I have two major things changing in my life right now and they are feeling like the hardest things to deal with right now. So I am opening up in the hope that my lovely readers can help me through it all!
The first is the fact that I have gone back to work after 2 years of being a stay at home single mum. It’s not the job, that’s a challenge, a lot to learn – but I have some fantastic colleagues and my boss is brilliant. It’s the changes at home that I thought I was prepared for but it turns out, I wasn’t! H has been going to nursery 1 afternoon a week for just over a year now. I started her going when I thought I had my old job to go back to after my maternity leave. When that fell through I kept her there for two reasons, firstly for the social aspect. At the time I had no real friends here and it was good for us to have a few hours break from each other and her mix with other young children. I also did it to keep her place there as I knew I would eventually return to work and after being on the waiting list and getting a place I didn’t want to lose that.
Last week I returned to work and H was in nursery for 2 1/2 days. The first day she willingly went in and toddled off without even a second glance to me. Great. It had worked. She already knew the place, the staff and the children. Day two she was a little less willing but still no tears and day 3 was the same. Then she was off for 4 days. She was full of cold for those four days, with a high temperature and just generally not herself. Monday morning came around and although I was on my day off, I took her as her routine needs establishing. She screamed the place down when I passed her over as she refused to walk in herself. She was very clingy when I collected her and it has been the same all week. Tonight she came home and wouldn’t let me go. She is eating, but not like she used to. She is still fighting off the tail end of the cold she had. She won’t eat anything but banana and raisins for breakfast – she was eating weetabix or rice crispies before and breakfast has never been a chore with her. More concerning than that is that she isn’t drinking. She used to drink on average 6 cups of various drinks throughout the day. Now I take her to nursery with a beaker of juice, she comes home and hasn’t finished it. She doesn’t have a full drink with breakfast and today had drunk nothing from 5pm to 7pm. She was screaming for juice but wouldn’t drink it. In the end good old Grandma came round and help me to get her to drink something before bed, without making it a big issue. It’s all so out of character for me and as she has never been a crying baby or toddler I have to admit it really upset me tonight. I seemed unable to give her what she wanted!
I was expecting difficulties with the change of routine but I wasn’t prepared for this! She is teething too and seems to have a sore mouth which doesn’t help. But not only that, I am conscious that with how clingy she has become, B is feeling it too that there is no time for me and her these days. On the plus there though, it is Easter holidays after tomorrow, and both weeks I have made sure I have a day off where it’s just me and B so hopefully that side of things will be better soon.
To top all this off, I am also having to say “Bon Voyage” to my very dear friend Mumtoj who is emigrating to Australia next Wednesday. I met her about a year ago, but in the last 7 months our friendship has grown to one of those you just know will stand the test of time. I have known for ages that she would be going back to Oz with her family just as soon as they sold their house and I’ll be honest and say that in the back of mind initially I didn’t want to get close because saying goodbye is just so hard. However, I am glad I didn’t listen to that little voice because our friendship is something I’m glad I will have in my heart forever. On paper we are so different, but it works. We talk about anything and everything and I am completely myself with her. Not just that but her J and my H are the best of friends even though he is 2 1/2 years older than her, they play together so well and are very close. So on Saturday we are going for our last day out. We are hopefully (weather dependent) taking all 3 kids to the seaside for the day, with fish and chips, buckets and spades and lots of laughter. I can’t wait, but at the same time, I am dreading the end of the day. I don’t want to say goodbye. I’m a jibbering wreck when I say goodbye to people. Plus I have to stay strong for the kids, H won’t understand properly, but B and J will. I’m not alone in saying goodbye though, she said her goodbyes to the rest of our group of friends today and I know they feel the same. I wish her all the luck in the world and I really hope she will find happiness with her family down under.
(I know she hates this pic but it’s the only one I have of the 2 of us!!! Sorry Mumtoj!!)
So there we go, the hardest things in the world right now for me. I love my life and I know change is good, but sometimes change can be very hard to adjust to!
What am I going to do? It’s about 6 weeks until I have to make up my mind. That decision can only be made by me and so many people are trying to influence my decision. Trouble is I can’t weigh up the arguments to work out what to do because it’s all so confusing. Nothing is in plain English, and how do I know people are telling me the truth???
Yep I’m talking about the upcoming General Election. I really don’t know what to do. I have been eligible to vote for 13 years, in fact my 1st General Election vote was when Labour came to power. I had just completed my A Level in Economics, and I voted on the strength of what the main principles of each party are, rather than their policies. All I know is, I don’t trust Gordon Brown, I remember the struggles faced by many when Thatcher was in charge, and the Lib Dem’s probably won’t get in so are they a wasted vote? And what the hell is a hung parliament and what would it mean to me?
I’m sat watching the Chancellor’s debate at the moment and it’s not helping. They all have some good arguments and they have all said things I don’t agree with. It’s not making it any easier! The only thing I am sure of is that I will vote, because not to vote means I have no right to complain about anything in this country. Why can’t they make political debate fun? Why can’t they make it easy to understand? Help!!!!!!! Any advice on where to go to find some plain English answers as to what each party proposes is very welcome!!
Over at A Mother’s Ramblings I have been tagged in this Meme and I love it!
So what’s this all about? Well, in a nut shell it’s a bit like the list people have of the top 10 celebs they would have a little fun with given the chance. Only this time round it’s the top 5 fictional characters that you would happily bed should they actually turn out to be real!!! Or, lets face it, the top 5 fictional characters you find yourself having the best dreams about!!! I was tagged 5 minutes ago and here I am with my list because this one isn’t all that hard! So without further ado, in reverse order I give you my 5:
5. Dr Who!
Ok, yes I love David Tennant but I have to say for the purpose of this meme only the picture refers to David, I actually think Dr Who is ace – who wouldn’t want to be with the man who can defeat anything that’s thrown at him – and if you get bored of him don’t worry eventually he will regenerate and change his look!
4. Peter Petrelli (Heroes)
I know this guy is not whiter than white, but his heart is in the right place and if his passion for his beliefs are anything to go by I bet he’s pretty good at other passions too!!
3. Jasper Hale (Cullen) – Twilight
This cheeky chappy has the look, can control feelings (so your guaranteed to have fun) and he needs a bit of practice controlling his thirst. There wouldn’t be a dull moment with this one!!
2. Eric Northman – True Blood
Now this one is based on the TV program and the books, this is a Vamp that’s good to have on your side, is hot, and actually deep down knows how to treat a woman well! (In all ways, trust me, from the books I know there is a lot to come for this one!)
And now for my number 1, all time, Fictional character I’d like to……………. has to go to the one and only
Now this is 100% the character, I was in love with Edward from the books, before I even saw the films he was my ideal man. He’s not perfect, for a start he’s a vampire, oh and incidentally he only loves Bella because he’s never met me! And I also love his Shiny Volvo so there is scope for lots of fun there!
So now it’s over to you…….. My 5 tags for this one are:
Oh, and if I haven’t tagged you and you fancy having a go then am tagging you too!!!
I have been having some issues recently with B. She turned 7 in January and since just before Christmas she has been acting more like a 14 year old. I am assured this is perfectly normal with girls, but we had reached a point where we were constantly shouting at each other. If she wasn’t shouting she was back chatting and being cheeky, she was refusing to do the most simple of things without moaning. Last week we hit a wall that I knew we either found a ladder to climb over together or we would end up slamming each other at the wall. The week started with her coming downstairs on Monday morning covered in talc. All over her school dress and all up her arms. When I asked she just looked guilty and denied doing anything. I took her upstairs to clean her up and discovered talc all over the sink. She had poured half a large carton of talc down the sink – supposedly to clean off the spilt toothpaste! I got angry and shouted at her and she went to school with us both in bad moods. A few days later I also discovered she had poured half the bottle of her mouth wash down the sink because she didn’t like the taste and didn’t want to use it. I tried to explain to her why that was not correct behaviour but yet again it resulting in us having an argument.
Last Saturday whilst nursing a hang over and H was having her nap, me and B watched Supernanny. It was a repeat but I hadn’t seen it and within minutes I was telling B that the 8 year old on the show was treating her mum how she treats me. B was glued to the program, as was I. It filled me with hope when I saw her interest meant that she too was obviously not happy with our relationship. Anyway, the thing Supernanny did with the girl, was introduce the “refection area”. Much like a “Time Out”, the child gets sent to the reflection area for behaving incorrectly. A warning is given and if the behaviour continues then the child spends 1 minute per year of their life in the reflection area, at the end of which the behaviour is discussed and the child then is to apologise and then it is forgotten. After watching I asked B if she thought that might work. She agreed to it and we discussed where her reflection area would be (the porch), we also discussed the fact that we would consciously try and stop shouting at each other.
So, a week on and how are we doing? Well, I can count on 1 hand the amount of times I have shouted, which has been a complete weakness on my part BUT every time I have rectified my actions before it has ruined the positive progress. I would say B has visited the porch about 6 times over the week. The change in our relationship though is astounding. We talk now, we talk about how we feel, what we have been doing with our day. We have even been so well organised in a morning that she has time to play before going to school. We actually laugh together now without it turning into her getting over excited and me getting annoyed. Don’t get me wrong she still has her moments, but I feel like I have control back now. Instead of her winding me up and having a tantrum,the warning is given before she looses it. She has also learnt that when I say “no” it is for a reason and not just because I don’t want her to do or have something. I know I am not the only one who faces these issues because from talking to others with children the same age, particularly girls, it seems quite common that they are like this at this age. So I hope that my experience will help someone else too. Also, if you have tackled a similar problem a different way I would love to hear about it – in ca se this approach looses it’s effectiveness!
As many of you will know from reading my Blog, it has been 2 years since I became a single mum and it has been a rollercoaster ride. In the last 6 months though I have really embraced the fact that my life is my own and me and my girls are happy so that’s what matters. Every so often my ex works out of the area and as such is unable to have his alternate weekends with the girls, well we are now reaching the end of a 3 month period where he has been away, which means it’s been 3 months of not having to worry about the separated parents politics.
Anyway, what I am trying to get out here, is the fact that next weekend I have to go and spend a few hours with his family, and then a fortnight after, he is home, and then it goes back to the alternate weekend crap. I actually thought that by this stage I would be counting down the days till I had some time to myself. Maybe, had I managed to find a guy crazy enough to take on me and the kids, things would be different – but I honestly don’t have a clue what I am going to do with myself when I don’t have the girls for a weekend. Worse than that, in the summer they are having some of the holiday with him too, so that’s 2 weeks of me, myself and I! Ok at least I have my job now, but my kids are a pleasure, not a chore. Even when they are being pain’s, I love them being here. I had my kids within a marriage, which I thought would last forever, I never factored in having to wave goodbye to them every other Friday afternoon! I did it for 20 months and I don’t want to do it any more! I can say it’s nice to have a break, I can say it’s only fair to him (although actually what he did to me he did to the kids too and sometimes that makes it even harder for me to justify his right to see them), but at the end of the day this is nothing to do with him, or anything that happened to lead us to this situation, it’s me emotionally. I don’t want to have to get used to being without my kids for x amount of days of the year. I don’t want to have to explain why me and Daddy no longer live together, why Daddy now lives with someone who had always been referred to as an “Aunty”, I don’t want the one up man ship “We do that with Daddy”, all the time. I just want what I’ve had for the last 3 months and that’s an easy family life with me and my girls!
Ok please don’t think I will change what the arrangement is. I am always conscious that it is down to the girls to decide if they want to see Daddy and at this age they are both too young to really make that decision. When they get older, if they say they don’t want to go then I would never force them. And I won’t make them feel guilty for enjoying the time they have with him. I also won’t try and influence them into not wanting to go, or saying things to Daddy. No I stand by the fact that kids should not be used as tools when a relationship falls down. All I am saying is that these last 3 months have made me realise that until the girls are old enough to see him when they want, I am going to have to live with this whole access malarkey and I really don’t want to! I’ll try and keep busy and try not to dwell on it but if anyone has any tips on how to deal with weekends and time without the kids, then I would love to hear from you!
I can’t quite believe it has taken me 4 days to get to writing this but better late than never! Monday saw the release of The Twilight Saga: New Moon on DVD and BluRay. Now any Twihards reading this already know that this hit the cinemas back in November, and many like me will have been to see the film on the big screen for a few showings! I only managed 2 but some fans went 5 or 6 times! I have decided however to do this review for those of you who may not be hooked on the Saga, who haven’t read the books and want to know what the film is like as a film rather than, dare I say it, a cult!
The film picks up from the first film Twilight, where in effect the scene is set and the main characters introduced. Set in Forks, WA, we meet Bella who is new to town after moving in with her Dad, Charlie. She falls in love with the gorgeous Edward Cullen and the first film is predominantly about her finding out Edward and his family are vegetarian Vampires.
New Moon opens with a dream scene, where Bella believes she is introducing her Grandma (who has passed), to her Vampire boyfriend Edward. This then transpires to be Bella looking in a mirror and, having reached old age, is clearly upset by the fact her Edward is still youthful and the same as when they first met. This leads in to the key theme that Bella wants to become a Vampire to enable her to no longer age and to spend eternity with her love. In fact, within 24 hours of this dream her world is turned upside down when Edward leaves and Bella has no contact with him and his family. Without giving too much away for those who don’t know the story, she turns to her childhood friend, Jacob Black. Their friendship builds over the course of the film and Bella is in turmoil trying to work out if she should wait for her Vampire true love to return, or give in to the reliable and seemingly “normal” Jacob.
The story this time round is not about finding love, but about heartbreak and the difficulties that brings. It deals with friendship dynamics changing and having to face the future which had been clear-cut, yet now full of uncertainty. For anyone who is sceptical about the Vampires who can go out in the sunshine and just sparkle, I say look beyond that because underneath is a fantastic story about relationships in all shapes and sizes.
The film itself is full of fantastic special effects. We are introduced to the wolf pack in this film and I have to say, the transitions from man to wolf were convincing and the eyes of the wolves held true emotion. The fight scene with the Vampires is well choreographed and fast paced. For the die hard fans, this is what Twilight should have been like, but for anyone after a great film to watch, this fits the bill too. It’s 2 hours long but it gets going early on and your not sat wondering when the action will start. Another plus is the script has stayed true to the book. I’m not going to pick apart anything that was missed out, or done wrong, because I am reviewing the film here – but with Twilight I found it made more sense having read the book. Not this time. My 7 year old daughter understood this film much better with no questions as to what was going on. I do think that was an important mistake from first time round that the new director has addressed well.
For anyone who watched the first film and were not convinced, I say give Twilight another shot because New Moon is action packed whilst still putting across the original message of the book.
Today I came home from work and was greeted with Mumtoj’s latest Blog post about her 10 free things she likes and it got me thinking of so many things I take for granted because they are things I don’t have to pay for. I’ve actually had to take things out to only have 10 here, and this is what I came up with:
- Picking H up from nursery and hearing “Mummy!”, with a huge smile on her face and running to me for cuddles. Although it does make me feel a little guilty for leaving her, I know right now it’s all new for her and it won’t take her long to adjust. But it makes me realise I am as special to her as she is to me and that makes it all worth while.
- Hearing B when she tells me she loves me, or that I am the best Mum in the world. I know I am not perfect, what parent is, but that she is able to feel love for me and appreciate me as a parent means so much – I know I’m on the right track even though she has been through so much especially in the last 2 years.
- Reading a book to relax – now officially this does cost me as I buy my books, but I also use the library and borrow books from friends and family so I have decided to include it. I spent so many years being a non reader, not understanding how such a thing could be relaxing, but I have to say I am a readaholic and am never without a book on the go!
- Spending time with family and friends. Knowing that time with those who mean the most to me doesn’t have to involve days out, it can simply be visiting each other or going for a walk, because it’s the company that’s enjoyable.
- Activities provided by the Children’s Centre – although my involvement in these will be limited now I am back to work, I have to include it because it still is at this point in time a big part of my life.
- Fresh air! May seem a little strange but when was the last time you breathed in proper fresh air? The air quality where I live is much better than inner city air, but having lived so long up in the North of Scotland, even now after 2 years the air down here is not the same so I really love it when I go to the coast, or visit friends up North and get some real fresh air!
- Having a shower – ok again technically not free because I have to pay for water and electricity, but even if I didn’t shower I would have to pay for those so I am kind of cheating a bit!!! But I hate baths, I don’t feel clean after sitting in water containing my dissolved dirt from my skin. A shower really does wash away the day, leaves my skin feeling tingly and refreshed and makes everything better!
- Sleep! I love my sleep. No two ways about it, without sleep I am ratty and not a very once person to know! So I am including it because whilst I love the feeling of being asleep, I also love the fact that after a good nights sleep I am a much more balanced and focused person.
- The dawn chorus. I know, I love sleep and that includes not having to get up early, but this last week I have loved hearing the dawn chorus, the soundtrack to life. Each little bird adding it’s own unique sound to natures choir. It reminds me that everyone and every other living thing, contributes to the bigger picture in ways that we can’t always understand. We are all important in so many ways and that is something to shout about.
- My broadband – yep I get free broadband so it makes it on to the list because as a single parent it’s one of my main ways of contacting and meeting people when the kids are tucked up in bed. It enables me to write this blog, read other blogs, tweet, play games, connect with friends and family and without it my life would be very different. I can discuss things, vent, laugh with others and still feel like a part of something even when sat at home on my own.
So there we have it – like I say I had to cut some because there are actually lots more. I am also quite shocked at how deep some of my answers are considering the time of night it is! I’d love to hear about your Ten Free Things You Like too, so please comment or blog about this yourself, and if you do let me know so I can come and have a look!
I’ve been waiting for today for months. On that cold Thursday back in December I made the same 45 minute drive to the unknown. Oh I knew where I was going (my SatNav was telling me) and I knew why (I had the letter in my bag), but the unknown was what would happen when I got there, and when, if ever, anything would happen after that. My trip today though was more full of excitement than anxiety. It was full of hope for the future not just hope I could get through a few hours without messing up. It was my 1st day at work, not just the interview!
To say the last 3 months have been long is no understatement. I knew it wouldn’t be a quick start after finding out I had been offered the job due to checks and references all having to be done first, but I hadn’t been expecting 3 months waiting. Today my waiting ended. I woke early after a better nights sleep than I thought the nerves would let me get. The girls were very co-operative and there were no arguments or tantrums from either of them. We left the house on time; a first for a long time. I dropped B to school and H willingly went to nursery not even giving me a second glance and off I went.
I arrived around 10 minutes early, which had been my aim – not too early, not too late, but equally not walking in bang on 10am when I was due to start. I was thankful to see another lady getting out of her car and although the building houses many different offices and conference facilities, we said hello and confirmed we were both there for the same company. It was suddenly a nice feeling for the nerves to start to ease. Our morning was spent meeting our colleagues and bosses and talking briefly about the setting up of a completely new area. It was informal and more of a meet and greet than a day at work. Tomorrow it all starts properly when we all attend day 1 of our induction course.
I had been worried after 2 years out of work I would feel lost and out of control, but how wrong was I. From the moment I walked in it felt right. It felt like this is where my life is supposed to have taken me. Don’t get me wrong, I know the novelty will wear off, as with any job, I will reach a stage where I don’t want to get out of bed some mornings because I know I have horrible jobs to do that day. (Normally that’s when I have put off my filing for long enough and it’s reached a point I can no longer ignore!) I also know that due to the nature of my work I will have hard days that due to confidentiality I won’t be able to talk to anyone about outside of work. But today my biggest realisation is that this is right. I am now officially a Working Mum again, because that’s the right choice for me and my girls!
Spring has sprung and new life is appearing every where, I feel like Spring has sprung for me, a new season in my life and my arms are open to embrace it!
B lost her bottom 4 front teeth last year, and the big ones are coming through nicely. Thankfully I wasn’t present for them coming out as they either dropped out at school or at Daddy’s. Her 2 top front teeth have been wobbly for a while though. She has been really uncomfortable with them, in fact 2 nights ago I had to give her Calpol because she was in pain with it.
Today as normal she got up saying her teeth were annoying her. We got dressed and headed out to do a few jobs, and I stopped to fill up with petrol. As I am filling up B appeared at the window with blood pouring from her mouth, she had been twiddling it and it had twisted round. She refused to shut her mouth – I think my words were “You look like a Vampire!” Probably not very helpful. Now at this stage I have to point out I hate blood and I hate teeth, so petrol pump in hand and coming over queasy I promptly gave her the tissues and went to pay. I wasn’t much help to her and refused to look at her because I knew I had to drive!
We pulled up outside Grandma’s house and B ran in the house saying “Can you sort this out?” In sheer panic! She was talking without moving her mouth and still refusing to close her mouth. Bracing myself I looked and could see it was hanging on by a thread. I told her she would be able to pull it out and that she had to do it herself because I didn’t want to hurt her! So she did. I was in complete shock, I honestly didn’t think she would even try! The tooth went in the bin with the promise that the tooth fairy would know and I would leave her a note! To be honest I was surprised at the amount of blood there was. Having not been there to witness her other 4 coming out I wasn’t prepared for it and thank goodness my mum was there! Eventually the blood stopped and she started closing her mouth again!
Mum cooked the usually fantastic Sunday Roast and B was reluctant to eat it which is so unlike her. Whilst eating pudding she said she was scared her other top tooth would come out while she was eating and that she might swallow it. The 1st of the 2 coming out seemed to have freed the 2nd and it was also only hanging by a thread. I turned and said to her “Well it has to come out, so you either have to just put up with it or see if you can pull it out, but please leave the table if your going to try.” A few minutes passed and she left the table and silently went into the kitchen. Me, Mum and Dad all looked at each other. I waited a few minutes and said “B, if it won’t come don’t force it” as she bounded back into the dining room, tooth in hand shouting “it came out” with a big grin on her face, and thankfully not half as much blood. I was so proud of her! She was ecstatic. And Grandma promptly grabbed her purse and gave her £5 saying “You have been so brave doing that twice today and I so proud of you!” Tooth number 2 also went in the bin and I promised B that the tooth fairy would be fine about having a note instead of 2 very bloody teeth!
The funniest thing though is the whistle! She sat reading her book tonight about Sammy the Sloth, which has lots of “S” words in it! I tried not to laugh because bless her she can’t help it! On the down side, it looks wrong that she has those teeth missing. Hopefully the new ones won’t be long coming through! Trouble is I find I am quite unsympathetic at times with wobbly teeth because of how squeamish I am, so any tips on how I can deal with it better are greatly appreciated!
Yesterday B came home from school stating that “Jesus wasn’t seen by anyone when he wasn’t in the cave he was buried in, although people think he came back to life, no-one saw him.”
Now let me get one thing straight, we don’t go to church every Sunday but I see myself as a Christian, attended church every Sunday until B was 14 months and we moved, I went back to work and life (or the devil depending on your beliefs) got in the way. I have been to church in the last 5 and half years, mainly for christenings I know, but I still have my faith. I don’t force God and Jesus and religion on my girls but B has always expressed an interest in Jesus and classes herself as a Christian and at this stage in her life that’s what she chooses to believe.
The thing that really annoys me is that we live in a Christian country yet my daughter comes home with the statement above. It clearly states in all 4 gospels that Jesus was seen by his disciples before he ascends to heaven. I am not saying that is what everyone should believe, and yes, if we want our kids to hear the word of God then we can take them to church. But when teaching the Christian meaning of Easter, a big part of the story is that Jesus rose again. For a Christian, The Bible is the proof. No, we don’t have “proof” any of it is true. But why teach a half story? Teach what Christian’s believe, what their Faith is founded on. Easter is a more important story for Christian’s than Christmas. The school wouldn’t “edit” a Muslim belief for it to be more PC.
Now I know I am only going on what B has come home and said, but it really hit a nerve with me – just as things do at Christmas. We are a welcoming nation. There is free speech and we welcome any race and religion onto our land. We let our citizens build Mosques, wear their clothes as dictated by their beliefs, and we accept those who have no religious commitments. Everyone is equal. That’s a brilliant mark as to why so many people want to come to us for a better life. But does that really mean our children can’t be taught about Christianity correctly in school. Does this really mean that Christian workers should have to work Christmas day and yet those of other faiths expect time of for their religious festivals. Ok I admit to generalising here, and I am sure this isn’t the case every where in the country – but it does upset me at times that our Queen is the head of the Church of England, yet we can’t openly celebrate the teachings of that church, should we wish to, without upsetting people.
I apologise to anyone who thinks I am out of line here, I am no way trying to say we shouldn’t embrace other faiths and cultures, merely in doing so we shouldn’t forget our own. Or is it just that we have become a nation of none believers? I’d love to hear other opinions on this.
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