Playing the waiting game

Must apologise for my lack of blogging action this past week; we’ve been all over the place and have temporarily completely diverged from the routine we had slowly established and were enjoying (although we did enjoy some biscuit making, a day at the plot and having friends to lunch instead!)

As you, my dear readers, are probably aware, we currently live on a boat. We’ve been trying to sell her for almost the last 18 months and finally gave in and put her on eBay last week. We had been planning on buying a larger boat to live on but over the last few months we’ve changed our minds and have decided that for the time being at least, we will be returning to land. The reasons behind this decision warrant a lot more than just this hasty post but boil down to three main factors I think; Dan’s health, space for the children and what I deem to be the ‘other’ category that includes many things such as wanting a bathroom that you don’t have to put coats and shoes on to get to, ditto a washing machine, being able to shop more efficiently and responsibly, being able to host friends again, having a Christmas tree (that one is on me!) and if you ask Dan, getting pet rats (an argument we’re still having)!

We had viewings over the weekend (so now have an impeccably clean home!), I’m going to view some properties in the local area over the next few days and the auction ends on Wednesday so by then we shall know one way or another where we’re going to be for a while.

I’m not going to lie, the anticipation, the waiting does not sit well with me. I like to know what’s going on. I’ve wound myself up and made myself physically nauseous by thinking about it, checking the eBay listing, thinking about it, checking the eBay listing, looking at flats on rightmove, checking the eBay listing…and on and on…

So enough! I have decided to try and just stop. Stop thinking about it. Wednesday will come, the boat will either sell or it won’t. Nothing I can do now can change that so I am just going to try and stay busy and not think about it. So apologies for the boring post but thought I’d explain my quiet. Next time I’ll bring you more fun, more pictures of the kids and hopefully, some good news!

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A little round up

We’ve been without internet for the past week (used up our months allowance on our Mi-Fi early-oops!) so you’ll have to forgive my absence and this post coming from my phone. I was getting ready to say that we’d had a quiet week or so since I last blogged but looking back we’ve actually been fairly busy (but not overwhelmingly so).

The weekend before last we went to Sophia’s friends rock themed 3rd birthday party. A great time was had by all though I think the adults outshone the kids on the costume front! Sophia did temporarily borrow a wig though and stopped head banging just long enough for me to get a quick snap!

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The highlight for all though was the piñata, lovingly made by the birthday boy’s Mama. Watching the kids whack that ball of fun was hilarious and I was inspired to finish making the one I started for Sophia’s party next month! I was also impressed with the combination guitar/train cake and had to share….

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Monday took us to our friend’s flat where we enjoyed a shared lunch and Sophia and her ‘best friend’ had fun with ink stamps and then made some beeswax candles which they then sent to their Grandma’s. I didn’t take any photo’s which is a shame because it was an easy but fun craft, one we’ll definitely do again I think. We’ve decided to try and meet once a week or fortnight specifically for craft or baking which I’m looking forward to as it was such a nice day. I saw a threading activity using play dough and spaghetti on Pyjama School that I want to try that looked like fun.

On the eve of Halloween we were invited to a party; I wasn’t sure about going at first. As a Christian we always went to ‘light parties’ and avoided the whole Halloween thing and the darkness that can surround it. However, I decided that it wasn’t really a big deal
at this age as she hadn’t even seemed to grasp that Halloween was an occasion, she just thought it was a regular party she’d been invited to. This may have been a cop out on my part but I figure we can talk about it when she’s a bit older and she had a great time at the party so think the right decision was made.

After that we’ve just been pottering, we’ve seen friends, Sophia has been playing with stencils a lot and seems to have resurrected her love of puzzles as well as wanting to play matching memory games a lot. We went to Magical Mondays yesterday where she did more stencils and today we went to a new home ed group that deserves it’s own post when we get Internet back on the laptop in a few days. Isaac has mostly been cruising, bouncing, giggling, following his sister around like a devoted puppy and snoozing….

Loving the library (and Hama Beads)

I’ve been frequenting the library with Sophia since she was barely able to gum on a board book; I have so many fond memories of reading from my childhood and although I don’t get as much time to read for myself as I’d like these days I’m still a bookworm for life. Therefore, it’s not really surprising that passing on my love of reading to my children is incredibly important to me. I don’t mind if they want to be musicians, play football or create artistic masterpieces but I would really really love it if they loved books as much as I do.

Unfortunately, living on board means our space for books is limited and although every nook and cranny appears to be filled with books, it never seems enough! So we merrily trot to the library every fortnight to take out a dozen books that we read over and over until we’re all bored of them and ready for the next lot.

I just had to make a brief detour from my post to say that we’ve had 2 of my new favourite books out recently, ‘Bear Snores On’ by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman and ‘The Tiny Seed’ by Eric Carle. Both lovely gentle books in their own way with lovely illustrations. Sophia has been returning to them again and again. Just wanted to share!

Our local library has a section for toys which is a wonderful resource but unfortunately we never seem to have much luck with our finds from that department! I often let Sophia choose a toy from there to bring back, usually something that is too big to be on the boat permanently but that I can cope with for a fortnight. A few times I have picked something that she’s been rattling on about, thinking of her happiness upon getting home and seeing what I’ve picked. However, with only one exception (a very cute little dolls house), the toys always get played with just once or twice and then sit in their plastic bags in the cockpit, getting tripped over until I finally get fed up and return them! It’s a mystery to me why this is seeing as we have picked things that she has requested or even played with somewhere else but c’est la vie! Luckily, this week we discovered the abundance of board games they stock so I hope we’ll have more success with them…

However, this week we also discovered their rail of ‘story bags’. I don’t know how many other library’s have these but they are brilliant! We picked one about games. It had a Charlie and Lola book (a success already, Charlie and Lola rank up with Katie Morag and Alfie and Annie Rose as Sophia’s favourite book characters), a factual book about games from around the world, a pack of alphabet snap cards, a yo yo, a sheet full of poems and an egg and spoon game.

A fun morning was had whilst Isaac slept; reading the books, playing the game (she then moved onto her favourite alphabet puzzle), trying to master the yo-yo (unsuccessfully thus far!) and then attempting to do an egg and spoon race before her little brother woke up and decided to try and join in.

I’m concentrating!

Later while I made lunch she retired to her favourite activity of late, using stencil sheets. We go to a home education group on a Monday that has a box of different stencils and a friend lent us an alphabet one while I look for some more because she really really enjoys them. So if anyone knows of a good place online to get some please let me know!

Although she is only young, I am loving the interest she is taking in letters, writing and reading. I feel really privileged to be able to be at home with her, encouraging her, watching her learn and most importantly, seeing how much pleasure she takes in it!

Finally, as I realise this post is long and picture heavy, I just wanted to briefly mention her growing interest in Hama Beads. I loved Hama Beads as a child so when the lovely Merry from Patch of Puddles (and her lovely businesses BeadMerrily and PlayMerrily) did a giveaway for a Hama Maxi Bead set I eagerly entered and was delighted when I won.

Although Sophia isn’t the recommended 4 years yet, with supervision, she loves ‘doing beads’. Left alone she keeps knocking the board and sending beads flying but as an activity with us she really enjoys the process. The top elephant was made with her Dad today whilst I was having a rest (thought I was getting the lurgy I’ve managed to avoid while they were all struck down with it, turns out I was just tired) and is their freestyle version. The bottom (although a bit battered from play and missing part of it’s tail and trunk) was made with my help – I was always a sucker for sticking to the pattern and making things neat, organised and symmetrical.

I’m interested to see which style she favours as she grows older and starts using the beads entirely by herself – will she be creative and daring enough to make her own designs or will she faithfully stick to the ones in the book and/or download suggested patterns from the internet? There are merits in both approaches and I foresee Hama Beads being a favourite activity so I guess we’ll watch this space and find out!

Ahoy!

This is attempt number 2 at writing and maintaining a blog but this time I feel inspired to commit.

I want a tangible record of our life and our home educating journey and although this is ‘virtual’ rather than real hold-it-in-your-hands matter I think it’s the better option….apart from anything else, paper goes mouldy in a matter of hours (it seems!) on the boat and I’m running out of space as it is (currently brainstorming the best way to keep/contain/display Sophia’s work…no closer to an answer but that’s another post).

Sorry, an introduction is probably a good way to start. I’m Hannah, Mama to Sophia (almost 3) and Isaac (9 months) and wife to Dan. We live on a 31ft catamaran called Pinaforein Brighton, UK. Dan is the Lead Transfusion Scientist at a local hospital and I am at home with the kids. I’d say we’ve always known we were going to home ed the kids and although I’ve been reading reading reading about it since Sophia arrived I feel that in the last few weeks I’ve found my stride, my confidence. I feel that WE CAN DO THIS. And I’m excited!

I’m slightly intimidated by entering the heady world of blogging; the categories, tagging, links, stats, the mystery that is twitter…. It’s enough to make a girl turn tail and run back to her knitting but no, I shall start as I mean to go on (probably with far too many exclamation marks, excessively long sentences and poor grammar!) so hello, read on if you like, I’ll try not to be too boring!

My 3 fellow boat dwellers