Monday, 21 December 2009

Winter Season Swap

Here are the beautiful gifts we received from Aisling; a little snowman, a fabric tree and a lovely sparkly pine cone which went straight onto the tree.
I sent Leikima a snowdrop baby, a couple of bath melts and a lavender dolly (not very seasonal but I thought a blast of summer might not go amiss).

Friday, 18 December 2009


Yesterday Noah and I went to Birmingham Children's Hospital for an appointment with the consultant who operated on his tummy when he was tiny. It was just Noah and I. It did look for a while as though Eve and Thom would be coming too - not unmanageable but a lot more work and effort for all of us. It was a real 'luxury' to be able to just take Noah. We had a lovely train ride (with extra points for actually catching it - 7.57am, car problems and a sick-in-the-night-time mummy - phew). Noah was on top form on the train down - he was so excited about it all - loving the dragon painting on the waiting area wall and a big "Wow!!" as the train drew into the station. He was still governed by his appetite though and started eating his lunchtime sandwiches as soon as we sat down.... When we stopped at the next station quite a lot of people got on. He greeted the man who sat down opposite us with a cheery "Hello, Man!" and a kind of sandwich-salute, and then when I asked him where he thought all the other people were going, assured me they were, "Going camping." Of course...... (maybe because of all the luggage??)
I'd forgotten to pack ANY toys or amusements of any kind so we improvised with a pen and the back of the appointment letter - and Noah telling me what animals to draw and how useless I am at drawing - "Not cow, Mummy, bear!", "Not cow, Mummy, hippo!" - my third attempt was grudgingly accepted as a reasonable approximation of a cow.... Thank goodness....
He loved giving the train ticket to the guard at New Street Station.
I was a bit concerned in the lead up to this appointment. Noah only sees this surgeon once a year, but last time we saw him he talked about giving Noah a general anaesthetic and endoscopy to check things were ok in about a year's time (ie now) - and this is perfectly reasonable in theory - but in practise I don't really want Noah to have a GA unless necessary because they do seem to rather knock him about. We waited in Main Outpatients for a while, then were interviewed / examined by two final year medical students just before we saw Noah's consultant. One of them took a detailed history, and asked me about my pregnancy with Noah, and the first few days and weeks after his birth, as well as how he's been doing over the past year. It was good (bordering on amazing, if I'm honest) to think about how far he's come in the last two and a half years.
Noah's consultant was very happy with him. Noah was very happy to show off his tummy - he jumped up on the couch and then, just after being examined, sprang up to his feet with a big beaming smile and proclaimed "I better now!" Brilliant!
So he was discharged - wow! And I am very chuffed - and a bit emotional - about it.
As an immediate reaction, I am obviously pleased that he won't be having anothe GA and endoscopy, but on a deeper level, the early operation (as opposed to the cleft repairs which I'd been preparing for from his 20-wk scan onwards) had such a defining effect on our relationship, and this discharge comes as some kind of closure to that, so it has made me quite reflective over the past day or so. And my conclusion is very simple - that I am so amazingly grateful for my fantastic, resilient, energetic (yes, exhausting), funny children.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Book Sharing Monday

It's my first one of these....
This is a LOVELY book - we got it in France on our summer holiday, so it has lovely memories attached to it, and it is one of the only (put it this way I can't think of a single other example) books bought for Thom. By anyone. My French is just about good enough to manage a baby book - and I'm very chuffed to've found a baby book which endorses co-sleeping!

Noah ripped one of the flaps within hours of us taking it home to our tent, so it kind of tells that story too - he loves it as much as Thom - there's definitely a strong appeal in the fire-breathing abilities of the little dinosaur for both the boys. Eve's favourite bit is the hide-and-seek. And mine is the sleeping in mummy's arms bit. Obviously.

Friday, 4 December 2009


We've had lots of fun over the past couple of weeks (as well as being a terrible mum!)including a spot of Christmas dressing up and making salt dough decorations for the christmas tree (no photo of that as we were too busy actually doing it); blowing bubbles and discovering dad's guitar.
I love it that Thom's discovering the 'kitchen'. It really is one of our best toys - all 3 love cooking, making cakes and picnics, and will bring me cups of tea and snacks whenever I ask. Eve organises picnics for the dollies and does cookery demos a la Delia; Noah "goes shopping"; and Thom chomps on the wooden play food, especially the pieces with bits of felt on - there's nothing like a thoroughly soggy bit of felt to bite when you're teething.

Bad mother.......

So - not exactly terrible crimes, but here are my confessions......
The children's dinner one Saturday evening when Harv and I were knackered - no green in sight - "Oh, Chinese, I like it, that one," says Noah (rice=Chinese as far as he is concerned) - he's such a happy soul, I can't feel bad for too long for giving them crisps, baby sweetcorn, rice and prawns -it's all the food groups, eh?
A couple of photos from one morning where they all decided to get up around five - and were obviously good for nothing by seven, so we all just sat in a heap on the sofa. Thom actually fell asleep in that collapsed-over-Eve position...
And the devotion of my boys to Dora the Explorer - the sight when I came down from cleaning the bathroom one morning. Made me feel bad and happy in equal measures - bad that I plonked them in front of the tv but happy that they were happy and clearly enjoying their chill-out-screen-time.

Winter season table

What I really wanted for our season table was a slate grey cloth a big puddle of some kind and some mud - that's what seems to represent this time of year best! But I'm also quite happy with this..... the Autumn gnomes from Talie are hanging out for a while as I've given them a fire to keep warm. And the hedgehog's hibernating in some leaves (hopefully out of Thom's reach because he is VERY prickly!)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

In my garden

I know experienced gardeners know there's still a fair bit going on in the garden at this time of year, but it came as a bit of a surprise to me - I took 'proper' notice a couple of days ago.... a late nasturtium, still battling on; our mysterious purple-flowering shrub (looks a bit like a buddlia but my mum says not) - on its second or third flowering of this year; purple sprouting broccoli waiting to get sprouting; and a passion flower.

And Harv made a shelter to keep the wood for our fire pit dry. Unfortunately the wind has torn off the roof of it since I took this photo :( but I guess it'll be fairly easy to fix. I wonder when we'll be able to have another fire - feels a VERY long way off this weekend as it's been so stormy, but hopefully there'll be a nice stil, bright, crisp Autumn day along soon.....


So, I cant add photos of us actually swimming, but I just thought I'd share the before and after......

Getting everyone ready to go usually makes me a bit 'naggy' - racing around but feeling as though we're not actually getting any closer to leaving...... So it was lovely to open the back door and see this - kind of put it all into perspective.

And here's the (almost) inevitable result of our Sunday morning swims:

Friday, 20 November 2009

No photos....

I haven't posted before without a photo but for various reasons I am today (in process of swapping laptops and cameras - I'm such a Luddite...) This has stopped me from posting things I've wanted to - so I'm just going to get on with it - a bit of general catching up.
Very exciting news is that Eve is Whoops-a-daisy angel in the nursery Christmas play. She's been singing and practising a bit and is completely unphased by it - I am really looking forward to watching it. She starts school (in the next door classroom) after Christmas too, so this is a really nice note for her to leave nursery on. Today she wore her pyjamas for Comic Relief day, and took in her little butterfly purse with 50p to give to her teacher for the 'poorly children'.
Noah is talking in sentences now - and clear enough for friends and family to understand - Mummy, I'd like cookie, I fell down and bashed nose, Evie really funny. But the funniest thing he's said this week was on Sunday as we were leaving the swimming pool. Four youngish men were going in, wearing various scarves and bandanas. Noah stopped in his tracks, beamed at them and then turned to me, nodding wisely, 'Pirates' he said then ran off after Harv and Eve.
And Thom has somehow managed to burst his eardrum! I knew something was up on Wednesday as his ear was a bit leaky but our GP could see no sign of infection so we put it down to swimming at the weekend. Yesterday was a little gunkier, but Thom was a perfectly happy little fellow and I kept reassuring myself that the GP was happy with him. This morning, about 9am, was bleurgh! Thom was still perfectly happy and had slept through the night - NO sign of pain at all!! But GP said, in spite of the overwhelming lack of other sympyoms - pain, fever, screaming, listlessness) he has probably burst his eardrum. It will heal itself in a couple of weeks all being well - and as it's already burst the antibiotics prescription probably won't be needed. Dr F said that I have very stoical children......
But that's the irony of children, isn't it - Noah's ears have been inspected countless times to check for glue ear and infection etc as cleftie babies are so prone to it - and it's Thom the non-cleftie who gets the poorly ear!
And finally me - my physio referral for my knee pain over the summer has worked WONDERS - I had an appointment at 8am today for massage and ultrasound - no waiting, fantastic treatment, a lovely chat with Beth, my physio, and even though I've been thinking of my knee as 'healed' for weeks and weeks it really does feel even better since this morning. I LOVE our local orthopaedic hospital!!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Just for fun........

Noah + ice cream + grubby vest = very happy boy


Thursday, 29 October 2009

Days by the Seaside

We're spending the week at Grandma and Granda's house in Southsea, with the added bonus of James, Harv's nephew staying too....... the poor chap has bruises from Noah's overenthusiastic and sometimes poorly timed play fighting, (which I think I might've exacerbated by providing a pirate dressing up costume, complete with sword.........)
Yesterday we went out for lunch at the Tenth Hole, pedalled a pedalo swan on Canoe lake, played on the beach, climbed trees, and visited the park.
Noah's dresscode at the moment is stereotypically toddler - he wants to wear his vests ALL the time until they are filthy, a la Bruce Willis in Die Hard. He doesn't want to wear ANYTHING else on his top half - once favoured t-shirts are spurned and offers of jumpers and sweatshirts are spurned with ferocity. He does, thankfully, adore his 'Dragon Coat' - so there is one way to keep him warmish, at least.
Thom is very determinedly teaching himself to walk. He's been crawling since he was six months and started pulling himself up on the furniture a couple of weeks ago - where did my little baby go?? It is SO difficult to change his nappy at the moment! He falls over a lot more than I remember Eve and Noah doing. Eve and Noah were chasing each other around Rosemary's sitting room today and Thom was bouncing on his heels - he's so keen to join in - I was wondering whether it's a common feature of younger siblings but I'm sure a few friends have said their little ones were later crawling and walking, and put it down to their older brothers and sisters fetching everything for them.
Eve is loving being here - she'd potter around on the beach all day, every day, I think. She's fascinated - at home she exclaims about 'cute little baby slugs and worms' - and here she's embracing armfuls of seaweed, collecting pocketfuls of shells and happily paddling in the sea.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Autumn mornings

Harv hates the cold and wet but I LOVE this time of year - maybe because I was born in it? I even like the darker mornings. Eve spotted this beautiful cobweb as we were about to set off to Lisa's the other morning so we HAD to take a picture - you can just see Eve in the mirror behind it.

I've been making.....

Piccalilli for the Christmas hampers.
Thom's winter trousers which are my biggest project yet - I even learnt a new casting on method for them; a knitted lemon and tangerine for our little friend Elsa Mae; a hat, this time for Edie; and the barely started piece will be a hat for my friend's bump.
And an autumn hat for a little chap whose mummy I know from Eve's school.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

My bargain yarns and my beginner's knitting

My lovely Thom in his jumper, hat and scarf - don't look too closely - slightly wonky in various places, but the overall effect is kind of engaging.....; my bargains - gorgeous yarns all for £9; I have even cleared a drawer to keep all my knitting things in - I LOVE finding / creating storage space; and what will become a hat for Kez's bump who is due on my birthday - it's very exciting knitting for someone who hasn't arrived yet - I like thinking lovely things for Kez and her birth and her baby as I'm knitting.