Friday, 9 September 2016

I believed he could fly....

So, the Butterfly Affair. Or what my kids refer to as Mum's Weird Moment.

We got one of those Butterfly Garden sets where you buy a butterfly netted enclosure, send the included voucher off to the company and within days you receive a pot of five tiny caterpillars. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed. We've done the butterfly project before, it's sweet, but it's not life affirming.

This time we watched those teeny creepy crawlies transform into ....well, hairy beasts really. They got huge. After a good few days they turn into chrysalides and then it got boring for a few days.

But then, the magic happened and a new relationship formed between me and one of the butterflies. This was my Weird Moment. Gradually each one shed its skin and transformed into a beautiful butterfly.

All were perfect except Paul. Paul had a damaged wing. I called him Paul after Paul McCartney, who was in Wings. (Naff aren't I?!)

Now this disabled butterfly and his Painted Lady siblings were soon freed into our warm sunny garden. 

Four of them took off happily, after fluttering around my children and gently landing on their faces. All except Paul.

His disability meant he couldn't fly far. 

He stayed put on my hydrangea for a full hour. I helped him on his way again but he didn't get far. Eventually I realised he wasn't going to survive for long in our garden, so I decided to bring him into our home and he became a house butterfly. He joined in with most things:

I became rather attached to him. 

But I think I realised I was slightly losing the plot when Paul joined me and my friends for lunch one day and then sat on my finger and watched old Ab Fab re-runs one Friday night. 

There I was, glass of wine in one hand, Paul on the other. He was my actual pet. One that didn't have fur to trigger my asthma. Didn't make a mess, noise or bite. I didn't even see him poo. He was beautiful, I saved his life, we had a blast. 

Here we are ACTUALLY watching Ab Fab...

The husband thought I was a loony. But to be fair, Paul was probably just making him jealous. 


Sadly Paul died a week later. Ants got to him after I tucked him up in bed in his netted enclosure and put him under shelter in the garden one balmy night.

I raced down the next morning (like the boy in The Snowman when he discovered his icy friend has melted) to feed Paul his daily nectar, and............

It wasn't so much Walking in the Air. Poor thing wasn't even Flying in the Air. I now hate ants. HATE them, I tell thee.

But Paul, if you are reading this, you were loved. Even if the conversation wasn't all that great. I guess sometimes looks ARE everything.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Life is like a butterfly

I am back on the blog baby! Too much time has passed, nine months, really? REALLY?

I'll be back wittering on about charity shop bargains, my love of the sea, the daily craziness of life (my brief love affair with a butterfly that had a damaged wing being one ) and how my tiny baby Sweet Child O'Mine will be three at Christmas.

How? Just how?

Laters (school holidays mean I'm not allowed to do anything for me for more than two minutes, which means time is up then...)

Psst, this is not the butterfly with the damaged wing. Oh no. This is my Italian holiday romance butterfly Paolo...and he was equally lush.

I'll tell you all about it in my next blog...bear with me, it will tug at your heart strings 😂

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Charity, birthdays and a performance

See this heavenly festive jug?

This splendid Father Christmas is a 1950's vintage Bird's Eye custard jug. My parents have an identical one passed down from my sadly departed grandparents, which ONLY comes out at Christmas.
And guess what?! I have picked up an identical one from the Scope charity shop for £1.50. I can't tell you how excited I was when I unearthed it. I have always loved this little Toby jug since I was a young child.

He was, I believe, a limited edition Toby jug and my father can remember going shopping with his mother and buying the jug in Woolworths at a very young age. I have seen copious amounts of custard poured from the top of his jolly head. Cream for our mince pies and Christmas pudding. Possibly a cheeky beer once as a teenager, which was guzzled straight from Santa's bonce, but I won't linger on that in case my parents read this. It is a treasured jug.

You can keep your Black Friday shenanigans, spending very little but giving something back at the same time is where I am still at. Keeping things out of landfill, being grateful for small things, re-loving items that others no longer like. It makes me happy.

This is something else that keeps me happy; reading Christmassy books to the biggest bookworm I know. She will be two in three weeks time, I can't quite believe it.

It wasn't so long ago that she looked like this:

She has been the most precious, unexpected gift to us and brings us masses of joy daily. She slots in well and the other two love her to bits. It's kind of hard not to.

In other news, the Princess has turned 12. How?!

She was also a very beautiful baby;

Her birth was hideous and traumatic and we still count our lucky stars that she is with us. 

Christmas is rushing closer and I am feeling a little stressed. Nowhere NEAR completing my Christmas shopping, I have written many Christmas cards but not addressed them. Not planned much at all. It isn't helped by Sweet Child turning two on December 23. Eek.

And on a final note, the Prince came rushing out of school the other day and proudly announced he is a leopard in the school nativity play. A leopard, I thought to myself. Why do schools have to make it so complicated for parents? Why an exotic animal? Hardly festive is it? How on earth would I source a costume? I can't sew. I lack imagination when put under pressure. I can't exactly Bet Lynch him up in a leopardprint catsuit, although it would have made a great laugh on his 18th birthday in terms of photos.

"Are you sure?" I asked. "Are you definitely going to be a leopard?"

He nodded vigorously.

"Definitely a leopard."

So I stressed silently within and unpacked his school bag once we got home.

I found the letter containing details about the nativity play.

And of course, he is going to be.....a shepherd.


(I got this book from a charity shop recently too!)

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Bye bye booby, booby bye bye

So, last week I found the toddler, Sweet Child, attempting to breastfeed her WELLY. Yup. And having had no more than two hours of broken sleep a night and feeling on the brink of utter exhaustion, I decided to finally call time at the bra. After 22 months.

I used a method I never thought I would. Vinegar. I literally doused my golden globes in lashings of Sarson's finest malt. True, I smelt like a chip shop but the Husband said it was an appetising aroma.
Anyway, Sweet Child was no longer keen to nurse so instead we had plenty of cuddles.

And here we are a week later, my boobs are a little Jordan-esque so I have to express a bit off from time to time, but ever so slowly, my body is getting the message. My breasts are now mine, and no longer mauled in the middle of the night by a tiny, over-enthusiastic person.

Onto other things, I can't believe I haven't blogged for three months, I shall have to do something about that. Like write more blog posts.

Cherry tree time. I bought this lovely John Rocha dress:

I made this for my sister's brand new baby. Wool from the charity shop, natch.

This entire outfit cost £3 from various cherry tree shops:

The hat is worn a lot. Here is a gorgeous dress below from a cherry tree shop which cost me 50p. Boots are second hand from my next door neighbour. Cardie also 50p. 

And this skirt was 50p and I love it a bit too much.

 I have a similar one which I bought from a cherry tree shop years ago and I wore on the day I turned 40, last month:

I had a wonderful birthday. It involved a small surprise gathering, a weekend away with the Husband (kid free, get in!), a surprise lunch with my family and a surprise day in London with one of my best friends:

The epic birthday cake made by my good friend.

We spent my actual birthday on the beach having lunch and soaking up the sun.

We went to Bath for the weekend to celebrate:

Then one of my besties took me to London. We ate and drank at the Sky Garden, hung out in The Savoy, went shopping, went to a caberet show in the Oscar Wilde bar at Hotel Cafe Royal. 

I was thoroughly spoilt and turning 40 has been far better than I expected.

Ooh I forgot, I also bought these from the cherry tree shop since my last post:

A fab Gisela Graham purse:

And this gorgeous writing paper which is very apt as I live by the sea:

Right, I am now heading out for my weekly volunteering position at a breastfeeding group. I love helping new mums feed their babies, but I am feeling relieved I don't have to go through the initial struggle myself. I have breastfed for a total of just over five years. It's enough.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Summer holiday...The Beginning

Cripes, this blog writing seems nigh on impossible these days. If I'm not wiping juvenile snot from my shoulders or picking up endless amounts of dried peas from under the kitchen table, then I am trying to decrease my frown line (which seems to be increasing, rather annoyingly) or find where the toddler has toddled off to (usually a forbidden place).
Anyway, here I am, surviving day three of the summer holidays. It's bad today weather wise and making me feel groggy.
All I want to do is take to my bed like a Victorian heroine and curl up under a duvet and read my book. But alas.
I have this trio of giblets to care for:

The toddler is currently snoozing and snoring like an old man, the older two have been bribed with a few sweets and a magazine (OMG, I had no idea kids magazines were so pricey) so I can blog and wash up and attempt to get back into that book.
Then I might bake. A few weeks ago I made these for a friend to celebrate her birthday:

I love cupcakes and I know these have been done to death but I love them. They were so delicious and vanilla-filled, it was worth every calorie.

Exciting things have happened. Firstly, my bro and his wife have brought into the world the sweetest twins!

We went to visit last weekend and I had my fair share of cuddles:

Ooh and I am wearing my Gabrielle Parker floral wrap dress which I bought from the cherry tree shop for less than a fiver!! Think the babies approved.

The twins are like tiny kittens, I am smitten. 

We chilled out in Henley on Thames and visited friends the day before seeing the twins.

You can't see it in the below photo but I also have a lovely new cherry tree skirt, it's navy, A line and lacy. I am not pregnant in this pic, just bloated, for the record......

We have been to the sea a lot recently, mainly just Sweet Child O'Mine and me. We love the sound of the waves and looking for tiny crabs in the rock pools.

Oh and this is replacing my chocolate obsession. Not sure what I will do when the watermelon season is over. Sob, probs.

I have bought two new Ladybird books but can't find them in all the mess these three kids are creating daily but I shall scour around for them and try to blog again soon. 
Ha! There's more chance of Jon Bon Jovi knocking on my door. 
And if that should happen, I really would insist on a duvet day (with no intention of reading my book).  If only I could find a babysitter.......

Friday, 5 June 2015

Jean genie

So the news this week is that I spent an incredible amount of time removing a piece of Special K from the Prince's ear. He somehow managed to wedge a piece of the cereal right inside while watching Superman.
This is him before Cereal Ear Saga.

I thought about tweezers for swift removal of said brittle flake but decided against it. I am, after all, the girl who was taken into hospital at the age of ten after sticking a plastic bead in her ear and having an operation to remove it from her ear drum.
I couldn't work how to get the cereal out without pushing it in further, but then I remembered my brother getting a beetle in his ear as a kid and me pouring a massive jug of water into his lughole and the beetle swimming out in the torrid tsunami.
It worked a treat. Said Special K whooshed out, the Prince could hear again. And I could relax. Until Sweet Child fell off a wooden cart in the garden and grazed her chin. With never ending blood.
Half term.
Such sweet words.
End of half term. 
Even sweeter.
Don't get me wrong, we have actually had a blast as the Husband had the whole week off.
But the house was trashed when the kids returned to school. So the first day back, I decided to thoroughly clean the house. As in deep clean. I decided to wear the husband' old jeans to do this.
Now, I haven't worn my own jeans for 26 months. They just don't fit from the moment I got pregnant til now. So I donned male jeans and cleaned all day. Bleached meself happy, so I did.
Then I threw a coat on and dashed to do the school run.
One mum at the school gate nodded to the fact I was wearing jeans. I explained why. She said she had never seen me in jeans before. I let it go. Was my attire really that noticeable?
Then another mum came up to me and over egged the pudding on the whole "Oh! You are wearing jeans" spiel.
I again pointed out they were my husband's denim slacks which I was wearing as I had been grafting all day.
She then said "It doesn't look right, you wearing jeans. You usually wear pretty dresses or skirts. It doesn't really suit you does it?"
Speechless. Did Levi Strauss ever have to put up with this crap?
I then collected the kids and slouched home in my obviously unflattering kecks and soon forgot about it.
Three hours later a friend dropped by, wanting me to tighten the back of her baby sling while her toddler slept on her back. We were on the doorstep, chatting and I told her about my jeans saga after SHE also noted I was wearing jeans.
I told her why I was wearing them and what the other mums had said and how it made me feel.
And she said "I think it's because you usually look so glam with nice clothes and make up on."
Which didn't really help my mood!
So I may well go another 26 months without wearing jeans...
Moving on, the Prince is six today.
He has gone from this:

To this:

He ate birthday cake for breakfast and told us he felt at least seven years old.

I love this boy so much and am very proud of him.

Right, next blog post, charity finds, I promise....