Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My kind of day

My mother always comments that I talk more about my family on my quilting blog than over here, which is sort of true, but mainly, it's because it doesn't seem like most of my days are very interesting. Today is a good example - it was busy, lots happened, but worthy of blogging? Not really. Except this once, as an example! So here it is:
  • 7am: got up, had a shower, got dressed, fixed hair (1 minute), made bed, woke up kids, got them dressed & downstairs
  • 7.40am: the two girls I childmind in the mornings and after school arrived, had a quick chat about the week with their mum, got breakfast for everyone, fed gerbils & gave the wheel and cubbyhole in their cage a quick clean, made & packed lunches for my kids, ate some toast, drank half a cup of tea (I never manage to get through the whole one), got papers, books, homework, water bottles, French folders, lunch order for next week, school trip permission slip, together for school and packed backpacks
  • 8.25am: shoes and coats on, time to walk to school
  • 8.50am: went inside school to run uniform shop (Tues am only), misc other errands at school relating to PTA and library
  • 9.40am: went home, had a proper cup of tea, got some stuff ready to post, read some email
  • 10.25am: back to school (in car this time) to collect Sarah for orthodontist appointment
  • 11.08am: arrive at orthodontist early (appt for 11.20) but get seen straight away (yeah!) and find she still has too many baby teeth for them to start fitting for the removable top and bottom braces she'll start out with - set a new appt for 6 mos time to see if she has lost rest of small teeth. Finish with ortho before time of actual appt, so decide to nip into Starbucks and grab a coffee to take with me
  • 11.40 am: drop Sarah back at school, head to New Malden to stand in very very long post office queue in order to get passport applications (UK) for kids checked and sent off - which takes about 20 minutes itself. Won't even mention how much it cost, as it was just stupid. Also remember to pop into shoe shop with loyalty card (10th pair of shoes free) and Olivia's receipt from new school shoes bought over half-term, when of course I had forgotten to take the loyalty card with me. Oh and one or two bits in grocery store, of course.
  • 1pm: eat lunch. check a few emails. pop over to help Lana square up some large backings for customer quilts
  • 1.50pm: make some nine-patch blocks for quilt group Thursday am
  • 2.55pm: walk back to school for pick-up. collect kids, come home, find snacks, empty backpacks, bookbags, lunchboxes. Drink a cup of tea (mostly). Cook early dinner (5pm) for kids as this is an evening where I childmind (only 3 afternoons a week, but every am). Wash up. Pour glass of wine.
  • 5.45pm: spare kids collected by their mum, I actually had a chance to read a little bit of my book as well during this time as Geoff & I are eating leftover cold roast chicken (no cooking) and fried potatoes (his job) so no dinner to cook; supervise clarinet practice
  • 6.45pm: help wash up, comb girls' hair for nits, ensure reading is done for school, get Alex to bed (tonight handled by Sarah and Daddy)
  • 8pm: watch a little telly, more hair combing, check some emails, drink cup of tea, get girls to bed (mostly done by themselves) watch CSI and other stuff, more email stuff, blog
  • 12.15am: finish blogging, shut off computer, go to bed

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cutie with monster gloves

It was cold today. We were outside in it anyway, but it was cold. Most of my pictures are dull, but my friend Caroline might email me some of hers - if so, I'll post some of them...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tennis, anyone?

Here's Alex dressing up in various tennis related things at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, where we went today - we had some free tickets from the school fair or something. Here he has on some sort of ladies' tennis apron and a John MacEnroe wig.

After the museum, we had a slightly chilly but sunny picnic and walk around Cannizaro Park, which was nice - great to be outside with no rain and lots of sunshine, in February. More photos here!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Fruity Muesli Cookies

They were going to be oatmeal raisin, until I pulled out the oatmeal and discovered 1 cup instead of 3. Quick rummage in cupboard - aha! Fruit and nut muesli - mostly oatmeal anyway, right?

Combine in a bowl:
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c margerine/butter/shortening (or combo thereof - I always bake with marg due to a dairy allergy in a child I mind), softened
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Beat until smooth, then add:
1 c plain flour
3 c oatmeal (or muesli, or combo thereof)
1 c raisins (or other dried fruit to taste - I used half raisins, half dried cranberries)

Stir until combined*; drop mixture onto baking trays in heaped tablespoonfuls; bake in a 170C oven (375F) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly browned. nb: I usually find that the batter wants more oats/muesli than the recipe calls for - I don't like it too sticky, so I add a bit more by sight if I think it's too gloopy - usually another half cup or so, maybe a whole cup if I'm using muesli instead of oats (which pack down more). This makes a slightly drier cookie - still chewy in the middle, but not quite so oozy.

Remove from oven and cool on rack ASAP (or they will stick to the trays and you'll never get them off). For some reason, I've never got around to converting this to metric, probably because it's such a simple recipe - takes a whole block (250g) of marg, so no measuring fats anyway...

*small helper who is more likely to get mix on counter or floor than in bowl optional, but very cute.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A taste of spring

Lovely, springlike weather this afternoon - sunny all day and I actually hung a load of washing outside (and it got dry) - later in the year, I won't care so much about being able to hang it out, but it's lovely the first few times you can do it after a whole winter of hanging indoors and using the dryer. We took the kids over to the park this afternoon - and it was packed, not surprisingly - the first somewhat warm weather (warm enough to go with jackets rather than coats) which was also dry, it was bound to happen. There are a few more days forecast like this, then it will probably get colder again, but I do love a little taste of spring in February - especially the sun - really perks things back up. If it's like this tomorrow (it says it will be) we'll have a walk over to another playground a little further afield, which the kids like - it has some more unusual stuff like a climbing wall and a fun sort of roundabout... Maybe some photos, if we do that.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ladies man... well, boy

My mother asked me the other day if my friends who read my family blog know that there's more about what's going on with our family on my quilting blog than over here. This is not strictly true, but there is a lot of small, incidental information about family stuff over there, interspersed with a lot of stuff about art & quilting. That's because I mention a lot of stuff in passing like "I didn't get much done today because Olivia wasn't very well and was home from school" or whatever - nothing that seems worthy of a post over here. But anyway, she said I should tell you guys that you might like to visit over there as well (though I post a LOT over there, and it's mostly about sewing & artwork). And as I'm a good daughter and do what my mother tells me (well, sometimes!), consider yourselves told...

As for the title of the post, I've just had another birthday party invitation for Alex - he now has 4 parties over the next 5 Saturdays (luckily, all on different days) and they are ALL for girls - 5 girls in fact, as one party is for twins. Which is not to say he doesn't have friends who are boys, but I guess the girls just all have birthdays this time of year. The twins, in fact, have the same birthday as my own brother (24 Feb) so I will probably always remember when theirs is. Anyway, looks like we'll be busy over the next few months - I forgot how full of parties Reception year is (when they get older, they have smaller parties with a more select group of friends). Guess I need to stock up on presents. Actually, I think I'm going to make pencil rolls for them all like Olivia and I did for a friend of hers...

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Pond dipping

Here are the kids at the Wetland Centre doing pond dipping - surprisingly, we actually found a newt in the pond - we often find newts in the ponds, so it's not like they don't live there, but it's early February and very, very cold, so you might expect them not to be around. Anyway, there are some more photos in my flickr album - we actually spent quite a lot of the time we were there inside the hides and various other indoor places - despite being sunny, it was pretty cold. It was nice to get out, though, so I'm glad we went...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Crane in action

This play crane actually moves back and forth and raises and lowers. Sarah and Olivia had almost as much fun with this as Alex did, I think...

Birthday party

I wish I could offer some snaps from Alex's birthday party today, but of course, as usual, I was far too busy to remember to take any. But here's the "cake" which is actually a stack of donuts, waiting to be lit... and here's Alex after the party, blowing bubbles with the bubble stuff which was in the party bags.

And here, after the party, is Alex putting together his new crane, which is a present from Grandma Nancy, and which actually moves (video to come shortly!). All the kids were very stroppy this evening and were sent to bed early - all that excitement, I guess.