My month in Instagrams: August 2014

Unsurprisingly given that it’s been the school holidays, August has been a busy month full of holidays, day trips and other activities. So without further ado here are a few family highlights from the last month.

Yellow fever

Isaac martial arts
Isaac has been going to martial arts classes for a few months now. He loves the structure and the discipline involved, plus there’s plenty of opportunity for him to run off some of his seemingly boundless energy.

This month he attended his first grading. He was so determined to pass first time. Like me, he works best when he has the pressure and focus of a fixed goal or deadline to aim for, so he spent the week leading up to the big day practising diligently.

Sure enough, he’s now a purple belt. He was ever so proud. So were Heather and I.

Moving on up

Toby preschool graduation

Toby finished at preschool this month, and in a week or so he’ll be taking his first steps into ‘big boy school’. He’s always been quite resistant to change, so the transition may turn out quite bumpy but I’m sure he’ll make the adjustment just fine.

I always used to wonder what the point of having things like a preschool graduation ceremony was. However, I’ve come to realise that it’s confidence-building for the kids to be recognised in such a public fashion, and it’s also worthwhile celebrating what is a big milestone in their young lives. They grow up so quickly that if we don’t stop for a moment to mark these moments they’re gone before we know it.

Siblings at play

Throughout this month, our three children have reminded me just how well they get on together. (Well, most of the time anyway.) Whether it is bouncing together on their new trampoline in the garden or having adventures while on holiday or hugging just because, I think they’ve benefitted from having more time both with each other and with their parents this month.

Kara the charmer

Kara and A

I say this with love, but Kara has had by far the most tricky ‘terrible twos’ of our three kids. She’s stubborn, independent and not afraid to show it. (This month’s catchphrase: “I no like it!”, usually accompanied by her placing her hands on her hips and a defiant glare.)

But she also knows how to turn on the charm when she wants to, and when she does she lights up the room with her sparkly smile and her infectious cackle. This works on everyone: her parents, her brothers, random people in restaurants, and also the ten-year-old son of our friends with whom we holidayed in Evian. (For a photo journal account of our week, look here.) Kara took a real shine to him when we were together in Italy last summer, and the pair picked up right where they left off. One of my abiding memories of the holiday will be how close this unlikely couple were all week – she followed him around everywhere, while he actively sought her out at every opportunity.



It took our kids a long time to get into Frozen, but when they finally did they soon made up for lost time. They watched it every day we were on holiday, the boys now know pretty much every word to every song and even Kara will join in their regular singalongs as much as she can. In fact, it’s got to the point where I’ve heard the songs so often that even I know the words.

Now that I’ve succumbed and bought them the CD, all our car journeys feature a soundtrack of the boys belting out the songs with gusto. It’s really rather sweet.

The goat herder

Toby is a lot like me in many ways. He’s quiet, he often prefers his own company – why walk down a mountain with the other kids when you can strike out on your own? – and yet when he chooses to socialise there’s no stopping him talking.

On our holiday, he was at his most animated when we visited the Alpine village of Les Lindarets, where the mountain goats are allowed to freely roam the streets, to the delight of both tourists and the residents who run lucrative restaurant and souvenir businesses off the back of this. All three kids enjoyed walking among the animals but Toby, who has always had a particular thing for goats, was in his element. The goats themselves don’t know how lucky they were, as he kept asking whether we could bring one home with us in his suitcase. A narrow escape.

And finally …

Daddy and Isaac B&W

I don’t take many selfies, but I did really like this one of Isaac and I. I hope we always remain this close.

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