Sunday, 29 June 2008

Tom the typist

Tom loves letters and numbers and has recently shown an interest in trying to make words with them. He doesn't yet have the control (or patience!) to attempt writing, but he likes playing with his toy letters and loves to be allowed to type on the computer. We will open up Word, choose a large font and let him pick the colour he wants to type in. We then leave him to type to his heart's content. We realised today that he has learnt to use the return key to start a new line and there is no longer a randomness to his typing. He types numbers out in ascending order and is trying to make words.

He was concentrating quite hard on the keyboard today to search out specific letters. Unfortunately, this was the word he was typing...

He still thinks this is how you spell chicken. Houston, we have a problem!

Friday, 27 June 2008

One of those days

The thing about blogs is that you tend to only post about the good things, which may leave readers with the impression that you live some kind of perfect life. Just to dispel that myth, today has been one of those days where you are counting the hours until the children's bedtime. Lily woke up very early this morning, but other than that things started off okay. It really started to deteriorate after breakfast.

I needed to go to the doctor's to pick up a prescription and since the park is right opposite the surgery, I told the children I would take them to the park after we had done this. I made the mistake of telling them this before we were dressed! Tom wanted to go to the park RIGHT NOW and hang the fact that we were all in pajamas! He whinged about this until we were finally all dressed and were about to get in the pushchair. Then Lily refused to put her shoes on and threw a paddy because I wouldn't let her walk (it is too far for her to walk to the doctor's). I finally had two children in the pushchair and we were on our way down the road when Tom decided he wanted to go home. He cried all the way to the doctor's, he cried while I picked up the prescription and he cried the entire time we were in the park (only about ten minutes in the end). Given the circumstances, I decided to skip the pharmacist, so I don't even have the medication I went out to pick up! Miraculously, Tom cheered up the second we headed for home.

We were all three of us tetchy today, which isn't helped by the fact that Lily is going through that trying toddler phase where she throws a paddy the second something doesn't go her way. To top it off, Mark has been in Spain on business this week and won't be back until the small hours of Saturday morning, so I'm missing him too. Of course, all this leaves you feeling guilty for not handling it all better.

Ugh, what a day! I'm off to make something with pastry to sooth my troubled spirit and then I'll settle to an hours calming reading while I consume it. Here's hoping tomorrow will be a better day.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Living in a modern world

We bought Tom a set of magnetic letters at the weekend, the sort you see on fridges across the country. He was playing with these in the playroom this morning when he pointed to the carpet in front of him, looked up at me and announced, "That says 'chicken'!". I looked over his shoulder to see that he had spelt out 'KFC' with his letters. Oh dear!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Mee hungry

Six-year-old me on a Malaysian beach

I am anticipating a very delicious tea tonight. A new take-away restaurant has just opened up that makes Malaysian food and Mark is treating us to dinner! For those that don't know, I lived in Malaysia for a few years as a child and in Brunei for a couple of years after that. I loved the food we ate over there, so I'm very excited about this restaurant opening up nearby. Since we very rarely get to dine out in the evenings, the fact that it only does take-away suits us just fine. I was spoilt for choice when confronted with the menu, but decided on Mee Goreng. I also went for the 'she can't make up her mind' style starter that has one of everything in it. Mmmm...I can taste it already! Mark has just gone to collect the food and I hope it lives up to my expectations!

Edited to add: The meal was lovely. Not the best I've had, but close enough!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Taste of home

Mark has been away on business again all week and will be getting home later this evening. I thought it would be nice to welcome him home with some tasty home baked treats to contrast all those business dinners he has been eating (the meals are usually good apparently, but they last for ever. His meal on Tuesday went on for three and three quarter hours!). It's been decidedly un-summery this week, so I was leaning towards heavier, syrupy treats, the kind I normally crave in the colder weather. When the Podlings went down for their nap after lunch, I rustled up a batch of flapjacks and made a good, old-fashioned treacle tart. I can't claim any credit for the pastry, which was entirely thanks to Saxby's Jus-Rol, but I did make it look very pretty! The Podlings and I enjoyed some of the tart with custard after our tea this evening. Just what we needed to fortify us after a very windy trip to the park. Tom loved it, but he takes after his mother in that he has yet to meet a cake or pastry he didn't like! Hopefully, Mark will enjoy the good taste of home cooking when he gets back tonight. I'm aways glad to get him back when he's been away and it's nice to show him that!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Cool socks, warm feet

My brother-in-law and his fiancee have just returned from a holiday in Florida and they brought me these fun Winnie-the-Pooh socks back from their visit to Disney World. The observant amongst you will notice that those aren't my feet modelling them in the above picture. Lily has taken a shine to these bright pink 'Winky Pooh' (as she calls him) socks and claimed them for herself. I had a great deal of trouble persuading her to take them off so I could change her nappy!

Wow, these socks are sooo cool! I just can't stop looking at my feet!

Lily laughing her socks off...well, laughing at her socks anyway!

(Please note, these pictures were taken just after lunchtime and she is actually wearing much of her lunch on her T-shirt. I do actually clean my children, honest! Still, I'd love to know how children always manage to miss their bibs!)

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Sugar and spice and all things nice...

That's what little girls are made of.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Pussycat, pussycat where have you been?

Me, my sister and my mum in London

My little sister (yes, she is taller than me!) is getting married in August, so she arranged a weekend in London so that mum and me and her two best friends (Nat and Fiona) could get to know each other before the wedding. I hesitate to use the term 'Hen weekend', because this conjours up images of raucous young women in mini-skirts staggering drunkenly between night clubs at 2am, and that is SO not what this weekend was! However, for want of a better term, this was Elaine's Hen weekend.

I travelled down to London early on Saturday morning and met up with my mum. We had a lovely lunch together and then went hunting for a bridesmaid's dress (I will be Matron of Honour at Elaine's wedding). Elaine had ordered a dress from America, but the company messed up the order and it looked like Cinderella might not make it to the ball. Thankfully mum and I found an off-the-peg dress in a department store that fit me perfectly and was the right colour to fit in with Elaine's colour scheme. Phew!

Elaine and her friends met up with us outside said department store and then we headed off to the hotel to dump our bags. Now this is where things started to go wrong! My sister had booked us all on the 'Jack the Ripper' tour of London, which sounded like fun. It started at 5.40pm, so we were getting tight for time. We got on the Tube out to our hotel, but the train terminated a stop early due to goodness knows what going on in the Underground that day. The long and short of it is that thanks to this, the resulting long walk and an inattentive hotel receptionist calling a taxi for four instead of a taxi for five, we missed the tour. I was so disappointed for Elaine, who was really looking forward to the tour. We managed not to let it spoil our evening though. We took a cruise down the Thames and had a lovely meal and actually got to know her friends quite well because we were able to talk a lot. Rather amusingly, because we were all tired from travelling and walking round London, Elaine's Hen night culminated in us all heading to bed at about 10.30pm! Not your typical Hen do!

The next day we had a leisurely breakfast and said goodbye to Nat, who was flying back to Aberdeen. We then went back to Oxford street and met up with Fiona again. We spent a happy hour in Borders, my favourite store on Oxford street. It's a fantastically huge bookstore which I was able to browse at my leisure because the Podlings weren't there getting bored! After I bought many books from here (can you ever have too many books?!), we went to my station and sat drinking coffee and chatting until it was time for me to leave (mum and Elaine's train left later). I am so glad I got to meet Elaine's friends before the wedding. They are both such lovely people and I will be glad to meet them again.

I really had such a lovely weekend. I see my mum so infrequently and my sister even less. It isn't often that we are all together at the same time, so this weekend was very special. Now the weird part of this weekend, for me, was that I spent it away from Tom and Lily. Mark's mum and dad came to stay at our house for the weekend to help Mark look after the Podlings, so I could go and spend some time with my mum and sister. I rarely go anywhere without the Podlings, so it was very strange to be away from them, even for one night. I knew I was leaving them in good hands, but I was a bit worried they'd be upset that I wasn't there. I needn't have worried as they had a fantastic weekend playing in the garden, going to the park and going to the swimming pool. I'm certain I missed them more than they missed me!

Thanks, Elaine, for organising such a special weekend. I can't wait to see you in all your bridal splendour on August 12th! It will be such a special day. Last, but not least, CONGRATULATIONS on obtaining your 2:1 Honours degree from Aberdeen University...I'm so proud of you!

Friday, 6 June 2008

In the night garden...

After we put the Podlings to bed this evening, Mark and I made a cup of tea and went out to the front garden to do some weeding. I donned my gardening gloves and merrily started tearing up the horsetails that are taking over the driveway when a little curly head appeared at his bedroom window. He was grinning from ear to ear and gesticulating wildly in a 'what are you doing?' kind of manner. He looked so cute that we decided to bring him outside with us for a treat. As you can see from the pictures, he thought this was fantastic as he NEVER gets to come downstairs after he has been put to bed. Even when he is sick we tend to him in his room after bedtime. You see the novelty of the situation written all over his face.

Yes, I'm wearing gardening gloves!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Our garden

We are very lucky in that we have a reasonably large garden surrounding our home. However, when we moved into the house last summer, it was obvious that very little had been done in the garden for quite a long time. A neighbour told us that the front lawn hadn't been mown in over a year! Because our house was originally the show home for this estate, we had the basis of a very nice garden under all the wilderness, it just needed some attention. Mark and I have therefore been working quite hard on the garden in our spare moments this year. We've been mowing, pruning, digging, weeding and planting and it is really starting to look lovely. We don't know a thing about gardening, but we're quite proud of how it's turning out. We're learning as we go!

However, as I mentioned before it is a large garden. As you'll see from the last picture, we still have a lot of work to do!

We still have lots to do!