Making Stuff

Following on from the bracelet I made a couple of weeks ago, I made 2 more. One I really like, the other is a little bit "something and nothing" and I'm not so keen.  Good job it's too small then and I am likely to be restringing it...

Today I decided I was sick and fed up of not being able to get high vi vests in small sizes so bought some hi vis material and made my own!


They haven't been worn yet so I'm hoping they'll fit ok!

Hmm best not to rely on me in an emergency then...

I've spent the day today doing a first aid course.  :)

The trainers were fab and made everything fun and interesting - much better than when I did my paediatric first aid course.  We seemed to cover so much I don't know how I'm going to remember it all!

At the end of the day who do you think got something wrong in every category?  Yep, me! *blushes*  I forgot to yell for help, forgot to lay my casualty down (who was bleeding everywhere so risk of shock)  and forgot to do the secondary assessment on the unconscious casualty. In my defence I was getting pretty tired after 6 hours of having first aid drilled into me and knowing it's all not real made me that little bit less sharp perhaps.   Even so it's probably best not to rely on me in an emergency...

Got home and Jack quizzed me from the first aid book - By some miracle I managed to get it all right (so why on earth could I not get it right on the course? ).  Max very kindly lent me his arm, wrist etc to practice bandaging _ something I'm actually pretty darned good at after having sons! - and do slings, something I needed a LOT of practise with, lol!

Lets hope that I pass the assessment tomorrow...

***EDITED TO ADD***  Passed with flying colours, remembered everything I forgot yesterday and did everything right except one minor detail - next time I need to phone an ambulance it may be a damn good idea to know where I actually am!  ROFL!!

Friday the 13th

There's something about Friday the 13th that makes you feel as if you should stay safe at home in bed...  It was one of my minded children's last day though so no chance of that.  I wanted to give her a really good last day so we went back to Crealy.  Obviously I cannot post pics of the minded kiddies here so you're just gonna have to put up with seeing my lot again...

They went back on the slides.  I had a young baby with me today so no slides for me.  We all watched and cheered as people came down them though.  I was aimed at the base of the slide for ages and looked away just for a few moments so almost missed them!

 A little over a year ago we chose Sam from a litter of pups in the big house.  Sam's big sister has just had her first litter, these cuties are only 6 weeks old.  I ummed and ahhed but decided having 2 mad labs in one small house is possible not the best plan.  They are soooo darned cute though and Sam would benefit from having a playmate sooo much...

So what went wrong?  Absolutely nothing!! ;)

A Perfect End to My Holiday

Today I took the boys to Crealy to make up for our midweek trip which got postponed.  They had a fabulous time!

We queued for a short time to go on these

I went on the 'easy' one, by the steps, which was terrific fun and I didn't bump my head on the top of the tube as the boat leapt about even though it felt as if I would at any given moment.  If the queues had been shorter I'd have been up again like a shot but as it is can console myself that once all the holiday makers have gone home the slide will still be there and the queues much shorter.

Jack and Max both went on the fearsome one, totally black inside, loop the loop and has some sort of dry ice or something inside as well - which of course means I cannot go in it :(

Immediately afterwards we went on the log flume.  I don't know what they've done to change this but it was sooooo much better!  We got totally drenched!  For once the photo that they take was brill too so we bought that, can't show it on here because we had to made into a keyring...

The boys had fun in the indoor play area after lunch, easily making friends with all aged people from little kids right through to much older teens.  I love the way they can just slot in anywhere and be accepted.  I'm sure that HE has got a lot to do with that.   We had some lunch (I ate Crealy's wonderful top beef burger - never again - yeuck!!) before moving on to other rides.


I managed to read a fair bit of my current book 'Twilight' whilst the boys were in the play area.  For some strange reason it has the effect of making me feel very sleepy!  Perhaps because it's my bedtime read, lol!!

We were having such a fab time that I actually forgot to check the bus timetable to see what time we had to leave!  OOPS! We'd managed to spectacularly miss the 'through' bus!   Fortunately there are buses which went half way to our town so we rushed out to catch one of those and then spent a delightful couple of hours  at the beach before we had a fish and chip supper in one of the town's seafront restaurants - delicious!

The boys had a friendly competition to see who could throw pebbles into the sea the furthest, and then played 'dunk the crisp packet' which some reckless person had left laying around and had gotten swept up in the sea.

Finally the time came to catch the connecting bus home.  I have to say that although I often wish I could drive, it was bliss to be able to just fall onto the bus exhausted at the end of the day and wait to be magically transported home.

Absolute bliss until... 6 miles from home the bus broke down!

We managed to while away the time playing 'Who wants to be a millionaire' on Max's phone (whatever did we do before mobile phones?) before Stagecoach sent a mini bus out from the city to take us the rest of the way.  I was going to just call a friend to come and pick us up but the driver had already arranged for the bus to be sent out so I thought it better to wait.

It was hilarious being raced around the country lanes in a tiny city minibus.  As we were the only passengers it felt like out own private limo!  Well a girl can dream can't she? ;)

Look what I made Yesterday!

Ok so I know it's not brilliant but I really like it and it's the first  piece of 'jewellery' that I've ever tried to make.  I'm not a lover of 'off the peg' stuff, preferring to have something a little bit more original, but then there almost always seems to be something that I don't quite like about it.  Luckily I'm not the same with clothes!!

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Several childminding friends of mine tried out the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden and highly recommended it so I thought we'd give it a go too.  I really did it for the minded children, thinking that Jack and Max would be too old to be interested,  but to be perfectly honest I think my own children got far more out of it than the little ones did, possibly because they were old enough to understand the incredible changes that go on during the short life of a butterfly.

When the caterpillars first arrived they were about the size of ants!  I've never seen caterpillars so tiny before - quite a shock to know that we look around us all the time but perhaps never really see what is right in front of our faces!  I foolishly didn't take any photos of them on the first day, the picture below was taken on the Monday, 2 days after arrival, and they'd doubled in size!

They are encased in a small plastic tub with a fudge-like substance in the bottom.  The 'fudge' is their food and for a while they graze gently on it.

Eventually they get quite big and if you took a look at the state of the fudge you'd think they were almost almost frenzied about their eating!  The 'fudge' ended up smeared everywhere.  I have to admit I was quite glad our cute little caterpillars were encased at this stage as they weren't quite so cute and looked more like slugs than would-be butterflies

After about a week of eating they cocooned at the top of the jar, and after leaving them for 24 hours to ensure they'd hardened off, I moved them to their new home (completely forgetting that they should only be 4cm off the ground - oops!)

A week or so after they cocooned they emerged as beautiful butterflies which we kept and watched for 2 days, during which time our beautiful but rather stupid cat decided to jump up on top of their (folding) home and flattened it - luckily the butterflies all seemed to be ok!

Letting them go was bitter-sweet.  I found I'd got quite attached to the little things and had this whole 'proud mum' thing going on.  It felt wonderful to have them come out and sit on fingers before they finally flew off.

One even sat on the emerging 'butterfly tree' we had bough especially for them in the hope they may stick around for a while - which of course they didn't.  The last little one to come out fluttered to the ground rather than up in the air.  Turned out she had something wrong with her wing and couldn't fly so I scooped her off, put plenty of fresh flowers and sugar water on tissue paper in the netting 'cage' and kept her for almost a week until she died, presumably of old age - I'm sad that she didn't get to go free but hope that the life she did have was a happy one.
Mona, the Painted Lady

My minded children worked hard and made a fabulous display to go with our theme.  I'm very very proud of them.  Some of the children who contributed to this are as young as two, the oldest was 4.  I 'drew' the outline for the caterpillars in PVA and the LOs popped the red lentils on to make their caterpillars.  They were so careful not to smudge the glue and worked very carefully and quietly until they were satisfied with the outcome.  The butterflies flutter in the breeze when the door is open which brings their display 'to life'.

Wonder what we'll do next...

Holiday time

Hmm, not too good at this bloggin lark am I..

This week we've been on holiday, it has been fantastic to be able to spend some real quality time with the boys without having to put other children first.  I really do love my job, but as with all jobs it's nice to take a break.

We've been to the cinema a lot this week.  On Saturday we went to see Inception, courtesy of some free tickets kindly donated by a friend, Sunday we went and took the dog for a walk by the river in Sidmouth but I ended up getting shouted at by some bizarre woman and it kind of took the 'nice' edge off the day.  Monday we went to see Eclipse - wow what a great film!  No idea what everybody sees in 'Edward Cullen', 'Jacob' would have been my choice!  lol!  Tuesday we went down to Sidmouth for the folk festival but it was very busy and I hated it.  On Wednesday we were supposed to be going to Crealy but pouring rain made it necessary to change plans and we ended up at the cinema again to see the new Karate Kid film (one free ticket courtesy of Orange 241), another fantastic film which had the effect of making both Jack and Max talk animatedly about it all the way home!.  Thursday was a day spent catching up with family, long overdue, and getting our pup a new (and huge) crate.   Friday I actually stopped procrastinating and made myself get on with sorting out our front garden!  It looks so much nicer now and was well worth the energy it took to do (we wont mention my aching muscles, lol!).

It turned out to be a very full week and whilst our trip to try out the new rides at Crealy had to be moved to another day it all actually fell together quite nicely in the end.  With regard to the cinema, if you're ever at The Vue and they ask if you want to upgrade to VIP seating I can categorically state that it's well worth the extra £1.40 a ticket to have the comfy chairs!  (But stay well away from the bags of sweets, they also have a £1.40 or more mark up!)

Today Jack is off to River Cottage HQ for the day and Max and I, well I'm not quite sure what we'll be doing yet.  I think it will be a go with the flow kind of day...