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Thursday, 29 July 2010

I'd rather be knitting...

I haven't posted any of my crafting endeavours for a while. This is partly because, with three children five and under, I don't have as much time as I used to for crafting and partly because if I'm blogging about it, I'm not doing it and frankly, right now, I'd rather be knitting! I've done a bit of hand sewing (I made a couple of things in felt and some pretty lace-edged lavender sachets) and I've done some embroidery on a few of Emma's babygros (bullion knot roses of course!), but I'm really in to knitting in a big way at the moment. When my mum came to visit a few weeks ago, she brought with her a stack of patterns for dolls clothes which got me all fired up. The patterns are simple and quick to knit up, which is important with my need to see results quickly! I can pick up my needles and do a row or two when I have a quiet moment and before you know it, Lily's doll has a set of knitted underwear and a dress to call her own. I'm currently knitting the same doll a school uniform as per Lily's request.
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Alongside the doll's clothes, I'm also planning a slightly bigger project. I plan to knit myself a cardigan (hopefully eventually the matching jumper too) from a copy of an original 1940s pattern. It will probably take me forever as it is made up in 4 ply (the pattern states 3 ply, which is more like a modern 4 ply), but if I have some smaller projects on the go as well I will hopefully see it through to completion. It isn't that I knit slowly (I'm actually reasonably fast), just that I don't have a lot of time for hobbies in this season of my life and, as I just mentioned, I do like to see results quickly. A few 'quick fix' projects alongside a bigger project should keep me happy! Given that I still need to buy the wool and haven't even started it yet, I may just about have the twin set finished in time for Tom's university graduation!
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Monday, 26 July 2010

Naughty Emma

video

A short video of Emma doing her best to destroy my home! She was laughing so much she gave herself hiccoughs! I should have stopped her, I know, but it was so funny!

I must apologise for the ghastly mark on the carpet. I hadn't noticed the Podlings had spilt anything until after I had filmed it for posterity. I seem to spend half my life cleaning marks off the carpet. Oh, the joys of motherhood!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The birthday baby...

I naturally wanted to get my baby bear a teddy for her first birthday and spent a long time looking for the 'right bear' until I found this one. It is so adorable and now has pride of place in her nursery. Of course, I had to re-name it Emma!
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Emma gets the hang of tearing wrapping paper. The wooden shape sorter was a gift from us.
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Nanna lends a helping hand with the gift opening
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Given Emma's penchant for ducks, I couldn't resist getting her this adorable pull-along toy
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Emma plays with her new baby walker, a gift from Nanna and Grandad. She really loves this toy!
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It all gets a bit much! A tired Emma has a cuddle with her teddy from Nanny and Grandad
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Let them eat cake

"Hey, that's quite pretty. I'd quite like to get my hands on that!"
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"Well, what do you know, I get my own slice!"
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"Okay, let's have a go at this thing. I'll try anything once."
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"Oh my! That's good cake!"
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Post-cake stupor!
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Friday, 23 July 2010

Emma's first birthday party

I often call Emma by the pet name 'Emma bear' (don't ask me why!), so I thought it would be appropriate to have a teddy bear theme for Emma's first birthday. I had so much fun doing this and although I know Emma won't remember it, she will at least see the photos when she is older and know what a nice party she had! Tom and Lily are old enough to enjoy a good birthday party, so they appreciated my efforts! Emma certainly enjoyed all the party food and was thrilled to get her very own bowl of ice-cream. She has had tastes in the past and absolutely adores the stuff, so to get her own bowlful was a very special treat. She went very quiet and concentrated very hard whilst eating it, as if she wanted to savour every mouthful. It really was all about the food for Emma!
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My Harrods bear lorded it over the party on a cloud of pink tulle. I put a glass of gummi bears on the sideboard, which somehow rapidly found its way in front of Tom's seat!
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I draped the light fitting with white tulle and hung pink cardboard teddies from the arms. I also had lots of pink and white balloons hanging on the walls and teddy bears everywhere you looked. With three children, we were not short of bears to decorate with!
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Emma's birthday cake was a simple Victoria sponge sandwiched with my mum's homemade blackberry jelly. I coloured some white chocolate and decorated the top with white chocolate buttons, which Emma is rather partial too. Let's pretend that the iced 'Emma' is more central shall we!
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Mmmm, homemade fairy cakes!
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I put out several of these cute teddy moulds filled with crisps.
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I made each of the Podlings a giant gingerbread teddy with a pink '1' iced inside a heart.
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Emma had a really good go at her giant biscuit!
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We finished with teddy ice-cream. I used giant chocolate buttons for ears and chocolate chips for the eyes and nose. I appreciate that they looked rather more like Mickey Mouse!
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Thursday, 22 July 2010

Lily's leavers' concert.

Although yesterday was Lily's last session at playgroup, this morning we were back there for her leavers' concert. All the children in the playgroup were on stage to perform a selection of summer-themed songs and nursery rhymes. Lily joined in beautifully and performed all the actions with great aplomb. The children were told to dress as if they were going to the beach and Lily had quite clear ideas as to what she should wear. I picked out one of her pretty nautical-looking dresses with a sailor collar and was told "Mummy, I don't want to wear that dress. When you go to the beach you wear shorts!". Well, that told me! Consequently she is looking a little more casual than I would have liked. Ah well, at least she was happy! Unfortunately, we forgot that her flip flops were still in the car until after Daddy left for work, so she had to complete the look with her black patent shoes!
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At the end of the concert, all the children who were leaving to start school were given a book and Lily sat on stage waving it at me to make sure I could see it. Afterwards, she walked out of the door with her Nanna and Grandad without a backward glance at the place! Thus endeth a chapter of Lily's life. No more playgroup! In September I will be dropping her off to school in the morning with her brother and it will just be Emma and me until 3.10pm in the afternoon. It will seem very quiet without my bubbly Lily about the place, but at least I feel that she is ready for the transition to school. I'm not sure I am though!
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Prize giving

For the sake of posterity, here is a photo of Tom at his first prize-giving assembly on Monday afternoon. He looked so sweet up on stage and he loves his new book. All the reception children were given a book, but were nonetheless thrilled with their 'prizes'. I think they thought the best prize of all was that they were allowed to go home early if their parents were there. We went to the park on the way home and we still got back before I would normally leave to collect him. Love getting to spend extra time with my babies!
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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Emma is one!

This time last year!
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It seems you've only just begun,
Yet here you are, you're turning one!
Have pity on your doting mum
and don't grow up too fast!
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My, how she's grown!
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Happy first birthday to my darling little Emma Bear.
We love you sweetheart!
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Friday, 16 July 2010

Poor Cinders!


Lily: When I get a magic wand I will turn you into a princess.
Me: Oh, thank you. That would be lovely.
Lily: But you still have to do housework though.
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Great!
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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Team sports day

Yesterday, Tom's school held the team sports day that was rained off a couple of weeks ago (you may remember that we attended the 'individual races' sports day last month). The girls and I met Mark's mum and dad at the field and we settled in to enjoy the various displays of sporting prowess displayed by the reception year. Tom did really well in the straight running races and was clearly enjoying himself . He had a bit more trouble with some of the other races, but he really couldn't care less! He has absolutely no interest in winning or losing and really just enjoys taking part. He isn't remotely self-conscious, which I am so thankful for as I know that school sports days can be nothing short of ritual humiliation for some children.
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The whole school was on the field, with each year confined to it's own section of the field for the races. At the end of the event, all the points were totted up and the winning house announced. The fact that Tom was in the winning house seemed to go entirely over his head, he was just there to have fun! Love that boy!
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I hadn't fully realised quite how much Tom has grown since September until I saw how short his tracksuit bottoms were! Thankfully it is the end of the school year and he will be starting Year 1 with a tracksuit that actually covers his ankles!
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Tom was having trouble keeping the beanbag on his head in this race so his lovely teacher ran behind him and held it on his head for him. She is such a wonderful teacher and I know Tom will miss her when he goes up a year.
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Bunny heaps!
Tom really couldn't get the hang of the bunny hop race and kept collapsing in a heap with every single jump. When I asked him afterwards which was his favourite race, he told me he liked the bunny hops the best. Love him!
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The school sports days go on for over 90 minutes and Lily got terribly bored at the last one. Having learned my lesson, I came fully stocked with toys, books, snacks and drinks this time. Lily's little doll's picnic ended up attracting quite a few of the preschool crowd and she had quite an entourage at one point!
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Having discovered at the last sports day that letting your baby crawl around a field in a white outfit is not necessarily the best idea, I dressed Emma in jeans this time! Happy baby, less washing!
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Sunday, 4 July 2010

Let's go fly a kite

It was a blustery day today, so we took Tom's kite up to the hill behind our house to see if we could get it to fly (we haven't had a lot of luck in the past). After a few failed attempts we finally got it up for a few decent flights. I was just remembering how to actually fly a kite and had got the thing up pretty high when Lily asked if she could hold the kite. I remember buying this particular kite because it said it was suitable for ages four and up, so I passed her the handle. Unfortunately, as I did so a huge gust of wind just tore it out of our hands and the whole family watched helplessly as the kite took off on it's most spectacular voyage to date! Who knew that the best way to keep a kite in the air was to let go of it! It got well and truly tangled in the trees further up the hill and flew quite happily for ages before finally crashing way out of reach. Mark tried in vain to reach it with a long branch, but there it remains, destined to spend the rest of its days stuck up a tree where it can taunt me daily as I walk past it on the school run!

The Podlings were easily mollified with a trip to the park and the promise of a new kite. When we got home, I quickly made a special 'farewell kite' pudding whilst I made tea. I made a batch of coconut biscuit dough, cut out some kite shapes freehand and made holes in the bottom. When the biscuits were cool, I threaded strawberry laces though the holes for the kite tail and quickly iced a cross on each one. I served them on sheets of paper with clouds drawn on them. They turned out quite well for a rush job! I would like to make these again when I have more time and ice them properly. I think they would look pretty amazing if I could spend some time on them.
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Lily takes a turn
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You can have your own set of wings
With your feet on the ground
You're a bird in flight,
With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite"
~ from 'Let's go fly a kite' by Robert B. Sherman
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Of course, if we'd held onto the string of our kite a little tighter, we'd still have it!
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This is my second best kite biscuit. I went to take a picture of the best one and promptly dropped the camera on it, breaking it into pieces!
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Thursday, 1 July 2010

School visit

Lily on her way to her school visit this afternoon. She is holding the gift she brought for her teacher, a homemade double chocolate muffin that we wrapped in a doily and tied with a purple ribbon that matched her dress. She insisted that I tied the leftover ribbon to the end of her plait!
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Lily had her school visit this afternoon in which she got to spend an hour in the classroom with her future teacher. She was very excited about going and spent all day asking if she could go to school yet! Finally, 1.45pm rolled around and I took her up to the school and handed her over to her teacher. She absolutely loved her visit and told everyone she walked past that she had been to school today. She was most thrilled that she got to play with Tom in the playground during her time there. She keeps telling me that she wants to go to school "as long as Tom", so at least I know she is ready for full-time education! She was most ecstatic to have been given 'homework' ready for September. It was a few simple 'all about me' sheets for her to draw and colour that she insisted on completing the second she walked through the front door! Lily is so ready for school and I am certainly not as worried about her starting as I was about Tom last year. Starting school is a big transition, but I strongly suspect that Lily will love being a schoolgirl!
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It was quite a blustery day today. A gust of wind caught Lily's dress and hair just as I snapped this photo, but I love her sweet face so I'm sharing it anyway.
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