A Walk In The Park

I feel under pressure…today is the first Monday that PSB had been at home with me as opposed to being in crèche. As I’ve now decided to put all of my eggs into one basket, ditch the 9-5 and concentrate solely on my business, PSB is no longer going to crèche. This is TEMPORARY…and breathe a long sigh of relief. I have a few weeks in before he starts in the local Cylch Meithrin and I feel as though I need to provide him with the same stimulating experiences at home with me as he would have in crèche. In short, it’s all about enriching his life and all I need to do is provide a substitute for the paper plate decorating, pancake cooking, mud pie making, crazy foam spreading and full scale puppet showing that he’s now used to. Simple.

So this is what we did today:

  • Dropped PFB at school
  • Played in the park
  • Fed the ducks
  • Bought some crafty supplies
  • Modelled clay animals
  • Cleaned the conservatory windows (well, he seemed to be enjoying himself, so I ran with it)
  • Went for a bike ride to collect PFB from school

image (6) image (7) image (8) image (9) image (10) image (11) image (12)

Ok, so it might not be on the same “fun scale” as crèche, but I think he’s had quite a fulfilling day.

So around the enriching of PSB’s life, I have set myself a list of challenges to complete this week. Here are the 5 thing I need (or want) to do before midnight on Friday.

1. Start (and finish) this week’s orders

There’s been a rush of orders over the last week or so at Calonogi HQ. Not that I’m complaining, far from it, it’s great, so a big thanks to any customers who may be reading. Now this may well be a touch of OCD breaking through, but I don’t like to have orders from one week that roll over to the next; in other words, if I start it, I must finish it by Friday afternoon. This sometimes causes issues. Friday evenings can be quite tense. I sometimes don’t speak to anyone for an entire evening whilst I manically sew that final cushion or string of bunting. My sewing machine is often on the fastest possible setting, the vibration of which is taking its toll on the kitchen units…how long exactly is a kitchen meant to last for without falling apart? Note to self: must check whether sewing machine vibration is listed as viable wear and tear by the insurance company.

2. Update my website

My website, www.calonogi.co.uk, whilst looking fantastic thanks to my amazing web designer, needs a bit of an overhaul. I have a dropbox full (is that the correct terminology?) of new product images from the very talented GPhotography awaiting upload to the website. So this week, my mission is to write the product descriptions for each new product and perhaps also redesign the shop layout to make it a bit more “co-ordinated”. I’m going to think of a few product categories to group the items for a more “streamlined” look. Note to readers: if any of the five tasks is going to be shelved, it’s this one as now that I’ve written it, it doesn’t sound like a particularly fun thing to do!

image (15)

3. Have a toy clear out

We’re being taken over…not by an alien species intent on conducting some sort of experimentation with human DNA, but by various types of plastic playthings. Even with the pre-Christmas toy cull, the house feels as though it’s about to burst at the seams and PFB celebrating his birthday mid-January hasn’t helped matters…but with PSB’s birthday looming in March, something’s got to be done about this situation, before we have to seek alternative accommodation and start demanding rent from Buzz Lightyear , Optimus Prime and Fireman Sam.

image (5) image (4)

4. Have a clothes clear out

Do odd socks breed? I’ve come to the conclusion that in this house, they most definitely do. Somewhere in the process from removing socks, putting them in the washing basket, transferring them to the washing machine, then tumble dryer, and clean laundry basket, socks mysteriously vanish, never to be seen again. I’ve tried retracing my steps, I’ve emptied entire drawers,  I’ve even stuck my head inside the washing machine drum in the hope of finding a secret hiding place only for socks. But alas, I never succeed in finding any lonely item of hosiery. So I now have to tackle the single sock situation…no more keeping them “just in case” I come across its partner because quite frankly, I never do. And this cull isn’t going to just stop at the sock situation, oh no, these wardrobes have no idea what’s in store for them…

image (3)

5. Find myself a suitable outfit for a day out with the girls

Woohoo! Girls day out! So it’s a case of “Ladies First” this Saturday as the men and children are being left at home as we head out to our nation’s capital for birthday celebrations. I never believed people who told me that my social life would never be the same again after children arrived. Well, you don’t do you? You completely and totally believe that the new little bundle of joy will just be a fulfilling addition to the family and will not in any shape or form compromise your current lifestyle. Wrong. They do. Massively. I have made a vow to myself that I will never, ever, bestow on parents-to-be the warnings that were imparted on my pregnant self that “my life will never be the same again” by well meaning already-parents. Is this because I don’t want to burst that perfect bubble of delusion that encompasses parents to be? Not likely: it’s because it’s completely pointless and I have better things to do with my precious time. Seriously though, a day out with the lovely ladies sipping cocktails in Cardiff Bay is well overdue and I am mightily looking forward to it. BUT…what am I going to wear? It’s not a “day” thing or an “evening” thing it’s a kind of “go out as early as we can to make the most of it and see how long we can last before we admit defeat” so it’s difficult to choose suitable attire. And there lies the task in hand…I’m on a mission to find an outfit, let the web browsing commence.

So there we go, I shall be reporting back on Friday, hopefully with a tick against all of the above.

Over and out…

Never a Dull Moment…

Wow! What a day! To say its been, um, ‘fulfilling’ is quite the understatement. It’s been non-stop taking, doing, starting, finishing, running, talking and organising…hence starting to write this post at twenty past nine at night. It was an early start to get PSB (perfect second born) up, dressed and ready for crèche (no mean feat when you have a tired, moody nearly two year old on you hands). So after much disapproval and disdain from PSB, he was duly dispatched to the lovely ladies who make it their mission to make sure that he and the other little bundles of fun, have an enriching and action packed day…lucky them. The upshot of this…early bedtime!
 
This week of course is half term, which means that I have PFB (perfect first born) on my hands for the entire week. Now, any other week, this wouldn’t be a problem, but this week happens to be one of the busiest weeks for my business, Calonogi, that I’ve ever had. Add to that the need to make 60 cupcakes for PSB to take into crèche tomorrow and the two school projects that require some elaborate 3d creation on the theme of ‘environmental patterns’ (?) and its a pretty manic week. So this morning, following the deportation of PSB, the cupcake production line began.
owls2
I’m the first to admit that I’m not ‘tidy’ when it comes to cooking…or crafting come to think of it. As hard as I try to keep things clean and tidy as I go along, the kitchen always resembles a battlefield when I’ve finally finished baking and the entire room has quite a heavy white covering from the flour and icing sugar. At times, it actually feels like I’m walking through a snowstorm the kitchen is so thick with icing sugar dust…all adds to the fun though. Today however, amongst the utter devastation was PFB on the laptop giving me a running commentary of the Ninja Turtles game that he was playing. He just didn’t seem to understand that it wasn’t feasible for me to take even a passing interest in Raphael and Leonardo having a pizza hurling battle with Shredder. Did my obvious inability to interact with PFB’s incessant description of the pizza assault have any effect on his verbal diarrhoea? Of course not and quite frankly, he nearly drove me insane. I do, however, now know the ins and outs of the lives of four crime fighting reptiles…every day’s a school day! 
 
So here are the spoils of this morning’s efforts…I’m really pleased with my little owlet cupcakes as it goes!
Owls
Moving swiftly from baking to crafting, the next task on the list was to get a few orders ready for my lovely customers. This was altogether a far more relaxed hour or so as PFB had been cunningly amused with a box of crafting supplies…the fact that I’m still scraping gold glitter glue off the breakfast bar is by the by…he was quiet for an hour and I have some beautiful lollipop stick puppets to show for it (the one that is supposed to be me has a pink head).
order2 order
The main reason for this week being so ridiculously busy is an amazing commission that I’ve been asked to do as a present for the husband of the ‘commisisoner’ for want of a better word. Sounds great you may say, and indeed it is…problem is that it’s a huge piece of work and it needs to be with my customer by Saturday…no pressure there then. It’s a lot of fiddly, intricate work and of course, me being me, I can’t do this without creating carnage. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go…my kitchen worktop!
commission
Before I knew it, it was time to collect PSB from the happiest place on earth aka crèche, with PFB also in tow. Cue 10 minute battle with PFB over getting his shoes and jumper on with sustained threats of making him leave the house shoeless and cold. And then ensued the 30 minute drive, with numerous pleas for PFB to have a ‘five minute talking break.’ So we reach crèche, collect PSB, get them both back in the car and then I have to deal with the drive home with one child incessantly talking about nothing, but making it sound extremely important and the other child singing ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’ with constant interruptions to point out every bus, lorry and emergency service vehicle he sees on the way…I take solace in the fact that when I look at the car in the next lane, that that parent is probably having to deal with exactly the same thing (please no-one comment below that this isn’t the case, I will be irreparably crushed and will have to sit in a dark room for a lengthy period of time).
 
Then of course is the usual feeding and bathing, snatching time here and there to do a bit more work on that commissioned piece. And then I look at the clock and its that absolutely fabulous time of evening…bed time. Up we go for a story before sleep time, the choice of book tonight being David Walliams’ ‘Ratburger’ throughout the four chapters of which, PSB read his own incomprehensible nearly-two-yearold babbled version of the text, periodically pointing at words as though he’s actually reading them…PFB was not impressed. And then the amazing happened…as I reached the final few paragraphs of the fourth chapter, I looked to my right and PSB was contentedly snoring on my shoulder,  mouth wide open, soaking my shirt with his dribble (I have been told that he takes after me when it comes to his sleep traits) and to my left, PFB arms and legs wrapped around me in his usual vice like grip, fast asleep.
 
So following a quick meal, here I am, writing this post for your reading pleasure…and after an hour of writing, deleting, editing and a panic moment when my iPad ran out of charge and I thought I’d lost the whole thing, here it is, hope you’ve enjoyed it.
 
Over and out…