Monday, 30 November 2009

The deed is done...

I have applied for Phoebe's primary school place for Sept 2010. Now we have to wait until midday on the 25th March 2010 until we find out where she will be attending.

We went for the headteacher with the bright pink tights. We got the best feeling from that school and it seemed to match our parenting preferences, respect our faith and generally suit Phoebe's personality best. The only con we could come up with was that I would have to drive Phoebe to school as although it is close it is all uphill and not doable with both children especially as I would have to get Clara to preschool pretty fast after dropping Phoebe off. Second on our list was closer but it only takes one intake per year (so if you get stuck with a bully you really are stuck) and we didn't get the same feeling as we did from the first one. 3rd school was the only other non denominational school close to us and we didn't get a great feeling at all. For a start we don't know if we met the head or not, I suspect not as the woman who showed us around (and I use the term loosely) didn't seem to know a huge amount. Not a great impression at all really!

I just have to hope we get in to one of the first two so we don't have to go down the appeal route. Or worse yet get into a school that we haven't put as a preference. I have no problem with a Christian school (well, I do but only because I think religion and education should be kept separate, it doesn't seem fair that some children get more advantages because their school receives funds from a church) but I don't think it is appropriate for the girls to attend one given our faith. Choosing schools is such a minefield!

So far today Clara has:

Spread my nice moisturiser all over the upstairs hallway and on my, nice clean, carpets.

Spread Butter (again?! I swear it was out of reach... she must have go-go-gadget arms!) all over the kitchen counter and herself.

Stripped herself off completely and screamed when I deigned to put a new nappy on (wee + clean carpets = not good). Gone upstairs and found a whole new outfit then screamed the house down as I suggested she might get a little more wear out of the discarded  outfit and proceeded to attempt to dress herself (none to shabbily either).

Pulled her hair out upteen times and had a tantrum each time that she did it.

Demanded to have a jumper put on and then screamed blue murder when it was.

Oh it has been a long day and I have only had them since 12.30 too. Sob. I wish I could have a drink.

Wooo... productivity rocks!

7 Morsbags - Done
2 Well Woman Packs - Done
5 evening bags - One left to make!
1 shopping tote - Done!
2 Humpy Dumpties - Again, I'll get back to you!
4 Children's hooded scarves - Done!
7 adult scarves - Done
2 Dolly Changing bags (with stuff in) - 1 down, 1 to go.
5 tutus - 2 down 3 to go.

Not bad.... not bad at all!

The evening bags were a cinch, I was saved from KatyBag Hell (sorry LiEr, they are beautiful but I have a very little brain and got so confused, that and I forgot to borrow a zipper foot and Father Christmas isn't delivering mine until the usual date!) and Annabel gave me a pattern for a Tokoyo Tie Bag she had in her S.E.W. book... by the time I got to the end of my fabric I could whip one up in 20 mins inc pattern cutting.

I also did a late night dash last night to ikea for the last lot of Morsbag Fabric and a navy blue fleece to finish my pile of neckwarmers that I have just completed (well I would finish completely if I could find the pile of red ones but they appear to be AWOL so I can't stitch the turn hole closed). And I made the last Morsbag last night so that is done. I just need to find a fabulous biscuit recipe to make up so Phoebe, Clara and I can make Christmas Biscuits for her Preschool teachers but we will do that nearer the end of term. I had a fabulous one but I can't find the recipe book and I have The Fear that it has accidentally gone to the charity shop....bah! Anyone got any fab recipes for cutter biscuits, dough must be able to stand up to toddler bashing?!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

What a weekend!

But a good one!

On Saturday it was my lovely Mummy's [cough] birthday so we all went up to their house for a family lunch. Of course it was a lunch that my sister and I volunteered to cook, and as Liz works (well for someone other than a small child) fulltime I volunteered to do the lions share. This involved making a thai meal and baking a fabulous birthday cake. The menu was this:

Starters were sorted by Liz.

Thai Green Curry
Pad Thai Noodles
Totally Thai Pork Tenderloin


Birthday Cake!

I had most things sorted by Friday night so I only had to make the noodles and salad for the pork on the Saturday. Easy Peasy. The cake Phoebe and I made together and she insisted on a large amount of pink food colouring abuse so consequently we had pink sponge, pink butter icing and pink smarties on the tablecloth and she decorated the cupcakes on top pink with pink accessories. Mum is another pink aficionado so she was thrilled with it. I did however make enough to feed people twice over so I suspect Mum and Rob will be eating Thai for the next week and a half I should think!

Mum was thrilled with her gifts. I made her a Margaret bag:

You have to picture it with a great big pink button on it too, inside it was a framed picture of the girls:

I want to go and get this picture done up as a pencil sketch for my upstairs hallway (there are already a couple of pencil sketches up there that Mum bought for the girls so I thought this would compliment it nicely) but I don't have the funds just now. I will be saving up though!

Today we went out to see our friends Mahri-Claire and Greg with their two fab boys Elijah and Sebastian. We went to the Hungry Horse for lunch and indulged in some rather fine porn food and then we went back to their house for some playtime. We were going to go to the park but as the sea was trying to reclaim the land by air drop we decided against it! Ice cream and baked goods were on order for the rest of the afternoon and the children all wore themselves (and us!) out with rough and tumble. I love how you can always tell when these 4 are having fun as layers get shed the more they get into play. We ended up with two preschoolers in vest and pants and a large toddler in a vest, top and nappy and the baby toddler in just a nappy (and one sock...). Clothes are so over rated for these kids and it is great they feel so at ease with each other and in their own bodies. 
It was great to spend time with other "benign neglect" parents, so relaxed and so much fun and the children always play so wonderfully. Prizes have to go to the Daddies who joined in all the rough and tumble resulting in a pile of tired and giggly children at the end of the day!

On to the rest of the week and we have schools 2 and 3 to view tomorrow... gulp. I am hoping the strip lighting in them doesn't give me a migraine this time!

Friday, 27 November 2009

No... not good!

Argh, I finally get the small child asleep after trying since our return from the school run at 12.30. Tell Phoebe we will get baking the cupcakes to go on Grannie's cake. Get out the flour (mutter something about husband replenishing flour stocks after making pancakes) and weigh out 50g then I move onto the sugar and it happens. The scale flashes the two words you don't want to ever read when you start to bake with a nearly 4 year old:


and I have no spare ones in the house, Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

This is a DISASTER. Phoebe cracks out the wobbly bottom lip and is threatening to yell loud enough to wake up children on another continent never mind the sleeping poorly person upstairs. So I had to do it, I had to crack out The Big Guns. She is now watching Merry Madagascar and it is only November... ah well it is only 4 days until December isn't it!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

So far Not Good. It's one of THOSE days.

Small child has cough and was up half the night moaning sporadically. I didn't sleep until 1am but wasn't productive at the same time (unless you count playing bejewelled blitz on Facebook... so, erm, no!). This morning we were late to preschool. The only successful mission was the one to Sainsburys to get the Flaxseed so I could finish part of a gift. Got home and lost all sewing mojo and now the last sewing machine needle I can find has broken whilst I was trying to fix my ironing board cover. Half a bag done so I suppose that is a minor achievement. I was late getting the girls, Clara fell asleep before we got home (it is literally round the corner!) but woke up as soon as we got in so it took some serious cuddling to get her to go back to sleep, intersperced with her whimpering "no sleep, want to play" and Phoebe's very loud "Mummy, can I have popcorn? Mummy can I have a sammidge? Mummy Whatchoo doing wiv Clara?" etc etc etc. Clara is finally asleep in bed and I hope she wakes up in a better mood, Phoebe has been sated with microwave popcorn (hey, it fell into the basket in Sainsburys).

I have to get Mum's birthday lunch sorted in the next two days and make her birthday cake. Neither of which I mind doing and am quite looking forward to it is just finding the time and energy to actually DO it. At least her birthday gift is now totally sorted and just needs wrapping so that is one less thing isn't it!

I also have to sort out Phoebe's 4th birthday invitations for next Sunday, I did have them done last night but then a small child found a biro and well, it would be quiet charming if you could read beyond the scribbles. Next week is going to be filled with doing as well, birthday cakes (currently she is wants a spiderman cake.... all that blue icing [sob]) party food and decorations. As well as looking at the other two potential schools for her on Monday (hurrah for extra day at preschool for Clara).

I also have my emergency appt with the CPN (community psych nurse) tomorrow so I am terrified about that too. My friend Jane made an observation on Monday that it is no wonder mothers take longer to recover from depression as just stopping is very rarely doable. Man, what I wouldn't give to just stop for a bit.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

To Do List Update:

7 Morsbags - 6 down 1 to go... need more fabric (again!)
2 Well Woman Packs - Erm... I'll get back to you!
5 evening bags - See above
1 shopping tote - Done!
2 Humpy Dumpties - Again, I'll get back to you!
4 Children's hooded scarves - Done!
7 adult scarves - Changed my mind and am making neckwarmers of which I have made 4 (I think... need another fleece. I think I will get a dark blue one this time for a bit of variation).
2 Dolly Changing bags (with stuff in) - 1 down, 1 to go.
5 tutus - 2 down 3 to go.

Not doing too badly, especially as amongst this I have managed to make 2 neck warmers for the girls and Mum's birthday pressie.

I had a small glitch last night when I was making the tote, my thread kept breaking after I changed a needle. It took me almost an hour to work out I had put the needle in backwards... what a dimwit! I am also having a small stress about the Katybags (evening bags) I need to make as I am not sure my needle position is variable on my Janome 2050. I am sure I will work around it but it is worrying me a touch. I really don't have time (or the energy) to do another pattern especially as I have just spent a fair whack on interfacing not to mention I have my heart set on making Katybags.

I have to also add on a dinosaur costume for my friend's son Lexi, it was meant to be on the original list but I didn't add it as I couldn't find a pattern I could adapt. I have now found one and will hopefully be making it very soon. I just need to buy the materials which means waiting for a photobox payment into Paypal but at least I will have a chance to figure out how much fabric I need before ordering. I think I will get started on the spines for down his back though. I think I am also doing a mermaid dress for his sister but I know how I am going to do that.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Wowzers! my carpets are cream afterall!

My very lovely Daddy and StepMum have paid for my carpets to be cleaned to try and help me feel a bit better and take the pressure off a little. Initially they offered a cleaner but we cope with keeping on top of the house work however the big jobs are the ones I struggle with and end up not getting done. The carpets haven't been cleaned in the 5 years we have been living here and were, well, vile! This is after 2 babies (one of whom had spectacular projectile reflux!), 1 cat and 2 goes of post baby hairloss (I have waist length hair...). Anyway the blokey came today and voila... cream carpets again! I am waiting for them to dry and then I will be going around with the can (or 6) of scotchguard to try and keep them in better shape!

Mummy gave me her floor steam cleaner (Dolores her cleaner eyes it with a large dose of suspicion so it hasn't been used chez Mummy) and it has made my downstairs floors properly clean. I have floorboards and tiles downstairs so keeping on top of mopping is a royal PITA. Steam cleaner is like whipping a hoover round, takes 5 mins and I have clean floors :D.

Having a cleaner house certainly lifts the weight a bit. I don't feel like such a disgraceful sloven so much when the house is clean and my surroundings are tidy. Well as tidy as you can get with two whirling dervish children in residence.

I have the oven cleaning to sort out after Christmas and then hopefully things will be much nicer around here. Of course my living room is a pit and a half because I have been sewing this morning (well the carpet cleaner made a hell of a racket so any telly watching was out of the question). I have now made 4 hooded scarves in a fabulous cow print fleece. I am contemplating making horns and ears to go on them to jazz them up a bit but I can't figure out how I will attach them so they look gorgeous. I also bought the rest of the stuff to make my Katybags as soon as I have fluttered my eyelashes at Annabel and borrowed her zipper foot. I have decide upon Gators (neck warmers) for most of the men in my life so now I just have to chose the fleece. They didn't have any manly fleece in the haberdashers unfortunately so I will be shopping online for that. Do you think Snowflakes make a manly pattern?

Thursday, 19 November 2009


Did you hear that? That is the sound of reality hitting me. My baby is going to big school in a year, how?!

Phoebe is 4 on December 6th. Her Primary School application has to be by the 4th December and today we saw the first of 3 potential schools for her. I loved it, it was bright and fun and colourful, the head teacher had a fabulous voice, big hair and wore bright pink tights and came across as a lovely warm woman. However as her talk about the school went on I realised by little baby was going to be going to big school and that it is going to be a whole new episode in her life that was going to start! And we are responsible for the choice of school (well, ish).

Phoebe is so little, so funny and has such a HUGE personality (no, really she does!). She learns in a funny way and is very on the button with most things. She has a cracking sense of humour and a very good grasp of sarcasm and is certainly not afraid to make her opinion known to all and sundry. How is this little unique person going to fit in with 30 other children in her class. How are all her needs going to be met in the scrum. I don't doubt that they will but right now the logistics fail me.

We have two more schools to see, which we are doing on the 30th November and then we have to put them in order of which one we want before sending the application. How do I choose? I loved the one today but I haven't seen the others, what if I hate them or, worse I think, what if I love them all and Phoebe hates it when she starts.

I have brain ache from thinking about it all!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Baby Big Bum is no longer Nappyless!

After a trip out to town on Saturday I managed to replace my AWOL tape measure and so I decided to get cracking with finishing off Phoebe's nappy bag, change mat and doll nappies:

Close up of the nappies:

And the bag:

I am rather pleased with myself, in total it cost £5 for all of it. I had an old dirty bag that I used when the girls were in cloth nappies. I split that in two and used it to line the changing mat. The towel was a £1 bargain from Tesco when I was planning Phoebe's birth and the material I bought for £3.99 for 3 metres in Ikea and I still have LOADS of material left so I might even brave a little dress for Baby Big Bum. I may also zip up some little cloth wipes too.

I still have Clara's set to do but I have another towel and a different material for her. Now I just have to find the time to do it in! I really hope they enjoy these sets, they both have a fascination with nappies and their contents at the moment.

Days Out Thumbs Up: The Snozone Milton Keynes.

Today we did a trip around the M25 to meet up with Grannie, Grande and Aunty Lizzie to play in the snow in Milton Keynes' Snozone. All the adults were feeling a touch jaded after late nights and too much booze from the Gs and Aunty Lizzie. I had a migraine last night so I was feeling a bit rough too and Paul joined in for the hell of it (I am sure he will inform me of his reason as soon as he reads this). We met up after a very uneventful trip at midday in the Costa Coffee for hot chocolate and croissants. When we had finished there we filed into in the Snow area and we booked in. Grannie, Grande and Paul signed up for an hour skiing, the girls and I for tobogganing and Auntie Liz for being Bag handler. Mum et al trotted off to rent salopettes and ski jackets (given that all our kit resides in France) for a very reasonable fee whilst the girls and I went to find helmets for the girls (mandatory wear for under 16s, loads of them out on the side with plenty of choice in sizes).

We got taken out for our tobogganing session, shown the toboggans and then we started the large climb up the slope. Not easy for me holding 3 toboggans (glorified trays), carrying a small whinging child and trying to herd a larger child up the hill with no free hands, in hindsight take Auntie Lizzie in with me to help! Once we were all at the top (someone pinched my toboggan whilst I was on rescue mission to get Phoebe) Clara rode on my lap and Phoebe sort of managed a run on her own (there was a slight blip where she crashed into the barrier but in true Richardson style she got up and got back on again.... woo that girl!). Clara was cold by this point (she doesn't "do" cold...) so I took her back to Auntie Lizzie to get warm and dry. I came back to Phoebe who had made a friend of one of the staff and had her taking up her hill (result for me!) and then she shot down like a bomb! Much giggling and desperation for a 3rd go so up we went. This one was less successful as she had a wet and slippy backside by this point so couldn't stay on the toboggan, therefore about half way down and 3 wipe outs later she decided to attempt going down on her bottom, mostly she got wet and cold from this point on funnily enough so we decided to go back in and watch everyone skiing. Very glad I took spare clothes for both of them, I could have done with some for me too but hey ho!

We watched Grannie, Grande and Paul doing some runs on the ski slope, they assure me it was good skiing (I don't ski so even if I had tried I couldn't have told you what it was like!) and they all had fun. It won't be long before Phoebe and Clara are bombing down whooping with delight.  When they were done (we had to have a stern word with Paul and get The Pointy Finger out to say no more because he wouldn't come in!) we went off to have a lovely lunch at Ask. Then Grannie and I popped into the shops to look at ski gear, I am a very lucky girl and Father Christmas said I could have a pressie early and I got a ski jacket (I have a pull over one currently which is a royal PITA with a sling and we are going to attempt des vacation sans pushchair...gulp). Grannie may have also bribed her Father Christmas into her pressie earlier too but I shall say no more until I have pictorial evidence of her Thing of Beauty! Ebay has provided both of us with bargainatious complimentary salopettes so now everyone is hot to trot for Christmas!

Getting home was a bit trickier and took 3 hours for us but then it was Sunday night, there were roadworks on the M1 and we were headed, along with everyone else, back into London. Still the girls slept for most of it and the rest of the time they talked endlessly about sausages until we found some services and shoved a small pot of cocktail sausages in the back with them... bad parents, bad, bad parents!

Still lovely lovely day, Doctor Who and new Top Gear on telly when we got back. Perfick!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Phoebeism Du jour.

"When I go to the loo, wee wee comes out. And milk. When I am a cow. Not any other time though, that would be silly"

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

5 down 2 to go....

I have spent tonight making the 3 Morsbags I was meant to make last night but I got a bit too involved in The Sims3 (how long does it take an elder to snuff it now?! She is 114 days and counting... poor Mr Sim has his MIL hanging about like mouldy laundry!). I even did a little gusset thing to them (I hate that word) so they could be stood up a bit or fit more in side by side. They look pretty cool! I hope the teachers at the girls' preschool like them! I just have to find some tasty treats for us to make to put in them, no chocolate or nuts. I am seeing snowflake marshmallows and maybe some cinder toffee.

Alas there are 7 teachers at preschool and not 5 and I am out of fabric. This means braving Ikea again, urgh. Maybe I can buy a new tape measure so I can finally measure up for Baby Big Bum's nappies.

Hopefully I will sleep tonight, I didn't last night until 5am. I am shattered but as soon as my head touches the pillow my mind starts racing. I could take a diazepam but I don't want to unless I really have to, I feel like I am doing better at the moment and my slightly screwy brain tells me that if I take one I am failing myself. I know I am warped. I promise if I see 2 am and I still haven't slept I will take one. Time to go and pack away my sewing machine for another evening I think... I have already lost two bobbins to the beasties in the morning rampage [grumble].

Good Days and Bad Days.

Today has been (on my scale) a good day. The girls swam well today and we decided that as soon as there is a space Phoebe will move up a class as she is over confident (read: Bored so messes around) in this class and hopefully the next class will push her that little bit further. Other upside is that her usual teacher was away today and her Mum took the class instead (she is also a swim teacher) and was able to witness the Phoebe and Clara Swimming Show so is going to instruct normal teacher to push them both that little bit harder as they both need it. I baked bread, I didn't sew and I didn't lock myself in my bedroom and hide under the duvet. I haven't needed a diazepam in 4 days now I think which is a good thing, it means the AD medication is starting to work I hope. I am seeing the doc again on Friday, Mum is coming with me so hopefully we will find out how long the psych referral will take to come through (and if they accept me, I really hope so) and what will happen then. I still don't enjoy being out and about by any stretch and I suspect that the trip into Matalan was a bad idea and I ended up with a child under each arm and a frog march back to the car. We only went in for pants and vests for Phoebe!

On bad days, well it is a disaster zone, I can't do anything. I pride myself on my cooking and right now I can't do that very well (I have burnt more food in the last month than I have in my life I think!). I forget everything (eating, showering etc), I can't finish sentences, I jabber, I have no patience with the children or Paul, I panic about stupid things (under siege by the window cleaner?!) and I shake all the time. I generally don't do much on bad days but sit on the sofa under my blanket (where I am right now) and play Sims3. I know it sounds barmy but it gives me a small sense of control, something I don't feel I have in the outside world. I have lost so so much because of this awful illness (and it is just that, an illness), some things I hope I will one day be able to repair and others I have to let go of no matter how much that hurts.

At the moment I would really like to be able to sleep, I would sleep all the time if I could. Bed is such a comforting place... safe and warm. But I have to get up, I have to get children to and from school, I have to feed them lunch, change nappies, ensure bottoms are adequately wiped, referee arguments, field endless questions (from both of them), ensure toys are shared nicely, watch endless amounts of Cbeebies or Disney/Pixar movies. I am about to go up and watch episodes of Buffy until I pass out (why can't they put a "watch all" bit on the DVD the theme tune always wakes me just as I am dropping off!).

My friends and family are being truly amazing. I feel no pressure to be better for anyone other than myself. I know they love me warts and all and given what a royal pain in the arse I must be some times that is saying a lot! The support and understanding they have shown me is second to none. One day I will be better and I will be back in control of myself and then I will be able to thank them properly. I am doing my best to get through the days right now, slowly slowly I can see the light blinking at the end of the tunnel. One day I will reach it.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Woo, I have finally started.

I am now one dolly change bag & mat down. Small glitch with the nappies, it would appear the girls' dollies have larger backsides than the pattern I have allows for. That and my measuring tape appears to have been absconded somewhere so I can't measure up right now. Mucho frustrating.

Last night I made 2 morsbags, tonight I will aim to make 3. I am hoping that the Beloved will remember to help me tonight so it should speed things up. Then I will have to face Ikea again for more fabric for the other 2 (and maybe another couple of fleece blankets...).

Tomorrow night I plan on making the other nappy bag and change mat. And, if of course my measuring tape resurfaces, 4 nappies for the dolls. Then I just have to think about making some kind of clothing, I may cheat here and head to the local Mothercare / Next with the doll and buy a couple of new babygrows they can wear.

On Friday my plan is to start on the Well Woman Packs.

Saturday will be the Humpty Dumptys.

Sunday will be the scarves (assuming I can get to the haberdasher for the fleece)

Monday I am going to attempt to finish off the tutus.

Then on Tuesday I am going to my friend Annabel's and we are going to eat Thai Green Curry and make a good stab at a KatyBag by the lovely LiEr on Ikat Bag. This involves Piping and is kind of reliant on if Annabel has a zipper foot or not lol! If it proves too tricky for us poor novices then we might have a go at the gorgeous Bustle Skirt in last months Sew Hip! magazine, which reminds me I really should scan that in for Annabel!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Rememberance Sunday, the words ring in my ears.

When I was in 6th Form at Cheltenham College we used to have Sunday practice for Chapel on Fridays. The Friday before that remeberance Sunday we rehearsed the usual hymns and whatnot. Then the Rev rehearsed the words with us. I remember the school muttered "we will remember them" and the Rev got so cross with us and told us that we weren't remembering what we had for lunch, or if it was a birthday we were remembering those brave people who lost their lives to ensure our peace. That the words "we will remember them" should be filled with love, respect and total gratitude to them.

To this day I cannot speak, nor hear those words without remembering the utter conviction that the Rev put behind them and that conviction took it's place in my heart and I thank him for that.

Therefore I stand and declare:

I will remember them.

(Photography by Andrew Daly, isn't it stunning!)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

My Christmas To Do List...

In a bid to fight off the procrastination... I have the following to complete before Christmas:

7 Morsbags
2 Well Woman Packs
5 evening bags
1 shopping tote
2 Humpy Dumpties
4 Children's hooded scarves
7 adult scarves
2 Dolly Changing bags (with stuff in)
5 tutus

And a partridge in a pear treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

Rearrange these words into an apt sentance

off I chew than bitten more can


*well not really but you get the drift!

Monday, 2 November 2009


Children vile. Feeling flat. Still feeling hurt despite having "closure" today. And I welcome any ideas to keep the 2 yrd old Clara-Bear in bed all night that don't involve strapping small child to bed with industrial strength gaffa tape welcome.

I. Am. Fed. Up.

Nuff said really.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Blessed Samhain to All!

We had a lovely one. We weren't home so no extra place setting this year although I don't think The Beloved Departed would have objected too much. Instead we went to our friends Jane and Mike's house for a Halloween Party, mostly for the children but I think the adults had fun too... particularly Capt Pyro (aka Paul) who was put in charge of fireworks once it was nice and dark.

We had a good range of costumes:

2 witches
1 vampire
3 skeletons
1 cat
1 mouse

All the children played beautifully together which was lovely. The Pumpkin Pinata we had been working on for the last 2 weeks went down a storm and the children all enjoyed beating the smeg out of it until it (eventually... must let it dry better next time) it fell to bits and revealed it sweetie innards and a scramble ensued.

Thwacking the Pinata

 Sweetie Scramble!

Clara Triumphant!

Jane has surpassed herself on the nosh, we had all sorts of gruesome goodies, shortbread fingers with red nails (almonds), red jelly with eyeballs (lychees & grapes), stacks of her signature brownies, sausages, hedgehog bread rolls, stink cheese, walnut bread, guacamole, a fantastic homegrown pumpkin.... I could go on. She does, for now, get the Barbie Baking Sheet award for services to parties! Phoebe's party is coming up soon I intend to attempt retrieving it briefly!

Post noshing Paul had a whale of a time setting off fireworks at the bottom of the garden and we all survived unscathed and so did most of the foliage!

We got back very late but feeling very happy and relaxed. It is the first time I have felt chilled outside of my own 4 walls in a fair while. Mind you I have known Jane and Mike for just over 4 years now (I was pregnant with Phoebe when I first met Jane... that is the only reason I can date it lol!) and feel very at home with them, well I would have to be as Jane was there at Clara's birth and that isn't something you share with any old person really is it?!

Mummy-needs-to-survive-halfterm party!

Sorry I haven't been around for a bit, has been a busy few days but, for the most part, wholey enjoyable! I have also had a horrid time with anxiety and lost my photo and writing mojo so haven't had the brain space to come and write my witterings or take any lovely pictures (chronic shaking doesn't help on the latter though to be fair!).

On Thursday my friends Mahri-Claire and her lovely husband Greg came with their boys Elijah & Sebastian, Annabel bought Eliza and Hugo and Rachel came with Laura. It was so mild that for most of the day they all ran around the garden, played in the sandpit and generally had a fab time (as judged by minimal tears and maximum tiredness). it was a bit of a risk getting Clara, Sebastian and Hugo in the same place as they are all Kamikaze Kids, however we got through the day without any major incidents from them! Phoebe Eliza and Clara did the first layer of orange paint on the PiƱata and had loads of fun doing that. Elijah, Sebastian & Hugo played in the garden with Greg and had fab fun too. I roasted a chicken for lunch and we all had chicken sandwiches (there is no bad with Roast Chicken... yuuum!). In the afternoon Phoebe stripped off completely and played in the sandpit, Elijah freed himself of his trousers, socks and shoes in solidarity and whilst Greg entertained all the children outside (!) the Mummies got to hang out in the kitchen and natter whilst drinking "sweet nectar of life" (AKA Diet Coke). Mahri-Claire and Greg stayed for tea too which was lovely and Phoebe and Elijah really put loads of effort into their eating competition and both totally cleared their plates! Clara and Sebastian did their best too but being smaller are much more distractable. It was a truly wonderful day and as damn near perfect as I can imagine!

Here is a pic to entertain you that totally sums up the day: