Friday, January 30, 2015

Danny at Six

My Boy
My darling Daniel.  He loves Minecraft, WWE, his trampoline, and spraying whipped cream straight from the can into his mouth. He loves our cat Bart and just this week scooped him up and kissed him when he thought no one was watching.

He's incredibly bright, bringing home report cards crammed full of excellent grades, which is all his own doing. I can't take credit for any of that. He's perceptive, headstrong, guarded, shy, loving and funny. So funny, with the most infectious laugh.

We still knock heads a lot. Me wanting to make him do things and him refusing. Things like homework, eating, getting dressed, and doing something "new".  His stubbornness is not born out of a desire to be obstinate or cheeky, it's born out of fear, or a real desire to be comfortable. He's very picky about the texture of his clothes and food for example. He's so unwavering about these things that I'm beginning to think he might never eat an egg, even though I've tried bribing him with money.

On the bench with his coach
He loves to play basketball but he doesn't like the games. They are fast-paced and there's lots of rules and buzzers going off and parents shouting (don't get me started on that topic). For someone like Danny, who doesn't like noise and chaos, it's unpleasant to say the least. At the game two weeks ago he left the court crying and refused to play. Last week I made him go and was getting ready to have our usual clash when a good friend of mine, Michelle, whispered to him " how about you just sit on the bench and cheer for your team and we'll sit by you?"  And he did, and he enjoyed himself.  When they won he celebrated with them and he smiled all day. She's right when she told me that the most important thing about kids and sports is that they enjoy it. I have to remember that.

Kindness is one of his most defining traits. If another child wants a toy he'll give it to them, even if he's playing with it, and he hates to see other people upset. During his birthday party, when he opened his presents, he would not just thank each child but he would run up and hug them and show absolute delight. One of the kids went home and told his mum that he thought Daniel's reactions to each of his presents was lovely. I agree, it was wonderful to see him do that, unprompted by me I may add.

He's also mischievous. The term cheeky monkey springs to mind. He spends his time making science projects in the bathroom, hiding things away and drawing on things he shouldn't draw on. He's the kid that's always up to something and you worry when you can't hear him. I have a sneaking suspicion that I was the same at his age.

He's still very tall and strong. He's about an inch taller than Jack was at six. Already Craig and I are mixing up their clothes so it's not unusual to find Jack lying on his floor in the mornings,  struggling to put on a pair of jeans that actually belong to his brother.

Lastly, I'm looking forward to taking him back to England this year to meet his family because I know he will love it. One of the only things that makes me sad in life is that my boys are not surrounded by their wonderful and loving English families. It's the price we've paid for being here, and I don't regret anything, but it will be so nice to see him enjoy that this summer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Daniel's 6th (in pictures)

There's so much I want to say but I'm so tired my knees are aching. Daniel, I believe, just had the best 24 hours of his life with friends, celebrating his birthday. So I'm going to post a load of pictures today and write my letter to him tomorrow.  And after entertaining 9 kids for 24 hours I'm going to do 2 things:  (1) drink a large glass of wine (2) nothing.

I have to say that getting phone calls and presents from grandparents and family and friends in England meant a lot to him, so thank you. And also, one of the highlights of his day was that he got to Facetime Linda. That was awesome.

Minecraft cake, of course

Minecraft food
With his two best friends

Getting a Minecraft Diamond Sword from his brother
Sticky hands were a hit 


Friday, January 23, 2015

A Picture I Like

I Googled "how to look your best in a photograph" and I think it helped. Finally a picture of me I like. The secrets? Wear dark clothes that are not baggy or bulky, hands on hips, away from body, and chin up.
Oh, and stand next to something awesome.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Minecraft Quilt

The Minecraft quilt is finished! It has 122 squares and a bright green flannel backing with black polka-dot binding. It's about 45" x 60".

I cheated when I made the creeper's face, by just laying out the 5" fabric squares on a section of interface and ironing them on, then sowing the back hems. I did that to make sure all the squares on the face lined up exactly, since (if you look closely) you'll see that I don't do a great job of lining up the squares.

I'd really like to give this quilt as a gift to a young family member, if I can persuade my boys to let it go. My plan is to make a quilt for each of the young children in my family in England, since I do a terrible job of sending them regular gifts (though in my defense there's lots of them).