Are you ready for this?

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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!

Friday, November 30, 2007

A happy post, all the way through!

Are you ready for this??? A whole post of good things, happy ones with no whining ( unless one slips out because old habits die hard and all that?
I am happy to announce that things are falling into place,someone is coming in the morning to collect that dear old jallopy that gave up the ghost 2 weeks ago.
We have found an answer to that nightmarish trip on weds.
Our flight leaves at 11am, have to be at the airport by 8am.....only coach to the airport that would get us there on time leaves at midnight! So we were facing a bus trip from midnight 05am, wait 3 hours, wait 3 more hours, 11 hour flight, I was dreading it! So instead we are driving up on tuesday to my uncle's house, stay the night there and just have a 30 minute trip before our flight. Hoorah!

Today, it rained. I mean RAINED, it was plishing it down as they say down Cornwall. I went shopping at 4pm and it was already dark, pouring down, sideways rain and windy. As I ran from the shop to my car, I got soaked and cold, I opened the car door ( and get this, when you unlock one door ALL the doors unlock, t'is like magic, actually just being able to lock the doors is a small miracle!) and there was LIGHT! In all the darkness and rain, there was my car, with it's lights on, welcoming me. The demister works, the heater works and actually CLEARS the window. The wipers swoosh silently across the windscreen clearing rain away with screaming.
Music and interesting chat on the radio. I know all this must sound like I have been in the dark ages automotively speaking and indeed I have. This car is a dream to me. I am beyond grateful to the couple who gave us this car.

Yesterday I went with my friend Jane to Exeter, we walked through the city at night, beautiful lights, street entertainers, looked in the shops that we would never dare go with little boys. I love to walk through towns at night this time of year. We bought a christmas pudding truffle from Thornton's the posh chocolate shop and walked through a store that wanted £34 for a hot water bottle! I saw a beautiful leather bag £349!! I love to walk around those shops and look and stroke the beautiful things.

I have done a little christmas decorating, some pretty things for Sophie when she stays here while we are away. We will be able to enjoy it over the new year too. I have done some glass painting, hopefully I can finish that tomorrow and take some pictures.
Things are almost ready for us to go away. I am more excited than afraid which is a good and surprising thing. I hope that the flights aren't fully booked so we can have some room to spread out. I hope I can sleep and wake up when we get there!!
My medicine is kicking in ( I love these anti-itch meds they make me gloriously relaxed and sleepy at night!) I am off to relax and then go to sleep. 5 more sleeps 'til our holiday! Oh my.


So sorry...

Am terribly busy, please direct any inquiries to my 3 young assistants.

I got them cheap from Santa's workshop, he said they weren't awfully helpful so he loaned them to me.


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Liberating, that's what that was.

Today I did it. Really, no kidding- I actually did it. For real.
I gave up. Ha! Just like that.
I forget ( because my brain is a farty old lump of pooh) how much I have written about landlady, do nothing. She does nothing, apart from expect money, when she doesn't deserve it.
I was in touch with the good old Citizens advice bureau, because they have all kinds of marvellous people who know the law and they tell you what you can and can't do and even represent you, for nothing. I wanted ( so desperately ) to tell me that she ( landlady) is out of line and I am right and NA NA NA NA NA....up your bum landlady, etc.Tell me that we have every right to withhold that £160 that she has bloody well stolen from us. Was going great, the thing about the C.A.B is that it is run by volunteers who have stopped working but are still so useful that they feel obliged to keep doing what they do, my dad worked for them, with probationers and such like, so when you talk to someone they are, more often than not, elderly and well educated and they speak exactly the way I adore.
Today's lady (and she really was a lady, I could tell) was no exception. I think she was wearing tweed and pearls and she said things like " beg pardon? Would you say that again because I simply cannot believe what you are telling me" and she used words like "ludicrous" which made me love her without ever seeing her ( which is no new thing, I loved H online before I met him, because he used to say things like ma'am and with that voice, I was caught, hook line and sinker and look where that got me. )
Anyway, she was definitely on my side and was telling me everything I wanted to hear, I had to go and collect the boys that aren't puking from school, so she went off to find out exactly where we stand and would call back.
She probably called my dad in heaven or some other old fart that knows the law properly and not just the way it bloody well should be because actually the C.A.B does not recommend we withhold the money from our rent, they suggest we spend money to take her to the small claims court.
Landlady who does nothing, suddenly wants to do everything and can she have a key while we are away because......HELL NO!
As if.
There is absolutely no way she is coming into this house while we are away. I don't trust her as far as I can throw her ( which, actually is probably quite a long way I am so mad at her) and she isn't have access to my home while I am not here. 3 months of asking her to get a move on an dfix the leaking roof and the bathroom floor and she has done NOTHING, now she wants our key while we are in a whole other country?
Padlocks, double locks and absolutely NO WAY is she coming in.
I am going to have to use my caller I.D and avoid her calls and not answer the door for the next week.
Oh...I digress, anyway having had the crushing news that I can't keep my own money and stick a finger up at her, I wasn't in the best mood and wouldn't you know it, she called, I answered, heard her voice and said " Oh, can I hand you over to H?" Which flummoxed them both.....especially as I handed H the phone and said " landlady, can't be bothered...." I heard her stuttering and saw his face and I felt so free and fabulous, I knew that I would be doing that again, yes indeed.
H told her ( when she asked if I was OK) that I was fine, er, hmmmmm, stressed I think, kids and such like" and he did it, he dealt with her and no-one died, the sky didn't fall in.
Well, what do you know?
It's our anniversary today, 8 years. Yes. That's about it, that's all, it just No. Jewels? Ha! Card? Don't be daft. Just 8 years. Pttttttttthhhhhh.


Monday, November 26, 2007


I wonder if I can start taking the diazepam NOW? Yes? That seems like a fantabulous idea to me. I need them, desperately in fact. Not for my sake you understand, more for the safety of those around me. I am surrounded by people who have no idea how close they are to getting a slap, or punch or just their heads ripped off and thrown to the wolves.
Excuse me while I rant, but honestly either I am REALLY good at hiding just how annoyed I am at being the ONLY person to be doing a damned thing towards this bloody holiday, H is on another planet or he just doesn't give a toss.
Guess which one I think is the correct answer. Yes. You're right.
H's contribution to the whole thing is to make sure I know he wants it and to tell me, when it's too late, how I COULD/ SHOULD have done something better.
He has this little thing where he likes his family to think we are living a whole different life than the one we are actually living. If asked if we need any help....of COURSE not, my goodness, imagine that, its all organised, haven't had to give it a thought, which in his case is true.
Thanksgiving is for H, do I give a stuff about cooking enormous turkey dinners 4 weeks before I have to do it again? Pttttttttth. H needs it, the plan always used to be that H did thanksgiving and I do Christmas. Somewhere along the line, that stopped and I do both , this year, oh what a laugh we had when the turkey was off....what a hoot to have to go out and but bits of turkey that ended up costing as much as the whole big one. Hysterical, even funnier when grandpa called to ask if we had enough cash for the whole shebang and Haha, of COURSE we do, it's all covered, don't give it another thought.
If there were anyway I could back out now and give up on the whole idea I would, no kidding I would. Should someone offer me my money back, I'd grab it. Wth both hands.
I really hope it WILL be worth it. I hope that my gut feelings are wrong, that when we are there it will STILL be my holiday, it will STILL be me who gets to do it all. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might become less front line. I hope that I don't become as invisible as I used to be when we lived there.
I hope that my wishes are heard and I tell you now, if we have ONE occasion where it is suggested that I stay behind with a child/ the children because it is late, there is not enough room in the car/van/ peoples' lives for me, there will be a scene of such magnitude I won't need to blog about'll read it on the news!
I say this because when Isaac was very little and he screamed a lot, a WHOLE lot, I took him, one day, for a short walk to calm him down. When I got home, everyone- EVERYONE, grandpa, H, H's brother, his kids, H's first son and Seth had gone. Hmmmmm where on earth? 2 hours later they came back with a doggy bag ( of their leftovers) they had all been for lunch and assumed that I wouldn't want to go because Isaac was so unsettled. Not one person had mentioned a possibility of lunch out before I went for my 15 minute walk, it is as though they waited for me to leave and then said QUICK! RUN! she'll be back any minute LET'S GO!!!
Unforgivable at the time..unforgotten til this day , shall I tell you why? Shall I???
Yes, exactly.
So, when my guts twist at the thought that at some stage of this holiday that I have all but killed myself to arrange, organise and pay for, on my own, I will be made to feel like an annoying tag along. It is not without good reason.
I can tell myself how far we have come since those days back in the land of the miserable and homesick. We have come a long way but not as far as I would like. I am so afraid of being made to feel shitty again that I over control and don't give H or anyone a chance of screwing up. I don't ask him to do anything for fear of him not wanting to do it and show me he cares.
I don't give him the chance to organise anything because I might want to kill him if he lets me down.
If I continue talking about this my head my explode, it is the way it is, 10 days and we'll be there. If only I could just shut my head off and find £150 under my pillow.
Shall I tell you what has made my whole life brighter? What has given me DAYS of teenagerish giggling and snorting?
I was reading this blog and she has complied a list of gifts women really WOULD like for Christmas, as opposed to a sweater, or frying pan etc.
Well, in all innocence I clicked on it and oh my goodness, there is a thing on there called an OMiBod ( or something) a personal massager ( you get my drift, it is not for the aching necks among us) that you plug your iPod into and it vibrates to the beat of your tunes. For heavens sake.
Not only that but because I was already there, I had a look ( or 12) at some of the other items. Can you believe there is one that you plug your cell phone into. Yes, your cell phone, when your cell phone rings, you get a buzz. It has a handy 3ft freedom flex. WHOOHOO 3ft to wander around ( do the ironing perhaps?) while you wait for your cell phone to ring. Well, how sexy would that be, let's face it? Wires and phones and waiting for the phone to ring, maybe one time you wouldn't mind a wrong number, or 23.
I would be waiting a long time. The only person to call me on my cell phone is Sophie, to yell and shout and tell me her woes. What would I do with that? Tlak about contra-effective, RiiiiiiiiiiinG oooooohhhh, Ugh Sophie....blargh.
Would I be lying with my cell phone in one hand, my landline in the other and keep calling myself? Hang up, call again......does it all seem like a lot of hard work to you?
Should a telesales person call, what then? " Oh,'re breaking up, could you call me again ( please) would s/he then think you were way more excited about the thought of the personal loan than most other customers?
That traffic cone thing? Should I feel pride that this an English invention? What kind of minds are thinking these things up? Are their lives lacking something perhaps?
I think I may have spent way longer thinking about this than is probably sensible but honestly? It has been such a source of light relief for me, it has made me laugh for days.....I know, I should definitely get out more!
All kinds of stuff to do today and I don't feel like doing any of it. Maybe I won't. PPPTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHH, now, where's my cell phone?

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

New day, new car......

Yes folks, Freda the freecycle car is here. ( LOOK! How shiny!)
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Also, look, old car still now starts first time and works and everything, wouldn't you just know it?? If only the man who was so keen to have it he clicked BUY IT NOW and then didn't buy it, or pay for it or collect it, would just pay for it and TAKE IT AWAY for heavens sake.

How did she get here? You may well ask. I shall tell you, dear man with enormous heart brought her to me, on his trailer because I took too long to sort out my insurance and now we can't tax the car until my cover note arrives. Never mind, car is in my drive and looking all shiny and undented. Clean and posh looking ( apart from one bit of the dashboard that has sort of curled but H can mend easily enough we hope.) It has music of the most loud and child noise drowning out kind. Music, and radio talking, lights that work inside, locks that actually work and I can even remember how to drive with the manual gears and all. I wish we could drive it but alas until it has that little circular sticker in the windscreen it has to stay on our driveway.

What a treasure that man was, he doesn't know us from Adam, yet he fixed the car, took it to the garage to get MOT'd and then drove 64 miles with it in his trailer to bring it here. He is a diamond and a gentleman.

All together, with the work and the insurance, MOT and Tax, delivery ( although he only charged £20 for petrol, the RAC wanted £200 to bring it here and I pay them a small fortune every month!) it has cost £ 340. More than we imagined at first, it is such a great car though, I have to admit that we all sat in it once it was cleaned and felt a bit smug and grand. When I turned the radio off ( had wanted H to hear how LOUD it goes) we heard a strange noise.....seems it was the Aeriel ( antenna) going back down! Imagine that!

It was too dark by the time it was clean to take pictures so that will have to wait til tomorrow or monday. ( as if by are added.)

It is going to save us a fortune in petrol and running expenses, parts are so cheap and the tax is half the cost of our old jallopy. I am really so grateful.
I will be unbelievably grateful when the novelty of the doors wears off with Isaac, open door, slam door, open door get in, climb over, get out other door, slam, open different door in, slam out slam open shut dear heavens above LEAVE THE DAMN DOORS ALONE! I wonder how many times I will have to show him that with this car, practically brand new for us needs merely a gentle push and it clicks shut....unlike the crap heap that needed a good slam followed by a swift kick ( and sometimes a swear word or 3) to get the doors to shut and stay shut! Shall I tell you that this car has windows that open in the back. *sigh* I do have a window lock though so I can stop that particular trick.

My arm has almost gone down thank goodness. I was in such a state last night, the pain was terrible, I couldn't use it or bend it, couldn't stand my sleeve touching it and it was 3am before I could get comfortable enough to sleep. Today I have various bumps and welts but none that are making me too miserable.

Sophie has found a place to live, it sounds OK, a house share. I have to go into 'ignorance is bliss' mode and let some of this wash over me. I am aware that I am on a knife's edge, I have reached a point where just one more worry, one added stress will be the final straw. My body is revolting, ( shut up!) this holiday is, quite literally what the doctor ordered and I am able to think far enough ahead to see that those few days in the hotel especially are going to be blissful. She is at times so divinely touching and more grateful than she ever was, she was so thankful for tomato soup, cheese and crackers, to lie on the sofa and snooze, have a hot bath....things so often taken for granted. I hate that life has to be so tough for these children who think everything must be a battle. Her friend came with her and this girl really does have nothing, she isn't learning a thing and so she has nowhere to turn for even a night. She sleeps on floors until she pushes her luck and then she finds another floor. Why is it so hard for these children to learn how to be adults? Why can't they just see that following some simple rules makes life so much easier?
I am thankful that even with all her issues, Sophie has manners enough. She is well behaved in many circumstances, in other peoples' homes she knows how to behave ( am I grasping at tiny straws here?) She can so often show the most delightful part of herself and then just as we all begin to enjoy her, she panics and buries that sweet soul underneath the anger and the loudness again.
She says she will be home by 10.30 and wants a good nights sleep. She is going to look after the boys for us so we can go to church. They all have snotty noses and watery eyes, they need some sunshine too.

I collected the tickets today, I called and we did everything to ensure seats together and near the front. I checked the details, I calmed myself as much as I can about the flight. I have the hotel voucher. It is very close and real.
When the trips to and from airports are finalised I can breathe a bit.

So, another day done, time for a bath.....I have a blog topic that I SO want to write, but it's sort of rude. I am torn. Tell me if you want some rudeness in your life. It is actually hysterical and I came upon it quite accidentally which makes it all so much more funny.
Vote in the comments, if you want so read a risque entry and see a side of me you may not have seen, give me a yeay...if you don't want to be disillusioned and know that I am a bit of a naughty one on the sly ....say nay. You'll have to come out of the lurkdoms to let me know...and I'll decide by wednesday.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Ferrrr burfumpt schumblerp.....

Ever felt like that? Like your whole brain ( that I actually typed as bnria, so muddled is mine) is a big old fluffy mass of uselessness? You open your mouth to say something intelligent ( or at least hope to) and complete nonsense comes out, or crying. Crying comes out when I think I am about to ask the time.
" Excuse me, do you have the ......." wail, burp, cry.
" Would you pass me the, um,, that round thing you put your sandwich on?"
I haver reached the point where when asked a question that is too difficult to answer ( like say, What's your name?) I just give a hopeless look and say, with all honestly " I have no idea, I can't speak anymore, stop talking to me"
I am falling desperately short on most everything I need to function.
I might even type this and NOT correct it so you can see just how fumblingly stupid I am at the moment. Maybe just a paragraph, so you can get the gist of my idiocy.
Sophie is here, well in the vicinity. Having given her notice in at her job ( and home of course) in 2 weeks she will lvea ( that should say leave but my brain farted in fear and made it come out like that) and then what? Oh, we'll be on our holidays ( having been on a plane and stayed on it for TEN HOURS) so'll be Christmas too and she will be.....
It's ok, SHE FUCKING KNOWS! ALRIGHT???? That's OK then. We'll see the dcotor ( quaint that I typed that wrong, makes him seem as real as the rest of us to be a dcotor) on monday and he will help one of us, preferably me because Sophie...she's ABSOLUTELY FINE, for God's sake shut up.
I went out with my friend today, I did ask her ( Jane, my friend) what I would do without her because we get stuff off our chests, she has TWO teenage girls, not quite as mad as Sophie but every bit as teenagerish and mouthy, she has a stupid ex husband and she can tell me about him as often as she likes, I can cry and tell her everything...and when we got back from shopping and were waiting in the car we played a new game. It's the game with no name as yet, but it starts with me going.." OW!" and then pulling up my right sleeve and saying
" WATCH!!!! LOOK!!! Feel it, no really ( I insist!))...FEEL it, ARGH look! !" and she does because she is my friend and she is polite. Then we watch and feel my arm as it changes shape and colour and as it gets HOTTER than hell. This one is painful and ugly and itchy and so sore. Poor me.
Sophie has ( she says) found a place to live, just 12 hours showed us both that there is no going back, she can't live with us, we would all be insane within days ( hours /minutes/ at the very idea) She will find work but who can tell how long it will last. I think it helps me a little to know for sure that she can't help many of the things she does. An example, she called yesterday ( as she does) to tell me how proud of her I would be. Here's why.....
She works in a large, old, somewhat grand hotel, she cleans. She was cleaning on the 2nd floor and by some quirk, apparently, if you are in one particular spot in floor 2, you can hear, as clear as a bell, people on the first floor, talking. ( you know what's coming, right?) So she was cleaning and she heard 2 girls she works with talking, on the floor below, about her. Not singing her praises or saying anything nice. Oh dear.'s the bit. She didn't go and smack them in the mouth ( YEAY!) She just opened her mouth and yelled ( from the 2nd floor of sort of almost grand but already expensive Hotel)
" I want you to know I can hear every fucking word you bitches are saying about me!!!!!" ( I should type that in caps but the F word....let's not shout that one)
" Sophie" said I " what do you think the guests thought about that?"
"Oh they wouldn't have heard me"
Then she went on to say how she made sure that the rest of the staff knew about these girls, and that she made sure they knew, without a doubt that she was not pleased. Then she came here.
She is amazed that since she handed in her notice, no-one has given her a hard time at work, no more nagging or correcting or anything....fancy that!
( I can almost hear them counting down the days until peace is restored and calmness is once again commonplace in the work force.)
The thing is, she has no clue, not even a hint of anything being amiss. She honestly thinks that all this is perfectly fine.
I have wept and howled over this the past few days because every mother wants her child to be loved and wanted. All I see is the Sophie effect. When she was 5 she would run into the playground and it was like watching the reaction you get when pouring dish soap onto a pan of oily water.......those kids scattered in fear at the sight of her. She still has that's terror, or something. Even when she is on a high it is exhausting, when she is angry it is breathtakingly terrifying.
Lately I have been able to see the glory that is Sophie, she has the most endearing qualities that are clearer to see and easier to appreciate from a distance. When she lived with us it was a relentless battle, every day, every night was like being slammed into a wall. I couldn't wait to see her last night and when she arrived I was so afraid of what could happen I froze. When she snuggled on the sofa, having been fed and given a hot water bottle ( source of much comfort did you all go out and buy one yet?) she said, in her dear voice ( when used at level 4 and under) " You have no idea how good it feels to be here, in a home, instead of that place"
And the thing is, I DO know. I WANT her to feel like that and I want more than anything for her to be able to live here and be a part of this family, to leave only when she is going to be married and settled. I am so sad and so angry that this one girl of mine is struck with this curse that makes it impossible to be here with me. I have to turn her out and make her face the world because she is unable or unwilling to compromise even a little.
Whatever the cause, it just is this way. My doctor sat and said over and over again that I must not give in and let her come home. I have to keep repeating over and over that SHE has made herself jobless and homeless. She HAD a place to live and was safe and fed. She HAD a job ( two actually) and now she doesn't. SHE chose that. When I asked her why, after being told repeatedly not to hand in her notice until she had a new job and a new place to live, when after promising to save every penny for a deposit on a flat, she had frittered every penny away, she had no answer, except " because I can't bloody stand it anymore"
The thing is, I can't either. I can't keep picking up the pieces and handing her another life to smash. I have to stand firm and keep repeating myself. The fact that she is 18 makes it marginally easier to stick with it. Not much though.

The new car is ready. £230 ..which is still much less than fixing the old one would have been, it will cost much less that the old one to run, it's just £80 more than we got for the old one and then we need another £60 to tax it.

I haven't secured a way to get to the airport yet ( 4 hours away, probably the bus) I haven't secure a way to get from the airport in LA to the hotel yet, my brain is farting and my heart is flagging. I need a fairy Godmother. Or a holiday to give me the strength to arrange the holiday! Other than that it's all just hunky dory.
Do you want to hear about my thanksgiving dinner of the mutilated kind? Maybe another day, I'm all written out and ready for a nap.
Before I go though, these make life worth living again.....I have never quite been so enamoured of a pair of slippers...
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But these are a little piece of heaven on my feet. I love them.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

May 30th. and more ( because I came back, can't shut me up some days!)

That's when grandbaby mine is due. Mel had a scan this morning ( that I didn't go to and I am not sad, or feeling put out because her mum DID go, I'm not, that would be petty wouldn't it?) Anyway at last we know that she is 12 weeks and 5 days which gives her a due date of May 30th hooray.
Look at the widgety thing with 12 week 5 day old baby in, beginning to look like an actual baby with big old head and real legs.
7 weeks or so we will know if it is a girl child or boy child and that will be very good. I keep forgetting that I don't know it is a girl. Oh dear.

I have had a miserable old day today.
More trouble with landlady from ? Where IS she from? Not landlady school of doing things well that's for sure. She did eventually bring a builder around who told her the whole bathroom floor had to come up, shower replaced etc HOORAH, someone who won't bodge it all up.....except now she called to say she can't afford to pay him so she won't be doing the repairs and oh...make sure the rent is on time ( As always!)
I had this conversation with her
"Bridget, we are still waiting for the rebate of £150 for the gas at the barn, what I thought would be a good idea is, if I just send a cheque for £600 this month and then we're straight" ( seems reasonable to me)
She went o to say that no, that is not OK, she isn't USING the gas, why should she pay for it? Because she has possession of the gas, she COULD use it, she has the barn up for rent, you think if she rents it, she will charge the new tenants for the gas and then give us the money? Nope.
She also said that she can't do any work on the money but can we talk Jordan and Mel into living in it because she would like the extra £250 a month.
We all have a limit to our tolerance for such nonsense and that was mine.
I have been to the council, made a formal complaint against the girl who ran to landlady telling tales, explained the whole situation, ( made sure that I saw a senior officer with the council) and oh.....watery bowels.....he is going to take action. Ooo-er, she has broken so many regulations and put us in a position that is unbearable, we have accommodated this woman time and time again and I am sick of being the 'little man.' I'm sure that this will cause an uproar. So what. Enough is enough. Who knows where we will end up living, at this point I give up trying to think about it.
I am on my very last nerve. I see the holiday as the finishing line and I am flagging on the last leg...will I make it 2 more weeks 'til I can rest my weary head and try to not think for 3 weeks? I hope I can, limp limp.
H has cleaned and scrubbed while I was out this morning, thank goodness. I am mid stitch on the baby bedding...something that could be done in 2 days has taken me weeks, can't ever get time to get on with it without having to stop and take someone somewhere or pick them up, feed them or put them to bed......2 weeks, that's all, just 14 days and one flight.........take me away!
( scan pic added but how tiny is that???? Can you even see how beautiful that blobby little person is?)

*added after a nap and some dinner and a chunk of peace and quiet*
What a day it's been. I have been building up to the mother of all panic attacks. House, holiday, car, kids, worry, stress, panic. I saw my lovely doctor today and she increased my night time medicine, in fact she gave me the go ahead to increase it up to four times! The dosage I am on now is very low, chances are it worked so well in the beginning but really isn't enough, also? It's likely that will help my anxiety a lot too. By the time I got to see her, I was about ready to explode, such a week it has been, I always like to keep a check on how I behave when I am out and about, the fear of flying has overwhelmed me for days and today was terrible.....when I tried to explain that 'hey, bit nervous about flying' I think she got the idea that I'm not kidding, as I said the words...." 2 weeks today, holiday......flight......" I was heaving, shaking, there was no hiding that this has become such an issue it is quite frankly ridiculous. She prescribed 8 diazepam, for the flights. I had this once before when I was this scared. I was flying out to Utah with my sister Jane, the first time I had flown in about 12 years. I was terrified, leaving the kids with mum for the first time ever I Was going on a 2 week break with just Jane. I had no idea what had made me agree to it, no idea why I had agreed to it and I was paralysed with fear about it.
My doctor then prescribed exactly the same thing, 8 diazepam. I never took one. I knew I had them which calmed me, I knew that if it all became too much I had them to take. That was enough.
Jane and I boarded the plane, all seemed well, strapped we went...WHOOSH! Jane was so reassuring, patting my arm and saying how brave I was, after about 15 minutes I began to calm down and was more aware of my surroundings.
" Jane!! JANE! Look at my hands."
We both looked down and just howled with laughter because here we are, who knows how high in the air we were, 15 minutes into the flight and somehow, at some stage I had been so scared that I had gripped the legs of my trousers, scrunched the material and pulled, all this time later, I was still grabbing, scrunching and knuckles were white and my poor trousers, well you can imagine. I was so comforted by those tablets in my pocket, I told myself that if the oxygen masks dropped at anytime I would swallow all of those happy pills and by the time we hot the ground I probaby wouldn't care! I think I may have to actually take at least one of those pills this time though. I hate feeling this scared of anything, I am so sick of being not in control.
Sophie wants to come back, she wants to stay here, I am so torn. I want her to feel loved and wanted, to be close by and help her begin to get better. I cannot risk going backwards,can't put this family in aposition of being where we were, can't allow her to be in a position where she feels able to manipulate or become the person she was. I feel so sad that she isn't welcome here or with Jordan, heartbroken that she faces such a wall of negativity and being unwanted but this is after years of such aggression, disobedience, hyperactivity and disquiet. She has drained every resource. As I tried to talk to H this evening his face shut off, he has this look that tells me he has put the shutters down, closed his ears off and I would be wasting my time to continue.
She is coming down at the weekend and I am going to have to work with her, finding a job and a place to live. It is NOT going to be easy, she is going to have to be grown up and accept that her days of being dependant are over. She has a job and a place to live and she has chosen to give that up. She can't come back until she has a new job and a new place to live. I can't do it anymore. I cannot be in between her and the world, I can't live the way we used to again. I have seen such a change in her since she left I cannot do anything that could jeopodise that improvement. I am exhausted with it all.
I have got some funny stuff to share but I am all tucker out, pleasantly weary and almost ready to sleep. Tomorrow may be the day for cheery bits and bobs, turkey dinner for 14, some good will and a day of being thankful. Til then, night night.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

You would never believe how much I have to do.....

I could write a list as long as your arm, but instead?? I do this...because it makes me laugh so hard!


Monday, November 19, 2007

Coincidence? Or not, I think.

So, we went to see the 'new' car, came home, the old car died. I called the R.A.C and this morning they told me that it REALLY died. Head gasket died, huge clouds of smoke, so huge in fact that the police came by to make sure it wasn't our house. Yikes.
Can you imagine just how freaked I would be if it weren't for the other car? I can. I am a bit floaty and happy that this isn't a huge deal, in fact I already sold the dead car, for parts, for just enough to pay for the new one, the MOT and the tax etc. Sometimes blessings are just so obvious you can't help but state that's just what it is. Not a coincidence at all.
I wanted to free cycle the old car but we need every penny we can get hold of for our trip in 2 WEEKS! We still have to book transport to the airport ( £120) we will leave here at 1am, arrive at the airport at 5.30am, flight is at 11am.....10 hour flight. Then it would seem I am expected to pick up a hire car and drive us to the hotel, in LA, after all that travelling. Oh yeah, I think that'll happen. Not.
I can imagine driving when I have chilled for a day or 3, rested up, remembered how the whole traffic thing works but after a journey like the one we are facing, nope, oh no, absolutely not thankyou.
I found a shuttle, we'll do that. If grandpa mentions it again I will ask him how he would feel if he had to fly HERE and then drive.....he is so funny, whenever he comes over he sits in the car and all I can hear is " JEEZ! This is a one way street, right?"
"no, we're going to meet other cars and big old trucks and.."
"SHIT! Oh my .....HELEN! JEEZ!"
I absolutely LOVE driving around the roundabouts with him in the car, especially if he is in the front of the car, he's sitting right where he sits to drive and seeing cars come RIGHT AT HIM.....4 times he's been here and he hasn't got used to it yet!
I feel like that about driving in LA...have you done that? Those people are INSANE! And TWELVE LANES of traffic? Hells teeth, our biggest, most enormous roads have 4 lanes. FOUR on a motorway. Going to the local store there are at least 8 lanes. Makes me shudder just thinking about it.
Did I go off on a tangent?? I think I did, not that doing that is a regular thing at all, my skin is horrible right now, welts and that painful itch. Not as bad but if it weren't for the meds I think it would be, it's trying it's darndest to fight through the medicine.
Oh...mum lent us her car, we have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. It is minier than a mini. No kidding, we pulled up behind a min on the way to school and had to look up at it! I am so used to looking down on cars, it feels like my arse is dragging on the floor!
I am so grateful to have this tiny car though. It is definitely too small for us though, we sat outside school with the boys and I thought I would go quite mad. Isaac must have pulled my hair 17 times, H had 2 umbrellas in between his legs.....that feeling of claustrophobia was unbearable.
I am such a girlie about driving. I like my car, I am good at driving my car....sit me in a different one and I am a twit. Mums car is back to front, indicators on the opposite side, wipers on the wrong side. If I wear my crocs, the footspace is so tiny my feet don't fit! The wipers are like little toy ones ( but they don't screech....heaven, quiet wiper blades, mine SCREECH, then they CRACK, screech crack, scream, clunk.
Mums car doesn't have power steering so you turn...and keep going straight unless you TURN that baby. The accelerator is stiff, so you push down and go nowhere and then a bit more ZOOM, my brakes stop by touching them..mums have to be STAMPED on. WE must have looked a sight as we drove away for the first time, zooming and stopping and jumping along.
The great thing is, when we pick up the new car it is going to feel ENORMOUS!
Seth looked at the two cars side by side today and said " HA! Our car gave birth to gramma's little car, I think it pushed it out of it's exhaustion pipe"
I am, from now on, going to call my vagina my exhaustion pipe, there can be no more fitting name for it, forget 'tuppence', never mind 'Vajajay', 'hoo-hah' makes me laugh, exhaustion pipe is perfect.
My favourite time with Seth is his bedtime, the only time he lets his tough guy imagine down, he loves me to lie with him and kiss his face to bits, stroke his face and just chat for a while.
He went to bed tonight and I noticed he had left his fur covered hot water bottle downstairs, I went up and he was facing the wall, he looked up with a strange look on his face and didn't look like he was happy to see me. Strange.
So I showed him his bottle, facial expression didn't change....bizarre, he didn't reach out for the hot water bottle, so I flipped his quilt open and went to put his bottle next to him......little bugger had the cookie box under his quilt, had a gob full of half chewed digestive and the look of fear in his eyes! What can you do? Smack him on the top of his head and laugh.
We all love hot water bottles in this house, bedtime is heaven, little boys walking upstairs with their furry bottles, asleep in minutes. Isaac lies his face on his, Eli snuggles his and Seth puts his by his feet, H sneaks mine and puts it behind his neck and I put mine in the small of my back. All the bliss in the world for £3.99.
So, all in all we're enjoying a good time. Long may it last!

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

And on the seventh day......

I love sundays, especially the afternoons. I always dread the mornings because they are so hectic and for some reason the children behave as though we are forcing them to go to some kind of medieval torture chamber rather than a lovely church where they can sing and draw and learn about Jesus.
Today was the day when the children get to present a whole hour of what they have been learning, beautiful songs and little talks, sounds lovely but actually, when you're in charge of running it and putting it all's pretty much on a par with medieval torture.
I had a background place this year, lovely, just sit and sing and flick people on the back when they are lifting their frock over their heads and showing the world their drawers, that kind of thing.
We had a practise which was typically strewn with ' oh never mind, don't worry we'll skip that' -s and it went rather well, trouble was, the kids thought that was IT, hoorah, all done..lets act crazy and GO HOME!
We weeded out the children who were obviously not in the mood for presentations and reverence, Sammy wasn't in the mood and he didn't want to join in, which was sort of OK while he sat quietly in the background, then it became less OK as he became a frog who was leaping from Lily pad to pond ( pew to pew) and then when that was boring and he gave us sound effects, farting ones with the palms of his hands pressed against his mouth and blew HARD, over and over again, I felt it was time to go and get him.
" Hey Sammy, lets go and find mummy"
" Oh, no. thank you"
"Oh yes thank you, farty noises are not good OK? "
So he went with grandma ( my sister) and mummy.

So, time to sit very still and reverently, be ready and read loudly and clearly.
I sat in a corner at the back, just out of reach of Rosie the nose picking frock lifter and Amber the 'I am so going to kiss every kid on my row and hug them and kiss them again even if ( or especially if) they don't like it and yes, I can definitely hear you whispering my name in that 'stop it' kind of way but HA HA you can't REACH ME! '
We have practised this for weeks, til we are all numb the songs and the words and it over yet??
I thought I was safe but I didn't bargain on two things, 1) The I'm trying to be like Jesus song, and Eli and his face and
b) Jack, who is 5, he is the teeniest little boy with the most ENORMOUS personality and he came out of his mothers womb reading.
I mean this boy can read everything.
The kids all had a little bit to read, a few lines. Jack had 3 PAGES. With words like 'condemnation'.
In the rehearsal, we asked him if he had finished because he stopped for a while, " no, I have THREE PAGES!"
" wow, Jack you are amazing, did mummy write that?"
"No, actually she typed it and then used the printer" because he is very literal.
He stood, on a box and yet still only just came level with the podium thingamejigger, he read in a voice that commands attention and he reads with such expression and puts all his heart into it and I looked out in the congregation to see peoples' faces. We saw everything from astonishment to weeping spiritual emotion. And pride, because Jack's dad? Well, how would you feel if you were Jack's dad ( or mum)? Yes, Jack's dad had the most enormous grin across his face, as well he should.
Jack's mum and dad are also Amber's mum and dad, so it all levelled out because we moved Amber, just ahead a row, so she was next to a lovely elderly teacher instead of some 4 year olds, she was calmer there ( and a tiny bit less visible as she faced backwards and licked the chair.)
So, those 2 things pretty much had me lip quivering and unable to sing anymore because, well isn't this just what life is all about?

We are doing thanksgiving again this year and love to invite people who haven't experienced it before, we have 2 families coming this year, so that makes 5 adults and 9 children, maybe 11 children. Pumpkin pies are made, one family will bring more dessert, the other some nice drinks and we'll do the main course. I enjoy company more and more, not so much having to go anywhere but when people come to us , we love it. Christmas dinner is usually our huge meal but this year we'll be doing it grandpa's way so we'll push the boat out on thursday.
Much to be thankful for this year.

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

The milk of human kindness.

My faith in mankind has been restored 10 times over today, we went, my H and I to meet the giver of new cars. We met him in a service station and then followed him to his friends house, where the car has been for a while.
We arrived at a smallish house with cars parked outside and found the epitome of 'old boy' In his 60's, rotund, wearing a grubby cardigan over his pot belly, with the obligatory black mongrel barking it's head off beside him.
" 'ere it is me lover! Lovely car that is.... go and have a look, needs new brakes on the back and a new handbrake cable and it'll get through MOT no worries. I can do that for you, whaddya think? Twenty quid? Look at they tyres, new ones see? They'll see you through miles and miles, £20 a week in petrol and you'll get everywhere you want with that lovey......"
He is, this delicious ( or not, bit grubby to eat, but you get my drift) the milk of human kindness, for £20 he is going to fix the brakes, buy the cable ( I will reimburse him of course) take the car to have it's MOT ( My old mate does 'em for me see? Only over the road a way, don't 'ee worry 'bout nothin' lover, I'll get it all done and then you give me your number, when 'ees all done I shall call you and you come and get 'en see?")
I do see, it will be approximately £100 on the road, 4 new tyres, even the spare is a new tyre. It locks and everything, makes that rather posh sounding DING DING noise when the doors are open, has grand lights in the door that light up when you open them. Marvellous.
It has a radio / tape player, imagine MUSIC whilst driving, extraordinary to me that is.
Oh it is black and when we have washed it and scrubbed it, it will be jolly nice indeed. It does have a few bits and bobs that need doing but for goodness sake, what a blessing!
When we got home, guess what...the old car died. Dead as a door nail, gave a huge cough and gave up the ghost. Unbelievable. The angels are watching us and if this car hadn't come our way we would be very very stuffed.
I can use mum's car this week while we wait for Mr kindness himself to 'fix 'en up and call me' This car costs half to tax, does 3 times the miles per gallon, has 46.000 fewer miles on it's clock. The parts for it are so cheap I am almost gobsmacked, in the most delirious way.
I haven't driven a manual car for years, hopefully it is like riding a bike, I never had trouble before, can't see why it will be a problem now. I am so relieved and grateful.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Quick! Before it changes!

Good things, good luck and WHOOHOO stuff is happening, all at once and ( please don't let me jinx it! Blgger god,keep this to yourself, don't tell the blogger gremlins so they can bugger it all up! Thankyou.)
First of all, the's time to change some pounds for dollars.

Live Rates as of 2007.11.16 22:58:33 UTC.
1,000.00 GBP United Kingdom pounds
2,052.21 USD
United States Dollars
Except -poo! I already changed my money and it's gone up since then, last night it was $2.041. something.

Anyhoo, that is certainly a great rate is it not? Glad I'm not coming here from there...that's be sad.

And then, well, you know the car, my car. Rust bucket and dear as it is, stinky and more and more embarrassing to be in? Well, today, on freecycle, someone posted about a car that is a mere 7 years old, that's practically from the factory isn't it? A Kia, that does 35 miles to the gallon and on a run it'll do 45. Mine, right now does 13. THIRTEEN miles to the gallon when petrol is £4 ( $8) a gallon. And.....THEY ARE GIVING IT TO ME!! Tomorrow we will go and see it and check that it will get through an MOT etc.
I am almost beyond excited, I am holding out until we see it in case it is a lemon and all too good to be true.
It is one of these

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I have no idea what colour it is and I can hardly wait to find out, colour means everything to a girl.
Funny thing but we have this Knex stuff that Isaac so desperately needed last christmas, he hasn't touched it apart from perhaps twice to tip it all out and then leave it. I have looked at it and thought about selling it on ebay and haven't. This evening I thought about it again and just imagined someone like me, trying to gather a decent amount together for some little boy for Christmas and thought that the best thing to do is put it on freecycle, which I did. I had emails immediately and promised it to a lady with 6 kids.
Just as I emailed her back to arrange when she could collect, I saw the email for the car and replied.
Sometimes I can't help but think of Auntie Margaret who would always say
"cast your bread upon the waters....and it'll come back buttered."
Never a truer word said!
If this works out, a huge prayer will have been answered, my poor old clutterbucket is so on it's last legs, it coughs every morning and we tell it how marvellous it is to keep taking us where we need to go, to continue to allow us to stuff it with furniture. I'm not sure how much longer it will keep doing that.

I also found the most beautiful wool rug yesterday, 8' x 5'6" and not a mark on it. £25 in a thrift shop, I'd take a picture but there is a stuffed animal zoo arranged on it and I just to tired to move it all and take pictures and pretend that my floor is always this clean and tidy.

Landlady called today, poor thing she is so poor that she just can't afford to have the repairs done on our house. Does Jordan want to move in and pay her another £250.
I. think. not.
She said some other stuff that has nailed a few more nails in her coffin.
I am trying to keep my promise to H not to fret until we come home, to leave any worrying until we have had our holiday.
The thing is, last week I came home late one evening from some errand or other and as I walked through the door I felt I was home. IMAGINE!
I am beginning to feel a teeny bit of something other than hatred for this place.
If something else came my way I wouldn't bat an eyelid walking away from it but I also feel that if we stay here, I can cope with that.
I would like to leave and rent somewhere NOT owned by this woman, who charges full rent but then tells us that she can't afford repairs because oh dear, her mortgage payments are so high and she has 4 properties empty. This is NOT my problem, one day soon she'll have another empty one and some tenants that have cleaned, repaired, beautified and put up with for too long, gone.
Mum says the barn has a TO LET sign outside. I love the barn.

H and I have a long term plan, still in it's embryonic stages, that we hope will turn our future around. It's time. I just hope that I can fight the fear away and have the courage to do what it will take to get it done. We'll see.
My skin is terrible at the moment, who knows why ( the only thing I can think of is that the holiday, therefore the flight, is getting closer. ) I am getting my knickers in a twist about flying and also, having to sleep on a blow up bed at grandpa's. Look, I don't sleep much, when I do sleep I want it to be good sleep, peaceful snuggly, comfy sleep.
I am very overweight. I have the most vivid imagination.......let me paint a picture.
Overweight mother of 6, weary and aching after a day of such excitement as say Universal studios. Tired me......into the bedroom we go ( small room, I would say maybe 10' x 10?) in it there will be 2 queen size blow up beds and FIVE people, fat old me, larger than he used to be but still compact and delicious H with his arthritic neck ( what a couple we are) and 3 farty little sweat buggers aged 4, 6 and 7.
I shall creep in and the others I hope, will be sleeping. Tip toe, tip toe.
Crouch down, begin to lower my bulk to blow up mattress and if H and I share one mattress and put the boys on the other, that mattress may not have a hope in hell of staying inflated. Hmmm lets put one kid and one parent on each mattress and the remaining urchin on the floor on blankets or something.
SO, here I go....oooops ooops WHOOOOOOF.....whichever kid is sleeping on that airbed is going to SHOOT up into the air....catapulted out of slumber to hit the ceiling fan, or wall or just right out of the window because I kid you not, I have some serious weight behind me ( and in front of me, nothing if not well balanced) my boys are little sparrows, with arms like sticks and xylophone rib cages, they look like they have been in a famine, I look like I caused it.
Yes, you may well laugh but I tell you what, all I need is a musty pillow and a tight sleeping bag and I'm off, I'll take my chances in a doorway somewhere, at least then someone might walk past and throw some change my way, hope is a marvellous thing.
Grandpa has dogs, well actually, H has one dog at grandpa's house. Taz, who thinks he is human and is quite possibly the only dog I have ever come close to liking. He thinks he is a person and during my time at grandpa's house with the brother in law from misery street, that dog put up with a whole lot of secrets and whining from me, all he asked in return was that I move the boys out of his dog bowl before they'd eaten all the food and to share the pilchards I craved when pregnant with him ( the last request was a tough one because those pichards in tomato sauce? Mmmmmmm, I'll fight you for them dog)
H's sister is at grandpa's house at the moment and she has 2 little dogs, of the jumpy kind, so 3 dogs, one father in law, one sister in law, one husband of sister in law who is sometimes there and other times, not. One husband, 3 children, me and 2 blasted blow up beds. And quite possibly a partridge in a pear tree as it will be christmas while we are there.
I am looking forward to getting there ( without plane crashing, terrorists or any travel hassles at all, please) and I am longing to smell the evening air, I adore the smell of California in the evenings, quite different from Utah which is also pleasant smelling in the evening, during summer but not a touch on California.
I look forward to shopping and friends, apple and cinnamon soft pretzels, Mongolian bar-b-q at the Mall's food hall.
In fact, I am looking forward to much more than I am dreading. Just not the bloody blow up bed, dear life.
I so want to take the boys to candy lane to see all the lights, what memories.
We are going to have to rent a car and I WILL HAVE TO DRIVE!
Oh see? Itch, welt, scratch. Funny how I can drive over here on these windy tiny roads and not bat an eyelid, H can drive over there and not flinch......he doesn't have a licence anymore though as it expired, we don't think he can renew it as he lives here'd be great if he could so I don't have to drive on those big old roads with those insane drivers in their monster trucks and 12 lanes.
Marilyn, come everywhere with us and let me follow you and don't drive faster than 30 miles and hour and ram all those mad buggers out of the way for me.....OR even better you AND Brian come everywhere and you drive our car and he can drive yours and I will kiss your arm all the way there and back and tell you how completely fantastic you are and I will send you mingles every month for the rest of you life. I am so not kidding.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The littlest big boy.

He went. he did and he loved it.
I took, I didn't and I loved it.
This littlest of my boys has the hugest of personalities, prone to flinging his arms out and bursting into song " We're FLYING , SOARING!" He gets stickers for entertaining and singing at nursery. He assumes that he will be adored wherever he goes, and he has yet to be wrong.
He is a bit of a girlie's man and has little time for the boys and their rough and tumble ways at school and nursery, he loves the girls and compliments them on their shoes and hair ( oh dear)
He has complied a list for Christmas and at the top of it is High school musical socks, pink ones please, that he will wear at home because he is beginning to see that wearing the sparkles to nursery could be a mistake.
How sad that the joys of life should be curtailed so young, I have noticed that his desperate need for all things pink and sparkly is waning. He still notices shoes on little girls and stares longingly if they happen to be pink, he has stopped asking for his very own pair though.
Dog the Bounty hunter appears to have settled his need for long blond hair, I suspect he was keen on the shock factor and if that big old lump of testosterone has long blond hair....well forget it, it's the pretty my boy wants!
He ran into the classroom today, found his beloved Hannah and didn't so much as look my way. It was impossible to be sad about leaving him because he was so thrilled to be there.
He has a peg with his name on, which is always, for some reason, is the thing that gives me a lump in my throat, it makes it all so real that this tiny person in his school trousers and sweatshirt, is staying, he now belongs to the world a bit.
More than ever before I feel so strongly that this boy not be changed. He is so perfect as he is, sticky out ears and all, he is a joy to behold and to be with. A sunny and glorious boy, please don't let the world get to him.
It happens so subtly, this changing. It starts with the walk usually, baby walk becomes big boy swagger.
The face changes and develops a look of defiance at times.....the look that says he knows so much, he doesn't need to ask you anymore, that " my teacher says" look.
Isaac hasn't gained any of that, lucky me, he still needs me so much for reassurance that all is well, that this world is an OK place to visit. Who said autism is a bad thing?
What a difference it makes to leave such a little person in a big place and have him feel at ease, I can see that he will be running into school without me long before my Isaac does. So self assured is he.

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He loves to learn and is desperate to be like Isaac and Seth, he sits with the laptop and talks as though he knows what he is doing and he writes on the whiteboard...spelling his words out DDDDFED. A. JJJDA. Perfect, he is quite honestly a genius.
We took him to Mac Ds for lunch after school...

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He showed us what he learned to waggle his ears, I have no idea how he does it! I have to try and get that on video because he literally flaps his ears like Dumbo! How do you do that??
Time has flown since this boy was born, he's my joy.
Thank goodness I going to be a Nana, I might feel horribly sad that this baby of mine is now a big boy otherwise!

Here's the ear flapping!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is very exhausting.

I can't tell you how tiring it is to be funny all day. I do tend to see the funny side of life, especially when not much is actually funny. I hear things that make me laugh, see things that make me snigger and imagine things that make me hoot outloud.
The more important, serious, worrying or sedate the occasion, the more I will find to laugh about....see your sister leaving to have a hole drilled in her head ? Crack a joke.
The more sad I am the funnier I can bizarre is that? So the past few days have had me finding humour in all kinds of ways. We were sitting with Leah yesterday when the young girl came around to ask about menu choices. Now, you have to visited the west country to know what I mean when I speak about the Plymouth ( Plymothian?) accent . It is out there on it's own. I love it, in a train crash kind of way, could listen to it endlessly, prayed my children would NEVER develop it. They have their own words even and add words where you don't need them. They go UP at the end of a sentence everything sounds like a question? They say things like " where's it to?" ( where is it?) and " I'm going up over Asda" ( I'm going to the supermarket) a favourite is " You going.. or no?" " you want that....or no?"
I wish beyond wishes that I could let you hear this accent, I do it well, my sister does it well and we have had endless conversations in this accent and to this day we never faail to make each other actually wee with laughter at the things we say and recall hearing.
Yesterday this young girl came around and asked all 4 ladies in Leahs room, what they would like for dinner. Beef bolognese? Soup? Sandwich? Cauliflower cheese? Decisions were made and boxes were ticked and then
" What choo want for afters? Em, yoghurt, chocolate pudding, ice cream or fruit? "
I couldn't help it........the devil made me do it, lucklily after she had gone out....
I looked up and said " Bleddy 'ell! I am 'eard no-one ask about afters since I lived here! D'you 'ave afters up your 'ome or no? We have dessert up 'ome......what choo ave up your 'ome?"
It won't sound funny to you because you won't have heard that accent ( except for Gemma, who reads this but NEVER comments, who lived there and did have that accent but doesn't now!) but it made us laugh and mum and I have snorted about it at least 3 times today, in the 7 hours we waited at the hospital to see Leah for 8 minutes. I write about it because in 5 years time, when I read it again, I will laugh again, you had to be there.
It has been one of those infuriating days that gets you no-where, trying to see her and missing her as didn't go to the operating room, waiting for doctors to finish doing rounds, trying to stay out of the way, getting back to her room just as she WAS leaving to have a hole drilled in her skull......waiting another 2 hours for her to come back and when she did get back having to leave to get back here before the boys went to bed.
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Sore head, machine that peeps and flashes a number that tells us the pressure in her head -1. 2. 3. 7. -2. -4. dear Lord stop me looking at that number, I don't know what that number means, why am I staring at the number......ho hum, in come nurses having a chat about machine and number......blah blah, wavy line, numbers, nothing to worry about, if the number ever gets to 15 I want to know, it won't but should it....tell me.......blah blah......
Leah. little moan, am OK, no doesn't hurt....groan, ow, no I am fine.....-2. -1. 0 Ow 4...3 -1 -1 ow ow 4. 6. 9. 12. 13 ...........uh oh nearly at 15.....

WALK quickly.....excuse me number is 13.....she says her head hurts ( can I go home and pretend none of this is happening please?)
She is fine. She will be more fine and perhaps won't even need a shunt.
As I walked out to get the car I felt such panic, not because of Leah because we are so sure she is alright and will be home soon, feeling better than she has for months, even years.
What happened is a remembrance of how I had to be brave when I was so ill. Stupid first husbands who left when I had gaping holes in my body, having to leave tiny children while I had to keep going in and having minor surgeries, having to send my baby girl to mum for months while I tried to get well.....having to cope with stupid husband leaving 2 days after another surgery, learning my boys had been abducted and abused......and still having gaping wounds and infections and never being able to just lie in bed and have flowers brought to me, not a bloody grape or magazine, just fear and pain and such sadness that my heart breaks NOW to think about it, when it was all happening I couldn't think, I just 'did'.
18 years later and a rogue memory brought it all flooding back with such clarity it took my breath away. Minds are incredible things, the way they take these things that are so sad, so hard, so unbearable and store them away, hide them, bury them until the day that you CAN cope.
Sometimes I wonder what is still in my head that my heart can't cope with. Every time I think it's done, finished, dealt with....something like today happens and what do you know? Here we go again.
I do know though, that when these things come back to me they don't destroy me. They come back, I feel what I should have felt at the time, allow myself to feel sad and move on. I think I am better. Than I was. Very good then.

Tomorrow you may be in for a treat. I am not going to the hospital, I need to be here, because........because my baby, last fruit of my loins, has to don his uniform ( aged 3-4 black smart trousers, aged 3 polo shirt and ExS, that'll be extra small, sweatshirt and smart shoes) pick up his book bag and spend an entire morning in BIG SCHOOL, real life BIG SCHOOL, with teachers and story mats and all things BIG BOY, he will be going every thursday until we leave for our holiday ( in 3 weeks, TODAY, 21 days or 20 days because today is over) and then when we come home, he will go EVERY single day for the next 11 years at least.........a treat because I will take pictures. I think though that my womb may cry a little and contract in a way that might make me wish I could start all over again ( yeah right....we're going the grandbaby route thankyou!) and my arms will ache a bit, my eyes may even be a little leaky because he still lisps and sucks his thumb, he STILL needs a nap every day. He still says 'tan I doe?' instead of 'can I go?' He is still such a baby, in so many ways, my baby.
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When he steps through those doors tomorrow it is the beginning of my having to share a huge part of his life with the world. I think I mind that, more than I will admit.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My sister Leah.

So, Leah. Leah is 29 and is glorious. When she was born, well that in itself was a miracle because the doctors said she would never live, they said her head was so large that her brain could not possibly have survived damage, they said her body was so twisted she would never walk, or sit or do anything.
She was born, she had a teeny little head with a swollen forehead and a boy so straight and perfect it was hard to stop staring at her.
She had hydrocephalus, which 29 years ago was a bigger deal than it appears to be today and at days old she had a shunt fitted.
She was the most delicious and insane baby and toddler you can imagine, she climbed bell towers, jumped from scaffolding, ran away endlessly to have adventures......this teeny tiny little scrap of person, with the most enormous personality you ever would encounter.
So, many miracles have happened with Leah and if she had her own blog, maybe she would tell them. Last week, she had the most horrific pain in her head, she is used to headaches and she has retinitis pigmentosa, which means that she can't see well. Her balance is a bit iffy and she falls over and bangs into things a lot . She lives with mum and has always been a home body, she loves being at home, she adores mum and was dad's best friend. Mum and Leah are pretty much inseparable and it was only when we had to take her into hospital today, to stay...that it occurred to us that Leah has never spent a night away from mum. Maybe twice, when she was the littlest person.
This may sound shocking and it would be if it were because she was afraid, or because mum was controlling, what it means is that everyone is just happy that this is how it has been.
Leah has way too much fluid around her brain and so she had to go in today, in order to have a new shunt fitted. She was so afraid, so terrified, not so much about the operation but because she would have to stay away from home.
Mum and I stayed with her while a slew of tests were done and we waited for the doctor to come around and sign consent forms etc.
Now I am a bit of a down to earth gal, no nonsense, get on with it type of person.
Leah's doctor came to see her and, would appear that a 45 year old woman, mother of 6, happily married to delicious olive skinned man , who says things like " Man! I was kissin' you like were weren't married" ( he is divine and being kissed like your not married? Highly recommended, especially by the man you are married to, yehaw.) anyway it would appear that that woman can turn to a stupid heap of grinning adolescence when faced with this.......

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And YES, I took a picture because the BEST thing about being 45 and married and having kids not much younger than edible young doctor people is that you can SAY " Oh my heavens, you are too beautiful and please let me take your picture and put it on the internet!" because they grin a lot and let you do pretty much anything. It is fantastic being a nearly Nana because you can just about say or do anything to whomsoever you choose, and they let you. Bloody hell.

Should I admit that when I saw this......
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I was a bit sad because look at the left hand, ring finger, gold band oh darn it.
I think I wanted him to marry Sophie or Leah or just anyone that lived near me so I could look at him a lot and maybe stroke him sometimes. Not to ever kiss him as though we weren't married however because.....for heavens sake, I am OLD and H does such a good job of the whole kissing thing and I don't even get embarrassed, which is marvellous.
SO, anyway, Andy...which is the doctors name and I can use it and everything, explained that the plans have changed, what is going to happen now is that tomorrow, they will drill a hole in Leah's head ( there was mention of local anaesthetic, briefly until they saw the look on all of our faces and then they said ' or light general' which YES!! I should bloody well think so young man!) and then they are going to put in a wire and attach it to a pressure monitor, 48 hours of monitoring will tell us whether the pressure in her head is high enough that she needs the shunt, it could be that the amount of fluid in Leah's head is OK for her....she hasn't had a single procedure since she was 4, extraordinary. If they put a shunt in even if her pressure is OK then the headache won't change anyway, it will have been for nothing.
She isn't happy about a possible 2 extra nights in hospital but this is a good thing, she will know for sure what is going on in her head and that they have done the right thing.Also.....2 extra days of seeing Andy the beautiful, how can she possibly mind that???

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Monday, November 12, 2007

I heart Victoria Wood.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

There was a little girl....

..who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead,
And when she was good,
She was very, very good,
But when she was bad, she was Horrid.

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She's being very, very good.
I have loved seeing her this visit, she is growing up and we are making huge strides. She is going to be getting the help she needsto be happy.
I am beyond grateful. She is more than a bit beautiful.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

I am a little below par, not sure what the deal is apart from jippy tummy, aching bones and a foul disposition.
The boys were weary and so bathed and ready for bed, having stayed up a little late to watch the X factor, it became obvious that, unlike most evenings, H was not going to take them up and read a story or 12 with them. So engrossed was he in whatever the latest project is.
I hoiked myself out of my chair and told them I would read them some Mrs Pepperpot, if they were quick, hurry up.
They were quick and hurried up and all was looking pretty good until Isaac ( must do it all correctly every time, don't cut corners or the sky will fall in) realised that no-one had carried the lantern up, oh no.
Never mind, we have a little lamp, that is it's not, oh no, wheres the lantern because I can't have the lamp because ( who knows why I didn't just tell him to go and get the damn lantern but sometimes, when your bowels are cramping and your bum cheeks are aching from all the clenching, well common sense leaves and the obvious solution isn't obvious) Right, get mummy's torch, that's always a great 2nd best....dither, dawdle whine slump.

SNAP. That was the sound of my last scrap of patience. Get the torch myself, sit down and begin...

Mrs Pepperpot noticed that her well had dried up, oh no how would she boil her potatoes and wash her dishes and have a nice cup of coffee? Nothing for it but to put on her heavy overcoat, take a bucket and a shovel and walk through the snow to try and clear the path to the well and....
" Well, what the hell?? " said mummy ( not Mrs Pepperpot because she would never utter such coarse and irritable sentiments) "where's her husband while she's doing all this? She's an old lady for heaven's sake, she doesn't have enough to do with all that potato boiling and washing dishes? Her husband should be doing the digging and fixing of wells but I suppose he's too busy doing some important stuff on his laptop "
As she was digging the snow....well if a moose didn't come and ram into her..she had to go and get a gun and try and scare it off , which didn't work and then she shrunk ( to the size of a pepperpot, of course) All was well as she somehow managed to scare the life out of the moose by hanging from his antlers in a bucket, that old moose went back to his own field and Mrs Pepperpot was able to dig and boil water in time for her husbands dinner, phew thank goodness for that. ( Heaven forbid he should have to heat up a can of Curry from Lidl and feed himself)
By this time I had read and muttered myself completely out of my bad temper and three little boys were asleep having hopefully grasped a message that if your wife is cooking and cleaning and even making you Bramble Jelly ( with ingredients she has picked herself, because said husband was sad that the pile of pancakes she made him were lacking something, what am I READING these boys? Good thing is, tiny woman always wins in the end, triumphs over every adversity, Go Mrs P!) it would be expected that you might get out and dig the damn snow and fight off the odd marauding moose, thankyou.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Dad.

I understand Eternity, my dad taught me. My mum teaches me and my children make me want it.
The whole concept of eternity is mind blowing, but makes complete makes sense to me. If there is nothing after this then what is THIS all about, it's not just a few years of fun is it? I know that we should make more of what we have and I feel a sense of guilt over wasting too much of what I have by worrying.
When my dad was dying, I understood eternity more. The blurred edges of what we experience cleared away and it was so clear to me that we need to concentrate on the truly important things in life. From the moment we knew my dad couldn't be healed, I watched him. The world stopped for those 2 weeks and life was that little room, nothing beyond it was of any importance.
I saw things that were out of this world, I heard things that will last a life time, I learned things that will never leave me and I lost my fear of death. I saw, without a trace of doubt that there is so much more than this world, this short life.
I was ( and still am ) in awe of the fact that my dad, always so afraid of life, was not even a little afraid of death.
I watched as people from his lifetime came to say goodbye. I heard tales of how great a man he was. I saw real sorrow at his sickness and exquisite love for a man who had been such an example to so many.
Not one regret was voiced, not one person felt the need to make amends, not a single quarrel that needed to be settled.
My dad died with a clear heart and mind, knowing that he had done his best, tried his hardest, loved the purest. He made mistakes and he learned from them, he was a true friend, a faithful husband and a great dad. He didn't suffer fools gladly or even grumpily, he did grumpy really well. He gave his all and would help anyone but he did love to moan about it.
He loved a good gossip which was a shame as my mum doesn't do gossip, at all....hie tales were lost on her, never went any further and he was always deflated by her way of turning a juicy bit of gossip into a lesson on kindness and compassion.
He loved to eat and to his dying day he found a way to eat what he loved, diabetes be damned.
I see my dad in me and I see him in my children...especially Elijah. Families are great, the fact that we can be a family forever, well that's what makes it all worthwhile.
I miss you my dad, even though we know you're still here, in our hearts and in the goofy smile of your youngest grandson.

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I wonder how things work where you are, birthdays I suspect are a nonsense and time will be a whole different thing, we are told that God's time is nothing like ours, our days are measured by man and by earthly changes, all that is different where you are and a year is but a blink of the eye.
Does it feel as though you were just here? Have you had time to miss us? Are you still catching up with your dad and people who I am sure were there to meet you?
Our earthly minds can barely comprehend how things are once the things that bind us while we are here have gone.
I don't worry about how you are, I know that your understanding is huge now, that you can look at us and know that although we think we are striving for joy, that we have no idea just how marvellous things will be. Oftentimes I will think of you when I am alone, in the car maybe, I think of the things that we believe are important, bills and cars, homes and holidays and I wonder what you would say to us, if you could tell us just one thing.
I wonder what we would say to you, if we had the chance to tell you just one thing. I tell you things anyway, here or not. I think we all do, we talk about you still so much. We miss you. Always.


Whistle, whistle.

Because I have nothing to say ( which never stopped me posting yet!) I have that horrible thing where you get a bad feeling, an uneasy sort of wary feeling for no known reason, of course then I find myself asking what it could be and making up 758 reasons for it. Things I hadn't thought about feeling badly about suddenly become HUGE. It's all part of being a bit mad, I think.
Did you notice how that little blob in the box up there to the left is growing? Look at it, little arms and legs and a big old head......and I don't feel even the slightest bit nauseous or achy or anything, becoming a Nana is a bit splendid, I just have ask how Mel is and nod in sympathetic manner when she tells me about acid reflux and gagging and being so tiiiiirrrrrrrrrred. I am careful not to tell her how much worse it gets or mention constipation or piles and stuff.
She looks very tired and rather like me when I was pregnant, appears not to be glowing or blossoming, yet. She just looks tired and young and completely oblivious to what it all means, ain't nature grand.
Bizarre that when we are pregnant, it's all about the excitement and the ideal dream, all the perfection we can muster etc. When it is someone else, maybe it's just me, all I can think of, especially when it's a first baby, is " uh have no idea" as if it's a BAD thing to be having a baby. It so isn't is it? The whole thing from start to finish is magnificent. I find myself thinking more and more about the babies I lost. At the time I didn't have a chance to mourn them as I conceived immediately after both losses.
The first miscarriage wasn't a sad time, that baby was conceived while I was using THREE kinds of birth control so sure was I that I DID NOT WANT A BABY! Nevertheless get pregnant I did and the first one was not happy. You would think that I had done this terrible thing all on my own, just to spite him.
So, when I lost the baby it was sad for a moment as I had just begun to accept the pregnancy and it was gone. When, 10 weeks later I still hadn't had a period it was discovered that I had conceived immediately, along came Sophie, away went the first one.
The baby I lost after Isaac and before Eli was a horribly sad time. The sadness was lessened by the fact that within 2 weeks I had conceived Elijah ( I am such a loose and licentious woman, shoot me) whenever I begin to feel sad about that baby ( that I felt so sure I knew from the very first day I knew it was there) I just remind myself that had that baby carried to term I wouldn't have the Eli boy and really, life without him? Ack......he's the joy in all our lives.
I do feel that the other baby somehow became all s/he needed to be, it isn't sad that s/he didn't get to be born because I am sure that it's little spirit is right where it is meant to be.
It would be my dad's birthday tomorrow. I want to come up with something for him, I am missing him so much lately. The more time passes the harder it is to accept that he is gone. The first year was sad but we had this brave facade going on, the chin up and smile for the people thing.
It's not funny now. It's too long, too sad, enough already.....what? He's really not ever going to be here again? Well damn.
So, not sure what will come out tomorrow, might just be a load of old snot.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Yes, I am cool. It's official.

Oh my good grief. I am so stupid that I even amaze myself.
So, H and I have this job at church, achievement evenings with the 8-12 year olds, fun and learning and, well everything that comes with 8-11 year old children, dear life.
This evening was a welcome and well done and graduation evening for the new ones and the old ones. Hello and goodbye as you will.
All arranged by the old runners of the evenings, hoorah, just had to be there really and show my face, which I did. A bit late but what the heck, who cares I have nothing to do, just be there ,observe. That sort of thing.
'Hi!' Said the other Helen, organiser of everything and cool and together and rememberer of all.
'Have you got the certificates?'
( insert look of undiluted idiocy here, on my face naturally)
" The certificates, the graduation ones for the girls " ( that I was given on sunday and promised to sign with beautiful calligraphy type writing with posh pen that I was going to buy, then laminate for all time, so 4 little girls who have completed their programmes and tasks and goals over the past 4 years could save them and cherish them)
"Ack, um. NO! but I can go and get them except I can't because I didn't come on my car ( and I haven't done them or bought the pen or know where the laminater is) Sorry, oh sorry.
Phew no matter, Sunday will be good.
10 minutes later.
" Helen" said the other Helen ( organiser and rememberer) " are you OK to do your bit?"
( insert look of panic and utter idiocy here, on my face, of course)
"What bit WHAT bit?"
"you know, the welcome to the new children and the bit where you boost them on and make them excited for all you are going to be doing next year!"
" oh that bit...yes of COURSE!" ( trying to be like Jesus, don't swear or cry or run from the building)

10 minutes later, am introduced.....TA-DA!

"well, this is exciting isn't it? H and I are new here and so are Ethan, Ammon and Brandon, the thing about H and I is that we are a bit of a surprising pair because although we are old, we like to have fun...especially while we are learning.
H has a secret, he has in his head a computer, he remembers everything and he knows almost everything and that is GREAT because in my head is almost nothing and I forget what little manages to creep in there. We are a great team. We are also a bit lazy and so what is going to happen is will be doing most of the work, this is all about you and the things you would like to do and about learning. We will have fun..lots of it, but you will really be doing some work! "

Pretty sure that went down well and that they are all raring to go. I hope.

Why can I not remember anything these days? Sometimes I'm not kidding you I could just sit and weep at how stupid I am. I hate forgetting everything but I am SO grateful that I have become so great at winging it. My mum says that I never show just how much I wish I could become invisible. The most extraordinary thing is this.....stand me in front of one person and I want to disappear, I hate it, I do not want to converse with people , I talk, but inside? I am screaming "GO AWAY! " pleading " please don't talk to me, look at me, ask my anything....please leave me alone" But.....I come alive when given the opportunity to stand up and speak in front of a crowd, the more people the better, I would thrive on being an after dinner speaker. WHAT in the WORLD is that all about??
I am looking forward to the holiday,I am needing the holiday. 4 weeks tomorrow. Not long now.