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Living Arrows

Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography Pip

Living Arrows 2015: 46/52

16/11/2015

Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure

All of our Duplo lives in two baskets next to the play kitchen. It’s probably our most played with toy, even if Pip’s chief activity is simply emptying it out onto the floor.  And with Kitty taking a rare but very much needed Sunday afternoon snooze, the littlest two gravitated back towards their favourite.

But not as I thought, to empty it out and build a castle. Because now that Pip is wobbly tottering around the lounge, it turns out that our two Duplo boxes are the absolute perfect height to make seats for the pair of them.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

Pip perched their first and then Elma ran in to give him the most adoring smothering cuddle.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

Because I’m away at work most of the time that Kitty is away at school and then we’re all together at the weekend I don’t get to see Elma being a big sister so much any more.  And as she gets nearer and nearer to three, and her baby brother becomes more of a person to play with it’s wonderful to see all of her sisterliness come out.  She is a proper big sister in her own right, not merely Kitty’s echo and shadow and she and Pip are building an incredible bond.

 

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

He in his turn, despite his expression is as much a fan of Elma as she is of him.  It’s funny, that subtle change that has come about since the summer, when he mostly had eyes only for Kitty; now it’s Elma he looks to for reassurance too, and Elma whose name might be his first word that isn’t Mama, Dadda or an approximation of “get down!”.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

And so they sat in the Duplo baskets, quite companionably and chatted, well Elma chatted and Pip said “Da!” at all the appropriate moments, two happy little people on a cozy Sunday afternoon.

 

Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography

Living Arrows 2015: 45/52

09/11/2015

Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure

It must say something about the loveliness of most of our weekends of late that we’ve had a serious lack of puddle jumping walks.  All the rain seems to happen either when I’m at work and Kitty’s at school, or during our days at home and it’s one thing to go out in the puddles but quite another to go out while it’s still actually bucketing it down.  I still haven’t got myself any waterproof trousers and I think they’re a must for actual precipitation.  This week H had a hockey match away at Leicester and as we peered out between the raindrops to wave him off, devoutly thankful for my rule of never going to away matches unless they’re nearer to our house than our club house, I was planning a very snug stay at home sort of an afternoon.  A little time to read stories, to cuddle up and make a fort out of the quilts, and maybe even a little baking.

But as we cleared the plates from lunch the sun broke through the clouds and the view from the kitchen window turned into a deep blue sky bathed in late autumnal sunshine and there was only one thing to do – grab the coats and grant Kitty’s current dearest wish; to take her bike and Elma’s scooter for a circuit or two around Victoria Park.  It’s a beautiful spot for doing laps, there’s a nice flat path around the outskirts of the meadow, it’s not too busy so there’s less chance of running anyone over, and the playground has swings.

And so we set off.  There was a slight hitch with this otherwise excellent plans, which is that Kitty on a bike is pretty fast, and Elma, especially on her scooter, is probably slower than Elma meandering.  It’s not that she’s not trying to scoot, it seems to be that she just can’t get it going fast enough to build up any rhythm. My suspicion is that the footplate, which is higher off the ground than on Kitty’s, is too high for her, and she’s less scooting and more stepping off and on, but as Kitty is planning to spend some of her birthday money to buy herself a new and bigger scooter, Elma is to have Kitty’s which should solve the problem.  But that is all in the future and we were still left with the very real possibility that we weren’t going to complete a whole circuit of the park before it got dark.

Space for the Butterflies - Puddle Splashing

But there in front of us, right where we’d stopped was the most inviting looking puddle.  Not too deep, not too squelchy despite the leaves around the edges, and perfectly sized for two little girls to wander through.

Space for the Butterflies - Puddle Splashing

Space for the Butterflies - Puddle Splashing

Kitty ran through it a couple of times before hopping back on her bike. I think she was a bit worried about the water coming over her wellies; this year’s fashion for shortie wellies not doing my long legged girl any favours.  But Elma abandoned her scooter with some degree of relief and sploshed back and forth and back and forth.  But it was only one the final pass, with the sun threatening to hop behind the tree line at any moment, that she finally stopped and gazed down at her feet with what can only be described as utter amazement.

Space for the Butterflies - Puddle Splashing

One foot, flower clad, about the right size of welly and matching her coat and the other, at least three sizes too big and spotty.  Only on Elma, whose passion for wearing odd footwear, frequently belonging to other people, would this have seemed so completely normal that neither of us had really noticed until that point.

 

Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography

Living Arrows 2015: 44/52

02/11/2015

Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure

By the side of the far hockey pitch is a bank.  It’s probably leftover soil from when they laid the astroturf but it makes a pretty good windbreak when the weather is horrid and on gloriously sunny afternoons it’s the perfect place to run up and down in the sunshine.  And because it’s surrounded by rugby pitches and hockey pitches and not too many trees it does get the most gorgeous autumn light. Not that that’s why we go to watch H play hockey, oh no, it’s really all about the hockey.

But when we’re not watching every single movement of the ball, it’s too fun a spot not to bring the big camera out to play with.  And as it was Halloween and gorgeously warm, the girls came along to hockey in their costumes.  Pip was dressed up as the world’s most waterproofed baby and bumbling around at the bottom of the hill, staring longingly through the fence (he loves trying to run off with hockey balls), and the girls were swooping back and forth as Kitty perfected her moth skills (they eat knitwear, I think they’re scary) and Elma ran after her muttering “na na na na na na na na Batgirl!”.  Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

And when they’d had enough of running, we thought we’d try a little jumping.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

Admittedly, Elma hasn’t quite mastered the concept but I love that she’s trying so hard to copy Kitty.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

And Kit, well I asked her to jump like a star.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

The star shapes are fabulous, but it’s her expression that slays me every time.

Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography Pip

Living Arrows 2015: 43/52

26/10/2015

Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

By the time I got home on Friday night there in the road was a shiny silver car, and there sat on the sofa, underneath both my daughters and a veritable mountain of book, was my Dad.  He came to visit for the weekend, to start Kitty’s first ever half term with a wonderful treat, and to catch up with all of our doings that haven’t yet made it to the blog.  I wasn’t there to greet him but I strongly suspect that he’d barely set foot inside the door before the girls claimed him as their own and put him to work.  By the time I did arrive, they’d already had a wonderful long trip up to the playwark, just them and Grandpa (big treat), and played a very convoluted game of Pirates that involved sailing around for treasure and dropping the anchor a lot, and read at least half the bookshelf.  Not for them Mummy or Daddy’s promise of “two stories, but then I have to go and put supper on”, here was someone who could and would read stories all day long.

I’d say that they were his devoted followers but it’s more accurate to say that they were his devoted and benign dictatrices; they’d go and ask him if he wanted a cup of tea in the morning, shout the answer down the stairs and I’d find them curled up in his bed with another story when I went up with the cup.Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

And when they’d read through most of our bookcase (no mean feat in itself), Grandpa revealed his master stroke; he’d brought from home a boxful of the grandchildren’s library, including my childhood favourites, the Pip Squeak books (from which eponymouse hero our own little Pip gets his internet pseudonym).  They have been read, and read and read again.  For bedtime stories and sitting outside in the sunshine after church.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

The girls’ favourite is Pip Squeak Saves the Day, in which Pip gallantly rescues Mrs Meadowvole from drowning in the stream, breaks his leg recovering her basket of shopping (hence Kitty’s concerned look) and after Mr Squeak gets away with a fine of just one hazelnut for speeding the two of them to hospital in the school bus, they all have a big party to celebrate his bravery, complete with marching band.  I’ll never understand why they aren’t still in print.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

And while our own Pip took a little while to warm up to another person who is Not Mummy, by Sunday he was keen to get in on the act too, cuddling into Grandpa when we went pumpkin hunting and playing catch on the lawn at Charlecote (which does seem to be becoming our regular weekend garden!)

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

It’s been a lovely weekend, full to the brim of moments to savour and treasure.

Baby Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Milestones Photography Pip

Living Arrows 2015: 42/52

19/10/2015

Living Arrows: a little moment of the week to pause, savour and treasure

With Elma looking increasingly like the Dulux puppy, this week was, once again, haircut week.  It’s amazing how fast that little girl’s fringe can grow, especially given that we initially cut her hair because it was growing so very very slowly.  But Elma, adorable though she looks with a fresh new haircut, is not the reason for this post.  No, this week we hit another of Pip’s milestones, a milestone that has arrived much much earlier than it did for his sisters.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

It’s true, my baby has had his first haircut.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

We could have left him with his cute little ruff of curls and the wispy bits over his ears that made him look like a tiny old man, but his hair kept getting caught in the buttons on the neck of his jumpers, H is having enough fun getting Kitty’s ponytail done for school so the solution I used for the girls (bunches) is probably out, and memories of Kitty’s first haircut, sat perched on my knee in the waiting area of the salon because she flat out refused to step any further, made it seem like a very good idea that he have his first haircut before he’s old enough to think too much about it.  My sister sent her son with my brother-in-law every time the latter got a haircut just to get him used to the concept and I think she may have been on to something.  It worked with the adorable nephew and so far so good with out little man.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

I didn’t get to take him, but he sat on H’s knee and was apparently quite chilled through the whole thing.  Well right up until the hairdryer.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows

And now my beautiful baby is a beautiful little boy.  It’s somehow managed to make him look both all grown up and really teeny tiny at the same time and I’m not quite sure how.  I do miss his curl at the nape of his neck just a little bit, it was so perfectly blond and very very soft, one tiny bit of much newer baby hair, but on the other hand, he’s starting to grow the most awesome quiff.

Space for the Butterflies - Living Arrows