Friday, 31 July 2009

Do I Need A DNA Test?!

There's never been any denying my kids' parenatge, all I ever hear is 'oh, don't they look like Rob'. Grrrr, yeah 'cause he did all the work!

However, there now seems to be some suspicion that about 3 1/2 years ago I went chasing round after boy bands! I thought I'd kept this quiet until those pesky tabloids got involved.

Here's Xander on holiday with us:

And here he being papped on holiday with his alleged real dad, Mark Owen from Take That:
Wonder if I can get him to come and take over for the school holidays, maybe he can do the potty training!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Jelly Belly!

There are some things you just get stuck with in life, mine is my belly! In my early twenties I would spend hours in the gym trying to get a nice flat washboard stomach, but even when I was down to a size 8, it still looked like blamange!

So, 15 years, 4 dress sizes and 2 kids later it ain't going to happen now is it?!

So, to embrace it! I'm very limited what exercise I can do these days; scaffolding holding up your main artery and scarred lungs sort of rule out marathons (yeah, coz I'd have done one before!). I tend to stick to walking and my Wii Fit but with lots of my friends joining gyms and taking up running (you know who you are!) I felt a little left out that I didn't have a 'thing'. Until the lovely Uma came into my life that is!

Uma's my scrapbooking crop buddy and she's in to lots of alternative exercises. She put up on our crop thread a couple of weeks ago that she was going to a local belly dancing class, if anyone would like to join her? Oooh me thinks, I quite fancy that! Anyway, our schedules didn't match up then but last night I headed into the city and met up with her and did my first ever class! It was fab!

Wanna see a picture:

Hmm yes, well that does sum up my elegance a bit but I gave it a good go and the instructor said I did well for a first timer and do you know what? I'm going to go again!
So yay for embracing your wobbly bits! Finally I've found something that is more atuned to us jelly belly girls!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Thanks Nana!

I wish I could just ring her and tell her this, but unfortunately we lost Rob's Nana 5 years ago so this is the next best thing.

Shock, horror, I am actually enjoying doing an assignment; and it's a biggie aswell! The reason is the lady above.
Rob's Nana was an accomplished poet and, as my major assignment was to analyse a piece of literary text, I chose to do one of her poems. Now, Nana didn't pull any punches in her poems, she told it like it was (which was one of the reasons why we all loved her!) but that is absolute gold from an analysis point of view. Would be so easy to find reasons why 'I wandered lonely as a cloud' etc etc was creative, it's easy to be creative when talking about flowery natury stuff. But try dressing up war to sound creative, not easy but she managed it.
I think that's why I'm enjoying doing it, there's so much in there but I also love analysing it and getting into her mind. So thank you Nana; even after 5 years you still continue to inspire me!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Some Grown Up Time

I love my munchkins, they are undisputably the joy of my life. But god they're hard work! Em's been at home all week along with Xander on Thursday and Friday and the weather was rubbish. Plus on Monday to Wednesday I had to work (big assignment time) so I think poor Em went a bit stir crazy!

So, on Saturday I was so happy that I'd arranged to go to the Paper Dolls crop. 6 hours of uninterrupted scrapping (well, it's interrupted only by coffee runs, girly chats and popping out to the shop to buy crafty 'essentials'!). After a week of kid stuff it was bliss! There were only 4 of us there so we got to spread out too (which is always a good thing with my crafting style!).

Anyway, I got 3 layouts done; had aimed for 5 but we had too much to gossip about! I did another for Gemma and Dave's wedding scrapbook but won't upload it here as I'm going to show the complete album once it's done. However, got 2 done for my Antigua album. I just love the colours on this first one, and love that we all got a picture together:

And this is one of my favourite pics from the holiday - Xander on one of our early morning walks along the beach:

After the crop, we then went to Opera In The Park with Kay and Gary. Although I'm a rock chick through and through, there's something about sat in a huge park, sun on your face, drinking champagne and listening to the Halle Orchestra - very sophisticated!
But, back to it this morning. The assignment deadline is looming and I have work to do! Luckily my lovely cousin Jess has taken Emily to the seaside for a couple of days, so hopefully I'll get a bit more done!

Friday, 24 July 2009

You Know Who Deserves A Medal?

Childminders that's who! How on earth they cope with more than one little person, never mind 5 or 6, running round all day is beyond me!

After 1 week of the school holidays, the kids were going stir crazy, so today I decided to have an activity day. We started off after breakfast by making monster finger puppets. Xander and glue was a risky combination but he did OK:

And the puppets turned out great:

After clearing up all the little bits that were left over (with absolutely zero help from the people that had thrown the bits all round the living room) it was off to the park. Park was fine, apart from lifting a 2 1/2 stone toddler in and out and in and out of the swings.
After a quick trip to Asda (not a good idea in the holidays!) and some lunch (bliss, 10 minutes of peace while their mouths were full!) we did some baking. Aprons on and cooking utensils out:
and lots of mixing:

and a few 'oohs' and 'aaahs' as the cakes started to rise:

There was a bit of impatience while the cakes cooled before icing, so out came the paint (can't believe I did that after telling Mariek the other day she was crackers for allowing kids and paints to mix in her house!). However, the paint was a big hit as the kids painted birthday cards for their friends in the States:

They were then hung up to dry:

While I got out the cream cleaner and scrubbed the paint off various surfaces (fortunately I'd covered our new table and chairs!)
Then, off to ice the buns:
And voila, lovely little mini cakes:

After all that, the kids were plonked infront of the TV for a bit of Toy Story:

Has the peace lasted? Ha, what do you think? Emily is currently sat on the naughty step and Xander has tipped a potty full of wee all over the carpet!
I tell you, how childminders do this day in day out is beyond me! They want knighting the lot of them!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

The Lightweight and the Gatecrasher

So, yesterday was Emily and mine's girly sleepover day. So, at 3pm I was frogmarched upstairs to get my PJs on and have my hair done in pigtails by Em:

Then it was downstairs for a spot of scrapbooking:
Then we had our tea and, once the boys were home, we went upstairs armed with dvds and popcorn. So, by 6.10 I was tucked up in bed with my fave girl and 3 hours of Prince Caspian 6.30 I was asleep! Poor Em, she kept trying to wake me up but couldn't do until 9pm. I felt that guilty I let her throw a load of nail varnish at my nails (oh, that was a manicure was it?!). And by 10...back in the land of nod again! I'm such a lightweight!
But hang on, what's this? I thought it was a GIRLY sleepover? Rob came in this morning to find this: We had a gatecrasher! And why is it the littlest one always has the largest share of the bed?!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

No Boys Allowed!

As it's the school holidays, Em and I have decided we're going to have a girly sleepover tonight. Em's at home today and I do need to do some work, but I promised her I would finish at 3 and we could start our girly then. So, Miss Emily decided to make a timetable and put it on the wall opposite the back door, just so the boys are in absolutely no doubt when they get home that this is a GIRLY day!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Something to Wake You Up on a Sunday Morning!

I've always been a little scared of the orange papers that seemed to make there way into my paper stash. However, with a place like the Caribbean to scrap, I thought I'd make use of those bright tropical colours and do you know what? Not as scary as I thought! So, here's the first too pages from the Antigua scrapbook (you may need sunglasses this early in the morning!):

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Potty Training...Xander Style!

It's less than 6 short months until Xander will start nursery class up at school (sniff!). However, they can only go if they're potty trained which is a problem as all our previous attempts to get the boy to do anything on the potty other than watch tv has somewhat failed.

However, we had a success last week when we (surprisingly easily) got rid of the dummy (or 'mimi' as Xander would say on a constant loop!), so we thought we'd roll with it and give potty training another go over the summer holidays. So yesterday we were at home for most of the day (due to the blooming monsson we seemed to have!) so gave it a go. I let him choose his pants (Bob The Builder coming out on top!) and off we went. But, my son being my son had to do it his own way, so in tribute to the downpour outside, he spent most of the day like this:

(why do kids ALWAYS put they're shoes on the wrong feet?). Eeeh, I was amused! So, did we have success? Oh yes - 8 wees on his potty which Xander was very proud of, even to the point of carrying his potty full of wee all the way upstairs to show me! Luckily, we've stocked up on carpet shampoo!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Good Life!

You can always tell when I'm on a part of my course I don't like; the blog posts increase! I keep having coffee breaks so I can split up the analysis of Romeo & Juliet (zzzzzzzz....).

Anyway, my husband has decided to go all Tom and Barbara Good on us and start to produce our own veg. He created a veg patch 2 months ago....and there's still actually nothing planted in it! Apparently he has a plan! However, my dad gave us a tomato plant just before we went away and it's come along lovely! On Sunday we had our first harvest of tomatoes and they were gorgeous! Couldn't believe how much better they tasted than the ones you buy in Asda (with the credit crunch, we've had to go back to full on chemical, growth hormone packed ones rather than organic!).

Obviously I say 'we' in the loosest term. I'm not even allowed to glance at the plants as I seem to have an uncanny knack of killing them without even touching them! However, soon I will be donning wellies, hand knitted jumpers and making my own dandelion wine. Just need to work out which of my friends will play the Margo Leadbetter part (could it be you? Do you have a kaftan?!)

Right, back to Juliet, apparently she can't find Romeo!


OK, so it wasn't Romeo & Juliet, it was Macbeth! Never going to pass am I? 'Do you want fries with that?!'

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

The Simple Things...

Long time since I've done a list. My life is hectic at the moment but sometimes it's worth reflecting on the little things that make life worthwhile. here's a little list of the small things that keep me sane:

1. Watching Xander sleeping. I go in every night and marvel at how blooming perfect he is! I do go into Emily too but a) she's in a cabin bed and can't see her too well without throwing a hip out, and b) she always sleeps with bum facing the door - trying to tell us something Em?!

2 - On the bed theme, I love going to bed and reading my book - it's the best part of my day!

3 - Costa Coffee. Even though I've given up on the cappuccinos with maple syrup (for now!), I still love a good strong Americano in a mug with 2 handles!

4 - Girl sleepovers with Em. The holidays are upon us so time for me and Em to have a girly sleepover, even though she's making me watch Princess Protection Programme!

5 - Playdates. OK, the summer holidays are a PITA, but the kids having playdates means I get to catch up with all my buddies too!

Right, back to another simple pleasure: scrapbooking! Haven't done any in ages so am determined to complete a layout tonight. Watch this space....

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Softer Side Of Rock

First thing's first, a great big Happy Birthday to this lady:

My fellow rock chick and fave sister-in-law is celebrating her **cough**th birthday today...Happy Birthday L'il Sis!

So, what to buy her...hmmm....

Brainwave! Last year, my fave present was this from the fabulous Marie. So I gets to thinking: as obssessed as I was with the curly haired top hated one, my SIL had a bit of a thing for the rather temperamental lead singer. Ta-da! So, off to the sewing box and after a few hours of chuckling to myself, I came up with this:

It's Axl!! Complete with tattoos (one of which is his long-time love, my SIL!):

I was so sad to send him, but there was just time for a quick band photo before he was parcelled up:

Eeeh, I do amuse myself sometimes!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Finally...An Equation With an Answer I Like!

Like I've not told anyone yet but... I've got a job! Very strange how it came about, here's the story:

I had actually given up looking for anything temporary for next year, I'd also decided to go for a secondary school teacher training course as the competition for primary places is ridiculous. I was going to get my application done on Sunday night and was just about to text the teacher I currently work with, Anouska, to ask if she'd mind writing me a reference when... my phone's Anouska! Doo doo doo doo!

She says she's sending me a copy of the reference she's just written for my interview tomorrow. I text back 'er, what interview?'. So she rings and she's had a letter asking for a reference for a job interview I have on Monday, first I knew! So, Monday morning comes and I ring the contact at the school early at 7.50 to say I haven't recieved the letter but I am available, could she just tell me what time my interview is...



Do you know what my bloggy pals? I made it! With 2 minutes to spare (but rather dishevelled hair!)!

Anyway, it was a full morning sat with 9 other applicants in the staff room while we got called in one-by-one to first of all teach for 20 minutes, then an interview. When I got into the interview they informed me I wasn't being interviewed for a teaching assistant post but for a Maths Mentor that also has to teach! Er, but my degree's in English and graphic Design. Well, can you add up? Well, I got a B at GCSE in Maths.

Anyway, I only get a phonecall at 2.55 to say I got it! Could have knocked me down with a feather! So, as of September I'll be partly responsible for 1060 teenagers' Maths skills, god help them!