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, November 28, 2008

Olympian dreams

Here's one in the eye for all those pessimists & moaners about the 2012 Olympics.

The first venue is now complete - finished early & under budget! Obviously, I don't expect the same from all the venues (in fact, I am prety confident most will come in on time but over budget), but I have to admit I am rather baffled by the large number of people who seem to feel the olympics in Britain is a bad thing. How can it possibly be a bad thing? We get much needed new facilities (please explain how come there is no 50m swimming pool in the capital city!!!), and regeneration of a rather horrible part of the city, not to mention the massive rise in tourism that accompanies any olympic venue.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm good, me

I had my appraisal at work last week. I was a little anxious - I knew I'd seen a number of good evaluation forms from lawyers I'd worked for, but you can never tell if others had been sent in, or what my line managers might say. Also, I have changed my days a couple of times, been slightly militant in staff meetings and taken a lot of days off sick (about 5 in the past 9 months, which is an awfull ot for me). But it went really well, and they seemed more than happy with my work and my place in the firm. I didn't ask for a pay-rise, thought that might be pushing my luck considering everything, but I confidently expect one next time round.

Then at the weekend we went off to the Company of Chivalry's annual banquet, and Aggie & I were both out up a rank to retainer. I got a lovely set of keys to the household, and Aggie got an admonition to obey my orders! How cool is that? And I get to jangle when I walk in my medieval kit now, which is terribly empowering!!!

My rib is finally settling down again now. After the exercise on my birthday it was really painful, and I tried the authentic pain relief of drinking too much alcohol at the banquet, which was incredibly unsuccessfull - it didn't stop the pain at the time, but did make me not care about doing things that made it hurt MUCH more the next day - but after sleeping for 12 hours last night (except for getting up for coughing children!) it seems to be on the mend now.

I went to Court on Monday to observe the housing case worker. It was very interesting, but you do have to wonder at some of the people. Some of them just didn't pay their rent/mortgage, didn't contact the person who was owed the money, didn't stick to previous court orders, and when asked why not, said it was just because they didn't get round to it! then they wondered why they were being evicted! Although most cases were fairly straight forward, and were easily sorted with agreement betwen the parties. I am almost finished my training at the CAB now, just a couple of days left, then a four day intensive course in Cardiff. But I am finally starting to feel that I will be able to do it, and looking forward to properly starting.

I was invited to join 'Think Parents' - a network of parental bloggers by Digital Outlook. No freebies have turned up yet (in the whole 24 hours I've been a memmber), but I'm always up for protot-type testing. I know the big bloggers get freebie laptops and all sorts, but tbh, a cuddly toy every now and then would be nice - so watch this space for honest advertising:) You never know, perhaps my readership will get something out of it too - the last promo I did gave away a prize to the winner.......

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Party like it's 1370

LMB was diagnosed with an ear infection, started a course of yummy banana flavour medicine last night and has perked up no end today:)

Which means a) she's on the mend so I can leave her and b) she's not infectious so Nanny A can come & babysit. So I am going off gto the banquet tonight:) Aggie has a bad cold so is staying sober & will drive us home, so I am looking forward to a full night of food, friends, festivities & drinking until I fall obver. It's been several years since that happened, and it must be about time for me to get involved in this binge drinking culture we keep being told about:)

Off to find some old clothes & get dressed up now.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Sometimes things happen at the wrong time:(

When we were moving all of LMB's room around last weekend I fell accross the railing of her bed. I winded myself pretty badly, but at the time thought I was probably OK - if I'd done any major damage to internal organs I'd have known about it! It felt pretty bruised across my stomach for a couple of days. But a few days ago I slept on that side, and when I woke up the pain had shifted onto my ribs - then yesterday I squashed it again and now it really hurts. I can't lift my right arm up very high, and I'm fairly certain I actually broke a rib. No point going to hospital now - they'll just give me a lecture on how I should've gone at the time, and that the only thing to do is rest it for 6 weeks. Ho hum.

Poor LMB is very ill - she's got a tempreture of 40*c (103?f) and was sick a couple of times in the night. I can get her temp down to about 39 with drugs etc but still. She's really lethargic and just unwell, poor thing. It is Friday, so when she didn't show any improvement by lunch time, I thought I'd better phone the Dr for an appointment. If she does have an infection or anything we need to get abti-biotics before the weekend! The surgery didn't ahve any appointments left for today (which I believe is illegal) but saqid they would pass the info on to a doctor, who would phone us back & if he felt it necessary, would call us in to see her. As she is 5 years old, running & high tempreture & complaining of a headache and dislike of lights, I reckon that any Dr who doesn't ask to see her is asking to be sued! Personally i think it's viral, but I'd like it checked!

But it's now 3.45pm, and still no phone call>:(*

We are supposed to be going off to our annual re-enactment end of year banquet this weekend. It's a big event, especially as its the groups 20th birthday this year. Awards are given, new rank attained and plenty of alcohol & good food consumed. I was really looking forward to going & enjoying it properly this year.

I think perhaps Sod and his Law may be working overtime round here atm!

*just got a call offering us an appointment for 4.30pm

Thursday, November 20, 2008

happy birthday to me

It's my birthday - I dumped all the kids with professionals for the day & went shopping in the new cabot circus. I'm not keen on shopping generally - although Aggie enjoys it - but managed a full day today & even came home with a new dress. Now I just need a party to wear it to!

Also saw Quantum of Solace, which was jolly good:) And ate yummy food. and cake. then came home for more cake and alcohol.

Not a bad day all in all

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ramance is dead

Today is the 16th anniversary of me & Aggie "getting together" - we had met a few times before, but it was 19 November when we officially started, um, being a couple......

I spent the day at work, obviously.

Every Wednesday for the past 10 weeks has been spent rushing off to the fostering course, but that is now finished, so how are we spending our evening tonight?

well, Aggie has gone down the pub with his mates, & I'm home alone watching shite on the telly:(

I'm not really much of a romantic, but for 15 years we've managed to do something together on 19 November - I suggested a night out at the cinema this year, but........

Hopefully tomorrow will be more fun - we're off to the new shopping quarter in Bristol for my birthday treat.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


We've spent the whole day getting LMB's new room finished - and hurrah, she is actually in sleeping there tonight! No toys or clothes there yet - I'll have to sort all that out during the week, but Aggie has built a double skinned wall, I have painted 5 coats on the three original walls & ceiling, & glossed the wooden beams, Aggie has papered the new wall, & big bordered the others, dismantled & rebuilt a bed and wardrobe in situ and re-wired the whole top floor of the house (Not necessarily in that order).

Now LMB has a little attic room at the top of the house - next job is to move Mstr A down into her old room (after tidying, decorating etc, and LMD up into his old room, so that the girls share the top floor, and Mstr A has the big room within shouting distance! And the little nursery next to our room will become the spare/foster kids room.

But first a well deserved rest - it's a long way to lug solid wooden furniture up & I'm knackered!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

A sad day in the uK

In the news today:

The family were "known to the social services, but not considered at risk" - yet two babies were murdered by their own mother.*

Despite 60 visits from various agencies Baby P suffered serious abuse for his whole, short life, and was murdered either by, or under the eyes of his mother and social services did not consider he was at risk.

Shannon Matthews mother was more interested in a ring tone, than whether her "kidnapped" daughter was safe and well after being found following nearly a month missing.

"Good enough parenting" is the byword of British social services. It doesn't have to be good, just good enough. A parent can beat, neglect, and abuse their child, and as long as they co-operate when the social worker tells them they shouldn't, the child, and other children will stay with that parent.

On our fostering course, we have been given plenty of statistics about how much worse children in care do compared to children not in care, both academically, and regarding mental health issues. I asked if anyone had looked at it from the other end - how many children with problems end up in the care system? No-one had stats on that!

They also agreed that as they are trying harder and harder to keep children with their families, they ones that do enter the care system are doing so much older, and with much more severe difficulties, and finding it harder to adjust or settle with foster families.
The belief that blood is always best, and a bad parent is better than no parent, means that children are being left in dangerous circumstances accross the country, No matter how many public enquiries we hold, how many reports are written, until we change that fundemental ethos, I expect to see this happen again, and again, and again.

Of course, foster parents are in massively short supply - possibly because we have been trying to get approved for nearly two years now, and are still waiting for social services to commence the assessment process! or possibly because the qualifications/qualities required to foster now make it impossible for 75% of the population to do it. But then again, there are also long, long waiting lists for adoption......

I don't care what the ECHR says - having a family is NOT a right! It is a priviledge, and a responsibility that should IMHO be regulated - and we should not be scared to remove children as a preventative emasure, rather than as a reactive one!

* this is still breaking news and I do not want to second guess what exactly "known to SS" means - but I wonder if perhaps she had, say, called SS previously saying that she was finding it hard to cope, and was told "there is nothing we can do" - because it seems from my experience at least, that you need to actually hurt a child before they give a damn!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Paranoia & pennies

My mother once told me (well, more than once to be honest) that being a parent means going to bed feeling guilty every night.

Which, unfortunately, is true.

She failed to mention that I would suddenly acquire a wholly unprecedented paranoia about anything & everything to do with my kids AND guilt for feeling paranoid!!!

Ever since parents evening where they told me LMB was often unwell in the afternoon, it seems that she has been unwell! She's picked up a virus and been off for the last few days with a bit of a temperature and some sickness. I'm quite sure that she does not have any food intolerances (the great modern malady), but now I'm strting to worry what IS wrong with her. She is skinny as anything, but eats enough (not loads), tired in the afternoons but full of energy & constantly moving most days. I know, in my heart, that I would tell anyone else not to worry. But I worry!

Mstr A picks up his first pair of glasses on Tuesday:( Both me & Aggie were short sighted as children, so this is no great surprise, but I still feel bad about it. He doesn't really need something else to be teased about. We're also waiting for a physio appointment for him, but to help things along he started gymnastics this week. He was the only boy and twice the size of anyone else there, but really enjoyed uit. YAY! I went round with him - although I don't think he really needed me, I think perhaps the coach did:) As gymnastics is one of "my" sports, I was able to help with Mstr A, and others, and will just be a freebie coach for them for the term. Mstr A is even stiffer than Aggie - and he's crippled with arthritis, so we really need to work on that! Gymnastics os a good way to do that. Obviously, we had to start LMB off there as well, as she has been nagging for ages. Ho hum, more money....... and LMD wants to go now too.

Mstr A is also off on a school trip in a couple of weeks - £8 to go and stand in a cave and look at some rocks!!! WTF?

But, on the plus side, I got a £25 "encouragement award" from work for suggesting that having got rid of all their filing cabinets and put in very high shelving units, they may want to invest in some step stools. What a clever idea they said - well Duh! I'm pretty sure we pay someone a salary in the upper tax band to be the Health & Safety bloke on site, but apparently it didn'toccur to him that 4'6 lawyers would stand on their chairs to reach the 8' high shelves! Don't get me wrong, £25 is nice, but really.......

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Too busy

It's just getting busier and busier at Casa Aginoth. i do have time to sit and think, but not the mental capacity left to think about much by the time that time comes!

Working 3 days a week was definitely the right move, and allowed me to stay in work, which is great, but working 30 miles away, although not far in the grand scheme of things, is still a long way away to go each day - and depressing to consider each evening that i will have to traipse through the rain/sleet/cold in the morning. And I miss daylight now too:(

We're still attending the NAS early bird course on fridays. It's very useful, and giving us tons of ideas - some we already do, but lots we haven't tried before, so we, and the school, are trying to implement some with Mstr A. Which means his routine is being changed fairly regularly, and his behaviour naturally deteriorates on and off. he's got his first CAMHS assesment in a couple of weeks too, which might make things better. or worse. Who knows?

Then on Thursdays I'm still working my way through the CAB advisor training. It's tough going, but I'm positive its the right thing for me to do. There may even be a job in it after a few years:) There's getting to be quite a lot of homework though, and I can only get on the computer during office hours, which is a bit of a problem. ho hum.

I have signed up for the online version of the next part of my Law course. But TBH, I haven't got terribly far with that yet. I usually get panicy after Xmas and work hard then. Hopefully that will kick in again this year:)

We're also still thinking about fostering, so that's another course to fit in each week - this time for both of us.

It's half term at the moment, so the kids are off school. There was a parents evening just before they broke up. Apparently LMB has "low self esteem" because she will do her work perfectly well one-on-one, but just sits back quietly in class and doesn't push herself forard to answer questions. That doesn't mean that she has low self esteem in my book, more that she's lazy:) But we agreed to try and boost her up a bit. *sigh* Mstr A has had a really good term, and has apparently "hardly hidden under the table at all". hmmmmm, not sure that was as reassuring to me as the teacher meant it to be! we've also got to take them both to the doctors, Mstr a to try and get a physio appointment to see if we can try to stop the gait that is developing, and LMB because "she often has a funny tummy in the afternoon" so we need to get her checked for food intolerances! It couldn't possibly be tiredness, or boredom, or the fruit she eats each evening, or even attention seeking. oh no, teacher says take her to the doctor, so off we trot like obedient parents......

We're trying to get the bedrooms sorted out - Aggie has built the wall and sorted the electrics in the attic, and I've been painting it all. We've decided that we're going to really make a push with the DIY round the house and sort the place out a bit. I've also been clearing yet more stuff out & freecycling/chucking it.

Overall, it's just lots of stuff to juggle. something's gonna have to give soon......