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!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This and that.

So, thursday. That's it really, just thursday which isn't bad as it happens and my thursday was a pretty good one, I have felt better each day this week, which is an enormous relief, you all know I had my funeral planned and was bracing myself for being brave and an example to all as I battled against all manner of terrible illness and imagined horrors.
Whatever that was, or is, or might be, well that was or or definitely was just awful and what the hell WAS IT / IS IT COULD IT BE?
My tummy or abdomen, to be precise, is still very tender, I am still very weary ...although I am going to tell you that I stayed awake and almost moving, in a useful kind of way, for 6 hours in a row today, a record I say. I shall have the ultrasound on tuesday and go from there. I am not overly excited about the 'inside' ultrasound, with that intimidating 'wand' but I do know that it is more exact and will show more than the one on the outside, especially on me, with my padding and layers of blubber.
I have though long and hard about being so overweight, being so hopeless again and probably gaining back everything I may have lost, again, and it's times like this that I really get mad at myself because it's not just what it looks like. Being so overweight makes being examined so much more difficult, how is a doctor supposed to feel anything through all that fat? I realise just how stupid it is to be this weight, just how badly I am treating myself and yet, still, it's so hard.If I need surgery of any kind I am sure to have complications with healing because there is way too much fat to cut through, too much to expect a speedy recovery and how hard for the poor surgeon that would have to perform the operation.
Thankfully the pain has lessened and I can walk without weeping again. I am baffled by the contraction like cramps and am interested to see what that is all about and the enormous feeling of weight inside as though I have a substantial lead weight just clanging about in there is bizarre but I am so grateful that the pain has all but gone.
The exhaustion is annoying, I am so glad to have H and be able to just go to bed when I need to. The house needs some serious loving, it is sort of tidy-ish, it is not sparkling and shiny. The laundry is more or less done but it's all right there in the kitchen, in baskets, in varying stages of readiness. Not ironed but folded, ironed but not put away, waiting to be sorted, who knows what THAT pile is? Sophie has a magical talent, it would seem that there is some kind of alarm next to the washing machine, when I have managed to clear the mountain and breathe a gentle sigh of relief, the puff of relief sends a signal to Sophie's room and all her stinking clothes come creeping out while have my back turned and throw themselves in a festering heap in front of the machine, never IN the machine, that is sitting empty, with door open, detergent to the right and instructions on the front. Just there, in a heap just big enough to prevent the door being closed so that as soon as I walk into the kitchen THERE IT ALL IS!
I have a choice, I can be a good mother and I can talk to Sophie and explain how she is TWENTY YEARS OLD ...wash your damned clothes for heavens sake! Or I can just wash it.
I always just wash it because it is SO painful when she does it, how is it hard to do laundry? I don't get it, I love laundry, it is satisfying and constructive, so simple, it's not like we have to stand at a wooden barrel and bash it about having boiled copper pans of water over a meager fire is it? open the door, shove it in, add detergent and softener, shut the door, turn the dial and WALK AWAY! Not when Sophie does it, somehow everything I have washed already gets dumped somewhere else, she puts a pathetic few items in the huge capacity front loader, heaven forbid she ever put any of OUR washing in with hers, when it's time to dry her clothes, if I haven't come along and rescued the chaos already, she will pull out any clothes from the drier and just dump that somewhere in the middle of the kitchen. I never ever dump clothes, I fold as they come out of the drier because when you drag it out and dump it it gets even more creased and that's MORE WORK and I am very particular about my laundry ( and other things that sometimes I realise and think I should blog about, for instance I love my bed to be made, properly and I will never, not EVER get into a bed that isn't tightly tucked in and smooth, not even if I wake up in the middle of the night for a wee, before I get back into bed I straighten it, tuck it in, smooth my pillows and sometimes even fluff them up and turn them over and H sleeps through all that, if HE did that when I was sleeping.....I wouldn't like him very much, I just cannot get into a rumpled bed. I think of how blessed I am that I am able to cling to that eccentricity. Can you imagine me camping? No nor can I. Shudder.)
I also always delete all my emails or save them but I never leave emails in my inbox because that is so UNTIDY.
I am sitting here with toys all over the floor though because if that isn't just a thankless task these days, the boys are really playing well lately, real games with their animals and a new found love of micro machines ( which delights me, I love to see little boys playing with cars, love it) Isaac found a great Micro machine tanker at a car boot sale and all 3 fell in love with it, it's about 2ft long and when you open it up it transforms into roads and buildings, tiny weeny ( micro even!) cars are inside. I found 3 more on Ebay for £1 each and when I went to collect them the lady told me that these particular ones belong to her autistic son, who is 25! She said he has loved them since he was a little boy and has only just decided that he is too old for them and now he wants to be a D.J. so he said she could sell the ones we have are original and so solid, not flimsy plastic, but tough and robust. I also have one to collect from freecycle. I love to watch all 3 boys play together because there has rarely ever been anything that all 3 enjoy doing. Perhaps that's why I can sit here and not feel anxious at the sight of those tiny vehicles spread out in a haphazard but deliberate way.
I have been aware of just how quickly the boys are growing up, I never tire of sharing my bath with polar bears and prehistoric water creatures, sharks and killer whales.
I remember once, when Dan, Jordan and Sophie were very little, a lovely man asked to use the bathroom and when he came back down he was weeping, I asked him whatever was the matter and he said " I would give everything I own, every foreign holiday, my beautiful house, my flash car, my wallet that is never empty to see toys in my bathroom, when will it ever be my turn?"
Since that day ( and 20 years on he still has no children and somehow I imagine not having grandchildren as all his friends do, is even sadder somehow, it's not something you can ask is it really? ) I have never minded toys in the bathroom, Seth has started to bathe himself now, he doesn't jump in with the other two and I have encouraged him to wash his own hair and take care of his personal cleanliness. How quickly all these things stop, all the things that we think will drive us insane forever, don't. They really don't.
I am more and more aware of just how incredible it is to have been given this second chance at motherhood. I cannot imagine not doing this all over again. I am so relieved that I am finding it easier to let go of all the worry of it all, it's still there and if I were to let it would still be overwhelming but I don't allow myself t o dwell on what could happen or what would be 'awful if ' because right here and right now it is as it is, and it's good.
Hooray and thanks be, for that.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On being more agreeable.

On Sunday, it seemed that the topic of discussion at church was on gifts, spiritual gifts. We learned how people will be blessed with differing gifts, how some gifts we are born with and are evident from the beginning, others we may never hold as our own and some, well some we can ask for, seek after and obtain.
There was much discussion on the many different gifts that people have, from the very obvious to the less obvious and there was one gift, that I had never thought of as a gift mentioned. Someone read a quote ( don't ask me who said it originally, I wasn't paying attention until I heard WHAT was said) and in that quote the gift of being agreeable was mentioned.
My ears pricked and something sent a shiver down my spine and a feeling of such desire that I couldn't hear anything else, or think of anything else. All I could think of was how great it would be to have the gift of being agreeable. To be KNOWN for being agreeable.
I want that gift.
I am seeking after it.
I have avoided praying for it because I am no foll. I have learned how THAT works.
Pray for patience...guaranteed that your kids will be like hellions.
Pray to be charitable and you will find yourself with next to nothing and a starving homeless person needing what little you have, more than you.
Pray to meet someone when you have been lonely for 10 years and happen to mention that you don't mind if he isn't ready for you'll help him get ready and you will meet a glorious man who has been a bachelor for 40 years and has aspergers syndrome thrown in and fall in love with him.
So, no praying here for the gift of being agreeable. And yet........
Were this many idiots in the world on saturday? You know, before I decided that I was going to stop feeling ready for a fight every day of my life?
Where did all these total dimwits come from for heavens sake?
I can't remember a time when I have ever felt so desperate to slug a stranger as I have the past few days.
Why do people chase after me to tell me I can't park there when no-one ever cared before? Why?
I wanted to say " Hmmm, let me see if I care? ......well waddya know? Nope!"
Instead I said " Oh, hmmmm I should probably move my car" and I did. ( grinding of teeth , fitting as I was at the dentist at the time, the same dental surgery that I have been going to for many years, the one where I have always parked in the same car park, the one that is actually attached to the dental surgery. Apparently we should NOT park there because you need to have paid for a permit, THEY all PAY for a permit to park there and so WE cannot. WE must drive further down the road, around the corner to the council offices and use THEIR car park because THEY don't have to pay for a permit.) Incidentally, I did notice that 3 out of 10 cars had permits...the rest? Not a sign.
Then... "Mrs W, would you fill in these questionnaires please, for all your family members? "
"Oh, I did that already"
"We like you to fill them in every 6 months"
"Even if nothing has changed because nothing HAS changed?"
"Yes please"
"So, I fill them in and you read them and check them against your computer and you say ' cool, nothing's changed, no need to alter anything here then?' "
"Um....hmmmm, probably"
" OK"
So, I filled in our names and addresses and I wrote "as before" in the other columns.
I wanted to shove them up her nose. Or argue my point, or make her see what a waste of a tree that paper was.
Being agreeable, I am seeking after it.
We won't even start on whether being agreeable at home is easy or not. Although...why not, let's do that!
Sophie " I so need a shower and to wash my hair"
Me " Very good, however if you do that thing where you stick the hair that comes out on the shower wall? You are cleaning the bathroom every day for a month because really, that makes me heave every time you do it"
Sophie " I'm not cleaning the bathroom, it's not MY job to clean the bathroom, ewww I am SO not cleaning the bathroom after other people"
I wanted to, but didn't. ( Do whatever it is you are thinking you would want to do or say )
Being agreeable does not mean being a simpering doormat but it does mean thinking before you act or speak and then acting in a way that makes the other person feel better, not smug or superior, even at times when we have to correct or admonish it is possible to do it in a way that doesn't make the other person feel bad. My mum has that gift, I can't remember her ever making anyone feel small or belittled or even uncomfortable (other than that feeling of discomfort that comes from knowing you are in the wrong, even then she manages to make you feel good about the fact you have realised you did wrong and want to make it right.) Do you think that maybe there is a tiny bit of genetics in there that will make this a little easier for me?
I am not a naturally agreeable person, I sometimes like a good scrap, it clears the air doesn't it? It's just that life is so short and it is just so much nicer to live it if we are nice to each other.
( Still trying to be like Jesus but good heavens it's a long road isn't it?)
Oooooh, I was busy here for a while and wandered off to Facebook, read a bit of this and that and forgot all about being I am so far off track I can't get back into being agreeable, which is OK because everyone is asleep so I can be as bloody minded as it suits me without hurting anybody's feelings.
Tomorrow is another day, that's always a good thing.


Monday, April 27, 2009

The head's so willing...

My head feels rather good lately, all filled with ideas of how I can make life splendid and new things I want to do in my quest for improving and lightening my life.
I want to cook again, real food, new food, exciting and healthy food....but when I stand up for more than 8 minutes I cry and crumple in a sorry heap, so we have a sandwich, if we make it ourselves. I did make a cottage pie this morning, I fooled myself and made it while I was newly up and not crawlingly tired..ha! Foiled you knackermaking whateveritis you.
When I reheated it at 6 o'clock I was so weary I could hardly stand it, how lovely to be able to eat a real meal though, first time in 2 weeks or more I think.
I have such grandiose ideas for the boys' room, I want to do this and that and some of the other and then I climb the stairs and see all the toys and socks and unputaway clothes and I take 12 steps further down the hallway and lie on my bed for a while, or 3 hours.
H and I want to take the boys somewhere exciting, a real holiday where we shall explore and discover and have fun, we also want to take them to London to see the sights and the Lion King and then I think of having to go into town, that whole 1/4 mile and then go to the travel agents and talk and .....oh am so weary, maybe tomorrow, or next week or in 2013.
I called to make the emergency appointment for the ultra sound and hoorah! May 26th it is then.
4 weeks......I have rarely, if ever complained about the NHS but that is ridiculous isn't it? I will go back to my G.P tomorrow and tell her and she will call and maybe get me in sooner, I can but hope anyway. Also I can call and see if there are any cancellations, every morning....*sigh*.
It is quite the most bizarre thing to have braxton hicks contractions, without being pregnant ( and I am most definitely and certainly NOT pregnant)
It's raining this week which is a little bit lovely for me, when the sun shines I simply cannot lie in bed, I lay there and think of all the things I could be doing and how much time I am wasting on such a beautiful day, so when it's raining and grey...ahhhh, back to bed when the boys go to school.
Next week the forecast says hot and sunny all week, I love next week I shall be over whatever the hell is going on and shall bask in every sunny second of it.
This week, my mind is willing but my body is revolting, won't do a damned thing I ask of it.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Does that hurt?

Yes it does, the next question is how much?
I don't feel pain quite the way most people do, I feel something that hurts and I know I don't like it but usually it doesn't stop me doing anything I need to do. Until now.
Whatever this is hurts. A lot, real proper hurting of the kind that makes me hunch over and yelp..or just fall asleep, for hours, without any problem at all.
Stomach hurt? Sleep for 3 hours, wake up, ouch still hurting? Sleep another 2 hours.
I have seen my doctor and have had blood tests and what not, I went back again yesterday because I can't pretend anymore that it isn't hurting so much I can't stand it. Everything hurts, breathing, coughing, blowing my nose, walking, standing, sitting down, laughing, not laughing.....hurts. Sleeping doesn't hurt and I am doing more of that than I have ever done in my life.
On thursday, I got up, went shopping for an hour, slept for 3 hours, picked the boys up from school slept for 2 hours, went to buy the bread and oranges I forgot in the morning, had to stand leaning on the trolley for 20 minutes to get the strength to get back to the car, sat in the car for 15 minutes to get the energy to drive home, went home, and slept again.
Yesterday I told Eli his friend could come and play after school and so I had to stay awake and make sure he didn't kill himself at my house ( and really, why are other peoples' kids so what's the word, different and a bit worldly and not sweet and touching. Also, is it only me that feels enormous sadness my a 6 year old who has absolutely NO idea how to play with toys and dinosaurs and you know, other kids because "well, really I only play with my nintendo DS"? Heartbreaking.
I took him home at 6 and then, well I went to bed and slept until 8.30 and didn't have a jot of trouble going back to sleep at midnight. This is not right is it?
My doctor told me yesterday that she wants me to have an ultrasound very quickly, the fact that my always fat belly is bloated beyond all reason, the endless urgent need to pee, the crippling back ache and dragging pain up there and down here....does not a well me make.
She said that I have to call on monday and set up an appointment and if they tell me they can't make it an urgent appointment to call her and she will make it an urgent one, she also said that if the pain is unbearable I have to go straight to the A and E department at the hospital.
That's where the dilemma begins, I have babies without pain relief, I had major surgery twice and took nothing more than paracetamol afterwards. I'm not sure what level of pain is bad enough to warrant a hospital trip.
I know that the pain I am feeling is telling me that something is amiss and to me it is miserable, I am at the stage where I cannot think of anything else, as I do what needs to be done I am doing nothing but imagining how great it will be when I can stop doing it and sleep.
Last night, around 10pm I knew that I had to get to the hospital...except I couldn't get to the hospital without calling an ambulance and I draw the line at that. I wasn't screaming or writhing in pain...because I have only ever done that as Seth's huge head was about to burst out of my ageing hoo-hah and also once or twice before the morphine kicked in when my gallbladder was a throbbing and infected lump inside me right before they removed it.
I didn't go and just as well because today I am feeling better, better enough that I can move and I have eaten a ham sandwich without the fear that it will have to come out again at some point and dear heaven, if that won't just about finish me off.
I still have the most dreadful soreness and don't come near me in case you actually touch me and then I will weep level of discomfort. It feels like it is just having a break before it comes back and comes back REALLY HARD!
My lovely doctor told me yesterday that I first went to her with this pain in January...which floored me, I was thinking that it started about 3 weeks ago. She told me I should have come back much sooner but I always do like to see if something will just go away, I am pretty sure that whatever this is, is not going away on it's own.
Why am I even writing this? Because I always like to look back and read and remember once it is all over. And I really want this to be over.
I did google a few of my symptoms but of course only learned that I have a dreadful disease and am not in for any laughs anytime soon so raspberries to google and big old high fives for pain medicines that work and are lovely and all mine.


Monday, April 20, 2009

All done and dusted.

I did it. That whole tribunal thing.
13 months after I did it last time.
What a year....nothing wrong with you, yes there is...prove it again, nothing wrong with you I said! Prove it again.
I won.
Yet again I made myself sick with all the endless thinking, I didn't sleep much last night and the fact that my appointment wasn't until 3.45pm was painful, a whole day to get through while thinking and thinking.
I went and I spoke, I explained and I told them that actually, I was done with this whole proving business. I explained that I had enough to do, enough to think about, enough to work on, I didn't need, or want to have to explain myself anymore. I told them that a great deal of my life is spent in fixing on the positive, I work hard on being cheerful and focusing on the good things that I have now. I explained that I did not think the amount of money that is stopped every week, every time this happens, is worth the worry caused when I have to go though these tribunals.
I want to be able to laugh, have fun, enjoy life without worrying about how that might look.
I didn't want to read reports saying I am 'unkempt' or see myself described as having ' a blank expression' I have important things to do, I do them, I take control of the things I can control and the rest? I worry about it and I still manage to get them done and am surprised and yet grateful, when the bad things don't happen.
I answered their questions, I cried and I laughed and again, I told them about this blog.
Long story short, they said that the decision was ruled in my favour.
That's great, though this time I found that when it came down to it, I didn't really care.
The best part of the day was when the consultant said " May I stop you for a moment and say that you are the most sane and normal person I have come across and your coping skills are remarkable. There is nothing ' unkempt' about you and you certainly don't have a ' blank expression'.
And then it was done.
I'm not doing that again....really.
I hope that now, having been though this twice in a year it can be noted that I could maybe just be let alone for a while.
That'd be great.
I love this blog and I really love the support I get from you. Thank you lovely blog reading people.
As saving plans go, this is a particularly effective one because now I get a refund on the 29 weeks they have not paid me the incapacity component but really, I don't recommend it. I feel a holiday coming on.


Friday, April 17, 2009


This has been a horrible week ( apart from the shout outs which I have to say are FABULOUS, I love to hear from you, please keep them coming!)
Sickness has hit us and it's a weird sickness, Eli had a fleeting and impressive puke on Sunday, Seth was sick from monday until today, I have been sick from monday until still, STILL .... today Isaac has been pretty much in one place all day, if he moved he felt ill, so far no puking ( oh please no puking!)
I have been in a funk all week, really grumpy and whiny and shaking inside. It takes me forever but more often than not the cause of my woes will become apparent and then I am half way to climbing out of it.
I have another tribunal on monday, I thought I didn't care about it but it turns out I do.
There is nothing like knowing you are going to have to sit in front of a panel of total strangers and explain your life to make you think about your life is there?
The thing is, I like my life. I am safe in my tiny world of routine and eccentricities. sometimes I like to break out of the routine ( the endless routine, save me) on the whole though, life is OK, I just wish people would let me live it without asking me how it makes me FEEEEEEEEEL dear life, sometimes it is glorious to just get on with we have to FEEEEEEEL all the time?
Before we met ( and here is one example of how I was somehow swept along and carried into marrying H because WHAT DID HE SAY?!?!?) H and I were talking ( because we did that, before we got married, so much so that I suspect we ran out, H used all his word up, all of them) and he said "You know, emotions are what make other people behave irrationally. "

Which is sort of true but goodness me, HELL!

When you live with someone, I think that you sort of take on a lot of their traits. Maybe I should say that living with H, I have taken on many of his traits because it's easier. I used to be like Sophie, my parents would BEG me to just shut up..please stop talking for 20 minutes, see if you can't.
Now though, meh....what's the point?
I thought that changing so much would be a sad thing but actually, H, in his weird and bizarre way is so often right.
We are told that we should express our love often, never go to bed without making sure your spouse has been told they are loved.
Not for H that. At some stage in his life he has been told " I love you" by someone who didn't SHOW him they loved him. This person would say it over and over all the while behaving in a way contrary to those words.
The result of that experience is that H really does not like the words " I love you" they make his skin crawl, he has been known to react very badly to hearing those words. He says don't tell him, show him. Fair enough, there are times when I would love to hear him tell me he loves me, I never lack seeing that he loves me. I'll take that.
Then there are the times, like this evening, when he says, quite out of the blue " Who is my number one woman?" and my sluggish old heart skips like it's 16 again and I know that he has so many things so right.
I have been quite cross with him this week, it's the most extraordinary thing but once a month, without fail, he turns from the perfect man into a complete arse, I can't understand it at all, incredible to me that he can change so much for about 3 days and then all of a sudden he is splendid again. I try not to comment on it because he is, after all, human and we all have to slip every now and then but it can be quite frustrating when he becomes so irritating, without any warning, right when I am feeling sort of fragile and weepy anyway. Marriage is such hard work isn't it?
What was I talking about? Oh yes, tribunals. So, on monday I am going to a different place ( because I know where that other place is now, having been there 3 times, that would have been easy wouldn't it?) and I will just do it, answer whatever they ask me and get out of there. I don't know what I am anymore, every day is different I care more what they say about me though...unkempt still stings and I feel up in arms about the 'blank and vacant expression' I feel like I try so hard to be cheery and give the impression that everything is hunky dory because well, actually it IS pretty damn good lately.
I am more and more aware of how lucky I am. I see more that others are not as blessed as I am.
I am more aware of what is going on outside of my small world, some of it is beyond my being able to change it so I don't dwell on it, I can't stop wars, I cannot stamp out poverty or child slavery, I don't watch the news, it's a safety valve, if I can't change it, don't tell me about it ( and yes, I am glad that not everybody thinks this way or no-one would ever change anything)
What I am trying to do is to change what small things I can alter in my world.
Wouldn't it be great to be able to change the world, make a huge difference, deliver dreams? How great that so many people achieve that, while the rest of us just imagine what a great thing that would be.
What I have decided is that I, and therefore my family, will change what little we can change. We will notice and appreciate, we will serve and be grateful, we will uplift and create whatever goodness we are able to.
I really believe that to achieve real happiness you have to give as much of it away as you can manage, happiness rots when you try to hold onto it, when you grab it and snatch it, grip it and squeeze it, it bruises and runs like sand through your fingers.
If you touch it and quickly pass it along, it multiplies. If you see it and throw it to the person closest to you, it bounces back.
I am beginning to think that my medicine is kicking I flitting from one thing to another or what today? I'm about to start writing about butterflies and pansies.....night night.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shout out.

This week my blog has had 313 visits.
196 from the United States.
52 from Canada.
50 from the UK.
6 from Australia.
2 from Hungary.
Ireland, Spain, Barbados, Cyrpus, Turkey, The Netherlands, Ghana and Sweden popped in and out again.
55% of these visits were new people .... I wonder who, where what their stories are.
Please tell me who you are and where you live ( even you die hards who come here all the time, I love you even though you are old and not new....not your actual address of course, I am so one of those people that would turn up and say you invited me, I might stay a while, you know all about me, it'd be like have a friend to stay, of course I would insist you tell me every detail of your life, seems only fair!) If you have a blog I want to be able to get to know you too.
Hello! Who are you? Shout out for me, please.


Friday, April 10, 2009

You couldn't make this stuff up!

Sometimes, things happen in life that just prove that the Lord has a great sense of humour. Last night, right after I blogged and wrote...

"I will live for sundays because I will get to go to church and see all the young people who will ignore me or do that patronising patting thing"

I closed my laptop, lay down on the sofa in my PJs, hair scraped back, I was comfy and about to enjoy my peaceful time, when everyone is asleep and I am alone....the door opened and Sophie and her friend Rachael came in, they had been for a drink ( or in Rachael's case about 37 large ones!) and Sophie left to get changed because they decided they wanted to go on to a club. As Sophie left the room, Rachael crouched down beside me, she took my hands in hers and began to PAT ME! She looked at me with such drunken concern and said " Are you OK? Are you? How are you? It will be fine you know, you'll be fine, it's all OK"
"Oh thank you Rachel, I AM fine, how right you are!"
Pat, pat, stroke of hands, pat pat.
" It's OK, everything is fine and I am so happy Sophie is my friend again" ( they fell out when Sophie was using drugs, pretty much all of her good friends retreated when she was hurting herself because they had no idea WHAT to do...they are all coming back now and she is renewing all those true friendships that she should never have lost.)
She went on ( patting my hands the whole time) to tell me how Sophie is concerned about her weight gain but really she looks so HEALTHY and WELL and isn't that GREAT and Oh it's all going to be so OK!

When I envisioned young people patting my hands and telling me life is good, I sort of thought I maybe had 10 years or even 20 before it happened, less than 30 minutes has to be some kind of record doesn't it?
Heh....I love a good moment.

It was fun having Sophie call Rachel this evening to have a chat with her, she could indeed remember chatting with me but couldn't quite believe just how caring and IN MY FACE she had been, bless her heart!


Thursday, April 09, 2009

A time and a season.

I had a beautiful day today, in fact, so far this week has been wonderful. I am tired of being overwhelmed by the boys, they outnumber us and of late they have been winning! I decided that this time, with 2 weeks off school, we would win. I would plan and be ready for the little gits and would not find myself feeling completely bedraggled and worn down.
What a triumph it has been, I can scarcely remember enjoying their company so much for a long time.
On Monday, we made stuff, delicious stuff, Easter goodies. More than any other time of year, Easter makes me see what I have to be grateful for, so many things.
When I was growing up, the most memorable thing about any holiday was always seeing my mum busy, she always made such beautiful gifts for people and was so engaged in making sure so many other people had something to remember, a memory and a moment where they felt thought of, remembered, cherished. I love knowing that about my mum and especially that it was EVERY holiday, EVERY special day. We never knew who these treats were for, where they went, who got them....we just saw how hard she worked and how completely she gave of herself.
I want my children to remember the same of me. I want for them to grow old and STILL see me doing it, I want them to desire to do the same and so when there is a holiday we make beautiful things and always on a monday, we deliver them. I love that they get the joy of giving, that they can't wait for it to be THEIR turn to ting the bell and hand over the goodies.
This week we thought of all those people that work to make our lives easier, the church leaders who miss time with their families so we can attend meetings, people who visit us every month without fail just to see if we are OK, aunties who teach us at church. ( and Grammas who just 'are') We had a great day making and a splendid evening delivering.





On tuesday, we drove to Cornwall. We ( Sophie and I) took the boys to where we were living when I met H, we showed them the house and the park right outside the house, we took them to the places I used to take Sophie, Dan and Jordan when they were little. I remembered and I was almost shocked by how old Seth looks lately, how grown up and I took pictures that when I looked at them later, made me sad because he even sits like a big kid now.....



See what I mean?


I loved this house, I did, it was my pride and joy and I never walked into it without feeling I was at home. I left it to marry H and I don't regret it at all. It's lovely to visit old places and remember all the times you had there.

On wednesday, I paid Sophie to take the boys out on a picnic. Genius! Then she took Seth and Elijah to Jordan and Mel's for a Bar-B-Q. She didn't take Isaac because on the way home from the park, he ran away. Tired of the company of so many ( Mel, Jordan, Josh, Sophie's friend and her little sister, Mel's friend and her baby) weary of it all he ran home, crossed roads, bolted out from between cars and scared the very life out of all the adults.
I was shopping and H was napping, Jordan ran like the devil and found him already at home, when I came back he ran to me, sweaty headed and asked if I would please just squeeze his head. He spent a couple of hours with H and I, he cleaned windows and scrubbed various objects out in the yard, glorious solitary activities that calmed his soul and quietened his spirit.
Later, we were able to explain why he can't keep running away because although we know HE knows the way home, he doesn't know who he will meet along the way or what might happen on the roads that he ran across.

I am concerned ( on a side note) about H lately, he is even more withdrawn and unwilling to leave the house, apart from the odd walk to Asda to pick up bread. He will walk the boys to school and that's it. Church on Sunday, nothing else. He isn't sleeping at night and is sleeping too much in the day. He is so rigidly in a routine that it disrupts any thought of a family day out.

Anyway, today, Sophie and I took the boys to the Aquarium in Plymouth, what a glorious day.
The boys have been divine, so happy to be entertained, busy, organised and ferried hither and thither, they have been funny and have been a joy to be near.
We spent about 2 hours in the car driving there and back and places in between and we sang, all kinds of songs from Queen, we will rock you, to songs from 'A sound of music" we were happy and we knew it and we clapped our hands, we sang Old Mac Donald and of course the chorus, in our house, is ALWAYS "Eli- Eli -Oh"
I laughed so hard when this song came on the iPod that I swear I popped something in my nether regions....I think my womb almost shot out there for a moment!

Isn't that laugh just the best ever? That's a real belly laugh that is, I love it! The fact that the boys laughed and Sophie laughed made me laugh even harder.

Sophie and I went shopping with Seth later this afternoon, on the way home, I was so overwhelmed by what a lovely time I have had this week that I quite suddenly and without much warning, burst into tears.
'What's the matter?' asked Sophie, in consternation.
"Oh....oh, I've had such a lovely day and soon, you'll all be grown up and have your own lives and no-one will ever want to go out with me, I'll be stuck at home with H sitting in an old chair, probably wearing a cardigan and he'll be telling me how much curry sauce is at Somerfields but he won't actually want to go out and buy any, you'll all be having a lovely life and sometimes you'll take me out because you feel sorry for me and you'll get cross because I am slow and need to pee every 5 minutes ( this is where Sophie pointed out that I am already like that, which brought on a new snot cry fest)he doesn't want to go anywhere with me and it doesn't matter now but when you're all grown up ( she's 20 for heavens sake! She still likes coming everywhere with me!)it will be me and him and he'll get cross because I bet I am a fat old cripple and end up needing him to get out anywhere and he'll tell me I don't NEED to go there and we're fine right here and we'll sit and watch 'Diagnosis Murder' and I'll be watching for ideas of how to get away with throttling him and hiding his cardigan somewhere no-one will ever find it ( and he doesn't have a cardigan, I bet he WILL though, I bet he will) I will live for sundays because I will get to go to church and see all the young people who will ignore me or do that patronising patting thing ( and actually, in truth, I didn't really say ALL this at the time, I am just getting carried away with the theme in the right here and now)
Eventually I calmed down and from the back of the car came a little voice that said "I'll buy you a lovely new frock every now and then so you feel nice, you're right though, I probably won't take you anywhere"
"Seth", I asked, " does it worry you when I cry?"
He thought for a nanosecond and then said
" Hmm, well, the level is so minute as to not even have a number"
Such compassion from one so young!

Do you want pictures of the Aquarium and lunch at Pizza hut? Here you go then.

How great are my kids?




( Isaac just loved those sharks)



Is there anymore fun to be had than getting your own whippy ice cream?

Why, yes, Eating it!


Or just covering it so many toppings that you can't even think of eating it but you admire it as a thing of beauty!

When I had a bath this evening, I got to thinking about how soon, my kids WILL be grown but I have a grandbaby, there will be more and I will take THEM out and then, well then, how much more glorious will it be because I shall take them out and when we are done, I shall take them home and drop them off and I won't have to feed them or bath them, I shall wave them goodbye and go home and sit next to H, in his cardigan and I shall tell him all about it while he nods and doesn't hear a word. I shall make a nice tea and watch Coronation street, I shall put my feet up and look around my tidy house ( with the exception of the area around H which will, I am sure be as cluttered and chaotic as it is now, perhaps either dustier or less dusty, I haven't decided yet whether I shall be a slummocky old lady or a dusting devil with anti macassars on her paisley couch. I think I shall be shiny and everything in it's placey, time yet to decide)
There's a time and a season for everything, I am sad as the time for me to have young and tiny children is hastening past but I can look foward to all the joys to come.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Money talks ( as does chocolate)

So, I should probably tell you one small point about the whole Isaac singing and dancing thing. You can see how close I was to him, I had a lump in my throat as he sang and I whispered to him "Can you wave your arms?!
"No, I can't"
"Are you sure, because I bet you could if you really tried!"
"No, I can't move them!"
"I'll give you a pound!"
"I can't!"
And then he danced.

Bribery is a great thing, sometimes it works really well.
We bribe them every sunday actually. The whole sunday morning routine was getting to me to the point I was dreading sundays round about friday lunch time, I knew we had to do something about it and so we came up with the idea of reading about Sundays in the scriptures, making a big deal of the whole " with cheerful heart and countenance" I so wanted to put a stop to Seth's saturday night fever, his regular as clockwork self diagnosing of near terminal disease every single saturday night and his set your clock by him dragging out of bed at 8.30 with the worst case of sundayitis you ever are likely to see.
I understand why he finds sundays difficult, he is smart, he loves scripture, he discusses it with Howard, he really knows his stuff, then he trots into Primary every week and is taught regular lessons for 8 year olds and I suspect he feels his brain atrophy as he sits there feeling he is surrounded by total dimwits.
I explained that this is a fabulous opportunity for him to contribute, to use his knowledge and intelligence to share with his friends and to try and bring alive for them the stories he knows so well. That has helped and his teacher seems to love having him in her class.
Sunday mornings were still very tough for us and add to that the general insanity of getting little boys dressed and fed and in the right frame of mind to sit still for 3 hours ( heh! Any ideas? ) So, we worked out a system that works so well and I am pretty sure I have explained how it works a nutshell they get money every saturday to spend on whatever treat they choose, each week the amount raises by 5p ( in order to keep the dream alive and fresh!!) when they come home, they put the treats on the mantle and they can look at them and dream of that moment when they come home and can eat it ALL.
They have to get up and get ready for church WITHOUT complaint, they have to be reverent and cheerful in primary ( where the kids go for 2 hours to sing and learn) and then they have to be quiet and reverent during the main meeting, they can take quite books, writing pads and pens, no toys and they cannot disrupt the meeting for other people.
I think we have been doing this for 6-8 weeks or more and it still WORKS, I can't tell you how great it is to get ready with co-operative children, there have been 2 occasions where we have had to take away treats, oh how that hurt, how they cried and apologised and promised and cried some more on those days where they did not get to eat all the treats.
Seth has never lost any treats, Isaac came very close and Eli, twice, blew it!
Today was different, today we didn't go to church, we stayed at home to watch general conference...I so wanted to hear what the prophet had to say, I wanted to hear the music and the speakers who always have such gentle and wise things to say.
We set the front room up with the boys' recliners, they had paper and pens and there was a snack waiting.
I explained that during the conference I Was going to make some comments, ask some questions and I wanted them to listen, I told them that tomorrow I am going to hide some plastic eggs in the house , inside the eggs would be questions relating to the things I was going to comment on, they were going to find the eggs and every time they get a question right, they would get a reward. That worked so well, Isaac lost the plot at one stage ( right after the snack when he ate a fruit roll up...seems they have the same effect as chocolate on him, devil on crack in a nutshell) I sent him out to sit on the stairs ( "YEAY! GOOD! I hate this anyway I am so BORED!!" to which I replied, "very good, go and sit on the stairs then, what a shame though that while you are out there will be some points you will miss and dear me, you won't get those prizes will you?")
Oh my goodness, how quickly he was sorry and sure to be a good boy and I WANT TO LISTEN because I want to find the eggs and answer and you CAN'T MAKE ME MISS IT!
Bribery is great. I highly recommend it.
We have noticed how as Isaac makes strides outside the home he is finding life at home more challenging ( or should I say WE are finding life at home more challenging?) He has tantrums and outbursts, so much crying and slamming of doors, so many screaming fits and throwing of things. We have also noticed that he is very clingy lately, he wants to be held and hugged and is clinging to one of us most of the time. I started to hug him really tightly and he would say " Oh I love that feeling" if I put both hands on his head and actually apply pressure he almost groans! I swear I can feel the tension drain out of him as I squeeze his head ( come here little boy and let me SQUEEZE YOUR HEAD!)
Today he had a spate of really pushing the limits, he was just revolting and disobedient, teasing Eli to the point of screaming and when I would try and get him to stop he laugh in my face...the third time he did it, something in me snapped and I was right in his face and so angry, I told him that I was so close to smacking him he had better get upstairs in his room and stay there until he could behave and I was calm again. Getting that irate with him is a terrible thing, I hate feeling so close to the edge of losing all control until I remember that I DIDN'T lose it, I felt furious, I didn't act on it, which is the difference between good and very very bad. I don't think it hurts a child to know that they have pushed the limits a step too far, as long as it's not a regular occurrence. I'm not sure there are any parents out there that never feel close to losing control, I'd like to meet them if there are and see what kind of unnatural children they have too!
Shame there isn't a mantle full of treats waiting for me if I get through each day without losing my cool!
Talking of treats...I am so excited about this week, we are going to be having a week of treats and sharing. A happy time for all I hope. I wish I would stop eating the treats though, for heaven's sake I am useless at the whole dieting things lately and if I don't stop RIGHT NOW, I am going to find myself right back where I started and we all know how well that will sit..... pppttthhhhhhhhh, why doesn't healthy food taste like crusty bread or chips smothered in vinegar? Why isn't fat considered beautiful and flab a thing to be sought after?
Seems control is something I am very short of lately...can you buy it on Ebay?

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

On being rich.

They say pride comes before a fall, I suspect I am in for a big one then. Right now I am bursting with pride, because this is my blog I am going to trumpet my pride and be darned.

Being a parent can be so hard sometimes, I honestly didn't have a clue just how tough being a mum would be. I envisioned the sleepless nights ( which miraculously haven't been too much of a problem for me, I have children who like to sleep as much as me, they wake early but they go to bed early and they sleep, usually)

I imagined terrible twos, chickenpox, teething I wasn't too far off in my imaginings. Piece of cake.

It's all that other stuff I didn't think of, all the emotions and the angst, the hand wringing and sleepless nights when they were all slumbering like, well like babies.

Anyhoo, that aside, as time goes by, now I can look back and see how things are now, right now. My goodness it's great.

Daniel, my first boy, 23 is about to start a whole new life. At 16, he started working in a Hotel as a kitchen assistant, very quickly he started training as a chef, he then trained in management and has been manager of a Hotel for a few years, he is very good at his job and he hates it. He is incredibly frustrated by inefficiency and pretty much most of the things he has to do at work.

For three or four years ( I am so in touch with my kids aren't I? Could I be more vague? Shall we pretend that this is all for their protection rather than the fact that time is so muddled to me I have no clue? Yes, let's pretend that.) he has been a community police officer, all his spare time has been working in the police force, he loves it. He has won awards and been in the paper, he works hard and has many friends and lots of stories.

On June 17th, he starts work and training as a real, honest to goodness, full time Policeman, pointy hat and all.

He left school with pretty much no qualifications, all the way through his school life he had reports that said how glorious a boy he was but hmmm, never seems to do any work, funny thing.

I'm not sure how much my attitude to school helped or hindered him, truth be told and what the hell, I don't care too much for numbers, grades have never interested me ( except with Seth, because I know he is brilliant, if he gets poor results, I am going to care because it means he is not trying, I mind when my kids don't try.) If I hear that my children are happy, well adjusted, trying hard, are sociable and polite I'm satisfied. With the big kids, having seen all the trauma they endured, the fact that they were happy and just at school, doing normal things made me ecstatic, I didn't give a fig what grades they got.

With Dan, what worked for him was learning because HE wanted to, as soon as he was able to leave school, he went back because he wanted to...and when he wanted to, he did beautifully.

I am so proud of him.

Jordan, middle child, ( of first batch of babies!) 21.

Jordan has never caused me any heartache, he was a bugger at 14, I saw that he was headed for a whole load of teenage naughtiness, in the nick of time he went to live with his dad, back in England, he left L.A and flew to England 2 weeks before I had Isaac, my heart broke when both he and Dan left and I didn't see them for 21 months, I pined for them the whole time and I couldn't let go of the feeling that I hadn't finished raising him, that I had missed so much of his life. His dad, I have to admit, did a great job with the 2 boys in that time, he is much tougher than I am ( or was) and he helped those boys become good men.

Jordan, like Dan started working as a kitchen assistant in the same Hotel as Dan, he is now an incredible, chef, he went to college and worked in the kitchen and now he is a proper cooker. He cooks great food, really great food. Last week he made dinner for Jimmy Osmond, giddy heights I tell you.

I am so proud of this man, he is such a loving man, he is kind and generous and he is the most fantastic father, he adores his baby who loves him right back. He runs a home and he works hard, he is thorough and funny, he is a joy to me. He is great with his money, his house is beautiful, he pays the bills and the rent, he fills the cupboards and he never, ever asks for help. He is a man, an honourable and lovely man. He is 21.....he amazes me.
I love that my sons are such gentle men, you'll notice the space between gentle and men because they are not gentlemen..... my children seem to have inherited a common gene from their father, not from me, I am a lady, through and through ( heh) I take full responsibility for the way they know how to treat women.

I love having grown children, it is such an incredible feeling to see these adults, these real people that I gave birth to, who have grown and are independent of me and to watch how well they live their lives. I don't even care that it means I am getting old because it is just so great to be the mother of these people.

Talking of getting old. I am. Seriously, just look at our drugs cupboard, you'll have to admit right along with me, it's getting to be a veritable geriatrics dream I tell you, I even have sachets of laxative now, no kidding. I never thought it would happen to me but it has.
I have been having all manner of tests because I am in such pain, real bringing me to tears pain, every day, when you know that I have babies without pain relief and shoot those kids out with hardly a break in routine, I have had surgeries that I am told floor the toughest of beings and just get right up and on with life, no pain killers and yet here I am, most days reduced to a grizzling puddle of whatisits??? Everything is coming back normal and with every 'normal' result the thinking is that this is all just a case of getting OLD, wearing out, arthritis and just plain old nothing we can do about it, take some pills and put your feet up.

I went to school last night to watch Seth and Isaac in a production, sometimes I feel like such a seat of the pants kind of mother, I know that there are mothers out there that are so involved with every aspect of their childrens' school lives. I'm not. It's partly because I don't feel the need to know everything they do and then we have the way the boys think, this is SCHOOL...butt out, school is school and home is home and we don't like to mix it all up.
About a week ago Seth came down about 30 minutes after he had gone to bed and said " I learned my words"
It was then we discovered that he was in a production, that was it, no asking for help, no details, he said he needed his suit for a costume and he was done.
Isaac said he needed some of his regular clothes, yeah right, like he was going to get changed or even get up and join in or something. We went along with him because we hope that one day, well he will actually do something. We learned that the show was going to on Tuesday afternoon, wednesday afternoon, also wednesday and thursday evening. Yes, EVENING, you know, dessert time and finishing after bed time and .....uh oh.
So, wednesday evening H took them and came home at 8.30 and then he told me, in his full of detail way "Hey, you know Isaac did it. He moved his arms too! " he did tell me that he could hear a few other parents commenting on the fact that Isaac was there....dressed in his own clothes and indeed singing. Then he was done. What? He told me what happened right?
So thursday evening I went along, with camera and a small excitement to see if this was true, that this boy was going to actually join in.
Oh, did he join in.
My heart was so full, he was so sweet and I was so proud of him, I love the way he would sing,

then he moved his arms,

then he just went for it,

when the song was over, he would grin and then heave a massive sigh of relief. Phew.
He didn't panic at 7pm ( dessert time) and he didn't worry about bedtime ( although he did ask if he could stay up for 10 minutes when he got home) he did his job and he held my hand ( I was sitting right opposite him throughout the show, he was sitting at the side of the stage, in a chorus of children, there were 118 children aged 7, 8 and 9 who were in the show.
HE would tell me when he was about to sing again, he checked the programme often and told me where we were and what was coming and he was just wonderful.

Seth, well he just blew me away, because I was sitting right to the side I couldn't see the stage very well. When Seth was on the stage I couldn't film him well because so many children were in the way.
He had SO many words, a pretty huge part and for goodness sake, he even sang a duet with the tiny Mabel, who makes Seth look like a giant.
I am thrilled because the production was taped and we can buy a copy of the DVD which means I can see him in all his glory.
HE takes it all in his stride, even the praise, he is very " Yeah yeah, big deal" about it all, I lavish the praise anyway because who knows, it might just make him feel a little pleased, deep inside.

I must say that right now I am so proud of my children, each of them is making such great strides, growing and showing the world what they are capable of.
I especially look at the grown up ones and I can't help but see and understand just what treasure their dad walked away from. It's perhaps a good thing that he isn't terribly bright and is shallow and doesn't ponder on the deeper meanings of life because actually, if he were ever to really see what he is not a part of, what he walked away from and lost, in his fruitless search for whatever it is he is still chasing, I believe he would lose his mind.
How stupid are people who see treasure in worldly possessions, such things are lovely, fun to have and great to own but this, these people, these eternal gems that are our children, this is the real treasure, the most glorious and precious of things we can seek and hope to have.
I feel so rich lately. I like that feeling.