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!

Sunday, December 31, 2006


Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Happy new year my friends.

May 2007 be everything we dream and more.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Phew, that's more like it.

I think we're better, that was a rough one, H was in bed for 8 days and then 2 weeks of slug like energy, tough job breathing and bad throat. I managed 2 days of bed held prostration, then it was christmas and we just had to be getting on with it. Even the souls of my feet hurt, how bizarre is that? We definately felt our age over the festivities but I am telling myself that it was much more the illness than the age, wasn't it? WASN'T IT?!?
What this whole bah humbug time has shown me is that I want a lot of things to change, more the way we do things. I am more and more aware of waste, we waste so much around here, money and time and opportunities and now I can honestly and truthfully say that my mind is clearer, I know its time to allow my mind to actually think again, blimey.
I had my eyes tested yesterday , ordered my new specs that are the same prescription as last year, hoorah, at least something is staying the same and not ageing at a rate of knots. Anyway the optician asked me if I was on any medication and my mouth went to start the list and I stopped in my tracks and was able to say
" Absolutely none, how marvellous is that?" I felt so proud of myself, an unmedicated me, all thinking straight and everything, even remembered the appointment, actually I am so organised I even remembered it a day early! Imagine, there I was all chuffed to have remembered and discover that I was a day early, clever me. I shall feel a bit grand to have 2 pairs of glasses, I will actually have a pair in the house so I can look up from the laptop and see the faces of my family and the TV screen, what a treat. I am blessed indeed!
Elijah starts nursery after the break, it'll take 6 weeks of easing him into the every day routine but once that is done he will have begun his journey into education proper, that gives H and I more time to start doing things very differently, we plan to be more organised and work on how we use what we have.
I am so excited to stop wasting so much of what we have. More home cooking, using local produce bought right here, I am stopping the ridiculous daily trips to big supermarkets filling trollies with obscene amounts of unneccessary junk.
We are going to go back in time, no more handing over debit cards and writing cheques, we are having 'pots', grocery, fuel, utilities and treats, a certain amount in each pot each week and when its gone, its gone.
I am going to use my savings account and we are going to save for ...well who knows. All I know is, we have enough money to live well and what we have been doing is sort of 'winging it', managing and sliding from payday to payday.
When I read through my bank statements online, I am appalled to see how much I spend and then can't remember what it was I bought. Most of it on things that disappear, bad food, petrol, rubbish......stuff we don't need and way too much gets thrown away.
It is stopping right here and right now.
Back to soups made at home and good bread, fruit and home made baking, less sugar and junk food. We all need to feel better again. H has been eating everything he shouldn't, I am worried about how he has been treating his body when he especially needs to look after it, I need to get back to eating so that I feel good.. and I am ready, I am still weighing quite a bit less than this time last year but have gained back a depressing amount of weight, about 21lbs, half of what I lost, I think.
So, off we go again.
I hope that I can make myself move more, the fact that all the sweating is over will make that less traumatic, I really hated being such a dripping great lump, defeated before I began. I will still dread it though, the bug hasn't got me yet.
There's always hope though. I shall have to drag that detested treadmill back upstairs so it can yell at me as I walk past, ooooh makes me bad tempered even thinking about it. I much prefer walking outside, maybe that will have to be my 'thing', out battling the elements and feeling a bit righteous and splendid, better than stomping in my dining room getting cross and feeling hard done by, sturdy shoes and a pac-a-mac rather than slippers and a scowl, perfect.
H is as gung ho as me about these new plans, it feels rather nice to be on the same wave length.
I am the money person here, H has an allowance and apart from that I deal with it all and that has become increasingly unsatisfactory, he knows sort of what we have coming in, but I don't really tell him what is going on, so he says things without knowing, I take umbridge without him understanding and no-one gets anywhere.
This new plan will ( I hope) get us working together for the same cause and stop the tension that money tends to cause when not treated with respect. I hope we don't get too embroiled in our thrifty ways, I am determined to be more careful but not be a stingy git. Just today I bought dinner and cooked it, it was delicious, it looked fabulous and cost a mere £3.60. Toad in the hole and cabbage with gravy. When I carried it in, both H and Sophie said " Oooh, couldn't get better than that in any restaurant. " Praise indeed.
The challenge is on to do that every day, hoping that at the end of the week there is enough money left in the pot for a takeaway, or a treat of some kind.
It's kind of exciting when you choose to do this... miserable if you have to because you're poor .
I have been poor, often, I have learned how to make little spread far, now I want to do that and reap the benefits, actually see some money get saved and be able to choose what to do with it.
Shall we have evenings sitting 'round the coffers counting our spoils? Marvellous. I shall be one of those old ladies that have folded notes hidden in my wardrobe for an emergency and make a second hand cardigan last for 17 years. I just hope I don't smell of old chip fat or cats.
I rather fancy the idea of being the sort of person that manages to have something to help out in times of need and be a granny that treats and helps ...not a miserly old cat lady who snarls at the very idea of having to buy soft toilet paper.
I promise I shall never save those slivers of soap to make 'new' bars. I shall always have lovely soft, even quilted, loo rolls ( bought when they are buy one, get one free, naturally) I shall still buy my posh shampoo because my wiry old hair with its very own mind has to be shown that it must do as its told when the occassion demands.
We won't be having endless cookies and crisps, no more scones and cream for H, unless it is a treat. No more fast food because its fast and lazy, ( and delicious, in its own hideous way) No more hunks of pre packaged meat that we cook and then eat some of and then throw away. Lighter meals, fresher foods.
So, there you have it. New years thingumies, resolutions, goals, plans. Pretty good ones I think. Now its time to get on and do it.
I'm definately ready .

Friday, December 29, 2006

And life is complete because we have....


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Just what every mother of 3 little boys needs, just the one though, one toy with 3298 pieces and one body, 3 little boys who all want to stick the same body part into the only actual one body bit. Only someone with no children or just one child or several children but infinite patience, or a real hatred for the parents of the recipient of this toy, would ever buy a MR POTATO HEAD. It is the devils own toy, I loathe it. If I had bought it ( which I never would, because BITS... lots of bloody BITS people) I would have thrown it away by now.
I am seriously planning next christmas, all toys with bits will be banned, I think we will have books and maybe DVDs of the unable to move because they are so gripping variety.
We won't have chocolate or sweets or pop or anything that will induce sugar crazed lunacy when the weather is so vile that we are trapped inside with said 3 boys.
If any of the old people are sick next year I think we won't have christmas at all, I think we will hide and close all curtains and drink cough medicine that promises to cause drowsiness.
If I am forced to watch one more documentary on the Galapogas islands I will cause serious damage to something or someone, coming close second to nature documentaries are the seemingly endless Wallace and Grommet cartoons, whilst mildly entertaining for about 46 seconds, 2 hours every afternoon is not doing anything to cheer my mood. Especially after 3 hours of seabirds and seals or sea lions-- and you would think I would know which is which by now, having been subjected to so many hours of these mindless droning-voice documentaries wouldn't brain is numb, it can't take in any facts other than it has had enough and can it be over now please?
I am drawn to an hour of wellies on and stamp in some puddles any minute now because these kids need outside, they need to yell and not be yelled at, they need to make a mess outside and feel this is a GOOD thing, other than witness their aged mother having the vapours at the sight of MR POTATO HEAD's guts being spilled over the coffee table in fight number 432 of the day.
What possessed me to think that the biggest tool box in the world filled with every kind of marker, crayon, pencil, pen, eraser, gel pen, sharpener was a cool idea? Did I mistakenly think that these children would spend many a peaceful hour doing splendid pictures to be hung on fridge and wall? Why did I not see that the pens would be great missiles? The markers used to scribble on laptops, of course no-one knows how to put the lids back on the markers and I have gone from frantically trying to replace lids to simply throwing the damn pens away and its only 5 days since that glorious gift was given.
Of course H has been trying to whisper that maybe they had too much, that there was a reason why he hid half of it , maybe next year......he is trying, but I am ignoring because I don't want to hear him, I might have to hurt him if I hear him and the email that explained about childrens' expectations at christmas and how gifts of a thoughtful nature are best .....arseholes. Christmas is about fun when you are 3, 5 , 6, 17, darned if I am writing a promise note for a future game of scrabble to my kids.
I missed my dad. I missed the pantomime, I missed the normal feeling of wonder this year. It's been an interminably long week. That isn't over yet.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Is it over yet?

I think it is. Not that I don't love christmas and everything about it but this year I sort of wanted it all to end, so it did. The tree had a major wilt yesteday and the ribbons fell off so just took everything down and packed it away with the elf costumes. The house looks all bare and nearly tidy.
We are all still weary, conjested miseries, coughing and sputtering and groaning a lot. We did enjoy some turkey stew for dinner which helped us all feel loved and wholesome. ( sort of like chicken soup, but festive and thrifty)
I am beginning to dream about slim fast, how worrying is that then? I am also beginning to really look forward to the new year.
I can't remember when I have held such positivity for a new year. usually I have had the doomy gloomy feeling that well, yeah, right, it'll be like last year but I'll be older, can't wait.
This year, I look back at all we have been through, everything I have achieved and overcome and can truthfully say that the thought of 2007 has me nearly giddy with anticipation.
I look out and think of things we can do, we will be going and doing and seeing this year. Nothing mind blowing, but memory making and new.
Resolutions are something I rarely do, but this year I want to set goals. I really want to take more notice of where the money goes, hate to swear and use the B word but I think I am going to set a flexible budget. Mostly because I want to set money aside for the seeing and going and doing part of what we want this year.
H is determined to save more for the boys, we do pretty well considering we are on a pretty low income for such a big family.
It would be great to see their savings grow more this year. ( savings, such a grown up word!)
I am working on Jordan and Sophie too, they both earn good money and have had longenough to enjoy the frivolous wasting of youth, now they need to start seeing what money can do for them. Like get them a flat or something!
Actually, I love having them here but I had been away from mummy for years by the time I was 19, moved into the nurses' home at 17 and never looked back. Dan moved into his own place at's such a good thing to do, I think everyone should try living independantly before they get married, so they can make mistakes and learn without it being a huge problem.
I also think that by 19 you should be able to live the way you choose, that usually includes things your mother needs not to know or's hard for us mums to let go when they won't actually go, know what I mean?
It's so good to feel happy about things. Don't get me wrong, ( would hate for anyone to worry and think I am of constant good cheer and getting on others' very last nerve etc) I still have days when it all seems like a bowl of soggy cornflakes but for the most part, the demons are gone. None too soon either.
I find I have time to muse about trivia and notice stupid unimportant things, I get annoyed at minor absolutely and completely marvellous.

It's a bit like riding a horse.

Parenting that is. The longer I do it, the more I see how little I know about it.
Lately, I find more and more that it feels like being on a horse, going fast. Galloping, not cantering and definately not trotting.
Sometimes I go with it and hang on and feel the wnd in my hair and the exhilleration of the ride. Othertimes, I grab those reigns and stop that horse right in it's tracks and try to take charge. Those are the scarey times. I've never been good at animals, always been very afraid of horses and they know it. Tough though, because being the mummy I have to blow up the horses nostrils and calm that beast down.
Having 6 children means that some stuff is done on auto pilot and routine is a good thing, you get used to doing things and the kids get used to how you do them and thank heavens, it usually works. The problem with doing things that way is that you miss a ton of stuff, you can miss the treats that come your way. It is easy to knock them out the way because that's not what you do..this is the way we do it here buddy.
Bedtime. Sometimes my favourite time of day, sometimes I dread it. The christmas period has been a doozy for bedtime, routine smoutine, forget it. Not once have the beastlets snuggled down, had their faces stroked and gone to sleep. They have been like mini junkies. High on the crazy excitement of fat men in red suits visiting and chocolate on tap. Sleep has not been a part of the plan and going to bed, it would seem, is the very devil's way of ending the fun. Tonight I was up and down like a whore's drawers, every time I stomped up those stairs to try and get them to settle I would feel more disgruntled about it. This stupid flu has hung around and is just miserable, my ears whistle, my head is spinning and oh please let me sit down and watch Jam and Jerusalem, relax a bit, snooze even.
I do enjoy the reasons kids give for not sleeping, Isaac hates the sumo wrestlers santa brought because they are of that stretchy material that makes him scream, really scream. Silly santa forgetting that fact when putting them in stockings, he didn't give stretchy lizards to Isaac because he knew he hates them but those super duper sumos slipped past and ...oh well....the sumos were out of the way but darn it if he didn't think that the box they came in might be somewhere near his bed and that, he says, is as bed...ewwwwwww the very thought.
Seth needs stroking a lot, once when he goes to bed and then again when he has been in bed about 15 minutes or so, when I am in and out and getting more and more ragged it's so hard to stand and gently stroke the face......but if I don't, he can't sleep.
Elijah, he is the master of not going to sleep, he can come up with a gazillion reasons why he can't / shan't/ won't sleep. He is a hard faced little beastlet too, he can keep it up for hours.
Tonight he was keeping the others awake and after 27 trips to put him back into bed, I got off the damn horse, I gave up on how we do it in this house, forgot what is right and important and routine.....I knelt by his bed and put my face right next to his and I felt my soul soar. This child is divine, even in his irritating and infuriating moments he has the power to stop the world turning and make everything stand still. His funny little face with his goofy teeth, his sticky out ears and those puppy eyes. His whoe face lit up when I knelt by his bed.
" Lije, why aren't you going to sleep?"
"Mine fum hurts"
"your thumb hurts?"
"Yeth, it fell on a road and it hurts"
"can you suck it?"
"No, I tan't, I tan't thuck it and I tan't go to thleep"
"hmmm, did you try the other one?"
A look of complete astonishment crossed his face, he stuck the left thumb in his mouth, sucked 4 times and was out like a light.
Life is so damn short, we gallop along trying to get all that important stuff done and miss those moments of sheer heaven.

I think I missed way too many moments with my girl. Life has been such a battle with the Sophie one, we've made it through this far, but I think so much has been lost on the way. I am in the middle of a time with her that I know could have been avoided if I had knelt by her bed more.
If I had somehow found a way to get off the horse more often and just enjoy her instead of trying to teach her all the time. I know that we had the odds stacked against us for so much of the time and I feel truly blessed that we are right where we are now, things could have been so much worse. I am just so sad that she still lacks so much that is important.
I am desperate to show her that she is of infinite worth. I want for her to know exactly how precious she is and I am at a loss to know how to do that. If we had had more kneeling by the bed times, more moments of watching silly movies and just being together, I might know how to help her now. It is getting easier to talk to her, she listens now, she actually asks me things, wants to be with me and looks at me as if I might have something to say. I just hope that I can reach her with what is really important before it's too late.

There is always so much to do in our house, cleaning and laundry and picking up and feeding.....sometimes I have to let a lot of that go in order to listen and breathe it all in. I swear I can see these little boys grow, they are changing every day and there is so much to show them and teach them, so much to enjoy......better get to bed so that I can do another day tomorrow, these little gits can suck the energy out of an old gal before lunch these days. Life's grand ain't it?

Monday, December 25, 2006

So this is Christmas!

Phew, did it, it's all over bar the shouting for another year and I am sort of breathing a sigh of relief.
It all went so well... and so typically, we look forward to this so much for so long I am always left with a sort of echoey hollow feeling for a while. Maybe not hollow, hard to feel hollow when you've eaten so much, but you get my drift I'm sure.
I am still sort of ill, whistling ears and horribly dizzy, nasty cough and a bit naseaus. The feeling of impending death has gone though, so that's something and my bones aren't snapping anymore which is glorious, we're just not quite bouncing and tra la-ing yet.
Last night I was positively blase about what needed to be done. I would do a bit, sit down, sigh, do a bit more, lie down, 1am I was still surrounded by stuff, but at least the boys were asleep which was a good thing. A very good thing because I was pretty sure they would be getting a lump of coal in their stockings, they were beyond revolting and I wasn't at all in the mood for reading the night before christmas or putting out mince pies and was late before they gave in and went to sleep. Little gits!
They woke up at 6.45 which is really reasonable, opened stockings with exactly the right amount of sweetness and joy, Scooby doo socks, bloodhound dogs and KNEX ( evil knex of little tiny pieces and 'can you help me I can't do it' frustration)
Mum arrived at 9.30 for a full english breakfast, yum. Fresh orange juice and we were to open more gifts when the dishes were done, I am all for making them hang on a bit and stretch out the day but H took it to such lengths I thought I would have a meltdown tantrum.....COME ON ALREADY!!
Lovely presents, I had some slippers from H that I think are microfibre or something because they areso soft and strokeable, I think they are a little piece of heaven on my feet, I shall be able to go into the kitchen and not weep in foot cold pain , bliss, he also gave me a voucher for a dinner at the bison/ ostrich burger restaurant up in Surrey, we are going for a week in feb......hoorah.
There is scarcely a day goes by when I don't congatulate myself on how hip and happening I am with my young children, how they keep me from being among my peers in my enthusiasm for conservatories and a quiet weekend in the country. I am a slip of a thing and so with it.......or maybe not.
Today has shown me where I am up there with the snoozy afternoon club, I am too old for the bits. The little toy bits, the paper bits, the pentops and definately lego. I find the half eaten chocolate and already sucked jelly sweets less touching than I did, stickers on everything is enough to make my blood pressure hit the roof, I have been trying to pick up and tidy all day.......ack, it's CHRISTMAS, suck it up old woman and enjoy it all. I was frantic at clean up the wrappings time, sorting it into recyclables and landfill categories. Loosen up old girl!! I won't even tell you about the palpitations I have had about the markers and lids and felt pens and lids and twistable crayons and lids......I AM AN OLD PERSON.. show me the orange and lemon jelly slices and point me to a comfy chair so I can drop my chin on my chest and snore, please.
Mum, bless her, said after about 3 minutes of gift opening
" are we opening the ones with our names on and then going home ( where it is peaceful and tidy and quiet and clean) or are we staying to open ALL of those?? She said she had vegetables to prepare, she then said that it might not take long to peel 6 potatoes but could she use that excuse anyway and get the hell out? ( you know she would never say get 'the hell out' don't you? I am just very good at reading minds and between the lines) We let her go, it's been a rough year.

I think H feels old too, I thought I was having a touch of the altzheimers, thinking about gifts I felt sure I had bought and wrapped and hidden and labelled but not seeing them anywhere......did I buy that? Did I imagine it? Am I insane? Where the ????? I even voiced a couple of "wonder where's" walked around a bit with puzzled expression etc, then accepted I am losing it, may already have lost it, am stupid. Until I found a pile of unopened gifts hidden under a blanket behind H's chair in what he thought might appear to be a sensible act of saving some for later, but what I know was a desperate attempt to stop the insanity. I will have to make sure he doesn't hide them for next year or birthdays in august or something.. because he would do that, he really would.
I felt a slight ( or huge) amount of pique when, after buying exactly 3 gifts 3 days ago, wrapping them but not labelling them and that amounting to his contribution to the festive season, when we were all assembled as a happy and eager family, filled with wonder and anticipation, around the tree ( bought and decorated and watered and tended by me) awash with colourful presents and ribbons ( bought, hidden, brought down, arranged.. blah blah by me ) he came in and sat down in front of it all and said " so...what have we here?" and took upon himself the job of being the gift bestower. It was the air of authority and natual assumption that this was his job as man of the house that sort of made me want to shove him out of the way.
If only some of that need for responsibilty had stuck him earlier......just irritating that this was 'his' moment. I wish I hadn't written that because it hadn't annoyed me nearly as much as it is now until I had given it the time and energy by writing it, now I will be cross for at least half an hour ....darn it! I ALWAYS hand that job over to him...I'm sure that he was just doing what he knew I would ask him to do but it was the fact that he just did it that bugged winning is there?
None of us felt well enough to eat the dinner that I felt honour bound to cook, why I thought we needed a 20lb turkey for 3 adults is beyond me a 6lb chicken would have been perfect, we have enough turkey to last until we can't think without heaving, although a lovely bit of cold meat with some home baked ham and some pickles is always welcome on boxing day, and the day after, thursday maybe??
Oh the obigatory hideous gift wins a prize this year...I hope she did it on purpose, my sister gave me a tote bag , which by itself is borderline bad gift, this one was incredibly hideous, it is a see through photo-tote, room for pictures of all my children, the handles are pink, brown and white candy striped satin ribbon. I love it because it is so revolting it is loveable. I almost feel obliged to take up crocheting to get the full value of it, it should be filled with crochet needles and half done doilies, a toilet roll cover in the shape of a poodle would look amazing in there. My other sister and I used to have hideous slipper competetions, who could give each other the ugliest slippers, turquoise ankle slippers with gold embroideried flowers, that was the winner one year. I think the tote bag was one of those gifts, please don't let it be something that Julie believed was just 'me'.
Mum came up with a perfect gift. Every year we would go to the pantomime, it was my dad's present to everyone, kids, their kids and their kids would go, dad at the healm, we yelled and sang and laughed and every year it was the thing we all longed for.
No-one mentioned it this year, not one of us wanted to go, it will never be the same without dad. There was never going to be anything that could be like that, nothing mum bought would have been close to the panto......she found the most glorious answer. She bought, on our behalf, a cow, goats and a sheep for families in a village in Africa. Each animal cost the equivalent of a months wages to a there are a few families that will have animals. Ideal. Clever mum.
so, we have 3 little boys all bathed in their santa bubble bath , wearing new 'jama's, playing with lego and watching Curious George, Seth is in love with his black Lab and Eli has his socks. We have enough chocolate to gain 300lbs. All is well. We can relax for another year.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

And you never stop being the mummy.

Dan, who is 21, is coming home for 2 weeks in January.
He hates birthdays, he has always ( well since he was about 9,) hated his birthday, when he was about to be 10 I asked him what he wanted for his birthday he said " I want to be very bored please, I want to stay home and do nothing and I don't need anything so I don't want presents."
He meant it, he was very cross when I took him to a theme park for the day and sat in the car with a bobble hat ( in August) pulled right down over his head and face, until we got there where he had the best time of his life.
He stil hates any kind of fuss on his birthday.
He loves Christmas, he would be so excited about christmas growing up that he would almost puke just thinking about it. He would beg to santa and give him his pocket money so that santa could buy any extra present for someone who wouldn't have many presents, one year he asked for a packet of his favourite biscuits to take with him to see Santa, when he got there he asked Santa to give them to a boy his age who might never have had biscuits before ...... he loves Christmas.
I hate that he won't be having christmas until he gets here in January.....I really REALLY want to drive to his house and leave his presents on his doorstep on christmas eve, I can't do that as it takes 3 hours to get there and I am going to out and about until at least 9pm on sunday, then it'l take hours to set everything up here, but wouldn't that be great to actually make Christmas for my biggest boy? I love him to bits and back together again. He needs a break, he works so hard. He called the other day and was sobbing, snot crying, it is beyond heart wrenching to hear a man child cry and for them to be so far away that you can't just squeeze the bejeebers out of them.
He had been working with the police and had been to a call out where an elderly lady had just dropped dead, she has been running a bath and just died. He said that her tree was up, presents underneath, a list of to-do's on the table and she was dead. That made him think of papa and how much he misses him and he had been crying since the night before.
He works full time at the restaurant and then the evenings he has off from there and the full days off he has, he works or the police, he will work until 3-4am and then get up at 10 to go back to the restaurant. I think he might sleep the whole 2 weeks he is here. I love it that when he comes to visit, he walks in the door, hugs everyone and then he falls asleep.
I'm sure it's that when he gets here he gets to stop being a grown up with all those responsibilities and becomes just Dan again, someone else pays the bills, someone else worries about what is for dinner and how much the electricity costs and he only has to think about whether he wants to eat, or sleep.
Jordan is working from 6am until who knows when,on christmas day too...he is very grumpy and cross about that and it is making him think he doesn't want anything to do with any of it, bah humbugger it. I have made him a stocking and his own sweet table and will be santa in the very few hours he will be asleep, so he can see that even when he is a miserable git, santa still loves him and wants him to have a lovely time.
Sophie is always excited about Christmas too, this year is the first year she has had any money and she has been a divine delightfulness buying for everyone, her room is filled with presents for everyone and she is ready......she is still young enough that she wants things for herself too and has driven Jordan insane with lists of stuff to buy her, which means he hasn't bought her a thing yet.....I hope she cleans her room today because Santa is risking life and limb if she tries to get to Sophies bed in the dark with a stocking, Sophie is celebrating Danielle's departure by pretending she IS Danielle, her room is a terrifying stink pot of jumble and mess.
Lucky me, I get to be excited for all 6 of my children, even though 3 of them are all sort of grown up and cool sophisticated in front of their friends.
2 sleeps. Ooooooooooooh!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Just 3 sleeps....

And 3 little boys here are as wound up and hyper as it is possible to be, Isaac is having a hard time with it all I think, Elijah is unsettled at night time, I hope he isn't getting poorly, Seth is just argumentative. Oh fun.
We woke up this morning with no electricity, 6 hours later it was fixed but that was a loooooong time to be cold, H took the 2 littler ones out which helped but it is REALLY cold now, thank goodness for the fire in the front room, we huddled and snuggled and somehow passed the time.
I spent a long time thinking about how different things are now from when I was on my own with Dan, Jordan and Sophie. I have always made Christmas a magical time, always gone overboard but when you are alone with children it is so lonely at this time of year, I cried every single christmas eve, just to see those little people so excited and then so thrilled every christmas morning and not have anyone to share that joy with was heart breaking for me. I think I almost took for granted that things are different, I never thought that would happen.
My old life seems like it happened to someone else. I'm so glad I'm not living that anymore.......funny how while I was living it, I didn't feel as sad about it as I do when I remember it. That was a good thing because it meant that I could function and give my children such happy times.
People say so often that children don't need fathers, I agree that it is possible to raise happy and stable children without one or the other parent but it is SO much better when there are 2 parents who not only love the children but each other.
Some of the best memories I have as a child are those that showed me how my dad loved my mum, he wrote on steamed up windows that he loved 'Peg', he would bring her fish and chips on friday evening, even when they had no money.
We sort of all thought mum was in charge while we grew up, she seemed to be the one that made the decisions about us, if we wanted to go somewhere or do something we asked mum, if we wanted a ride, we asked dad. We didn't think he was less important, not at all.
When the first one left, my saddest thought was that my children would never know what it was like to have been raised their whole lives by their mum and dad......that is such a great feeling, I love that, it was such a safe feeling to come from such a family. What I didn't think at the time was that the first one and I would never have been like my parents anyway, had we stayed together our children would have had an unhappier life than they had with just me raising them.
I'm waffling and not making a whole lot of sense, it's late and I should go to bed. I just wanted to write a bit about how different it is this time 'round with these children.
I am so excited about christmas, seeing the wonder on their faces and being able to look at H and share that. Marvellous.
3 more sleeps.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I spoke too soon!

Because it is SOOOOOOOO cold. - 2 or something which is cold considering yesterday we scarcely needed a jacket. This old house needs some serious lagging because I saw today that we are a bit posh, all our neighbours had icy white roofs, not us, oh no sir, we heat our roof and melt that bad old white stuff. ARGH! The father's genes in me come out and wants to beat the ground at the badness of heating the sky.
I want that warm IN MY HOUSE.
We are as cosy as toast in our front room but walk out the door and you're on your own. Our bedroom is warm too and the boys room isn't uncomfortably cold, the hallways and landing are freezing, my feet want to fall off in the kitchen and going to the bathroom takes strength and fortitude. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
At least it feels like Christmas.
We had a crafty old time today, made toilet roll Joseph, Mary and some kings.....then we stopped because it's always best to end while it is still sort of fun and no-one has been banished from the family for crimes involving glue and scissors. I really take my hat off to mothers who do craft stuff on a regular basis because if I'm honest, it makes me want to sell them all to the gypsies ( the children, not the crafts) and beat some sense into myself.

Who said doing stuff like that is meant to be fun when you have small children? I can see that it should be fun and how it could be fun, but it isn't.
My children just can't seem to be happy doing the craft we set out to make, not enough to be allowed to cut shiny card, stick felt and draw on ping pong balls, it is apparant that in this family it can only be fun if we glue tables, draw on people and cut hair, or clothes, or important documents that were safely somewhere, who knows, it's not like I can ever find the darn things when I need them, maybe I should just announce we are going to make something and hand out scissors and the kids will find the very paper I've been searching for next time I need something.
As if that wasn't painful enough I then felt we needed to bake cookies, tree ones, which was fine because I didn't tell them, they were all glued to each other and the coffee table anyway, so I thought I was safe, almost got away with it but they smelled the goodies and came out to find me.
I did the baking- and they decorated 4 each, using enough colouring and goop to cover half of Devon, I did sort of enjoy that and managed to snuggle with the mumsie feeling I had afterwards, I think that I have exhausted my maternal responsibilities on the arty farty front for this season though, thank heavens for that.
I am a bit thumb twiddly now until sunday. We have a party and a carol service, bit more food shopping, no more wrapping and we're all set.
Very good.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


What a lovely morning I had. The great thing about being ready early is that anything you choose to do afterwards is a bonus, so walking through town today was a treat, I didn't need anything but found a pile of extra treats that were half price and splendid, crocodile slipper socks for £1, socks and more socks for Sophie, even Narnia socks for Elijah, who has put himself to sleep the past 3 nights by whispering about the socks santa will bring " Maybe superman, maybe lion king, deffaly Scooby-doo" I am very touched and less suprised by this excitement over socks, I was puzzled until I thought and you see, H is a sensible chap, he worked out long ago that life is so much simpler if everyone has just one type of sock , he has wilson white socks with a W at the top, the boys all wear the same size socks and always have hanes from grandpa which is heaven when it comes to sorting socks, no rifling through til you find the matching one because they ALL MATCH, hoorah. So for Eli to discover that socks can actually have pictures on must seem like some kind of magical happening, the very idea of having his favourite people and things on his feet is a giddy thought for him.
I am sure that the thrill for him will be worth the slight inconvenience to me when it comes time to fold and pair them.
The thing I love about living here is that we wander through the streets to shop, no malls near us, just streets of shops and lovely buskers, especially this time of year. Today there were a couple of men in their 40s I suppose singing christmas songs and a load of teenagers were standing around singing along, you can't help but feel festive and cheery when you're accompanied by happy people singing christmas songs.
Yesterday there was a school choir singing carols. Everywhere you look there are Merry Christmas signs , Happy christmas.
It's unseasonabley warm and dry here which sorts or stops it feeling very christmassy but I can so live with that, if we miss the cold I can handle it without feeling any sense if loss at all.
I wrapped the stocking fillers last night, santa always uses tissue paper to wrap stocking gifts, roughly wrapped so its easy to rip that stuff open and get at it all.
I am calmly and a little disbelievingly ready. I have that feeling that I have forgotten something BIG and IMPORTANT....know what I mean?
I love it when I get to this stage, the part where we can say if we haven't got it, we'll go without......uh oh, except I forgot to buy toilet paper, darn it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I am so excited about christmas. Even through my head bursting ear splitting misery I am able to think of christmas morning and feel that belly flipping glee.

I was talking to a mum at playschool and she asked me what Eli was having for christmas and all I could think of was Scooby doo socks. For a split second I felt stupid and then I didn't because I know he has more than the socks but if he didn't he would still have the best time.
The mum did tell me about some great deals at Argos and I was almost drawn into getting some, the thing is, to me, christmas is absolutely about gifts as well as everything else but it's about the right gifts. I know my boys would have a blast with the toys in Argos, for about 20 minutes and then they would become something else for me to fall over and pick up and swear I left them where they are. Good.

I can't remember quite what my kids have because I have been buying it and hiding it for so long, they are mostly wrapped so it will be a lovely suprise for me on the morning too, because I have the memory of a goldfish.
I know that Seth has at least 2 gifts that he will adore and not put down for at least 3 months, I know Isaac has his hearts desire, which is KNEX with white pieces, Eli has his socks.
I also found a present for Seth that will make his christmas and mine and H's. It's one of these....

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in fact it is that exact same one.

Both H and I had one of these when were about 6, I sat for hours making tags with my name, twist, click, turn, click, cut and stick. My name was on everything, whether it belonged to me or not, I put my name on it. Seth puts his name on everything. I suspect H and I will try and sneak a go with this dymo, memories are the best things aren't they?
I was in despair while looking for one of these because everything we found was computerised and refill tapes were such a stupid and unrealisitic price we weren't going there, not even for memories. I wanted it to be the twist and turn and click type that keeps little people busy with tongue out in concentration for many hours, I wanted the peel off tape.....this one comes with 4 refill tapes, marvellous, E bay of course. Wins every time!
I told the big kids there were no stockings this year for them....Jordan was very brave and said he didn't care as he will be at work anyway and bah humbug bloody christmas.

Sophie wept and begged for a while ( or 3 days)

They do have stockings of course, because they are my children and they still live here......they are grown up stockings though and not huge. They will be crackly though because a stocking isn't a stocking unless it crackles when you stick your foot out and feel it on the end of your bed.

H has nothing on the day, I bet I cave and give him something to unwrap even though he has a glorious new mattress and a week away in february....I remember when my dad would have a teeny little pile of gifts when I was little, it made me cry every year, I couldn't believe he didn't mind at all.

As far as I know, Sophie is the only person to have done anything for me so far, she has been like me, buying and wrapping since July...I talked Jordan into paying for the tree as a gift for H and I because he really is working all the hours the pub is open and sleeps on the one day on a blue moon he has off. He hasn't done a thing for anyone else......oh I lie, he did go halves on gifts for the boys with Dan because I made him come out with us last week. He is not feeling festive.
Dan is in a world of his own, he will be here for 2 weeks in January....he did everyone while he was here but said he will do mine later.
What I really, REALLY would love is a new camera, apart from that just a lovely day, help cleaning up, no fighting and lots of gold.
I love jewellery, chains,rings and bangles, you wouldn't think it, to look at me, because apart from my wedding rings I never wear any, but I do love it and look at it longingly in the shop windows, knowing that when I am grown up and sophisticated, when there is nothing more important to buy, when I don't have my hands in soapy water all day, when I don't spend most of my time bending and grunting while I pick up and tidy, well then I shall wear gold and look all shiny and posh.
About the same time I have beautiful tidy hair, faultless make up, manicured nails and wear skirts, even when it isn't sunday. Yes, right about then.
It's a little sad that this time next week it will be boxing day and the tree will look all tired and unpretty, we will be tripping over toy bits and chocolate wrappers, I will be finding half eaten cadbury bars all over the house because there is no such word as 'no' on christmas day, they can eat chocolate all day until they puke if they like, this means that they start a bar and then put it down and then get another one and put it down. I remember following a trail of half eaten chocolate right through the house one year and finding a 4 year old Jordan asleep at the end of it. Even now the one thing the big kids would weep about if it wasn't there is the sweet table.......traditions, memories, priceless aren't they?

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ouch, skin, sore.......mine.

Am ill, have been sort of nearly ill all week but H has been REALLY ill, not waking up for days I had to sort of just be a bit ill, until today when he was better and my body gave in to the miserable sore skin illness. My bones are breaking and my skin hurts, my eyeballs are melting and I think there is molten lava dripping down my throat.
H doesn't whine when he is ill, at all, hardly mentions that he is sick, he's just sort of not found anywhere but bed. Here one minute, sleeping the next, which isn't always a good thing because if you don't know someone is ill and they just go to bed when there is much to do and you don't feel very hunky dory yourself you can quite easily hate a person.
Luckily, because we have been married 7 years and I know that if he takes himself to bed it means he is feeling like he might drop dead any minute, I have been kind and let him sleep and done all the school runs and shopping.
Today, I have made sure that everyone knows that I feel like a melting pain of the throbbing kind. At every opportunity I have whined and said " ow, my skin hurts" I'm not sure why I feel the need to do that except that I don't want to miss out on any kindness that might come my way, as if. I hate that my back feels like it is breaking and my legs are heavy and have toothache......people must know every symptom I have in case they forget to stroke me and ask if there is anything they can do.
Nobody has done that yet but I live in hope.
H did stroke me when I told him that really I am much more ill than he was this past week, I don't think he sighed and thought about what a long week this one will be for him, I'm sure he was just taking a deep breath in order to brace himself for all the pampering and acts of service he longs to do for me.
Isaac dropped a can of tomato soup today, it was my one effort to feed him, I opened the can and he picked it up to smell it ( to make sure it was the right kind you understand, smell is everything in this house) he dropped it and any other time I might have been impressed at how far that soup carried, in a beautiful arc, the entire length of the kitchen, hitting walls, ceiling, clean laundry, floors, me, him, washing machine, drier.......a forensic scientist would have had a hey day. Today though, well I wasn't at all impressed I was just mind blowingly horrified and wept very loudly about how cruel life is and damn tomato soup makers all over the world.
Then we were out of bread and that meant that someone would have to go and get some, I did, and be darned if I was going to change to do it, I slipped on my crocs and went just as I was in my too short yet comfortable sweats and a cardi that makes life worth living even if it has seen better days.
It helps you get an idea of how ill I feel when I tell you that Isaac, aged 5, was suitably horrified at my going out like that to say
" I cannot believe you went to costcutters in your pyjamas."
I didn't look good but was ill enough not to care, above hoping no-one I knew saw me, I bet they did. I probably looked like a homeless person with good shoe sense because I definately did the homeless shuffle, my aching legs just didn't want to lift themselves, they just dragged my sore body down the road and back again.
I can't decide if I am glad school is almost done, it means none of the running around but it also means they will be here and loud.

Can I come to your house? Is it quiet? Do you have drugs that will make me feel floaty and let me swallow cool drinks and stop my back from hurting so much? I won't be much trouble, just make sure I am breathing every hour or so and tell me how sorry you are for me and I'll hardly let you know I am there.
It does mean that we will be better for christmas, hooray.
I am so glad I did the turkey / ham / pork for boxing day shop. All we need now are the vegetables and fruit. If I had to fight at the freezers for the biggest ready basted bird, feeling like this, I might just wilt and give up. I am so organised I almost annoy myself.

I shall leave you with a few things I have heard this past week or 3 that have made me happy. Ready?

" You look 23" ( 2 different people, how marvellous)

" I think I should wear warmer clothes" ( sophie, oh joy)

" I up here doin' a big pooh" ( Elijah in the toilet, all on his own, sweet joy)

" I really do love you" ( H)

" you do big wees like camel don't you, because you have a big body" ( Isaac, while watching me pee, probably should have made me sad but somehow 5 year olds have the knack of making hurtful things funny, he loves me so much I think he doesn't care how big my body is, just sort of stating a fact really)

Life isn't so bad after all, even when your eyeballs are melting, is it?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Shhhh Santa we love you, but not when you SHOUT!

I took Seth and Isaac to see Santa exciting, we got to the garden centre ( because really, where else would he be?) and hurried to find the grotto, it was all going so well until we HEARD him, long before we saw his little house with elves at the door......WHOA, said Isaac ( more by his actions than by his words) screeched to a halt my Isaac did,
"Oh, OH...I don't want to see that Santa because he is shouting and too loud, Seff, you tell him I want Knex and I stay right here" ( several feet away from even the grotto because Lawks a mercy he has a window and there is a big chance that booming Santa will see him and MAKE him go in. Not on your nelly.)
Seth went in but was reluctant to get too close because he values his ear drums, I think he thought that if he really spoke very quietly, Santa might get the message and just bring his voice down a few hundred decibles..didn't work.

Seth told him about Isaac and that Isaac was a bit afraid to come in... "WHERE IS HE?????" Boomed Santa as he peered through the window ( which is when Isaac backed even further away and I think ate his fingers down to the metacarpals)......

Things might have improved, Seth told Santa he likes anything to do with animals and Santa gave him a bag of the most gloriously cheap farm animals that Seth longs for and never gets because they aren't to scale and that insults daddy's whole sense of well being, only anatomically correct and to scale animals and donsaurs in this house thankyou, so to get such a ctreasure from Santa proved beyond doubt that he is all that is magical and good.

Isaac was less impressed though because he HEARD santa boom "KNEX????" When Seth passed along his wishes, so why then did stupid shouting santa send out a bag of magnetix?

I don't want magnetix I said knex and for heaven's sake can't he do anything right??? Its hard to explain to a child with such definate autistic thinking that when Santa asks what you would like, he means on Christmas eve, he doesn't actually have every desire right there in his little converted garden centre shed......

But the day ended so perfectly when we found an elf suit ....£2.99 Seth is an elf, for real....did you ever see anyone more like the real thing in your whole life? I think not!! We had to go and get 2 more because Seth can't take it off, he has become an elf and theothers wanted to be festive too.....

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( itchy hat..hate that itchy hat)

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Friday, December 15, 2006

We love Santa, yes we do! But not fake ones very much.

Eli had his party on his last day at playschool.

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he saw Santa, but not the real one because the real one is busy, we all know that.. right? Besides that, this santa came in and sat down..shame there wasn't a chair! He sat, well fell, on the floor and knocked into the white board which then fell on his head....phew, good job he is a stand in for the actual santa who we can only hope, is slightly less clumsy.

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He got a lovely book and is now so excited he can barely sleep. Santa is coming for real, the really real one...soon, with presents!! He went back to say thankyou but was very firm on
" I don't want to tiss him, ok ?" That's perfectly ok , not sure I would kiss that one either!!

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Great book, probably even better the right way up.

I sent in a little gift with Eli for his teacher, I did the same for Seth's and Isaac's teacher and also for Isaac's classroom helper.
I made a gift bag and put in the Christmas and new year TV guide, a lavendar candle, calming bath bubbles, foot soak, foot rub, face mask and a bar of galaxy chocolate. I was tempted to add tylenol and a bottle of wine but stopped myself, seemed like the perfect gift for teachers of little boys to me!
Eli's teacher was thrilled and I was a bit smug when I saw most of the other children bringing in the usual boxes of chocolates.
Seth and Isaac have 2 more days of school, nothing but party and play and they began to carry home the mountains of paintings and tudor houses made out of shoe boxes.....can never have enough tudor houses I always say.

There was much satisfying ooing and ahhing about the littlest boy in his smart attire, he is a bit delicious and very little and these days people just don't seem to put their little men in clothes like this. I knew the teachers would swoon if he wore this and I was right.
Oh and see those little pink shoes and the floaty frock near my boy? That's what I miss about having a little girl. I cried when Sophie wouldn't wear little white sandals anymore.
Jordan has a new girlfriend who is lovely, I like her very much, she has a baby girl ( 7 months) I have little daydreams about them going out for a long time and I can be a nana to Sienna and buy frilly stuff and play babies and then give her back. Lovely.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ta Da!!

I only made one of these but be honest, the one I made is pretty darn perfect!
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That last one is for JJBB, because I thought of you when I told Sophie to smile....and this is it, me thinks Chloe might do this when she is 17 and has to pose for you in clothes that you chose and you like.....she sort of likes them too but says she is hot because her clothes are actually covering her body, imagine that-- in December!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Some nice things to look at and some...other stuff.

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The penguins.....without my Isaac because he was the director you know.

May this sight never leave the schools in England because if it does I will be more sad than it would be possible to say. I really feel we need this in our schools.

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We are poorly, the mummy and daddy ones, H has been in bed all day. I have somehow managed to scuttle through the day but not very cheerfully. Danielle came home at 7am and wondered who was in 'her' bed.
Search me, your guess is as good as was a friend of Jordan's.
She whined because she said her stuff would be messed up...look, look here, this is her stuff....

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does this look like it can be any more messed up??
( the towels.....every time she showers she uses 2 towels and dumps them on the floor, I dry them and put them in her room and she uses new ones)
This is AFTER she moved some stuff to the new place that has no idea what it is in for. She is supposed to be moving tomorrow, please let that be true.
You can't see the half filled cups under the bed, or the USED Q-tips on the floor.
When I came home from the 2nd school of the day to see my clean, white laundry, fresh out of the washing machine and dumped on the floor, right next to my broken drier...well, that was it. Dear H lugged 3 loads of washing to the laundrette yesterday, the drier man is coming tomorrow, Danielle is moving tomorrow, why can't she take her dirty stuff with her and wash it there?
Well, I stormed into her room ( her room, listen to me, I am calling it her room it ISN'T, it is MY room, OUR room, not HER room.) I yelled, told her that she better do something about my clean washing on the floor and asked her how she thought she would dry the stuff she was doing, I also told her that she better be sure no bugger would be dragging it to the laundrette for her today! I slammed the door and said that if she doesn't leave tomorrow then I would.
3 minutes later she asked if she could use my wrapping paper again.
Is there a screw loose somewhere? If someone yelled at you because you are a selfish lazy oik and made it clear you are not the star of the week winner, wouldn't you sort of hide, or leave, or say sorry or something?
I see now why she has run out of places to stay, shame that her parents gave up because really, they should have taught her how to behave, shown her that there are expectations that should be met, instead of this, they spoiled her, gave her whatever she wanted ( materially) and then, when she turned into a bratty teenager, they kicked her out for other people to deal with.
The good thing in all this, is that I see my teenagers in a different light. They are messy..but they clear it up, they are loud and push the limits but when they are elsewhere they are ( I'm told) delightful and thoughtful. Even here they are pretty nice.
I have warned them under threat of real pain never to say anyone can stay here unless they ask first. I don't want to ever be in this situation again.
I am so looking forward to having this home back, no visitors, ( or cuckoos) to be able to know where things are and who is here!
I actually feel as though I have been put through the wringer, this girl has twisted my mind and worn out my nerves......weary me.
I am longing for Christmas, the main work is done and now I can almost relax, the boys finish school next week on wednesday and have 2 weeks holiday. No uniforms or packed lunches, no school runs, no deadlines or set times to stick to.
My littlest boy has his last ever day of playschool on friday, after the holidays he starts nursery.....big boy stuff.
I went shopping with all 3 big kids the other day, that was interesting......not something I would love to do very often!
Not too different to going with the 3 little ones really. They kind of tease each other, Sophie asks for everything .... she is a bratster, she knows the boys will give in! They wind me up and I found myself telling these great big people to stop touching and hurry up and no.....put it down!! I am relieved that they didn't do the knee slide thing, small blessings but thankfully grabbed.
Shopping is best done alone, I will stick to hot chocolate at costa coffee with my big kids thankyou!
I am not one of those marvellous saintly people who can open their home to waifs and strays and set them on the path to glory, I think I put up with them grudgingly and grumpily and then kick myself for being so flippin' stupid. I would like not to have to put up with any for a while, not even grudgingly. Please.

And then.....

It's all just so gloriously glorious......

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Because this boy takes it all in his stride, does it look like the boy gets any stage fright at all?!?

he took his hands out of his pockets to applaude himself!
I adore this boy

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The quality of this video is terrible but just watch him at the end. Joy that is. This is what Christmas is all about to me.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The reluctant penguin.

Today I volunteered to help dress the children in Isaac's class for their christmas play, penguins and doctors and donkeys and sheep. Isaac was to be a penguin but , well he's Isaac so he was a director, in half a penguins suit, or black trousers, white shirt and black waistcoat. He went ready dressed and it took me 35 minutes to persuade him to take off his school sweatshirt so that his resplendant waistcoat was visible.
His classroom helper Anne had spent an hour or 3 sewing a penguin face onto a black if!! His face was a contortion of fear at the very idea of having such an attention drawing garment anywhere near his body....he agreed to have a DIRECTOR badge across his chest, until we went into a cupboard to pin it on and he thought that obviously it would burn his skin and make the whole world look at it came off again. ( how much help have I been to poor Mrs teacher so far???) So, Isaac the director was ready ( as long as he hid behind me so no-one could see his waistcoat!!)
I helped and watched children get changed and become donkeys and cows and penguins and the excitement was tangible. Except from Isaac who withdrew more and more. He led the other children into the hallway outside the main hall where they were to perform and then he stood very still and withdrew completely.

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Seth came marching in with head held high and his rapper clothes on, he is his father's son, all the other rappers were baggy shirted and sunglasses on, they swaggered and walked like little rapping things, Seth was tucked in, his shorts pulled up so they jolly well didn't hang below his knees thankyou very much!
My heart smiles when I see those little heads craning so they can see who is watching them..all apart from my little boy's head which is facing away from everyone because it is longing not to be looked at. My little boy stood very still, with his directors folder and I could hear his heart praying for his teacher to hurry up and sit him down, behind her, away from peoples' eyes.

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My heart wept when I saw him shove his fist so far in his mouth he must have gagged on his elbow. My eyes wept when I walked home and just wished that he could feel some of that happy feeling that is such a part of being 5.
I know when he gets home he will be full of how great it was and how he sang ( in his head) and then tomorrow we go through it all again.
His teacher said that she was keen for me not to be disappointed because my Isaac wouldn't be a penguin.....I can't imagine ever being disappointed in anything this boy does, or doesn't do. Every little venture into the world is an achievement for him, every time someone tells me that he has spoken to them he makes me proud.
I am thrilled to be this little boys mummy. I am honoured to have him in my life and can't imagine him being anything other than exactly who he is.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Everything I ever wanted....

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Right here......

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Don't trifle with me.

I did something today that I have never done in my life. Ever.
I shall share with you the events that led up to my actions.
This morning we had the final rehearsal for the primary presentation tomorrow, little people practising something that lasts for an hour that doesn't include power rangers or jumping. Now, this was an impromptu rehearsal and so we weren't expecting every parent to bring their child/ren.
What you do find though is that parents who have what we call ( when we are being kind) 'bouncy' children, you know, the lively ones....well they ALWAYS bring their kids, never fail, those ones will always be there, especially on a saturday. So we had 2 hours of bouncy children ( mine included) Home again home again jiggety jig.
Time to shop.
Nice time, me and Sophie the girl child.
We went to Totnes, splendid place filled with quaint shops and a saturday market. We walked and browsed and found a christmas tree man who was selling the most resplendant trees, not a scraggly thing to be seen , big tall trees with thick branches and a steal at £25 each. I wasn't getting the tree until monday but there it was, and there I was, and I bought it.
Back to the car for the boring stuff like bread and milk and trifle. Trifle isn't boring, it is delicious and H adores it so I bought 2, kind me . Jelly, strawberries and sponge and custard all topped with whipped cream. Heaven in a plastic bowl.
Home we went ( again) Grumpy H.
Dear life.
If Christmas were left to H it would begin on Christmas eve and end the day after christmas which is boxing day, so it jolly well carries on thankyou very much.
He was grumpy because impatient me had to buy the damn tree and not wait til monday......the kids have to be out of the house when we do the tree, apparantly.
He is right in saying that if they are here, chances are I will end up yelling, I try not to but they all try to get right THERE and push and shove and drive me so crazy, my gob opens all on its own and yells my tonsils into a frenzy. He wouldn't listen to me when I tried to tell him that I can't decorate the tree until monday anyway because it has to be allowed to drop, its scrunched in a net and needs to relax before I strangle it with lights and ribbons and baubles. All this while I was unpacking the dull stuff like eggs and bread and trifle ( that isn't boring and was bought for him, dammit) It was almost controlled arguing until he walked away from me and something in me just found that the very last straw. It was then that I did the never before thing.
I looked through the red mist and saw the back of his head and I threw the trifle, really hard, with such relish........I might feel a bit sorry later, but right then ( and still a bit now) it felt so bloody good. I understood, in that moment, plate smashers, what a marvellous release of tension. His face was a bit scary in a funny sort of way and I felt I should probably say that getting me back in any way was not a good idea.
We had a bit of a stoney silence for an hour or so while I felt sorry for myself and dredged up every grudge I might be harbouring against him, until he asked if I wanted some chinese food and he went and got me delicious chow mein and some chicken and sweetcorn soup. We're friends again now, even if he is just the most humbuggy of Bahs.
Everything but the food is bought, most of it is wrapped, by me. I don't mind a bit... but I really take umbridge if anyone tries to stop ME enjoying it.
I could care less if H wants to pretend the whole thing is a dream, if he feels like sitting in a corner and wishing it would all go away until the 24 th that's fine, just don't say a word to me about not doing it, it is 2 weeks til christmas, not too soon by any means to decorate and fill this house with foliage, yuletide joy and festive fripperies.
Dan is coming on monday, Jordan has the day off too ( hooray an unexpected treat!) so the big kids and I will go shopping for gifts...I confiscated half of Jordan's wages so he will have some cash, Sophie gets paid ( although she has bought most of hers already) Eli is at gramma's and H can sit in blissful silence and wish it was boxing day. Thing is...he actually LOVES it all when its here, I could strangle him when he talks to his dad as he sits and chats about everything 'we' have done/ got / organised.....he is sitting here as I type, trying not to let on that he is telling grandpa that we have a tree. Except I can hear him, so I know that he is really alright with the whole ho ho whole thing. He will be thrilled everytime someone says how beautiful it all is and how clever we are ........ bah bah humbugger it.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hey......busy right now....

It's nearly Christmas isn't it?

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Last night I had dinner with a whole bunch of girls.
Today shopping with Jane and this evening, a bit more festive decorating. Tomorrow we have rehearsals for a christmas presentation, I really want to paint my windows tomorrow afternoon, holly and pretty when the light shines through, like stained glass.
So, wish I could sit and chat and tell you stuff but just can't do it. Ain't life bloody grand??

No room at the Inn, Part 2.( and the tag thingy)

5 of them were here last night
they laughed til half past 3,
They sort of shut their noisy mouths
When faced with grumpy me.

I came downstairs in PJs
My hair in dis-array,
"ITS HALF PAST 3!!" I yelled at them,
And then I heard one say..

"Sorry Mrs Jordan!"
With sheepish sort of grin
And then I sort of laughed with them
And let them all stay in.

I know I say I hate them
But really that's not true.
I'll tell a little secret
Between just me and you.

I really sort of love it
When my house is full of noise,
I love to see my sitting room
Just full of great big boys.

I do you know...sometimes the noise bugs me but the knowledge that these big people feel happy here, that they feel welcome and safe is a huge deal.
When I wake up and find bodies sleeping all over the place it's fine, I know where they are, I know they are safe.
Life sucks sometimes and adulthood comes all too quickly. Jordan has worked 72 hours this week ( so far) Sophie has worked 4 full days and been to college. They have responsibilities enough, I like it that they can sped their money on ridiculously priced clothes and nonsense. I love it that they bring their friends here.
I especially love it when I come down to tell them to shut the flippin' hell up and they call me Mrs Jordan or Sophie's mum.
I know that I can ask anything of these people and they would do it for me. They have fitted car radios in grandma's car, helped move house, they move furniture and babysit....and all with a smile ( usually) they know that if they sleep here they owe me, I can tell them to do dishes and they get spoken to as if they are mine. They don't get sweetness and light if they don't deserve it.
Kylie is here today, she was still up at 4am and now she is an hour and a half late for work, she tried to tell me that she is ill because she works so hard....stuff and nonsense, she feels ill because she stayed up laughing til after 4 and was meant to be at work for 8am she has been sent to work with a flea in her ear because if you are here, well you don't get away with pratting about. She loves it here, she is here more than she is anywhere else. She knows where she stands.
There are 3 lanky gits asleep in Jordan's room doesn't smell too good in there ewwwwww.
H takes it all in his stride, he came in with some jackets for the boys to go to school and said " these are all I can find, there's a person asleep in the spare room again...don't know who it is" He's polite and creeps about, not me, I go right in and see who it is. If they crash somewhere they have to accept that we still do what we need to do even if that means stepping over them and turning on lights when they have only been asleep 3 hours.
It makes my soul sing to see that they all know how it is, and they still all come here. they are polite and sweet and funny. Really funny. My kids have friends who make me howl with laughter cool is that??

Julie Bo tagged me...

A - Available or single: Taken for all eternity hoorah.!
B - Best Friend: my mum.
C - Cake or Pie: As if we ever have to choose!
D - Drink of choice: Diet Coke with vanilla that they stopped seling, meaners.
E - Essential Item you use everyday: tweasers....what IS this hair all about??
F-Favorite color: Green
G - Gummy Bears or worms: Please don't make me eat kids sweets, give me chocolate.
H - Hometown: Can't tt
ell you because it is a quaint little Devonshire town and the freaky people could find me.
I - Indulgence: the odd afternoon nap, bliss.
J - January or February. January, Feb is the most miserable month God created.
K - Kids & Names: Daniel Carl William, Jordan Thomas Edward, Sophie Alexandra Jean. Seth Ammon, Isaac Nathaniel, Elijah Henry.
L - Life is Incomplete Without? My lif eis complete, can't think of a single darn thing that is missing. Marvellous.
M - Marriage Date: N0v 29 .( and Dec 1st!!)
N - Number of Siblings: 1 brother and 4 sisters,
O - Oranges or Apples: Both, thankyou.
P - Phobias or Fears: Being outside in the dark.
Q - Fave Quote: Be careful to entertain starngers for thereby many have entertained angels unawares. The bible.
R - Reason to Smile: too numerous to mention.
S - Season: Autumn but is SO winter, blowy as all get out.
T - Tag 3 or 4 people: anyone who want to do it.
Unknown Fact about Me: I have a spooky feeling that you know it all.
V- Vegetable You Don't Like: spinach unless it is a curry.
W - Worst Habit: burping like an uncouth man.
X - Xrays: not for a very long time.
Y - Your Fave Food:something not cooked by me, loved the mongolian bar-b-q at the Galleria.
Z - Zodiac Sign: Capricorn.. Leo.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

No room at the Inn.

I know it's almost Christmas
I know we should be kind,
I know by sharing hearth and home
Great blessings we will find.

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I know that angels linger
Where strangers ask for rest,
I know that we should entertain
And give our very best.

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Should Mary knock upon my door
And ask for room and board,
I'd open up my home to her
And add her to my hoard.

If a weary traveller asked for food
And needed feeding up,
I'm sure I'd make a tasty feast
Then fill his empty cup.

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My home is filled to bursting,
We're straining at the seams.
We've mum and dad and little ones
And far too many teens.

I really would invite you in,
Should you knock upon my door.
I'd love to have you visit
There's always room for more.

I love your little children,
I love both girls and boys,
I never mind about the mess
I even take the noise.

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I love the teeny babies,
The nappies and the drool,
I welcome all those little chaps
Who come here straight from school.

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My girlfriends, welcome always,
Their husbands too can stay,
I've even had a dog or two
Some owned and one, a stray.

I welcome every one of these
They fill my heart with glee
To see them all at ease
When visiting with me.

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Charity never faileth
My heart is awful keen
When welcoming almost everyone
Except that extra teen!

I just can't make my soul be glad
Or wish that they would stay,
They never seem to get the hint
I wish they'd go away.

They eat too much,they talk too loud,
They stay here far too long,
I know I should be loving
With a heart that's filled with song.

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I rather like my own teens,
That's just as well I say.
It's all the rest that come here
And never go away.

I think they like me..fancy that!
They seem to think I'm cool.
I think it's must be either that
Or they think thatI'm a fool!

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They eat my food and use my couch,
They shower here and then,
They sit and talk and talk some more
And then they eat ..AGAIN!

I s'pose I should be grateful
And take it on the chin,
But if you have a lonesome teen

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tis the season..tra la la.

It is, isn't it? Really Christmassy and jolly and all that.
All my favourite things are around, kids rehearsing for their christmas nativities and school plays, Isaac is a reluctant penguin who may well be 'director' on the day which means no costume and sitting on teachers knee. Seth is a rapper, much to H's complete indignation, he has huffed and puffed and demanded to know what a rapper could possibly have to do with the birth of Christ but Seth was able to tell him, so there. Of course.
I am being gentle on H and slipping decorations up without him hardly noticing, we have our winter plug in's wafting delicious fragrances throughout, candles that I forget to light.
SATSUMAS. Ooooooh every time we peel one we know it's christmas, satsumas are not tangerines, they look the same but they smell different and taste different and they only come out at christmas and I love them.
Sophie and I were wrapping wonders last night and we may well go for round 2 tonight when I get home from a meeting.
Today a little bit of christmas came in the mail ( I don't just mean the ebay parcels either) I got a card from Claudia, who reads me and is very gentle and polite and quiet...she sent me a card and put a little suprise in it for me.
That is the spirit of Christmas, when little things with huge meaning arrive unexpectedly, my day was festive the whole way through because of that one gesture from someone far away. Thankyou Claudia.
I'm not sure I will have much time to sit down until next year, isn't that great? I love my time being spoken for, love having a multitude of ovey things to do and think about.
Jordan doesn't have a day off until January..he is the only chef at work so he is doing it all, every day. Busy boy. Dan is coming for 2 weeks after christmas.
My houseguest is away for a few days and will be moving out next week. I behaved less than graciously when her dad came round the other day, a loathsome and repulsive creature, he got the sharp end of my tongue let me tell you. Eventually I had to walk away and tell him how angry he makes me or he'd have felt the back of my hand ! When I told him that I just couldn't understand how any parent can tell their chld to get out and then just not care he raised hsi eyebrows and said " Can't you?" and smirked. When I asked jusy how much more stuff they were bringing in his answer was " she's moving out in 2 weeks, what's your problem?" that was pretty much when I told him to get out and I went upstairs. Fa la la la la la la la.
So, I am away to eat my chicken fricasee, and then out for the evening. Tomorrow is the dinner for all us girlies at church, I love it. a whole gang of girls let out to eat and laugh and just be spoiled for the evening, bring it on ladies, tra la la la la la la la.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Just because.....

this makes me feel everything that Christmas SHOULD Make us feel.

I am going to try, amidst the excitement and fun, madness and noise, take a tiny part of each day to think about why we are doing this. I love Christmas, everything about it makes me feel happy. ( actually, not true. Nothing about Sainsbury's or Tesco's at Christmas makes me happy, the sheer volume of unbridled greed makes me very cross)
I love the magic and the colours, the music and the lights, Elijah is my joy right now, 3 is just heaven....he shivers with excitement with it all, today he saw santa decorations and said " oooh THANTA! I love her ( !!) the fairies tell her I stay in bed, I get some prethents" HOw clever that somehow he knows santa is a she. We started to decorate last night, never seen H move so fast, he is such a humbug until christmas eve. fat lot of good that does any of us!!

Look at my TV cupboard, I wish you could see how pretty the lights are on that little tree. Oooooh I love Christmas!

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

And so, the details.

I will try and write this as clearly as I can but it was all so splendid and perfect and special that it could well come out in a mixed up jumbley emotional lump.
We set out on our journey full of both excitement and trepidation because this was me If you turn me around 3 times in my own hallway I will get lost on the way to the bathroom, this is not exaggeration.
I went to the AA website and typed in the address of the temple, printed it, reversed journey, printed it..I am so clever, no flies on me.......get lost now Mrs. Even more organised I thought I would highlight the exits and make sure. Hmmmmm, weird, not sure why it keeps telling me to head for Manchester but what do I know, I get lost, just do what it says, except Manchester?? Manchester on the way to London, really even I think that's not right, surely? Phew, luckily I worked out that the name of the road the temple is on....there are about 400 of them in England, I was meant to find the right one in Surrey and then click print, did it, am sure we have the right one, off we go.
Beautiful weather, sunshine and happy people and joy joy joy joy down in our hearts etc.
It all went to so well. At lunch time we stopped in a pretty place and ate our lunch, packed by mum, who is grand and never does Peanut butter sandwiches and a packet of crisps, we had chicken and olives, salad and ham and pickle crusty bread sandwiches. Lovely, All finished, boy wee'd in the field and off we went, ow, really OW....when I turned to face mum and eat, I twisted the stupid Texas sized hernia that I am afraid to get fixed and it got stuck, badly stuck and it hurt like a stuck and twisted hernia ( funnily enough) I do have a high pain threshold though and thought that if I just sit really straight and didn't breathe much, it would be OK.
I did that for a while and then we stopped for a ladies wee stop because, even when bursting I think a field is just not for me, seats and tissue please, I am a lady if only in my mind.
I was hunched and retching and thought that I was probably dying, in a painful way. Of course I was the driver and so, tough really, had to do it and try to do it without giving mum a stroke or nervous breakdown. I am magnificent and brave because I did it, we got there without getting lost even once.
I lay curled up on the very comfy bed for most of the evening, mum and Leah had the room opposite us and at around 8ish I went over to see her and tell her that something had sort of moved and that I was OK, just in mere agony now rather than mortal, imminent death kind of pain...and right there was Alex who I haven't seen for a very long time and who had travelled for 5 hours with 2 of her children and husband to be with us when we got sealed.
Don't you just hate it when you bump into someone you haven't seen for years and you are wearing snowman pj bottoms, crumpled grey t-shirt and have hair that looks like you've been curled in a painfilled ball for hours? Yes, I hate that.
At 2 am, I felt that hernia pop back into place, hoorah, agony gone, left with just sore and achey tummy, can live with that.
First thing the next morning, I showered and got a little bit ready and there was a knock at the door and there, with huge grins were Sue and Alan who I have known since I was a young slip of a thing, they had a huge bouquet of flowers for us ( me really, boys and men are so unappreciative of things that are fluffy and nice smelling and girlie) and they said that they were there to look after us, that Sue would be looking after the boys with mum and Leah in the nursery, and Alan would be taking H and I into the temple and making sure we were taken care of.
Everything, simply everything was out of our hands, we were loved and guided, pampered and cherished every step of the way.
Sue told us that in the nursery was every kind of white clothing for little people, that the boys could look and choose and get changed, Isaac, ISAAC looked at me and said " I doe wat to wear my white clothes, I wat to choose new ones" Imagine.
All I can say, is that from the beginning to the very end, every sign of autism was gone from Isaac. He spoke to everyone, he went with mum, he stayed with Sue , he joined in, he held hands he knelt and sat in front of lots of was miraculous, it was beautiful. It lasted while we were there.
When we had been sealed and the boys were being taken back to the nursery, he stopped at the door and said " Mum! You know where the nursery is? It's downstairs, down and along and.....come and get me, I wait there, find me K?" and then he went, without a bit of fear.
When H and I went to get changed we went to hire some clothes and were told that because this was our sealing , I would be taken to the brides' room and be able to choose from any of the brides dresses, which I did and I felt lovely. I am told I looked lovely, by H, fancy that. He became a different man in that building, I saw everything I knew he would / could be happen in front of my eyes, I felt the depression he has had since his heart attack lift. I saw him remembering everything he learned more than 20 years ago when he used to go to the temple a lot. I saw what he is. Who he is. I saw what my spirit recognised 7 years ago when I married him. I felt myself come back even more. I felt that absolute peace, that realisation that all these things that nag at us in the outside world, they don't matter. All the everyday worries and fears aren't important and matter only for as long as we let them.
I didn't take pictures, I'm sorry, the thing is, everything that happened is in my heart, my heart took pictures and we have them right where they matter. I am so thrilled that the people that came with us and for us were there.

I looked around and saw all those people who had travelled and missed days at work, spent hard earned money and sacrficed to share this with us, and I was so touched, so happy and so overwhelmed that even now I am covered with goosepimples and have a gulping lump in my throat. What we all looked like doesn't matter, what we wore is almost forgotten and not important. ( with the exception of Elijah and I would pay great amounts of cash to have a picture of him in his clothes, he came into the sealing room wearing the most divine, most heart wrenchingly splendid white jumpsuit, all in one with a little belt, he was Elvis, aged 3 and 5 months, without the rhonestones. I will hold that picture in my heart for eternity and wish I could have that picture on my wall, because really? It was my favourite heart picture and he will be 20 before I know it and it might be hard to recall just how delicious his little bum looked in that jumpsuit then.)
We had a lovely room with a double bed and bunk beds, I think I got to hate that room because although my sons were reverence personified inside the temple, they were lunatics in that little room. They leapt from bunks to bed, they climbed and jumped and fell and jumped some more and I thought I would go INSANE!! It was so wet outside I couldn't escape and I didn't want to risk driving anywhere in case I got lost and couldn't get back.
H loved the temple so much that I wanted him to be inside as much as possible, I love the man he became, when we had a few minutes totally alone just after we were sealed, when we had stood on a balcony and looked ahead to see ourselves in a circular mirror, he turned to me and said " I am really, really happy" and his face said he meant it. I wanted him to grasp as much of that feeling as he could, so I stayed in our teeny cell and tried not to yell too much.
We did see the christmas lights, I did take some pictures then.

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Once we had been sealed I relaxed for the first time in months, with one thing or another I have been stressed and preparing for one thing or another , this was the time to breathe out and relax.

I took the boys to a bookstore and found my way back again....blimey!

At last it was time to leave and we set off for home, I felt confident enough to go back to the church bookstore so that mum, Leah and H could look, after all it was only 4 miles away, there are signs for the motorway, I am magnificent, we can do it, easy peasy lemon squeazy.
4 miles to bookstore, 48 miles to find motorway..back outside temple. FORTY EIGHT MILES in a big circle to get right back to where we started. I have been lost many, many times in my life, in 3 different countries, this time was a doozy.
Mum helped. We were asking for trouble, because I was the driver and she was the direction lady and it is from her that I inherited my sense of direction. She will try and tell you that it sort of wasn't her fault, if you ask her, she will, she will say that she didn't actually have the directions for the first bit of the getting lost, which is true but she so DID have them when she said not to trun off for Reigate. So, I blame her, which is fair because if she had stood back and let God give my my dad's sense of direction we'd have never got lost but she didn't she just had to pass hers on to me. Her fault, entirely.
We got home though, eventually and all in one piece. To a spotless house and Sophie who had missed us. Happy family is what we are right now. Very good.