Thursday, 26 July 2007

Missing Crazy!

My little girl's gone on holiday and I'm missing her! She's driven me crazy all week and now she's gone I'm missing the temper tantrums and the whining (well. almost!) She's back on Saturday night and she rang tonight and is having a great time with Grandma and Grandad. I also had quite a peaceful day today with just Xander to deal with and got loads done, but doesn't stop me missing the crazy girl!

Been an OK week actually, to say it's the school holidays. Been to the park and Tropical World and Emily even did my exercise dvd with me (though she did give up after the warm up!). Today me and Xander went to the library as I needed a new book to read (Harry was finished by Monday night!). I also got a patchwork quilt book as I'm making my first ever one for Xander, and 2 books on French so I can try and keep up with my multilingual daughter!

I started sewing the quilt tonight and it's looking OK. Hoping to get some more done tomorrow and then take Xander swimming as I've not taken him for a while. He loves swimming, definately going to be a water baby like his big sister!

Toodles for now!

Friday, 20 July 2007

Harry Potter & James Bond!

So it's 10.15pm on a Friday night and i'm blogging to kill time. Why? Well, I'm one of the sad muppets that will be putting her coat on at 11.45 and trotting off to Asda to buy Harry Potter the second it's released! I wasn't going to go but I'm so worried that I'll hear the ending on tv so I need to get it read asap!! So, tomorrow morning, Rob's getting up with Xander and going to pick Emily up so I can have a good few hours with Harry!!

Had a nice day today. Been over to Ali's as it's Jacob's 1st birthday next week so I had pressies to deliver. My old mukka Al treated me to lunch at the pub next door, then we went back to hers to test yesterday's muffins! Here's a couple of pics of Xan and Jacob, including one with Ali on cause she's a babe!

Quite a freaky thing she said. As I walked in she looked at Xander and said 'Blimey, it's Daniel Craig!'. The strange thing is, it's not the first time anyone's said that! Have I really produced the next 007?! What do you think?

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Muffin Madness!

So far this week, I've made a total of 48 muffins!! It started out as having some over ripe bananas and the only banana recipe I know is Banana & Choc Muffins. Then I decided that I needed to make a tonne of muffins and cupcakes for Xander's birthday, so decided to try some recipes from the cupcake queen herself, Marie!

So, as Emily finishes reception class tomorrow and I suddenly realised that you needed to give presents to the teachers, off I trotted to Morrisons to spend a fortune on baking stuff. May aswell practise on her old teachers, if they go wrong I'll never see them again! LOL!

Anyway, today's muffins were Raspberry & Vanilla and M&M cupcakes. Yum! I've tried one of the raspberry ones (not as good as Marie's but I'm still learning!) and Rob and Emily have both given me the thumbs up for the M&M ones! So, next on the list? Carrot, Orange and Cinnamon. Anyone drooling yet?!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Titter Ye Not!

So, my boy turned 10 months old today so I've been reflecting on how much he's changed recently. The second tooth came through a couple of days ago, he stood on his own for the first time yesterday, and he has an obsession with the apples in the fruit bowl! The most noticable thing though is how vocal he's becoming! No actual words yet but he does a very good Frankie Howard impression several times a day! Titter ye not!! A career in Carry On Films? Er, let's hope not! But for now, it's very amusing!!

Anyway, aswell as a picture of good old Frankie, here's his 10 month pic! (Xander's, not Frankie's!)

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Oooh, I'm All Cultured!!

Well, the last time I posted about going to a gig was to see the lovely Slash where I was rocking out at the front in a big sweaty mosh pit!! Well, I'm nothing if I'm not diverse, last night I went to the opera!!

They do a huge free 'Opera In The Park' up here every year and I've never been. My friend Kay got me a ticket and so off we trotted with her friends Heather and Jane, champagne and smoked salmon in hand, for an evening of culture. Heather brought along a fold up table and we sat in the park (along with 70,000 others), drinking, eating and listening to the Leeds Philharmonic (sp?) Orchestra and a few opera stars. It was actually lovely and hearing some of the old classics (Nessum Dorma (yet again, sp?!) was really beautiful. I really enjoyed it! It was a bit of a trek home, ages waiting in the cue for the bus then negotiating all the Saturday night drunks in the taxi queue, but I'd definately go again.

It was nice getting to know Heather and Jane a bit better too as I've only met them a couple of times. I had a good chat with Jane as she's a head mistress so she was giving me plenty of advise! Anyway, here's a couple of pics. First is me, Heather and Jane enjoying some champers, the next is Kay and Heather with their chocolate dipped strawberries! Yum!!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

But Gillard, You Don't Have A Dog To Eat Your Homework!!

Well, it's now official. As of October I'm going to be a student again! I've spent most of this week filling out forms, applying for grants, trying to arrange childcare, and all the other lovely things that go along with becoming a 'mature' student.
As I got full cradit for my HND, I only have to do year 3 of the degree, which I'm starting next February with 'English grammar in context' (Hey, you may even get posts that make sense after that!). But, I'm going to do a basic short course before then, just to get me back into studyiong again (well, it has been 13 years!). So, I've officially applied for 'Writing Essays' just to get me back into it all.

The degree course is more complicated as I have to apply for grants etc first. I don't get much, not even to cover the course fees, but at least I get something. I got all excited about getting a student loan to see me through the next couple of years but have just found out they don't give them to part time students! Hmmmppphhh!!! But, there has been that announcement this week about upping student grants next year and once i start the teacher training, they basically throw money at you!!

So, how do I fit this all in? Well, I need 16 hours a week, so, with Emily being at school that's OK. Then, on a Saturday Rob's going to take out the kids to give me peace and quiet to study, and mum and dad have offered to have Xander one day a week, so I'll have a good few hours between school runs there. We're also considering putting him in nursery one day a week. Obviously I need the time to study, but we also think he's coming to the age where he could do with interacting with kids of his own age, so that should be good!

So, prepare for me with head in books, dressing even worse than I do now, and falling out of student bars after spending all evening at '50p A Pint ' night!!!

Monday, 9 July 2007

Happy Birthday Sis!!

A quick message to say Happy Birthday to my sis-in-law and fellow 'get down to the front row of the gig'-er, Zo!! Hope you've had a fab day and enjoy your holiday, and just for you, here's a bit of Dave to brighten up your day!!

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Brushstrokes & Foos!!

So, the Changing Room bug has definately hit in the Gillard household! Emily was very put out that she had to go to school on Friday instead of helping me with the decorating. So, I promised her that she could help paint the next room on the list, which is the downstairs loo (Rob hates the colour in there!). Well, silly me, Emily's not a lady that likes to be kept waiting so, as soon as she got back from Grandma's yesterday morning it was "Can we paint the bathroom now?". Hmmm, should have put a timescale on that promise! Anyway, we managed to put her off till today but eventually we relented and this afternoon she got in there with a roller! Actually not a bad job for a 5 year old, though obviously we had to go round after her!

We've had quite a nice weekend all in all. Emily and I had a girly afternoon in town yesterday and last night we let her stay up to see Foo Fighters on Live Earth. As you can see from the video clip, she just loves the Foos!!

Friday, 6 July 2007

Top Of The Class!

We got Emily's school report today, and it was brilliant! She's come such a long way in under a year and we're so proud of her. Her teachers had some lovely comments and she's developing so well in every area. The report's too extensive to write it all down, but the teachers' personal comment was this, which I thought was lovely!

"Emily has been a pleasure to teach and we will miss her bubbly personality next year. She has made good progress due to her determination and hard work. Keep trying and smiling Emily!"

Can't believe that our baby is moving up a school year already. She'll be packing her bags for uni next!!

Well, the decorating is still going on! Spent all day getting 2 coats on, which I presumed would be enough, but there's still those annoying little 'shadows' in certain light, so Rob is up a ladder as we speak putting on a 3rd coat! Good job I bought a giant tub of paint!

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Climb Every Mountain!

Severe lack of blogging this week! Not being lazy, just had a very dull life for the past few days!

Anyway, here is Xander's latest trick, he's started to move vertically! He did it the other day but it's taken me a while to get a pic to post as everytime he hears the camera being switched on, he stops what he's doing to smile! But, I sneaked up this morning as he went for a nosey out the front window! So, everything that was moved from Xander level to the windowsill is now being moved to higher ground!

We also went swimming today. So sick of being stuck in with this weather that I decided to take him out and so the local pool it was (because I've not got wet enough this week!!). Anyway, as usual he loved it and then got really excited when they got those floaty foam things out, think we have a future surfer on our hands (or mountaineer!)!

On Tuesday, Emily went for a hot date to the pictures with Cameron to see Shrek 3. Of course, they were chaperoned by myself and Cam's mum and dad (we didn't want to see the film, honest!). Anyway, Cameron spent the film with his arm round Emily's shoulder and they laughed most of the way through the film. Young love eh?

So, I've decided that I'm fed up of looking at these 4 walls so I've decided to change them! Been wanting to get rid of this colour in our living room since the day we painted it so I've been to B&Q, bought some paint, and Emily has been helping take down all the pictures etc this afternoon. The plan is that I'm going to do it tomorrow as Xander's out with Grandma in the afternoon.

Anyway, better toodle, have furniture to move for my big Changing Rooms moment tomorrow!

Sunday, 1 July 2007

What A Humbling Day

Well, we've had such a lovely day today. We went over to Lincolnshire to meet up with Rob's Grandad, Mum, cousin Kim and her partner Richard. They're all up here for Grandad's RAF meetup and today was a memorial to all the squadron members. We've been down there before and it never fails to blow me away. They hold it at the old airfield that was used in the war. Grandad flew Lancaster bombers and was based with the Dam busters, so there is a huge museum there now, including an original Lancaster plane.

They had a fly past by a spitfire which was brilliant and there was supposed to be a Lancaster flypast but the weather was too bad for it to takeoff. However, they got the Lancaster there out of the hanger and started the engines so they could taxi it up the runway a little bit and it was so amazing to see. It was actually a little emotional too.

Afterwards we went into the hanger where they have thousands of artefacts, from bits of engine parts to flight records, life jackets and an actual cockpit that you could sit in. I was in there about 2 minutes then had to come out, it was so tiny, I've no idea how they spent hours in there on bombing raids. I also always go and look at the diaries of that some of the men wrote, it's just so humbling to read what they went through, you just can't even imagine.

The kids loved it! Xander was fascinated with the planes and Emily seemed to really take on board what war was and what everyone had to do.

Here's a couple of pics. the first is Xander and I infront of the Lancaster. The second is Grandad infront of the plane he used to pilot. We were just so proud of him and everything he did. Here's some links to video of the spitfire flyby and the Lancaster!