Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Way too much crying and forgetting, then remembering and feeling bad for forgetting, even momentarily, that dad is still so sick. Now he can't have visitors because of some damned stomach bug that is tearing through the hospital. Even the ridiculously pathetic attempts to show him we love him aren't available to us, or him ( more importantly). The most exciting thing I could do for him this week was to buy him some baby wipes, whoopie, soft wipes for his poor sore bum.
We're actually not listening to the no visit rule anyway, we dash in with clean PJs and bottled water and even though we can't stay, we'll be damned if he is going to go through even one day without seeing, even fleetingly, a face that loves him. He is going to get a newspaper and pyjamas that smell of home and lovely clean things, not hospital and scary things.
I was asking questions at the hospital and found myself just feeling such frustration because they don't know him, they don't know how he was before he was ill and maybe they think he has always been a shuffling, crying not making much sense sort of man.
When I was nurse, did I take the time to imagine what the real people were like or did I just stride my way through each shift feeling superior or irritated by these people whose arses I had to wipe?
Life feels like a vacuum, where all the things that mattered before are so unimportant that I can't even remember what they are or what WAS important anymore. It feels like one of those movies where everything is normal and suddenly the camera gets rushed towards an object so fast you feel sick, everyday stuff happens and you get on with it and then quite out of nowhere you remember that this is really happening and the man who has always been there with the answers is truly poorly and really does need US to have the answers and we haven't got any. Bugger.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ahem, hang on a minute, just get myself swished up here for ya........

HEY!!! Thought I'd pop into mummy' s blog and show you just how cool and perfectly gorgeous I am....I have to do this because I know she is probably going to tell you how I am driving her crazy. She says I am, can't think what her problem is.

So I drew on the new chairs, they were boring, a plain cream colour, I ask you! What's wrong with some deep red swirls and a few discreet green lines?

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Alright, so I'm into biting my brothers, it's her fault, I've heard her say she could eat us more times than I can count ( and I can count to 11 so that's a whole lot of times!) I just want to see if they would be tasty. I KNOW I am tasty, I suck my thumb, it's delicious, who wouldn't want to bite their big brothers if there is a chance they could be half as yummy as my thumb? And I have to admit it is the BEST fun to hear that scream from Isaac when he sees me coming..HA! That kid is SUCH a wuss!

I jump, SO?!?! Man it's such fun and I am going stir crazy in this house while mummy is taking gramma to the hospital to see papa, they won't let me go and papa is my best friend after auntie leah and gramma.
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I stay with auntie Leah most times but even then, well, I have to be a good boy with auntie Leah, she is so lovely and she gives me chocolate and watches movies with me, over and over, she will watch Lion king all day if I ask then I come home and my legs are so full of jumps I have to get them out. Mummy yells 'be careful' all day, THAT'S THE WHOLE FUN OF IT! The risk of getting another lump on my head is just too much to ignore, seeing mummy flinch and try to catch me is an added bonus I'll admit it--- but I've seen Jordan and Dan and look at my daddy... you NEVER see them jump off the couch or see how many stairs they can fly down at once, man... I might be like them one day...I HAVE to do the jumping now.

Look, the tumble drier is's RIGHT in my face, when you know you can stop it by just touching the door, well, you just have to do it. The dial thing makes such a great clicking noise I LIKE turning it, the buttons, oh you all know about boys and buttons, gotta get pushed. Why does she care if the drier goes for 2 hours on a cold setting? So it has to be put on again with that button pushed in....what's the problem with that? Just ask me I'll push the button for her. She doesn't have to do it all herself.

A boy tries to be self sufficient, even that's not right, I know I can get my own chocolate milk, she won't let me.....gets mad every time she seems me with the milk out the fridge, can I help it if the cheese and salad stuff happen to fall out when I get the milk out? Can I help it if I fancy a yoghurt at the same time? Jeeze..give a boy a break.
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Listen, it's been fun but I have to get some sleep because round about 2am I need to get up and make sure mummy isn't fed up with daddy. I think she does get fed up with him because whenever I go in her room she is asleep with her back to daddy, so I help her, I get in there with them and I wriggle a lot til daddy gets tired of being kicked and then he gets out, then I get mummy to myself and she can talk to me while I play with her ear, I have to pinch it a bit hard sometimes to make sure she doesn't just fall asleep and miss the fun of having me all to herself.
I think she's lucky to have me...she'd be very bored and waste too much time doing stuff like sleeping or looking at a tidy house if it weren't for me. They say I am the last baby they will have, just as well, they'd never make another one like me, always best to quit while you're ahead I say.

Friday, February 24, 2006

No grapefruit please....

A sweet picture, taken seconds before Elijah threw his footstool at Isaac.

Just a quick update ..... The great news is that it ISN'T the big C...which was what we were all dreading. The diagnosis is that one of his medications has damaged his liver, added on top of a virus and dehydration his poor liver has had such a hammering! He will be in the hospital for a while, they will take him off his medication, test his liver function constantly and are ' hopeful' that the effects of this will be reversed. So, for now we are breathing a sigh of relief and praying that this IS the good news we hoped for. We are also reminding ourselves that he is 70 years old, 70 year old livers probably don't bounce back too quickly from such a beating. We are sure he will be grumpy and impatient when he isn't able to plaster ceilings and lay carpet next week, or the week after.
We were able, however, to enjoy a belly laugh at him yesterday though. He has been told ( a long time ago) that if he were to eat half a ton of grapefruit it could possibly stop one of his medicines from being effective. He has latched onto this is and at every opportunity tells people that he definately can't eat grapefruit, absolutely not, ever. Not even flavouring because who knows, it might just have the same effect and then where would he be? He told the nurse when she checked him in at the hospital and tells the sweet lady that asks him what he would like for his the same time as trying to wangle apple pie AND ice cream for dessert, even though he is diabetic. Even though they KNOW he is diabetic and tell him he can't have that. He eats chocolate, drinks soda with so much sugar in it he should be either comatose or high as a kite, he eats chips and pasties and anything and everything that diabetics should avoid at all cost....but he's alright because he doesn't eat grapefuit. Thankyou.

On a home note....the boys are wild, kids can feel tension and worry and anything out of the ordinary and because the good Lord has such a sense of humour, they go crazy, heaven forbid they should develop a sense of calm and co-operation, oh no. Yesterday, while I was at the hospital Elijah had a super jump fest, he split open his head, his lip twice and his nose, his face and legs are mottled with bruises. The kid won't stop jumping. He has also discovered that Isaac is terrified of him, probably has something to do with his penchant for biting him. What fun to make Isaac run for cover screaming in his high pitched ear shattering way! Isaac is bigger than Eli so he holds the top of Eli's head while Eli gnashes his teeth at him. Eli then screams in frustration. We are the worst example of what Super Nanny dreads. We deep down know that we should use peaceful time outs or naughty corners or something but when your head is trying to take in something like your dad on death's door, it seems all you can manage is shouting. Yelling "STOP! YOU LITTLE BUGGERS" seems to be as natural as breathing to me, in between driving here and there and throwing laundry at the washing machine.
I feel no shame for sitting in the hospital cafe with mum eating a peaceful lunch before coming home to face it again.
God bless H. Who doesn't get away from it at all, who does ironing with Eli swinging from the wire, who feeds them which is actually a silly thing to do if they need energy for the next round! Who pats me on the back when I get home and tells me he loves me.

What happy news for my girl. She has a friend called Dan ( already a star in my eyes, how can he fail with a name like that?) Dan likes Sophie, he is unphased by her, even though he has seen her at her most revolting, while others cringe and shudder in somewhat impressed terror, he just smiles at her.He has asked her out, several times. When he asks her out he means it, not a request to sit in a car with a group of other kids, no hanging around outside Mc Donalds...he wants to take her out, somewhere posh and treat her beautifully. He and I have discussed this and he knows that she is terrified.
Last night he came into the sitting room and said " tomorrow, I am taking Sophie out, maybe to Exeter or somewhere but somewhere nice...will you tell her that YOU are taking her somewhere, so she gets ready and dressed up and doesn't come up with some excuse why she can't go?" ( she says she has to pay for herself because she can't imagine anyone wanting to actually take her out and pay for her) so that's what I did.......however, she then started talking about Dan and read me the sweet text he sent her earlier asking her when she was going to actually go out with him. So I told her that she IS going out with him tonight......she needs to enjoy that tummy flipping nervous feeling, she needs to wonder why he likes her, where they will go and she will enjoy it!!

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I shall let you know how it all goes and pray she doesn't try to push him away in case she likes him and gets hurt.
I'm off to the hospital to see how the grapefruit avoiding swollen bellied father is today. Thankyou for your concern and thoughts, it means the world to me!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

An entry in which I might not take a breath, or use punctuation or even make any sense.

Right in the middle of this picture you will see my dad, he's sitting next to my mum which is pretty much the only place he has ever wanted to be. HE is surrounded by most of his children, children in law and grandchildren, even a great grandchld there too. I, typically, am taking this picture.
He is a complex man who is exasperating, loyal, loving, has such integrity it is almost breathtaking. He is poorly. Really poorly and we won't quite know just how sick he is until tomorrow.
He is a typical man in that he soldiers on when ill, makes sure those around him understand and appreciate he is ill but is reluctant to actually do anything about it or when forced to act on it, refuses to then follow medical advice!
For a few weeks he has been sick and has seemed to be stricken with one ailment after another, the stomach flu, check. the big flu but not bird flu, check. cough and sinus trouble, check. More stomach trouble, check. Sciatica, check, pain and more pain and general feelings of crappiness and inability to just feel bloody well better, check.
Yesterday, he was forced by an increasingly worried mum to go back to the doctor and tell her that he feels bad, he has to sit and recover his breath after going to the toilet, he has paid a workman to finish the loft work....ALARM BELLS PEOPLE!!!!! He does everything himself, as much at 70 as he did at 30, takes longer and he grunts a lot but darn if he'll pay anyone for something he can do himself......but he did, hmmmmmmm.
So, the doctor examined him and said that his liver is very enlarged and it was pushing on his lungs...take some blood and send off as an emergency. This morning I had a call to say that an ambulance was on it's way because he was so bad he couldn't stand it, the pain was now excrutiating and he could barely catch his breath.
He is now in hospital and so far we know that his liver is blocked, the toxins are not going where they should and are being pumped through his kidneys and through his body, he is very sick and he will have more tests first thing tomorrow. I know this isn't good. We need to know why it is blocked.
I feel as small as I can possible feel this evening, I have spent the day being with my mum at the hospital and watching, in a vacuum sort of outside way, the relationship between two people who have never been smoochy, my dad doesn't do smoochy, he doesn't hug, when hugged he stands a bit stiff and has to be reminded that he has two arms that are capable of squeezing right back.....mutter mutter, squeeze. There, that didn't hurt.
He will write " I love Peg" in steam on a window, he will buy fish and chips with his last £2 and give them to mum, he will give the shirt off his back to a man he should despise, he will drive hundreds of miles to help out his brother who treats him like crap, but it hurts him to hug or kiss. Darn nana. His childhood was devoid of physical and emotional smoochiness and so he isn't quite sure how to do that but we show him and he likes it......we know he does.
So, I watched the man who has always been in charge, who knows all the important stuff and finds out the things he doesn't know so he can tell us, be afraid today, I watched him let mum hold his hand and I listened as he blustered about cancer and how he will be home tomorrow and he's probably got an infection hasn't he? I heard him ask what time we will be in tomorrow and say that he will probably come home with us won't he?
I couldn't kiss him when I left because he would have known that I was afraid too, he might have guessed that I think he is sick and so I patted him, which is an OK thing to do, he can do patting. I told him that damn, trust me to pay him back that £150 this week when he isn't able to spend it , I'd have had fun with that, does he want me to look after his wallet when he is in hospital? I bought him a yoghurt and some rich tea biscuits because I couldn't kiss him or fling myself onto his chest like I used to when I was 6. I bagged the chest spot every night when he got home from work and would gulp in the smell of him. I would lie on the floor and howl when he went to work when I was 3 because it just seemed such a bloody long time 'til he would be home. I did things with him that my siblings didn't because somehow he was mine more than he was theirs and I knew he would need to go on bike rides.
I stayed a virgin until I got married because he wept when my 2 sisters got pregnant before they were married and my brother's girlfriend did too. Don't think I wasn't tempted to do otherwise but when it came close I would imagine how sad he would be if I let him down. So I waited....even if he would never know.
I somehow felt the tables were turned today when I watched him howl in pain and yelp like a wounded puppy as he was examined, I felt I was the grown up and would do anything to take his place. I'm quite good with pain, I am brave, maybe it wouldn't hurt me that much?
I am completely helpless in this case and the things I CAN do are so insignificant they make me want to scream. I did get to talk to the nurse in charge and tell her that tomorrow, when he has his scan, under no circumstances is anyone to tell him any results until we are there. He is afraid, and no-one, when they are that afraid should ever feel alone when it matters, so we will be there and whatever we hear, I will be the strong one and I will somehow take his pain...and I'll kiss him, whether he likes it or not.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A walk down memory lane.....

This is me, in a bikini.......those were the days! When do start caring about what people think? When do worries and cares start creeping in?

This is one of the first pictures of H I ever saw, it's still my favourite.

This one of Seth is just so precious......what was he thinking to look so bored at 2 and a half?!?

The picture on the Left is H, when he was 3....the laughing boy on the right is my Isaac.

These two pieces of gloriousness are Daniel and Jordan aged 3 and 5....blond and sweet and best friends. When did they grow up? I wish I'd taken more notice, wish I hadn't cared so much about clean carpets and tidy cupboards, I don't think I smooched nearly enough with them.

Monday, February 20, 2006

For one day only...HOORAY they are bouncing off the walls!

Yes, you hear me right, they are bouncing off the walls and I am rejoicing, just for today. I was happy to hear my Isaac say "Butt frack"- just the once, having had him almost silent, but for the snorting and coughing ( and lets not forget the whining) We are all but delirious to have had to tell Elijah to STOP JUMPING today, sweet boy has been hit so hard by this viral demon, I took him to the Dr today just to make sure he wasn't actually suffering from face drowning snot virus that would need strong doses of anti biotics to kill it off.
"Hello dot-ter, I poorly"
"Oh dear, shall we look at those ears Eli?"
" No fant-you."
"Can I see your throat?"
"No fant-you"
" Let me have a quick listen to your chest"
"OK, you hear a lion king in dere? Iss a lion king in der"
"Elijah can you say ARGH for me?"
"no fant-you, I doe watt to"
"Well Eli you are getting better, you'll be just fine, just drink lots and lots and get well"
"OK, fant-you dot-ter" and he blew a kiss. Divine.
Not so divine when he got home, taking the doctors words to heart and believing he was now recovered, he has jumped and bounded and run to make up for his week's droopiness. My word, the floors have shaken, the walls have trembled and we prayed with the utmost sincerity that this evening he would actually go to bed, upstairs and SLEEP! Early please. It happened at 8pm which was acceptable and he seems, for now, to be sleeping without sounding like a sawmill. I almost dread the morning though because the post illness insanity is somehow worse than the before illness energy......maybe the drooping and wilting and endless snuggling makes you forget just how loud 3 little boys under 5 with no maladies can be. How quickly we are reminded.
We are celebrating not having heard once, from any of them " Snuggle me please" Now, I'm all for snuggling, cuddling, smooching and cosying but truly, you can have too much of a good thing. For nearly 3 weeks we have been unable to move without one or the other pleading for comfort, suffocating comfort of the "don't move , try not to breathe, don't even think of needing the toilet or food "variety. Then of course there is the fact that I have one lap, unfortunately smaller than it could be because my stomach takes up some space, 2 legs, propped on a footstool, one boy on each, 2 boobs, weary and less firm than they used to be but still much loved and apparantly comfy to lean on, dig elbows into, wipe snot on, headbutt..... 2 arms/ hands to stroke faces, squeeze arms, pat legs, wipe snot ( hopefully before it gets to the shirt/ boobs) sounds good but there have been THREE of them, all wanting ME ( I suspect daddy, although glorious and adored) being boobless and much firmer than mummy isn't quite as cosy and squashy as mummy, he certainly doesn't appear to have the face stroke thing down yet. So mummy it is. Oh blessings. It IS a blessing but 3 long day after the other, following nights of snatched sleep interuppted by endless wailing, coughing and puking and the twitchy legs..THE TWITCHY LEGS!!!!!!!!!!! There have been many moments of not so silent pleading to give me a'd think the insomnia devil would see I am UP, AWAKE, BLOODY WELL NOT ASLEEP ALRIGHT?!?! Leave the legs alone, there are kids balanced on them, kids who moan " teep your leds still mummy I hate at ..teep em still" and " Why are you DOING that? you're joggling me" and one child who actually found it quite soothing and sucked his thumb. Sheer misery.
But today, we have gloried in the fighting, jumping, paper ripping ( Isaac is a waiter, he writes orders all day and then RIPS the paper out of his 24p slimline waiters notebook and tosses it aside, ready to take your next order sir) swearing ( well, buttfrack is sort of swearing, at least it's discouraged in case he manages one day to say 'BUTTCRACK' when we are at church or visiting royalty perhaps.) He told us today that he had an itchy buttfrack on his foot, I think he meant in between his toes were itching. How marvellous to have so many buttcracks that you have to actually explain where the offending itchy one is.
We even enjoyed the playing with/ fighting over the toy with 30 different sounds. Normally these toys have us asking ourselves if we'd had some kind of brain fart when we bought them but today the noise of the jet like rocket toys that spin and shoot and fly whilst stuck on the child's arm, the whole while making a myriad of ear shattering sounds was just so welcome after the brain numbing monotony of whining and crying. ( I'm taking the batteries out while they are asleep though because I'm not betting the sound will be a bit welcome tomorrow, I didn't lose all my marbles!!)
So, all 3 are asleep and I might just take a chance on the legs not twitching and join my husband, in our bed, that has no children in it ( yet) and pat his leg, stroke his face and enjoy the fact that I can pretty much guarantee that if he comes anywhere near my boobs, he won't wipe snot on them. Life isn't so bad sometimes, is it?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I love it when a plan comes together!

And right now the plans are coming together here in the happy home of Helen.
Snot and ear aches aside, lack of sleep unmentioned ( for now) things are pretty good.
SOPHIE HAS A JOB!! This is monumentally vital to our lives being orderly and happy. I have long believed that for all her mouth and bluster my daughter is a bit on the low self esteem side. I KNOW she wanted a job, I so know she wants cash and to be able to skip the light fantastic with her friends at the weekend, I am pretty sure she would love to have regualr cigarettes to yellow her teeth and make her morning cough even more fruity, but it has been like asking a mammoth to fly encouraging this child/ woman to get out of bed and seek the means for all her delights and desires.
Last week I saw a notice in a cool and trendy gift shop not 3 minutes from home, smack bang next to the pizza cafe where her cousin works, asking for flexible help. Sophie is a bit flexible, though can be stiff and unmoving at times but nevertheless I felt it worthwhile mentioning it to her. She went in and asked -- WHOOHOO, imagine that! They obviously liked the look of her and she began the very next day. Marvellous, she is actually handed the reins and sits in said trendy shop all on her own with magazines and cups of tea, being paid to watch the world go by and wait for customers . She is growing up.......we can see it, every day, with the responsibility of work, the hugely self esteem lifting thrill of being 'in charge' and not watched over, the enormously important task of locking the shop and having a key has made her stand a little taller. Actually it has made her stand much taller because prior to working she was lying down, almost all she has something to get up for and the knowledge that she will earn more cash than she could ever imagine having has put more than a spring in her step.
She can put credit on her phone, the fact that she uses it all to call me is more than touching and a smidgen annoying as she calls to say "I'm starving , bring me food" or " I'm bored, come and see me" a small draw back of being so close to her place of work! To see her so cheery about anything is heartwarming and may we all pray that it stays this way!?
She can buy false nails, hoorah, just what we need, those things get everywhere and look strangely threatening when lurking on a kitchen floor, I have seen the boys cower and whimper at the sight of a two tone talon threatening their safety of passage.
She can buy junk food, this means that our home smells of shop bought cheesy chips ( fries with grated cheese on) rather than homecooked, a smell that makes me happy because they are eaten out of the paper wrapping- hense no piles of greasy dishes to nag her over.
She can join in on the weekend outings of the visiting hoards, which means that she isn't here, moaning about how unfair it is that she has to stay home while they are all out having lives and meeting new people ( which is so untrue it is the same gaggle of loud and loveable youths that frequent Jordans room and my fridge,) but at least she will be included in the cash demanding pursuits from now on.
She could buy her own hair straighteners ( but won't because mine, I am told are the super best and they are always in her room anyway.
She could buy her own socks but again...why would she?
I am feeling a bit smooshy towards my only daughter at the moment and I rather like it, can we allow ourselves to believe that this is the beginning of she and I being able to like each other and enjoy each other? Oh please say it is!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Thank goodness.

I am so poorly....for 4 nights I have screamed all night unless mummy holds me upright, my ears hurt and I am a snot factory. Tonight after more pitiful screaming she put me in my pushchair, heaven, sleep..................mummy is in the lounge with me, so not much sleep for her, but no screaming, life is good. Elijah Henry aged 2 1/2.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

And when they are well.....

....this is the favourite pastime. My maternal instincts tell me that perhaps I should be discouraging it, then I see that actually they are LAUGHING when they do it, the glorious peace when the energy is out and gone.......

Watch the part when Seth is taking a breather on all fours....then watch his revenge when Isaac looks away for a minute ( just after he gets up from the bed!) The most bizarre thing is that when they are fighting over a toy, they only have to get a pathetic whack to burst into tears and whine......I can't believe they take these blows and laugh!

Click to see Seth and Isaac being boys.

Oh and the voice is Jordan's!! He will be thrilled to be so admired!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sourbombs and wobbly legs.

It's valentines day isn't it? I am thrilled that H and I both remembered despite being so sleep deprived and living amidst what should be a form of torture for undercover torturing people. 3 children with horrible virus ( read that as 'nothing we can do', get on with it) things that render them unable to communicate in anything other than a wail or whine, have them sleep all day and scream and or cough all night, 'wobbly leg' virus it should be called, none of them can walk properly, Eli has bursts where he feels the need to jump from the furniture but then cry because it hurts, Seth and Isaac are cutting out the jumping middle man and just crying...and crying and whining and moaning and crying some more. Rather bizarrely they decide around 5pm that boxing is just what they need to do, I have been very firm and said an absolute NO tonight, last night was a spectacle to behold, Jordan even filmed it and if we ever work out how to get it from regular camcorder to PC I will certainly share it with you....this evening we are avoiding anything that might cause distress later, to me that is, like at 3am when they have been taking it in turns to cry about owie heads.
So, Valentines day,I bought H a veritable feast of supersour sweets from an on line shop called a 'quarter of' supersour sherbet bombs and supersour cherry suckers are 2 of the things I bought, makes me dribble even writing about it, how anyone can actually eat this stuff and say it's good beggars belief, but that's love for you I suppose, buying something you'll never steal or share because the one you love likes it! I had flowers, which may seem a bit ordinary to some, but from my husband it is indeed a treat and a rare one at that.
I feel a bit jaded to make too much fuss of valentines day, actually having a stubborn nature I also think I mind being told what day to be smooshy. Of course growing up, valentine's day was painfully important, always a disappontment ( apart from one year when I had a rose delivered and convinced myself it was from the one true love of my life...... I think I was 17) These days I tend to hold my breath for Sophie, who outwardly appears not to care whether she gets anything or can any 16 year old not care?
Sophie has a trial day for a job this week, hooray! What a dream for her to be working and earning her own money. The shop is a cool sort of gift shop just around the corner, I'm sure she'll love it. She and I are friends lately, I love being friendly with her and hope that the good times soon far outweigh the rotten ones as she grows up.
Brat camp is on at the moment, funny to watch it know that she was 'invited' to be on it, part of me would have loved to see how such hardship in the Utah wilderness would have taught and shaped her. Watching what total nightmares the girls are that actually did go helps me see that Sophie, even at her worst, could always have been more revolting! My favourite thing about Sophie is her absolute honesty, she tells me everything even if it is something that makes my hair frazzle and my brain run for cover ..... she has a naivity that is both touching and terrifying. ( on that thought, I hope she DOES tell me everything because if the things she IS telling me are the things she thinks are mild enough to share.....let's leave it at that and live in a simple world of make believe that there isn't anything she leaves out.)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Cultural refinement at your local council tip.

What a day ! I love days where I am caught off guard by the unexpected, today was one of those days.
I am a regular visitor to our local has a recycling center where you can buy fabulous things that other people throw away, heaven ! It has to be said that this particular recycling centre is a cut above most and the man who runs it is very proud of how well the scheme works. As time goes by we are somewhat agog at how much he loves his work and it is more and more a pleasure to peruse the goods and find a bargain.
Today, Paul surpassed himself, as I was wandering around the section that has lamps, mirrors and various other household goods I was overwhelmed with emotion..due entirely to the fact that being played, as loudly as is necessary for total enjoyment, was the most splendid music, I am pretty sure it was Ti Amero, found on an album called 'Il Divo'.
I found myself standing still, with goosepimples, forgetting for a moment where I was. The absurdity of the moment wasn't lost on me, standing amongst discarded bits and bobs, with grimy workers in flourescent jackets, listening to such stirring music. I shouldn't have been so surprised as last week, while in the clothing / linen part, Paul, who is tall and very manly, shaven head and if I'm honest a bit gorgeous in his dusty work environment, looked over the partition and said " hey..GREAT leopard skin coat! when did that come in?" Slightly bemused by his saying that I looked up to see him leap the boundary, pick it up and gaze at it longingly. " Fabulous drag coat that is, "
" Aha", said I " letting your secrets out now!"
" Nothing about me is a secret love"
Well blow me down with a feather! So quite why I would be amazed at being so entertained and uplifted whilst in his company is a mystery. I think I will visit more often and who knows, before long we may be treated to cucumber sandwiches and pots of earl grey tea.
Isn't life just splendid when it throws such unexpected and delightful moments at you?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

I am his mother.

A'int that the most incredible thing? It's probably a sin to be this proud of your kids but what the hell......

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Where's the conga line?

Oh my, despite treating my parents like lepers the bug has got me, puking in a most impressive and dramatic way with not a soul holding my head or stomach for me ( although Sophie did ask very sweetly is I was OK and did I need anything?) For which, actually I am very grateful, as much as I adore being shown that I am loved, I'll settle for H buying me beautiful flowers or at least a mars bar on tuesday and keep my vomiting to myself!
It's 3.25am and I still haven't been to sleep, feeling a bit better but everything aches from such wretched wretching and I'm feeling sorry for myself, although I do have a lovely book to read so maybe I will go and do that in my lovely fresh smelling newly washed bed. Night night all.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

An entry in which I may not sound like I like children or husbands much.

awwwwww, bless, sleeping my bed, where I'm not, because they have shoved me out. Again.

hey, Eli is sitting up...Seth is still sleeping, mummy isn't, daddy gave up hours ago and went downstairs ( hmm not as green as he is cabbage looking it would appear)

Oh look, there's my Isaac, he had been under the covers because Eli was shoving him out ( and the little one said ROLL OVER!)


And that is how today began, somehow not the best beginning as it feels like a massive silent fight, somehow 2 in with me is snuggly and cosy ...when the third one gets in they are like a seething mass of maggots and whining ones at that. The fact that I was sleeping with Robin ( much nicer than Batman in all that rubber) and Woody ( softer than Buzzlightyear I find) didn't make it any more exciting, or cheery.....just grumpy and weary.

I took my littlest bloke to gymnastics and that was, truthfully the most glorious part of my day, it was so touching and exciting and just heavenly that I am taking him twice a week in order to a) wear him out. b) watch him lift his arms and say " hepp me lady" when he needs help. My only child out of 6 that is unafraid and trusting enough to enjoy people he has just met. Sophie was unafraid but scarey, she trusted too much and made a nuisance of herself with anyone and everyone, I had to watch her like a hawk to make sure she didn't leave with one of her imaginary friends and hitch a ride in a passing truck.
c) watch his face when he actually believes that he is being told to run, jump and throw things...his most favourite pastimes and the very ones which guarantee a stern "DON'T" all day long.
He was quite fabulous and fearless and a bit cuter than a cute thing, even when he was picking up the hoops that all the other kids were trying to throw beanbags through, I'm sure he was just trying to help after all.

Had a nice lunch with the girls and eagerly informed my husband, you know, the one without a romantic cell in his body that the Valentine's menu is fantastic and the setting is beautiful...... face like a slapped arse and a "when is it?"
" well, funnily enough, its on valentines day, February 14th, as normal, which is tuesday" and off I skulked muttering to myself about how a bit of romance wouldn't kill our marriage blah blah. mutter blah.

Oh sweet story..picture this.
Mum 60 something, can't remember....stomach bug, nasty one that is closing schools and threatening to engulf the county in puke.
Dad 70, bad back, sciatica, loves mum.
Leah 40 years younger than mum, so 20 something and lives at home.
Mum pukeing, in most violent nature, dad ( who loves her more than I love anyone because I could never do this for anyone, ever) standing behind her holding her stomach and head.
Mum, in between bouts of turning inside out, managed to murmer " Oh Roger ( loving dad and husband ) your back is hurting"
Leah, hearing this came into bathroom and held dad to support his aching back.
Is that a sweet tale? Must have looked like a version of the conga worthy of "The Exorcist" but such love is rare these days. I hear that Bobby Brown helps Whitney Houston when she is constipated in a very tactile and practical way, somehow I don't feel quite so moved by that image. Perhaps it's just me.
Anyway, long and somewhat grumpy making day ( with the exeptoin of gymnastics for toddlers, marred fleetingly by having to be a horse and let Elijah ride me around the gym, had to consciously forbid myself to imagine what the daddy horse behind me was thinking whilst faced with my colossal backside in his face, just hoped he was keeping eyes down and thinking of green pastures) is over and I am off for a lovely shower and some good telly. I'm not even going to read through this for spelling and grammatical errors, enjoy my hopelessness... should you see evidence of it.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Teenagers, the other species.

I thought I would share with you my thoughts on teenagers, if given a choice I would love it if there were a place we could send teenagers, somewhere there were only other teenagers. It would be nice if we could contact them and say hello, from the safety of our quiet and well mannered homes.
I have long believed that teenagers are of another species, something happens to them around puberty that changes everything, the way they look, the way they think ( or not, it would seem much of the time) and definately the way they smell.
It has fascinated me to watch my children grow and I suspect that the only reason I am able to lay any claim to sanity at all is because I have a marvellous ability to detach myself and view the antics as if I am watching a fascinating documentary. Poor H can't do that and is driven to the brink by the endless repetition of wasted words directed to the gangly, ever hungry ( though not for wholesome food) lazy ( unless working for large sums of money and then said laziness returns immediately on payment, never pay a teenager a penny until the job is finished and NEVER get sucked into the " oh can you please please give me £10 and I will do anything you ask tomorrow/ next week / never ......I promise " ploy.) deaf ( to any sound other than a phone ringing when you will see movement so fast it will make your head spin, our phone never rings more than twice if the teens are home) sleeping ( through anything bar a cell phone ringing) teenagers.
God bless him he still asks them to wash dishes ( and expects them to actually use dish soap AND rinse ) I so hope that by the time the 3 little ones have become teenagers ( and they will, Lord help me, right about when I turn 54ish) he has learned that the only way to get them to wash their own dishes is to ask, once, then when they have left them sitting in their own scum for a day or two you simply take them and put them on the teenager's bed, or on top of their TV in their room perhaps. This is the only way to stay sane. I ask Jordan to take out the rubbish and he always says 'yes of course' and then doesn't, he forgets because he has so much on his mind, downloading music, making CD's, how many people can fit in his room, poor boy, so I help him and put the bags right by his door, when he falls over them coming in, or tryies to get out and can't because there is a big stinking bag in his way, he remembers, he knows I am helping him and have been thinking about him and he moves it...not always into the large wheeled bin that he has to walk past every time he leaves the house out of his door but mostly it's pretty close.
Girls are different ( in my experience) more complex and much harder to deal with, somehow that competition streak sets in and they begin to think and yes,truly believe that it is their job and duty to show you they know best. I hold out all my hope on Sophie having daughters, yes daughterS ....she deserves to remember so many of her words and eat them, one daughter might not make that happen so may she have at least ...3, I think.
It is a documented fact that women who live together PMS together. Oh fun.....I've had it all longer than her so I am better at it, she is younger than me so has more staying power, it's not pretty. She's mean. I'm older so have learned that it is a good and kind thing to curb the rage and explosive feelings if possible. She doesn't see any reason to even try, the girl can shrivel a room full of hulking young men and doesn't bat an eyelid, she is completely unembarrassed and unrepentant of any hormone induced actions.....almost enviable, except I have to live with her, ouch.
I remember when my children were young, how I worried about when they grew up and having to let them out of my sight ( I still feel the same way about my little boys even though I know what is going to happen in a few short years time) I would always know where they are and what they were doing, who they were with and when they'd be home.
HA HA HA HA HA !!!!! Nature makes it that by the time they are old enough to be out late, you kind of hope they are...or even better that they live somewhere else so you can pretend they are at home in comfy clothes, doing puzzles and drinking hot chocolate, rather than being heaven knows where, doing Lord knows what, with don't even ask who.....or even worse being in, at home, with you, bored. When they are bored, it is your fault, always. Somehow you made all their friends hate them, or go out without them, you made them spend all their money at the beginning of the week so now they haven't got any and bloody hell could you be any meaner because they know you have money and yet won't hand it over when you know they NEED it!?
The ideal answer is when they get a friend whose house they can be at. When your teenager says " Oh I'm going to *******'s house" your heart does a jig, they will be inside, warm and safe, you don't question it ( unless it's a name you don't recognise then you ask who that is, and they tell you and you do the heart jig again)
You learn quite quickly that they have an incredible ability to self preserve. They can stay out late, really late and then get up for college.....then they can sleep for many many hours, through any kind of noise and store up the ZZZZZZZZZs for the next bout of burning the candle at both ends.
They can look and convince you that they are much older than they are....and then they can cry like a toddler over something so trivial it is hard not to laugh.
They feel everything a hundred times more intensely than normal human beings and are so completely self obsessed that it can take your breath away.
If you think two year olds hold the medal for believing they are the centre of the universe, spend a month with a teenager! My 2 year old is positively oozing compassion and empathy, he is a veritable diplomat and gentleman when measured against the teenagers in this house!
I've painted a bleak picture of my teenagers, that'll be because it is's nature's way of preparing our maternal hearts for when they fly the nest. The good thing about teenagers is they are nearly adults, they will leave soon and then they remember they like you. If you get a tall one ( like Jordan) they are handy for hanging curtains and stuff, if you get a girlie one ( like Sophie) she will do your hair and nails and feel good because even though she knows you are a lost cause, she will try and enjoy the feeling of having been of service.

I had the marvellous idea of going down to Jordan's room and making a small video, of him, Sophie and all their friends...saying how fantastic I am and how they all love me , thus ending this entry on a fuzzy warm note, with goosepimples and feelings of tenderness. Only Jordan and one friend were there, THIS is what I got ...... I rest my case.