Friday, 31 July 2009

New name, new start

I started writing another blog entry about 2 weeks ago which obviously didn’t get finished or posted. Now it seems too out of date to post as it was about the end of term and sports day etc. I had some nice photos as well. Oh well.

I’ve decided to change the name of the blog. Now, I’m not sure if changing the name will mean that anyone who try’s to look at my old blog name will still be able to find it. If you’re reading this via the old blog name then you obviously can and phew!! Otherwise I’m talking to myself. As usual!!

So, it’s the school holidays. If your children go to school then I hope you’re enjoying the holidays. If your children are home educated then you’re probably cursing the fact that everywhere you normally go in term time that’s usually quiet is now full of kids.

We haven’t done a great deal. We never do. I suspect if you go back 12 months I was probably saying the same thing this time last year. We used to plan to do various things then be annoyed with ourselves when the holidays finished and we hadn’t done any of them. So now we don’t bother. Our only plan is to go out and buy all the new school uniforms we need. And shoes. That’s a fun day out!!

One day I decided it would be a good idea to make play dough so cooked some up. J loved it. He spent hours and hours playing with it so the next day I decided to make some more in a different colour. He said he wanted multicoloured play dough so I made green, pink and yellow for him to go with the blue from the previous day. I didn’t have any yellow food colouring so used turmeric instead. It was a lovely shade of yellow but smelt horrible so I added some orange essential oil to it. It still smelt horrible but orangey.

Unfortunately I didn’t realise quite what J meant when he said he wanted multi-coloured play dough. Now if you have children and you’ve given them more than one colour play dough at the same time you’ll know exactly where I’m going here. J added the four colours together in one lump which looked really nice for about 5 minutes and then, yep, it turned that horrible shade of brown that play dough goes when mixed together. Why did I bother?? They played with it for quite a few more hours and now it’s back in the cupboard (drying out no doubt!!) And on the carpets, the rug, the throw I crocheted, their clothes….

I’ve also been on a cleaning and tidying frenzy which is a school holiday tradition in this house. However, something in me has changed. I don’t know how, I wasn’t looking for a change, I’d given up wishing that I could be the kind of person to keep the place tidy, to wash up, keep the kitchen clean etc etc but something has clicked in me. I don’t do washing up. I don’t clean up after myself when I’m cooking. I leave it to C to do that. Well, not any more. Other things that I have wanted to change in the past seem to have suddenly happened as well. I know it’s early days and in a few weeks time I could be posting to say how fed up I am that I’ve gone back to my old ways but for now I am enjoying being the new me.

Most of the house is clean and tidy. I still need to do the lounge but it’s one of those jobs that needs the boys out of the way and by the time they’ve gone to bed we can’t be bothered.

We’ve even sorted out the garden which is one of those things we never get round to doing. We’re not gardeners. We’re not really outdoor types. And when you’re trying to keep on top of things in the house (and usually failing!!) plus have lots of children it’s just not a priority. But we spent two afternoons out the back and tidied it up, got rid of some stuff, pressure washed the patio and concrete areas and mowed the grass. The patio slabs are in fact white. Something which surprised J and A so much they thought it had snowed overnight and wanted to go and play in it.

I should have taken before and after photos. I never do thinking that there won’t be enough of a difference but there always is and then I kick myself. We also had a lovely surprise when we dismantled what was supposed to have been a raised bed last year. We’d planted potatoes in it but they didn’t perform and we had about 4 spuds from it which weren’t even enough for us all to have half of one each. So we moved the bricks to the side of the garage and pulled out whatever it was that was growing in it. That “whatever” turned out to be potatoes. Enough for dinner!!! Who knew they were so simple to grow??? Not us anyway.

We’ve also been unwell this last few weeks. Not all of us at the same time. Craig’s been ill for the whole time, and the rest of us for a couple of days at a time. I have no idea what it is. It’s not the dreaded swine flu, far too mild for that, but as I say, no idea what. I’m hoping that whatever it is has now passed us by and we’ll be well enough to enjoy the rest of the holidays.

I finished the changing mat for the bag I made and am quite pleased with it. The mat is a layer of Amy Butler, two layers of Killington and a layer of BKT. It took me back to my nappy making days - I’d forgotten just how much I love Killington and BKT, so lovely and thick and soft. I may have to make myself a pair of Pjs from the killy.

I started a pair of Lucy Neatby socks with an interesting twist pattern on them. I’m having problems with motivation on them though so they may take a while to finish. I've got as far as the heel on the first one.

I’m also still crocheting the blanket with Noro Kureyon. I have about 8 more balls to go to finish it off so I’m aiming for one a day in the hope I can get it finished in the next fortnight.

I’d really like to make a quilt with a jelly roll I got from one of the co-ops I’m on (not buying anymore, I promise. I’m just waiting for some stuff to arrive from when I was naughty and then that’s it. Honest!!)

Anyway, that’s it for now. Hope the weather where you are is better than it has been here and that you’re enjoying the summer.

Monday, 13 July 2009

I’ve been having another one of my clearouts. Quite a serious one by all accounts. I love getting rid of stuff, unfortunately I also seem to love accumulating it. I’m really hoping that I am managing to change my way of thinking and will stop buying so much stuff. A lot of things I buy because I like them. I don’t think about where it will go, if I really need it or if it will really get used. I like it so I buy it. It’s stupid and I’m really hoping I can break the habit. I quite like the feeling of seeing something that I like and want to buy and not buying it, stepping away from it. Rather tellingly I can’t remember what I have done that with. Just goes to show how much I really wanted it doesn’t it???

I’m also one of those people who can’t choose between things. If I see several things I like rather than choosing one I’ll go for all of them. Which fabric design shall I buy? All of them. Which of the three shades of lipstick? All of them. Again, it’s got to stop.

I’m hoping to clear a lot more stuff out of the house over the summer. Hopefully as stuff goes I will enjoy the space it’s creating and want to rehome more. Already I have started getting rid of the storage I’ve had to buy for all this stuff and the feeling of space it’s creating is lovely.

I’m crocheting a blanket at the moment and I know I need four more balls of wool for it. Normally I would just buy them, but instead I had the bright idea of asking on ravelry if anyone had the shade I needed and if they’d be willing to swap for some other wool I have. Lo and behold, yes there was someone happy to do that so my 4 balls of shade 159 are currently on their way to Australia and hopefully my 102 are on their way over here - it’s cheaper to send them to Australia than to buy more.

I have finished the changing bag. I’m really pleased with it. I did have to undo a few bits because they weren’t quite right and I knew it would annoy me too much not to go back and do them properly. I added a magnetic snap onto it to keep it closed as well. My only complaint about the pattern is that if you put the bottle pockets in where it says to put them you’re sewing them onto four of the main pockets in such a way that they are useless, so I didn’t put mine in. I did sew them together though to make another little bag to go inside it.

I haven’t made the changing pad/bag yet. I’ve cut them out and am using BKT and killington. I’d forgotten how much I love both fabrics, cutting them out took me back to my nappy sewing days. I’m very tempted to make a bed set out of the killington for the winter because it would be soooo lovely and cosy. Or maybe I’ll just make myself some Pjs.

We’re now into our final week of school for this academic year. I am really looking forward to Friday. It will be so nice to be able to put away the uniforms and lunch boxes for 6 weeks and just relax.

In other news, Barney is sleeping through the night!! He goes from about 8pm to 7am and it is lovely. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!! I am still sitting with him in the evenings as the baby monitor doesn’t work, although Beth sometimes sits with him instead.

A busy week ahead for us. Hope yours is a good one!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

I’m writing this sat on my bed listening to the rain pouring down outside - a sound I love. My night-time routine has turned into one where I put the baby down in his cradle next to my bed and sit with him as he goes off to sleep. The plan tonight is to leave him once he is sleeping but for the last four nights I’ve just sat and done my online stuff next to him.

I’m sure some of you reading are probably horrified that I’m no longer co-sleeping but you know what, I have to do what’s best for my family and co-sleeping isn’t it. Now both Craig and I can relax and sleep properly without the natural fear of rolling onto him and because we’re not so tired that we’re constantly in a bad mood the other children aren’t being shouted at so much. Admittedly, the fact I have insomnia at the moment doesn’t help me, but hopefully that will pass soon. Barney sleeps so much better as he’d not being disturbed by us and he is so close to me he can still touch me.

We’ve actually done some things since I last posted. Ellie had her prom on Saturday. The invitation said ball gowns were welcome but not compulsory - I was quite happy with Ellie’s choice of dress, it was just a nice smart sundress, nothing fancy, but then on Saturday morning I started worrying about what if she was the only one not in fancy clothes?? It turned out she wasn’t the only one. I didn’t see all the girls, but the ones I did see were wearing party clothes. Phew!! I’m so pleased, they’re only 11 for goodness sake, but I guess Lincolnshire is still behind the times when it comes to proms!

My plans to get her hair done went slightly awry when Robbie decided to stand on a rusty drain cover with no shoes on in the chicken pen and fell into it cutting hit foot open. Off we went to A&E where he had stitches in it and a nice bandage. On the way out it started bleeding again so we went back in and they couldn’t see where the bleeding was coming from so they dressed it again and it was fine.

I ended up with 20 minutes to do her hair (and a bit of - very subtle! - make up) and get her there. Luckily she wasn’t the last to arrive and her date (her best friend for the past few years) had some flowers for her - his mum’s idea. Aww, how sweet.

Craft wise I haven’t done much at all. I finished cutting out the pieces for the changing bag and started on the sewing but I could really do with an hour or so of peace and quiet to really get on with it. I also have a crochet blanket on the go which is my car project that I take with me to do the school pick up. I can’t remember if I’ve already mentioned I go 10 minutes earlier than I need to just so I can sit and crochet (or knit depending on what I’m doing) for a while in the peace and quiet.

I’ve just finished reading a book I borrowed from my friend Pippa called “Raising a vaccine free child” by Wendy Lydall. If you’ve ever been unsure as to whether or not to have your child vaccinated then I recommend it (as well as a book called something like “The Truth About Vaccines” by Dr Richard Halvorsen), it’s also a good one to read if you’ve decided not to vaccinate and need reassurance that you’ve made the right decision.

I’ve also recently read a book called “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield (I think), it was a really good read. I’ve started a lot of books recently that I’ve had to dump before I finished them because I just didn’t like them but this one was one of those you don’t want to get to the end of. I don’t believe in finishing a book if you’re not enjoying it, life is too short to waste reading something that you don’t like, there are too many good books out there you might miss out on. I also loved “The book thief” - can’t remember the author of that one - that was one of those ones you can’t put down and feel sad that you’re almost at the end of it.

We’ve got quite a busy time until the end of next week and then it’s the school holidays. My calendar is empty from next Friday and it’s great!!!