The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Friday, September 29, 2006

Perhaps we should all be autistic

I had to explain one of the most difficult things ever to Mstr A today. Even harder than the first time I said to him "if you're not sure what to do, just copy what everyone else does" or "There is no reason, it's just the normal way we do it, and people don't like it if you do it differently", or even "everybody lies sometimes".

No, today I had to explain the concept of malice to my sweet 6 year old child. He didn't get it:-( "why would anyone deliberately get me into trouble?" he asked as I explained the behaviour of the grinning three year old in front of us (who had sucessfully got Mstr A told off for the previous four occasions I had collected him).

What do you say in answer to that? "some pople are nasty"? "some people like to hurt others"? "some people need to feel they are superior"? I don't want him to view the world like that. His absolute belief that everybody he meets is interested in him & his welfare is one of the best things about his (possible) Asbergers. The alternative is likely to be the absolute belief that everyone he meets is out to hurt him, and that does not lead to a happy or productive life.

I obviously failed to explain it sufficiently, because he just doen't get it. But it is something I am going to have to tackle, otherwise he will be unmercifully taunted at school & as he still hasn't quite got his anger management sorted out, will quickly get into shed loads of trouble:-(


I think these anti-biotics are actually working and I am finally getting better! I feel well on the road to recovery - having managed two days without morning naps, and I even cycled LMB to & from school this aftrnoon. I didn't think it was worth risking over-stressing my body so I didn't take Mstr A this morning, he scooted himself. No phone call from the school today. I'm not sure if that's because nobody complained or they just can't be bothered to pass the complaints on any more, and I don't really care:-)

It's something that will probably be happening a lot more often anyway, because at 2.40 this afternoon I recieved a call, offering me three weeks work in the solicitors sister office in Wedmore, as a prelude to starting the real trainee legal exec job in the Weston office.

Starting monday!

I said yes, and shot off to collect LMB & Mstr A from school. I collected LMB, and did ask if she could start full time, knowing that there wasn't a hope. As the only council pre-school in the town, it's pretty oversubscribed, and they've already sent out a letter saying don't ask for any extra sessions until January! They did promise to check, but admitted it was incredibly unlikely. On to plan B.

On they way home we stopped off at the pre-school/nursery round the corner. Both LMB & LMD used to go there part time when I worked before. They had a FT place for LMB, but only a couple of days for LMD. I took it. Mstr A's school does have an after-school club, but I don't have a phone no. for them - I'll have to phone the school on Monday. I feel there may be some serious work for Nanny A for a few weeks till I get childcare properly sorted:-)

I'm not sure if we'll be able to get LMB's funding transferred - apparently it's up to the pre-school. I know it's only 2 1/2 hours a day, but it still works out at about £60 a week.

Still, on the whole, I think a hurrah is in order:-) I'm sure I'll get the childcare sorted out sometime.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Parental choice

I sent Mstr A to school on his own again this morning. I drove him there yesterday, but it's WRONG to drive your kids to school, & I want him to grow up healthy & independant, so thought it would be better to let him take himself there.

Last time he went on his own we recieved a phone call that afternoon from the school saying that they had recieved a complaint from a parent that he had cycled alone. Aggie fielded the call, which is lucky, as he was very polite about it. He explained that it was a one off because I was ill. The school said that they have a rule that children should not cycle alone until they have their cycling profiency (min age 10 round here), and he said that's OK. He also said that it wouldn't happen again. The school suggested that if he did have to come to school on hi own again we should send him in a taxi!

I wasn't very impressed when he told me & said it would undoubtedly happen again! If I'm ill again, or more likely, if the girls are sick, I am not going to drag them out in the freezing cold/rain unecessarily - and accompanying Mstr A while he cycles to school is unecessary imo. I also pointed out that how my child gets to school is parental choice, and the school has absolutely no say in it anyway. they have no responsibility for him until he enters the school gates, and no right to tell him or me when is is able to go out alone. I am absolutely appalled at the suggestion of sending him 1 mile to school in a Taxi, which is immoral, unethical, unsafe and expensive! Immoral because I am trying to teach him about the environment & healthy living, unethical because the school has said they want to reduce the number of children being driven to school, and have initiatives to encouage children to walk. Unsafe because taxi drivers are not CRB checked, do not have to use child seats, and are statistically more likely to be criminals than pretty much any other profession. I have no idea how much it would cost to send him in a taxi, but it's definitely more than we can afford!

In fact the more I thought about it, the angrier I got. "A parent had complained"? Since when do schools pass on complaints about parenting choices to other parents? If they were honestly concerned about his safety or wellbeing, they sould pass on their concerns to social services! If I can complain about parenting techniques seen during the school run, i think the things that affect all the kids are slightly more important! For example, parents who chain smoke while walking to/from school, and/or waiting outside the school gates. Or indeed, the ones who insist on driving 1/2 mile each way every day, causing major traffic problems. How about the parents who send their kids to school with a packet of crisps and a couple of chocolate biscuits for lunch - those kids cause chaos with bad behaviour every day. Maybe I should complain next time I see a child arrive at school wearing Lelli Kelly shoes - causing scores of screams from every other girl in the playground. In fact there is no shortage of things to "complain" about in your average state school. We do not all parent our kids the same way! What a sad world it would be if we did!

So this morning, when I sent him off on his scooter (see, as Aggie had said he wouldn't cycle alone again, I sent him on his scooter instead) I was half expecting him to be told it's not allowed & had primed him to answer any complaint made to him with "my mum says it's ok, and it's up to her", but apperently the parent(s) were too scared to say anything to a 6 year old, and complained to the school again. They phoned this afternoon - and got to speak to me this time:-) The moment he said "Mstr A travelled to school alone this morning" I launched into a spiel about parental choice & the school minding their own business. He did accept that it is parental choice, and pointed out the school rule about cycling alone. I immediately came back that he didn't cycle, which seemed to take him aback a bit, so obviously the complaints were not very coherant (truthful), although that rule was completely unenforcable! I also pointed out that he's in year 2 (top infants to us oldies) - that's not a baby! When I was his age, not only did I walk much further to school each day - over a main road too - but I also took my little sisters there and back and my baby brother home from nursery. And the country is a hell of a lot safer now that then (check the stats on ROSPA), and here than there. He finished the call by saying he did not agree year 2 is old enough to come to school alone. I finished by saying it would happen again - not a lot, but definitely occasionally.

Apparently some of the parents complaining were from the old school, which is even worse!

I am considering writing an open letter for the schools to hand out to any parent who complains again. Although I don't really see why I have to justify my parenting to people who are too scared/lazy to speak to me myself, rather than hide behind the school!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More meds

I went back to the Dr's again today. My course of anti-biotics was completed on Monday, and it's pretty damn obvious that I'm not better! I'm still coughing alot, I'm still running a tempreture, I'm still exhausted 24 hours a day, plus I've aquired a scarily painful headache and a very itchy rash:-( I assumed the rash was a reaction to the amoxicillin, but Dr says probably not.

He was quite surprised that the infection hadn't cleared up. He listened to my chest and said "oh! It is till there isn't it?" well duh! Like I coudn't tell! So now I've got another weeks worth of antibiotics. Cela-something this time. that's a non penicillin based one, which I don't think I've been given before. I also picked up a wide selection of painkillers from the supermarket in the hope that one of them will help clear the headaches.

I made Aggie take the train to work today so I could use the car for the school runs - considering how difficult I find it to stand upright, I am terrified of getting on the bike again at the moment. Aggie had a lump removed from his leg yesterday, so I feel a bit bad about making him walk to & from the train station. I've not provided much support for him over the past week or so:-( I really, really hope these meds are going to make a difference!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Juggling again?

Yay me! Despite still feeling pretty icky (I'm going to have to go back to the Dr's tomorrow, as I've finished the course of anti-biotics now, and I'm definitely not well yet. Better than a week ago, but still unable to stay awake for a whole day, or balance on my bike, or walk for more than 10 mins without being exhausted!), I managed to haul myself out of bed today, get my hair cut, dress in a posh suit, put on some jewellary and go off to a job interview.

It went well:-) They are considering me for a full time Legal Executive position, which would be just great. I've got to go back next week sometime for a second interview with the partner (today's was with the practise manager), but it sounds like unless the partner detests me on sight, I've probably got the job! The partner is on holiday this week, so I won't know for sure till they get back and organise to meet me, and I may be optimistically misinterpreting what he said, but that's how it sounded to me:-)

So, with any luck i will soon be juggling home & work again.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'm famous, me!

This blog was featured in the magazine of the Bristol Evening Post yesterday! That's like a real local paper - the Bristolian equivilent of the Evening Standard in London! I'm still not sure why it was chosen, but it's kind of nice that it was:-) Although my stats haven't changed one iota, so fame obviously isn't all it's cracked up to be;-) Still, when they suggested using a model in the picture, I was hoping for a whimsical Anjelina Jolie, but sadly what I got was a frumpy windswept mumsy type:-( Ho hum!

I made it to London yesterday - just. I arrived at 4pm & fell into bed. My mother arrived home at 6pm & dragged me up and out for supper, which did help a bit, but I still gave up even pretending to be Ok at 9pm & went back to bed. Apparently my mother is very worried about me. Not worried enough to take some time off work & visit, obviously, but very worried all the same. Humph!

The course this morning went well - a few coughing attacks, but we all survived! But driving home afterwards was a nightmare. I had to come right accross south London - which is never fun, and certainly not on a Saturday afternoon, with a headache, cough & tired anyway. As soon as I reached the M4 I stopped at Heston services & crashed out for an hour. Then I stopped again for 15 mins at Reading, for supper & a nap at Membury & for a quick break at Leigh Delamare - where I picked up a couple of hitch-hikers to keep me awake & alert for the final stretch home. I did go through all the services on the way there too, but hitch-hikers are thin on the ground nowadays. I think it's a sad thing to lose - I spent many years hitching around the world - I met fantastic people, saw places that I could never have seen otherwise, and learned alot about people & the country in the process.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Almost alive

It's been a pretty horrendous week. I was really, really ill:-( After I called Aggie home on Tuesday, I took myself to bed, and barely got up agin until this morning! Aggie's had to take the whole week off, which I know was really bad timing for him, but I couldn't stand up, I couldn't even stay awake for more than 30 mins at a time, and I didn't even have the energy to care what the kids were getting uo to let alone do anything about it!

Fortunately the antibiotics are starting to kick in now, and I felt well enough to actually get up and dressed this morning. I've made it through the day with only two short naps, and I'm hoping to stay up long enough to reset my body clock into day & night!

I've got a course to teach in London on Sunday morning and I absolutely have to make it - we really need the money, and when you're self employed phoning in sick is not much of an option. It would probably cost me more that I got paid to hire in a replacement tutor - if I could find one willing to work a Sunday morning! I was starting to be really concerned about it - but today has made me feel that it will be do-able. Hard work, but do-able. I'm going to travel up tomorrow afternoon & stay at my mothers so there won't be too much on one day for me.

After Tuesday's babysitting day, Aggie did start to do alot more around the house. His excuse is that he had a headache on Tuesday;-) But since then he has managed to keep the kitchen & front room clean & tidy, and even put a load of laundry on when asked! He's done pretty much all of the school runs in the car though *shakes head sadly in disgust*

Good news!

We got a new mattress for LMB from freecycle! So she's back in her own bed in her own room. Hurrah!

I was rudely awakened from my np this afternoon by a phone call from a local solicitors, who want me to come to interview on Monday for a job! Yay me! Writing all those on spec letters was worthwhile after all:-)

Nanny A came over today and gave the downstairs a damn good scrubbing. She's so good like that:-) The house gets pretty dirty normally with my desultary efforts at housework, but she really had her work cut out for her today as I haven't done anything at all for the past couple of weeks!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The trouble with men

is that they have no initiative! Aggie will follow instructions, but I do have to give those instructions in clear simple plain english.

I slept downstairs again last night - if I lie flat I immediately start coughing non stop as I can not breathe properly, so it's easier all round to sleep sitting up on the sofa. Unfortunately, it does mean don't get loads of sleep, but at least everyone else in the house does. When Aggie came down this morning he asked how I was feeling & i said awful. He also moaned & groaned a bit, so i suggested he stay at home. I think my exact words were "you don't have to go to work today". He went to work.

i struggled through getting the kids fed , washed & dressed, and sent Mstr A off to school, then collapsed on the sofa again unable to breathe, move or stand up. A Dora DVD saved the girls from killing themselves/each other for a couple of hours, by which time I was feeling even worse. I called Aggie & told him to come home. If i can't stand up unaided, there is no way I am going to be able to cycle LMB to school & back!

He came home, I went to bed. I got p again to calm LMB down from a screaming fit about something. He took LMB to school (leaving LMD with me), came home & put LMD down fo a nap, then I assume he played on the computer all afternoon. He certainly didn't clear the lunch plates away, tidy up, vacuum, do any laundry, run the dishwasher, or do any of the things that needed to be done.

He's fine as a babysitter - but what I really needed was someone to cover my job for a couple of days. *sigh* He will moan that the place is a mess each evening, but obviously the thought of tidying it up hasn't occured to him!

I'm making him stay home tomorrow too. I need to just sleep - dozing on the sofa or catching an hour's nap while LMD is asleep isn't going to be enough to kick this infection. Hopefully a day in bed & the anti-biotics will get me on my feet again. I have to see Mstr A's teacher tomorrow (I can't postpone it again!), and I have to at least turn up at college otherwise I'm going to lose my place!

Oh yes - please go and enter my competition for a snap band on the post below - I've only had one response! That will never get me more freebies!!!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Today was the first time I have ever cancelled a course:-( It was only a freebie taster session for my local NCT playgroup, but still.....

I had to cancel as I wouldn't have been able to speak for more than a couple of minutes without collapsing on the floor in a fit of coughing, which doesn't look incredibly professional when teaching the treatment for choking! also my Dr's appointment was 5 minutes before the course started.

hopefully it's just postponed till next week.

Today was the first time Mstr A was truely independant - taking himself to and from school alone. He's really proud of himself, and rightly so. I'm amazingly proud of him too - although I was getting a bit stressed when 3.30 rolled round and there was no sign of him. If we keep this up, he's going to have to take his phone to school! I am not totally immune to all the media scare stories about protecting our kids!

Today was the first day I used the TV as a full time baby sitter. It did work - for a while anyway. Both the girls sat gormlessly in front of CBeebies for well over an hour. They just sat there! I now understand the evil TV can be! Unfortunately, by the time I put LMD down for her nap & tried to grab an hours sleep myself, LMB was well bored of the telly & spent most of the time jumping on me:-)

Today was the first time I took a taxi for a short local journey. Afetr the horrendous journey to the Dr's I walked round to the big Boots next door to fill my prescription. Just to discover that it doesn't have a pharmacy!! After queuing for 10 minutes to be told this, I was almost passing out where I stood & couldn't face trying to find a bus stop, & wait even longer, then walk home, so called a cab. I had a lovely woman driver - I suppose it's quite a good job to work around school hours.

Today was the first time I actually got something out of this blog:-) A big box arrived in the post containing four of these :

These are flourescent snap bands. A present from 3M, who sent me three for my lovely children, and one for a lucky blog reader. It's a clever marketing ploy, but I accepted it because they really are useful products. The size of a ruler when unrolled, the bands are made out of a clever metal & covered in a really bright flourescent plastic. Just tap them onto an arm or leg and they immediately snap around the limb and become a flourescent band, easy to wear & easy to see. They also work well as bicycle clips:-) All my kids think they are great toys, and love wearing them when we're out on the bikes. On the way home last night I saw someone wearing them on his ankle, and even though he was dressed completely in black the car headlights picked him up from miles off - so they really do make you more visable!

So, to win one of your very own snap bands, tell me what "first" did you do today?


Mstr A cycled to school all alone today. I felt quite sad as I waved him off this morning. I know he's taken himself to school a few times before, but that was when I could stand outside my house & watch him go the whole way & enter the school gates. This morning he just yelled "bye mum" as he zipped past & out of sight.

Well, the school hasn' t phoned me yet to ask where he is, so I assume he got there safely;-)

He had to go on his own as I haven't had the time or energy to meet any other parents who live in this direction, and I had a Dr's appointment at 9.25 in the other surgery - the one that's 5 miles away. We have such a chronic shortage of GP's in Weston (I really have no idea why) that when they built the extra 15,000 homes near th motorway, they also built a lovely new health centre to house 6 Dr's, a few midwives, nurses etc, then couldn't find anyone to put in it. So some kind of wierd deal was done with my surgery (and probably some others) that the Dr's will all spend 50% of their time in the new surgery. Of course I expect they had to take on a load of new patients, while still keeping 100% of their home surgery patients, which is why seeing my own Dr is such a problem.

But when I phoned this morning I insisted on seeing Dr Y. He's probably the only family Dr I've ever built up a decent relationship with, and he knows (the rather complicated) family medical history, and NEVER makes me feel that I'm wasting his time or coming to him unecessarily! But as he's there all day, there was where I had to go, and i couldn't get there on time and take Mstr A to school.

Actually I couldn't get there on time! Because the bus broke down in the middle of an estate and although the driver promised "they'd be another one along soon" we opted to walk the rest of th way, got a bit lost, went round in circles, and jogged the last 1/2 mile with LMD sitting on LMB's lap in the pushchair!

Still, Dr Y is ALWAYS running late, and I was only 3 minutes past the appointment time, so it wasn't a problem. When I went into see him he immediately recognised that there was problem! I explained the same symptoms to him as I had to Dr B Friday week ago. He actually took my tempreture, which, as I had said, was slightly raised (38.1), but as I usually run at 35.4, it was quite high for me. Then he listened to my chest. Properly. Under my clothes. More than once! And immediately siad that I had an infection in my right lung. And that i probably got it when I first started feeling hot!

A prescription for amoxycillin quickly followed, and hopefully I'll start feeling better soon.

I ill never go back to Dr B. That's the third time I've seen her for something, and the 3rd time she's made me feel like a complete time waster hyperchondriac! he also missed what could be a life threatening condition, if not for me, then for Aggie who is, after all, on anti-immune system drugs! If he gets a chest infection it's pretty damn serious.

Aggie wants to complain, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. I'd like to think she'll get an informal reprimand & try to be a bit more understanding in future, but I think it's more likely that she will either brush it off as completely inconsequential while branding us as trouble-makers, or that it will go too far and we'll be yet another Dr down in the surgery!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The little shit!

LMB's fever broke early last night. She took herself off to bed early, still feeling ill, and when I went up to tuck her in properly she refused to put a nappy on. She's been wearing a nappy all day while she's been ill, and we only tried a couple of nights without one last week. It was an abject failiure so we returned to night-time nappies quite happily. Until last night. Last night she assured me she didn't want one & wouldn't wee in her bed, so I let her wear just her pyjama's.

I checked on her before we went to bed & her fever had broken & she was sleeping the blissful sleep of the very young. I crawled into bed thinking of the lie in all the Kids & Aggie had promised me.

At 6.15 am I hear a wail from LMB's room: "mummy. mummy. MUMMY! Come here!" I give Aggie a desultory kick, but I know that it's a waste of time. a) because he won't wake up, and b) because even if he did - I'm awake now anyway! So i shout that I'm coming & drag myself into LMB's room.

"Whats wrong LMB? It's still night time." (it's always worth a try)

"I've done a poo"

OK, that's not so terrible. She has a potty in her room after all. "where have you done the poo? In your pyjama's or in the potty? Do you need your bottom wiped?" (she can't do this herself yet).

"No, in my bed" she wails.

My heart sinks. I turn on the light. I approach the bed - and the smell hits me. She has not just pooed in her bed, she has apparently then taken her pyjama bottoms off, kicked the sheet off, and rolled around in her own excrement for a while! It's on her legs, feet, hands, back, and hair. It's on her matress, duvet, sheet and pillows. It's not nice solid poo, easy to clean pellets, or even washable squishy stuff. Oh no, LMB has chosen to spread the stickiest, blackest, smelliest, nastiest poo in the world accross her bdroom. It was like a scene from a dirty protest!

Half a pack of wipes, a bath & shower, a LOT of bleach & febreeze and we're starting to salvage the situation. Aggie was rudely shoved out of bed & got on with the bed & bedding while I sorted out LMB - berating her the whole time. I don't think she'll be repeating the incident very soon!

Obviously all the commotion woke the other two. Once clean, I allowed them to come downstairs & sit gormlessly in front of CBeebies for an hour. So much for catching up on my sleep this weekend!

However, despite being completely knackered, and me & Aggie spending the morning alternating naps, we have got quite alot done today. We've cleaned out the front room (a little bit), finished putting the insulation on the bathroom ceiling, cleaned the hen house ready for the chickens we haven't got yet, re-arranged the garden, cleared out all the re-enactment stuff from the car & put it all away for the winter, and taught Mstr A how to make meccano models.

Tomorrow we are going to take a real day off & go off to Bucks to visit BiL & cousins K & K. It's boy cousin K's 6th birthday so we're going to fill their house up for them:-)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Blogging up close & personal

I have been taking part in a couple of blogging surveys recently. I have no idea who gets employed to surf through the millions of blogs & send emails to all the women/Brits/mums/whatever in the blogosphere, but that has got to be a fun job:-)

Anyway, some, like the womens blogging thing were just " answer yes or no" & send it back, but one, from Aukland Uni was a real show & tell, with open questions & follow up queries on many of the things I wrote. One of the big questions she was trying to get her head round was using blogs for personal comments, and the effect on people irl.

Every time I answered one of her questions, she would email back with another, basically asking, am i sure that blogging hasn't ruined my real life relationships. I been thinking about this, and I guess it depends on what you write & who reads it:-) I know my husband & mother-in-law (and probably my sister) read this, so I don't write deliberately inflamatory comments about them. But then again, I don't think I write deliberately inflamatory comments about anyone (not even my mother - much). If I wanted to air my deepest, darkest, middle of the night thoughts, I do not think a diary type blog is the place to do it!

Equally, I think in many ways blogging has improved many of my real life relationships. There are things you can say in writing that would be almost impossible to say to someones face. And I (or they) can respond with reasoned thought in my own time, rather than in a confrontational situation. You can ask questions that could easily be misconstrued in real life. And talk to people whose idea's are the polar opposite of your own without a) travelling across the world, and b) having a screaming match:-)

So what do you think, is blogging good or bad for rl relationships?

The miracle cure

Not that I recommend it to anyone, but I completely forgot how awful i felt yesterday (well, actually I didn't forget, cos it still hurt to remind me, but I did ignore it) when LMB went down with a bug.

She was fine when we started eating at about 5.30pm. But she didn't finish all her spag bol (her favourite), and at 6pm said she was tired and wanted to go to bed. As her normal bedtime is 6.30, I assumed it was just the excitement of school catching up on her & agreed. We used it as an excuse to get the other two off to bed early and were just sitting down to relax in front of the Tv at 7p when she starts crying.

I went up to her & she said she felt sick so i gave her a cuddle - she was burning up! Like really really hot. We took her temp and it was over 40'. She refused to drink anything and has always been intolerant to paracetemol, so there wasn't much we could do. I opted for TLC (cuddles) and she soon drifted back to sleep. But it wasn't very relaxed sleep, and she was awake again less than 30 mins later. We took her temp again and it had gone up to 40.7'. As 41' is officially a hospital job, We called the Dr.

Aggie started to get a bit stressed about meningitus, even though I said she didn't show any of the meningitus specific symptoms (although of course the problem with menigicochal menigitus is that the symptoms are not particularly specific until it is lready well advanced), and the dr didn't help by telling him to take her straight off to the GP surgery at the hospital.

The GP surgery is a great invention. I know we have one here because of the chronic shortage of GP's, and the large number of migrant people (holiday makers mostly), but I reckon everywhere should have one. It's so much more sensible to take the patients to the dr's out of hours, than to make the dr drive around town doing house calls! Anyway, I packed her into the car & drove down to the hospital. They were expecting her, & had all her notes already - even though it was less tha 10 mins since we'd first called our surgery. There were two other people there when we arrived - both young children with fever & vomiting. A third arrived shorty arfter us.

When we went in the Dr asked if she'd vomited - I said no, although she was complaining of feeling sick. He took her temp, agreed she was hot, had a quick look over her & told me she had a fever:-) I agreed, and explained that I knew what to do, but she wasn't very co-operative, being unable to take paracetemol & refusing to drink anything. Oh well, it's going to be a tough night for you then, was his reply;-) LMB with impeccable timing chose this moment to throw up. A lot! Everywhere! All over me, all over him, all over herself, all over the surgery floor, all over the bed. "I expect that will the first of many" said the Dr gloomily.

I brought her home wrapped in a blanket (unfortunately I didn't have the option of stripping off my own clothes), bathed her & put her back to bed. After the fifth time of going in to her, I brought her into our bed & put up with having a little ball of fire snuggled up next to me. I don't think we got through more than about 30 mins sleep at a time the whole night. Plus Mstr A was up complianing he didn't feel well at about 4am! Fortunately he went back to bed after a drink, and seems fine this morning.

LMB is still running a temp, but it is below 40', and she is more lucid this morning too. She's even eaten a couple of spoonfuls of breakfast. Me & Aggie are walking zombies:-(

And I expect I've got the others to look forward too, as bugs rarely stay with one person. In fact, Aggie reckons he's going down with it already:-(

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

To sleep, perchance to dream

All I want is...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Feeling the burn

My legs are starting to complain now we're doing the school run six times a day! It probably doesn't help that:
a) Mstr a is getting better so much quicker than I am
b) My breathing is still severely restricted, and my coughing fits can prevent me taking any breaths at all for a good few seconds at a time.
c) It's still hot! In September!
d) I haven't had a full nights sleep for over a week & my body is really protesting the life I am making it lead.
e) The girls hate the trailer & spend their whole time in it fighting & screaming!

Still, LMB loves going to school & has started making friends there, so that's good.

I am now the proud owner of a hen house and run. All free from freecycle - they are even delivering it to my house tomorrow morning as it was a bit bigger than I expected. How cool is that? Of course, I have no chickens yet, but hopefully I should get some soon. I think I'll have to buy them though as freecycle does not allow animals to be traded:-) I'm going to spend tomorrow digging our "vegetable patch" over too, ready to plant some stuff. I know it's the wrong time of year, but I can get some things in at least.

We've hopefully started to sort out our finances - provided we can make it through this month! If I could just have 24 hours off to sleep, things would seem much better;-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

still croaking

I've still got this horrendous cough. It's really getting me down now as nothing seems to stop it! I've tried all sorts of over the counter stuff, but nothing works for more than a couple of minutes. It's really starting to cause problems because I can't get any sleep, and my days are still just as busy - with cycling, playgroups, schools and kids demanding attention all the time.

I did go to the Dr on friday, but I didn't see my own Dr, and the woman I did see didn't listen to a word I said, briefly listened to my chest over my clothes (which no-one else has ever done before), then sent me off with a prescription for a cough medicine that I told her i'd already tried and had no effect whatsoever! I'm going back tomorrow to insist on seeing my own Dr.

It also made the weekend a bit tough - I was really miserable on friday evening & went to bed really early - only to give up in the middle of the night and dose in the car while Aggie & the kids got a small amount of sleep in the tent. It was a strange event, because there was no living history element to the event, so there was no authentic camp & nothing much to do all day, except wait for the men to go to war at 3pm:-) It was nice to be able to sit in hairs with backs on all day;-) And to eat crisps & ice cream;-) But I don't get the point of staying on a plastic camp. there are many, many re-enactors that do it, but I just don't get the point.

Poor CQ was really ill on Saturday night too, and had a miserable Sunday too. Add in the fact that the evil, penny pinching, miserable, short-sighted Monmouthshire County Council (who own Caldicot Castle) insisted that re-enactors would still have to pay the entrance fee to actually go into the castle (something that NO other owner has ever asked, in all the events I have attended), which meant that none of us saw the castle itself (mstr A was really upset - he loves doing the official tours at each place we go to & learns loads from them), and it doesn't rank as one of the best events ever.

Still, it's quite sad that the season is over. Although I'm looking forward to next year - and I've got ton's of things to get ready for then. Not least is all new clothes as we attended more than 10 events and have a year in with this group now, so get to go up a rank (hopefully) for next year. I expect it will take me a couple of months just to make all the buttons we're going to need! Also Mstr A has been accepted as page to young Lord Hungerford. the guy who plays young Lord Hungerford is great with all the kids, but i still think he's ever so brave to take Mstr A on - he's going to have his work cut out for him;-) But It'll be great for Mstr A - who will learn all about knight's, armour, sword-fighting & the fuedal system from his lord - who has really researched his stuff (personal knowledge & research is one of the criteria of becomming a Lord). Although it also means he needs nice new clothes in his Lords House colours: Red and green. I don't have any red or green wool!

Although it will be nice to have a spare weekend to get on with all the stuff that needs doing. Maybe even finish the bathroom ceiling? Although, actually, I think we have things booked on every weekend till December anyway. oh well.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's a start

Aggie put up 1/3 of the insulation on the bathroom ceiling last night. It's a start:-) We got the insulation free from freecycle, so it's not pristine, but it will do the job hopefully, and with any luck the kids can carry on bathing in there this winter, and give me time to finish off our en-suite upstairs.

Of course, we are renowned for starting projects. Finishing them is another matter all together! But a bathroom is pretty important, so hopefully it will get done to useable at the very least. Bathroom suites seem to come up fairly regularly on freecycle too, so maybe I'll get a new bath one day, and you never know, even a matching sink! I wish I'd found the site years ago - there's tons of stuff on there!

I heard back from a few solicitors today. Nice letters, but all saying there are no vacancies right now:-( I'll keep looking in the local paper for the right job, but it's going to take time. The bank hasn't phoned back yet, despite promising to (bastards) and they charged us for returning an item that I phoned them & told them not to pay! (bastards). I think I can work out a long term financial plan, but we're still buggered at the moment, so I've got a further round of phone calls to make tomorrow:-(

On the plus side, I've got a couple of courses next month, which will mean we can take some money with us on the Crazies holiday to Cornwall in November, and go to the groups medieval banquet on my birthday weekend at the end of November. Talking of which, it's the last event of the season this weekend - a big multi-group event at Caldicot castle The kids will have to squeeze into the same clothes again, as I haven't made them new ones despite intending to! But i have managed to sew a couple of ragdolls for the girls. CQ is hoping to come along again, so I should get some time off of childminding duties too:-)

I'm still hacking my guts up:-( But the cycling isn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Of course next week I have to do an extra two journeys each day, so I'm sure it will be noticable then!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

croak & groan

My cough is getting worse:-( It really hurts my chest & throat now, and I've pretty much lost my voice, barely managing a whispered croak most of the time. LMB has got it too, and spent half the night keeping us awake!

My legs are starting to feel the cycling now, and it's a struggle to sum up the will to get back on the bike for each journey. If would probably be better if I could breathe properly tho.....

On the plus side,

Mstr A said this morning "I didn't think I'd like cycling to school, but it's really good". Hurrah! And he's nearly as fast as me already!

Aggies new and expensive eugenic drugs seem to be doing a good job, and his skin is gradually clearing up. They're not making much impact on the arthritus tho:-(

Everyone who phoned me today said how awful i sounded. Usually I could be literally at deaths door and still look and sound just fine, so it's nice to get a bit of sympathy;-)

Mstr A seems to be settling well into school.

LMB went to visit her new pre-school today, and I didn't see her for dust! I don't think ther will be any problem settling her in next Monday:-)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Completely fucked!

I am completely fucked - I've been battling a cough kindly donated by cousin G last weekend, and woke up this morning with a throat that felt larger than my stomch (and that's large!), a miserable croak instead of my usual strident shouting voice, and a drop in my blood pressure just enough to make those pretty spots turn up every time I moved my head more than a few degree's!

I successfully fed, cleaned & dressed all the kids in plenty of time for school & loaded the girls into the trailer thing. I left 30 mins to get to school - cos I just did't know how well behaved Mstr A would be. He's good at cycling straight, but if he has to stop, he can be a nightmare to get started again! Fortunately there were no problems & we arrived at school 15 mins early!

I unpack the girls, find his classroom, give a quick debrief on importnat thigs to remember (personal space, follow the rules, listen to others etc), have a very quick chat with teacher & hand over Ed Psych report & Paediatrician report, and last years school report, and wave goodbye.

Pack the girls back into the trailer. Cycle back, via the shops to pick up some food for tonight, and get home to very wobbly legs and a phone full of answerphone messages.

We are completely fucked financially. Aggie has just been paid & we are already up to our borrowing limits. I spend the next hour on the phone begging the bank to be nice, the supermarket to still deliver our months food tonight and the college to let me start my course anyway & pay by installments.

Aggie is all caught up with the idea of being self sufficient (ish) again (we've discussed it before) and is planning platforms for water butts, vegetable patches & chicken runs in the garden. I sent out loads of "on spec" applications to local solicitors. And a real job application. It's not that I don't like the self sufficient idea, just that I know it will take a year at least to see any real benifits and what I really want to do costs money up front! Anyone got a few spare solar panals/windmill hanging around? Getting a job won't necessarily make any difference to our true finances, as all my pay will go on childcare costs, but it will make our creditors much happier & more willing to lend us enough to get through the next few years. Come 2009, all the kids will be in school & our outgoings will drastically reduce - i hope!

After sorting that lot out, I took the kids up to Tuesday playgroup - the first one after the summer break. I thought we'd be grown up & walk there, and happily watched as both girls went running up the road. By the time we were three quarters of the way up our street LMD was being crried because she had just stopped moving. Once over the first junction I had both girls clinging on to me. Tuesday playgroup is at the top of a very big hill!

They played nicely - I ate plenty of free toast:-) Then I carried them home again! There was barely time for lunch, LMD nap & LMB learning time, before I was packing them back in the trailer & back to school to collect Mstr A.

He had a good day apparently:-) He came out with a big grin. Teacher was fairly happy - only a couple of niggles. a number of children said goodbye to him as we stuttered our way back home on the bikes through the crowds.

Once home, there was a whole 10 minutes spare to feed all the kids a nutritious snack, get Mstr A changed, and zoom back out to drop Aggie off at a hospital appt and Mstr A to his 1st gymnastics lesson. LMB was very upset that she couldn't join in. I had to promise that i would take her to a pre-school class later in the week. Oh goody - more cycling!

Get Mstr A signed in, settled down & sorted out. Try (unsuccessfully) to explain his foibles to his coach. fuck it, she can work it out as she goes along. I told them he should go in the 4-6 age group, but they insisted he goes into the 6-9 year olds. On their head be it! Once warm-up is finished and he seems to be OK, I take the girls back to the hospital to collect daddy, then return for Mstr A.

We finally make it home at 6.30pm - which is the girls bedtime. I start making supper! We eat supper, change & wash the kids & pack them into their respective rooms. LMB is trying her first night nappyless. Oh joy, oh rapture. I foresee much waking during the next few nights!

Now i get to sit down, just for a few minutes before getting on with the washing & tidying that didn't really get done today.

And then I can do it all again tomorrow, but with a few extra bits added in!

Michelle has got a question up on her blog - would you give up 2 years of your life if you could fulfill all of your personal, financial, spiritual and professional ambitions. Fuck yes! My life is just one stress after another right now. In fact, I would say it is completely fucked!

Monday, September 04, 2006

How can people say no?

The latest test results for Cervarix and Gardasil are even better than expected, offering a pretty much guarenteed innoculation against one of the most feared diseases in the world today.
"it would mean 262 deaths each year, compared with the current level of around 1,000.
The number of annual cases of the disease would also drop from 2,841 to 682. "

So a nationwide innoculation jab, delivered through the schools, exactly the same as rubella innoculations were given up to just a few years ago (now part of the 5 in 1 jab for babies) would save over 700 lives and over 2000 people would not have to hear the dreaded "you've got cancer" in the UK each year. In developing countries the numbers are infintely higher. Sounds good to me.

It sounds good to lots of people, but guess what? Not all! In America there is already a growing movement from the "religious right" groups protesting the idea of the jab. Apparently they believe that preventing the majority of cervical cancer cases will promote promiscuity and undermine their abstinance model of sexual health. Because, of course, cervical cancer is the ONLY risk of promiscuity! And "just say NO" has worked so well, for so long, in so many countries!

I was amazed when I first came accross a blog protesting the trials of these drugs. I asked how the blog owner could be so sanguine about allowing people to die unnecessarily. I was answered with the comment that "it is better to live a short but sinless life than a long and sinful one". I have to wonder whether a couple of extra-marital sexual encounters is more sinful than allowing millions of people to die young, and what these people really think God gave us brains for!

I fervently hope that this protest will not reach the UK. I'm fairly certain we're more caring than that, but I see so much Americanisation creeping into our society that I worry where we will be in a few years time.

Unless the USA shatters itself into a civil war/isolationist policy before then. There's a cheerful thought;-)

RIP Steve Irwin

The crocodile hunter has met one killer too many and was finished off by a sting ray. I really thought he was invincible after so many near misses.

The bloke was a total nutter, but the world will be a sadder place without him.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Is hate too strong a word?

I am starting to really, really, REALLY detest EVE online!

Running hot and cold

I'v always been very cold person. Not emotionally (although I'm hardly the most open person in the world), but physically, I've always felt the cold. I'm the type of person who wears winter coats in July, and thinks that holiday destinations where the average tempreture is 40° sounds like heaven. I have numerous duvets hidden around the house for those cold summer evenings, so i can snuggle up while watching TV - or even while sitting outside enjoying a post BBQ drink & chat;-)

Aggie is a very hot person. He always has been, and his psoriasis makes him worse. He thinks that shorts and t-shirt are perfectly acceptable outdoors clothes - in the snow! He actually radiates heat like a little fire, and does a good job of keeping me warm when we snuggle up together.

Lately though, I've suddenly become a hot person. I have no idea how or why, but I feel hot all the time. I've taken my tempreture, and although it now sits at the top end of normal, whereas before it was always at the bottom end, it IS still normal, so what's brought about this change? I don't like it much. It's much easier to get warm by putting on jumpers or snuggling under duvets than it is to cool down. Showers and fans only work for short periods:-(

I could understand if it were hot flushes. OK, I'm a bit young, but at least it would make sense. How can my core tempreture just suddenly change like that without warning? And will it return some time? I don't think much of this waking up sweaty lark! Now the autumn is here, I'm going to have to find our summer duvet!!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

It's party time!

We're throwing LMB a birthday party today. Well, kind of:-) Cousin G is here for the weekend & a friend with 3 kids is coming over at lunch-time. Maybe one or two others, but they haven't replied to the invitation so I doubt it. I'll pop over to Tesco's and buy some crisps & cakes & stuff (yes, I know I could make cakes much cheaper, but I haven't!), and maybe I'll manage a pass the parcel present.

I'm feeling a little guilty that i haven't really sorted out a proper party - when Mstr A turned three we had 30 kids, a bouncy castle, hours of activities organised, and all the crazies round to be pary facilitators (they had a water-pistol fight). But then again, I'm sure LMB will enjoy herself just as much, and tbh we don't have the money or the inclination to do all that again this year. Next year we'll have to put more effort in, but she barely knows what a birthday is atm.

Anyway, it does mean that it should be reasonable relaxed today. Nanny A came over yesterday to "help" tidy up (that means she did it, & I made some desultary efforts to pick up all the toys!). Sister S arrived around lunch-time, which gave us plenty of time to talk (well, moan about men & families), and we spent a nice evening once the kids were all asleep, chatting, drinking (only a little - life isn't what it used to be when you know you have to get up & watch 4 kids at 7am), and watching Pirates of the Carribean - which she hadn't seen!

She and Aggie are still in bed (aren't I nice?).

I guess I'd best get on with breakfasts and such like *sigh*.