It's been a pretty good week all in all.
On Wednesday we had a lovely slow start to the day. I had made a conscious decision to no longer stress about time and hurrying. So often on group days I'm rushing around getting everyone up and ready, whilst trying to ensure the house is kept tidy and we've cleaned up before we leave. Husband is often home before us on Wednesdays and although he would never complain, I can't help but think how I would feel if I returned home from a full day of work to find the house in a mess and floors and dishes in need of washing.
With all the nagging and general rush rush busy-ness, I usually end up feeling flustered, deflated and annoyed.
I try so hard not to.
I try so hard to be the kind of free spirited mother who just goes with the flow totally relaxed.
I will be that calm and pleasant to know even in a hurry mama one day, I will! I have already improved a little bit. I'm starting to slow down and consciously give myself time to really think before creating issues and bad feeling.
Look, I even took the time out to have a cuddle before we left with Callum (now a not so light to carry 6 year old).
The way the museum used to be set up seemed much more child friendly. The children knew exactly where they wanted to go - usually to the room with the stuffed animals. Now though things are dotted around in various rooms, and we missed some of our old favourites (these may have been absent, or just not seen on our short visit).
We were pleased to see this ol' fella though...
Callum thought that this was interesting...
But alas, it has to be said we were very disappointed by the "Gerald" display. Gerald the Giraffe is such an icon of the museum, and has always stood oh so very proudly all by himself, with head and neck standing proudly above all else. You could really get a sense of his grandeur and immense size as you climbed stairs and were greeted by the head of Gerald as you walked around the second floor gallery. Now though, dear Gerald is plonked beside a bull elephant and a very pretty floral piano - with a whale skeleton above his head. He may well enjoy the luxury of having company, but for me it just seemed odd.
Wrong, so very wrong. *sniff*
This, erm, not particularly pleasant but strangely fascinating piece was met with a squeal of recognition by the children...
Whilst this handsome fella engrossed Callum's attention for some time...
The home-ed group in the afternoon was pleasant as always. Fortunately the weather was dry and Taisia is still absolutely loving the freedom her feet are giving her. It does make things, erm, shall we say interesting at the group. I am constantly on my toes trying to watch where she is going and what she is attempting (that girl she has no fear!) whilst staying alert to the whereabouts of the four others.
Here she is enjoying a quiet moment with two of her siblings...
Unfortunately, I drove home with yet another headache. I don't know what it is about Wednesdays and the group that isn't suiting me, but it seems to be quite a regular occurance. I'm thinking it could be the pressure of the "not able to relax for 10 seconds" thing. With the drive there and back it means full concentration for around 5 hours solid. Joseph has been a bit unhappy at the group for a while too so I think worrying about him may have something to do with it. I'm not really sure what to do, but possibly taking a short break from group stuff might be on the cards.
We shall see.
Thursday and Friday were at home days. Books were read, drawings were done, game consoles were played with, stories were written, discussions were had. Much of Friday afternoon was spent clearing out the "junk room" in order to create this fabulous set up...
Regular Classroom Free readers will know that that set up only means one thing. YES, we are going to be proud ratty owners again :)
This morning we headed out to pick them up. We ended up with three instead of the planned two as I didn't want to leave one alone - I'm such a softie, but also a fairly knowledgeable "ratty person" who is fully aware that a single rat equals an unhappy rat in the majority of cases. I don't want to preach, but please please please bear that in mind if you want to keep rats as pets. They are incredibly social animals and thrive on company - humans just can't replace cage mates no matter how much time you can spare to spend with them.
*steps off soap box*
Our 3 new babies are very similar looking, so it will take a few spot the difference games and close-up studying to ensure a fail proof way of telling them apart. We have named them Rupert, Jasper and Noodles - yes, they are boys, we love cuddly boys!
|Sometimes, they like to snuggle and hide a little, but they do enjoy scritches by gentle hands.|
|Sometimes they just look heart-meltingly cute.|
|I repeat, sometimes they just look heart-meltingly cute.|
|Sometimes they pose ever so nicely for photographs.|
|Sometimes they are just too darn quick!|
If you have fallen in love with these guys and are considering buying your own, I would implore you to buy from a reputable breeder and not support the pet shop trading in animals. If you wish to know why my feelings are strong on this, please contact me for more info.
You can find a great deal of information on keeping ratties here:
and the new forum (as the old community forum is now locked) here:
http://www.fancyratsforum.co.uk - I am on there as Devonbunny.
I am looking forward to free-ranging the boys, creating hammocks and toys for them, and coming up with new play and food ideas. Just like the old days!
If anyone is interested in rat nutrition, you can buy an excellent book called The Scuttling Gourmet, available here: http://www.shunamiterats.co.uk/scuttling.shtml
The children have already asked if they can do a project on Rats - so they are going to be an educational source too!