Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Very Merry Christmas

We're safely arrived and unpacked at Glingle's house. Ellie is fast asleep in her 'holiday' bed having been told that Santa will not leave any presents if you are awake and see him. The mince pie, sherry and carrot are waiting by the fireside ready for Santa and Rudolf. And I'm about to settle down by the real coal fire (which is, of course, warming the chimney so Santa doesn't get too cold) and drink mulled wine. It's shaping up to be an excellent Christmas.

Wishing you all much happiness and joy.

Monday, December 11, 2006


A new store opened in York this weekend. We came across the advert for it by chance at midday on the Saturday - its first day of trading. The advert promised furniture, soft furnishings, toys, Christmas decorations and craft stuff - along with free face painting and balloon modelling. How could we miss it?
There was a Santa who Ellie would not go near at first. An robotic singing and dancing reindeer. Free balloons. And face painting. Ellie waited for 15 mins for her turn. Then sat completely still whilst she was transformed into a ladybird (which she had requested). With her new face she also found new courage and actually spoke to Santa, as well as taking the sweet he offered.
It was a great time (and didn't cost anything!). We may need to purchase some face paints in the future however as Ellie has constantly since asked "what happened to my face?" " Can we go to the shop and paint my face again tomorrow?".
So you want to see a picture? Of course you do. (There was more paint around the mouth originally, but if Santa will give out toffees...)

Doesn't she look happy?!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

rubber band art

You may remember I posted a little while ago, promising photos of Ellie's art from rubber bands. Well here are a couple she created today. For a two and a half year old, I think they are pretty good. One is a rabbit. The other is called Mr Cools (or is it Koolz? I forgot to check the spelling?!). Ellie was particularly proud of his tummy and hair.
Ellie devised this art technique all herself - and it is also recyclable and costs nothing...!


No, it's not another 'endings' post. I'm trying to move on from that!

In our bedroom, there are two big windows (the only ones in the house which aren't double glazed). These windows have full length curtains (in a just about Ok pattern). However, they have annoyed me (in a 'oh' every morning way, but not in a 'must do something about it right now' kind of way since we moved in 3 years ago). Initially, I placed my annoyance on the fact that they were supposed to close by pulling a cord to the side. But the cord had snapped, which meant that you had to pull them closed. Not a problem by itself, except that the 'cord' mechanism always led to them sticking/tangling, so it was more of a wrestle than a pull. Eventually, I removed all the cord, but it wasn't really any better until Paul removed the mechanical bits too.

Then I realised I also had two other gripes. But bear with me, this does have a happy ending... They always gape at the top, which looks really untidy from outside - and inside, but I rarely noticed that due to being asleep. Outside, however, I noticed every time I approached our house. The other gripe is that being full length they cover the two radiators under the windows.
Very effectively channelling all the heat straight up to escape from the draughty windows - making our room a very effective fridge. Which has led to us tucking the curtains up on the window ledge, making it look more untidy than ever.

But yesterday, my mother and my sister and father visited with the sewing machine, energy, patience and curtain shortening skill. My sister pressed, my mother sewed and my dad hung the curtains. (I just played with Ellie... sorry folks!) The curtains now beautifully rest just behind the top of the radiators. And as a throwaway comment my mother mentioned I should get round to gathering the top of the curtains.

How could I not have realised that the horrible gaping (which was in fact the MOST irritating thing) was simply because they'd not been fitted to the window width? I suspect that Paul's comment that my irritation had blinded me from actually really seeing the curtains is very true. Anyway, today we gathered the curtains.

They now hang beautifully- our bedroom is effectively transformed.
I know this is a long post about a domestic triviality, but really, it has made such a difference!!!

(If the pattern was a bit nicer, I'd post a picture of them!)

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Well, somehow, it seems to have been a few posts since I've written about Ellie. That surely needs addressing!!

This week has been difficult. I think Ellie has started to realise that I am around less (due to working more). There have been tears at nursery on a morning. There have been refusals to let go of my legs, and my work bag mysteriously returning itself to the cupboard. It's been very hard for me. And it's taken most of my "mummy skills" to see past that and realise that its even harder for her.

Yet, the mornings have also had their happier moments. Last week, out shopping, Ellie tried to persuade me to buy Coco Pops instead of weetabix. As they both come in supercheap own brand varieties, and of course because I wish to promote her making choices and becoming more independent, I agreed. Ellie has chosen coco pops every morning for breakfast. Now as she is getting older and more independent, but still wakes at 5am we have developed a habit of setting her up with breakfast in front of a DVD and hopping back into bed. (As a parenting strategy I'm a bit mixed about this. I think it is 'slack' parenting, which I'd wish to avoid. On the other hand, I function much better with the extra sleep. Which currently is vital to get through the bedtime routine with a toddler who is exhausted from nursery, whilst I am also exhausted from work. The jury is still out, and in the meantime it's what I do.)

Ellie, once upon a time - not so very long ago, would have finished her cereal and shouted for attention. This week she has instead gone to the cereal cupboard, co-incidentally the only one in the kitchen that is not child locked, carefully removed the clip from the container, poured herself more coco pops, placed the clip and container back in the cupboard and taken the cereal back to her table. She started the week by also trying to get the milk from the fridge (using her step to reach the handle), but has found that the fridge door is just impossible to open. She alternates solutions for this 1) shout for mummy or daddy to get milk 2) just eat it dry.

Ok, so there are a few split and trampled coco pops on the kitchen floor - but how can you criticise such determination...?

NaBloPoMo - more ending!

It's well and truly over. I failed to post every day. I think I have good reasons - too much happening in my home life, including a new job and a holiday, combined with a dodgy broadband for the first three weeks of the month. Still, I'm a little sad that I failed to achieve something I set out to do. It would have been much worse, however, if I had achieved posting everyday and neglected other areas of my life which have all been in upheaval this month.

Yet, despite not achieving a post each day - there have been real upsides for me. It has made me more dedicated to my blog, and that in turn has led me to realise the postive impact that blogging has on me. And the NaBloPoMo randomiser, whilst I have merely dabbled, was an inspiration - leading me to blogs I might never have come across otherwise. Some blogs merely convinced me that I prefered my own style, other blogs provided a model for me to aspire to. Very few (if any?) left me untouched in some way. The randomiser was like attending some big fundraiser and finding yourself surrounded by people you didn't know, and with whom you weren't initially sure what you had in common. But unlike the real life version, which would have me frantically downing my drink and grabbing my coat - the blog version had people easily and openly telling me about their life, thoughts and ideas and even coming over to talk to me.

I may not have done what I set out to do, but I have really enjoyed the experience.