Friday, 13 September 2013

52 Weeks of Happy...48/52



The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

Joining in with lovely Jen at little birdiehere some of the simple things which have made me happy this week.

1. Despite the sudden drop in temperatures, I am still finding raspberries growing in the garden every day. I've never seen so many! There's never enough in one go to make in jam or a pudding but I love picking these handfuls of berries and they were lovely with Greek yogurt and honey. A lingering taste of summer.

2. Unwrapping a perfectly fresh and brand new soap and using it for the first time is one of my favourite things to do and it's even better when it reminds me of our holiday.

3. When it's cold and damp, butter two slices of bread (fresh is better but all I had was the Kingsmill 50/50 I buy for the kids) and place fishfingers on one and some crunchy iceberg lettuce on the other. Sandwich together with mayonaise and sweet chilli sauce. Amazing.

4. No photo to illustrate this one, but it did make me happy - last Sunday we came downstairs to find a puddle of water on the kitchen floor from a leaky pipe in the bathroom above. John spent all Sunday either under the bath or in B&Q, fixing the pipe (and swearing under his breath). The leak appeared to be coming from the boiler, which we feared was on it's last legs. Our nice plumber turned up, tightened a valve thereby fixing the problem, refused to take any payment, and told us we don't need a new boiler. We are relieved.



It's been a funny old week here as we settle into new routines and I've taken extra comfort from these small happy moments as they appear throughout my day. They help me feel grounded when I feel a bit cast adrift. John and I find ourselves in the house during the day without children for the first time in seven years, and it's very strange. We go running together. We eat lunch at the table together. It's all very civilised, but it feels odd too. I haven't relaxed into it yet. So far, Angus appears to love school. He goes in happily, produces a prolific amount of drawings, paintings and junk modelling (mostly abstract as far as I can tell) and tells us sweet snippets of his day, such as when he played football with one boy or how he enjoyed doing PE in the Big Hall. But after school...oh my goodness. He is stroppy, argumentative, oppositional and altogether difficult. From the minute he leaves the classroom it begins. I didn't bring the car. We are walking. He doesn't want to walk. We get home. He's ravenous and has a snack. He wants his tea. We sit at the table to eat and he wont eat any tea. He's so tired that I have to feed him. He wants to go to bed but refuses to get undressed or get into the bath. And on it goes... He's just finished his first full week at school and he's exhausted. He's only four. I feel that school gets the best of him and we the worst, but I know that it's just for now. He will get used to the longer days and we'll all be happier.






28 comments:

  1. Lovely happies - those raspberries do look good and what a great plumber you have! I have to say, I feel for Angus as I'm in exactly the same situation as he is at the moment, lol! I'm desperately hoping it's just for now and I'll get used to long days and too much work!

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  2. Love your pyrex bowl Gillian! That would be a happy for me, and also good news about your boiler. We had ours serviced this week and I always fear what they will say - we have an ongoing argument about vents, and apparently our 9 year old CO2 monitor is out of date as it is 10 years old - we haven't been in the house 10 years grrrrrrr! Sorry, shouldn't be complaining here. Glad that Angus is enjoying school, hopefully he is just tired afterwards and things will improve as he gets used to it? No advice here I'm afraid! Hope you have a good weekend and manage to stay warm and dry. Amy xx

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  3. The french soap looks lovely and I bet it smells amazing! Your fish sandwich looks really delicious. I had fish fingers for lunch today. I need to try them on a sandwich next time. Oh, and I am happy to hear your boiler is working nicely again. Glad to hear Angus is enjoying school. I think Charlotte gives preschool her best too, when I pick her up she can be a bit stubborn for a while. She is already at home sick with a yucky cold and fever she caught from school and we are only two weeks in, so far.

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  4. Every entry here is so beautifully thought out, and your photography so crisp! I love visiting with you Gillian, and getting little snap shots into your day to day. Sending lots of patience for you & hubby whilst you adapt to your little man's new routine. Oh lordy, I'm gonna have to try the fish finger sarnie!! Mmmmmm.........! Happy weekend x

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  5. Great news about the boiler. Ours is 30+ years old and I'm just waiting for the terrible moment when it goes. The sandwich looks good, I love to make new combinations. I hope Angus gets used to the routine soon. I can see where full days at school would be hard for a four-year-old, though. Because of the way our birthdate cutoff works here, both of mine were/will be almost six when they start longer days at school. I'm sure he'll do fine once the adjustment period is over. Hang in there.

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  6. That Fish Finger sandwich just took me back to my own childhood! Oh how we loved them :) We used to make the exact same sandwiches.

    Gillian I hear so much from parents questions about why their children are so pleasant to EVERYONE ELSE but them! All I can think and say is that they spend so many hours of so many days throughout the week being on their BEST behaviour at school, trying their BEST to please teachers and complete tasks, that when they do go home they are sooooooo exhausted! Unfortunately parents do cop the bad end of the stick so to speak :) Stay positive and patient. I am also a mum who will begin to experience this next year when my Sunny ventures off to school for the very first time!

    Sophie xo

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  7. Love your happies this week! Your raspberries look delicious especially layered in that glass with the yoghurt and honey. I feel for you about the boiler - but what a good result. I also feel for you coping with the new routine of both little ones being at school and coping with the aftermath at the end of the day. It does go with the territory I fear but it does pass although it can return for differing reasons even when people are rather older. I think it's just the out-working of stress but it's not easy being the parent on the sharp end of it. I send you a hug and am sure in a few weeks' time Angus will be back to his usual sunny self at home again. E x

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  8. Poor angus. Dan was just the same! Thanks so much for reminding me about fish finger sandwiches. Haven't had one for 15 years (we went veggie then), but they were yummy. I remember the crunch in the melted butter. We used to heave a bit of ketchup on ours. Xx

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  9. I am still enjoying a few perfect red raspberries (though mine never get as far as the kitchen door, they are gobbled on the spot!) and I am suffering through the after-school hours, too! I dubbed 5pm 'The Witching Hour' because that is the point that the whiny behaviour just turns wicked, and I'm afraid I start counting the hours til bedtime...but I look at my eldest daughter and remember that we survived her adjustment period at school, so I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there! Chrissie x

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  10. Fish finger sandwiches - now you're talking! Glad Angus is enjoying school but sorry to hear that he's very tired. I'm sure he'll settle into the routine very soon. x

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  11. Poor Angus! Long school hours for Reception are a pain but he will eventually get used to them. Also try telling him why he's cross and see if the two of you can come up with a better way of dealing with it, like a chill out activity before dealing with the rest of his life, or changing into jimjams and cookies and milk as soon as possible. My second son was barely 4 on entry and we had school prepared to let him out at 2.30 not 3.30 if he was still dragging tired in October just so he wouldn't be over tired all the time.

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  12. Oh those poor exhausted four year olds, i remember that terrible unreasonableness with Fergus especially, he was so young. It is frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time. This too will pass. My parenting mantra...then suddenly you are missing the chaos and their baby-ness. Lovely happies, thank goodness about the boiler and those raspberries made my mouth water!

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  13. I yes I remember those days so well. My Little Man has his birthday at the very end of August, so felt super-young heading into school only just turned 4. I'm now going through similar with Little B who LOVES his new nursery but comes out ravenously hungry and very tired and argumentative.
    It does ease.
    Your life will soon feel light as a feather, I can see it coming :o)
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  14. By the way, I think if i ate a fish finger sandwich I would die. Eugh, how could you?!

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  15. It must be so strange to have John at home and I hope you can relax into it soon. I know I would love it but it would take me time to settle into it. As for Angus I feel for you as we have had the exact same here and in a bad severe scale, she lashes out at everything and anything, crying, kicking hitting and screaming. She is so aggressive and so rude and no matter how much I know it's all a perfect symptom of releasing where she feels comfortable after a day of conforming in school, it's still very hard to deal with. It will get better over time and in a way somehow it's comforting to know that both Angus and Es feels comfortable enough in their own environments to release. Thinking of you xoxo

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  16. Hello Gillian

    I too love opening a new soap, simple but a luxurious pleasure I think. I have also had a strange week, felt quite blue really, not sure if I am ready for the seasons changing and very tired too. Alice used to be super ravenous when I picked her up from junior school, I soon realised that having a snack for her at the school gates helped until we got home to have our tea. She can also be like that now at almost 13, I know the tell tale signs so well! Hang in there it will all become smooth again.
    Happy to hear that your boiler is ok, what a lovely plumber. Take care and happy weekending with your precious family xox Penny

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  17. You've got two of my all time favourite happies up there G- raspberries and fish finger sandwiches. Joy. (No lettuce on mine though thanks!). With you on the school thing too, J only been doing mornings this week (an incredibly long winded but necessary I think settling in month yawn) and he's been grumpy and sleepy all afternoon! He's loving school though! I definitely get the worst of the boys behaviour when they're home from school, and often have to remind them of how well behaved they are for their teacher!!

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  18. Lovely foodie photos Gillian. I love opening and using a brand new bar of soap too, such lovely simple pleasures. I'm sure wee Angus will settle into his routine soon, school must be exhausting when you are only four!
    Marianne x

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  19. How lovely to still have raspberries long may they last :)

    I agree with Modern Day Mummying about the tiredness at the end of a school day. They have to sit still, listen, do as they are asked for a long time during a school day and at home they have more autonomy and are released. I am sure boys find all these things much harder. It is a bit like opening a bottle of fizzy pop after it has been shaken. Like my youngest he is very young and his period of adjustment may take longer than for an older child. As long as you are his constant at home, somewhere safe for him to retreat to I am sure it will help him with this rite of passage. It makes me realise how lucky I am not to be sending my children to school.

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  20. Glad to hear that Angus is enjoying school, I'm sure he'll settle soon when he gets in to a routine. Good news about the boiler, and what a lovely plumber, they usually charge a fortune just to look at something.

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  21. God bless plumbers and Angus - I'm sure he's enjoying school (but finding it exhausting at the same time). Why is the autumn term the longest? Interesting views in the news this week about too formal education too young. Makes you think we might be getting it wrong in this country? Hope next week is calmer for you. Claire xo

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  22. Hello lovely! Yum, I do love a fish finger sandwich. Poor Angus, and you...I'm having similar shenanigans with Rufus but he's only doing 2 days at pre-school so we get to take it easy the rest of the week. If you really feel like you're struggling with him, I can really recommend a lovely book called Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen...I was finding my boys really hard work earlier this year, but it has made everything much easier and more fun, and without the awful guilt that a lot of parenting books seem to produce! I'm sure it will all get easier soon enough...good luck in the meantime! Rachel xxx

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  23. Fish finger sandwiches are SO good! Have never tried it with sweet chilli sauce though!
    Hope Angus settles down soon - the first few weeks are always a huge adjustment and so tiring for them. x

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  24. Oh poor little man, and poor you getting the brunt of it all. I remember walking home from school with my oldest kicking me and his brother when he was in Reception. I hope he gets into the routine of it all soon. I do think that children go to school too early in this country. I'd like to keep mine at home until they are 7 at least! Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.

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  25. I thought I'd left a message here - but maybe I forgot to post it. Or maybe I'm just going mad?!
    My son was the same - absolutely shattered when I picked him up, and horrid with it. I used to go armed with his "blankie" and a flapjack or oat bar of some sort. It used to really help. Not perfect but a vast improvement.
    Similarly at almost 16 he's reverted to be unable to string a sentence together at the end of the day and ravenously hungry too! It's all a phase has been a phrase I've used regularly. Keep smiling. :) x

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  26. Lots of lovely simple pleasures and one big happy about not needing a new boiler, phew!
    I'm sure things will improve with Angus when he gets used to the whole new routine of school. They keep so busy at school, everything is so new and then at home they get the tiredness dip. That's when life's little happies really are worth their weight in gold!
    Lisa x

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  27. Lots of lovely happy photos. Yummy raspberries and I spy a fish finger butty, I LOVE a fish finger butty excellent.
    I'm sure Angus will settle into the routine soon my daughter was the same x

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  28. Now that is my kind of sandwich, and my idea of how to serve yoghurt. Yum!

    Poor Angus, they do get so tired at school, emotionally and mentally tired as much as anything, there's so much happening, so much to take in. Some take longer to adjust than others but I'm sure he will :)

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