Sunday, 27 December 2009

I'm still a bit in shock today. I did a pregnancy test yesterday and it was positive! I am really surprised and feel weirdly unprepared. I definitely want more lovely children, but am worried that I won't be well enough to mind Roo and Poonch. I'm also worried that I'll be slammed into hospital because of the phoney 'obstetric cholestasis' that I was supposed to have last year. It had a terrible effect on Roo and I don't want him and Poonch to go through that again. And I'm still breastfeeding Poonch and had hoped to continue for a while longer. I feel he's still only a baby himself. I asked Roo if he'd like another baby and he said, 'we already have a baby', and that pretty much summed up how I felt.
We are happy really, but just weren't expecting to be expecting again so soon... although I'm not sure yet when 'soon' is. I'll have to wait for a scan to find that out. Which is also worrying me, because these hospital people always underestimate when your due date will be, meaning many women go 'overdue' when they actually aren't and babies get induced out of their cosy dens before they're ready. Ooopsie... don't get me started on my pregnant-women-and-hospitals rant.
Welcome little baby. We are looking forward to meeting you!
Today is the feast of the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, watch over us and protect us and help us to be more like you!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Our boys

I thought I would write a bit about the two lads, as they change and develop so quickly, it can be easy to forget little things they do and say.
Roo is just over 3 years old. He is tall for his age and skinny. I think he grew up rather than out. He likes the (com)pootah, watching telly (Chuggington, Thomas, Bob the Builder, Timmy Time, I Can Cook, Show Me Show Me), all the usual 'things that go' (trains, diggers, rockets, spaceships, tractors, bin lorries) playing hide-and-seek and reading (his Montessori directress says they know to look next to the bookshelf when they can't find him; he can pore over books and catalogues for ages and likes to have something to read when on the potty. Come to think of it, he's quite fond of multi-tasking in other areas too.)
He can be quite sensitive and likes things to remain the same. He is very friendly with other children and is invariably the first to say hello on first meeting. He loves going to toddler group and Montessori ('school').
He likes to eat things he cooks and a 'selection' of other things. Making up stories about Baked Beans helps him eat less favoured foods.
In Montessori, they euphemistically describe him as 'good and assertive', but I'd say he's downright bossy at home! He puts his hands on his ribs and tells me off when he thinks I need putting in my place. I used to think he was trying to put his hands on his hips, but now I suspect he is actually trying to look like a threatening gorilla. He reminds me of my Dad sometimes when he is in a mood to complain. Really though, overall, he's a kind-hearted little fella, who is thoughtful, gentle and always shares food, even yummee things like post-Mass Animal Bars. Sometimes he'll totally surprise you with things he does, like coming up to you with a tissue after you sneeze. I sometimes think he's psychic too... but that just makes me sound a bit mad.

Poonch is 11 months old. He is a sturdy little chap with lots of strength in his legs and arms. He started crawling in the middle of August, but prefers to get himself up on his feet by using vertical things as a scaffold and then he's off cruising. He recently started to bridge gaps by reaching across from one support to another some distance away and yesterday he stood for a secret second without holding anything. He has always been a very smiley little fella, making him very appealing to anyone who meets him. He has a deep, infectious chuckle which wrinkles his nose when he laughs. He has a 'roundier' face than Roo, although friends told me this week he is looking more like him these days, possibly because he has had a lingering cold for the last few weeks and has got less chubby cheeks at the moment. He loves eating and is still at the age when everything goes into his mouth, being particularly fond of paper. He loves playing with Roo's toys in preference to ones more suitable to his age. He has just started pointing his finger at things and also occasionally waves at people if he gets the notion. He decided he'd really get going on the baby talk on Tuesday when Roo was at Montessori. His brother calls him the Baby Monster, but he is what Roo would call a happy /messy monster rather than a scary one. 'Oh no, a big mess! Baby Monshter, Baby Monshter!'
Even when Poonch is hard at work trying to swallow Roo's favourite toys, they get on very well. I'm sure Poonch's arrival was very stressful for Roo, especially with me being in hospital for the best part of two weeks, but he's never taken it out on his little brother.
I consider myself extremely blessed to have been entrusted with the care of these little guys and very lucky to be able to look after them myself. Thank you God for them!

Monday, 30 November 2009

St Andrew's party

Have just been speaking to Mum. Their front garden was the scene this morning of multiple crashes due to black ice, which resulted in their front wall being destroyed, but miraculously no-one being hurt.
She told me that today is the start of St Andrew's Novena, which continues until Christmas. Throughout each day between now and then, you say the above prayer for your intentions. Fifteen times a day. I think it's a beautiful prayer in itself. Thanks to Two Hearts Design for their version of the text.
Incidentally, Mum's prayer to St Anthony was prayed fervently and successfully on Thursday night while in the Big Smoke, when Lee's phone went missing. We stayed nearer town this time in the hotel that actively attracts culchies like us. So I suppose it was inevitable that me walking in with my wellies on met with complete indifference. It was slightly disappointing, except it meant I won the bet with Lee! Other notable events while we were there included my brother's book launch (congratulations Bee!), meeting friends I've never met or relatives I haven't seen in too long a time, Roo's first trip on a Luas or any train for that matter, three generations watching the Christmas lights in 'piercing cold', two lovely meals (in lieu of a 'party' for Bee), coffee and pancakes in Lemon, Mum's first Late Late Toy Show since my sister died 25 years ago, self-indulgent trips round ribbon and knitting shops (well I did win the bet after all) and a visit to my lovely Therese in the oasis that is St Teresa's Church off Grafton St.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Who'd like some lovely stuff?

There is a giveaway of lovely handmade goodies going on here. Just click and leave a comment and you could be the chuffed owner (or Christmas giver) of some beautiful Irish things.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Hooray! Fr Sinnott was released last night, our time. He had been in captivity for a month and is in pretty good health, considering. Thank you for praying for him.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

words of comfort

Sometimes I read things and one word can make me catch my breath and I have to re-read it a few times to make sure I've read it right. Last night that word was 'snuggle'.
I'll explain. Mum gave me a copy of St Faustina's diary for my birthday and I dipped into it before I went to bed. I asked for a comforting passage and here's what opened up: Faustina is recounting something Our Lord said to her,
'Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace.'
How wonderful is that?
Now, this is book is translated from Polish and I can't help but wonder what's the Polish word for 'snuggle'?

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Quilting... the story so far!

Every week I escape from my lickle cuties and spend a couple of hours absorbed in something completely different. Here are the squares I have made so far. From a distance they look alright, but they are full of mistakes! That's ok though, because this is a sampler quilt, which is the one you learn all the traditional patterns on. And of course we learn from our mistakes.... and I certainly make a lot of them!

P.S. These blocks are called Nine-Patch, Log Cabin and Pinwheel. Next up on the agenda is Fence Rail.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Last Day of the Old Milk Market

Well, someone up there must have been listening to me yesterday because today has been a great day. I even managed to get some heavy duty washing dry without having to resort to the tumble dryer.
This morning we headed into Limerick City to do our rounds of the Milk Market : a weekly open-air market that sells much more than just milk. I'm glad we made it in, because today was it's last day in it's current incarnation. It is due to be closed for 6 months while it is refurbished and covered with a roof. Speaking to some of the traders, Theresa and Olivier, there is a mixed reaction to these changes. It'll be interesting to see how it all turns out.
I am reading an anthology of short articles by Mother Teresa that sort of resolves the conflict I posted about yesterday. She writes, 'children [need someone] to receive them, to pay attention to them, to encourage them if they are sad, to share their joy if they are happy. They long for somebody to accept them, to love them, to praise them, to be proud of them.' It sounds fairly obvious and simple, of course, but if I concentrated on doing just those 'little things' as she calls them -'by kindness, by sharing joy, by sharing a smile', I would really be doing well I think. Back to Therese's Little Way. If I could just manage that, it could change our little part of the world.
On another note, if you can, pray for Fr Michael Sinnott, the 79 year old who is still being held by a gang in the Philippines.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Not enough hours in the day...

It's been a while since I wrote anything on my blog, partly because I can't send things from my phone anymore, which was so handy for quickly posting photos of what we were doing. The other reason is that I feel guilty spending time on the computer. Really there is always something that is more pressing or justifiable for me to do than blogging. Usually that involves something fairly boring like, for example, hanging washing on the airers so it can hang there limply and pointlessly for a day or two until I reluctantly have to put it into the tumble dryer. (The weather is too bad to put washing outside on the line at the moment. I must say, I love watching it dancing there on a breezy day. Especially babygros- they look like little fat babies dancing in formation.) St Thérèse's Little Way really comes into its own here: when wearisome tasks fill my time I think of her in the convent doing her chores.
Other important things include looking after the two lads of course, which is not tedious or boring because I love doing it, but is not compatible with sitting in front of a computer screen. Although I am home all day, I don't seem to have time to do all the things that need to be done and finish the day feeling as though I haven't done enough to keep the house tidy, reduce the laundry mountain, banish the dust bunnies and watch my little fellas being little fellas. In the evening I want to spend time and talk with Lee, but often we are both absorbed in something that excludes the other. Am I really bad at managing my time?
Incidentally, perceived lack of time is one reason I don't respond to the lovely comments that wonderful people leave on my blog. But please be assured, Anne, Maria, Mary and anyone else who's been kind enough to say something (and spend the time here), that I really appreciate your words and thoughts and prayers. And in turn I feel privileged to be able to follow your inspiring blogs and share our faith.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Thursday, 1 October 2009

St Therese's Feast Day

Happy Feast Day my friend! And she really is a friend.
The thing is, I'm not alone in that thought. While reading the account of the visit of her relics to Ireland in 2001, (St Therese in Ireland) it struck me that people kept referring to her as a friend or part of their family. She must be such a busy little saint, speaking to and helping all those people on God's behalf!
It also occurred to me that her visit came during the Foot and Mouth crisis, when many of our friends headed to the U.K. for lucrative work. Me and Lee stayed here, missing out on well-paid work, but of course we had the opportunity to visit St Therese's relics while they were here. I think we got a better deal!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Brambly hedges....

Lots of reasons to be cheerful today.
The weather has continued to be sunny and clear: I was outside in a T-shirt today. We were all out picking blackberries. Lee and me were collecting them in an old ice cream box and Roo was storing more in his tummy. He was like our quality control officer: sampling the produce to make sure it was good enough to use and encouraging us to keep on picking. (Mmmm... it's tayshty, Mama!) When the lunchbox was full we headed home and when the lads were in bed I made jam with our gathered berries. Guided by Darina Allen's excellent advice, I added some stewed bramley apples (to help it set) and ended up with four little pots full of my favourite jam. Lee also collected some sloes with the intention of making sloe gin, which we drank once in the North pre-sprogs. Here is a picture of a ladybird that we met along the way. One of the few I've seen this year.

Earlier at mass we were told that for the first time, the diocese' contribution to Trócaire'sLenten campaign exceeded 300,000 Euro, which is quite something in these times of recession. Maybe we think more of the plight other people when we are in a tight spot ourselves. Or maybe when times are good we think someone else will donate and we don't need to. Or we're too busy?
Fr Noonan also spoke about Holman Hunt's picture, The Light of the World. Apparently, years after it was painted, the version in St Paul's gave everyone a surprise. The image had become obscured with dirt, so they sent it off to be cleaned. The frame was removed and underneath it they discovered a message from the artist saying sorry for leaving the Lord outside for so long.
And look, can you see the brambles on the door?

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Pray, Hope and Don't Worry

I watched a really interesting programme about Padre Pio tonight. A bit spooky in bits, what with the whole bi-location and wrestling with the devil thing. But I didn't realise one of his sayings was 'Pray, hope and don't worry'. It's so simple, like John Paul II's 'Be not afraid'.
Easier said than done, of course. We had a setback today with the house we can't sell. Someone who had agreed to rent it has pulled out. It would have been a huge help as we are paying mortgage on that house and rent on this one each month. We'll just have to pray, hope and not worry....
The picture came from via Google images. If you click on it, you'll find a lovely story about Padre Pio and pasta, which he and my boys share a love of, apparently.

We are still blessed with sunshine here, an Indian summer. It's wonderful to be able to spend time outside with the lads, Lou on my back in the sling, Roo chattering incessantly, picking 'berries' (but 'not red ones') and dig, dig, digging. Today we planted mustard seeds in the veg patch. My hero from Gardener's World, Alys Fowler, recommended it on the telly as a green manure, so it was a good incentive to clear the ground (again) and kick-start our life of self-sufficiency. (Yeah, right!)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Could do better

My attempt at a caramel cupcake. Notes for next time- use a bit of milk for spongey bit and ice them with the big nozzle on the piping bag.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Flying boats

Today we went on an aeroplane! Roo's favourite story at the moment is 'Going on a plane' much to Lee's annoyance , as he is bored with reading it at this stage. So on a whim, we decided to visit the Flying Boat Museum in nearby Foynes.
We had a great day learning about the exciting times when the first transatlantic flights took off and landed in this little town.
The famous Irish Coffee was apparently invented here when the airport chef wanted to warm and cheer up some miserable travellers who had started off to the U.S. but had to turn back as the plane ran out of fuel. This was a problem back then in the infant jet-setting days of the '30's and'40's. So naturally, as keen historians, we had to partake in one of the tipples. Here it is above and very nice it was too.
Part of the museum is a replica flying boat that you can look at and walk around. That was the best bit for all of us, not least Roo who finally got to go on an aeroplane. He doesn't remember his actual first time on an aeroplane a year and a half ago.
Before we went in, we had a picnic outside in the sunshine. The weather has been great here for the last week or so, which is all the more welcome after the rubbish Summer we've just had. Three wet years in a row. Then later on we went to the park in Adare and ate some cupcakes we brought with us as a newly married couple posed for photos in the near distance and Roo played a one-sided game of hide-and-seek with a little girl on the bandstand.
A lovely day.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

The remote control went missing today, but luckily Mum was on hand to help. She told me about a new prayer she heard recently. To our busy patron saint of lost things. Maybe someone should make it into a rap...
'Tony, Tony, look around
Something's lost and must be found'
And yes, it worked.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

rainy days and wednesdays

Today, I left behind my two little buachailli to attend my first quilting class. I never really had a burning desire to make quilts, but I would really like to learn how to sew properly, having owned a sewing machine since before we got married, so after meeting a nice quilting lady at the show in August, I decided I would sign up for classes at the Limerick Quilting Centre.
As I went in, I met some other 'quilters' carrying their equipment. Inside it was all very friendly and welcoming. The classes go on year-round, so there are people there who've been going for months and years and others like me who've only just begun, as Karen Carpenter would say. Well, I'm afraid to say, I think there's a distinct possibility of me getting hooked. Our lovely teacher, Maeve (an effective blend of encouraging but ever so slightly strict) showed me a photo of the quilt I'm 'going to make' and I nearly fell over. It is beautiful, but seems so intricate and will take ages... and lots of patience, because I am so ham-fisted. But I think I will love it. Today was basic enough- learning to cut straight (not my strong point) and sew straight (even less so), but all around me were tantalising shelves-full of exciting lovely fabrics. I'm looking forward to picking colours for my quilt, but I have a feeling there's a good bit of practising before I'm let loose on that. Not that I'm getting ahead of myself, but I've already decided to put it on the brown squishy sofa in the living room.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Lou has conked out on my lap, just as Roo's birthday begins! He'll be awake again soon though, when he hears what he's missing... He has started bab-bab-babbling in the last few days! Such gorgeous little noises. I love them.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Just wanted to share something. Today's Rosary is the Sorrowful Mysteries, which I find difficult to complete, although my little book is really helping. Here is another help, with great reflections each day for all the mysteries, from the Holy Cross Family Ministries' website.

Show me, show me a birthday boy

Today the buildup to Roo's third birthday begins as Lee's Mum comes to stay for the weekend. For the first time, he is aware of what a birthday entails because he has been to a few birthday parties over the Summer and seen things on his favourite telly programme, the wonderful 'Show Me, Show Me'. So I have requests for a party including jelly, cake (chocolate of course), balloons and sandwiches. The Argos catalogue has been pored over time and again; every so often something gets pointed out to me, usually involving Thomas, Bob or Lego. He didn't realise until very recently that you can actually buy the things in the catalogue. Up until then, it was just this really interesting book which seemed to contain everything in the whole world, although the toy pages were what he looked at most. But he is a good little boy and doesn't pester us for things.

The blog has been quiet lately because my lovely phone, which I sent most of my posts from, got broken. In the meantime, Lou has started crawling! And he has four teeth now, with more on the way, if his nappies are anything to go by...

I must get cracking now and start tidying and baking!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Today is Our Lady of Knock's feast day and the 130th anniversary of her apparition at the gable wall of the small church in Co Mayo. We usually go once a year (and often Mum goes a few times a year). This year, we were there for St Thérèse in May.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Sweet flowers

The sweet peas have finally come into flower and they look sweet indeed climbing my crookeldy obelisk with the Baby Blue Eyes peeping out underneath.
We've had a lovely busy few days, visiting people (and animals) and meeting up with new and old friends. Yesterday was no exception as we went to meet some other Mums and bubs at Delta Adventure City just outside Limerick. Claire from Ecobrats organised it for cloth nappy users/customers of hers. Apart from the obvious enjoyment Roo derived from it, it was great to meet up with other mad hippy people like me* who breast feed and use cloth nappies!
(*At least that's how I feel sometimes!)

Pearls of Wisdom

Today I must share a lovely reflection about Our Lady on Anne's blog that highlights her role as Jesus' Mum.
In an effort to pray better, I recently bought a little book to help me say the Rosary. I don't say it well or often because usually my mind wanders during the mysteries or I lose count of the Hail Marys, but this handy book helps me on both counts. It's called Two Hundred Pearls of Great Price and it has a little thought for each Hail Mary to guide you through each mystery. I bought it in the bookshop attached to the Augustinian church on O'Connell Street in Limerick while we were looking for a Christening present for a contemporary of Poonch.

Friday, 14 August 2009

We all went to the zoo today!

Lee took a couple of days off so we decided to take the lads to Fota wildlife park. We had a super day, travelled on the little train, saw lots of happy animals, many of whom roam freely, ate our picnic and stayed pretty dry throughout.


Cheetah cubs

Waiting to go in for the night.

Can you spot the red pandas?

Choo choo!

Roo's favourite bit!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Thank you!

It's off to the toy shop today. Doctor's orders! Thank God, yesterday's assessment went very well. Aside from a couple of small concerns, the two ladies who met us were happy with his progress. Roo was happy because he got to play with a vast wardrobe full of toys while I answered the questions.

When I managed to pry him away from the toys, we went home with a prescription for a toy! One which will develop turn-taking skills in Babba Roo so he doesn't get flattened when he starts playschool in the coming months, please God.

I am so relieved. Heartfelt thanks to everyone for all your prayers.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Please pray for Roo today

Today, Roo and I are going to see a Speech and Language Therapist. His language was found to be a bit delayed when he was assessed in May, so we went on a course of Parent Information Sessions and now he's being re-assessed. Up until recently, I hadn't been worried about him, as he was clearly happy, sociable and not frustrated. But after the assessment and some of the questions the therapist asked, I looked up our old friend the internet and began to worry that he was showing signs of some disorder.
If you get a chance, please remember us in your prayers today.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

What would you do?

Our visitors kindly left us a present of two lottery tickets, one of which was for the Euromillions draw which is very big: last week's was Euro €25million. So before I checked the ticket, we were amusing ourselves pretending we'd won that vast sum. Roo often answers for Lou by putting on a high-pitched voice. But we were still pleasantly surprised when, in answer to my question, "Lou what will you get with the €25million?" a little voice piped up, "a rocket!"...
By the way, neither ticket was successful, so we won't be buying any rockets anytime soon.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Noah's Ark gets a makeover

Babba Roo decided that Noah's Ark needed some colour, so he took some chalk to it. Initially he was just drawing in the sea around the base of the vessel, but he got swept away on a wave of creativity and continued with the little house that sits on the deck, even the inside of it. I'm just not sure how I can persuade him that drawing on the walls of our house is not such a good idea, after seeming to sanction this bit of DIY?
In Mass today, there was a scary bloke next to us who decided to give out to a group of teenagers chatting at the back. They did actually stop when he spoke to him, but it made me think. They weren't paying attention to Mass, but they weren't distracting other people as they were speaking very quietly. I couldn't help thinking, 'at least they were there'. After all, young children like ours can be noisy and disturb Mass, but they are rightly welcomed as part of the Church. (Although I was a bit worried yer man might give out whenever Lou made a little squeak.) I wondered if they'd come back next week after his outburst. Is it better to have them there in some capacity rather than not at all? I agree that they shouldn't have been talking, but it is quite rare to see people of their age in Mass and they could hardly have felt welcome after that. What do parents of teenagers do if their children refuse to go to Mass?

Thursday, 30 July 2009

It's the Baby Monster!

At least, that's what Roo calls his little brother when he is covered in food after another food-exploring session in the kitchen. So far he has helped himself to banana, pear, strawberries, raspberries, red pepper, courgette, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, egg, cheese, bread, potato and porridge as well as less healthy options such as chips (in a Dingle chippy), ice cream (mmm... Murphy's Baked Banana flavour, Dingle again) and chocolate cake (an exception for Mum's special birthday). Even our visitors, who were new to baby-led weaning (BLW), embraced this voyage of discovery. Not a puree in sight for this adventurous little epicurean.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Sneaky sneaky Mama!

Here it is- proof that Roo can eat veg... When it's cunningly disguised as cookie dough. Oatmeal raisin and courgette cookies to be exact, from the cookbook I mentioned in my last post.
Meanwhile I've been in the new republic of Miltonia, otherwise known as cleaning up the house for our lovely visitors, due in 3 days' time.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

On a more prosaic note, Babba Roo ate some cauliflower today. Wow, so what, you might say, but that is really quite an event in this house! Then again, it was pureed and cunningly hidden in some fluffy, buttery mashed potato, (an idea I got from my latest library cookbook find Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld). She purees all sorts of veggies and hides them in things as diverse as chicken nuggets and brownies. I'm quite looking forward to making oatmeal cookies with pureed courgettes (or zucchinis, as our American friends like to call them). Off we go!
On the subject of food, his younger brother has started solids in the last week or two. Solids before 1 are supposed to be fun and he certainly takes to the task with much gusto. He looks so cute sitting in his booster seat, trying to fit his food-filled fist into his mouth. I'm going down the Baby Led Weaning route this time, partly because of the afore-mentioned aversion to vegetables and am eagerly awaiting a book on the subject.

Jesus, the Little Prince and the fox?

Today at Mass, Fr Noonan read an extract from one of my favourite books, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, at the start of his sermon. It was the bit where the Little Prince meets the fox, who explains to him about 'taming' him and the two becoming friends. At first, the Little Prince says he is too busy, but the fox convinces him that it is worth being patient and taking the time needed to tame him so they can be friends. The priest was making a parallel between the excerpt and today's Gospel, where Jesus encourages the Apostles to retreat to a quiet place and rest after they have been out preaching the Good News. Fr Noonan said that we try to cram so many activities into our lives and those of our children that we have no time to reflect on things. 'No time to stop and stare', I suppose.

The mad, co-incidental thing is, I photo-copied that Little Prince extract for one of my English lessons in the school next-door to the church, when I was doing my teaching practice there nearly two years ago.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Sweetness and Light

I've been listening to a wonderful programme on the radio. You canlisten to it here. It's all about one of my favourite subjects: Bees.
I didn't know til now that the phrase 'Sweetness and light' originates from the importance of bees in providing honey and beeswax to our ancestors. One of the guests was a lovely wise fella with a Kerry accent called McGiollaCoda, the same surname as the man who gave the introductory Bee course (aka one of the best birthday pressies ever) that Lee sent me on last year.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Hope springs eternal

Today I planted out some Basil that Mum gave me at the weekend. I haven't had a lot of luck with Basil in the past. But if the weather is fairly warm and I can keep the slugs at bay, it may have a chance. Some good reasons to be hopeful, eh?
Roo got a new delivery of sand, but was reluctant to stay outside without me around.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Big Buzz

We were woken today by the postman for the second morning running. Yesterday he had a birthday parcel from my dear Australian friend and today it was this little lavender plant, courtesy of the Jordan's cereal bars we eat a lot of. It had managed to come all the way to our house intact and then got dropped by the postman. He always seems to be in a right tear.
Anyway, I got a chance to plant it while the two lads were asleep. Luckily, because if I'd attempted it while Roo was with me I'd have got nowhere. It was very windy, although sunny and warm, and he wasn't on for staying outside at all. To put it mildly. He just about agreed to water it for me when he got up. So here's our busy little bee helping our newest addition settle into its role as an official 'Buzz Stop'.

Monday, 6 July 2009

All aboard!

Trains and space exploration are Babba's main interests at the moment. In common with most other little boys, I suppose. Today we visited a great playground while doing the weekly shop. Roo was so delighted when we finally got there ('course he spotted it at the beginning of the trip)- it was so sweet. He practically floated in, 'the playground, yay!'
Job satisfaction is simple enough to come by in this game.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

C'est quoi?

I found the following while looking for a french translation of the Our Father. It's mad seeing it written down like this and realising that every language in the world has its own text-speak.
Le « Notre père » en SMS (Français)
Ntr pR kié ociE ke tn nm swasanktFié ke tn regn viN keta volonT swafêt sr la tR como ciL don-ns ojordwi ntr p1 2 c’jour pardon-ns no ofenç cm ns pardonon oçi à cE ki ns on ofenC &ne ns soumé pa à latentation mè Dlivr-ns dumal amN

The Spoonbugs have emerged

Their air-drying clay exoskeletons have hardened overnight so they have emerged from their spoon dens.
Unfortunately, seconds after this picture was taken, an over-zealous toddler naturalist knocked two of their legs off, so they've had emergency surgery and are recovering in spoonbug hospital.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Last chance corn

Roo planted these pots with sweetcorn today. It's a bit late in the growing season, but it seems like a waste of Lee's hard work in clearing the veggie patch not to put plants there. And could it possibly encourage Roo to eat vegetables?

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Babba Nana Bread

I am enjoying making things from Tana Ramsay's Family Kitchen. Last night I had a couple of too-ripe bananas to use up, so I tried her version of Banana bread. It varies from my usual recipe in that it has apple in it (rather than sultanas), and no vanilla essence. I thought Babba Roo might prefer it, now that he has gone off food with 'bits' in it. So here's the version I tried, only without salt and with wholemeal self-raising flour.

85g soft butter
150g sugar (soft brown Muscovado, etc)
2 large beaten eggs
4 mashed medium ripe bananas
1 grated apple
250g wholemeal self-raising flour
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp grated nutmeg

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs gradually and beat.
Mix in the apple and bananas. Sift in the flour and spices and mix well.
Scrape into a lined 2lb loaf tin and bake at 180ºC for 40-45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the tin for 20-30 minutes on a wire rack. Eat. Make appreciative noises, such as 'mmmmm, tayshy, myummy'.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Just sending this picture of our now clear veggie patch. Thanks to Lee for all his hard graft in scorching heat on Friday to clear the weeds and grass -a haven for slugs. Anything we plant should have a chance now.
It's back to our old roles again now...