Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas

So that's it all done and waiting for the early hours of the morning after everything else has been done to wrap it all up to gentle cries of "G! next year we need to be more orgnised and learn from this" and "don't tell me ever again that October is too early to start thinking about Christmas"

My shopping today was lovely and relaxed and I was very lucky to bump into everything I needed.

The girls are in their new Christmas Eve pj's from Grandma and it's not even 5 o'clock, G is making dinner and I am pottering with a Christmas cold sore and a headache.


Have a cosy Sunday where you are
Merry Christmas


Friday, 23 December 2011

Father Christmas at the Royal Pavillion

T was taken to see Farmer Christmas at the palace yesterday. She went last year with Grandma and it was a success and the magic seems to be even more rooted this year so off we went.

I have had a lot of cabin fever of late so was really looking forward to some fresh air with her and a chat along the way. Through the morning I did think that I might be ruining the event because I couldn't help but raise my voice to her as she seemed to be infuriating at every turn.

Actually it was alright she seemed to be forgiving and I might have made up for it along the way.

Rubbish quality photos again I'm afraid.

I think you can hire this room for weddings.

They have the best living flame gas fires anywhere. If you visit when it's quite and the fires are on, you can hear the gas feed and along with the smell of the cleaning products that smell like moth repellent and incense and for me that is a treat for the senses.

She believes that Farmer Christmas has put a spare ballet skirt in that present.
She is so excited but I bet he hasn't. So I will either be sewing by candle light on Christmas Eve or popping to the shops if I can get out of Number Jacks Live this morning.

It's only eighty five minutes long including interval I might take ear plugs.

It's grey out there again

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Another Birthday Gone

I am an only child and didn't always live with lots of children around me.
So I am learning a lot about children as my two grow. I am constantly alarmed how differently they think from me and from each other.

P's birthday this week and I wouldn't have thrown a party but I thought why not celebrate her 2nd and learn some valuable lessons in the mix.

We had a birthday play date and with 3 guests and their mums. It was hard to find a day because you are either in the Christmas holidays or you have to navigate the school activities like nativity or carol concert.

Also kind of went to town on T's birthday so along with ANOTHER thick cold was thoroughly exhausted by late December so kept it simple despite original plans of an ELMO theme.

About a week before I prepared the party bags which I'd bought the contents around the same time as buying for T's.

I had planned to make little felt Elmos for the bags but actually was far too tired to do so and I think that we had a run of the girls not sleeping in the evenings making no time to make anything so the idea was knocked on the head.

I am sure they loved the plastic items from the pound store much more than a felted craft number and I couldn't help adding to the bags once they were hung up. I liked that they were getting heavier.

Continued the red theme and put out snack time but as P had refused breakfast she was not keen on waiting before digging in and she won't listen.

Put out all the big toys and a basket of bits and books and let them get on with it.
At one point it looked like a Norman Rockwell painting especially as I had to change P's nappy and she wasn't playing ball at all.

Yesterday was her actual birthday and family came to visit through the day and she had a great time and didn't want to share her presents one bit.

Buying more of those crayons really good pigment
Where has my face gone - it has been swallowed up by so much fat
She enjoys driving this into the sofa a great speed and spend the whole day in tights

G made the Elmo cake and she loved it

Next year it is decided. A big box for each girl and I will organise their events in the summer and pack it all up so its ready and tweak where necessary.
Thats from invite through to thank you note.

So Tingle Poo, Happy Birthday.
I can't believe the time has gone so quickly you certainly keep me on my toes and never give me five minutes to think about it but watching you sleep you are exactly the same as you were in the hospital 2 years ago.
We have a big year ahead, you have new things to say every day and I am sure it will be bumpy as I will expect so much from you. I will thank you now because I know it will be entertaining.
I love you so much and want to give you everything you need.
You have my attention always so no need to belt me!

Much love mummy


Monday, 19 December 2011

Nearly at Christmas and where has the time gone?

Got lots of photos for you to see but I am having problems with the camera phone it seems unable to focus and with crap winter light and all you can see is a fuzzy image.

Firstly an amazing email sent to me from a friend on the 1st December.
Great way to start the month.


I just bought some elastic from a fab haberdashers.
It was in a street in Salamanca (The Chelsea of Madrid)
Tiny shop, with faded display of ribbons and knitting patterns in the window.
Customer area about the size of a bathroom, with a wooden counter and an old man wearing a striped shirt and cufflinks.  All the stock in hidden away in boxes with 1940's labels on them from the floor to the ceiling.  You have to ask for EXACTLY what you want, then a younger woman in tan knitwear climbs a ladder and fetches it.

So my metre of elastic is folded, then efficiently wrapped in a lozenge of tissue paper, with a twist at each end, like a sweet.

Did some Christmas shopping today, and everything gets giftwrapped, in the store's branded paper, with a name sticker on.  They wrap on the bias, with clear disregard to paper wastage.

Have a good week.


I have an inexplicably cold and numb finger.  I could hit it with a hammer right now, and it'd probably just chip off.


This must be from late summer but I found it recently. You can restrain your naughty toddler in a public toilet whilst you wash your hands or change your baby!

T has to wear a beige coat for school and she doesn't like the one I bought her because it's different (colour/make) to the ones the other kids have.
I bought it second hand for £7 rather than the school outfitters of £120 plus.
It is really worn but it will do for this year and actually I think its a beautiful brand, see Gloverall, and I might buy her the same brand next year if necessary.
It was really big but now I think it might just last her till the spring.

To cheer her up about it I told her I was going to hide this cat and butterfly somewhere in the house for her to find but sewed them into her coat for a surprise at school.
She thought it was cool but asked if I could put them on the outside instead.

Though T could make cloves in oranges for her teacher and class room assistant for Christmas thank yous. It appears she doesnt like the juice on her hands or the smell.

So my first attempt was a bit Halloweenie

Much Better

Sent them in tea bag boxes. Think my New Yrs resolution is to not buy fancy boxes.

This is the Autumn Blanket.
It was a gift from Alan down the road (who used to be in Dr.Who a 100 years ago). Is Aunt Hilda owned a drapers in Cheshire a long time ago and knitted it.

Mince pies have been made, two lots actually and I am not sure if I can face doing another batch!

Made a wreath. Got to remember to bring it in every night as last years effort was stolen.

It's actually flopping a bit.
Managed to pick up another cold and a bit of illness fear so went for long walk to blow out the cobwebs. 
Successful effort.

Do you remember this? We started to fix a set of drawers to a cupboard back in March for the girls room but I broke my ankle well finally got round to finishing it, sort of.

It needs another coat of paint and the top and bottom need handles that bring it together.
I'm thinking a big pom pom hanging from the lock.

Papered the inside. It is a place to special things that we don't want to get broken.
We will see if it works for them.

Tree is up and it is as wide as it is high.
It means you can fit two less people in the room.

P's birthday tomorrow


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Ice Skating at the Palace

On the weekend we went to the Brighton Pavilion to do a little ice skating.
Gareth said should we take P?
I said that I didn't want to miss T on the ice if he took her and I am sure anything T wanted to do then so would P.
We booked a family ticket.
The information said that it was suitable to take a 2 year old so I wasn't completely crazy in trying out the idea.

The photos are rubbish because it's difficult to juggle two children and an uninsured iPhone on ice skates.

I am probably too tired to be funny but it's an experience that we might not repeat in a while.

What is it about middle class Brighton and Hove they fear relaxing in a queue even when they have time to get to the end without missing out. They have to keep moving whilst talking ever so loudly whilst their ever so independent children talk about being ever so independent.

P really couldn't wait to put anyones skates on. They advertised these double blade skates for tiny tots but the girl at the counter said that they had hardly any and those that they did have were broken. So we put on the normal skates as she would be able to push one of those child friendly fiber glass penguin.
The child friendly section of the rink was at the far end which was very helpful and there was a bit of a fight to get a penquin. We luckily got to share with some friends

It was clear within 10 minutes that P wasn't loving it as she refused to put her feet down so we watched for a while from the side.

Before going in and changing into our shoes.

There is a big white marquee with chandeliers attached to the rink and here is the restaurant with a menu and table service and everything.
You can watch the skating while you eat.
The bar is so sticky you peel your arm from it and the glass of apple juice that P and I shared is twice the price of the carton from which it was poured.
Here you can find more middle class yelling as people panic for somewhere to sit, either on a table or an array of sticky leatherette chesterfields.

Back on the ice T was being whizzed round by G who had taught her feet straight and glide.

It would have been great if there had been a hand rail for smaller children because anyone under the age of nine was struggling to hold on as well as stand up.


There was a lot of falling over from everyone and I think a good time was had I certainly enjoyed the afternoon. T fell over only once which I think is a great success but she has openly said she never wants to go ice skating again.
Fair enough.

We then had a hot drinks milkshakes and cakes with friends in the museum cafe that at 4:15 on a Sunday afternoon is quiet and uncluttered. They do the best cake and if you fancy a home made mince pie these looked amazingly buttery.

If I lived round the corner I would go here every day.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Big Week Part 6. And It's Over!!

So we wanted to lay a carpet for sound insulation and we needed to complete this as soon as possible because the noise heard in the basement was unbearable.

It started here

And ended here

We are very happy.
We are slowly moving things into the room asking ourselves still are we carpet people?
Things going back are slightly different because I like the space and the feeling of empty. So it's more things on walls rather than on floors.


Have been sitting at the table doing thank you notes from T's birthday

and making birthday invites for P.
Her day is coming up soon.
3 blondes coming for a play date
That is going to be interesting, no gluten or eggs.

Meanwhile when you clear a room it has to go somewhere.

Upstairs it looks like this and its a fraction of the devastation

I have put all the washing away and made some decisions about things that need to be gotten rid of.
So it's about 80% there.
But Christmas is about to be thrown together so I am not sure if the big sort will happen until the new year.

Things are peaceful again but then T broke up from school today so who knows how long that will last. Both of the girls are not sleeping well at night one tells me she is having nightmares and the other has decided long naps during the day is the way to go so going to bed at 7 is out of the question.

I should easily be stir crazy by Saturday

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Big Week Part 5

So about two Tuesdays ago it was T's Birthday! FIVE!!!!!

So happy for her, she has been desperate to be five. I am not sure what she had planned for being five but time will tell.

So I laid out all of her presents and cards at the breakfast table and she opened everything she got a new scooter and some lego and bits that I can't remember, swimming goggles that she had been after for weeks.
We also showed her the birthday cake that G made so she could think about it all day otherwise they  only see the cake for 5 seconds before blowing out the candles and you chop it into pieces and stick it in party bags.
She wasn't that impressed then I realised that she didn't know what it was, she thought it was a lump of plastic toy. IT'S CAKE!

Then she was really blown away

Then off to school with her I am 5 badge, she told anyone who looked at her that it was her birthday.

Then G and I sat round for an hour drinking tea trying to take on board the preparations required for her small intimate birthday tea party.

We were going to hire a venue and invite her new class but to be honest we couldn't afford it and I don't think I could cope with it either so decided on a tea party instead with some lovely little ones who we had met along the way.

T loves 'pop up pirate' and I saw mini versions of the game in a store thought they would be great in a party bag remembered that we had Splasher so tried out the idea of a mermaid and pirate theme on her which she took hook line and sinker and set about planning what could be possible.
Of course all of this was before Gareth decided to decorate.

Check out our new sound proofing underlay - Every mermaid rides a dolphin
Musical Boats - Last one in's a Looser
Costumes and Party Bags Girls are mermaids boys are pirates and toddlers are sea urchins

Party snack on arrival - Dinner at 5 - Spag Bol Sausage Chips and Beans!

I made the biggest pass the parcel EVER

and when it was all over and everyone went home G had a glass of wine and I saw off a panic attack with a peppermint tea.

Goggles and a pair of snow white shoes on her feet
I couldn't face making dinner and she had hardly eaten a thing with excitement

These are birthday cards made for T by two of our guests and they are amazing. This is not a good photo, I just uploaded a much better one but noticed the mermaids bra had slipped and exposed her breast and nipple I just couldn't post it, thinking that it was a private drawing from it's sender!

But I love them and they have such detail that I will pop them into a frame and maybe T will remember a fine afternoon in November.
I have yet to hear what she thought of her birthday tea party.

So T, if you read this when you are older Happy Birthday babe.
You make me so very happy everyday and my sun rises and falls with you.
You are funny and I feel your love.
If I tell you that you drive me crazy its because you do.
I am there for you always right beside you and my hand is here to hold yours when ever you need it.

Much love