Monday, 19 November 2012

Return to Pyjama Monday

Hooray for the return to "Pyjama Monday"!  We're definitely back to chilling in PJs - well, the boys are at least: I can just about manage breakfast in my PJs, then I have to get dressed otherwise I feel like I'm supposed to be ill or something.  I still had a relaxing day though, even fully-clothed!

We started off with Eldest doing the dishwasher (it's his job to empty it once a day, and although he does need reminding most days, he is getting much better at doing it without complaining).  Middle and Youngest also took it in turns to put stuff from the washing machine into the dryer/ empty the dryer when finished - so the lessons in household responsibility are going well!

After breakfast Eldest and Middle had turns on MathsWhizz while Youngest and I made some chocolate brownies...

Eldest and Youngest then played a board game while I helped Middle with a bit of Maths that was intimidating him.  Once he saw the pattern in what he was doing, he loved it.  It's like he sees it as kind of cheating once he gets that the technique is the same every time.  For example, today he was subtracting 9s, and once he realised that he could just take one off the "tens" column and add one to the "units" column (my words, not his), he whizzed through it.  He didn't really need me to help - I just function as a kind of cheerleader, helping him to focus and just being there believing in him, ready to celebrate when he gets it.

Once Maths was finished with and the groceries had been delivered and put away - with the boys helping of course - we got out our most recent acquisition of some marbling inks, and had a go.  None of us had tried marbling before, so when we turned over our first pieces of paper and saw the results, we were all really impressed that it was so easy. Youngest got in a bit of a muddle by squeezing too much ink onto his tray of water when I wasn't looking, creating more of an oil slick than a beautiful marbled effect - but that's all part of the learning experience, and for those of you who read my last post, Craftboxes and Cocktails, the phrase "don't waste it" only crossed my lips once or twice, despite the inks not being as cheap as, say, pipecleaners!  We did lots of pages, but here are some of our favourites...



We had a 'picnic lunch' in front of the TV today as Eldest was desperate for us all to watch the "Wild Tales" programme that he had recorded from CBBC.  So we munched while we got engrossed in the tales of some baby leopards, brown bears and meerkats (we all agreed the baby meerkats were especially cute).  If your children don't like cliff-hanger endings though, with baby animals in peril, I recommend you record the series and then watch back-to-back!  Following that we 'visited' Weymouth with William Whiskerson for a gentler experience, and then enjoyed some 'Horrible History Gory Games', at which point Youngest lost interest and went off to do a lovely little line drawing of a hedgehog wearing a santa hat...

Speaking of hedgehogs (and as some of you have kindly said you are enjoying our hedgehog adventures), I was pleased to discover that my assumptions based unscientifically on facial appearance and gender stereotyping turned out to be correct - Midge is indeed a boy, and Squidge a girl as supposed.  I only get them out once a day in the evenings when they would naturally be waking up: to weigh them, change their bedding, food & water, remove ticks, administer meds etc - they're wild animals and it wouldn't be good to handle them too much.  But I have to say that even handling them just once a day, the longer we have them, the better I'm getting to know them. 
The bigger Midge gets, the lazier (and grumpier) he gets.  He tolerates being handled with a resigned air, sits like a lump on a log while in the weighing scales, and rushes to hide when I put him back in his clean box.  The bigger Squidge gets, the feistier she is (that's my girl!).  She resists being handled at first & is much more active while I'm trying to weigh her, but when I was trying to sex her the other day (lift her up to get a look underneath without her balling up), she started snuffling inside my cardigan, and was just utterly cute!  She does a lot more rushing about & investigating when I put her back in her cleaned box.
Midge is now very near the magic 600g limit at which a hedgehog can most likely survive hibernation (Squidge will probably take about another week).  Even if he hits 600g tonight though, I can't release him until he's finished his course of meds in just over a fortnight's time, & by then it will probably be too late for this year, so we'll have to keep him until spring.  I think there might be a way of letting them hibernate in our shed though, so we might just get our downstairs loo back by Christmas...!
So finally, for our fellow hoglet fans, here they are: Midge and Squidge...



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