09 10


Thursday, 21 March 2013

The post about the cat spending a penny (or, rather, £89) and other things

Got a cup of tea ready? This is a rambling on for ages about not much in particular kind of post. Ready?

Possibly the most expensive wee ever?
Last Friday morning, the cat developed a strange new party trick. Peeing in the bathroom sink. Nice.

And, as there seemed to be traces of blood there, too, I got on the phone to the vet.

"Can you bring in a sample, please?"

"Really?!", I say (my tone of voice probably indicating that what I am actually thinking is "Are you insane?").

After a ten minute consultation, including a couple of jabs, a brave inspection of the cat's teeth, the vet sent me on my way with some medicine for her and a urine testing kit so I could return with a sample as requested. Oh, that'll be £89, thanks.

If ever I needed confirmation that the cat has well and truly slid down the pecking order in our affections with each child that has entered the house, this recent experience has done just that. Not her fault, but the whole experience made me thoroughly grumpy at the time. Particularly shutting her in the bathroom to wait for her to perform in the litter tray onto her (very expensive) non-absorbent litter granules so I could then be gassed by the stench before diligently sucking up a sample using the dropper thing. As our feline friend normally does all her business outside of the house, I was until that point happily ignorant of quite how much cat wee stinks.

Thankfully, she seems not to notice the drugs I have been lacing her food with, and is back to her normal self. Fingers crossed she doesn't live up to predictions and have a recurring water works problem, or else I will be seriously grumpy.

In other news, my current courses are going along really nicely. Monday nights are all about making little gifts for children (this week it was simple gathered skirts in funky prints with camper vans all over them) and Wednesday nights are all about cushions and big bags in some pretty Cath Kidston fabrics.

Much as I love being able to spend a couple of evenings a week sharing my passion for sewing with others, there is a downside. It often introduces me to even more fabric temptation, as I coo over the goodies the ladies turn up with for making their projects.

For instance, just a week ago, I was unaware of this beautiful specimen (Mrs Bishop, you have a lot to answer for!). After several days of pondering, and dreaming (yes, I do sometimes dream about fabric - doesn't everyone?) of Roman blinds for my new bedroom made with it, I caved, and a parcel has just arrived. The money spent was less than that on the cat and will (I imagine) provide me with a lot more pleasure in years to come as I sit in bed and drink my morning cup of tea whilst enjoying the sunshine streaming through the windows (still dreaming).

As I have done no sewing of my own this week - beyond the proud act of sewing some swimming badges onto towels for my three little girls (yes, even the littlest one who screamed her way through the first half term of her lessons, needing to be peeled off me and dropped into the pool has earned a badge) - here are some pictures to chart what I have been up to.

Monday morning baking BEFORE SCHOOL.

Partly due to necessity of what to put in packed lunches after a busy weekend when you are due to be doing the supermarket shop later that morning...

...it turns out these last minute `Roly Poly Pizzas' as I have called them are "the most delicious thing ever".

If I ever bother to write this up as a Food Top Trumps contender, I think this could be a winner. Nothing fancy that I didn't already have in the cupboard, and made in between mouthfuls of my bowl of Weetabix, this has been a huge hit.

Perfectly runny boiled eggs for lunch, with sparkly Marmite soldiers. Need I say more?

Chocolate cake making with the littlest girl hovering, ready to enjoy the spatula licking pleasure alone as her sisters are at school.

My gamble over winging it without greaseproof paper failed miserably. Readers, please note, butter is not enough to prevent Devil's Food Cake sticking horribly to the bottom of the tins and refusing to come out in one piece.

Much butter icing was needed to cement the crumbs together.

Still, I am taking this as a positive. In times gone by, my inner perfectionist would not have allowed this cake to see the light of day - let alone be offered up to friends coming round for a cuppa. Now, I am content with the pretty sparkly butterflies on top and the hope that the cake will probably taste good anyway.

Not since baking with my Nan has a cake ever left the tin in so many pieces. Baking was not her forte, but she still had a go whenever she was looking after me, albeit with fairy cake kits where you just needed to add milk and an egg and some nice rice paper decorations at the end (always the best bit).

Which brings me on to my next nice thing about the week. Games!

Bedford locals - the bottom game was £1 from the brilliant Emmaus Village Carlton and has all the bits. Cheap toys and a scrumptious cafe that doesn't break the bank either. Get. Yourselves. Down. There. 
My Nan had a cupboard full of games like this, and was always willing to spend several hours playing them with me.

I would love my little girls to enjoy playing these games too - not least because of how much I enjoyed them, but, also, because I can see this as paying off for me in terms of the potential to provide them with something fun to do without too much involvement from me in the times when I am a bit preoccupied with a house move and a new baby on the way.

Connect 4 has gone down well with the girls. They seem to get it. Although quite a bit of coaxing has been needed to stop them each in turn throwing a strop when they lose.

"The next person who loses graciously and says `well done' to their opponent will get a house point," I said. Great. Two smooth rounds of Connect 4 followed, each ending with the middle girl angelically congratulating her big sister. Then came the third round, and the biggest girl pausing as she was about to win again, and turning to me. "But I really want a house point," she said.

Hmm. Good point. I am not exactly sending the right message here, I thought. Okay, if you can all play the next few rounds without me needing to intervene, you all get a house point. Bingo. Worked a treat. Not sure where the fine line between bribery and rewards for good behaviour is, but I am happy with that. Maybe in another universe somewhere there exist similar children who can play games nicely without such bribes or fights, but house points seem to be working for now.

And, keen as I am to find ways to get them picking their stuff up off the floor (as, quite frankly I have had enough of attempting to reach down to do it with a big baby tummy in the way), I am giving out house points like they are, well, very cheap little sticky dots that come in packs of 1000 to be stuck onto their charts.

Small children don't get economics. They don't understand that it is no different for everyone to get three points for completing the tidying up or to just get one. But this week I have realised they whirr into action really quickly when they think they are getting three. So I offer them three. It has made a nice change from being grumpy Mummy threatening them with The Bag of Doom for all toys still on the floor at the end of the day.

We finally finished the pigs!

It took a lot of self control to not step in and assist with the painting process. Especially when the ears on the littlest girl's pig just kept getting bigger and bigger.

But aren't they lovely? I think the sight of these bright pink pigs on our windowsill is a lovely one. (Still not rushing to repeat the experience of paper mache with three small children, though.)

Sun flower update: Day 8 and we have the first signs of life!

And, thank goodness, there are (just) signs of life on all three of the pots planted by the girls on the same day. And everyone who knows anything about small children will know how important that is.

Bye for now!

1 comment: