A Week of Highs and Lows!

A week ago Saturday I was really excited to have my mum coming to visit and stay for a whole week.  With my family living 250 miles away, we don’t get many opportunities to see each other and when we do it’s usually only for a couple of days.  I picked her up off the train with Miss M and Mister B who were really excited to see their Nanny and greeted her little basket of flowers.

The next day being Mother’s day, we visited our local Prezzo restaurant for lunch – always a favourite with us, where Mum and I were given a complimentary glass of Prosecco on top of the bottle of wine we had just ordered – not that I’m complaining of course!!  We also managed a quick photo opportunity – the perfect shot for Mother’s day with three generations together.

Mother's DayMiss M couldn’t wait for dessert to get her bambinocino – the little teacup full of frothy milk, sprinkled with chocolate and Mister B couldn’t wait to get stuck into his chocolate ice cream.  We went for a short walk outside after but the wind became very bitter and icy that we soon headed home to relax.

Prezzo

The next day was my birthday and having taken the day off work, I got to spend a relaxing day with my mum, meeting a friend for lunch and then off home to spend the evening with my children.  My dear Miss M had sneaked to the shops with Nanny the day before and chosen me a gorgeous sparkly fairy birthday cake – bless her!!  And for my work colleagues I baked some chocolate cupcakes with some pink swirly icing, plus a few extra for us – yummy!

cake

That evening while sat on the sofa our cat Twinkle curled up beside us and as she rolled on her back we noticed a large opening on her stomach – almost like a large ulcerated patch which looked very sore and weepy.  The next morning I took her straight to the vets only to be given the dreaded news that she has a large tumour and required surgery the next day!!!  Arghh – my poor baby!!  I left her in the capable hands of the vets and waited patiently until the following day.

DIGITAL IMAGE

The next day I found out the tumour was malignant and the cancer was worse than expected but they had removed as much as they could and we can only wait and see what the future holds.  At the same time we also took the opportunity to have her thyroid removed as she was currently on medication for this that we were finding hard to administer.  I went and visited Twinkle and she looked well considering although it was heartbreaking to see an enormous scar down the entire length of her stomach.  Due to a drain being attached to remove fluid she needed to be kept in a cage so we felt it best to leave her at the vets until the drain was removed especially with us being away from home at the weekend.

On Friday Miss M came home from school with the Head Teacher’s Award certificate for “Excellent reading and writing”.  We were so proud of her and she was so thrilled to be given it.  I’m sure all the phonics e-books we’ve been practising at home have helped!

On Sunday we had to travel the 250 mile trip back to my hometown for the sad event of my Nanna’s funeral.  Having lost all four grandparents in the last 3 and half years, it has been pretty tough going and with this being the last it really is the end of an era and I can see the dynamics of the wider family changing.  It’s poor Miss M’s 4th funeral and she only turned 5 in January although I have to say that both Miss M and Mister B were impeccably behaved during the service and Miss M even shed a few tears – bless her!!

NanOn returning home late Monday night having travelling straight from the wake, we were all very tired.  Poor Miss M woke in the night having been quite ill in her bed – poor thing.  I put it down to the constantly snacking throughout the journey and she seems ok since.

Tuesday morning I had just dropped Miss M at school when my mobile rang.  It was the vet, who explained that although he has removed the drain, poor Twinkle is still weeping a fair bit from her wound so it is best to leave her with them for a couple more days.

I hope to visit and bring Twinkle home again tomorrow, I’ve missed her and look forward to giving her lots of cuddles for the forseeable future. xx

A very busy but fun Xmas & New Year!!

Wow – it feels like so long since I blogged, I took an unintended long break over the festive period due to being just so busy!!  The run up to Christmas was crazy with so much going on and so many things to do and Miss M and I both felt a little poorly during the week before.

It was so exciting to see Miss M in her first school nativity, where she chose to play a shepherd.  I was slightly annoyed though when the show started and proud Mister B couldn’t help himself and called out to his big sister upon seeing her a number of times and the mother sitting in front of me turned round and told me to leave unless he kept quiet!!

NativityMy parents arrived a few days before Xmas which was nice and gave me some time to wrap presents – how many? – I wish I had counted but my arms were aching and fingers sore by the time they were all done.  But the fireplace didn’t disappoint on Christmas morning when Santa had done his deliveries.  Miss M and Mister B were so excited and didn’t know where to begin.

We had a lovely Christmas day although I have to say by far the most exhausting for me – I don’t think I got to sit down other than to eat Christmas dinner!!

XmasAfter Christmas was over we had a few days to relax before preparing for Miss M’s birthday party on New Year’s Eve.  I cheated this year and decided to hold it at the local leisure centre with a bouncy castle and despite costing double the amount that I spent on a party last year for the same number of children I have to say I was slightly disappointed with the overall way it ran and will definitely go back to doing a party myself again next year.  I also cheated on the birthday cake!!!  The first year I haven’t made my children a homemade cake but I did make it up slightly by baking some yummy chocolate cupcakes, iced in buttercream and finished with a personalised pink M&M!!

BirthdayOn New Year’s Day my gorgeous little Miss M officially became 5 years old!!  Where have the last five years gone?  We had a lovely day, which started sunny so ventured down to the park on Miss M’s new bike and Mister B’s new scooter.  We then enjoyed a birthday lunch with family before opening birthday presents and relaxing for the rest of the day.

NYDSo although busy, we have had some lovely family times over the last few weeks and I look forward to see what 2013 brings us!!

Mister B is 2!!

Last week my gorgeous Mister B celebrated his 2nd birthday!!  Where have the last two years gone?  My little baby boy is now a charming, cute little boy whose favourite phrase of the week is “I like birthday cake!!”.  Instead of having a party this year we just had a small celebration with family at home but did pop out to Prezzo for lunch which my children love.  I love the setting of the restaurant which sits alongside the water and is great to go for a walk along after your meal for a bit of fresh air.  Mister B was a little grumpy when we arrived as it was 12pm and he was rather eager for his dinner but once it was brought to the table he got stuck right in.

PrezzoMiss M couldn’t wait for dessert, they both chose ice cream which comes with Miss M’s favourite, the Bambinocino!!  Being a huge fan Miss M devoured both her own and Mister B’s leaving her with a chocolate sprinkled milky moustache!!

In PrezzoAfter a yummy meal enjoyed by all (lite pizza and salad for mummy but I did sneak a honeycomb smash cheesecake for dessert) we ventured back to the house for present opening and cakes.  I opted for the easy option of cupcakes this year although they did taste rather yummy.  Poor Mister B though didn’t really understand the concept of blowing out the candles and looked rather afraid but never fear, big sister is here.  She couldn’t wait to blow the candles out on behalf of her baby brother – ahh!!

And then to the present opening – Miss M took control here too, assisting Mister B in ripping off the paper to reveal his array of birthday presents.  His favourites being his wooden railway, Happyland construction site and his Cath Kidston dinosaur merchandise (backpack, pyjamas, plate, dish & beaker and a set of play dinosaurs!!).

CakeA happy day had by all – congratulations Mister B!!

Baking biscuits with Miko Cat and Miss M!!

Miss M has been desperate to play with all her Xmas/birthday presents particularly the messy creative ones (e.g Moon Sand) that are really unsuitable around Mister B.  So when Mister B had a nap yesterday afternoon I agreed we could try out her new ‘Miko Cat Make and Bake Gingerbread Baking Set’.

199083811It came in a gorgeous solid cardboard case (which we’ll use to store little bits & pieces in Miss M’s bedroom).  Inside was a lovely apron, rolling pin, mixing spoon, 3 cutters and a recipe card for ginger biscuits.

So we got started with mummy measuring out the ingredients and Miss M sitting excitedly on her kitchen chair waiting to pour each item into her mixing bowl.  And the question I kept hearing was “When can I put my hands in mummy?”.  So upon adding the butter to the dried ingredients I let Miss M loose with her hands in the bowl to rub it all together in a bid to form a dough.

And I must say I was very impressed with Miss M’s efforts as within a few minutes she had created a fine powdery blend with not a buttery lump in site.  We added the egg and made a dough which we rolled out and had lots of fun cutting it into shapes.

When the biscuits were cooked and cooled I made a small amount of royal icing in a piping tube and let Miss M free to decorate as she pleased.

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I thought the resulting biscuits were delightful and Miss M was very proud of her creations.  It was great to spend time baking with my daughter and I hope to make it a more regular activity once Mister B discovers a bit more independence and is able to entertain himself or even join in and have a go at some baking alongside his big sister.

Miss M’s 4th Birthday!! – Princess Castle Cake

So the amazing Miss M was 4 years old on New Year’s day.  We actually held her party on New Year’s Eve at a local hall with the main attraction being a pink princess bouncy castle incorporating a slide out of the side (at madam’s request).

As usual I made her birthday cake the night before with a vague idea in my head of the finished design.  At midnight when the icing wasn’t quite adhering to the cut chocolate sponge quite as I hoped I began to despair, but by 1am it started coming together.  At 2am I wondered quite what I had let myself in for as I stood in the kitchen cutting wafers into triangles and spraying them with edible silver spray and by 3am I wondered where my sanity had gone as I sat with a pair of tweezers picking up silver balls one by one in attempt to write Miss M’s name across the cake.

Finally at 3.30am a princess castle cake was complete and mummy could finally put head to pillow in a bid to get 3 hours sleep before Mister B woke up and the morning party preparations took place.

DSCF3720After a successful party with 16 excited, over energetic 3 & 4 year olds, I was finally able to relax for a few hours.  And determined not to be stuck in the kitchen all evening I had already pre booked a table at Prezzo (Miss M’s fave restaurant) for us plus family for a special birthday dinner.

The birthday girl took her seat at the centre of the table and after devouring her 3 courses from the children’s menu, Miss M proudly and in a very grown up fashion sipped her Bambinoccino (frothy milk sprinkled with milk chocolate flakes).

DSCF3734I am very proud to now have a beautiful 4 year old daughter. xx

Mister B’s 1st Birthday!!

So a year has passed since that amazing day that my little boy was born.  My gorgeous Mister B was 1 on Sunday.  I am so proud of him and of how much he has achieved in his first year – he is such a happy little boy and is so interested and excited in all the new things he sees and learns about each day.

To celebrate his 1st birthday we had just a small family affair which was just as well. Poor Mister B is teething badly at the moment – a rather large top front tooth has just poked through the gum – causing pain and a rather bad case of nappy rash.  But we managed to enjoy the day, with his one of his favourite new toys being a helium balloon which he loved waving around whilst lying on his back.

DSCF3398All too soon, the day came to an end but we have lots of lovely memories of the day and Miss M is enjoying checking out all his new toys.