Monday, 30 June 2014

Cross Monday Week 15

Slow progress this week.  My mind is being made mush by marking GCSE papers and with a huge lack of anything to watch on the telly there's not been a lot of stitching time.  Still, I'm pleased with how its looking, and I think leaving the thread attached is working too.  It would be less of a mess if I hadn't started in the middle, then restarted at the left though!  I'm hoping to get my marking done this week which means there won't be much progress next week either!

Friday, 27 June 2014

She Speaks!

I stopped counting the words Little Owl could say a long time ago, but her words and phrases were still limited.  The words she had were clear, but she wouldn't repeat words being said to her.

On of the cutest phrases Little Owl was saying just after she turned 2 was "yes please mummy!"

Would you like some milk?

Yes Please Mummy!

Shall we go to the swings

Yes Please Mummy!

Let me put your shoes on

Yes Please Mummy!

Can mummy have some of  your icecream?

Yes Please Mummy!

It was unbelievably cute, and she would happily say this in front of strangers making every one smile.

I didn't think it could get any better, but then about two weeks ago Little Owl learnt to say:

"Thank You Mummy"

This was even better as she was no longer saying this as a response to a question but totally of her own will, and each time my heart would melt a little bit more

I'm just going to empty your potty

Thank You Mummy

But this last week, all the words have been coming! Its not a new word every day, more like a new word every hour!

Most are clear, others need some effort to work out, "Tomber" is apparently cucumber!

And then come the songs...

For a while I have been encouraging Little Owl to finish the words on familiar songs, for example Twinkle Twinkle Little ____.

Then came

"Row Row Your boat"

No other words to that one but every now and then she will follow it for a scream for the crocodile!

In the back of the car on the way to Holland we heard "wash your face" repeatedly until it was suddenly finished with "all day long".

I'm really enjoying this stage of development, seeing a little of what thoughts are going through Little Owl's head, her imagination coming out.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Owlfit of the Week

 Little Owl does like a hat... or two!

Just before we put the winter hats away for the summer, Little Owl had a play!

Her liking for hats is bordering on an obsession!  It is rare for Little Owl to be seen out without one.  It has been suggested on more than one occasion that she may become a milliner in later life! Now you might say that age 2 is too young to make predictions like that, but if she does, she would be following in the footsteps of her Great-Great-Grandmother who was a milliner with a shop in Lambeth.

Little Owl would love this hat!

The Little Life of Ickle Pickle
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Monday, 23 June 2014

Cross Mondays Week #14

I'm really pleased with the amount of stitching I have managed this week!  Not only does the world cup continue (apparently England being out just means we are embracing our Dutch heritage), but I have started exam marking for the GCSEs, which I'm having to fit round Papa Owl being home from work.

However, I did have to go to London for an appointment on Tuesday, and Little Owl stayed at home with her Grandparents, giving me an hour and a half stitching time each way!

I am trying out something new in this section too... when I have finished with a thread, if I am going to need it again soon, I am leaving it attached ready to pick up.  I usually either count the stitches on to continue with the thread or tie it off and start again when I need it.  This may save me loads of time... or it may result in a complete confusing tangled mess... tune in next week to see where I'm at!

In 5 years time...

We've just committed to a 5 year deal on our mortgage.

5 years

It doesn't seem that long...

And yet...

In 5 years time we'll be nearly a third of our way through paying off our mortgage! We've owned our house now for 3 years, and I must admit at the time 25 years on a mortgage felt like forever, but those 3 years have gone quick as I'm sure the next 5 will too. Paying off a third will certainly feel less pressured.

In 5 years time we'll have made lots of progress with out house, hopefully.  A new roof is planned for late summer.  The dining room and green room are current work-in-progress.  I'd really hope that we will have a new bathroom by then too.

In 5 years time, I might have a proper job!  Or not.  I've enjoyed the flexibility of doing supply, but I've been lucky all year of having long term placements.  But this month I have started doing day to day supply, and that's a little more stressful, getting up and ready for work in the morning but not actually knowing you have any.

In 5 years time, Little Owl will be at school.  Wearing a little uniform, going every day.  So many decision to make about going to school...

In 5 years time we might have another small owl in our nest or possibly two?! Who knows, but by then we'll have an idea of how big a family we are to become.

How exciting!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Little Owl 2nd Birthday Quiz

I spotted the birthday quiz on Dancing with Dirty Feet and thought it was great.  The idea being that each year on their birthday, you ask your children the same set of questions, while your children grow and change, the questions remain the same.

As Little Owl is, well, little, I have helped her out with some of the questions.

How old are you? 2
What is your favourite colour?  Mummy: no idea!
What is your favourite animal? Bubby Cats!
What is your favourite book? One Mole Digging a Hole
What is your favourites t.v. show? Mummy: anything on CBeebies really.  Favourites include Raa Raa, Granny Murray, Pingu and of course Mr Tumble!
What is your favourite movie? Mummy: we tried a movie once, she didn't have the staying power.  I think it was Nemo, I'll leave it a few months and try again.
What is your favourite song? Anything with actions that Mummy and Daddy join in on!
What is your favourite food? Peas!  Mummy: meat, fruit and most veg are popular too!
What is your favourite drink? Milk!
What is your favourite breakfast food? Hagelslag Mummy: we do try to encourage this to be on toast.  Little Owl has also made up her own sign for hagelslag too which is very similar to the sign for sand.
What is your favourite snack?  Biscuits!
What is your favourite outfit? Mummy: Little Owl has many lovely outfits but her Frugi skirt is perhaps one of my favourites.
What is your favourite game? Anything that makes people laugh
Who is your best friend?  Woo Mummy: Little Owl loves her cousin Woowoo who is 4.
What is your favourite thing to do? Mummy: sing, play with people, forward rolls
What is your favourite thing to do outside? Mummy: go on the slide
What was your favourite holiday? Mummy: Has to be India right?
What do you take to bed with you at night? Milk.  Sometimes a toy, maybe Kitty or Zed bunny.
Where is your favourite place to go? Grandma and Grandmadad's house
What is your favourite restaurant? Mummy: Eat@ThePark, Eat@TheStade and the De La Warr are places we frequent during the day.  Eatos, and all you can eat Chinese is good for the evenings as Little Owl can pick at what she wants.
Where would you like to go on holidays?  Mummy: I have a VERY long list, but I don't think Little Owl minds as long as she is with Daddy and I
What clubs or activities do you go to? Swimming! Mummy: Little Owl swims every Monday morning and I get to sit on the side.  We've just stopped baby signing because, well, Little Owl isn't a baby any more and has a pretty good grasp of words.  We're on the look out for Toddler groups.
What makes you happy? Attention
What makes you sad? Not getting attention
What do you want to be when you grow up? Mummy: I still haven't figured this one out!
What did you do on your birthday? Mummy:The day before Little Owl's birthday, she had a day out at the model railway with her Grandparents and cousin.  Her actual birthday was quite a gentle one spent with her Grandparents again as I was at work.  The day after her birthday was a Saturday so Papa Owl and I took her to the zoo.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this.  Next year Little Owl will be able to answer most of this herself I guess which is a strange feeling!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Owlfit of the Week

We're going Dutch this week!  I couldn't resist a bit of shopping when we were in Holland last week.  The dutch need little excuse to wear orange and the world cup is a definitely one!  This outfit came from V&D and is really good quality.  Both the t-shirt and the shorts are size 92 which roughly equates to age 18 months. I am wondering if the shorts should actually be trousers... but it is a bonus of being in pants!  The top is a good length, again allowing me to buy the smaller size to create a neat fit.  Finally we have the clogs!  Little Owl has always enjoyed wearing them although these are now really too small (but try telling her that!).

So now my Little Dutch Hooligan is ready for the football!

The Little Life of Ickle Pickle
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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Dutch Firsts

Holidays always bring lots of firsts, and our few days in Holland were no different.

Little Owl had her first squash!

She saw her first coffin.

Her first ... I don't know, something that was handed to her by the man at the sweet stall before we knew it!

Her first shower with a friend

Her first grazed knee

And there are many other things that she has enjoyed which she cant remember from her first visit when she was just 4 months old

The ferry.

Driving on the 'wrong' side






Monday, 16 June 2014

Cross Mondays Week #13

I haven't done much stitching this week - the end of Happy Valley and the start of the World Cup has meant little stitching!  You see, I said Papa Owl could watch the England matches... and then I said he could watch the opening match... and then he took it to mean he could watch Holland too cos that's like England right?  I wouldn't mind but he had fallen asleep every time!

So the World Cup is giving me plenty of time for blogging but not so much telly and stitching time!

The good news is that I have finished the first section!  And its only taken me 13 weeks, a quarter of a year... A quarter of a year to do a sixth of the project... so the total project could take me a year and a half... that gives me a projected finish date of 24th September 2015!!!

Haha - nothing like a deadline right?  And that gives me no time off for knitting!  

To keep on track, I need to finish the next section by 15th September this year - that feels like forever away!  In teaching terms, that's the end of this year (still quite a bit to go), the whole summer holidays and starting a new year!


Friday, 13 June 2014

A Journey to Holland

An unexpected trip to Holland at the end of last week, with the ferry booked only two days before we travelled, meant we just packed our bags into the car and set off.  We don't live that far from Dover so we left home with an excited Little Owl in the back of the car. She knew she was going on a 'bowt'.

We set the satnav to Calais ferry as we didn't seem to have Dover saved. We didn't really need it but it is nice to have as we don't do the journey often enough to know where we are going without reading the road signs.  The satnav got annoyed with us on route as she thought we should go through the tunnel...

On board the boat and its time for breakfast, or lunch. Either way, Little Owl tucks in as she hadn't had much breakfast. We then had a walk around the boat and were a bit disappointed to discover that the only concession for children in the family lounge was a large TV screen showing cartoons on mute. So instead we found a quiet coffee lounge where Little Owl could look out of the window.
Walking around the boat and a tummy full of food, Little Owl was beginning to look sleepy as we approached Calais. A quick trip to the loo and she was set for a nice long sleep in the car!

We set the satnav up with our destination - Papa Owl's Aunt's house, and we were off! Little Owl was asleep before we had left the ferry terminal! We are champion travelers!

And then we hit Belgium.

The satnav directed us off of the motorway, slightly confused we followed as we had a vague memory of doing this before. Besides, its always nice to see a bit of Belgium rather than hurtling through on the motorway. We did not expect to find ourselves in a town square though! Never mind, we got ourselves back to the motorway, ignoring the instructions of the satnav, hoping she would reset once there.

Over the next hour it became apparent that the attempted upgrade that Papa Owl had tried to do the night before had somehow managed to delete most of the maps for Europe, only leaving the main routes. This shouldn't have been too much of a problem if when we approached a junction, the satnav didn't suddenly place us in a field half a mile to the left, refusing to tell us what should be happening and just shouting at us to get back to the "highlighted route".

When was the last time you travelled without a satnav?  I'd forgotten how much hard work it is, or maybe we have just lost the nack!  This led us to taking many a wrong turn, leaving the junction early or when we got the right junction, heading off in the wrong direction! This was not helped by the satnav giving up on "left" and "right" but now telling us to head "north" or "west".

Little Owl didn't sleep for long, probably due to satnav and Papa Owl both shouting instructions!

"please drive to highlighted route"

"make a u-turn"

As we neared our final destination, the satnav uttered a last desperate "please" before going quiet on us!

I cannot tell you how many u-turns we made, not to mention nearly driving down a cycle path!

Tired and weary, we finally arrived, a mere hour and a half late to find no-one home.  Not to worry, we were expecting this and went to find a neighbour who had the key... only the neighbour wasn't in either!

We had a very tired Little Owl who was also hungry, so back in the car we went and drove to the nearest town. We had been here a few times before so we had a bit of an idea where we were going now.  We parked up and spotted several people heading into a Chinese restaurant - we followed and discovered it was an "all-you-can-eat"! Bonus! And they didn't charge for under 4s!

It may not have been what we planned but it was a rather fitting end to the day - perhaps we are champion travellers after all!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Owlfit of the week

We're going back in time with this week's Owlfit!  I stumbled across this photo taken last October and I couldn't resist sharing it.  At the time it was my favourite Owlfit and looking at it now, I'm a little sad that she had grown out of those trousers!

Starting at the top, the t-shirt is H&M which was handed down to us along with the cardigan which I love and am pleased to say still fits her!  The trousers were another of my TK Max bargains.  I can't remember the brand now, and they have long since gone in the loft, although there's a bit of me thinking they might fit Little Owl now she is out of nappies...

Last but not least, Little Owl's gorgeous Livie and Luca shoes.  These brown suede shoes with their blue peacock were brilliant through the autumn and into the winter, complimenting all of her Owlfits.

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The Little Life of Ickle Pickle

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Owl and Sewing Cat Dress Making

Just over 18 months ago Papa Owl bought me a sewing machine, it was one of the best presents that I have ever received as the potential was enormous.  However, I had never used a sewing machine before and simply didn't know where to start.  

I then came across a shop in Eastbourne called the Owl and Sewing Cat and signed up for one of their workshops and made a cushion.  It was great, they took the time to explain how to use the machine, and helped me pick out fabrics and patterns for future products.
A whole year passed and I had a selection of cushions but still hadn't been brave enough to tackle any clothes for Little Owl.  Christmas had brought with it a gift voucher for the Owl and Sewing Cat and so I booked myself on to a whole day dress making course.

My first challenge was to choose a pattern and the fabric.
I chose the dress the girl on the right hand side is wearing and then selected this fantastic owl cord.  Cord is one of my favourite materials to dress Little Owl in, as its soft but durable.  I must confess at this point, that I did this course back in March so it was still winter! 
Next I had the scary task of cutting the fabric.  Luckily Tracey who was running the course was keeping a watchful eye on me, as well as the other ladies who were dress making.
The neck was the most complicated bit of the dress, and something I definitely couldn't have managed on my own.  Even now, looking at the photos, I'm not entirely sure what I did but in order to keep the shape of the neck, I had to add a stiffer fabric to the back of the neck.

Finally it was time to sew!  I am always surprised when I start on a new project, just how much work is involved before I can actually start sewing!  The trickiest part of this dress was the sleeves as its such a little dress!  

It was quite an intense day, while I enjoy sewing I also find it very stressful!  I quite often realise that I have been holding my breath while concentrating!  But it was worth it to have a finished dress at the end of the day!
Isn't it cute?!!!

Little Owl loves it, although she wasn't as compliant a model as she is now!

Family Fever

Monday, 9 June 2014

Cross Monday Week #12

The last episode of Happy Valley and an unexpected trip to Holland to stay with rellies gave me some good sewing time this week so the plant pot has been completed, and I just have the flowers to finish - just 7 in two different colours so I'm really hopeful that I will get it done this week.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Owlfit of the Week

These shorts have to be one of my favourite hand-me-downs!  I was given them when Little Owl was tiny and thought they were trousers.  They don't have any kind of label so I don't know what size they are meant for.  However, they were a real struggle to get over cloth nappies so they haven't been worn much until this summer.  But now she is rocking them!

I have teamed them up with a pretty pink top from M&S.  It was a set of four, the other colours are white, green and blue.  I really like the fit of them, especially the longer length which keeps Little Owl covered even when she's doing her forward rolls!

The sandals are from Livie and Luca which is my favourite place to buy shoes for Little Owl, in fact, Little Owl's first shoes were from Livie and Luca.   

Finally the hat is from H&M.

Ickle Pickles Life
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