Tuesday, 5 June 2018


We finely made to Wisley, we had a lovely time, that lovely I want to go again. M had my camera and she had a lovely time taking photos, I was on crutches, easiest way for me to manage hip pain and walk, so M became our photographer for the day. I do love coming home and loading up the photos she has taken, as you really get to see what she likes. 

The fruit gardens are amazing, I do love a walkway with the fruit trees, trained over it in an arch, I dream of having a garden big enough to do something similar in, a girls got to have her dreams.

The girls loved the herb gardens, so many different varieties to look at and smell, that moment where you realise you never knew there were so many different varieties of mint and sage!

The glasses houses had an amazing array of cacti.

The stunning bird of paradise in flower.

Finished L's top, she is really pleased with it, the cotton yarn was so lovely to knit with, hoping it washes and wears well, as I've not used this brand of yarn before.

We have read the first part of Sassafras Zoology and have spent time reading and learning about lions and as our Atlas of Animal Adventures had a lovely two page spread on the wildebeest, in Kenya, we added them into our animal studies.  We've watched a variety of you tube videos on the wildebeest migration, lions and cheetahs and some lovely videos of the Oloip Maasi dancers, I've put all the links at the bottom of this post as there are a rather a lot! Art we've had the chalk pastels out to draw some lions, while listening to Putumayo Kids African Playground

We had looked at the beaded necklaces of the Pokot people and used paper plates to sort of recreate them.

Savanna sunset, using chalk pastels and then created the animals using stencils and black paint.

Max's new hobby is watching the washing machine, he sits there with his head going round and round as the machine spins, I am amazed he doesn't seem to get dizzy! When he's not watching the washing machine, he has discovered a lovely place in the sun to curl up in.

You have got to just love the kitten ability to just fall asleep where ever you are, even in mid play!

You Tube Links
 Wildebeest migration

Books Used
Destination Detectives Kenya a lovely book covering some of the places in Kenya, lots of photos
A Kite's Flight a kite's journey over Africa seeing some of the different landmarks
A World Full of Animal Stories used the story from Kenya

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Sewing Again!

Max is turning out to be a bit of climber to say the least, he keeps trying to climb up the edge of the door, chairs and is regularly found to be doing kitten pull ups on the back of our wooden chairs, before precariously perching on the top of them! He has moments of being complete madness, chasing everything and anything and then crashing out. There are those moments when he crashes out, where you do a double take and like the new Mum with the baby you carefully watch to see if they are still breathing! Photo below is one of sleeping poses that made me wonder, wait and watch to see if he is still breathing, then wishing that I could be that relaxed :)

Think everyone is enjoying watching him play and the odd positions he ends up to sleep in, though could do without the pouncing on feet.

L and I read Oscar and The Cricket, a story all about pulling, pushing and moving, great way to introduce the idea of friction causing objects to slow, as well as the obvious movement. I do love the Oscar stories, they are a lovely way to introduce different science concepts, with plenty of scope to expand if required. So following on from the story, thought we would look at movement in a different way, this time marble painting, see how we can get the marble to move and can you get it to go in a circle, which we found rather tricky!

Now I have been looking at Sassafras Science, as you know L loves animals and stories and the first book in the series does both. But I have been trying to resist the temptation to buy more books, that was until I saw this post on Let Them Be Small, Sarah has done a nice video on how she uses it, which was too tempting. So now have the book, we have read and enjoyed the first chapter, I bought the colouring pages to go with it, so L colours as I read, really looking froward to how this could work. The story is about the adventures of Blaine and Tracey as they explore different habitats around the world and some of the animals you find there. I am hoping to bring in some geography and cultural studies of the countries we visit in the stories.

To go with the first chapter, as an intro to different habitats, animal kingdoms and food chains, we are reading our way through :-

Now I finally have the sewing machine out again, haven't done any dressmaking since last year and I think that was back in the summer, probably due to GCSE studying and revising with M, sewing always takes more planning than picking up some knitting. We are making another Geranium Dress, I was planning on making the top for L but she has asked for the dress, just had enough fabric to make a dress. Not actually got round to sewing yet but fabric has been cut out, so heading in the right direction!

Finished sewing up the little bambino cardigan, the bambino wool is lovely, its an acrylic but feels more like a natural yarn, like a cotton or bamboo, really nice to knit with.

Went back to knitting some of L's top, just need to make the little sleeves, the stylecraft cotton yarn is great and she can't wait to wear it!

M has had 2 trial days at college trying out animal care, she is now enrolled, it is only one day week and can start now. The two trial days hubby was of so was able to take her, this week, we will have to drop her in town and for her to get the coach there and back, it makes for a very long day for her, leaving home at 7am and probably won't be home till 6pm due to were the college is situated. Hoping she manages the tiredness and travel, tiredness always makes her sensory processing worse, In her group we think there are only 8 and talking to staff and parents they are all on the autistic spectrum, M can't get over how quiet, calm and helpful the staff are compared to when she tried year 7 at secondary school which was a bit of a disaster to say the least! So this is big move for her and hoping she carries on loving it, least it has taken her mind somewhat of the looming GCSE maths exam, first one this Thursday!

After much decision making O has chosen which uni he wants to go to in September, he will be studying biological science, student finance forms have been filled in, now awaiting to see how much he will be awarded. Then it will be down to some budgeting and sorting out, it is an exciting time for him, least one thing, I know he is a capable cooking and can meal prep for a week, though not sure how much fridge space he will have in shared accommodation!

Now I didn't mention this the other week, for many reason, L had another food challenge booked, after the failing at first mouthful the other year on the soya one. Then developing more allergies after it, I've had very mixed feelings running up to this one to say the least. So Thursday saw us leaving home at 6.15am to be at Southampton hospital for 8am for a peanut challenge.....throughout the morning she kept doing the odd random hive or two and some itching but the nurses were sure this was just environmental reactions. Wish she hadn't done the odd hives, as I was dreading the 48 hours later when we had to try her again at home, so she started of with just a couple of peanuts to eat, she was fine, so 3 hours later she tried some peanut butter on celery, which she loved, she is now demanding more. Give me another couple of days of this and I might finally relax but it looks like L has one less allergy!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Introducing Max

There might not be any more human babies here at the moment but we have new fur baby called Max (named by L). At the moment he is at the lets pounce on everything stage, especially toes, so the girls have taken to wearing socks. He isn't causing any damage when pouncing on their toes but it is a bit unnerving so can see why they prefer to wear socks. So knitting is done while Max sleeps or upstairs as the movement of the knitting needle is causing too much interesting for a such a little kitten. He is too little to manage the stairs yet, though he is trying but hindered by no carpet just varnished wood, so a bit slippery and no fabric to get a hold of.

Maybe not the best photo but just loved the way he crashed out, absolutely exhausted after he spent an afternoon playing with visiting friends.

Now those that know L well, will know spending time with her is always fun, she has a great imagination and says what she feels. Today she finished her maths and announced "I've finished my sums Mum and marked them all so you don't have too." I managed a thank you, while trying not to giggle, now working out how to reply to that! Yes she does have a 98% accuracy rate but marking your own work...... A friend did point out that you have to just love her confidence in her own ability :) This followed on from a conversation at the weekend, well it was more of statement form L, having just tidied and cleaned the breakfast bar, L came in cheering and said "Yay that means we are doing science experiments." Honestly I do tidy and clean my breakfast bar daily not just when I am doing science experiments on it. But it does say a lot for L's interests, books, nature and science experiments. So not wanting to disappoint her, I found  out some iron filings, a piece of cardboard and different shaped magnets. Sprinkled the iron filings on the cardboard and used the magnets to draw pictures, I also got her to hold the different types of magnets we had under the cardboard to see the changing in patterns, we used a horseshoe, ring and block magnet.

We've also had more fun exploring motion, ramp building and seeing how far the car went, the speed it went etc depending on how steep the ramp was.

Ok the other part of this experiment was seeing whether you could get the car past the kitten or not!

Still using the same balloon from lasts weeks experiment, I got M and L to build a lego vehicle that could be powered by a balloon. At this stage Max had worn himself out chasing cars and was fast asleep, thankfully as pretty sure kittens and balloons are not a good mix!

Balloon is beginning to loose its elasticity but we still managed to create a hoover craft, using a CD, the push down top of a water bottle and a balloon. Using a glue gun to glue the bottle top to the CD, then carefully stretching the balloon over it, if you get it right, you can blow the balloon up, push the stopper closed, set it down and then open it up and watch it hoover across the table.

 Making the most of the sunshine, finally got up the allotment and we planted out onions and lots of carrot seeds, Admired the apple blossom

 and blueberry flowers.

The redcurrants have lots of fruit on them, so hoping for a good crop this year.

L busy planting out.

We then got very sidetracked as we discovered two slow worms, they were both out on the grass path for ages but was so busy watching them, I didn't think about taking a photo, you can just spot this ones head poking out. We then uncovered another patch and discovered an ants nest, they had made a loads of tunnels just under the matting, so you could see them really clearly, along with their eggs and larva, so L and I spent time watching the ants collect up their young and move them to safer home.

 Finished making another very pink baby cardi this wool has a sparkle running through it, not that I could get the camera to pick it up but have a happy friend so that is what matters.

 Now this little cardi sirdar 1816 is a real favourite of mine, there's very little sewing up as you knit the fronts and backs all in one and the join the sleeves in, so only need to sew the under arm and sleeve seam. The only downside is the amount of stitches needed to cast on to start with.

On a health front, I an an optician appointments the other Friday, they were a bit concerned and referred me to the hospital to have a thorough check out of the back of the eye, they use drops to do this, eye is fine and a huge sigh of relief from me. Fast forward a few hours later, I started to feel very itchy,flushed skin and hives, so took some antihistamines but they didn't seem to stop it. So called out of hours and as I am chatting to them started to feel breathless and voice was starting to become croaky, so they phoned an ambulance which was with me within minutes. Spent several hours in A&E and discovered the major problem with having an allergy to steroids and the treatment of allergic reactions, steroids are normally used, plus the fact I have several medicines I react to so they don't like to give you anything, just in case, which is good in one way but not when you are feeling very nauseous at this stage. Spent the next few days feeling a little bit emotional but will say M was amazing as she was with me at this stage, even though she said later she was really shocked how swollen my neck was, she kept her head, got the kitten out the way and watched out for the ambulance, let the crew in and got her Dad.