Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011 and Zachary November 2013.

Diary of an Angel Mother, Rainbow Mother.
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


I didn't really know what to write about tonight. The subject brief of suggestions asked for books we had turned to in the wake of our grief or had helped in the life after our loss. I read a few 'grief' books - one I can't even remember the name of anymore (what does that tell you?!) and another about trying again and pregnancy after loss.  Both had their place at the time but neither particularly inspiring. 

After we lost Anabelle I didn't find myself lost in self-help books. 

But I did read blogs; other bereaved parents blogs. I immersed myself in other peoples loss; striving to find connections, finding people who felt like me, to read something I could relate to. 

Today I follow Still Standing Magazine - with its wonderful collection of different writers, from different backgrounds and different circumstances. All with one thing in common - bereaved parents. Regularly I read something there that I could've written myself, or a piece is posted that hits the nail on the head in a way I hadn't found the words for yet. Regularly I share a post from there. 

But still tonight I didn't really know what I wanted to share. Books. 

So I'm going to share this post...  about a book I've shared before. A book that touches on death through a children's story, oh so gently and beautifully. I discovered this book when I was pregnant with Alexander, when I was trying to figure out how he could possibly ever know his sister, or understand. 

At very almost four he certainly does know his sister. Oh how I agonised how he would know her. How she would be a fluid through this family. And now, ironically, I realise that Zac barely knows her all.  Not in the way that Alexander already did at his age. At 22 months Alexander would've been able to point to her photograph when asked 'Where was Belle', Zachary would just look at me blankly. When showed her photo Zachary will tell me 'Baby' rather than 'Belle'. What a failing on my part. Or maybe the agonising of her place in this family is over, when her place is so firmly set. Zachary will know her of course, but I guess his 'exposure rate' has been slower, less 'forced' than Alexander's maybe was in those early days. Her intrinsic part of our household is all around him, around us and very soon Zachary will start to know in just the same way as his big brother does. 

But Alexander, he knows he has a sister. He associates her with gardens and flowers and balloons. Xander regularly mentions her name and brings her into conversation; frequently adamant that if we've bought flowers then they're absolutely for Belle, not realising that sometimes it is ok to buy flowers for other people too. He knows. 

But he doesn't understand. Alexander is reaching a stage now where he is questioning that what is real, and that what is pretend. Sometimes recently he has been confused which category Belle fits in to. He is beginning in his own way to question why he can't see Belle and if she is just an imagination. Some of these conversations have been painful for me, even in his innocence. He is trying to figure out the complexities of his family and I guess will soon begin to learn a bit more about what death means. Death that has been a constant in his life from the moment he was born.  

He knows his sister died but he doesn't know what died means. How can he at barely even four? For now I guess he simply needs to know dead is not the same as pretend, that is his sister is real, that he can see her photograph and visit her garden, but he cannot see her, because she died. We've been very careful to be simply truthful and factual about it, about her, even though I have no idea if we're getting it right. 

Books. Capturing Your Grief. Day 6. 

No Matter What

Small said, 'But what about when we're dead and gone, would you love me then, does love go on?'

Large held Small snug as they looked out at the night, at the moon in the dark and the stars shining bright. 'Small, look at the stars - how they shine and glow, but some of those stars died a long time ago.'

'Still they shine in the evening skies, love, like starlight, never dies.'
Monday, 5 October 2015


I've experienced more kindness and empathy on this journey than I have deliberate insensitivity. Sure there have been times when people have hurt me, very much so. There were relationships lost and relationships changed.  But there were also relationships strengthened and formed. Those are the relationships that have stuck the course, roll with me, roll with it and continue extending their empathy on the continually moving journey of grief; even 5 years and 3 months on. 

I've been lucky that my group of friends and extended circle of acquaintances have treated me well for the most part. I have lost count of the number of 'saw this and thought of you' links and gifts have been sent my way; both for Anabelle and my two little rainbow boys.  Every single one touches me greatly. 

I guess it helped from very early on that I started blogging. 

I was uncomfortably honest here. I was raw, my innermost grief has spilled into these pages. I shared the blog, I bravely shared it to my Facebook; to my friends and family, to everyone that remotely knew me. I left no-one in any doubt how hard I was grieving, how utterly destroyed I felt, how huge a gap Belle had left in my life.   I'm sure I have made everyone extremely uncomfortable at times how vocal I am about my pain. 

But it raised awareness. Not just about my pain, but other bereaved parents too. 

People realised it couldn't be fixed. That Belle didn't just die and it hurt for a while, but that I lost her forever and forever I will grieve what should have been. It made them think of others they knew too. 

Over these last few years I have had numerous messages from other people; some of my friends and acquaintances who had other friends or co-workers whose babies have died. Messages asking me what could they do to show they cared, to show they remembered. Messages asking me if they could share my blog with their recently bereaved friend. Messages telling me that my blog had helped them know how to behave for their friend. Messages from people who desperately wanted to show their empathy. 

My photograph today is of a sympathy card we were sent from my Mumsnet Antenatal online group after Anabelle died. We were sent so many sympathy cards, so so many, but few stuck out. Most were cards aimed at the death of an old person, or a few had the word daughter on; but even they didn't look like cards for a baby. How could they, when it isn't very mainstream for someones baby to die. 

But this card, this card touched me. Before I even knew what I needed in terms of empathy and understanding my grief from other people, a group of women I had never met got it so completely right.  

It was pink, it looked like it should be for my baby and the biggest thing of all? Her name. They had used her name. 

And right there she was validated. She existed, she had an identity and someone else with this homemade card made such an effort to show me that she mattered. 

Even today the greatest empathy comes from those who mention Belle within conversation. Or make me feel comfortable enough to know I'm able to talk about my little girl without making them feel uncomfortable. I'm lucky that I can use her name often within my family and friendship groups and friends still ask me new questions about her and our experience, or ask me with concern how I'm going to feel if they know something might be emotionally tricky for me. Anabelle is included. And that is empathy. 

Today I'll finish with a Wish List, with its many lessons in empathy, that I found posted on the Sands forum in those early days after Anabelle had died. 

Empathy. Capture Your Grief. Day 5. 

1.    I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby. The truth is just because you never saw my baby doesn't mean she doesn't deserve your recognition.

2. I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you didn't think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning my baby. The truth is I need to cry and talk about my baby with you. Crying and emotional outbursts help me heal.

3. I wish that you could talk about my baby more than once. The truth is if you do, it reassures me that you haven't forgotten her and that you do care and understand.

4. I wish you wouldn't think that I don't want to talk about my baby. The truth is I love my baby and need to talk about her.

5. I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby has died and that you are thinking of me. The truth is that it tells me you care.

6. I wish you wouldn't think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The truth is the memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby, the dreams I had and the memories I have created for my baby are all loving memories. Yes there are bad memories too but please understand that it's not all like that.

7. I wish you wouldn't pretend that my baby never existed. The truth is we both know I had a baby growing inside me.

8. I wish you wouldn't judge me because I am not acting the way you think I should be. The truth is grief is a very personal thing and we are all different people who deal with things differently and ready to do things again in our own time.

9. I wish you wouldn't think if I have a good day I'm "over it" or if I have a bad day I am being unreasonable because you think I should be over it. The truth is there is no "normal" way for me to act.

10. I wish you wouldn't stay away from me. The truth is losing my baby doesn't mean I'm contagious. By staying away you make me feel isolated, confused and like it is my fault.

11. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be "over and done with" in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. The truth is it may get easier with time but I will never be "over" this.

12. I wish you wouldn't think that my baby wasn't really a baby and it was blood and tissue or a fetus. The truth is my baby was a human life. He had a soul, heart, body, legs, arms and a face. I have seen my baby's body and face. My baby was a real person.

13. My babies birthday, due date, Mothers Day, celebration times, the day my baby died are all important and sad days for me. The truth is I wish you could tell me by words or by letter you are thinking of me on these days.

14. I wish you understood that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to ""normal" you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the real me-maybe you'll still like me.

15. I wish you wouldn't tell me I could have another baby. The truth is I want the baby I lost and no other baby can replace them. Babies aren't interchangeable.

16. I wish you wouldn't feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about my baby or being near me. When you do, I can see it. The truth is it's not fair to make me feel uncomfortable just because you are.
17. I wish you wouldn't think that you'll keep away because all my friends and family will be there for me. The truth is, everyone thinks the same thing and I am often left with no one.

18. I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women is uncomfortable for me.

19. I wish you wouldn't say that it's natures way of telling me something was wrong with my baby. The truth is my baby was perfect to me no matter what you think nature is saying.

20. I wish you would understand what you are really saying when you say "next time things will be okay". The truth is how do you know? What will you say if it happens to me again?

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Dark and Light

There is no denying that grief has taken me to the darkest of dark places of myself. I've been a me that I could no longer recognise, a me that felt things I didn't know I could feel. It was frightening, at times this life After Anabelle has been frightening. A mind, a being so out of control with grief.

Darkness swallows you whole. I fell down a black hole and drowned under that darkness for such a long time. It felt impossible to escape. At times I didn't even want to escape it; I let the weight of it sit on me, a shattered heart struggling to find a reason to try and live. 

And then that glimmer of hope appeared. A rainbow was on its way. We didn't dare to believe it could really come true. 

But he did; my beautiful Rainbow Xander shone a magnificent healing light through our lives and darkness. That boy saved me from myself. 

He will be four next week. That light has circled this family for four beautiful years and shone brighter still when our smallest Zac arrived too. Those boys glued those broken pieces of heart together again and remain the glue that holds me together whenever I feel broken. 

Some things may never be healed, there will never be true wholeness again but rainbow light is what keeps me winning; even when I don't think I can anymore at all. Darkness still has its patches, that is well documented here but at the moment I feel like I'm winning and Light is on my side.

Dark and Light. Capture Your Grief. Day 4.
Saturday, 3 October 2015

In Honour

Anabelle Violet Morgan 

I'm doing this project in honour of her. The empty space in my life. The silent baby that left the loudest noise. Grief is noisy. All consuming loud. So this babyloss awareness month, capturing grief is for her. An unapologising opportunity to #saytheirname, say her name. My Belle, my Anabelle Violet. 

Anabelle who set the precedent for our naming 'rules'. A long name that could be shortened to a cute short name. A middle name for any girl that would be a flower or plant. A middle name for any boy would be a family name. 

Anabelle. And the moment my life irreparably changed in a way I never expected. Where grief became my normal and death infiltrated all of my being.  Where immeasurable shattered pieces of life learnt to live again. 

The journey After Anabelle has been long, but short, slow, but fast, so painful, but so joyful, so black, but so colourful. It has been so many contradictions, a life of two extremes that somehow learn to meet in the middle. 

It is a life in honour of her. Living, determined to live, even when I didn't believe I could, didn't know I could.

The journey After Anabelle keeps evolving, keeps changing, keeps learning. It is healing and still has so much left to heal. It is this. 

A is for the Angel she is to me.
N is for the Night I let her free.
A is for the Agony that followed us there.
B is for the Beauty I couldn't bear.
E is for our Earth life without her, joy mixed with pain.
L is for the Love, to the moon and back again. 
L is for the Light we thought would never appear. 
E is for Everything, the darling girl we keep near. 

V is for the Victory of finding the surviving strength. 
I is for her Inspiration, all she achieved without ever taking a breath. 
O is for number One, our precious firstborn. 
L is for the Lost life and lost dreams, a lost heart torn.
E is for the Eight minutes past midnight she arrived with us. 
T is for just how Tiny the 4lb 5oz she was. 

M is for Mehefin, her month of the year.  
O is for Ohana, her place in our family. 
R is for the Rainbows that came after her.
G is for our Goal of creating a beautiful life. 
A is for Always, remembered by right. 
N is for New Normal, the way it is now. 

In Honour. Capture Your Grief. Day 3. 

Friday, 2 October 2015


Today the project directs us to set a new intention, inspiration towards the next path of grief and healing. But the truth is I don't really know why I'm doing this, or what I want out of taking part in Capture Your Grief. Mostly I guess my intention was to just set aside half an hour or so out of my evening to reconnect with my blog. 

I write so much less than I used to and it has become a bit of a neglected space. 

Writing and posting has become centred all around those important dates or more difficult times of the year. The in-between times have become a celebration of Anabelle's rainbow brothers or a lull. This summer has been a lull. 

And I guess that is healing.  Managing myself without a stream of blogs like there was before.  

Sometimes I need to write and a post forms in my head as I try and organise my thoughts, fears, anxieties, grief. The post never gets written, I'm distracted by life and the moment passes. Sometimes I'm not even brave enough to 'write it out-loud' anymore. 

But healing for me has been writing. Releasing words to a page to let it go. At least for that moment. 

So I just thought I would see where each prompt on each day of this month took me. Giving my mind the space, the permission, the time, to write a post, explore some more parts of grief my life still holds. Will always hold. 

Intention. Capture Your Grief. Day 2. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015


The sun was late to appear this morning, the mist and cloud dominated the sky line and our area. Even if the sun had been there to capture I wouldn't have been well enough to go into the cold outside air to take it. This week I've been afflicted with a stinking cold and chest infection. The sun was late to burn into the sky  and I was late to rise too. Quite fitting really. 

So instead of a photo of the sun-rise, or lack there of, I'm sharing a photo of where I was at sunrise this morning; our home. 

We put this plaque up on Anabelle's 4th Birthday. We had owned the house for a month and were still five months off moving in, but we named the house for our girl on her birthday anyhow. 

Anabelle was never here. 

But she moved with us. 

When we discovered the house we were offering on was number 21 it had felt like a sign; that although we were moving away from the home where Anabelle had been, albeit only inside me, this new house had her with us too. Number 21, her number, her birthday. It felt only right that the house should be named Mehefin, June, in honour of her birthday and of course a bell for Belle. How many little girls can say a house was named for them?! 

Our house, her house. Her existence, her place in this family is ever present in this house and home. Her existence greets us at the front door, everyone at the front door, every time we arrive here. Our home, her home. 

At sunrise I was in my 21 Mehefin home this morning; I was finding the boys outfits for the day, for Jon to dress them and take them to my parents, before crawling back into bed to try and sleep illness away. 

October 1st 2015 has been mostly slept away, but I feel so much better for it this evening.  Tomorrow, God-willing, there will be another Sunrise. 

Sunrise. Capture Your Grief. Day 1. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

If Mummy Had Written Your School Report

Your first school report is a rite of passage isn’t it, the start of a long journey through education – Nursery to Tertiary (and beyond) – so the saying goes.

Xander’s first school progress report came home last week. His teacher has made some really lovely comments about him in her comment box and it is clear he is settled, happy and doing well in school – ‘confident, content and happy and a pleasure to have in class’ and at three years old, and a ‘rising three’ at that, that is all I want for him, and from him.

However, after his teacher’s comment box, his report suddenly becomes very ‘cold’, a computer generated tick box exercise. So very different to the reports I myself write for my pupils in the special school system. This is no slight on his school, or his teacher, I have a lot of time for her and her evident enthusiasm in that classroom. I’m impressed with the environment and provision provided and have no concerns that play isn’t top of their agenda. I also know most mainstream schools have a generic reporting format computer input system that have to be used to generate these tick box style reports. 

She told me as much yesterday and to take the most notice of her comment box; but for someone who knows early year’s education as well as I do, it reads like the foundation phase curriculum with his name in front of achieved skills and then formulated into key sentences.

My little boy has been reduced to nothing more than a list of what skills he has demonstrated during his time in school; no real context, background, what his favourite school experiences have been or an element of his personality in it at all.

And that makes me sad, not just for Xander, but for a whole generation of small children, seemingly going through a mainstream education system forced by a Westminster Government to lose the holistic value of a developing child, teaching to a tick list instead. A Westminster Government that measures a child’s worth and success by how many ticks they have, or the levels and grades on a piece of paper they have, or eventually the letters they could have after their name. A Westminster Government who seemingly thinks there is only one way to be successful to the detriment of so many of our children, setting so many up to fail before they even begin. A Westminster Government constantly changing the goal posts of what successful is and where trying your very best is no longer good enough.  Things are not as bad here as they are the other side of the Severn Bridge, but even with a devolved education our profession has not been immune to these changes and pressures and testing approach being foisted from the likes of Gove and Morgan.

Sorry I went off an a ranty tangent there, but regardless, this has driven me to ‘rewrite’ his school report; to put some meat on the bones of those skills, to highlight what came across as his favourite parts of school this year and where I believe he can do more as this small three-year-old boy than his report would have him believe when he reads it with adult eyes.

I don’t just want to know what he can do as far as a skill sheet would tell me, I want to know what he has enjoyed, what topics were his favourite, what activities he really got involved in. What parts of learning excite him, what are his passions? What he LOVED about school. Learning of course is important, but it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of a child’s experience of education. Life is much more than grades and my child is so much more than a skill tick sheet, my child is a little bundle of personality and the journey matters as much as the learning outcome.

And so as an aside I’m so glad he’ll have my six monthly updates of his childhood to look back on too.

The purple is his school report, the red is my ‘teacher speak’ addition... The blessings and curses of a teacher for a mother I guess! 

Personal and Social Development, Well-Being and Cultural Diversity
Xander is beginning to show he knows about familiar care routines, and when an adult is assisting him with his every day personal needs he is often keen to help. Xander is beginning to have his own ideas about what he would like to wear, for example making it clear he thinks boxer shorts are even more grown up than pants! He likes to be involved in choosing his clothes, and his baby brothers clothes and understands what type of clothes are appropriate for different times of the day or weather, e.g. pyjamas for bedtime, shorts for a hot day, coats for a rainy day etc. Xander needs to be encouraged to dress and undress himself with more independence. 

Xander is becoming ever increasingly independent using the toilet and understands basic personal hygiene care routines such a flushing the toilet and washing his hands afterwards. He understands the importance and boundaries of keeping safe in some situations for example why he must always wear his seatbelt properly in the car, or holding hands with an adult to cross a road or walk in a car park. 

He has begun to role play on his own or in parallel with other children, often near a familiar adult. Xander thoroughly enjoys small world play and often plays with small figurines from his busy books, Happyland and Duplo sets, reciting aloud his imaginative dialogue during his play. His little people are often Mummies, Daddies and babies, but also firemen, superhero and rescue men. He loves playing with his Happyland Castle, Rocket, Farm and Dollhouse. Xander is beginning to enjoy dressing up and pretend play more and often asks for us to play Doctors and patients with him.

He is starting to show affection for other children and play with them. When supported by an adult, Xander is just learning to be willing to share toys and materials and to take turns. He is beginning to learn that some behaviour is unacceptable. Xander has developed firm friendships in school but is still learning to navigate the social complexities of these friendships and the reality that not everybody is very kind all of the time. Friendships and relationships are clearly linked to his emotions at the moment as his favour with you is demonstrated through your status of being  ‘you’re my best friend’ or ‘you’re not my best friend anymore’ declarations! 

Xander has a definite sense of self and belonging and is aware which group he is part of at school (Peppa Pig group) and his part in his family at home. He knows who else is part of his family.Just recently Xander stated that he had lots of friends and lots of family and had everything he needed. A little boy, already seemingly aware that people and relationships in your life matter more than your possessions.

Xander has a sense of ownership of something he is playing with and can sometimes find sharing toys with others, especially his baby brother difficult through frustration that they might wreck his game. However socially Xander will invite children of a similar age to play with him and likes to play with other children. He especially likes close family adults to play with him and shows genuine beaming happiness when involved in 1:1 play. 

Xander understands the concept of taking turns and will usually willingly take turns with other children when the taking turns boundaries and expectations are set and modelled by an adult. Xander has an emerging understanding of what is fair or not fair. Xander is on the whole a gentle little boy, appropriately showing affection and concern for others. Xander rarely displays aggressive behaviour but usually instantly demonstrates remorse after an incident. He is fiercely protective of his brother and often tells his family members that he loves them. 

Xander is becoming more and more aware of the special days of himself and others, for example birthday celebrations. Xander was especially excited and eager to share the Mother’s Day card he had made in school.

Language, Literacy and Communication
Xander is starting to understand and follow simple instructions.  He increasingly wants to join in songs and nursery rhymes, especially actions song and finger rhymes. He repeats the names of familiar objects.  Xander particularly enjoys singing along to The Wheels on the Bus, Never Smile at a Crocodile, Twinkle Star, 5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer and Dingle Dangle Scarecrow.

Xander is beginning to follow stories read to him and he is starting to respond in a suitable way. Xander thoroughly enjoys sharing books and stories. He looks at books with adults and by himself. Xander can anticipate key words, rhymes and events in a familiar story and is able to ‘read’ and re-tell the key points of familiar stories back to an adult. Xander can often be found ‘reading’ stories to his little brother and can use the pictures in a book to tell you what is happening in the story. Xander is beginning to distinguish between the pictures in a book and the words.

Xander is starting to ‘draw’ using his preferred hand and experiment with mark-making. Xander doesn’t naturally gravitate towards mark-making and drawing activities but enjoys participating in an adult initiated activity. Xander shows increasing control when ‘writing’ with tools such as crayons, pencils or chalk. Xander especially enjoys mark-making activities with paint. Xander can confidently write the X for his name and shows pride in his efforts. Xander is beginning to draw his representation of people and animals.

Xander can identify a fair number of sounds/letters and enjoys playing with his foam letter sounds in the bath. Xander shows he is aware or letters and print in the environment, pointing out the sounds he can see in street signs or car number plates for example. Xander often finds the letter symbols that are of particular importance to him in his surroundings; for example X for Xander, m for Mummy, d for Daddy and z for Zac.  Xander has even been known to spot an X in the sky for Xander where two planes have crossed each other!

Mathematical Development
Xander shows an awareness of number activities. He recognises the symbols for numbers from 1 to 9. (0-12 and emerging to 15). The number 3 is of particular importance to him and he often refers to 3 as his birthday number. Xander has an early understanding of ‘one more’ and can usually tell you which number comes after a given number between 1 and 10.

He usually anticipates and joins in with familiar number rhymes and songs. Xander’s favourite number songs include 5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer and 5 Little Ducks. He counts up to three objects reliably. (up to ten objects reliably). Xander enjoys counting within his play and enjoys exploring his early understanding of number through practical activities such as helping to lay the table; counting how many people there are, then deciding how many forks, knifes, spoons etc he will need to make sure everyone has one of each. He regularly holds up the number of fingers to emphasise how many of something there is. Xander is beginning to join in board games appropriately, structured and modelled by an adult. He is concentrating for lengthening periods and starting to grasp the concept of moving a given number of spaces on the board as indicated by the number on the dice rolled.  

He is starting to show interest in the position of objects and the relationship between them. Xander is exploring his understanding of early measure; he is able to make comparisons between objects based on their size and can identify the biggest, middle and smallest of a set of three objects. He can transfer this skill into other spontaneous observations, for example stating that Daddy is the biggest, Mummy the middle sized and Xander the smallest.  Xander experiments with how objects fit together, for example building his Toot Toot train track.

Xander is just learning to sort and match objects or pictures by recognising similarities. Xander enjoys picture matching games such as picture bingo and can match picture to picture. Xander can complete 48+ piece puzzles with minimal support if any from an adult, looking out for the similarities in puzzle pieces to match them together. Xander can sort and match by colour, beginning to follow early sequences – for example building a Duplo tower based on the colour sequence of another previously made tower. Xander can name and find simple 2-D shapes such as a circle, triangle, square and rectangle.

Xander is beginning to understand the routine and name the days of the week, associating days with key events that regularly happen on those days, e.g. he knows he goes to Lollipops café on a Tuesday, swimming on a Wednesday, a day with Bampi on his own on a Wednesday, Nana and Bampi on a Thursday and Friday and church on a Sunday. He classifies his week through school and non-school days and has an emerging understanding of past (yesterday), present (today) and future (tomorrow).

Xander understands that money is used to pay for things in a shop.

Welsh Language Development
Xander is just learning to repeat some familiar words and phrases. He increasingly begins to join in action song and finger rhymes. Xander didn’t know a single word of welsh when he started school in January. He enjoys being able to say a few words in welsh now and will use the word Diolch (Thankyou) at home and tells me it is Welsh. He has sometimes appeared to be singing a song in welsh from school too. He is clearly taking on the board the use of incidental welsh during his mornings at school. Xander enjoys playing a welsh app on the iPad at home and can accurately identify colour names in Welsh.

Xander is beginning to look at books with or without an adult and show an interest in their content.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Xander is starting to show he knows about daily routines. Xander has familiar routines at home which mark different times of the day; for example a consistent getting up and going to bed routine. He knows the difference between day and night. Xander is aware of different meal-times throughout the day. Xander has settled well into the ‘going to school’ routine and enjoys to tell us about his day, who and what he has played with at school.

 Xander usually recognises himself and familiar people in pictures or stories. Through adult encouragement, he is beginning to communicate about the things he has made, such as models or pictures. Xander is starting to sort objects into simple categories. He is just learning to explore objects and material in environments that are familiar and close by. Xander loves explorative play and can describe objects by their predominant property, using descriptive words such as smooth, rough, hard, soft, bumpy, spikey, etc.  Xander has appeared to especially enjoy the sand table, water tray and playdough table in school this year.

Xander especially enjoyed the Shopping and Transport topics in school this year, we’ve heard most about these topics at home. He enjoyed a visit to the Bakery with his Mummy and Daddy, getting to choose and pay for his own cake; and of course eating it! The week he bought home a shopping trolley pictures with foods he had glued onto it, we visited a supermarket, and used his picture from school as a shopping list. Xander found the real foods in the shop and put them into a real trolley. He helped to pay for them at the checkout. 

Xander’s imaginative construction play has come on leaps and bounds in recent weeks and he has experimented with his creations of hot air balloons, planes, cars, trains and boats with his Duplo. Xander will experience bus and train rides during the summer and will visit the Bristol Balloon fiesta in early August to consolidate and support his learning experiences at school.

Xander is noticing the differences between himself and others and is beginning to ask thoughtful and observant questions, for example, why does Daddy have a beard? He is aware of the differences between men and women and knows that he is a little boy. 

He has an emerging understanding of life cycle and knows that he used to be a baby but now he is a big boy.  He has an emerging understanding that babies grow in Mummy’s tummies and are born. He particularly enjoyed meeting his baby cousin recently and was ever so gentle and completely mesmerised by how small he was. He knows that some people are older than others and that his Grandma (Great) is very old!

Physical Development
Xander is just learning to recognise and use different pieces of equipment when he plays with other people. Xander can build a six-block tower (six-block plus tower, using bricks, cups or Duplo). He is beginning to be able to send and receive an object. He is starting to handle and investigate physical things by pulling, stretching and squeezing them. He is just learning to pass through, around or over large obstacles and be able to jump and land safely. He is beginning to pedal tricycles, bicycles and cars. Xander especially loves his scooter and is becoming quite the Whiz on it – flying down the path and beginning to learn to control stopping the scooter using the brake rather than his feet. Xander is learning to throw, bounce, kick, roll and catch a ball and enjoys playing ball in his Grandma’s (Great) garden with Daddy and brother.

Xander enjoys physical play such as crawling around furniture, or through a tunnel. He enjoys stepping stone games and jumps from cushion to cushion on the floor. Xander loves to visit the park and is confident using the swings, slides, tunnels and climbing frames.

At the moment Xander is exploring his sense of balance; seeking to walk along curbs, walls and benches in the environment when out and about.

Xander is a busy little boy who equally loves to go wild outdoors as he does to sit in quiet play.

Xander absolutely loved Sport’s Day and took parts in a range of activities that required him to throw, balance, skip, jump, run and navigate obstacles. He has been excited to tell us all about Sport’s Day practices and the exercise he was doing in school. We  were hugely proud of his effort and participation in Sport’s Day. Completely heart swelling!

Xander is still learning to run in a more mature style and continues to develop his co-ordination, controlled body movements, gross and fine motor skills, as well as his sensory awareness but most of all developing his confidence in all areas.

Creative Development
Xander is starting to exercise some control in mark-making and pattern-making with his fingers and tools. He enjoys handling, investigating and exploring materials or resources. Xander loves to paint and create pictures and is always proud when a piece of his art work is framed on our art wall at home. He will tell you about the picture he has made and what he used to make it. He usually has very clear ideas about what colours he wants to paint with and clearly favours the colour pink in his work! 

Xander explores a range of things that make sounds and experiments with making sounds, including shaking, striking and scraping. He begins to recognise familiar music. He often responds to simple musical routines by joining in or moving to the music, broadly imitating actions, sounds and words. Xander is starting to travel, jump and land and to hold still positions.  Xander can sing along to many nursery rhymes and often requests his CDs on in the car. He remembers the words of familiar songs and is broadly starting to sing with a resemblance of tune and intonation. He also enjoys dancing along to music with an emerging sense of rhythm and is can recognise the difference between fast and slow music when there is a marked difference. 

Xander enjoys experimenting with instruments, especially his keyboard where he likes to record his own tunes and compositions and sing into the microphone. Xander shows interest in a range of genres of music including popular music and some interesting classical compositions; for example recently enjoying the Cuckoo section from Carnival of the Animals and requesting to listen to it again.

So there we have it. His school report and everything else teacher Mummy would want it to say (and probably so much more too!)

I agonised over the decision to send Xander to nursery class at school two terms early as a rising 3, but at the end of the school year I’m so glad we did. He is blossoming and school has started off as a really positive experience for him. He’s flying and hope he enjoys his Foundation Phase years, much more than anything else.

We’re so exceptionally proud of you Xander!
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I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander and Zac. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem @tonofunstweets
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