We've been home six weeks and I am now feeling like I'm almost on top of things... sort of, well not really but I have to jolly myself along with this perception. We're all really well. We had a brilliant trip to England but I must say it was also nice to be back in our own home, in our super comfy bed (something I love almost as much as Tom and the kids), and in familiar environs. I can't say I love our area but it's nice to go to the local shops and know exactly where to buy something from and be able to achieve little things easily. I've also enjoyed getting back in the kitchen and cooking proper meals and knowing where everything is - funny how the little things make a difference.
Quick update on the kids.
Barney is now 6 months old! He had doubled his birthweight at 5 mths old and has just started to happily take solids. We had a couple of weeks of him learning to swallow, not opening his mouth for the food, whacking the spoon with his hands anytime it came close to him, and very funny face pulling. So it's great that he seems to be in the swing of eating mushy food and chomping on bread crusts. Barney's also traversing the lounge room floor by rolling around the place - something I fondly remember Beth doing at a similar age. He's extremely good natured, always got a huge gummy smile for us, loves to blow raspberries and occasionally sounds like he's saying something such as "hello" (but that's probably parental projection). The rougher Beth is with Barney the more he laughs. He's sitting up on his own reasonably well if he's on a cushioned surface but I'm still not sure how he'd do sitting on tiles or in the bath. He hasn't got any teeth yet - no rush - and he's breastfeeding well. Barney's not sleeping fully through yet but it's not too bad either. He tends to go to bed at 7pm, wake around 5am for a breastfeed before going straight back to sleep until 7.30am-8am when he's up and ready for brekkie. He's gorgeous.
Beth is fab. She's started swimming lessons since we got home. She had a couple of lessons a few weeks in when she decided she didn't want to get in the water and it took a lot of imagination and gentle coaxing on the part of the swimming teachers to get her in. Last week she was straight in the water and had a ball so I think we're on track again. She can't wait to be 5 as this is when I've told her she can go to school. She loves driving past our local school and telling me she'll be going there when she's 5. Sometimes she tells me she is "5 today" but she's ok when I disagree and remind her she's only 2. She's very strong-willed and is getting more stubborn by the day. A common response when I ask her not to do something is, "I will do it!". On the other hand, threats of time out in her bedroom are working very well and she usually comes round after a couple of warnings.
Beth's language and pronunciation keep improving. Her daycare teachers remarked how much better it was just in the 7 weeks we were away overseas. She's lovely to Barney and is pretty good at sharing with him. Now that he's getting rusks she's decided she wants them too. She can't pronounce them properly so it sounds like she's asking for "rucks". She keeps asking me to sing songs that I don't know about an "orc" (not sure what it really is) and "darry dar" (again no idea). So we tend to sing a song that consists of two words and two notes - rather repetitive. I've also realised how much of my phrases she copies. I must have said "I'm afraid" to prefix some bad news I had to tell her ie. "I'm afraid your butterfly shorts are in the wash". Suddenly I had this coming back at me in the funniest circumstances. Beth - "I'm going to wear my blue skirt today I'm afraid Mummy". We also don't know what she thinks "yet" means or "plan" for that matter. Today Tom told Beth he had a plan. Beth's response was, "Oh dear, don't be sad Daddy". She now lets me put her hair up in hairbands (yey!) and these almost last the whole day depending on whatever else is going on. She's into stickers, buttons, felt, playdough, finger painting and putting things into something else. We made a treasure chest today by covering a shoe box in various colourful wrapping paper. The plan is to keep all her little treasures that are not Barney friendly in this box in her room. So far, it's been very handy for me to stuff whatever mess is lying around into. And I've realised we're going to need a bigger box!