Thursday 24 July 2014

Summer holidays

So this summer I have made a conscious decision that I am going to do something with my boys every day.

I work from home so in theory should be able to plan my hour around the kids - that was the idea. Freelance - be my own boss.

Ha, I have never worked so hard.

Don't get me wrong, I get to do practically every school run, I can help sell icepops with the pta in the school playground, I can go to each assembly or school event without too much guilt, take the boys to swimming lessons at 4.30 etc, but in return I am often at my computer by 6.00am, earlier if there is a school event, and there until late at night.

Last summer, I declared I would work mornings, and do something every afternoon.

It didn't work, as emails would start flooding in throughout the morning, making me feel I needed to respond so at 3.30pm I was shoving the boys out of the door and going for a quick bike ride, or to the rocks to climb or the valley gardens to play just to make me feel better that we had done something.

Today I hope is the start of a new era - I was at my computer by 6.00am, I've done a few hours work, we are going out at 10.30 for a bike ride and I intend to get home for 3.00 and can get another 3 hours in before tea - still doing 6 hours work.

I am determined to do this instead, go out mornings, work afternoons/evenings where I can

Friday 30 May 2014

The dreaded C

So the thing that no-one wants to be in their life has happened in our family.

My dad was told 10 days ago he has bladder cancer which has come as a shock to us all.

On the positive side, 70% of cases are early stage and a simple operation to scrape the tumour away and a pellet of high dose chemotherapy direct into the bladder, is often enough to resolve the issue, followed by 3 monthly checks and a repeat of this procedure as and when required. The average age of diagnosis is 69 years old and my dad was 70 last week. So, in reality the odds are in his favour.

We are obviously very worried though, and up until today I was feeling very positive about it.

Dad though looks grey, it is pure worry, I know he must be scared shitless.

He also got a urine infection following the initial camera stuck up inside him to look at the bladder and it knocked him for 6. He was really quite poorly, another unheard of for my Dad, the person that normally carries on regardless.

They have just popped in now to see me, and he is so down, no matter how hard he is trying not to show it, the worry and fear is etched over his face.

Suddenly he looks every one of his 70 years.

Wednesday he had a CT scan to check for anything else.

Yesterday he was apparently called back to the hospital as his kidney function test bloods had come back showing a problem, so they wanted to repeat it. This was done, and still it wasn't right so he then had to see a consultant, who is unsure why the results are high.

It could be the medication he takes for his diabetes has reacted with the medication he had for the urine infection. It could just be due to the urine infection or it could be to do with the cancer, he has told me today, they have now said the tumour (no longer cancerous cells) is right at the entry to the bladder from the kidneys so could be causing a blockage.

He has also been told he has a heart mummer which needs reviewing before they operate next week.  This heart mummer could be due to the diabetes medication or might not be.

Everything seems to be 'possibly due to the diabetes medication'

As I said I was really quite positive until today, but seeing him, seeing how worried he is has really worried me.

I am taking comfort in the fact that if the CT scan had shown anything else like shadows in his lung or bowel or liver, they wouldn't go ahead with a simple bladder scrape but would rather be getting him in front of the consultant to discuss further and other investigations.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

How to run using lampposts.

Three and a half years ago I couldn't run for a bus - no lie.

Then we got a dog, who needed walking, who needed lots of walking, who had unboundless energy.

My problem was I did not have the time to walk said dog for long enough to wear him out.

I also wanted to get fitter so my clever little brain said running and dog exercising made a perfect combination.

To some extent it did as the dog proved very useful for pulling me up the roads and any hills, while making me look like I was still capable of running (I like to think that was the image I portrayed and not one of a sweaty mess being dragged along against her will).

2012 Edinburgh Rock and Roll half marathon

In April 2012, I ran my first half marathon.  My training for said marathon had begun with an aim to run from my front door to the end of the road without stopping (about 200 yards), once this was accomplished, I added running round the corner to the bus-stop without stopping, and again once accomplished I then added the next lamppost long the street.

This technique actually worked, and I taught myself to run using lampposts, anybody watching me probably wondered who the mad woman was who every few days ran past them and stood clinging to random lampposts for support while looking very elated. Probably thought I had some odd fetish.

Anyhow, the weekend of the half marathon arrived and saw myself, hubby and 2 kids in sunny Edinburgh. I had to register on the Saturday in Holyrod Park, and actually said to my OH that I wasn't going to bother and we should just have a nice weekend away. My training although going well, had actually only seen me walk run a distance of 6 miles in one go, once, so the thought of 13.2 miles was horrendous, plus no-one told me how hilly Edinburgh was - I mean serious hills!

My OH said ' don't be stupid, register, even if you walk/run it you can still say you have done it and you know you can walk 26 miles in 7 hours having done the London Moon Walk twice, so you will definitely complete this'.

I obeyed and do you know what, I completed that course and amazingly did it in 2.36 hours running the majority.

This experience taught me a number of things:

  1. You are capable of a lot more than you think
  2. Running a half marathon is a fab way to see a new town
  3. Vaseline is an essential to stop sore nipples
  4. Powergels are vomit worthy
  5. I actually liked running
2013 Great North Run

2013 saw me complete the Great North Run with a cold in the time of 2.21 hours.

I did the GNR for my Uncle who had recently died of cancer and raised money for the local hospice.

Not only on this occasion did I do it for someone else, I also got a personal best and felt rubbish due to my cold.

For the GNR though I trained properly, I even did a 12 mile run in the lead up to it.

2014 Great North Run

And being completely stupid I am running the GNR again this year. 3 weeks after a 2 week all inclusive holiday, mmmm possibly not the best plan, where there is a free sweet factory and sweets are my downfall.

This year I would really, really like to get another personal best. If I am completely honest, I would like to run a half marathon in less than 2 hours, but is it possible to improve my running by a huge 22 minutes at least?

I am going to aim for it.

I have downloaded a 0-10k running app, and have gone back to basics. I am using it to try and run fast, so each running interval I am really pushing myself to have a much fast pace rather than my normal plod (where someone with a zimmer frame could quite frankly overtake me).

I am also planning on running hills, regularly to try and do some intensity training.

I would just love to do a sub 2 hours - is it possible though?

Monday 26 May 2014

Half term already

I cant believe that half term is already here! They only seem to have gone back to school a few weeks ago.

I also can't believe how long it is since I last blogged.

I would like to find the time to blog again regularly - time will tell.

I am trying to get back into my running

I am trying to lose a little weight and tone up - my aim is to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by our hols in August (bear in mind pre-pregnancy was 10 yrs ago now lol).

I am also very busy with work but for the first time ever, we are now beginning to see the rewards of all the work I do and actually have  a little (not much) money saved in the bank. I turn 40 next week and it is the first time we have ever had savings :(

I also have a lot on personally - my Dad isn't well but more about that later.

Turning 40 has also made me think more about me, what I would like to do, what I would like to achieve, to stop being so tired (earlier nights would help), spend more time with the kids, less time at the computer, and to start eating properly again.

So there is lot's I could be blogging about, but time is my issue.

I blog, I then sit reading other blogs and suddenly I have lost a morning of my working day and each hour is money as I am self employed.

Anyhow nough said, let's see if this continues.................................

Monday 28 October 2013

The Little Things in life - lurkers!

I came on here tonight before bed to blog about my all consuming school issue.

Instead though I am going to blog about the little things. The other day I was reading something about depression and the article said when you see someone who is down or upset or look like they are struggling, sometimes a simple smile or gesture of friendship/kindness is enough to change their day - and it is so true.

Yesterday I was feeling low, very low, on the verge of tears all day (tiredness doesn't help), and I blogged, first time in months and said I was waving my hands and saying help.

A lovely comment has appeared from a self confessed lurker, someone who reads and never comments, but yesterday she did, she sent me a message, a little support, a much needed virtual hug and it has lifted my whole day, it has really touched me and made a difference, so thank you!

It is so true just a little gesture can make a huge difference x

Sunday 27 October 2013


Truth be known I had decided to stop blogging. This was mainly due to time, I find bloggingis very time consuming, not oonly do I spend time writing my blog, I then find I spend 3 times as long reading and commenting on other blogs and hey presto, a whole morning has disappeared.

But here I am holding my hands up and shouting help.

I am sink in fast.

I am back to dropping the kids at school, and having a good cry to try and clear my head for the day, then putting my 'face on' until bed when I have another little cry bout the shitness of the day and the shitter one ahead tomorrow.

At the moment work is killing me. I love my job but I'm sinking. I'm a freelancer but get 90% of my work from one company and its like I'm employed by them. Two of us work very closely on one very large account. C has gone from calling/emailing me daily and 100% supporting me to zilch. The account is too big for 1 person and its showing but the mistakes are on my shoulders. I called her and told her so hoping things improve there a bit. But I dread emails, I dread switching my computer on, I just don't want to do it right now.

Just before this I decided to put my rates up. When I first started as a freelancer, company A told me my rates were quite low and I should revise them in a year. I didn't as the economy went down and the time wasn't right, so 3 years on I decided it was. The response I got firmly put me in my place, telling me where I was viewed in their company, the level I operate at and basically 'they were shocked at my audacity'. Urm hello, I am a freelancer, you don't dictate my rate and I know for a fact some others who charge the same company are charging twice what I am, plus they charge the client full rate for me. Anyhow this really shattered my already low confidence.

The final straw was being told the admissions policy for our desired school of choice has changed and as a church school they now require a signed firm by the head of your church to confirm you are regular church goers and have been for a minimum of 3 years. I agree with this however the school we want for our son who is on the special needs side of things but doesn't qualify for a statement is CofE, we are Catholic who go to church weekly but thepriests refuse point blank to sign the fform. Very christen of them. I am catholic but went to this said CofE school, times change. My son is very timid and a target for bullies and/or being mislead-taken advantage of, this said school has excellent pastoral care and that wouldn't happen. I am gutted, I don't know how we can get round it but it is consuming me at the moment. The boys education is Paramount to me.

Sinking big time

Wednesday 11 September 2013

Is this bullying?

Boy 1 has ADHD and mild autism as many regular readers here know.

His ADHD is treated, not something we went into lightly but 2 weeks in we realised just what a difference it made. We now see quite a serious little boy and a lovely character.

The autism is an odd one. He is not classically autistic(many people think Rainman). In-fact you wouldn't single him out in a group of children and immediately say 'that child is not the same as others', it is only when you get to know him, or observe him for a time that you think he has a few quirks - he is a loner, he doesn't really know how to play with others, he can say some inappropriate things and have no idea why they are inappropriate, he takes things literally, he doesn't like a change to routine, and he finds it very difficult to control his emotions.

On a Tuesday evening Boy 2 plays football at a local field. Boy 1 happily takes himself off into the playground at the side and spends a very happy hour swinging from the top bar of the swings or sitting on the top most point of the climbing frame. Occasionally he will be seen messing around with another boy climbing trees.

Last Tuesday there were 3 or 4 older boys, maybe by a year or 2 playing with a football round the play equipment. I then noticed them throwing this ball at Boy 1 and hitting him and I could see even from a distance that he was getting upset. Each time he moved from one piece of equipment to the next they seem to follow him, trying to hit him with the ball.

I gestured for him to come over to me, he was upset, I told him to move away from them but it didn't work. I decided I needed to get involved when I saw Boy 1 climbing the fence into the football field in order to get away from this group of boys and the largest of them hitting him as he climbed with the ball.

I marched over, using my finger to call both the boy and my son over to me. In fairness the larger boy came over immediately saying 'he started it'. I assured him I wasn't going to shout at him but I did want to know from both of them what was going on. The larger boy said they had been playing dodge ball and asked Boy 1 if he wanted to join in, he had said yes, but then when they hit him with the ball he had got angry and started calling them idiots and throwing their ball away. I explained to him that Boy 1 obviously had not understood the rules of the games and sometimes had difficulty taking part in team games like that. Larger boy even apologised without any prompting. I trotted back to my football viewing thinking it had been sorted.

End of - or so I thought.

Nope, 10 minutes later I notice they are following Boy 1 wherever he goes. He sits on a swing, 2 of this group with then sit on the 2 swings either side of him. He jumps off and moves to the climbing frame, 2 follow him there. In the end I called Boy 1 out so he stood with me for the last 10 minutes.

I have to say I was pretty upset, there is only so much I can do, as I don't then want him teased that his mum is fighting his battles.

Last night saw us at the Football practice again and Boy 1 in the playground. The same group of boys were there and at first seem to be ignoring him. Half an hour in I suddenly realised he is running between equipment again and being followed and hit with a ball.

This time I charged in. There seems to be 2 lots involved, the first was much smaller than my boy and I asked him why he was throwing a ball at my son, he didn't say a word, I asked him if he thought it was nice, shook head, I asked if Boy 1 had done anything, shook head, so I pointed out he was no better than a bully. He then skulked off and was fine after that.

Same group from last week, I asked them why they were continuing to throw the ball at Boy 1's head, they said he kept kicking their ball away - I pointed out that last week they had been hitting him with it. so did it surprise them, all shook heads, told them as well they were verging on bullying him.

They then left him alone.  Thing is Boy 1 has no idea what to do and how to handle it, he just ends up really upset and very angry.

I am at a loss, I don't want to stop him playing, I don't want him picked on as mummy is fighting his battles, even standing near the railings and letting the other kids know my presence didn't seem to do much.

Feeling very distressed seeing my boy treated like that by other kids and very helpless.