Thursday, 13 September 2012

Half a birthday and a First Day at School

Today was a big day for the kids. Danny is 6 months old today, and here he is trying to escape from his ring:

He's a big old lad, and 2 weeks ago we started weaning him on to baby rice & porridge, and since then we've introduced jar food too. He's still on mother's milk too, but his reliance on that is diminishing. He's sleeping well, or at least he has been until last weekend, when he started a trend of waking up at 5am rather than 6.30am. It's most likely something in his feeding, so hopefully he'll go back to giving us a solid 12 hours once he's on bigger portions of food.
He's a very happy chappy, only skriking (I can say that now I live back in Bury) when's he's properly hungry, and even then his cries are a little muted rather than ear-splitting.
We've got a nursery place sorted for him, starting in mid-November, for four days a week, and he'll bond with Grandma on the other day. Baba Luda returns to Russia at the end of November for a well-earned break!

Then there's Lara. Today was Day #1 at Springside Primary School, about a 10 minute walk away. She has been getting very excited about this, all the more so since we bought her the school uniform 2 weeks ago. She couldn't wait to put it on this morning, and we took the obligatory photographs (and one video!):

The school is having some remedial work done at the moment, but Lara's classroom is brand new, so we're not complaining about a little bit of disruption outside, when her room has all the latest facilities. It would have been fascinating to have been a fly on the wall there today, but we had to do with Lara's rather breathless account of what she'd done when we went to collect her at 3.30pm. She'd baked some fairy cakes for us, she had two friends (one boy and two girls, apparently, leading to a recount on the number of friends), and from her description we think she had a chicken burger, beans and chips for lunch, with vanilla ice cream for dessert. I suspect Jamie Oliver will be straight round once he reads this post. I do suspect the chances of her having free-range chicken breast (skin off) with organic vegetables and a low fat mousse for dessert are pretty low, but hey, it's what I had at school and I stayed skinny and healthy (until I got a proper job, that is).
We're deploying bedtime rules for the first time, having been pretty laissez-faire about it until now. She is to be in bed, ready to go to sleep, by 8pm on a school night, and at the weekend, we'll just play it by ear. It takes me ages to bath her, wash her hair, dry it and brush it, and after starting the bath at 7pm tonight, it was still 8.15pm before I left her reading a story (a made up one, she can't ready yet!) to one of her cuddlies.
She was asking if she could go to school again tomorrow, so I guess that means today was a success, but to be honest, we always thought it would be. She's been at full-time nursery since she was 9 months old, so she's used to the routine, and really it was only a case of how long would it take her to settle in.
About 15 minutes, by all accounts...

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Back in Bury!

It's been quite a hectic 5 weeks since my last post, I'll try to break it down into a few posts, but here we are, in our converted pub in Bury.
It's wonderful to have more space in the house than we had in High Wycombe. That house served a purpose very well for us for a time, but we had outgrown it, and once we move everything into this house - there's plenty still in storage in Wycombe - we'll most probably fill it. We don't have a garden here, just a small backyard, but the silver lining is at least I don't have to mow anything! We have a small park across the road, and a much bigger park 10 minutes walk away, so it's not like there's nowhere for Lara to play.
The moving week was hard work for everyone, with Olga and Luda packing things up at home and me driving backwards and forwards in a big transit van. I covered 1400 miles in a week, and in the middle of that we had a day in London to collect our Canadian Permanent Resident visas and watch some Olympic basketball.
On the Big Move Day, Friday 10th August, the weather was lovely, and as expected the timescales slipped and rather than leave at 10am, Lara and I left in the van at 1pm. Our movers had left at 10am, with all our big items (and £40 from Olga's purse, which wasn't something we'd asked them to move). A hot air balloon came right overhead, so close we could hear when they fired up the burner, Lara loved that. I could not have squeezed a box of matches into the back of the van by the time we left. The two previous round trips I'd made that week had been clear of traffic jams, but of course it had to be on a hot, Friday afternoon with a 4 year old that someone decided to crash on the M6 northbound, which turned a journey that had been taking 3 hours into a 5 1/2 hour marathon. Lara was brilliant all the way though, only briefly complaining abut being stuck in a traffic jam, she was probably more patient than me!

We're still a long way from being settled in, there are plenty of boxes that need unpacking, and the office is a long way from being ready, but the laptops are set up, and after 3 weeks of grief with BT we finally have broadband. It took a week longer than that to get Infinity installed, but now that it's here, it's twice as quick as the Infinity we had in High Wycombe, we're up to 67Mbps here, for those who are interested. Olga and I have managed one night out in Bury so far, and a couple of trips to the local pub, just across the road. We have a convenience store 50 metres in one direction from our front door, and a chinese takeaway 50 metres in the other direction, and the best thing is, we're not living on a hill! No steps up to the house, no hill to climb on the way back from the shop or the pub, it's heaven! I'll post more about Danny & Lara soon.. much to tell!