Archive for June, 2009

June 24, 2009

Did I mention that the other day we got back from a lovely morning at the swimming pool. I put Sam and Bea inside. Bea went straight to bed she was so exhausted. It’s so adorable when I take her into her room, place her into her bed and she looks at me, sticks her fingers in her mouth and closes her precious eyes. Sam was demanding ice lollipops and I blew him off. That kid would happily eat an entire freezer full of lollipops and still not be satisfied. I popped outside to grab the bags and wet clothes from the car and multitask with Bill who called as I was grabbing our kit from the boot.

Returning to the front door I was happily gabbing away to Bill until I went to open the screen door and it wouldn’t budge. Sam had locked me out.

We don’t have a key to the back door.

I couldn’t get in.

Here is where I start panicking because my baby is asleep in her room on her own, and my crazy three year has the run of the house, and I can’t get to him.

I tried knocking on the door to get Sam to answer.

Oh great. He’s locked the main door, behind the screen door, and now he’s in tears and crying because he can’t unlock it, open it and get me. I hear escalating tears and sobs from behind the shaking door as I frantically tell Bill what a pickle I am in.

Oh Sam.

I’m beginning to really freak out and start to try to prise the bug netting away from the screen door and to hell with the landlady, except I’m not making a dent and can’t get in.

In desperation I ended up giving the door a jolly good yank and many a shake. I was so never so relieved as when the metal catch gave way first and I could get to the interior door to put the key in the latch, turn it and be with my babies again.

Where’s my Sammy Woo gone?

June 24, 2009

I think Grandad would be a decent mix of jealous and scoffing right now. Jealous because Sam got to sit in a super cool red aeroplane and be fussed over by a nice lady today, and scoffing because it involved Sam getting his hair cut, and as we all know Grandad is Samson and does not like to have his thatch messed with.

Sam was beginning to disappear beneath his mop of super straight hair so with a trip to England to spruce up for, and the Summer heat beating down, it was definitely time for him to get the chop again today. As much as I loved Sam’s long couldn’t care less locks we’re heading to the beach this weekend and Bill and I felt that he’d be much more comfortable camping with less insulation on his barnet. Bea and I took him over to the children’s salon in Cotswold and remembered to bring the camera to document this time.

But you are probably thinking that the title of this post refers to the Sam I no longer recognise as a result of his barber visit. In part. But mostly I am wondering where on earth my delightful, awesome, potty trained boy to be proud of has gone. After many many months of total potty perfection he is suddenly letting me down again. I have no idea why.

I asked him before we left if he needed to use the potty, and was sternly told “No, I don’t need to use the potty Mummy.” It’s a little ten minute drive to Cotswold and we went straight into the salon. Sam headed for the train table at the back of the store while we waited for a stylist to be free. I wandered over to double check whether he needed the bathroom and was horrified to find him happily stood in a large puddle. No worries on his face at all, perfectly happy to be wading around in pee and have wet shorts and pants on!

This was a nightmare scenario for me. I’ve long since stopped carrying around any change of garments for Master Samuel. Haven’t needed any. So here we are, waiting to get Sam’s haircut and he has ruined his clothes and I have no spares. Nothing on me except…one of Bea’s spare nappies. Well okay. Nothing else for it but to strip him down, while streaming out profuse apologies to the staff about the mess, and try Bea’s nappy on for size. I was thinking it might at least act to protect his dignity long enough for us to nip next door to Marshall’s and buy some new togs as I had also planned a shopping trip and having got out of the house wasn’t too happy about going straight back again. With Bea strapped to my front I struggled to tear Sam away from his puddle and into the privacy of the bathroom where I pulled out Bea’s beautiful girly pink size small Fuzzi Bunz (thank you Bonnie!) and wrestled it onto the boy amidst cries of “I’m not a baby!”

Sorry Sam, if you are going to pee in your pants and act like a baby then I’m going to have to treat you like one!

I was so surprised and relieved when the nappy actually fastened and fit around my little boy! He looked a right ninny but that was the price he was going to have to pay (over and over again when I tell all future prospective girlfriends)!

It hasn’t just been today though. The other day when we were swimming at a friend’s community pool and he totally stunned and embarrassed me once more. I was feeding Baby Bea and he suddenly stopped splashing around merrily to tell me that he needed to go poop poop. I stopped everything and told him to get out of the pool. He did, took a few steps away from the side as he made his way to the gate and I watched in slow motion horror as dollops of poop slid out from his shorts and hit the floor.



That was fun.

We were sat at the table eating dinner this evening when Sam went to wash his hands halfway through the meal. He came back and gave me a lovely hug, except he felt a tad soggy. I checked and lo and behold … wet pants. We checked his seat cushion…sopping wet! (I give myself a big pat on the back here for getting around to covering the cushion with Bob the Builder fabric and actually cunningly lining it with waterproof sheeting!)

Grandad saw me get more unexpected soggy Sam hugs and then discover a puddle in the front room while on webcam this afternoon. I made Sam get the mop out and clean that one up himself. I’m not sure that worked out so well though as he is excited by cleaning and enjoyed being allowed to mop up!

What is going on?! Where has my potty trained child gone and when will he come back? I’m getting worried and exasperated here.

Okay, back to the hair cut. I would like Sam to have a fairly shaggy unkempt hair cut but with more shape to the back of his head. The cut he got was a little too *something* for my liking, and it’s weird that I really don’t recognise my son with his hair like that, but Bill assures me he will grow into the cut nicely.

The cut itself was also a trial and Sam required numerous lollipops and cajoling to stay in the seat. He was totally freaking out by the end and had to be held down to neaten up the last few spots. Still, beats the tantrum and tears we got for his first cut. He’s less noisy and tearful now, but bigger and harder to pin down! He still had to clutch his favourite trains tightly throughout the ordeal.


I do like it, he looks good.

Wiped out by the sun.

June 23, 2009

Another bright, sunny and tremendously hot day saw us having a lovely morning playdate at our friend Dori’s house with her two sons and lots of other children and babies running around. Mums enjoyed the easy distraction provided by offspring’s playmates and happily sat gossiping with a stern eye and wagging finger ready to spring into action at all times.

Sam became good friends with a “big fat dinosaur with big fat feet, hasn’t he?” that was motorised and stomped its way across the floor, whenever Sam would put it down. Occasionally its twin would be released from another’s clammy grasp and dinosaur battle would ensue.

Bea wriggled, crawled, rolled around, and generally had a good time being able to roam freely around the shaded screened patio. She’s such a happy little baby and always ready with a smile.

With the glorious weather threatening to melt us we felt the need to cool off and an impromptu trip to Dori’s neighbourhood pool was declared. Sam was already in his swimmies in anticipation of a hose off in the garden, but thanks to Dori who lent me a swimming costume I could go to the pool too. Hoorah! Bea slipped into her swimsuit and tried to cool down in the water but was not so keen on the idea today. She usually loves to bob around in a floatie and paddle herself across the water, but after expressing her extreme displeasure in a tremendous fit of cries preferred to enjoy a swift guzzle of milky milky followed by a sweaty nap in her stroller.


Much fun was had and the chance to cool off in the water greatly appreciated. Too much sun though has made for some very sleepy children and mummy right now and I am staving away drooping eyes and the lure of slipping into bed for a quick nap before Bill gets home. Oh, too late! I hear the front door creak.

Ed is dead. Long live Edwina.

June 21, 2009

I’ve been having problems with Ed, my laptop, on and off for a while now. He’s been slow and struggling, and intermittently refusing to charge. Even after sending him off to be looked at and being told he just needed a new battery and adaptor he continued to rampage through a handful of power supplies in a little under six months turning them into a pile of useless white bricks and driving my frustration levels up and up.

Finally a few weeks ago, just after Bill had thoughtfully given him a handsome memory upgrade, Ed croaked in a plume of smoke. Literally. I was sat at the table editing my latest html email assignment and noticed a waft of smoke underneath my nose. Completely freaked me out, especially when I realised it was emanating from my dear laptop.

RIP Ed, you have been a beloved and trusty friend for over five years, and you will be sorely missed.

It is imperative that I have a work horse with me on my impending England trip (yay!) because I will have to remotely do some freelance work while holidaying, so Bill and I visited the Apple Store this afternoon and returned home hugging Edwina. I am now the proud owner of a feisty new 13″ MacBook Pro and I cannot tell you how wonderful she is. She is superb and makes me realise just how poorly my beloveEd original laptop had become.

Edwina is already working hard and paying for her keep. I was just able to sit comfortably in bed and crack out my latest freelance project with ease. Couldn’t have done that with Ed.

I will no longer have to fight a petulant Samuel for control of the iMac to talk to Nanna and Grandad, check mail or entertain my social networking compulsion while he is engrossed in trying to watch his “animuls” (Madagascar) or “race cars” (Roary the Racing Car) or “robots” (Wall-E).

My knees and back and general grumpiness levels also thank Edwina as they won’t have to endure being crouched down on the hardwood floor and bent over the low filing cabinets in the front room trying to sneak a catch up with the outside world while fending off my small boy with no sense of personal space.

Welcome to Applegate Edwina.

What to do today?

June 19, 2009

I asked Sam what he wants to do today. Without any moment for consideration he said “go to the beach, see sea-camels!” “We can’t go to the beach today, but we’re planning on taking you to the coast next weekend and go camping. We can bring your bucket and spade and go to the beach then.”

“NO” Sam said. I go on aeroplane, I go on train, I see Nanna and Grandad and I go to the beach today!”

Patience Sam.

I didn’t blink about the sea camels. I asked him yesterday morning if he had slept well, and did he have any fun dreams? “What did you think about when you were sleeping last night?” He’d replied “sea camels”.

“A sea camel in the water. Goes splash. Bagpuss likes the sea camel. Bagpuss and sea camel good friends.”

Well, okay then.

He’s now dressed in his swimmies, pulled a filing cabinet out of the cupboard and declared. “Going to the office now, got to go to work!”

Nine Months

June 12, 2009

A very happy nine months old to Baby Bea today! She marked the occasion in perfect style by making her Daddy melt. She was sat on the floor in the front room playing, and when she saw him walk into the room she excitedly lifted both her arms into the air and requested to be lifted up and cuddled. First time she’d done that! I remember the first time Sam did that to me, he was in his cot and outstretched his arms, demanding me to take him up and away. It’s an absolutely amazing feeling when your kids are suddenly no longer passively being the objects of affection but begin to reciprocate and actually request cuddles, from you, without tears!


Scratch. Scratch. Clatter clunk clatter…

June 10, 2009

… swish. Gurgle. Splash.

I walked into the room to see that Sam has dragged a chair from the dining room into the kitchen and is standing on it at the sink.

“What are you doing Sam?”

“I’m cooking!”

I come closer.

“What are you cooking?”

“I’m cooking you a coffee Mummy!”

“Oh, thanks Sam!”

As I reach him I realise that he has washed up a dirty mug, filled it with ground coffee (and covered the counter in grinds in the process) and is trying to work the espresso machine. The big gallon jug of milk is out of the fridge and is at his side.

He turns to me and hands me the unappetising mug and gives me a hug. “Here you go Mummy, here’s your coffee!” He gives me a big smile. Putting the cup aside I give him a big hug and lift him down from the chair to the floor. Sam’s top is a soggy mess of water, coffee and grime but I hold him tight.

“Thank you Sam.”

He smiles and runs off into the front room, on to his next mission – get the play doh out!

I turn back to the kitchen and quietly start to clean up.

On the windowsill…

June 10, 2009

…in the front room as I was dusting I spotted a curiosity of tiny black specks lined up like soldiers in a row. Maybe not really specks, as these were longer in length than a speck seems to imply, tiny black bent sticks slightly thicker than a hair and with more substance than mere dust. I took a closer look and found what first appeared to be a shriveled currant a little further down the sill. My hand and dustcloth hovered then retracted as I realised I was looking at the carefully laid out remains of a legless fly.

Spinach Mushroom Filo Parcels

June 3, 2009

This is a stonking recipe. Tried my hand at it last night and it was delicious. Thumbs up.

600g washed fresh or frozen spinach
Safflower oil
200g each: sliced mushrooms, feta cheese
1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
Maldon salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 sheets filo pastry
25g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Thaw the spinach. Squeeze out the moisture.

Heat a little oil in a saucepan, add the mushrooms and sauté. Break the feta into a bowl and add the spinach and mushrooms. Add the nutmeg and seasonings and mix to combine.

Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions.

Brush a sheet of filo with butter. Place a portion of spinach mixture in the centre of the filo, about a third up from one end. Fold this end over the mixture, then fold in both the sides. Roll up to form a parcel. Continue the process with the remaining mixture.

Place the parcels on an oven tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Note: If using fresh spinach, cut the stems off, place spinach in a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to stand for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again, gently squeeze out the excess water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Makes 8 Parcels

from meadowmushrooms

Daddy Daycare

June 3, 2009


At Aunt Mary’s, Mother’s Day 2009.