Sunday, 21 August 2016

End of an era: Lucy leaves nursery

This was our last time ever through the big blue doors...


Five years ago, I carried Ella through these doors in her car seat as a little baby, when life was still so full of worry and uncertainty.  The staff embraced Ella and all her needs, just as they do every child who comes through those blue doors.  They mastered her feeding tube, went on SEN/Down's Syndrome specific courses and learnt Makaton, which they still use throughout the nursery today (two of the nursery nurses are now Makaton tutors).  

Three years after Ella started at the nursery, Lucy followed in her big sisters footsteps. For a while, it was lovely having them in the same place and being able to drop them off and pick them up together.  They were even able to spend some time together during the nursery day, despite being in different rooms.  

It felt like the end of an era when Ella left to go to pre-school two years ago. However, this week, the blue doors have closed on us for the last time as Lucy has now also left the nursery as she gets ready to start life as a pre-schooler.


Both our girls have come out of the nursery as confident, bright and happy young girls. Leaving an amazing place where they have both learnt to fly, cared for by an amazing team of staff who we cannot thank enough. 


Goodbye Christie Nursery.  We will miss you.  


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Summer Baking Class with Ella

We are almost half way through our summer holiday.  We've had some lovely family days out, seen family and friends. There's also been days where we've had nothing planned and just spent some much needed time at home and in the garden. 

As Lucy's nursery is a day nursery, it doesn't operate with terms or holidays and is open all year round apart from Christmas and New Year.  When I gave up work in December, I knew we wouldn't be able to afford to keep her in nursery the three days a week she was attending but I also knew how much she loves it there and how much she gets out of going.  She's made some lovely friends and it gives her the chance to spend some time on her own, to learn, socialise and gain some independence.  I didn't want to take her away from all that completely. So for the last few months she has been going for just one day a week instead of three.  She will sadly be leaving them next week as she is starting pre-school at a more local nursery in September, but more on that soon.

On the day Lucy is at nursery during school holidays, it means I get a day a week just with Ella. Quality time with her doesn't happen that often (if at all) now she is at school and with Lucy around too, it's been ages since just the two of us did something together.  

I started looking for something special for the two of us to do and came across an advert for a summer cooking class. Knowing how much Ella enjoys baking or helping in the kitchen and that she just loves learning by doing and anything creative, I booked her a place.    

We arrived armed with our apron and tupperware and were greeted by the lovely Jo, who would be teaching the class. We soon discovered that we were making chocolate chip cookies - 'yummy delicious!' piped up Ella.  There were seven children in the class with Ella and another little girl who was also 5 being the eldest. As most of the children were younger, that meant the pace was nice and gentle so Ella had no problem keeping up with what was happening and there was plenty of time to carry out each stage of the recipe. She's well practised in what to do anyway as baking is a favourite activity at home.

The children had to share utensils and ingredients between them which allowed for some conversation, sharing and taking turns.  They all enjoyed measuring, mixing, stirring, sieving, chopping the chocolate and getting their hands messy.  

We enjoyed it so much that we are going back for next weeks class.  It's a shame it runs on a Friday as I could have taken Lucy during term time but she will be in nursery.  There is a possibility of some Saturday classes starting and we can always go to the future half term sessions, with Lucy too. 


                           
(Picture courtesy of Beyond Baked Beans)


After they had made their dough, the children even enjoyed washing and drying the bowls and utensils. They helped to cleaned up whilst their cookies were in the oven (they cooked one each at the class to taste then got to take the rest of their dough away to bake at home).

Once the tidying was complete, it was time for a well earned glass of juice and most importantly, a cookie!

'Cheese!'


'Yummy Delicious' as Ella would say xx
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