farmer kids came over so Mindy could go to a Dr. appointment.   They played so well-  we are going to miss our American friends when they leave next week. 
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Doing a little postcard writing…

Thursday we painted canvas bags (per Lori’s suggestion) for library bags.  At first Cameron didn’t want to do it- too cool I suppose, but then he saw how fun it looked and jumped on board.  Mim picked polka-dots, the easiest option that required no patience, waiting for me to tape it.  I just copied this tutorial. 

Eli chose chevron, Cameron wanted chevron but I persuaded him to just do a rectangle pattern (that’s what you get when you come late to the program) and I just chose stripes for Simon.  

I told them they could paint their names on the other side of the bag, so we’ll probably do that today and then I’ll take pictures of the finished products. 

Doing crafts with kids when you have OCD tendencies can be something of a challenge.  It’s funny how when it comes to important things I can see a need for allowing my children to make mistakes.  But apparently for a simple art project allowing them to make mistakes is neurological torture.  

I can’t believe another week is in the books.  We will probably lay low this weekend.  When my parents are here I am sure we will be doing all sorts of fun touristy things.  On Thursday we leave for Scotland, where will be for five days!  I can’t wait…

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