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, March 28, 2007

Mstr A moves forward

We had our second appointment with the paediatrician today. Only a year since the last one, so that's not too bad!

At least we did see the same Dr. Theoretically we should have changed as the other paediatrician covers Mstr A's new school.

It went quite well, I think. She talked to us about how he was getting on, and what issues were still causing problems. Then she asked him a few questions about school, which he happily answered - without once turning to face her or look her in the eye, which helpfully backed up what we were saying about his social awareness.

she wants to do a load more tests - some written ones for us & the school to complete, and a long interview type one which she'll book in soon(ish). She also said she would chase up the speech & language referral, as that was stymied when we changed schools! and follow that up with a meeting of all the professionals, including th school & us to discuss the way forward.

I mentioned that we'd used the word Asbergers to Mstr A, and his school friends because he had asked. I knew she would, and she did, immediately purse her lips and say we shouldn't label it until he is diagnosed. But it's going to take YEARS to get a real diagnosis, an EVERYONE says what a typical aspie he is. And he was asking. What should I say? you're just different? He'd ask different how? Should I try to explain to his 6 year old school friends that he is "behaviourally challenged and has social awareness issues"? A word is easy for them to grasp, and it can always be changed at a letr date if necessary. But since I have had a "diagnosis" from a consultant, an educational psychologist, various autism support workers and numerous interested parties. as well as my own research, I think it is a likely diagnosis.

On the other hand, he is doing really well at school now - mostly working within the group and staying in class a good 75% of the time. He understands that bhis behaviour neds tobe modified & learned for each situation, and he has made friends that are willing to come to his house and nvite him back to theirs occasionally. he's still hard work, but we're working on it.

I decided to get in with him for his swimming lesson last night, as although he has not been wandering off from th group so much this time round, he also hasn't been learning much swimming. One-to-one worked really well. All I had to do was keep his mind on the lesson, and he was well away - swimming his first full width without help:-)
all in all, a pretty positive move forwar for Mstr A

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Up and down

It's been a roller-coaster few weeks. Aggie has been getting really stressed out about the retirement thing, and with some psoriasis re-appearing and the arthritus getting worse, he has been well into depression for the last few weeks. This has a knock on effect on the rest of the family as he gets angry quickly, and I have to take on all aspects of looking after the children as he can not cope with them even for five minutes. Coupled with his lack of motivation for every day chores, and i nsomnia which obviously affects me too, it's been a tough time recently. I told him to go to the doc's a couple of weeks ago, but in normal depressive way, he didn't get round to it! I finally went with him on Friday, when our GP doubled his prozac dose & signed him off work for a month, so hopefully thigs will start to improve soon.

I tried to cheer myself up with some nice bright colours in my hair the other day, but because my hair is so dark, it didn't take well:-( So I'm going to have to go back in a couple of weeks to have it bleached, then coloured, for a lot more time and a lot more money:-(

On the plus side, work is still going well, and there was no problem when I asked (without notice) for an hour off to take Aggie to the Dr's:-) Also, although we have nowhere near the clothes I had intended to be ready for the start of the season in two weeks time, we do have almost enough for everyone to wear something:-)

Oh yes, and my pretty dress turned up today. I bought an outfit off ebay for my cousin's wedding & sisters hen night in April/May. The dress came today, and I was slightly concerned about buying without trying it on or even seeing it in real life, but it fit almost perfectly & was even nicer than the pcture. Now I just need to find some more places to wear it to:-)

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Itchy & Scratchy

LMB has got head lice:-(

Doesn't it make yoy feel scratchy just reading that?

Now imagine what I feel every time I get a little itch, or a tickly feeling!

It was easier with Mstr A - we just shaved his head whenever they went round the class:-) That's not really an option with LMB, who's trying hard to grow her hair long. I do tie it up in bunches every day, but she pulls them out frequently, and she still hugs all the kids in her class every day.

I've been doing the combing thing - which is really hard work on a wriggly 3 year old. I don't know if I'm just rubbish at it, but no eggs have come out on the comb. I've found three lice, so they are there! So I'm off to buy chemicals tomorrow, and hopefully that will sort it out before LMD gets them too!

But tonight we will just have to put up with regular combings and a lot of scratching:-(


Don't you wish your MiL was cool like mine?

Nanny A came over yesterday.

She turned up while we were all out at work, cleaned the house, left some new clothes for the children in the front room & disappeared off home again before we even had a chance to see her & say thank you.

How lovely is that?

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sink or swim

Mstr A had his second swimming lesson today. I'm not sure how much h is getting out of them. Although this teacher is pretty good at keeping him under control, and mostly with the group, he is not really learning a lot as he needs constant attention to "remember" what to do, and she, obvioulsy, has to give some atention to the other 9 kids in th group (greedy bastards - I only ever had a MAXIMUM of 8, and tried to keep it to 6 when I taught - and when I managed the swim scheme's!).

I'm going to try getting in with him next week and see how that goes - although the two problems with that are a) it really distinguishes him from the rest of the group and b) it means Aggie either has to come along & keep the girls occupied on poolside for half an hour, or he keeps them at home and they dont get to go swimming:-(

It was LMD's turn to come in after the lesson today. She is such a mummy's clone:-) Despite the fact that, being a terrible parent, I haven't taken her swimming more than half a dozen times in the past year she happly ran into the pool, ducked her head under the water, and happily kicked around while holding onto a woggle. In fact, within a minute or two, I was no longer allowed to touch her - even when she decided to walk down the steps and right out of her depth! Mstr A was the absolute opposite, even though i took him swimming every week from 6 weeks old till 2 and a half. By four, he was still petrified of getting his face wet, clinging onto the side/me all the time & sunk like a stone as soon as he went more than knee deep in water. Aggie hates swimming - he still won't put his face in the water (Mstr A is happy to do so now) and would probably never have sumerged himself in water at all if he hadn't met me:-) LMB is also quite the water baby & loves splashing around - although she's not as au fait with submerging as LMD. It must be something genetic.


Sunday, March 18, 2007

My special day

It's Mother's day here in the UK. A traditional celebration of the hard wotk your mother does, and a day to turn the tables and look after her for a change. It's been that way for hundreds of years. Even victorian labourers and kitchen girls would get the day off from work to see their mothers.

So today, I got up at 6.30am, with the kids, leaving Aggie in bed. I made them breakfast, I got them dressed. I phoned my mother to make sure she got the basket of fruit I sent her. I finidhe off Mstr A's tunic while Aggie played on the computer - he did buy me a pair of shoes off ebay, but I'd already found them & put them on the watch list:-) I sorted out the paints for the kids to do for the morning. I made everyone lunch. I finished digging up the first half of the old play ares and relaid the first third with the new rubber chippings (we're going to need more than I ordered!). I put the washing on and emptid and loaded the dishwasher. It's now 3pm, and I'm about to start cooking supper, while watching the kids (TV is grat sometimes), and Aggie - plays on the computer after all the hard work of raking the rubber chippings to sread them out a bit. I expect that after supper, I will bath the kids, wash their hair, and put them to bed.

Now, we don't do any of the comercialised nonsense that is Hallmark cards, flowers and such like. We have always said we don't need a special day to show our appreciation/love. But, whereas that used to because such things happened occasionally anyway, now it seems to because it's easier not to bother. Not sure I'm too keen on that reasoning!

UPDATE 6pm: Aggie managed to cook supper for everyone, which was nice. And I got an extra helping of vienetta for mothers day;-) Off to bath & bed the kids now and hopefully have a quiet-ish evening.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Love and marriage

LMB has just come downstairs, dressed in her fairy princess dress, to inform us that she and LMD are getting married now:-)

Mstr A told me yesterday that he was trying to decide whether to marry M (a girl) or R (a boy) now. He used to know he was going to marry A (a girl) at his old school, after being told that Nanny A was off the market, but it's a more difficult decision at his new school with so many frinds! I told him that either M or R would be lovely, but he couldn't have babies with R (although R would probably be richer). Do you think my mother would be happy that he married "in" if he married R? :-)

We let him stay up for the first hour of comic relief last night. They showed a film about internet sexual grooming. It was terribly difficult trying to explain about sex being good & bad in different circumstances, when he really doesn't understand what it is in the first place! I'm not sure I did a great job of explaining both the physical what it is alongside the emotional when & why it is. I eventually gave up and just said it was something that was only good when you were grown up, and perhaps we should discuss it again another time. Cop out! Maybe I should get some books - but my mother did the whole physical/biological explanation for all of us very young, and it still didn't explain ANY of the important facts about sex, and we all had slightly warped idea's to work through as teenagers! It's such a minefield - and he's only 6!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007


We got our money out of the bank! (if you don't know what I'm talking about, see Aggies blog here and here). They agreed to settle for £30 less than we claimed - the £30 court fees we'd paid to show that we really were serious about going all the way:-) that's the mortgage sorted for the next couple of months:-) Plus one over on the banks. Woo hoo! Of course, it was coupled with a very stern letter saying it wasn't their fault, they weren't a ccepting liability or admitting fault, and that if we ever deign to even sneeze in the bank's direction again the will close our account. but that's OK, we've been wanting to close our account for years - ever since they were taken over by RBS and became shit. It's just that we were alays too overdrawn for anyone else to take us on. Now we've got an extra couple of grand in the bank, our overdraft is low enough to move. we're changing banks next month anyway.

Mstr A started swimming lessons again on tuesday evening. it's a bit of a rush for me, but he managed to almost participate in the whole lesson. Also, when I spoke to his teacher (10 secs before the lesson started - even though I wrote to the pool weeks ago) about him having aspegers, she said her day job was working with autistic children, so at least she knew what I was talking about, and did a good job of keeping him with the rest of the group.

I have decided not to attend the interview for the PGCE course tomorrow. despite having put in the effort to write up my notes of Dracula:-) Bath is really a bit far, and I like what I'm doing. If this had come up two years ago it would have been different, but I'm going to stick with law for now.

And on a totallydifferent note: I see that Cadbury's schwepps are going to split into Cadbury's and schwepps. Umm, wasn't that what they were originally?

And how come the gov't regularly complains at how much the olympics is going to cost us, and is appalled that the bill for new roads, public transport, houses, facilities, total regeneration of some really revolting slums, and unimaginable PR across the world is nearing the £10 billion mark, but the same gov't is telling us that we desperately ned to spend TWICE that much on a couple of new Trident nuclear weapons, which will be aimed out into the middle of the ocean for the next twenty years?

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Calming down

OK, I've taken a few deep breaths, and I'm trying not to be quite so frantic about things today.

Re the interview on Friday - I've looked at the blurb again, and it's not that much work. A two page write up of some idea's rather than actual lesson/session plans, so i should be able to bang that together, um, well, maybe Thursday lunchtime - which will give me Thursday evening to tidy it up. Plus, I've been thinking, and I'll probably stay where I am whatever. Bath isn't going to be the easiest communte, even if I get a school this side of town it's a trek, I don't think I can really afford a year at Uni, and the over-riding reason that teaching seems more appealing than law is the summer holidays - which is a TERRIBLE reason to become a teacher:-) If the law thing wasn't well on track then teaching would still be top of my list, but as it is.....

Re the re-enactment clothes, I'll just do what I can do when I can do it! I'm going to prioritise the girls overdresses, and if necessary they can wear modern clothes underneath for the first event! We're off to a medieval amrket on Saturday, so i may well buy myself a dress, just to be sure I have something to wear, and I'll see if they have any hose to fit mstr A too. They're such a pain to make!

Re the college work. Pah! One thing at a time. I managed to do a couple of questions for homework at lunchtime today, so i have soemthing to hand in. Maybe next week I'll try to take the folder in on Tues & Thurs and read through it at lunchtime then. It's a start. I guess I'll panic enough about it eventually:-) I'm fairly confident that I will pass one of the exams, and that's pretty good considering. Although as they cost so much money, I'll be well pissed off if I don'y manage to pass through the whole year each time, low pass rate or not!

Re the garden. It'll happen when it happens. When the kids have time to play out there, I'll have to go out & supervise them, so i'll get on with it all then.

Work has been fairly slow recently, so I should hopefully be able to catch up with some things at lunchtimes on Tues & Thurs. Whatever - everything will get done somehow. it always does.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

so much to do, so little time!

Deadlines are fast aproaching for everything, and i am not ready !!!

Here's my urgent to do list:
  • Finish clearing the play area of old bark & re-lay it with rubber chippings. It's currently not safe to use, so this needs to be done, well, today really, so the kids can play outside.
  • Re-read Dracula, and write up a term's session plan's ofr 14 year olds, plus study it well enough to be able to talk authoritively on the book and the lessons by this FRIDAY
  • Sew all the re-enactment clothes by EASTER: still To do (at least):
  • Two Under dresses for LMB, Two over dresses for LMB, one underdress for LMD and two overdresses for LMD, Four hose for Mstr A, Two hose for LMB, Brais for LMB, Brais for LMD, Brais for me, Two underdresses for me, one overdress for me, one cote-hardie for Aggie, one cote-hardie for Mstr A, One tunic for Mstr A.
  • Still to finish: One tunic for Mstr A, one tunic for Aggie, one overdress for me.
  • Read up on last weeks college notes (as I missed college) by WEDNESDAY
  • Do some homework ready to hand in on WEDNESDAY
  • Read through the four chapters that we are not covering in class, but will be covered in the exam!
  • Make revision notes of the whole course
  • Read and learn the revision notes!
  • Go bridesmaid dress shopping with my mother & sister (and the three girls)
  • Go dress shopping for me & suit shopping for Aggie.
  • Tidy the house - it's a tip!

I'm sure there are loads more really important things too. Not to mention the fact that I have a hen night in Brighton in April, a wedding in London in May, a re-enactment in Italy in May and my sisters wedding in Ireland June to get oganised for!


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Saturday, March 10, 2007

The great outdoors

Spring has sprung here. The sun is shining, the sky is blue and there is that lovely crisp smell in the air that you only get on bright, dry & cool spring days:-)

So we've spent the day outside: We've dug out, bordered & raked over the vegetable patch. We're determined to give this a good go this year. We've talked about it a lot, but never actually tried to grow anything. I'm well known for having black thumbs (if brown thumbs are the opposite of green fingers, I am even worse than that, so have black thumbs), and have always killed any plant that has entered my house, but I really like the idea of growing my own veg, and anyway, it's the only way to get purple carrots for re-enactment! i've spent money on seeds now, so will be sowing them tomorrow!

I've also made a good start of digging out all the old mulched bark chippings from the play area. It's going to take a while because it's really packed down solidly, and full of grass/weeds and very heavy while wet. So i'm doing a bit a day, leaving the next bit to dry out ready for the next day. then we're going to spend the money for what i wanted first time round and put down rubber chippings. nothing will grow there, they don't need raking over, and the local cats hopefully won't find them to be such a tempting toilet!

We've also found the time to shoot some arrows, sow some cress seeds with the kids so they don't have to wait so long to see the fruits of their labours, fix the trampoline, move the water butt and clean out the big new fish tank I aquired from freecycle yesterday.

P & V are here now to have a shoot, and then pizza and alcohol are on the cards for a fun evening.

I like it when it's not winter:-)

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Friday, March 09, 2007


I've got a cold:-(

Streaming (and I mean really flooding!) nose, sore throat & wooly head. I gave up trying to pretend I could sleep at 4.30am, & came downstaits for some lemsip.

4.30am is a good time to get the housework done y'know! No kids underfoot, nothing to watch on the telly, and no-one to chat to online:-)

I've got to go to work this morning tho. Apart from the fact I don't get paid if I don't go, I've got tons of nstuff to do, and I'd rather actually do it myself, than have someone else try to, and have to redo it properly on Monday!

And I have absolutely promised to take the kids swimming tonight too. They've been asking and asking, and in wouldn't be fair to back out now.

Oh well, sleep is probably over-rated anyway;-)

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

That's nice

When I went to collect LMB today, she jumped up to cuddle me, then immediately spun arund to cries of "kiss me bye bye LMB" as all the children in her class came over for a kiss and a hug before she left:-) One came back for seconds:-0 Then we trotted off downstairs to collect LMD, and had to wait while she waved and said goodbye to each individual child in her class too. I don't think they have any problems socialising:-)

At home I found a letter from the tax credit people telling they will be coughing up the vast majority of the £1200 I spend each month on child care (which is good, considering I only take home £600) which was nice.

I also had a letter from Bath Spa Uni inviting me to interview for the PGCE course starting in September.

Which was kind of nice. Although it means my 1st choice uni still turned me down *frown* Bath Spa isn't that close - but it's not too far either. probably an hours drive or 1 1/2 by public transport. So now I have to decide again. Law or teaching? Law has the bonus that I've already got the job & started the course, and it's working out well. But the comapany I am currently with pays shite to it's legal exec's. I would almost certainly have to move on once qualified:-( And I'm still not sure how good I'll be at the job. Teaching has the bonus that I am reasonably sure I will be good at it & enjoy it. it's more like the best bits of what I have done before. And I'd get all the school holidays off:-) But I'd be a full time student for a year on an even more pitiful income than I have now, but with worse hours, and it'll be another 18 months before I even start my career (again)

Dilemma time.

Is this a case of the grass always being greener?

I think i will attend the interview (but not tell my employers). I may not even get the place! If I do, much will depend on what has happened with Aggie, and what financial support I can get I think.

I have to think up a book that i would teach to 14 year olds for the interview. Any ideas?

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Every day, in every way.....

Life is slowly getting sorted out here. Apart from the money thing, obviously. i don't know when that might happen:-( But I'm certainly feeling more positive about life in general.

Work is working:-) It's interesting enough, not too taxing, and the early finishes are just fantastic for my stress levels. As is not being stuck with the kids all day every day. i always said I wasn't cut out for motherhood. they really start to piss me off after a while;-)

Mstr A has settled in to hos school brilliantly. In fact, we haven't had any poblem since Xmas, and not only is he able to name a number of friends, and have them come to play, but they are starting to ASK to come back:-) When I nabbed his teacher yesterday to ask how he'd settled back in after half term I was told that his interactions with his peers in the classroom are now not noticably much different from the others! he sits with them at their desks, and now on the carpet for story time. He plays with other children, and has started joining in their imaginative games too. there is still an issue with personal space and consistancy of his academic work, but he has achieved so much. Pretty much everything i was hoping for.

plus, when I spoke to the new after-school club leader, to make sure she was aware of the issues, she told me that he plays well with the other kids there. then, just to reassue me that i wasn't projecting any neurosis onto my poor boy, she said she's worked with special needs kids for the past 17 years, and would say that Mstr A shows pretty much all the classic signs of Asbergers. Which in wierd way is nice to hear, because every time he achieves a bit of normality I start worrying that I'm making up excuses for his behaviour, which is one of the the worst things a parent can do for their child. it's horrible being torn between wanting him to get better, and wanting his behaviour to be defined as something specific, so absolving me of guilt:-)

Oh yes, and he re-starts swimming lessons next Tuesday. I wanted Monday, but they had sold out. Hopefully we'll get a swap soon, but we'll work with tuesday. I'm intending to take the girls along on alternate weeks so they can get back into swimming too, as they haven't been for ages. I loved swimming when i had the time to do it (hopefully i will again one day, when they are safe to leave in the pool), and want my kids to be able to experience that lovely feeling of peace & weightlessness and total isolation you can have under water.

I'm really looking forward to re-enactment season starting again. It'll be nice to spend the weekends outside again. Still got lots of stuff to do though. i really shouldn't spend the evenings blogging!

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Weekend work

We were supposed to dig the garden over this weekend and plant all the veggies we've bought in an effort to pretend we're that kind of family. But it rained. ALL WEEKEND! Horrible cold, windy sploshy rain, non-stop for the whole of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So all we managed was to spend some money buying a couple of little trowels & fork for the kids to help out with next weekend!

But it did mean we got on with some other stuff. We re-furbished our new butter churn, so hopefully it will actually be useable to make butter with this season. I'm going to give it a go during the week hopefully. We picked it up quite cheap a few months ago, but it was a dodgy "show" churn made in India with gaping holes all around it. When we filled it with water to test it's seal, it flooded out at approx 1 pint every 10 seconds! So Aggie sealed it with pitch, which seems to have done the trick. It only lost 2cm of water overnight. Now I have to work out how to make butter - I've had differing advice about using only cream, only milk, a mix of the two..... And I'm a bit concerned about using the modern homogenised milk that Tesco's sells. And you can't even buy unpasteurised from the farms any more:-(

We didn't cut the girls dresses, although we did mean to:-( But I did finally work out how to use the loom and made Mstr A a belt. Except it's too short, so perhaps it'll be for LMD! It's going to take a lot of practise before my weaving looks good though. It's pretty lumpy at the moment:-)

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Thursday, March 01, 2007


I had my one month review at work today. It went well. They said they were happy with what I was doing in general. We discussed some procedures and tinkered with the working practises, but basically they said I was fine. I said I was happy with the level of the work at the moment, and foresaw being able to take on a number of additional duties in time, but not yet:-) Then the Partner pointed out that when I qualified he would expect there would be an opening for me to take on my own case load if i wanted.

Wow! I did say that I am not certain at this point how far I will go with the qualifications. Certainly this year and next year, and then we'll have to see. i don't want to spend the whole of my kids formulative years staying in & studying every night - although tbh, I'm not doing that now really! It's nice to know the job has prospects - except that's not why I took it;-) I hope I didn't talk my way out of it. or into it. i like to keep my options open;-)