Sunday, 24 April 2011

(Just) one April shower has come our way

A bit late starting to blog this week. we have had a really hot sunny few days, summer skirts and t shirts with  bare legs have been the order of the day. I called round at Daughter's on Monday and baby was still clingy and miserable. so I took him for a while and she escaped for a shower. He slept on me and I found myself dozing off! On Tuesday, when I  called round with the requested loan of strimmer and hedge trimmer he was almost back to his old self. and trying his usual mischief . Apparently he didn't have a high temperature overnight on Tuesday.
Daughter has been busy clearing the jungle back garden, and had a wheel barrow full. She is still debating whether to hire someone to do a clearance. I popped up on Thursday to take them some Easter treats, Baby was having a nap, but she decide he'd had long enough and he came down with me for a cuddle and a play. He is a bit more in favour of cuddles when he is unwell. At one point on Thursday, he grabbed my index finger, put it in his mouth and bit, hard. I told him off, as his 3 little teeth are very sharp. He looked quite puzzled.
As it had been very hot and sunny I decided to water the Christmas trees, I then checked the needles  of the one I bought last Christmas and they just suddenly sheared off.
One night this week I couldn't sleep for the heat, just as I was getting into the swing of sleeping better. I can't have the  window open because of allergens, and our bedroom gets so hot so I went online and looked for allergy screens. I found something that is reasonable, so hopefully will be able to fit something over the window so we can have it open.
I have had a walk most days, except Friday. We  had a morning service at 10 am, and then went to see if we could get a replacement security light. They don't do the globe shape any more, so after husband had taken the old one down, I was required to do some scrubbing as the shape of the old one was still outlined.We had a good natured disagreement over the wattage of the bulb needed, which ended with husband admitting he had made a mistake and picked up the wrong bulb
Yesterday we walked into town despite the heat, and had a picnic lunch by the lake before getting the bus back up. We both fell asleep when we got home. Later I dragged out the power washer and cleaned up the paved area at the front as where the pots are was getting a bit green. They cleaned up quite nicely but then we had to replace the pots, so all in all quite hard work. Then husband cleared afew things off the patio, as we were planning a barbecue. As I whipped up a salad he uncovered the barbecue, and the came in to tell me he heard thunder. The sky looke pretty black, but we decided to press ahead and managed to eat a burger and two sausages each, with salad and new potatoes. We had been indoors a few minutes when the rain started. The evening was spent with me on the phone to Mum in Law who had had special visitors for the day, and then my sister.
What a contrast  from Easter Saturday 2008 when we drove through snow to Cardiff to meet Son's future in-laws. Easter was about a month earlier then. We rose this morning to a lovely Easter morning, After an excellent sermon from Romans 4, we ate lunch on the patio. We have eaten out in the garden late in April for about 3 years, but from memory the weather in the subsequent Summers has been too poor to do so.  Beware warm Aprils! I was going to sit out, but had a doze indoors and by the time I had finished the crossword, the sun had gone round and it was quite chilly. I went to adjust one of the butterfly lights which I had draped on last years Christmas tree, and the needles started dropping off that one. Oh dear, has the weather really been that dry?
The theme in Romans 4 was continued in this evening's sermon, and people stood around after the service for ages just chatting. It was 8.30 pm before we left for home.Another Bank Holiday tomorrow, more gardening I expect. although the ironing is mounting up again. I must admit it was nice to drive through an almost deserted town centre to church this morning instead of being held up by Sunday shoppers queuing for the car  parks . Why do we need Sunday trading now that shopping centres have late night shopping? Bring back the day of rest. I have missed more calls this week, which I suspect are from BT what are they playing at? Oh well time for bed (said Zebedee) a short working week this week
Butterfly lights
Add caption

Sunday, 17 April 2011

and a lazy Saturday to follow

It's not been such a sunny week this week, lots more grey skies, and even a drop of rain. It's lovely today again but there is a cold wind, having to dress in layers at the moment.
It has also been a fairly quiet week as to what I have been doing. Gripe of the week is about BT. I have been missing calls at around the same time every day for a while. All the same number, but no message left just a beeping from the answering machine. One day last week, I rang this number, only to get a recorded message from BT. Husband also received a call from them, one evening whilst we were watching a DVD of the TV programme Coast, which we really enjoy, ( apart from the obviously evolutionary bias of the programme). Husband said 'If you want to interest me in it put it in writing'
On Friday just before he was due home I got a call, 'could I speak to Mr Y?' Me. 'No he is not here?' Well are you Mrs Y?' me 'Yes'. 'well have you heard about our new faster Broadband which has been launched?'.
Me 'Yes we have heard about it, you never stop ringing us about it and you sometimes write to us as well'. Caller, 'When would it be convenient to speak to Mr Y?' ' Me, 'I would suggest that you don't call him, he is fed up with getting your calls, and still has not made up his mind.' Caller, 'Oh well I'll put him down as not interested then' What is up with these people?. don't they have an 'I'd like to think about it' option. Some people do take a while to make up their minds and constant pestering just makes heels dig in.
 Some of my time has been taken up with walking into town to transfer money to pay for our annual holiday, and a trip to North Wales (cottage rental). One morning I got a £2 Tesco voucher so walked up there for a few items instead of my usual Sainsbury's. I also checked on husband's health insurance cover, and made an appointment with the shoulder specialist at the private hospital in Harpenden.
In the past I have been criticised for using Private treatment, the usual protest being, 'You are taking an appointment an NHS patient could have had'. My reply to this is 'Well no actually, I am freeing up an NHS appointment. The specialist would not be working for the NHS on that day, and  by seeing him privately I am not taking an NHS appointment'
 Daughter and Son in Law and baby were away at 'Word Alive' In Pwllelli ,(Haven), where they met up with Son and Daughter in Law. They arrived home after a long tiring journey at around 5pm on Friday. It's never good to hit the M6 at lunchtime on a Friday. Daughter rang me and during the conversation mentioned that Baby Nathaniel wasn't too good, he had a hacking cough, and a yellow discharge in his eyes. I said 'That needs to be seen to, it sounds like conjunctivitis'. So her husband went off to do the shopping whilst she took him to the 'urgent care centre' Later she rang me to say he had been diagnosed with tonsilitis and conjunctivitis. Apparently he had been in a creche with lots of other babies so his Mum could go to the morning sessions with his Dad. They had also used a crowded swimming pool.The Doctor also told her to be wary for signs of chickenpox.
They were due to attend a wedding on Saturday, but wouldn't be able to take baby, so I volunteered our services.By Saturday morning she still wasn't sure, but then decided we could babysit. So we made our visit to town for shopping twice as quick as usual, bought a M&S £10 meal to save time in the evening, and armed ourselves with M&S sandwiches for lunch. Husband dropped me off at Daughter's, brought the shopping home, then came back armed with his laptop and my camera. I had the newspapers, but didn't get much reading done. in fact baby fell asleep on me within minutes of my arrival. I sensed that he needed comfort, so didn't attempt to put him in his cot. He woke up quite bright, but soon became grizzly, so I administered Calpol. He fell back to sleep, but he woke up as I was trying to drop his eye drops in. Just as well as I then had to give him Amoxil. He seemed to prefer the banana flavour of that, to the strawberry Calpol.
The afternoon continued with him varying between being asleep on me or awake and slightly brighter, but after a while putting his head down as if to say, 'I'd love to but I can't manage.' he had some water, and then some formula, but that seemed to make him cough. The Dr had said his chest was clear, so it must have been in his throat.
His Mum and Dad came back at about 6pm, we'd had one slightly anxious phone call, from Daughter, but what made it worse was I couldn't find my ringing phone, it woke Baby, then  I had to put him down to look for phone which promptly stopped ringing, so by the time she got through on husband's phone baby was in full yelling mode. She seemed to be reassured though.
 Baby woke up a few minutes after they arrived , and was evidently pleased to see his Mum. he was passed over for a comfort feed, then sat babbling, 'Da dad da, Bababa, mmm ooh!' grinning away. However this didn't last long, and he soon settled down on his Mum for another snooze. Poor little mite, he was trying so hard to be his usual self. We came home at about 7, and I was so glad of the M&S quick cook meal. we even had tiramisu as an after.
We had done none of the planned tasks for the day, but at  least they got to enjoy the wedding, well apart from Daughter worrying, they also discovered a child with whom they had had some contact had come down with chickenpox. Hey ho! more anxious waiting. A member of my extended family has had her 2 down with it, one is 5 the other 9months or so. I don't think it is too serious in babies and better to get it over with than wait til you are 15, and 24 to catch it as mine did!
Meanwhile there are 2 Bank Holiday weekends coming up with hopefully lots if time to catch up on jobs. We will not be watching the royal Wedding as we have no TV licence we wish them well of course, but are already a little jaded by the overkill. they are the Darlings of the press at the moment, but how long before the same press will start to point out any imagined flaws or cracks in the relationship? I would not court celebrity.
One thing we did forget was to buy a replacement  security light for our back garden. It has been on 24/7 for the past week, we tried cleaning it up, but the sensor has obviously gone. Oh well it hopefully will keep would be intruders away. Time for a pre church cuppa I think
I've been unable to rotate this one, but he's having a cooling drink of water
I'm trying. I really am

There's nothing like  a nap with Mum

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The promised photos

Oops looks like someone has a camera trained on me

If Grandad lets go of my foot I'll get to that tower and knock it down

Bonding with Grandad

This is my party trick, Mum has to slow it down

Dad takes it apart and puts it back together. Presto it's a trike

Vroom , vroom

Not sure I like the taste of Mummy's toes!
Mischief?Me? Nah!

lazing on a sunny afternoon

I am writing this on a beautiful sunny Sunday, the back door is open, and I am not cold, the birds have been singing, the local children playing happily outside, and at last it feels like Spring if not Summer. What a pity that everything doesn't always run smoothly, but then I would have no frustrations to blog about.  My latest gripe is Weightwatchers. For ages they have been trying to lure me back with a promise of a cut price on-line scheme. It was the last day on Monday, so impulsively I signed up. I'm not sure that I am actually ready mentally to lose weight, as I am still dog tired, and not always sleeping well. I need to be in the correct frame of mind for good weight loss.
OK so I found out how many 'pro points' I was allowed, so far so good. Every time I tried to click on the plan manager, I got a window saying 'downloading your plan manager, this will take about two minutes'. Nothing happened; I waited still nothing, I tried again, still nothing, I tried another page, a similar message, but still nothing, so I fired off an e-mail, then went out, then went up to daughter's for my belated Mothering Sunday lunch. We had had a very good lunch, roasted veg and feta tart with salad; followed by raspberries blueberries and ice cream Mmmm! diet starts tomorrow! Poor baby was grizzly , wouldn't eat, and later we discovered why. He had the mother and father of nappy rashes. Out with the metanium, no babywipes just plain water, and muslin nappies for the afternoon, and frequent changes. Thankfully it cleared up in a couple of days.He has a snuffly nose and is teething so that may be the cause.
His commando crawl has come on apace and he can now travel the length of the room in his determination to get things.He is so curious about everything and even when things are hidden from him, he knows that they are still there, and has to be distracted with something else.
Tuesday was mostly a day for doing jobs around the house. tidying etc, pulling up the odd weed in the garden, looking and seeing that the lawn badly needed mowing, but strimmer needed first and that had been borrowed.
Wednesday after Sainsbury's and lunch, I went up to Daughter's and we went to parent and toddler's. It was the last one of the term, and Nathaniel's teeth and crawling skills were admired.  He was however too young for the egg nests snack and a small Easter egg. It was a beautiful day, I had been too hot in a cardigan at Sainsbury's, I went home and was going to sit in the garden, but dozed indoors as I'm still catching up on the weekend.
Back to the Weightwatcher's saga, I had had an e-mail back saying that they would reply in a  few days 'as they were experiencing a high volume due to the success of the new scheme'. Husband had tried everything, I retried every day but still got no further.Adding frustration to  my tiredness, my 4pm snacking got a bit out of hand, so much for weight loss! On Thursday I made it to women's hour, one of the elders was speaking and we had cake as one of our members was 80 on Monday. Unfortunately she was not there, so half of the cake was to be delivered to her. As I went to the church kitchen, I heard a strange noise. There had been a small bouncy castle at parent and toddler's and C one of the leaders was attempting to pump the air out of it with a pump. She remarked 'it takes a couple of hours to inflate, but days to deflate'. H, another of our ladies came along and suggested we tried to squeeze the air out of it, so we all 3 got down and tried to push the air out. Whether we would be able to get up again was another matter, we squeezed and squeezed, and the air moved about, but some came out. I decided to sit on it, and H who was at the other end went up as I went down.  We all collapsed giggling.We eventually got enough air out to enable C to take it home, she vowing that it would be a once a term treat only. By the time I got to the kitchen the tea cups had been washed and I was ribbed about playing rather than working.
I called in at Daughter's on the way home to take something to her, and was greeted by a harassed looking Daughter. She had had to remove all the imitation coals from the gas fire, and remove other things to a high shelf. I think I said 'welcome to parenthood'. Whilst we chatted, Babymoved across to the window area, pulled a central heating pipe from the wall and was about to bite it when I managed to grab hold of him. The pipe was not fixed to the wall very well, so that's another job. They also have a socket that is a bit loose so need to get that seen to.  These are the sort of things that we don't usually notice when we view houses, they only come to light later. As I dangled him backwards from my lap, to play 'Down at the bottom of the deep blue sea', I could quite clearly see the next lot of teeth sitting in the top gum.
I think it was Friday that I found a number from an old Weightwatcher's book and rang them up for a moan. 'Oh but you don't need to download anything' is what I was told 'you just have to click on the icons'  I patiently explained, twice during the conversation, that when I clicked on the icons nothing happened except the message 'Downloading your plan'. 'Perhaps your computer is treating it as a popup?' To which I replied I don't think so. I think I'd better have my money back'. I must check it has gone into Paypal. When I mentioned popups to husband he said 'that is the first thing that I checked'
Friday morning I got a small voucher from Tesco, so I decided to walk up there for my bit of shopping. All in all it took an hour, but I felt quite virtuous as I tucked into my roasted veg and feta cheese lunch. I went to the Doctor in the afternoon to kickstart my visit to the shoulder specialist, I got the usual 'Well the waiting list is quite long', but I cut in with' Yes but my husband has private cover through work', so he set the wheels in motion and told me what I need to do. We may as well use the private scheme before husband retires.
On Saturday we went to Daughter's to retrieve the strimmer, Husband hadn't seen baby for about 3 weeks and baby had difficulty recognising him. He sat gazing at Grandad for ages.  Earlier I had done some planting of freesia bulbs and weeding of buttercups. We went into town, did the shopping and sat in the sun eating lunch.
I am always surprised how quickly Saturdays go, I phoned both sisters,and after spagg bol, tried the Telegraph general knowledge crossword, and fell into bed exhausted. I had been too hot during the week,  and unable to sleep, so yesterday changed the duvet. I am always wary of warm Aprils they are often followed by cold Mays.
We had a different preacher today, our pastor is on recording duty at the Banner Youth Conference. Is it that time of year already? There was no children's talk, and a shorter sermon, so for once we had had lunch and were drinking coffee  before 2 pm. We should have eaten outside, we didn't get much opportunity last summer. Will post some pics later as husband wants his computer back

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Happy family week

I am late blogging this week , as I've had quite a busy week in some ways. I spent a while working for the NH S, but despite having filled in forms about a small pension, heard nothing further. I rang on Monday only to be told I have to claim this pension. I said, 'I thought I had'  I was told to download a booklet 50 pages,and the printer went haywire and was on its third printing before I worked out how to stop it. I  also had to print out claim forms. The NHS is obviously trying to save money.  I looked after the baby on Tuesday whilst Daughter went to the dump. She made 3 trips, and he fell asleep on me, he is so lively that he often fights his tiredness. I put him in his cot , but after about 40 minutes he was woken up by some noises outside. He showed great promise in beginning to move about with a cross between a commando and a real crawl.
Husband and I both developed colds this week, so much sneezing and nose blowing. Son and Daughter in Law arrived Tuesday evening for a short stay, but slept at Daughter's as we still haven't got the bed back. After I had been to Sainsbury's on Wednesday they all came for lunch.  I also lit candles on a belated cake for me. I opened belated presents too. Just what I wanted. I must top up my Amazon wish list.We sat and chatted and played with Baby, for a while, then they all went off to Watford. Son and Daughter in Law popped back in the evening to see husband.
On Thursday I had my hair cut, and then went up to Daughter's to take Baby's clothes that she had forgotten;  he got into such a mess with lunch on Wednesday, especially yoghurt, and we'd had to change him. I was invited to stay for lunch, and we had a lovely time, then more playing with Baby and demonstrating how to crawl. Daughter recorded a video and threatened to put it on youtube. I left at around 3.30, and Son and Daughter in Law went for a walk to blow away the cobwebs. Thursday evening we all met up in Berkhamsted  at Brasserie Gerard, for a joint celebratory meal for my Birthday and husband's, which are 8 days apart. Daughter had a babysitter. Although the food was reasonably good, the service was absolutely appalling. The place was packed, and we were not served with our main course till nearly 9 pm. We had booked the table for 7.30, as husband should have been going to Bristol on Friday and needed an early start. We decided against desserts, the bill was huge anyway. I asked the waiter if they were normally this busy, and he said 'No, but there is a Tesco promotion at the moment, and they can use their vouchers here. Tonight is the last night'. So that was his excuse, that all the local cheapskates  frugal people were taking advantage and not wanting to miss out.
On Friday I called in at daughter's to say goodbye to the others, as they were off to London, and I had other things to do. Husband's proposed trip to Bristol to meet his new boss was called off. I then went into town and bought some Birthday cards, then browsed M&S and bought a couple of summer skirts with my Birthday money. Husband came home and after a cup of coffee we loaded up the car and drove down to the coast to see mum in Law. We hadn't been for ages, as she kept saying she would come up here, so as it was Husband's Birthday on Saturday, and Mothering Sunday too, we thought this would be the ideal time to go. I drove to the services, to give husband a break, we had a snack meal, and arrived at the bungalow at about 10.45. pm.
I didn't have too bad a night, and we woke up to a pleasant morning. Husband opened his cards and presents, and just before lunchtime we headed off into Eastbourne  Mum in Law needed some more compost, so we headed for the garden centre. I bought her an orchid, as some of hers are quite old, she had them for her 60th wedding anniversary, which will be 7 years ago in September. We went into Eastbourne, husband went in search of a pasty lunch, and we went to CH fabrics coffee shop, and I actually bought some material when we browsed afterwards. We also visited a few other shops, and met up with husband, and all went into Lakeland together. It's a good thing we don't have one locally. I would spend far too much. I found a cake box with a handle, which will be so useful for carrying cakes to church functions.
A quick visit to the local Tesco, and then home to the bungalow for dinner, and chocolate Birthday cake. We didn't watch TV except the news, but then husband fished out a DVD which he has been making of baby since he was born, so we didn't get to bed early again.
I managed to sleep, but kept waking, and had to get up in the end as my back was aching from the firmness off the bed. Although the worst of our cold is over, neither of us felt up to going to church and singing, so we had a quiet day with Mum in law. We left at about 5.30 pm, with one stop on the way home, we arrived home at 8.45 pm. We had forgotten to get petrol at the services, so had to comeo ff the M23 and trawl round a town for a petrol station, so that added time to the journey. We eventually found one in what looked a rather dodgy area of the town.
As we passed the front of our house I realised it was in darkness, and thought the lamp on the timer mustn't have been timed properly. When we had unloaded the car, I ran upstairs to put the hot water and heating back on. The controller was not lit. I checked the fuse box, and the ring mains switch had tripped. I switched it back on and checked to see if I could find what had tripped it - no joy. The freezer alarm was beeping, I had to wipe water out of the small fridge,  I couldn't find the fridge freezer manual so had to go online to find out how to get the freezer temp back down from -04 to -19. I went through the drill then stayed up till 1.30, till I had seen the temp go from-04 to-06. It was back to-22 this morning , but the numbers are still flashing. so I must keep an eye on it. Daughter rang me late last evening and when I told her our problem she said they had had a power cut, so that may have tripped the switch, if we had the power cut too.Well I must go, I need to get some work done, and Daughter has invited me for lunch, as I missed seeing her yesterday. Apparently Baby can now travel the length of the room with his self styled crawl. look out everyone, we MUST rearrange our house!