Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New Shoes and New Books

We have an independent shoe shop close to home that is always busy and always successful in fitting my girls for shoes.
T has wide paddy toddler feet that rarely grow and P has long thin feet are never seem the same size from one month to another.

Some times the queue to be served can be extreme
Yesterday I was lucky AND P was asleep!

They have the most beautiful things

None of these shoes are cheap, but I only needed a pair that will see us through till early days of summer which will be four months at the most so I asked what they had in her size as usually they have a stock of stuff out the back, we left with these at the bargain sale price of still a lot of money.

Here I wanted to insert a pic of Nurse Ratchet but it made my stomach churn so I haven't.
P wore them for about an hour this morning then found her way too small knock off crocs with plastic Hello Kitty from last summer and has put those on for our trip to the shops.


A lovely parcel arrived from New Zealand. Thank you!

How super cool is that!
I am loving my reading list for 2012
It's a nice stack of books

G said it came with a flat flower

The boy knows nothing.

If you would like to see how lovely NZ can look at this time of year take a look at Agnes Coy over at


Do you ever get the grass is greener feelings?
I get this with the So Tread Softly wordpress. She was my first ever blog, I had visited her home when she was England based and had been knocked sideways by it's beauty, cleanliness and all round breath of fresh air.
Anyway I secretly stalked her on line and discovered what a craft blog was and that was it I was hooked.
My original point, when I am sweltering in the heat of August Mrs Tread Softly has beautiful photos of frost covered gardens to look at and when I am miserable in October because it is grey outside I know that NZ is warming up so you get the picture.

Finally because it has taken 10 hours to do this today

At early o'clock this morning

Will I ever be able to take a wee in peace?

Got my cuppa
Off to bed


Monday, 27 February 2012


Tried to buy shoes for P in town yesterday but her feet were too narrow and didn't fit anything suitable and everything else was over stitched with bright pink/purple embroidery and I refuse to buy into it when leather shoes cost so much money.

After riding the escalator a few times we walked past the Disney Store.
We went in.
P can open her arms and clear a shelf faster than a shop lifter.
She's learning to put stuff back.


They sell these

Small girls will love them and they are pretty eye catching.
They stand in the box about 2 feet tall and if you kept them in there for ever then that definitely would be best.

But if you take them out and undo the cellophane that keeps their hair neat and let a lots of under 8's play you end up with this monster of a character

I couldn't get a better picture but you get the idea.
Money down the drain me thinks

T is home form school with sore throat and temp we are all watching Nanny McPhee again


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Hove Museum

I always thought this was the nicest house on the street.

But for some reason walking up to it I didn't want to live in it, not sure why.

So plan was

Go to Hove Museum
Have lunch straight away - get in early before the crowds
Look around the Museum and see the Robot exhibition
Visit the very good shop
Drop G off by 2pm to get a haircut.

What actually happened

We had to eat out because the cupboards were bare, which happens.

It was busy and we got the last remaining table by moving a table away from somebody else, they were a party of two sitting at a table for 6.
We could have shared but we are British and it's just not done.

The waitress was amazing and split the glass of milk between two and brought straws.
The same waitress also made sure that the beans didn't touch the toast. 
T thought the tomato was just for decoration and left it WELL alone and P doesn't eat scrambled eggs in public. T ate the toast for the first time but wasn't sure about the beans. P spent a lot of the time under the table quietly.

The pair of them behaved like there was a competition to be won.
It could have been that they sensed cake was an option. In fact that was all that P periodically said.

I like to have the bill paid before we finish eating which G thinks is plain rude but it saves so much distress.
Time and time again you see families out for a spot of lunch and then just as things are getting fractious the adult asks for the bill keen to leave but the waiter is usually rushed off their feet and you can end up waiting another 15 minutes before seeing the receipt by which time there is usually a melt down from someone at the table, parent or child.
Why not have the meal paid for and then leave without all the crap.

We played it my way .

Then off round the children's section up stairs

I had a bit of dress envy for these two dolls

Then we went down to see the Robots but that had finished on Tuesday, never mind, so into the shop which had nothing!
I've been there before and it's usually a great little nook for all things interesting but not a dicky.

Dropped off G. Job done!

Later in the eve watched Nanny McPhee on TV and it was so good I popped out and rented the next one Nanny McPhee And The Big Bang, is that what it's called?
I love it!


Saturday, 25 February 2012

More Mess

Normally I would agree with you, "What was she thinking leaving ink where a toddler could reach it?!"

Let me tell you I am still learning that my daughters are different, T would never have touched it without asking but P thinks what the hell!

Let me also tell you that I was IN the room getting dressed and she managed to get this far without me noticing.

Bloody Baby

and I have been saying that since she could climb at nearly seven months old.

This week a lovely gift arrived from America, a new glasses case!
I love a pattern and it is really nice to hold.

Camping as a Pastime is my new read

I haven't put my specs in it yet but I do carry it around with me and I found a Cinderella Poly Pocket in it yesterday.

So that yoga exercise is going really well I am doing the salutations morning and night.
It is amazing for nasal congestion and I can now easily bend and rest my palms on the floor, my nose will not touch my knees but I hope to relax into this by the end of next week.

I am also finding that my back is stiff in the UP DOG position but having just watched the video from the last post I need to adjust my technique as well as think about adding HOOLA hooping into my routine.
The POP FORWARD bit where she jumps her feet to her hands is also proving tricky but I think that's because my stomach and breasts are in the way so probably less sugar and cheese in the daily diet but that's not any great news.

The weather is supposed to be mild for February and we planned a fun filled weekend but I can see it falling flat because it is so grey out there.

Will leave the house today definitely.

Have a nice weekend

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Another Mile Stone

Shrove Tuesday before last I was here

Add caption

Actually this was post surgery probably on the Friday morning as I am missing an oxygen cannula and I have stopped crying, I was so pleased to be done with the anesthetic.
Such an awful week, early in the morning I jumped off a small breakwater on the beach and then next thing I wasn't weaning my baby taking T to preschool or putting dinner on the table.

It took till June to be free from casts and a whole warm summer to learn how great my life is.
I also decided that from then on I wasn't going to ask anybody to get me anything if I could get up off my backside and get it myself.

This Shrove Tuesday we made pancakes as a family

P thinks it's great that he can break the egg IN the cup

I did something this week, I think I walked up the stairs and realised that my body was really weak.
I broke the ankle a year ago and have done hardly any exercise and then over winter when I could have started something I got this STUPID virus and didn't do anything unless it was necessary.
For example bending to open the oven or washing machine door, pushing the hoover round.

I have not used the birthday skipping ropes because there is only one place at the Homestead where I can skip, on the garden path and it has a chopped up wardrobe in the way which we have yet to dump.
That should be clear this weekend.

In the meantime I thought I'd do this every morning, 5x's  for 30 days and see if it makes a difference.

About 10 years ago maybe more I jumped on the Ashtanga Yoga band wagon and took a course and some classes it wasn't going to become a life style choice I think I joined a gym and couldn't afford to do both. But I did like the effort it took to complete the routine and I think I got quite good at it.

At no point during my yoga experience did I have the control this lady displays in the video, did you see her fly at 30 seconds, but I have always been flexible despite my size and I thought this might be a good place to start bending and stretching again without an oven tray in my hand.

So I started in the kitchen this morning I couldn't touch the ground!!!
Before the ankle it was no problem to put my hands under my feet, in fact I could easily pull off the following poses.

There is so much work to do.
I did complete 5 sun salutations it got better as I went on but I think I might have to do 5 in the evening as well.

and maybe eat a few less pancakes too.


Monday, 20 February 2012

Skipping School, Book Review and a Dragon

T has been complaining of ear ache over the weekend but also admitted that the pain wasn't so bad as the crying she subjected us to.
She accepts that it is better to tell the truth and fix the problem than to tell a porkie and bawl your eyes out.
Despite this I still found myself collecting her from school with ear ache just before lunch today.
Her teacher said she wasn't sure if she was winging it but she hadn't been her usual self, she was quiet and I couldn't tell either but as I put her to bed her eye balls were spinning like waltzers.

So still to get to the bottom of it but it has been nice not having to do the school run this afternoon.

Also I finished reading a book!
Am I the first parent to manage it?

I am building a collection of books to read to my girls as they get older and this is one of them.

Ballet Shoes - Noel Streatfeild

I never read it as a child and although I only finished it in the last two weeks or so I will struggle to tell you what it is about because the brain is a sieve.

Basically Great Uncle Matthew has a huge house in the Cromwell Road stuffed with fossils brought back from far away lands. Somewhere in his travels he brings back an orphan to be looked after by his niece who is looking after the house.
Two trips later and you have three little girls and their names are all something beginning with P.

P calls this fairy "Tinkle" and she is holding a "Tink"

Well G.U.M sets off again leaving the niece, the nanny and the fossil sisters to get on with it and enough money for five years although like a typical man he is gone for longer than he said he would be and by the time the girls start school the money is running out.

So the niece and the nanny de clutter the house and open it up to boarders who all help with the education of the sisters along with the arrangement that the girls can have tuition at the local stage school providing that they work in the theater when old enough and give a percentage of their earnings back to the Madame
The money just about keeps a roof over their heads and the girls find that they have to work harder to juggle the budget to support their family through tough times.

You know what, it's a really good read if you want something quick and completely free of nasty and fear, I loved it and I finally have read a classic.

There is something about the detail I felt like I was in the house with them. There is a page talking about their Christmas Day and I think I might copy it because it was perfect, all toasted tea cakes, paper chains and open fires.

Just what a tired anxious brain requires before bed.

My girls love the film How To Train Your Dragon.

This is P pretending to be the dragon called Toothless.

Look at those stretched fingers!

Both girls are asleep, it's late afternoon which means I am in for a late night so I am going destroy the peace and gently wake them with brioche and milk.

Rumor has it the weather will be warmer at the end of the week!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

New Dress for T

The other day when T and I spent some mother daughter quality time together and I was hugely disappointed by the experience and she found the most beautiful dress in the world that she just had to have.

This was the dress that was over priced, overly man made and overly pink.

The story goes that I told her she couldn't have it as we were shopping together for hair accessories and that I didn't have the £15 to buy it.
If you remember she didn't kick up a fuss because she has been trained that way and I was impressed by her behavior.

At some point when we got home I said that she could have the dress but she would have to pay for it herself which was possible because she had savings.

There were explanations as she still doesn't understand money and then with me she counted the contents of her piggy bank, to which I quickly added some cash because I know I have raided it in the past for parking change.

She had £13:50 give or take.

Sadly not enough.

Over dinner we explained that to get extra money children often did extra work around the home, washing the car, mowing the lawn or clearing a part of the house but we felt that she was too young for these she suggested cleaning her room.
Kindly I said that I wasn't about to start paying her for something I expected to do anyway.

We then told her that the shop where the dress was had a high turn over of stock and it was likely not to be on sale when she had saved the money so we would loan her the £1:50 but she would have to pay us back by completing the following.

For 7 days you must,
Make an effort to eat all you meals fuss free and with enthusiasm.
Be silent for 1 half hour every time you wear the dress.

If she is unable to do this then the dress will be taken away

She nodded DEAL DONE!!

G took her and phoned me from the store to yell at me. He wasn't keen on it.

T loves it and has worn it every day.

It's first outing it was accessorized with long pink gloves, tiara, jewellery, shoes etc and she could barely walk because she felt so overwhelmed  by her beauty.

The chores are going well, the half hour silence has been well worth and I will definitely use this trick again.
The meals are better and she has eaten more but still managed to get a little fussing in and I only had to threaten taking it away once.

Otherwise all is good
Back to school tomorrow and the big spring clean starts!


Friday, 17 February 2012

Half Term

Had not a lot of plans but wanted to do something little every day but we are confined to barracks.

Old funny face here

got the pox!

G has been working flat out which is what we really need as the New Year looked a bit bleak and his line of work appears slow at the mo, so it has been me and the ladies upstairs from his office taking it easy.

But he took a break to do a kids freebie museum thing mid week with T, she 'd had a temp in the night and looked pale in the morning but I thought that she could manage it as it was only for and hour, she needed some air and it was round the corner.
When they got there, it was full of kids behaving like adults and adults behaving like children squashed in like sardines. T had a white out after about 10 minutes and they made a break for it,
found a quiet spot in the museum and looked at mice bones and rocks I think, cooled down and had a much needed half hour of father daughter time before coming home and watching Mamma Mia AGAIN.

I have been a bit cross of late with all things petty but this arrived in the post and it was just what was needed. To go with it I made a cup of tea and found five minutes of alone time to undo all the knots.


Then it pretty much came off the rails, in came the girls and I literally had to fight them off the wrapping. P is still to young to get whats mine is MINE!

The glass came with all lovely smelling Christmas candles and the sender, usually so sensible, suggested that I might pack T's school lunch in the white boxes.

and risk getting food stains on them

Don' fink so!

What has been strange, I have had a couple of packages delivered this week and I automatically don't check the label and assume they are for G so they sit there for a few hours before opening.

Thank you FMH it was a really lovely surprise, all of it. xxx

We had some play dates this week and a 1st birthday party.

The mother of this lovely little one and I have been friends for I think nearly a hundred years. Her parents live in this crazy huge house around the corner from my family home and I spent most weekends there as a kid and most of the summer holidays too.

I took the girls with me to the party and maybe because it was dark outside and cosy inside that it reminded me of when I was younger T, P and some others piled onto a big bed and watched a movie whilst eating party food and people came and went and chatted and it felt like a cosy Piccadilly Circus and something about the look in T's eye sent me right back to being 10 again.
I can't explain it but I fought back a few tears.

I'm dreading making dinner tonight I feel another disaster coming along

Have a nice weekend