Friday, 31 December 2010

My blog of 2010 - Revisited

I've been having a good reminisce of some of my blog posts from the last year and I've decided to choose one from each month to share with you now.

  1. I wrote about my fantasy New Year wishes in Bring on 2010
  2. In February after watching a Channel 4 documentary about choosing your babies sex before conception I blogged about choosing your flavour.
  3. I wrote about returning to work after maternity leave something I'm sure a lot of us dread.
  4. In April I made my pre-election campaign in If I were running the country...
  5. I wrote a poem for Miss C when she turned 1.
  6. I was deciding whether to remove my L plates when I wrote Driving in the Mummy lane.
  7. In July I was thinking about having another baby.
  8. August saw Wee Z embarking on his first day at nursery.
  9. Did you suffer any of the pregnancy ailments I did?
  10. In October I had bit of an accident due to my living with a man.
  11. I love The Gallery and this was one of my favourite themes, Black and White.
  12. We made gorgeous chocolate fudge for the nursery staff as Christmas presents.
It's been lovely looking back on these posts, remembering what I've written and remembering why I enjoy blogging so much.


2010 - How was it for me?

This last year has had more ups than downs for us, thankfully. At the beginning of the year we were in a bad place in terms of work as Husband had been made redundant the week before Christmas 2009. Trying to find a job at the bleakest time of the year was going to be tough and Husband was prepared to do any job he could to ensure we could eat and pay our bills. After a month without working, he was lucky to be offered a job with a company in our town which made it much easier for us all.

I returned to work after my 10 months away and it was as if I’d never been away. I’m lucky that my employers have always made it very easy for me to come back and have been able to accommodate my shifts and hours. I enjoy having my work so I have a bit of “me” time and adult time away from home. Of course if my “me” time could be spent shopping or in a nice spa...

We celebrated Miss C’s first birthday in May. It was hard to believe that she was already turning one when it seemed like only a few weeks before that we had welcomed her into the world.

Wee Z turned 3 a few days after Miss C’s birthday and we had a joint party for them and had lots of fun with new and old friends and our families.

With Wee Z turning 3 he was offered his place at a fantastic nursery. He is really thriving at nursery and has had glowing reports from his key worker. He is making friends easily, which I guess is something every parent worries about. No one wants to see their child being left out and thankfully, Wee Z seems to be a very happy and very sociable young boy.

Around about September time my sister told me she was pregnant. I’m very excited for her and can’t wait to meet my niece when she is born in April. Part of me thought I should be feeling a bit jealous but I’m not. I’m delighted for her and glad that this is a baby that I can hand back after a nice cuddle!

Christmas time was really enjoyable this year. We didn’t have the stress of Husband trying to find a job so we could really relax and enjoy the festivities. I didn’t have to cook for everyone this year either which was a welcome change even though we did miss having Bella and Pops there on Christmas Day. Wee Z and Miss C had a great day too, enjoying their visitors and presents and being allowed to watch lots of Christmas TV.

All in all 2010 has been a pretty good year for us and I hope this will carry on in to 2011. Happy New Year everyone and all the best for 2011!


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The Gallery - Love


I love this picture. It's of Wee Z and his Bella. Bella is short for Abuela which is Spanish for Gran. It was about the closest name to Gran my Mum could cope with, I think, when she found out I was pregnant. Bella means beautiful so I do think it's rather fitting.

I'm not a Gran but I do think the relationship between a grandchild and grandparent is different and very special to that of a parent and child. Sometimes I think it's because they can give them back or when your parents hear that your child is giving you grief then they think, aha payback! Maybe it's because you can get away with a lot more with a grandparent than you can with a parent. To quote Sam Levenson, "The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy."

The thing I love about this picture is I can see Wee Z in his Bella. They have the same cheeks and dimples when they smile. Wee Z tells me often that he loves his Bella and I tell him that she loves him too.

This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Love. Be sure to check out the other entries, it's the last one of 2010!


Saturday, 18 December 2010

Our First Nativity

On Wednesday we went to see Wee Z in his nursery Nativity play. He was dressed as a shepherd and the kids all looked smashing. Daddy, Miss C and I sat watching the children sing whilst one of their teachers narrated the story of the birth of Baby Jesus. It was really lovely.

Of course, the children are only 3 and 4 so you can imagine some of them were distracted by their parents watching them and some of them just sat staring into space whilst others, like Wee Z, sat and picked their nose. Thankfully there was no eating of the pickings!

Wee Z was in the nativity with his best friend Miss E and they sat close together. Miss E was dressed up as a star. When the Baby Jesus was born (thankfully that part wasn't recreated) they all took gifts to him. Wee Z later told me that his gift had been some toothbrushes. They all did a fantastic job and I'm really happy that they did the story of the birth of Baby Jesus instead of something else. Although we don't practise a religion in our house, I think it is important for them to know a story of Christmas other than Santa bringing presents down a chimney for all the good children.

When they finished they got a well deserved round of applause from all the proud parents and some sweets too. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the Nativity because we weren't supposed to be allowed to bring cameras. I think we were the only parents who stuck to that rule because everyone else had a camera or video camera with them. I'll know for next year!


Thursday, 16 December 2010

A lovely gift - Chocolate fudge

This is the first time I have ever had to think of something to get Wee Z's nursery teacher for Christmas. Of course, now it has started, it will carry on until it is officially "uncool" to buy your teacher a present. As my mother in law is a nursery teacher, I remember Christmas a few years ago, walking into her living room and the floor literally being covered in little gift bags. "Who are they from?" I asked, admiringly. "The children at school!" WHAT??? All of them??? I'm in the wrong profession!

I contemplated buying a small gift but with money being tight and there not being very much that I could choose to buy, I decided to make sweets. Well, after searching through my cook books, we decided to go with chocolate fudge. Easy to make and tasty.

If you want to try this at home, it really is a very easy recipe and doesn't take any time at all.


Ingredients

250g of good dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more)
2 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of evaporated milk
450g of icing sugar

Break your chocolate up into a heat proof bowl and add in the butter and milk. Heat over a pan of boiling water until it has all melted together. Once melted, remove from the heat and gradually beat in your icing sugar. If the mix becomes to difficult to work, add a few drops of water or evaporated milk. Lightly grease a square tin, add the mix and level it out. Pop it in the fridge until chilled and then cut into squares. You'll get about 25 good sized pieces. For something a bit different, you could add in nuts and sultanas, about 50g of each. Keep it chilled until you need to eat it...not long, trust me!


I asked my Mum if she could find any cellophane gift bags. There is nowhere near me that would sell anything like this and my Mum came up trumps when she bought a sheet of gorgeous cellophane paper from Thorntons (of all places!) for 10p. I cut up my fudge and made 2 gift bags, one for Wee Z's teacher and one for the rest of the staff. For not being a crafty person, I think I did not too bad!




Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Gallery - Sparkle

Whilst my Mum was visiting last weekend, she had brought with her a stocking making kit. Wee Z was at a party on the Sunday morning so my Mum and her partner made the first stocking so they could show Wee Z what he was going to make with them. Wee Z had great fun gluing all the sparkly pom-poms and glittery snowflakes on.

Wee Z and Bella making their stocking

The finished stocking

I love the shiny stars and the sparkly pom-poms
This post is for The Gallery. The theme this week is Sparkle. Go check out the other entries too!


Monday, 13 December 2010

My Christmas Wish List

I think I've been good this year and I'm hoping Santa will bring me a few treats. These are a few of the things I'd like to find under my tree on December 25th: -

  1. Sabrina the Teenage Witch DVD
  2. Ugly Betty DVD
  3. A diary
  4. Sex and the City 2 DVD
  5. Katie Price's new book
Not too hard I hope Santa! Of course, if Santa could bring me ANYTHING, then my list would look more like this: -

  1. A lovely little sports car, 2 seats, no kids allowed
  2. A nice new house, newly decorated, plenty of space
  3. A walk-in wardrobe filled with gorgeous clothes, stylish shoes and fancy jewellery
  4. An iPad
  5. Hayden Christensen, wrapped up with a nice bow
A girl can dream, can't she?


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Gallery - White

Whilst every woman should have a little black dress, it's the gorgeous white dresses that make you feel like a princess.




Monday, 6 December 2010

Snow Surfing

As I was driving to work this morning, I saw the most beautiful rainbow in the sky. It was stunning. I wish I could have taken a photo of it but I don't take my phone to work so no camera and it wasn't safe to stop. I smiled thinking Wee Z would love this.

Fast forward an hour and I'm staring out the window at the heaviest snow fall we've had since the snow started. I thought we had missed the worst of it. Apparently not. It continued to fall thick and fast and I was dreading my drive home. I don't live far from work and I can drive 2 separate routes but both involve hills and one involves a dual carriageway. I was also rather worried about the fact I had 0 miles left in my tank!

I finished work at 1pm and stomped my way through the 2 or 3 inches of snow, with it still falling. I got to my car and wiped the snow off the windscreen, set my wipers to fast and carefully pulled out on to the road. I decided to take the dual carriageway, as I always do, figuring that it might be better than the town route. I drove at no more than 40mph on the carriageway, which was empty. I came to my exit, which is uphill and made sure I was slowing down (without braking - you do not brake in the snow I'm told!) so I could make a safe exit and get home.

I must have hit a bad patch in the road because my car swings to the left and I am travelling sideways up the slip road. "Steer into a skid, steer into a skid" I'm telling myself, but clearly I have not caught the skid in time. I'm thinking to myself, well not much really. I wasn't scared, I knew I wasn't going to hurt myself travelling at 15mph on an empty slip road but the lamppost on the embankment was staring to get a bit too close for comfort. I'm saying out loud, "please don't hit, Husband will have a fit!" Thankfully I stopped about a foot short as I'd managed to collect enough snow under my tyres to stop.

I popped my hazards on, thinking not much use seen as my car is now facing the wrong way, and got out the car. Thankfully I was only about a 5 minute walk from home but I was not in proper snow walking attire and I didn't want to leave the car there in case it caused an accident. I don't take my phone to work as we're not allowed to have them switched on so I started my walk home and at the same time waved to any passing cars. Four cars passed me before some kind man stopped. FOUR! Unbelievable! I asked the man, who I actually recognised from years ago, if I could use his phone. He very kindly let me and I phoned Husband to let him know I was OK and was walking home. I walked another few steps when a van passed me and a guy shouted "do you need some help with your car?" Thank you, thank you! So these 2 men in a van helped dig my car out and push it off the embankment and helped me reverse up a slip road. It just goes to show there are some very decent people out there willing to do someone a good turn.


Wednesday, 1 December 2010

The Gallery - Celebration

I was racking my brains last night for something I could use for the theme this week at The Gallery. Then, into my mind popped chocolate. This isn't an unusual thing for me, infact it would be most peculiar if I didn't think of chocolate at some point during the day. Anyways, it got me to thinking that with every celebration throughout the year, chocolate is always necessary part of the celebration.

On Valentine's Day, your loved one will buy you flowers or chocolate.


On Easter Sunday, you take your chocolate eggs to a hill and roll them down.

On Halloween you go trick or treating and get chocolate.


At Christmas, you buy a chocolate advent calendar.

Back off people, this is just for me!

On your birthday you can have a chocolate cake.

Chocolate is so known for being around celebrations they even named chocolates after them!


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