Monday, 26 December 2011

Skiing Avec Les Enfants.

A belated Happy Yule, Merry Christmas and a Happy Channukah to all!

We have up sticks and fled to Granny's Magic house for the festive period as Paul is long overdue a chance to kill himself by flinging himself down snow covered mountains at speed. Phoebe, aged 6, seems to be following in her father's footsteps by being desperate to try anything to get an adrenalin rush!

So, the girls and I arrived on the 22nd to help Mum and Rob, in Rob's words, throw up Christmas in the house! Much hilarity, tree decorating ensued. Mostly because Grande told them that Father Christmas was transmitting signals via the christmas tree lights which they, of course, bought hook line and sinker! This was inspired, almost as inspired as my telling them that alarm sensors in the house were Father Christmas's secret cameras!

Mum and Rob then took the girls down to St G to see Davide in the Ski Rental place to get them fitted for boots and skis. Phoebe was delighted that she had grown enough to go up to the "big kids" skis and boots (for the unaware as I am, big kids have 2 buckles on their boots and little kids only have 1) and is very proud of her Eagles whilst Clara was thrilled with Ladybird ones. Of course they also need Helmets (go on, guess what lucky Daddy got as his Christmas present!) and we are exceptionally grateful that Davide had a pink one for Clara as the tantrum ratio increases with the decrease in pink levels.

Daddy and Uncle J arrived on the 24th and were received by two small excited girls who couldn't WAIT to get to bed (most unusual but equally most welcome!). Once they had laid out the mince pies, carrots, sugar lumps and port for Father Christmas they were dispatched post haste to bed where they promptly passed out! The adults then indulged in a Seafood feast.... and lo, it was good (unless you are Paul who got Oyster's revenge the next morning!)

Ski School started on Christmas Day so we had a very hectic Christmas Morning. We had to wake the children (goes against every parenting instinct I have!) to see if Father Christmas had been, which he had! We then had a fun half an hour of stocking opening and squeals of delight as they found the things they had asked for. Phoebe was THRILLED with her Innotab, as was Clara but I think her best present was the lipstick she found. This was a late addition to the Christmas List but she banged on about it as she knows I won't buy her lipstick but Father Christmas was. Poor Paul got some funny looks asking for help in the lipstick section of Boots at Gatwick! Funny what makes a Christmas for them isn't it!

Anyway, back to Ski School. Mum came with me up the mountain for the start of ski school at 10am. We took them up, got boots and skis on them, deposited them on the astroturf path (so they can learn to walk in skis), said Bonne Chance to one of the instructors and took up position in the local hotel to wait until 12.30. As we couldn't hear Clara howling we assumed all was well and when we returned at 12.30 we found a beaming Phoebe and a soggy Clara. Yup she had apparently cried the whole lesson and didn't like skiing as it was too fast. Phoebe was as happy as the proverbial piggy and she said she loved it and went really really fast and couldn't wait for the next lesson!

Evil parent that I am the tears didn't disuade me from sending Clara today and whilst she sobbed en route once boots were done up and skis were on she was, for the most part, ok. My stubborn parenting paid off as I came back to two shining happy faces at 12.30 today. Clara told me she had been "very very brave and said WOOOOO HOOOOO" as she skied today and she enjoyed it and can't wait for tomorrow. Phoebe insisted on showing me her skills and my jaw was on the floor as I watched her ski down the hill on her own, stop and climb onto the travellater thingy-bob back up to where I was waiting! She was sooooo proud of herself and she tells me she has been put up a class away from the babies in into the blue class. I am not sure what implications this has but it is nothing but a fabulous thing!

Now I know they are enjoying it I may try some stealth photography tomorrow to see if I can catch them in the act and show them off!

Paul is also enjoying skiing and is delighted that a, he has "advanced" skis this year and b, he is good enough to keep up with Mum, Rob and J! I am told he underplays his skills and is more than capable of just keeping up!

I am enjoying hiding out in the restaurant drinking Vin Chaud and watching movies on Mum's ipad with my new earmuff headphones!

Happy Days


Monday, 12 December 2011

£900 and other stories...

Well, I survived the first PTA event and we even MADE MONEY! Total made was £900, profit at around £650 but you have to speculate to accumulate and all that jazz! My partner in crime, Emma, and I are both feeling flush with pride at not only managing to pull it off but doing well and the school are thrilled. Hopefully a few of the parents will have seen that we are friendly, approachable and other people will want in on the fun!

After all that fun yesterday today I set myself the, not too small, task of clearing up the house. Paul helped out like a trooper as he had a half day as we had Clara's Christmas Performance to attend. We can now see the floor in the living room and most of the floor in the dining room and some of the surfaces too! Very exciting :D.

Anyway, Clara's Christmas Performance. Serious kudos to the reception teachers and TAs for their hard work. Teaching 60 children the entire of "The 12 days of Christmas" complete with actions is no mean feat! Clara was a snowflake in "5 Little Snowflakes" and, bless them, the teachers requested a white tee shirt and leggings. Do they not know Clara?! She doesn't DO trousers and a tee shirt. Thankfully Matalan came to the rescue with an adorable snow fairy dress that she wore instead! She did her dance beautifully and loved being on the stage. Most hilariously there was a bit of argy bargy going on when she wasn't on the stage as she wanted to sing Just To Us and someone was rudely standing in her way! Other favourite moments include one of the donkeys sucking it's own toe and several cases of impressive nasal excavation! You have to love 4-5yr olds really!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Father Christmas Mayhem.

It has been a busy old week this week. We have had Phoebe's birthday and all the fun that entailed. Then we also had to start selling raffle tickets for the Winter Fete we are putting on at the school. Thursday took the biscuit for "busy days" though. Paul had the morning off so he could come and see Phoebe's school performance of A Camel Called Humph. And the day went like this:

Get to school early to try and sell a few tickets. Got cold so headed to Phoebe's classroom where she got changed. Paul dropped Clara in her classroom where she skipped off happily for a change.

Bagsy chairs in the main hall for the performance and commence the start of selling the tickets whilst chatting to the other parents.

Watch Phoebe and her buddies do a marvellous performance of Humph the Camel. They were fabulous and all performed brilliantly. Paul and I were very proud of Phoebe and all the other children we know in the class.

See children go back to class and head quickly to the parents meeting room where Paul got into Full Father Christmas Regalia and proceeded to go around the school poking his head into classrooms and running passed windows. He then did a massive circuit around the outside of the school during playtime. It caused utter mayhem but was an absolute tonic for the soul to see the children's faces. It was especially brilliant when some of the KS2 children decided to stalk him around the school. This resulted in Paul hiding in some very odd places and ending up having to get changed back into his own gear in the admissions office as yrs 3&4 had blocked the route back to the Parents Meeting Room!

Get home with Paul and our friend Emma and sit down writing out the backs of the raffle tickets. Then I had to drop Emma back and pop into the cinema to get some more prizes for the raffle before heading back to school.

This trip was foiled by hideous traffic so the girls went in and sat with Phoebe's teacher who, bless her, despite tutoring still took them to see the Early Years teachers put on a performance of The Gruffalo! I got there half an hour late for the end of school, missed the performance but was able to participate in the Gruffalo party activities the teachers had set out which was lots of fun. Oh and of course take the opportunity to sell a few more raffle tickets!

Then we met back up with Emma and her son N (who was doing a gymnastic performance at the school) and headed to get a quick pizza dinner before going back (oh yes) to the school for a Books At Bedtime event.

Books at Bedtime was a fantastic thing the teachers put on for the KS1 children. All the children came resplendant in PJs, Dressing Gowns and, in our case, Womble Suits (Fleecy all in ones... I can't remember why we call them Womble Suits but we just do...). They got hot chocolate and biscuits and to sit and read books and have them read to them by the teachers. Then the teachers put on a brilliant performance of "Little Red Hoody" a play of their own creation which was truly hilarious. Naturally the children loved seeing their teachers being silly and got so involved it was fabulous!

It was then, and only then, we could head home and bung the children into bed! Not sure it was possible to have so much fun in one day. It was exhausting yes, but oh so much fun!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Happy 6th Birthday Phoebe.

I have a 6yr old!

I have a 6 yr old who can read, write and do maths!


She was only born 3 days ago it seems!

I am so lucky to have Phoebe in my life, she is funny, intelligent and great company! She has had a brilliant birthday, 2 parties that she enjoyed and we now own enough Harry Potter Lego to sink a battleship (well almost!). She is putting it together herself too (well with a little bit of help from me) and doing so well.

My favourite thing that happened was the trials of her new stuffed white owl named, of course, Hedwig. Poor Hedwig had a few problems settling in with the rest of her toys. They weren't sure about the newcomer. One moose stretched out and made the paw of friendship but the other moose wasn't too sure and the rest of the toys just weren't having any of it. Phoebe tried reading them all stories to get them to bond but no joy. In the end Moose 1 convinced Moose 2 that Hedwig was cool and that helped matters. Thankfully things were solved after just 24 hrs when Phoebe bought Frank the Sausage Dog with some of her Birthday / Christmas money and because Frank because the new newbie Hedwig was happily accepted by the rest of the toys.

For those worried about Frank, don't be. Because he came from the same shop as Carrots the Horse he had an "in" with the toys and was accepted without issue.

Who would have thought the politics of toys would be so complicated!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Back... overwhelmed!

I know I haven't blogged for aaaages but things have been manic here!

Why did I take on the PTA... WHHHHHHHHY? Oh, that is right because no one else would!

I am feeling very overwelmed by everything at the moment... wonder why? Here is my "To Do List" for the next week

  • Tidy and clean house ready for Phoebe's Birthday party on Saturday
  • Make Hogwarts Cake for birthday party
  • Do the catering for the party
  • Find Clara a passable Snowflake costume... she has exacting standards.
  • Sort out final raffle prizes
  • Get volunteers for the Fete or I am going to be running it with just Emma for help (Paul will be in the FC costume in the Grotto).
  • Sort out the Tombola
  • Make 300 mince pie pinwheels
  • Make a Snitch Cake for Phoebe's School birthday party
  • Cater said birthday party
  • Set up school for Fete
  • Advertise Fete
  • Post mahoosive bag of stuff back to Baker Ross
  • Wrap family Christmas Presents.
  • Post Family Christmas Gifts
  • Fit in visit to Hamleys for their Friends and Family Evening.
  • Do all the laundry
I am telling you people there just isn't enough Gin in the world to help me overcome all of this. I am fretting that no one is going to show up to the Fete and I really do just want this to run fairly smoothly.

I am looking forward to a massive bottle of wine and a take out next weekend once everything is done and dusted!