I had such a lovely evening with “the girls” last night.  There were six of us.  They are such wonderful friends to have and we talk about all sorts and have such a laugh aswell.  It was a very special evening.

I had some exhausting dreams though where I seemed to be some sort of muskateer and had to keep fighting my way through the night, returning to the fray even after waking up in the middle of the night (just the usual leaping around the room with cramp).  Still, I girded myself and got on with the morning which was a good one.  I felt frustrated at the time that the boys didn’t get slightly more done but looking back on it, they did get quite a lot done.  I must find a way to relax more about the amount we are doing.  I think I’m just getting jittery thinking of how much harder it will be for a while after the baby’s here, but it’s no good making things tense now.  They did both violin and piano, maths and more on their lapbooks.  I’ve re-found this list of toddler things to do which I think I will make use of tomorrow.

We’re still all not 100% which is getting a bit boring after a couple of weeks of it.  I’m not feeling ill as such but just am bunged up with cold and have a bit less energy than usual.  Anton seems to have a sore mouth (I’m not sure whether it is a mouth ulcer or the smoke he inhaled) and still has a runny nose and is more tired than usual.  Lucas is a bit sniffley still although his asthma seems OK and Oscar and Joth have just started coming down with it.   L and A have missed two weeks of swimming now.

I was tempted to stay in again this afternoon with Anton as he’s not 100% but thought that we might feel better for getting out and about and so we went in to town to the library (to get O a book on bats for his project) and the toy shop to play with the trains.  The boys had gone to S’s with R and A and it was lovely to go at Anton speed in town and he went on his little push along trike or pottered around.  We even shared a cake and a hot chocolate between the two of us but the lady was wonderful and made his half enormous with lots of extra milk in so it was cool enough and he drank every drop.  We had a lovely afternoon.

Oscar went to string orchestra in the evening and Lucas reminded me that he wanted to do his violin practise!   It’s all the result of this egg tree I have put up for my pupils.  They get a coloured egg for 3 practises a week, a silver one for 4, or a gold one for 5 or more and at the end of term (or when the baby arrives) I will exchange them for chocolate eggs for them.  It really is working wonders!  It is not a competition as it is difficult to see who has more so they just do it for themselves.  I have resisted bribery for years but there is no doubt that it does have an effect.  They do feel proud of themselves for the achievement of practise, not just at getting the eggs and then the progress they make brings it’s own reward too.  I think the regular practise that is needed to improve is hard to sustain for children, as they don’t always find it easy to see long term goals so to make smaller, fun targets of attainment perhaps isn’t such a toxic thing?  I don’t make a thing out of the practise either, they just tell me if they’ve earnt an egg or not.


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