Spoon carving workshop

Discovering there was a spoon carving workshop happening not far from where we live was exciting, discovering we were free was unexpected, and realising it coincided with one of best friends visiting was perfection! Rufus and Jared ended up staying at home due to illness (which was turned out to be a good thing) but that didn’t stop the rest of us having a lovely time together.

It took place at Fairburn Ings – a place where trees, stumps and logs are plentiful. The three tools needed to carve a spoon are a hatchet, a knife and a hook knife. All incredibly sharp and really quite dangerous. Our tutor was quite the legend and a great teacher – always there when you needed him, never hovering, full of positive comments and endless interesting experiences to share. After a straightforward (and slightly gruesome) health and safety talk we got started.

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“A portrait of my boys, once a week, every week, in 2014″.

R: Rufus has not been himself for quite a while. He’s been full of cold and congested on and off for about 6 weeks, then he had an ear infection, a new tooth, he’s been congested with a temperature this week and now he has a viral rash. The poor guy. Sleep has been quite disturbed but thankfully he’s kept his appetite and is still feeding well too. He has been hard work and incredibly clingy – understandably. An apple provides a surprising respite (for both of us) as they take him a while to get through!

W: Winst and I have been out a few times recently – just the two of us and it has been lovely. Jared and I both agree that he has become so much easier to look after – we can now reason with him, his concentration is better and we often can reach a compromise. I am really enjoying the stage he is at and even starting to feel sad that he won’t be little ever again.

E xx

Our kitchen renovation

We’ve lived in our house almost five years. How time has flown! I’ve also had a blog post entitled ‘house update’ for well over a year, as that is when we started proper renovations on our house – we wrongly assumed it would take about six months. Our house is mostly done but we still have (at least) a couple of weeks worth of finishing to do – painting, glossing, sanding, filling, general tidying up and putting up fixtures. Everything has turned out quite differently to how I imagined, in a good way. The kitchen was very brown before we started – brown cupboards, brown tiles, brown floor and even the interior of the fridge was brown. It has been such a labour of love and I feel so happy each time I go in our kitchen. Jared and I discussed every single detail together – what food will go in each cupboard, to what butter dish we should buy and (of course) we’ve made sure that everything has a place! We knocked through a wall to create a kitchen-diner, and as a result the space is much more family friendly and sociable. Continue reading

Holding a sleeping baby

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Last month something terribly sad, yet not unexpected happened. My sister in law gave birth at full term to a baby, who was born sleeping. I say not unexpected because from 12 weeks there was indication of multiple abnormalities. As the pregnancy progressed it was discovered that my niece Poppy, had not only a severe form of Congenital Heart Disease but also Edward’s syndrome, also known as Trisomy 18. Trisomy 18 is usually fatal, with most babies dying before birth, and those who do make it to birth typically live a few days. However, a small number of babies (<10%) live at least one year. My sister in law had made it to full term. Surely Poppy had defied all the odds? She would be one of the few that lived a few hours, days, weeks or months. But it was not meant to be. The day before her due date my sister in law went for a check up, and no heartbeat could be found. Continue reading

Thinking about preschool

photo wistson playgroup

Winston will be starting preschool next September, so over the past few months I’ve been to visit the two options near our house and asking my local ‘mum friends’ what they think. We always knew nursery would be most probable; but the conversations why, and if we wanted him to go were certainly still worth having. Neither of us believe that nursery is essential in the grand scheme of life, and I’ll be at home with Rufus so does it really matter? I wouldn’t class myself as a clingy mother and I don’t feel the need to protect him from anything, I’m just quite nonchalant about the whole thing. I believe that if a child already mixes with lots of other children; there’s not really anything else you can’t teach, or try at home. The number of parents choosing to home school is steeply rising in the UK, and children in the UK are offered a school place one, or even two years earlier than almost all other European countries. Both of which I’m sure you knew already. It is so interesting.  Continue reading