Snow drops and crocus

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I returned to my nurse training the Monday after Beth’s first birthday, with Graham also completing the final year of his degree.  It was tough.  We didn’t have much family support but we were lucky to have two wonderful friends who helped look after Beth. I still feel a little sad knowing they don’t live round the corner anymore, it was a beautiful friendship we had and they both built my confidence in being the mother I wanted to be. I guess time moves on and so do friends.  Both have moved away from Scotland now.

That year I remember I felt like I had jumped into a swimming pool and as I was getting closer to the surface I could feel the panic of running out of oxygen.  It was a horrible feeling but I knew I would break the water eventually and be able to breathe again. In the spring of that year I remember I had an essay to write and was on clinical placement.  It was a beautiful spring and I hated I was spending so much time away from my daughter, inside studying or on a ward looking after other people.  I remember one day I was asked if I wanted to see what patients do in Art Therapy.  So I went along to the garden and was invited to join in.  There were lots of different textiles and paints, and I remember feeling exhilarated being outside.  My days were a muddle of studying, guilt, exhaustion, guilt, studying, frustration, guilt. But here I was given an hour to be creative.  An hour to spend on myself.  I quickly decided to make a felt purple crocus.  It looked pretty chunky and rushed but it became my talisman.  From that day I remembered that it was tough just now but in time it would pass and I would be able to breathe again, another beautiful spring would come again. I still have that crocus.

It took me until Arthur was 6 months to recover from everything that’s happened.  I didn’t know it at the time.  I just assumed feeling anxious and overwhelmed was part of who I was but it isn’t.  I know that now.  Beth was a wonderful blessing but she arrived too early into Graham and I’s life.  From the day I learned I was pregnant I felt terrified and didn’t let go of  that fear until recently.  Motherhood is funny.  It suits me very well, and I know I am a great parent to both my children, but I couldn’t let go of the anxiety and no one could tell me otherwise.  Inside I was overstretched and not looking after myself. But time passed, I let myself recover.

Image

Image

Advertisements

Yarn along-Milo vest

{Joining Ginny again today for Yarn Along}

Image

Image

Image

Image

It was hard to get a picture since he was too interested in the book shelf but here is Arthur is his Milo. I haven’t blocked it yet and I am hoping it will stop the vest rolling up over his lovely big baby tummy.  If not I still love it on him.  And the smell?  He smells like a rather clean sheep.  It reminds me of the goats my parents kept when I was younger…..yeah I need to block it soon.

And here is a perfect picture of my sweet darling girl (as per her request)

Image

These days {February}

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

January passed in a snuggly, wrapped up with family, kind of way. Normally I feel a bit low after December but I was mindful in keeping our days balanced between friends and quiet time.  In fact, I think this is the first January I have felt able to control the feelings of doubt and anxiety that whisper negative thoughts to me.  Last we spoke I was reading the final Hunger Games book and was knitting Arthur’s Milo vest. Huh, that was a few weeks ago. Well the book was fab, I kept hoping it would end the way I wanted it to but it doesn’t give anything away until the last page. It was intense!  And that Milo vest? I want to knit another one! I need to get some picture of him wearing it.

The washing machine always works hard in this house.  Cloth nappies, dirty socks, snotty hankies, stained sleeves, ballet tights, it’s always on the go.  Luckily this sweet boy has discovered a new hobby- Washing machine T.V.

Graham and I have decided to buy Beth a pet rabbit in a few weeks. She’s now old enough and has a lot of gentle love to give a special pet. The bunnies we have our eye on are only 9 days old so we have some time to learn how to care for one.  I borrowed a few how-to books from the Library and I’ve made it into a project for Beth.  On completion Beth can apply for a blue peter badge.

Image

Yarn Along

{Joining Ginny again today for Yarn Along}

Image

This yarn and this pattern were clearly meant for one another. Cheese and chutney have nothing on this well suited pair. My photography skills lack much to the imagination but I promise you, this Milo is a triumph! I’m so please because my previous project was an epic fail.  Oh well,  at some point this year I’ll knit something  for myself……

Monday evening Graham and I saw the second Hunger Games movie so I borrowed the third book ( Mocking jay) from the local library.  My knitting group isn’t on tonight so I’m going to start it after the kids are asleep.

Image

Image

Image

Image

These days

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Brief run down of what we’ve been up to (In the style of soulemama).

Right now we are-

-Enjoying as much time outside as we can.  These rainy days just wont give up.

-Taking advantage of freebies! I had a voucher for free coffee and cake, and the view? That was priceless.

-We had to get rid of our car so food shopping has been a bit of a challenge. Arthur was crying in the push chair, wanting carried, surrounded by food, the full ruck sack on my back was heavy and Beth followed behind, whining she didn’t want to walk, when I saw this beautiful cast iron casserole pot in the window of a charity shop. It’s enamel and looks quite rustic.  The modern enamel dishes I have already seem a bit flimsy compared to this chunky bad boy. And what did I do? Well, it was £5! I had to buy it! It weighs more than both children but I carried it home, wishing I’d bought the right ingredients to use it that night. I wasn’t going back to the store!

-After singing the joys of knitting the Lady February sweater I lost complete interest in it! I think the kids being ill and ripping it out over and over just killed any pleasure I was getting. So I cast on the Milo vest pattern on Saturday evening for Arthur. I had hoped to cast on something for Beth but she couldn’t decide on anything so once the Milo is done she’s next in line. Being my first time, the cable is coming along nicely and I aim to have it finished for him to wear to a friend’s birthday lunch this Sunday. I used the cocoon yarn and it’s lush!

The best roast chicken

(in our opinion!)

Since the new year began both kids have been unwell.  Beth woke up with chicken pox on new year’s eve and since has been weak and not her normal self.  Graham and I waited it out, knowing inevitably Arthur would have soon too have the chicken pox too.   And after a week of being unsettled, sure enough spots started popping up all over Arthur.   Although, while Beth had a few, Arthur is covered.   He has them inside his ears, between his toes, under his armpits, and really, everywhere else.  Even his scalp is badly affected. So it’s been a weekend of sleepless nights, bicarbonate of soda baths, lotion applying, and baby cuddling.  And to add to it?  Beth has developed a chest infection!

So today I made a roast chicken in the hope of making some comforting bone broth soup and I thought I’d share my father’s roast chicken recipe.

(it was only after I start carving that I remembered to take a photo)

Image

Firstly, you will need –

A medium free range and/or organic chicken

A large onion,  two or three carrots (or parsnips),  two garlic bulbs, half a lemon, celery.

butter, salt & pepper, oil

Heat your oven to 200C and take your chicken out the fridge.

Then take a big ass onion and cut into rings, chop two stalks of celery, peel a bulb of garlic and chop carrots into chunks, and put it all into an oven dish big enough for your bird.

Image

Then take the butter and rub it all over the top of chicken with salt and pepper.  Drizzle some oil over the whole thing but don’t add too much. Chop the second bulb of garlic in half and put both halves inside the chicken with half a lemon. I prick the lemon a few times.

Image

Image

Then put the chicken uncovered in the oven for 1hr or until the juices run clear. I like to baste the chicken a few times just to make sure but because you are cooking high the meat doesn’t get a chance to dry in the oven.  The meat is moist and falls off the bone when ready.

Once cooked put the meat into a ceramic pot and put on the lid.  Let the meat rest for at least 15 minuets while you either use the veg left in the pan to make gravy or just eat them as they are.  Roasted garlic is Arthur’s favorite.

And once you are finished eating? Boil the carcass and make this broth.

Yarn along: a day late

(Pictures taken on my phone hence the poor quality)

photo (82)

photo 2

photo (81)

Yesterday Beth started a gymnastic class with one of her friends and the day ran out of time before I had a chance to post here. So, here it is.

This sweater is a gem.  Interesting enough but not to difficult to follow. The only down side? Stopping mid way through a line leads to disaster! The lace is repeated every 7 stitches in a group of four rows. So as long as no child climbs on me for a kiss and no certain adult asks my deepest thoughts on wither we should emigrate to Australia or something thought provoking like that, then I’m fine.  So far I’ve had to unpick 18 rows.

And as for reading? I’ve been, um,  reading The Sun newspaper! I know it doesn’t count and normally I wouldn’t buy it but we are collecting the tokens this week.  I find the saucy ladies on page three a little embarrassing, and so,  the last few days I’ve muttered I’m collecting the tokens to the news agent and quickly scuffled home.

New Year, new day

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

What a great start to the new year. The last night of 2013 the kids had a disco bath- fill the tub with glow sticks and turn off the lights, I can’t recommend it more! Then Graham and I played cards, hung out, and watched the fire works out our bedroom window at midnight. It was a good night.

On New years day the rain didn’t start until after midday.  The Scottish rain clouds must have had a hang over because it hasn’t stopped pouring since, like, November.  It was a welcomed break and we took advantage of the clear skies.

And dinner? New years dinner was a feast! No regret or self loathing required. It was worth every bite!

Yarn along

Image

Happy new year! I took a ton of lovely pictures and I’ll post them tomorrow.  How was your new year?  Did you have a good one?

I’m joining Ginny today for Yarn Along.  I’m just about at the bust line with the February Lady Sweater and so far I am really enjoying this pattern.  It’s coming along a treat! The book is a new novel by the author who wrote The Curious Incident of The Dog at Midnight.  I wanted to get back into fiction and The Red House was a Christmas present that I started reading last week.  So far I’ve read one page, oh dear! I spend too much time listening to pod casts and the radio.

I’m writing the blog today on our new Mac book Pro retina and what a difference! Normally I have a little girl playing with my hair and a baby using me as a stand aid because our house computer is so slow at uploading pictures.  But today? Today I’m on it! They haven’t even noticed I’m busy.  It’s a first for my children, if they sense you are doing something that requires concentration then they want in on the action.

We are going to my Mum’s house for dinner tonight so it’s another day for stretchy waist banded trousers! Day one of 2014 spent eating? Why not? Day two can be a day of regret and self loathing….