Wednesday, April 28, 2010

productive day

We had a very productive morning here yesterday. Which I liked, I like achieving a lot in the day. We spent the morning cleaning (interspersed with eating biscuits). I'd forgotten the playroom had a floor!
We made little, tiny rolls

Rebe made Benny this train

Then we made some cream. Rebe's skin has gotten quite dry again and Benny has a few patches too. Our usual cream is very expensive and looked simple enough to make. Melanie's post about her salve inspired me to find a recipe to make something similar ourselves
We made it using 10g Beeswax, 40ml calendula oil, 10ml cooled chamomile and nettle tea, 10 drops of Lavender oil. We melted together the beeswax and calendula oil in a bain marie, then we very slowly dropped in the tea while stirring fast. When the tea and oil were mixed we dropped in the Lavender oil (the Lavender is quite strong so I think we'll add less of that next time).

We poured that into a clean, empty jar and let it set in a cool place.

Rebe labeled it. She wrote out 'ber rob' (translated: 'bear rub' which is what we call a massage) and I have to say I am very pleasantly impressed with how it came out. We'll definitely be making some more of that.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the last few days

It's been a quiet few days here. We had a brilliant delivery on Friday. Benny's (very early) birthday present from Bubs and Man arrived..thank you thank you thank you, we LOVE it! I have wanted to get the kids a wagon for ages, but they are very hard to come by in Ireland and also outrageously expensive. However, I recently came across Wonder Wagons, based in Ireland and very reasonable and am delighted with it. So are the kids! We took it to the shop straight away to get ice creams. The idea is to be able to transport everything we need (and Benny when needed) up and down to the beach (and other places).
We had a surprise visit from friends on Saturday which was so lovely.
Sunday was really lovely and lazy, I did a pile of mending in the morning...

and I finished this cardi for the baby. I also knitted Benny up a pair of shorties. I've still to wash and block them so will post a pick of them when I've done that.

Yesterday (Monday) I had an appointment with my midwife, my last one at her house unless I go very over again. Everything is fine and normal. I am now 34 +4.
here I am with the big belly.
This is always such an odd week for me, as it makes me think so much about Rebe's birth (she was born at 34 +5). It is funny to think of how perfect and complete this little baby is inside me. Rebe was so tiny when she was born but so perfect in every way. I remember so clearly the night she was born. I had such an over whelming feeling of joy. I was alone downstairs in the ward and she was up in NICU. I was too excited to sleep but I didn't know where she was or how to get to her and Andy had gone home. I remember feeling how amazing the world was all of a sudden. Like it had this opportunity to be so great because Rebe was in it. Makes me feel tearful now thinking about it!
I'm really excited to see who is going to arrive in a few weeks.

Big ol' bump!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The kindness of others

Are you ever blown away by the kindness of others?
Yesterday was one of those days for me. A lovely friend I have made here was just so kind and generous I just wanted to share what a wonderful person she is.
She picked me and the kids up (we're quite out of her way) to take us to playgroup, after group she took us to her house and gave us a delicious lunch, she then loaded me up with all of this... purple sprouting broccoli, a dozen eggs from her hens, rhubarb, gorgeous fresh herbs and a loan of a really useful book.
Then she drove us home... it blows me away how lovely people are! I feel very lucky to have met her and her lovely family.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stories from across the water

I have been meaning to do a post about this for a while. For those of you who don't know I live in the south of Ireland and my parents live in Bristol in England, which sadly means that we don't get to spend an awful lot of time together. However, since Christmas we have found an ideal solution thanks to my wonderful little brother.

On Christmas day I received this from him. At first I was scratching my head a bit wondering why he has given me a webcam...after all I'm not that technology savvy. Then he told me that he had also given one to my mum for her present and has one himself. How clever and thoughtful is that! He gave us a wonderful way to communicate with each other and now Monday nights have become Bubs story night... We try to make sure that we're bathed and ready for bed by 7.30pm and we come down to the computer so Bubs can read the children their bedtime story.
It works brilliantly and we look forward to it so much! Benny in particular is really benefiting from seeing Bubs. At his age (nearly 2) I just don't think they get the telephone, but he really recognises her and asks often for 'Butts' pointing at the computer. He's sitting on my knee as I type this pointing at the pictures of Bubs and the webcam saying 'peebles' (the name of one of his favourite stories Bubs has read).
It even works as a bit of a babysitter. On Monday when I was in the kitchen getting them their warm drinks I could hear Bubs telling Benny to take my camera cable out of his mouth...and he did!

They compensate not sitting on Bubs' knee listening to the story by cuddling each other.
I just wanted to share this brilliant brain child of my dear little brother. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who is away from their special people.
Thanks Chris and of course Bubs for all the wonderful stories and poems.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

babes in the woods

There's nothing like a tea party for breakfast. We went to the woods yesterday to have a bit of change from the beach and also to see if any sneaky bluebells had come out yet (they hadn't).
The whole place was full of wild garlic though which smelt wonderful and was great to play in.

Playing doggies (as usual)

Rebe camouflaged as a piece of wild garlic. Took me ages to spot her!

Benny being retrieved after a wee sprint down the path

Benny in his 'boat'

And mama sitting knitting under a tree...(Chris you're right I do look like one of those chickens from Chicken Run with my arms perched on top of the bump)
Lovely time!

Monday, April 19, 2010

a day to myself

I've been finding my emotions a bit hard to manage the past few weeks. My hormones are all over the place and I'm tired and emotional all the time. After some really good advice from a friend of mine, I realised that I've had no time without the kids for months. So I decided to take some time for myself yesterday. It was a glorious sunny Sunday. Once I got everything ready I left the kids and Andy to look after each other and I drove over to Rosscarberry.
It was a blissful day. I went swimming (well blobbing really) in the hotel pool, then I wandered around the village which was bursting with spring flowers and quirky buildings. I love the way the light shone through this stain glass.
I had lunch at a lovely little organic restaurant that I found in the village.
Yummy, feta cheese and sun dried tomato bagel.

Even yummier chocolate brownie and coffee.
I read and knitted until I was so rested I was ready to go home. I even picked up some pizza's for dinner...
Rebe wrote this menu (as she was so delighted it was pizza for tea):
She has discovered what writing is. It is so exciting for her. She sounds out the words and is writing down the decoded letters she is hearing. I'm so glad we held off with formal school this year and she has had the chance to discover the joys of language and reading and writing for herself, without rules and formal structures spoiling the shear pleasure of discovering how language works.
So all in all it was a lovely restful day that I won't leave so long this time before repeating!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

homemade pasta

I've been wanting to try this for ages and this morning presented a relatively calm morning to give making our own pasta a go.
1 1/2 cups semolina and wholemeal flour mixed
2 eggs
1-2 tspn ground black pepper
1/2 tspn salt
2 large eggs
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

sift together flours and salt and pepper then make a welt in the middle. Crack in the two eggs and add oil to middle. Gently mix in flour a little at a time until you have a dough too thick to mix with a fork..then get your hands in... Kneed the dough for 10 mins of so until elastic and smooth then let it sit for 20-30 mins.

Roll out the dough on a floured board to about 1/8th of an inch. allow to dry out a little for 10 mins or so.
Fold over a few times and cut into thin strips. These can be allowed to dry for storage or cooked in boiling salty water for 2-3 mins.

We served ours with tomato and onion sauce. I had intended to go into the wood and gather some wild garlic and make a pesto with it (then I know Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall would marry me :-)) but the kids didn't feel like it and in my new 'slowing down' mode I just shrugged and chopped the tomatoes.
I really enjoyed it (the others didn't) and I think they would be divine in a soup.
We spent most of the morning making bread and pasta and playing outside. It was a glorious day. When Benny had his nap Rebe and I went to the library and chose her some new books. We got the Mrs Pepperpot cd for her to listen too. Love those stories, I'd forgotten about them.
And finally...

Here is Benny wearing the unicorn hat I made for the kids. I made it from a fleece top that was passed to us and we weren't wearing, some wool scraps and some white felt. The kids like it, especially Benny who thinks it's a dog costumes.

Friday, April 16, 2010

beach days

The weather has been just glorious for the past week or so and we have spent much of our days down on the beach. I find it so relaxing and therapeutic just being by the water. We go in the afternoons when everyone else is at work or school or for an hour after dinner so we tend to have the whole place pretty much to ourselves. I can sit and knit or read or just relax and the kids will very happily play for hours
Digging is a must. Rebe is often an archaeologist or a museum lady digging up bits of pottery and bones.

Of course 'stone age bone age' is still played a lot, and many large pieces of drift wood get skinned and cooked and eaten.


hammering in of sticks


sand gardens

Benny has discovered pushing daisies into the holes of his crocs

making beach wrack jewellery (she went to pre-school wearing this necklace this if they don't think we're weird enough!)

check out the bling (clung)

And after all this outdoor play the kids are sleeping really well...they are not waking up til well past 7 every was even 8.12am yesterday morning.
On my way to bed last night I popped in to give them a kiss and tuck them up and found them like this....
They'd just melt your heart.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

yahoo! new camera

Andy mentioned to me a couple of days ago that I should choose a new camera. After much soul searching (we don't have much spare cash lying around) and browsing various review sites...I still couldn't decide. Andy took the decision out of my hands and came home from work today and plonked a new camera on the table. It is an Olympus utough (I had been looking at the model). Specially designed for people like me who keep dropping them. It is also splash proof and dust proof. It is Fabby and this is how happy I am with it... I feel I can justify the expense too in that I never buy anything for myself and I do need to have a camera for the birth of the new baby.... I'm so happy about it woohoo!
So here to try it out are a few pictures...

The new big boys boots

The new big girls shoes (scuffed already!)

And here are a little wee small pair of soakers for the new baby I finished a few days ago after the camera broke.
I will obviously be posting LOTS more pictures in the near future...
Happy happy grin grin

Monday, April 12, 2010

back soon (I hope)

Grrr! My camera is broken again so I won't be able to post any pictures for a while.
I hope we can replace ours soon or that mine will spontaneously recover (this has happened twice before).
Shame cause I have a few things I would have liked to post about and show off including the kids new shoes, a pair of baby soakers I have finished and a unicorn costume (well hat) I made for Rebe. Still these things will have to wait...
Back soon I hope

Thursday, April 8, 2010

we've been doing this...

Muddy walks in the woods
Looking at possible fishing spots

lectures in horticulture

jungle exploration (with a baa)

spot the spotty jacket

being nestled under rainbows

having visitors with a lovely dog

getting our feet into the sea for the first time this year

whoops, nappy got a bit wet.... and saggy

having a chat with a buddy

making 'bok' houses

picnicking in the garden

bringing our toys out under the spring sunshine

naked feet and knitting in the sunshine...pregnancy bliss