Sunday, 30 October 2016

October - Week 4

We started half term with a few days away on the Fylde coast again. The site was a last minute find but what a good one it was. We'll definitely be returning here, if only because it's flat and has beautifully tarmaced roads which meant after some encouragement and  a lot of confidence boosting Thomas finally got back on the scooter and by the end of the holiday was happily whizzing around on his own. 
We did our usual trip into St Annes, a walk along the front and a trip to Cleveleys where I bought more wool and Amy bought a crochet hook. She's happy to just chain and concentrate on her tension for now but I'm sure it won't be long before I can persuade her to 'turn' and crochet a first row. She's strung her chain up between her shelving and has pinned a few bits onto it. 
I posted off what I've already made to give me some space in the wardrobe, but I've still got 3 dolls heads rolling around so I've crocheted  squares for these and will sew them up and send them off separately.The only project I'll have on the go between now and Christmas are some large granny squares to make into a blanket. I feel the need to keep my house and brain tidy over the next few weeks and granny squares will feed the crochet addiction without wool and projects ending up all over the place.
Amy went for her blood tests and the results will be back next week. They took 5 vacutainers (new word of the week) and seem to be testing for everything you could think of, although I'm sure if there's anything wrong at all it will just be anaemia. She was allowed to choose a sticker for being brave!
We also met up with my brother and his new partner for a meal at Mr Cooper's House and Garden at The Midland Hotel. 
Walking through Manchester at night is lovely, especially in Autumn when the lights in the trees are all lit up.
The prices didn't seem over expensive until the portions arrived and then I changed my mind! The food was delicious though and my brother treated us so I can't complain. We had a great night and I was happy to be designated driver until they all ordered cheese and port which I really fancied. Mind you, I'm not the best drinker in the world and I'm always thankful the day after that I don't have a hangover to contend with. 
I've been meaning to decorate the shelf for Halloween all week but didn't find the decs until Friday. We don't really do anything for Halloween but it's nice to have a few things up for a bit of atmosphere.
Amy and Thomas have carved their pumpkins. Thomas wanted to make a cannibal one and spent ages sticking cocktail sticks in and colouring them red for bloody teeth. 
Amy's theme was less gruesome and she decided to use small marshmallows for eyes and teeth.
She went to a Halloween party last night and took her favourite tipple with her. I don't object to her having a drink because I'd rather she was doing it with our knowledge than behind our backs. I think it's just the idea that appeals to them all though as she brought the bottle home with her and there was still half left. 
Other random photos of the week at Number 38 are:

More things for the charity shop. 
A kangaroo and her little joey bouncing around the house. 
A purchase of 200 candles which might seem a lot but at the moment I'm burning 12 every night for our Halloween set up. It's surprising how warm the room becomes when I light them all!
Bath salts. A small treat to myself although I've no idea why the box is so big as the salts only half fill it.
A sparkly gold dish which I thought would look nice with sweets in for Christmas. I don't spend much on ornaments and things for the house as I change them fairly regularly and end up passing them on to charity, so at 99p I thought this was a bargain.

And a lovely bouquet of flowers from Mark just because....
And once again that pretty much rounds up the week. 

Hope you've all had a good one and thanks for popping by :) 


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Video of Thomas in Playground

Wish I could bottle his laugh. 

Especially like the way he says take the picture  'woman' :)

Sunday, 23 October 2016

October - Week 3

The week started with another physio session for Thomas. This time he spent 45 minutes on his tip-toes; walking on his toes, jumping up and down on his toes, balancing on his toes, walking up stairs on his toes, you name it, he did it on his toes. You can tell by his face that it hurts and a couple of times I had to look away when his baby blues pleaded with me. Not that the physio is a monster, he's very nice, but it's definitely a case of being cruel to be kind. The problem is getting Thomas to do the exercises at home. It doesn't help that I'm a big softy either, so Mark has to take charge - of both of us!
I didn't think his request for  gingerbread man/cat was too much to ask after the session and we sat in the car for 15 minutes while he enjoyed his treat, then it was back to school.
We went to Manchester this week to an art gallery. We'd been invited to a VIP event which means you get a glass of champers, nibbles and a sneaky preview of an exhibition, obviously in the hopes you're going to part with some cash. We couldn't make the date so we went on Tuesday instead. There was no VIP treatment although we did get a coffee and a private viewing and I did part with some cash. I can't show you what I've bought as they won't release it yet so I had to come home empty handed. While we were there we nipped into Annies for breakfast, my favourite new place to eat.
The week flowed pretty much as it usually does from then on. Look away now if you're not ready for Christmas Chatter. As well as buying myself some hand cream and a couple of balls of wool from Bury, I also bought candy canes and a Christmas cross stitch. I've written lots of lists this week and I'm feeling pretty organised, on paper at least.
I've also gathered all the crochet up and washed it ready to send off to Knit For Peace. This package will have 2 baby cardigans, 1 blanket, 1 poncho, 1 bunny rabbit cuddle blanket and 3 dolly cuddle blankets in it.

These are the dolly cuddle blankets. I've made them using the heads I crocheted a couple of weeks ago. I decided against the spiral dolls for the time being because although they're easy they're a bit fiddly and time consuming to sew up and I need to clear my wardrobes of all the crochet to make room for Christmas stuff (sorry, there's that word again), so a quick granny square and a tube for arms seemed a better option.

I've also carried on with the sorting out and took this pile of stuff to the charity shop. 

I'm in 'thinking ahead' mode at the moment so bought Pumpkins and a couple of candles from Lidl for Halloween. The pumpkins were a bargain at 79p each and I bought Amy and Thomas one each so there'll be no arguments on the creative front!
 I've also bought fireworks for Bonfire night and I'm in the throes of organising Thomas' birthday party.
At the moment we are in our van having a few days away for half term. We managed to find somewhere near Lytham so once again I'm a happy caravanner and so are Amy and Thomas. They spent ages in the park yesterday afternoon whizzing down the zip wire. 
And pushing each other on this swing. I have a cracking little video of Thomas but I can't post it because wifi isn't brilliant but I'll pop it on the blog in the week. 
And that's been my week really. Nothing too much out of the ordinary. Housework, crochet, children, Bury, shopping with Mum - it's all pretty much the same week in, week out, but it's what 'life at number 38' is like and as far as I'm concerned it's all pretty good stuff :)


Sunday, 16 October 2016

October - Week 2

It's been a bit of a medical week at Number 38. My uncle finally had his heart bypass on Monday and is doing well. So much so that he was discharged from hospital on Friday. 4 days exactly from being taken down for the op to be discharged. Amazing.

Thomas had his first physio session. It lasted one hour and he was certainly put through his paces but the physio made it lots of fun for him. Somehow learning to juggle was incorporated into the session and there was plenty of laughing as the balls went flying all over the room. Another exercise was to bend down on one leg while holding a cup of water on a book. I'm proud to report Thomas didn't spill one drop. It wasn't easy though and some of the exercises hurt him which was hard to watch but he gritted his teeth and persevered bless him. 
Amy also went to see the Doctor and has to have some blood tests. The earliest appointment we could get was in 2 weeks time, then we need to make an appointment to see the Doc a week later, so we'll be well into November by the time we get the results. 

This week I've been crocheting a jacket for a baby boy.
And I've also been adding granny squares to the poncho.
Which I managed to finish off at the van. That's one of the best bits about the van, there is always time to crochet.
I did put the hook away for a couple of days this week to concentrate on the house. Although I've been keeping up with my daily routines it suddenly felt untidy behind the scenes. This is a wardrobe clearing session. I've also gone through drawers, the airing cupboard, the medicine boxes, the bathroom cabinet and the book shelves. It feels better but there is still a fair bit to do.

It's a good job I'm doing it though because I've started to buy bits for Christmas which need to be hidden away. This will be the first year in 16 years that the big jolly man won't be visiting Number 38. I have mixed emotions about this. I'm sad because that part of our life has been and gone, but pretty upbeat because there is now an official present budget :) As usual there will be little surprises and I bought this bottle of dried ingredients for making brownies and these little bottles of hot chocolate flavours for Amy from Wilko.  
Sienna had another sleepover and we took her to Bury on Wednesday. Very inconveniently she woke up early and needed feeding, so my browse around The Works came to an abrupt end with no purchases. We hot footed it over to our cafe, where the ladies passed her around while we sorted out the bottle, water, milk, muslin etc etc. Then we took turns to eat while the other fed her. Brought back awful memories of when Amy was little and we never seemed to get a meal in peace!

We've all been to the caravan for the weekend, including Amy and the dogs. Mark set it up Thursday and we all went over Friday after school. I've missed it. It was only a short visit but it was good to get back out in her. It's been 7 weeks since we were last at Blackpool and the seasons have definitely changed.
Saturday evening we drove down the front to see the illuminations and then headed home with fish & chips. 
I tried to get a picture of a train tram passing, but ended up with this instead.
We arrived back home today about 2pm which gives me plenty of time to sort myself out and settle down for an evening with Mr Poldark, a glass of fizzy, carried carefully all the way home, and a champagne truffle or two.

This week is the final one before half term. Things to do this week include another physio session on Monday, carry on tidying behind the scenes in the house, finding the Halloween decorations, start organising Thomas' birthday party and to do a little bit more for Christmas.

We've also managed to find somewhere to go next weekend so I need to get organised for another van trip.

What have you all been up to?


Sunday, 9 October 2016

October - Week 1

Monday brought some good news. The Doc rang with the results of my second blood test and after lowering the dose of the tablet all seems well again with my kidney function. I must admit I'd let the twice yearly blood tests slip a little, pushing it to 8/9 months in between each one, but I shall stay on track now and go every 6 months.

Crochet project this week was this little cardigan. Just need to wash it and it will be added to the pile for Knit For Peace.
I've also finished the blanket and added a few extra rows at the top and bottom to make it oblong.
I've spent a lot of the week while I've been sat crocheting thinking about Christmas. This week I've been concentrating on games which have become a favourite part of Christmas Eve at Number 38. I've come across a really simple one where a story is read which includes lots of the words LEFT and  RIGHT. Somebody starts off holding a present and every time the words are said the present has to be passed either left or right. Whoever is holding the present when the story is finished gets to open it. 

Sienna stayed with us Friday night and we've now added a travel cot to our collection of baby things. I'd forgotten just how much noise babies make even when they're asleep. It was like having a little piglet at the end of the bed with the amount of snuffling and grunting she did in her sleep.
My Prima magazine arrived this week and I decided to try a rosti-topped chicken recipe from it. I shan't be bothering again. Mine didn't look anything like this and when I made it I realised it was basically a chicken pie filling with grated potato on top. The filling was OK but I'd have preferred it inside pastry, so next time I'll just make a chicken pie.
There was a major catastrophe at Lidl this week. Their ovens weren't working and the bread and cake baskets were bare so I had to forgo my vanilla crown! I did spot this lovely tin though, pretty enough with nothing inside it, but the added bonus is it's full of shortbread.  
Mark went down to London again but he was under strict instructions not to bring any Turkish delight back with him. Instead I chose 2 bags of chocolates from Thorntons when I was in Bury; Cappuccino and Sicilian Lemon. I have one of each every night and if I'm feeling particularly generous will pass one over to Mark. It's like feeding a donkey strawberries though because he shoves it all in at once whereas I nibble mine to savour it. 
We took Mum to Wythenshawe hospital today to visit her brother who is having heart bypass surgery tomorrow. He should have had it done last week but for one reason and another it was delayed. Hopefully it will happen tomorrow so that he can start on his road to recovery. It amazes me how a heart bypass has become such a 'run of the mill' operation with a stay in hospital of no longer than 5 days expected.

Other snippets of our week can be seen on Instagram and include:

Amy dying her hair pink. She was aiming for a candy floss colour but it didn't work and she's spent most of the weekend washing it out. It might not have taken on her hair but what it has done is left an imprint of pink on  my cream leather sofa where she's been sat. Not that easy to see on the photo but it's actually quite vivid. 
I did another charity shop drop off and was pleased to see Thomas' wedding jacket I'd donated a couple of weeks ago set up on display as I often wonder if clothes just get all dumped together for a 'cash weigh in'.
I've started to buy ingredients for the Christmas cake which gets made on Stir Up Sunday which for anybody who's interested is on 20th November this year.
And I finally got around to sorting out my crochet and knitting patterns into some sort of order. Basically I've stuck a photo and printed off a pattern which I've inserted into a cheap photograph album.
I have a busy week ahead of me. Thomas is at physio on Monday. Amy is at the Doctors on Tuesday. Sienna is sleeping over again Tuesday night and won't go home until Wednesday evening. Thursday I need to pack and organise for a weekend away in the van. Friday I'm going shopping with Mum then straight from school will be setting off to Blackpool for the weekend. 

I wasn't supposed to be doing this, but the monthly took too long and I forgot some things so I think weekly on a Sunday will be better.

Hope you've all had a lovely week.