Sunday, 13 December 2009

Eat your heart out, Kirstie Allsopp!

We have been busy this Christmas time, here are a few pictures - well, here is the aforementioned pic spam!
Our Christmas wreath, our Advent Calendar (with proper chocolates cast in our new Christmas moulds) Presents - the sock monkeys have been breeding again! And I spread my wings and tried something a little different - an owl for a good friend of mine with a special reason behind it!The hampers are shaping up nicely, this is a sneaky preview on what they are looking like so far....

Raspberry Liquor
Plum and Pumpkin Chutney with Merlot
Mulled Wine
Sweet Apricot and Cranberry Jam
Caramelised Pecans and Walnuts
Elanor's Lavender Snowball Christmas soaps
Lemon and Grapefruit Soap
Spicy Sandalwood Soap
Breakfast for your Skin Apricot, Oat and Honey facial scrub
Chocolate Fudge
Cranberry and Raisin Fudge
Peppermint Creams
Salt dough tree decoration
Salt dough Christmas candle holder

Some duplicates and lots left to come, it's not finished yet. We've made everything but the mulled wine. There will be four full size hampers and several smaller ones given this year.
It's been fun, so far!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

The Unmentionable....s

Oh, I want! Can anyone find them on a UK site? They are brilliant.

If not I'll consider getting some made. I've always fancied having an officious looking card to hand over with a winning smile, but when you look closely or get around to calling the number it actually says '017ur aprick80' Not that I'm into text speak normally you understand!

These have the edge with the funky little cartoons, I fear.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Frosty greetings!

'Goodnight Elanor, I love you'

'Goodnight Mummy, I love Daddy'


'Yes, I love Daddy as well'


'OK, you're right, he's your Daddy'

'Yeah, MINE. I love Daddy, and I love milk, and I love the postman.'

'I love Elanor, and Daddy, and I love the packages the postman brings'

'Yes, I love packages, and presents, and Santa'

'What would you like Santa to bring you this year?'

'A postman'

Okkkkkkkaaaayyyyyy. Daddy isn't even here and won't be until Sunday!

Luckily for all of us I've had a word with Santa and his elves have already made her a Postman posting game. Very fortunate.

Speaking of packages and presents, more are arriving every day including things I forgot I'd ordered, and I'm extremely happy with the bargainous haul this year! Highlights must include the pair of wooden dolls houses sitting under a sheet in the bedroom, along with three doll families and hundreds - literally, hundreds - of pieces of dolly furniture etc. One for Elanor and one for her cousin, cost approximately 20% of what they would have retailed for new. And even more penny pinchingly, I got Grandma to buy Elanor's.....

And the lovely wooden set that arrived today, ooooh la la, I highly recommend. This will be my girl's present from me this year.

Oh I forgot, I realised this blog is sadly lacking in pictures (and comments, I love comments, please leave comments, need comments, want comments) so I have resolved to add some colour and illustration.

In other words I'm going to pic spam you.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Lessons in cuteness (how to get whatever you want from your parents)

How do they know, these kids?

How do they KNOW?

I don't know about you, but I have noticed a tendency toward the uber-cute from my just turned three year old. It seems so young to be that manipulative, turning the big eyes on Daddy, eyelashes a-fluttering, somehow absorbing the cute vibe from everything and parroting it back at the most opportune moment. Trapped in full-beam cute from the offspring, we the parents are helpless to resist, and melt obscenely into small puddles for the triumphant child to jump in.

Case in point:

We had a wonderful day yesterday putting up the Christmas tree. We had mulled wine, chocolates and nibbles, a roaring fire roasting the lazy dog and a skittish kitten jumping about at his first encounter with a Christmas tree. We'd made biscuit decorations with the neighbourhood kids, threaded through with ribbon. We put the Muppet Christmas Carol on the TV.


I mean, short of tying Robert up and injecting him forcibly with a vial of Christmas Spirit, it was the best I could do. And it did work, to a point. But all my effort paled into insignificance in the face of a single utterance from the small child.

Having decorated the tree, and watched the Muppets, Scrooge, and the spirits - with much comment and laughter at the funny bits of the film but not a jot on the soppier parts - we turned off the telly and stood and looked at the fairy lights.

I gave Robert a hug and the small person joined in, he picked her up and we watched the fairy lights dance.

She leant in, one arm round my neck, one arm around Daddy's neck, gave us a big squeeze and said 'God bless us, everyone'

Tiny Tim, eat your heart out.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

I've been working

I've been working A LOT and haven't had much time for witty banter, unfortunately. Not that it matters much with this abysmal corner of the web, having approximately zero readers, and showing my technical inability generally.

I should fix that.

So to all the brand new readers I am jollying off to recruit, please leave comment here to confirm you do in fact exist, and are not a product of this excellent bottle of Special Release Chardonnay........

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Waybuloo Conspiracy?

I had to come and tell you all this!

There is a conspiracy on CBeebies, and they are brainwashing our children! They are making them do *whispers* New Age practices...

It's appalling! I believe Waybuloo is the most obvious culprit, though obviously we can't rule out subliminal messaging in the the rest of the programs - I mean, if they'll resort to yoga and (look away now if easily offended) a sun dial - who knows what they may be capable of?

There is more information here in this excellent video:

I shall try to find out more on the subject. My first step will be to interrogate the talking Waybuloo character that Elanor will get for her birthday tomorrow. Must go hunt for the gaffer tape and pliers ..........

Thursday, 22 October 2009

All fancy dress manufacturers please note the following:

Witch outfits are not supposed to be pink. They are supposed to be scary. Noone is scary wearing pink.

Freddie Krueger in a frilly pink tutu - not scary.

Michael Myers in a hot pink shirt - not scary.

They are also not supposed to be flouncy, off the shoulder ballgowns. Strappy dresses are not for little girls. I've yet to see a witch outfit a boy could wear, and why can't a boy be a witch? If a girl said they wanted to be a wizard I'm sure that could be arranged. And who the heck thinks that wearing a nice strappy faux bodice out in the tropical temperatures of the English climate Hallowe'en night is a good idea? Especially for a young child? I suppose you could put a coat on them and ruin the costume. Or you could just hope that the sugar intake will keep them moving fast enough to stop them from freezing.

Girls can wear pink the other 364 days of the year, indeed with the pink monopoly on the 'girl's aisle' of the average clothes shop, it's almost mandated. Don't dilute Hallowe'en with a pink rinse. I'm sure even the most precious little princess can cope without a pink skirt for one evening.

I saw an article the other day entitled 'How to take the scares out of Hallowe'en for your toddler' Take them OUT? I'm dreaming up scares! Aren't they the whole point?! OK, I may have put a fake rubber arm up my sleeve and asked my toddler to hold my hand in the Hallowe'en aisle in the supermarket the other day. When my arm fell off she was freaked. I thought it was hilarious. So I might not be the best person to ask.

Oh, and whilst I'm on the subject - Mrs Claus outfits for 3 year old girls, pom pom drawstrings and faux bodices - that's obscene. For God's sake just get them a Santa hat and a nice red jumper.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

How to drive your parents potty!

Listen up, fellow toddlers, here's the deal. This particular piece of mischief takes PLANNING and FORETHOUGHT. IF you're not feeling up to that, please don't try this at home.

First, what you need to do is persuade your parental units to allow you to do some drawing. Draw happily like an angel. But here's the thing, and it requires sleight of hand - pocket or otherwise conceal some of the crayons and pens for future use. I put them in the side of my backpack, so the parental units would not find them.

Later that day, insist on wearing the backpack to go to the potty, and then take it off, so it ends up upstairs, in your bedroom. The tools are in place.

Early the next morning, sneak out of bed, making no noise. Be aware that any noise may wake the parental units before your plan is complete.Retrieve the pens and crayons from your chosen stash-place, and set about the walls. The door is a good thing to draw on too. If the walls are a nice pale colour it shows up all the better. Draw some nice faces and practise your writing. They call it 'decorating', I think, and they're really pleased when the place is nicely decorated.

Next - and this requires bladder control - do a very large wee on the potty. Remember to be quiet. Now, you remember seeing the parental units washing things in the big pot in the kitchen, right? They'll be super pleased that you're doing the same. Empty the drawers of all your clothes. Dunk them in the lovely fragrant potty. Spread the wet clothes out on the bed, to admire your handiwork. Then hang them on the radiators, just like the parental units do. Wonderful. They'll be so pleased.

Now your housework is done, raise all hell to awaken the parental units. Announce happily that you've done the washing. Jump on their bed and try to draw on their faces to alert them to your fantastic decorating skills. Lead them happily into your bedroom and point out your lovely clean washing hangly uniformly on the radiators. Allow them to take in your new decor. You might notice that their lower lip begins to twitch. This means they are pleased. Ditto the slight shake to the hand.When you think that they might explode with happiness, point out that you've written your first word without assistance on the back of the door. And that that word is Mummy.

Enjoy, toddlers. You are invincible.

Friday, 11 September 2009

The old versus the new

So, this week we've done a cross-country trip to enjoy a few days relaxing in a spa in Wales. Lovely. Robert decided to take his uber-trendy Sat Nav. I refused to leave the house without a map of the whole country. You know, a real map - made from paper. With little elephants on it to show where the zoos are, and little turrets to show you the castles. Wonderful.
I'm old fashioned, apparently. Sat Navs can show you the nearest petrol station, accomodation, place to buy a Mars Bar. The wonders of modern technology can plan your whole route for you, and all you do is follow the instructions on the little screen. How uninspiring. How uninvolved. By Robert's own admission, it makes driving 'like a computer game' where he can see the next bend and how the road lies to judge speed. Great. Nothing like reading the actual know, just in case the technology gets it wrong and you go headlong into a ditch...
Of course, maps can be wrong too, and frequently out of date (mine was from 2002 and lacked many roundabouts we encountered) but what I like about them is the innate sense of direction they foster. Even at an unexpected roundabout, you're not circling it madly trying to identify the road number you require whilst the Sat Nav nags you robotically, you can take the turning that is signposted by (God forbid) an actual place name, or, even worse.....a compass point. Because on a map, the country is spread out before your eyes, not reduced to a tiny portion of screen showing the miniscule section of road you are currently inhabiting.
I was able to point out distant hills and mountains, naming them aloud and announcing their height above sea level. I could mention when we were passing Twycross Zoo or Donnington Park. On the way home, looking for an adventure, I could spread out my map and see related distances, route possibilities, places of interest, all at once. A bit easier than attempting to program the Sat Nav to display tourist attractions whilst flying along the motorway in the fast lane. Eventually, the machine decided to take us off the motorway and onto a local roundabout, before directing us straight back to the motorway, for no apparent reason. Then attempted a close-to 30mile detour as he'd set it to avoid toll roads. One thing a machine will always lack is common sense.
Starting to distrust the machine, when close to home and desperate for a break, Robert asked me how far it was to the next services. Working on a lovely 1 inch/3 miles scale, I approximated the distance. Meaning not only could I determine our exact position without the aid of a satellite, I could look forward on our journey far enough to locate the next cup of coffee, and using a highly technical finger-segment-measuring system, I told him 'About 14-15 miles away from here' As if to prove me wrong, he prodded the Sat Nav screen a few times, and grunted.

'Hmmm, yes. 14.8 miles'

Half the fun is getting lost, anyway.

Friday, 4 September 2009

So, what do you do when someone says 'You should blog!' ?

Well, first, of course, you deny it. Probably out of a mixture of modesty, false modesty, disbelief, and irritation. Irritation, of course, because of the 'Haven't I got ENOUGH to do?' instinct. Until you realise that the reason they are saying you should blog is because you're already writing blog-like posts, only without the recognition. So, in due course, your ego expands, you type the word 'blog' into Google, and arrive fairly shortly, although with a lot of shouting at your tintyweb connection, at this destination.

Then you have to confront the complicated question - what do you want your blog to be called? Blimey. This could make or break the moment. This could mean internet obscurity - or notoriety. Eeek. As an avid reader of many excellent blogs, I paused. This is the definition of your life!!! A blog is merely a fancy tintyweb word for diary, after all. And it's a good job I never considered myself particularly rational or I'd question the whole concept of putting your diary out there for all to see right here. With previous disclaimer, of course, I won't. To define your diary, and henceforth your life, in a snappy and interesting title - that's more of a challenge than the introductory blog post.

So, welcome everyone, to Lullabies and Lunacy. Succinct, don't you think? A fair reflection on my current situation as chief entertainer of one amusing small person, and a twist on my opinion of the world that allowed that situation to become so. Myself, a mother? I'm not even a grown up.

If you walked down the street singing, you'd either be considered a lunatic or an X-factor reject. I'm not discounting the possibility that these two things are one and the same. However, if you walk down the street singing with a small child in tow, well, that's OK.....I mean, I few funny looks from the prudish amongst us, but most generally accept you're not singing 'the wheels on the bus' for your own amusement. Except for the fact that I usually am - the song choice is the small one's, the choice to sing is mine - and I quite enjoy the freedom to behave like a lunatic.

Ask me again when she's a teenager, won't you?

So, I'm blogging. Here it is. Welcome.