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What we did this summer

We’ve waved Tabitha off for her first day in year 1 this morning, and Polly’s already completed a morning of playgroup. I can’t quite believe the holidays are over already, they seem to have flown by. Our summer has been a busy and fun-filled one, intertwined with sadness over Grandad Roger’s passing.

Roger sadly passed away on the 11th July – just one day before Tabitha broke up – and we travelled up to Stoke to join Tom for the first weekend of the holidays. We then headed back to London briefly to spend one day with Nanny Pam before flying to France for a week’s holiday. We spent 7 nights in a lovely two-bedroomed apartment in Antibes. We played in the sand, swam in the sea, dined on the beach, visited Marineland and a gallery in the hills. Tabitha and Polly made friends with a couple of Scottish girls – Maeve and Orla – and enjoyed playing at the beach with them several times.

On our return to London, we squeezed in a few visits to Mortlake Hall, had play dates with Tom & Rachel, Jamie & Sam and Aurelia & Angeline and one trip to the open gym, before heading back up to Stoke in a hire car for Grandad Roger’s funeral. The girls were involved in the day, although didn’t attend the actual service; one of Ros’s friends kindly looked after them in an upstairs room at the church. The following day, we drove all the way to Higham in Essex (a very long five hours in the car). We’d hired the Cartlodge for a few days and when we’d finally arrived and unpacked the car we had a lovely dinner at the Sun Inn pub in nearby Dedham. Tabitha was up so late that night that she saw Mars and Venus in the night sky! The following day we hosted a fun family gathering and Nanny Pam stayed the night with us. We had one more day exploring Dedham – including rowing in a boat and paddling in the river – before driving back to London.

We then had a couple of weeks at home – we went to a few stay & play sessions, had Sarah & Connie round for lunch, caught up with the Cotterells and the Boots, had Matt Smith for dinner and Aneet, Louisa, Jo and Rolo the dog round for lunch. We started viewing a few properties in the hope of upsizing in the near future. Also during this time, Polly finally cracked toilet training and stopped wearing nappies in the day!

Then it was back up to Stoke for the long Bank Holiday weekend. We went to Waterworld and Peak Wildlife Park, me and Margaret went to yoga and Tom and I had an Indian meal out with his friends. On Saturday night Ishya stayed for a sleepover and we all had a pub lunch on Biddulph Moor on Sunday before Priti collected her. On Monday we drove to Wilmslow to meet up with Gemma & Christian and meet baby Isabelle, before carrying on to Ishya’s house. We had a quick play with the logs at Dunham Massey and a Pizza Express tea. On Tuesday we climbed up to the troughstones (something Tabitha’s wanted to do for ages) before heading back to London on the train.

In the final week of the holidays, Nanny Pam came to play, we went to the collector’s fayre, went swimming in Richmond, and went to the dentist. Tabitha had to have another hearing test but got the all clear.

What a long, hot summer it has been. It has been fun but it will be so nice to get back to normal after such a long break to the routine. So long Summer!

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Progress from Polly

I am so happy to announce that, at the age of three years and two months, we finally have some toilet-training progress from Polly.

After weeks of her refusing to sit on either the potty or the toilet, and not even realising when she was weeing all over the floor, I was beginning to think she’d never get it before returning to playgroup in September.

However, a breakthrough has happened today. Polly has done all of her wees on the toilet, even telling me each time that she needed to go. (The poos are a different story, but one step at a time!).

The breakthrough follows the purchase of a Baby Bjorn toilet seat, which has worked wonders in getting Polly to sit on the toilet. It’s taken her quite a few attempts to actually do a wee while sat on there, but I think she has finally mastered it and is able start weeing straight away.

I’m now much more confident that she will return to her final year at pre-school as a fully-fledged knicker wearer. Phew!

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A poem for Tabitha at the end of Reception

When you first started school last September,

It was ever so scary and new,

To begin with there were lots of tears,

(From me as well as you).

But with the help of a knitted bear up your sleeve,

And some reading of ‘Starting School’,

You began to enjoy going in every day,

And thought Miss Roberts was pretty cool.

You really embraced learning phonics,

Thanks to a jolly giraffe, Geraldine,

You came home reciting the catchy tunes,

Of clicking castanets and buzzy bees.

Very soon you were actually reading,

Writing words, then sentences too,

You learnt to count to ten in Spanish,

Went to a Temple and Battersea Zoo.

When you performed at your first Harvest Festival,

My heart was bursting with pride,

You stood up with all your classmates,

Sang ‘Mr Scarecrow’ with all of your might.

The dress-up days were endless,

With Spanish Day, Pirates and Space,

For World Book Day you were Miffy,

And you chose Greece as your favourite place.

You wore red, white and blue for the wedding,

An Easter bonnet to parade down the street,

You loved taking in toys for ‘show and tell’,

And having ‘golden time’ to finish the week.

Your nativity was so special to me,

You sang Away in a Manger so sweetly,

And then for your assembly at Vernon Road,

Your class owned the stage completely.

You’ve really enjoyed doing Lego club,

And you did a ‘learn to cycle’ course too,

You’re so proud when you’re on Lion Learner

Although a Star of the Week’s still due.

You’ve made some new friends at school this year,

(Although Jamie has remained your best pal),

There are two Julias, Claudia, Yassina…

…And Monty and Glen as well.

And now that Sports Day is over,

The summer holidays have almost begun,

You’re no longer a little Ladybird,

You’re a Caterpillar starting Year One!

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Polly turns three! (almost)

As Polly is fast approaching her third birthday, I thought I’d better do a long over-due update for her.

The biggest news recently is that Polly now sleeps in a bunk bed with her big sister. We’ve talked about getting one for absolutely ages, and last weekend it finally happened! Up until that moment Polly still slept in a cot, although it had gotten to the point where she was climbing out whenever she fancied, so she was more than ready for the upgrade in sleeping arrangements! So far, it’s gone well, although I did find her (still fast asleep) stood on the rug with her head propped up against the bed last night!

I had really, really hoped that (like her big sister) Polly would be potty trained by the time she turned three, however our training hasn’t even started yet. Polly shows absolutely no interest in wanting to use the potty or toilet, and she never says if she needs to do a wee or a poo before it actually happens. I’m hoping that something will just click with her eventually and she’ll let me know somehow that she’s ready, but I suspect I’m just going to have to bite the bullet at some point and take her out of nappies. I can’t imagine our journey is going to go as smoothly as it did with Tabitha, which in hindsight was a dream. I thought that as Polly sees Tabitha using the toilet, that she’d get it quicker, but alas no. I can’t even bribe her in the same way as her sister, because she doesn’t eat sweets or chocolate…

…Yes, Polly must be the only toddler on the planet who physically recoils at the sight of chocolate, icecream or cake! She thinks of it as Tabitha’s thing, and has no interest in having it whatsoever (which is great). She does however really like flavoured yoghurts, fruit pouches and honey, so she doesn’t miss out on sweet treats entirely! She would rather eat things like ham sandwiches, cucumber slices, olives, cheddar cheese, berries and crispies. She also has a particular love for Pizza Express’s dough balls with garlic butter. But without a doubt, her favourite thing is her milky. Morning, noon and night. In a babies’ bottle, of course.

Polly’s favourite thing to play indoors is still very much Playmobil, along with Play Doh and the Blaze cars. She also has gathered quite a collection of soft toys to call her own – headed up by no less than three Waa-waas, Dipsy and Upsy Daisy to name just a few. She still likes watching Peppa Pig and absolutely LOVES the new basket swing over in the park and would happily stay on it all day. She’s also recently discovered the spiral in the playground. We still regularly go to Mortlake Hall, Stay & Play and Rhythm, Rhyme & Storytime (although she’s losing interest in the latter two of late). We’ve also thrown the occassional visit to Jumping Jacks into the mix, but don’t get up to too much else really.

Polly doesn’t really have many friends to call her own yet, although she really enjoys playing with Sam (Jamie’s brother), who is a year younger than her, and also plays well with Olivia and Isabella from her playgroup. She loves playing with Tabitha and they get on very well most of the time, although Polly does drive Tabitha mad (in fairness she can be rather annoying and a little pinchy/grabby!).

Her favourite colour by far is hot pink and in just over a week’s time we will be having a pink themed picnic in the park for her birthday. Finger’s crossed for the weather.

Happy third birthday Polp –  the toddler days are well and truly over now!

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