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


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 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'.


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.