Failure and excitement

I failed my driving test on Thursday. Lane discipline was the problem. The Countess Wear roundabout did my head in. I went around it, I went on the right hand lane which was wrong. I should have stayed on the left hand lane. And then the next roundabout which was big that led me back to the Industrial estates I approached it wrongly again. In general I felt comfortable, the country lane was alright, the mini roundabouts were good and the reverse parking was fine because the car was in the bay.  There will be a next time and that will be on the 31 of March.

We will go to London tomorrow afternoon and stay there for the night to be near the airport and be sure that we are there. We are all looking forward to our break from the craziness of the decoration and the neighbor’s complete horrific behavior. I have been very stressed and been losing sleep over the disputes that they are claiming now that we started when after all this time they are unreasonably difficult. It is as if they made a promise to make our lives hell. I will not go in details about it but one day when all is over I might be able to write about it and hopefully bury the resentment.

Friday was an exciting day for R. She was able to play with snow at Princetown even though it was only for less than ten minutes. It was lovely to watch her play and enjoy winter before we go away. It has been mild and that was the only day this season to be able to touch and appreciate it. Perhaps next season will be white.

See you Bangkok.

Lucky week (I guess)

What a week that was and a wonderful start this week. If you can hear what I am saying thank you. If you do not it is a cry or a triumphant jump.

Last week R tried lacing and she had more patience to do it than a few months ago. She expressed the interest to do the activity about a couple of months ago but it did not work. We tried to lace her shiny shoes and then my old shoes which she gave more attention to. We will try it again and again until she is able to do it on her own. R tried zipping as well. She started with my coat. With 3 to 4 times of practice with mine she moved on to daddy’s and then tried her own coat. She did all this while we were at the shopping center. The next morning she was very happy to have done her boots all by herself. She still struggles sometimes but she tries her best and then asks for help if she cannot do it anymore.

The kitchen is a mess for four days now. Daddy is laying tiles a few at a time. It takes time to do even half of the room as the materials need to be worked with quickly otherwise the adhesive will set and then after he has laid them with certain precision he cleans all the buckets and trowels. R works and plays in the bedrooms or the sitting room which are big enough for her but she get to watch tv even in the morning which I dislike the most. I am hoping that the place would be in order soon but I might not be able to see it that way.

The driving lessons have been unenjoyable. Driving everyday rain or shine bad mood or not all contribute to the experience. I have not been recommended to take the practical test but D said that I have to take it. I think it is a complete waste of time and money but we will have to push through. It might be a waste but hey am I not?

Shall we add more drama into this someone’s close relative said to someone that R causes stress to some. No parent would ever want to hear that ever. Not now not ever. It is painful. Another drama, the neighbor sent another letter. When do all these stop? I guess when I am gone. Gone where? Nowhere close here.

H and her children knocked on the door before 5pm on Saturday. The last thing that I wanted was to have guests in this messy place. Noise makes it worse. How do I ask people not to turn up, stay and or be loud? I hope for sensitivity.

Back to some lighthearted instances if there are any. We will go away for 6 weeks from the 19th. R has been talking about it and looking forward to it now. That is something.

R recently talks to the ‘didi’ and it talks to her. Lovely to hear her have a “conversation” with it. The didi has an alterego. It speaks in a very squeaky voice.

R: Nasan ka didi? Please, please. (Where are you __?)

Didi: Dito natakpan ng stripy dress. (Here hidden under the stripy dress.)

R: Labas didi. (Come out__.)

Didi: Oo. (Yes)

We have not been for a swim for nearly two weeks now but whenever R gets in the bath she tries to swim and float. She will learn one day.

Time to go to bed. Be back in a week or so.

New year, new you? Perhaps but who can tell.

We had a quiet first day of the year. We were in bed before 11 as usual and then got up about the 8 the next morning which is normal. Play with R in the morning, early lunch and drove to the in-laws for early tea. The roads to theirs from us were all nearly flooded. From the previous night’s heavy downpour to all morning’s rain it made the journey slower.

No, I did not write any resolutions. It is not a practice and I always change my mind so it is useless. Before Christmas I told myself to try to lose two inches on my waistline and probably snack less. That might do for the time being. I might do more writing and reading activities with R as soon as we come back from our holiday which will start soon.

Before the new year I had a two hour driving lesson which was disheartening. For all the faults that could be made I did them all, from not checking my mirrors all the time, slowing down too much before the roundabouts or going to first gear instead of staying on second jolted the car, stalled the car, needed lots of help to parallel park and swerving. It was torrential rain from start to finish of the lesson. I have driven in fog, gusty weather, heavy rain, deafening arguments and lots more of blow my head off reasons to not be here anymore what else can I say.

These things might just be things of the past soon. My only wish is that R is not in the car every time there is a melt down or yelling.

As for R, she plays with her Octonauts day in day out. She happily shouts out Barnacles or Kwazii’s lines which is sweet. She entertains herself more now which is helpful and she exercises creativity this way. I ask her to color or help me in the kitchen which she still does while talking. She narrates whatever is in her mind. She speaks like daddy most of the time. Yesterday at lunch she chewed on a piece of bone which I obviously missed, she said “I didn’t realize I was chewing a bone” then put it gently on the side of her plate. Tonight after having a bath and supper she decided to play. R packed her suitcase, looked for her bag, found the binoculars and a bag full of gloves and declared that she was going on a holiday. She walked from the sitting room to the kitchen then to and fro to invite us to go on holiday with her. After a while she put on her swimsuit, swam on dry land and slept. After having a rest she found a ladle from under a chair looked for her soft ball and played cricket with daddy. Daddy then got tired because he moved furniture for future tiling in the kitchen. She was tired enough to go upstairs and get ready for bed.

Pre-bedtime we clean her teeth with chosen toothbrush then I read books and finally snooze. Tonight and last night we convinced her to have daddy read her books which gives me time to close my eyes for minutes.

More heart wrenching driving lessons before the fourteenth and more rainy days then time to go to Bangkok for a short break from this new place.

Goodbye pets

We lost our chickens to foxes last weekend. It was sad to have lost them all. R said the fox/es had a lovely dinner. We had them for six months and it was joy to have them. It was fun to wait for a month for them to lay eggs and then when Maisy went broody it was thrilling to wait for the day the eggs hatched. I suppose if we did not give them names it would  have been easier to not see them every morning anymore.

We will go away for six months next month and in a way the incident decided what we would have to do with them when we left. When we come back after our holiday I guess we will get new chickens and put them away more safely at night.

Happy Christmas

25th of December 2016. It is our second Christmas here. R was very excited last night, thanks daddy for building up the excitement from the stories about Santa, the letters you wrote with R, the food you left for him, the advent calendar. Last night after R brushed her teeth she left a half full cup of water on the windowsill for Santa. She said that it is for him when he stops to drop her Octonauts present that she wished for.

This morning R opened her Christmas stockings that daddy filled last night. She told me and M to wait till we find out (“wait til you find out”) as she opened each present. She was delighted to find Octonaut characters and other things in the stocking. At breakfast she could not stop talking about the Octonauts and as a treat she watched a few episodes after her meal.

She could not wait to open her presents under the Christmas tree and so she walked from one end of the room to the other to get and open them one by one. Last year she had not an idea of the excitement and thrill to open presents but this year it is hysterical to watch her guess what is wrapped.

Our Christmas dinner was quiet in a good way. We all ate what our bellies could take. M cooked everything, turkey, potatoes and vegetables and I tidied up afterwards. We do not have relatives nearby this year as opposed to last year when we celebrated the day at my parents’ in law and brother in law and his daughter. Parents in law are in Edinburgh, M’s other two siblings are in other places. From the phone calls they all sounded well.

We had a quick visit from our neighbor before lunch. They came because H said that she could not remember if we were going down to their house or they were coming up to ours. Anyway, it was a quick one. After a cup of tea and a little play among the children which ended up in grump it was fine enough to smile and say come back.

As it was a windy day we stayed inside and played with R’s toys. She mainly played on her own. We only helped a little since she had her own ideas and she “knows” how the characters work. Early bath, early bed and no tears which were all unexpected.

I hope that everyone had a peaceful day. See you next time.

Driving and living with a child on a rainy and foggy day

It was miserable all day. It was rainy, gusty and foggy  which was challenging to an inexperienced or worse learner driver like me. My driving test will be next month which gives me creeps every time I think about it. We have been practicing nearly every day now and to get behind the wheel turns me into a freak. To try to put myself in the shoes of those with me in the car while thinking how to drive properly drives me crazy. There were only a handful of sighs and side comments about my driving today. Do your best they say, I might try again tomorrow.

As I was waiting for M to come out today on our way to lunch before we see his uncle, an older woman came up to me and said that I cheered her up. She said that my smile brightened up her day. It is lovely to hear a stranger say such a thing. Compliments truly puts a smile on someones face.

We rarely eat out for a number of reasons one of those is home cooked food is the best choice here. Whenever we go out R (I say to myself puts on her best self) sits at the table and behaves herself. She sits there like an adult, prim, proper, uses her utensils, have conversations and eats well. It has been a number of times that we were told that R is very good at the table.

When everything seems to be going wrong there are a few good things that come our way.  Indeed.

Daily (nearly) activities

Christmas is in the air or shall I say just round the corner. R has decorated the Christmas tree with daddy that we borrowed from her grandmother. It is a real tree and it has grown a lot from last year.

We made our own salt dough, cut them with the existing cookie cutters and dried them on top of the wood burner. It took overnight to completely dry the dough and we did not need to use the oven which might have consumed kilowatts of electricity that would worry a pea-brained person.

The next morning R got up early,  painted the cookies and left them to dry all day. I should take a photo of the cookies on the tree meanwhile here is a picture of R reading by the tree.

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R picks up a book/s anytime and finds a place to read. The room in this photo is not as tidy as we always talk or practice but it is always a joy that she likes to read.

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This is our first attempt at baking Filipino rolls called pandesal. The recipe we followed is from http://www.kawalingpinoy.com/2013/12/pandesal/.  She helped to knead and form the dough and patiently waited for them to come out of the oven. For the rolls I replaced butter with cooking oil and it still turned out well. It was a big hit to both daddy and R. Apart from adobo this is the only other Pinoy food that R knows the name of. Pandesal will be on the table more than once a month from now on.

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Hanging clothes, using clips or commonly known as sipits in our house and putting on socks have been regular activities for R. As these activities all develop concentration, refine motor skills and independence they will constantly be part of her day.

Language wise daddy makes up lots of stories and R sometimes fills them in. She asks her dad incessantly for stories about this girl who goes on adventures. One of my friends who called this week spoke to R. To get to the point she said R’s voice is like a little girl’s as she is but her sentence structure is like an adult’s. I take that as a compliment but somehow thinks that she needs more time with little people her age to have their input. There is no harm in being informed but does she miss out on things that children her age talk or go through is sometimes a question that pops up in mind.

The preschool is on holiday for Christmas and New Year which means R will mainly be at home. That will be two weeks with us then we will have a think if she will go back to school for two weeks before our holiday next month. To pay for 7 classes and only go to 2 of them is a wasting money I think and the fees for the 5 classes which she will not go to I can buy some Montessori Math or Sensorial materials with. My materials for her is minimal and I regret not making more but it is very time consuming. If I hear that every thing is expensive a big block is stuck in my heart and mind and cannot think of making even one material.  It really is a battle. Will the will to get over this come upon me? Decisions.