Category Archives: DIY/ house renovation

need to stabilise the emergency medical hologram!

cos she keeps phasing in and out – rofl. went in today to sort out various personnel nightmares. one done, the other spiralling further and further… but managed to do what i needed to do and return home at lunchtime [and do more in eve as 'working from home' ] and then for daddybean and i to go and ‘choose a carpet’ . The carpet in the home ed room has progressed from manky to unhygienically awful. SO a replacement required. aarghh it is a big room to carpet, and doesn’t precisely have a carpet budget… we have, after 90 mins, come home with 2 diff samples to ponder until wed. think we should go with the more hardwearing but less aesthetically pleasing option [both are suitable for heavy domestic use]

i forgot to say that all this gadding to carpet shops [the excitement] was only possible due to my dad having driven up this morning to do some painting in said home ed room – coving and gloss, daddybean in charge of ceiling. the girls have been v good whilst this going on. SB doing lots and lots of the easier home ed options both in morning and then in aft whilst we were at carpet emporium. [11 ticks today!] she was somewhat disgruntled that i yelled c# up the stairs to where she was practicing recorder as my hello, rather than something a bit more, well, motherly! BB did some more of her lego house, and started the chicken mosaic and played with her new doll. A very happy girl there :)

On return from the carpet not-quite-decision-making trip, SB and i whisked off to ballet for the end of show open lesson, which i really enjoy. SHe is definitely improving at ballet, just needs to have stiffer arms i think, but the rhythm and concentration is there. We then did a good piano practice before she settled down to do some colouring whilst i read story of the world and BB having found all her old bricks made various buildings. BB also doing manic inline skating [with SB's old inline skates - there will be an accident there!!] and I tried to sort out the photoshop database a bit more – daddybean stayed up until 3am last night doing something or other to fix most of it.

unfortunately, we haven’t been able to locate skittles in our garden – it has lots of hiding places, but also a 6 foot wall enclosing it. So he isn’t safely in his hutch. grr, it is usually snowy we have to chase more, but skittles being black and now snuggled somewhere for the night is impossible to find. worried…

no time, no time

sorry about hopeless blogging. life is feeling v short on time, and blogging and reading others blogs is a casualty! wouldn’t be so bad if the man himself – whose blog this is remember! – did some catching up too!!

me – well, with the girls went and visited mum and dad for the weekend. always good to catch up, relax and be loved and spoiled!! though did have one of the most horrendous journeys down for roadworks, diversions and parkedness!! also saw my BIL and nephew and niece for sunday, which we all enjoyed. a flying visit from sis too. returned late on sunday. chris had a weekend of tidying, though i really wish it had been windowing. i am sure it is going to fall in one of these days.

monday girls did some shopping for ballet stuff and new cycling helmet for BB. SB had ballet, a bit of home ed type stuff done i think. tues is library day, and a visit to chris’s parents, with swimming then for both girls. i played some games in the evening, and we watched a rather boring fact dvd on ice age survivors.

so to today. latinetc! it seems ages since the last one, and i have really missed them! it looks like we might be making a few changes to structure and layout, a dynamic process! today i did science – as always – and slightly shorter sessions, which i think worked better. i had 4 mystery chemicals, and descriptions of properties of 4 chemicals, and we had to identify which was which. think it worked v well!! merry did some fab fimo craft – though sb did a beheaded version!! a latin refresher by katy. think sb has forgotten vast swathes! and some music from gina and our busy morning was busy! we were going to go to the park in the afternoon, but it got chilly, so merry and girls came back to ours, and there was fancy dress going on.

excitement for bb’s first rainbows! she thinks one of us will have to go until she is 7 :roll: we’ll see!! she loved it though. sb is currently in brownies, and getting more badges probably, then judo. we did a really good piano practice today as well.

the other thing we are doing is postcrossing towards some geography!! actually working currently, in that each of our sent postcards has been looked up on a map, and more excitement over the current 2 received.

hot hot hot

For those that stumble on my blog [not many do!] the protected ones are that, as they are there for a record for me, and do not ask for the password. that which i want friends, family and strangers to read is all there, laid bare. that which i don’t is protected, and i feel bad at refusal. I could private it – and yes there are a fair number of private posts dotted through this blog that only i see – but a sprinkling ppl have my passwords, for the benefit of their love and advice. these passworded blogs really aren’t that interesting.

so, having done the safety messages, what have we been doing. well, we have been being very hot!! chris has got some scaffolding up at the window, and done some putty work – hoorah! and the girls have mostly been in our paddling pool. indeed thurs i was so hot that i was in it too!!

sb has done a bit more maths and piano practice, and also teaching bb to read. we had a new arrival yesterday – a metronome, which they had fun investigating, a star kit, and a geography book – both looked through the astronomy – bb recognising saturn which she has seen, and sb some of the geography – it does look good.

SB has had gym and yesterday they went to nana’s and grandads [so no doubt watched alot of cable tv!!]

we saw some more birds

i saw the wren whilst getting dressed, so will agree on yesterday’s sighting! also 2 bluetits, a coal tit and 3 chaffinches so that is our lot!! we feed these birds well for the privilege of a quick peak at them!!

SB and BB have sylvanianed again today, and also done some maths and piano. when i got home SB chose to do SOtW as it was richard lionheart to robin hood. since we have done less crafty things with this castle phase than i thought we would, she has decided to do some stop animation, so then spent a fair while working out what she needed – ie now to paint a background. she has the story apparently sorted.

Whilst SB at ballet, BB and i did some painting together, and then played tummy ache and operation. SB came back a bit deflated with her grade 2 ballet result [just missed passing] be we reassured her that all was ok, and actually they get a certificate for taking part. SHe had the RAD dvd for xmas, so will do a bit of that occassionally for fun! [OMG, does that mean i need to do more ballet?]

Chris put up some shelves in the girls room, and I am feeling a bit mis to be back at work, but…

yay! i am on annual leave!!

and feeling lurgified. today was brought to you by a diet of diet coke and ibrupofen! the girls woke up early, and i was somewhat more tardy. however, when i heard the brass band play on the triangle, i hopped out of bed, and got the girls dressed so that we could go out and hear them. nothing like hearing christmas carols by a brass band outside! the girls both enjoyed listening too.

we came back in, looked at the house, and decided that we couldn’t make it look much worse! so we did some wrapping up in the front room, and finishing off cards for the muddlepuddle list, which we sent out. we then did some christmas crafting – ‘glass’ painting plastic christmas themed keyrings and decorations for the tree. I am always amazed at how careful BB is. i think i forget she is 4 now!

Whilst the girls did this, i read them the Mary’s Story up to the point that they leave bethlehem, and also the hannukah section in While the Bear Sleeps: Winter Tales and Traditions . both lovely books! we also read one of our Camille ne veut pas dormir camille books from little linguist books. i have to say that at the moment I think this way of learning french is suiting us. I enjoy doing it, the girls appear to be picking up vocab. goodness knows what we will do when i start running out of vocab! – lots of dictionary work and ? rosetta stone??

obviously we then had lunch! chris , meanwhile was trying to put up the curtain my mum made when she was last here, but obviously fates were against us! we didn’t have the right hooks :roll: mum arrives tomorrow. kinda magically hoping that a tidying up christmas angel takes pity on us overnight as well.

After lunch we made chocolate brazils for grandad. SB was entirely self contained for this, she uses the microwave safely to melt the chocolate and all i have to do is carry the bowl to the table [nor repeating katy's mistake!] bB also fiddled with the microwave and i carried, and she also did some lovely choc brazils [well i did QA one of them!] M dad always puts the emphasis on brazils when they are choc brazils [his fav xmas pressie of all time] on the bra, so i think BB thinks thats how they are pronounced now, as when we are making them, that is what I say too!!

leaving them to cool we return to the front room [we all can't bear to look at the playroom yet] as we fancy listening too and watching carols on youtube, so i flick around allsorts. SB particularly wants tbirds fav ickle donkeeeey! we then dec curry takeaway boxes [we only have the takeaway for the boxes you understand!] with fake jewels to put dad’s choc brazzuls in. BB then plays a happy game being Jesus in my tummy, and SB rather faithfully reenacts the angel gabriel telling me the good news. however when i ask angel gabriel whether my baby will have a long and happy life, she scarpers! When she returns as SB, she explains that she thought telling me whilst i was pregnant that my baby would be crucified at easter might have upset me! luckilly BB is being baby Jesus to distract me, and then somehow morphs into a puppy. [after she has 'hatched' 2 or 3 times - childbirth may come as a shock to her!]. SB did a quick bit of piano. We read Katie and the Sunflowers
. Then the girls start making christmas crackers – actually SB also completes. I fear BB might be following me as an abject failure as completer finisher. I think only Marcus ,that I know, has scored worse.

Whilst I remember, here is a link to the Matisse, King of Colour (Anholts Artists) book, that didn’t come in the book people set. BB has it in her xmas book pile, but i read and enjoyed it!

chris’s parents came round for some extra bedding for their guests over christmas and a chat. they also brought some curtain hooks, but they didn’t fit into the ring things, never mind.

Eventually we had tea and sent the girls packing to bed. i have made the veggie filling for the lasagne, and having panicked that there wasn’t enough initially, there may now be too much. i have also made the veggie sausage and chilli bean hotpot and sag paneer. i think that is enough! trying to have enough energy after I have written this [after midnight] to do some more wrapping, or line the curtains, or tidy the front room or flickr [all jobs i had hoped to do before going to bed] i think the ones that allow me to stay collapsed on sofa are more likely to be winners here. [wrapping and starting to sort photos won the day]

Anyway, just have to say SB was a star of wonder today, helpful, happy, lovely. bB has obviously missed me… But i enjoyed lots of cuddles with both. Cuddles with SB are – during the daytime anyway – becoming rarer, so something to particularly cherish.

on the agenda for tomorrow: make up the lasagne; pour and mould soaps to make; christmas muffins; stollen; more glass painted decs? ; in eve, camp curry, dahl and ? leek and potato soup.

Black dog on my shoulder

and its being a bit resistant to shaking off. i am reasonably confident i can pinpoint the problem, but would like it to move off a bit.
anyway, to today. i find in a black dog kind of day, a bit of organised activity and lots of book cuddling helps, so thats what we went for.
Anyway, SB had agreed to a last violin practice for piccies and video ‘to see where she had got’ and she still appears to enjoy doing it when she’s doing it! but is absolutely definite that the only string instrument she wants to play is the piano.

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so there we go. we played christmas carols, she then decided to move on in the book and play the spiccato section. we then had a jolly christmas carol concert with me on the violin and she and BB on bells/tambourines and singing. SO there, i don’t understand, and I hope one day she doesn’t turn around and wished she had gone ahead, but she is clear for now she doesn’t want to play.

We then moved into ballet practice. I don’t know how good they need to be, but if the teacher thought the others in the class would pass, then i think SB might now as well. SHe has really worked hard at it. the videoing has been the best thing, and i am from now on always going to sneakilly video the term before the exam!

we went off to do some arts and crafts, which will feature in Helmsley secret santas, but it is only kiddie to kiddie! [nic, we changed slightly who we are doing between us to save WW6091] SB confused herself with starting the painting with the glass upside down, and then said it was ok, because she meant the zebra to be standing on its head…

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and they only have 3 legs because the other one is hidden behind one of the other legs, oK?? such is life on the savannah.

whilst the black outer was drying, we then all snuggled up and i read various story books and some french books to the girls. i made a dreadful mistake of suggesting we could have soup in mugs with straws watching raven in the playroom [as there was drying painting stuff all over the table] the rug paid for that with BB’s tomato soup! i was going to do some violin prac, but am temporarily a string less [and g string :roll: ] so am having to wait until wed – em, i am a little rusty!!

SB then did her arm drawing for sketch tuesday. i think it might be supposed to be real life ish, but ours isn’t! it is a multiarmed rainbow bug. BB did her glass painting – v carefully – and i finished what my secret santa thingy is! chris is the only one so far not to do it. SB was using watercolour pencils, and had a go at washing them over – which did work until she had had enough.

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He, however, was busy elsewhere, and has bought an xmas tree [for the village lights on the outside of our house] and has also put a shelf up in the room of doom cupboard. our new years resolution is that it should become the room of resources instead!

SB and BB both did piano practice with me. BB was insistant to do it properly as well. so she has started gbdf and ace. SB does also play the piano nicely and sight read some new music today.

we finished with dinner infront of tv as well [sounds a bit scandalous, 2 meals infront of the tv] and although we were going to watch Harry Potter, SB decided on wizard of oz instead! both girls storied and bedded, and i have spent some of my christmas money on games! contemplating shelving.

oh, and i have wasted tme making an amazon astore.

thoroughly lost thursday

which is what i was trying to find the venue for the snakes session on thursday! a slight disagreement with DH, and we made it! by the time we made it, i was feeling harassed plus plus!! but we were just in time for the littlies session, and i went down with BB whilst mum vaguely supervised craft with SB. we really liked the snakeman. and BB loved the opportunity to hold the snake and lizard, and said it was the best thing ever!! [we do know she has a thing about reptiles though!! both current and the extinct - well, i know dinosauria aren't strictly reptiles, but...] Any way, we really enjoyed our session. i think SB’s with mum was harder work as more people in the session, but she still really enjoyed the opportunity to touch and hold the snake and lizard, and would like to have had ore time. they both did get the chance to go back and meet some more of the reptiles, and also do some lovely lizard based crafts. Thanks to the organisers and enablers.

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i left early as still in somewhat of a dither from contretemps with DH, and parked in a short time only spot etc etc. when we came home, we did science – always soothes me!! SB and BB did some of the horrible science explosives kit, and i loved the lava lamp take on the volcano favourite!! Mum did more curtaining, and dad was still painting away [bless]

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we also did LOADS more HE, as the girls have been in a v productive mood! SB has loved her wizard whimstaff workbook – the first spellings one, and raced through. she is also enjoying the maths section on shapes and areas, and found chris’s tangram book, and had a lot of fun making the shapes with that. bB joined in with her maths and also pattern blocking. in fact, BB has been so keen on maths, she has taken the book to bed several times to do ‘bedmaths’ and is now on earlybird 1B. She has a much better pencil grip and easier writing effort than SB at a simialr age. most of SB’s maths was oral, but BB likes doing a certain amount of the number writing [within limits of course!] BB has also had something of a letter sound moment, and is more and more reliable in identifying the sounds at the start of words, and realising words are made up of sound sequences. she can’t recognise many letters yet, so we are still doing a bit of that, but she loves to hold books and look at pictures and say she is reading, and I have read countless books to her.

ANother thing we have done a lot of this week is french. we have done french conversations and read a lot of stories in french. i am not sure this is the best way in the world, but it suits us. it seems to mimic how we might pick up our native language, gets us comfortable with a foreign language all together, and doesn’t frighten me – who finshed with o-level only! SB and BB do it together. SInce SB only just getting comfortable with writing in english, i am obviously not going for writing and reading in another language yet! SB did piano with mum and then read loads of books, including stories to BB.

SB had gymnastics – which i haven’t got to watch before, so happy to do that! [and also chill]. i was impressed by the amount they work out, and clear to see what sb’s strengths and weaknesses are. we will work perhaps on headstands and poised balance!! [BB missed her session - oops]

wrong paint wednesday

we are racing through the blogging aren’t we! mind you, i am prob forgetting great chunks of it, and may go back and add!!we were having a lovely time, v happy to have my parents here. dad working hard in toilet [poor man] chris up a ladder priming the window with linseed, mum playing with kids and measuring for curtains. so today [as in wed] mum was in charge of morning HE whilst chris and i went to homebase to buy paint for dad to use. mum did ok with HE, sb did her maths and spelling, and a violin with mum. chris and i did not so well, after a lot of humming and hawing, we chose a lovely colour, but worried it would look dark, so did the paintmixing thing to get a lighter version. rather than a khaki green but lighter, it is, well, white wth hint of blue. not sure how that happened at all. oh well. we can get used to most things!

girls did lots of painting in the afternoon for the painting exhibition in the church. i had got some textured wall paper for them to play with as well, and i cut out some basic shapes to get them started. they both made v different pictures. SB organised the sahpes to make a village of house with qarage, flats and a windmill. BB used the textured pieces as sand, and then had dinosaurs running about at the seaside. SB decided she didn’t want to use her village as the entry, and did a very freestyle picture, building up layers of blue, anding with her tipping the palette upside down on it. she was rather disappointed the paint spread out, and it wasn’t fully dry on fri evening, but she was v happy with it.

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we then went through 2 art books looking at the different styles used, and discussing which she would like to try out. she then went on to do some more fantastic contraptions – which she is rather fond of, and BB watched some night garden. Mum near enough finished the curtains, and dad did the first coat of paint!

judo for SB – always a busy lass!!

Touristy Tuesday – ely

whilst dad started with the diy – thanks dad! decorating our downstairs loo, and chris got sorted to do some windowing, mum said she fancied going to ely. again the girls raced through home ed stuff, violin prac with mum, maths, handwriting, and wizard whimstaff spelling books that i had got and SB loves and is racing through. Also some french story and conversation, and reading of a castle book.

so off to ely, and the girls got strict instructions on how to behave in a cathedral. so we were totally shocked to open the door and find 800 screaming primary schoolers!!! at least it was free entry. they were having a day on the victorian restoration – which was interesting. SB had a bit of a wobble [well, it was a wobbly day for her] because the children had worksheets and she didn’t – and they were the most boring worksheets imaginable!! oh well, on walking around, whilst the kids had their lunch break and were like wild animals chasing around, we noticed all the brass rubbings out and about, so the girls spent a happy 30 mins brass rubbing, whilst mum looked about more. we went and had lunch at pizza express and wandered about, including cromwells house.

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home in time to take SB swimming – she is getting really good, particularly at backstroke.

Guilty Pleasures!

Chris’s parents have been here tday to look after the girls whilst i was at work and he was working on the window. s we have had the heatng n. t is still on! and it is lovely. must switch off tomorrow though.

Sb has bee very good, and has done her singapore maths, and her getty and dubay – finally started book C – woohoo. She has read lots to the – scored easy impressing marks! Nana French read one of the explorer books back – about polar expeditions.

When I got home we did some violin and piano practice too – SB was supremely confident about playing to them. Def proud Mummy moment – twinkle twinkle on the violin and haydn was a happy man on the piano.

Lots of game playing also – both girls keen to tell me all the games they had played. BB bamboozled nana with her playing who’s who, but i was actuall surprised at how well BB had the concept and what to ask for.

Watched some downloads, and a fab junior jackanory about the sorcerer f samarkhand – don’t know about the girls, but I was spell bound.

BB fell asleep, SB finished her magic tree house book, and we did some ‘proper sewing‘ [her phrase!] . Nice start to what is going to be a frantic week [in part because I've left my submission of evidence of learning to the last minute for work]. Chris has done a god job on the window today to. smiley faces all round.