Letter to my 7 year old!

Dear Ollie,

You’ve been 7 for almost a month now, we’ve known each other for more than 2500 days!  It’s so hard to comprehend just how fast your years are flying by us.  You are growing at an astonishing pace while I watch in awe.  It really was 7 years ago that you arrived into our family and changed our whole world.  If you want to stop time soon and stay your sweet, energetic, excited little self then be my guest.  Haha!

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We are so proud of you Ollie, you have the largest personality of anyone I know and your confidence is in bucketloads.  You have so many friends in school and though you have a little trouble paying attention for extended periods of time, you’re doing really very well there!  We just got your report home and your scores are above average.  You’re so imaginative and you consistently get your maths and spellings tests all correct on Fridays.  You absorb information from the pages of books like nothing I have ever seen.  You’re so curious and that’s just one of the amazing things about you.

At school you’ve a few best friends, but mostly you’re very good friends with everyone.  You are finding interests in common with your friends and I’m catching a glimpse of what it will be like in the future with regards trends and all that malarky!  At the moment it is a few computer games which you all talk about endlessly, movies too.

Your little brother looks up to you in every way.  He loves when you come home from school and he loves when you spend quality time playing with him.  Even when you are not here, he plays the things that you play and he waits patiently until after lunchtime, giving a big grin when I tell him it is time to collect you.  You’ve such an important job as his big brother and I know you know that already because I sometimes see you trying hard and trying to have patience with him.  I know it’s not always easy!

In the past year you have made me laugh so incredibly much, you’ve told me your stories, you’ve told me your worries.  You had your first date with Sophie, read your first novel by yourself, cuddled me almost every night before bed and you got your own bedroom.

You love anything to do with Egypt, ninjas, assassins, computer games, Minecraft, lego and you spend the majority of your time outside with friends on your scooter or your bike.  An independence that you were ready before long before I was.  You love rambling in the forest and for your birthday you got your first real life set of tools… your grasp of technology astounds me! Your favourite foods are baked potatoes, cereal, pizza and sushi.  You’re even brave enough to eat the raw sushi which mummy won’t even try!

You’re just wonderful.

You are my world, Ollie Hughes, you are my heart and I love every single day that I get to be your mummy and I’m excited for the days and years to come.

Love you millions, Mummy.

Biggest Is Back At School

I am a little late in the day with Ollie’s back to school post with it being almost month 1 over but anyway.  Better late than never!

So… Ollie started his third year of primary school… it’s hard to believe how fast a school year goes!  Now the real work starts for him!

He goes to a really wonderful primary school in Belfast and we have never had any problems with it.  Ollie has always been happy to go to school and comes home either tired or excited about his day!

I was so surprised with how grown up he looked since his last day before summer break in June. He just isn’t a baby at all now haha!

I think this is the year that the real work starts.  For P1 and P2, he mainly learned through play and the moments of actually sitting still at a desk, studying, weren’t so long.  It’s different now… school isn’t QUITE as exciting and fun and his homework has doubled in both difficulty and quantity.  He gets a spelling and math test (or challenge as school calls them) every Friday and on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he stays in school until 3 o’clock!

There have only been 2 days so far that he hasn’t felt like going to school… one of those was because of a fallout with a friend and the other was because he didn’t sleep very good the night before.

We are still figuring it all out… friendships are another thing.  As much as I want him to have close friends, I would prefer that he was friends with everyone because when there comes a time that he and his bestie have a fallout, he doesn’t know what to do with himself.  So that’s what I am encouraging.  That he be friends with everyone in school, not just a couple of kids… and that he make a special effort to look for the kids who don’t seem happy or that are standing along and to be a good friend to them and include them in the games he is playing.

He is making us proud.

Ollie was very lucky to be sent the Tools For School pack from Stuck On You.  Until now, he hasn’t required a pencil case or his own colours etc.  P3 is for big kids though and they need their own, labelled items.  How does one go about labelling individual pencils!? Ha!  Luckily that is not something I have to worry about because every item in the pack is labelled already.

The pack includes the case, a sharpener, scissors (with a safety case), a ruler, a rubber, a pack of colouring pencils, a pack of double ended felt tip pens and 2 wooden pencils with grips.  That’s all included and EVERYTHING has his name on it.

We love the quality of everything included.  The case itself isn’t chunky or bulky but is large enough to carry the stationery and also Ollie’s challenge book and homework diary.  He has to take those items everyday so it makes sense that they go in his case.  We even chose the picture on the front of it and figured since he was relatively new to riding his bike without stabilisers, that the boy on the bike would be a good fit.

Ollie was delighted when it arrived and couldn’t wait to take it into school with him!

Ollie’s School Sports Day

So the Monday before Ollie finished up for summer break, his school had sports day.  They have it each year right before break and the whole school takes part.  They are divided up into colour teams which consist of people from all the junior age groups.

Ollie had been talking to me about the practice they had been doing at school and he was so excited to take part.

He isn’t very fast or very sporty… but he was the kid that I saw there, that mostly came last but had the HUGEST smile on his face.  More important than coming first was seeing that his Grandma and I were there watching.  He kept calling over to us and posing for the camera.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and the turn out from parents was brilliant.  I love how they do it at Ollie’s school.  Everyone is part of a team and nobody takes part individually… the races are all as teams.

Later on in the morning when it came to the relay race, Ollie got confused as to which team he was on and ended up running back and joining a different team.  Nobody in either team noticed… least of all Ollie and his ‘new’ teammates all cheered him on as if he had been on their team the whole time.  It was pretty funny.

So proud of his unwavering determination!  That’s my kid!!

Ollie’s 6th Birthday Party

This year we decided to have Ollie’s birthday party at a nearby swimming pool.  It has a separate kid’s paddling pool which is all enclosed off by itself and it can be hired out for birthday parties.  We invited 20-something kids and chaos ensued haha! (It might also be interesting to note that this pool has been here for A LONG time!  It is the same pool that I used to go to with school when I was only 4 or 5 years old… so it’s been there for at least 26 years haha!)

The pool was filled with foam toys, boats and floats and the kids had a blast.  They all played nice, some boisterous… but more important than that, in a party of 25 kids, nobody got hurt haha!  I don’t know why that surprised me.  I guess because I’ve never hosted a party of that size.

So the kids played in the paddling pool and towards the end of their session, my mum, brother and I went to the function room to get the table and the food ready for the kids getting out of the pool.  We had sandwiches, sausages, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets, crisps, cookies, brownies and krispie buns.

The table was full to the brim with happy kids complete with wet hair.  Everybody filled their plates and Ollie sat at the head of the table so he could see everyone.  He had requested a monster cake for his party and I did my best to give him that.  He grinned when he saw it.

I loved walking into the room with his cake and his 6 candles lit and I loved when everyone sang happy birthday to my boy.  He has such lovely friends and so many people that love him.

There was just enough cake to go around the 25 kids and all the adults that came too and there were a few too many kids who requested an eyeball… the cake monster only had three which was unfortunate!

…there’s Nate getting fully stuck in!

When everyone had eaten their cake and getting restless, it was near enough time to finish up anyway, so Ollie pulled up a chair and climbed onto it and then my heart almost exploded as he stood confidently and thanked everyone for coming and for all the lovely presents they brought. He then handed out a party treat bag to each of his guests.

When we got home, Nate went straight to bed.  The whole party completely exhausted him… Ollie still had some beans so he sat and opened all his presents completely in awe of the things he had received.  What a very very lucky boy.  I’m also glad that each of my boys only have one birthday a year, because putting on a party is a ton of work!  I’m grateful to everyone who helped out!! 🙂

The Training Wheels Are Off!

A huge milestone has been reached in our home… Ollie has learned to ride his bike without stabilisers.  This was the second attempt at having him try without his training wheels, but this time he decided to do it himself after seeing a friend ride on just two wheels.  He became adamant that he wanted to learn before he turned 6 (in just a few weeks!).  His previous attempt didn’t go well, I think the whole balance thing just has to click.  This time it clicked!!

He went out with James on the Saturday and in less than an hour he was home telling me he could do it!!!  He was still a little wobbly because he was finding the ‘push off’ a little hard to master but by Easter Monday he was riding like a pro.  He brought his bike with him to the church BBQ and he LOVED showing off.  Everyone made a huge deal about how brilliant he was to ride without his stabilisers and he soaked up every ounce of the attention.  It really built his confidence.

Now, his bike…. it’s pretty annoying because it has a police siren on it.  When we bought the bike we had no idea quite how loud it would be and I am dreaming of the day that the batteries run out.

Biggest Is Brilliant!

On Thursday I had a Parent and Teacher meeting with Ollie’s teacher at school.  I’ve never felt prouder of my biggest boy.  

He is now halfway through his second year of Primary School and is apparently very popular, friends with everyone and has wonderful leadership qualities.  

I sat there, waiting, not negatively… but guarded, preparing for her to say something not quite as wonderful (I think he is great, but I worry about how he gets on when I’m not there)… and the “but” never came.  She had only good things to say about him.  

She commented on his confidence and his huge personality… his love for construction toys and his imagination that goes along with that and his stories… she said he loves talking at the front of the class for show and tell and loves his chance to talk in circle time.  Academically, he is coming on leaps and bounds and is showing a strength for maths and his spelling and reading are great… 

The one thing she said he could work on is keeping the chat to a minimum, but even that isn’t a bad thing… he is very inquisitive and has so much to say, that when told to keep quiet you can literally SEE the chat bubbling up inside him, about to spill over!

I was worried previously, about a number of different things, but these niggles were put to rest and I came away with huge confidence and pride in my son and huge confidence in his school.

He is a clever cookie!  He beamed when I got back to the car and told him that his teacher had nothing bad to say about him and that she really enjoys having him in her class… for the good report I let him choose whatever he wanted for dinner and he chose boiled egg and soldiers.