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Sunday, 16 September 2018

Dad's Operation

Thank you for all the lovely comments and well wishes for my parents on my last post. I usually try and reply to them under each one, but what a week it's been!

I shall launch straight into it by telling you my lovely, kind and gentle dad had his heart valve replacement operation a week ago Thursday. I think it started badly when my parents arrived at the hospital and the room my mum had booked to stay in had been double booked, the poor woman didn't know what to do! Luckily a friend had driven them to Cambridge and found a b&b just a few minutes walk away that relatives sometimes stay in.

Dad was first down on the Thursday morning and the operation took between 5 to 6 hours, then back up to critical care with one to one nursing. Unfortunately when my mum was able to visit him, he wasn't awake. It was hard because the 2 other men there had also had heart ops, but were sitting up in bed, one drinking a cup of tea and both down to the ward by the next day. Obviously you shouldn't compare people, not everyone's operations were the same, but dad ended being on the ventilator until Monday, they just couldn't wake him and then he had a stroke, my poor mum watched people come and go.

We couldn't even go and support my mum as we have coughs and colds and she can't risk catching any germs she could pass onto dad. The good news was that the operation itself had gone very well, they had hoped to just repair the valve rather than replace it, but it was too damaged. I can't help but think that's something to do with having to wait over a year for the operation. The nurses did comment to my mum what a remarkable man my father is, how quickly he seemed to start regaining strength in his left arm after the stroke and how he never complains about anything, even pain.

Mum would ring every morning after getting the hospital update before going up to see him, then in the evening when she returned to the b&b. She had to return home on Tuesday as she had a hospital appointment herself and a friend took her back on Friday.

When mum left dad, he was on a feeding tube and terribly confused. Even though he is a wisp of the man he was, he has had the tube removed as he is eating now and having build up drinks. Still a bit confused and desperately tired, dad is so much better! He was having one to one nursing until Friday morning and mum says his care has been amazing, they couldn't be any better or any nicer. I think it's going to be a slow, uphill journey, but dad is making improvements everyday.

It's been a bit of a nightmare, and we thought we'd lost him, so even though he is still in hospital, wired up and stuck in bed or a chair... it's still heaps better. He is oblivious to it all, I think my poor mum has probably aged another 5 years though and I still get butterflies waiting to hear the daily update.

I'm going to make myself a cup of my new tea then get the table ready for dinner.

Take care

Monday, 3 September 2018

End of the Holidays

We're ready to start getting back to the normal routine. We have Zack tomorrow and Imogen starts 6th form college on Wednesday. It's been a wonderful summer, but I'm definitely ready for autumn to start creeping in and for a bit more routine (it completely flew out the window during the summer).

One of the days we had Zack and big sister Izzy (she's only 9), we took deep breaths and took them to a local soft play place. I have to admit, these are not my favourite places to go, I find the noise quite deafening and they always seem to feel a bit claustrophobic despite them often being in enormous rooms, but I was a good nanny and off we went (OK I did take my book with me too as Imogen was supervising Zack and Izzy). Zack loved the ball pool and climbing on and off Thomas here.

We stayed for a couple of hours (ok, may have been an hour and a half), then left as Zack was falling asleep on his feet. Izzy was very keen to do some crafting with me, she really is the most creative little girl and loves making things. We cut out some birds from some felt she chose and Izzy sewed a couple of the wings on. It's been put to the side for when she has some time here again and I think we're going to fill them with lavender for Izzy and her mum's wardrobes., but it's a secret so can only be done when mum's not around.

Have to show you these cute little photos of Zack.My son sent them to me as he was trying the dungarees on Zack, but they were unfortunately too small. They were Imogen's, they're reversible and the other side is covered in brightly coloured cats. Imogen wore them when she was over 2, she was always very tiny, but at just 12 months they don't fit Zack... he's a big boy! I love his face in the second picture!

I've also spent some time sewing and made a dress for my Luna Lapin.

The instructions were very good, I've never made anything like this before and had to reread it a few times and unpick the collar a couple of times before I got it right with the binding, but it added to the sense of achievement when I finished it.

Imogen's had a busy summer with her NCS (national citizen service), a week in the peak district, a week staying on a university campus and a week working hard to raise funds for the RSPCA. She also had her GCSE results and enrolled in college. As a reward for doing so well and because we felt we hadn't seen much of her we took Imogen to Meadowhall where she was treated to some new clothes, we had tea out and went to see a film (I couldn't remember the last time we went to the pictures). We had a lovely time, really enjoying each other's company.

Some good news for my parents too, my dad finally received a date for his heart operation. He had a few tests to go through and goes into hospital later this week for the surgery. So pleased it's going to be done (a new heart valve), but also very worried for them both.

Take care

Monday, 20 August 2018

Busy Bunnies

We celebrated our wedding anniversary this week. We don't really do anything special, I like to think all our days together are special, but this year it fell on a Thursday, which is a Zackary day.

I thought Zack would enjoy helping me do some tidying up. We went into the kitchen where I used my long handled dustpan and brush and I gave Zack the small one. I swept up and Zack marched up and down the kitchen loving his new responsibility.

After all the sweeping, Zack used Andy's new bucket to put all his toys in and out of. It really shows how there's no need to buy children all these fancy toys when he was in his element with a brush and a bucket?

I've been doing a spot of sewing over the weekend. I bought myself some lovely grey felt especially to use with this

Isn't she a cute little bunny. All the pattern pieces were full size (I really don't like it when things need enlarging or changing) so I just used some tracing paper to copy them and cut the pieces out of the felt with pretty fabric for the inner ears and soles of her feet.

I really enjoyed just sitting and stitching, all the seams are oversewn so they're visible, but I found it quite therapeutic.

 I think she's turned out really well. She has buttons for eyes and buttons at the tops of her arms so they can move up and down as she gets dressed and undressed. I thought she looked quite cute as she is so didn't sew a nose on her as I didn't want to spoil her.

The next step is to make some clothes for the little bunny and there's even a pattern to make a little armchair for her, but we'll have to see. The clothes need machine stitching, so they may take me a while.

Take care

Monday, 13 August 2018

The Fairies are Staying, Birthdays and Burglaries

 It's been a quiet week for us, Imogen was away for the week in the Peak District having fun with the NCS (national citizen service), which I heartily recommend for any teenagers who are 15 to 17. Adam and his family were also on holiday for the week near Great Yarmouth, so no babysitting duties for us either.

We had a lovely day out during the week, went for a drive to Scarborough. We visited the most enormous fabric shop, which left me feeling very spoilt and went for a lovely stroll to breath in all that good for you salty sea air. The views are amazing in both directions.

We passed this rather large gentleman on a bench looking out to sea.

Andy posing for scale
I tried to take a photo of the information next to him, but you have to enlarge it to read it. It tells you a little of who Freddie was, born in a mining village, went to war and how he went into Belsen concentration camp on his 21st birthday and saw horrors that we can't even imagine, how every year he cried on his birthday as he remembered those poor souls and grieved for their dreadful suffering.

It's also been a big week for our little grandson, not only on his first holiday, but he also celebrated his first birthday... gosh that went quickly! I embroidered a bib for him to wear while eating his birthday meals, but we saved his presents for when he came home so parents wouldn't have to take them all the way there and back in the already packed car.

Little Zack had no idea of course that it was his birthday, but had a wonderful day playing with mummy, daddy and his big sister and was exhausted by bed time.

Unfortunately on Friday morning before leaving to come home, my son had a phone call to say they'd been burgled during the night. We're so upset for them, they came home to the whole house being upside down from all the cupboards and drawers being emptied out. All their electrical goods were stolen, but the worse thing was Holly's jewellery. It's probably worthless as it's mainly costume jewellery, but it's priceless to Holly as it belonged to her beloved nana who sadly died last year. What an awful end to their lovely family break, but they're going to remember it as the holiday that Zack turned 1 rather than the holiday when they were burgled.

I've had time to spend in my craft room and made a little toadstool house for the fairies to come and stay in when they visit. After baking the clay, I glued it on a large stone from the beach. I did enjoy making it and definitely want to experiment and make more.

Also a little seahorse (I do love seahorses), just need to thread some of my gorgeous velvet blue ribbon through it so it can be worn as a pendant.

 I'm so glad the weather has cooled down a bit and we've even had some rain which we badly needed. It's been a funny summer, but a good one.

Take care

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Birthday Lap Quilt and Slimmer of the Month

I've noticed there are a few of us out here in blogland following the Slimming World plan to lose weight and adapt to a healthier lifestyle. I thought I'd share with you my latest success as I joined Slimming World at the end of April and have been following the food plan since then

I go to a lovely group with really supportive people and I have to say a rather wonderful consultant who always fills me with inspiration each week. This was my third slimmer of the month award, I'm getting a wardrobe full of certificates!

Thank you for all the kind wishes for my parents. Mum's home from hospital and trying to take it easy while also caring for my Dad, if you ask them, they say they're 'muddling through', it's not easy, but they're coping.

On a lighter note, it's Dad's birthday today so I thought I'd show you the lap quilt I've made for him.

It's brushed cotton so lovely and soft. I bought the fabric in a pack from Hobbycraft and thought it would make a lovely lap quilt for my dad when it gets cooler. I sandwiched a layer of light wadding in it so it's not too heavy. It was posted at the beginning of the week so arrived in plenty of time for Dad's birthday today and he says he loves it. We also sent him the full box set of The Detectorists, a lovely gentle humoured series set in the English countryside that I know he'll enjoy.

Take care

Monday, 23 July 2018

An Evening of Felting

Thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post, especially the ones about my lovely girl in her prom dress and our gorgeous grandson.

It's been a worrying week. Regular readers will perhaps remember me saying last year about the dreadful time my parents were having. Dad had endocarditis, which put him in hospital for a couple of months (after being ill for a few months, but just thinking he was tired because mum had had a hip replacement and he'd been looking after her). He should've gone to have a leaky heart valve replaced, but while he was in hospital they discovered he had cancer and that needed to be addressed straight away with surgery. Poor dad has been waiting over a year now to have his heart operation and meanwhile my poor mum has had appendicitis last summer and is presently in hospital having had 3 hernias repaired. Goodness me! I ring dad every evening to see how his managing, but it's so hard for them having so much illness to contend with while also waiting for the call for heart surgery, I do wish we lived closer.

Anyway, how about this heat, it's getting quite smothering, we just aren't used to it in this country and I don't know anyone who is enjoying it anymore. The poor garden has suffered and chores around the house have been prioritised to what needs to be done and what can wait until it's cooler. Still time for a bit of felting, can you guess what it is

Nice and firm, ready for some legs and a bit of colour

At this point, Imogen thought it was going to be a panda bear

Some face markings

A pair of little ears

A little badger

I did enjoy making him, haven't done any felting for a bit and forgot quite how relaxing it is.

Take care

Monday, 16 July 2018

Afternoon Drive

I can't wait for tomorrow to arrive as I haven't seen our beautiful little Zackary for over a week and I'm missing him terribly. We didn't look after him last week as I wasn't well, but back to normal tomorrow so I hope his prepared for an extra smothering of kisses and cuddles!

Last time we had him for the day, we took the little man out for a drive in the country in his new big boy car seat. So nice that he can look forward now and see what's going on, much better than his baby seat that he was fast outgrowing.

We went to have lunch, but all Zack is interested in is what everyone else is doing, fascinated by other people

I must comment on his little cup. I really wanted Zackary to have a cup to use at our house and was thrilled when I discovered this one, (those of you with young children or grandchildren will probably know all about these cups) it's virtually spill proof! Zack holds it upside down and I carry it in my bag all without any leaking... wish these were around when my children were babies.

I think I'll have that

On the way home we came along the coastal route, slow and meandering along so Zack would have time for a decent sleep

We knew he'd wake up as soon as we arrived home and he needs about an hour or so.

Andy's been busy working on his jigsaw from the charity shop. It's a Wasgij one where he had to make up the picture as if it were 10 minutes in the future. Here's the box

and the completed puzzle (minus the couple of pieces that were missing).

We'd found 2 when we were charity shopping. Andy's started on the next one which is even harder, he has the picture on the box, but the actual jigsaw is meant to be a picture of what the people on the box can see... quite hard, but he really does enjoy a challenge. We always look to see if we can find any more of these puzzles, but no luck yet.

It's been a big week for Imogen, she had her school prom at the end of last week. I do think she looked absolutely gorgeous, she has grown into such a lovely young lady, brought a tear or two to my eyes.

I haven't spent too much time in the garden the last few days, just far too hot. We are so desperate for some rain, really we need a good down pour. Here's one of the small roses from the patio rose, pretty and perfectly formed.

Take care