Sunday, 12 January 2014

A Bun Fight and other January Happenings

I thought I would do a bit of a catch up post as so many things have been happening and
 I have no time to blog - no change there then!
 I really enjoyed the free time I had over Christmas and really relaxed, in fact I believe I practically vegetated! My ideal state of dress is a dressing gown although most days I do actually have to get dressed, I do a pretty good job at hiding my true inner self, a lazy slob who would enjoy laying around all day, in comfy clothes
(as my Grandma would have said clothes "on the slack side"- meaning loose fitting)
Over the Christmas break I caught up on many a missed post from some of my favourite bloggers, met several new ones, albeit virtually, and generally mooched around the internet.
Sadly that break came to an end and back to school and work we went, and that treadmill we're on began to turn rapidly again.

Friday was our book group Christmas dinner evening, at bit late obviously! We had originally arranged this for December but events conspired against us and we had to postpone to January. For a change we held our dinner at one of the members houses and hired a chef and waitress, it sounds extravagant but as it was local we didn't need taxis (just accommodating husbands), we took our own drinks and a couple of members supplied a selection of deserts.
 It was therefore less expensive than a restaurant and taxi.
 It proved to be a superb evening and the food was exceptional, even the deserts! We had our usual vote on the best, most memorable and most forgettable books of the year;  always fun after a few drinks as there are always a few books you cannot recall ever having heard of let alone read.
This years favourite was Pompeii by Robert Harris although strangely it was also top of the list for "the one I couldn't finish" - it almost split the group in half.

the glass we all wanted to have our wine in!
 It's an uphill battle now we're back to the grind, ballet started (termly fees and new uniform required), gymnastics started (termly fees due), counting down to the cricket tour (final payment and kit to sort), the start of county cricket training for both (hooray) boys and kit to order and pay for; added to that we have a birthday for a special Little Miss who turns 11 on the 13th - which always seems like the day after Boxing Day to me!

I've been chasing around like the proverbial trying to get organised and buy her a present or two.
This year we had arranged a surprise for her which happened on Saturday, something she'd wanted to do for some time - she had her ears pierced. I know thoughts differ on this but we figured as she approaches High School maybe the time was right. Little tiny sparkly studs now sit on those tiny ear lobes, very pretty but very scary when I saw her leaping around at today's mini party, where she managed to catch them on the sofa and pull one right out!
We had a family tea out yesterday after the ear appointment, both boys had to loiter around the streets of Norwich while the piercing was done despite them wanting to watch! (would there be blood, screaming, fainting maybe?) and today she has friends at home for a cupcake decorating party.
 I feel I have reached a point where, and I probably shouldn't admit this out loud, I really don't want to host another sleepover, organise another party or even host friends for tea - am I a bad mother? Probably!
I had the idea for a cake decorating party a while ago after visiting a cafe where classes were held, Little Miss was keen to go to the city centre venue with a couple of friends. However given my very slap-dash style of parenting when I eventually telephoned the café the next available date was in March - a bit of a long wait when your birthday is in January!
I can do that I thought to myself, how hard can it be? All memories of previous parties for the boys (or should I say scrum downs) were momentarily forgotten and off I went on my journey of random planning and invitation by text message!
I spent most of yesterday making cupcakes for them to decorate as well as the birthday cake. As per family tradition I make all the children's birthday cakes, to their own design. Now I'm no artist and I think they take great pleasure in coming up with increasingly difficult designs, the most memorable one was from Number 1 son when he was about 8, he wanted a cake to look like himself whilst wearing a diving mask and snorkel!! I did manage it, and here is the proof!
A perfect likeness!
This year I was given the spec - a gymnast on a beam! Well you probably have some elaborate ideas on how that should look but there is always a cheats way round things if you search the internet long enough! I came up with this....
I think it does the job, in silhouette, along with the winners gold medal; Number 1 son did ask why there was a giant "H" in the middle but then he is very short sighted! I iced her name on at the top and she seems quite pleased with it - unlike those invited to today's party who were only allowed to look at it as she explained it would not be cut until her actual birthday tomorrow! And I didn't bother with party bags either..... slap-dash I tell you!

The party started at 12 o'clock with parents told to collect at 4pm, just about long enough I thought to ice and decorate a couple of cakes - wrong! I gave them all two cakes each along with piping bags full of buttercream in various colours and lots of different types of decorations. I turned my back to wash up for about 2 minutes and found they'd finished them! So in the end they each did 4 and the boys had to judge the best, they made some super cakes I must admit, and enjoyed it too.
Sadly the decorating only took up about 20 minutes so there was a bit of time to kill, they ended up playing a board game - how very civilised!
I can't believe she's gone from this

and this

to this

those 11 years have gone in a flash, and always accompanied by Tigger!
I have a feeling I no longer have a baby!
On Tuesday I'm off for a few days away with my best friend, we go every year for a bit of pampering; our very own "secure unit" if you will. I'll be home on Friday but will probably manage a bit of blog reading while away. I aim to be spending most of the week laying around, being escorted to treatments or meals -
unfortunately my friend will insist we dress for dinner but apart from that it'll all be good.
And for those wanting a picture of the "haircut of nightmares" it's a bit like this....

don't tell him though, as he seems happy enough with it!
Take care and have a good week, I'll be in the "quiet room" wearing a dressing gown!


  1. Happy birthday to Little Miss, a cup cake party sounds like fun.
    Don't blame you for not doing those awful party bags, I've 'forgotten' to do them in the past.
    Enjoy your time away, lots of relaxing to do, very important!
    Lisa x

  2. You are so funny Jay! I love the way you write! I am a 'bad' mother too - detest parties, sleep-overs etc. etc. Unfortunately we've had a fair share of both of the years, to be honest I spend the whole time waiting for the little darlings to be picked up. Heart of stone, that's me! Ha-ha! Enjoy your alone time. Sounds like heaven x

  3. Your cake making is inspired. Happy birthday little Miss
    ( I have the possibility of six eighteen year olds sleeping over on Joe's birthday ( air freshener ready ! )
    One year I handed out a balloon & piece of cake to each child after a party. One kid asked where the party bag was. I said I was being tradititional...cake / balloon / get over it !

    PS when Joe's mates are round for beer & pizza, husband & I are going out !

  4. You are a woman after my own heart, Jay and I salute you!! No party bags? Hurrah! A sensible mother! Do-it-yourself cup cake decorating for girls? Bring it on (nice ones from you, by the way, very artistic!) (But I did see an H briefly, I must confess!) And you Come Dine With Me sounds positively INSPIRED! What a brilliant idea. And no-one sitting there feeling stressed about the next course either.
    On the sleep-over front, well, we didn't have them In The Olden Days, when my boys were small but I am totally with you - let them be a thing of the past! but good luck with that as they are so popular! Lx

  5. Fantastic start to the year. Although it sounds like a super busy one!
    I love the idea of the cup cake party. Would 32 be too old to have one? x

  6. Happy birthday to Little Miss! When my daughter had her ears pierced she ended up almost fainting! Your decorated cakes are lovely, and something they will always remembered.
    Sarah x

  7. Ooh those few days away sound just like heaven Jay. Pampering, relaxing, wining and dining with a bit of girlie gossip thrown in. Mmmm right up my street. The cupcake party sounded fun but I'm with you on the sleep over malarkey. Bad mother? Nah. Enjoy your break.
    Patricia x

  8. Happy birthday to your not-so-little one. My daughter turned 11 in June and we decided to let her have her ears pierced for her birthday too. She was grown up enough to look after them and has had no problems, and I'm sure yours will too. And I'm with you on the sleepovers. I can't bear them! I;m sure they weren't the done thing when I was little!

  9. Happy birthday to your daughter! What a cutie!
    Your book club sounds like the MOST fun. Will have to check out that book, I haven't heard of it.
    Your cakes are amazing. And a cupcake party sounds like the perfect kind of winter entertainment!

  10. Happy birthday to you daughter!

    But more importantly... can I have MY wine in that glass please?!


  11. Happy Birthday to your beautiful girl. I can't believe the cake with the scuba-ing - that is genius, is that licorice, my favourite kind of lollies. Isn't it funny they seem little for decades and then they're grown. Gosh that glass just seems too teeny for me

  12. I'm so impressed by anyone who can bake much less decorate a cake - love the scuba mask and the gymnast is fab! Also love little miss's cute bunches - the years just fly by, don't they?!

  13. oh, how I identify with the 'dressing gown' state of dress. When I work from home its known as the standard issue ODG Office Dressing Gown... comfort before style!
    I LOVE your wine glass, have hankered after a ginormous one of those for years!
    BH x

  14. Sleepovers, party bags and themed Birthday cakes should be outlawed. Sam recently had a teenage sleepover and it took hours for the bedroom's atmosphere to be breathable again. There is still a lingering whiff of Lynx and sweat mixed with cheese puff odour. I love the tigger outfits, I wonder if I could talk my husband into wearing one? Happy belated birthday to your gorgeous girl.
    I am really quite envious of your retreat! Enjoy. Cx

  15. I'm so glad that I'm passed organising birthday parties, though a cupcake party sounds so much fun, why didn't I think of that one? I agree, time seems to go so fast when you've got children, they seem to go from babies to teenagers in no time at all. Hope you had a good time away with your friend.