I stayed late at work on friday night and finished a few things that have been worrying me. I hit them head on - the only way to fix them.
Just had one glass of wine on friday night because Lou and I were getting ready for Charlie's 5th birthday party on saturday morning. Lou made the cake, and I made some jelly. Saturday morning I woke up feeling fairly fresh and, despite a few early morning anxieties, we were all set for Charlie's friends to arrive at 11am. Charlie has some great friends. Bright, chatty and confident. It was a real pleasure to have them in the house. Lou had arranged some crafts. They decorated Tshirts and hats. They had lunch and they sang happy birthday. The jelly went down a storm, I'm pleased to say, and it was great watching the kids laugh as the jelly stuck in the mold.
Nana, Grandpa and Leighla came around in the afternoon. Charlie received an enormous Lego garage set (7642), which he immediately fell upon and started to build. Leigh and I sat at the kitchen table with him, passing him pieces and giving only minor help. He built the tow truck at a pace that stunned me. He seems to need only the most fleeting glimpse of the instructions, before he knows exactly what to do. Very proud of him. Incredible to think how far this helpless baby has come in five years.
Late in the afternoon, Rufus and I took a trip on the bike around the harbour, to Temple Meads, and around the centre. It was great to get some fresh air and chat to Ru whilst riding along. The first thing Ru said to me when I got back from work last wednesday, was how much he enjoyed riding on the bike with me. He told me about all the sights that he had seen. He said it again first thing on thursday morning when he came and woke me up, and again on thursday night. Each time he had such wonder in his eyes and clearly loved having some time just with me. So Saturday afternoon was a chance to re-create it, and to show him I loved it too.
On Saturday night I went out for a night ride with Will, James and Will's brother, Nick. We'd reached the trail in Ashton Court, but within 200m's I'd picked up a stick in my rear mech, and mangled my gears to bits. I bent the gear hanger really badly. Gutted. I spent twenty minutes trying to fix the problem, before admitting defeat and stripping the bike of the chain and the mech. I rolled back down the hill to home. Humpf. At least it was downhill.
We had a slow sunday morning. I told Rufus what had happened to the bike, and he looked most concerned, though relieved that I could fix it. We took the boys to Ashton Court so that Charlie could try his new bike. Two and half years on a Puky balance bike paid off, and he was cycling along before I could even get my camera out to capture the moment. Lou and I were so proud - walking around with ridiculously massive grins on our faces. Rufus seems ready for a pedal bike, too, since he can balance excellently already. Trying to find a second hand Cnoc14, which is a bit smaller. We could sell both Puky balance bikes to pay for it - but I really can't bring myself to let them go. However much I want these boys to grow and try new things, I still want to hang on to the young stuff.
Lou bumped in to some influential mums who have a campaign to close local streets so that kids can play. She got talking, and told them about her blog.
Sunday afternoon. Pizza Express discount deal. Slow service so we got 50% off!. Back home. Charlie built two more lego models (entierly by himself this time), Lou worked on her blog, Rufus watched Wallace and Gromit and I read a magazine for 20 minutes. There was peace and contenment in the house for the first time in I don't know how long - and everyone was awake!
It was such a great weekend. I took great pleasure in telling mum and dad about it over the phone on monday night.
Need to keep this momentum going.
Wednesday tomorrow. Nearly month end - which means pressure at work. Stock take in Stanford on Friday.
Must keep taking little steps forward and don't drown behind my desk.