Thursday, 31 December 2009

Chrimbo Limbo

We have been having a grand old time. I love this time of year. Not going to try and catalogue, but starting on my New Year's catch-phrase, little and often.

Foxy has, of course, been v spoilt. This is the current favourite. Thank you Grandma!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Cough, snow, and cursing

I am suffering yet another lingering cough that's keeping me up at this very moment. VERY annoying and exhausting.

Meanwhile, those readers who experience actual winter may find our last few days amusing. Last Friday we woke up to no more than six inches of snow. The country ground to a halt. The University was closed, and all but essential travel banned. All good fun, for a while. But really, enough already. It's now icey and rather treacherous. Still. Uni open today but not the car parks. Yeah.

Finally, foxy's language has taken a French turn. He is keen on telling us to sit, unfortunately with a bit of a lisp. And he's been talking about trucks with an unfortunate f...

Christmas knitting is coming along nicely, thanks.

This was our road yesterday. Hopeless.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Christmas Moment no. 1

I am having a lovely evening watching Kirstie's Handmade Christmas, drinking wine and starting on the second of Sian's Christmas socks. It starts with a provisional cast on, and it is pleasing me no end that my green waste yarn combined with reddy pink is damn festive indeed.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Words and Such

Last week was draining, Foxy had a runny bottom until Friday afternoon at 4:45. Probably because he heard me say to the creche that I would be bringing him in as soon as there was solid poo. He ain't no fool.

Anyway, I don't have photos, but thought I say a few words about Foxy's words, and other goings on. On Sunday Foxy put 2 words together for the first time! He has said particular phrases before, like, "up-a-t" (cup of tea), but this was the first time (I think) when he put words together himself. The first was "big cuddle" & the second was "more biscuit." That about sums him up, a sappy tart with a sweet tooth.

I also find it cute how very English he is. He says "water" with a very pronounced T, and no discernible R at the end. When we ask him whether he wants jam or marmite on his toast, he most definitely says MARMITE. He wears bright red Bob the Builder Wellington boots.

He is learning contrition and saying sorry, but being rather slow to understand that he could avoid sanctions if he inhibited his aggressive tendencies. He's fine with other folks, it's just his Mums that get in the neck.

He has started bossing us around no end which I find (mostly) amusing. His favourite toys are little matchbook-like cars. My favourites are lovely wooden sets of yumminess. I need to get over it.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Laundry helper

We are very happy to be getting back to normal after a short-lived tummy bug. I guess Foxy knew best when he refused to don his pumpkin outfit.
Ahh, the beginnings of child labour:

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Driving Miss Rosie

-- Post From My iPhone

Cousins drawing

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, 11 October 2009


We continue to be having a fab day. Did I mention we got a lie-in till 8:30? I so needed a day like this after Thursday which involved a protest vomit and cancelling afternoon plans.

This is the best company Foxy has been at a restaurant since he was 3 months old.

-- Post From My iPhone

Library Love

Our library is wonderfully placed for shopping breaks. Foxy loving these bead toys at the moment. Can't see the appeal myself, but I like watching.

-- Post From My iPhone

Fashion sense Sunday

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, 2 October 2009


So I have this new job at work -- Director of Student Support. As I suspected, there are some comedic elements. Much of my morning has been consumed with making arrangements for a student who has requested that his dog accompany him to classes as this helps him to cope with his acute social anxiety. Mildly amusing. But the part that made me crack up in the e-mail correspondence was this sentence:
The dog isn't an official assistive dog but has a Dog Citizen qualification.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Best toy

This ball popper has been a firm favourite for 9 months. I adore watching that look of total concentration.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Again. Waiting to be released. Foxy making good use of the toys. I have told him this is fine as long as he stays well for the next 11 weeks. Hmm.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Now that Nearest & Dearest and I both have a day with Foxy, we can't help but compete. Unfairly, N & D can go to Grandmas. Me, I have resorted to an expensive impulse buy. He is loving his new ambulance! I have some new art supplies for this afternoon. I am so winning.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, 14 September 2009


Foxy's tantrums have reached new heights. Ignoring works, but my preference is prevention. A flashpoint has been having his hands and face wiped. I finally had an idea.

Peace has been restored. (I know, I'm slow on the uptake.)

-- Post From My iPhon

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Cousin M

Welcome to the world cousin M!

Is she beautiful or what? She was born at 11pm-ish on the 10th. Her Mum said no to an epidural in the hopes that the baby would come before 9-11, and it worked. (For the record, she said she would NOT forego an epidural again -- love her.)

They didn't know what colour they were having, and I must say that my knitterly heart skipped a beat when I heard it was a girl. I pulled out some left-over cashmere and produced this:

I'm rather pleased with it. It is the heartfelt pattern X 5, with yarn threaded through. The only modification I made was to knit on smaller needles and not bother with the felting.

Saturday, 12 September 2009


Socatots started up again today, hurrah! Foxy is getting some practice in on the new lawn:

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, 11 September 2009


This week we had our garden cleared, leveled, and turfed. I'm thrilled with the result!

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, 10 September 2009


Made some very yummy snickerdoodles. Foxy now knows that the organic-sweetened-with-grape-juice cardboard biscuits he was getting are crap.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Roseanne Style

After a wholesome day of biking through the New Forest we are enjoying a little porch time. Is it my fault this place doesn't come with comfy outdoor furniture?

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Punch & Judy Sandy Balls. Loving our first British family holiday.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, 17 August 2009

Teddy Love

We are enjoying a much needed quiet week in Brighton before our holiday in Sandy Balls. Cute stage - Teddy is now Foxys constant companion.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, 7 August 2009


Hi. I think I should announce an official short hiatus. Very busy summer with visitors. Have many pics to share, but not enough time to post! Third week in August, I am going to get caught up. Hopefully ;-)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Lazy Morning

Loving the toddler room for these mamoth sleeps!

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, 20 July 2009


to our regular scheduled programming.

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, 19 July 2009


So, it ended up being a night in hospital. Bummer. But at least this time Foxy really needed the treatment during the night, so not too annoying. He is much better this morning so hoping to go home soon.

He's enjoying all the toys, at least. Especially "toys" down mummys top.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, 18 July 2009


We have had an eventful morning. Poor little Foxy had another bad breathing episode. We've been to A&E and things are looking up. He's recovering:

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Narcissism run amok

I don't know WHY, but decided to podcast. Episode 1 is now up on iTunes! It's called Family Knits, a podcast for knitters about family. If you don't knit, most of it would not be of interest. Just sayin.

The show notes are here.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Funplex Rules!

So glad I have mum chums who find awesome places that both contain and entertain!

-- Post From My iPhone

Lazy Mother Chronicles

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

No pics, sorry mother

WARNING: quite boring detailed parenting post.

Nearest & Dearest and I often ponder what would be more difficult, twins or being a single mother of one. Until now, I have been firmly on the side of single motherhood, but I think 18+ months is very different to the true baby-days. I have been on my own with Foxy for the past 3 days, and we have actually had a lovely time. It's much less tiring that it used to be, and all the militant routine stuff has totally paid off for me. The uninterrupted same-ness would drive lots of people nuts, but I love that Foxy turns off his "In the Night Garden" at 6:25, and marches upstairs eager to get in his bath. Until 4 days ago, I was still doing battle to get him into his PJs after bath, but I finally really thought about it, and problem seems to be solved. I must look like a total loon. I sit with the stuff I need (nappy, moisturizer, PJs) with my back against his bedroom door so that he can't get out. He then runs around like a mad thing (as usual), and I let him know what has to happen next. Then I sit and wait, not looking at him, no nothing, until he comes over. Then I make a huge fuss of him and get as much of the job done as I can before he runs around again like a mad thing. It's working like a charm. I think he needs to do that running around, but I don't need to be a part of it. It is taking no more time, and I am now calm instead of agitated. It amazes me how long it takes me to figure out the simplest things.

The transition to the toddler room has also been a boon. The routine they have there is suiting him really well, so I am adopting it for his at-home days as well. I see now that he has been ready to go down to one nap for awhile. It's just that he can't make it until after lunch to have that nap. At creche he has it 11:30 - 12:30, at home he has 11 - 1. He had been waking 6-6:30 ish in the morning, and I was blaming the light. Now he is going 7-7 like clockwork. This is such a golden era, I'm savouring every minute of it!

I'm enjoying not having some task to work on, like weaning, or getting him to stop biting (he seems to have stopped), or the up-coming toilet-training. It's nice to just BE with him. (He is by no means perfect, he is the messiest toddler I know, but it is just not important enough to me to bother tackling it.) We are doing loads of trip to the playground and swimming at the moment. It's easy & fun. I'm also really aware that it is easy & fun because he is our only child, at least for now. There are certainly advantages!

I must also report that another reason I am feeling so good is that I haven't been drinking. So annoying that it is a poison! I am mostly doing this to try and loose a little weight. I've cut out my myriad of cakes that I eat at work, alcohol, and I'm actually using my gym membership. I don't feel like actually disclosing my weight, but let's just say that my BMI is currently 25, and in an ideal world, it would be 21. As I'm 5 foot 8, that's quite a bit of poundage. We'll see.

Nearest & Dearest is back this evening! I can't wait. Although Foxy has been good company, I am looking forward to real food and adult conversation in the evenings.

Sunday, 28 June 2009


Sometimes goes well, sometimes not so much. Just sayin. Thank god for alcohol. Happy Birthday Mother.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sat afternoon at the park

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

E-mail received

Dear all,

This morning some of the wood ants from our labs on corridor D managed to
escape, most of them have since been cleared up but a few may remain or
have got in to your offices or labs. If you find you have some please get
in contact with me and I will come and sort them out, if it’s only a
couple please feel free to just stamp on them.

Many apologies for the inconvenience and annoyance this may cause,

Thank you

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Foxy and I

...doing what we do best.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Saturday lounging

-- Post From My iPhone

Big Boy

Our boy is growing up! Yesterday was his last day in the Baby Room, next week he starts in Toddlers. He has been there for a LONG time, 14 months, and it felt like a big deal. We have been so happy with his care there, and especially because he has had the most wonderful key worker. Foxy definitely knew something was going on, because he did not want to let her go yesterday afternoon. So poignant. He is so lucky to have so many people in his life who love him so very much! I wish I had a photo, but they are a bit funny about photos because some of the parents don't like it. Hey-ho.

And here is are Foxy & Nearest & Dearest off to Socatots this morning:

I may be biased, but SO CUTE!! I'm finding him rather heartbreaking at the moment.

We were talking yesterday about how 12-18 months seems like a bigger change than 6-12 months. Definitely not a baby anymore.

I wish I had really accurate height and weight measurements. I tried recently, and came up with 25 lbs and 76 centimetres. I did these by holding him, and then not holding him, whilst standing on our scales, and by holding up a tape measure whilst he was standing reasonably still watching telly. I was all pleased with self, and went to look up the percentages in the little red book. I don't think the measurements can be accurate. He is a rather lean boy, and I have him at the 50th% for weight, and 2nd% for height. Hmmm...

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Messy boy

One specially for Pequita ;-)

-- Post From My iPhone

Gratitude Tuesday

I'm back! It's been a very busy time. Not so much anymore ;-). Rather than stressing about a post with a zillion pics, I thought I'd list a bunch of things that make me happy/feel grateful. Nearest & Dearest is interested in positive psychology, and has shown me evidence that listing 3 good things each day is super good for your mental (and physical) health. And it really seems to work, though I'm not disciplined enough to do it everyday.

ANYWAY, here's a little list of good things happening RIGHT NOW:

My marking (grading) is OVER for the year! Hurrah! The job is mack to very manageable and enjoyable.

I now have Tuesdays off with Foxy, and because of the above, I am able to completely devote myself to "homey" stuff on Tuesdays.

I have NEW YARN for 3 NEW PROJECTS. (Guilt-free because I finished all those UFOs last month, yay me). This makes me so happy. I have been fondling said yarn a lot, and have cast on for two of the new projects. More on those later.

Summer has returned to the British Isles!

Even though he has now been diagnosed with hay fever as well as "asthma-like-symptoms," Foxy remains the most cheerful, happy toddler. A few older people (we tend to chat on buses, especially) have independently said that he has a joyful soul. Very well put. He's fab, I wouldn't change him for the world.

Nearest & Dearest will be going down to 4 days per week from September to spend Thursdays with Foxy. They will both enjoy it so much, and I will be able to stay late for our (childcare unfriendly) departmental seminars.

Foxy is showing a bit of preference for Nearest & Dearest these days. To think I was worried about them bonding. I just love watching them doing stuff together. Peas in a pod.

Don't worry, I'm still my same shallow self. Here's some trashy stuff:

We have changed from Tesco delivery (oh the shame!) to Ocado. Yes, it makes me happy to see those Waitrose labels about my kitchen. (Only one slight hiccup -- we now have about 20 bananas because I ordered 4 BUNCHES thinking I was ordering 4 singles....oops).

Our latest box set is Dexter. It's no West Wing, but pretty darn good. Such a satisfying premise. Kill the bas****s.

I love our evening routine with Foxy. So samey, so secure. He is totally into In the Night Garden from 6 - 6:25. If we are fairly confident, we let this be a naked noodle time. I am tickled that he seems to pay particular attention to his willy whenever Upsy-Daisy comes on screen. She's not my kind of girl, but you can't have it all.

Lastly, I am grateful that Foxy is such a good sleeper. I love that he still has at least 2 hours of naps during the day so that I can do this, and think about what I might bake today, or knit, or maybe do some gardening (ha, ha, AS IF!)

Have a great Tuesday. It really works!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Full UFO update

These are the other things I've finished:

I decided that making the baby hat reversible would make it way too warm and bulky, so I got two hats out of it. Not exactly how I would have done them had I known I wouldn't be stitching them together, but they are still way cute.

I also finished the wristlets (no photo) and the stripey socks (see profile pic). So for UFOs, I have 3 left. The bl**dy tea-cosy (TODAY), the heart-sinking cardi-coat, and the baby socks. The lace scarf does not count because I love it. Not sure the baby socks count either. ANYWAY. I'm getting there!

Right now, I am enjoying my Saturday morning while Nearest & Dearest is at socatots with Foxy. They love it. I think I love it more. I think I am going to procrastinate on the tea-cozy by planning my Christmas knitting projects. I'm so rock & roll.

Cushions done!

I am really happy with how these turned out. Took forever to seam because I did it properly, and it was totally worth it.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Relaxing in the Sunshine

Looks all sweet, doesn't he? Sadly he bit Nearest & Dearest less than a minute later. The camera CAN lie. (Can you see the cushion in the background? One more left to sew up!)

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Saturday Morning Bliss

Nearest & Dearest has long talked about her ideal Saturday morning with kids -- cartoons, football/soccer, McDonald's happy meal. The dreamy part is that this would leave me to have a lie-in, followed by a bit of me-time at home.

I thought it might be several years before this fantasy would come true, but they are doing it, RIGHT NOW. N & D found a nearby Socatots with an opening, and they're there! I think Foxy will love it, as he chases any football he sees, trying to join in with bigger kids.

My plan is that this will be time at the sewing machine, churning through that particular stash, but today I am meant to be catching up on a little work (Foxy and I were off all week with his hand, foot and mouth issue). Instead, I have tidied the living room and am going to sit and listen to the latest Cast On while working on UFO no. 5. By the end of this weekend, I should have only 3 projects left, one of which is the wonderful lacey scarf, so only 2 actual UFO's left. Good thing -- I'm itching to start something new with cables...

Monday, 11 May 2009

UFO progress

Finishing up UFO #4 while Foxy naps. Life is good.

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Kitchen Helper

-- Post From My iPhone

Sense of style

Foxy chose to have his shoes put on in this nearly nude state. With much laughter. So glad he has inherited my sense of the absurd.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

America Trip: Part 3

A couple of things disappointed me about our trip. One was that we didn't spend more time with my brother and his family. Another is that the few pics I took of my brother and family are pretty dreadful. Sigh.

They very kindly waited for us to arrive from SLC before starting an AWESOME Easter dinner, which even included an ICE CREAM CAKE. A homemade ice cream cake. My own in-laws are awesome, but my brother's in laws are serious competition. Especially when it comes to food. They are Italian. Need I say more? Did I snap any of the food or in-laws? No.

These are the only photos from our quick 24 hours there that are even vaguely interesting, IF you know the people.

Olivia helping me with an alphabet puzzle:

Everyone lending Foxy a hand with the puzzle:

Olivia horrified by Foxy's behaviour. She kept pointing and saying, "messy!" She has her mother's gift, and Foxy has mine...

Olivia being cute, as per usual ;-)

What is really ticking me off about the photos is that the weather was absolutely gorgeous, yet none of these are in natural light. Also, there are STABLES at the end of their street. Yes, we went and saw horsies. Not that you'd know. Clearly, I was not at my best.

I wish we lived closer. Bring on tele-porter technology!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Knitting UFOs

OK, I've made an inventory of my knitting unfinished objects. It's a long list, but I feel better already, having them documented.

1. These are wristlets for TAG. It's sort of cheating to list them, because I have 2-3 more rounds left to do, and planning to finish them straight after posting! They also don't really count because I started them less than a week ago, so they are just a current project ;-).

2. Again, this one isn't really a UFO because it is a current project, and it's what I want to be knitting ALL THE TIME. I started it on Saturday evening during the unexpected 4 hours to myself. It's my first stab at lace knitting, and it's turning out terrifically. It's a scarf in fingering weight yarn, so I was able to shop from my extensive stash of sock yarn. I got the idea from Jenae who had made one and turned me on to the designer who sells her patterns at It's the tivoli pattern. Yummy. (But it will be on the needles for a LONG time).

3. These are a pair of vanilla socks (easy Regia pattern), done in knit picks coney island. They are fun and easy, but for some reason I had put them aside and forgot all about them. This will be the project I now carry around with me, now that the wristlets are done.

4. This is the class sock from Sensational Knitted Socks. They should work as baby socks, though may be a bit feminine for Foxy ;-)

5. This one I am actually not dreading. It is a reversible hat for Foxy's Eastbourne cousin. It was meant for Christmas, and I didn't make the deadline. I think it's not going to take too long though.

Now we get to the true UFO's, those projects that make my heart sink at the thought of working on them :-/.

6. A bloody tea cosy. I believe all I need to do is finish seaming it. It is for our very good friends, the Fun GIrls. I made the mistake of letting them choose the pattern. Never again -- I don't like it. It's also going to be way too small. I'll have to find a one-cup tea-pot and hope it fits that. Very unsatisfying.

7. This isn't even a UFO, just a small mending job (i.e., hateful sewing job). This is a beautiful hot water bottle cover made of delicious pink cashmere. But the buttons were never right, and I need to replace them (only one is left hanging off the back). I need to find suitable buttons, and then find a tutorial on the net because I clearly don't know how to attach buttons properly.

8. Remember the cushion covers? Still not done. I am making two, so four squares of knitting. 3 are done. Then I started the fourth, and was reminded just how much I HATE intarsia. I set it aside. I have decided to frog it and just do some simple stripes.

9. Last, and definitely worst, is the dreaded cardi-coat. I HATE working with the yarn, and I hate what I have left to do. Pick up stitches to make ribbed borders, and seaming. Ick. BUT, I know that I will actually enjoy wearing it, so I WILL get this done.

In an ideal world, I would like to have around 3 projects on the go at any one time. So I best get busy!

Finally, I organized my stash. It's mostly sock yarn because I ordered a bunch from knit picks during our trip to America. This bag makes me feel happy and secure, especially now I know it is also a good weight for lace knitting:

This little bag is not so pleasing, but fine. It contains supplies for lots of baby booties (great quick gifts), a hat for a little girl, a purple gauzy scarf, and a pair of fingerless mittens.

I don't need to do any yarn shopping for a while...