Friday, 26 October 2012

I hate it when that happens

Today has been a pig. First day of half term, work has been very quiet but I knew I had a couple of things to shift this morning so told the boys I would work until 11ish and after lunch we'd go off and do something.

I made my first Phonecall at 8.15am expecting one other call at 9.30 and job done but no a storm kicks off and I spend my morning firing emails to Brazil and the US so they get everything for when their day starts and on the phone to Switzerland (I am dreading the phone bill). 4.30 this afternoon I am still in the phone. The minute I put it down, someone else rings me.

Thank god for grandparents. My mum & dad just happened to pop in at 10.30 realised I had a crisis on my hands and mum walked into my office, put a note on my desk saying 'we'll take the boys home with us, feed then and take then out this afternoon' let us know when you are sorted. How great are they?

Anyhow I finally picked the boys up at 5, gave the dog a run and got home to emails again and finally shut my pc down at 7.30. Boys were ready for bed so I decided to relax by having a lovely, deep, turning skin pink instantly, hot bath with my favourite bubbles - Sanctury. Sanctury is my slice of luxury. My brother replenishes my supplies every Christmas for me (he often complains he gets me the same each year but knows he will face the wrath of sn unhappy woman if he dares to go against the grain!).

Bath running, glass of wine poured, I pop downstairs to get something & hear lots of giggling from the bathroom to get back upstairs to the boys saying 'look at Daddy'

The arse had only whipped his clothes off and was nicely soaking in MY bath, in MY bubbles. Now I should explain here, we often share a bath together and we often race each other to get in and get the top end (kids at heart) but tonight I had not planned it and was really looking forward to a soak so what does a girl do? I did debate turning the shower on - cold, but instead opted for just putting my pyjamas on and sorting the wet washing to make my point. I was gutted and the offer of the tap end didn't wash well (excuse the pun!).

Anyhow I have made him go out to get food (I do it every week) & am now laid in a semi warm bath with no bubbles but at least I have my wine and some proper peace with the boys on bed (if I tune out to the Harry Potter Lego battle that seems to be going on in Liitle Mans bed at the moment), mini asleep and t'husband out of the house, always look on the bright side!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

November Challenge

So I have been away from blogging for a number of week (hmmm months to be precise) and i have missed it but I havent as well. I havent missed feeling I have to blog or feeling I have to read other blogs.

Having had some time off from the blog and coming back to it, I have thought a lot about why I started blogging. I think it was to find more support for ADHD.

ADHD is something that affects our family life.
My eldest son suffers from it.
I get very frustrated that ADHD hinders my son's ability to learn and concentrate but is not deemed a disability even though he is on the special education needs register.
We don't stand a chance of getting a statement of needs.
In order to keep his focus and for him to learn he needs support.
I find not many people really understand ADHD or how it affects the individual or their family.
I find people think ADHD is just an excuse of terrible behaviour.
I find a lot of the support / help sites are based in America and therefore the educational side is not always relevant or helpful to those of us in the UK.
I wanted to help to raise awareness.
I wanted to meet other people experiencing the same.
I wanted to share.

Have I achieved any of this?
Just take a look at my blog pages I set up and it is obvious the answer is NO.

So this November I have decided to set myself a challenge.

I will try and do a blog post daily about ADHD, or something to do with it. I am setting myself an ADHD blogging month!  Having written this, I hope i stick to it!!

Reasons to be Cheerful

It is ages since I have participated in this but in that time so much has changed and I am so much happier in myself, I can feel the difference and other people, including t'husband has commented in it, so it s all good.  This week there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful and they include:

  1. Today the kids break up for half term and I am really looking forward to doing some fun things with them over half term - one place we really enjoy is Eureka, an interactive science museum over in West Yorkshire so we are going to have a fun day out there (unless we get the snow they are supposedly predicting!!)
  2. I now help out in the school, just for an hour a week with 2 classes and do their library books which I am really enjoying
  3. I have decided it is high time I get my act together and sort something further out for Little Man with his education. Work is a little too quiet at the moment for my liking, however it is giving me the chance to properly research just what help is available for ADHD and his education. The school have been so supportive, and very honest - ADHD is not a recognised disability and his autism is only mild so he would not qualify for a statement - or would he? I need to properly look into it. We recon he is 2 years behind on his writing, spelling and maths - although he can now read and reads quite well, the only words he can spell correctly, consistently are things like 'the', 'and' and when doing the basic phonics with Mini Man, it became apparent that at 8, Little Man still doesn't know them - he had no idea what sound 'ai', 'eu', 'ou' etc make. A friend has apparently been in to speak to the school about her 2 as they are behind and asked to see the pink and the greys. I have no idea what this means and she is now away for nearly 3 weeks so any teachers out there if you can explain, please do, and also if it would apply to my son who is on IEPs and classed as SEN.
  4. Work is very quiet and yes I am getting a bit twitched about it however it has also given me the chance to get on top of a lot of things which makes me happier in general!
  5. At the grand old age of 38, I have eventually realised that if you do a little bit of housework daily, you can keep on top of it :)
  6. I have joined gymophobics to make myself feel better about myself and get the tone back in my figure - its £30.00 a month so although not cheap, it is affordable compared to other gyms in the town which were between £68.00 to £85.00 for off peak membership. I am really enjoying it. I am also rethinking what I eat with the help of the weight watchers online app so I track every mouthful and it has really made me re-evaluate things so here's to a leaner, healthier me.
  7. I love this time of year, I love all seasons but I can sit in my office and look down our street and the trees are beautiful colours, I see little kids playing in the leaves, when the sky is blue and the air really crisp, my 2 arrive at school rosy cheeked and full of beans, and the air smells all autumny - wood burners on, bonfires etc
And I think that is my lot for now, having said work is very quiet, I have infact got quite a bit to do today and have got up at 6am to make a start but am now blogging so not making good use of my time (one reason I decided to take a step back from blogging), so must get on.

Pop over to Mummyfromtheheart if you have reasons to be cheerful (although may need to revise that as think it is being hosted by someone else at the moment!) x

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The FitBug

Has anyone heard of the Fitbug?

I came across it yesterday, you can read about it here and was just curious to know if anyone had any experience of using it?

I am currently on a bit of a fitness, clean my diet up and have joined weightwatchers online and an loving the app to track my food intake on my phone, it really makes me think about what I am eating and I am hping in the 3 months I have paid for, I will learn to rethink my eating habits.

This fitbug seems to be something similar but taking it one step further and I would like to know what others think who have used it as it is quite a bit of money but obviously worth the investment if it really works.

So anyone have anything to say about the Fitbug? I have obviously read the testimonials on the website but they are not going to post the bad ones, so they all make it sound really good.

I think the thing I need to be mindful of is will I really use it? Is it as easy to use as they say? Will I forget it? I have joined a gym and try and run a few times a week but need something to help motivate me........

Eagerly awaiting some feedback!! (hope I get some).

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I recently read a post over at New Mum Online about her preparing a photobook for her mum for Christmas, she has used a company called Blurb which you can read about here, but her review made me think about my recent experience with Photobox when preparing an important wedding gift for some friends.

My best friend recently got married and we prepared a book for her hen night which contained a photo of each hennete with the bride-to-be and a personal message from them. We found photobox easy to use, although it did take us ages to upload the photos/messages and organise them, however I/we had never done anything like it before. I was also very impressed that we were able to have the order delivered straight to the hotel via Royal Mail for the hen weekend. The book was brilliant, it was glossy, really good quality and very well presented, and good value for money, we were all over the moon with it, especially the Hen (she cried infact but tears of emotion rather than sadness!).

As this was such a success, I then offered to prepare another photobook to present to the bride and groom on their wedding day. It was to be a story of their life to date, so had photos of the bride growing up and then photos of the groom growing up (embarrassing ones of course). This was then followed by photos of when they first met, their engagement and so forth and a good selection of both the hen and stag do. We ended the book with a message from us bridesmaids and a space for them to stick a wedding photo. The idea was to present it to them after the speeches so it could be enjoyed by all at the wedding as well - there were some real corker of photos in there!

However, I hold my hands up saying I left it late to prepare, but I rang Photobox and spoke to an adviser and as the first book had been delivered in less than a week asked if we could expect the same service. I then opted to pay extra for next day courier delivery and was told expected delivery date was the wedding date, so I organised for it to be delivered to the wedding venue before 4.00pm.

4.00pm arrive of the wedding day - no delivery. The wedding coordinator followed it up for me and came to inform me it had been delayed and was sat on the van to be delivered the following Tuesday. Obviously this was no good as there would be no-one from the wedding party at the venue. I then organised for it to be delivered to my home address as the bride and groom were planning on staying at her parents for the first week before their honeymoon.  Tuesday arrived - no book. Wednesday, still no book.

More phone calls later to a premium rate number, and it turns out the book was delivered to the wedding venue despite a note being on the account to request an alternative address. The person I spoke with at Photobox was very helpful offered to have the book reprinted and delivered direct to the bride and groom who live in Switzerland. Great. I passed on the address, and left it in what I thought was their capable hands.

3 weeks later, still no word of thanks from the bride and groom so I had to tell them about it and ask if they had it. in a word - NO.

More premium rate phone calls, Photobox customer services said they would find out where it was and ring me back, they didn't, so I incurred more cost ringing them to find out the address had been misspelt so the couriers were unable to find it. 

We are still waiting for a resolution. I have rung numerous times, and also emailed their customer services, and each time get a different person trying to sort the problem out.  Now I have been told that thee is a credit on my account for me to organise a reprint of the book and get it delivered at a time convenient to me.

I have to say I am really, really disappointed and frustrated with the whole thing. The whole purpose of the present to be enjoyed by all, have a giggle over, embarrass the bride and groom is long gone. Yes they will still enjoy it and yes they will treasure it but its not the same. They got married nearly 2 months ago now. Although I found Photobox initially very helpful, it didn't actually resolve the problem and I feel like we are now going in circles.  I would really like to speak to some one about it but my last phone bill showed a cost of over £14.00 on phone calls to their customer services and I object to having paid for a photobook, then extra for courier service and then I am paying to sort their mistake out so I guess I am just going to bite my tongue and be done with it.

I wish I could write a glowing report to match liska's, my first experience was good, second not so good.

One day our friends will get their book!!

Friday, 12 October 2012

How do you teach your kids to stay safe?

Yesterday I got back into the blog sphere and spent a little time having a look at blogs I always use to catch up on. I popped over to one, the lovely lady who started me on this blogging quest infact, BareNakedMummy or BNM for those in know and she has changed her blog to pink to reflect her thoughts and prayers for little April Jones.

This reminded me of a conversation I had with my 2 boys aged 6 and 8 (nearly 9).

I think of myself as a bit of a nightmare mother as I don't really ever let them out of my sight and when I do, I am very on edge and in reality I am spying on them. Its tough as I know I have to start giving Little Man some responsibility and independence but Mini Man thinks it is unfair his older brother gets it and he doesn't and at 6 he doesn't really understand the whole 'he is older than you' thing. 

Since moving back up North and seeing some of my old friends with their kids and how much more relaxed they are, I am trying to make a conscious effort to not smother mine so much, for example, in the summer we took them to a local woods with the dogs which has a beck. My friend was happy for her 10 and 8 year old to walk down the 'secret' wooded path while we went the easy way down the side of the field. Although we were at the side of this secret path and could hear them, we couldn't see them and there was a fence or hedgerow between the wood and the field - they were literally only 10-15 feet away. I ended up letting my 2 run down this path as well but was on edge the whole way and breathed a sigh of relief when they appeared at the end. We then let them paddle in the beck and I couldn't rest when they disappeared round the bend, they can all swim but I wasn't happy and felt I needed to justify my need to follow them and be able to see them using my 6 year old as the excuse.

April going missing has just highlighted my reasons for my distrust. I use to work as a forensic scientist which is where my fear comes from in the first place. One of the reasons I left the job was due to its harrowing nature, and now I am thinking 'you know what, I don't care if people think I am neurotic, at least I know my kids are safe'.

I shudder though when I think what we have been drilling into the boys for years

'if you lose mummy and daddy and don't know where we are, you go into the nearest shop and to the lady behind the counter and say you have lost us, or if there is not a shop nearby, you find a mummy or daddy with children and tell them'.

And there is the scary part - 'a daddy with children'. Mark Bridger has children. He has children a similar age to April. His children were at the same school. He had been to parent's evening. He was known as a Dad by the other kids at the school.

I asked the boys at tea, the night Mark Bridger was arrested what they would do if they were out playing at someones house, and someone who they knew, like someone elses dad/uncle/someone they saw in the school playground/a neighbour turned up and said 'your mummy has asked me to pick you up as her car has broken down or she cant make it'.

Both boys thought quite hard and both said they would say No - but in reality would they?

We are now practising my mobile number nightly and have told them if that ever happened they must go into their friends house and tell the parent, or school office etc. They must also say they want the person to phone their mummy and the boys must speak to me - my phone is never off. If the person doesn't know my number then they definitely have not been sent by us.

Its so hard, you don't want to scare the living daylights out of your child or have them growing up scared of their own shadow but at the same time, how do you keep them safe?

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Hello, is there anybody out there?

I can't believe I have not been on my blog since the 2nd August! I knew I had had a long break but not quite how long.

Why did I stop blogging? I am not sure, but I recently checked my gmail account and saw a little message from the lovely SarahMac asking if all was OK as I hadn't been around recently and it gave me a little prompt.

I am not entirely sure why I haven't blogged. I think deep down it is because it is the time it takes, not only do I write a post but I then also feel I need to/want to read other people's blogs and lo and behold, I loose my whole morning which is not good when I work for myself. I also have this thing that I feel if someone takes the time to comment on my blog, then I like to visit their blog and read what they have to say and leave a comment in return, I think it is only polite.

The thing is although I have missed the blogging community and the friendliness, I don't think I have actually missed the blogging - it sounds stupid but it has relieved some pressure in my life and it has been a bit of relief, so it is with some confusion that I now find myself here again. I miss it but I don't!

So much has happened over the past few months and I have caught myself a number of times thinking 'ohhh I must remember that and blog about it'. Of course the moments are now long gone.

I think I am just going to see how I go over the next few weeks with the whole blogging, if I get time, I will blog, if I don't have time, then I won't worry about it.

In some sense it is good to be back - so hello to anyone who is still out there!