Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve, part the second

Busy day.
The turkey is stuffed and waiting to be put in the oven at 8am in the morning. I have crafted it a bacon carapace to protect the breast meat and I have to admit I am quite proud of it. I didn't want to use the nice farm shop bacon to go on the turkey as the result is usually a stiff shape of dry inedibleness so I thought I would just buy some cheap streaky bacon from the supermarket. They didn't have any so I had to buy back bacon. You can't just slap back bacon onto a turkey breast, it would look silly, so I cut it into thin strips and made a sort of herring-bone pattern on the bird. Lady Gaga would be proud of the result, believe me. Also there are some very happy birds in my Mums garden, feasting on bacon fat and left over bread crumbs from the stuffing. There were a lot of bread crumbs, the birds wont go hungry for quite some time.
I have made a pudding with some seriously alcoholic sponge fingers in the base. Don't eat and drive, that's the message this year.
I have baked biscuits. They're covered in green sparkly icing and are stacked up into Christmas tree shapes and they look quite yummy. I only hope they survive till tomorrow morning, not that I'm accusing any member of my family of being illicit biscuit nibblers.... but I know them all very well and the temptation can be hard.
I made mince pies with puff pastry. They haven't come out quite as well as I hoped they would, but they're ok and I will be putting one out on a plate with a glass of sherry. I'm not expecting Santa, but I think Andy would probably like it as a reward for tidying up the house so well while I was out.
Joseph, in the meantime, has spent the day giving poor Granddad the run around and generally showing off his block stacking skills.
Debbie and Hope were playing and Joseph wanted to join in. Debbie said that Joseph wasn't big enough to know what to do and Joseph gave Granddad a withering look. Joseph knows what to do when it comes to stacking, he will try and stack anything. He took his naps, ate his food and impressed Granny even with that. She gave him a spoon to have a go and with a little bit of help (well ok, a lot) he managed to get some of it into his mouth!
And I was too busy baking to see any of it.

Christmas Eve

I'm having a think through of all the things I need to do today and praying that none of the things that can go wrong actually do.
We're a bit unlucky in that way, over the years we seem to have attracted more than our fair share of things going bang (or "phut" or "Eeeee..eee...eee....ump...) especially during the festive season. On Thursday evening I was playing a computer game. I feel I had earned the right to some down time, I'd had a long day at work and we'd got Joseph safely to bed and Andy was grilling me some sausages for my tea.
I hadn't noticed the smell, probably something to do with the sizzling sausages. I love the smell of sausages cooking and it was a bit of a distraction. Andy wandered in and pointed out that something "smelled hot". This might sound a little odd to anyone who doesn't have a large amount of computer experience, but they do indeed smell hot when they are just about to....
It died and even when left to cool down it did not want to re awaken. I was unhappy, Andy was annoyed. We took a guess that it was probably the power supply, but there was nothing we could do about it and we ate and went to bed. On Friday I had to have a whole day computer free. You never realise how much you use the thing until it's not there. I do so much on my PC, there are games, video streaming off the web, social networks and this blog of mine. Without it I felt somewhat anchorless and rather glum, especially as I was going to spend the day making some Christmas cards for my family using my die cutting machine that can only work when plugged into my PC.
On the Friday morning we whipped the power supply out of the machine and had a look. Inside we found a small fuse that had a whiff overcooked electronics about it and a distinct black patina on its insides. We had pushed the power supply too far and its little fuse had given up. Clearly with the new kit we had put in not too long ago we just asking too much of the poor thing.
As it was Christmas Eve Eve and surviving the whole festive season PC-less was too much to take, Andy made a special trip to buy a new power supply and thanks to the kindness of his bosses was allowed home early.
Yay! Much ringing of bells, joyfulness and dancing. My husband is home early and the computer is working again and it wasn't the expensive job we had feared. Hurrah!
A few years ago our dishwasher blew up on Christmas day. It made a proper loud bang, it did.
When I was still living with my parents our boiler got tired and died on Christmas eve. My Mum even has a story of her cooker giving up and refusing to work in a slightly explosive style, right before her parents were arriving for Christmas.
Please please, let nothing go bang this year, I don't think I could take it.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Twas the night before the night before.....

This is a sort of 'pre' blog, a blog about what is about to happen.
Tomorrow is Christmas eve and I've got a lot to do.
I did the big Christmas grocery shop today. Here's a tip, I don't care how much it hurts, you have to get up early to go to the supermarket. I got there just past 8am and it was ok, about as busy as an average Saturday. By the time I left at nearly 9am it was chock-a-block. The car park was full and it looked like fights were breaking out next to the sprouts. Even at 8am I had to move empty boxes of vegetables out of the way to get to the good stuff underneath. If there's only unhappy broccoli with long stalks left, take a look underneath, it's where they hide the good stuff.
That done I went to Grannys house and dropped off the stuff needed for the big day and headed home with boxing day supplies and a slightly unhappy child. He'd not slept and didn't want to.
Andy came home early and brought snacks. I ate some of the snacks and then made a slim flat sponge cake. Tomorrow said sponge will be cut into fingers and soaked in amaretto and coffee. This will then be doused in mascarpone whipped up with icing sugar and egg white. The whole lot will be left to set in the fridge and will hopefully turn into a tiramisu for the grand finale of my culinary feat. Mum just didn't fancy a Christmas pudding this year, and while I do rather like them I also appreciate they can be a bit filling.
Also tomorrow I must make some biscuits and turn them into Christmas trees and stuff a turkey. First I have to persuade someone to go and collect the turkey who this year has been named Timothy. Two years ago we had a turkey called Gerald who, through a pound and kilogram mix up ended up much bigger than expected. This year I am assured the same mistake has not been made and Timothy will be quite tiny in comparison.
After that there is a gratin to make, spuds to roast, a prawny starter to construct and various things to be done to carrots to make them - well - interesting. The big day is going to be spent having Gordon Ramsay moments in the kitchen, as the man seems to work on the premise that high stress levels in kitchens somehow turn into food.
Actually, although the scale of the feat is something to behold, I am actually looking forward to it. I do enjoy cooking, I just hope that my energy levels hold and that the cashier in the supermarket hasn't passed on his germs as he did sneeze in my direction. Ha, that'd be just my luck, have it all planned out and ready and then be to ill with a stupid cold to eat any of it.
I am ready and am taking a pre-emptive dose of decongestants and pain killers. They wont keep me down, not when I'm on a mission......

Monday, 19 December 2011


Has anyone else noticed that GP surgeries work on the principle of the inverse square law?
The longer you're kept waiting, the shorter your appointment will be.
Joseph had his one year review today. We were waiting for over half an hour and the entire appointment took less than three minutes. Well, there simply wasn't much to discuss in his case - any problems? No. Any worries? No. His heart and hips are fine. Good. Bye, then.
If I hadn't needed to get a page filled in in his little red book of health then I wouldn't have bothered going. Joseph hates stethoscopes and seems to be developing something of a mistrust of medical people, probably something to do with the fact that whenever he meets them he's either having his hips wiggled about, having cold things put on his chest, having his little feet stabbed for a blood sample or having large needles shoved deep into the muscles in his little legs. I keep telling him that the alternative, catching diphtheria or meningitis C or some other nasty, is a lot worse but he doesn't really understand. All he can say at the moment is "Daddy" and "Nanana" (stressed like "banana" which I think is the word he's aiming for). I am "Daddy", random people waiting in the surgery were "Daddy", the chair was pointed at and called "Daddy". "Mama" seems to have got a bit lost recently, haven't heard any of his "Muh" sounds in a while.

If all is well for Joseph then the last he need see of a health professional will be in slightly under a months time for his MMR. He'll probably hate that one as well, but the risks associated with measles are too serious to ignore and I really don't want him to get mumps as Andy has never had mumps and it can be quite serious for adult males if they catch it. As for rubella, given the problems associated with that illness and the risks involved if you pass it on to a pregnant woman then I think you'd be a bit silly not to have the jab. Besides, if he's immunised then that's three reasons why he wont have to see a health professional again for quite some time and I am hoping that he grows out of his not totally irrational fears, even if he never finds the idea of an injection palatable.
Me, I was always the little kid who wanted to see what was going on. Where others would pale and keel over, I'd be squiggling about trying to find out what was happening. I was always far more comfortable if I could see, and I still am. The only time in A&E I ever felt uncomfortable was when the doctor wouldn't let me look. I understand why, they were removing a large sewing machine needle from my finger, but all the same I wanted to see.
Joseph, I hope you are not squeamish. Still, if the doctor thinks it's more sensible to patch you up from whatever scrape you've got yourself into without you looking then it's probably better to take their advice. Hey, you're a little boy. There are going to be scrapes.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Jabs, Scabs and Christmas Shopping

It's been a busy old week and no mistake.
We had the next round of immunisation jabs this week and that was what's caused all the problems. He's part of a clinical trial where they're looking at children's immunity levels to see if they actually need as many booster jabs as they are given or whether we can give them less. If less are needed then this is a good thing as it will cost the NHS less and little babies don't have to be jabbed in the leg as much, as it really looks to be a very unpleasant experience giving all the noise Joseph made about it.
To do the trial they need to take blood samples. At least an hour before they're due I have to put analgesic cream on both Josephs hands and elbows and then cover them with a dressing that's like sticky clingfilm to hold it in place. Over that he needs long socks and long sleeves to stop him getting at the dressing. He found this a bit baffling, but then he got used to it. He did look a bit odd, especially as the only socks of his I had that were long enough were the ones with the rubber bobbles on the bottom to help him grip.
The cream worked fine, the problem was that they couldn't get any blood. He was very well behaved, he sat on my knee beautifully still and was absolutely as good as gold save for the fact that he simply wouldn't yield a drop. We rescheduled having not given him his booster jab so that someone else might have a go with a bit more luck.
So, two days later I repeated the procedure with the analgesic cream and the socks. I put him down for his nap and he lay there holding up his little hands, probably wondering why they were green and bobbly once more.
This time he yielded 1/2 a millilitre. Not a lot, but apparently just enough. He's got arms like pincushions now, but they didn't cause him any pain thanks to him being a good boy and sitting still and the lovely pain killing cream.
It was a different story for the boosters. You don't get analgesic cream for those and the moment the first one went in he absolutely hollered. My poor little boy, I did feel awful subjecting him to it, but the alternative is worse. Still, he's got two red marks on each leg now and we have to spend a week measuring them and checking his temperature. It's not as fun as it sounds, especially now he's big enough to try and escape.
Last night he woke up early and refused to go back to sleep. In hindsight I should have reached for the Calpol, but when my sleep is disrupted I don't think clearly. Andy sat up with him for a bit and then we swapped over. He finally fell asleep again at about 6.45am for about an hour which means his schedule has been a bit off today, but no matter.
I wish it all just stopped there. Alas not, 'tis the season to have to brave the crowds to buy stuff you'd normally not bother with. Yes, we've left it later than I would normally but it's just been to manic to think of the festive season until now. We've bought bits for the nieces and nephew and something for each other and that's all. My gift to my Mum is that I'm doing all the cooking so she can spend the day being social rather than the kitchen pariah. As for my Dad.... socks? I don't know, I really don't. Why are Dads so hard to buy for?
We got into town before nine and were done by ten. Phew, thanks to  a well known chemist for having a 3 for 2 offer on toys as it saved us a long walk round. One coffee and Christmas muffin each later we went home. Andy put Joseph to bed and then did the same thing with himself to catch up and I beetled off to my Mums to do some emergency sewing.
The Cat is still trapped in her cone as her skin is recovering from a bad bout of feline flea allergy dermatitis. She scratches and gets scabby and then scratches off the scabs and now it's bad. She's very uncoordinated in the cone and needs to be kept trapped in the kitchen most of the day and needs grooming every day. Joseph loves grabbing hold of the cone, the Cat doesn't. The sooner her scabs heal up the better for all our sakes.
Tonight I have to bake a cake for a carol service tomorrow which I'm not going to as instead I am going to watch my Mum go for her provisional black belt exam in karate. He he, at school I always wanted to say "You can't mess with me, my Mum's a black belt." Now I can!!!
I'm hoping by next summer I'll be able to say "You can't mess with me I'M a karate black belt!" Our family feuds could get nasty......
On Monday Joseph is going to the GP for his 1 year check up, there's a Mums group on Wednesday, I'm working on Thursday and Friday I'm doing the big Christmas grocery shop. On Saturday it's all hands to the galley to pick up the turkey and do the prep for the big day the day after. I'm exhausted just typing it all out!
Tomorrow I think I'll buy some pro-plus. I think I'll need it.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

More Birthdays

Had a lovely morning today. A friend of mine has a little boy turning two and decided to have a little get together at a local garden centre.
They have a nice little play area that I hadn't really looked closely at before. It has a bouncy castle, a play house, a soft play area and a nice little area for changing dirty bottoms. If only Joseph had been walking with confidence then he could have had a turn on the castle, but I don't think he would have liked it.
The whole area was carefully fenced (sorry, can't think of a better word and it was an actual low fence!) in to make sure that the kids didn't run off into the garden centre proper.
We had coffee and we had cake and the little ones ran about and had fun. It was nice and relaxing and I have to admit, I think I might pinch the idea for Josephs next birthday, it looks a lot less stressful!
Now we are home and Joseph, who is a little under the weather, has coughed himself to sleep and I have worked my way through a heap of ironing the size of a neolithic earthwork. It's safe to say that Josephs party celebrations are finally over as the table cloths I borrowed are now washed and ironed, the balloons have gone flat and been thrown away, I've eaten the last of the sweets from the left over loot bags and the last of the savoury left overs were turned into a chicken curry last night and that's all gone too. All I have to decide now is what to do with the flag banner and the table cloth that came with the party set. They're covered in jungle animals and I'm just not sure what I can use them for again, but it does seem a bit of a waste to throw them. I've also got one pack of unused plates left, again I can't decide what to do with them as they're unused but they do say "Happy 1st Birthday" on them and Joseph wont have another. Perhaps someone else might want them so I'll hang onto them for now. If they're still of no use by the time we come to move then I think I will pitch them. It will seem a bit of a waste, but at the end of the day it'll just be extra clutter to deal with.
Got to go, it's time to poke awake a sleeping boy who's probably nicely coated with dried on snot. I have a pack of wet wipes at the ready.....

Sunday, 11 December 2011

And later on a Sunday.....

I think the party went well.
There is, as always, more prep work than you think there ought to be for things like this. I had hoped for a quieter morning but it wasn't really to be. My Mum and I got to the hall early to do a spot of decoration, some table arrangement and the laying out of food on platters. It took ages and it wasn't helped by the mysterious heating system that needed to be turned on in two separate places to work, one of which involved some significant clambering. When it was working it sounded like someone chainsawing a distant tree, very odd and a little disconcerting as I've never sat in the quiet and listened to it before.
I had my usual panic as the clock reached 2pm, wondering why people weren't arriving yet and terrified that we'd be left standing alone in a big empty hall with a mountain of food uneaten, without friends and alone. I do this every time I host any sort of event, I think it's the OCD. Of course, nobody turns up to a party bang on time and when little children are involved it can be very hard. Still, by 2.30 most were there and we almost had a full house.
Helium balloons - for a small childs party I cannot recommend them enough. The little ones laugh at them and the bigger ones play with them making the little ones laugh even more. The table for colouring in animal faces was a big hit and meant that the bigger ones didn't get bored and cause trouble. Again I recommend the idea, it really helped.
There was some food left over, but not the vast amounts I was expecting. We were just all a bit slow out of the blocks with the savoury food. Once people got into the swing of it, most of it went. We've got a few crisps and sausage rolls left and some spicy chicken wings. That's the one puzzle for me. All the barbecue chicken went even though I didn't think it looked that good and was a bit sticky. I much preferred the spicy stuff, but this is a good thing in my book. We've been left with a plateful of something we really like!
The cake was admired, for all of a few minutes and then it was devoured. For a brief moment I didn't want my masterpiece cut into, but going by the yummy noises people were making I knew I was being silly. Over half of the fruit cake head went which was a bit of a surprise as it's not normally so popular a cake. We covered the left overs up and handed it out later on the Sunday after church. It didn't last long.
And then there was nothing to do but hand out the loot bags to the kids and wave bye-bye. Loot bags - just buy a big pot of Celebrations or something similar and some lollies and share them out. I've heard stories of some very competitive parents putting all sorts in them from Beanie Babies to computer games. I don't see the point, the whole idea of a loot bag is to get it home, find a quiet corner and make yourself sick on sweets (if you're not already after all the cake!).
We tidied up and went home, all uneventful save for my Uncle nearly throwing away some cotton tablecloths by mistake. Well Mum, you did put them in a bin bag!

We had a dedication for him this morning. We don't really agree with infant baptism, not going to go into all the details but we simply wanted to get our church to pray for Joseph. A lot of people prayed and I was quite touched. Joseph hadn't a clue what was going on, he just squiggled about, wouldn't be cuddled and tried to eat the radio mic.
Then we went out for a meal with all the family in a lovely but rather noisy pub. All in all, we have had a good weekend but a very tiring one and something I have no intention of repeating for a very long time. Next year he can have a couple of mates over and a takeaway!

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Early on a Saturday Morning....

It's the day of the party today and already I have decided that if we do anything at all for him next year then it's going to be very low key.
I spent all of yesterday baking. I knew it would be a big job but I had no idea just how bad it would be. My big cake I knew would be a bit of a project but it hadn't occurred to me how long it would take just to get the separate sections baked, never mind levelled, cut, filled and iced. All I can say is - many blessings on the folk at Regal Ice (shameless plug alert) as their top quality product meant that the icing job, although still tough, was possible and actually ended up looking quite good though I say it myself. Top tip - buy good quality fondant icing as it actually works and can be rolled out thinner than you think so you need less. Also, buy it on a day when the packs are 3 for 2, especially if you're making a Very Hungry Caterpillar cake with a fruit cake head and three rounds of Victoria sponge and two of chocolate for the body. I used a lot of green icing and I had to buy a whole pack of purple just to make his ears, but I think it was worth it. I've never make a cake like it before and given the amount of effort involved I don't think I will again for a considerable length of time.
There are biscuits, many biscuits. Interesting cookie cutter shapes may seem like a good idea at the time, but after you've mangled several of them trying to separate the shape from a flour encrusted work top you begin to think you've been a bit more ambitious than is sensible. I really was feeling that way as I put the last of the icing on the last biscuit at 8pm last night. I'd started at 10am with a brief break to go and buy savoury food for the party.
Hey, another top tip - don't be too ambitious with the food. Home baking is great fun and I enjoyed every minute but if I'd been daft enough to want to do all the savoury stuff as well then I think I'd probably still be at my Mums house, slaving over a hot cooker. My poor parents would have got up this morning to find a slightly manic looking woman with crazy hair decorated with small bits of green icing waving a spatula saying "You can't come in here! I'm still making the sausage rolls!"
Be creative. Know your limits.
I will be popping into the hall early today to put up a few decorations and to line up the savoury food as some of it does need heating up. I had originally intended to avoid this but there just wasn't enough choice with cold food. Still, all I have to do is bung it on a tray and shove it in, it's not exactly rocket science.
My plan has been to get all the really stressful stuff done yesterday, so that today there isn't anything heavy duty and I can relax and enjoy the party. The only dampener in the works is that my mind is still going round and round which made it very difficult to drop off to sleep last night and woke me up at 4.44am this morning. Try as I might there is no more sleep to be had so I think I will relax and watch something on the iPlayer with a nice cup of tea. Will blog again later to let you all know how the whole thing went!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

First Day Back

Having been away for a year it was interesting to find that the place was both very different and exactly the same. Odd, I admit, but there you go. Some new faces, some old, some friends still there and some gone to pastures new.
I missed him. I did keep busy, but I couldn't help it I missed him. Deciding to to one day a week is the right call - I know in my heart I simply couldn't cope with any more. Joseph is an exhausting handful, but he's my exhausting handful and that's the way it's staying.
He seems to haver had fun at Grandmas today, he took his naps, ate his food and played with toys. The one thing he seems to be struggling with is his milk. It seems that I am still the only person that can persuade him to drink all of it. Others have tried and ended up with a small child covered in milky splashes as he fights off the teat. It's a good job I will be cutting his milk intake down soon, had I had to go back to work before he was weaned then it might be quite serious, but as he's a year old I'm not too worried.
In two days it is Joseph's big shindig, his numero uno birthday bash. I had a list of items I needed to purchase from work only to find I had left my purse at home. Now I will have to pop in tomorrow morning to pick up my things on the way to my Mums house for the great bake-a-thon. Joseph will be spending the day with Daddy and I will miss them both, but this time I will be making cakes and that does have a few up sides.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Birthday Boy

Exactly one year ago, after an awful lot of effort, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.
In the time that has followed I have changed many a dirty nappy, calmed him to sleep, wiped his tears and fed him more bottles of milk than I care to think.
In return he has lit up my life with his little smile and cracked me up with his infectious giggle. I can forgive every broken night just to see his sweet little face looking up at me in the cot, knowing that just seeing me is all he wants.
Enough sugar, to business.
We're having a big(ish) party for him on Saturday so I didn't want to do too much today, but neither did I want the day to pass without recognition. We gave him a present in the morning and he simply hadn't got a clue what to do with it, even after Andy started removing the paper for him. Inside was a wooden bench with holes containing pegs and a small wooden hammer to hit the pegs with. Thankfully Joseph hasn't grasped the concept yet as when he does I think I will have a permanent migraine.
Granny dropped by with a present of baby books and was treated to the sight of Joseph doing his almost walking. It's a bit "night of the living dead" at the moment, but he'll work it out.
A quote from Andy after reading one of the new books to Joseph - "Now we've read "Dear Zoo" what shall we have next, "War and Peace"? No, I don't think so, it's not a very good book. It's only survived because it's very long."
"That can't be right." I replied. "Jane Austen is still in print and most of her books aren't particularly long."
"Ah, but some of her books are good."
This is Andys take on literature, and he has an A level in English Literature. This apparently involved "King Lear", "Romeo and Juliet" and the poetry of Wilfred Owen. Did he analyse them purely on length?
I can't laugh, I only studied literature up to GCSE level and I got a D.
Back to the point -
Granny had bought Joseph a present and was demonstrating his drunken attempt at walking. Then we had some lunch and he ate his birthday cake. This isn't the big cake he will have at his party, but some small ones I made today as you can't have a birthday without cake, I believe there's a law about it somewhere.
They were just going to be brightly coloured sponge but my hand slipped as I was adding the dye and the mix ended up a bright vivid pink. There's only one thing to do at this point and that is to pretend that's what I meant to do all along and change tack slightly. I teamed them up with bright green icing and made white icing blobs with a chocolate drop in the top for eyes. A sliced glacé cherry made a mouth and we had little monster cakes.
After initial puzzlement Joseph loved the cake and was soon chomping away on it with gusto. Big chunks were picked up and squashed whole into his mouth and he continued determined until all was eaten, stopping only once to wipe an icing covered hand on the nearby table. He's like that, always wants to leave a foody hand print somewhere. I dread to think what effect the excess sugar will have on his nappy contents, nor the pink food colouring. I only hope it comes in the evening when Andy has to deal with it!
Now I'd best get going, things to do.....

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Missing Him

Before I start, which is the correct spelling - counsellor, counselor, counciller, councillor, ....
I've looked in many versions of the Bible and found these four different versions of the same word. Counselor was the most common but my spell checker doesn't recognise it.

It was the great Christmas event at my Church this weekend. I spent most of Friday (the afternoon and a chunk of the evening) decorating the hall, laying tables and putting out my hand made centrepieces. I  love being creative, I love making new things to hang on the ends of the curtain poles and I love coming up with a new festive design for the Sunday School board each year. The kids are supposed to put stuff up on it all the time, but they seem to have got out of the habit and I do the Christmas stuff. Last year it was candles and poinsettias, and the year before I painted a large white dove which lasted all the way through till the following September until it literally fell off the board. I think the design simply wasn't Christmassy enough and nobody felt too bothered by its presence even in the summer.
This year I've trodden more of a traditional path in that there are stars and a Bible verse, namely Isaiah ch 9 vs 6, hence the bother with the above mentioned word. It's in the spirit of the season but shouldn't cause offence if I'm lazy and don't bother taking it down.
Joseph spent the afternoon with Grandad. He volunteered for the job, as he had holiday left and needed to take it. I don't think the exact nature of the task sank in until minutes before I was about to leave having denuded my parents garden of the climbing ivy. Joseph had laid a stinker and I was running a little late and didn't have time to change him. Poor Grandad, I think Joseph gave him a bit of a tough time in the end.
Andy picked Joseph up and phoned me up at bed time to say goodnight. Hearing his happy little gurgles made me actually quite unhappy. I had been very busy and hadn't really had time to think, but I realised I missed him and his cute smile and silly giggle. I missed his little feet and the way he'd get bored and throw toys at me. Ahhh...

Today was the event itself. It was lovely. People really seemed to like all my hard work and nobody stole a centrepiece, which is always a bonus. The food was sumptuous and delicious, the desserts were divine. The speaker was interesting and the whole thing was a resounding success.
When I got home I found a frazzled Daddy and a grumpy Joseph who, as it turned out, was missing his Mum as he calmed down when he saw me. I felt guilty and happy all at the same time when I realised.
Joseph has also been something of a Hobbit today. He doesn't have big hairy feet and live in an underground house, but he did get two breakfasts due to a breakdown in communications. Andy couldn't work out why he hadn't wanted his lunch, but this explained it.
The usual order of things has been restored for now, but next weekend promises to be all topsy turvy again as it's his party weekend. Squeakers at the ready....

Thursday, 1 December 2011


I had a lovely day yesterday. We baked a cake in the morning and in the afternoon I took Joseph and the cake to visit a friend of mine who has a little boy a few months younger than Joseph.
It's nice to be sociable and Joseph had fun exploring in a new house. We had lunch and then some cake and we were having a nice relaxing conversation when Joseph decided to start shimmy-ing along the furniture again. He'd been up and down the sofa and back and forth to a little coffee table several times so I thought nothing of it, but I did keep an eye out as there were a few things I didn't want him getting hold of and dribbling on.
He must have misjudged the distance. He was holding onto the sofa and he reached out for the coffee table but his little chubby hand missed. By this point the rest of his body had decided to follow along anyway, but unable to balance he simply fell forwards in quite an impressive comedy pratfall style.
He impacted the table with quite a thump and cried accordingly. I cuddled him and very quickly his bright purple face paled, his gaping mouth slowly closed and the terrible howling gently ceased.
He seemed fine, he went back to playing with the other little boy and all was calm again. Both children were having great fun just staring and smiling at each other and I have no doubt that soon they will end up playing games of raspberry tennis. This is a game that all small children seem to love.
The afternoon drew to a close and we went home, leaving the rest of the cake. I like cake, but we're going to be having a lot of cake in the upcoming weeks so I'm happy to share and I know it will be appreciated.
I noticed a little while after I had got him home that his left eyelid was a bit puffy and had a small pink mark on it. I had assumed he'd hit himself on the forehead and I hadn't seen a mark so I hadn't been worried. I spent several minutes staring carefully into his eyes, but both were clear and bright and it looked like the only injury was to the lid.
Today the lid isn't so swollen but behind the pink mark was the dusky blue hint of a bruise. Now, in the late afternoon the blue tint has spread to the lower lid and it looks like my little boy is in for a proper shiner. I suspect the worst of the bruise will show tomorrow, my own experience shows that eye socket injuries are slow to develop their signs. I am fervently praying that whatever bruise does develop is long gone by the time his party arrives. That would just be the thing to spoil all the pictures and it would be a lasting reminder of my moment of inattention. In the mean time I'll just keep an "eye" on him to make sure everything is all right and regular doses of Calpol will be administered.