Saturday, 31 October 2009

Apparition Lessons Anyone?

I love Marie! She is absolutely positively one of my favourite people in the whole wide world. But damn those great big hills and world's worst motorway between us!

Yesterday, me and the munchkins tootled off to see Marie, Gracie and the Eggman. Not a bad journey, it's 60 miles and took us about an hour and we were greeted with a cuppa and homemade Hobnobs, couldn't ask for better really. So why on earth did the same journey in reverse take me 3 blooming hours?! And, to top it all, there were no Hobnobs, homemade or otherwise at this end! Just a cold dark house and no tea in the oven as it was too blooming late to get it in the oven!

To say I hate that motorway is an understatement!

However, we had a lovely day so it was worth it. Did I mention the homemade Hobnobs? (Marie's baking is impossible to turn down, it's a scientific fact!). I got to catch up with Marie, pick her brains about knitting and future Christmas scrapping classes, have a nose through her LSNED album and said Xmas journal, flick through her scrapping mags and borrow books. The kids weren't too bad (4 kids in a house is always a risk). Egg and Xander had a competition to see who could completely ignore their mother's instructions to sit on the potty and pee their pants first (Xander won with Egg a close second, makes a mother so proud!); and the girls played fairly nicely (though Emily's volume switch seemed to be broken, yet again!).

And, I got to take super cute munchkin photos like this one:
So, 3 hours sat getting a numb bum was at least counteracted by some good stuff!

So, I'm thinking there's 3 options for this hill/motorway problem:

1 - I get Marie to buy the house opposite me so it's a 3 second journey to see her (hmmm, now would she upsticks and leave the street she's lived in all her life, move jobs and the kids' schools, not to mention leave her lovely mum who lives next door? Er, OK, plan B!)

2 - I start visiting her in the early hours to avoid the carpark the motorway is in daylight hours (hmmm, possible, the kids would be quiet as they'd all be asleep. Not sure either of us would be very good company though and I doubt she'd want to bake me cookies at 2am!).

3 - I get into Hogwarts next term and get me some Apparition lessons (fantasy world? Me? Never!).

Hmmm, it ain't looking promising is it?! Looks like I probably need to start packing comfy cushions and a Sudoku book for future visits!

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Anniversaries Gok Style!

I love Gok Wan! Every Tuesday is Gok night and I always look forward to it. There's just something about that man that every woman loves!

However, there's not a cat in hell's chance that you'd ever get me on that show. Even the thought of massive shopping sprees with the lovely Mr Wan couldn't convince me to strut down a catwalk in my grundies and then whip it all off infront of all the local Saturday shoppers!

However, there is something to be said for celebrating your body, wobbly bits and all, and it gave me an idea. Yesterday was a very special anniversary for me: it was 10 years since my first open heart surgery. I can't believe it's been a whole decade since that day and can't believe all that's happened since (namely 2 mini people shaped things!).

One thing not many people see is my scar. Unlike a lot of heart surgery where they go in through the breastbone (which in turn is then fairly visable) I had what's called a thoracotomy (sp?) where they go in round the side (and I still have the clicking ribs to prove it! Shudder at the thought of rib spreaders!). It's not I hide it, it's just not on display too much. However, all in the spirit of embracing things, I decided to celebrate my scar and post a pic of it. Don't worry, there's no wobbly bottom type things with me sat on a horse lady Godiva style, just a nice simple pic of what makes me who I am.

It's also quite important as Emily has this same scar too from her lung surgery as a toddler. I've always told her how special that scar is and tried to make her proud of it. I think as she gets older and inevitably more body concious, it's important I set an example that scars are nothing to be ashamed about.

Plus, she loves Gok too!

So, deep breath, here is my Gok-style naked photo!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Cropping - Bill-No-Mates Style

I went to my local crop yesterday... I was the only one who turned up! Not sure if I smell but in the end, it was quite nice having a whole craft room meant for 10 people, all to myself! The lovely Kirsty was working so she kept popping in to keep me company, and Jane called in for an hour to do some stamp swapping.

Despite being on my own, I still only managed 2 layouts though. Yesterday was Xander's album day and I scrapped these 2 fab pics of him:

Just love these Abbey Road papers, I think I may need some more for my collection of 'paper to stroke but never use' (I have a lot of paper like that!).
I also had a blast from the past browsing the Sarah Kay stamps they have in. Anyone who's around my age might remember the Sarah Kay sticker albums. I was obsessed with these when I was a very young girl and was always desperate to get my album finished (which alas I never did.). So, I love looking at all the stamps the craft shop have in. Kirsty brought in a Xmas one so I could do some stamping for Xmas cards and I spent a happy 30 minutes stamping away!

In other news, Halloween has come early round here. With it being in half term a lot of schools have brought events forward. On Friday we got dressed up at school (well, I say we, for that read the kids, me and 1 other teacher!) and on Thursday, Emily had her Halloween disco. How cool a witch does my daughter make?!

Right, best be off, birthday party central round here today so need to get ready for an afternoon of bowling alleys and play gyms!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Cheapo Crafting!

If there's one thing I love more than all things crafty, it's all things cheap and crafty! Been a good bit of crafting on the cheap round here lately.

First of all, a candle holder courtesy of our local wood:

Then a 99p tea-towel from Morrisons:

That makes quite a nifty little knitting needle holder:

(Did have destructions from Marie to make a much swankier one but didn't have enough material so went cheap and simple instead!)
Other crafty stuff, here's Elise's Gabriella from High School Musical doll that she requested for her birthday:

With her very own custom-made high-heeled sandals!

May be a bit of a break on the crafty posts on the blog for a while. I'm now working on Ch****** presents so won't be posting them until after the event. Though you never know, a little bargain crafty project may tempt me again very very soon!

Monday, 19 October 2009

How Weekends Should Be

Oooh it's been a lovely weekend, just perfect after a busy week at work!

On Saturday we ventured up to see Ally, Steve and Elise, to help celebrate Elise's 6th birthday. We had a great time! A lovely meal (prepared by our very own Stevie B, who knew!) and a lot of laughing and me and Ally actually managed, for once, not to drink a vineyard dry! Unfortunately I forgot my camera (smiles sweetley at Ally Andbag in the hope she'll email pics!).

Thanks to the Sandbags for a fab day!

On Sunday I decided we all needed to get out for some fresh air. So, we wrapped up (the Autumn chill has definately kicked in this weekend!) and headed off to Oakwell Hall where me and Rob got married all those eons ago. There's a nature trail around the grounds so we went off to find what leaves, pine cones etc we could find.

It looked beautiful with all the different colours and we all had a lovely afternoon and found lots of things to bring home:

Though didn't have a bag big enough for these leaves!

Of course, once we got home it was Harry Potter Sunday, so we settled down to film 4 (and I think my favourite), but I think all the excitement and fresh air was too much for some:

Hope next weekend's just as good!

Saturday, 17 October 2009


Over a week since a blog post? Surely that's unheard of?!

I didn't really realise until I got a worried email from my friend Ann yesterday (well, I got it yesterday, she'd actually sent it days ago, such is my inability to switch the pooter on these days!), asking if I was OK as there's been no blog activity for a few days! Sorry Ann!

So, everything's fine. The kids recovered from the piggy stuff very quickly and are both running around like mad 'uns again!

I started my new job Monday so am actually out of the house during the day, woohoo! (Though I'm missing pingpong email during the day with a certain lady; not allowed to email in class! :P). I'm in a very very 'challenging' school and some of the kids backgrounds would shock you. However, most of the kids are really sweet and I'm enjoying it. I've done a lot of shouting at the not-so-sweet ones but that's all par for the course! The hours are good and I'm home for 4pm so I still get plenty of time with my own kids aswell (who, believe me, seem like little angels in comparison!).

Speaking of my little angels, Emily has been making us very proud this week. A few weeks ago her school had a diving school come in and do some activities with the kids. We have a big diving school here as the Olympians train in one of our pools round here. Anyway, they have a programme to spot future Olympic divers so have been going round schools and picking the top boy and girl from each school to go for a tryout. Guess who they picked? Yup, our Emily!! We have to fill in all these forms (they want to know how tall me and Rob are!) but we've talked to her and she'd like to give it a go! If she got through she'd start training from Olympic coaches! I think there's not many places so quite a small chance but I think the experience of the tryout will be excellent for her!

Xander's just been melting my heart this week. He misses his mummy during the day and as soon as I walk in he runs up and hugs and kisses me. Then he'll go away and spend the next hour just randomly coming up and hugging me going 'Mummy, miss you!'. Could I love that boy any more?!

Been spending my evenings knitting like a good 'un. I've nearly finished Emily's Xmas pressie then am moving on to Xander's. I'm hoping if I get them done I can maybe make some gifts for my niece Evie and my BFF's little girl Elise (who was a great big 6 yesterday! Happy Birthday little mate and I'll see you this afternoon!). I'll see how I go first but am loving knitting at the moment, it's so relaxing!

Right, that's it for now. Emily has horse riding this morning and then we have an afternoon celebrating Elise's birthday. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend and I promise to be a better blogger this week! :)

Friday, 9 October 2009

This Little Big Went Back To School, This Little Piggy Stayed Home!

So, Emily's fit and well and gone back to school today...and Xander came down with the oinking last night! Ain't it always the way?!

Poor Xan seems a lot poorlier with it too (as I think is quite common with under 5's), poor little man. :( We have the tamiflu, which has made him sick as a dog this morning, but needs must. We know all too well in our house about complications such as pneumonia and I'm not taking the risk.

Really bummed as me and Xan get to miss the family reunion tomorrow for the 2nd year running. Luckily though at least Em and Rob get to go so a 50% representation is better than none. Would have been so good to catch up with Rob's family over a few glasses of vino and take advantage of the super-posh hotel, but there's no way I can leave him (mum did offer but I firstly can't leave my boy when he feels like rubbish, and secondly expose more people to the piggy stuff). So, I'll have to go for third time lucky next year!

For now, the little mite is laid on the sofa cuddling Steggy and watching CBeebies. I get the feeling that scene ain't gonna change all day!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The C Word

OK, so we're still not mentioning Ch****** round here, not until at least Dec 1st, but that doesn't mean that Little Miss Organised here can't be prepared.

Certain things are just necessary - like when you need to 'feed' certain puddings for 2 months before they're fit to grace your table! So, on Sunday I set to work on the annual Ch****** pudding. About 10lbs of fruit, 1/2 pint of brandy (and maybe a cheeky bit of sherry I found in the cupboard!), 2 huge mixing bowls and a lot of cramming and voila! A 4 pint pudding!

Then, 10 hours of steaming, which meant a day of brandy/mixed spice smells wafting through the house (mmmmmmmmm....):
And the result is lovely plump, brandy fuelled pud:

It's now safely wrapped up and in the garage, ready for it's first 'feed' in a week or 2.
***WARNING*** Drivers and children - Do not even sniff Lou's Ch****** pudding!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

What A Difference A Year Makes!

I got a text from my SIL last night saying just that and it is so right!

I've been dreading today for the last few weeks now. This time last year was the day I was sat down by my cardiologist and basically told it was curtains. Then, a whole hospital cancelling operations, an operating room full of every expert going and luckily, I woke up that evening all fixed. The anticipation of this date coming round again has filled me with dread but now it's here, I seem OK.

I think yesterday helped. Yesterday was just one of those days filled with good news, news that makes you love and celebrate life! First of all, my friend Gilly finally had her heart operation and I got a text from her hubby last night saying it had gone well and Gilly was doing fine! She's in ICU at the moment but that's just standard procedure and the lovely heart surgeons at the LGI are really pleased with how it all went! Get well soon Gilly!

Secondly, I got a job! I went for an interview back in May but was pipped to the post by someone with more experience. Anyway, another position came up so they rang me. I'll be working with a 5 year old girl with some special needs, giving her the attention and support she needs with her condition.

Also, we got a new baby in the family yesterday. Rob's step cousin Darryl and his wife Penny had a beautiful baby girl. Welcome to the family Daisy!

And then this morning, I finally finished my degree! 2 years of hard work and finally it's done! Just a quick trip to the post office to send it off then I can pack all my books away.

So, rather than mope about what could have been, today I am saying Happy 1st Birthday to that 12 inch piece of tumble dryer tube (or whatever it is they put in there but that's what it looks like to me!). It's given me a great year: birthdays, Christmas, my sister's wedding, Metallica etc which I thought I wouldn't be seeing. I'm going to carry on taking extra special care of it so that I get lots more happy days like yesterday!

Monday, 5 October 2009

This Week I Will Be Mainly...

...looking after this little piggy:
Yup, Emily is the first of our household to succumb to the dreaded swine flu. Doesn't exactly look ill does she?! But she has all the symptoms and is just doing what kids do and getting on with it. She was much worse yesterday, today we seem to have her fever under control and she's downstairs playing, though she won't eat and has a horrible hacking cough. I'm hoping though that she's got away with the mild dose and will be right as rain in a couple of days. She's got all week off school, you have to stay isolated while you're on the tamiflu, but hopefully she'll be fine by the weekend.

I really hope she is (and none of the rest of us catch it) as we have Rob's family reunion on Saturday: posh hotel, lovely meal and me and my SIL Zo staying up till the wee hours putting the world to rights over whatever we can get from behind the bar! Fingers crossed we make it as we couldn't go last year due to illness (but that's tomorrow's blog post!).

Other things this week: I am oh so close to finishing my last assignment. In fact just come online to make the last few edits then just need a bibliography and Rob to read through it, then work out how I get it to the post office when Emily's confined to the house!

This afternoon I have a job interview. It's at a school I had an interview at back in May but I was pipped to the post by someone with more experience. Anyway, another position has come up so they gave me a ring! Fingers crossed!

Just want to send some hugs out as well.

Firstly to my friend Gilly who is having her heart valve replacement op today. Well hopefully she is, they've cancelled it countless times recently. Obviously I know all to well the feelings you get just before an op and what it's like to recover. Gilly, I'm thinking of you all day and will be in asap to stop you terrorising those young doctors! :P

Also a quick hug to my BIL Dave who lost his Gran on Saturday. Hope you're OK big bro. x

Right, assignment time, wish me luck!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Monkee's Mate!

Remember this little fella?

Well he know has a friend!
Unfortunately they don't get to hang out for too long as Monkee 2 is destined for a little boy called Luke's house when he turns 4 in December but for now, they're enjoying discussing all things monkee!
I'd decided to do a couple of fairly adventurous knitting projects for the kids for Ch****** (we ain't mentioning that word yet!) and decided that, as my knitting career is only about 5 weeks old, I should maybe practise again first! So, Monkee 2 it was!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

The Naked Chef!

Jamie Oliver's got nothing on my boy. Every Wednesday when he goes to Grandma's, he loves to 'crack the eggs' and make omelettes. Don't ask me what the egg obsession's all about but it's a firm favourite at the moment so this morning I asked if he'd like to make an omelette - '"oooh yes, get the eggs, crack the eggs, mix the eggs!".

Now, my son has a naked thing too, he will do anything naked and, as he was in that transition between PJs and clothes, it would seem he likes to cook naked too. Oooh, watch that cheese slicer Xan!
Today is the first day back of 'Mummy & Xander' time. As we'd paid for all of September in advance when I started the shortest career on earth, we've been letting him go as he loves it there. However, today's October so Xander's back with me on a Thursday and Friday, hurray! Well, hurray for me, Rob pointed out that Xan would probably be much happier at nursery with all his friends and so decided to dress him appropraitely:

Yeah, cheers for that Rob!