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!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I am so glad that is over. This year wasn't fun, not at all and I can't understand why. It just wasn't.
Nothing seemed to go smoothly, people didn't call until today to say if they were coming, many people didn't call at all, people told me they were coming and didn't.....
The 1st party we had was amazing and I worked out that way because we staggered it, school friends and little kids first, then older kids and church members. Perfect.
Last year we were in the hated house and so we kept it smaller, a good mix of big kids and little kids and we had lots of room.
This year, everyone turned up at once and there were many people, too many to count people. Most of them children aged 4-9. Too many! They ran riot and ripped decorations off walls, screamed, ran outside and threw all the basketballs over the wall, it wasn't good ( though they had fun!) It calmed down some when we started to do the doughnut game doughnuts on string, covered in cream and eaten with hands behind the back.....then we hit the pinata, with a baseball bat while H held it aloft on a vacuum hose....necessity is the mother of invention as they say.
Alfie cried, the hoodlums set of the smoke alarm by going overboard with the smoke machine, chaos really from start to finish.
H doesn't rush, he doesn't believe in worrying, he is a plodder, a take your timer, what's the big dealer-er. This year he even outdid himself.
At 4pm ( yes a mere 2 hours before the start of the party) he said " I am going to go get pumpkins, they would look good outside there in front"
"good luck with that" said I, having been shopping for this for the past several weeks and having been at Tesco, followed by Asda at 6.45am, I knew that apart from 32615 devils pitchforks, there was nothing left to buy , not a pumpkin in 4pm? Forget it. But he had to see for himself.
Meanwhile the house was nowhere near done, it wasn't ready AT ALL!
I didn't bother to ask when he planned on carving the pumpkins because THERE WEREN'T ANY! That was one fight we avoided, in fact we avoided all fighting because, well what's the point.
He did have the decency to say " Man, I don't know how I let this whole month get by me like that!" which is his way of saying, "whoops!"
We did it, there were high this one

My dear life, I could eat this boy on a biscuit!
He was so happy and before everyone arrived he was belly laughing at the big boy uncles...


And Seth, who wanted to be a street Skeleton..he is a laugh that boy!


The house looked sort of OK but nowhere near as good as before, I was just disappointed with it all this year, grrrrrrrr!




The pictures don't show how the blacklights made everything glow, that was cool.


The doughnut game was great, hoorah for that one that I thought everyone would be bored with by now.




When everyone left, it hit all of us the same, we were cold, aching and sort of 'flat,' None of the buzz we have had in other years. I am just happy that we have done it and now we can concentrate on the trip. Hoorah!

I hope people had more fun than I did, it was great to see everyone and I love having them come to us, the kids from school were happy and they did have the best time.

Oh the cakes were good...revolting but caused just enough exclamation.

And they are amputated FINGERS...digits, not stumpy willies thankyou. Some people ( more than is decent) thought they were penises, imagine that!


I made some regular orange ones for the squeamish amongst us.


And now we done, until next year. If we do this again I will do it differently, staggering the guests was a great idea, I wish we had done that this year.

Sophie's passport came today, that's so exciting, we are all ready to go, I am changing some £s to $s tomorrow, that helps make it more real.
That's out focus for the next few weeks, and a happy thought it is too!



Would love to stop and chat but am having a party tomorrow ( today, it's already today!) I think an awful lot of people are coming, I love that we get so many people turn up and each year the word gets out that it was fun and so the next year we get more people come, wonderful, maybe next year we will hire a mansion!
H has cleared Seths room, completely, empty and we have turned that into a safe and far away from the front room place for lively and sugar filled small people to go and be loud and hyper.
The front room is orange and pumpkinny and shall be a lovely place to be. The huge inflatable pumpkins filled with candy and juice boxes will be in the front room, so we can monitor what certain small people ( who shall remain nameless) shove into their precious mouths.
I have no idea where the pinata is going and please PLEASE let tomorrow night be dry so we can hang doughnuts from string and let people eat them covered in cream with hands tied behind backs OUTSIDE because they DEMAND to be able to do that. We aim to please.
Someone today asked if there was a prize for the best costume....hmm, that would be nice but oh to have to disappoint the losers..couldn't do it.

I feel mean because I really don't enjoy the help of my sweet children when trying to prepare for these things, it always ends in tears ( mine) like today, we were working on Seth's room ( graveyard) and blowing up stacks of balloons...which hyper kids can throw and kick and pop if they like) to leave in there, and guess what? My hyper kids were throwing and kicking ( though not popping, oh such small mercies) so WHY did I feel so cross that they were doing this? Because it's not tomorrow yet is it? IS IT? Is it time for FUN YET? No! And the help...such a word isn't it? Because really, can 3 little boys of 5, 7 and 8 be of any help, if we're being honest? No, not a bit, except when they actually DO what is asked of them, they can be helpful little gophers, when not whining that THEY did it last time and it's HIS turn now and WHY is it ALWAYS ME??? Oh what memories we shall have.
I am hoping my 6' 5" boy will be here in the morning to hang all the ceiling things, the ghosties and bats and trailing curtains. Now kids like THAT are indeed worth hanging onto but by then they almost always live somewhere else, typical isn't it?
So, I am busy. H went to bed and said " this time tomorrow it will be all over" Indeed.
The best bit? He always clears up. Now he really IS helpful.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I am in shock here. Such a shameful tale to tell.

Isaac has lost only 3 teeth, the 2 bottom ones and one top one. His teeth are bizarre, the top ones are hollow and over time have been worn right down, the 2 top front teeth were little more than stumps. The dentist wasn't worried and said they would just come out when they were ready and we are to hope his big permanent teeth are good ones.

Such celebrations when that top tooth came out! This week...HOORAH! Out came the other one, he wrote the most impressive note to the tooth fairy, saying " Dear Tooth Fairy, I lost another tooth, please can you leave me a pound?" And the fairy did indeed leave a pound under Isaac's pillow, the daddy tooth fairy did it, he took the note ( which also included a very clever pouch that held the precious stumpy tooth) and I am not sure where he put it.

Isaac was so reluctant to show me his gappy mouth, not unusual, he isn't keen at being looked at or scrutinised so, although disappointed, I didn't push the issue, instead there was a special trip to W.H Smith to buy a pack of go-go crazy bones ( which are £1 a pack, how handy!)

2 days past and he still wouldn't flash me a toothless grin, in fact he was incredibly closed mouthed. You know why don't you? I bet you caught on so much quicker than I did.

He still has the tooth in his mouth!

*GASP* can you BELIEVE IT? My Isaac, my sweet, thoughtful, loving, gentle, lying little git Isaac.

How much thought went into that? Making the clever pouch and the note requesting a specific amount!? He is completely unrepentant, he grins from ear to ear when we exclaim at his dishonesty! He laughs and says that he is pretty sure that when the tooth DOES come out, the fairies will leave him money again because.....SUCKERS! Oh is he in for a rude awakening!

Today was a good day, Dan is down and he and Jordan took the boys all afternoon, went swimming with them and then they played with the Wii at Jordan's house.

I took Sophie for her interview, the one at the passport office, to make sure she is who she says she is and is not a terrorist or an Identity thief.

I filled in the application forms for her, called her dad, got his details ensure it all got done in time. Watching Sophie fill in forms of any kind of painful, it makes my fingers twitch and my eyes swivel in their sockets. I do it for her, my bad.

Well that went well.....

"Can you tell me your father's full name?"

"No....He is Kevin Arsehat"

"His middle name?"

"I don't know....nope, no idea!"

" His date of birth?"

"Um, no, I do know he is older than my mum, who is 46 and so he is either 47 or 47 he is a bit older than her"

" Where does he live?"

"I have no idea, he is crap really, never been any good and I hardly see him....oh my mum filled in my form by the way"

"what about your mum?"

Luckily she knows all about me.....she didn't know what her previous address was ( gah...I can't remember what I wrote either, I can barely remember my last address! So many in so short a time!)

She was able to give them full details of her cell phone history and her closed down bank account, she even remembered where I was born ( which is impressive!)

I could hear her from outside the interview room, she has the loudest and most infectious laugh and she always finds situations like this hilarious, that ( so far ) is what helps her, she is so obviously telling the truth, any imposter would have at least learned the name of the father!

She said that the interviewer told her she didn't have anything to worry about but she couldn't tell her if she had passed . Now we wait until weds next week, if she doesn't pass that interview she will have to start all over again, resubmit the forms, pay the full fee again, send new pictures, attend another interview....I hope she doesn't have to do that because we simply don't have the time or money to do that. She is such a ditz! It's very lovable and touching but not always helpful.

She is not having fun at work, she is tired and I am having to make her ask for overtime, to go in on her days off, stay longer. She has one more payday before we go to Boston, when she is there she is going to want to buy everything she sees, she has to pay her bus ticket to and from the airport, her share of the hotel and meals. If she doesn't earn the money she will be SO miserable. She is just ready to go and have the fun now. Oh so many life lessons in such a short time. I hope when we get back she can find something else to work for, it will be tough if she doesn't because I think she is one of those people that needs to have a reason for doing things, it's tough for her to do things, just because.

We went into the new mall in the city we went to, it was huge, 5 floors and fabulous, we were very disciplined and didn't look in too many stores because we are saving what money we do have. 5 more weeks.

The preparations for the party on friday are going well, we have a pumpkin pinata ( a rare find indeed!) we have glow in the dark monster footprints, bats, ghosts, garlands, face paints, skeleton gloves.

I am making cupcakes and have all manner of gory decorations for them, I will do sausage rolls and sandwiches, people from church are bringing some goodies so I hope we have enough food. I'm sure everyone will eat before they come, it's just a matter of shoving as much sugar and orange, black and green food colouring into the kids before they go home and run across the ceiling! I always panic and go crazy, wanting to fill the home and guests with a banquet fit for a king, this year I have managed to stop myself by telling myself what I could buy with that money in Boston! I am trying to decide whether to play the doughnut game makes SO much mess but the laughter is unbelievable and people have asked if they can do it again, if the weather is dry we can do that in the yard....inside it is asking for trouble!!
It's all coming right, I love it when a plan comes together, as does Isaac, it would seem!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Feeling good!

I really am. This is a good time for me and I am grabbing it and relishing every moment.
I spoke with my doctor last week about depression and how likely it is that I can kick mine and leave it behind for good. Nobody can say for sure whether I will ever be depression free or not, statistics say that having suffered in such a crippling way more than once ( in my case 3 separate, long term, life stopping bouts) the chances are that it will happen again. I can see why that would be the way to think and I know it is a possibility, the good thing is, each time I have managed to climb out of it, it has got better and I know that whatever happens, I will get better anytime I slide into that miserable stinking pit.
I know that there are things I can do to help and right now I am doing everything I can, the trouble with real depression is that it strips you of your ability to think positively and help yourself, the last deep depression I had I wasn't aware I was even sad, I honestly thought it was everybody else that was my problem! It wouldn't have occurred to me to help myself because there wasn't anything wrong with was THEM...damned thoughtless idiots! Only when I began to feel better was I able to see that everyone else was staying the same and what do you know? They are quite lovely...ooops!
I am trying to make sure that I discover what makes me feel good and keep doing the hope that I won't slide back into the depths of misery again. Every now and again H will be 'down in the dumps' I cannot tell you how hard I find him to live with when he is like that, it makes me feel so helpless and edgy, I feel I am in a constant state of panic trying to make him happy....I don't think H has ever been like that longer than a week or so, he has lived with me for years ( 9 next month) not functioning well for months at a time...he is a good man!
I have learned that bread triggers bad feelings, I haven't worked out whether it is wheat in general or just bread but eating bread has a horrible effect on me. I feel bloated and heavy and that triggers irritability and negative feelings, slowly ( and it is really slowly) I am more and more able to not even want to eat it anymore. I love bread, it is ( I see now) my downfall, the more I eat,the more I want, I can eat bread and never feel full, I love it in every form. I missed it so much it hurt for a few weeks, I ate it for the first few weeks of this new plan I am on, I rationed it, ate only wholemeal bread or pitta bread, never more than 2 slices a day, very few calories from bread but the weight loss was so slow, I felt hungry even right after eating.
After 6 weeks of feeling as though I was getting nowhere but really being rigid in what I ate I decided to just try and do without bread completely, actually I have pretty much cut out all wheat, I don't eat cereal with wheat anymore, I eat oat based cereal, oatmeal usually.
I am now losing pretty much 2lbs a week, that is perfect for me, slow enough that it will stay off if I stay on track, fast enough that I can feel a difference.
17lbs so far, enough that my clothes feel noticeably looser. My rings are looser, even my shoes are looser!
I have such a long way to go still but I feel as though I can do it. I feel better, the food I am eating is food that brings good things. My hair is growing back.
I try to read up on foods that really boost feelings of well being. I have read up on the types of foods that will help my particular needs, avocados are great for me, they replace all the things I was lacking.
I need green leafy vegetables and the more I eat the better I feel, the one food I have never been able to eat without gagging ( and I ask you why would anyone go there?!?) is spinach, H loves it but the very smell of it makes my whole body heave, its like stinking wet grass to me! I found some frozen spinach that comes in small cubes, I can add 3 cubes to my vegetable soup and not even taste it, it gives the soup a great look and I know I am getting the benefits without smelling or tasting it!
H and I are trying a new approach for a while to see how that helps ( he is not on a diet by any means but he seems to have a bee in his bonnet about this, it seems like it's worth a try as I have heard it's beneficial) we are going to try and keep protein and carbs separate. Vegetables every day and with most meals served with either rice, pasta or potatoes OR with chicken, lean pork, fish and occasionally lean red meat. It can't hurt, maybe it will even help some.
I walked into town today, on tuesdays there are wonderful stalls selling home made bread, home made pies ( oh they are so good!) I walked past and tried to make myself feel pitiful and sorry for myself ...but I didn't! Hooray!
I really do have days where I want to eat the way I used to, when that happens I just fob myself into believing that I will have some later, Isaac ate a pasty yesterday, mmmmmm, it smelled so good, all that delicious crumbly pastry, steak, potatoes....he ate pretty much all of it save 3 or 4 bites and then handed it to me, I so wanted to cram that treasure in my fat old mouth! I took one good bite and quickly threw the rest away. I do that when something is just toooooooo tempting, like the Pilsbury home back biscuits/rolls.....Sophie loves those and I bought some last week, did them with whatever everyone else was eating ( buffalo wings and corn I think) oh they looked so good and were all warm and buttery...I took one bite and threw the rest in the bin right away!
I can eat 4 pieces of chocolate and feel 'done' before I didn't give myself a chance to ever feel 'done' if there was chocolate left, I wasn't finished!
I roast potatoes, I use 1 cal spray and instead of cutting big potatoes in half ( and feeling hard done by if I had any less than 4) I use organic baby potatoes, cut those in half and yet still, 4 ( magical number it seems) seems just right. 2 baby potatoes? In the bad old days that would go in my mouth while I was serving the dinners out ( at least!)
I have saved a fortune because eating food I haven't made myself isn't worth it anymore. I can't eat fast food, don't want to eat in restaurants anymore and subway ( which was my favourite) is out now, unless I go for a salad and it's so COLD, who wants a sandwich when it's this cold? Dinnertime is exciting now because I am determined to make new meals so I don't get bored to death with the same old stuff all the time.
It helps that H is happy to eat all this new food, always such a meat and 2 veg man, it's amazing that he is willing and even eager ( maybe that is pushing it a tad too far!) to eat more vegetables than meat now. I am excited because he needs to eat better, he ( in the days of old) would happily eat red meat at least twice a day, e would have steak / beef for dinner and again as leftovers for breakfast. Hmmm wonder why he had that heart attack!
He is very disciplined with portion control though, he sticks with the 'fist' size portion of rice or pasta, it's enough to make me scream sometimes because is there anything more irritating than someone who just doesn't CRAM IT ALL IN? Restraint can be so frustrating when seen in other people, I of course, am nothing short of marvellous and saintly when exercising such restraint.
Whoa did I get off track then or what? I am fast becoming a born again healthy eater, the likes of which are loathed the world over, I can see myself peering into other peoples' trolleys at Asda and tut tutting at all the ignorant and toxic foods other, lesser mortals purchase.
Anyway, my doctor seems to think that being aware that relapses can happen will help me avoid any further massive slides into darkness.
I wrote a letter of complaint to the dept of work and pensions, I just was so incensed at that doctor who interviewed me about my incapacity benefit, what kind of Dr thinks it is OK to repeatedly tell someone he is speaking to, who has long term issues with depression, that it is 'all in your head'? He was so scathing and impolite and bearing in mind he is paid to be unbiased and fair when he interviews people in receipt of benefits, he is not doing his job. I sent the letter last week, I hope I hear something soon. He hadn't as yet submitted his 'findings' so I hope that my letter being sent before he failed me ( and I am sure he will fail me) will do some good. On discussing the whole interview with the managers at the DWP, I was relieved that they were as horrified as I was at the way he spoke to me, in fact they were the ones to suggest I put it all in writing and gave me the address to mail it to.
So, I can now divulge where Sophie and I are going on our trip! We were keeping quiet because it was ( is ) important to us to keep the trip small enough that Sophie can feel like the main attraction ( always her favourite feeling!) We are going back to Boston!
My friends have been incredible during Sophie's battle to get happy. They have cheered her on, sent her gifts, chatted with her, encouraged her ( and me) along the way.
I knew that taking her to Boston to meet a few of my friends would mean the world to her. We didn't want the meet up to become so huge that she was just tagging along. I would love to be in a great big group of all my favourite online friends but that way she would just be in the background feeling surrounded by all my friends, the few people we will meet are all the kind of women that Sophie will feel at home with and I know we are going to have so much fun!
5 weeks and we are on our way! She has her interview tomorrow for her passport, hopefully she will have her passport within a week. Then we are all set, tickets bought and paid for, hotel booked, plans made...we're on our way!
Yes, right now I am feeling pretty good!


Monday, October 27, 2008

We have such great conversations!

H to me " Have you ever wondered what King George looked like?"
Me to H " Oh my goodness, I can't tell you, I've lost sleep over it"
H to me ( though I wonder why he bothers) " He looked like THIS...." and he showed me a picture.

Our whole life is like that, jealous, aren't you?
And well you might be.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Love it, hate it.

Julie Bo got me thinking after her post about things she's a list of things I love and things I hate.

I love being a grandma. Nothing beats its, glorious baby without any of the sleepless nights. Perfect.

Look at that little face, he was telling me something so important while I took his picture.


I hate being ignored. If I speak to you, answer me, be rude if you like, tell me to bugger off, say whatever you like but DO NOT look right through me and pretend I didn't speak, this will absolutely get you a smack in the head if you try it too often and maybe, just maybe, one day I will do it right back, you will make me ignore you and stop giving a toss whether I hurt your feelings or not. It is beyond ignorant and also, abusive, to treat someone that cares about you this way.

I love gut aching laughter, the kind that makes your head ache, your eyes stream and takes your breath away. I had one of those laughs this evening with Seth, he then laughed at me laughing which made me laugh even more.....perfect. It was over something so lavatorial, such a typical thing to make a little boy laugh. I was lying on the sofa and Seth always sits behind my legs while we watch TV...I may have passed wind,( in the most feminine of ways, naturally)...which he found hysterical, which made me laugh and to my horror, every time I laughed, I farted and it was like a machine gun...right at Seth who was in the line of fire.....oh my goodness, it was a vicious circle that left us both near collapse. Good times ( those soya beans are a killer!)

I hate that the exchange rate has gone so crappy, when I went to Boston in June it was almost $2 to the pound, this time it is about $1.60 and falling, that makes a huge difference when it comes to spending money while we are there. Ptttttthhhhhhhhh! The prices are so good when we are there though that it will still be a pleasure to shop. Whether Sophie has any spending money is another matter, she is just about as terrible with money as it is possible to be. It drives me insane that she will not listen and if our trip is spoiled by her whining that she can't buy the things she sees, she will be more sorry than I am!

I love the feeling I got when I threw some clothes away today, they are too big, literally falling off, I don't want to keep them 'just in case' this time, they went in the bin and good riddance. I like being comfortable in the clothes that fit me now.

I hate that it will be a while before the weight loss shows. I can feel it, I know I am losing but because I have so much to lose, it won't be obvious for a long while yet. I think when I have lost another 3 stone it will really make a difference, every stone I lose is a size down in clothes. That is so something to work towards in easy to think about chunks. If I think of how much I have to lose to even get down into the healthy range I become overwhelmed and wonder if I can do it. If I just aim at a stone, one at a time, just 14lbs.....I can do it. I am on my way to my 2nd stone.....and so far it has been perfectly do-able. I can keep doing it. I have to think long term, its no good trying anything crashing and fast, it won't work, I can't do deprivation. I can do sensible. If I just do what I have been doing and it keeps working the way it is working, I will be where I want to be in a year. A year that's all! How exciting is that.

I love that the hate above turned very quickly into a love!

I hate that I still worry so badly about Sophie. I know that she is not perfect, she is young and behaves very immaturely. She does what young people do and she does it so well ( gah!) but for me, when she does what most teenagers do...I feel sick, I still don't know if she will go that step further, will she slip right backwards? I can't just tut and say 'oh well, kids will be kids' and fall asleep, I can't yet accept that she is just out and having fun. She is so lacking in restraint....but she isn't doing what she used to do, I have to give her that trust and respect or she may well just give up and say to hell with it all and wonder why she bothers. finding the right way to approach things is a tough call sometimes.

I love that I give H chances, when he really REALLY bugs me, I always give him the benefit of the doubt, keep my mouth shut while I stew and really get to hate him....and then, like for instance, when I am seething because dammit, he looks right through me when I talk to him, ignores me completely and makes me feel like the lowest of low, I get all teary because I am so KIND to him and I spend most all of my day thinking about things that will make him happy and here he is, hating me so much he can't even speak to me or answer a simple question, like any polite and loving husband would do. What have I done that is so WRONG? Right, I'll show him....I'll make HIM feel like crap, then he'll be sorry.
Right that's it, he can't even make himself care that I am sniffing and so sad....heartless pig....anyone would think he is bloody deaf or something......H! H! See? Ignoring me again.
Oh how I miss the days of those HUGE big old headphones, with padded old wads of leathery looking material that sat at the side of your head with a big headband thing so that you looked like a complete plonker and everyone KNEW that you couldn't hear them.
The thing is, these days, when a husband is minding his own business and has his teeny weeny earplugs in, listening to some deathly dull podcast because if he has to endure another week of hearing wannabes warbling to Whitney Houston songs, in the hope that they will be a huge star courtesy of the X Factor, his head might explode causing his wife unnecessary heartache, his wife can't and doesn't see the headphones and spends the best part of 90 minutes plotting revenge for such ill mannered treatment.
So I love that I bide my time, therefore giving myself the opportunity to see the error of my ways. Phew.

I love hot water bottles, fluffy socks, sarcasm, yellow gold and white gold mixed in a piece of jewellery, bangles, russian wedding bands, long gold chains, crumpets with butter, crocs, eating out, diet coke, beautiful white laundry hanging on a line. Listing what I loved hate, somehow refreshing to get it out in the open.

I really dislike, sport, ear piercings with those horrible earrings that stretch your holes bigger and bigger WHY??? Tattoos, long fingernails on men, long facial hair, grey socks, unironed clothes, baggy sheets on my bed, sideways rain, snow unless it is on a Christmas card, seeing lttle babies in strollers that don't lie back- poor little floppy heads, dingy white clothes.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Off on a tangent!

Nearly Halloween, the time when the Family welcomes all and sundry into their home and enjoys much hilarity and fun.
The boys have 10 days off school. That snuck up on us I can tell is it almost halloween and half term already? It's been all cool and crisp, windy and autumnal. England is so much better at the whole halloween lets have fun thing, well I think it is. The shops say it is because they go a bit crazy and sell all kinds of ghoulish things, I still don't think we quite get it like the Americans do. I'm not sure we do trick or treating yet, this year we live right in the midst of civilisation and opposite the clampetts ( who we haven't invited how unchristian of us!)
People don't decorate over here so I'm not at all sure what happens to all the ghastly spooky decorations that appear to fly off the shelves, maybe they put them up secretly and whip them down again before Nov 1st.
I know that I plan to start decorating our house on monday and hope to take all week about it.
I have the most impressive black light you ever did see, I bought it on ebay 2 years ago, Dan picked it up for me and it has been at his house ever since. I got it when we went to the hotel last week, it is SO great! In celebration of such a marvellous thing, I have bought black light cream for the boys faces ( they want to be bandaged up with stumps and be rotting mummies) we have a plethora of glow in the dark hanging things, the plan is that we make the hallway, up the stairs and Seth's room very spooky and our front room will be all orange and glowing for scared people to gather. It has been great in years past that loud and crazy children go and do whatever they do, eat and make a mess, while civilised people sit in the cosy and glowing sitting room and make pleasant conversation. I hope it works that way again this year.
The boys took 25 invites to school and we also invite neighbours ( some, not all, we do not love all our neighbours, gosh must be human and not quite perfect, we should work on that, maybe if we move again to where we have nice neighbours maybe. ) We invite everyone from church and usually quite a lot of people come. I love it, more when it's over and I see what fun we had and how it brings so many of us together. Too often, we are charging through our lives doing all these important things and we forget what is really important, which is to enjoy each other, to laugh, just be friends and forget the daily nonsense. Once a year we get to do that.
I have to come up with some short activities for the younger kids ( the bigger ones usually just love to go and run about like lunatics and spray silly string, eat and make ungodly amounts of noise)
I want to make some great food, I can't afford to go quite as mad as I usually do ( and have the bakery make green bread rolls...that was fun!) but I really would love to make some fabulous finger food. Last year we had people from church bring a plate of goodies which worked out really well and I shall certainly encourage that again! I love that whenever you invite church people to any kind of gathering they feel obliged to bring food, such great food too, mostly homemade and completely delicious and also usually far too much and oh, shame, we have to eat it for days afterwards.
I am so excited to start decorating, we have some great stuff, I always hit the supermarkets the say after halloween and buy a stack more decorations ready for the next year, paying pennies for it all. I love that it is all packed away in the attic and I can't remember what we have exactly, when we bring it down it's such fun to find things and decide where to put it all. I am even more excited about Christmas decorations, we have about 9 Rubbermaid boxes filled with various decorations. I am looking forward to buying more christmas ones when Sophie and I go away ( in 6 weeks! )
Speaking of our trip, how depressing that when I went in June, the exchange rate was incredible, nearly $2 for every £1, this time it is sadly less exciting, I paid £168.38 for $250 today...pptttttthhhhhh! It seems to be going down every day too, maddening as I have to change the money as we get it....I hope it doesn't go down too much more.
I do love that petrol has gone down drastically in price though, 96p a litre right now, it was £1.19. Gah! Just remembered I have to tax the car in another week too.....I don't resent it too much though because I still love my car, I really do I have even cleaned it every week..yes you heard me right EVERY week! Inside and out, all clean and shiny, I want to keep that lovely smell. Whenever I go shopping and I walk back to the car and see it all shiny and high up, I get a happy feeling. I am so easily pleased.
I've been a bit 'off ' as far as blogging goes lately, I just can't quite seem to get on with it or flow. I hope it's a temporary glitch because I love writing here, maybe it's because things are going pretty well, whilst that is fabulous it makes for incredibly dull reading, it's hard to be deep and meaningful when life is ticking by quite nicely. I have had some stuff going on in my head but honestly.....I'm bored with it myself, more and more I just think I am better off just shutting up and getting on with it. So that's what I am doing, so far it works. H is weird lately which always throws me right off. I hate it when he is sullen and won't say why. He is really quiet and somewhat withdrawn and of course I second guess why he is like this, get it wrong and he becomes even more sullen. Why he can't just open his mouth and say what is bothering him is beyond me and makes me SO cross!
We've been married 9 years next month, that flew by! It's hard to remember a time without him but when I look back at how blindly we made such a huge decision it is terrifying! I am so glad we did, life isn't half bad and I can't even begin to imagine where I would be or what I would be doing if I hadn't met H. I wonder if I would still be in Cornwall, oh my what a life that would be. What would my big kids be doing? Our lives would be so drastically different without H and the little boys. I think I would feel so old if I didn't have this new family...thank goodness for the internet!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Big, slow steps.

This will be one of those posts that I hope will write itself, my head is a bit jumbly with all kinds of things to write and I am hoping that if I start, the rest will flow.
Sophie ran out of her medicine and didn't tell me until friday, after the doctors was closed, so she has been without for 4 days. Today she was so jittery and so miserable, the weather is atrocious, pouring hard with rain and cold. She walked to work and discovered her shoes have holes in so her feet were soaked before she even started work. She was scheduled to work from 11 - 4.30, I went into Asda at 4pm to collect her prescription and she looked about ready to explode, she has had such a rough weekend, she can't understand when she feels like this that it is a withdrawal and a need for her medicine, she really thinks that she hates everything, she was so sure she hated work, hates the people there, is irritated that people were asking if she was ok ( it is so obvious when Sophie is not feeling good, she is normally so loud, so outrageous, so willing to please, laughing and willing to do hours of overtime, the past few days she has been sullen, trying hard not to scowl, painfully careful to be polite to customers ( and us at home) but she has so clearly been unlike her normal self that everyone at work has been going out of their way to ask if she is alright which is the very worst thing you can do when she feels this way.
I just wish that she would not wait until she has run out of medicine before telling anyone, all it takes is one email and a new prescription is sent right to where she works, easy! I had to go and get it as she isn't paid until friday so she didn't have the money to pay for it, I couldn't risk giving her the money to pay for it because the way she is right now ( without her meds) she would have used the money to buy a great lunch instead of 'stupid medicine that doesn't work anyway'
I felt so badly for her, which is a new emotion for me, I usually feel irritated that she has left it too late again, lately I see just how ill she is without the medicine. She is working so hard, doing so well, I am so sad when she slips backwards like this and she is frustrated that she still needs the medicine.
She has had an early night, a good dinner, medicine and hopefully she will start to feel better tomorrow.
We are all somewhat fractious here lately, I think it's just a case of having so much to deal with, trying to make sure that our trip is a good one as well as making sure everything here gets paid and kept up to date, sometimes I am sure that I bite off more than I can chew and then I remind myself that life is short and sometimes we need to step outside what is comfortable in order to make memories. Sophie needs this trip, she needs this time with me, away from the boys and H, away from her brothers who have lives that to her seem so 'sorted' and glamorous. She needs to feel like the most important person.
It has occurred to me that since she was 5, anytime we were going anywhere different, we have made sure that Sophie didn't come. Her behaviour since she developed epilepsy all those years ago has been so incredibly outrageous that any kind of trip that included her was bound to end in tears ( mine usually!) Despite our circumstances I have always tried to make sure that we make memories, that we go places and experience many things, dear Sophie has missed out because she has never been able to behave in a way that is acceptable. She hasn't experienced anywhere near the joy that my other children have. It is time for her to go places and meet people, to see what is available now she is working so hard to live well.
I so want this to be an experience that stays with her forever. I don't want it to be 'OK' I want it to be incredible. I want her to see that everything is right there for her, that anything and everything is possible when she does her part.
Naturally I still have to pay bills, feed people, keep the car running. Sometimes it's overwhelming and this week is one of those weeks, running up a down escalator. Satisfying at the end of the fight but so bloody tough while you're doing it!
The diet is going so well, I am discovering new things about myself every day. I can actually listen to my body! How freaky and tree huggie is that?
I am learning what my body needs and what it doesn't like at all. Naturally the things my body hates are the very things my mouth likes the best! My body hates bread, even the smallest amount makes me irritable, sluggish, feel heavy and unable to function well. I adore bread but the longer I go without, the better I feel and the easier it is to leave it alone. Today I was out at lunch time, the only thing I could find that was alright to eat ( in a food court of chips and burger bars) was a lemon and black pepper baguette, perfectly fine and completely delicious but my goodness I felt miserable within half an hour of eating it, I swear I could feel it clogging up my whole insides, it's hard to describe any other way.
I can eat enormous amounts of the foods my body likes, the best thing is, I no longer need to eat large amounts of anything, I am satisfied and truly happy with the way I feel, getting weighed seems almost unnecessary as I can feel this is working, my clothes are really loose, in fact one of my favourite pairs of trousers have had to be thrown out because they were just ridiculously loose, to the point of being uncomfortable to wear, I was constantly pulling them up and feeling them slip as I walked ( oh what a terrible dilemma!)
I see foods that I want and I just ask how much I want it, the other day I really did want chocolate, so I ate until I didn't 'need' it anymore...4! FOUR pieces of chocolate! It was enough, I smacked that craving on the head, killed it dead by eating 4 pieces and then stopping, no more craving, no feeling deprived, no guilt. Ahhhh, heaven.
I have found alternatives to the old favourites, the things that I had no control over, I avoid completely. I am sure that I couldn't eat just 4 chips, or crisps, I would eat and eat and then feel miserable, so I don't eat any. I can eat weight watchers oven chips but are they anything like a big bag of chips from the chip shop smothered in salt and vinegar? Nowhere near close, why bother?
I am no longer worried by how long it will be before I am 'thin' ( which will be never because I wouldn't look, or feel good thin) I am longing to just feel good. I have goals that I fully intend to reach. I want to wear jewellery, bangles in particular, I have even been looking online at beautiful bracelets that will one day be on my slim arms!
I long to wear shaped t-shirts, not the huge baggy sack like things I hide in now. Shapely and feminine will be the new me.
I just know that if I keep doing what I am doing, I will keep losing weight, maybe very slowly but it will go, if I give in and revert to my old ways, I will get bigger and more miserable. That doesn't even sound like a choice does it?
It feels good to have goals, no matter how long term, it helps to be working towards something.
In 6 weeks Sophie and I will be on our trip and I am sure that it will help her so much in her fight to be happy. She is feeling overwhelmed right now too, she gets paid on friday and will have some money left over to get her hair done, I am sure that will help her a lot, she is so beautiful, she needs to feel it again!
Slow steps for both of us, huge ones though, we are both working to be happy and it is great to be doing this with her, instead of against her.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sometimes, it is all about the money.

H is not an emotional man. He is not a worldly man. He is not a demanding man.
He is, at all times rational and thinking, patient and understanding. Unlike me, I will see something and want it and OOOOH GET IT! QUICK! GET IT!
H researches things, If he has an interest he will read and look and search and research. Compare and deliberate. Sometimes I watch him and am amazed that he does this, a little impressed, even a little envious that he can be so controlled. Other times I want to scream at him "JUST GET IT, look here's one, buy it, you can have it, GET IT!" because, oh how painful to watch and frustrating it can be. Just get the damn thing already for Pete's sake!
He is keen to work on programmes for iPods, he tells me there are nowhere near enough programmes and he knows he can make some great ones and apparently in order to start this he needs a macbook.
OK, let's get one, I say. Look and tell me where and we'll make it happen.
So he has been looking. And looking and waiting and watching and reading and learning.
LOOK Macbooks...everywhere you look, there they are, they all look the same GO ON! Get one!
On tuesday I saw something I have rarely seen in my husband. Excitement. Real RAW excitement. 6pm saw him jittery and anxious, he was staring at his iPod ( not his laptop because Isaac was on his laptop which shows what a good man this is, if I was waiting for something so exciting that was going to be announced at 6pm..10am US time, you think my kid would be anywhere NEAR my laptop...not a chance!) So he was staring and then he started " Oh! OH! Oh MAN! Would you look at THAT!"ing. He even said " Man, I feel SO sorry for anyone who just bought a macbook, they shoulda waited for THIS one!" Empathy and excitement, from H! Wow!

Now, we had a plan, I would fly to America to get him his macbook because they are the same in $s as they are in £s and so we could kill 2 birds with one stone..hoorah! A trip for me, macbook for him WIN WIN! We made that plan when we cancelled the family trip to California, I couldn't stand the thought of having to find so much money for one trip. The idea that I could maybe see friends and get him a Macbook at the same time, not have to try and get together thousands and thousands of £s...what a great plan.
So I giddily began to plan a trip for Sophie and I......which we have done, how exciting!
Guess what though. Nowhere near enough money for his macbook....THIS Macbook, that came out on tuesday and that H has drooled over and oooohed and ahhhhhhhhed over and then said " Oh no! Look they will be around for a long time, it can wait, you must go away with Sophie and have a great time. It doesn't matter, pah! Forget it"
Not even a mention of the reason we said I would arrange this trip. Not a word about my going to America while he stays at home, not a quibble about money or fairness, about staying with 3 little boys. Just enormous excitement that Sophie and I are having a GREAT trip.
That thing is so expensive, way more than I would ever imagine spending on a 'thing' but this time, if I had it....I would get it for him. In a heartbeat.
I don't often hanker after 'things' I love stuff and beautiful things but I am easily able to look at what I DO have and well, I have so much treasure the fripperies of life pale in comparison. Just sometimes, I really wish that I DID have money enough to indulge the real hearts desires of my H.
I intend ( and we all know where the road to good intentions leads don't we?) to find a way to get him a macbook next year. Simply because he doesn't expect it. He expects so little and demands nothing, ever. Sometimes in life we should be able to have a splendid unneccessary something. This shall be H's. I know, that should he have one, he will use it for good, he will work on these programmes and I suspect that he will make good on it. Even if he doesn't, if he just played with all the jazzy features, what matter?
I bet he'll even let the gitlets on it.....he's kind like that.
I love me some H and he would love him some of that shiny box, with its extra big finger plate thingamybob.
And yes, Sophie and I are going to somewhere in America, just she and shop and eat out and look at beautiful Christmassy things, stay in a hotel and just have fun.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

That'll be lovely, thankyou.

I am having the toughest time updating this blog....I wonder why? Life is good, full of happy and exciting things, the new eating is going so well I am now excited to do it ( instead of incredibly grumpy and resentful) It was SO slow, I would go to get weighed and whoppydoo 1lb off, I would slump out of the Drs office and mumble about how it was going to take YEARS, I said YEARS to see any change and why bother and then well bother because the alternative is to get BIGGER yegads! I am SO happy that I reach that same weight and size and so far never any further because my 'save yourself' switch clicks on, I know it is frustrating to yo -yo but I will take that over just getting bigger and slower and more miserable any-day.
It was slow and I hit a 'what to do' bend in the road. I decided to try a new plan and I cut out bead, completely, I was having bread at lunchtime, just 2 slices, or a pitta bread. I cut that out totally and what a difference. I felt better, completely different, not sluggish anymore. I now have a new relationship with bread, formerly my most favourite of foods, I now know that it is probably the worst thing for me.
I am almost relieved to accept that to feel well and lose weight I have to avoid it completely.
I made homemade vegetable soup and have that at lunch time, crackerbreads and low fat cheese are a great snack.
Today I went to get weighed and dropped 4lbs! What a change, so now I am super enthusiastic, almost want to add exercise to the plan to see if that doesn't help as well ( and yes, I know it will but just let me get used to the horrifying thought a while will you?)
I see hope shining brightly before me......hoorah! Fat be gone ( and a little quicker if you please!)
I love that I am not hungry, that cooking food is now fun again. I love shopping and buying brightly coloured food again.
I love feeling as though this can only get better, I can choose now, before I was trapped and hating that feeling.
I want to write more about Sophie but I'm not quite ready, suffice, for now, to say that she is doing so well, we have had some great talks, lovely times and again, that is all looking as though it will just keep getting better.
I had a blast at the airport with the 3 big kids and Mel. My big children are quite the funniest and most outrageous people. Daniel and Jordan are the most hysterical double act is impossible to be near them and not laugh, even though much of what they say ( especially Dan) is dreadfully politically incorrect. I love that I can spend time with Sophie, she is relaxed and not endlessly trying to impress, it is just lovely to be with her.
It's 7 weeks until we go away for our few days together, we bought the tickets today and everything is getting ready. She is excited, I am excited and we are both not a little amazed that we are here. Who'd have thought it possible to reach this stage after so many bad years, after such fighting and hopelessness. I feel as though I can breathe for the first time in years. I am still trying to let go, there is still a lot of looking over my shoulder and checking that the devil isn't on my back.
I find that when I get through a rough time, I do it by blocking everything out and getting on with it. When it's done, over, finished its then as if I am forced to keep watching all the bits I wouldn't see before, out of nowhere I get snippets of memory and then that awful gasping feeling while I take it in and try to accept it it over now. All the 'what if's', every 'if only' So many thoughts and emotions that I really don't want.
I will always be sad that so much of Sophie's life has been so sad but I am so grateful that we were picked up and guided through the worst times, that she sees so much joy out there for herself. That I have such hope and excitement for her. She did it....I so hope she keeps doing it!
For now I intend to grab every glorious moment, we will pack in as much happiness as we can so she sees just what life has to offer and everyone of them hers for the taking. Glory be!
Yes, that'll be lovely thankyou. No need to wrap it.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

I don't know where they get it from.

Tomorrow, Jordan, Mel and Joshua are going to Turkey they are headed off to visit Nana Turkey who lives there, you know in Turkey which is what she is called Nana Turkey ( or Turkey Nana or...if you are Sophie, that woman with a turkey neck, because she is neither overly keen on Turkey Nana or tactful)

On tuesday Dan is flying to Poland, to visit a friend that he loves and misses, who lives in Poland but used to live and work where Dan lives and works.

How did my kids get to be so keen on travel? They love it and I am sure they don't get it from me. I love being with people I love, I love to see people and experience their lives and see where they live but I really, really hate travelling. Whenever I see or hear people talk about how if they win the lottery they would travel and see the world I don't get it, I think to myself how I would pay for everyone to come and see me in my new house RIGHT HERE!

I am thrilled to love where I am so much. It is a blessing to want to be right where I am, I have experienced living in places that make me sad, Germany and America are both great places, so much going for them, many advantages to being there...and I was miserable in both countries, to the point where now, now I am home and feeling somewhat ashamed that I perhaps didn't take full advantage of the wonderful things those countries offered, while I lived there. ( I was so overwhelmed by the 'what am I doing here, what if I DIE here, will I be an old lady here and OH NO what if my children forget I am English and they just say things like ' Oh grandma used to live in England once' and don't understand that I am ENGLISH and I love ENGLAND and I belong HERE.

As for Germany, I just hated it and was young and homesick and 2 years seemed such an eternity and I wanted to GO HOME. I do regret that because I could have made so much more of that time. I was married to the first one who was no help and certainly didn't do anything to make the time more interesting and I was also pregnant, excuses excuse I know. Germany is very clean, what more can I say about having lived there, I had a neighbour called Rita Anita, who was very blond and very loud and told everyone she was called Rita Anita ( or was it Anita Rita?!?)

I am making up for being a snot about America, I did love so much about being there ( the weather for a start, oh I never complained about Californian weather, I love it. ) I love eating out there, shopping, I adore the hodge podge of people in California, anything goes I never got tired of looking at the people and listening to them. Utah was not for me, oh my goodness I am way to hard faced to listen to all that 'darling' and 'how ARE you dear?' I have to admit that it all seemed so insincere to me and I found myself actually TELLING people how I was..that stopped them in their tracks I can tell you. Also, cold, so COLD in the winter, nope Utah was so not for me.

Anyway I am making up for being a snot because now I go back ( even though I hate flying) and I am happy to be there and have fun and behave with gratitude because I know I am coming home, where I belong and where I sigh and relax and say 'That's better'.

I think America forgives me for not liking it a whole lot when I thought I would never be able to leave.

Dan travels a lot, to places that just wouldn't even enter my mind to go to, like Greenland and where was that place he went to last time....somewhere all cold and without good shops...where DOES he get THAT from? Oh he went to lapland once and I don't think he even went to see Santa.

I don't think there can be too much in Poland if I'm honest, if it was that great they would stay there and I think that most Polish people are here, in my actual town. Every supermarket now sells Polish food so many poles live here......that's all I shall say on the matter, except trust my son to really like the one and only Polish person that is still actually in Poland. If I say anything else it may look as though I am politically inclined which is ridiculous.

I suppose they could get it from the first one, who travels he has a stupid amount of foreign holidays each year....which could annoy me if I let it, seeing as we had our honeymoon in BIRMINGHAM at his parents house, looking after their smelly dog while they had a holiday. Bitter? Me? Why of course.

I love that my kids are adventurous and do things that I have been afraid to do.

HEY! You know what, I just thought, I may have been afraid but when I think of it, I have never NOT done something because I was afraid, I mean look, I up sticks and moved to America with 3 kids and a suitcase each, how scary was that? I did it. I a'int no scaredy cat!

I am beginning to see the little boys showing who they will be as they grow older, I think Seth will head back to the US if he has the chance, he is so sweet right now, he's going through a great phase, funny and beginning to listen and think a bit more, less ready to fight about everything ( and oh what a joy that is to me!) he is very, very funny and quick witted and totally unshy in every way. I love his little face, squiffy eye, such green eyes, tiny face and curly hair. Like a pixie. I look forward to seeing how he grows and what he will become. I don't doubt that he will achieve whatever he sets out to be because it doesn't occur to him that it will be any other way.




Being a mum is amazing, every day different and none ever dull ( monotonous, yes, dull, no.) I think I'll keep this job.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Random bits that we could probably all live without knowing.

I thought it about time I did a bitty post, where nothing flows or means anything but empties my head of all those things that are just in there, getting in the way.
Like does anyone else think that there is a 'T' missing in this word..... 'exponentially' ? I simply cannot read that word (and bloggers use it endlessly because I think they think it makes them look clever, actually it makes you look like you can't spell.) Try saying it out loud...
expo-nen-tially...where's the T? Expo..ten...tially much better! Saying it with that 'N' makes me feel like an idiot, like I have a bunged up nose. Stupid word.

I have been watching the 'biggest loser' which is both awe inspiring and also.....WTH? TORTURE...that's what it is and tell me, do we ever get catch ups on these amazing people who have achieved this goal? How many, do you think keep up that level of intense living? They can't, can they? Not if they are living real lives as well, surely. Is that fun? Really? I know being thin and gorgeous and fit must be incredible but is it worth all that?
I am really into my new life now, good food and healthy living but I just can't picture that level of commitment because at some stage it has to drop off some and then does the weight start creeping back on again? Would you then become so despondent that you give it all up, I just don't know ( and hey, why worry, it's not like I am ever going to find out for myself is it? Can you picture me doing any of that sweating business for hours a day? No, me neither.)

I love jigsaw puzzles, actually I just love puzzles, word search, crosswords, jigsaws. I go to school an hour early every day and I sit peacefully outside and I do puzzles, I do. I love it. I enter competitions too.
I don't do jigsaws often because I am a monster and when people ( you know like KIDS) want in, I find myself snarling and snapping because it is MY puzzle....GRRRRRRRR hands off you whippersnappers! Not a good thing for a mother to do, so I avoid doing them until I have learned to share and be nice. I share with Isaac because he would happily sit next to me, without talking and just put pieces in, help and enjoy...anyone else? No chance...they are all " what about THIS ONE? Where does THIS ONE GO? THIS one then?? MUM!!!!! THIS ONE!" well how relaxing is that I ask you?

Sophie and I had a 'set to' last night and she behaved much better than I did.
Yes, I thought that too. Can't think of a thing else to say on that one.

There is a commercial over here for Tena lady pants, incontinence pads, that is hysterical and I wish it were on you tube because it might have been secretly filmed in Boston, with the group of us laughing and crouching down to not pee......oh the memories, to do that again!

I am on a quest, a new and exciting low fat delicious recipe every day, to keep me excited and on the way to healthy fitness. Tonight we are having pork tenderloin cooked with cranberries, ginger and apples.....roasted veggies, it's so great to be excited about eating again, instead of guilt laden and ashamed. I have discovered that I can fool myself by doing one day at a time, one 'thing' at a time, if I crave something sweet I can eat 5 liquorice allsorts and tell myself that I will have some more later ( rather than 'that's it!' no more! FORBIDDEN!) of course, if I want more later I just tell myself maybe a bit later and tada! No miserable feelings of denial and deprivation.
Every morning I tell myself that I will do well today, rather than look at how long this is going to take, if I look a whole year away and see that the chances are I will still be working towards a goal, I could get overwhelmed. Every day I live this way is easier than the one before, hopefully, in a year I won't even be thinking about it, it will just be how it is, how I live. Marvellous!

In case I have given the impression that H is a saint in all things, he is human.
He is incredibly stingy with the heating, it's his thing. He is one of the 'put a sweater on ilk.'
Cold? COLD? you don't know the meaning of the word, why when I was a lad ( living in which point I switch off because, I ask you...what does he know?)
It's definitely a quirk because ask me if he ever switches a light off? No, he doesn't. He will go out and leave the TV, the fan and all lights on. He closes the curtains in the day ( grrrrrr!) and then turns a light on because, what do you's dark! So why he feels the need to fight every urge to be WARM is beyond me. I turn it on , he turns it off as soon as we all begin to thaw out, which WASTES gas, if he'd leave it to stay warm the thermstat would do it's job, we'd be pleasantly warm and all would be well, oh no, OFF it goes til it gets so bloody miserable I get tough and turn it on whilst daring him with a 'just say a word' glare and the whole house needs warming up from the very beginning again.
I think having lived in LA is the culprit, he doesn't get anything about being cold ( except he really FEELS the cold ....wouldn't you think he would like to be toasty and warm?) This thing of his is one that could well end messily because it is driving me stark staring mad. I am known to be thrifty and love nothing more than a money saving deal but I will not be cold, I will by all means compromise on many things, go without, do with less but I HATE being COLD!

It has taken me ALL day to write this blog entry, good grief! All that effort and time to say so little. I think I am going through a phase of just not having it in me to write anything deep and meaningful, it's all such a chore. Maybe I need a bloggers break to allow some good stuff to accumulate and come back when I actually have something to say. I doubt I will because I always like to come here and whitter on for a while, as if I am doing something important.
I need some new things to read, I have found myself a little bored with the internet lately, who ever thought that would happen?
Any suggestions? Thankyou! Where do you go to get a laugh, inspired, educated? Share your favourite blogs with me..please?


Wednesday, October 08, 2008


That's me, what an emotional roller coaster this is lately. All good though, I'm just not quite used to it all working out OK.
Sophie is proving herself whilst keeping me on my weary toes, she is however sweet and very touching, any disagreements seem to be settled in a very calm way....blimey!
Oh there is such excitement and flip flopping, our trip is coming together, I keep almost talking myself out of it and then she shows that she is really deserving of a huge reward.....this evening I had to remind her that if she wants this time away she has to keep plugging away at paying for it, our lives are not such that something like this can just happen, it isn't going to just 'be' unless we make it happen. She proved that she means to keep her side of the bargain and then said " I do not want to feel like that time my dad promised to take me to the Canary Islands and then at the last minute decided he would go with his new girlfriend instead" She has so many memories of being let down, she is as terrified that I don't mean what I say as much as I am scared that she doesn't mean what she is saying. What a pair!
Tomorrow I am booking the tickets , the trip is more important than new carpet, the house loses again ( poor old house, full of love and shitty patterned carpets!) When we are old and grey we won't care to reminisce on what flooring we had but 4 nights in.......HAH! you so thought I was going to say didn't you? I can't you see, it is a delicious secret until right before we leave, we don't get much excitement around here and when we do, we milk it and make it as HUGE and splendid and we drag out every possible snippet of fabulousness we can.
Anyway we will talk about this trip and ponder over every photograph for years to come, she and I.
So tomorrow we shall have tickets and then we shall start crossing days off the calendar and saving money to spend on frivolous things and christmas gifts for those we leave behind. Bribes for husbands who deserve gadgets that make his eyes light up, because my husband is a saint and stays here with noisy boys and positively encourages me to leave him. ( hmmmmm, let's not ponder on that point for long! I'm sure he loves me and misses me every second, in fact I think he sends me away because he so loves to welcome me back, yes that's it for sure)
So, we're doing good he girl and me. I rather like saying that.
Oh nearly forgot to add the pictures I took today of his very splendidness, Joshua, who cries if I talk to him.




And marvellous my husband may be but he does not share my desire and yea, even need for a calm and tranquil front room, a sitting room devoid of chaos and WIRES and endless STUFF, like speakers and sound systems and another laptop and screens and more WIRES......


One of these days I am taking photos of the complete mess that is near his seat, I don't go near it often because it makes my heart pound and brings me out in a cold sweat, maybe it will shame him to know this is on the internet for all to see, except it won't because a) he doesn't read this blog and b) he could care less, he has gadgets and can reach them all from his comfy chair. Mess? What mess? That there is all technology, that is, marvellous. Anyway look at that carpet? THat's so hideous who is going to be noticing a pile or 32 of wires? Nobody that's who.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Days like this....

Today is general conference day, LDS members from around the world can ( and do) hear the words of the Church leaders as they speak words of wisdom. When I was little, this meant waiting for tapes of the speakers to arrive in the UK and then waiting for 'our turn'. We would travel to a stake center and sit and squint at several TV screens in the chapel while we listened and took in, the words of the prophet and his apostles. Twice a year we did this and it was a time to meet up with friends who had travelled from the various wards some distance away.
Today things have changed, we can now watch the conference in the comfort of our homes, I sit here with H's laptop wired into the 42" plasma screen, feet up, cold drink at my side.
The boys are playing ( quietly, see? Miracles DO happen !) and Seth is making comments as the meeting progresses " Huh, that doesn't sound anything LIKE our ward", as the Tabernacle choir sing the hymns that we warble each week at church! He is listening and is remarking on the talk on the word of wisdom, listening as we are told to look after our bodies, to be modest, to stand tall and be of good conduct.
How wise the words that tell us that the way we dress has a direct consequence on the way we behave. I see that every day in Sophie, slowly but very surely she is leaving behind those awful clothes that covered nothing, she is wearing smarter clothes, more beautiful and flattering clothes, she looks beautiful and with it, her whole demeanour is changing, she walks taller, she she she behaves in a more ladylike way ( but you know, she is still Sophie, she is still deliciously outspoken and individual)
Watching Sophie is like observing a rolling stone, one that is hurtling down a hill. One step leads to another.
Last night she came home and said that it is 3 days since she last smoked, actually she said " Oh, it's THREE DAYs since I last had a cigarette and I am trying SO HARD not to ask you for money because I really want one and I don't want to give in and have one because I am going to stop and not smoke anymore but I REALLY WANT ONE!"
Bless her heart.
She has the most golden of carrots in front of her, a trip with her mum, just her and me, to foreign climes, the promise of fun, shopping, treats galore. Laughter, more laughter, luxury and joy. The only stipulation was that she pay her own way. She is doing that, she is going without and giving me her money. On top of that she is going more than the extra mile. She is doing so much more and I don't even know if she knows she is doing it.
She is reading good books.
She is sleeping well.
She is eating well.
She is listening and trying to do what she knows is right.
My heart sings.

I love the fact that on sundays, whether we go to church or not, H dresses in his sunday best, smart trousers and crisp white shirt. I used to think it was funny but now I see what he is right, he dresses that way because he says it reminds him that this day is different to the rest of the week. He dresses differently and behaves differently. He is a good example to our sons ( unlike me who sits here in comfy jeans and T shirt) He has always insisted that as small as our boys are, they are always dressed in the smartest of clothes to attend church Suits, white shirts, ties and clean shiny shoes. Always, no exceptions. It works, they behave differently, they walk tall, they are more reverent. ( Not perfect, especially Eli, unless he sits with Auntie Leah who somehow miraculously demands and receives reverence from this little heathen)
I really don't like to see children go to church in jeans, shorts, sandals and no socks. I am sure it doesn't mean anything dire, I know it is possible to worship and learn however we are dressed but to me, it shows respect, I guarantee that if we were told that Christ himself were to be in attendance at our church on a specific day, everyone there would be dressed in their very best, hair would be tidy, shirts would be ironed, shoes cleaned. I know it, I am sure there wouldn't be a pair of jeans in sight, no-one would be wearing their grimy old trainers. So why don't we make sure that we behave as if He IS there, because we ask Him to be there, in spirit,we want for Him to be with us and know that we love Him and respect Him.
I failed somehow in showing my older children just how much I love our Saviour, I assumed they would just know it, that because we went to church they would understand that this wasn't just something to do on sundays. I really thought that they would feel the same way because I knew it was all true.
Not so. I should have told them WHY I loved Jesus Christ and HOW honouring Him would always make our lives more fulfilled. I wish I had helped them see that things of the world mean nothing compared to eternal blessings and that there is nothing in the world, in the rushing, materialistic grabbing madness that will bring joy the way a quiet faith and obedience to the laws of the gospel can bring.
I have loved today, no rushing, no stress, just peaceful and ordered. H and I will watch more of the conference at 9pm, the boys will be asleep and we will be able to listen and concentrate. Funny how the message always seems to be exactly what I need to hear.
I am so grateful to have H with me to raise these boys, the difference from raising the bigger kids alone to the way it is with a good man, who is involved and righteous is incredible.
Every night he reads gospel stories to them as they fall asleep, the last thing they hear every night is a story of courage, righteousness, good choices, faith, comfort. Every morning he reads scripture stories, they know so many heroes, people who were truly faithful, real super powers.
I sometimes feel as though I am lacking because H is right there, doing and teaching and spending so much time with them, now I know that he is able to do those things because I am shopping and paying bills, cooking and doing laundry. We are both parents and as such, we are both valuable and because we are doing this together, the boys are getting so much of what they need.
I admit that the 10 years I was a single mother wore me out. The exceptional circumstances, the extraordinary challenges took every bit of energy I had. Being married to H I can feel that my batteries are recharging. I can feel life coming back. I can enjoy the boys so much more, I can sit back and let H take the lead ( which for a control freak like me is nothing short of miraculous.)
I think in about 10 years I might just about be able to stand up and be counted.....right as they are old enough to LEAVE's THAT for timing people?
Days like this make me feel as though anything is possible and perhaps, after all it is.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

What? He is SO a good boy!

I saw Elijah's teacher today and I was sort of nervous about it because he isn't like the other boys, he is more like the OTHER boys, the Dan and Jordan type, delicious and funny and not a bit interested in anything scholastic, unless playtime and lunch count as scholarly, which they don't.
Eli gives us details reports on whose name gets on the naughty board, he lets us know who played when they should have been listening quietly, he knows the names of every ne'er do well in year one and can point out a naughty kid from 50 feet away.
I found out how he knows all the details today, it appears that the naughty kids? Those ones we all tut over in the playground.....THOSE kids...they're all on Elijah's payroll! Really, I got me one of those naughty kids and I didn't have to do anything! He worked it out all on his own! He has a whole plan it seems....he plays the cute card! He does just enough to fool the teacher, then he flashes his goofy teeth and opens those huge brown eyes and he does the 'look how cute I am' face.
Oh dear.
He is lazy ( and he's 5! that's almost an achievement in itself isn't it?) How many lazy 5 year olds do you know? Quite. Not many. Most 5 year olds are thrilled to impress, Eli could care less.
She said that she often has to stand and wait for him to notice that he is holding up the class. Ouch.
I am so used to hearing "he is amazing/ clever/ so ahead/ stunning us with his brilliance" etc that I found myself saying "Great!" and " yeay!" when she said things like " he really doesn't listen well, does he?!" I am so glad she knows me from when Isaac was on her class because if we had just met, she would certainly think I am a complete idiot and give up on Eli because...well what hope does he have when his mother says FABULOUS at being told she has a delinquent on her hands.
Actually I think ( read hope) that I am making more of this that actually is true, she said that he needs reminding often to complete his work and that he is easily distracted...but he's FIVE...isn't he meant to be easily distracted at 5?
I've never had a 'normal' 5 year old, what do they do? I've had one that charmed the birds of the trees at 5 and laid complex traps for would be bad men who might break in and kill him during the night, one that had to sit in the middle of the room so he could stand on his head and pick imaginary pieces of fluff from carpets because he was so stunted at 2 and 3 that he didn't get to do any of that and needed to behave like a 2 year old when he was 5, I had one 5 year old that had up to 30 seizures a day and every time she had a seizure she would forget what she had been doing and so it took her 5 times longer to learn the basics, she would head butt anyone in her way and would smash things in frustration because her mind was so smart but was being hammered by so many seizures.
I had one 5 year old who could read encyclopedias and REMEMBER every detail of what he reads. Then I had Isaac who was trapped in his own little 5 year old world where he was so scared it was hard for him to even walk through the school gates.
And now I have this 5 year old, this glorious boy who is unafraid of anything, who finds joy in everything. He jumps, leaps, runs, climbs. He shouts, sings, dances, he is feisty and gentle, he hugs and fights, he loves boy things and is less interested in girls things, I never thought he would lose interest in High school musical, but he has. He is all about Ben 10 and fighting monsters now, it was raining this morning and I brought him his HSM jacket with the pink guitar on the back and his face was a picture as he said " people might actually SEE me wearing it and do you know it's really for girls?" A little piece of me wept because he is growing up ( and that jacket is going nowhere because when he is 20 and all hairy legged and gruff voiced, I will hug it and remember when he strode down the road with such pride with it on his back!)
He can still be overcome by a pair of high heels but I am pretty sure that will quickly pass also.
I am not going to worry about his schooling, he is who he is, we will encourage him to listen and behave, try and do his best but I will never try and change who this little boy is, because frankly, he's just about as perfect as he can possibly be.

( yes, he IS in the bin, the recycling bin, why? Where do your kids go to play?)


Yes Mrs teacher, learn his'll be using it often!

Look! He multi tasks!

Photobucket Oh but would you look at those eyes? He is divine.