Wednesday, 31 December 2008


The world is a very loud place! I didn't know. I am a loud person. Kind folks have been telling me this for years -- but on reflection, not my whole life.

I often get water stuck in my ears after swimming, or even just a quick shower. A few weeks ago it did not clear. Yep, I spent about a week deaf in one ear. It's irritating. I finally went to the doctor. She said that I needed them syringed, and that I needed to spend a week prior dropping olive oil into them once per day. OK. I managed to do it 3-4 times. Good enough.

Yesterday morning, Foxy and I trooped off to see the nurse. Have you had your ears syringed?!? It is AWESOME. It's no syringe, it's a power hose. It feels like your brain is being washed, and that maybe the water is going in a little too far. And it almost, kinda hurts. In that good way, KWIM? She started on the really bad ear. After a couple of minutes she checked -- nope, still blocked. She upped the power and soon declared -- that's it, a big chunk just came out. No, I did not look at the waste product. The second ear was just a quickie.

Immediately the world seemed full of noise. Little and big, the world is really, really busy with noise. Did you know?

Foxy was with me because it was time for another jab. That's when I discovered just how loud he is. OMG. The boy SCREAMS! All in all, this ear cleansing has been a really good thing. But this morning Foxy actually woke me up. Yes, Nearest and Dearest still got up with him (I married well), but my slumber was disturbed for a few minutes. Inconvenient.

Anyway, Nearest and Dearest has noticed that I am talking more quietly. This must be a relief. And since the procedure, I have not had to ask her to repeat herself. I'll admit it, it used to irritate me that she spoke so quietly. Who knew the fault was my own.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Nearly Ready...

A gift has been bought for Cute Cousin. Phew.

The house is decorated...

There's food and drink...

And Santa should know where to come...

So. What's left to do? Just wrapping up a few presents. And finish socks for Nearest and Dearest. Really, just stitching them up. The thing is, in order to do that, I need to learn Kitchener stitch. Hmmm...

Catch Up

OK, having read a few others' blogs, I have realized it is officially time to GIVE UP. No more knitted gifts are to be completed. Sorry Cute Nephew, looks like you will be getting a reversible knitted hat for New Year's instead. As you're 17 months, I don't think you'll mind. I do feel slightly guilty that I convinced Grandma to knit you a matching scarf, which is, of course, finished, wrapped & ready. Oh - what was that? Yeah, I just got over it.

So, I am carving out a little time now to catch up on Foxy's birthday! We had a party with Nearest & Dearest's family, and a couple of my cousins and their children. Foxy LOVED the attentions of his second cousins (is that what they are? Who knows. Anyway, they were 6 & 8, a 1-year-olds delight!).

The children did a WONDERFUL job decorating the cake. BTW, the cake was very tasty too. From Nigella's Domestic Goddess book, first of the children's cakes. Her recipes can be hit or miss, and I am happy to say that this one definitely HIT. Sadly I seem to have no pics of the finished product (very Jane Brocket), but it's all about the process, right?

Foxy had a great time opening his gifts, with a little help from his friends:

Cute cousin helped too:

And they all really enjoyed this big loud plastic lorry (given to us by CHILDLESS friends...)

At the end of all the excitement, Foxy went back to his favourite toy of all, the dishwasher:

It was a terrific day. Has the year gone quickly? Well, no, but I wouldn't have wanted it to.

But that's not all. The following week Foxy had a little birthday tea-party at the creche. I was really glad that Nearest & Dearest was able to come. Sometimes she worries about the amount of time he spends there (30 hours/week). I don't, and I think it's because I am familiar with the place, and I can see clearly that he is so very happy there. Nearest & Dearest could see that too. This was a typical afternoon, 6 babes & 4 lovely ladies taking care of them. I do not think it is typical, I think we are extremely lucky.

Anyway. Here are some snaps of the party. There is something about babies all lined up in high chairs that just makes me want to cry (in a good way). Check them out:

Now, back to Christmas prep. We're hosting, and hoping to make it FABULOUS!

Is it wrong to leave a sleeping child napping for 3 HOURS?? I thought not ;-).

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Hi there. I've had blogging constipation. This happens every time there has been a big event, and I know that I need to post about said event, not forget anything, and include lots of photos. Obviously, we have had a BIG event here at casa de Fox, and what with all the holiday knitting, I have not got round to that big post yet. Still. Felt like a writing a wee post this morning.

I find myself doing an odd thing. I have Toddler Taming in the bathroom, and I read bits of it each time I take a seat. A normal person would flip to the parts of the book relevant to challenging behaviour for their toddler. Foxy certainly has his share of challenging behaviours. But that's not what I do. Instead, I look through the sections on sleep problems and feeding problems. He doesn't have these. It makes me feel SO GOOD!

I have also stumbled on a blog that I am LOVING. Crazy Aunt Purl, the true-life diary of a thirty-something, newly divorced, displaced Southern obsessive-compulsive knitter who has four cats. (Because nothing is sexier than a divorced woman with four cats.) Fabulous. And I love her descriptions of life in LA. Enjoy.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

He Speaks!

Well, it's been a weird weekend. Foxy has been really ill again. A bad cold, with breathing difficulties as bad as they have ever been. He's been beside himself. Just miserable, poor mite. We know it's bad when he's not sleeping well and off his food. Eating and sleeping are his favourite activities! Then...just when things were really feeling wearing...he dropped one of toys, looked up at us, and said, "uh-oh!" Too cute! So clever.

Meanwhile, I am mostly in a holiday knitting frenzy. I have given myself WAY too many projects with a 25th deadline. I just can't help myself. Also means that I can't bore you with progress pictures, I'm sure you're gutted ;-).

I'm also enjoying some internet stuff at the moment:

1. I found bloglines, and it has made checking my ever-increasing number of blogs of interest manageable. Highly recommended!

2. I have joined audible, and am listening to Malcolm Gladwell's new book, Outliers. I'm liking it very much. Audible seems like a good deal for someone like me who walk a lot listening to an ipod.

3. Not that I have given up on podcasts. Oh no. I'm currently bingeing on CraftLit. Heather Ordover talks about her life and crafty things, and then introduces books or short stories that she then plays from Librivox (free audio books from back in the day -- no longer under copyright). I love it because she was a high school English teacher, and so knows what she's talking about. Thus far, I have listened to Pride and Prejudice, several short stories, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I am skipping over The Turning of the Screw though....

Thursday, 4 December 2008

What a Boy!

I am having such a great time with the Fox lately. This is because he has been WELL for an entire week, and because changing him has become easier (who knows why, but long may it last). This is such a cute age! I know I am biased, but really, he is just super.

We had such a good day yesterday. Wednesdays are my day at home with him, and this was the first one where we were able to do fun stuff since Halloween. We actually made it to swimming! He is now remedial, but enjoyed himself which is the main thing. Then we went to Starbucks for some 'chinos:

I am also loving the (mostly) bright, Autumn weather. Doesn't our neighbourhood look pleasing?

It was such a good day. We even got our (2nd) Christmas tree. I will be posting when the decor is complete. Sadly, mostly of what I wanted was deemed too chavvy.

This morning, when I dropped Foxy at the creche -- HE WAVED bye-bye!!! He's such a clever boy. I just love that kid.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Academic Life

Mostly, I love my job. The actual work I do is interesting, and I generally feel competent. My issue is that I really don't much like academics ( a few family and friends excluded, of course). What a bunch of self-important wankers. I don't mind people taking their work seriously, I cannot bear people who take THEMSELVES doing their work seriously. I was in a meeting this morning where a buffoon of a man (my dean, no less) referred to himself as ectopically placed (outside his discipline). ?!!? Where do I begin.

Fortunately for me, sock knitting is my meeting companion:

And for much of the time, I can sit in my office doing my own thing:

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Great Weekend

Well, I had been looking forward to my weekend for quite some time, and I was not disappointed. I love well-taught craft classes, and this was one. It was held in the basement of loop, a most beautiful shop in lovely Islington. I forgot to take pictures of the actual shop, but I'm guessing that the owner won't mind that I've snagged these photos from the website:

Teach was an amazing Norwegian knitter. She used to work for Rowan, and brought with her a SUITCASE full of truly amazing knitwear. Hopefully you'll be able to make out the perfectly fitting vintage jacket she was wearing:

All 7 of us had a super time:

Some of us will be meeting up on Ravelry, where my name is purlhussy.

I then met up with me family in Canterbury where we stayed with friends. Yummy fish pie, and I was forgiven for leaving the chocs I had bought in the taxi (grrrr). This morning Foxy was a super good boy. Awake at 6:30, but back in his travel cot at 8:30, and he slept until 11. He's a good boy to his mums. Before leaving we did get to the Christmas market, which was exactly as I had remembered. Foxy enjoyed some squirty cream off the top of my hot chocolate:

Life is GOOD!

Friday, 28 November 2008

just testing

Bursting of the dam

I do miss Thanksgiving. Such a great holiday -- all about the food, and no presents. I hope all you Yanks are having a wonderful time. The other thing I like about Thanksgiving is that it is like a dam preventing the Christmas season from seeping too far back into November. Every year I am asked if I am going to celebrate. No. It's a work day, followed by another work day. Not at all pleasing.

BUT. I have the most wonderful weekend coming up! Tomorrow I am going to London ON MY OWN, for a knitting class. It's all about finishing techniques, and I have 4 projects that need finishing. It should be very satisfying. Then, I am meeting Foxy & Nearest & Dearest in Canterbury for a night with friends. It's a particularly appealing time of year because Canterbury hosts a German Christmas market. I love it. Especially the sausage/hot dog stall.

So, I should have lots of pics & fun things to post about. I have been quiet lately because we have been enduring so much Foxy illness. It really gets wearing, and no one wants to read about that. For the moment, he is well.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Red Letter morning

I am just below my pre-pregnancy weight! Yay me! I am very happy about this. It also means that I am no longer officially over-weight. I am in the healthy weight range folks! I am still far off my ideal, but who isn't?!?

Monday, 17 November 2008

Hopelessly Behind & A Funny

Yes, that is life at the moment. Ah well. I have lots of lovely blog posts planned in my head, but don't seem to be making the time to actually construct them. I may do soon as we have finished watching the West Wing! It has been a long road, and we are pleased with our accomplishment.

In the meantime, a funny. The first anecdote for my speech at Foxy's wedding. As you know, he has been ill A LOT lately. So the ladies at the creche have been keeping a special eye on him. They rang me up the other day to report that he was playing with his willy A LOT. And pulling very vigorously. Did I want to get it checked out? They had not seen a boy attend to his manhood with quite such determined concentration before. "No, no, that's fine -- that's just my boy."

Monday, 10 November 2008

Good Morning

What a GREAT morning Foxy and I had! Nearest & Dearest left early for London, and all went SMOOTHLY on my own. Miracle. First, he slept and slept. So I was showered, dressed, tea and his toast made before I finally went and woke him up at a quarter past 7. LOVE that kid. He was super about nappy and clothes, don't know why, and finished every scrap of his 2 pieces of toast & jam. I also ditched the bottle this morning. He had about 100 ml of formula from his beaker! Yippee! Only one bottle per day left to phase out.

We left the house on time, both of looking super, I might add. It was pouring with rain, but even that could not dampen my spirits.

Never mind that single parents do this with say, 3 kids, on a daily basis. I am still happy.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Breakfast Time

Lest you worry that all is challenging at casa de Fox, check out this adorable breakfast footage:

Monday, 3 November 2008


OK, I am clearly in the mood for writing this morning. I have definitely noticed over the past few weeks that Foxy and I are at the beginning of a tricky patch. In general, 12 - 24 months is my least favourite period of childhood. It seems to me that you have a totally mobile, clueless, but willful ball of energy to contend with. It's too early for bribes, star charts, and the like to help mould behaviour, and you can no longer simply put the child in the appropriate position, place, etc. Certainly this part is especially challenging for me because I love order, and I really value compliance in children. Plenty of people think a little naughtiness is a sign of spark, and actually LIKE some cheek. I am not one of those people.

In the grand scheme of things, the sleep thing which causes so many parents so much grief is easy for me because I do not mind when Foxy cries, if I think it is in all of our best interests. Take just now. The boy is TIRED. He went for a nap and then woke up 20 minutes later. No. I think not. He cried for 15 minutes and is now asleep again. It's not pleasant, but I can do that, and I have a pretty good sleeper. But what to do about his hissy fits over nappy & clothes changes. I HATE getting into the wrestling match. It goes against every fibre of my being, as it is like I'm arguing with him, and that is just too dumb for words. Still, the clothes must go on, so I end up rugby tackling when distraction doesn't work and/or I loose my temper.

I hope this does not last till he's 3. All else is good, but boy do I dread a full nappy.

Still here

I had an e-mail asking if the family is ok, as the blog has not been updated in an age. Too sweet! I am late for the normal reason -- photos. Like, I should have some to illustrate stuff, and well, I don't. I hosted a babies' halloween party last Friday. It was so much fun! Harry was a very chavvy Woolworth's clad pumpkin, there was another (posh) pumpkin (suited her perfectly; this baby has no interest in crawling and so sits like lady muck with a maelstrom going on around her -- as if to say, "What are you all DOING? My Mummy brings me things), some spiders, a pirate...I'm sure I'm missing some. Anyway, do I have any photos? Of course not. I was too busy chatting and making cups of tea. I was super glad it was a success, as I was mixing up some different Mums I know, and everyone seemed to like each other.

Sadly I am at home right now writing this because, yes, Foxy is ill AGAIN. He emptied his tummy in grand fashion on Friday evening, and has been on the loose side all weekend. Yesterday afternoon he started wheezing again. Probably because we insisted on a pub lunch and wander around in the perfect Autumn weather. Ah well. He seems better this morning. I think he'll be able to go back to school tomorrow. Must.Not.Take.Him.Outside.Today. So dull!!!!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Blissful Normality

The Fox is just about back to 100%. All of his smiles and nuttiness have returned. It's also been terrific weather. Yesterday I took him to the park, and we had the best time just hanging out. He enjoyed roaming free, and I enjoyed knitting and eavesdropping. I took these photos on my iPhone, not too shabby:

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Scary Times

We have had a scary 24 hours here at casa de fox. To cut a long story short, Foxy started doing his very laboured breathing again yesterday afternoon, so I took him to the doc, and we wound up spending the night in hospital. He is now absolutely fine, but they said one too many times that it doesn't mean he will develop full-blown asthma. So to my mind, they were telling me that these are asthma attacks. Great.

The best of it was the NHS care, bar one nurse. First, I was very impressed that once at the GP's surgery, they really took over. They organized for an ambulance to take us to the hospital, who knew we were coming, etc. (Not that it was an emergency, just that I did not have the car with me and they did not want Foxy out in the cold.) I kept thinking what a pain it would be if I was having to worry about stupid insurance forms and junk like that. The practice nurse at our local doc's office was particularly good. She was the one who really told me how it will be. Like, even if he gets much better now, you WILL be in hospital tonight, and I doubt it will be the last time in his childhood. That sounds harsh, but it was done really nicely. She also really impressed upon me that I need to let go of my reluctance to call for an ambulance when his breathing gets laboured at night. Her words really ring in my ears now: "How much room for error do you think you have?" Message received and understood. Anyway, everyone at the hospital was really good too, except for Nurse Ratchet at 2 am. She totally traumatized Foxy and I with the inhaler, and it took us a good hour to calm down and get back to sleep. All in all, I would say Foxy had about 7 hours, and I maybe had 3. It was too light, WAY too hot, I was on a tiny mattress on the floor, it was just hideous. For me, absolute torture. We napped lots today. I am almost recovered.

Right now, it is hard not to catastrophize. I am worried that he will be a wheezy sickly child, and I don't see how that is going to work with full time employment. I would be more worried about Foxy, but he has yet to be bothered by the attacks. He is, however, very bothered by the treatment. We now have a hideous inhaler that he is supposed to have several times a day over the next several days. I don't see the point given that he is now breathing absolutely fine. Nearest & Dearest to check that out with her pharmacy buds.

I am crossing my fingers with all my might that this is merely a bad patch, and that the winter won't be blighted....

Monday, 13 October 2008

Double Digits

I will quickly update that I caught Foxy's bug. It has been HORRID, but I am over the worst of it.

Meanwhile, Foxy turned 10 months old today! What a big boy. Foxy had plenty of cuddles, a few smiles, & deep thoughts this past weekend:

Sunday, 12 October 2008


Foxy is ill AGAIN. I am not amused. This is another messy one. On Friday evening, the vomit managed to get all over the boy, me, a chair, library book, floor, & blanket. At times like that, I think I would top myself if I were a single parent. My guess is that he will not be well enough for creche all of next week. Sigh.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

New Settings

So, I went to dinner last night with one of my dearest friends. We have a routine of meeting up for dinner every couple of months. at Gatwick airport. Yes, it's odd. Very odd. But it's convenient for both of us to get to by train, what can we say?

Anyway, she mentioned that she had tried to leave a comment, but been unable to. Can you imagine?!? There might actually be some comments about my drivel if I made it easier. So I have. Now, anyone can comment without an account. And I also switched off the annoying word verification thing. Hopefully I won't get spam.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Quiet Week

This has been a very quiet week because Foxy is ill, and so I have been home with him, doing not a lot. On Monday they rang me from the creche to say that I needed to pick him up because they weren't happy about his breathing. It was indeed laboured -- he sounded like an asthmatic. In the end Nearest & Dearest insisted that we take him to hospital, and she was right. They diagnosed it as broncialitis (sp?), and gave him some meds through a nebulizer. That helped, and he is getting better & better each day. He has been in good spirits throughout, so it's been no hardship.

I have been getting REALLY into my knitting lately. I am making a pair of cushion covers, one set of which is done, and just needs sewing up:

I am nearly done with the first (boring) side of the second:

I'm looking forward to the front which is going to be the coral with purple spots. I hate sewing up, and don't think I ever really do it right. So, I found a class at loop on finishing techniques. It's at the end of November, so I figure I do not need to finish ANYTHING until then. Bliss. The class will also teach me how to (finally) make the button band to finish off the monster cardigan:

My other project that I am on the verge of starting is a tea cozy for the fun girls. They chose 'Tea Rose' from Tea Cosies; it is mostly green with white roses on the top. Here's the yarn:

SEVERAL years ago a friend sent me sock yarn and all the tools I would need to make them (thanks J!). I tried, I really did, but you can see that I did not get very far:

I just can't deal with all those tiny double-pointed needles. During my knitting podcast binge I have heard about a new technique, the magic loop. Somehow, it is possible to knit socks on one really long circular needle. I am so excited! I have a booklet on order to teach myself. This will be perfect for carrying around with me coz socks are such small projects.

Against my better judgement, I have joined two social networking sites. I am now on FaceBook, and I have also joined Ravelry. In case anyone reading this is also on Ravelry (a knitting community), my name there is purlhussy. For both networks, my picture is of two puppets in front of my face... I need more time to upload stuff onto both sites, but blogging is definitely my primary focus. I just love doing this, and I'm not sure why.