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Living Arrows 2021 – 16/52

Do you ever have those moments when you look at your child and it seems like they’ve changed overnight?

There’ve been times when I swear my children have grown inches in their sleep, and other times when their facial features seem to have shifted from one day to the next.

I looked at Rhys the other day and his face just looked different.  He’ll be 10 soon and I think his features are starting to change again as he moves into that strange pre-teen phase.

Nerys, on the other hand, just seems to catch me out with how tall she’s getting.  All of a sudden she can reach things that she couldn’t quite get to a few months ago.

She’s also looking different these days because she’s decided to grow out her fringe.

 

Most of the time at home this is how she looks, hair falling in her eyes, not quite long enough to tuck behind her ears.

On school days her hair needs to be tied back so we tend to do a ponytail and then twist and clip her fringe out of the way.  I’ve been practicing doing French plaits as a way of getting her fringe out of her eyes, and I can do a half-decent job – when I have the time!

In the mornings before school though there’s not quite enough time and I get flustered with it being so fiddly, so for now we’re sticking with me practicing at the weekends and keeping things simple on school days.

I did try just plaiting the whole section of fringe in one day (instead of splitting it into 3 and then plaiting those sections together) and that was so much easier, but her fringe escaped within about 10 minutes.

So for now we’re still just waiting it out, relying on her trusty hair clips to keep the hair out of her eyes at school.

Have you (or your child) ever grown out a fringe?  Do you have any top tips or ideas for getting through this strange in-between stage?

 

Living Arrows
Living Arrows

Living Arrows 2021 – 15/52

Where did the Easter holidays go?!  They seemed to fly by, and now the children are back to school for the summer term.

We had a pretty laid back two weeks, to give the children a chance to just relax and reset a bit after all the upheaval of home school and then heading back to school in person last term.

The weather was on our side a lot of the time so we could get out to the local parks and the beach a few times which we were all grateful for, when those days were mixed in with a few that were full of grey skies and sleety snow showers.

We ended the holidays with a lovely long walk through Singleton park and the uni campus, along the beach, and up through Clyne valley to the little park that’s tucked away by the woods.

It’s been ages since we were last there and the children were quite excited to find that they’ve added a new piece of play equipment.  It had rope netting to climb up, wooden pillars to balance on, monkey bars to swing from and a rather tall fireman’s pole (which neither of them were prepared to try!).

 

We took a slightly shorter route home than we’d planned after realising the sky had started to turn a rather threatening shade of grey in places, but still ended up walking about 6 miles all in, which was pretty good going for a Saturday morning.

For balance then we had an especially lazy day at home yesterday, with far too much screen time and the children staying in PJs all day.

That pretty much sums up the whole Easter break really.

We had busier days with trips out for fresh air, a lovely afternoon spent in Nana and Pops’ garden, and a fun few hours in the park with my sister and 2 of her girls who we’ve not seen in months and months and months.

These days were then balanced with days spent playing Roblox, watching YouTube, drawing, and playing with toys that were uncovered as I tried to tidy up a few different areas of the house.

And in the middle of all that were Easter egg hunts around the house, baking chocolate fairy cakes, and a little bit of homework thrown in for good measure.  Nerys was given ‘Horse pie’ by Dick King-Smith to read over the holidays and she’s done brilliantly with it, but man alive there are a lot of colloquialisms and dated expressions in there that we’ve had to try and explain to her!

She gets given a new book each week to bring home and read with us, and over the last month there’s been a real jump in the type of book she’s been getting.  We used to be able to whizz through the book she was given in about ten minutes and now we have to make sure she starts reading the day she brings the book home to make sure she gets through it in time to return it the next week.

It’s amazing to see her progress though, and I love reading with her, watching her read a line, and then re-read it when she realises that her tone was wrong or she emphasized the wrong word.  She’s been so determined to be able to read things like Harry Potter and it’s just amazing to watch her crack it.

I really, really hope that both Nerys and Rhys get a whole, full term in school with their teachers now to end this year.  Their teachers have been absolutely amazing through this last year and I just would love it if they could have this time with them in person.

Nerys adored her teacher last year and was so upset to have lost out on a whole term with her at the end of year 1, I would be so sad for her if she lost this time with her year 2 teacher too.

So here’s me keeping everything crossed for a smooth ride through to the summer holidays!

 

 

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Living arrows

Living Arrows 2021 – 14/52

I’ve been doing a fair bit of ‘this time last year’ thinking over the last few weeks.

It feels so strange to think that a year ago the schools had just closed for the first time, and I was so optimistic that they would open up again after the Easter holidays!  Now here we are, a year later and things are still only just, ever-so-slowly, creeping back to some kind of normality.

We still couldn’t go along for our usual big Easter egg hunts in the local parks, but the children still had a lot of fun following clues that led them all around the house to find the eggs that I had hidden.

 

We also didn’t have a roast dinner at my in-laws house which we’ve done a few times in the past for Easter, but we were able to go and sit in their garden in the sunshine.  We took up homemade pizza to share and my mother-in-law cooked up some party food that we didn’t get to share on Boxing day, and we cracked open a bottle of clementine buck’s fizz that had also been waiting since Christmas to be enjoyed.

The children did egg and spoon races and played a bit of tennis.  We talked, we ate, we drank, and it was just a wonderfully relaxed way to spend the day.

Just being able to see people in their gardens feels amazing after so long apart.  And now the children are starting to get excited for possibly being able to have a sleepover with their grandparents next month, if restrictions keep being lifted.

For now though we have another week of holidays to enjoy, plenty of chocolate to eat, and a renewed sense of optimism that they might manage a full term at school to end the year this time around (oh I hope I don’t come to regret that comment!).

 

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Twitter Me and mine March 2021

Me and Mine – March 2021

Another month down.  This year seems to be moving along really quite quickly now it’s got going!

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m always so grateful for having these me and mine posts as a way to push me to take regular family photos.  The way some months whizz by I’m not sure how often I would remember to do it otherwise.

This month’s photos were taken on a family walk through Singleton park.

 

We’ve always gone to this park for walks, ever since we moved to within walking distance of it, and it always used to be really quite quiet.  So it’s been really strange seeing it get busier and busier over the last year, as more and more people started to explore places closer to home during lockdown.

It’s one of those huge, wide-open parks though, so you can always find a spot to sit or a different route to walk along where there’s still plenty of space.

We quite often make our way across the grass to get to where we’re going instead of following the paths around when they’re busy, and it’s a great way to discover new pockets of the park that we’ve not properly explored yet!

I do wonder if the same amount of people will still keep visiting when things open up more and more, or if it’ll start to get quieter again once people are able to travel further afield.

Have you discovered any new places over the last year?  Will you keep visiting them once everything else opens up again?

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Living Arrows 2021 – 13/52

We made it.  We made it through the last week of term to the Easter holidays without any major dramas.

The term actually finished on a really lovely note with the children having a good last few days at school.  Nerys in particular had a great week.

Her class had been busy making Easter hats for their bonnet parade and she was so excited to just march around the yard at school with her friends, showing off their creations.

 

It was a bit sad that we weren’t able to go to school to watch the parade, but the school sent us out a video of it instead, which was really nice to see.  And it was still an improvement on this time last year when school was shut and we did our own mini bonnet parade in our car park.

Saying that, Nerys obviously has good memories of what we did last year because she wants to do our own version of the parade again this week, which will hopefully keep the neighbours entertained at least!

To top off a happy week of crafts and parades, Nerys came running out of school on Friday with a gold medal around her neck having won the dojo award for that week.

Our school uses class dojo to communicate with parents, and they also use it to give out points throughout the week for things like persevering, working hard, being kind and so on.  Each week whoever has the most points wins the award, and Nerys has wanted to win it for so long, so she was over the moon to win it along with one of her friends last week.

Now we’re all just looking forward to enjoying the next two weeks with no school and no home school and time to just relax a bit.  We’re hoping to head out to one or two of the beaches on gower at some point, now that the ‘stay home’ rule has changed and we can drive places to go for a walk.

Other than that I think it’ll be a mix of walks in the park, visits to my in-laws when it’s dry enough to sit in their garden, a bit of baking, and a fair bit of chocolate over the Easter weekend.  Which all sounds pretty good to me!

 

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Living arrows

Living Arrows 2021 – 12/52

Last week wasn’t quite the return to (some sort of) normality that we were hoping for.

It was supposed to be the week where both the children were finally back in school, but things didn’t quite go as planned.

Nerys was under the weather last weekend, so we ended up keeping her home on Monday to rest a bit more before heading into school for the rest of the week.

And then we had 2 days of both Rhys and Nerys in school, before a text came through on Thursday morning saying Rhys had to stay home after a positive test result in his class.

 

Luckily I heard my phone buzz a few times as we were busy putting shoes and coats on, so I saw the message just before we actually headed out the door.

I always knew that there was a good chance that this would happen at some point, but I really thought we would last at least a week before that text came through!

Just to add a twist to the tale though, after a day and a half adjusting to Rhys being home again, and planning for him being home for another week, we had another message through that a second test had been confirmed as negative.

So actually he can go back to school on Monday.

Add in the fact that I had a wisdom tooth out on Friday after a week of the most miserable toothache I’ve ever experienced, and I feel like I don’t really know which way is up at the moment.

So here’s hoping this week is blissfully boring and uneventful and that we can get to the end of this term without any more surprises!

 

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Living Arrows 2021 – 11/52

Here we go, the first week with both the children back in school in what feels like a ridiculously long time.

Nerys has adjusted really well to being back in, so I’m hoping things will go just as smoothly for Rhys this week.

He was quite excited at the end of last week when he handed in the last of his home learning assignments, so I think he’s happy enough to be heading back to the classroom.  I did have to point out to him though that we don’t know for certain that he won’t have to do home learning again at some point.

Hopefully we won’t end up with full on school closures again, but I’m so aware that there’s a good chance one or both of the children could be back at home again at some point this year if anyone in their class tests positive for the virus.

For now though, I’m hoping we can all enjoy this first week of some level of normality, especially with other restrictions slowly being lifted here in Wales too.

Yesterday we were able to meet up with Steve’s parents for a little Mother’s day walk, which was really lovely.  We met them in the park and walked together down to the beach, where Steve took a few photos of the children and I popped into the shop for some last minute lunchbox essentials.

 

The rest of Mother’s day was nice and relaxed.  The children made me a card each and Nerys gave me a brooch that I know she worked really hard on in school.  It actually made me a bit emotional when I realised that she had been making it for me.

I also got treated to homemade waffles for lunch and pizza for tea and plenty of love and hugs from the children throughout the day.

Not a bad way to end this latest spell of having them home far longer than we ever expected.

It has been really quite stressful at times, having us all at home together, but I know I’m going to miss my two this week, and the house is going to feel really quiet.  I will enjoy the peace though, for as long as it lasts this time!

 

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