The Nursery Diaries – Week Two, Term One.

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If I ask Freya to smile now, this is the face I get.

“Who taught you how to pout?” I asked.

“School,” she said.

#Lifelessons.

It’s only week two and already I can see, or rather hear, changes in her.

“That’s int-rest-ing, mummy,” she will say if I point something out.

Then there’s her new favourite word, “actually”. As in “actually, mummy” or ” pink is, actually, my favourite colour”.

We were on our way to the splash park as it was a glorious day on Wednesday last week and she said: “I mustn’t drink the water otherwise I will get gerbils in my tummy.”

“Gerbils?”

“Yes, they will run around in my tummy and make me sick.”

After I had stopped chuckling I said: “Do you mean germs?”

“Actually, mummy, yes, I mean germs.”

It still feels a bit like we have both started new jobs and while I know in a month it will all be ok and it will probably seem like we’ve been doing it forever, there is still some anxiety there at the moment, which is natural and normal.

Week two began with her not wanting to go, which filled me with dread, but there was no crying in class either day so that’s progress. We still had mega meltdowns as soon as she got home though.

After advice from Clare last week I decided to make her an activity chart so that she knows the main thing she will be doing that day. With help from my friend Pinterest this is what I came up with.

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It tested my *cough* artistic skills somewhat but thankfully she was able to identify what they all were.

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I’ve made a selection of cards that I keep in a box next to the chart. The way we do it, so far, is to open the following day the night before so that she already has in her head what she will be up to. I then reinforce it with a look at the chart in the morning. She seems to like it. It doesn’t work as well at weekends when our plans are a bit more fluid.

Today while she is at nursery I had a plan to actually leave the house and meet a friend for coffee but she was upset yesterday and I just felt like I needed to be close (plus my friend has a nasty cold so I don’t feel too awful about cancelling). Maybe I’ll go out next week. Possibly.

Are you a fan of charts? We tried one for potty training but it didn’t work out very well – and we soon all got bored of it.

nursery-yello

Little Hearts, Big Love

My Sunday Photo – Week 37.

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An old school friend introduced me to the Prisma App – and now I struggle not to Prisma-fy every single photo I take.

It doesn’t always work out well but I love spending a couple of minutes playing around – although I don’t think anything can replace the satisfaction of taking a good photo with no trickery.

Here are some of my recent favourites.

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Model boating lake.
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Freya daydreaming.
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Wymondham Abbey.
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Incy Wincy.
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Old building on Riverside in Norwich.

Are you a fan of Prisma?

Photalife

Book Review: The Secret Art Of Forgiveness.

yellowbookreviewLouisa George doesn’t shy away from the big emotions or the big issues in her latest book, The Secret Art Of Forgiveness.

secretartLove, grief, the trials and tribulations of stepfamilies and the sensitive issue of dementia are just some of the themes in this page-turner – and she handles them all, especially the latter, with a wonderfully eloquent touch that often brought tears to my eyes.

The story follows Emily Forrester’s return home to the quaint picture-postcard English village of Little Duxbury, which she fled as a tearaway teenager.

In the intervening years she has reinvented herself as a capable, respectable, go-getting New York advertising exec but she soon finds it is impossible to escape her past.

After years of sporadic contact she is called home by her stepsisters, who initially seem straight out of Cinderella, to look after their ailing father, The Judge.

Emily has lots of memories of him – the majority of them bad – but his dementia means he rarely remembers his stepdaughter, which allows them to reconnect in ways that might otherwise have been impossible.

Throw in a new fiancé back in New York, a crumbling old house to fix, an attractive neighbour with his own demons, a village festival to organise (not to mention years of hurt in all sorts of places to overcome) and you have a story that had me smiling as much as tearing up.

While some of the issues seemed resolved a little bit too quickly, given how long they had been festering, overall the book, or rather the characters in it, stayed with me long after I had finished reading, which is the sign of great writing in my view.

Format: Kindle.

Price (Sept 2016): 99p

My rating: Four stars.

Thank you to Carina UK for the copy (via NetGalley) in return for an honest review.