Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Excuse For Not Doing the Tiling in the Loo...

Okay, so we had a busy Scout camp, then a busy week in Mallaig, and then decorating conservatories, and I am currently 30 weeks pregnant. And my first child was premature. And I have been having strange Braxten Hix type contraction things since about 11 weeks and they shouldn't start until about 28 weeks. And, and, and... I ended up on compulsory bed rest. The kind of bed rest where the Midwife says, "If you don't stop, you will end up in hospital. You either sort out child care here and promise to behave or you will be having another even more premature baby on your hands. Actually, it won't be on your hands, it will be in an incubator for a long time."

To be truthful, Brother-in-Law Dr Alan, Ken, his sister, and the parents-in-law made me rest in Mallaig as I actually wasn't able to walk very far before I started to feel so uncomfortable that I couldn't go any further, and I did most of the painting for the conservatory sitting down and Ken did the standing up bits, and I didn't walk the dog very far at all when we came back from hols, and I have tried to be careful. But it still wasn't enough.

So the tiling didn't get done. Or the vacuuming. Or the cooking. Angus had a busy social life with friends and Mum and loved it. Friends from Church came over with evening meals so that Ken didn't have to do that as well when he came home from work (Thank you!) and I sat in bed.

What could I do? We still don't have a t.v. so daytime programmes were out. The old pc is plugged in down stairs and not really portable and there is only so much reading I can do in a day and I don't have a suitable table to take upstairs to scrapbook on (boohoo hoo)

Solution - play with new electronic toys! Ken's parents and Jo had decided that I needed a new laptop. Do some research, phone around, get one ordered, and have a friend collect it the next day. Then upload all the 6900 photos from the pc and spend 8 hours ordering, deleting, sorting, orientating, red-eye-removing, and generally being obsessive. Our photo folder is now 2gb and 2500 photos smaller than before! And I can find the pictures I want!

Then plug in the other wonderful toy I was given for my birthday. I am now the proud owner of an Ipod Touch. Sadly Jo and Alan were given one with their new Apple Laptop and I agreed to take it off their hands to avoid the politics of which one of their sons would have it. Very sacrificial of me I thought!!!! What a great way to spend several days. And all very restful.

Contraction type things have calmed down, photos sorted, I have come back down stairs again and Ken managed to keep the kitchen in a reasonable state of order. He even did some spontaneous vacuuming. Well done. Big bonus points earned.

Lets not do it again too soon though, heh? Stay calm. Sit down when needed. Most things aren't important and can wait. Only 6 more weeks to go and then all will be well.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

It's Party time!

While we were away in Mallaig I had a birthday. Not a pleasant birthday in some ways as it marked the passing of an era (and I had to stay sober, although I was allowed a little something to celebrate, under the close medical supervision of brother-in -law Alan who is a Doctor!!!), but made palatable by the family. They went to a lot of effort and cooked a gorgeous meal and decorated our holiday house with balloons, banners and so on which stayed up all week! Thank you!

(Spot the bump!)

And then a couple of weeks later, Angus had his third birthday! Angus is three - wow. He is still smiley, still sociable and talks far too much. But we do enjoy having him around as he is such good company.
Angus had been wanting to get his birthday train out of the cupboard for days and clearly was anticipating his birthday. So on Sunday morning when he woke up and saw that it was on the table, he squealed with excitement and wanted to open all his presents. In the afternoon we went to a small local steam train and rode on the train, had an afternoon tea which they laid on, blew out the candles on a cake steam train, and then went back on the trains. All the boys who came are his friends from church and they had a super time as they are all Thomas the Tank mad! Perfect.

Happy Birthday Angus!

Friday, 11 September 2009

Scotland in the sunshine!

This summer we had out annual pilgrimage to Scotland scout camp followed by a week with Ken's sister and her family. Remarkably, we had super weather for the camp, remarkable as they nearly finished camp early last year due to the rain being so persistent.

Look out for further pictures not to show a social worker!

Angus loved camp and had a great time playing with the leaders and Scouts. I was particularly pleased with the way the Scouts allowed him to join in even encouraged him. He wasn't treated like the pesky little brother that he have been! I have four memories especially. The first was two days after the start of camp. All the scouts were making sandwiches at a table, Angus was watching and eating his lunch. He went up to the table and began pretending to move things around the table in the style of a digger, with the accompanying hand gestures and noise effects. Amazingly, about half the scouts joined in and he began showing them how to do diggers in the right way! Secondly was when they stopped a game of volleyball halfway through to make lunch and Angus walked over the pitch and began throwing the ball around. Gradually all the scouts went back to the pitch, sat around him and played catch with him for a good quarter of an hour, encouraging him, running after the ball and so on. Then there was the time he was sitting on my lap drinking milk in his pyjamas before bed with the scouts who were waiting around the camp fire. He had realised that this usually involved singing so when one of the leaders asked for a song, Angus began with his current favourite "Our God is a great big God", then led the scouts in nursery rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty for the next 20 minutes with them all joining in! The final memory is of Colin, a sometimes surly scout leader who was very sceptical about bringing a young child to camp. He is single, in his 50s and has no children of his own. He really took to Angus who smiled with him, chatted with him, asked to play with him, and so on. Just as we were about to leave the morning they were all packing up, Colin presented Angus with a new digger. I was speechless: Colin was clearly smitten and has a soft side after all.
This week of gorgeousness was followed by a family holiday in Mallaig which sadly, was more typical of Scotland with persistent rain and during which I was mostly housebound. Ken therefore had Angus and the camera and promptly forgot to use the camera. I have very few photos except for one event which will be discussed tomorrow...

Watching the Jacobite steam engine going under the bridge about 100m from our holiday cottage. It went past twice a day much to Angus's delight. Sadly the timetable offered meant that we couldn't go on it but maybe next year.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

On conservatories, DIY and second hand toilets!

Two months is a long time to be silent. To be fair, we were away fror three weeks in August and unable to access the internet on all but one day, but why the tardy blogging? It's all to do with conservatories, loos and extreme nest making.

We had a leaky conservatory at the back of our house and decided that it needed to be warmer, drier and a more suitable place for Angus (and the expected) to play in. So, while we were away in Scotland over the summer, we had this...
turned into this (spot the addition of patio doors and the removal of the old door!) ...

Of course, that is not quite what we came home to after our hols! The house was covered in dust, the conservatory had dried plaster over the floors, needed painting, the carpet needed laying, the skirting needed glossing, and so on. You know what it's like.

We also decided (okay, I did...) that the downstairs loo desperately needed sorting. It was floral, pink and had the most desgusting and dirty curtains. Sadly hubby thought that it was so bad that it should stay as some kind of joke. Joke over, I decided and ripped off the wallpaper, took off the tiles (they were falling off anyway) and told him that now it was a necessity!

So, we painted the walls a nice shade of blue, glossed, bought tiles and then had a plumber to install the loo. That's where it all went horribly wrong. THe shop I bought the loo from told that this particular loo was reduced as the packaging had been damaged and some bits had fallen out. Not a problem - I bought necessary spare bits and the loo was quite a bit cheaper that the complete boxes. However, they had misinformed me - the loo had actually been returned to the store as it leaked and had been used!!!! Seriously - they sold me a secondhand loo! I am now in dispute with them as it wasted a lot of my time sorting this out, and my plumber's time working out why this thing leaked, taking it out, testing it, and so, and then taking it back and getting a replacement. Consequently the loo still looks like this...

No excuse for the tiling other than another blog that you will have to read on another day...