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!

Monday, December 31, 2007

From me to you...


AS I sit here my clock says 23.54 and the TV clock says the same....shame then that the church bell ringers have their clocks 6 minutes faster...ringing like the clappers! So happy new year now, or in 5 fact all year long!
May 2008 and completely great.
Another year of blogging, I love it.
Oooh fireworks have started, maybe it's my clock that is wrong, always seem to just miss the fun!

T'was the week after Christmas
And here in our house
Not a creature dare move
Not even a mouse.

We've been home for a week
I'm ashamed though to say
Not a thing has been tidied
Unpacked, put away.

We are drowning in laundry,
My machine broke you see,
We have piles of presents
But alas, have no tree.

We have stuff from our trip
That should be on a shelf,
But it sits on the floor
Where it waits for an elf,

Or a fairy, or else Santa
Or a maid, fancy be.
It's wasting it's time
If it's waiting for me.

I am jetlagged to heck.
I am weary as hell,
I just can't be bothered
To be busy..oh well.

It is time to be cheery
And welcome on in
A year new and happy
Can I muster a grin?

I can try and I will
But my hopes are not high,
'Cause the kids are revolting
Though I promise to try.

This year has been one
Of much moving and then
Getting settled and comfy
And then moving, again.

Three times in one year
Is too much, I would say,
I think we were mad
But there wasn't a way

To avoid it and so
We just did it and then
As I said once before
Then we did it again.

I discovered with joy
That next year I will be
A Nana, yes! grandma
A new baby there'll be,

And for once it's not me
That will feel sick and tired
That will push and then swear
And then be quite admired

For being so clever
For having made such a boy
Or a girl ( would be lovely)
I can't tell you the joy!

I am buying the things
that a Nana can find
That a mummy or daddy
Can't buy...or will mind.

Noisy and useless
And pretty and posh.
That buying's a challenge
When you don't have much dosh.

In a week, my own baby,
My littlest guy,
My Elijah Henry
The apple of my eye,

Will put on his sweater,
His long pants, how cool!
And he'll join his big brothers
At a big persons' school.

For eight hours a day, he'll be gone
Oh my word
That I find it so sad
Is a little absurd.

For so long I have been
Stay at home mum to six,
Running ragged and weary
Feeling stuck in a fix.

I am thinking of all
I can do with the time
Maybe sleep, start a hobby,
Go to work, earn a dime.

But for now I will tackle
The mess in this place
And will gather some strength
Paste a smile on my face,

I will plan a nice evening,
Fill our home with good cheer
And I'll wish one and all
A happy new year!

May the new one be happy
Filled with joy and good health
And, if we are lucky
We might grab us some wealth.

I am happy to know you.
I am thrilled we are friends.
If I damaged your feelings,
I shall make some amends.

I do have a mouth
That runs off on it's own
I am apt to offend
Yes, that isn't unknown.

I expect that next year
I'll behave perfectly,
I would love that I know
But we'll wait and then see.

It's already the new year,
This has taken so long
That I missed on the deadline,
And to me, that's just wrong.

So without further ado
Not another new verse,
May I say that I hope this year
Will be better, not worse.

A Happy New year
And some love, straight from me.
From my house, to yours,
As sincere as can be.

Loads of love, Helen, Howard, Seth, Isaac and Elijah xxxx


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Whoops, we did it again!

Slept until NOON! It would be heaven if we woke up all refreshed and ready to go, not so. Slug like and grumpy ( the adults that is, the kids are LOUD and MESSY and LOUD!) We missed church, which for Seth, was an added benefit. By 5pm I was hardly able to keep my eyes open again. I can't quite remember the jet lag being this bad before..unless I REALLY think about it, then I recall being 5 months pregnant and having 2 little boys under 3 years old and thinking, quite possibly that I would die. Slowly and painfully from no sleep, I absolutely know no-one slept until noon, ever. Not even once.
I am almost heart stoppingly sad about one thing.
Lellow Ba. Yellow blanket, is still in L.A. *GASP* and

WHAT? Lellow Ba??? Not here? The beloved raggy old blanket that protected him from all harm, and strangers and even family that you know, wanted to LOOK at him. Just forgotten and discarded in grandpa's dining room.
I noticed that while we were away, as well as being Mr in your face, he didn't use Lellow Ba, didn't look for it at all..the first night I found it and gave it to him and he sort of tutted and put it on his pillow but after that, it was definitely ME that looked after blanket. HE didn't use it at all at grandpa's and so I wshed it and when we were ready to leave, I tucked it in the handle of his back pack, sure that he would love to have it on the plane. At the airport I noticed he didn't have it...he took it out and just left it on the table.
I feel pretty distraught at the passing of Lellow Ba. I have asked grandpa to hold onto it, mail it to me because I need it, I want to keep that blanket for ever. It has been such an enormous part of our lives. This is a huge step forward for Isaac and I am ashamed to say it leaves me sad. Seth threw out his nunnies ( raggy old cotton things) about a year or so ago, that was bad enough but this one, well big boys and big teeth......more and more independant.
When Eli looks with disgust at his animal blanket and stops sucking his may see real tears.
Life is too fast, things are flying by and I can't keep up.
I got my new camera, a Nikon D50. Posh, frighteningly posh and complicated. It took me a while to touch it, so grand is it ( to me) and it sat until H picked it up, I saw that 'look' that 'oooooh, want' look that men get and he began to use it. He doesn't take pictures ( although he used to, copius amounts of pictures, he was renowned for taking pictures. My new camera made him drool and I knew that if I didn't grab it and claim it as mine, it would become his. Really quickly.
Oh no....not this baby. So I claimed it and it is most certainly mine now.
I just have to read the instruction book, properly. I also need to learn about exposure and lighting and not just make it all up as I go along.
I might even see if I can't take a class or something at the local college. I get so befuddled by all the terms and the numbers. I just hate to waste the possibilities of such a great camera though.


Ha...see what I mean?


You can see it would take great pictures, if I knew what I was doing!

I feel a huge excitement at the moment. I think, usually I feel a bit ' blah' this time of year, thinking that this time next year, what will have changed? This year I KNOW things are going to change. Nana, that'll be me. All my children will be at school, my last baby will be learning to read and becoming a member of society, there will be time and a chance to breathe, to decide what to do and where to go. To work at things that have been placed on a back burner for so many years.
I want to regain my confidence and feelings of self worth. I don't want to feel anymore fear or loss of control. I am sick of feeling that my life is in other peoples' hands. That should never be a part of anybody's life.
I do know that I am still unwell. My skin is showing me that something is very amiss. My joints tell me that I am under par. I intend to find out how much of this is under my control and how much is not.
Tomorrow I am going to make an appointment and ask for many tests. I want to take control of this and see just how well I can be.
I absolutely know that I have a huge ability to control much of my health, I have seen how well I can make myself and have learned how much control I have over my own well being. Somewhere along the way, I stopped caring. I gave up, I let it all go and I didn't give a hoot!
Now, I am beginning to feel an excitement again, a need to take charge and step out. I wish I knew where this feeling comes from..I'd sell it and be so rich I would never have to think about money again!
It's 11.30 and Seth and Isaac are still awake. The downside to jet long as they sleep in tomorrow. Seth is a starving sparrow, he is on an eating everything in sight jag. How is he so titchy when he eats like this ( could be that he spends hours a day jumping and shooting hoops, I should watch him and copy, maybe that's the way to lose some weight and get some fit back!)
I am watching Dr 90210 as I write. My goodness, if that isn't the opposite end of the tale! Such incredible narcissism, what do these people do apart from think about how they look and worry about ARGH! that bit of loose skin! Oh NO! that wrinkle..... how terrible to look 40 when you are 56, how can they step out of the door when they have that extra millimeter of fat right there by their belly button? GET RID OF IT!
The doctors who hug them and feed that vanity....if a doctor ever went to hug me I would freak! My doctor strokes my arm in a compassionate way, that's reassuring, hugging is patronising because, they care? Honestly? If these patients came to them with a real disfigurement but no money and begged to be made whole...what then? Bet you then there wouldn't be much of a hug or reassurance. Phoney baloney.
I admire people who look after themselves, who exercise and watch what they eat, I have a hard time with people who do nothing BUT worry about their looks, who weep because they don't look 25 when they are 50, who want to be rid of every scrap of evidence of having lived, how sad. I look at my enormous belly and of course I wish it was smaller, I know that when it IS smaller it gets saggier. Baggy old stretched out belly- but the idea of having a tummy tuck that removes ALL signs of it having housed 6 babies and 2 other babies for a little while, that breaks my heart! I love knowing what a great job this old body has done making my beautiful children.
Ugh.....just past midnight and all THREE gitlets are up, I better go and settle them down. I hope this means we'll avoid the 2am party we've had the past 3 nights. That gets dull the first time!! So til tomorrow ( or today, whenever) Nearly next year. Exciting.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Jet lag......I think I like it.

Who said Jet lag was a bad thing? Last night the boys went to bed at 8pm, they woke up at today at NOON! I woke up at 10.20am, couldn't move, my back had seized up, so unaccustomed to being in one position for so long it was screaming it's complaint!
I ran around like a headless chicken, shopping and getting gas and electricity keys and cards charged so we can be warm and have lights and things, buying stashes of slimfast because I am SO ready to get back on the straight and narrow. ( Grandpa's scales said I lost 10lbs over there and my scales say the same thing! We ate very well but I had no sweets, no chocolate apart from a few quality street, no bread and no chips......hoorah!) I have a small person to lose, I am uncomfortable and intend to be able to smile when holding my grandbaby and having pictures taken of me with him/her.
Did I tidy the house ( nope)
Did I put anymore of this piled up stuff away ( nope well maybe a bit but you'd never know it!)
Did I find myself nodding off whilst upright but still? ( why yes, I did, thankyou for asking, it makes me laugh because that is such an old lady thing to do)
Isaac came with me on every trip, he is such a helpful boy, he really does help, not tag along and get in the way, he is a joy to take with me. ( Usually!) I wish he would stop running away, he shoots off to get to the next task and I hold my breath in case he gets into bother.
AT LAX, huge airport he wanted the bathroom and when we got there, he refuse to come with me into the Ladies, he just ran right into the men's toilet, on his own and then would NOT come out, I stood yelling his name and the little bugger ignored me, I was about to ask a random traveller to go and get him when he came skulking out with a face like thunder.
So, everyone is in bed and I think I might join them. While we were away I went to bed ridiculously early and slept beautifully, I am going to try and keep going to bed at a good hour instead of that stupid 3am nonsense.
I wonder how long the sleeping in will last? Heaven.


Friday, December 28, 2007


That's me,coming back down to earth.


I couldn't understand why I felt this way, I have never been this miserable coming 'home' before, I always like to come home. Then I realised that this is the first holiday I have ever had, real holiday, no worries, no work, no stress, time to please ourselves and money to spend on whatever we choose.

Then we came home.

The flight was great....we had a full row right at the front of the cheap seats, so we had leg room and more leg room and no-one on front to worry about, you know with Isaac and the touch screens and the lap tray. Heaven. HEAVEN.

I was worried, I can tell you now, about H. Long story short ( may have already written about it) H's ex wife was on benefits when he was at university, so he had 3 years of non payment of child support, which with interest was so much it was impossible to dent, he paid a huge amount back and even then, it looked like an impossible mountain to climb. The stupid laws in California mean that if there are arrears of child support, the man's drivers licence is suspended and passports are revoked.

When I came back to the UK, H worked like a dog to pay as much as he could off this balance, his tax return after a bumper year of selling with ADT then made a huge dent in it and suddenly, even though the balance was still terrifying, he received a letter to say that he was now eligible for a passport, he applied, received and kissed his passport, immigration was done and he arrived here the day before I went into hospital to have Elijah.

We have never stopped being grateful that he was able to get his passport and felt that the angels were with us. I ( because I am so good at worrying about everything) had visions of us touching down in the US and the security people saying " Aha! There you are!" and then tearing up his passport because the interest had made his balance at the child support place astronomical again, the plan was that we apply for his English passport and all would be well, H is a procrastinator extraordinaire, he didn't get the papers in on time, so he travelled with is American passport.

Marvellous, we sailed through every stage of the trip out there, holiday done....worry time again ( what if they didn't mind him coming back INTO the country but would take umbrage at him trying to leave) Phew, took a LONG time to check in, grumpy woman at the desk read every word in every passport, checked and double checked our faces and I know I didn't make it up, but she definitely checked H's passport twice ( he said she didn't but he wasn't sweating and praying and worrying, he was merely depressed at leaving his country and coming back to the Land of no sun) Still, long time but no trouble , we went though security ( with removal of shoes and scanning of MANY bags, took 1 suitcase, 2 holdalls and 2 back packs with us.....came back with 7 suitcases and 6 backpacks, I kid you not, I paid my uncle to drive it all down here because there was NO way it was ever going to fit in our car. ) Isaac's backpack screened as suspicious.....he got some night vision goggles for Christmas, they looked scary under x ray!! Cool to see the swabbing and testing for explosives!) then we went to the departure lounge and waited 3 hours ( have lots of pictures but have yet to download, maybe tomorrow) Eli was happy to be going home.


H? Not that he would ever say, complain or whine.....but I had the most enormous lump in my throat because I KNEW how he must be feeling, if I had ever come back here for a trip and then had had to go back to live in the states....I'd be feeling it too. I just downloaded some pictures.....this one actually made me cry a bit, it's at the airport, about 2 hours in and just before we were going to board,


Seth wasn't too happy about leaving grandpa either...


Settled onto the plane and were enjoying the moment of watching tall people squash their legs into the cramped spaces allotted them whilst we stretched and showed off, because we had the front row, with masses of leg stretching space and the big screen TV, tutting and rolling our eyes at people having the nerve to walk through our space to get to the aisle on the other side. ( see that huge man in the background, he sat behind H.....he was SO tall and his legs must have been so cramped, shame)


Just as I was thinking that things were going beautifully and thinking that maybe I wouldn't need that diazepam after all, along came a flight attendant shouting " Do we have a Howard ******* on the plane? Howard ****** !!!"

HE put his hand up and she asked " Are you Howard ******** where is your passport?"

Can you imagine what I went through??? Turns out that he was showing as checked in but not boarded, somehow the boarding card didn't register, Al was well, my heart was allowed to keep beating.
We arrived back in England, ( raining and sort of cold but not painfully so) and drove in Barry's car (with trailer) to his house.
I am ridiculously tired and so can't remember whether I wrote about Barry's house before, skip this is I did.
Uncle Barry is dad's older brother, he is now either 74 or 76...he lives in the house he was born in. My Nan loved her house and lived there her whole married life. She gave birth to her sons in the bed they were conceived in, it is still in her bedroom, the same bed, same mattress and probably, the same pillows. OH MY GOOD HEAVENS. We slept there. Also, there is no heating.....apart from a gas fire in the teeny tiny lounge. The floor still has the original lino on it, with various old rugs. Same bathtub, same taps, same tiling, same doors ( same paint I suspect) it is a living museum. It is SO cold. We made beds on the floor for the boys ( but the wind is blowing under the bed and hurting may face!) we wrapped them up and they had blankets and hot water bottles and were asleep in minutes. I went to bed moments after H....he was lying very still, with the 15 blankets and eiderdown ( original, itch itch) up over his cold. I got into bed, want to know what time? 8pm HA HA! Tired isn't the word.....we fell asleep of the boys woke up to use the bathroom, I took him and looked at the clock.....I was SO sure it must almost be time to get up. 10.30. Bloody hell. Back to sleep ( remarkably warm feather bed once that damp chill wore off, with 3 hot water bottles, socks and a husband) suddenly the light went on What the HELL? Elijah, apparently had woken up, been downstairs, eaten whatever he could find in the fridge, played with his toys and when he was bored, woke us up to play with him. 2.30am....ever had one of those nights that just keep going??
Seth woke up and so I dragged myself down to sit with them in the 6 x 9ft front room, put the fire on and sat...and told them to be quiet ( 3am our time, 7pm Californian time) they ate and played and without any warning, both at the same time they crumpled to the floor and lay very still. HOORAH! Took them back upstairs, crawled back into grandmas feather bed ( let's not think about 80 year old bed bugs) and fell asleep...until 8.30.
The drive back, oh dear. I decided I would follow Barry, rather than try and find my own way back. Mistake!
Barry has a theory, why drive on a motorway or a dual carriage way when there is a pretty back road?
He drives at 60mph, always, hell and high water 60mph. HE stays behind cars in the slow lane until he gets one that is driving at 58 mph, then he swerves out, overtakes and then right back into the slow lane, he doesn't overtake 4 trucks at a time, he overtakes one, back in the slow lane, overtakes the next one, back in the slow lane.....when I was following him, I had no idea if he was getting back into that lane because we had to leave the road and take another one, whether this was where we'd stop to in and out and back in again.
As soon as I knew for sure where I was, I drove off into the perfect distance, wending my way home, for about 24 minutes when we hit traffic. It would seem that for some reason, Stonehenge ( bloody old pile of big rocks, what's the big deal?) was very popular and for over an hour we crawled along at 5 miles an hour......good view for a long time of bloody old rocks as we drove so slowly past.
Much muttering was going on, dear little boys were so weary they just stared ahead and made scarcely a sound the whole trip.
Oh the joy when I saw signs saying we were 34 miles from home, but I just couldn't keep my eyes open.....I actually felt myself nod off and opened my eyes just as I was about to hit a wall...I had to stop and clear my head, with Seth saying " we'll be here an hour, I know it, I want to be at home, please don't sit here PLEASE!"
Elijah saying " Oh but I want to be at home right now"
We made it home.
No Sophie, with the key. Called her and got her answer phone, called my friend who had the other key, she said she could bring it soon but was at work. Jordan called and said he would go and find her, he was right outside where my friend works and so he went and collected the key from her and got a taxi over here, in we came, there she was, asleep on the sofa, the house was a pigsty, dishes everywhere, laundry everywhere, bottles and cans overflowing in the recycling bin, kitchen bins overflowing and get this, Dan hired a van TWO WEEKS AGO, and drove all her stuff here, it was still in the KITCHEN and the HALLWAY and all over the damn place. It took me FOUR hours to make her move it and she still hasn't done the dishes.
Welcome home.
Last night I bought fish and chips for dinner.....cost me more than lovely meal for us all in a nice restaurant in the states.
Washing machine is broken.
No one made my bed this morning.
Had to buy bread and toilet paper.
Lovely hot bath ( when did I have a shower last? It feels like weeks ago but really it was on wednesday. I most certainly have been washing in between, even in aeroplane toilets, using paper towels) I stood in Barry's freezing bathroom with the bath that doesn't work and wondered what that metal bucket filled with water was all about, my teeth chattering as I strip washed, I felt a bit like a maid in olden days, standing on cold lino washing my nether regions.....if I'd had to use the water bucket the scene would have been complete. I have no idea how some people can go days without a shower or bath, I must have at least one a day, change my underwear at least twice a day or I feel I ought to stand a great distance from everyone else for their sake. The bath I had when I got home was heavenly. My hair was so knotted ( I didn't even comb it this morning, would have made me cry with the cold and ripping knots out of my head, hell, some things have to just get left out on mornings like this one!)
My own bed.
Half a room of chocolate.
Have 14 lbs of skippy peanut butter in my cupboard, 5 huge jars of parmesan cheese ( Kraft)
So many bottles of Excedrin, Nytol and kids Ibuprofen that we look like drug addicts ( can only buy Tylenol in boxes of 14 here, you can only buy 2boxes at a time and if you do buy 2 boxes, don't even TRY to buy some childrens' Tylenol at the same time because it is NOT ALLOWED! Stupid law started to stop people killing themselves with an overdose, if you're that determined to kill yourself by taking paracetamol you'll just walk from one shop to the other until you have enough.) So, we had fun buying bottles with 500 in "LOOK.....500 in this one!!lets buy 3.....HA! they LET me!" ( seriously we DID that! And found it fun!!)
Have my own laptop back with lovely blogs in the favourites and my own buttons and stuff. ( as soon as I can stay awake long enough to read them I will, I missed reading you while I was away. I have fallen asleep twice while typing this.)
I am tired of eating, really tired of looking so fat ( H took pictures of me while I wasn't looking, darn it that he bought a camera, am horrified and yet determined the way I was 2 years's hoping it works again, even if I lose it and gain it back, well better than just keep gaining, isn't it??) I am truly a fat person, not chubby or a bit overweight, I am a real huge blobby fat old lady. Darn it.
Slimfast is half price.
Shops here do loads of buy on get one free, real bargains in the grocery department.
I have a nice home, which could be fantastic, I intend to make it breath taking this year, watch me and Ebay work miracles.
I am going to move more. I don't mean house ( although that may well happen soon enough) I mean myself, I want to be well. I am not well, at all.
While I was away I had, the most horrendous case of strep throat, blisters and pus covering the whole throat and mouth. I had cold sores, I had the itching thing and then, just as my throat started to heal ( 10 days into the holiday) my hands went crazy, argh, blisters upon blisters, swelling like you wouldn't believe. They started to clear up on the day we were leaving, they are now merely thick skinned with nails down to the quick ( strongest steroid cream made and prescription only, that I took with me just in case!) the skin is now peeling off and well, you can imagine how beautiful I feel as well as look can't you?
Marilyn had some cream that was miraculous, it soothed my splitting skin and began to heal it almost right away. I sort of hated how it felt on my hands for about 10 minutes but it really works, REALLY.
So, when grandpa gave us quite a lot of cash, the day before we came home, H and I determined that our holiday would end with a think for a second we were going to bring back that cash, change it into pounds and halve it? Use it for what bills? Food......sod off...we were going to spend it, every last cent, watch us and see we said, he went one one, I went another with Marilyn and we darn near did it, he came back with nothing but change and I had $74, I decided I was going to Nordstroms and buy me some of that horrible feeling cream that would make my hands smooth. Off we went, hmmmmmm hand cream and also some Acne moisturiser that would make my skin look nice and clear......yes, I shall buy it because I have to spend this cash, ......Thankyou lady.....except Marilyn bloody well paid for it! "You bugger!! Thankyou" I said and then "well now what? Take me to Babies R us, I got me a grandbaby coming so let me at it!" Oh we had such fun and I almost bought the dandiest wing seat thing that swivelled and rocked and did it all...but I stopped myself, I had bought myself some lovely jangly necklaces and already had my beautiful leather handbag and new Fossil wallet, new clothes and shoes and more crocs, what else do I need.
My grandbaby got a big old pile of clothes ( And some pink ones fell in there, 3 weeks and we'll know if it can wear them!! ) I bought all kinds of gadgets I have never seen here too. This thing that washed pacifiers if they fall on the floor, slips into the nappy bag and what do you know? Wash them germs right off ( only Dan had a dummy out of my babies and I used to suck them when they fell on the floor, how sanitary!!)
I bought mats that go under the high chair, hooks that go on the stroller handle to hang your shopping on, load that pram up with your bags of shopping. I bought handy straps to put the drinks bottles in so the little git can't throw the juice away, books and toys and every kind of natty thing. Things that hang on the bath to keep flannels and baby wash in, one to hang on the cot for nappies and wipes etc, gas drops, a bottle that has a syringe in it, you draw up medicine and then it goes into the teat ( nipple) so the baby sucks it instead of spits it.
Snot suckers ( why can't we get them here?) I love this little blob baby, as much as I ever loved my own. I love being able to buy it things that sometimes, when it's your baby, you can't buy because you have to buy nappies and wipes and milk. I think that's a Nan's job. I got a T shirt that said " I didn't do it, you didn't see me do it and I wanna call my Nana"
Anyway, we're home.
I just unpacked the cream and moisturiser and damn it to hell and back, the stupid lady at Nordstroms gave me the TESTER for the moisturiser, I went to smooth some on my poor old weary face and it was all gloopy, ewww then I could hardly get any out and noticed it was the almost empty TESTER bottle. The saleswoman told us she usually worked on the Estee Lauder counter or something and was in a tizzy anyway, so she must have just grabbed that one and put it in the bag. If only I had had the chance to look at it while we still there!! Can hardly take it back and complain and get a new one. We got back just in time to throw it in a case and leave. Pttttttthhhhhhhh.
Also, H had one of those decal things made for the car, Dad, Mum and 3 little boys, one with a basketball, one with a guitar and one dancing. We left it behind and can't explain to grandpa what he should be looking for. I know it has to be right there in the front him it may just have looked like a piece of paper left behind, I bet he threw it away.
Otherwise, all is well, all is back to normal and that, my dears, is as depressing as hell.
So, what we have to do is sit and make a plan, something to work towards and really set our sights on. I am forming a plan. Very good.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Someone's taken my stocking!!

T'was the night before christmas

And all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring,

Not even a mouse.

Apart that would be,

From Seth...oh how SHOCKING

Who awakened his mother


"Seth!" hissed his mother

( she can be rather surly)

It is just after 3...

That is REALLY too early!

" Go right back to sleep!

Lie back down in your bed!

Don't you waken your dad

Or the boys!" She then said.

"But", wailed young Seth

"It WAS there, hanging high,

Now it's gone and I just

Have no clue as to why!

There's a thief in this house

And I'm terribly sad

Because who, in this world

Would do something so bad?"

"Come with me", said his mother

But do NOT make a sound!"

And they crept to the lounge

Where she looked on the ground.

"Shhhh" be so still

"Look at this little boy"

And he stared at the floor

And his heart filled with joy.

For there, in a row

Were stockings, 1, 2, 3,

"One for Eli, one for Isaac and

LOOK, one for ME!"


The crime had been solved,

There was even a letter

From Santa himself,

That made everything better.

The tree was surrounded

With gifts for the boys

there were so many parcels

Filled with treasure, like toys.


"Thank the Lord" thought Seth's mother,

"Now we'll go back to bed

And grab some more sleep"

Which was easily said.

Wide awake now, she lay and she tried

( But in vain)

To snuggle back to down in her bed..

And sleep once again.

But it just wouldn't happen

Damn and blast it to ...well,

I'll let you imagine, I

Just cannot tell.

It is now past 4.30

And Seth's mother is here

Feeling weary and grumpy and

Lacking in cheer.

She can only but hope

That the day starts much later

Or she'll be an old hag

And they're all bound to hate her.


After 3 hours sleep,

It all starts up again,

the stockings were opened and

we were happy just when

The boys saw the masses

Of gifts waiting there

So we opened them all and

Dumped the trash on the chair.


There were toys and some clothes

And some treasures galore

We can hardly believe that we

Could ever want more.


Some real dreams were given

Some huge smiles we did see

When we opened those presents

Hidden under the tree.



But the 'stuff' though it's lovely

And exciting and new,

What we try to remember

Is the meaning that's true.

That this time of the year

we should be extra kind

We should care for each other

And keep it in mind

That at christmas it's Jesus

We should think of and praise

And should keep Him up front

In our hearts all our days.

So from our House to yours

May we wish you all well.

And a Happy New Year

While we're at it, as well.

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Grumpy Butts

I love it that H goes along with the PJ thing every year, this year it was Grumpy Pjs.....they looked divine as they all trotted off to bed, what a long day BUT I am so excited, I cooked the huge meal this evening, there were 13 people here and I did the whole English Christmas dinner. The great thing is, it's all done, over and finished and that means that tomorrow I have no panic, no worries, just fun. We can stay in our PJs until we go to the Movies, we can eat left overs and chocolate, we can all do whatever we feel like doing and I am absolutely making that a tradition from now on.
Everything is set out and ready for the day.




I have never had presents under the tree while they are awake before, I usually do it all when they are asleep, this year we have done so much differently and I like many of the changes.

I had some fun earlier, what can be more fun that doing this to someone else's baby?

She is so sweet and yes, I fed her chocolate, at bedtime....SMARTIES, bright pink ones and she loved them ( can you tell?) Everytime I give her chocolate she nods and gives this great sort of "uh huh" look, heaven.....this time next year I can do this with my grandbaby too and then send her / him home. I think I might have a mean streak hidden in there somewhere!!

Have a great christmas. 2 more sleeps and we'll be on our way home. Hard to believe it all went so fast! we have had a great time.
I had money left in the bank today.....I looked at it and though " hmmm, now I can keep that there or I can SPEND it" Want to hazard a guess which one won?? Yes, indeed. Now how we will get it all home??

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Monday, December 24, 2007

Quite frankly....

I am just the gnats knickers.
I drove to Sacramento and around Sacramento, back from Sacramento and because it was quite obvious that i am perfectly brilliant at the whole driving around this enormous country thing, I drove through HOLLYWOOD! And then downtown LA and then back again.
I am still flabbergasted that if you turn right out of grandpa's road, turn right again a few yards up the road.....keep driving in a completely straight line for 416 miles, without turning or even veering slightly to the will find yourself in Sacramento. Nothing in between but copious rest stops and fast food places and many farms, some of then with the stinkiest cows you ever dread driving past. What in the world??? Here you have 5 million people all living on top of each other, crushed in like ants and then just up the road you get 400 miles of open space and a few cows? Can't make head nor tail of it to be honest.
We had a good visit with grandma Nancy and her dog, Rio who hates children, chubby little poodle with the meanest disposition you can imagine meeting in a dog that looks like a duster. My foot was twitching to give it a short sharp shock into a world where you go to bite a kid, you learn pretty fast that it hurts you too, every time he went for the boys because they walked within 3 miles of a cracker he might want next week, grandma stroked him and told him he was OK and told the boys they shouldn't look at his cracker/toy/chair/front room/mommy. Good job she didn't leave me alone with it for long it'd learn what we do with mean little dogs ( which is shut them in the garage until nice little boys have gone home)
We went to H's aunties house for a get together and then we saw his mom's sisters.....such love and welcome there,they grabbed his cheeks and yelled 'HOWIE!' they squeezed him and kissed his face off, they asked him about his life in England, they had little presents for the boys, they bought soda and lollies, they pinched their cheeks and told them they loved them.
We saw Rob again and he was so much better, back at home with his medication and his mom checking his diet, he was much more like himself, still not quite right but at least not staring at the floor and hiding. He came with us to the Aunt's house and had fun, allowed the face pinching and photographs, he gave the most bizarre grin in all of them but at least he joined in.

Seth, Isaac and Elijah all look a sandwich short of a picnic in this picture as well and that's the best one out of the bunch, heaven help us all.

We went to the Jelly Belly jelly bean factory....heaven for the boys as the jelly belly is the ultimate treat, really the only candy that they enjoy.
We took some great pictures and did the tour of the factory so they could see just how huge this jelly bean thing is!




The boys loved Hollywood, we ate lunch in a diner, Isaac was in heaven with the juke boxes and their lunch arrived in cardboard cars of all things! We saw all kinds of activity on the main strip outside the Kodak theatre ( where they hold the finals of American Idol no less) we saw everyone from batman to chucky, all of then scared Elijah to death, he screamed the whole way down the strip! The only one not to make him scream was Spongebob squarepants. There were pirates and Catwoman ( who looked more like a dominatrix if I'm honest) there was Spiderman and The Joker, you name it, we saw it and Eli hated it!


You can imagine how he reacted when we tried to get him into the Hollywood Wax museum, with the life size Gorilla and haunted house can't you? Isaac was so disgusted with his feeble whining he punched him in the head, which really helped cheer him up!

So, we made it home and then H's nieces and nephews arrived, they are so lovely, funny and beautiful, they had boyfriends and girlfriends with them, we ate and laughed, Melissa had shoes on that made Elijah go weak at the knees!! It wasn't long before he had them on and almost wept when he had to give them back!


It was nearly 10pm before everyone left and so it's wonderful to be sitting her at last unwinding.
I can't believe that we have just 3 more days til we go home. the time has flown by although the Hotel seems such a long time ago already.
Jordan text me today to say he felt his baby kick for the first time! I am so excited about this baby and when we get home it will almost be time for the boy or girl scan....time is going so fast that s/he will be here before we know it. Such huge changes in our lives, so much to look forward to and work for. I have such hopes for 2008, so much to do!
I have been able not to worry about home, not to think about what we will do when we get back, whether to look for a new home, try and stay where we are......I just think that somehow we'll know what to do when the time is right.
Before I go to bed I have to share my favourite captured memory. Isaac has been a different child over here, completely unafraid and almost embarrassingly outgoing.....I caught him at a juke box in one of the many fast food places we have been in, my heart skips everytime I see it!

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

and a few more days....

So, hmmm, the last couple of days. I forget what day it is, what month it is and even what country we are in! A blur of busy busy and much excitement. Excitement such as chuck E cheese...because we heard all about it and all the FUN! So we went, and got lost and then found it and then there we were.
I really didn't know what to expect but had a sneaking suspicion that it was going to be one of those things you do because children like it, I was right...they liked it but eating was never going to really be a big part of the evening because the LIGHTS and the NOISE and the FUN! They really liked it and I liked the all you can eat salad bar, I think somehow we forgot about vegetables and fruit and salad while we've been here. I don't think I have been to burgerfied but the meat.......and the chicken and the wheres the vegetables? I have been doing that! So that salad and the green stuff and the fruit, oh so delicious.
A startling resemblance in the ear department?

Such a serious business for my Isaac, this having fun stuff.

I went over to Seth because darn it if that little boy wasn't throwing his basketballs and I was all so protective and ready to scold little boy for using my defensive English child's token....until I discovered it was the little boy's token and Seth was 'helping' him by throwing his basketballs ....cringe, scold own child and go away to mind my own business!

Cute little carousel riding person. He is a bit lost over here and reacting by being a whiner, Please let the sweet Eli come home on the plane with us.

Today we went to the LA Temple, looked around the grounds, spent a fortune at the book store ( I loved that book store!) and then we saw a Hawk sitting on top of the looked so beautiful and then as it flew away I snapped it.....I wish the picture was clearer, because how clever that it was right next to the US flag...


I am missing my big kids, I haven't heard a peep from Jordan but have spoken to Dan and Sophie a time or two. Eli and I are ready for home, although we are still having fun. I hope that when we get home my skin calms down, since we have been at Grandpa's house my hands have flared up, its 4 years since I had the hand rash and this time is horrible. My hands are covered in tiny painful blisters, every one feels like a razor blade and the itch is miserable, luckily I bought my steroid cream with me because you can't buy the strength that I use, it is just about keeping it from exploding out of all control but not clearing it. The dermatologist said she wants to see me if and when they do this so if it is still bed when I get home I will have to get the Doctor to call right away and get me in, I hope she has a relief for it that is better than anything I am using right now.
When we get back I think it will almost be time for the big Nana baby ultrasound! Imagine that, we'll know whether it is a girl or boy....I wish I knew already, though that could be dangerous! The stuff I could buy if I knew! Oh my! I have bought some pretty wonderful's getting everything home that could be a problem! When we get back to the UK, I think H is going to have to get a bus and take some bags with him, no way will it all fit in our car! From peanut butter to clothes, we've bought it.
everything we see is exciting to us, when we see all the 75% off racks it's like going into a trance, then we calculate how that is even half the price in £s and we almost have a giddy fit!
We took the boys to dinner at Hometown buffet tonight, Isaac hardly knows where to start...I swear he doesn't actually eat anything but the joy of being able to help himself to all that different food? Turns him hyper. Elijah likes to check out the restrooms, apparantly, the ones at Hometown buffet have really nice edges to the sinks, he stood stroking them saying " ooh, nice edges..see nat? Nice edges wigth dere" such attention to detail my boy has.

On friday I am driving ( yes me, ) down ( UP?) to northern Ca to Sacramento, posh minivan with me behind the wheel on these huge roads for 7 hours, makes me panic itch just thinking about it. I do not want to go. At all, even a tiny bit. H's mom is organising with her sister for all the family to get together and see us on saturday, 3827 cousins, aunties and their families, will see me, with my 3 cold sores, PMT spots, blisters, welts, frizzy hair and fat. Marvellous, just thinking about it brings me out in another batch of ugly sores. Maybe the kids will be such brats ( more of a probability than possibility the way they have been lately) that they will hardly notice me!
I feel a good nights sleep coming on, we are decorating a tree for grandpa tomorrow ( the boys chose the baubles at the 99c store...we're in for a treat of unimaginable proportions, I think I saw some purple baubles and thin red, green and gold tinsel, wow!)
we're doing things a little differently this year, I am cooking a christmas roast on Christmas eve, then on Christmas day we'll just eat cold meats and leftovers and are going to see a movie that opens on christmas day.
I am SO excited to see this movie and this will be such a different way to spend the day.
The holiday has been ( so far ) a success, it has reopened some sad memories but helping me to rid myself of the hangups that are behind those memories, I hope I reached H last night. He seems to have heard me....I hope so.
More tomorrow....ooooooh we're going to a swap meet! I just LOVE those things, so I am looking forward to that, better get a good sleep.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

They just know how to do it so well.

The American people that is, and the enthusiastic holiday approach, I love the way it's all done so ENORMOUSLY and over the top...we went to Candy Cane lane tonight, my favourite place at Christmas time. People selling hot chocolate outside their decorated houses, Fire trucks giving tour rides, people yelling 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' out of their car windows. We walked streets and streets of houses festooned with lights and Santas.
We had a great day, we just took it easy today and spent time around the area, Eli and I had a long nap this afternoon, when we woke up he looked at me and said " Ahh, nat was a right sized nap, we should do that again on wednesday!" he misses his afternoon nap, we've been holding back as he starts school in January, he'll be dead on his feet by the time he gets home after 5 full days a week!
Anyway, the they are!

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Hence proving that there are definitely people who believe that if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well! Merry Christmas!!
Oh and look at these ornaments I bought, I heart them in a fluffy Holiday kind of way.

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this one has a plaque at the top with our family name on.

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and this one is for Gramma, because we heart her in a fluffy all year round kind of way. .

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Monday, December 17, 2007

And so it continues ( both day and night)

Here we are at grandpa's house, so many memories and yet everything so new. Kara has worked so hard here and decorated, made it beautiful and welcoming. the dreaded blow up bed is actually rather grand, covered in glorious new bedding in rich reds and cream, it looks inviting and is incredibly comfortable. The boys have new backpacks with sleeping bags and a flashlight and are as cosy as bugs in a rug.
Everyone is asleep, expect me, I felt sleepy and as soon as I snuggled down on the farty sounding bed ( comfy, yes....quiet, no) I began to cough, and try not to cough and yet still cough. I have been ill since we got here, my throat has been raw and horribly sore, my bones ache, my head hurts.....ugh. I feel sort of better now as the cold is coming out ( in sores all over my face YEAH pretty me for Christmas!!) and I can swallow now but the cough.....dear me, I am driving myself nearly mad, don't you hate it when the one you love has a cough? You so WANT to be sympathetic, you need to understand- but at night, when all you want is to sleep and that damn hack hack hawking is going on, the bed shakes and the noise makes you jump every time you think you may actually be able to sleep? I have the hardest time not yelling " FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE SHUT THE HELL UP WILL YOU?" So I lay there and tried not to cough, making girlie sort of ahem, ahem noises which do absolutely nothing to clear that demonic scratching, that feeling that the devil's discarded toenail clippings are sticking to your windpipe.
I had to get up and so here I am, thanking H for bringing his laptop, without it I would be watching something on TV that was not to my liking, I can't work out grandpa's TV at all, we watched too many episodes of " Little people, Big world" which is great, I like that show but it was one of those marathon deals, we did a loop and I realised we were back to square one and had no idea how to change channels to something other than football, or baseball, so we watched the Rolloff family go to the Bahamas a second time ( bloody show offs)
I am so touched that Seth seems to have taken up where he left off. When he was the tiniest boy he had a relationship with grandpa that made others envious, he would wait at the door for grandpa and then sit on the front step while grandpa took off his boots, they would sit in grandpa's room and watch The Three Stooges. That tiny boy laughed in all the right places and he adored his grandpa.
This evening he did exactly the same thing, only it was sport he was watching, popping out briefly for a drink and to say Hello but then right back in with grandpa, who needs anything more?
Now we are here I want nothing more than to just visit, we have done the shopping, we've been and we've bought, we seen and we've done. Now I just want to be with grandpa, do family things, eat dinner at the table, get ready for Christmas.
I can't tell what H is feeling, he cooked dinner, just like he used to, he is very quiet but says he doesn't feel any emotions ( which is probably true but annoying nevertheless) I haven't particularly liked him while we have been here and on one occasion I was reminded very harshly of why I had to leave here and get back to England. He is different here and not in a nicer way.
I think when he lived here a lot of his life was lived by shutting down, by NOT thinking, by putting his head down and just getting through it. He seems so shut off from everything here and I hate it. Maybe ( and he says this is the case) I am reading more into it and making my own assumptions but what I see, is what I see, and I really don't want any of that back, that's for sure.
Isaac is in his element, he is truly happy, he is funny and talkative, he enjoys the company and says he wants to live in America, that he was born here and doesn't want to be back in England at all, He says he isn't going to tell anyone about his holiday when he gets back.....I bet he won't either!
Elijah is having as much fun as he can but he is quiet and clingy, he needs his blanket and wants to be cuddled a lot, he ( and I ) will be happy to be home and amongst all we hold dear.
I see how much I have changed since I lived here, I grew harder I think and lived day to day. I was so afraid the whole time I lived here and I see now just how far I have come.
I think about going home, about Eli starting school and about all the opportunities there are for us in the future. I want to be sure to grab them and make them work for me. For us.

I see that I have lost the need to talk all the time, to fill empty spaces with chatter and to be busy busy......I am quite happy to sit and watch, to enjoy and listen. I am irritated by mindless noise and chit chat. I am an old and grumpy lady. I hear my mind talking and am so grateful that my thoughts stay in my head because I might be in a whole heap of trouble if it were otherwise.
All day today my head has been saying " Oh shut up..... " "are they EVER going to leave?" " Dear Lord does she ever stop talking?" " I don't CARE! Please stop telling me!" my mouth has been saying " really? Uh huh. hmmmmm, I know, yes...maybe not, I don't think so, uh huh, hmmmmmm"

This could be a very very long stay if we have company every single day, all day. I am becoming H, I need quiet, I need to do what I want to do and just enjoy doing it. To have to talk about every darn detail, plan it, unplan, it discuss it, make calls about it, recheck it all, discuss it some more, hear every detail of what when how and why......oh my aching eardrums make it stop.
We discuss what we would like to do and then we hear how THIS would be better, lets go HERE, eat THERE, do THIS, when? WHY?? Now?? Hurry UP! I end up switching off and saying I don't want to go anywhere thankyou, here is lovely, I am fine here, leave me here.....
Today we were happy here, the boys were happy, H was cooking dinner and it was like some kind of terrible atrocity would befall us if we didn't go OUT and dinner was going to HOURS what shall we do for HOURS where shall we GO? BOYS! where do you want to GO? Eventually, ground down by the need to be OUT and having FUN..we went out. Redondo beach, lovely,we like the beach, Seth LOVES the beach...except it was the amusement arcade at Redondo beach because we had to have FUN!!!
Oh my dear life, look, I know how to have fun but I found my poor head was giving me the hardest time " what the hell??? Why don't we just find a storm drain and just roll that money down it...... I'm not kidding you, those places to me are like purgatory, what fun is that? Endless shoving of coins into stupid machines and WHOOHOO we get a strip of tokens, at the end of the visit ( hoorah, there WAS an end!) we take out tokens and count then and what do you know, we can choose some piece of crap that we wouldn't think was worth the price at a dollar store. Yet we must have that plastic animal!! Let me have it! Oh sorry, you need $398 worth of tokens for that 50c animal, but LOOK you have enough for this 3 inch pot stand. Please.
So, it was time to leave and Seth was excited because we were going to the beach, right? Redondo beach? Try explaining to a 7 year old that this IS Redondo beach and we didn't go near the sandy bit because we were having FUN! YEAY! Fun!
Tears all the way home, and promises that we will come back, in the day, when we can play in the sand and not rush away. Promises like that don't mean too much when you're 7 and 'another day' seems way too long away.

Tomorrow I have to get to the post office, at this rate we'll be home before the postcards! Where we were was a tourist area, not a post office in sight, so I have been carrying around postcards and a parcel that should have been mailed a week ago, Eli needs to see Santa too because he may not know we are in America, what if he takes presents to England when we are HERE? Can't risk that happening, gotta go and see Santa tomorrow, times running out here.

I haven't coughed ONCE since I sat down here....Kara came home from a party and we have chatted ( I like to chat with her, she's cool, no inside head talking at all with that one!) I've written and read emails, and not a cough, not even a girlie throat clearing episode, what do you think the chances are of it staying away if I try and go to bed?

I do feel gloriously relaxed, i hope that my new found ability to sleep stays with me when we get home, I am bored with being awake at 5am every day I kind of like getting 9 hours sleep at night. I might have to force myself to just go to bed and not stay downstairs on my own.
So, I am off to snuggle down on the blow up bed that is comfy but makes farting noises, handy should you have flatulence and can let rip whilst blaming the bed, there are also 3 dogs here, the blaming possibilities are endless.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

All good things must come to an end....

It's our last day / night at the hotel. Universal studios didn't happen ( for which I was desperately relieved!) so we took the shuttle to downtown Disney , which is the shopping area, and heaven. the kids think they went to win situation there, all the fun, none of the $300ish entrance fee. We had such fun, saw the Rain forest cafe, bought some new animals because the 78263 we have at home can't possibly be enough. We went to the ESPN store / play place and when Eli and I were just about ready to eat our own bored brains we left those other 3 and went to build a bear, Elijah made a bear with jeans, sketchers sneakers ( "betoz I dot nem don't I mum?") and, are you ready for this?? A HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL SHIRT OMG! He is beside himself with joy.

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We bought soft disney T-shirts to sleep in ( for me) and we ate glorious Jambalaya, we drank lemonade and bought more basketballs because 7354 quite clearly is not enough.
Seth and Isaac have Lakers and NBA build a bears ( which Eli made, he put in the hearts and kissed them first) the boys are so happy with these bears and H tried very hard not to show his disapproval at such nonsense ( and I am not stupid, I had the girl cut off and discard all evidence of prices and such like, ignorance is bliss and such joy as these bears have already given is priceless, mothers know these things) The fact that they are colouring in the boxes the bears travel and have been quiet for 30 minutes so far makes them even more valuable to me!!
Evan after our extravagant and frivolous day we still spent less than half the admission costs for Universal and we have all this STUFF to show for it! Perfect.

The rain forest Cafe is divine, Eli was a bit jumpy about the snakes coming out of the ceiling and we won't remind him of that nightmare sized butterfly that FLAPPED IT'S WINGS ---ARGH!

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I took pictures of the toilet paper while the boys were swimming with daddy, I breathed in the joy of clean beds, made for me, the towels folded, the beds, so soft and crisply clean every day. I will take the memories of this holiday with me for many years. It has so far been splendid beyond my dreams.

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Grandpa's house will be a different kind of joy, family and all in this together kind of joy. I am looking forward to it but this part is hard to let go of, I'll be honest.

We have had the loveliest day here today and will go out for a great dinner this evening, soak up our last night of pampered heaven and tomorrow we'll start the next leg of our holiday. Marvellous.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lovely but very long.

Am so tired my head might fall off and roll under the bed any minute. Great day at wildlife park that was a zoo really, lovely one but a zoo nevertheless.
Seth had a tummy upset on the way down...he said he needed the bathroom, then we could smell he needed the bathroom, we found a bathroom in the middle of a huge Japanese shopping place, cleaned him up and drove to the nearest Target, bought new clothes, Imodium for kids, sanitizer and wipes and set off again with a hope and a prayer. He sort of picked up and was fine, Isaac then started to whine at the end of the day, Eli thought he should say he had tummy ache too....I am tired of tummy aches, whining and puke but we are managing to have fun along the way too.
We stopped on the way home as grandpa's eyes were melting, we ate at a great place called Macaroni grill, delicious and friendly and SO busy that they give you a pager when they send you out to sit and wait your turn...HOORAH when the pager flashes and announces it's your turn to eat.
I really don't usually sleep on a car journey but couldn't keep my eyes open, I hate it when I nod off, wake up what feels like 3 hours later but is actually about 7 minutes and find I am still travelling and we are never going to get there, this is going to go on for days and I can't stand it......let me OUT! I hear myself tutting and occasionally whispering 'shit' because are we not there yet?
Now we are back and showered, life is alright again.
we are scheduled for a trip to Universal studios tomorrow, I say scheduled because it sort of feels like that, we get a bit bulldozed into making plans that must be made and sealed and ORDER the TICKETS NOW! and so we do, because it hurts less that way...until now, when we are SO tired and wish we had no plans other than sit in our hotel room and weep about the fact that it is the last night tomorrow. I want to spend hours smelling the clean towels and dropping things on the floor to see if they get picked up by someone else. I am literally weepy and spineless at the thought of leaving this little sanctuary, apart from the fact that when we are at grandpa's we won't have to do so much driving, every day, driving around for hours to get anywhere.
Pictures soon, I took a ton but all that downloading and cropping, photoshopping and posting...can't. Just can't.
I think my bank has kindly stopped my card working, nice way to save, can't use it anywhere.....I imagine I will have to call and tell them to let me spend my money thankyouverymuch. I hope that's what it is, can't think why else it won't work! They must have been having a cup of tea and chattering amongst themselves saying " Hmmm look, that Helen one , you know that miserable one that never does anything? Someone is trying to spend her money in California, stop it right now, put an end to such shenanigans immediately!" So I shall have to call and say it is me, in disguise as a go getting traveller. ** No sooner said than done, kind man on the end of phone said " ooooh yes, we saw that someone tried to withdraw x amount in Exciting wildlife Park, California....flagged as unusual activity and declined, I will let them know this is genuine and you can have your own money within 15 minutes" Smashing.**
Have to sleep, 9.30pm....insomnia? What's that then?


Friday, December 14, 2007

That went well.

She lied.
you know how sometimes you quash down the resentment and irritations that you may come across and manage to convince yourself that really, what do they matter? Get over it, let it be. ( whisper words of wisdom la de dah) Anyway and you do it so well for so long and then one day.....
Yes, today would be the day, when in public, I let him have it.
F words and all. Unfortunately we weren't on the Jerry springer show, or in the van. Nope, right there in the public eye ( and ear) I hope I didn't yell......but I did stomp and tell him he was a twat. I offered him money and asked him ( actually told him) where he should put it / shove it.
I tried this evening to explain why his thoughtless words hit me so hard but he is man, he is stupid. He is sleeping in the other room, with the kids, one of whom is puking. Good.
I would love to tell you the details but we all know that if I do that I will regret it because I do have a smidgen of loyalty, misguided half the time I'm sure but some things should be kept a little private.
Usually I am able to accept that his way of thinking is whacky, that he isn't able to think emotionally....other times it just irritates the bloody hell out of me and I could punch him in his po face.
Why do men have such a hard time ever seeing they may be wrong? WHY? Why must everything be flip flopped around so that WE are wrong, WE have it twisted, WE can't see what is in front of our eyes? Why can I not just accept that and heave a sigh and move on?

So Rob went home this evening ( we hope, who can tell?) turns out he sold the ticket he didn't use, see? Not as green as he's cabbage looking is he? Scared and paranoid young man decides he won't be able to get on scary train....hmmmmmm will walk up to complete strangers and tout the ticket, make way back to grandpa's, hang out a few days letting people throw cash at him til he feels the want to head home and then someone ( not step mother or father because we saw right through his antics) will buy him a new ticket aww bless. Little shit.

I bought new bras today, THREE of them , proper ones that fit and feel all safe and comfy. What ever came over me? Also I bought a new camera, well new to me anyway and a bit posh we think. I will be excited when it gets here, I am finding it hard to be very excited about anything today after such shinanigans all day.

Blargh, am boring myself and am ready for a bit of a slump on the sofa watching some TV which isn't terribly exciting, not as many channels in here as the bedroom but I'll take it anyway, have a lovely book and comfy pillows, if I had some hot chocolate I wouldn't call the queen my cousin ...wonder if you can put Nesquik in the microwave?


Thursday, December 13, 2007

One down.....

A week has passed already, on sunday we leave this heavenly haven and head for Grandpa's, which will be..what? Not sure. At all.
This is bliss and I think I will remember the glorious feeling of returning every evening, weary and foot sore, to find a beautiful clean room, fresh beds, creatively folded face cloths and towels, that we left soggy and crumpled in the bath, new and clean, folded and waiting to be used once again.
every second of this hotel stay has been worth the money, the boys ( well and us of course but somehow it doesn't seem to be such a positive thing to admit that we adults are scarfing enormous meals at 7am) eat the hugest breakfast of fresh fruit, bacon, eggs, cereal and pancakes and we all head out on whatever adventure we plan for the day.
We have seen such excitement and joy over the smallest things, having planned on taking them to sea world, we went to Redondo Beach on tuesday and saw dolphins and sea lions playing right before our can paying $300 to sea some captive creatures performing tricks ever top that?
We are, I think going to a wildlife park tomorrow. Things have been topsy turvy because of Rob's turning up, the fact that as soon as we left him at the train station he went right back to grandpa's house has messed it up more. He doesn't want to be with us, I think he just wants to be at grandpa's where he remembers being happy ( or at least free to be a bugger, who knows?) It is somewhat reassuring to see that despite appearances, he is still 'well' enough to do exactly as HE pleases and to hell with the rest of the world. Reassuring and incredibly annoying, he is still calling the shots from behind his slumped demeanor and, I suspect, laughing at us while he wins. Funny how, even in his paranoid and hidden world, he clings to his cell phone and uses it often ( does that smack of a little maybe not as paranoid as he may give the impression?) He said yesterday that he needs to head back today, very good, I hope they will exchange his unused ticket from sunday, or someone who is less sceptical will pay for it, my hands are staying firmly in my pockets holding onto my cash, thankyou very much. I paid for Sunday's debacle, that's enough from me for this trip, wouldn't you say?
I am feeling a little weird about this trip at the moment, being at grandpa's yesterday brought out a lot of the old H which never was particularly appealing to me, this house is one of bigoted and sexist attitudes where women are inferior and totally not understood. I found myself sinking into that old feeling of being worthless, how a 10 day stint will affect me is to be seen. I can't say as I am looking forward to it at all.
the room we are to sleep in houses a desk and computer, it has junk and more junk and a blow up bed in a box. It will be a sharp shock after this suite at our glorious hotel.
Elijah, at least has softened towards the dogs thank the Lord, yesterday he discovered that rather than savage and untamed beasts, they are actually fluffy and friendly miniature poodles ( and a dog that is uncannily like Santa's little helper on 'The Simpsons') he touched them and beamed with the pride at such bravery and then began to chase them. This could turn out to be a good, or a bad thing, we'll have to see. I rather enjoyed the carrying him in, sitting him in a chair and watching him sit still for 2 hours in case the dogs ate him. He somehow thought the carpet was a rabid dog infested area and must be avoided at all costs, if he dares to move he would leap from couch to chair, making the dogs think this might be a great game.....and jumping in to join him, oh the screams.
I am hoping that I can get to the house when the others are out, that way I can sneak over to Marilyn's and between us we can set up some kind of sleeping arrangement that will be a fait accompli......for some reason, everyone truly believes that this one blow up bed ( albeit a good one) is more than enough for 5 people. It is not. I look at the box and can feel the scorching hatred ooze from my mind and soul. A woman of my age and size should never, no NEVER be asked to even contemplate a blow up bed of any description, to have to share it with a husband and 3 children...WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY THINKING????
Marilyn has suggested once or twice that I just leave them to it and stay at her house, which is looking very appealing to me! The thing is, the blow up bed has no bedding, not even a sheet, are we to lie right on the rubbery topping and cover ourselves with a thread bare towel? What? Sleeping bag? I am even looking on craigslist for beds or sofa beds because I am not, absolutely
NOT sleeping on that bloody poncey lilo.
If I can get over there and Marilyn and I can set up a room that is acceptable I might start to relax about it, right now every time I walk into that room ( that must be about 12' x 91) and try to imagine how we will all fit, my stomach burns with the heat of a thousand ulcers ( peptic ones if they hurt more than regular)
Kara and I went through the fridge yesterday, we found lunch meat that expired in Oct 2005. H and grandpa were horrified that we threw it away because it wasn't even blown out or green, nothing wrong with that! I am on a losing streak here people.
I do know that we have it right, living in the UK and coming here for a doozy of a holiday is perfect. I am loving every moment of it but have no qualms about travelling home again in 2 weeks.
I hope H returns to his English living self quickly when we return, the American testosterone, selfish, arsehole version is not so much to my liking. He is slightly sheepish this morning after my pointing out the error of his ways last night, I'm sure after 20 minutes on the road later he'll be right back into arsehole mode. I shall worry not, I have the bank card and have no fear of using it, amazing how THAT can wipe the smile off a chauvinists face isn't it?
If there are a few things that make me turn into a snarling witch it would have to be these things,

Treat me as though I am stupid. Then duck, or hide because that WILL get you a smack.

Treat me as though I am inferior to you. Try it and see.

Tell me how to spend MY money when it is ME that has scrimped and saved and worried and managed to somehow do it all. Don't try this at home, or away-- because that's like daring me to spend money I don't have, just to show you.

Make plans that involve me but don't bother to tell me, then expect to have a nice day, with me tripping on silently behind. Ha think?

Ignore me when I talk to you.

There, am ready for the day now. we all know where we stand, don't we? Rolled my sleeves up and fastened on my bank cards, I feel some retail therapy calling me, a rather fabulous outlet place is the plan of action. Ahhhhhhhh, I feel myself relaxing as we speak.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Chicken soup for my soul.

So we went to the beach, something about that, in December, that just soothes my soul. we saw Dolphins, right there in front of us, sea lions and sunshine, we drank hot chocolate and we found a man selling oysters, for $9.99 you get to pick an oyster and when he opens it you get to keep the pearl, I found a beautiful black pearl in my oyster, I want to get it set in a plain setting with a beautiful plain gold chain.

Look at this beautiful sunset...pure heaven.

Little boys in the hot tub.....Seth's face says it all

Isaac asked for a root beer float, of his own, not to share...all for him....I think he was happy!
G/pa told us today that Rob didn't get on the train..he made his way back to the house and won't leave. His mom said she had no idea he had come up here, he doesn't want to be with us....just near where his dad is. She said even at home, when he is taking his meds ( which he quite clearly isn't right now) she says he comes over every day and just sits in a different room to her, staring at a wall.

He is just so sick it's hard to know what to do. I am sad for him, except he seems perfectly fine with what he is and who he is. H is in a quandary though. He is mad because he has no clue what to do. In hind sight, we should never have told him we were coming, we should have just turned up to visit him. Had we even had close to a clue how bad he is we would never have let him know we were here.

He has no idea what he is thinking...why did he come? He doesn't want to be with us, he is obviously afraid and uncomfortable...did he think if he came back he would feel the same way he used to feel? does he want to live back here ( that's the real worry!) We are due to visit N. Ca next week and I suppose we take him with us, though how he will cope with a drive that long with 3 little boys is anyone's guess.

It's impossible to not wonder why and how in this situation. Would this have happened anyway? Did his excessive drug use at such an early age do this? Is there any chance that he will improve even a little? If he won't take his meds he is in trouble. It's so frustrating to see this young man live like this and not help himself.

Tomorrow, Marilyn and I are going shopping on our own, just us. H and grandpa are taking the boys out for the day, what heaven that will be! I have to wrap some presents too. I went to Michael's yesterday and they had the hugest selection of stocking stuffers for $1. I think i pretty much did the boys stockings for $34! All those wonderful, trashy things that make christmas, scratch boards, painting by numbers, marble games, sticker sets, notebooks and pencils. a gazillion things for them to do that they can take on the plane ( which pretty much guarantees the fact that they will sleep all the way home!) I think I am done with the gifts, almost!

Tomorrow with Marilyn I hope to finish up...we'll see, I shall give it my best shot, no-one can say that I haven't well and truly made up for all those months of scrimping and saving, I am almost overdosed on shopping! What's a girl to do ?

Oh, I had to laugh at myself today because everywhere we go, people are telling me to have a happy holiday. I was so touched and yet wondering how they knew I was on holiday ( DUH!) "Why thankyou! I AM having a really Happy holiday, how clever of you to know that I am on holiday" I was almost a little sad when it sunk in that they all mean Merry christmas. I rather liked everyone caring that my vacation was going well.

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