Life goes on!

Everything has been quite busy recently, as is always the way!

We have yet another new rat, though this one has been loaned to us to keep our old boy company until he dies, we’re glad that we did go down this route as he is much much happier now, and the boy we’ve borrowed is lovely. His name is Ben, he’s a little younger than Howl and is extremely friendly and sweet.

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Unfortunately, we discovered that Howl has a tumour on his manly parts a couple of weeks ago. Given his age and his constant respiratory problems it’s not something we will be having removed as if the operation doesn’t kill him it’ll cause him an unnecessary amount of stress for something that likely won’t prolong his life by much. At the moment it’s not bothering him what-so-ever and it’s stopped growing for now, so we’ll just keep monitoring and see how it goes. Right now he’s very chuffed to have a new friend and the only thing slowing him down is old age (and even that isn’t stopping him, it’s just making him a bit more clumsy!) But that’s the way it is with rats, tumours are a very common problem and deciding whether or not to have them removed is something you have to consider for each situation.

 

I’ve been crocheting quite a bit. I made a small collection of hats and squares for Woolly Hugs, I’d show you pictures but apparently my husband decided to delete them all as they were ‘really blurry’ -_- I do have one that I took on my phone though! A nice khaki hat!

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This has also been made recently…

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It’s actually a cocoon style hammock for my female rats, but the buttons, sock and Ashi’s mane got added because why not?!

I’ve been working on various other things, nothing big but all needing to be finished! I’ve also ordered the yarn I need to make a single bed sized blanket for one of my charges. I’m leaving my job in September, so I’m going to attempt to make each of my three charges a ripple blanket. I seem to have a rainbow themed going on with my previous gifts for GC (See the stegosaurus and unicorn) and she’s asked me for a rainbow blanket in the past, which made her easy. CC is quite chilled and has a pretty cool bedspread which has coloured camper vans so his blanket will match that but I have no clue what colours to use for SC. SC is 3, her favourite colours change every week and her bedroom is a very nice but quite muted coloured nursery still which will likely change in the next few years so I can’t tailor it to that. So I’m at a loss. I’ll work out what to do with her blanket later on!

I may have mentioned the two bags of Bonus DK before, basically a lot of acrylic yarn that I bought for toys a long time ago, before I discovered the wonder that is Stylecraft Special DK. I have been trying to get rid of this without much success, so I’ve given myself until the end of June to get rid of as much as possible and then it’s going to be donated, because I’m bored of it taking up space now! So any yarn-hungry projects you can think of, please spam me them!

So why have I given myself until the end of June? Well, because we’re slowly packing everything we want to take with us away. We are moving back to Essex in September as Nick has a job with Network Rail and will be based in London. We are hoping to stay with friends in July/August, so most of what we own will be slowly making it’s way to a charity shop, or to Essex, and we want to take as little as possible with us to our friend’s house.

And that’s pretty much caught you up on everything 🙂

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Being ‘creative’ at work

So I tend to spend a bit of my time at work doing ‘creative’ things with my charges. The other day my two older charges wanted to play with playdoh while the youngest slept, and the eldest suggested making clothes for Barbie. Sure, why not, I did that with her and the middle charge made Starwars things. This is the kind of activity I really love though, it’s such good fun and they are great at coming up with ideas I never would have thought of.

So I spent half an hour making a playsuit for my Barbie. Unfortunately there was only one colour available: murky brown. The result was bloody horrendous but the kids had fun as did I

 

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Snowman for R – My first toy

9 days since my last post! Not good. I’ve been busy at work and it’s been taking its toll on my energy levels really.

I though I’d share this though: This is my first toy, he was massively under-stuffed but I didn’t really pay much attention to that until I handed him over and the Mum was a bit confused! Nevertheless, my charge, R (aged 13mo at the time) loved him and the Mum clocked on when I told her.

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The snowman was a learning experience, stuffing is harder than it seems and I still have issues with it to this day (usually one bit looks lumpy whilst the bit above it perfect, so you have to destroy all of the hard work!) I also couldn’t stuff him that much as I’d messed up the mattress stitch, making it really clumped together at the seams. It wasn’t noticeable until it was stuffed further than this! Which is why he was a skinny snowman!

She is 5 soon and still has him, so at least I know that they survive toddler-hood!

Baking with the kids

Please excuse the sticky toddler fingers! This was what I did on Saturday with my charges.
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Fed up of the constant “It’s not fair! SHE got to stir for longer!” and “But Nikki, HE got to lick the spoon last time!” and “S turn, S turn, S turn, S TURN.” every time we bake (they aren’t usually so silly, they’re usually lovely but they are kids at the end of the day!) I decided to do things a little differently this time.

I gave each of them a bowl, they each got one egg and had to take it in turns to weigh out their individual ingredients and we did each stage together. Once they each had a batter, they each got to choose a food colouring for their batter, which I then used to make multi-coloured cakes. G had blue, C red and [not-so]-little S had green. They then decorated them with their granny after I left.

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Having found that a lot of recipes now call for oil instead of eggs, I have gone back to the old fashioned way of cake baking. Take your egg/s, weigh them. Use equal amounts of flour, butter and sugar and make as usual (cream butter and sugar, add beaten egg/s and then add the flour). You can use less sugar and even half it without any issues! Or you can do as my middle charge, C, did and pour in extra when you think I’m not looking 😉

The perks of my job…

I love my career, I’m a nanny and I have an awesome work family. They really do treat me as part of the family, which is hard to find as a nanny these days.

Yesterday was one of those days that I just love in my job, we got to spend most of the day outdoors, we spent the morning building a den and the afternoon playing hide and seek.

Without further ado, here is the den we (their Mum and I mostly!) built:

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(Sorry for potato quality! It was taken on my phone as I was trying to carry things!)

We had a nice picnic in the den, which is tall enough in the centre for me to stand in, and hopefully it’ll at least stay up until the end of summer! I have way too much fun doing this. I have built a den for them before, a proper wooden one. Unfortunately, whilst it’s still standing, Joe Public keep “adding” to it, presumably to help or have a go at den building, but they’re making it dangerous to play in because they have no clue what they are doing. This one is actually in their garden this time!