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

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Gabriel’s Planet Faux-Pas

Those of you who follow my blog will already know about my – probably Aspergers – four year old, Gabriel and his gigantic obsession with astronomy, planets, stars, anything vaguely space related. But specifically our Solar System and the order of the planets and the sizes of the stars, from ours right up to the biggest known stars in our Universe. In fact, the only way they are managing him at school currently is to allow him to draw and label the solar system over and over for half the day while we’re waiting for him to be “statemented” and they can get an extra person in the classroom for him. He then comes home and does exactly the same thing for around two hours after school. Oh, and did I mention every second of every day that he’s awake he’s is talking at us, constantly telling us facts like “Mummmeeee? Pluto’s orbit crosses Neptune’s… Dadddeeeee? VY Canis Majoris is a red hypergiant… Riegel is a blue supergiant, Titan is yellow, did you know our Sun has hydrogen and helium?” He barely stops to draw breath from one end of the day to another and it is exhausting to listen to but we kind of love it. He is so completely passionate and his little face lights up with glee reminding us of those crazy super-animated physicists talking on the History channel’s ‘The Universe‘ programmes who we find really sweet! “Obsessed” doesn’t quite cover it.

So, I was delighted and amused when Gabs came home from school with something he had written which wasn’t planets-related and which I’m pretty sure – judging by the spelling – he had done all by himself:

I had to get him to translate it for me. It says,

“To my Gabriel..”

(he wrote it to himself in the manner of little love letters I write to him sometimes!)

“… and I love my Lucian (his little brother) and I love my mummy and my daddy and my cousins. Actually the most I love my mummy but daddy does silly things. Why does Daddy do silly things because he does..”

Sounds spot on to me! 🙂

So, back to planets. Gabs spends a lot of time watching his favourite learning videos on youtube and he often gets me to type things like “Space videos for kids” and “Sizes of the Planets” into the search bar as those are his favourites. He particularly likes one where they start with a closeup of Earth and then each frame zoom out showing the relative sizes of bigger and bigger planets, the whole solar system and then the bigger stars like Pollux, Aldebaran and VY Canis Majoris. This pen comes down and circles Earth to draw attention to how tiny it is in comparison! I’ve never watched it all the way through but I know he finds it hilarious because eventually Earth becomes invisible in the scale and I hear him snorting away to himself…

Anyway, I should have paid more attention to this particular video because here’s what I found when I came downstairs from bathing Lucian last night… Gabs had drawn the “Earth is Invisible” video frame by frame, sounding out the names himself and missing out most of the vowels in the process, but I knew what he meant and he showed me Oh, so proudly which order they went in…

Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Pluto

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Pluto

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Pluto

Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus...etc.etc..

Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus…etc.etc..

Arcturus, Pollux, Sirius, Sun, (Earth)

Arcturus, Pollux, Sirius, Sun, (Earth)

“Ahh, how sweet!” I thought.. “He’s remembered the video exactly  and tried to ‘sound them out'”! And then I saw the last one:

Antares, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Riegel, Arcturus, Pollux, Sirius, Sun, and WTF.

Antares, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Riegel, Arcturus, Pollux, Sirius, Sun, and WTF!

Antares, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Riegel, Arcturus, Pollux, Sirius, Sun, and WTF!

Errr, wait a minute…. “WTF”?!!! Wtf?! 

A quick look at the end of the video revealed all (skip to 1:05):

OOPS!

He was very excitedly telling me,

“Look Mummy, that’s Rigel, and that’s Sirius, and that’s the Sun, and that’s Whatoof! Hahaha, Whatuff! Where’s the Earth gone!

He was so delighted by his discovery of this new word – which from the context he understood perfectly to mean something along the lines of “OMG!” – that he kept holding his hands out to the side and pronouncing it dramatically,

“Whatuff, whatuff, whatuff Mummy!”

And then he went back to his drawing:

IMG_9550

*Sigh!* I had to take his little collection of artworks into school and explain what had happened in case he decided to write it while he was there, but he hasn’t… yet! If your kids have done anything similar which has got, or nearly got you in trouble I’d love to hear about it!

Messy Play for Matilda Mae!

I was so pleased when Jennie announced her new Saturday linky:

messy-play-large1

It just fits so beautifully with what I feel the biggest impact of Matilda Mae’s little life has been for me. I wrote in Waltzes and Lullabies about how little Matilda’s love of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ had brought lullabies and singing back into my and my son’s life within the first days after she passed but that really was the least of her little gifts to me and my family in terms of her legacy. The following Saturday, really struggling with a confusing but undeniable grieving stage for someone I never met and unable to even think about working, feeling that the only things which matter in life at all are my boys, I shut the laptop and took Gabs (3) and Luci (1) in the double buggy to Regents Park. We looked at the ducks, enjoyed the sunshine and each other’s company, played in the playground and had treats in the café and returned home feeling like a brand new perspective had been born and all my previous priorities were turned on their head. My instincts that this was not a passing phase are gradually proving true, as every Saturday since, come rain or shine has been My Boys’ Day. For those of you who have more traditional job roles and working hours, that one weekend day might not sound much, but for a freelance musician and small business owner, used to working random hours, most weekends and grabbing any chance to catch up on emails whenever the boys are occupied with anything else for more than two minutes together, it goes against all my instincts and habits.

And yet, it’s made me so much happier.

In fact, I’d say it’s given me a taste of what I’m missing all the other times when I stick them in front of a DVD to get work done or leave them with a babysitter to run or play a concert, or when they’re at nursery. It’s made me keener to spend even more time focusing only on them and to use my time with them more creatively.

So no working, no laptop, no cruising facebook on my phone, unless it’s to post a couple of photos of what we’re up to…

Of course I have Tilda and Jennie to thank for that! So since February our Saturdays already consisted of playgrounds, parks, soft-play, bubbles, painting and café-treats. Now, it will sometimes consist of some more creative, imaginative, messy stuff too… something a little outside the box!

[Haha… I just took a break from writing this to bath the boys and while I was putting his pjs on, Gabs said to me, “We should get some water balloons.” Sounds like someone else has plenty of messy play ideas of their own. Next week: water balloons it is!]

Now I must admit that this week we weren’t particularly creative or even that messy in our play. I’d been cleaning up vomit for the past two days as the boys had a sick-bug and wasn’t much in the mood for more cleaning and Lucian was still a bit poorly and not up for much playing. But I was thinking of Matilda Mae all day long and had selected some starry stickers and glittery paint with her in mind and some Peppa Pig stickers for Lucian who is currently obsessed. So I thought I would post about the not very messy, low-key art work we did in the afternoon. We chose Mozart’s original ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ Variations on piano followed by the Gigglebellies for our soundtrack, and of course Mummy had her glass of wine 🙂 Here’s how we got on:

Next week, water balloons!!!