Monday, 19 May 2014

Expect The Unexpected

As the title suggests, today didn't go as expected, and I'm trying to embrace expecting the unexpected. However I don't do well with change!

So everything this morning was 'normal', everything absolutely fine. J read some more of his young samurai book, he's now on the third one, The Way of The Dragon. S had a lie in till nearly 9am, guess she needed that sleep. The children played Minecraft for a bit. While I got ready for heading to gymnastics in Horsham.

We travelled there, listening to radio on the way. 

On getting out the car, J says I've got a tummy ache, but he thought he just needed the loo. So S headed up to get ready for gym. Meanwhile J came out feeling worse, hot, and looking an unhealthy colour!  S had now gone into gym. 

So after helping J, in which time he was sick, I then had to get S out of gym, much to her annoyance, until she realised why! To head home again! 

The journey home was uneventful, no more sickness, but J just looked exhausted.

He has spent the rest of the afternoon, on the sofa watching TV, looking tired, and a bit of a headache. He's been hungry and eaten really well. 

I'm sure it's not a sickness bug. Possibly he got travel sick, as it was hot on the journey today? I may order an extra set of bands just in case, as they've worked really well for S. Possibly migraine? Or just some sort of virus? 

It was only a week ago that he felt unwell before, with headache and mild fever. 

I've cancelled tomorrows plans, which were horse riding and a park meet up. J is just going to need today to rest and recuperate. 

I went to gym expecting it may be S that wouldn't be able to join in fully because of her elbow which she hurt on Sat. Instead she was fine, and it was J that out of nowhere couldn't do it, suddenly feeling ill.  It just shows you that anything can happen, and things can change so quickly. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Marwell Fun in The Sun

Today saw a change of plan, S should have been at gymnastics today, but she had pain around her elbow, from I think over extending/jolting it putting her arm down when trying to do a free cartwheel yesterday. As it was less than 24 hours since she did it, and it was stiff and sore. She had today off as another 4 hour gym session wouldn't have helped. 

S wasn't very happy, and when she's not able to do as much, you realise how much time she normally spend upside down in handstands, and cartwheels! 

J was due to go to Oryx Club at Marwell today. So rather than S and I be cooped up and frustrated at home, we all went to Marwell where S could at least walk around, and be distracted by the animals. 

It was a beautiful blue sky, and sunny day, and we had a lovely day out. J really enjoyed the Oryx club. 

Both J and S took pocket money with them to spend on the tombola, S was lucky enough to win a cuddly snow leopard. 

Snow leopard, and S met one of the new dinosaurs that had appeared around the zoo. We spotted quite a few. 

Hubby with J and S in the bird enclosure.

We all loved the coati grass mound. Great idea




The good news is that after several icings today, and gently moving it, S's arm seems a lot better. It's mainly painful on full extension now. Although I have a feeling it will be a bit stiffer again in the morning. 

Friday, 16 May 2014

Beautiful Day

What a beautiful day, full of blue sky and sunshine in both the weather, and our moods. A positive, happy day.

First off, Minecraft playing for both J and S. While I sorted, and organised, ready for us heading out. 

Then we headed Portsmouth way to meet up with our friends from Journey Unique before our current regular activity course at Fort Purbrook.

We all had a fab time, playing at home, playing on the seafront, and grass areas. Plus yummy lemon cake. 

Onward to Fort Purbrook, and down into the tunnels today. Apparently enjoyable but not as good as previous activities. J came out saying it was awesome, but on further chatting, he'd found it difficult to follow the speed, and balancing people in front of him and people behind, so people didn't get split from the continuous line. 

Afterwards we walked to see the horses in a nearby field, and admired the fantastic view you get. 





Home to a delivery waiting propped against the front door. New books, mainly for S to link in with her current sewing, clothes, fashion interest. 


A quick look at the books, and then  before we left Fort Purbrook, plans had been exchanged to meet up on Minecraft servers. So computers on, Minecraft playing commenced, and skyping between friends. 

Only interrupted to pick up hubby from the train station, it's the Friday ritual, so he gets an evening off cycling, and we get to see him sooner. 

This evening we all want to catch up with last nights Masterchef. No one can be bothered to cook, and it feels like a lovely heading for summer sunny evening. 

On evenings like this I question, do I really want to move. It's so quiet, the back door is open, and I can hear bird song, and the chickens chatting. We live in a beautiful place.....

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Plans Cancelled Again

J woke up this morning not feeling full well. We were due to see friends today and our plans had already been cancelled several times previously. I was sad to cancel again unless it was really, properly, absolutely necessary. After a bit of time to wake up, have a bit of breakfast, it was clear that J was feeling unwell, rather than just a bit meh about doing something, with a headache, mild fever, and looking tired. So cancel again I had to. 

So today has been a slower paced day at home. Everyone appears to be in need of a battery re charge, and injection of health. 

J has played Minecraft, on the same survival map. Also he's snuggled up and watched some TV too, he saw a Chris Packham programme advertised, which he caught up on iplayer Nature's Weirdest Events . On watching  it J was convinced he'd watched it before, when I checked, it had been shown previously. He still watched the whole episode though, as he still found it interesting. S, and I joined in for bits, drifting in and out of watching. 

J has also played a bit of Pokemon ShowdownHe's also watched various Youtube Minecraft vids today. Plus he's read some of his Young Samurai book, which he's finding good.

S has played with her dolls, hairstyling today, wash, cuts, and colour. 

She's also currently enjoying  The Next Step on BBC iplayer, lots of dancing, with flips, and leaps. She's watched all the episodes so far, and re watching her favourite episodes. It's a reality type drama, and it has a mix of characters, dynamics, and a clique girl group which has sparked off various conversations. 

We all snuggled up on the sofa and caught up on last weeks Masterchef, we're thoroughly enjoying it, who will win. We have our favourites, how about you? 

S has also styled my hair while we watched, lots and lots of plaits, and then plaits were plaited. She loves styling my hair, and I love it to, I find it so relaxing. 

Of course the other awaited event happened today, the sewing machine arrived today, much to S delight. Fantastic service, from ordering to delivery was actually less than 24 hours. It's a John Lewis special edition Teal colour JL110SE . It's all set up, which took a while. Lets say we learnt together! Bobbin winding, threading etc... learning from our mistakes along the way, ..but we got there. S has tried out some sewing on scrap bits of material. She has big plans, she's so creative and ambitious. 




Monday, 12 May 2014

Sewing Machine excitement

On Mondays J and S have regular home ed gymnastics in Horsham. It seems to have been spoardic the past month with bank holidays, and another still to come. 

Before heading off there was more Roman Mysteries watching for S, who is now on the last disc. She's really enjoyed it. 

J played Minecraft, using a survival map, after making a new skin, he attempted to survive on the island. It's like being on Kensuke's Island he said... 

On the car journey to Horsham, it was a completely different vibe today, J and S didn't want a story cd on, but radio for some music while we travelled. First we listened to our local radio, and then we lost the reception for that, so they searched for new stations, and we ended up on Radio 1, which played a whole load of different music than we're used to! The children sang and danced along for the whole journey, it was a happy vibe journey, once we'd got over the intial who's sitting where in the car disagreement before we set off! I wanted to be a passenger and the children wouldn't let me, can you believe it! No not really, just kidding! 

While I remember, S has been wearing travel wrist bands in child size,  for the last few longer car journeys, and they're working great. Anybody who has a travel sick child I'd recommend trying them. 

Then into gymnastics, which was the first home ed session since S started in the Acro squad. She had a great time, she gets to do the different apparatus in this session, plus see her friends, and J still wants to come too, and enjoys it. 

J came out after the session very tired, and looked a bit pale, so he didn't want to stay and play at the park for long. So a compromise was met as S did want to play. A short play later, we headed for the car. I realised I hadn't eaten so a quick bite to eat in the car before the drive home, where  we sat watching a squirrel. While the kids drank slush puppy. 



Home via John Lewis to look at sewing machines, I don't think I've updated, but S sold her items on ebay, making  a little over £100. This meaning that she had enough money for the sewing machine she had seen. They had some in store, so S could have a proper look at them, but they unfortunately didn't have the colour S wanted. They had red and purple, which looked great, I'm sure the other colours will look great too. She did buy a sewing starter kit while in there, with pins/scissors/unpicker and various other bits and pieces. The customer service in there was great, taking time to check stock, and chat to S about what she was going to make. The lady seemed genuinely interested and seemed almost pleased is the only way I can describe it, that a young girl wanted to buy herself a sewing machine. 

Once home, S helped order the sewing machine, and as she's super excited and has enough money she opted to pay for next day delivery, rather than the 'can take up to 5 days' free delivery. Here is what she's eagerly awaiting to arrive tomorrow! Sewing Machine

She's also been looking at things to sew. She found these how to tutorials to make a scrappy gathered skirt, and lettuce edged skirt . (We found these two on this great site - Sewset.) The bonus of both these is she can try out her machine and use fabric and old t shirts etc.. rather than buying fabric initially, and also doesn't need a formal pattern for them.  

It's lovely to see her so enthusiastic. 

S also went out to play with local friends, making the most of the late afternoon sun. 

J just needed to chill out this afternoon, and has developed a headache this evening. Hopefully whatever is causing it will pass soon. 

This evening there has been regular viewing of Great British Menu, which we all enjoy watching.

The third of the garden that was grass seeded, is sprouting now, and I'm looking forward to it developing into a proper lawn. The other section is half dug over, so also getting ready for seeding. While I love grass I still fancy something different?! Currently the 'path' down the centre is undug, and I'm thinking a sunflower archway/tunnel over the path would/could look lovely. I'm thinking similar in style to the  sunflower house idea I posted in an earlier blog post. Although as it's not really for us, and I don't think it would be everyone's idea of lovely I may have to reign myself in on this occasion, and stick to simple and easy! We just need to get the house/garden presentable for putting on the market at some point.....  to be continued....

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Chashu Pork Ramen

Today hubby took S to Horsham on the train for gymnastics, which I realise I haven't updated here about. 

After dropping them at the train station, it was a J and me day. Which saw a lot of cooking together. 

Since J had pork ramen at Wagamama, watching the Hairy Bikers Asian Adventure, and having the cookery book to accompany the series, plus J's current interest still involves Japan. He's been talking about making ramen. 

This week has seen him, look at the recipe, check cupboard/fridge for what ingredients we had, then make a list for shopping. He then shopped online, searching and adding ingredients. We could get most of them. The missing few items were picked up in Portsmouth at a specialist store. The food delivery arrived this morning and J was eager to get started.

It took hours of making and lots of steps. I'm very proud of what J achieved. I did very little, mainly helping him with sequencing and timings based on experience, so we didn't always do the recipe as the order suggested. J handled that very well, normally he likes to follow the instructions exactly, but he seemed very relaxed and happy throughout.

We had to prepare the chashu pork and make the toridashi stock before we could make the ramen. All of which took several hours! 


Pork ready for cooking



We had our first experience of Sake

Once hubby and S got back from gym and we picked them up from the station, it was time to construct the actual ramen. Below is the finished result. J put all the ingredients in the bowl, so presentation is all his.



It was delicious, and I was very proud of J's determination, persistence, and attention to see the recipe through from start to finish. He was so proud of himself too, and rightly so. I believe accomplishments like this help to build his self confidence. In fact over the past couple of months step by step, and little by the little, the more he has tried, and accomplished, the more he's willing to try. Plus he's learning to adjust when things have not gone according to plan, this doesn't come naturally to J, who can be on the perfectionist side. So we've really been working on modelling and helping him through. 

Friday, 9 May 2014

Portsmouth and Fort Purbrook

Today started with both children feeling tired, a bit of time for Minecraft playing for J, and S watched more of the Roman Mysteries Dvd. She's really enjoyed the episodes.  
 

Then we were out and about on our way to Portsmouth. We had an activity we needed to attend at in the afternoon but we had lots we wanted and needed to fit in before then. 

First was our monthly stock up of pet foods and accompaniments.  Then into the city centre itself to return items to H&M, which actually ended up as returning the items and spending more money, as the Portsmouth store seemed bigger and had more selection..Both got new footwear. Alarmingly even though J isn't as tall as me yet, his feet are as nearly big as mine now! I know it's such a cliche, but they grow up so quick! 

My boot next to J new trainers!
S had a cat theme going on with the new leggings and socks she chose.


After H&M we went on the hunt for Sun Hung Chang, close to the main shopping area, and found it. Much delight from the children, lots of lucky cats on display, and J was particularly taken with panda salt and pepper shakers. I know what to get him next birthday! Onto hunting for 3 ingredients we still needed for the Pork Ramen dish J was preparing to cook. We found two, the kombu and shichimi. 

We had hoped to fit in a meet up with friends that live locally before the activity course, but we ran out of time..... At least we saw them at the activity course as they were attending too. 

We headed up to Fort Purbrook, and J, S and the other children seemed to have a great time on the assault course. The leader was really good with the children,  helping, and supporting in just the right places, while allowing the children to do as much as possible, and feel that sense of achievement. 


I wasn't very quick at taking the photos, both J and S are just finishing the monkey bars!

It was a great day.