The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur there is so much going on. We’ve had lots of Chritmasy fun, an overseas friend visiting, some very badly times potty training and a swearing old couple disrupting our lunch. Here’s a little round up………….
Visit from Stanka
It was fantastic to have our friend Stanka come to stay for the weekend. Stanka is an old friend from Slovakia who now lives in Vienna. We really enjoyed giving her a little tour around Cambridge and having a look around some of the beautiful colleges. It was a treat for us to go into Sidney Sussex College which I’ve walked past hundreds of times but never visited before. The weather was a bit rubbish but we persevered. It was fun to introduce Stanka to mulled wine, minced pies and English pubs.
After two full days with us completely wore Stanka out – a weekend at our house is not very relaxing!
Audley End Christmas train
This was such a magical experience. There is a miniature steam train that takes you through the woods to Santa’s grotto. The train comes to a stop and the elves come out and dance and give sweets to all the children. Then the star of the show Santa came to speak with all of the children. The boys’ eyes were wide with amazement and Sofia was beaming. I think it is the most excited I’ve seen the boys. Sam whispered “It’s really Santa!” The elves are very helpful and take photos for you.
I would completely recommend the Christmas train as a real Christmas treat. My top tips are bring wellies – the site is very muddy (we forgot!). You can turn up on the day if you haven’t pre-booked tickets, this is what we did. We were quite lucky that we didn’t have to queue for too long (about 30 minutes). There was free mulled wine or coffee for the adults and they handed out sweets and umbrellas in the queue (it was drizzling a little bit). Stanka and I held places in the queue as the kids are not the best at waiting. Next year we will definitely pre-book online.
This is the first year that Sofia has done a carol concert instead of a nativity play. Sofia sang her heart out and I felt a very proud parent. It was funny to see her as one of the youngest children there compared to the older KS2 pupils. The not so fun aspect of the evening was trying to get the twins to sit still and quietly through the service. There is something about a candle lit church and needing to sit quietly that makes the boys extra wriggly and noisy. I was a bit on edge through the solos and readings trying to make sure the boys weren’t being disruptive. Rolando had to take them out towards the end when they’d reached the limit of being well behaved.
We’ve been busy doing our annual advent activities, this is a family tradition that we have done since Sofia was very young. The idea is to do a little activity each day of December.
My favourites so far have been the 3D Christmas house that I made with Sofia. It was easy to do and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. We all loved the hot chocolate. I found some chocolate covered teaspoons in our local deli for an extra special touch.
We’ve still got a few great treats lined up – I’m especially looking forward to chocolate fondue.
In a moment of madness we started potty training, not the best idea when we are so busy – seriously what was I thinking?! I promise not to go into too many gory details. I’ve discovered that Leo is a sucker for match makers and with lots of chocolate bribery he’s getting the idea. Sam is having none of it. A particular low point was Sam cuddling up on my lap for a story and then weeing on me. It’s a bit tricky when you have a visitor staying and one of your kids is weeing everywhere!
I took the boys out to lunch this week which was really lovely. Except for the incredibly sweary old couple sat on the table next to us. Every other word was F**k. I was completely cringing. Sam and Leo – do not repeat this word at preschool!
Sam made me smile the other day talking about the banana moon – meaning the crescent moon. He also calls aeroplane vapour trails shooting stars.
Sofia is learning the recorder at school and is supposed to practice every day. Forget water boarding recorder practice would make me confess to anything. The boys are not massive fans either. Sofia made me laugh the other day when she said to the boys “Get out of my room or I’ll play the recorder!”
I’m looking forward to Sofia and the boys finishing school and preschool and having some time off in the run up to Christmas. I feel like we all need a bit of a rest.