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

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The stomach bug only lasted 24 hours, so I went back to work yesterday. I expected to have a pile of stuff waiting for me, but it had all been done, leaving me at a bit of a loose end!

It was my 1 month anniversary there, and they still seem happy with me as far as I can tell (how do you know?), so that's good:-)

LMB woke up bright as the sunshine on Tuesday morning. How lovely to be 3 years old, and just sleep off nasty stomach bugs like that:-)

Aggie's GP has had permission to rewrite his report for work, so with any luck he'll be retired by the summer time (maybe), which will be the best thing on the whole. I'm quite jealous in a way - but not of the constant pain, inability to lift up the kids, flaky skin or bigotry he faces from others, so on the whole I guess i've got the better deal:-) It would certainly make it easier for me to embark on a new career if he's at home - especially considering the new report about how us mothers of young children face the most discrimination at work!

We started criminal procedure at college tonight. i was really concerned about this subject as i know very little (up to date stuff) about it, have no interest in working in the criminal law and have no experience of it. But fortunately, it all seemd fairly basic stuff on the syllabus - just general knowledge really. lets hope it stays at that level:-)

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Monday, February 26, 2007

In sickness and in health

I tried to get that sentance taken out of our marriage vows (we wrote them ourselves), along with "till death us do part" but both were required by law:-(

We're in sicknesss here at Casa Aginoth right now. Well, I certainly am. It started with just feling a bit bloated on the drive home yesterday afternoon, and progressed to feeling really nauseous & having a raging tempreture by the time I went to bed last night. I hoped it would calm down over night, and intended to at least try to make it in to work today, on the principle that I could come home if I felt too bad, but when I got up this morning, my legs buckled, and the shivering & shuddering just wouldn't go away, so I phoned in sick:-( I managd to get the kids all up, breakfasted, and the girls dressed & ready for school, then took myself off to bed & left Nanny A to sort out everything else. Thanks Nanny A:-) She was booked in to look after Mstr A today as it is an inset day, but actually saved me from having to even get dressed today at all:-)

I did manage to sleep through 'till mid afternoon, which helped quite a bit. I wouldn't want to o too far away from a toilet yet, but I am hopeful I'll be OK to go back to work tomorrow.

Nanny took Mstr A off to see Charlottes Web this afternoon. He nearly didn't go, as he started complaining that his tummy hurt just before they left, which was a bit concerning. But then he mentioned that he had eaten too much lunch, so we guessed the walk to the cinema might solve the problem. Hopefully that is all it is, and he'll e fine tomorrow too.

Aggie collected the girls on his way home from work. LMB walked in th door, immediately said her mouth hurt & took herself off to bed. She was fast asleep within 2 minutes, poor thing, so it looks like she may have a bug too:-(

In fact the only person who is apparently perfectly healthy here is Aggie, who recieved a letter from work today saying that he was not eligable for ill-health retirement because:

he is "currently unfit for work" and " spontaneous improvement appears unlikely", his condition is "chronic and impairs normal day to day activity" there is "reasonable medical evidence that [Aggie] is prevented from discharging his duties" and "the prognosis is guarded with regards him recovering sufficently or long enough to reliably return to work"

Oh yes, and the report from his GP did not specifically say he is unable to work. That is because the report was written by the lead GP at the surgery who has seen Aggie once in five years, and has no knwledge of his condition, treatments or prognosis. He was also, apparently, unable to walk into th next door office and ASK aggie's actual GP for his opinion.

Aggie spoke to his GP tonight, who apologised, and agreed to re-write the GP's report if we can get permission from the practise manager to allow him to do so. That practise manager does not know what is going to hit him!

we will be appealing the decision, on the basis of new medical evidence from Aggies GP.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It's nice to be appreciated

I was cornered t work today by two of the fee-earners in the family dept (the other is off this week) and told how great it was to have me there:-)

Which was nice.

I was going to ask for a review meeting next week as that'll be my one month mark, but it looks like I'm ok.

I spent yesterday covering the reception area downstairs, as one of the other receptionist/secretaries was off sick. It's a bit of a pain having to stop what you're doing to answer the phone every few minutes, but that wasn't a massive problem. Gossiping and audio-typing don't go well together though:-) Personally I'm a rubbish gossip - I never remember who, what, when, where or why, or what was said yesterday by whom! I'm also just not interested most of the time. I'm quite glad I got shoved away upstairs with the fee-earners:-)

Aggie made me stay up to midnight the other day to watch the first two episodes of Heroes. he downloaded the first series ages ago & has been raving about it.I thought it was OK. A bit meh! really, but he swears it's the best thing since, um, Lost probably;-) But now I'm soooo tired! I never get a chance to catch up on late nights. I know that once upon a time I didn't feel tired all the time - when does that come round again?

On the plus side, LMB has made the transistion to night-time dryness really easily. We had those accidents on day 1 & 3, then she used a potty in her room for a week, and now she's been properly dry for a whole week. no nappies, no potty emptying, no wake-up in the middle of the night! Although we do still get informed that she is going to toilet at whatever time she feels the need to go, be that 7am, 6am, or 5am! At least she will go back to bed if it's too early.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

It's something to do....

Because I'm short of things to do with my time:-)

Yesterday we travelled up to a big reenactors market in Warwickshire. Having recently spent a small fortune on ebay, we didn't intend to buy a lot, but there were a few things needed. We returned with plenty of nice new material to make the rest of the clothes, a couple of pins, and Aggie got himself a new longbow, so I get to play with his old one this season.

Today was a sorting out day. We tidied up the garden, finally shifting the broken Gazebo and rotten cardboard boxes lying around. We set up the new(ish) archery target & net so we can have the occasional practise at home. It's all very well telling the public that every male had to practise archery for 1 hour a week (on a Sunday after church fyi) from the age of 5 & therefore were all practised, experienced & trained archers, but it looks pretty rubbish if you then fail to hit a single target on your demo shoot:-) Aggie discovered that his new bow was going to be too difficult to string on his own, so had a quick practise with mine. I tried hard to remember what I was doing and shot off a couple of arrows, as did Mstr A, but I think it'll take a while to build up the muscles and the callouses to practise for any length of time. Now I have to braid a stringer for Aggie's new bow before the season starts!

We also tried to work out how to weave a belt for Mstr A on the new loom, but we're obviously thick, 'cos we can't work it out. I guess we'll have to wait till we can see someone who knows what their doing. There are a couple of people in the group who have used them before, so we'll get it sorted eventually.

however, Aggie also made me a flour riddle out of the new linen I brought yesterday, which I sucessfully tried out on some granery flour. Now I just need to source some whole wheat, and I'll be ready to grind flour from scratch:-) Looking forward to pancakes over an open fire this season:-)

I've nearly finished Mstr A's tunic now - it just needs finishing touches around the neckline & buttons on the sleeves - I've made the buttons already, and he only needs 3 per sleeve. Plus three button holes oviously, which are really quite labour intensive, but still, it's well on it's way. I'm hoping to get on with the girls dresses this week, and to finish off Aggies tunic, which will just leave hose (horrible things to make), underwear (quik & easy) and, of course, all my clothing.

It's half term here this week coming, so fortunately Aggie has been able to get Mon, Wed & Thu working from home. he can drop off & pick up Mstr A at the local leisure centre, allowing me to just do the girls & so get to work on tme. I'm not sure how I would've managed it otherwise.

Half term also means I have a week off college. I really, really want to use it to get some revision sorted out. I have got quite a lot of homework to do to, but I need to get on with making up some revision cards if I want to have enough time to actually revise from them! I'm starting to get pretty stressed about the exams now. I so don't want to have to retake them next year, it seems such a waste of my time;-) But with an average 40-45% pass rate, and the knowledge the memorising is n ot my strong point, May is starting to feel very very close & scary!

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Friday, February 16, 2007

I'm exhausted, and I'm French (apparently)

I'm totally knackered. Too tired to do much blogging, or anything else really. There's lots of reasons - the very late night last Saturday, which I've never had a chance to catch up on, working full time again, and the stress of managing my life around that, the stress of it being a new job & learning everything, gettig to know everyone, making a good impression. I've not been sleeping too well. I never do when I'm stressed out. Plus I got my period yesterday, which was pretty much the last straw:-( I know that I'm really lucky that I don't have to go through this very often, but if I did, I'd probably be a candidate for medical intervention - it really hurts, makes me dead moody/emotionally unstable & wipes me out. So it's not the best time for me.

Although I'm watching something on the telly about why the Brits are all fat & unhealthy & the french are all thin & beautiful. Apparently I'm French, as I cook a proper meal out of ingrediants each day (nearly), we eat it all together as a family, around a table. We don't drive to school, and expect the kids to eat a piece of fruit or a yoghurt rather than a biscuit or choccy bar as a snack. I don't consider my lefestyle to be particulary onerous, unusual, or tbh, healthy!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I did it

I finally did some homework! this really shouldn't be an Event, but sadly it is.

I think I only managed it because college was cancelled tonight for Valentines day (I ask you!) and moved to tomorrow instead. So i had an early finish at work today, with no college to go to:-) So i settled down to half a mock exam - open book for my first attempt. If I get good results I know I am on the right track, and can concentrate on just learning the stuff!

Aggie was supposed to be looking after the kids while I worked, but there was an awful lot of shouting & screaming going on, along with a fair number of visits into the back room where i was working by a child or two compaining about something! I took a break half way through & found LMD fast asleep (fully dressed) on Aggie, who "couldn't move" to sort out the other two as it ould wake her up!

So I put LMD to bed, put LMB in her pyjama's & sent her up with daddy, sewed most of Aggies new tunic, then went back to it. I've finished now - within the alloocated time too:-)

Tomorrow is going to be hard work. A long day at work then straight to college. Ho hum.

And I am determined to do something every week now. Aggie has promised to take the kids out fo a couple of hours each weekend.

we'll see......

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Monday, February 12, 2007


It was absolutly throwing it down this morning. Floods of rain falling from the sky incessently.

I packd all the children into wellies & raincoats, plastic bags over their backpacks, and let them splash their way to school. I don't have a raincoat.

They were pretty wet by the time we walked the 1/4 mile to school. I was soaked. We dripped in, changed their clothes, waved goodbye and I set off, in the rain, on my bike, to work.

Any part of me that had avoided the rain while walking, immediately got soaked while on the bike.

As I parked the bike at work, the rain stopped. The sun came out. I dripped in to work looking a mess (no change of clothes for me). 5 mins later most of the rest of the staff turned up looking fresh & dry. Grrrrrrrr!

My brain didn't really kick itself into gear today. Work was OK, but everythig just seemed to take a bit of time to understand. O(h well, everyone is alloed an off day.

Tonight I managed to cook supper, clean up the kitchen (well, Nanny A did it properly yesterday, so i try to keep it nice-ish for a few days after her efforts), play with th kids a bit, then settled down to my sewing. Wow, isn't my life exciting?

I made the main body of Mstr A's wool tunic, and the first two panals of Aggies linen one. at least we are not going to be in such a rush this year - i hope:-)

Tomorrow I AM going to do some college homework.

No excuses. It needs to be done.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sorting out the century's

I've been trying to sort out our re-enactment kit today.

well, get started anyway. We don't really have any proper place to store most of our stuff out of season, so it tends to get stashed around the house/shed/utility room/under bed/in the hallway/wherever it fell after the last even last year:-)

On the plus side, Some of Mstr A's stuff from last year will mostly fit LMB this year (she needs boy kit as well as girl kit, so she can start combat practise), so i just need to make her a couple of dresses, new underwear, a cloak, and some hose (leggings). Even better, some of LMB's stuff from last year will fit LMD this year, with just a few adjustments, so I reckon I can get away with just making her one dress for the start of the season. Mstr A neds a whole new wardrobe, and a few of each thing as he is off to be a page and needs to wear house colours & patterns, so we started with him....

Aggie was quite enthused this morning and measured all three of them, drew & cut Mstr A's pattern and cut out the fabric for his undershirt. I started sewing it up. I hemmed it all & sewed the shoulders together, then tried it on him (having little faith in aggies patten, and far less in my sewing) It looked OK. I sewed the main seams together & tried it on again. it fit well. I hand sewed on the binding all around the collar & the ties - hours of work - and tried it on one last time. it didn't fit over his head any more! No idea why, since to sew on the binding means I actually make the neck hole a bit bigger (it gets turned down under the binding), but I suppose it loses it's elasticity......

So now LMB has another shirt nearly ready - it just needs arms cut & sewn on. Of course she has two that fit her already, but another won't hurt......

I'll try again later in the week. Aggie has already cut out the main sections of the woolen tunic for Mstr A so he needs a shirt first.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time......

We went up to Northants to collect some re-enactment gear yesterday. I search through ebay fairly periodically for useful stuff, and I'm usually quite good about rememberig that "a bargain is only a bargain if you were going to buy it anyway", and just look, think how nice a new x would be, and move on. But last week a couple of chairs caught my eye. I had promised myself a pair of chairs by the end of this season, so it was something I was kind of looking for (you wouldn't believe how much you miss sitting ON things in general, and backed seats are a real luxury!). These were a real bargain, retailing at nearly £300 each (yeah, i know - chairs!! But these are hand made, from English oak, no modern fixings etc. I was intending to buy the cheaper mostly machined & hand finished ones fo £100 each), and this guy had the pair going for less than £100.

I was about to put a bid in, when I noticed he had LOADS of stuff for sale. A bed, tent, crossbow, longbow, loom..... Obviously a re-enacter giving up, and you can get some real bargains that way:-) So I allowed Aggie to email him with an offer. After a bit of arguing we took both chairs, the bed & the loom off him for £180 with an option on the tent, depending on viewing (there are some things you do not buy unseen!). It was a good deal. The kids can share the bed - it will be MUCH warmer than camp beds, which always concerns me on the cold nights. It would've cost us more than that just to get the cheaper chairs we had promised ourselves.

By the END of this season. Now isn't the best time financially. We put it on the credit card.

After a lovely drive into the snow, we arrived, collected the goods. Drooled over the crossbow a bit, but managed to withstand the temptation, but did decide to take the tent. Again, it was a bargain. It was something we had intended to buy - when we had the money. Not now. Out came the credit card again.

Ho hum. I'm sure it'll be great.

We stopped off at a Little chef on the way home for lunch (yes, some do still exist). We had two tables pushed together and all watched as LMB carefully and meticulously placed the handle of her fork between the two tables and pushed them together till it stood upright.

Then promptly headbutted it!!!???***!!!

She burst into tears and we all burst out laughing. Poor thing. It comes of being blond I suppose:-)

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Friday, February 09, 2007


It's freezing here!

no snow for us - just nasty cold, wet sleet & slushy hailstones, combined with an arctic wind. I'm freezing. It's cold at home, it's cold at work. it's freezing cold on the bike:-(

I don't like the cold:-(

I feel cold even in beautiful British summer sunshine, so now is particularly bad. I always feel extra cold when I'm tired too, so 5am this morning was not my idea of a good time to be getting up with the horrible girls! I'm sitting here with the heating on, under a duvet, with a hot laptop on my lap, and still shivering.

of course, I don't see why th world should stop because of a bit of sleet! Unlike everyone else I still took Mstr A to school on the bikes. if it had been proper snow, we would have walked. Why do parents feel that snow requires them to DRIVE their kids to school in their little roller-skate cars? In what way can that possibl e safer for anyone? especially as they were all parked on the zigzags, across the entrance & over the crossing! Grrrrrrrr!

I also managed to get myself to work & stay all day. Aggie came home at luchtime - in case the traffic got worse! And my line manager didn't make it in at all (although he is ill as well, bless). as one of the other fee-earners in the family Dept does not work Fridays, and the third was off this morning for a hospital appointment, it started as a pretty quiet day. I soon finished up the bits of work that had been left for me, and moved onto the long term project I'd been given (sorting out the paperwork for a major case), and finally started tidying up the offices & re-labeling all the files etc. By 2pm, i'd completely run out of stuff to do:-) I was given another - even bigger - long term project, which I started to look through, then packed up and tided up by 2.45, ready to brave the ride home. At 2.50, all hell broke loose on the big case, and Fee-earner looked really stressed out. As Aggie was already home, i offered to stay on for half an hour to help sort it out. I phoned Aggie and asked him to pick up Mstr A from school - he wasn't happy. Apparently I was interupting his ebaying and it was "very difficult" to leave it with only 15 mins notice! Humph!

He did do it (in the car - obviously), and I stayed on to type up & send out the letters, then cycled home, mollified Mstr A who was hiding in his room after being told he wasn't allowed to play the wii, collected the girls from nursery, cooked supper, put some washing on, and played with the girls on the computer (LMB can use a touch pad - how did she learn to do that? I never taught her!). I informed him it was his turn to put them to bed (we alternate days), which he did - after requesting help because he needed to empty the potty AND read a story, and apparently he couldn't do both?!

I'm going to hide under my duvet & try to keep warm now. I should do some college work. But it's too cold, and I'm too tired:-(

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Going well

Everythings going pretty well for us here atm. Which means I have little to blog about;-) I mostly rant here:-)

Work is working out nicely. I am getting to grips with the different cases and things we do. There is enough work to keep me busy, but not so much that I feel overloaded with an impossible task. The level of the work is fine - it will get dull pretty quickly, but it's right for now as I find my feet. And I reckon it will probably increase as and when I am ready. The hours have panned out beautifully, and I don't think the early finishes are causing too much hassle for my colleagues.

Mstr A seems to have settled down at school. He has lots of friends, there are rarely problems when I pick him up, and he is definitely learning more and more stuff all the time:-) He even appears to have learned that he should do his work on time! There's a bit of an issue with personal space & his infringement on other people's, but we're working on it......

I haven't got a lot further in the making of this seasons re-enactment clothes - but there's still a month to go;-) hmmm, and a stone to lose if I want to fit into my new dress........

The college course is also going well. Although I still haven't done any homework, and I really do want to start doing some mock exam papers soon! But the stuff at college all makes sense, and the papers don't look too bad - when the book is open in front of me anyway!

I've had a few enquiries for courses which I've had to turn down:-( There's just not enough time to justify traipsing aff around the country. Plus I am officially no longer self employed now, so couldn't take a profit home:-(

of course, the money situation hasn't improved much. We're still seriously overspending each month:-( I don't really have much of a solution for that except try to muddle through till LMB goes to school in September, and/or I get a pay rise (yeah, to double my salary like!), Aggie gets retired (fingers crossed), a parent drops dead (all as healthy as the proverbial horse!) or we wi the lottery.

OK, I'm just going to try and muddle through till September *sigh*.

no idea how we're going to sort out the school holidays yet either. I'll worry about them when they come up.

My mother STILL has her job, despite working for the NHS in a role that was supposed to have been cut 6 months ago, so no help there:-)

My sister S is finally splitting up with her partner, so is pretty stressed out by all the legalities and procedures and general nastiness splitting up incurs. But it's a long way away, and although I feel bad for what she's going through, I can't help much, so I can't get too stressed about it personally.

Even though I am now cycling 4 miles a day, and not snacking hardly at all, what with being at work all day, I have lost a total of...............

absolutely zero!

Yep, not even 1/2 lb of wieght lost! bah! perhaps I need to start actually practising what I preach, and eating breakfast, and a proper lunch? It's such a lot of effort though! But I was hoping to a) get into my re-enact ment dress and b) to look vaguely reasonable for my sister A's wedding in june.

Oh yes, and I've finally decided to stop being a lazy mother, and stop letting LMB be a lazy baby, and have started workig on getting her dry at night. She is still wearing napies to sleep, which I'm sure she can't really need, even though they are always soaking in the morning. So I have stopped. I put her on the toilet before she goes to bed, then again when we go to bed, and leave the potty in her room. The first night she stayed dry till 6am, then wet the bed. Last night she made it through - using the potty but keeping the bed dry. Lets hope it continues:-)

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

How rude!

LMD's birthday party went well. NONE of the eight nursery children came, and NONE of them bothered to let me know *frown*. Fortunately two out of the three playgroup children did turn up (and let me know they were doing so in advance) so with them, LMD, LMB Mstr A and Cousin G there were enough kids:-). LMD had fun, and ate an awful lot of sweet stuff and chocolate cake:-)

Mstr A was a bit out of place. I think next year I'll have to find somewhere to send him during the girls parties.

UPDATE 1pm: One parent from nursey just turned up with present in hand apologising that her daughter was ill yeterday. It was nice of her to pop round & let me know, but I'm still confused why she couldn't phone at any time over the past two weeks!

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Missed opportunities.

I hope I made the right decision about the job. I turned down two interviews yesterday - one to work in a school, which is what I will need to do if I want to go off and do my teacher training (which I think is age discrimination as kids of 21, straight out of uni don't have to go work in a school for a year or two first!), and one to manage a local leisure centre. That one was hard - the money was fairly good, and the job one & could do easily. But I did promise Aggie no more shift work. And tbh, our lifestyle now is not suited for that job. It's not only the shifts but being on call 24/7, working Christmas day etc. Still, it's hard to say no to what could be a fantastic opportunity:-)

It's LMD's birthday party tomorrow. I've still not heard from any of the nursery parents so I hope some of them turn up. Sister S is visiting with cousin G for the weekend, so we should get a good goosip/whinge tonight:-) But it means I don't see when I'm going to get much studying done this week. Again:-(

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