Monday, 21 December 2009

I felt a bit 'off' today. Not sure if it was too much mulled wine last night or the bug that's going around. Hubby made us drink it because I was forcing him to watch 'About a Boy' for the umpteenth time. Hugh Grant is on his very long list of people and things he dislikes. So cracking open the mulled wine was supposed to make it better! I have another pan on the stove now as we're waiting for the in-laws to arrive and have a little drink and mince pie. Think I'll stick with a cup of tea, though. Honor has been helping me arrange the cakes on the table and has enjoyed decorating them with little sprigs of holly. The 'boys' have gone out in Daddy's little blue sports car to get more washing-up liquid (dishwasher is still out-of-order). Going to Tesco can be treat when you get to go in a sports car. I hardly ever get to go in it as it only has two seats!
This morning I popped up the town myself for a few last minute bits and treated myself to this pretty floral plate and chicken cup and saucer from the charity shop. The old ladies on the till got themselves in a muddle with their adding up - which they always do! Good job my mental arithmetic is sharp, thanks to practising Kumon every day! The kids have been painting and colouring in their prayer books that we got at the Christmas fair last weekend.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Scenes of Yule and snow!

This morning I have been having a good tidy up while Hubby cleans the car out (boy, does that need doing!) and the kids keep me entertained with songs from The Wriggly Nativity. So I've just posted some pics of the Christmassy and snowy bits and pieces from around the home today. I'm not sure if the snow will last much longer but even if it's gone by Christmas Day, it's been lovely to have it around during the advent season to go with the decs and make the lead up to Christmas extra special.
Last night Hubby and I went to the Italian for our anniversary meal. We had a really lovely time. We don't get out much so we really appreciate it when we do. Well, I do, anyway and got quite giggly on the white wine which seemed to be served in fish bowls rather than glasses. It was very cold in the restaurant. We had a very nice table by the window and next to the radiator. There was a large table beside us of people celebrating a birthday (I know that 'cos they had helium balloons on the table wot said 'Happy Birthday'!) and some of those people were still sitting in their coats. They were looking at us as we got seated and I could hear them muttering "look at them, they're next to the radiator!" It was still bloomin' cold though. We stopped off at the local village pub on the way home and I had an even bigger glass of wine! I'm surprised not to have a hangover this morning. Then Grandma went home and Hubby and I opened our Christmas presents (yes, already!) while we watched Moonlighting. One of my pressies was a trug decoupaged with Cath Kidston paper (see pic). Lovely.
Finally, 'Happy Birthday' to my brother, Down Under. Bet you're nice 'n warm. xxxx

Saturday, 19 December 2009

This one goes to 11!

Hubby and I celebrate eleven years of marriage today. Not a very good picture, but it was a happy day. Eleven years on and we have three beautiful children, a nice home in the countryside, a few wrinkles and extra pounds (!) but, heck, do we care? Not too much. We are hoping to go to the new Italian restaurant in town this evening but that depends on a few things - that we won't go down with the sickness bug that our big girl brought home from school yesterday, that we won't get snowed in, that Grandma will be brave enough to come over and babysit. I am feeling a little nauseous as I write this.
We have to go out soon to get some photo frames. I got some lovely prints done of the children that I want to give as Christmas presents for the grandparents. I did already get some frames but they've turned out to be the wrong size.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Let it snow...

No day off for these two today as they can walk to school. Nevermind. It IS the end of term and from tomorrow we are on holiday for two weeks.
This morning we went to see Henry in The Wriggly Nativity at the village church. It was very well done. A special stage was put up so all the children could be seen and the front pews were reserved for Reception parents so we were guaranteed a good view. Henry was the innkeeper and did his part well. Being the 'wriggly nativity', the children were required to wriggle and fidget - VERY appropriate! And they sang loudly to the very catchy songs. I was particularly impressed with the camel outfits. Not sure if the Mums had to make them or if they were bought. Well done, teacher!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Hubby and I have just finished wrapping the pressies. So they are all packed up and ready to go.
My friend Sam came round this morning for coffee and brought some delicious cakes. We chatted... mainly about education, education, education. Oh, and keeping fit (she is, not me).

This afternoon Hubby and I went over to Mothercare to get a fireguard but they didn't have any. We do need one rather urgently now. We popped into Argos as well and bought a car dvd player which is the kids present from Mum and Dad. It should, hopefully, keep them entertained on our long drives when we go on holiday.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Monday, Monday.

Just chilling out with the babe here watching Christmas at River Cottage. My back is very sore after spending the morning scrubbing the bathroom and then scrubbing the dining table and chairs, trying to remove all the paint splodges, before giving them a coat of varnish. Hope is becoming quite the explorer now but she really needs watching as I keep finding things in her mouth that shouldn't be there. She seems to find magazines particularly delicious!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Keep it real.

I was so busy typing that I missed 'the face'! My favourite X-Factor moment is the bit when they are told the news and to see their emotion.

And someone should tell these 'stars' to keep their faces natural. The Susan Boyle story is on now. She is singing with Elaine Paige. She (Elaine) looks like she has been put through a laminator. I would go as far as to say Susan looks more beautiful.

And the winner is...

OK. Hubby. You are probably in bed now. It has been an exhausting weekend for both of us in different ways, but I'm enjoying the perfect antedote right now. Sir Paul McCartney performing Live and Let Die on the X-Factor final. Maybe it is just as well you are not here 'cos you know what I'd be saying. "Let's get the karaoke out". Then you'll say "no. It's Sunday." Well. We don't have enough special effects anyway. The stage was exploding all around him. BRILLIANT!

Anyway. Here it comes. I voted for Olly in the end but don't mind who wins.
Lines are closed.
The spotlight is on Dermot.
The 'OLD SPICE' theme is booming.

This IS it...

The winner of the X-Factor 2009 is....


The Swimming Party.

G'Day! Today we went down to Folkestone Sports Centre for Francesca's swimming party. As mentioned previously I was not looking forward to juggling the 3 kids by myself. But Mum offered to come and give me a hand even though she had Grandad to look after. It turned out very well. Mum and Grandad were able to sit up in the Cafe which had great views looking down on the pools and had a nice lunch. Then, when we had finished in the pool, Mum gave me a hand changing the baby and fed her while I had a lovely lunch too of scampi, bread and salad. All in all, a very nice time.
I shall blog later with the X-Factor result so Hubby knows what's going on!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Just sitting here by the log burner watching the X-Factor final with a glass of wine. I think it must be one of the closest finals as the last 3, Olly, Stacey and Joe are all brilliant singers and seem nice, likeable people too. I've tried voting for Joe and Olly but only got through on Olly's line. I think he did the best performances tonight anyway but still think Joe is a worthy winner.
This morning we went to the church xmas fayre. I was disappointed not to get my wreath so looks like I'll be making my own (a la Kirstie Allsop!). Honor won a pretty little blue and white cup and saucer in the tombola which I've put on my dresser!
And this evening the children were up for awards at the Kumon ceremony. It was quite fascinating. the first recipient was a young boy in his last year of primary school (so about 10 or 11 years old). He is on a higher level than the instructor herself who admitted she can't actually help him with the maths but just encourage him in his learning, He has already taken his maths GCSE!!! Brilliant. Very well done to him. And well done Honor and Henry who received bronze medals. Henry is actually ranked as 456 in his age group in the UK.
Ok. Here comes the result. Going through to tomorrow's final is....OLLY!!!! And.....Joe!!!!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Not amused.

Well the kids survived their early night without tea! And Henry was bending over backwards to please this morning. (I went up to check on him half an hour later with a glass of milk but he was already asleep, so maybe a good night's sleep did him good). Honor still needs to work on her attitude though. I left today's Kumon by her bed last night with a note saying that if she got it done before school, we could have an evening off with a DVD and few treats. So when I came into her room, she had started but it took a lot of nagging again to get it finished. Henry, of course, did his in 5 minutes, ate his breakfast, got washed, dressed, made his bed, made Honor's bed!!!, without any nagging at all. Honor, on the other hand, expects everything to be done for her and was expecting me to provide tinsel for her hair at short notice as she had suddenly decided that she is in the choir and wanted to go to their carol concert this morning. So we had to get to school early so that I could speak to a teacher, get permission, sign a consent form and then run home and back again with a booster seat! I know! You have to be cruel to be kind. I'll have to stop all this and start letting the kids sort themselves out a bit more, after all, when I eventually go back to work, they're gonna need to be a bit more self-sufficient.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Good grief!

That last post was interrupted by the baby crying and the other two behaving so badly that I've just sent them to bed without tea. They're not going to starve to death. They had a cooked dinner at school and a snack when they came home. Originally, I was sending them to their rooms until tea was ready but they both went crazy, yelling, crying, refusing. Honor went to throw a cushion at me then thought better of it but they both went off screaming and banging things so I told them to get into their pyjamas. That was it! Henry is beside himself. I feel sorry for them but I really think I need to see it through. I can't even say "wait 'til your father gets home". Most of the time we get by nicely with the old positive reinforcement method but it is at times like this when enough is enough and there doesn't seem to be much you can do when they stand against you like that. Never mind child abuse, what about parent abuse?

Tired...again! Zzzzzzz

Well the problem is I start one job and that always seems to lead to another one. Yesterday I bought a few boxes of cereal but they wouldn't fit into the food cupboard. The food cupboard is already stuffed and it is

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Planning ahead...

Wow! There was actually a bit of sunshine this morning on our way to school and I didn't have to stuff a towel through the letterbox last night to stop the wind from banging it. A welcome break from the miserable weather we've had for at least five weeks now. I'm not generally bothered by what the weather is like, but I do notice feeling particularly cheerful when the sun streams in through the windows. Maybe one of the reasons/excuses I have for not wanting to spend too much time in the kitchen is because it is so dark in there? It faces north and has a only a very small window. It's made slightly more cheerful and appealing by slapping up some Cath Kidston wallpaper (green mono rose) and I was happy this morning at my lovely clean work surfaces, not that they aren't usually clean but they were stained and now they're all better. Hubby told me last night that I should not have used bicarb of soda on the tile grouting. Apparently it causes it to disintegrate! But I gleefully reminded him, they're coming off in the New Year anyway. We plan to give the kitchen a bit of a makeover. Now that Hubby is getting quite nifty with the plastering, he's gonna give the ceiling a going over and hopefully install some spotlights. And the cream colour paint we've used in the living room is nice and light and cosy and maybe we should replace the Cath Kidston wallpaper with something like that. I do like my colour, though, so I'll have to find somewhere in there to use it. I need more storage, too. Don't we all? (By the way, Henry wasn't in the mood for school this morning and was complaining of a tummy ache... hence the scowling face.)

I'm feeling a bit better today. By the end of yesterday I was worn out by the kids and even missed Hubby a bit! (Who is in South Africa again) . I could have done with a cuddle. The in-laws are away, too so there's lots of running around and I can't call on anyone to mind the baby while she sleeps to pop out and get things done. The kids have been invited to a swimming party on Sunday so I'll have to manage the 3 of them by myself! And, even worse, will have to shave my legs!!! They're also invited to a Kumon award ceremony on Saturday night. I know I'll be exhausted and the baby will be cranky but they're both up for an award and I feel I should take them. Hope it doesn't mean I'll miss the X-Factor.

Hubby and I celebrate our eleventh wedding anniversary in two weeks. Nowadays that could be seen as something of an achievement. However, I read recently that the average marriage today lasts for 11.4 years, so perhaps we should really celebrate if we make through to next May. That doesn't mean I don't have faith in our marriage. Marriage isn't easy. I've seen so many break down, couples I would never have expected to. And those couples who do make it into old age seem to do nothing but moan and groan about life with their spouse. The other day I was listening to a discussion on Jeremy Vine (Radio2) about dementia and how these old people are very vulnerable to abuse and how difficult it is for the carers and it got me worrying about what's in store for the future. I shared these thoughts with Hubby that evening and he reassured me that when my marbles finally go he won't make me live in the hen house! One day at a time, I think. Anyway, I don't want to put much detail of our marriage in the public domain. It's between me and him (and all the people in the church at our wedding who made a vow to support us - I wonder if people ever remember that part?) but, as he reads this, I hope he won't mind me saying..."honey, I love you very much and can't wait 'til you are home again!"

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


I'm very tired again today. This morning we were all still asleep when the alarm went off at 8am. I'm usually up before the alarm goes off but not today. I did get going eventually though, enough to get a parcel sent off to my brother in Australia. I took it to one of the Post Office services at the local pub, a lot less stressful than going to the P.O. in town. I had a bit of a cleaning blitz in the kitchen too, scrubing down the work surfaces and tiles with a mix of bleach and bicarb of soda. The oven badly needs doing but Hubby said he'd do that soon! But I'm back to being tired again - very irritated by the phone constantly ringing and it's just people in call centres and sometimes they rig it so that when you pick up the phone, it calls them so you end up paying for the call. They ought to be prosecuted! Trying to help Honor with her homework is very draining too. I wish Primary kids didn't get homework.
I'm starting to get niggling pains with my teeth, too. Just in time for Christmas. Boo!

Sunday, 6 December 2009


I'm just cooking some steak and chips for tea. Yummy, but not as yummy as the fabulous Indian meal Jancy cooked for us last night. We went to Glenn and Jancy's house for dinner last night. It was a lovely evening, catching up with my old teaching friends. I like to dabble in a bit of flower arranging now and then so this was an excuse for me to make a little something for the table. I got the gold and black mosaic vase from TK MAX and used that as inspiration. The kids went for sleepovers with Grandparents except for Hope. We picked her up on the way home. Although we left the in-laws with her moses basket and sleeping bag, she didn't sleep and kept them pretty busy that evening. She was desperate for a feed too. Actually, earlier that day, we had a bit of a scare. We went to the school xmas fair and while there I had a burger. She kept trying to grab it so I thought she'd be ok to eat a piece of bread. Unfortunately, she choked on it and Hubby had to give her a bit of a whack on the back to bring it up. Very scary. No-one else batted an eyelid, though!
And one of our chickens died. Hubby found her huddled up by the pond yesterday.

Friday, 4 December 2009

My beautiful girls again!

Here is Hope helping Honor with her Kumon. Start 'em early, I say!


I've finished clearing Henry's bedroom and Hubby managed to put together the bed-in-the-box
from Homebase even though on one of the poles the holes were drilled on the wrong side! I've put little xmas trees in both their rooms as we're not having a big tree this year.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Clearing out.

My father-in-law came round this morning to help with replacing the old skirting board to match the new door (see pic). Meanwhile, getting down xmas decorations has lead to clearing out and reorganisation around the house. Why? Cos it just does! I'm fed up with trying to change the sheet on Henry's midi sleeper bed and I thought it would give him more space in his room. More space to accumulate clutter. He doesn't play under there, not enough room. So Hubby and I have agreed to replace it with a normal bed. It is such a tiny room. I have cleared everything out for now and will try to work out a better system for it (getting rid of lots of 'stuff') in the process.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Cooking Day.

Henry made scotch eggs again, slightly overdone, but will do for tomorrows' breakfast. And Honor made lemon and lime cheesecake. A very easy recipe from CBeebie's 'I Can Cook'.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Christmas pretty.

It is the first day of Advent today (ok, it was Sunday) and Hope is almost 8 months old (tomorrow). So today I put up the advent display, changed the nature table to a winter theme and decorated the fire place. I'm not sure if there'll be anymore decorating for Christmas as I was thinking of keeping it fairly simple this year (no tree!!!). But the kids want me to turn the study into a fun grotto like I did last year, so I'll probably do that again nearer the weekend.
Hope's progress, for the record is... she has 4-5 breastfeeds per day, plus 3 meals of mashed food and doesn't seem to mind at all what goes into her mouth! (She can feed herself with rice cakes).She is not quite sitting up yet (maybe for a few seconds but can't hold herself for long) and is crawling about. In fact today was the first day she made it into another room! She waves when you wave to her and seems to understand the verbal command for wave too. She is completely fascinated with her brother and sister (well, who isn't?) and responds particularly well to Honor. She sleeps very well, 2 long naps (2-3hrs) per day and sleeps through the night most nights. She does not have any teeth but loves to blow raspberries ans makes babababa and dadadada sounds (but not mamamama!). I don't know how much she weighs as I've not been to the clinic since August. She like TV (sorry) and her favourite programmes are Waybuloo and Loose Women!
I'm nearly done with my Christmas Shopping. I went out and did some today, hoping to get it finished, but it's so time consuming and bloomin' busy. So I've still a few more bits to get.