The little chefs

In some ways time has flown by while we’ve been in Nottingham, in other ways it seems like we’ve been here for years!  We’ll be going home in a few days and we don’t have anything major activities planned now (apart from coffee shop visits and get-togethers with cousins.

I’m no further along with M’s bedtime.  I’m trying to get her to go to bed at a reasonable time (so I get some time alone) and go to sleep on her own.  I think I mentioned before that she used to do this but hasn’t wanted to since all the school anxieties got too much for her.  For the last week there have been a lot of tears when I’m due to go downstairs and I can’t work out if I should ride it out or give up and try again another day.  Last night she was still awake and crying at 9.30 :(.  She says she’s scared of pirates and witches getting into the house and killing us all…

Apart from the evening upsets, M is generally a lot calmer and happier than she was a month ago so school does seem to be gradually wearing off.  D is a bit homesick but is generally her usual, bonkers self.  We went to Nottingham Castle yesterday and she was charging about pretending to be a knight attacking dragons.  The castle itself was a bit lack-lustre but the grounds were lovely for running about in and D was impressed by the view.

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On Sunday we went to Newstead Abbey where they had an emergency services display.  We got to see a Sea King rescue helicopter land in front of us which was pretty amazing.  The girls got to sit in a fire engine and try a fire-fighter’s hat on and M got hand-cuffed by a policeman but managed to wriggle her way out.  The girls also got a good run around in the grounds and found a little secret passageway through a hedge.  We had a picnic too and we were harassed by a very bold and greedy duck…

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Meanwhile, back at base, M has been going from strength to strength with her chess, and has already started to teach me things.  D’s reading is coming along nicely.  She still adores Reading Eggs and I’ve started using it as a reward for doing a bit of Mathletics which she doesn’t really like (though is good at).  M has just got her second bronze certificate but D isn’t the slightest bit interested in getting one!  We haven’t done a lot of formal work in the past week as a lot of time has been spent outdoors.  By the time we get back the girls are exhausted.  I’m glad to see they’re getting fitter as I would love to walk more with them rather than driving and bus-ing everywhere.

Carrying on the health topic, I decided enough was enough as regards the girls’ diets.  We seemed to have slipped into a very VERY boring routine of pasta-pesto-fish fingers and waffles and Linda McCartney sausage.  So I brainstormed with the girls as to which foods they would like to eat and have put together a 2 week menu with a variety of healthy meals and snacks.  After I’d done this I researched children’s vitamin and mineral intake and plan to incorporate this into their ‘all about my body’ project later on in the year.  Along side this, I’ve been racking my brains to think of carbs that M could have in her dinner instead of pasta-pesto.  So far I’ve come up with a winner – chapattis!!  They take about 10 minutes to make and are made with just wholemeal flour, water and salt so much healthier than white pasta.  M loves them, D not so keen but will eat.

The girls have gone crazy for cooking while we’ve been here.  We can’t start any cooking in the kitchen without little cries of ‘can I help?  Can I help?’.  They generally are helpful, though of course it slows everything up.  No complaints though, it’s lovely that they’re interested and now we’re not running to tight school deadlines we’ve got all the time in the world to cook… at least that’s the way it feels now..

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