Tuesday 29 November 2011

Plaster blast

Despite the strikes, I have been assured that my plaster cast will be coming off tomorrow - I am currently doing cartwheels, and swinging from the light shade.

Things I have missed with my arm in plaster:
  • driving
  • touch typing
  • washing up
  • washing my right armpit effectively
  • putting my hair in a pony tail
  • cutting up my own food
  • doing up my own shoe laces
  • being 2lbs lighter
Things I will miss when my plaster goes:
  • having a legitimate excuse to get the supermarket cashiers to pack my bags
  • having a legitimate excuse not to mop the kitchen floor
  • having a legitimate excuse not to do the school run
  • having a legitimate excuse not to brush my childrens' hair
  • showering with a plastic carrier bag on my arm

Friday 25 November 2011

Santa and the Policeman

My slightly jerky and distorted Christmas animation! It is Christmas Eve and Santa needs to deliver all the presents, but he gets distracted along the way and ends up at a fun fair, a zoo and a farm!  Will all the presents get delivered on time?  Starring characters from Happyland.

Sunday 20 November 2011

Labour of love

The day before Betty's birthday, I was stuck at home all day on my own, still not able to drive, and I saw the next seven hours stretching out before me.  So with one hand in a cast, and a serious case of cabin fever, I decided I could either lurk aimlessly around the internet, go back to bed, or set myself the challenge of making the most elaborate cake I could find.   

I spent the next six hours solid making Betty a fairy princess cake.  Certain aspects of the process proved problematic with one hand, such as kneading and rolling icing, breaking and separating eggs, and whipping egg whites.  I ended up with egg dripping down into my cast and a very achy, probably even more broken, wrist.

Meanwhile, when we were away in Pembrokeshire a few weeks ago Betty saw this fake Barbie doll in a shop for £1.00 and asked if she could have it.  I told her that she could have it for her birthday if she was very good, and then I snuck it into my basket when she wasn't looking.  

The doll happened to be wearing purple which was perfect for my cake colour scheme, and so, feeling certain that Betty would not even remember the doll she saw in the shop, or indeed recognise it in its new legless form, and with its new cake dress on, I used it for my creation.

Tom came home just I had reached the final hurdle - I was having a mini meltdown because I couldn't screw the top of the icing pump on.  'I just want Betty's birthday to be perfect' I wailed. 

With icing pump catastrophe averted, the cake was finally finished, and with just minutes to spare before Betty would be getting home from school.  I could not wait to unleash it on her the next day - a little girl's dream cake.  I gave myself a big pat on the back.

Betty then walked in from school with the beginnings of chickenpox. 

She was very poorly the next day (her birthday) but to my delight she asked to see her cake.  I ceremoniously brought it in with five candles burning and singing happy birthday, and proudly placed it in front of her.  She had a look of utter disbelief on her spotty, calamine-stained  little face.  There was stunned silence for quite some time before she dutifully blew the candles out and said: 'But Mummy, that's the doll I wanted for my birthday, please take her out of the cake so that I can play with her'.

I sloped off back to the kitchen with the cake, painstakingly removed the doll, and ran her under the tap to remove the butter icing, replaced her legs and handed her to a relieved looking Betty.  'Would you like some of your birthday cake?' I asked bravely.  'No thank you Mummy' she said 'maybe when I am better'.

I have been eating my way through the cake, pretty much on my own, ever since.

Thank you Mum

We have had a pretty grueling couple of weeks, and then to top it, Betty got chickenpox on her birthday.

Tom and I were at the end of our tether, and with me only having the use of one hand, and no family around to help out, we were finding things pretty tough; there have been arguments, tears, sleepless nights, and much angst.  But my mum, who has very limited mobility and often tells me that she feels utterly helpless when she sees us struggling, well and truly saved us from going insane.

She may not have the strength to walk unaided, or cook, or drive, but my goodness she is worth her weight in gold.  She has been sitting with a very unwell and ailing Betty for the last three days solid (night-times included), rubbing her back, reading her stories, cuddling her, and being unbelievably patient and calm with her.  Betty and her granny have a very special bond, and care deeply about each other.

I cannot thank my mum enough for all she has done; she is utterly selfless, and generous, and kind.  She is an amazing mum and granny, and I love her very much.

Friday 18 November 2011

Betty's 5th birthday

There has been mounting excitement from Betty about her fifth birthday since her fourth birthday. She has been doing a countdown for the last few months; 100 sleeps, 99 sleeps, 98 sleeps, and so on.

Her party had been planned, presents had been wrapped and purple fairy princess cake made (one-handed), decorations and balloons were waiting in the wings, the smoked salmon breakfast sat in the fridge, and her new pink glittery bike hid under blankets in the shed.

Heartbreakingly, little did we know, chickenpox was also waiting in the wings. With just one sleep to go, Betty came home from school with a fever, a spot on her cheek and an itchy back.

And so today, Betty's birthday, my darling girl is very poorly. With breakfast uneaten, presents half opened but not played with, party cancelled, and candles blown out through tears, it has been a pretty sorry day.

My darling, beautiful girl, I am so sorry you are unwell, it just doesn't seem fair. I promise that when you are better you will have a wonderful party with your friends, play pass the parcel, eat lots of cake, and get to play with all your lovely new presents.

You continue to make us so unbelievabley proud. We have watched in awe as you have embraced school life so enthusiastically, made lots of new friends, insisted on going on the school bus, learnt to read and write, drawn wonderful pictures, and all with a big smile. You are very kind and considerate of others, you have a lovely temperament, you are great company, and you are very funny.

Your mummy, daddy, and little sister love you very very much, as do many others. Get well soon my darling, and please don't worry, your birthday will just be a little later this year.

Sunday 6 November 2011

One-armed tedium

Never again will I moan about the tediousness of household chores. Hoovering, sweeping, making a cup of tea, hanging washing out, and clearing away toys, with one hand, and a coccyx so excrutiatingly painful and bruised that you can't bend, let alone sit down, gives a whole new meaning to 'tedious'.

I fell backwards on Thursday afternoon, landed on my wrist awkwardly, heard and felt the bone snap cleanly in two, momentarily passed out, and then as calmly as I could muster I yelled at Betty to go and get her dad.  Tom later told me that as he was being led through the house by a panic stricken Betty, he imagined seeing our car in the ravine at the bottom of our driveway (again). 

So with my wrist in a bright purple plaster (for my kids' benefit, you understand) for the next six weeks, I am not able to do certain things, namely driving, washing up, and changing a dirty nappy. If Tom is going to work uninterrupted, Dolly will really need to buck her ideas up and start taking the potty training malarky a bit more seriously. 

Dolly will also need to stop thinking that it is funny to use my cast as a drum, and stop telling me that she has filled her nappy the moment that Tom steps out of the house, sending me into a frenzy, when in fact the nappy is clean. 

Earlier today Betty, who has been dressing herself for the last three years, asked me if I would get her dressed; I told her that I couldn't and that she had to do it herself.  This came just after I had asked her to clear up all the bits of cut up paper, sellotape and beads she had left on the sitting room floor.

Betty retorted with: 'I cannot be the mummy round here, just because you have done that to your arm'.