Friday, 30 November 2012

7th Birthday

So, how does a 7 year old spend her special birthday? We woke her up by singing happy birthday. It's the first time for months she's woken up quickly and with a smile on her face! Once she got downstairs she was just too excited to do anything but look at her presents. Zack still has his birthday fresh in his mind, so there was a lot of "Yay! Birday! My Birday!" but once we explained that it was actually Alexandra's birthday and they were her presents, he was very good. He decided to help by shoving presents at her and saying "open it".

Her birthday fell on a school day, but at this age, that's even more exciting because all of your friends and teachers KNOW it's your important day. She had time to open a few of her presents before we set off in the car to school. Normally she would catch the school bus, but it's sort of become a tradition that on her birthday we take her to school. Mr Bogert had a chiropractor appointment anyway, so he dropped us and went on to get his back fixed! We called in at the shop to buy chocolates for her classmates, and then she was off with her friends for the day.

After school we took her to Zizzi in Kenilworth for her birthday dinner (this has also become a sort of tradition since she began school and we can't take trips out during the actual day anymore). It had to be a restaurant that had lasagne and there was lasagne as we promised (we would have been in a awful lot of trouble otherwise!). We took a few presents for her to open there which she did in between eating. She was, as ususal, full of bubbles. She'd had a great day at school with her friends and playing with her new Merida doll that I crocheted for her.

The easy crochet pocket scarf went down well! 

She was excited to get some new lego (the lego friends sets) and played for a little while at the table while she waited for dessert. She asked for chocolate ice cream, and they brought it out with candles which was nice of them. I had the yummiest food: Strozzapreti Pesto Ross followed by Lemon tart. Yum!

Zack was hug fan of the dough sticks!

The very important lasagne.

I've included this photograph because you can see a wall hanging behind our table which is why the small person chose this table. It is layered fabrics and machine embroidery - Knights and Queens.

Alexandra's Movember!

It just so happens that this year her birthday coincided with the Warwick Victorian Evening, when they switch on their Christmas lights, have lots of stalls, some rides and other things. So after dinner, we set off there.

We have taken the Small Person here in the past, but the Smaller Person has never been. If you can make it to the event it's lovely. The streets are closed off to traffic, there are wonderful smells in the air like roast chestnuts, hog roast, candy floss, mulled wine etc. There's music from various corners including the live acts on stage, then there's the wonderful lights themselves, and it just feels so festive and friendly. We've never been this early in the evening before though and have to say, it was packed! I'll show you more in a later post.

I think it was the perfect way to end her birthday outing. It was way past their bedtime (but it is a one off) and so the Smaller Person fell sleep in the car. I lay him on the sofa when we came in, took his outside clothes of and covered him with  blanket, and then The Small Person opened the last of her presents. As soon as we mentioned cake and Mr Bogert was cutting slices, he woke right up with a big smile and said "Have cake?" How cute are these Small People?

Now we just have her Princess Party and then it's Christmas go! Go! Go!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Seven Years Already

How can it be my sweet little girl has grown to the age of 7! It feels like she's always been here, but then at the same time, doesn't seem that long ago that we were waiting for her arrival. Time passes both quickly and slowly all at once.

I'm very proud of the little lady she is growing into. She is caring, considerate and sweet. She shares food and toys, she always wants to help, she looks after her little brother (in fact, she seems to have taken it upon herself that she is not only his teacher and caretaker, but also his interpreter, so is always trying to translate what she believes he is saying for the rest of the grown up world!).

She has an incredible level of energy - seriously, it's never ending! She is on the school bus by 8am (7.50am at the moment whilst there are temporary traffic lights in one of the neighbouring villages), has a full day at school, then doesn't get home until 4.20pm, and she's still going. She doesn't even slow down by bed time. She does ballet and tap dancing classes straight after school on a Monday, and seems to come out more full of bubbles than when she went in. She has swimming for an hour on a Tuesday an half and hour on a Wednesday after tea, and you would think the exertion would sap some of the excess energy out of her (especially now she has moved up to the bigger group and has to put more effort in), but she's positively bouncing around the shower room afterwards! Then she has acting club on Friday, and she comes out afterwards with a non-stop barrage of information, conversation and ideas. She has freestyle dancing and musical theatre class on a Saturday, and it just kick starts her bounciness for the whole day. All that activity, and it seems it just energises her all the more!

She does seem to need an awful lot of fuel for all that energy though. She is ALWAYS hungry. If she could she would eat 3 breakfasts, 2 mid morning snacks, brunch, lunch, more snacks, tea and supper (and she'd probably still want more!). We eat before her swim classes, and then we come home and she asks what's for dinner, having completely forgotten she's already eaten it!

She is doing wonderfully well at school. We had yet another good report from school at parent's evening. She is above or at where they would expect her to be at this age in all the subjects, is confident and (reasonably) well behaved. She has a few moments here and there when she gets silly while she is playing with friends, but she's always been that way, it's just part of her personality. Her teacher does think she could actually push herself a little more in some subjects, so we're going to aim to encourage that. Most importantly she loves school, loves learning and always seems enthusiastic about what she says they've been doing during the day. Last half term they learnt about fire safety, the great fire of London and Samuel Pepys. This half term they are learning about Antartica and she has a mini project to do. She was desperate to get straight into it with a trip to the library and the stealing of my laptop for internet usage.

She still absolutely loves reading, perhaps even more so than last year. She's reading longer books now with chapters and her favourites are the Rainbow Magic series. She has borrowed every single one of these that our library has in stock, and is desperate for us to buy her more for her birthday and Christmas (4 down that she owns, only another 146 to go!).

She has always enjoyed TV and movies, but preferred animated things until the last 6 months or so. She still enjoys Scooby Doo (handy considering that is her brother's favourite), Winx Club and lots of Disney amongst other things. She now also enjoys Harry Potter movies and has taken more of an interest in family movies that have live action, and some TV shows like Mr Bean, Open All Hours and similar. I can't wait to curl up on the bed or the sofa and watch some of the great movies I watched at her age and a little older like The Princess Bride, Legend, Neverending Story, Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal (and the list goes on believe me!).

She's still a dreamer. I believe she always will be, but then those people with the greatest imaginations often are dreamers. She drifts off into her own world frequently. It's difficult to call her back to earth to speak to her! As soon as she does touch down in the real world, she realises what she was doing and laughs at herself. She has the cutest smile still, and still wrinkles her nose when she laughs.

She has quite a collection of freckles now, tiny ones speckled across the top of her nose. They're so sweet. You have to get up close to see them, and I expect they'll disappear again once she's an official grown up.

She has 3 big teeth now, but they haven't fully grown in. The top front two and the bottom left (her left) front tooth. She gets so excited when she loses a tooth because it means she can leave it out for her special tooth fairy, Annabelle. (Everyone has an assigned tooth fairy dontcha know. They have rounds, a bit like a postman.)

At the moment she is most convinced that she wants to be a mystery solver when she grows up. She wants to start her own 'Mystery Incorporated' Just like Scooby Doo and the gang. Daddy is allowed to join, but he can't be called Shaggy, he has to use his real name apparently because it's a serious and real business. She however can be called Jeanette.

She has recently informed me of a change in favourite colour. When she was in nursery, she kind of liked pink, but her favourite was purple. Once she started school and started forming her friendship group, it changed to red and stayed that way for quite some time. About a year ago, there was another change, this time to blue, and I thought the blue might stick, but, no. Now her favourite colour is pink. As I've said in the past, I'm a huge fan of pink (*disclaimer - this comment is laced with sarcasm). I'm not sure how much this is Alexandra talking and how much it is the influence of her friends.

Her best friends at school are Beth, Emma and Alba. Beth has been her best friend since they first started school, and they even went to nursery together, but didn't know each other as well then. Emma has been friends with Alexandra since they started school, but it has really only been the last 18 months that they have become closer friends. Alba just started at the school this September and Alexandra was positive she needed to make friends with her so that Alba had someone to play with because she was new. As far as I can make out, all 4 girls play and get along nicely at school (there's the odd blip, but nothing out of the ordinary for school friends) and I've met all 3 girls on various occasions and I'm just pleased Alexandra has such nice friends. There was once a time when she was at nursery where she preferred playing on her own, that we were worried when she started school she might not have anyone to play with. I hated the thought of her being alone (even if it was her choice).

She also has friends outside of school. Catrin lives down the other end of our village and although they don't get to see each other that often, they have known each other since before Alexandra started school. They go to swimming together and see each other at village events and on other occasions like Halloween. They don't go to the same school, but when they see each other it's like they just saw each other yesterday. They just get along. It kind of reminds me of when I was younger. When I was growing up in this village, my best friend lived down the other end of the village too, we didn't go to the same primary school, but we went to the same secondary school. I actually met her when she was the retiring village May Queen and I was the new one. She had to crown me! We stayed friends for a very long time, and she always knew me best. We had some great times. We're still in touch, and she was even one of my bridesmaids. I hope that Alexandra gets the chance to form a friendship like that.

The Small Person's favourite food is lasagne. She LOVES it. We'll be taking her out for her birthday meal after school today and she told us the place absolutely had to have lasagne. I joked with her that we should call her Garfield (after the cartoon cat) because he loves lasagne and eats loads, just like her. Mr Bogert said that Zack could be Odie :)

I think I'm very excited for her, and somehow I don't remember seven being that close to being grown up, yet from my adult perspective, I kind of feel I'm running out of childhood time with her. I know I'll get to spend time with my fabulous, lovely, smart grown up daughter then, so it's not a loss, but I still kind of want to hang onto my sweet, smart LITTLE girl for as long as I possibly can. Sadly, school seems to speed up the process.

But, she is wonderful in any size. She makes me very proud. I love her brimming confidence and neverending energy, I love that she has enthusiasm to learn, and I think it's wonderful that she cares for the feelings and well being of those around her. I'd love to say that all of these marvelous attributes are down to our wonderful parenting, but somehow, I just think she was born with them. I guess we're very lucky :)