Sandy & Rozzie – handmade baby and kids clothing, toys and accessories

Recently I completed the full draft of my PhD. I’m not going to say it’s by any means complete but the days of all my spare time getting spent on it are over for now. I recently got a job as a tour guide for the Kelpies sculptures, which is part time. I am loving it but I have also been able to devote some time to my other calling; making STUFF.

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For years and years I’ve sat with my mum over coffee, in the car, at home discussing our fantasy businesses. A B&B, a shop, a café. Well finally we have started something and it is called Sandy & Rozzie!

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Sandy & Rozzie makes handmade and hand knitted baby and children’s clothing, toys and accessories. I am master of the sewing machine and my Mum is knitting needle commander.

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We make hand knitted baby and children’s hats and brooches; kid’s aprons and backpacks; baby bandana dribble bibs and feeding bibs; and felt soft toys. Here are a selection of our products and they are available to purchase at www.sandyandrozzie.co.uk

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We are really excited about our new venture and are hosting a craft fair at Granny Would Be Proud in the west end of Glasgow on Sunday 26th April. You can find the details of the event at our facebook page www.facebook.com/sandyandrozzie

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Garden Picnic

We had amazing weather last week. And thank goodness for that, because it seemed for a while like winter would never end. But it did (briefly) and our daffodils FINALLY came out and we spent a few blissful days in the garden and at the park.

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We had a picnic lunch on the lawn and I was reminded just how right our decision to have another baby was.

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Perfect little pair that they are.

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They are becoming a real double act. I often find them infecting eachother with fits of giggles and Sandy saying “ohhhh baBEE! Babee FUNNY!!” and Roslyn chuckling away.

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The other day in the car Roslyn was due to nap on her way to meeting Tate and she was whining a bit. I noticed she had stopped and looked in the mirror to see her happily chomping away on something. This was strange because I hadn’t given a snack, then I noticed Sandy’s little outstretched arm between the car seats, patiently holding his carrot sticks out for her to take. Each time she finished one he held out another. “There you go babee”.

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They’ve always looked alike but now she is becoming slighty – dare I say it, *SOB* – more toddlery they really do look like two peas in a pod. A lot of friends have been saying Roslyn is “like Sandy, but more delicate” and I couldn’t agree more.

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Mind you, she seems slightly less delicate and ladylike when she’s shoving several sandwiches in her gob at once!

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It’s my little doll’s birthday in a month. As always, how the heck did that happen? Seems like just yesterday I was slumped over the edge of the birth pool asking Allison (my midwife) if she would be out on the next push and after being told probably replying with grateful expletives. So expect a plethora of soppy birth and newborn reminiscing posts in a couple of weeks. LUCKY YOU!

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For now though I am hoping to find two minutes – unlikely – in which to post something more substantive on my new job and my new business. And there was me thinking finishing the PhD would free up some spare time for me? HA HA HA HAAA.

Easter 2015 – EGG HUNT!

HAPPY EASTER (a week ago!)

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Here’s hoping you had as much fun as my little bunny…

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… and this little chicken!

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The weather smiled on us and we were able to enjoy an outdoor egg hunt and dinner in the garden at Auntie Fran’s house.

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Of course there was chocolate galore. So far we’ve managed to limit the little ones’ intake but the real problem is me trying to replicate pregnancy without actually being pregnant. THE SHAME.

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Mum got them little egg hunt baskets to fill.

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Roslyn enjoyed her first egg hunt and indeed her first easter. She never had to endure the horror of being too young to eat chocolate on her first easter like Sandy did!

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Hunting high and low.

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Little choco moustache and her daddy (in other news, while her first word was mama, her fist perfectly pronounced word is daddy. Plus she makes a good bash at sandy and ‘pictures’)

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Sandy was more overjoyed to find the eggs with chickens in than the chocolate ones!

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Suffice to say his basket was a tad fuller than Rozzie’s one.

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But she was too busy getting her faced smooched off by her adoring public.

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Little chick with a little chicken.

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We were only missing Uncle Jamie as he had to work. Boo.

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Easter baskets also make great hats for what it’s worth.

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So we had a fab day. And the weather has been lovely all week and I was off tuesday-friday hoorah! Sadly though, the weather has turned (rain again), I’m working both Saturday and Sunday this weekend (Stuart who?) and Sandy is ill. Again. Calpol and toast for the next few days then. And with that I must attend to the sick boy, mop his brow and feed him grapes. Literally. Ciao!

Easy Easter Craft

At hobbycraft the other week I spontaneously put two polystyrene eggs into my basket thinking vaguely of easter crafts. Then I got a job and it all went mental and a few days before easter I saw the eggs sitting undecorated and realised if they were to be done seasonally and ready for sunday it was now or never!

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So we grabbed up some tissue paper, a pritt stick, ribbon and stickers and crafted it up.

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And for once in his life Sandy actually enjoyed something arty! There’s hope for him yet ;)

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I’m not going to say that Roslyn was extatic but she did enjoy trying to get her hands on the beads to eat them. Luckily she’s not had the alphabet in her nappies so I think we managed to keep her from them well enough.

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Sandy was happy to stick the chick stickers onto both his and Roslyn’s egg.

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And I think the end result is pretty good considering it was rushed in before 8am!

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Sandy was even able to tell me that his says “Sssss! For Sssssandy!” and that Roslyn’s was “Sssss… for Babee!”. Almost!

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Happy Easter!

Roslyn’s Photo Shoot

When Sandy was a little younger than Roslyn is now we took him to Stuart’s work for a photoshoot. They have brilliant photography facilities there so a perk of his job is getting some excellent pictures taken for free!

I think they turned out brilliantly. Some of Roslyn on her own will certainly be going on the wall and we will be blowing up one of the joint ones to canvas. The only problem is picking which one and where the canvas will go. We’ve only had kids for 2.5 years yet already have no walls left without photos on, and I can’t see any I could bear to take down! Unless they get significantly less cute in the next few months we are going to have a problem!

Here are a few of my favourite pictures. I will be back soon to give a proper post on my new job (!!!) but I’ve had a full week of training AND (typically) illness. Plus I formally started “Sandy & Rozzie” with my Mum – our own business, more on that to follow as well – so hectic is an understatement. So enjoy the pictures for now and I will be back with more soon…

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A Day at the Races

I think it was around about, oh, one day before Stuart’s Dad’s birthday where my ever-prepared husband declared the well heard phrase “oh, it’s my -insert family member here-‘s birthday tomorrow…” and I was required to use my wifely powers to arrange a present at the last minute. Luckily for him I love sorting out presents.

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A month or so ago I’d noticed the advert at Garrion Bridge for the point-to-point steeplechase and we had planned to go, but it was cancelled due to the weather. I remembered that the next race meet was on soon so we decided to take Shug for a day at the races and gift him the entry and some betting money.

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And what a fabulous day we had for it, couldn’t have wished for better really!

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Roslyn was in her element crawling around in the grass. I think had it been wet and she wasn’t able to go on the ground, that she’d have been pretty cranky stuck in the sling all afternoon. You barely heard a noise from her as she explored and snacked and played with her grandparents.

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Sandy was pretty chuffed with the GIANT tractor parked near us and even at one point fed his square sausage to tractor. Kind, sharing boy that he is.

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Note to self: buy new sun hat for Roslyn as size 0-6 months isn’t exactly forgiving on a 10 month old.

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And of course aside from the excitement of tractors and blades of grass, there was adult entertainment in the form of horses galloping. I thought Sandy and Roslyn would be taken with the fast horsies, but Roslyn didn’t notice them and Sandy was far more concerned with running around the field throwing sticks.

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I took £10 to bet, fully expecting it all to be gone by the end of the day. My first few were losers but the second last race I picked the winner (Flash Garden – who could deny a bet to a Queen reference?) on his first time out, and at 4-1 I got £10 back. I spent the final £2 in my pocket on ” Aw Man”, a loser of the last race and came home broken even which I was pretty chuffed about!!

Anne and Shug made money which was fabulous and very sweetly shared the winnings with the kids, so next time they want a treat when we are out it’s on gran and granda!

Stuart came home down a little, despite a win on a horse called Rossini’s Dancer which he picked, along with Anne, after the similarities with Rozzie’s name.

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We had a fab time and already have plans to return with more of the family and bring a picnic and such.

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Roslyn spent most of her day crawling over to try and make friends with this dog, only to be plucked away by one of her parents at the last moment, over and over.

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And aside from the tractor Sandy spent all his time “up high on the mountain”.

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The cutest grin.

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And the sweetest face.

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Turns out I make daredevils in girl and boy form. Sandy was flinging himself down sheer drops covered in thistles while Roslyn took a leisurely crawl under the belly of the beast. They like to keep us on our toes.

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I had such a lovely day with my three loves…

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…and I think Granda really enjoyed his birthday present!

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Garden Update – It’s been a while!

It’s been a while since I updated on the garden. Winter came and babies were in hospital, then there was christmas, more hospital, and of course the ever so challenging 9-12 month era began. Not to mention the ridiculously long winter we’ve been riding out. BUT on Saturday we woke to frost and the promise of sun and it delivered in style.

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So we spent the morning in the garden and took advantage of a spontaneous visit from my parents to get the bulk bag of gravel we had sitting in the driveway sorted out.

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While these two were occupied with eating (biscuits for Sandy, mud and pegs for Roslyn) we took turns shoveling and barrowing the stones round to FINALLY (it’s only taken two years) get round the side of the house sorted out.

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I put the loungers out on the lawn last weekend in rather pre-mature fashion but it turns out I timed it just right as Friday night Stuart and I lay out on them in sleeping bags with a fire on the chimnea watching the stars. Then the next day they were in use again!

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Roslyn is LOVING the garden. I’ve doubled up her clothing and let her just have at it. She loves crawling around the grass and trying to copy Sandy.

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Recently Stuart extended Sandy’s climbing frame to “big boy” size *sob sob* and we got his slide from his Gran and Granda up too. He’s almost big enough to be trusted to do it himself without falling.

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Mind you this one can’t be trusted not to climb the slide while he’s coming down so supervised they stay.

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The skies were so blue that there was time for lots of helicopter and plane spotting for our little lad who is still obsessed with anything that goes.

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Sandy was so helpful with the gravel, putting handfuls of stones into his own little bucket and helping to push the wheel barrow round.

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He even raked the gravel into place! He is just too much!

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So as you can see this piece of the garden is now in some semblance of order, and next weekend Stuart and my Dad are going to put up my greenhouse! This is a life long dream being fulfilled and I can’t wait to get to summer with tomatoes and melons and cucumbers growing all around me in it!

As for other gardening I will do a full post soon, but Sandy and I cleared the vegetable plot a few weeks back and I added some compost and fertilised it last week so should be starting to sow in the next week or two. The space in front of the greenhouse (to be) and the wasted strip of land behind the hut will be used for veg too. Definitely potatoes and whatever veg can withstand shade the most.

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I can’t wait for days with weather like this to become more frequent so we can spend hours outside. They really are in their element outside and we are so looking forward to the real start of spring, and maybe even sunny birthday parties this year, you never know!

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Back at the Park!

Last wednesday we had a morning in, as we were heading to Stuart’s work for a free family photo shoot (more to come on that!) after nap. But for once it was neither raining, nor freezing, nor blowing a gale, and it felt perfect to hit up the park for the first time this year.

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I popped Sandy in the buggy and Roslyn on my back (in a borrowed connecta baby carrier which we are trialing and loving) and humphed them up the hill out of our estate, then on to the little park which is park of another (fancier) estate just next to us (Stuart calls it millionaire’s row, I the mansions).

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Only a little wiping down of wetness was needed and the kids had a blast. There were no numb fingers and it felt properly like spring. You forget how demoralising being cooped up all day is.

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I can’t wait until every day is nice enough for this kind of stuff, or just lounging in the garden, because it gives you a sense of well-being, and ferocious toddlers a good run.

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And now I get the joy of views like this. My two smiling faces, beaming at me from the simple pleasure of a swing, then beaming at each other, their laughter infectious.

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Sandy kept asking to be pushed faster, then demanded that I push Roslyn faster each time too. He never forgets about little sis’s welfare these days, and everything he wants and needs, he deems her to want and need too. It’s adorable. She will never be left out with a brother like him.

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Roslyn had a great time learning the life lesson that is don’t just eat crap off the ground.

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And when I say she learned it, I lied. Because I’m fairly sure there will be a few bits of bark in the next nappy I change. Along with the red chalk she scoffed the other night, giving Daddy a fright as she frothed red goo from her gums.

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Ah, the love little boys have for things with engines. The man waved back and made his day. And then when we were on our way home the postman said hi and remade it. “Mummy! It’s Pat! Postman Pat! Hi Pat! Hi PAT! PAT!! PAT’S VAN!!” Bet he gets it all the time.

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Anyway, in conclusion, and briefly, as the sleeping-ticking time bombs are zzzing away upstairs, the park is good, spring is good, life is good. Things are about to get very, VERY real around here as I start my new job next week. I’m still waiting on official confirmation (references, disclosure and the like) but as soon as it’s a done deal I will fill you in on my entrance to the job market, finally, after dodging it for ten years.

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Giant Bourbon Biscuits

I was out at Dobbies Sandyholm the other day and saw giant bourbon biscuits and giant custard creams on sale. Seeing as Sandy had already got an empire biscuit on the tray and was asking for hot chocolate I by-passed them. But as usual my penchant for something the same as usual only much smaller or much bigger (travel sized toiletries? YES PLEASE) kept me hankering for the giant biscuits so today we made them.

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Obviously it’s just the same as making regular bourbon biscuits but you cut them thicker and bigger in dimension. Luckily I have a fool proof bourbon biscuit dough recipe so it’s really simple to make them.

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For the biscuits:

Beat 2tbsp caster sugar with 85g soft butter, then beat in an egg, 1 tsp vanilla and 1tbsp milk. Then stir in 200g plain flour and 4tbsp cocoa and bring together with your hands to form the dough.

Roll out the dough to 1/2cm thick and cut big rectangles roughly the size of a deck of cards. Decorate how you like, I used icing letter cutters to write bourbon, but they were too big to fit which actually looked perfect, giant writing that doesn’t fit on a biscuit that doesn’t fit in your mouth.

Bake at 180/160fan until they just start to darken on the sides. Cool.

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For the icing:

Mix 3tbsp icing sugar, 60g soft butter, 3tsp water, 2 tbsp cocoa and 1/2tsp vanilla to a thick icing. Spread between two biscuits.

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This recipe will make roughly 5 GIANT biscuits, so, you know, double or triple away and spread the love!

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Why make mere biscuits, when you could make giant biscuits?

One of Those Weeks

I’m glad to see the back of last week. And I probably won’t be all that disappointed when this one is over either.

Roslyn’s been ill. AGAIN. Nothing major, but once you have a toddler you forget just how hard it is to keep a minorly sick baby relatively happy. I mean, if you are sick (as I am now, thanks for that darling daughter) you rest, right? Well babies don’t. They don’t get that they are sick, so they don’t think oh I should rest. Instead I reckon this is what runs through their little brains:

Oh, I feel rubbish, wahhh wahhh. Oh good Mum is here, she will make it better and- OH LOOK AT THAT ON THE FLOOR! Wahhh I wan’t down. Oh Wait! I feel AWFUL! Wahhh! Up! Up! MAMAMAMAMAMAMAMA! Thank god, she’s here agai-WOOOOW look what my brother’s doing, I must get to him! WAH WAH DOWN NOW! Hi Sandy, hi, let me see, oh wait I don’t feel good, and I’m tired, WAH WAH WAH! Phew, it’s Mum. Oh wait… naptime? No way! I wan’t to explore and make cognitive developments WAH WAH WAH…. and so on.

So what does a desperate parent do when this goes on all day long? She cracks open the bubbles.

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They kept her from crying for about four minutes, a 100% increase on the pre-bubble scenario, so WIN, I guess.

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Amid all this illness (and the inevitable toddler misbehaviour that is a result of relative neglect) Roslyn turned 10 months old.

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Happy ten months little doll, and how is it now only two months until you are ONE?!?

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Anyway she perked up at the weekend, just in time for me to come down with it, which is always the way isn’t it?

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Still we soldier on don’t we? Because let’s face it, there’s little else to do. There are few things I miss about my pre-children life but there are two main ones: Sleep and being able to be ill. Of course I still get ill but I can’t be ill, you just have to do the same old crap you always do only feeling like someone’s armpit at the same time. And considering that this illness usually follows a child’s ill period – and thus a period of no sleep – it’s extra rubbish. I suppose I am lucky that I am ill today when my Mum has them, but then I am spending today resting (and blogging while on a brief paracetamol high) at the expense of my thesis. So yeah, that feels good.

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Anyway, enough moaning about things one can’t change and more cute pictures. Do you see this boy? My god I love this boy.

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He’s the sweetest little thing and he runs round the supermarket saying “get the mummy! get the mummy!” then he grabs my hand and kisses it and it’s just TOO MUCH LOVE.

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And this girl, crankiness and sleeplessness aside (aka the 30 whinge-less minutes each day brings at the moment) is also pretty top notch. She’s constantly sticking her tongue out at the moment, to get attention and at funny angles. So sweet.

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It’s lovely to be told by friends about how dainty her little face is and how lovely she is because I really couldn’t agree more. Plus we took her swimming yesterday (FYI swimming when you feel dizzy is not a great idea but I digress…) and you should have seen her in her first little cozzie. Oh my! Check instagram for that one cause not only are DSLR cameras not waterproof, they also make you look like a big ol’ perv when brandished poolside.

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Ok I’m going to stop now before I run out of energy from sitting up (oh god I hate being ill more than anything) and try and preserve some for a bit of phd work after a rest lest I feel like a complete bum.

Bye!

P.S. I got a job, and I will fill you all in soonishly.