Sunday, 31 January 2010

Samantha needs a hair cut

We've had a very stressful week-end at the Bristol Childrens Hospital with Sam. Another asthma like reaction to a virus which meant he went from having a slightly runny nose to very rapid wheezy breathing in a couple of hours. A visit to the doctor and trip to A&E showed up very low blood oxygen levels meaning 2 nights in the hospital with 2 hourly nebulising, oxygen maks and steroids. It took a good 48 hours for them to get his oxygen levels back up so we could finally came home today. Luckily he was fairly cheerful for most of the time which helped lower our anxiety level slightly but it was very scary. A couple of things crossed my mind in the middle of the night when I was trying to sleep in a very uncomfortable chair.

1) We are so lucky to have a free National Health Service. Imagine living in Haiti and having the same experience. I cannot imagine how frightening it must be to have a sick child and not be able to take them to a doctor or hospital for help and assistance or not have the drugs available that you need.

2) That a lovely nurse can really make a difference to your hospital experience. We had a mixed experience but some of them were so warm and friendly and lovely. They are the ones that make you think that no question is too stupid and that they have all the time in the world for you and your child even if they don't. Thank you to all the lovely nurses out there!

3) That someone needs to invent something that means you don't have to attach toddlers to oxygen masks and the thing that measures your blood oxygen with wires whilst trapped in a cot. Sam hated it and we spent the whole time reattaching him to them.

4) Seeing lots of poorly children in hospital has mad me even more anxious. I obsess about breathing problems and meningitis as it is and visiting the hospital has made me worry about a million other illnesses as well.

I took this picture of Jon and Sam at the hospital on my phone. Both exhausted!

Two funny things stick in my mind from the week-end. The first is when I was holding Sam and a lady asked me his name. When I said 'Sam' she said 'oh is that short for Samantha??' Hilarious. I almost said yes because I didn't know what to say. I finally managed to say sheepishly 'um no Samuel'. She then said 'oh its a boy. I thought it was a girl with that lovely long blond hair! She was quite obviously blind given that he was wearing a blue t shirt, blue fire engine pyjama bottoms and pirate slippers at the time but maybe a trip to the hairdresser is in order!!

The other was when we were sat in the waiting room waiting to see the triage nurse. A couple with identical 10 month old twin girls came in. The nurse called one of the twins names and the mum went in to the room with the nurse only to reappear 5 seconds later muttering 'wrong one' under her breath whilst swapping the baby over for the right one with her husband. It was very funny.

Luckily I was able to get a few hours away from the hospital while Jon took over so I was able to take Izzy to the new Aquarium in Bristol which is near the hospital as she was feeling a bit left out. Its was very expensive but Izzy enjoyed it particularly when she saw someone dressed up as Nemo. She also loved the IMAX cinema and having to wear 3d glasses.

Anyway Sam seems much better now although we have to use his inhaler every 4 hours day and night for the next couple of days and then reduce it down so its going to be a long week but at least he is home. I coldn't resist posting a photo of Sam and Izzy tonight cuddling up under Izzy's new duvet after their bath. It bought a tear to my eye especially as Sam is still wearing his hospital band.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

My Play Doh rocks!

I pop in and out of the forums on Folksy now and then and came across a lovely post today about making bunting for a wedding. The idea being that lots of people each make a triangle and then they are put together to decorate the wedding party. Several people had offered to send a triangle and as one of my 2010 resolutions is to do more random acts of kindness I signed up to make one. It will take hardly anytime at all and I can't wait to see the finished results as each triangle will be unique. I know there are some very talented crafty people out there who read this blog so if you would like to take part please email Laura at this email address and she will send you a pdf pattern and more information. This is the kind of blog thing I love!

Another post that that caught my eye was one about Project Linus . This is where people can donate handmade quilts which are given to children and young people in need to keep . Their aim being "to provide a sense of security and comfort to sick and traumatised babies, children and teenagers through the provision of new home made patchwork quilts and knitted / crocheted blankets". I love this idea too and will be passing it on to my mum who makes lovely quilts. Another fab idea for us sewers to get involved in!

I am feeling rather virtuous this week as I have made play doh from scratch twice! Inspired by a recipe from this post on The Madhouse blog. It worked a treat even though I didn't have any cream of tartar. We added glitter to todays batch and it kept my 4 year old and 1 year entertained for about an hour. What a result! It literally only took a minute to make too. Check out the amazing blog for more craft ideas for children

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Fabric Porn - The final installment!

Last parcel of fabric arrived today. This one from a seller on ebay. Not the cheapest or quickest delivery but has a wide choice of fabric so worth a look.  I so love getting things in the post.

Right I need to start sewing again. Need to make lots of things to justify buying all this fabric!

My friend Debi has finally bought herself a sewing machine and the first things she made were these gorgeous lavender bags.

How cool is that fabric?? She is now making some bean bags out of the same fabric. Brilliant idea. She is very clever!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A note from my mum!

My mum has asked me to post a little letter to thank everyone who helped out with the 70 present challenge so here it is...

Hello, My name is Kate and I am Louise’s mum! I just want to thank everyone who helped to make my birthday very special by helping Louise with her challenge to get me 70 presents for my 70th birthday on Christmas Day. It was such a lovely surprise! The biscuits and chocolates have all been eaten and were delicious as was the damson jam! I use the key ring every day and have put photos of my grandchildren in the photo frames. I'm looking forward to putting all the seeds to good use in the spring and I am still looking at all the other gorgeous presents that I received  as there were just so many! To everyone who provided gifts and ideas for the challenge I send my grateful thanks. I am now looking forward to my 80th Birthday!! Kate x

Think my mum is going to be slightly disappointed when she gets slippers and talc for her 80th! I've got a feeling I've peaked present wise and that its all downhill from now on.

Talking of presents my friend Debi passed on this great present idea for children - Membership of the Nature Detectives Club run by the Woodland Trust. Its a great way of encouraging children to get outdoors and learn about wildlife, nature and the seasons. It costs £12 for annual membership and children receive a pack of stickers, posters and activity sheets to complete all connected with nature and wildlife. They are also  emailed a challenge to complete every Friday. Check out the website anyway as there are lots of free things to look at and do and lots of free activity sheets to download.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Fabric Porn (Part 2)

Another day another lovely parcel of gorgeousness. This time from Fabric Rehab


I had an email today from a lovely fellow blogger who I've known for a while that really made me think. She very thoughtfully mentioned that maybe I should be cautious about putting too much personal info in my blog particularly related to the post about my party giving venues and dates. She was absolutely right - I do need to think about the information I am putting out there. I've always had a great experience with other bloggers and people generally but its worth remembering that ANYONE can read your blog and you can unwittingly give someone quite a lot of information about yourself and your family.  I know that some other bloggers have have problems with people leaving anonymous nasty comments and if you are selling online you are also giving people access to your address. It was good to have a (very nice!) wake up call and I really appreciated it. I guess we all do have to blog as safely as we can.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Fabric Porn (Part 1)

Amazing customer service from both Seamstar and Fabric Inspirations as two lovely parcels arrived in the post today (next day delivery) beautifully wrapped containing these fabulous fabrics...

From Seamstar

I am completely in love with this fabric and am not sure I can ever bring myself to cut it up to make things!

This but in pink!

One of my favourites

Gorgeous. I so need to get motivated again though as have to make a heart for a Valentines Heart Swap organised on Folksy and I've just had an order for a personalised spotty apron so need to get off that sofa and start sewing but not before I've lusted after watched this lovely man in Brothers and Sisters!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

In denial

What do I have in common with the following people???

Did you guess?? No I'm not gorgeous, rich and successful sadly................

Its this

Yes we are all 40 this year!!! I'm not sure how it happened but in 3 months time I will be 40. I was in complete denial until recently but my friend Paul who is 40 the week before me has insisted that we have a joint party to commiserate celebrate being 40. Its booked. I hate having parties though. They stress me out. I love going to parties just not being the host and centre of attention. Thats why I'm not married. I guess that I should mark the occassion though and lets face it once you have children you don't get out much anymore so I guess its a good excuse for a knees up. Also my alcohol tolerance is shocking nowadays. I've gone from being called Keg the beer monster in my 20's (yes a real nickname!) to a complete lightweight who just rambles on about nothing after a glass of wine and I really don't do dancing unless I've drunk a LOT of wine. Anyway we've found a fab venue called the The Crypt. Its underneath St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol which is an historic 800 year old church near the docks.

Its a cafe during the week but you can hire it out for parties. Its a really interesting place, very central and full of amazing arches like this

We are pretty much allowed to do what we want with the place for the eveing so what I need from you creative people is some ideas on what we can do to make it look even more fab and also some feedback from great parties you have been to. What makes a good party?? I'm thinking free champagne personally...

Anyway to cheer myself up I've just ordered lots of new fabric. I need to get motivated again and start making things rather than just watching TV. Theres some great new fabric coming my way so more fabric porn to oogle at very soon! My motivated sewing will not be starting tomorrow night though as this is returning to our screens

My favourite show since ER finished. I love it. I also have to add Rob Lowe to my ever expanding list of crushes. He can go above Christopher Dean but below Paolo Nutini.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

I recently came across a lovely shop on folksy called Handmade from the Heart which sells gorgeous shabby chic handcrafted items made from wood. I particularly liked their beach themed items - boats and beach huts and they have inspired me to do a treasury of fab beach/seaside related items available on folksy. We have a holiday house near the sea in New Quay, West Wales which we rent out and all of these things would look fabulous in our house! If anyone ever wants to rent a very child friendly holiday house near a beautiful blue flag beach for a holiday then check out the link on the left hand side of my blog. We'll give a 10% discount to anyone booking through this blog!!

Here are my top pick of beach related gorgeousness on Folksy...

Wooden Boat by Handmade from the Heart

Lavender Beach Hut by Pants and Paper

Stained Glass and Driftwood Boat Mobile by amyorangejuice

Driftwood Sailing Boat Card by Kirsty Elson

Swooping Gull Silver Necklace by Bbel

Beach Huts Tea Cosy by Charlotte Macey Textiles

'Seaside' Bib by SewScrumptious
(Nothing wrong with a bit of shameless self promotion!)

Linen Applique Beach Hut and Bunting Cushion by Ticketty Boo

Its made me want to go on holiday!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

and the winner is....


Congratulations! A pink buggy blanket is on its way to you! Thanks to everyone who entered and blogged and tweeted. It was great to get so many lovely comments. I'm now following lots of lovely new blogs as well as getting to know some of you on Twitter so a great result all round. I think I'll have more giveaways soon as they are lots of fun so watch this space. By the way Amberlife has a lovely blog which is well worth checking out.

Remember my resolutions? Well one of them was actually talking to my other half and spending more time together so we went out last night to the cinema without children. It was great fun. We saw Sherlock Homes and despite my reservations it was fantastic (even Jude Law was good!). I am now also slightly in love with Robert Downey Jnr - he has that twinkle in his eye! Its well worth watching.