Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Crafty Update

So, been a bit of crafting going on round here lately, though most I haven't been able to post for various reasons! Firstly, I can't post the scraplift LO yet as it's still doing the rounds; it's now gone past Lauren and is sat nice and snug and warm on Marie's craft desk! It'll then be going to Julie and finishing off with Kim, then we can post all the layouts on here!

Anyway, I can now post a couple of things that I've been doing for birthdays, as the recipients are now in possession of them! First of all some cards...
Then a hand beaded bracelet I did for Marie's birthday...

And finally, my latest layout, which is the result of a crop I did with Lauren and her mum last week and is by first double pager for quite a while...

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Glass? What Glass? Dink! Oh That Glass!

What an absolutely fabulous weekend I've had; I couldn't have wished for a better birthday!

On Friday night I went out with Kay to a really nice Thai restaurant; it was delicious! We'd opted to stay fairly local rather than brave a night out in the city, so then we hit a couple of bars where there was some serious people watching to do. It's amazing what you can spot over an couple of glasses of vino, I just wish I'd taken my camera!

Yesterday I went out for a meal with a few friends, namely the lovely Mariek (who had a pass out for the whole night and got to stay over and everything!), Stef and her hubby Tony, and Ally Andbag and Stevie Sandwich. Anyhoo, we all met up here for a drink and I got to open my present from Marie; to say I was pleased with it was an understatement. Marie and I had both agreed to make each other something for our birthdays and I think Marie got me spot on with this one: I got my very own customised Slash Bear...
...complete with nose ring...
I still giggle every time I look at him!

Anyway, after the excitement over the pressie, off we trundled to the local Italian. The drinks were flowing...
...everyone was having a great time...
...though I think something must have disagreed with me, Stef and Tony...

Afterwards it was back to ours for a bit of a Wii tournament; well, playing Wii bowling til 3am! Poor Marie wasn't up to her usual kingpin self as she had to play with an injury. You see, poor old Marie got a bit confused and thought she was at Hogwarts, at least that's why I'm presuming she tried to walk THROUGH the patio door rather than opening it first! Don't worry people, my patio door is still intact! However, we have sent Marie back home with a rather nasty gash across her nose and I'm going to invest in some sort of safety fence for next time she comes round!

Anyway, it was a late one so I think it's now time for bed as we have some serious catching up to do! Thanks to everyone who gave me such a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Thank You!

Just a quick post to say thank you to everyone for all the cards, presents, text messages, emails etc yesterday. I had a really lovely day and was spoilt rotten so thank you all!!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Xander Coulthard & Poppy Schumacher

Last week, Amanda and I took the squids to the park for the afternoon (when we still had sunshine!). Poppy and Xander looked super cool on their trikes and could give any formula 1 driver a run for his money!Afterwards, they had a game of footy......though Xander was worried about being beaten by a girl and so did a runner......Poppy wasn't too bothered though and took the opportunity to nick the ball while he wasn't looking...

All together now..."aaaaaawwwww!!!"

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Shiny Shoes!

One thing that's always plagued me, the size of my blooming feet! They resemble something like this......OK, so maybe not quite as hairy, but huge none-the-less! No idea where they came from, at 5' 4" you don't expect to have size 8 wide fitting feet, but I'm stuck with them none the less. Anyway, buying nice shoes when you've feet like a hobbit feet ain't easy; no Jimmy Choos for me! Emily and I were out shopping yesterday when she spied these bad boys......and begged mummy to buy them. After explaining that mummy doesn't get to buy dainty shoes I gave in and tried them on and voila... they only went and fit! Not only that they were actually quite comfy! I practically ran to the checkout, incase they shrunk or something, and handed over 12 whole English pounds (not only fit but a bargain too!). So, after coming home and staring in awe at the shininess, I decided to wear them out!

Last night, instead of staying in doing a jigsaw and having a sneaky glass of lovliness, I went out for a glass of lovliness! Yes, that's right, I actually went for a night out! As it's my birthday this week, and my friend Susan had her birthday on Friday, we decided to have a girlie meal out with some mutual friends. We had a fantastic time: lots of laughing, beautiful food, a few glasses of vino and to top it all off, the waiter brought us over a free bottle of champagne!
I was going to lie and say I'd been really healthy and ordered fruit salad for dessert, but I was caught shovelling creme brulee into my mush, so thought I'd better come clean!
Anyway, thanks to Susan, Lauren, Jill, Sam, Bridgette and Kirsty for a great evening!!

Friday, 16 May 2008


So, with today's financial climate, things are looking pretty grim for our generation's retirement prospects. So, what to do? Well, make sure your kids earn stacks of cash and look after you in your old age of course!

Emily's firmly on the road to becoming a pop star, with her Hannah Montana obsession and daily concerts for her Barbies in her bedroom. But, what to do with the boy? Hmmm! Well, I was hoping rocket scientist but that one's a bit hard to judge as he can only say 'fish' and 'woof woof' at the moment (oooh, but maybe a vet?!). So, the other route we're going down is Premiership football player! So, for a month now he's been going to Socatots which is basically a football club for toddlers. I think he's got it down quite well actually, he can throw himself on the floor and cry like a big girl anyway, isn't that what £50,000-a-week footie players do?!

Anyway, today he got his soccer kit. It was so cute seeing them all run around in matching kits, looked like a proper little footie team! I especially love the socks with the little podgy knees sticking out at the top!

I've had a very crafty week this week but can't post any of it! I firstly got the scraplift done and will be passing that to Lauren today (Kim's moving house at the moment so has gone to the end of the list). I've also been making my crafting mentor Marie a birthday present; it's something I've never tried before and it looks cool, but I can't post that until she's seen it! Also been making birthday cards galore but again, they're not all given out yet so no posting! I'll do a long crafty post one of these days!!

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Confessions Of A Dicky Ticker

OK, long serious blog post today people, but please bare with me, it's something I need to (literally) get off my chest.

So, yesterday I was at the hospital seeing a cardiac counsellor. Not one of the 'tell me about your mother' types, but one who helps people with heart conditions come to terms with what's happening. So, we were talking about how I'd not told many people about what's been happening over the last few months, won't go into details why but the general outcome was that I needed to tell people. So, at 5am this morning I was thinking of how would be easiest; telling the same story a hundred times over is just going to wear me down, so I'm going to write it all down here, then everyone knows everything all at once! So here goes:

As many of you know, I had open heart surgery back in 1999 to correct a problem with my aorta. The surgery was a success and I thought that I would carry on as normal then with a few exceptions (ie, no bungee jumping, white water rafting etc). The thing about what I've got is, it was never easily detected before, so most people didn't get into adulthood. I'm now part of the first generation that has been operated on and is living as a normal adult but, as a result, I'm a bit of a guinea pig and they don't always know what will happen.

Which leads us to what happened a few months ago. I saw my cardiologist back in February and a couple of other problems were highlighted. Firstly, even though the repair on my heart was good, it was diagnosed very late (I was 23) and so my heart's had a lot of strain over all those years. Sunsequently, there is some sign that the blood vessel near the repair has stretched slightly due to the stress on it. Secondly, they have found that one of the valves in my heart is leaking; what that means is that as the blood pumps through the valve, a little bit flows backwards instead of all passing through. At the moment this is very trivial and so is fine, but could progress over the years and so may need attention in years to come.

Anyway, yesterday, whilst at the hospital I talked to one of the cardiac nurses and later my cardiologist called me for a chat. The basic outcome is that yes, these problems are there but they're fine at the moment. I'll need to have regular tests (including the dreaded MRI) to see if they do get any worse, but if it does it's treatable. They're referring me to a physiotherapist to discuss exercise and to make sure I'm doing nothing anything to put a strain but, for now it's carry on regardless and I'm not going to keel over anytime soon!

I needed people to know; I also needed people to know that I'm OK. It's business as usual: I'm still carrying on with the teaching career, bringing up the munchkins and I will still be able to down my own body weight in red wine when required! I don't want sympathy, please don't give me sympathy! I'm a fine healthy woman who just has to watch certain stuff but I don't need kidd glove treatment, I just need people to understand.

Thank you for listening, I feel so much better!

Monday, 12 May 2008

Lounging By The Pool

Being the posh folk we are, we have a pool in the back garden. OK, it's of the paddling variety rather than swimming, but it's worth every penny of the fiver it cost when the weather's like this! I think the pictures speak for themselves, Emily and Xander thought it was fantastic (though not sure my neighbours thought the screeches of delight were too fantastic!).Emily thought it would be a good idea to make it like a proper pool so put her and Xander's chairs round the edge so they could do a bit of sunbathing between lengths...

And Rob thought that hosing the kids down would be a great idea too, and both Emily and Xander seemed to agree..

Going to chuck them in again tonight before tea, while we still have the weather!

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Cyber Crops, Honey Combs, Sun Baking & New Friends

I've had such a busy weekend but it's been so good!

I started on Friday evening by having an impromtu cyber crop with my scrapping buddy Marie. A cyber crop is where you scrapbook whilst talking online so we were discussing what we were doing on MSN. Anyway, I scrapped this picture of Emily from 4 years ago. I got a book about graphically scrapbooking from the library and, being an ex-graphic designer I thought I'd try some!
Yesterday I went to a GUCH patient day. GUCH is the charity I belonged to (it stands for Grown-Ups with Congenital Heart Disease) but I've only talked to people online before. It was so lovely to meet other people and talk to them; it turned out that most of us had the same problems, concerns etc so it was very comforting. I made 2 really good new friends yesterday too; Wendy and Gilly have the same condition as me so I was really interested in them anyway, but when we met we all got on like a house on fire! We went for a coffee after the meeting and sat there for hours discussing our conditions but also everything else in life! I think I've got a couple of friends for life there!
When I got home, the kids had had a great day in the garden:
Also, Emily found the beginnings of a beehive in her playhouse. It was only small but ever so perfectly formed (a bit like her!!):
Right, better be off: we're about to light the BBQ, I have my assignment to do and Rach has just sent me the scraplift so I need to get cracking (stand by Kim!)

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Renovation, That's What You Need

This is in my 'Been Meaning To Do For Ages' pile, but I've finally got it done.

My paternal Grandad died when I was 3, and while he was ill he made me this:
Over the years it's become a bit battered and bruised and covered in paint as it seemed to double as my parent's step ladder when they were decorating! But, I always wanted to do something with it as it was special to me. So, the other day, I set about cleaning it up, with the intention of varnishing the wood, painting the wicker seat a nice pale colour, and making a cushion to match this for Xander's bedroom. However, there are 2 layers of wicker, and inbetween has seen better days and had 30 years of dust inside, which wasn't going to come out but also wouldn't have worked very well with paint! So, plan B! I sanded down the wood, varnished it, then made a quilted seat cushion that covered all the wicker...Ta-da!!!
Xander was very pleased with his new seat and didn't budge from it all morning!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Don't You Just Hate It When...

So, with last week being a tad lurgy filled, I decided to relax with a nice jigsaw (OK, not the most rock n roll thing I've ever done, but it soothes me so there!). I really enjoyed doing this and was delighted when I got to this......and then spotted this...Grrrrrrr!!! OK, it was only 85p from the charity shop but still, after about 20 hours it was extremely frustrating!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Big Boy Bed!

Ok, hankies at the ready people because....my baby's in a big boy bed! Today we packed up the trusty cot for the very last time as we gave Xander his very own grown up divan; sniff.

We've been toying with the idea for a while but weren't sure how he'd do. Anyway, yesterday we were at Rob's mum's 60th party, so obviously didn't want to leave too early, so tried Xander in MIL's bed, and he did fine. So we thought we'd give it a go this weekend. What time in the morning he'll realise that he can actually get out of bed on his own now remains to be seen (and quite frankly, who cares, it's Rob's turn to get up with the munchkins!), but so far so good, he seems to like it!
As I said, yesterday was MIL's big birthday party and it was a fantastic day. The forecast was horrible but somehow we all ended up basking in sunshine! I was on driving duty, so did have to watch Rob get slowly inebriated on Speckled Hen, but that did have it's amusing moments! Anyway, it was lovely to catch up with all the family and we all had a great time.

Of course, we can't have a big birthday without the trusty craft box coming out! Here's the card I made her...
And I made her an exploding box, after seeing the wonderful ones that Rach had done a few months ago. I got Grandad in on the conspiracy and he supplied lots of pictures of the family and so on, right back to when MIL was a little girl. She seemed to really like it!

Will leave you with a video of Xander's nighttime ritual in Nanna's bed, which consisted of a Harry And His Bucketful Of Dinosaurs book and Xander making the noises of the dinosaurs!

Thursday, 1 May 2008

The House Of Lurgy!

Don't know what it is about our household but every germ known to man seems to have taken up residence! First of all there was Xander's chicken pox; then my costa-doodah; then Xander had cold; cold was promptly passed on to me; and now Emily's at home as she's been throwing up all night! When most other families are ill together it's normally with the same thing, but that's 4 illnesses between the 3 of us; we always have to be awkward!

Poor Em's never ill, the last time she was sick she was a baby and I've had to look up school's number this morning as never had to ring in sick for her before! Hopefully it's just a 24 hour bug and she'll be fine for the weekend as it's Nanna's big party on Saturday and she's so excited! At the moment she's laid on the sofa watching Cinderella which seems to be making her feel better!

In the meantime, I'm trying to get my uni work squeezed in between wiping Xander's nose, mopping Emily's brow and taking the mountain of painkillers I'm on at the moment! Ain't life fun?!