Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Grooving mum's - being rash

I can't believe what I have just done. I am both a little proud of myself but also hoping I have done the right thing as I am having an attack of conscience!

At the end of January, I am helping to run a meeting in Rome. I have never been to Rome and I have always wanted to go. The meeting will run from lunchtime on the Thursday until Friday evening. I have no problems travelling alone as I have done this many times and infact enjoy it - it really does provide 'me' time. However I would be very, very upset to travel all that way and only see the country from the aeroplane/transfer to the hotel and the inside of the hotel which is what happened when I did the trip to Vancouver.

I have very rashly just gone and booked myself a night's stay in a 3* hotel with good reviews for the night before the meeting. My flight and transfers are paid for but I will have to pay this extra night but at £50.00 in the centre of Rome, (it was a deal and should of been £115.00) I feel it is worth it. I do feel guilty and that sensible little voice in my head keeps saying we should be saving the money, but I never spend on me, and do have some things to go on eBay which might help towards it. I will only have to get my evening meal and in reality I could take a pack of supernoodles with me - I won't! I am also VERY excited now! I plan on seeing as much as possible.

I also got talking to another mum in the school pick up queue and it seems 2 of her 3 children were premature and she was telling me about the Bliss support group she was setting up, which was launched yesterday. She told me I should go along even though mine are now 5 and 8. I did, although I was very hesitant and I was right, you could see people wondering what I was doing there as they all had young babies and quite a few asked and made 'surprised' noises when I explained I had 2 older ones. However, I did get a lovely long cuddle with a 30 weeker who talked away to me, and I did chat to a few people despite feeling a little out of place. I'm glad I made myself go.

I have also started my Bach Emotional Eating kit thing, only this morning so I can't really comment on whether it will have an effect or not.

Finally I have also taken the plunge and sent out invites to a murder mystery evening at ours on New Years Eve which I am really looking forwards to. There should be 8 of us. I got a severe knock in the summer when I tried to organise a summer housewarming BBQ / my birthday celebration and on the actual day I was left with my brother and wife still coming and one of my oldest friends who had said all along they had a busy day and would only be able to pop in for an hour or so. I was really upset so many dropped out at such short notice and proper threw my dolly out of the pram and decided I would never bother again. I cancelled the whole BBQ and we still have sausages in the freezer!! So I am praying we don’t have the same situation again. Hopefully with smaller numbers and the fact I asked them all about a month ago before buying the game, it should be a success.

This week I really feel like I have found my groove!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

An ode to the rats

There's a rat in my dustbin, dear husband, dead husband
There's a rat in my dustbin, dear husband, a rat

To work I will go, dear wifey, dear wifey
To work I will go, dear wifey, I'm late

It's only seven thirty, dear hubby. dear hubby
It's only seven thirty, dear hubby, you're scared

Help please, come quick dear Daddy, dear Daddy
Help please, come quick dear Daddy, come quick

Make it quick, please, dear Daddy, dear Daddy
Make it quick please, dear Daddy, nice and quick

Let that be a warning, ratty friends, ratty friends
Let that be a warning, ratty friends, a warning!

meme2

 
7.30 am I am out in the garden in slippers and dressing gown and lift the bin liner from the dustbin to put out for collection and realise there is something moving in the bottom of the bin, then it starts jumping. Worst though was it was still dark so I couldn't quite see. I slammed the lid on the bin and ran inside telling t'husband I thought there was a rat. Being such a man, he legged it to work!

However, Dad to the rescue, and yes it was a rat, I've seen bigger at the stables but this was big enough especially as it was right outside my backdoor. I am now petrified we have a nest somewhere, that they are climbing my drainpipes and setting up home in the loft and coming up through the downstairs loo.

We have loads of garden branches etc behind the gates which we need to take to the tip, Dad recons they could nest in there or the greenhouse or the compost bin. We have a field behind the house so it could of come looking for food off there but I am not happy now!

The council will come and check for a nest then charge us £70.00 to get rid of them. I think we should just pay it! 

I am linking up to Here Comes the Girl's with this post as it has really thrown my day and my really bad headache is doing nothing to make my day improve!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Time to declutter and sort out

And by that I am not actually talking about a pre-Christmas clearout with the  boys, I am talking about my head!

I am fed up of my lack of organisation, I am a disaster zone, everything done last minute, t-shirts and jumpers for school washed at midnight on a Sunday as I forgot to do them, getting up at stupid-o-clock to stick them on radiators and then finishing drying them in the microwave before anyone is up. Its a joke.

If I was more organised workwise I would probably achieve a hell of a lot more rather than sitting feeling depressed about how much I want to do and never seem to have time to do. I mess around, I waste time, I hate myself for doing it and then do some more of it.

Today I am going to start a few new things, this has got to stop.
  1. I am going to put reminders in my phone for literally everything, I am talking about down to details like:
    1. Monday - 7.30am clean bathroom, 9.10 clean kitchen and floor, 11.00 wash towels, 1.00 take dog out etc etc
    2. Tuesday - 7.30am do kitchen, 9.10 mop lounge and dining floor etc
    3. Wednesday - 9.10am strip beds and wash, 11.00 vacuum house etc etc
  2. Go out and buy some St Johns Wart. I have used this in the past and for me it has been effective. While I wouldn't say I was depressed and would certainly not be going to the doctors, I do think I am bordering on it as I am getting very overwhelmed by the simple things i life and then putting off doing them rather than addressing them.
  3. I am also going to go and buy a Bach Emotional Eating Kit. I know a lot of people don't think natural remedies work but I for one swear by them, having used them as a very reluctant teenager due to ME. I hated the idea and had to be manhandled into the room but it worked, despite my protests it wouldn't.                                                                                                                       The Bach Emotional Eating kit consists of 3 remedies which you can take alone of combine as you wish. They are meant to address times when you are doubting yourself, help you think more rationally, calm you down, learn from your experience and help you accept that you are not perfect. It is around £10.00 and I figure worth a go. I tried to get some in town this afternoon but my local store did not have any in so I will have to get some next week when in Leeds or something.
Between these I hope I can bring back some order to my life, get back to be organised, being on top of things and more importantly having time to actually do what I want instead of realising with an hour to spare I have wasted most of my day doing I am not sure, and then haven't got enough time to do anything.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

'Cardamom Black, Harrogate'

Today is my oldest friend's birthday, we have known each other since about 6 months old, grown up next door to each other and remain as close as sisters now. J's twins are the same age as Little Man which is also nice.

She has been a little down recently so I told her I would take her out for a curry for her birthday. Another friend joined us as well and we decided we would try the new curry house in town 'Cardamom Black'.

The building it is in use to be an Italian restaurant known as Pinocchio's and for many of us growing up in the town it holds birthday significance being a popular choice for birthday parties and my friend J always had her birthdays there. They have maintained the interior of the building as it pretty much was just redecorating it in black with lots of sparkly silver everywhere which made it a bit too bling bling. The toilets have moved as well.

We arrived at 8.15 and asked for a table for 3, and sat in the bar to wait with a bottle of red wine, our designated driver had coke which had to be replaced as it was flat. Our wine took a while to arrive as well and was very, very cold! By the time we tipped the last of the bottle of wine out we had resolved ourselves to having been forgotten and made the decision we would finish our drinks and move on. I asked at the bar first and it was apparent we had been forgotten and were ushered to a table in a near empty restaurant. There were 2 larger parties and that was about it, and I have a feeling one of the parties was family or connected to the restaurant.

Eventually the poppadoms arrived with a pickle tray and we were told they were on the house. Next wait we had was to order our main course, which as you may of guessed then took ages to arrive, as did the 2nd bottle of wine we ordered.  The food however was really, really good, massive compliments to the chef - it was well worth the wait. At the end of the meal, the manager appeared with a tray of mini deserts to apologise and they too were absolutely lovely.

The positives about 'Cardamom Black' were the quality of the food, and I also liked the menu was not the basic curry house menu, all the curries were different. At the bottom of the menu it stated that all the usual korma's, balti's, pasandas', dansaks etc were available. I liked that as it made me try something different. I did also appreciate the fact it was acknowledge we had been waiting with the starter and the deserts which were on the house.

The negatives was the constant waiting and feeling like we had been forgotten, and it was cold in there but they did say as we were leaving they were having problems with the heating.

They only opened on the 2nd December so are probably still having teething problems but I was very glad it was not busy in there as I don't think we would of been served at all. The quality of the food makes me want to return but I am hesitant due to the bar and waiting staff forgetting us.  I think I may wait a few months before eating there again and give them a chance to get established and up and running properly and then try it again. Although I was impressed with the food, I was also disappointed but it didn't ruin our night and my friend enjoyed her birthday which is what counts.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Life is like a box of chocolates

Saturday was the school Christmas fare. I was tied up doing my PTA duties - my first official time. I have reservations about this whole PTA thing which I am sure will make further posts but for now this post is about my Little Man and his tombola.

Little Man and Mini Man came to the fare with t'husband. They were both given £5.00 and told they could go to the stalls but once their money was gone that was it. Grandad turned up as well and was on strict instructions not to substitute. At nearly 8, we decided Little Man could go off round the fare by himself or with friends if he wanted but infact he chose to stay with Mini Man and his Dad ad Grandad.

On the tombola Mini Man won a large cracker shaped tube of Cadbury's chocolate, Little Man won a small box of Terry's All Gold Chocolates.

The joy I saw on his little face tonight when he finished his tea and asked if he could have one of his chocolates. He got his box from the fridge, sat at the breakfast bar and examined the choices on the lid. He then proceeded to rearrange the box so all the same chocolates were together and then asked what each one was. He picked each one up in turn, listened to what they were and properly considered if he fancied it. There was just sheer joy on his face at having such a choice. It was such a pleasure to watch.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Christmas crafts

Its that time of year again and I am getting crafty with the kids.  Below are 2 things we have done as cards for family.

They are so easy and so effective and can be done on paper of using ceramic paints if your child is small enough to make a plate for Grandparents or even as a keepsake.

Reindeer


This requires:

A piece of card or something of your choice
A small child's foot
2 small hands
A set of good paints
A washing up bowl of warm soapy water
A towel!

Take the child's foot and paint it, ideally brown but who says reindeer have to be brown? then place it on the paper (or plate etc). After washing the foot, take one of the child's hands and paint this and place it on the paper where the toes of the foot are, do the same with the other hand. Once the paint is dry, paint on a big red nose and 2 eyes and there you have a lovely reindeer made from your child's imprints.

Angels

This requires:

A piece of card or something of your choice
2 small hands
A set of good paints
A washing up bowl of warm soapy water
A towel!

Again nice and easy and a brilliant memento of your child. Using the hands, paint one and place it on the paper to form a print. Turn the paper upside down so the fingers of your hand are pointing down. Now paint both hands and place them either side of the single hand, fingers pointing in the opposite direction. On top of the palm of the middle hand paint a circle, add eyes and a smile and there you have a hand print angel.

We did these last year as well and had great fun, baking ideas to come next!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Grooving mums

I have lost track of time a little and am not sure if I have missed a week with this! its my age, that's what I say!

So how is getting my groove back going? Well I appear to be on a groove pogo stick. One day I seem to be on the up and really feeling my groove and then the next day I am right down at the bottom and looking in the gutter for it.

On the positive side, I am now on the PTA (actually not sure this is a positive, a tentative I would like to help became 4 members surrounding me in the playground telling me I was the new treasurer and despite my protests that my work is very unpredictable and I might be unreliable, I was sworn in as treasurer), anyhow I helped run the Christmas fare at the school which was great fun.  I got chatting to lots of different people and had a number saying hello today in the playground. I also like being more involved with the school.

My Little Man has moved up a reading level which has made me a very proud mummy, he has worked so hard to do it.

I had a long, long chat with the said parties who have trampled on me, spat me out and then kicked mud in my face and although the hurt is still there, I do feel we all want to move in the right direction and they have a much clearer understanding of how it has affected me. And I do feel better knowing they now realise just because on the outside I seem to be carrying on as normal as if nothing happened, it is a very different story inside.

I have also taken to wearing skirts again and making more of an effort. A friend and her husband came round and he commented on my skirt (a short one) and then a few days later she said she was really cross with me as G had not stopped going on about what I had been wearing and how nice I looked and why couldn't she dress like that? It did give me a real buzz!

I am off down Sauff tomorrow and staying with a really good friend for the night before having an interview for home based, part time work which should hopefully fit in round my freelancing but would mean we would get a definite regular income from me as well. I am just not impressed with the snow we have had all day so am praying it stays wet and doesn't settle as I don't fancy a 200 mile drive in it!

Thinks that's enough!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Lumps of water

Today we haven't done much other than my attempt at a run with Dog this morning. I had to stop at the top of our road as he did a poo, I then had to stop to cross the road, and again to take his halti off when we reached the woods. After about 10 minutes of running I then bumped into 2 people I knew so again stopped, and once moving again, I hit a load of mud going downhill and was all over the place so had to slow again otherwise I would of been going down on my bum, so it was a bit of a stop start kind of run.

We have also started stripping our bedroom but appear to have lost the power lead to the wallpaper stripper which is very, very annoying as it seems to be a specialised fitting and not a standard kettle lead, meh!

After a couple of hours of scrapping we decided we would go for a walk with the boys and blow away a few cobwebs and perhaps have a cheeky pint if we happened past a pub which strangely enough we did.

At the bar the landlord asked Mini man what he wanted to drink - the standard answer is milk, but this time he asked for 'a glass of water please with some of those lumps of water in it'.

Well technically he is right, ice is lumps of water!!

This weeks actual Listography! Top Christmas songs

I don't think I am alone in thinking 5 top tips for making yourself look younger posted over at Kate takes 5 was this weeks listography but we are wrong. This week listography is being hosted by the lovely These precious things and is along the Christmas theme. So my top 5 Christmas songs are:

  1. The Pogues and Kirsty McCall 'A fairy Tale of New York' - I have a listography rule which is never read anyone elses until I have posted mine but I have to confess that I did see this topping These precious things' list, however it is my number one as well, I associate it with Christmas, and to be fair it wouldn't be Christmas without hearing it.
  2. George Michael - Last Christmas I gave you my heart - This brings back very strong memories of one Christmas eve being with a friend in her car and both belting it out as we drove somewhere - I have no idea where though!
  3. Band Aid ' Do they know its Christmas' - I have very strong memories of Band Aid, staying a friends and being allowed to stay up late to watch it.
  4. Judy Garland 'Have yourself a merry little Christmas' what more can I say, a true classic from the 1940's I think, remade countless times but never as good as the original.
  5. Jason mraz 'Winter Wonderland' - again a more recent one from the early 2000's but still one I'd be heard singing my heart out to (badly I might add).
I have enjoyed this little listography, I have surprised myself in thinking of quite a few others such as Mariah Carey 'All I want for Christmas is you', Sir Cliff Richard 'Misteltoe and Wine'. Mel and Kim 'Rockin around the Christmas Tree' and Kylie 'Santa baby'. oh and the Coca Cola advert music, that also signifies Christmas is truly here!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

5 top tips for looking younger

I love the idea of this listography from Kate Takes 5 this week, although I suspect my list is going to be pretty boring compared to some!

I think my best top tips to looking younger is:
  1. Not have kids!! No I love the boys and would not be without them, best thing I have ever done and my biggest achievement but having said that I lost my toned , flat stomach, fresh faced look and gained an attractive c-section bulge, permanent bags under my eyes, the haggard bag lady look to perfection and lots of grey hair!
  2. Don't wear make up for a day and constantly look in the mirror to see how old you really look, then the other 6 days you feel so much younger and better because you have it on!
  3. Invest in body control pants, tights, stomach ones - well everything, they are great for holding the wobbly bits in and making you look toned and athletic like you use to be in your early 20's. Note to self though, just because you can't feel yourself wobbling in various places and feel like you are in your early 20's and more athletic - you are not and it is just the half shandy you have drunk that you can no longer handle, confusing your aged brain.
  4. Hair dye - it is brilliant, got to use decent stuff though and not too far removed from my natural colour as I hate roots. I have only recently discovered semi permanents despite saying they do, don't actually cover grey hair well and a permanent dye makes all the difference.
  5. A decent pair of tweezers to pluck away those troublesome hairs that grow in places no lady should have hair that only older age brings (or is that just me because I am now on HRT at a young age?!!).
I am really looking forwards to other people's top tips, might try some of them out. Pop over to Kate Takes 5 to see what everyone else suggests.

Friday, 2 December 2011

The Elf on the Shelf

Has anyone heard of the Elf on the Shelf? I want one!!

I have only just heard of it having seen it on a friend's facebook page and I think it is brilliant.

Apparently it is an old Christmas tradition and I love traditions and think this one would be fab with my boys except I can;t find one - might have to make it a mission for next year.

Basically the Elf on a Shelf is a tiny elf that appears somewhere in the house on the 1st December. Each day he moves to a different place, this is because he sits and watches all the boys and girls in the house to make sure they are being well behaved and every night flies back to the North Pole and gives a report to Father Christmas. By the time the children wake up in the morning, he is back and in a new place. You can name your elf and visit The Elf on a Shelf website to register him and get an official adoption certificate, which I have just looked up and it seems they are more reasonably priced at $29.00 (although still a bit of a gulp factor going on there!).

I can't think of anything more fun but was slightly taken aback at the $99 price tag for a gift set one I just found on amazon, so I am now on the hunt for one but suspect I will have to either make my own for this year or wait to start this tradition to next year!

As you can probably tell I am writing this post while looking and it seems the official website does sell them and have them in stock. I might have to invest in one on Monday - although probably stretching the Christmas budget I think it is too nice a tradition to pass up. If I do manage to get one, I will post a daily picture of where our elf is sitting and doing his watching - fingers crossed t'husband allows me to spend the money once my invoice is paid!!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Listography - 5 favourite cartoon characters

This weeks listography from kate Takes 5 is five of your favourite cartoon characters from you childhood.

I couldnt resist taking part in this one, as I loved cartoons and must admit my boys do as well. I have made a point of not reading anyone elses otherwise it will influence me and confuse me (doesnt take much!).

So here is my list probably in order of which were my favourite downwards
  1. Danger Mouse - the greatest secret agent in the world. For those of you who don't know Danger Mouse, he is a white mouse who is a secret agent, he has a patch over one eye and a side kick called Penfold, who I think was a Hamster. Their boss was a walrus called Colonal K who gave them their missions. As always there is an evil one who Danger Mouse always has to save the world from called Baron Silas Greenback. Danger Mouse was like an animal version of james Bond, he drove fast cars with gadgets and lived in a pillar box, if I remember rightly the kerb use to lift up underneath the pillar box and he would drive in. I loved Danger Mouse.

2. Wacky Races/ Dastardly and Muttley
Wacky races was a race to win the title of the 'world wackiest racer' and featured 11 cars each with their own characters - the ones I remember the most were Dastardly and Muttley the dog who I think had their own TV series, Dastardly was always plotting to trap the other drivers but most plans backfired and he always finished last, Penelope Pittstop with her pink car called the Compact Pussycat which has loads of beauty gadgets inside and the Ant Hill Mob which was a car of 7 tiny gangsters who improved thier speed by sticking their feet through the floor of the car and running.


3. Mysterious Cities of Gold
This was about 3 children searching for the lost cities of gold. I think the main character Esteban had lost his father and the search was also for him, there is also an incan girl who joins them Zia. I loved this as they had great adventures through sout american villages and jungles, it had loads of science fiction in but was also really educational looking back takingthe young viewers on a journey through South American archeology and history. I always dreamed of having adventures like this!


4. Bod
Bod was a young boy who lived in a small town with his Aunt, also in the town were the post man, a policeman and a farmer whose names escape me - good old google they were Frank the postman, PC Copper and Farmer Barleymow. Everytime one of the characters appeared music would be played, each character having their own music.


5. Pob
Pob was a very odd character, at the start of his show he would breathe all over the screen and then write his name in it. My mum use to hate me watching Pob as she thought he was spitting on the screen as did many people but he wasn't - honest! Pob spoke very limited English - very childlike and was meant to live inside your TV where he had a garden. Each episode a different celebrity would visit his garden and entertain him, although no one ever saw Pob and the celebrity together. The celebrity would enter the garden by following a bit of string which had a label stuck on it at the gate. The string was wool unravled from Pobs jumper so whe the celebrity reached him, it would wake Pob. the celebrity would play wioth Pob, read sotries etc and give Pob a gift which Pob then played with.


There were many more that I loved such as Inspector gadget, The Moomins, Button Moon, the list could go on, but I do think the above were the ones I watched the most. if you want to take part in this trip down memory lane, pop over to Kate Takes Five and add your linky.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Bra's

I have posted about this in a previous blog but having just hit this nightmare again I am compelled to re-write the post, I feel others must share my pain and humiliation!

I wish I could say that bra buying was a nightmare for me due to an ample pair, I would even take the falling under my armpits due to their size when I lie down, the black eyes from vigorous running without a suitable support bra on, or the leering from men as the 2 bald men try and escape my low cut top.

Sadly for me it is quite the opposite - mine are so small they have been likened to fried eggs and bee stings in the past, they never even jiggle when I run or jump up and down, let alone bounce. T'husband has vivid recollections of finding me jumping gleefully up and down in front of the mirror at about 5 months pregnant stark naked, watching for the first time ever my boobs move, oh the novelty!

This brings us to bras though - I hate buying bras, it is the one thing I detest shopping for and put off and put off.  About a year ago t'husband decided he would buy me some nice, new bras and off we went to town. We went to Debenhams to get a proper measurement. I found some bras I liked, found a women (well quite a young girl), and asked to be measured. She measured me and then repeated it and then right in the doorway announced to the queue waiting and half the shop that 'perhaps I would like to try a more specialised shop or somewhere like Top Shop who catered for younger girls as they didn't stock bras small enough for me'.

T'husband as hard as he tried couldn't hide the smile on his face, people looked round and I resembled a beetroot. How very rude! She may as well of said go to Tammy Girl but I don't think they even exist anymore!

We then went to M&S and I got a nice, older lady to repeat the measurement but alas was told the same, my boobs were non- existence and they didn't carry many bras in a 32-34AA size or smaller. I went home empty handed.

However to add insult to injury a few weeks later I was back in M&S and noticed it was the last day of the sales and there were loads of bras and pants. I even found 2 in my size, and a few more which looked small. I tried them on and found one which fitted like a glove, the woman checked it and said it was a good fit and I was well chuffed.

Now it wasn't a fancy bra and not one that would get t'husband hot under the collar, it was more of a t-shirt material, with a very thin pale blue and pale pink stripe round it but it was comfy and one I thought I could wear to run in or just under t-shirt.

When I got home and unpacked it, I looked at the label. There it was in plain English - Trainer Bra.

Great - a trainer bra is the best fitting bra I have ever had at 30-something years of age.

Gutted to say the least.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Cakes, cakes, cakes

I have been intending on posting about the Children in Need cake bake our school held.

I love making cakes so enjoy it when they do cake bakes at school which are used to raise money for charity and for the PTA. I normally make a batch or 2 of buns to take and enjoy making them look nice or relevant to the theme.

These were my efforts for Children In Need this year:


For 1 hours of selling cakes after school they raised over £250.00, selling them at 20p a bun which isn't bad going really.

Am already thinking of my Christmas cupcakes and what to do. I went on a cupcake session at the school Christmas shopping night which the PTA organised about which I will blog later. It was really good and I now know how to make proper butter icing and how to pipe it in different styles. Stupidly I didn't take photos of my 6 cupcakes but I am planning on using some of the techniques for Christmas so I will have to remember to take some photos.

Friday, 25 November 2011

A homework rant this time

OK so maybe I am just jumping on the ranting bandwagon. Not only can I thank Sarah Mac for passing the fire on to me, but I am probably going to fuel her fire further with this post!
Little Man is in year 3 and has started getting proper homework in the form of his daily reading, spellings once a week from which he has to write his sentences and then a spelling test. As regular readers will know Little Man is struggling with the whole learning process and is quite far behind but they do send home spellings that are more geared to his level. The reading we have been doing daily since the word go and as for the number work, well that is a step too far for Little Man to cope with at the moment and we figure (rightly or wrongly) it would be better to concentrate on the reading and writing for now and get his confidence up on that front and let the number work come in time.

Anyhow despite struggling Little Man is keen and happily does his homework, rarely complains and works really hard at it. In September when school started we were sent home a sheet with the week on it saying Monday - PE kit, Tuesday - library book, Wednesday - nothing, Thursday - hand homework in, Friday - spelling test, everyday - reading book etc. This is pinned to my fridge as well as each one being on repeat in my phone.

The spellings are a sheet of paper with a list of 10 words, all normally related i.e. sigh, fight, night etc, or undo, unfit, unkind etc. These are listed on he left hand side of the sheet. On the right hand side it reminds you to read, say, cover and spell the word, then has a bit about what the number work should be, then under this a box suggesting daily reading. If we just open the book Little Man starts messing around and doesn't concentrate so I open his book and place a blank sheet of paper immediately over the list of words and we move it down a word at a time. At the last word, I normally just push the blank paper back inside his book and shut it until the next day when we do them again. From this list of 10 words he then needs to choose 5 and write a sentence with them in i.e Someone was unkind today. This is done in a separate book.

Two weeks ago I noticed before we left the playground on the Thursday night Little man's homework books were still in his bag and not handed in so we popped back to the classroom and handed them in. Last week on Wednesday when I picked Little Man up, he clearly wasn't well and his teacher said she didn't think he should attend school on Thursday. I agreed. He got home, fell asleep at 4pm and slept through to the next morning when he woke as bright as a button, raring to go, and after a very good breakfast I decided he was well enough to go in. He hadn't done his sentences though as we practice the words all week, then do the sentences wed night to hand in Thurs. I went in to see his teacher and explained and asked if he could hand them in on Friday. I was quite put out by her response when she said no, she marked the homework Thurs night and rules were rules, he would get a not done mark. I did protest he had been ill and she knew that to no avail.

This week Little Man was very upset Wednesday night and it eventually came out he had been told he had to attend homework club during his break times - he is 7 not 15. This was because he kept failing to hand his homework in. I assured him it was only once and it couldn't of been that reason but he was insistent. So the next morning I trotted back in to see the teacher. She informed me that homework day had been changed to Wednesday's back in October and the kids had been told. I am not being funny I still need to remind Little Man to put his pants on before his trousers, there is no way a message like that would 1) register with him or 2) get home. She then said it was written as well right on the bottom of the weekly sheet and showed me. Sure enough it was but due to my bit of paper method I never see the bottom of these sheets. I felt it was really bad he was being penalised for my mistake - he isn't capable of reading that message himself. She said she couldn't make allowances it wouldn't be fair, and his homework would not be marked this week. I was livid and she knew it.

On leaving the classroom I got collared by the SENCO who wanted to see me a separate issue we have with Little Man which is to do with a change of teacher which I will blog about separately. She asked if everything was OK so I explained about the homework situation.

Needless to say at 3.00 she saw me again and told me the teacher had been spoken to, and told allowances should be made, she had also had plenty of opportunity to have a quiet word with me about his late homework seeing as though we speak 2-3 times a week to catch up, and Little Man does not need to attend homework club. He came home a different child. His breaktimes are very important to him, as they are any child but homework club would break the school routine which could have a detrimental effect, luckily the SENCO gets thats.

I just hope the teacher doesn't hold it against me, I never intended them to speak with her, but it was out of order and I still feel they get an awful lot of homework for 7 years old.

Unfair!

Unfair was one of the spellings Little Man had to learn this week. Each week he gets 10 spellings, normally with a pattern to them, so this was 'un' - unfair, unkind, unlike etc. Every week he then has to pick 5 of his spellings and put them into 5 sentences. He wanted to pick unfair but struggled to come up with a sentence himself.

This morning I could of perfectly formed many sentences with unfair in it.

Little Man has been through more in his short little life than most do in their life times. 9 weeks prem, brain haemorrhage's, double pneumonia, RSV, suspected meningitis, strangulated hernias, 4 operations -all before he was 4, behavioural difficulties which left his ostracised until it was diagnosed as ADHD and he started medication which has given him the chance to function and interact much better, aspergers and as a result of some of the above he is struggling with his learning - probably due to a very short attention span due to the ADHD so prior to it being formally recognised he was 2 years behind anyhow, and possibly due to some of what he has experienced. They think he has short term memory damage as well due to the brain bleeds at birth but no-one is sure.

So this morning as we were running very late, I decided to physically help him get dried and dressed to speed the process up. He dresses himself normally and although often needs reminders of which order his clothes go on i.e. pants before trousers, t-shirt before jumper, he is pretty self sufficient and I don't need to pay him too much attention. I was kneeling on the landing having just dressed Mini Man and sent him to do his teeth, so swiveled round to face Little Man. I was of course at about chest height to him as I as kneeling. He pulled his pants up and stood up straight in front of me and all I could see was the fact from his right hip his body seemed to curve inwards and then do the opposite on the other side. I noticed it from the front but it looked exactly like the below.

Image downloaded from google images.

I tried not to make too much of it but asked him to stand straight and tall etc but it was still there, I then checked it again in the kitchen before we left for school wondering if it was the angle I had been sat at but I could still see it. 

After school drop off I popped into the doctors to ask if I should be worried, the receptionist was lovely and said they didn't have any appointments but a doctor would ring me. He did while I was still in reception. He was pretty off hand about it and kind of dismissed it saying it sounded like scoliosis to him, and if we felt it was getting worse over the next year or so to go and see them, but then said if I wanted I could make a routine appointment. He made is sound like 'if you feel it is necessary...' I know enough about my science to know while still stood there that scoliosis is curvature of the spine.

well shit yes, I feel it is necessary to have it assessed by a doctor. To me it was very obvious and I can't understand how I haven't noticed before. Thinking back as a baby I remember questioning Little Man's spine and saying it didn't look straight to me, but was told it was because he was so little and not to worry, so I never had, to be fair I have never given it much thought.

I am feeling really, really cut up about this. He has been through so much and overcome so much, and now there is a possibility he will have a deformity. Don't get me wrong, many people have and most do not let it affect their life and get on with it an that is how it will be for Little Man, he will be treated no differently and be brought up to believe he is no different and it won't stop him achieving anything he wants to. But life still seems very unfair, yet another thing for him to deal with. He is not even 8 yet, does this mean as he grows it will become more apparent? will it affect his gait? Will it be obvious in the school showers after PE? Will he be ridiculed? Its easy to say we have to teach him to rise above it but he doesn't always understand and is a very sensitive little soul.

I know I am jumping the gun here, I know I am probably doing the classic thinking of the worse scenario possible and it won't be anything like that, but I can't help it. I have appointment next Thursday so hopefully my mind will be put at rest then. I have had a good cry this morning about it and feel much better for it, nothing like a good cry!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Struck off!

The other week as I stood in the queue outside the classroom for Mini Man I could hear a very persistent child begging his mum for someone to come round and play. I wasn't really tuned in until I heard Mini Man's name mentioned and then the mother saying to her little boy that they would wait until they saw 'Mini Man's' mum come to pick him up (Mini Man is the only one in his class of that name and seeing as though this little boy checked in the classroom and said he was still there suggests to me, I was the mum in question). This mum as well appears to be taking a different child home each week for a play date.

I didn't manage to catch her eye to let her know I was Mini Man's mum and was soon at the front of the queue asking for him. Now Mini Man is getting a little too big for his boots right now. He has started full time school and his confidence has zoomed through the roof and with that has come a huge dose of belligerence and stubbornness. He does not listen, he runs off, he laughs when told off, he knows best, and he is generally being very naughty at the moment, pushing every feasible boundary possible.

This particular night was no exception with him charging out of the classroom, thrusting his water bottle at me with a 'here' and then legging it off down the corridor without a backwards glance. I sprinted after him (more like lumbered but sprinted sounds so much better), and returned him to the pegs to get his coat. By this stage mother, baby and persistent little boy were deep in conversation with another mum.

This mother reminds me of someone who should be in the 1950's. She has a very sensible, kind of curly short haircut, perfect but sensible makeup (a bit like my Granny use to wear), she always wears a knee length skirt or trousers and flat comfortable shoes. I don't know but she reminds me of the woman on the front of my Good Housekeeping cook book. She looks like the type that is a proper housewife - tea on the table for when husband comes home, children bathed and quiet, slippers warming. I may be doing her a huge injustice, nothing like judging by appearances after all!



Anyhow getting outdoor clothes on Mini Man and him to pack his lunchbox, water bottle and god knows what else was an effort and he finally slipped my clutches and legged it again which had me doing my best fish wife impression down the corridor as he collided with a smaller child.

1950's mother, baby and persistent little boy were all within ear shot. 3 or 4 of the other mothers gave me that sympathetic look and smile saying 'I know how you feel'. I disappeared off after my child ready to wring his neck.

The next day as I was walking into the school playground 1950's mum was approaching me so I smiled and stopped, introduced myself as Mini Man's mum and said I had overheard her saying she wanted to speak with me. I was quite categorically told that actually her little boy had said Mini man's mum needed a word with her, and she didn't need to speak with me, and that was that, she went off and I went in the opposite direction smiling.

It seems we have been deemed an unsuitable family after my fish wife impression and I was only hollering his name and shouting come back here now please - albeit quite loudly (if she thinks that's bad she should pop round for 8.00am when we are trying to get dressed with Little Man twirling on the landing, t-shirts going on backwards, trousers before pants and the shower left running with the door open).

I have seen her plenty of times since and she won't look at me or smile despite my best efforts to try and show that Mini man comes from a loving, stress free home where shouting is seen as unnecessary, and discipline is paramount. I have to admit though it does keep making me chuckle!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Listography - Top 5 gadgets

I have not taken part for absolutely ages in Kate's Listography, I think I hit a stumbling block with the listography about disastrous dates as I am afraid I don't have a very colourful love life behind me and struggled with it!

This one though I can do, I am not fussy about that many gadgets but t'husband is the gadget king, so I am surrounded by them and I do admit that some of them have proved their worth (but don't tell him that!).

In most essential order I think my list includes:

  1. My phone - it is like my life, it literally beeps at me to tell me to get dressed, all my lists are in it to remind me to do things, the kids social life, swimming, school events etc, all my contacts and an even bigger bonus is the Internet connection. I would struggle without my phone despite the fact I hate the current one I have (an HTC Desire, I have had nothing but problems with it, and still have 6 months to go on my contract which is killing me. I have been told by Vodafone I can upgrade online aorund Christmas time but I bet I won't be able to get a new iPhone. I can not wait to change the HTC, and think I will try the iPhone out. I use to have an iTouch which I loved but t'husband broke it and I can't afford to replace it so the iPhone is not dissimilar and would do the same job as the iTouch as well as being a phone - bonus! Fingers crossed I am able to upgrade to one at Christmas).

2. A simple gadget in the kitchen is my pampered chef food chopper. I would of been lost without this especially when mini man was a baby as he refused to eat any type of lumps or vegetables so I use to chop all the veg down as small as possible and use it as a base for pasta sauce etc and it made life so quick and easy and also has the added advantage of being a good way to relieve any pent up tension through bashing the top of it with vigor.

3. Hair straighteners - these have become an essential part of making me look less scary in the mornings, I am not sure if it is an age thing that my hair now appears to be wild and uncontrollable or the fact I don't sit for hours blow drying it anymore, possibly the latter in hind sight!

4. The Internet - how did I manage without it? I use it for everything - shopping, bargain hunting, reviews, keeping in touch with people, the news, gossip, inspiration, and more importantly if I don't know something there is the magic, all knowing google. I love google. If I fancy cooking something and my trusty Good Housekeeping cookbook (which I also love) lets me down (which is rarely does I hasten to add) - I google things, I enjoy cooking and find looking on line for ideas great.



5. My camera - I was always the one when we went out with a camera hanging off my arm, I love capturing memories, I love revisiting places and events and the memories the photos create. I like the idea of capturing moments in time. I guess I could live without it if push came to shove but I would rather not.



 If you can add to the list, pop over to Kate Takes Five and join in.

By the way if my husband was doing this, god knows what would of made the list but it would not of been so boring, it would of been things like his X-streamer (a media streamer, although he wants the new one now), Xoom, garmen sat nav or something similar, blue tooth headphones he uses for gaming so I don't feel like I live in a war zone, this gadget from vodafone which he can use to connect to the Internet anywhere and god knows what else!



Grooving mum's week 8 I think

I am totally snowed under with work and have about 3 days worth of work to complete before 3.00 today, argggghhhh which is why posts a few and far between at the moment.

I have recently felt very let down and betrayed by certain people in my life and it has been devastating. It is not the first time I have been in this position and as a result I feel I have handled it much better. I did have over a week of complete self pity, blaming myself, eating like a pig etc but I have pulled myself out of that.

Last time I found almost pretending it never happened helped but that took nearly a year to reach that stage. This time I seem to have reached it in a matter of weeks and whether it is a good thing to do or not only a matter of time will tell. The danger is the people involved are going to think they can keep hurting me and I will just stand by like some weak minded idiot and keep coming back for more.

The thing is that is how I feel at the moment, by just getting on with it, I don't feel like the people involved are seeing the hurt that is going on inside me, but it is complicated, I can't just walk away.  It is really tearing me apart that I can't talk to anyone about it either - I don't think anyone would understand, or understand my reasons for getting on with things. I fear people would lose respect for me. At the moment I don't feel particularly good about myself - weak minded, pathetic, a pushover, an idiot, very confused and the list could do on. But I am going off on a tangent here and didn't intend to.

The point is the last month or so has been very, very tough for me and where I was really beginning to feel better about myself, I have been beaten down and stamped on. However as I said last week 'don't let the bastards grind you down' and I bloody wont and I have had a really brilliant week.

I had a surprise 40th birthday party planned for my husband on Saturday which I couldn't blog about as I suspect he has found my blog and has a read now and again. I have changed my blog twice due to thinking this in the past - I was really gutted about the first time as I loved the name of my blog then but this is my private place and the only secret I have ever had from him, and I did want it to stay that way. When I first thought I had been rumbled, I closed the blog and started a new one. I then think it happened again and did the same. This time, well I can't be bothered. If you are reading, I just want a bit of respect not to read it, not that it says anything much, it really is just ramblings.

Anyhow the party has been in the planning a long time - I managed to get friends from all over the country coming. The last week has been hectic as the plans changed from meeting at the restaurant and surprising him to friends wanting to see him but not having babysitters or still feeding their baby so not able to leave the baby etc, so it was then decided we would start at our house for pre-dinner drinks to accommodate everyone and those not able to come to the restaurant could make it as well.

The house was like a building site last weekend but in a week we have managed to lay laminate flooring all downstairs and wallpaper the landing and start painting. In an ideal world I wanted the hall, stairs and landing finished but despite staying up wallpapering to 3.30am one morning, and too many 5am starts to try and get the house ship shape, it didn't happen and I got to the stage of not caring! Its a work in progress. we also had new carpet laid last week.

Everything went really well, t'husband didn't suspect a thing, lots of old friends came, some who we haven't seen for years so that put me on an instant high, lots of alcohol and good food at a lovely Thai restaurant.

On the work front I have been asked for an interview for home based permanent part time work which would work very well if they are happy for me still to freelance, so very happy about this chance. Plus the freelance work has gone manic again which is great news after 2 quiet months, always the way when I was so busy with the house last week, and suddenly was also trying to squeeze in teleconferences and constant email traffic and deadlines.

On Kate's tasks for this week, I have not done so well. Poetry is not a strong point for me, although I wonder if reading my very old book of Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes to my boys would count? We all had a good giggle over them. The dancing as well -  I am not a big dancer but I do enjoy a good dance round the kitchen again with the boys which normally results in us all rolling on the floor and tickling them. T'husband also got given a very funny birthday dance by the Thai restaurant staff which involved a male waiter in a pair of bright pink sunglasses grooving round the tables, and other staff banging drums and gongs and all of them singing a lively version of Happy Birthday! Think that might count!

Friday, 11 November 2011

What you do for your children!

Little Man is learning about the Tudors in school at the moment and has shocked us with what he is absorbing - he obviously enjoys it but as it is project work, they are also putting a lot of what they learn into drawing which is a great way for him to learn.

Originally the school tried to organise a theatrical group to come in who do a Tudor thing with the kids but sadly not enough parent contribute towards it so they had to cancel it which I think is awful but there you go.

Instead they have a Tudor day planned today and asked all the kids to take in a large orange (not sure why yet but I am sure it will be revealed tonight), £1, and dress as Tudor children would of done.

Little Man has never participated in school dressing days, it has only been recently he has agreed to do non-uniform days, as in his little mind, when you go to school, you wear school uniform. Any form of dressing up would normally result in a bit of a meltdown.

I did approach the Tudor dressing up quietly but got a point blank no, we did the usual pictures and the difference between the rich and poor but he stood by his guns. He loves his teacher though and she asked me in last night to sign Little Man's latest IEP. She also mentioned the dressing up and explained Little Man's aversion which she fully understood.

About 9.00 last night Little Man appears on the stairs and calls me up, and declares that if Miss J wants him to dress up he will do it for her, and could I please make him a rich boys outfit or a kings.

Not a problem Little Man, mummy being the supermum she is knew you would change your mind and had already sourced something - errhhh NOT! This is unheard of so I was totally caught out, which is why at 2.30am this morning I eventually packed the sewing machine away and mined the floor for stray pins before falling exhausted into bed.

In the end I cut up my 6th form ball dress which I had made many years ago and my mum recently deemed necessary to dig out of her loft (who knew why she even kept it) and bring down to my house. It was only cotton but in a deep green and I had the darker green silk underskirt as well.

The silky underskirt luckily had an elasticated waist band which wasn't far off Little Man's waist, so I placed a pair of his 3/4 length trousers lined up waist to waist and cut round them but only the inner leg and crotch, keeping the original side seems of the skirt as they wore bloomer type trousers in Tudor times, so figured it would give them the volume they needed. I didn't have any elastic so used some more green fabric to make tapes and folded the bottom of each leg up and sowed it and threaded the tape through so I could tie it tighter round his legs in the morning to give the desired bloomer effect.

The shirt I used a white t-shirt of his, cut the shirt sleeves of one of t'husbands white shirts (the oldest looking one, t'husband seemed quite unconcerned at the time) and cut the cuffs off. These I then lined up and sowed onto the shoulders of the t-shirt, and then about 2 inches above the wrists threaded cotton through with very big stitches so again I could pull that tight in the morning around his arms to give the bolero type sleeve look. I used extra bits of the shirt to make a kind of ruff/frill thing at his neck.

Finally I used the skirt of the ball gown to make a long waist coat for him and dug out an old black floppy hat of mine and stuck 2 green feathers from the art box onto that.

I then flopped into bed exhausted mumbling to t'husband that if Little Man had changed his mind in the morning, I would wear the bloody thing myself!

Bright and early this morning Little Man happily gets dressed in all of it (I thought he might refuse the silky trousers) and off he trots to school. I am dead chuffed with the results - the photo does not show it in its full glory (as far as I the creator is concerned!!).



This is major, major progress for Little Man, he has never participated and did it fine this morning and when I took him in and he was stood among the rest of his peers also dressed up, he looked as proud as punch and ran over to kiss me and whispered 'this is kind of nice mummy'.

YEEEAHHHHHHHHHH!!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Facebook - its a marmite thing - maybe?

Facebook - where do you stand on it?

I feel like I have almost done the full circle with facebook. I resisted it for ages when it first took off, couldn't be bothered with it and didn't see the point instead preferring to catch up with people on the phone or by letter.

I then decided to see what it was all about and got myself an account, had a good old nose at what everyone I could think of was doing with their lives now and then didn't do much with it and slowly over the years it has grown on me. I think during this phase I was actually quite addicted to Bliss, the premature and sick baby Charity and I found their forums a lifeline.

I think facebook took off for me when I got an iTouch as I was able to connect to the Internet via wifi and could access it easily, something I discovered I could do at work and no-one would know :) I also discovered the usefulness of it for posting photos of the boys for friends and family to keep up to date who lived miles away.

I progressed from the iTouch to a smart phone and with the 3G it made accessing facebook even easier and it then became an addiction. How may people pick their phone up the moment they open their eyes and check facebook in the morning? I did at one stage. How many people check it as soon as they get into work, or boot the computer up? last thing at night incase anything ground breaking has happened in a friends life. I even got to the stage where my updates would tell me so 'n so had commented on one of their friends status' (someone not even connected to me) and I would have a nose at what it was all about.

I am now at the stage where facebook is beginning to annoy me for a number of reasons:

Friend whores - I am fed up of people I barely know or I knew briefly 25 years ago linking to me through other people and trying to get me to be friends - they have no interest in me but more in their friends numbers. There is a reason we never kept in touch, there is a reason I have to go through their friends lists to work out who they are and how I possibly know them.

Status addicts - There are the ones who update you every hour of every day. There are 2 in my friends lists who I have recently hidden their status updates from my feed as I was getting so cheesed off. 'F has just mopped the kitchen floor and now deserves a coffee and piece of cake' 1 hour later 'F has just negotiated with her 3 year old that she can watch 2 episodes of spooks before he has CBeebs, while the baby is asleep'. 40 minutes later 'F has just made an apple pie and is having a well deserved rest'. One day it wound me up so much I updated my status with 'I have swept and mopped the lounge, dining room and kitchen floors, washed up, hung the washing out, made 4 lunches, feed 2 kids, taken them to school, put petrol in the car and done my tesco's shop all before getting into work for 9.30 - full day ahead' and it was true I had done all that but don't feel the need to let everyone know. 

Check-in people - There is another who checks in every place she goes - 'O checked in at home', 'O checked in on the number 77 bus', 'O checked in at Asda', 'O checked into the post office' 'O checked into the health centre'. 'o checked into the number 77 bus'.  it gets annoying after a while.

Games - constant invites to play mafia wars and Farmville and many others, being told so n so has found a lost sheep, and so n so needs 4 bricks to build a barn etc

And so it goes on - mostly I like seeing what people are up to, funny little status updates here and there, but suddenly I seem to be wanting to check facebook less and less, I am updating my status less and less. Maybe it is just a phase and I will go back to it, but who knows? Thing is I haven't been converted to twitter or anything like that and have been blogging for nearly 2 years now (under different blogs) so its not like its because I am doing this.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Don't let the bastards grind you down

Yeah for once I am on time! The last few weeks I have been very slack with little motivation to do anything, but I have given myself a good slap and decided I need to shake myself up and realise that what I do, I do for me and the boys, my family they are important.

I have had the shittest time in the last 2 weeks, and to be honest I do not know how I feel, I think I have been living in a bit of a numb daze but I don;t know a few days ago something clicked in me and I suddenly got my fighting spirit back.

Maybe it was because I was in the loft and found an old fashioned small brown suitcase my Dad got me when I was at University. It has all my treasures in it, my wedding diary, an old shawl my Grannie crochet me, my rosettes from my horse riding days, loads of letters from my Grandma, Granny, boyfriend - now husband, little notes he left me, my 18th and 21st cards and gift tags from my parents and people important to me, silly things picked up in clubs - memorabilia type things.

Anyhow the story of this case was I had a bad time at the start of my 2nd year at Uni and was desperately unhappy. Dad found the case at a car boot and knew I wanted one. He gave it to me and had stuck a piece of paper on the inside of the lid with a few sayings on to cheer me up, written in capitals (my Dad doesn't do lower case, or punctuation!), and florescent pink highlighter pen. One of them said 'don't let the bastards grind you down'.

I have often lived by this since and still have that bit of paper stuck on the inside of the lid and saw it the other day, and I won't let the bastards grind me down. I am worth more than that, and I know there are people out there that don't respect me, but if I respect myself and believe in myself then I can face the world.

From this week I am putting my best foot forwards and getting on with life for me, for the boys.

I have enjoyed most of this week _ managed to say a lot of what I wanted to say to the parties involved in destroying me recently and feel better for doing so. Hopefully it has been taken on board.

I went to a fireworks party which was the last thing I wanted to do and although I kept more in the background it was good funk, the kids loved it (and behaved) and both myself and t'husband admitted we have become too stuck in our ways and stay in too much.

We went on a massive long walk on Sunday with the kids and the dog and it really blew the cobwebs away.

I have had some more work come in, for this month and Jan, Feb and March are shaping up to be busy months.

T'husband had a job interview on Friday as he is not happy in his current job, so fingers crossed.

I also went to a PTA meeting and put my ideas forward instead if sitting on them and thinking I would catch someone in the playground in the next few days.

Oh and I spent a horrid amount of money on myself on a new PC for my work and under duress from t'husband as I do all my work on my laptop and despite being  only a year old it is quite unreliable. I am not good at spending money on me!

So all in all a positive week. I am still messed up over the business going on at the moment, but I refuse to let it get me down now, as long as I don't dwell on things and think too much I am alright.

As for the challenges, I am unsure of posting a photo not for confidence reasons but more as I started the blog to be anonomous and think I will stay that way for now. The controversal post, well I am not really a controversal person so might struggle with this one, for now I can't think of anything but will put my thinking ap on and watch this space.

Thank you to all thhose who have commented recently and given me some lovely support x

Monday, 7 November 2011

Eye tests and ASD

We have noticed Little Man has been sitting closer and closer to the TV recently. Now living with an IT/Gadget geek we don't have a small TV, so there was no reason why he should be almost sitting in it.
I am so blind I get free eye test and have worn glasses since the age of 4. T'husband has also started wearing glasses in the last few years. So it comes as no surprise to me that one if not both boys will eventually need glasses. So I duly booked the appointment with Boots opticians. I decided to have mine first so Little Man could see what was going on.  At 7 Little Man was expected to read the chart even though I told the optician he is struggling in school.

Little Man was a little unsure of the glasses they use but kept them on, but by the time the optician had fiddled with these, Little Man had had enough and was not going to sit still, was not going to stop twiddling the sides of the glasses on his face and was definitely not going to even attempt the letters. I was furious with the Optician though, he clearly did not have much experience with children and did not listen to me. After only 2 attempts he said he couldn' possibly do Little Man's sight test as he was being so naughty and could we please rebook to see the manager and have drops put in his eyes so they wouldn't need to use the glasses or the reading charts. Our old optician in our old town was fab at Boots Opticians and always used pictures with Little Man and games.

Anyhow I re-booked for a few days later for 2pm and told school he wouldn't be back due to blurry vision. He happily sat in the chair and the manager seemed a lot more clued up about children and sight tests. However she then tried the eye drops.

Little Man took one look at something approaching his eye and flipped. He got himself backwards in the chair screaming and shouting his eyes were burning and it hurt (nothing had actually gone in his eyes). The poor woman didn't know what to do.  He was so distressed and shouting 'that woman is hurting me, take me away mummy, take me home'.  When we eventually calmed Little Man down and left the room at the back of Boots, lots of people turned to see us exit the room so it is obvious most of the shop heard about the poor manager hurting Little Man! Going back to school was not an option due to Little Man's distress so we went for a hot chocolate and muffin until pick up time for Mini Man.

The next step was a referral to the hospital who are experienced in putting drops in children's eyes. The morning arrived (not without a little trepidation on my part), and we trotted off to the department. After waiting half an hour, we were shown into a tiny, long room and Little Man sat and chatted with the optician. She gave him a choice of either bright green or red glasses to put on - they looked like sun glasses which she was then able to blank one eye out of, and asked him to look at both letters and pictures. She concluded with little fuss that Little Man did need glasses and asked us to wait in a different corridor so the nurse could stick some drops in his eyes and then they could work out his prescription.

Another half hour wait and we were shown into a room. Little Man was asked to hop up onto a bed and I could see he immediately put his defenses up. Two nurses came in and I had a quiet word and said he would be difficult as soon as he realised what they were going to do and perhaps they could do both eyes at the same time and very quickly before he realised what was going on.  In principle this should of worked but one of the nurses decided to make a big deal of opening the vial about 5 inches from Little Man's nose and when he asked if she was going to put them in his eyes she said 'of course we are, just wait a moment'.

Que Little Man fighting to get past me and off the bed, and then screaming blue murder, thrashing around and trying to bite me. One nurse at least tried to aim in the right direction when she got the chance, the other stood back looking shocked (the one who had told him what they were going to do). As the nurses are not allowed to restrain a patient, this was deemed another disastrous appointment and after about 20 minutes of them trying to explain what it was and how it wouldn't hurt and would he try, they gave up. I think we were in that room for about 45 minutes. When we opened the door all these people sat in the corridor lent forwards in their chair to watch me carrying a sobbing, heaving Little Man out in my arms. now for 7 Little Man is very tall and thin and when one old man said very loudly to his wife that he was expecting a toddler to come out of the room, it took me all my remaining energy not to stop and give him a piece of my mind.



After discussion with t'husband we decided that to allow him to wake up with blurry vision could in itself be very frightening so we spent the next few weeks talking about putting them in, showing him pictures and practicing with water in the bath. In the end he agreed to be brave (in exchange for a treat - his idea) and we agreed.

The morning of the appointment we were prepared for problems despite Little Man agreeing. We got him laid on our bed, one on either side of him and used our knees to hold his arms down gently, said 1,2 3 and both aimed at the same time before he realised what was going on. He did get very distressed for about 30 minutes after and sat with his back to us but thankfully calmed down by himself and we got to the hospital and got the appointment over and done with in no time. And yes he does need glasses and is now the proud owner of some bight shiny blue ones and has taken to them like a duck to water.

I must admit I am not looking forwards to his next appointment!!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Grooving mum's Tuesday - well Friday

I said at the start of Grooving mum's blog hop that I was determined to take part each week and I think so far I have succeeded, albeit a little late on the last 2, but I am here even if it is Friday!

My Button

I am not grooving truth be known, but last week Kate asked what grooving mum's meant to us and for me it is forming a bit of a lifeline at the moment. It is making me pick myself up, making me think about stopping wallowing in self pity and making me want to do things for me simply so I can report back and share it and get the support on here. Kate also asked us to write a post we would never normally write. There is one post I would like to write right now - to share what is eating me alive right now, but I can't.I made a promise not to discuss it with anyone which in the long run has made me feel so incredibly alone, so I can't blog about it, I can't talk about it with t'husband, or with friends, I won't break that promise. To talk about it with the person putting me through this wont work either I don't think as I am so damned confused and crushed. So that post won't be happening.

The last 2 weeks have past in a complete haze of self pity, wallowing, pringles, wine and comfort food. The diet, running, feeling good about myself and more confident have fled out the back door and run off down the road. BUT no more, I am back running, I have ditched the junk and although the wallowing may take longer and the confidence and self belief have been steam rollered by one event (and not even mine), I am picking myself back up. Thanks to this link it has made me realise I am worth it and for who, for ME and for my kids and family.

Last week despite being in a haze, I managed to say yes to mum taking the boys and me for lunch one day. I didn't want to go and set off with the false, public mummy smile plastered on my face but I enjoyed it. I also went to a Halloween party with t-husband and although not one of those brilliant, won't forget that for a long time nights, it was good. I did speak to a number of mum's I have never spoken to before on the school trip, 2 of whom have stopped for a quick chat in the playground since, so I am trying and it does make you feel better. Oh and I took the boys swimming over the holidays and we had a great morning, followed by a trip to MacDonald's, a real treat for them x

Right now I feel like a bit of paper that has been screwed up and then straightened out to try and make it look OK again but it never will, no matter what you do to it. Those creases will stay, just like hurt does but I need to get over that because I am worth so much more.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Finding your groove or is that losing it?

This is meant to be a post for part of Kate on Thin Ice finding your groove Tuesday and yes I know I am late but hey Thursday starts with a T as well.

Before I launch into my wails, Kate has asked we sum up what Grooving mums has meant to us - well I think it is a fab idea, it brings together women who are all feeling the same but perhaps don;t want to admit it out loud to those around them, and it makes us think alot more about us, the real people we are and not just us as a mum, makes us realise we are important. Today I feel as if it is one of the things that makes me realise I need to keep going, to keep that determination not to be beaten down and let things get the better of me.

This week I have the expression 'and the walls came tumbling down' whizzing round my head.

I will warn you now, I am not in a good place so this post is full of self pity so read no further if you wish.

I think I was doing really well with finding my groove, and more importantly some of that old confidence, but isn't it funny how one event can destroy all the good work that you have done in one fell swoop.

I have plunged, and fallen backwards, I no longer feel my groove and I think it is going to take a long time to recover it. It has run off and hidden in some crevice or hole somewhere unknown to me.

I don't want to feel like this but events occur and events mess with your head and events leave you beaten.

I am feeling well and truly sorry for myself, shattered physically and mentally. 2 big packs of pringles in 2 days, biscuits and flapjacks for staple food yesterday is not good. I stopped eating pringles months ago when a friend told me there was so much fat in pringles, they don't even burn and it is true, they don't. But sod that thought when I want comfort food.

Perhaps because of this it is even more important that I do find my groove, that I do find that time for me, do the little things that count - only right now I don't feel like it. Give it a week and few nights good sleep and maybe I will begin clawing my way back, I know deep down I have to.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Grooving Tuesday well Saturday!

I am really late joining in Finding your Groove Tuesday with Kate over at Kate on Thin Ice.

I love the idea of this blog hop and when Kate started it, I swore it would be one I took part in each week without fail, and I am still determined to do so even though I am about 5 days late this week which is simply through work commitments and not enough hours in the day.

So anyhow back to the idea of Getting your Groove back.

It only takes a mere 30 minutes a day to take time out. For me I have started running which has had a brilliant effect. Not only do I feel better for it - more alert, less tired, I can also actually feel the start of me toning up so I am feeling more comfortable about my body, and I am enjoying the challenge.

Failing getting 30 minutes for yourself, there is always the simple things in life like a little treat - your favourite breakfast, a shopping trip etc.

Kate has been setting a weekly challenge and this week's was to buy some new underwear. On a walk through M&S looking for something for my Mini Man I noticed there was a sale on and I was right by the underwear and I do desperately need some new knickers.

Now buying bra's is a much dreaded process for me (I will do a seperate blog post about my traumas in this department), but in M&S there were some really pretty bra and knickers sets and I love matching sets and rarely get any. So I thought what the heck. There wasn;t much choice in my size but I went out of my comfort zone and instead of the normal skin coloured ones, white or black, I settled on a dual pack, yes one white but the other in 'hot pink' (apparently). Now I havent got the confidence yet to post a piccy if myself sporting the new underwear like Glasgow Mummy but maybe one day. Mind you if I were Glasgow Mummy I would be showing my fab figure off as well!
I tried the pink ones on and t'husband walked into the room, and his reaction was fantastic and he went off to work telling me he was really cross with me as he wouldnt be able to concentrate all day knowing what I had on which just made my day! Talk about a confidence boost and I have got to say when I wear the pink ones, I do walk around feeling really good about myself. Best of all it cost me £12.00 for both sets in total.

The second suggestion was to visit a volunteering website but I simply have not got the time. All week I have been up by 4.30-5.00am just to catch up on work and I have a list as long as my arm of things I need to try and catch up on when I have time such as reading schemes for kids with ADHD, learning website for special needs, ASD info, support groups, and not to mention my family history.

I started this and have been in contact with  very elderly relatives, one known to me, another who has found me through the research - both are distantly related but one is an old family friend and up until me doing our family tree none of us, including her knew how our families were related and if infact they were. I have now traced her mother. This lady is 83 and I still have to get my research in some kind of decent written form for her, and I am very concious time could be against me. The other lady never knew her father and he is a direct ancestor of mine and my mum remembers all his sisters but not him sadly, and I have been able to provide her with photos she never had. This lady is in her 70's and there is more I can tell her but it is so tme consuming, I need time to sit and do it. Priorities, priorities. So volunteering is something that is going to be added to the list. I have just filled my CRB form in though to help at the school so don;t know if that counts?

I also wore a pretty short skirt for the first time in a long time, not for a special occasion but just because I felt like it, and again a complement from t'husband made it all worthwhile.

Finally just for me I stole t'husband's ipad and ran myself a hot bubble bath and soaked with a glass of wine while catching up on strictly come dancing which I throughrily enjoyed.

 And so onto next week (which in reality is only 3 days away) but I am certainly thinking of me first at times now, and feel so much better for it, thanks Kate.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Mumentum - still plodding on!

I am still trying but seem to have lost all motivation. I think it was the being really good for over a week and feeling good about myself to discover I had actually put 4.5lbs on which was pretty disheartening. I need to kick myself up the bum and get on with it.

People keep telling me the addition of weight is because I have been doing more running and it is the fat turning to muscle which is heavier. I know they are probably right but in the meantime I thought I would share this as I truly believe this is the real reason!!


Hope everyone else has not been infested by these little bligthers and is having more luck than me x

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Should of stayed in bed kind of day

That's how I feel today!

In the space of 2 days I have very similar conversations with teachers, and they have just made me want to jump back into bed, pull the duvet over my head and start the day again.
Mini Man is being very naughty at the moment - he doesn't listen, he does what he wants, when he wants, is in and out of bed on a night, shouts, runs away, you name it. I have put this down to suddenly being at school, he is now in Reception and is maybe just getting a bit too big for his boots, dealing with the change of it all and of course tiredness as we approach half term.
His teacher's obviously have other ideas. Mini Man had swimming last night and his teacher was not happy with his behaviour. He messed around something chronic, lifted the rope and went underneath and swam into the middle of his brother's lesson and the teacher threatened to stop his lesson and make him get out, which had a small effect. After the lesson she spoke to me and said his concentration was very bad, he was disruptive and I was expecting her to say he needed to buck his ideas up for next term. Instead she ended with apologising and saying she had the wrong end of the stick and had thought it was his brother (Little Man) who has ADHD and not Mini Man and she would try and accommodate him better next term.

I almost cried. I also had to bite my tongue and as calmly as I could explained it was Little Man with the ADHD, and I had no concerns over Mini Man other than him being belligerent, as he is totally different to Little Man. I felt like asking her if she fancied taking Little Man for a lesson without his medication and then she could see ADHD as it really is, but I didn't, forever polite and far too British, plus I wouldn't subject Little Man to that as it wouldn't be fair on him.

Today, work has gone mad and I feel like I am on a merry-go-round with it, this morning alone I had 53 emails come in about the same thing between 9am and 12.30. So to get to school at pick up and be told by Mini Man's teacher that she is concerned over his concentration, constant talking and short attention span, had me wanting to run for my bed.
Half my brain was thinking 'oh god no, don't tell me we are going to have problems with Mini Man as well, not both of them' while the other half of my brain was trying to be rationale and think 'he is totally different to Little Man, he is capable of learning, reacts in all the normal ways to punishment and you know he is just pushing his boundaries as hard as he can to see what he can get away with'.
We only moved back home to this town a year ago, so not all the teachers know Little Man and as I spoke to Mini Man's teacher it was clear she had no idea about Little Man's ADHD or ASD. I tried to explain and say compared to Little Man I had few concerns, although I do admit they are now growing.

So I have managed to resist the temptation to jump under the duvet, instead getting a 3 month supply of omega fish oils for Mini Man, bringing the reward rocket back out and revamping it, instigating a new bedtime routine that has Mini Man in bed earlier than Little Man, so he should be asleep and not disturbed, and given him a good talking too, oh and lets not forget put the bottle of the pink alcoholic medication for me in the fridge to chill for later :)
I am praying he is not going down the same route. I know we would cope with it, I know if he was showing signs of poor concentration we would only be dealing with ADHD and not the ASD as well, but after a day like today, it was not what I wanted to hear.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Reasons to be cheerful

This week I have to say I am struggling to find my resons to be cheerful which makes me even more determined to find some! Its not because I am a right miserable Mary, I am just not sure why, nothing outstanding has happened really, its been a very run of the mill week.

  1. I have been on the Closer diet plan, and really started running and so far managed to put 4.5 lb on and lost nothing which has been really disheartening, On the plus side it has made me look at what I am doing and how I am measuring my success and scales are obviously not the answer. A friend said to me today she uses a tape measure and measures various ppoints on her body to see if there are any results (high waist, low waist, hips and fattest parts of the thighs) so I am going to do this now.
  2. I have just done a 3.8 mile run which is the furthest yet. I did have to walk around 3 miles but more as my legs were tired rather than being breathless, so my fitness is improving. My phone mucked up the other night and I thought I had managed a 4.5 mile run and was over the moon until I viewed the route and it appeared I had zig zagged my way through many backgardens and been doubling back on myself (according to the phone!).
  3. We saw some really old friends at the weekend and it was like we only saw them yesterday, when infact it was 7 years ago now, so that was lovely. We only managed a quick coffee but hopefully they are going to come over to see us soon and stay.
  4. Today, Little Man got out of bed and wondered downstairs and didnt even flnch when Dog bounded up to him and almost knocked him over and nudge him with his nose. This is the same little boy who was getting to the point of being scared to go out doors incase we saw a dog, and would then have a full on panic. Less than a month on he is not even bothered by Dog and takes strange dogs outside in his stride as well. I am so, so proud of him overcoming this fear so well.
So there you go, this is the reason I do Reasons To Be Cheerful as it makes me think about my week and I always surprise myself with what there is to be cheerful about. If you feel the same, pop over to Mummy from the Heart and join in x