Friday, 7 March 2014

Six years



January the 2nd marked the time where I have been a mummy for 6 years.

SIX whole years.


Two months in and I still can't believe that I have a six year old son.  

A little man who knows his likes, dislikes and has opinions….proper opinions that he's thought about himself, not just believed whole heartedly because mummy and daddy tell him something is a certain way.

He questions things he doesn't understand and will not stop until he has an answer that he is happy with.

He inhales knowledge.  Be it dinosaurs, trains or science, he has a need to learn.  He reads book after book (with a little help) and revels in his new found knowledge.  That boy knows how a steam train works, pistons to firebox and has learned how a combustion engine works with the help of models, Tom and Grandpa.  Most Mondays, after school, he goes to one of the Cambridge science museums with Grandpa (on a boys adventure) and knows some of the exhibits off by heart.

He has a fantastic sense of humour…although I could do without so many "poo and fart" jokes…

He's incredibly protective of his family, especially his little brother(s) and the dogs.


He gets incredibly upset if he things that someone has been wronged and vehemently believes that everything needs to be fair.


He is a whizz with Lego construction and I can sit and watch him put together models meant for boys twice his age.  With this I get explanations of why that piece goes there.


His imagination does run away with him.  He can't always get all his thoughts out fast enough and it frustrates him terribly.  If you sit him down with a set of pens and paper then he'll sit for hours and draw, and draw.  Each pen stroke has a meaning and I am in awe at the complexity of his little mind. (At school they had a project to make a dragon and write a story about it.  He called his dragon "Fish" and it breathed ice instead of fire…so the knights just got frozen and didn't die.)


The boy loves to bake.  He can whip up a sponge by himself, tongue stuck out to the side in concentration.  Actually…he just loves cake in general.  He asked for a carrot cake for his birthday cake. (I was very proud as it's also my favourite.)


He is polite and kind.  I couldn't ask for a better mannered boy.  I've always said that apologising when you know you're in the wrong is the hardest thing for anyone to do…let alone a child.  That he can apologise without a second thought explains Oli to a tee.

He's a little man who will tell me that he loves me ten times in as many minutes, just to make sure that I know he does.


I couldn't be prouder of my Little Man.  ….but I still can't believe that the tiny little baby I held in my arms on the 2nd January 2008 is now six years old.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Finding the positivities

It's no secret that I've been a complete and utter recluse recently.  My motivation for almost everything has been near to zero.  I've been feeling rather blue, with no energy and everyday life has become a bit of a struggle to get through without wanting to give up.

My lovely little parasite has been sucking the life out of me.  Third time is certainly NOT a charm when it comes to pregnancy.  No matter how much love I already have for my little man, it doesn't change how incredibly hard it has been on both my body and mind this time around.


...BUT…the sun is shining and through all my aches, pains and sickness (yes, there is still much sickness) I'm feeling more positive than I have been in months.  I'm snapping far less (my poor husband and kids haven't had happy go lucky mummy in a while) and I'm finding the spring in my step as the blossom starts to come out.  ….not a literal spring though, after royally buggering up my pelvis a few weeks ago.  As the sun shines on and the sky is blue I find myself smiling far more, and my motivation is coming back.

Now I'm feeling more like "me" it makes me realise how unlike myself I've been.

This afternoon, after putting the Tiny man up for his nap I made a cup of tea and took my poor forgotten blanket outside and crocheted a few rows in the sun, whilst throwing a ball for Lucy pup (who is no longer such a puppy). 



Such an insignificant little thing, but it certainly made me feel far more like the regular me.

I certainly have my "positive" hat on today…and it's relieving to feel (and with only 12 weeks left until we are due to welcome this little man into our lives, it's a feeling I needed to feel, because after all, we're incredibly lucky to have our (soon to be) 3 little boys.)



Friday, 29 November 2013

Four is becoming five



Those who thought we were crazy having two young children and two dogs (one, a bouncy puppy) look away now.  We are in fact even crazier than that.

At the end of May next year we shall be increasing by one tiny person.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

I've got that Christmas feeling.



I just can't help it.  Christmas is starting to arrive in our little home.

After thinking I'd got away without catching the dreaded bug that all of my boys had a week or so ago, it hit me…and it hit me hard.  I'm finally out of my metaphorical sick bed and am trying to get back into the swing of things.

I never get ill…NEVER…so when I get ill, I get hit really hard and it takes forever to feel better.

I hobbled into the kitchen today, early afternoon and decided to get my baking groove on.

Christmas songs a singing, I made my pastry and made a meagre attempt at a little Christmas boogie. (I'm glad only the Tiny man was there to judge me..)



The smell….oh the smell coming from the kitchen….!

Extremely festive.




I'm utterly useless at the moment and managed half of a mince pie….what a terrible attempt.  Thankfully Hugo was willing to help.  

He has ended up having 3.5 so far….he was also witness to the rest of the raw pastry somehow disappearing, but won't tell me where it went…..oh…and I found him with the butter and a spoon….(odd child!)




::and lastly, I know it's annoying blurry, but I had to share this little picture of the pups.  They're rather fond of each other.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Who are you calling little?

One thing I'm never going to understand is the speed that tiny animals grow at.

My small, potbellied little puppy has grown into a long, lanky little super model, with ears that hint towards the spaniel.


She is utterly beautiful…butter wouldn't melt…

…but would it?

This beautiful little lady is definitely part Springer (and possibly has springs attached to her feet.)

Luckily she has that face.  Just look into those eyes and tell her that she's 'orrible….can't do it?  Didn't think so.


No.  Don't fear, that angelic face isn't lying.  Exuberant she may be, but she really is a bundle of happiness, without a bad bone in her body.

We're whipping her into shape with training lessons (no….not actual whipping…!) and she's the best pup there, despite being the youngest. 

^^ Ok, there might be a little bit of bias there, but hey, I'm only human, and her being my furry baby, means I'm allowed to think she's awesome.

It's not all hugs and puppies (although there are many hugs from puppies).  She's still weeing a lot, and has been given the nickname "Miss Piddle Paws" by Mr B.  Our house can only be described as utterly crazy.  I have some people commending me for having the energy for two young children and two energetic dogs (I don't have the energy) and others look at me in sympathy and call me crazy.  (I think I probably agree with the latter.)


But this…….THIS is worth it all.


….and this…! 


They adore each other.  When they're not playing (noisily) together, they're curled up in a puppy pile….a rather adorable puppy pile.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Cranberry, red currant and almond muffins


Brrrrr….it's a wee bit chilly, isn't it.  I'm embarrassed to admit that we have succumbed and have put on the heating, but with two ill boys in the house, I'm glad we did.

Cake seems to cure everything...except perhaps diabetes…but I'm pretty sure it cures almost anything.

I'm feeling far too festive for the time of year and have some cranberries in the freezer so what's a girl to do?

Well….turns out I didn't have that many cranberries in the freezer, but in a little margarine pot, snuggled next to the cranberries were some red currants.

After a flick through a muffin book for inspiration I saw a muffin recipe which used ground almonds with blueberries.  Did I have ground almonds….a quick look in the cupboard told me yes….but not a huge amount.  …Oh well, I'll make it work.













Don't they look heavenly?

So…here's the recipe

Cranberry, red currant and almond muffins

  • 90g Cranberries (fresh or frozen are fine)
  • 60g Red currants
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2tsp bicarb of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 115g caster sugar
  • 40g ground almonds
  • 6tbsp/90ml sunflower oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 40g flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan oven).
Pop your muffin cases in your tin or grease whatever you're using. (I used my mini cake tin pan, as I wanted teenie little muffins for small boys…and with the theory that if they're half the size then I can have twice as many………!)
Combine the flour, bicarb, salt, sugar and ground almonds together in a mixing bowl.
Beat the eggs together and add the oil and milk to them
Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the wet ingredients and the fruit and loosely combine them together. (Do not over mix.  I had a few tiny lumps in my mixture, but believe me…they don't matter.)
Pour/spoon into the cases and sprinkle the flaked almonds on the top
Bake until golden.  (20-25 mins)
Eat with a cup of Earl grey and feel smug that they most positively HAVE to be healthy, with all that fruit and nuts in them…!)





They are, quite frankly, scrumptious, with no frills.  I'm really not a fan of icing, so these are my ideal kind of cakey goodness.

….Of course what would they be without a cup of the Earl




Happy muffining







Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Normality?

It's funny how you can miss the everyday little things that in the past you've taken for granted.

For me, recently, it's been coming downstairs in the morning and being able to walk into the kitchen without stepping in some bodily fluid lovingly left for me by a certain little dog.

Not having the house smell either of wee or of disinfectant….there seems to be no middle ground between the two, where there is just no smell.

But by jove I think we've got it.

This morning I came downstairs and did a little dance around the kitchen…NO WEE (or, dare I say it the worse of the two options…)

You see, Mr B and I have had enough.  Lucy is 3 months now.  That's an entire month of hating the morning with a passion.  We started crate training her from day one, which means she's more than comfortable to call the crate her bed.  Finally her bladder seems big enough to go through the whole night without a whimper or complaint.

8 hours of blissful sleep and a clean kitchen.  I can't really ask for more, can I?

What's more, for various reasons, I've been completely off my morning cup of tea.  The Earl and I have missed each other so.




This morning I had an urge to get reacquainted with him and his bergamot goodness. (well, I'm sure coming down to a war zone every morning would put everyone off breakfast)

Quite honestly I've been despairing for the past month as a few things are going to change for us in the near future.  I wondered if we'd done the right thing.  Whether I've been stretching myself too thin.  Puppies are hard work (hello understatement) and with all the changes that are happening, it's hard to not feel bogged under.



With all this going on I've been having to remind myself to have some "me" time. 

I've been stocking up on winter warming vegetable soup, which is utter heaven when it's cold and rainy outside.




I've been continuing my granny stripe blanket, which is now big enough to keep me (and my little helper) nice and toasty whilst I hook away.





Getting on top of this one little *by little I mean HUGE* achievement is a big step in the right direction.

I'm sure everything else will slot neatly into place.





Thursday, 7 November 2013

Autumn days



Tiny man is in awe of Autumn.  He wants nothing more than to run outside and cover himself in leaves.


He picks up sticks, conkers, seeds and presents them to me with an excited "Look!"

He rolls on the ground, relishing the crunch as he throws himself through the leaves.



And when those tiny little fingers are freezing (gloves….what on earth are you thinking) and he's ready to head in, we snuggle up on the sofa, under a blanket with a warm milk for him, a cup of tea for mummy.

I love watching my boys grow up, and Hugo's at that magical age where everything is still new.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Busy



My goodness, we're well into Autumn, aren't we?

There's a chill in the air which makes me incredibly grateful for snuggly coats and scarves.

My boys, however, have no idea what "cold" is.  They'd probably be more than happy going outside completely starkers, so long as it got them out to play that 2 minutes quicker than it takes to put a coat and hat on.




Despite the cold, I love Autumn.  It's the most obvious season, and there's no uncertainty when it arrives.  I like knowing what to expect with my weather.  None of this "is it Spring…is it Summer" malarky.

This year I seem to be spending a huge amount of time outside in the rain….wind…more rain…!

This little lady might possibly be the cause.



Golly gosh, I'd forgotten what having a puppy was like. (and in all honesty I much prefer adult dogs, who know where their place is in everyday life.)  I do NOT like accidentally standing in poo and having to hop to the sink in order to wash………………<<Yes, this happened…!
Why get a puppy then?

……Howard…!
With his self harm we were advised that it was because he needed canine companionship.  After the terrible accident that happened with Dennis, we were told only to introduce a younger, female dog.  Little Lucy is the result.


Oh, and isn't she beautiful?


We've seen a huge difference in Howard.  You might remember that a week or two after adopting Denbo, Howard, whilst stopping chewing his back, legs and tummy, went a little bit odd with his behaviour.  Running off and just not listening to anyone.  Then…..well….I'd rather not think about the fight they had.


But this time…low and behold, the professionals were right.

Howard is still, completely and utterly Howard.  He is incredibly happy with his little sister…….even when she uses him as a pillow…or mattress (yes, good luck with that when she's bigger than you, Howard!)



He's been fantastic teaching her how to act around adult dogs, and turns into a puppy himself, when they play.



"Yes….she can stay…"

And what about me, you ask…?  I'm utterly exhausted.  I've said it before and I'll say it again…Puppies are MUCH MUCH MUCH harder than babies.

So here I am, having a 10 minute break….in bed…with a cup of coffee (with the children's whole milk,  no less) whilst one boy is napping, the other is watching Toy Story 3...


….and the dogs?  

….well, I can't hear them, so they'll totally be being good…right?
I'm sure I won't go downstairs and find puppy destruction…

……right?
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