Monday 30 December 2019

2019 in 5 words

I saw this trending on Twitter - #2019in5words - summing up your year in just five words.  Not as easy as you may think!  So not only 5 words, but five versions of 5 words:

Much to be thankful for

Full of ups and downs

Now have three little grandchildren

Trying to be more healthy

and finally

Wish this cough would go

So this is the last post of 2019, and along with my trusty companion Coco I would like to wish you a happy and healthy new year, and thank you for visiting my little blog.  

See you in 2020!

Friday 27 December 2019

Coco, what does OUT spell?

We realised this afternoon that Coco has learnt to spell.  She was snoring gently on a blanket on my armchair, enjoying the peace and quiet after a day of guests on Christmas Day and a day of visiting at our son's on Boxing Day.   Paul mentioned that he may take her O.U.T in a minute.  She went from this

to this

in 5 seconds flat

Trust me, when that dog gives you the stares, she will never be the one to look away first!

So, Christmas is over for another year, we have the annual photo

I've been looking at this trying to work out why it doesn't look right and I've just realised that the camera has transposed the photo so the whole room is round the wrong way!  We had our daughter's parents in law here this year for Christmas Day and then went to visit our son yesterday so we've seen everyone, just not all in the same place at the same time.  Paul's mum was too frail to join us this year, leaving her own home is becoming increasingly difficult for her.  

I'm just about to go downstairs and turn leftovers into a festive turkey and ham pie, and I'm pleased to say that there is then very little in the fridge that didn't get eaten.  Does this mean that at the grand old age of 61 I have finally got the quantities of food right?!

Then onwards and upwards, back on the healthy eating regime (after I've finished off those last few chocolates of course 😉) but from the look of a message on my phone I seem to have signed up for a 'shake off that turkey, total abs workout' group that starts on Monday.  How the heck did that happen?  Fortunately it seems to be done in the privacy of your own home.  Five minutes every day for a month.  A month?!  What was I thinking?  And it's run by my Zumba teacher so there's no backing out now.  Wish me luck ...

Monday 23 December 2019

Not long to wait now

What day of the week is it?  They are all merging into one.  At 7am this morning I was in Tesco buying all my vegetables and last minute forgotten items so I feel like it's been a long day already!  It's nice to sit here quietly with a cup of coffee and check over blog posts although I strongly suspect there is something I should really be doing in the run up to Christmas Day.

I'm trying to tell myself, it's just like a normal Sunday roast and I'm only cooking for 8 so I should not get myself stressed should I?  I have a fridge full of food, a box in the garage full of veggies, and a timetable spreadsheet co-ordinating the cooking times of each bit of the meal so there is no excuse for being either hungry or disorganised is there?  

I know from experience though that things can easily go off course!  We traditionally have a glass of fizz with our breakfast of smoked salmon with scrambled eggs - and then Paul will take Coco for a walk while I start on the cooking.  Normally things go ok until the first guest arrives and I get talking or start offering drinks and forget about that highly organised timetable!  Although we all know that no one really cares if everything gets to the table at the time I was expecting it to so I need to just take a deep breath and relax.  If I don't mention what time I think we will be eating no one will know if we are early, late or on time!

I've mentioned before that my Zumba teacher likes us all to dress up from time to time so this was my outfit for the last class before Christmas, the feather boa seemed like a good idea at the time but boy did it get hot and scratchy round my neck after the first few warm up dances.  The sequinned Santa hat also did my hair no favours after 45 minutes of exercise!  So needless to say this will not be my outfit of choice for Wednesday!

Today is going to get busier, we need to go over to Paul's mum's as we aren't going to be seeing her over the next few days, there's cakes to bake for those who don't like traditional Christmas fruit cake (me) and a dog in need of a spa day/groom!

Have a lovely Christmas, remember to factor in some relaxation time in between all the busyness and enjoy yourself!

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Headline news

Another photo related post!

Our local newspaper sent photographers round to all the local schools to cover the nativity plays being acted out around the town last week.  How proud we were to see our little Leo's face in the photo that they chose for their headline post on Facebook

Never seen him look so serious!  {last angel on the right in the middle row}

First 'press cutting' to add to his memory box 😊 

Monday 16 December 2019

Hot dogs and perfectly imperfect photos

"'twas the day before Sunday
and all through the house ..."

A certain dog was stealing all the best places to sit

Morning sun in the conservatory

Followed by evening warmth by the fire

I had noticed, while tidying up the lounge, that little toddler fingers had been playing with the 'coals' in the fireplace and they were all bunched up at the bottom.  So I rearranged them back to how they should be, turned on the fire to make sure the flames were burning properly and suddenly I was aware of a little furry body gradually pushing me out of the way so she could have all the warmth.  I'm not sure who's in charge in our house, Coco or us?  Who am I kidding, she's totally the one in charge!

The Saturday tidy up was so we could relax and enjoy having all the family over on Sunday for a late celebration of Paul's birthday.  As you know, I take a photo a day to merge into the 1 Second Every Day monthly video.  I didn't think about it before we started eating so you will have to excuse the slightly eaten plates of lasagne!  I took this photo

and then Rachel said 'Mum, you aren't in it, let's see if we can get everyone in a selfie

And we kind of did!  All children are looking in the wrong direction, Leo has reached the age of pulling a face the minute he thinks someone is taking a photo and there is no way it would be considered the perfect photo.  But it is to me.  Because it shows us all together, and that is how I consider a perfect Sunday to be.

Monday 9 December 2019

One photo - Twenty words

How long do you think it will take Rosie to remove every ornament on the lower branches of my tree?

Not as organised as I thought!

At the beginning of each month I print off the calendar from my phone so that we have a paper copy of what's happening, when and where for the next four weeks.  I have found that this puts an end to any 'I didn't know about that' conversations that sometimes occur (otherwise known as 'I knew you weren't listening to me when I told you about that' conversations 😉)

December is one month in particular where there is a lot going on and shopping trips and days out need to be planned well in advance so we can work around the day we look after Leo and Rosie and the day where I pick up Leo from nursery and drop him at the childminders.  I had a busy week in the diary this week - and then all plans had to change.  The childminder was in hospital, Rachel and James have no annual holiday leave left so guess what?  Three days of childminding and hastily rescheduled shopping trips!  That'll teach me to think I know what's happening well in advance - when will I learn?  

Christmas festivities have started for everyone.  

Rosie and I had a Christmas jumper themed Baby Sensory session

Paul met up in London with a bunch of ex work colleagues, I went out for dinner with three girls I used to work with (we all turned up in sparkly outfits; the waitress said we were the smartest people in the restaurant, and you know what?  I think we were!). Paul went up to London with our son to visit the William Blake exhibition at the Tate Britain and when he got home it was a quick shower and change of clothes for another meal out  on Saturday night with four other couples.  Tree decorating always happens on the Sunday closest to Paul's birthday so that was Sunday taken care of.

Dare I think I know what is happening this week?  Will the childminder be given the ok to go back to childminding duties after her check up on Tuesday?  All I can say is I am taking one day at a time and building in lots of wriggle room room for last minute changes.  Meeting up for drinks with some more ex work colleagues at the local pub on Monday evening, party themed last ever baby sensory for Rosie on Tuesday, Wednesday is ominously clear, Paul's birthday is on Thursday, which is also the day of the General Election.  Results will be in on Friday the 13th.  Is that significant I wonder?!!!

Also on Friday it is Leo's first nativity play.  It looks like his daddy is going to miss it as he has to be in Manchester on business on Thursday and is staying up there overnight and it's looking like he won't be back in time.  So 'someone' is going to have to use that second ticket aren't they?  I mean, Rachel will need someone there to keep an eye on Rosie and distract her if she starts playing up, so I suppose I may have to go.  Which will mean I'll be the emotional wreck trying to hold back the tears.  There's something about the sight and sound of tiny children dressed up as shepherds and angels singing Silent Night that gets me every time.  Leo has been practising his carols very seriously and I love the fact that they have all been taught (yes, even the three year olds) to sing 'We wish you a merry Christmas' whilst doing the verses in sign language.  Must remember to take tissues with me.

Monday 2 December 2019

A sentence a day in November

November - The month where I start by saying I refuse to start thinking about Christmas too early and end the month starting to panic as everyone else has finished shopping and I haven't even started!

Day 1 Bit of a boring start to the month as I seemed to spend the day catching up on household chores that have slipped under the radar while I was ill, the photo book from our holiday arrived, lovely memories.

Day 2 Although England reached the Rugby World Cup final in Japan, they were beaten by South Africa so a disappointing start to the day but ended it nicely with friends coming over for drinks in the evening

Day 3 Sunday lunch with M-I-L and Rachel and family, first time in about a month - M-I-L was so pleased to see her great grandchildren, it really did brighten her up.

Day 4 In the words of Britney Spears 'Oops I did it again ...' bought some gorgeous sparkly shoes from Marks and Spencer which will be perfect for going out over the Christmas period and any other time (whoever is in charge of shoe design at the moment at M and S gets my vote!)

Day 5 Childminding day and a trip to Baby Sensory where the theme was 'Under the Sea' 

Day 6 Had my flu jab at the local pharmacy this morning (I'm five years too young to get a free NHS one!)  also ended up having to wash my car due to some very large bird leaving some very large bird poo on the back windscreen and all down the back - disgusting - I tried just hosing it off but ended up cleaning the whole car.

Day 7 Zumba! 

Day 8 Went to Cambridge and unexpectedly bought a few Christmas presents - had friends over for drinks in the evening

Day 9 One of the volunteers that Paul works with at our local Country Park invited all the committee members and their wives to his home for a meal - I didn't know any of the other people there so I have to admit that I wasn't really looking forward to it but, as often happens, we actually had a really nice evening, everyone was lovely and friendly.

Day 10 Thought we had a quiet Sunday with just the two of us, then Max turned up for Sunday lunch (along with his mum and dad!) and we met up with Rachel and her family over the park so it ended up being a great family day.

Although this photo is predominately Rachel and Leo on a zip wire, you can also see (right to left) Jon with baby Max in his sling, Sophie, James with Rosie in her buggy, Paul and Coco!

Day 11 Next week Sophie's sister is getting married and I am going the the venue to look after Max behind the scenes so she and Jon can relax and enjoy the festivities - the venue is nearly an hour from us and in a place I have never been to before (fantastic name of the village - Shingay cum Wendy) and as I have no sense of direction and don't always trust a sat nav today we did a trial run so I know where I am going.

Day 12 Childminding day - Rosie seems to have taken a shine to a little boy called Alex at Baby Sensory, they crawl into the middle of the room together and then sit opposite one another and stroke each other's face, (cue lots of 'aaah' from all the other mums!) #verycute

Day 13 My author friend has a new book published today so I went to her book launch at our local Waterstones store - also Coco went to groomers and had her festive photo taken

Day 14 Zumba - always a good start to a Thursday

Day 15 Started decorating the dining room ...

 ... and Paul had an hour long dentist appointment for root canal work 😱 

Day 16 More decorating, walls are now done, just a door left to paint now

Day 17 Finished knitting a little cardigan to send to the NICU hospital 

Day 18 Another trial run to the wedding venue using a different route - this was was much more direct, I feel like I may actually find it myself now - celebrated with a coffee and hot sausage sandwich at a local farm shop

Day 19 Belated Children in Need themed Baby Sensory today

Day 20 Had a manicure for the first time in months!

Day 21 Rosie's first birthday - the time has flown!

Day 22 Babysitting Max at Natalie's wedding, happy to report that he was very well behaved and I found my way home again even in the dark!

Day 23 Went into town and tried out a new cafe/deli for mid morning coffee - will definitely be returning, it was lovely!

Day 24 Zumba 'Christmas' lunch followed by Rosie's birthday party - Rachel made a fabulous cake

Day 25 Went with a friend to the cinema to see 'Last Christmas' - we both really enjoyed it and the George Michael music throughout was perfect!  Even Andrew Ridgeley is in a scene right at the end!

Day 26 Childminding day - baby sensory in the afternoon, only two more sessions to go before Rosie is too old for that group.

Day 27 A totally unsuccessful shopping trip into a nearby town - I'm trying hard to shop locally this year to support local business rather than internet shopping but need to have more of an idea of what I'm looking for before I head to the shops!

Day 28 Zumba!

Day 29 Babysitting for Rachel in eve, when I tried to get in my car to come home all the door handles had frozen shut #winteriscoming

Day 30 Went to friends for dinner, car windscreen totally frozen when we came to go home but at least the doors opened!

Ready for the monthly video round up? 1 Second Every Day

And if you fancy seeing what other people have been doing this month, or if you want to join in yourself, here's the place with the links! (I may be a day early in sharing this so if that's the case, please come back again tomorrow 😉)
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter