Saturday 30 July 2011

A bit of a round up...

I'm a rubbish gardener but I've managed to grow a few flowers.

Guess what!?
Mr C looks really little and young there.

Mr C has learnt to crochet! He can chain, double and treble. He said he wanted to learn so he could make animals like in the book he got for the boys to give to me for Mothers Day. He picked it up super quickly. Annoyingly quick actually. He's been all "What's the big deal?!" about it. Grrrrrr.

He even has a special crochet face that he pulls

The evening after I showed him how to do the basics I came down stairs once I'd got the bigguns to bed to find him quietly crocheting away with a baby fast asleep at his side. If there was ever any question over our compatibility then here's the definitive answer. And it has been questioned in the past, you see we got engaged just six weeks after becoming a couple. We moved in together after we got engaged which is a bit backwards. We got married within the year. I got pregnant on honeymoon. It was mental really, when I look back it seems insane! But I felt it was right and decided to embrace it all. 

It's all been a bit bonkers here of late, what with the change of pace that the summer holidays are bringing. So it came as no surprise that the roof decided to spring some major leaks into my kitchen at this time. For a while it had been a bit drippy now and again when there was a big down pour and the wind in the right (wrong) direction. But we hadn't anticipated suddenly needing the whole north side of the roof done. Hey ho. Old houses...


The boys have been super cute lately, when they've not been terrorising me! They are like a little pack. They run circles around me. If it weren't so frustrating it would be hilarious. So back to their cuteness, I want to remember these lovely little things so I'll pop them here on my blog and share them with you. 

There I was standing in the kitchen in a bit of a flap one morning. I was trying to get everyone out the door on time, trying to make sure everyone had all the things they needed for that day but we were running later and later (is later a word?). I said out loud "Right, what do I need to do?" and Little shouted "Crochet!" He does tickle me.

I was putting Big to bed the other day and I told him I love him, just as I always do. I asked him if he knew what that meant he said "Yes. Happy" God bless that boy. He has some learning difficulties so concepts of feelings are really hard for him to verbalise. This is a huge break through. Quite momentous. That he could even grasp what I was asking him was a big deal.

Mini has started to suck his fingers the same way Mr C used to as a baby. It is a double edged sword though. On the one hand it helps him stay asleep through the night a bit more predictably but he seems to lose his appetite when he has his fingers in his mouth. Also how do you stop a child from sucking their fingers? If they have a dummy you can get rid of that but you can't get rid of their fingers!

We have booked Mini's Christening/Baptism and I have decided to get myself done at the same time. I have a quiet faith, it's in there. I haven't been raised as a Christian. By that I mean we never went to church, I never went to a Church of England school, my Dad is a non believer, my parents left it to me to decide. Well I have decided and I do believe, I want to believe. I live by the Christian morals as I was brought up nicely but I want to sort of make it official. Does that make sense? I don't want to go all philosophical so I'll move on from this topic after telling you what my "sponsor" (God mother) said in a text after I asked her to be my God mother.

Emily from Unravelled has given me an award. I do quite like an award it has to be said. I especially like the ones that call for facts. I think it's a great way to sneak into my blog things about me that my children might like to know when they are older and when I'm gone (obviously I will live to a ripe old age but this is here forever)

1. I once asked Mr C if he believes in soul mates. He doesn't. I'm fine with that as I don't either. But he did say that we are Rock and Roll Mates and I love that!

2. My current favourite Friends episodes are a) the one where Joey tries to learn French for an audition and b) the one where he buys Chandler a really blingtastic bracelet and Chandler does a Mr T from the A Team impression "I pity the fool who wears my jewellery, I do. I DO!"

3. My boys call beef burgers, beast burgers. Quite clever me thinks.

4. I am addicted to pinterest. Facebook has gone out the window and now I am pinning on my phone using the app whenever possible. In fact I have had to ration myself lately.

5. I once flashed on the London Eye when with My Girls. We had a private pod. I did it right at the top to make them laugh.

6. Mr C and I danced to Mr Bowjangles for our first dance but my Dad cut in and ruined it for us. I still feel disproportionately upset about it.

7. I like my wrinkles around my eyes. They show I smile a lot. That means I am well. I'll admit to having had botox in my frown in the past. I think, looking back on it, I frowned more than smiled at the time and I was trying to hide from the world that I was falling.
my make up looks a bit crackers here.

8. I know I'm only supposed to do 7 facts, and this isn't strictly a fact, but I wanted to show you my hair. I have been growing out a pixie crop that really didn't suit me and finally I am liking my hair again.

And so I shall pass this on to:

Play along if you like but don't feel you must.


ps. have you seen Madelief's post? Lovely giveaway. Part of me doesn't want to tell you all about it as you'll enter and I'll have less chance of winning! Gosh I'm wicked. Please don't tell my vicar.


Didn't believe me did you?! Cackling!

Sunday 24 July 2011

Gem's skirt, a slice of cake, a poorly boy.

Well I just didn't know what the title should be so I've left the working draft title up there. 

You all know my girl Gem by now don't you? Well if you don't I'll quickly introduce her. Her name is Gem and she is a gem. A true diamond. I have known her for longer than I haven't. We met when we were 16 years old when we both started 6th form together and failed to make it into "The Cool Gang" with hindsight they really were not cool. I don't suppose we were either but at 16 years old, kids form allegiances and there has to be a cool set and a not cool set. Actually I have just realised something, after almost 20 years of friendship, Gem was in both sets. Well blow me down, I never noticed, she was simply one of My Girls. It was me, Gem, Kerry and Rah when at school and after school Clairey was part of the gang too.

So a while ago, Gem was on a walk and ripped a favourite skirt. She blogged about it and I commented and said not to chuck it out as I'd see if I could fix it for her. Too late. Her and her daughter played a fun "Rip The Skirt Off Mummy" game. However, as I was due to meet up with her (too rare for my liking) she bagged up a top and a pair of jeans in the hope I could do something with them before they got chucked too.

I mended the top and set to work on the jeans. I felt they were beyond saving as a pair of jeans. The rip just a bit too far round and underneath if you get my drift. So I lopped the legs off and turned them in to a skirt. Forgot to take before shots though so here are the after shots and they'll have to do:

Ta dah!
I had a little trying on session and I was sorely tempted to keep it for myself and tell Gem it was not salvageable! Gosh it was tempting.

Showcasing the rip patch

If you would like to see it on the girl then pop over here.


Once the skirt was completed I started a little bit of stitching for a very patient lass. I have today finished that stitchy item and will be posting it tomorrow. I shall show you once she has received it. I'm rather pleased with myself! Really am chuffed. I was very fussy and kept redoing bits I was unhappy with. I just pray she'll like the fabrics I have chosen. Gosh it really feels good to have made something I am proud of.

A bit more ruffle action. I do love a ruffle.

Do you like the coat hanger? I had a long scrap from the ruffle left over so I sprayed it with spray mount and wrapped it around a coat hanger from the dry cleaners. I like it. I shall do a few more. It was a thirty second job. 

Remember the other week I mentioned that I was making a cake for Mr C's parents 40th wedding anniversary? Here it is:

The light was poor so it looks all wonky because of the shadows.
It was chocolate truffle cake on the bottom and fruit cake on the top. Everyone said it tasted like crap. Kidding! They were all very polite, bless them. It wasn't absolutely perfect but I find it is getting harder to do this sort of thing now I have the baby and the boys to call me away at any given moment.  My Belle Mere loved it though, my Father in Law appreciated the little bee as he is a bee keeper and that's what counts.

Poor Little Cuckoo came down with tonsillitis on the Sunday night after the Ruby wedding anniversary. He couldn't even sleep peacefully it hurt too much. Fortunately he has recovered and is now rude with health. I do mean rude too. He has a what I would describe as a special little dance routine that revolves around a sequence of burping and parping. I shouldn't laugh but I can't help it. It's like a flatulent "Birdie Song" (remember the dance routine that accompanied this song?)

Before I go, I must thank a couple of gals for sending some awards my way.

Amareke Makes gave me the Liebster Blog award which was really very kind of her, I still feel humbled that people think of me when they receive these awards themselves.

Pickle lily has passed on  The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award, thank you very muchly!

If you haven't seen these blogs before (I'm sure you must have) then do pop over to say Hello. You're bound to see plenty to inspire.

I am supposed to pass these on but I think they have pretty much done the rounds. I know it's a cop out but if I follow you and you haven't had this award then please take it. Consider it yours.


EDIT: Fee of Chipper Nelly fame has turned a pair of jeans into a swoonsome pinny. Now this I must do one day.

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Schools out for summer...

Who will have that song stuck in their heads now? Hands up?

It's Big Cuckoo's last day of his reception year today and I feel very wobbly about it. I was fine when he started school back in September, I was excited for him. Of course I was nervous, what mother isn't? But  as mum of a little boy with very specific needs because of having a dodgy chromosome, I was especially concerned. Yet on that first day he walked in to the class room, lay down on the mat and kicked his shoes off. He then high fived me instead of a good bye kiss and I knew he was alright. Today I feel emotionally fragile, how will he cope with the big change in routine? How will he settle back in September in year 1 with a new classroom, a new teacher, and real proper learning as opposed to purely play based learning?

He has fared brilliantly, ok so he can't very well count to five but he can write his name quite neatly and he does recognise numbers and letters. But he is confident and well liked, he is kind and well behaved. He has settled in and it's more than we hoped for.

For his teachers leaving gift I made an apple cosy, I expect there are lots of teachers receiving one of these from crafty mums across the country.  Big's teacher is a whipper snapper of only 21 years old so I got her a few other more appropriate gifts too. I just felt it was important to properly thank her for being the best teacher we could have wished for for our boy. The rest of the team were given some cookies and homemade tissue holders. The whole class has chipped in to a kitty and there will be a little presentation later this afternoon but I wanted to add our own special thanks since they have spent a lot of extra time nurturing Big.

So now the chaos of summer starts. I think there are two camps when it comes to the long holidays.  The camp where the Mums are desperate for the holidays, to be able to slow down, to avoid the school run, to actually get away on a holiday away from home. Then there's the camp that is slightly dreading it. I'm afraid to say I am a bit worried about it. 6 weeks of chaos with 3 kids five years and under. Big is very destructive (scroll to the last part of that post for an example), his brother follows his lead, the baby needs attention, the boys need entertaining, there's all the householdy stuff to keep on top of. I find that while I am straightening out a mess the boys have made they are off somewhere else making more mess, emptying cupboards and then filling them with toys and cushions, I run around in circles getting more and more frustrated that I can't get on top of everything. That's there's no let up and not enough time for crafting, blogging... We also have  two* separate weeks away from home so there's all the packing, unpacking and washing to be done. We have house guests coming too which is just lovely but it all adds to the general feeling of losing track...but I shall try to go with the flow and when Mr C comes home to a house that looks like it's been burgled and says "What have you done all day?" I shall take it for what it is,  a request for information about how we have filled the hours since he left for the (neat, tidy, quiet, organised) office, not an exclamation of horror at the state of the place.

"Sorry about the mess!" I shall say "We've been busy making memories"


*Possibly just the one week away for me and Mini as I have totally forgotten to get him a passport. We have an emergency appointment on Tuesday next week in Newport Passport Office. Fingers crossed it arrives in time... What a fool.

Friday 15 July 2011

Imagine the sound of a right royal trumpet fanfare...

Ta ta ta ta ta taaa daaaaaaa....parp! (like at the end of The Muppets opening tune)


I've woven in a blazillion ends.


I've taken a heap of pics and played around with them.


Mini has quality control tested his blanket and gives it the thumbs up.

I'm pretty chuffed with the new stitch I learnt for the border. It's a Puff Stitch, similar to but not to be confused with The Bobble Stitch which is my first love when it comes to decorative stitches.


Here's the middley bit in all it's glory.


And here are some cute feet.


Altogether now "aaaaaaaaahhhhhh baby loveliness, ahhhhhhhhhh crochet loveliness!"
Although I am biased since I made both.


And here is a photo of where the blanket will spend a fair bit of it's life. Being washed. He already threw up on it! Good job it's just Stylecraft acrylic and not some fancy posh yarn. I will positively encourage him to drag this blanket around the garden with him. I envisage him playing in a wigwam with it. Therefore I name this blanket, which I started in March, The Wigwam Blanket. Four months to complete, not bad going for a Mother who is reacting to "stuff" as it comes my way rather that preparing for "stuff". Not bad for a tail chaser and a person of little sleep. Ok so it's not perfect. The edge doesn't lie flat as I added too many stitches at the corners. I don't feel the love for the purple. I do love the ridges where the squares are joined together. But mostly I love it because I thought about my darling boy the whole time I was working on it. My happy memories of his baby days are woven into each and every stitch. I'm adoring his baby days, absolutely adoring them. I can safely say (despite having two gruesome hours with the three boys after school today) these are the happiest days of my life. I love my children. I love my husband, we've been laughing and being silly with each other a lot this evening. It's all good this very moment. If you'd said to me at 530pm that I'd be writing that last sentence I'd have spat "Don't be ridiculous you twerp!!!!!!!" But a glass of amaretto and a skinny cow lolly and all is well in the world. Simple pleasures.

We have the Out Laws 40th wedding anniversary this weekend. I've baked and decorated a cake. I'll show you next week.


Vital Stats:
Stylecraft Special DK in Aster (blue), Magenta, Saffron, Aspen (turquoise) and White. Used about half a ball of Aster, Magenta and Saffron, just over one ball of Aspen and just over 3 balls of white.

The square was sort of copied/made up from a couple I liked so I haven't got an actual pattern. I just chained 4 and ss together then chained 4, then 1 tr 1ch till I had 12 spokes. Next round, I did two trebles between each spoke of the first round. Then 3 tr in each space of the second round. Then I did three trebles in the spaces of the previous round but made it become a square by popping two sets of trebles in where I needed corners. Next round I placed a treble in to each stitch and chain space in the round below except for the corners where  I stitched 2 tr 2 ch 2 tr.  Sorry this isn't a proper pattern/tutorial...but there isn't one. I just crocheted and if it looked right then I carried on. I don't think any of the squares are quite perfect as they all either have a mistake or a variation. Not that you can tell. Thats the beauty of a granny blanket!

edit: tutorial for a very similar granny square here

I joined it all together by double crocheting the squares together in rows vertically first then horizontally. This is quite hard to explain, but I crocheted through the two loops on each of the squares. No that doesn't make sense at all... If you look at Lucy's tutorial and then go through BOTH the loops on each square rather than just one on each granny square then you get a more defined ridge. Place the wrong sides of the squares together so you have the ridges on the right side of the blanket.

It's all a bit vague and wishy washy but I didn't really think anyone would want to copy it!!


Wednesday 13 July 2011

A day in the life...instead of a weekly round up

(since I have too many weeks to round up now!)

I had to chuckle to myself when I went to reply to the comments on my last post. Most of you were no reply bloggers!! At some point when I catch up with myself I'll follow the paper trail back to your blogs to say hello.

I've been fairly whirlwindy of late. The problem with having a busy time is I don't get a chance to blog about it all. This has been something I have been pondering over for quite a long time.  It made me think about how my days pan out, think about what I do during a day. I don't have an exciting life but it is a lovely life and the sort I dreamed of. I always wanted to be a wife and mother. It's not how I thought it would be, of course it isn't! But it is a good life and one I am grateful for.

So here is a day in my life.

I will admit to buying the camera case off ebay specifically for  a day in the life post

It was a Tuesday in mid May, with nothing in the diary, so what does any normal mother of two feral beasts and one bonny baby do? She flings a camera around her neck and sets her phone to buzz every hour and takes a photo of what she is doing at that very moment. I know, bonkers, but I did it and so I will share it.

Sometimes I don't have the energy to start the day with a breakfast battle with my boys. So a banana in front of Dora the Explorer and then some Belvita Breakfast Biscuits in the car en route has to suffice.

blurry, I didn't notice because I had sleepy dust in my eyes

After the inevitable crazy dash to be in the car on time to drive the 4 miles to school, I brace myself for the equally inevitable bun fight through the villages. There is always some argy bargy going on. Honestly, stressed out mothers of primary school kids coupled with narrow lanes and plonkers parking on corners does not a happy marriage make. But to temper this, it is a picturesque journey. 

You can't really see but this is our long, steep hill with the village in the distance.

Back home again and the Next delivery has arrived with summer clothes for the boys so Little and I had a trying on session.

How cool does he look in these kids aviator glasses!

Dealing with the washing. Or was it dealing with me? I dunno, I drown under the stuff. It astonishes me how a family of 5 can create so much washing. I am so thankful that we have a washing machine, that I don't have to hand wash everything or lug it to the laundrette.

Having done a simple jigsaw to death it was high time for a little sit down with my boy, a cuppa tea and a bit of knitting (still learning, still unravelling most of it grrrrrrr)

Lunch is over, baby's been fed and we are in the playroom. A tidy playroom no less!!!! Sometimes I look at this picture to get motivation to tidy up the bloody room AGAIN.

Mini is happy to watch his Mummy and his brother playing tractors...

...correction, I try to play tractors. But in truth I really don't get it. I find it so boring. Pushing a small replica farm vehicle around a nasty nylon mat with a town printed on it. I want a Girls World not a John Deere!! I would know what to do with a doll with long hair.

On the blower to Bee with whom I could chat about nothing for hours. There are very few people I could spend a couple of hours hiding in a mouldy cupboard with. More on that here

Dreadful photo, I look fierce.
I was multi tasking and washing up Mini's bottles while on the phone. One of these days I'll drop the phone in the suds and then there'll be trouble.

On the school run to collect Little Cuckoo's friend from preschool and then collect Big from school. I left early so that Little could have a power nap in the car and I could feed Mini outside preschool.

It really is a gorgeous route through the villages.

I did pull over to take these car journey pics.

Arrive home with the 7 seater wagon almost full to the brim with boys and booster seats and scooters and bogeys.

Kids tea. I should just throw the food directly on the floor and cut out the middle man (boy)

Mini is soon to be weaned. And then he'll start crawling which is great as he can deal with the food on the floor. Two birds with one stone. Kidding!

Having worn themselves out rioting in the garden the chaps chill out in front of yet more Dora. That girl taunts me. She has a "Back pack, back pack" song but I hear "Back fat, back fat" and feel in need of chocolate.

I did more washing while the boys are mesmerised by Dora.

at 6.43pm it was all kicking off with dripping wet sobbing boys...that stank of wee. They'd been playing the sliding game in an empty bath. You can only slide well when it's a little wet. So once all the water was gone and the bath was too dry, Big piddled and they slid about in it. Yeah, I know. DISGUSTING! They smelt like tramps. I was too busy hollering to take a photo and the baby was in need of a feed and the Mister was still at work. Gah! There are periods during the day when it is all very manageable and other moments when each one of them needs you at the very same time. It's so hard to calculate who to tend to first when the smell of ammonia is knocking you out.

All is quiet upstairs and I prepare the supper for myself and Mr C. Diet food. Getting tired of it now but must keep going....

More knitting or should I say frogging. OMG! It's so hard! But I really would like to knit socks so I must continue to knit and frog till its mastered.

Blogging which carries on for a little too long. It's easy to get lost in cyber land isn't !?

So that's that. A normal Tuesday in the nest.

And just in case this post wasn't long enough already here's some more....

The very lovely Sarah from Shabby Chic Sarah has passed an award on to me. 

Again, DeLiGhTeD!! 

So this award requests ten facts from me. TEN!!! Oh lordy! So hard to think of them whilst sitting in front of the laptop. 

1. Sometimes I put on a pinny if I know someone is popping in. I feel properly dressed in a pinny.

2. One of the thing's I love about my husband is that he carries a real handkerchief. I remember thinking he was a true gentleman when he pulled out his hanky for me to borrow when we first met. I'd plunged my chin into his Guinness to make him laugh. "Look at my beard!" I said. I think there's a photo of me with a Guinness head beard somewhere.

3. I am getting fed up with every new drama on TV being one of those police thingies. They make me scared of my shadow and jumpy. After watching Luther last week I am imagining some mad man may jump out and squirt me with a water pistol loaded with acid. Actually I wasn't "watching" it properly, Mr C had it on and I was crocheting. I fear these programmes will give nasty people who have no
imagination ideas. Shudder.

4. Two of my biggest fears are losing my sight (hence point no.3 giving me the willies) and the loss of function in my hands.

5. I'd love to go on a shopping trip for crafty stuff in Morocco and Thailand.

6.  I'm really craving a night out like the ones pre kids where you get ready with your girlfriends, get all dolled up then go out for a meal and then drink cocktails and flirt harmlessly with the bar man followed by some loopy dancing, then a kebab and a stagger home. Trouble is I just can't take the hangover.

7. I love tanzanite, I once read that tanzanite is the colour a sapphire wishes to be and I agree whole heartedly.

8. It amuses me that when Mini does a poo it often goes like this: *Stares intently at me, pushes and grunts, face goes red, big smile, flap arms up and down twice, repeat from * till mission complete. Then we all chant "Poo-ey tiger!" The poor boy will never have normal toilet habits being born into this family.

9. This clip where Elvis starts laughing is a joy. I love it.

10. I worked for a contingent of Westlands Helicopters when I was 22 and fresh out of uni. I'd only been there a month when I got called in to the big boss's office and got a bollocking for being disruptive.  It was because I spent a long time talking to someone who worked at Haynes Motor manuals and I'd cackle an open plan office...filled to the brim with defence system techy nerds called Spock! I've not worked in an office since.

Sarah passed this award on to 4 blogs so I shall do the same.

Join in if you like but don't feel you must!

In other news Mini's blanket is completed but I haven't taken any photo's yet as I have been doing a Ruby Wedding cake for my in laws. I swear there is icing sugar all over my kitchen!


*Have nominated this blog as I think it has the potential to be a flipping fantastic resource once it gets going.