Are you ready for this?

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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Well worth it.

I left a message today, to a mum who is feeling what all mothers of small children feel more often than most of us will admit, I just said that Whoa, if it isn't time to forget all that important stuff, you know, all the must do, have to do it because the Supermum badge is waiting, throw that book out the window and just have fun.
Kids screaming? Let them run in the sprinklers and scream with the fun of it all.
Making a mess? Good let them.
Have a day off, really. Don't do it, if you feel like you just can't. Don't.
I said that and I thought that I was really saying what we all know...and then, reading the replies from other young mums, realised that this is something I know THIS time, you know, with my second litter.
I was just about the most uptight, houseproud, supermum badge chasing neurotic young mum of 3 special needs single parent family children you ever knew.
I was damned if anyone was EVER going to look at my poor father abandoned babies and tsk tsk because well, OBVIOUSLY..you know...single parent.
Oh no siree, MY children would always be spotless and polite, people could knock on my door at any time of the day and night and VOILA.....clean skirting boards, tidy bedrooms, mugs hanging on correct hooks ( did you know mugs had special hooks? why yes, they do!)
I did all that and we played all the right games and we had picnics and we did lots of splendid things.
They were delightful little people, all blond headed and squeaky voiced. Then I woke up one day and they were all BIG and deep voiced, all hairy ( the boys of course) and well, for heavens sake if that didn't just sort of happen while I wasn't looking.
Oh.
Sad.
Sad only in that I have moment where I think of all the things we could have done while I was making sure they had socks that matched the T shirts that matched the stitching on the jeans ( you're laughing, I can hear you)
I spent SO MUCH TIME making things shine and tidy, which wasn't horrible at all, I love shiny and clean, I still spend a whole lot of time ironing and you can come and look at my washing line any time you like and it is a sight for sore eyes, oh I have a method that would make your hair curl and I suspect you would be tempted to take a picture ( I am , often but I stop myself because FREAK!!!!!)
The difference is that now...well I know that kids grow, in the blink of an eye. I know that messy front rooms and baskets of washing waiting to be ironed in the middle of the kitchen for days, do not damage a child.
The world does not stop spinning if I decide that staying behind after school so three little boys can jump in the school swimming pool for 2 hours.

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We all seem to sleep and wake up alive the next day if I don't cook a 3 course balanced meal because we drove home via the beach and came home sand filled and salty haired when the sun shines.

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When kids get weary of having to do everything properly and I get tired of teaching them every damned important thing like saying excuse me and not poking their brothers eye out with that stick....when we all feel like screaming bloody murder, well then that's what we do...we go to the park and ride bikes down STEEP grassy hills and SCREAM because WHOOOOOOOHOOOOOO that's belly flipping FEAR right there and its MARVELLOUS!
When we feel like throwing plates at the wall ..well then we go to the river and throw stones in the water.

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When we want to throw ourselves on the floor and kick our feet with frustration we go to the park and climb in the spiderman swing and swoosh and watch the world fly by.
That important stuff, the stuff we read GOOD mothers do?
It's not important all the time.
There is no badge for supermother. No medals or trophies handed out for mothers who get it all right, because nobody does. Ever. Get it all right.
All we can do is do what we think is right and have as much fun as we can doing it.
The very best trophy, reward, prize I have is when my big kids talk about being little.
Jordan said the other day " When I hear my mates talking about when they were little and the crap they went though, my childhood is like a fairytale, we had it really good."
When Mel tells me that Jordan talks about when he was little all the time and how he wants Joshua to have the same kind of life.
Just watching them, because they are such great people. It is all worth it.
Every moment I spent with my fingers in my ears, shut in a quiet room willing myself to stay there and calm down, don't give in to that urge to go and throw them out of the window. It's worth it.
With these little boys, I still have those days where it all seems so headbangingly frustrating, not as many because I have H here to help and also, I CAN look at the big kids and see how beautifully they can turn out even when you somehow stumble along winging it, as they say.
It's just the best thing ever to know that you don't have to be perfect to get things right, you just have to love them and go with your instincts.
Oh it is so worth it.
Jordan proposed to Mel on saturday, it was her birthday and he took her on a boat trip to see Dolphins, they went to dinner and then he took her on a walk along the pier where he proposed, when she said yes, he took her to the restaurant where they work and had birthday cupcakes and engagement cupcakes, a dozen red roses, champagne and balloons that light up..and all her friends.
What a great men he is and all that despite having to have clean hands and regular baths, no dad and a neurotic mother.
Well worth it.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

The great race....

Isaac, yes, MY Isaac, ran in TWO races today at sports day, 2 years ago he refused to wear his P.E kit and held his helper's hand through the whole day. Last year he wore his P.E kit but did not join in, he observed and ignored the crowds.

Today we saw him walk onto the field, wearing his P.E kit.I watched him sit quietly and not join in the cheering and clapping and I wondered what he would do. Then I watched him get in line, in front....crowds cheering,

Then he did this....

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And my goodness look at him go! I watch this over and over and I hear my voice crack as I realise he is not only doing it but he is WINNING and whooooooooooooo! ISAAAAAAAAAC!

I can hear people behind me saying " well done ISAAC!"

After the race his teacher ( who was compere, with microphone in hand,) congratulated him, in front of that crowd and asked him if he had velcro on his head. So funny that the other children, in this race, kept dropping the bean bag as they would try and look to see where the other kids were, not Isaac he couldn't care less what other people are doing.

It looks as though he has been practising, he has such a method and the speed...the teacher said over and over before the race, " remember, this race is about balance, not speed, if you go too fast you will lose the bean bag"

I am so proud of this little boy, who still won't go swimming at school, who one day hides, the next shines.

My heart is bursting today because of this boy.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

And if the devil doesn't like it.......

Yesterday was a rough day. A horribly rough day and it was totally unexpected.
I have felt so much better lately, almost as normal as can be. I am so relieved to feel so much better. I am sleeping better ( and closer to average sleeping, not that uh oh been awake for 45 minutes must lie down can't keep my eyes open sleeping) and as a result life is infinitely more appealing.
H has been given a calling at church, as a councillor on the young men's presidency and I was excited to go to church and hear that announced, the weather was lovely and the boys well behaved.
We arrived at church and I saw my mum sitting ( here we go) right over the opposite side of the chapel, as far away from the doors as it is is possible to be, but no matter because I am OK NOW! That claustrophobia nonsense was a freaky flash in the pan when I was ill and mental, pttttthhhhhhh I can sit where I like can't I?
So I did, I sat with mum and Lin and we had a lovely lesson, sang lovely hymns and all was fine and dandy.
The lesson over, I waited for H and saved him a seat right next to me.....over here!!! Look where I am! away from the doors! He settled in for sunday school and had I mum one side, H the other and felt pretty darned happy to be there.
Our sunday school teacher is great, he knows his stuff, he encourages discussion and there is often much participation from the class, the class is a big one, I would say easily a hundred people, many just sit and listen, many join in and share opinions, facts, experiences and wisdom.
The theme for the lesson was humility, it was going well and then someone read scripture about a group of people who were so tried, death and destruction, madness and mayhem, children dying, you know, all that kind of cheery stuff. I was still fine because I know all that stuff happened and I understand the need to read and discuss. Now, I like to think I know a bit about the gospel and I certainly understand the way the scriptures can be used in our lives today.
I do not, however, have the ability to retain who is who and where they were, who begat whom and forget any dates, those aren't ever going to find a comfy part of my brain to stick to and stay put.
So, when we start, well, when THEY start talking names and ' we ALL know about....' ( nope, we don't, I have heard it a gazillion times but this person does not know because fa-la-la, I forget.) my mind tends to wander or gallop along the familiar ( wish I knew what he was talking about and HEY how smart is SHE to know all those names and who went where and .....what shall I do for lunch....love sunday afternoons, shall have a nap.....hooray' route.)
So I was mid way through, right about what to do for lunch when my attention was peaked by the discussion about a group of people ( what group you ask? I dunno, I was thinking about tuna pasta salad!) who had it rough, oh so rough, children dying, death and destruction all over the land.....WHY? Well, these were haughty people, disobedient and vain, they needed to be taught humility, the Lord did not cause the misery and the pain...but He did allow it.
( Still fine with all this, the Lord works in mysterious ways etc etc) then, one person said something and my 'never going to get over THAT' brain grabbed it.
Someone mentioned that children were killed......to teach the parents humility and also as a punishment for their actions.
OH NO YOU DON'T!!!! Screamed my brain, quickly followed by the most unbelievable freak out you have ever seen in your life.
Start with " Hmm..hang on, what about 'we believe men shall be punished for their own sins, not Adam's transgressions' that doesn't sound right then does it...they are wicked so let's allow the kids to be slaughtered, that'll teach them' that's a contradiction right there.....I shall put my hand up ( you know, grab myself some attention) how shall I phrase my question....hmmmm see, now that just doesn't sound right and if what he said is true, well then that would mean.....

AND WE'RE OFF!! OH MY GOOD GOD...is he saying that MY kids were hurt because I DID SOMETHING WRONG BECAUSE......oh can't breath, ask mum for a tissue because my eyes are leaking and OH I am going puke , well I would puke if I could breathe and what's with the NOT BREATHING...must get some air into my body because ...WHOA the gulping and gasping and WHERE THE HELL IS THE DOOR?!!? Oh no, it's right over THERE and to get to it I must walk past ALL THOSE PEOPLE with my streaming eyes and the not breathing, the gasping and sobbing and hiccuping and WHAT WAS I THINKING??
My dear mum, gave me tissue and said " I have rescue remedy, hold on...oh no I can't find it, here take a muscle relaxant ( which made me snort in between not breathing and crying and hiccuping) I threw caution to the wind and I got out of there, with my head down and a stalwart effort not to vomit or just die on anyone as I past.
People are so kind and I started a pied piper kind of exodus, I tried to get to my car quickly and just go somewhere ( where? Who cares!) when I got to my car, there was another one parked right up by the drivers door and so I had to get in by the passenger door, noticing kind people coming right towards me to see if I was OK.....in my car, steering wheel clasped for support. BREATHE.
In and out. I love breathing, so taken for granted.
I was fine.Once I got out and I was in my car, all safe and well, I spoke with Deb and Julie and I knew that everything I had felt inside was ridiculous.
Naturally, had I stayed inside, I would have heard the points the teacher was trying to get across, had I been able, if I had made my point and asked my question I am convinced that the teacher would have set me straight right away.
The thing is, freaky heads don't work that way.
The absolute easiest thing for me to do is JUST STAY AT HOME! Good heavens if every sunday isn't just a day of insanity. Stay at home and have a lie in, read some scriptures, have a day of rest.
The thing is, I am a stubborn cow, if I think someone is trying to make me do something, I am not about to do it..even if it was something lovely that I was looking forward to.....if I get a whiff of it being expected or forced, forget it. I do what I want to do because I want to do it, not because YOU told me to.
I believe in Christ. I believe in His Father. I don't just think that they exist, I don't just have a warm and fuzzy feeling that they are out there somewhere. In my heart and mind, I KNOW they exist, as sure as I do, they are there, here, everywhere and they want me to succeed.
I absolutely know without any doubt that there is a plan and that we have a part in that plan.
I also believe that everything must have an opposite and if Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ are real, then so is Satan.
I do not believe that he has a forked tail and a pitch fork, I don't think he is red and giving off steam, I do not believe he has a hell filled with fire and brimstone. I am sure that he is apathy, he wants us to fail, he wants us to feel useless and unworthy, he wants us to think that it won't hurt to stay home, that it is BETTER to stay home, he wants us to feel that worldly goods are more important that charity and love.
What a great way to stop me being a regular church going woman! He knows I'm not about to turn into a hell raising, thieving ne'er do well, he knows I know what is true, he knows that no sparkly thing will distract me from the path I have chosen to follow.
He knows that to get to me, he has to be sneaky. Make it tough to walk into the building, make me so afraid that I will make a show of myself AGAIN ( twice in 3 weeks and counting) make it so that next week, well I won't go. The week after? Oh, see, now..what if, I'll stay home again and then the week after THAT? Can't...can't walk through the doors. Before you know it I am popping out to that car boot sale while H and the boys are at church because, well, it's there and I LOVE bargains...who knows after a while maybe I would keep Seth home with me because HE would rather at home with me.
Before you know it, there's a family divided ( because H isn't going to stop going to church) a whole family, sealed in the temple for eternity who can't even do one sunday activity together.
That's who I think the devil is. A low down sneaky git who would rejoice in seeing just one person stop going to church. I think he would count that a major score.
So....I am not going to stop going to church, even if I get there and I sit in the foyer right by the door and stay there for 3 hours breathing smelling salts and guzzling bottles of rescue remedy.
My children are going to see that for me and mine, we go to church on sunday and we show the Lord that this day is His.
Even if that means that my walking in causes a parting of the seas kind of reaction ( uh oh mad lady is here quick SPLIT!! Phew, seems OK she is breathing and not even crying...yet)

And if the devil doesn't like it...he can sit on a tack!


P.S. I think this means that I should probably give up on any ideas I may have been having about flying to Canada or Boston....can you imagine? I am just holding on to the scrap of dignity I am convincing myself I still have, being on National news coverage for freaking out on a plane...that wouldn't help my cause. Dammit.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

I might not look old enough....

Good grief. That's about it, the sum of how looking after a just one baby/toddler makes me feel.
How did I forget how to do it so quickly? No word of a lie, I have that baby on fridays when his mummy goes to work ( with his daddy) and I am in a constant state of either panic of befuddlement.
How on earth I managed to be a single parent to 3 little children with special needs, have 2 babies 11 months apart, live alone with 2 babies, 11 months apart while pregnant with baby number 6 and H was in America for 5 months, is beyond me.
When I have Joshua, I don't shop ( not for groceries, we can wander around looking at things until he throws one of his spectacular tantrums, the likes of which I am positive none of MY babies ever threw.)
I don't bring him here because for the love of plugs, this house is absolutely NOT baby proof, not at all , he is in heaven when he is here because WIRES!!! LAPTOPS!!!!! TEENY TINY TOYS!!!!
So, we stay out and we wander, which used to be sort of lovely and we would chat and look at things, he would love to watch the world pass him by. He USED to.
He's all big and walking now and dammit, he wants to WALK!
Last week, Mel said to me, " Oh he won't go in the pushchair anymore" to which I replied " Ahem....see how he big HE is? See how big I am? Guess who's going to win THAT battle"
He threw such a tantrum today that when it was over ( and he was still in his stroller) he had little blood spots along his forehead, from the pressure of ALL THAT SCREAMING!
We went into one shop to buy ME some new T shirts and when I went to pay I handed him a snack and said " Thankyou Grandma" the lady and I were exchanging pleasantries and then she said " Did you say Grandma?" when I said that I had said that she said " Wow, you don't look anywhere near old enough to be a grandma!"
I loved her.
Mel called, after I had picked the boys up from school and taken them home ( dropping them outside the door to avoid bringing him into the death trap house of wiring) and said that she was finished early ( " Oh, did you? Lovely, shall I come and pick you up so you don't have to wait for the train = OH...THANKYOU!!! STAY THERE! I WILL GET YOU! THE TRAIN TAKES TOO LONG! DON'T MOVE!! I AM ON MY WAY!)
I picked her up and together we went grocery shopping. Sitting in the trolley Joshua seemed to be happy watching the shoppers and looking at the shelves..and in a split second ( thankfully when Mel was standing right in front of him) that little git got his legs out of the trolley, stood up and flung himself commando style out of the seat! Mel caught him and we both stood like total morons staring at each other because WHAT IF?!?!?
When I got home, I felt as though I had run a marathon or been awake for 3 days and nights.
The feeling though, of being the grandma is so wonderful. Oh that handing them over at the end of the day? Priceless.
I might not look old enough to be a grandma but I can assure you I feel plenty old enough.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weeeeee. YIP!

I have a new kid. I have no idea where he came from or who he is, I hope he doesn't stay long because he is exactly the kind of kid I have always been so smug about because, thank the Lord I don't have *that* kind of kid.
The new kid is inside Isaac's body. The beautiful face is the same, the eyes are still great big brown puddles of meltingness. He still gets dressed when everyone else is asleep and still likes dinner for breakfast,
I took the regular Isaac into school, went to pick him up and while I was waiting outside Elijah's classroom, with the regular other parents who have seen Isaac from a little big eyed silent boy, hiding behind his blanket, they know him, they are used to him and many of them love his bizarre little self.
The other regular parents and I were stunned today when this kid that looked like Isaac came hurtling around the corner from the classroom where Isaac learns.....and WHO IS THAT KID???
"YIP! YIP! ECK!!!!!! YIP! "
"Isaac?"
"YAAAAAAAAAAAAARK!"
"ISAAC! What in the world? what is that noise?"
"YIP!!!!!! I CAN'T SHUT MY GOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB!"
"Please try"
"YIP! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Ha. "

4 hours later he was still doing it, not all the time but out of the blue...


YIP!

I wanted to crawl under a soft thing and shut my ears because it is too freaky.
It is so close to a Tourettes kind of yipping.
Every time I forgot he was doing it and we were busy doing something or other,
YIP.....I jumped out of my skin at least 35246 times from when he came home until he went to bed.
Please someone tell me this is a fleeting phase, that he is not about to start doing this on a regular basis. I asked him if he had done that in his class today and he just laughed, this really awful maniacal laugh, which could mean " why yes, I did and my teacher loved it as much as you do, I Can barely wait until tomorrow to do it all over again because this being the center of attention is so GREAT!! What have I been missing YIP! WEEEEEEEEEE. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

Can they switch? These autistic kids, can they get bored with being a kid with aspergers and upgrade to another level? I truly didn't know who he was today.
We have seen in the past few months a difference in that he has moments where he has some wild running around and jumping spates, he either hates anyone looking at him or he craves it.
It's like he is two different kids. The quiet, selectively mute one and this new FULL VOLUME CRAZY ONE.
I swear as soon as I ever think I just about have all this stuff under control and yep, uh huh, would you look at me because I have it ALL worked out, along comes a new bag of crazy.
Boredom wouldn't be SO bad would it? You know wake up and get through the day and lie down at night thinking " that was OK, nice, yes, my life is ordered and calm"

He didn't go to school at all yesterday, I got up and he was in his pyjamas, ( unheard of on a weekday) he said he felt sick and his eyes filled up and were all sad looking, he went back to bed and all day he was quiet, not sick but very quiet. As soon as 3.30pm came he was miraculously cured.
He should have had swimming yesterday, he went on week one and loved it, wouldn't get in the pool last week, his teacher spoke with me and we thought it was because he forgot he had swimming, he remembered right as he was leaving the house and grabbed Eli's costume, which is the same as his. I understand how that would make him feel uncomfortable and unable to get changed, other than that I don't see why he would want to miss school. No-one ever makes him do things that he finds too hard, swimming isn't a big deal, no one is going to mind if he really can't join in. All we can do is wait until next tuesday to see if we have a problem again.

We don't take Isaac anywhere, from diagnosis to today he has had speech therapy and that's it. We love him, we have muddled along and somehow he is leaping ahead and defying all the bleak sentences he was given when he was 5. This new phase is making me think he should get a check up, I am going to see his teacher and find out of he has been disruptive in the classroom, I hope that it's more a case of having been extra quiet and still he needs to run and shout and YIP YIP it all out of his system when he gets home.
It's still 5 weeks until the end of the school year, I am ready RIGHT NOW for it to be done, the weather has been great and we could have had many a splendid day out, I am tired of uniforms and getting ready early, of packed lunches and routine.
I think the boys are ready too, Seth is, as always so immersed in everything school has to offer he is in as many sports teams as he can manage and is always picked to play for the school in tournaments, he loves school and school loves him, when we walk through the playground after school, kids from reception to year 10 are high fiving him and calling his name, the teeny tots run up to him and he knows all their names, he goes out of his way to wave and call to the kids. I love that he enjoys whatever he is doing at the time.
He can argue with a bare wall, he's like a terrier with a rat.

This has taken a ridiculous amount of time to write and now I am boring myself, why any minute now I am going to run around the front room YIP YIP YIPPING....hey that feels pretty good.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

He's alright, he is.







My son is a Policeman. Daniel that is, he has been a part timer for 4 years and he loves it, working as a Hotel manager as his full time job, he worked on his days off and in the evenings he wasn't on duty. He applied to the full time police force and he started today.



I am, of course really proud of him but no more proud that I was yesterday, or last year or 15 years ago, or the day he was born.



I knew Daniel as soon as I knew I was carrying him. I knew he was a boy and I knew he was going to be splendid.



When I was about 8 weeks pregnant, I was working as an auxiliary nurse in an old peoples' home. I was helping one lady to get ready for bed one evening. A dear old lady, completely dotty, dementia had fuddled her brain and she never spoke, not a single word of sense, just day long muttering and mumbling and eh-eh-eh-ehing. I leaned over her to help her stand up and she put her hand on my belly and said, as clear as day, " Bless him...there's a little lad in there and when he is born you will look on his dear little face and you will say 'He's alright he is' and he will be, he'll be more than alright that little fellow" and then she stopped, not one of us ever heard her say another word, we'd never heard her speak before and she never did it again it was extraordinary and moving and I believed her.



I wanted to call him Samuel. I was adamant that his name would be Sam, right up until 2 days before he was born when I had a dream that I gave birth to him and when the nurse handed him to me I looked up and said "It's Daniel" so Daniel it was.



Daniel Carl William.



I thought hard about his name, I wanted it to have good initials, DCW and then his surname looks so good written down and I made myself imagine how it would look on a brass name plate.



It would look as Daniel C.W. ******** or D.C.W. I used to write it over and over again so I could look at how good it looked and sounded.



Daniel was never a great scholar, he was charming and funny, polite and delightful but he didn't work hard, he just about scraped through without getting into trouble. He did a homework assignment once ..yes ONCE and he made a truly impressive model of a volcano, so astounded were his teachers, so thrilled that here he was with evidence that when he wanted to he could do something well, that they put that volcano in a glass fronted cabinet in the school foyer, in the hope that this would encourage Daniel to strive for more glory and satisfaction. It failed miserably, he used to say " I did it once, they loved it, that'll do them for a few years"



He left school with few if any qualifications and he couldn't have cared less. Once he had left school, he changed, now it seemed that he could learn because he wanted to and he DID want to and so he went to college as well as working full time and by the time he was 19 he was a qualified chef, barman, manager and who knows what else, he was managing a beautiful restaurant at 20 and then the hotel he hated until last week.



He has won awards while working for the police, he has been in TV and in newspapers having been involved in catching bad men and scary people. He has been chased through streets by men with guns, he has been beaten up and injured and he loves every moment.



He called me today after his first day and he was so happy, he loves it, met good people, it is the most splendid thing to know your child is happy.



He's alright, he is. He is more than alright.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hope is a many splendored thing.

Shhhhhhh, daren't say it too loudly but I THINK THE HAPPY PILLS ARE WORKING!!!
Oh what a difference there is in just about everything.
I have made a few changes, some tiny and some quite remarkably big and BIG.
We bought ( or are buying ) one of these . It wasn't a planned purchase at all, when I got some back pay after the tribunal, I bought a computer for H and the boys ( having sold the total flop of a laptop we bought for the boys at Christmas) and I wanted a new mattress, H, being H, is particular about many things, vacuums and mattresses are pretty high up on his list. Vacuums aren't a problem, he likes Kirby vacuums, so that's what we have, I don't care what we have as long as it works so there you go, Kirby it is.
Mattresses he is a little tougher to pin down, I know what he DOESN'T like, I know a few features a mattress should have ( cloth handles, sewn into sides mean quality I am told) but trying to get him to say " yes, THIS one, this is a GOOD one, lets have THIS one? Forget it.
So I would find mattresses on line and say " How about this one?" and "This one? ooh look, lovely handles, this is a GOOD one"
Nothing.
I wake up feeling worse that I did when I went to bed. I ache, some mornings I swear my arms are going to drop off because they are so numb and aching and it has been such a game every day to see if I can make it to the bedroom door without making H laugh. Hobble, oooph, ouch, limp.
I was craving a good sleep that actually worked in ways other than making me look like an unironed old sheet, all creased and weary looking.
So imagine my delight when he said " Hey, I see Paul has some mattresses on his blog..they look pretty good.
I kid you not, I had emailed Paul within 3 seconds and the rest is history. Funny history actually because here was I, thinking, great Paul has a mattress pad the size we need, perfect.
Deb texted me to say she was coming with Paul and that was lovely because I love her.
They arrived with all kinds of things, not just a mattress pad with magnets but ...actually I tell a lie, Paul forgot some of his stuff and so he went back to get it, which was intriguing to me because what in the name of all that's puzzling is going on here?
He said he needed a bench because he was going to give us a massage. the likes of which we had never had ( LAWKS!) and he needed his wooden bench, I was polite ( which isn't like me at all) but inside I was thinking " OH NO YOU DON'T! Nothing in this world is going to make me lie on a wooden bench in my front room while my friends husband gives me a massage, nope, not in this lifetime ) when he got back and I saw how narrow this bench was I couldn't help but exclaim " You have to be KIDDING right? You think I am going to be able to balance on that thing?"
Turns out the bench was for him to sit on, the most extraordinary thing, on rockers, H ( because he is not a big scaredy prude cat) lay down on a mat, on the floor, while gentle music played ( and Deb and I slunk out of the room because I knew I would laugh, I knew it) and Paul sat on his rocking bench and rolled with a hefty looking roller bar thing, over H's back.
I couldn't resist, after about 5 minutes, peeking in. I did even say that I was going to take a picture just so you could all SEE what was going on because even that little glimpse made me snort, mostly because H and Paul are so alike it is incredible, and they are both so serious when the need arises and silly giggling ( the likes of which Deb and I are always guilty of) is not appropriate, no it is not. Stop it, or go out.
In fact I did get told off because when we came back in and H was relaxing and feeling refreshed, my voice, I am told, was WAY TOO LOUD AND WAS RUINING THE ATMOSPHERE IN HERE!
So, then we got down to business and Paul gave us the mattress pad which, truth be told, looked and felt like a form of torture. It is hard and lumpy and I thought I was going to CRY because I WANT TO BE COMFY! I need sleep, I love to get into bed and sigh, and feel as though life is alright. Night night.
Paul and Deb said that it could take a while to get used to the new experience of sleeping with magnets and egg box shaped lumps, but it would be worth it, they promised.
I made the bed and I slumped a little because I knew this thing was not going to cost pennies and oh it feels so HARD. Never mind, we'll give it a go and no obligation etc etc.
Oh my slumbering glory.
I kid you not, I got into bed and though, hey, not lumpy at all, this is OK I think I might be able to sleep after all, shall read a page or two and then I will.............zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
H slept and he didn't snore.....goodness me.
I have to say that it is absolutely not a heavenly comfy thing, it's not that I lie down and think
" Ahhhhhh, happy to be here" What does happen is I wake up in the morning and I don't groan. I get up and I walk, without any limping. I haven't had dead arms once. No pins and needles and not a single back ache or twinge. I haven't had restless legs. H says I am not tossing and turning, I lie down, I go to sleep, I stay there and I wake up, feeling as though I have had a real sleep.
I'm not sleeping more, oh but we are both sleeping so much better and I began to feel that if anyone tries to take this mattress pad away from me, I will hurt them. Just try it.
So, we went out to lunch with Deb and Paul ( which is another wonderful thing, H and I have never, in 10 years been out with another couple, only kids and parents, which is great but...well you know) and we shook hands and the mattress pad is ours, or will be when I finish paying for it ( which won't be long, I promise Deb!)
In celebration, I went out and bought memory foam pillows, not those weird shaped things either, proper shaped pillows and when I lay down, instead of just getting comfy and then having the stupid pillow collapse or shift, they stay there, I think " Oh I am so comfy..and then..hey, I am still so comfy and then..hey I am STILL so comf....zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"
Worth every penny.

We all went to the opticians today, the boys and H had eye tests and I just went to get more glasses, I have had to accept that if I want to see where I am going and be able to see the world around me, I have to wear my glasses. One pair is not enough, they have a buy one, get one free deal on, so I went to choose 2 pairs and have one pair as sunglasses, we are going to have a super long, hot summer, yes we are and I am going to be ready for every minute of it.
H went in and had his eyes tested, new spec for him ( 2 pairs)
Seth, new glasses, one pair because he gets free repairs and replacements so one is fine.
Isaac, did great in the chair and answered each question well and clearly, his eyes are fantastically perfect.
Elijah. Oh how I love this child.
I could have cried because I didn't have my camera and watching him was better than any show I ever went to.
He looked divine in those weird goggle things they use and his face went through every kind of contortion to see over them under them, to the side, he kept trying to get out of the chair to see what the letters were and he collapsed into fits of lisping giggles every time he was told to STAY RIGHT THERE! Lovely optician man liked his naughty self as well so that was all OK.
He doesn't need glasses which I am so relieved about, I am so vain about my kids and Elijah, divine as he is, does not look good with glasses, he has a little creature's face and stick some glasses on that little face and he's good for a part in the next chipmunks movies.
Isaac also looks like a nerdy twit with glasses so just as well his eyes are perfect.
Seth is delicious and nerdy and I love his face with glasses on, I love that he looks so studious and nerdy and then he opens his mouth and such funny stuff falls out.
At the car boot sale today, I saw some bone handled knives, I love them they are great for spreading and so I bought them, about 8 for £1.
Seth said " we have some of those, why are you buying more?"
"Because I like them very much and you can't have too many of them"
"Well next time you go to Boston you could pack them in your carry on, what you gonna do? Spread the pilot to death?"
Little turd.

I'm feeling better. That is such a great thing, I am not made to be so miserable and scared. I feel less and less afraid every day, before we know it I might find myself at an airport, wishing I had stayed scared enough not to even try this again what was I thinking? Who knows, we can but hope!

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Saturday, June 06, 2009

This time last year.



This time last year, we were waiting for you. We thought we knew who you were, we thought we knew how we would feel. We thought we knew all kinds of things.


And then, you were born.


Then, we knew that we didn't know anything, that you were here and were going to show us what love was.

Joshua, I don't think you will ever know, though I hope you will always feel, just how loved you are.


I had no idea how wonderful being a grandma would be.

Thankyou for showing me.























I love you. Love Grandma xxxx









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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Take that routine!

I think....in fact I am sure, that I have clambered out of the pit. The dark and stifling misery has gone, I can breathe again.
This week has been a total breath of fresh air to me, so out of the norm, so refreshing and spontaneous.
Back in the day, when I was on my own with the 3 big kids, we had an almost idyllic life. We did what was right at the time, we got up and went, we explored and made memories.
This life I live now, this life of routine and structure, it has been strangling me.
I do things that I want to do but I realised that I do them while I watch the clock, while I think about being back for this time, making sure this happens, not forgetting that. Which is, I know, what most mothers do.
This week, I have thrown all caution to the wind.
The beach on a school night.
Hot dogs for dinner...really, actual hot dogs for dinner. Who thought?
I am absolutely letting myself off the hook.
No-one will die if I don't cook meat and 2 veg every single night. Imagine.
I have barely been shopping.

I bought 2 pictures, really, really beautiful pictures, these 2 pictures....


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and

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This one is called " Be not afraid" and what better reminder can we have in our home than this?

I have wanted these pictures for years and somehow there always seemed to be something else to pay for, something else we needed, something else to do.
This week I stopped thinking about something else and I bought them because I want to have beautiful things in my home, I need to see images such as these when I am sitting and thinking.

I am sure I won't be completely abandoning my Martha Stewart wannabe tendencies but oh how splendid this week off has been.

The boys have been to bed late every day this week, I feel like the summer holidays are already here, at school there is a definite feeling of " is it all over yet?" the weather has been glorious, the past 2 days the temperature has reached 28 C, oh it's so summery and glorious.

This morning, Sophie and I went to Teignmouth, we sat on the beach and we walked around town.
Her phone rang and it was Charles, a man she met last week who is so keen to know her, he calls and texts and she tries to hide and pretend she doesn't like him..but she can't quite convince herself ( or me) he called to say that he wanted to come and see her before he went to London for the day.
She told him where we were and then she said " Can we go and buy some clothes that cover me more?"
YES SHE DID!!!
She was wearing shorter than short shorts and a top that was fighting to hold those boobs of hers in and was losing.
We went and bought the prettiest T-shirt and some white capris...and she looked so beautiful, so lovely, she was so scared of meeting him, she told me not to leave her....I did of course, after meeting him and shaking his hand ( because he said " it's lovely to meet you and held out his hand...I love him already!)
I think she is ready to let someone be kind to her, to allow someone in to get to know the real Sophie and I hope she can calm her fears enough to stop the usual 'run and hide' thing she does. When she meets someone she likes and then they like her back she is terrified and she won't answer calls, won't meet up with them. I hope this time she can allow herself to enjoy what she deserves.
She is the sweetest girl, how wonderful that she knows that now and is more and more willing to let the world see it too.
A good week.
Splendid.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Be still my soul.

Yesterday, my friends asked me to go with them to the beach...after school, on an actual school day, in the evening, on the spur of the moment.
And I did.
And my H did.

He took his shoes off.


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There was the glorious feeling of doing whatever felt good at the time...

There was walking....




And capturing of memories.



And running .....






And finding treasure, like dead crabs.




And stinky fish....

Sandy snot....



And glorious people.

There was rock climbing and exploring....

And LIVE crabs and little fish. Big boys to show them....


And there were a few moments of perfect bliss.

And we stayed, on a school night, until the sun set.....

And I know, really know, that this is what I need.
How lucky I am that it is all here and I am here.....gratitude by the bucketful.














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