And so it’s happening…

…we have moved off Pinafore and our new adventure is unfolding before us.

We are currently house sitting for friends and then we will be staying with our lovely friends who we spent Christmas with for a few weeks and then off to Dan’s parents and mine for a week and then…if all goes to plan, we should be moving into our very own new house at the end of February!

I won’t lie, I had a few panicky nights last week where I almost freaked out; a combination of leaving our home of the last 2 and a half years and not knowing where we’re going to be living was just too much for me! But I pulled myself together, obviously, because what use would I be if I hadn’t!?

These last few months I have been staying calm mainly by meditating on these two verses.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’

Jeremiah 29: 11 

 ‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’

Matthew 6: 34

So now I am holding onto them even more tightly as we wait to find somewhere to live and hopefully get the process completed smoothly and swiftly. Sophia and I have been reading (not really at the memorising stage yet I think!) a bible verse every day from a children’s set of memory verses she has and the last half dozen seem to have been about trusting in God, staying safe with God and generally letting Him protect you…I thought this was appropriate given the upheaval we’re going through! Then at Church this morning the guy speaking was talking about community and I was feeling so blessed and thankful to have a lovely community of friends in Brighton who are helping make the transition so much easier for us.

My main aim for the next 6 weeks it to maintain a modicum of normality for Sophia and Isaac; they are both definitely aware of the change though obviously to differing degrees! Sophia announced in Church this morning that she wanted to go back to the boat to sleep all day long (one of her favourite turns of phrase!) and Isaac has been incredibly unsettled the last few nights (though I’m hoping that might also be due to the emergence of his first tooth…he still hasn’t cut any)!

We will be in Brighton for the next 4 weeks though and staying with close friends for most of that so for now, it’s service as normal which will hopefully help.

I’m aware that I’m digressing slightly and Isaac has just woken again (third time since going down less than 4 hours ago!) so I shall leave you having given you a brief update on what’s going on with us right now. Hope you’re all enjoying the snow and staying safe and warm!

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One!

On Friday, Isaac turned one! One! And crikey, the last week he’s really been acting like a little person rather than a baby…laughing at us all, laughing at himself, playing games with us and just being a bundle of gorgeous-ness! He is one happy little man!

I’ve had friends whose children are obsessed with cars from as young as 6 months, or dinosaurs, or fish, or in the case of Sophia, books, but from almost day one, Isaac has had one focus and that has been moving. So we had planned to go to a soft play centre with some friends to allow him to fully explore and throw himself about with wild abandon. Unfortunately we were foiled by the snow and didn’t fancy driving our not always terribly reliable van across the city and back (especially as it was half full with boxes as we were completing the process of moving off the boat).

However, we didn’t let this spoil our fun and had a really really lovely day just the four of us at home, Isaac played with new toys (the Happy Hopper being a big success!) and then we took a walk so Sophia could build a snowman in the marina. We warmed up with a hot chocolate in the Laughing Dog (I’d definitely recommend) and then went home for a birthday dinner and the all important cake!

Without being soppy, it felt like a day full of love, laughter and smiles – just perfect for a little man’s first birthday.

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Happy Birthday Isaac, we love you!

Changes Afoot

Where to start?!

We’ve sold the boat, our home, the good ship Pinafore and will be moving off this weekend and signing her over to the new owners on Monday.

We will essentially be ‘homeless’ for 6 weeks and storing all our worldly belongings in our van and at friends as it looks like we’ll be moving to Devon so there’s no point trying to rent somewhere in Brighton for a month. So we’re housesitting then staying with friends and family for the gap (for which we are very grateful)!

We will be house hunting (for rental accommodation) in the Exeter area during February and hopefully will move into somewhere at the beginning of March.

I was feeling quite chilled about the whole thing and mainly excited about being nearer my parents (for the kids obviously but also for me, it might be a bit lame, but my Mum really is one of my best friends and I hate seeing her so infrequently) but am feeling a bit overwhelmed today. I think it’s just because we thought our van had broken down this morning (Dan has temporarily fixed it by hitting it with a hammer!), I had to have some unexpected and semi-urgent dental work today, we’re moving off on Saturday and I haven’t packed (granted it won’t take more than a few hours but I’m so used to moving houses it seems weird to leave most of the packing until the day) and Isaac, my baby boy is going to be one tomorrow! The last year has flown by!

Nothing negative there (apart from the dentist!), just lots of changes and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with the anticipation of it all!

Also, we had just the most lovely day with Jo and the girls on Wednesday, they came to the boat for lunch and we took a walk to the beach on a gorgeous sunny winters day, got chased by the waves and then shared dinner on the boat again. When I think about leaving them and about other folk (especially Gemma who will be having her second baby any day now, I’m so sad about not seeing him or her grow the way she has Isaac) it’s enough to want to make me cry.

Don’t get me wrong, I think we are definitely making the right decision for our family and I’m excited and at peace with it but I will so miss our friends. Our friends from the last 2 and a half years are like family to us and although we will still see them (I’m busy badgering them all to commit to trips to the West Country) it won’t be the same as the often multiple-times-in-a-week relationship that we have now.

So I’m going to stop thinking and writing about it and must focus on the exciting times ahead! And if anyone has any recommendations for things to do in the Exeter area, especially with young and/or home schooled children, please do share!!

(On the home school note, even in the midst of all this Sophia has still been eagerly doing reading eggs and letter worksheets, we’re doing a letter a week which just involves practising writing that letter, thinking and drawing things that start with it and baking something that starts with it-last week apple crumble, this week burnt [oops!] biscuits and birthday cake)

I’ll keep you updated with our comings and goings but for now, stay warm, and if you do get some snow-enjoy!

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Isaac’s best friend!

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Sophia and Seren: inseparable!

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A is for….

A New Year

Happy New Year people of the Internet! I realise I’m a bit late in this post but better late than never.

We’ve been trying to settle back into normal life after the holidays, a lovely New Years Eve and Day with friends, a trip to the in laws and Dan having time off but have been slightly thwarted by being so busy busy busy with boat viewings. However, it seems to have paid off and we appear to have found a buyer! Exciting times but until the ink’s drying…etc I don’t want to believe it’s happening!

The sale of the boat is tying in with some big changes for us but I can’t say anymore yet so watch this space!

So, to 2013…a space yet to be filled. I’m not massively into resolutions but have thoughts on things I’d like to bear in mind as we go on with the year.

I’d like to start running more regularly. I really enjoy running (my teenage self would be horrified!) but haven’t been more than half a dozen times in the last year! I’m aiming for weekly runs so we’ll see. I think it’s the prospect of 30-60 mins of completely child free time to myself that I enjoy most but the exercise is an added bonus!

I’ve also been contemplating doing a Doula training course for a while now. I am really drawn to the idea of supporting and serving a mother and her family at such an exciting and turbulent time in their lives. But I’m not sure if this is the right time for me to be doing it with the kids so young and I still haven’t thought of a solution for child care for such unpredictable hours. Also, there are already a lot of doula’s in Brighton so I don’t know whether I’d get any work anyway. One for more prayer and thought I think!

My final ‘resolution’ for me is less screen time but it actually applies for all of us! I spend far too much time on my phone and Sophia seems to have none for days and then spurts of lots of TV and time on the laptop so I’m going to regulate and limit that a bit more. My one consolation is that as we rely on DVD’s and Netflix, at least I have some control over what she is watching!

In terms of the kids I think I’m going to start doing a bit of structured learning with Sophia every day or every other day. Nothing heavy but just responding to her eagerness to learn and requests to ‘do’ letters…etc. I’m going to keep it really simple as she’s only just 3 but am trying to follow her lead! I’m excited about one of my home-eddy plans but will cover it in a separate post I think.

She’s really into imaginative play at the moment and that was further aided and encouraged by a till, doctors kit, toy town and sylvanian family dolls house (very grateful small girl here after Christmas and birthday a week apart!) so am going to try and remember to join in when requested and also try and bios up a dressing up clothes stash when we’re somewhere with enough space!

For Isaac, I remember the jump from 12 to 18 months being huge in terms of actual play so am going to try and do more messy/sensory play for him and generally make sure that he gets attention as well as up until recently he hasn’t required or wanted much more than milk and room to explore!

Finally, I’m going to try and spend more time outdoors. After so so so much rain, I’d forgotten how much the kids thrive outside so we’ve already bundled up and went to Stanmer Park for a wintry walk with friends on Friday and went to the park on the beach today. I was chilly but the kids seemed unfazed and loved it.

The proof is in the pudding!

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How about you? Any resolutions or plans for 2013? I’d love to hear them!