Luci’s Finished Room

When Remus was back from his big televised concert in Romania (more on that later…) we made a start on Luci’s room, taking out all the unwanted old toys and the big cupboards to make way for the bed.

imageOne day while I was out working with the BBC Concert Orchestra and then at acting class, Remus was looking after the kids and planned to paint the room, if they let him (nice warm magnolia instead of the horrible old graying off-white.) He thought he’d only have time to tape up the skirting boards etc. and maybe one coat if he was lucky, but in reality he ploughed through and completed the whole lot. It was super quick-drying paint so, somehow forgetting I really, really wanted to be there for this bit he went ahead and moved the bed up there, with the kids helping him carry every slat up the stairs, super-excited and jumping up and down around him as he worked.

The poor guy worked so hard and expected I’d be happy so was a bit taken-aback when I came home, went up there to find Lucian asleep in his “new room” and promptly burst into tears!! I had so wanted to have the room finished just as I’d been planning for weeks (as seen in Lucian’s New Room). He felt so guilty when he realised how much I had dreamed of being there to present Luci his first ever very-own room and see the look on his face! But in his defense it was the only free time he had, the whole thing just snowballed with the kids around getting excited and he hadn’t quite realised (trying reeeeally hard not to say, “I had“!) that as soon as the bed was moved, the rest would have to follow on the same day as Luci would have nowhere to sleep…

Anyway, we rescued the situation. I carried Luci downstairs into my bed so he hardly remembered being in this room:

imageand woke up next to me. And I soon accepted that it was all for the best and couldn’t have been helped. Sometimes things just roll and you have to go with it and we ended up finishing way earlier than we would have otherwise. I kept him out of there until I managed to get the whole thing finished and got his new bedding and all the stickers and transfers on the wall – his name from Blue Daisy, my favourite ever baby shop which has sadly now closed, and the beautiful stars, to match the rug from Great Little Trading Company at the head and the foot of his bed. The stars were inspired by two things, his name ‘Lucian’ means light and he is my star and the light of my life completely, and they remind us of a very special little star in the sky, Matilda Mae who is the inspiration behind this blog:

And the numbers (also from Blue Daisy) on the opposite wall:

So, the room finished, here comes Luci to inspect his new place: photo 4

Here’s the boy, discovering his new room. He was quite cool about it, but one thing I noticed watching his body language and energy while he looked around was this kind of holding himself bigger, a really subtle puffing-up of the chest type stance. I could see him thinking, “Wow, they really take me seriously if they did this.” The poor boy has spent his whole life stuck in with Gabs, tagged on to whatever his brother is doing or has, getting all the hand me downs and never anything of his own personality and style and suddenly now he has his own place in the house and clearly, I can see him feel, his own place in our family as a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON. !!!

One of the things I love the most about Luci being up in the roof is the big window that lets in so much light:

This means that Lucian can see the stars and moon from his bed at night time, something he loves and was very excited to learn!

Night Night, Luci. We Love You! xx

Night Night Luci, We Love You xx

Night Night Luci, We Love You xx

2013 Review

I remember the 1st January 2013 very well because I spent a lovely, happy day with my boys watching DVDs at home and out in the park in the mild sunshine and I thought at the time it bode well for a good year ahead… which for the most part it was, despite tiredness, some sadness and plenty of challenges. Here’s a quick look back at the highlights of life at Casa Azoitei through my eyes…

January

Gabs had been given planets and planet decals and a globe for Christmas and from the moment they went up in his room, his Space/Astronomy obsession ramped up a notch and hasn’t come down since. The boys played a lot of violin and we had a lot of snow:

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February

On 2nd February, my heart stopped when I read that a fellow blogger’s baby had died of SIDS. The blogging community rallied around her and somehow Matilda Mae’s brave mummy Jennie and I became friends and supporting The Lullaby Trust in Matilda’s memory became a new passion. My obsession with work, and indeed anything else fell away and all I cared for the whole month was spending quality time with my two beautiful boys and counting my very many blessings every day. We spent most of the month in the park, on the swings and painting…

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March

My March started super-well with two nights in Paris with Remus where we got snowed in and did zero sightseeing but had a wonderful time. I worked as a violinist a bit mostly with BBCCO, did a concert in memory of Matilda Mae for Mother’s Day and raised £200 for her Bliss Charity Precious Star Fund and Classical Babies turned 3 years old. Remus found out he was to be decorated Officer of the Order of the Royal Crown (a kind of Romanian MBE) by King Mihai of Romania! But mostly my theme of amazing time with my boys continued, the firsts signs of Spring appeared and Lucian’s terrible twos kicked in.

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April

I spent a week in Cornwall at my parents’ with the boys having fresh air, R&R and some amazing Reiki sessions which put paid to my cluster migraines. April continued trickily for us, with a major errm, I shall call it ‘misunderstanding’ (!) with a family member in Romania whose privacy I’ll respect because it’s not necessary to name them and anyway, said relationship looks to be going forward positively in 2014. But it happened to occur just before we left for a family trip to Bucharest and caused stress and sadness for all of us, not just at the time but subtley in the background for the rest of the year. However, we did have incredible weather over there, the boys had a brilliant time bonding with their cousins and Remus played some great concerts. In the end a trip I had to literally force myself to take ended up being pretty great! This was also the month Remus played an amazing Lalo ‘Symphonie Espagnole’ with the George Enescu Philharmonic and was decorated by the King.

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May

On 2nd May I drove down to Kent to meet Jennie, Matilda Mae’s mummy for the first time at the Matilda Mae Mile in Memory Walk and I played and took little violins. Lucian and I reached an emotional end to our breastfeeding journey when he had his last ever feed the day he turned two years old, 18th May. He also had a wonderful Winnie the Pooh party and got a scooter. Generally the combination of his terrible twos and Gabs’ above average naughtiness just about gave me a nervous breakdown for most of the month, yet somehow we still had a wonderful month.

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June

Nothing much happened in June. We took a lot of sunny walks around my favourite streets in our lovely neighbourhood and enjoyed what we didn’t yet know would be our last month there. We all stayed up late to watch the Super Moon. Gabs enjoyed his last month at the nursery he loved. June was sun, playgrounds, ice creams, lollies and Regent’s Park. The boys ran, and ran. It was just perfect.

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July

July was just NUTSO. The 1st was my birthday. Remus was away but hid my new violin case in the wardrobe, I had my last acting class before  a 6 month break and did this scene from ‘The Graduate’. The 3rd was Gabi’s last ever day at nursery and the day we found out we had to move. The 4th was our Gabi’s 4th birthday, his first morning at primary school and the day we found our new house! We threw Gabi a kick-ass Space Party, went for a holiday in Cornwall with my parents – got detoured to N. Ireland when my Grannie died, then back to Cornwall. Remus and I spent our 5th wedding anniversary apart while he packed up our entire flat in London and I holidayed with the boys on a Cornish beach. I was attuned to Reiki Level I, by an old family friend in the village before travelling home. I took the boys and the violins down to Jennie’s for the twins’ Gruffalo Party and also played at the BBC Proms in the Concert Orchestra. Crazy, crazy month.

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August

August. Moving month. Emotional upheaval. Endings. Gabi’s nursery ‘graduation’ on the day we moved. We explored our new home and garden, Childs Hill and Golders Hill Parks and Gabs and I had a series of “Mummy & Gabi Days” before him starting Holy Trinity Primary in September. I pretty much “love-bombed” him (as I later found out it’s called!) and loved every minute of it. I also played a second Prom with the BBCCO.

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September

There’s only one event that stands out for me in September and that’s Gabriel starting school. He was so, SO excited and really loved it. Because of his Aspergers traits we started to have more and more trouble with him as more and more children joined the class until it was full (they stagger the start dates with the youngest first) and he got overwhelmed. It took him a long time to settle but the school were fantastic and proactive about getting him assessed and on the special needs register. The month was full of meetings, form-filling and ‘incidents’ but somehow his enthusiasm hasn’t waned. We threw Remus a 42nd birthday party with the biggest violin-cake you’ve ever seen! and I played solo in the Vivaldi A minor double concerto at St. Martin-in-the-Fields with Remus in the audience watching me for a change!

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October

With Gabs at school I started enjoying some time alone with Lucian which I hadn’t really had… ever! He’s a cheeky little monkey when he’s out of Gabi’s shadow. I was out a lot playing with the BBCCO and working incredibly hard for Classical Babies. The excitement of the month was two days in Reykjavik with Remus seeing his recital and one of my bestest old friends Silla, who I miss so much. I love Iceland, we will go back soon. We celebrated Halloween.. some of us enjoying it more than others. 😉

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November

The 1st was the end of half-term and I took Gabs to Tower Bridge. It was a wet but wonderful day. We got soaked but he absolutely loved it. 2nd November was a special day. I went with the boys and some wonderful friends who agreed to play in a quartet with me at the Matilda Mae Welly Walk at Beale Park in Reading, to honour 9 months since Tilda died and to raise money for The Lullaby Trust. It was a truly fantastic day. We filled most other weekends with trips to our local park and messy play like Leaf Rubbing, painting and playing in the garden. On 28th Nadine and I went, as Classical Babies to the Theo Paphitis #SBS Winners’ Event in Birmingham and met the man himself!

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December

My first school nativity! Gabriel was an angel – “double irony” as Mrs Pillay and I both said … Oh how we laughed!! Despite his struggles to blend in to the class this term, he sat nicely, did all the actions and sang all the songs. I was most proud. I bravely took both boys to the school Christmas Disco and started to really feel part of the school community and felt truly at home and settled in our house for the first time all year. We got a kick-ass Christmas tree and posted a stupid number of photos of it on facebook and ate a hell of a lot of sweets. The Classical Babies Christmas Concert and Party 2013 was a great success with 56 people turning up with kids attached (that’s over a hundred bodies in the room!) … coincidentally the same number of times we watched ‘The Snowman and Snowdog’ on repeat. We had an amazingly quiet and happy Christmas at home just the four of us and I nailed Christmas Dinner. Yeaaahhh! What a fabulous end to the year.

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Happy New Year 2014!

July

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So July was crazy and has created something of a blogging backlog. I still haven’t blogged about Gabriel’s Space Birthday Party, Reiki, my Cornwall holiday or The Big Move. But we are in the new house, and we love, love, … Continue reading

Plans, plans, exciting plans…

I have so many creative things going round and round in my brain at the moment, I thought I’d write them all down, lest I forget to do one of them and in case it helps with planning…

First up, a Classical Babies ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Quartet Picnic!

I had such a good time planning Lucian’s 2nd Birthday Pooh-themed party and have so many props and things left over, it occurred to me on the day that I should transfer it all over to a Classical Babies concert! I want to have all the songs from the Winnie-the-Pooh DVD arranged for string quartet (I know someone who could do this amazingly, but it will be expensive so I may try to do some of them myself) and book my usual musician friends to play in the quartet with me. Then everyone can bring picnic blankets and I have some honey pots filled with treats and a picnic basket with bees buzzing out of it! I just can’t decide when to do it. Maybe the last concert of the Summer Season, in July. My themed special party concerts always have a great turn out but we’re a bit short on festivals, birthdays and special occasions this term so I need an excuse to roll out the prosecco again…

 

Next up, some more fundraising for The Lullaby Trust in memory of little Matilda Mae. Someone is running the Brighton marathon in her memory for her lovely mum Jennie (she of the Edspire blog) and Jennie asked if anyone would like to run too? I thought,

“Errrrm, noooooo!! I would not!”

But it got me thinking about a different kind of marathon that I could do, since my fingers are a darn sight fitter than my legs:

A Violin Marathon for Matilda Mae

Basically, I would get people to sponsor me to see how long I can play/practise the violin for continuously! I think, feasibly something like eight or nine hours might be the max without damaging my neck or wrist or muscles in my arms but I really I’m aiming for more than that if I can find a way to protect myself by having massage breaks, my physio mum on hand to deal with any aches and pains and regular loo breaks of five or ten minutes built into the rules! If, in my wildest dreams I managed to keep going for twelve hours or more I’m wondering what to do about noise through the night, whether it would be allowed to stop to sleep, or if I should lose a night and keep on going! But physically I’m not likely to last that long. Violin-playing pretty much does to your arms what running does to your legs and so you can imagine the effects after several hours. I’m also not working as much as a freelance violinist as I was pre-kids so I’m not in the same kind of shape as before where I could play six hours a day no problem. I will have to practise myself-in for a couple of weeks before, an hour, two hours adding more time every day – but this is great! It’s about time I got myself back into proper shape as a violinist and maybe did some auditions for other London orchestras (I work regularly with BBC Concert Orchestra – with whom I used to have a full time job – and the City of London Sinfonia who offered me my first regular paid work out of college several years ago, but never approached the others and I really should!) So, as well as raising money for a great cause I stand to gain from this too… It’s a win, win idea!!

The other question is, where should I do it? I need someone to look after my boys for the day or more it will take, so ideally my parents’ place in Cornwall where I will be this summer, since I need my mum on hand for physio anyway. But you need a LOT of sheet music to fill several hours and the big, full music cupboard I need access to is in our flat in London, which my husband also needs for his teaching, so I can’t even transport the lot of it down with me. I could play through the night in Cornwall without upsetting people, but in London possibly not, unless I persuade the neighbours and then I would keep the boys up… Though I could play with a practise mute to dampen the sound.

Then the question of who will verify that I keep playing… Will it be done on trust? Should I operate an open house system where people can come and listen whenever they like to see how I’m doing and grab a glass of wine and watch for a while, or maybe live-stream it on the internet (I have no idea how to do that by the way, but maybe someone can help me?) so people can log on to see if I’m still playing and time my breaks and anyone who’s curious as to what I’m playing for all those hours can have a listen! Questions, questions…. I’m really excited by the idea anyway, and any offers of help with setting up a sponsorship page, or a live-stream would be much appreciated!

Practising in front of the tennis at Wimbledon-time last year!

Practising in front of the tennis at Wimbledon-time last year!

 

I’m also planning Gabriel’s fourth birthday on the 4th July and a Planets Party for my astronomy-obsessed boy! I won’t waffle on about it here, but let my pinterest board do the talking. We promised to get him his first real bicycle with stabilisers, but now I’m wondering how smart that was as we just got Lucian a micro scooter so he can scoot with his brother and there’s really nowhere much he can safely ride around here. However, a promise is a promise, I just hope the scooter doesn’t get forgotten about. Too many vehicles in this house!

Then there’s my Reiki-attunement plans in the Summer, down in Cornwall and my plan to do a Classical Babies concert there in Gorran Haven, and new venues to find in Harpenden and elsewhere and my acting class I haven’t told you all about yet (I’m working on a Blanche Dubois monologue from A Streetcar Named Desire at the moment and have to do it in costume at Monday night’s class… I’ll keep you all posted another time!) So many plans and ideas in my brain and I didn’t tell you the half of them, but how useful this blog suddenly seems, to pin them all down and firm up my ideas. Feedback on all is welcome! Thank you… Coco xx