Saturday, July 14, 2012

All change!

I have a job! Some brave firm has decided to employ me and although some of the details still need to be worked out, I'll be starting pretty soon, 3 days a week!

I'm very excited but very nervous too. I'm worried about having to put the boys in more childcare (especially Zachary - he is not good with changes to his routine, but he's familiar with the nursery we'd be using so hopefully that'll help), whether I've forgotten everything I knew, and also that there'll be an expectation on me to be coming in at a certain level of experience. The last 'new' job I had was as a trainee solicitor, so I wasn't expected to know or be able to do much at all, so this now makes me nervous, but hopefully it will all settle down. Also, a large part of this job will be working to expand the department and undertaking a lot of business development. This is not something that I've led before and although I have some ideas, I'm pretty new at the whole schmoozing game!

I found I was strangely emotional after I had the job offer but having had a bit of a cry and talked through some of my worries, I feel better about things now. But I must still be a bit anxious - had my anxiety dream last night. This is the only dream I have ever had which has recurred and it usually happens when I'm worried about something. In it, basically normal things happen until my teeth start getting wobbly and then fall out. It wasn't as bad as sometimes though, only 4 of my teeth this time!

Dinosaur birthday cake mark II

It's my friend's little girl's birthday party tomorrow and I've made her birthday cake today - quite pleased with the result, although the icing looks a little crumby in some places... But I'm happy with it and I hope the birthday girl is too!

I also made some of Mary Anne's melting moments today. This is my second attempt at them and I used margarine instead of butter to try and keep the mix to be piped a little softer. It worked for that but I forgot the vanilla essence and also I think they ended up slightly undercooked. The tops were golden brown, but they're a little stodgy in the middle which I think is just that my biscuits were too thick - need to use a smaller nozzle.

And yes, I used left-over dinosaur icing to fill them with!

Mud pies anyone??

The boys had some fun in the garden this afternoon whilst Leigh and I fulfilled our stereotypes - I was in the kitchen making a birthday and he was in the garden drilling and being manly!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Bubble painting

Aha, I knew it was about time for another example of my ineptitude as a mother! I thought it would be good to do some bubble painting with the boys the other day - you know, the kind where you blow through a straw into a paint and washing up liquid mixture and then rest some paper on top of the bubbles you produce. It's a really great effect and lots of fun. Mostly.

So I had prepared the first container of paint/water/washing up liquid. I (foolishly) put this in front of Leo and asked him to stir it. Zachary asked a question, I looked at him, looked back at Leo who was then pulling a face of complete disgust and had paint dribbling down his chin!

Aaaargh! He'd swallowed, so I made him drink some water and checked the back of the washing up liquid bottle. "If swallowed, seek medical advice immediately." Hmmm. Leo not vomiting or looking particularly ill so I decided against rushing him to ED, and phoned NHS Direct instead. Spoke to a very pleasant young man (look at me all grown up, describing people as 'young men!') who (while trying not to laugh at me, I think) confirmed that poster paint and washing up liquid are on their low toxicity register - phew! He gave me a bit more advice on what to do if Leo started to feel ill but all has been fine. Lesson learned!

Cutie pie chickens

It feels a little odd putting this directly after the last post, but Leigh took some photos of Rogue and Henrietta peck in the doorway to their house a few evenings ago - cutie pies!

Bye bye Bubbles

Sadly, the other of our original chickens, Bubbles, died over the weekend. She had been ill for a while and despite visits to the vets and some antibiotics, she simply deteriorated slowly and there wasn't anything else we could do. As we have now had 3 chickens die over a fairly short period, the vet offered to make some further investigations for us, so hopefully we can find out what was wrong - and if it's something to do with the living quarters then we can make any changes we need to.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Hello new chickens!

We have 2 new chickens! In fact we've had them for a week and a bit now, but our camera was out being repaired so I've only just caught up with photos.

Here are our new additions - Rogue

and Henrietta Peck.

Hex is still doing really well,

but Bubbles has been poorly for a while now. We're not really sure what it is, antibiotics haven't worked, and although she's eating some, it's not really enough. So we're waiting and seeing...

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Peanut butter and white chocolate blondies

These are from Rachel Allen and she says in the intro "Tired of brownies? Try blondies!" They are very easy to make although came out quite heavy and dense (possibly slightly overcooked?). Not so much as to spoil them though!

1. Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan/325F/gas mark 3. Butter the sides of the cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter together until very soft. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour, baking powder and the chopped chocolate and mix to form a dough.

4. Place the dough in the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown and almost firm in the centre.

5. Allow to cool in the tin, before removing and cutting into squares.