Summer holidays are approaching…

Another school year is as good as over. I feel old when I say it but I really don’t know where this year has gone! My oldest boy, J, will be going into year 9 in September, and B will be in his last year at primary school. My niece will be starting nursery and I’m expecting major envy from my little girl who has a whole year to wait before she gets to go to school.

And so my inevitable holiday planning starts. This has become similar to new year’s resolutions in how effective and useful they are, but one of these years I’ll get it right! So far, both boys plan to practise their musical instruments regularly, and I think both are planning to take part in the local library reading challenge. B is keen to clean out and decorate the shed at the bottom of the garden, and while J is less willing to do the work, he doesn’t want to miss out on a potential man cave and so he’ll be helping. E will carry on much the same as now, being alternately gorgeous, frustrating and hugely lovable. And I hope to dye lots of lovely yarn to stock my shop in the autumn. We’ve also got three weddings to enjoy, and at least one camping trip, hopefully more. I’ve bought us a rail card and I’m hoping that we might get a couple of day trips on trains in – E has never been on a train but she loves Thomas the Tank Engine and so I think she’d be thrilled!

That’s it so far. I think you’ll agree that there doesn’t look like there’ll be too much time to get bored!

Jumping back in…

…as if I’d never been away! It’s been a long time, and the longer I leave it to blog, the more intimidated I feel. So I’ve decided just to hop in and write as if it hasn’t been months and months and just get on with it.

Cheeky found out how to put loom bands together last week, and is totally immersed in constructing bracelets now. So far we’ve just had simple bracelets but I don’t think it’ll be long before he wants a proper loom. I think he’ll enjoy having a go at all the little superheroes you can make!

Here’s a selection so far. I’ll be studying YouTube later – apparently I’m learning to make a Starburst, whatever that is!

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And here are the artists at work earlier;

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Chilling out and sitting back

I’m sitting here with my cup of soothing orange, mango and cinnamon tea, relaxing while Sweetie has her nap, and I decided to try to write a quickish update for you all. Let’s start with my youngest and work our way up!

Baby Sweetie is coming on in every area but sleep in leaps and bounds. She seems to have decided that sleep is for the weak, so an undisturbed night has become a notable event! Her mobility is really increasing, and this last week or so she has started crawling. So far she’ll only crawl on carpet and stops once she hits wood or tile and shouts to be picked up! But her speed is increasing daily, so I think it’s about time we put up the stair gates! In a timely and slightly psychic manner, Welshpurpletree has actually, a few days ago, offered us her stair gates, which will be very gratefully received! As we have the attic conversion we’ll need an extra stair gate for the bottom of those stairs, and we’ve also decided to gate off the kitchen rather than put cupboard locks on everything.

Today I’m taking her for her MMR. This measles outbreak in South Wales is uncomfortably close to home, so after consulting with our doctor she’ll have her jab today at just over eleven months rather than waiting until the usual thirteen months. I hate needles (other than of the knitting variety!) so I’ve got sweaty hands just thinking about it, but it’s a necessary evil!

Handsome turned twelve at the start of the month and is too rapidly approaching the end of his first year of high school. He’s doing well, apparently, although he needs to work on his organisation. Also, we need to break him of the habit of taking every school book he owns to school every day!

Cheeky is nine now, as of Monday, and still loving his tennis and music. He’s been fiddling about on the keyboard recently, learning a few movie tunes. He got a piano tuition book for his birthday so hopefully he’ll have a go at learning properly. I need to sit down and help him with his music reading as his guitar teacher writes all the notes on his music so I don’t think he feels the need to learn to play properly.

I’ve been very productive this last few months with my knitting, so I need to sort out a picture post soon. And this month I had a go at crochet again. I’ve not crocheted since I started having problems with my hands, so when I didn’t have pain immediately I got a bit over excited and overdid it! Daft idiot that I am, I forgot that the pain is generally cumulative and so my hands have been aching more for a week or so. So, no more crochet for me for a while, then maybe just very small amounts once in a while.

Right, time for some therapeutic knitting until the baby wakes up. TTFN!

Driving Mr Handsome

Today my oldest son, Handsome, had his first driving lesson. He’s eleven! A company was running a promotion through GG’s work, offering a free driving lesson to kids between 11-16. Handsome just scraped over the lower height limit and so away he went. GG took him, and tells me that he was very good. The lessons are held on the top of a Cardiff multi-storey car park, and the kids get the opportunity to drive a real car and try a couple of manoeuvres. He even reverse parked! I just hope this doesn’t turn him into a petrol-head even before he hits his teens!

Plans for 2013

I know I’m a little late to this party, but that seems to be the way it is at the moment! Time is flying by so fast, I’m missing all sorts of things. For example, a very good friend had her birthday one month and five days ago (you know who you are!) and I’ve yet to send her her birthday parcel. She’s going to have a lovely late spring surprise at this rate! The daft thing is that I had almost everything I wanted to send ahead of time, and then the days got away from me and I didn’t do it. It’s OK, I do realise how rubbish I am!

So, plans for the remaining ten and a half months of the year include;

1. Holiday – don’t know where, don’t know when but we will have a change of scenery and see somewhere new this year!

2. Redecorate Sweetie’s room before she moves in. Her cot is in our room at the moment, and I think will be for a little while. We need to work out how to put up a curtain rail, as there is no space between the top of the window frame and the ceiling. I sorted out everything in her room this last week though so there’s no rubbish in there any more! However, I still need to decide on a room layout and colour scheme.

3. Get a new kitchen sink. We have one of those beige plastic kitchen sinks at the moment, and since we moved in I’ve wanted to swap it for a stainless steel one. I can’t dye yarn easily until I do, as it would wreck our current sink. Our plumber should be coming out to replace a radiator soon though, so I’ll ask him about it then.

4. Fitness – improve it! I was almost immobile during the last few months of my pregnancy last year, and then it took longer than last time for the pain to go away. On the whole things seem to be more or less back to normal now, so I’m very slowly improving my fitness levels. I aim to go out for walks more as the weather improves, and I always run up the stairs (except when I’m carrying the baby of course!). Baby steps, but it’s slowly slowly paying off.

5. Get my Etsy shop back up and running. I’m planning and working on items for my shop at the moment. I hope to go back to the craft market later in the Spring too, if they have room for me! But I want to revamp my stall completely, so I need to work on that for the next couple of months.

6. Enjoy my kids. They are all three of them growing and changing before my eyes, and I don’t want to miss a minute! Well, maybe the odd minute here or there to go to knit night or Wonderwool Wales, but you get the general gist!

So, these are my overall goals. I’ve got more specific ones, such as improving my baking, or certain projects I want to make. Hopefully I’ll find time to talk more about these as and when they happen.

Baby Sweetie eight (and a half!) month update

Where does the time go? So many times I think about blogging but something always happens to stop me. Mainly, at the moment, something about a foot and a half tall with a cheeky little smile! Baby Sweetie is sprouting up, but strongly dislikes it when I try to do anything other than play with her or ply her with food.

I meant to do monthly updates about her, if only to remind ourselves of how fast she has grown. Alas, that too has gone by the wayside somewhat. So, in brief, she is eight and a half months old already. She is interacting with everyone wonderfully, and is becoming quite vocal. She says ‘ta’ every time she wants something, or wants to accept something she has been offered. She will say ‘na na’ for night night when she or someone else goes to bed. In mobility, she isn’t trying to crawl yet, but if we put her on her back she will roll around the floor to travel. She knows exactly what she wants and will manoeuvre into quite tight spaces to get things!

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I bought her some Winnie the Pooh board books and she really loves them. Here she is studying one while I make the dinner (or cookies. There have been lots of cookies recently!).

During January she got three more teeth, bringing her up to a grand total of six. This has made her a bit less happy than she usually is, but we still get wonderful smiles and chuckles. She’s very ticklish, especially by her jaw and her tummy and ribs. She loves that we all make a fuss of her feet when she is stripped down for nappy changes, and looks for her brothers to come and kiss her toes!

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Just look how gorgeous she is! Who could resist that smile!

A lovely Christmas

I am sitting in my living room this Boxing day evening, having just put the baby to bed and I’m thinking to myself just how lucky I am. We had a lovely Christmas yesterday with my parents. The baby had a disturbed night on Christmas Eve because of teething pain which kept her awake for a while, but luckily the boys have never been the sort of children to insist on being up at a ridiculous hour on Christmas morning so we were able to sleep until about half past seven. Then we had a reasonably relaxed morning, enjoying a nice breakfast before going to church. Mum came with us to the service, and then Dad joined us at our house once we got back. A couple more presents were opened before lunch, although I think that probably the majority were left for after lunch. Our front room did look a bit like a whirlwind had swept through a toy factory for a while, but we managed to leave enough space for Baby Sweetie to play on the floor! The rest of the day was spent with a little bit of TV watching and a lot of exploring our presents.

Today we went to GG’s sister’s house for lunch. They had put on a tremendous spread, and we have a lot to live up to if we hope to be the hosts next year! Then it was time for the children to open more presents while I made my annual attempt to keep track of who gave what to who so that thank you notes can be written in the next few days. They had great fun filling my sister-in-law’s hallway with a Star Wars scalextric set! Then some more family members visited. We only really see these cousins at Christmas so it was good to catch up. The annual promises to meet up before next Christmas were exchanged – I just hope we manage to keep them this year!

All in all, apart from the discomfort my poor baby girl has been suffering with her erupting teeth, we’re having a lovely Christmastime. I think the rest of our week will be quite easygoing (no rushing round the shops for the sales for me I’m afraid!). I intend to enjoy my family all being home, and make the most of my first Christmas in our new house and with all three of my gorgeous children. As I said at the beginning, I’m a very lucky lady!

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