April 2016 Family Roundup
Although the year continues to fly by, April seemed like a long month. I forget now that Easter was only last month as it seems like such a long time ago already. The start of April was the Easter holidays. Bella had two weeks off preschool and I’d made lots of plans to keep her occupied and to see friends we can only see in the holidays. Unfortunately we were all ill (yep, even me who never catches the bugs) and so many of our plans had to be cancelled and a lot of time was spent at home resting and avoiding others!
I started my job at the very end of March, so April was my first full month employed. Typically my website picked up a couple of weeks after starting, but I’m going to keep the cleaning job. I clean for 2-4 hours each morning, starting at 5am! I get up between 4.15 and 4.30am! I’m quite used to it now and have the odd night where I’ll fall asleep by 8pm to catch upon ZZZs. It’s a good bit of exercise, especially on the days I vacuum, so I see it as being paid to exercise for two hours per day. It’s also two hours of peace and quiet, so lots of thinking time and coming up with business ideas!
We found out Bella’s school and got our first choice. We were so pleased as it’s on our doorstep (less than a five minute walk) and is an outstanding school. A lady from Bella’s preschool works in reception class also, so the transition to school should be fairly smooth. It’s lovely she’ll be going up to big school with lots of children she already knows too.
We had a few beautiful sunny days in April, but also a total mix of other weather! In one week we had boiling sunshine, snow, hail, wind, storms – basically four seasons of weather in one week. My car was even totally iced over for a few days in a row before work! One day it was iced at 5am, then again at 7am when I finished my shift! There was lots of talk of this crazy weather all month. I’d been keen to get some veg planted in the garden in April, but as some mornings were still frosty this had to wait until May. Probably a good thing as I’m not sure where I’d have found the time. It’s also impossible to get outdoors sometimes. Reuben gets frustrated being indoors by himself seeing us outside through the windows. He’s still crawling, so he just needs to walk and it will make it easier. I let him crawl outside, but if I’m not keeping a close eye on him everything he finds ends up in his mouth!
I very almost applied for a job at a preschool this month. I started looking into childcare for Reuben at nurseries and childminders. I could only find a childminder for Bella before school from September and a nursery for Reuben. I worked out the costs and the wage would not have covered the costs of childcare. I’d have been paying to go to work basically! So I’ll keep pushing my website and doing the cleaning job, then once Reuben is at preschool/school I will try and find something else to fit in with the school hours term time only. I’ve been thinking of still using my childminding training and offering wrap around care for the school Bella is going to, but still in the thinking stage for this! I’ve decided to make two thirds of my office into a playroom, so will see how this turns out and then consider using the space for childcare. I always seem to be coming up with different ideas and will end up with 3 or 4 jobs I’m sure!
Me and Ben had a night to ourselves this month, but that’s not what we get so excited about – it’s having a morning to ourselves! I had no work, so no 4.15am alarm and the children/Ben’s work alarm didn’t wake us at 6am either! Bliss! We got up and went for breakfast, then had a two hour walk up Cooper’s Hill just behind our home. It’s also known as the Cheese Rolling hill and we took a flask of herbal tea to the top. We sat and gazed over Gloucester in peace and quiet for a while. It was amazing! We then walked back through pretty bluebell filled woods to some Roman ruins. It was so nice to spend this quality time together. Usually when we have childcare we just do as much DIY as possible and I work on my website/blog. It was fab to spend time actually doing something nice together and we need to do this more!
We had a couple of lovely meals in April. We went with friends to The Swan Inn in Hanley Swan, Worcestershire. I had a delicious vegetarian roast, though Ben said his pork wasn’t so good. The pub was beautiful though and next to a lovely green with trees where Reuben practiced walking with Ben, and Bella enjoyed looking at the ducks in a large pond across the road. We also went to The Rose Revived in Witney, Oxfordshire. I had a delicious vegetarian risotto and the setting was perfect. Lots of large willow trees in a row along the River Thames and a picturesque bridge. After eating we walked along the Thames and Bella enjoyed spotting the many geese and swans!
As we enter May we have fingers tightly crossed for warmer weather and more outdoors activities, including growing my veg!