Thursday, 29 August 2013

Growing Toddlers!

Because we’re around the girls 24/7, we don’t really realise that they actually grow much, and when we measure them on the height chart, we still think they’re not in the right “height range” (they can still wear 18-24 mths clothing).

However, when it comes to visiting places and them doing things they weren’t able the last time we were there, that’s when I realise that they’re actually “growing up”.

Today we went to see my friend Cat (another twin mum) to borrow her Mei Tai’s as I decided that we won’t be able to take carrier backpacks with us to Germany (too bulky, and the one we borrowed from another twin mum has been sold on). Cat had her 3.5 year old twins in the Mei Tai’s while in Paris, so I thought that should be still ok for the Hobbits in December – but wanted to try them while we’re on a family break in the Borders.

The next stop was Almond Valley Heritage Farm. I’ve got an annual membership (Hobbits still go free), but haven’t been in quite a while due to the weather and us using the Zoo membership a bit more.

The weather was a bit windy and overcast, but we still managed to go and see the new rabbit/guinea pig barn and the rabbit and chicken barn – newly built places. And the girls found a new slide they’d never been down on (and I never saw, probably because we didn’t go to that area while they were doing the building works on above mentioned barns).

Walking quickly into the animal house to see the big pig, calves, goats and donkeys, we went over the bridge towards the play mine and the trampolines, where the girls got lots of fun time.

BILD0083BILD0085BILD0087

After a half-hearted snack I was trying to steer them towards the pony and donkey, but the girls spotted the big Jelly Belly bouncer. In the past I told them that they cannot go up there, they’re too small, they can only go up there when they can walk up to the top without my help.

Well… guess what…. I caved, took off their shoes and then … THIS happened….

BILD0088BILD0089BILD0092BILD0098BILD0101

Unbelievable!!! My little Hobbitses have grown into Hobbits. Winking smile They had sooo much fun on the Jelly Belly, even if Supergirl decided to pour lots of sand onto it and Miss Martian insisted to drop some sand onto a poor barefooted mummy who helped her younger girl to bounce … and that was NOT me! I’m so sorry my daughter was trying to give you a beachy feel… Surprised smile 

Things like this just shows you more than charts etc how your kids are growing…

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

ARRRGGHH!!! HATE getting side tracked!

You know the feeling, you planned everything for a nice craft day, just have to go for a quick shop with a pal to Costco who kindly takes you inside as you don’t have a card. You grumpily give up on one item you really, really want for one or the other reason (in my case the Authentic Asia Won Ton Soup – we don’t have enough space for 5 tubs of it, and it only comes in 6 tub size). Then you try to get something crafty without going overboard price-wise, you don’t see the right colours/yarn weight so you don’t buy it and proudly (that you haven’t spent more money) drive straight home, despite ideas of quickly popping to Subway or somewhere else for a takeout lunch. You put away the shopping, shuffle stuff a bit around, and then *BAM* ….

You realise that there is lots of out of date stuff, so you remove that from the cupboards, move for similar items on to the pantry and in between you prepare food to go into the slow cooker for dinner. You realise you don’t have one ingredient, so you replace it with another, not much of a trouble. You nearly pull down a pan with chopped onions, just save them in the last minute, however, lots of chopped onions jumping out of the pan and are now all over the kitchen area around the hob.  You grumble and swear a little, then still get stuff into the slow cooker, get some quick lunch stuff together but skip the idea of a quick salad as that involves more work and it’s already 2:30!!!

You sit down for a bit, just wanting to watch a program you recorded on TiVo, then you want to hang out the washing, need to wash the kitchen floor and with all that your MOJO just told you “you know what, you’ve been neglecting me, you should have done some crafting the minute you came back, now I DON’T WANT TO PLAY ALONG ANYMORE!”

You’re angry at yourself, that YET AGAIN you don’t do crafting after you’ve already postponed the gym workout today due to a 4th or 5th night in a row your firstborn twin is suffering badly with a cold/stuffy nose/nasty cough during the night and won’t sleep unless you’re on the airbed beside her,take her out at request beside you, put her back into the cot, take her out again…

Your hubby offered to do cleaning etc for you so you can do crafting the evening, you accept gratefully but then you just do the cleaning/tidying mostly yourself anyway and very angrily, as your Mojo doesn’t want to play ball.

What… You don’t???? You never do??? Well… it’s just me then… Sad smile 

Got stuff out for the bunting swap, even found some Shrink plastic so might use that tonight. But think apart from cutting buntings and doing some stamping I’m not going to do anything creative today…. Ah well, back to watching TV and reading it is then…

Monday, 26 August 2013

Most difficult one ticked off!! Yay!

Or at least I think that’s the most difficult item on my list, after a lot of investigating. In Scotland there are TONS of wind generators like those below.



Lots of people are against them, they are demonstrating against them, but I actually find them calming, when there are not too many really. And they are more pleasing to the eye (mine at least) than the above ground gas pipes I’ve seen in East Germany when I was a kid (similar to the kind still out there in the USA).

Anyway, despite lots of them around, I really wanted to get a photo of a proper windmill for the Photo Scavenger Hunt 2013. Those are surprisingly hard to find in Scotland, all of them seem to be transformed into Camera Obscuras or similar, like this one in Drumfries.

And I missed the one at Wimbledon Common as suggested by my friend Sharon while we were down in London end of July.

That one actually looks beautiful! Smile

Now… what is a woman to do who’s on a mission? She contacts her fellow geocachers, who are prone to give nice locations and know about hidden things like that. And yes, I was pointed into the right direction of a non-tranformed windmill, not far from us (in Fife).

So I packed up the girls yesterday after lunch, drove into the “Kingdom”, went first for a quick shop at Mc Oyster at Poles Apart in Cupar, then cut across to the coast and drove to a very nice little town going by the name of St. Monans.  BEAUTIFUL really, needs more exploring at some point (like so many of the little towns along the Fife Coastal Tourist Route!!).

When I parked the car, the tide was out, and a big haar (coastal fog) was coming in and getting worse on our little walk. However, we managed to find the Windmill, which powered the salt panning industry (you never stop learning!) and which is overlooking the Tidal Bathing pool (not sure if that’s still in use as the Council does not service it anymore). And for the girls there was a play park, too (well… as round swing).
004005017018020023
Anyway… here it is … THE WINDMILL!!! Winking smile
012
I wonder if Rinda is considering Lighthouses for next year’s Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt? Smile

Friday, 23 August 2013

Photo Scavenger Hunt 2013–where are we now?

Just trying to see what I’ve done so far in 1 post instead of hunting around … couple of photos will change for the final round-up! Smile 

1. Open air market
2013-07-20 10.38.57
(Not a full market, but a stall selling bread and cakes at Kew Garden Station)

2. Theatre for performing arts (not a movie theatre)
018019
(Edinburgh Festival Theatre)

3. City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building

4. Airplane
005
(Our plane to get to London)

5. A sunset
2013-08-19 20.59.06
(the best I could come up with so far)

6. Someone or something taking a nap
2013-06-12 16.27.24
(My girls)

7. A sign that is intentionally or unintentionally funny
2013-07-23 08.08.41
(Maple Walnut ice cream apparently may contain other nuts?!?!)

8. A tower
033
(Water Tower & Chimney at Kew Garden)
020
(Watchtower at St. Cuthbert’s graveyard defending against grave robbing)

9. A photo with someone or something that is clearly out of place or doesn't belong

026(A traffic cone on top of a statue – not that uncommon in Edinburgh)

10. A bench that is outside
021
(wooden bench outside at the courtyard at the inlaws)

11. An animal in a zoo, aquarium, nature preserve, etc.

039

(Penguin at Edinburgh Zoo)

12. A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
034

(I can see a platypus in there – can you? Snout to the left, legs underneath – it’s swimming)

13. A fence
056
(nice old fence at Edinburgh Zoo)

14. A stained glass object or a mosaic
014
(Stained Glass windows inside Natural History Museum)

15. A fire truck or police car029

16. A windmill
17. Candle(s)
18. Your local pub/bar, coffee house or tea shop
19. A fisherman
20. A dinosaur
007
(Natural History Museum, London)

21. A photograph of you with an artistic tool or craft supply (you cannot substitute for this item)
Bonus/substitute items. If you find any of the above items too difficult, feel free to substitute either (or both) of these items. You can substitute up to two items, but you cannot substitute Item #21:
A person wearing an outfit (or item of clothing) that symbolizes your country

So … still 7 photos to go. Not bad, think I’ll manage that. Winking smile

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I am a craft procrastinator…

….

Now, that was hard to put down.

I thought I LOVE crafts. LOVE scrapbooking, card making, quilting, knitting, crochet … and yet in the last year or so I seem to constantly procrastinate instead of actually DO the crafts. Looking for “excuses” for not doing them it seems … housework a good example.

My declaration on FB and the blog for today was that it’s CRAFT day. Well… with getting a wash on, cleaning the kitchen floor, hanging up the wash, put on the dishwasher, tidy the living room, go to the Post Office, go to the Library, go to the gym (which had been already scored off the list as not possible due to not enough sleep – interrupted by Hobbits early morning), go for a meal with friends and then watch the Socks.

So … what crafty things have I done so far today? I spent 20 mins in the craft room/study/box (in the truest sense of the word) room searching for some embellishments for my latest Chinese Whisper layout. And couldn’t find any (so resorting to stamps this time).

I’ve picked up 2 crochet books at the library though!! Winking smile 

So I think I would need some time to tidy the craft room at least enough so I know where things are, put kit bags together etc etc etc. And need to find out how the girls react to me doing crochet while they’re around. I suspect they’ll be trying to get the ball/hook out of my hands, might try to “crochet” themselves … think I’ll just have to try it, as I doubt scrapping while they’re around is an option just now.

So … yes… I do procrastinate crafting … but really… my excuse is “Housework” and I search for more to do (ok, maybe guilty that the house is not spick & span – can’t wait for the girls to go to nursery!). Having only 1 day off girls, and not really having the “kids go to bed at 7pm” thing as hubby and I agreed we have a family dinner, which means the girls are usually in bed by 8pm, asleep hopefully at 8:30pm but lately more likely 9pm (either me being with the girls until they sleep or hubby does and then I’m doing housework – AGAIN).

I know, friends also tell me we should let the girls fall asleep themselves. Not really an option, as Supergirl will scream the house down if she cannot fall asleep while holding someone’s hand (we’re going to try pushing the girls’ cots together and see if she will fall asleep holding her sister’s hand through the cot bars). There are people who said we HAVE to change that, they HAVE to manage falling asleep by themselves, but seriously, when it only takes 30 mins for them to go down, that’s a nice quiet time to spend with them, maybe getting a quick nap ourselves (*points finger at hubby*). I had some people telling me we should do what feels right for us, but those people are unfortunately few and far between.

And having the trouble of the girls not going to sleep by themselves in view of nursery is not a problem, as I don’t think they enforce afternoon naps for 3 / 3+ year olds, specially given that they will only be in nursery for 2.5 hours or so….

Here I veered off the topic again… BAD GIRL!! Winking smile Back to the whole procrastination thing now – I really have to look into Anam’s and Shimelle’s tips about kit bags (think taking everything but the kitchen sink with me to the crop and STILL managing not having the stuff with me that I want / need to use is kind of an indicator for needing kit bags, mmmh?). And sorting through my stash/tools will help there too *cough*.

Sooooo… for now I managed to shorten crafty time again while typing this (tsk!!), but will now finish my Chinese Whisper so Pauline can play. Then I will look into my wool stock and see if I can start some crocheting before having to have a shower and head out for dinner.

If any of my readers have tips on how to pack kit bags (where do you get those 12x12 ziplock type bags you get 12x12 paper from online shops? Or do you just use page protectors like Shimelle?) or any tips how to organize Embellishments/papers/Rubber stamps/Clear stamps, please, PLEASE, PLEASE, LEAVE A COMMENT!!! You can help me out of my predicament!! Open-mouthed smile

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Getting a bit ambitious…

Well… when it comes to crafts I don’t have much time for due to the girls demanding my attention during daytimes and me being just flat out tired/cannot be bothered (oh oh!) in the evenings.

Effectively I only have Tuesdays to do crafts for long when the girls are at the grandparents for the day and a sleepover.  And that’s usually the day I catch up with housework…

Despite all this I’ve decided to sign up to 2 swaps at our local crop group (in addition to the monthly layout Chinese Whisper we’re running at the moment – the only thing I get scrapped at the moment) – a Christmas tag swap (15 tags) and a “Merry Christmas Bunting” swap – each person is doing 14 triangles with a certain letter (mine is “E”) in certain colours (fortunately most are doing the traditional gold/green/red, but we have a couple more modern Christmas colours , too).

Can I make it? I just HAVE to.

So this Tuesday I just declare a CRAFT DAY – with maybe some washes on and cleaning the kitchen floor, but that’s it!! Oh… and a gym work out, and a meal out with friends and going to see the “Socks” at the Fringe … can you see my dilemma there?!?!?!?

We’ll see what I’ll manage this week. But will try to get some hours scrapping/making the swaps in over the next month or so. Both swaps are due in November, the crop I’m unable to take part in due to hubby’s birthday, so will have to hand over my stuff to one of my friends.

….

I also have found cute patterns for Dr Seuss Earflap hats for Thing 1 & Thing 2 and The Cat in the Hat (crochet) – intending to do them too, but have to see how the girls do with me dealing with wool around them. Hoping to take them with me on our week away in the borders in September…

Oh… And I’m getting tempted in doing some quilting again, after seeing my friends Lynz’ and Chris’ latest works … and I still have that fabric the grandparents brought from Florida when the girls were born … ummm….

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Beach day with Oma

Last full day of my Mutti’s visit, and despite the weather being not the best (overcast, very windy) we decided to take the girls to Portobello Beach (my mum LOVES walking along the promenade, having a wee cappuccino at a wee cafe overlooking the sea).

When we arrived it was still quite windy, and the sun wasn’t really out much, but after the first couple of moments (taking shoes & socks off, walking the loooong way to the water – tide was out), we actually got some sun! Open-mouthed smile
001002020028

A lot of those little “beasties” about … beached already, or still drifting in the swell.  Way back when I was a child I was told that jellyfish would come to the shore when there’s a storm (that’s the Mediterranean jellyfish at least) – not sure if there’s a different reason for British ones?
005

I also tried to figure out what kind of jellyfish it is, I think it’s a “blue jellyfish”, but if not, maybe someone wants to correct me?

After a while the Hobbits got a bit fed up with the water, sand and shells/stones, and the play park at the promenade was just too tempting, so off we went…
030

Saw these on our walk up to the play park, quite interesting and a bit of a work of art… Smile
031

I also managed to tick off an item from the Photo Scavenger Hunt … A cloud in a shape of something…
I thought this cloud looked a bit like a Platypus, don’t you think?
034

At the play park we had a wee sit down at the “Snakes and Ladders” table (destroyed by kids/youths, unfortunately, so not able to play the game) to have some strawberries.
035036037038

Then we went on to RED’S but unfortunately they were just closing when we arrived, so Oma had to have her cappuccino back at our home (which wasn’t that bad).

Everyone enjoyed the day out, and the girls were quite exhausted and fell asleep quickly at bedtime! Smile