Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Goals for May

Well let's hope it's better than April's feeble attempt at completing my goals.

This month I want to:
  1. Complete Sunday Cricket and find a suitable mount for it. (Found frame)
  2. Start "How does your garden grow" which is a mystery stitch from Papillon Creations. I would like to complete first 2 parts of this.
  3. Continue with Bothy Threads Cut Thru Garden Shed for the Crossstitchcrazy SAT in May and try to beat my total from last month.
  4. Stitch one cat from Cat's Alphabet which is my oldest WIP/UFO.
I estimate that Sunday Cricket is now about 85% complete so that should be easily achievable!

Monday, 28 April 2008

Just realised that I haven't updated my April goals this month so I had better do it now.

1. Sunday Cricket - get this 3/4 finished. 80% finished now.

2. Nottingham Forest - unpick, restitch, finish and frame. following a discussion at school about what a load of tat teachers are given I decided not to stitch gifts for them and spend the money on something nice for the children instead.

3. Friendship - frame. Nope, not even thought about it!

4. Bent Creek Snappers - finish one of the remaining designs (don't mind which!) Made a start but not got very far.

5. Sweetpea coaster - complete border. I have run out of thread and so far haven't found a good match for it so this one hasn't been done either!

So all in all a bit of a disastrous month with reaching my goals although they should have all been achievable. Never mind, there's always next month!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Portland Basin

Luke goes to a football skills course on a Saturday morning. Each week they choose a player of the week and get a little trophy to keep for the week. Once they win this 3 times they get another trophy that they get to keep permanently. Below is Luke's which he finally got yesterday after waiting about 6 weeks for it. He is really chuffed with it and has been carrying it around everywhere he has been for the last couple of days.

Today we have been over to Portland Basin to have a look at the "Fit for Life" exhibition which! I was asked about this ages ago and had my photos taken a while back. They are all black and white photos and I thought they were fantastic. It was quite odd seeing big photos of me up on a wall and for some reason I was worried that someone would recognise me! All the photos were great and there were some that were really atmospheric. It runs until Oct/Nov 2008 so go and have a look. Another part of the exhibition had a feature about diabetes and was wrong. There was no distinction between Type 1 and Type 2. I left a comment mentioning this in the comments book. Otherwise it was a fun and informative event and there were little snippets of information all over the museum.

As we were out at lunchtime we went to Woolworths for lunch which in the past has always been a nice lunch and relatively cheap. it was diabolical. There was a tiny selection of food despite it being lunchtime, the portions were tiny. We had to wait for Rachael's food to be cooked. £17.55 it cost!!! Colin and Luke finished their lunch quicker than me and Rachael and went to have a look at the Wii bundles downstairs. Rachael opened her crisps and I noticed they were out of date. I told the staff member who changed them but then the manager came to apologise. She was really nice and helpful and offered a refund on the kids meals and my meal after I told her how diabolical I thought it was. Pat on the back for good customer service but check your crisps in future!!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

First set change today

Today was the first set change with Rachael's new pump. Rachael was a little upset because she was worried it would hurt as I have never done it before. Unfortunately I think she had convinced herself it would hurt and so it did. Everything went smoothly otherwise. The adhesive of the old set was quite difficult to peel off and I wonder if that is what started her worrying. Next time I think we will put in the new one prior to taking out the old. If anyone has any hot tips on how to make removing it a bit easier I would be grateful for the advice.

Rachael and Luke have been off to a new play area this afternoon with one of Rachael's friends. They had a great time there and then went for a McDonald's afterwards as a bit of a treat. Colin and I took the opportunity to go over to a local garden centre and get some bits for the garden. We got 4 new pots that were BOGOF's, 2 Hebe's in different colours and several other bits and bobs. We also bought some big tubs for growing potatoes in. I had a hugely embarassing moment when I took out my credit card to pay and found that I had in fact brought my Nectar card with me.............oops. Luckily Colin had brought his wallet with him so he paid.

Rachael's new pump pouch arrived today - well one of them. It was the pouch with the dogs on and it is 'mint' in Rachael's words. We got this from Pumpwear Inc and I have to say it seems well made and feels like it should wear well. Rachael is pleased that she doesn't have to keep unclipping her pump from her trousers or skirt every time she needs to pull them down.

I have been having a big push on getting Sunday Cricket finished. It is annoying me at the moment as I am still working on all the squashed stitches and it feels like I am getting nothing done. When I look at it, I am finding it hard to see what progress I am making. I think when this is finished I will have to find something that is small and with blocks of colour for a really quick stitch to recharge my batteries a bit.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Pumping saline

Today Rachael was finally attached to her pump and is now pumping saline for about 2 weeks. She was quite excited but understandably nervous about the first ever cannula insertion. She wasn't phased in the least by it. She has bolused easily for her tea and is quite happy so far having it attached to her. I think she is quite proud of it secretly. We had a bit of a mad panic at bathtime. We weren't sure if we should prime the pump when she reconnected or not. Needless to say it came as quite a shock to find that from p111-p142 of the pump manual which had all the troubleshooting section in it was MISSING! I think tomorrow I will be on the phone to Medtronic getting a new pump manual ordered. We got to meet the Medtronic rep who seems nice and gives the impression that she will be helpful. Marie the PDSN will be coming into school to give pump training so that they are aware of what care and precautions need to be taken with Rachael.
Tomorrow the teachers are on strike, or at our school some of them are on strike! That means that some classes are in, some aren't. I have ended up with one child in and one off. As I still have to be in, it means that Colin has got to take a day's holiday to look after Luke. It seems a huge waste of time. Let's face it the Government are never going to meet their demands as if they do, they then have to give police and everyone else an equivalent pay rise. I think the teachers risk alienating both non-striking colleagues and parents by striking. However, I think my biggest bugbear is the fact that the teachers won't/can't/aren't picketing so they in effect just get a day off work.
As for cross stitch, it's back to Sunday Cricket and a final push to get that finished. Some of the squashed stitches are a little tricky, especially where they are in a block with different colours but I will beat the little devils!! I got my first ever chart for a biscornu in the post yesterday and I am itching to have a go at it. I MUST FINSISH SUNDAY CRICKET FIRST!!! The totals were posted for the crossstitchcrazy stitchathon and I got 3rd in the stitches stitched totals. As I have never participated in a SAT before it gave me a real buzz.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Tadpoles and Jestique

Today we had a Tadpoles outing to a place in Marple (Stockport) called Jestique. Tadpoles is a Diabetes UK linked support group for children with diabetes. We meet at Edgeley play centre in Stockport on the last Friday of each month. It is really friendly with a good range of ages. Contact me if you would like further details. Jestique's a great little shop where you can do craft activities without having to clear up afterwards. Rachael did jewellery making and made a fantastic necklace which is below. Luke made 2 mirrors using decopatch - which is kind of similar to collage. He had the basic mirror and tore up bits of paper to decorate the mirror with sticking them on with PVA glue. He made one for his room and one for Rachael's. They both had a really enjoyable time of it. There are other activities on offer too which include pottery painting, wooden model building, scrapbooking etc. They also do parties, both there and coming to you.

I have been participating in the Crossstitchcrazy stitchathon (SAT) this week and keeping a record of my stitches for the week. They have been:

Monday - 182

Tuesday - 301

Wednesday - 0

Thursday - 92

Friday - 384

Saturday - 643

Sunday - 794

I feel quite pleased with this. I have never counted before so I am surprised at just how many stitches I do in a week. It also gives me hope that I could actually finish a large design in a reasonable amount of time if I put my mind to it and knuckled down. For instance a design with 46000 stitches (I have one as a WIP but can't remember which off hand) would only take me about 6 months or just over to stitch and not the 2 years I think it will!! For the SAT I started off with Madonna of the Garden but changed to start a new design from Bothy Threads when it arrived in a stash package earlier in the week. It is Cut Thru Garden Shed. It's great and I am really enjoying stitching it so far. Not so sure about when I reach the backstitch though! There is a photo of my progress so far below.

Friday, 18 April 2008

10 projects complete - so a new start!

I have said since the start of the year that when I finally finished 10 projects/WIP's, I could have a new start. Well I got my new start today which is Bothy Threads Cut Thru Garden Shed. I love these designs as you can probably tell from my stash acquisition yesterday. It should hopefully be a reasonably quick stitch considering it's size as there are quite a few large blocks of colour that will make it easier going.
Rachael and I have been playing with her pump and learning how to set some of the features she will need. So far she/we have learnt to change the battery, set the clock/date and programme in the basals. She seems to be picking it up well and it will be good for her to have some control over her diabetes rather than doing things just because we tell her it needs doing. She is certainly starting to understand more over the last couple of weeks and is thinking about it more.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

We have an insulin pump

Yesterday we went for our weekly pump training at St Mary's and were handed a brand new PURPLE Paradigm 722 pump. What a shock. We knew nothing about getting it so quickly. This week we are just playing with it and learning how to programme a basal, a bolus and that sort of thing. Today we have ordered some pump pouches for Rachael. She chose a dog one and a purple one. It's hard to tell who is more excited us or Rachael. If Rachael can demonstrate that she can work the basic features next week, she will come home pumping saline for a week or two before going live with insulin.

I also had a good day yesterday as I got loads of cross stitching goodies in the post. I got 3 Bothy Threads designs - the cut thru pirate ship, haberdashers and florists. I also got TW's mini winter sampler and Nora Corbett/Mirabilia Violet. One design (Garden Shed is on back order and on it's way.

This was the first time I have ever got caught for customs charges. £6.42 for customs and £8.00 for Royal Mail!! Still it was well worth while buying the stuff in US as even with the customs charges I still saved a fortune.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Rachael's birthday part 2

Rachael's birthday party was brilliant. There were 9 of them all together, some from her old school and some from her current school. All the girls got on great and had their hair either plaited or curled (or both), nail polish and nail art and make up done. The 3 ladies that did it were fantastic with the children and made it a very enjoyable experience for them all. We ran out of time to do the birthday cake so I will take it into school on Monday for them.

Rachael got some lovely presents from her school friends which included a pampered pupz, a couple of nice tops, arty stuff and a beautiful pink cross on a chain amongst others. She was really pleased with what everyone bought her.

We all went to the Harvester for a birthday treat. Unfortunately since we were last there they seem to have done away with the children's menu and do smaller portions of the adult ones. The service was absolutely diabolical. We were there for about 20 minutes before we managed to convince someone that we really did want to order. It then took another 20 minutes for the drinks to arrive and a further 20 minutes for the food to arrive. When it turned up the food was delicious but by then we were ready for giving up and going over the road to KFC! Needless to say we didn't leave a tip!

Rachael rounded off the day with us all watching one of her birthday DVD's. The boys were both impressed with watching Bratz Kids........not! Actually as Bratz DVD's go it was quite good and I think Rachael really enjoyed it.

I think all in all this could well be the best birthday that Rachael has ever had as far as she is concerned. Even the weather managed to perk up so that she didn't drown on her birthday!!

Rachael's birthday

As hard as it is to believe, 9 years ago I was giving birth to the most beautiful girl on the entire planet. Rachael birthday is here at last and she is having a lovely day so far. Her main pressie was a digital camera which she is thrilled with and she has some books, DVD's and Cd's as well as a few other bits and pieces.

This afternoon she is having a make up party at a local salon with some of her friends. They will be having their hair, nails and make up done for them which should be good fun. After we are having a family meal out somewhere of her choosing.......hopefully NOT McDonalds!

Luke has gone to football as usual and went charging off in without a backwards glance or goodbye. I never thought I would see the day he did that. It's good in a way but shows that he is growing up quickly too.

Cross stitch wise I have finished a small card with fuchsias on. I'm not sure who I will give it to as I only bought it as I love fuchsias.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Pump Training

Today was our 4th clinic visit for pump training. The DSN asked Rachael what colour pump she wanted!! Needless to say the answer was purple. Tonight we have been looking at pump pouches and skins for the pump. The diabetes team are great the way they are aiming the training at Rachael and not at us. We always said at the old hospital, there was no point in taking Rachael really as no one hardly spoke to her. It will be great for her to have more say in her diabetes and to understand more of why we make the decisions we do to keep her healthy.
Both the children are dead tired this week with going back to school. I start my new hours in school this week. It is hard getting back in the routine of mornings after having 2 weeks of doing what we want to when we want to.
Obviously being back at work means that my cross stitch time is more limited now so progress on Sunday Cricket will be limited to evenings and weekends. I have been picking out my next WIP/UFO to work on when Sunday Cricket is finished. I am thinking of doing a rotation of Cotswold scene from a back issue of Cross Stitch Collection, Cat's Alphabet from Janlynn and Petal Fairy by Mirabilia. Cat's Alphabet was the one that got me back into stitching about 7 years ago and I would love to finish it as it is a really gorgeous design. Petal Fairy will be for Rachael when it is finished and the Cotswold scene will look fantastic in our hallway.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Manchester Museum

Today I took the children to the Manchester Museum. Rachael had been on a schooltrip there recently as they are studying Ancient Egypt. She was really taken with it and I promised we could go in the holidays. It was another great day out.

We started off looking at all the bows and arrows things that we thought Luke would be most interested in and then went off to the Egyptian gallery where Rachael gave us a guided tour and explained what they used to do to mummify the bodies. I think her favourite bit is probably when they pulled the brains out of the nose. What a lovely daughter I have!

We also had a look at all the stuffed birds, animals etc. Some of them looked a bit ferocious still - especially when you are greeted by a pouncing tiger! Others were a bit of an eyeopener when you have only seen them in books or on TV. You don't realise just how big they are. The emperor penguin for example or a golden eagle.

All the staff were really friendly and helpful which made a pleasant change. I think it was probably a bit overwhelming for Luke as I think he thought it would be like Eureka where he could touch everything rather than it all being behind glass.


On Monday we had a trip to Eureka - me, the kids and their dad. For those of you who haven't heard of the place, it is in Halifax (UK) and is a museum aimed at children. It's fantastic!

The walk from the carpark to the museum - all of 2 minutes - is littered with things for the children to do. There are balance beams, climbing steps, rails, gutterpipes to make music and more. For once it wasn't raining so the children could spend as long as they liked on the things.

When you enter the museum on the right hand side is Archimedes who regularly dunks down in his bath. There is so much to do and see for children and my 2 (aged 6 and nearly 9) love it.

One of the favourite things and the one we always head straight for is the M&S, post office, garage and bank. We had great fun seeing who could get over the beams in the bank without setting the alarm off. The only person to crack the safe was Colin, the rest of us failed. The M&S has undergone a bit of a revamp since we were there last and is more pleasant now and more spacious.

Upstairs in the body bit we tested all the stretching, reaching and stepping things so we could compare last years with now. Unfortunately - I can't find last year's! Luke had plenty of practice with the crutches so at least we won't worry now if he falls and breaks a leg as we know he will be able to cope with them.

We arrived about 10 and left around 3 as Rachael and Luke both had swimming lessons. Luke was moving up to the level 5-6 class so we didn't want him to miss his first lesson in that. Rachael should hopefully move up to level 9-10 in the next few weeks.