Sunday, 31 January 2010

Shopping Trip

Well after my lovely rest yesterday we did manage to go shopping today.

The first reason for the shopping trip was to take two rings into the jewellers to have the diamonds put back in them. One of them was my grandma's engagement ring which was given to me when she died and the other is my engagement ring. Last week I noticed that the claws on my ring felt sharp so I thought that I had better check how secure the diamond was and as I touched it, it came out in my hand. The jeweller said that grandma's ring, which is a row of five small diamonds, where the middle one has come out, would be no problem to fix and would cost £30. Next was my ring, first of all he said the claws were so worn down that I was extremely lucky that the diamond had not just fallen out and told me that to build them back up would cost - wait for it - £140!!! I don't know if I am incredibly naive but I can't believe that it costs so much just to put 6 claws back on a ring!!! Mark nearly had to pick me up off the floor in shock. The problem is, my engagement ring is very precious to me and so with my bank balance now £140 lighter I have left it at the jewellers and will collect it in 10 days time!

Shopping trip reason number two was that after a very stressful few years at work and an eight month absence on long term sick Mark left his old job in November and is starting up his own business, he moves into some premises tomorrow, hooray. He needed some new work clothes, hence part of the shopping trip. It was very successful and he got some very nice things, I have not seen him so happy and excited about going to work in a very, very long time. Even if it takes a while I know that if anyone can make it work he can, he is a very dedicated, hardworking person and I am very thankful for that.

I am very grateful that we are now beginning to put the traumatic events of the last year behind us and are looking toward a brighter future.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Today I have done........

.................absolutely nothing!

Ellie was invited to a sleepover last night and so Lydia decided she would like to stay at my mum's this week, so yet again we were down to just the two boys. My mum offered to have them today so Mark picked Ellie up at 9 o'clock and dropped her off there and the boys went an hour later. Obviously I had intended to do all sorts of things while I had some child free home time, unfortunately sitting doing nothing just beckoned to me, so I decided that was the best, albeit lazy option and I enjoyed every minute of it!!!

I must admit as much as I love the children, and I really do, I do like to have some time for myself. I think what has been hard for me is that since we have had Ellie she has never really slept properly and it is sometimes quite hard! She would never go to bed and only started sleeping through the night at four and a half. We tried every routine and suggestion but nothing worked and we also had to endure the usual, "she wouldn't be like that if she were mine" and "leave her with me and I'll sort her out" comments! Well, she is twelve now and nothing has changed, she has to be in bed between 9.00 and 9.30 but she is still getting in and out of it at 11 o'clock. We thought our luck had changed with Lydia and Ben as they were angels and slept all night long, Ben started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks old! Just when we were thinking how lucky we were and nobody could sleep as badly as Ellie along came Max and the whole night time performance started again! He is three next month and he is getting better, he will actually go to sleep in his own bed but I think he has only stayed in it all night long about four times. He walks into our room in the middle of the night, says "Hi Mum, Hi Dad" and climbs into bed with us and having been through this once already and sleep being far too important for me to lose out on I let him stay there!

So that is why at the moment I do not feel guilty about sitting and doing nothing today. However, tomorrow will be a different story when I have to help the kids with their reading and homework, wash all the school clothes (and the other piles of washing) and get them dried for Monday morning, go grocery shopping (as I normally do that on the internet and forgot), go in town clothes shopping for Mark (not my favourite activity), go to the jewellers to have my engagement ring repaired as the diamond fell out last week and a whole host of other things.......................................ermmmmmm maybe sitting today wasn't such a good idea after all!!!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Friday Photo Flashback!

Here are a few pictures of me with two of my brothers. I have two sisters and four brothers altogether (all my siblings are from my dad's previous marriage), our family was split with my eldest brother and eldest sister living with my dad's parents, another sister and brother living with their mother and the two youngest brothers lived with us. It is a very complicated story as to why this happened!!!

Anyway, here are a few photos of me and my two brothers who lived with us.

Don't you just love the seventies....

......and the early eighties!!!

For more fabulous Friday Photo Flashbacks visit More Than Words.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Date nights

I must admit we have had our fair share of time away from the children courtesy of my mum who lives a 10 minute walk away, but the majority of the time it has been spent cleaning, decorating and even sleeping (as the children don't seem to)! We have never had regular 'date nights' so I decided all that had to change. We have not had a very good year and I thought that it would be good to spend some quality time together like we used to all those years ago.

So now, every other Thursday we drop the children off at tea time and go out somewhere. Today was only the second time of going out but we had a lovely time and it was well worth it. We went to the casino where we had a lovely fillet steak and it was even better because it was buy one get one free. We set a limit of £10 to spend in the casino and we won a small amount so actually only spent £7.50 each.......well, I did say it was a small amount. I was stood next to a man who placed £60 on one game of cards and lost the lot and walked away as though nothing had happened, I think I would have been crying for weeks!!!

We went to see Avatar in 3D a fortnight ago, for our first 'date night' and that was really good. I would like to see it again before it has finished showing at the cinema because I don't think it would have the same effect on our small TV!

I think it has done us the world of good to spend these few hours together, I can hardly believe that we have been together 19 years already it only seems like yesterday that we met.

I wonder where we will go for our next 'date night'!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Wordful Wednesday

Rock Challenge 2009

This is a picture of my daughter Ellie. It was the first time her school had competed in a dance competition called Rock Challenge and they were all fantastic.

For more Wordful Wednesdays click here

Sick days

Thankfully we have had a none sickness, sickness bug! Ellie was off school on Monday with a tummy ache and feeling really sick, she went back to school yesterday and then it was Lydia and Ben's turn. They were off school yesterday but I have sent them today. Ben was not very happy and was complaining that he felt sick but I made the decision to send him as he appeared to make a miraculous recovery yesterday when he knew that he was not going to school. To be fair he did say once or twice yesterday I feel sick, but then he chased around for about four hours before bedtime without any problems!!! I shall have to wait and see whether or not I get a call from the school later on!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Two down

It was very quiet last night. Lydia had been invited to a friend's house for a sleepover and so Ellie decided she wanted to sleep at my mum's house. That only left us with Ben and Max and the house seemed very quiet. Ben was not very happy as the girls had gone off to do other things so we bought a movie on Apple TV for him to watch and promised him, he and Max could sleep in our bed so he was happy enough at that.

We didn't have to pick the girls up until two o'clock so I helped Ben do a jigsaw that he received for Christmas and Mark spent most of the morning (and the afternoon when the girls had been picked up) making a Meccanno car for him, another received Christmas present. I took Max up to our bed for a sleep in the afternoon and I slept with him, I don't do this very often and I must admit it was nice!

Well we are now watching the movie for the second night running as the girls wanted to see it and then it will be time for bed. I am looking forward to church tomorrow morning!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Friday Photo Flashback!

I decided I would take Alicia's lead and post a picture of me quite a few years ago which also could be entitled - What was my mum thinking?

I think that I was about three or four here so it is about 1977ish!

For more Friday Photo Flashbacks vist More Than Words

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Soooo cold!

It is soooo cold, I just can't seem to get warm, even with the heating turned up!!! It is about 5c, but it feels much colder, I don't know if that is because it is so dull and grey outside. We have only had one day of blue sky in about the last three weeks. Hence I have not being going out at all, only to pick the children up from school, and am starting to go a bit stir crazy.

There are a few things that I need to do tomorrow, pay in some cheques, sign Max back up to Jumping Jacks and buy a belated birthday present, so I am going to make myself go out in the horrible cold weather. I am so glad that the nights are starting to get a bit longer now, I know it is not by much but even a little makes all the difference. I do not like dark nights at all, especially as when the children are at school by the time they leave and we get home and it is dark. I am counting the weeks now to the clocks going forward, they go forward the last weekend in March and then it's an extra hour of daylight, hooray!!!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Wordful Wednesday!

Here is a follow on to last weeks picture. This is my brother and his wife with their long awaited son at 6 months old!

For more Wordful Wednesdays please visit 7 Clown Circus.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Always something!!!

I have not posted in a few days because of a family 'situation'. Unfortunately it is just another one in a long line of 'situations' for this particular family member and it has caused a lot of people upset and anxiety. It is far from over but I have decided to take one step back and decided my husband and childrens' welfares are the most important things for me to consider!

Anyway, on a different note, I have been having a hard time this week with the children. It seems to get to a certain time of evening and the children become uncontrollable. I especially find one of my children a lot more challenging than the rest and is continually causing trouble between the siblings, fighting etc even as I type it is like WWIII downstairs. This particular child has been demanding since birth and numerous 'punishments' (naughty stool, up-to-bed, reasoned with, privileges stopped and many more) have been carried out to no avail. I am now at a loss as to what to do and am finding it very wearing. On a one-to-one basis this child could be no more perfect but put in an environment where there is deemed to be 'competition' with other siblings it is a totally different story.

If anybody may read this in the future I would love some advice, as I am pretty sure things will not have changed much!

I have also been thinking about homeschooling a lot. I love to have the children with me and can't wait for the holidays and we love doing things together, I just don't think I am either patient enough or clever enough to do this. I hope it is something I don't regret though!!!

Well, I better be going, Ben has lost his ipod and is not very happy and Ellie is trying to do some maths homework with not much success. But now that the family drama is not at the forefront of my mind (well for the time being at any rate) hopefully my posts will be more regular from today!!!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Friday Foto Flashback

Is it Friday again already, I can't believe it!!!

I thought seeing as how it was 19 years ago last Wednesday when I met my husband, I would post some pictures of us some years ago. I haven't got any of when we were first together as they are still waiting to be scanned into the computer. But here are a few others!

This is almost 13 years ago at our nephew's christening, I was about 12 weeks pregnant with Ellie!

This is us four years ago!

And the most recent one of us this year!

I wonder what we will look like in another 19 years!!!!

For more Friday Foto Flashbacks visit More Than Words

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Wordful Wednesday

This is my brother and sister-in-law last year with their first baby. They had been praying for a baby for 10 years and they were finally blessed with a little boy named Michael after my Dad, who passed away almost 22 years ago.

I love the little fleece blanket he is wrapped in it says - Jesus Loves Me!

Please find more Wordful Wednesdays at 7 Clown Circus

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Potty Training Day - No 1

To put it simply, this does not appear to be going very well!!!

Three pairs of wet underpants, a wet floor and a very wet chair!!!

All my others had been out of nappies for six months at Max's age, he is three next month! Max seems to be having other ideas, I tried to potty train him in the summer, but he wouldn't even let me put the pants anywhere near him without screaming. I can finally get them on but he still seems to have no idea that he needs a wee or that he has done one, even though he is sat in puddle!!!!

I think this is going to be a very long road.

Form day

Yesterday we had to fill in quite a few financial forms. This meant the two years worth of papers that I just keep adding to had to be sorted out. It is not that it is a bad job but soooo time consuming. I started at 1 o'clock yesterday and had not finished it by 8.30 last night. I have a huge pile of old papers that also need to be shredded, this wouldn't be so bad if the shredder hadn't decided to break. It didn't sound very good yesterday and was jamming every two minutes and it overheated a couple of times and I had to leave it. I thought I would give it another go this morning and it seemed to be working fine for about five minutes and then that was it, no overheating, no jamming just completely not working! I have now put all the papers back into the cupboard to be shredded at a later date with a new shredder!!!

Well all the kids got ready to go to school this morning and everything seemed fine until it was time to walk out the door. Ben started crying saying he had a tummy ache and that he didn't want to go. Mark is taking them to school for the time being and so I made him get in the car and told him school would ring me if it didn't go away (Ben has a lot of tummy aches when it is school time). Mark rang me from the car about 10 minutes later and told me that he was bringing Ben home because he seemed in a lot of pain. Lo and behold by the time it got to 10.30pm the pain seemed to have disappeared and he was nattering for his packed lunch!!!

I am still feeling a little low about the whole baby thing. It really has never bothered me as much as it seems to be at the moment. We said the same before we had Max, what will be will be and it took two years from then also. I don't know if it is because even though there was a big age gap between Ben and Max (almost five years) Ben and the girls were all born within four and a half years and I really wanted Max to have a brother or sister who was very close in age to him. Even if I got pregnant now there would be almost four years between them. I also know that there is a lot less chance for me to conceive than there was before due to medication. I know I have to stop feeling like this but I must admit even though I am so happy for her I just read Mckmamas latest blog entry and cried!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

And then the rains came!

It has been raining all day, so it is a good job that we went out in the snow yesterday as it is disappearing fast. Max has kept asking to go out to play today but all that is left is brown slush. So much for hoping that the schools will be shut tomorrow, I don't think that we have got any chance of that.

So today we have not done a lot, which has just reminded me that I have not washed Ellie's PE kit for tomorrow! Well all the kids were bathed this morning and the girls went out to play with some friends who live down the street. Ellie has done her homework and Ben has read one of his books, I did find both of them only for Lydia to lose one of them again. Ben informed me while we were having tea that he has got homework this weekend, even though when I asked him this morning he said he had none. I guess that will be tomorrow's job now.

My mum is going to look after Max for us tomorrow as we have got a lot of paperwork to fill in. Mark has got his tax return to complete before 31 January (we completely forgot to do it one year and ended up being fined) and we have got a lot of other forms now he is out of work. There are also forms and other things that we have to do regarding his new business venture. Not that Max will be bothered about not being at home he loves going to stay with my mum and was very upset as, when I rang her up to ask if she would be able to look after him, he wanted to go right then and said he wanted to sleep there tonight.

Ellie has just come downstairs very unhappy, the maths homework she has been set is not showing on the computer, Ben has just told me that he has spellings tomorrow (so much for no homework) and I still have to wash Ellie's PE kit so I better get moving!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Snowy Day

We have had a lovely snowy day today. We played in the garden for two hours and even Max joined in!!!

Ellie and Lydia with the new 'sledge'

Ben and Max


Everyone has started panic buying in the shops because the bad weather is supposed to be here for at least another 10 days and the roads are treacherous. There is a shortage of milk because the tankers cannot get to the farms to pick it up, so milk and bread are disappearing from the shops at a rapid rate!!! We are just not used to this weather.

We are just hoping that the schools are shut on Monday.

Friday Flashback (Almost)

I try and post on a night when the kids are in bed, unfortunately last night I fell asleep, so here is my Flashback not on a Friday but on a Saturday!!!

This is a much younger and much, much slimmer me 12 years ago at the end of my pregnancy with Ellie. I thought I was quite big, but you can hardly even tell I was pregnant. She was born on 7 December and was 6lb 3ozs, we don't do lengths of babies in the UK, so I don't know how long she was.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

After almost three solid days of putting toys away, tidying, vacuuming and washing I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Christmas has gone and an almost tidy New Year has taken its place. Our house will never be completely tidy or toy free but at least it is now at the manageable point! At least I can leave the house now without feeling guilty that I am going out and not leaving the mess behind.

Not that I want to be going out anytime soon, it is still so cold and snowy. I had to pick Lydia and Ben up from school tonight and it is the first time Max has really been out in the snow and he was freezing. I had put two pairs of trousers on him, a top, then his all in one rain suit, his winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves and he was still shivering. The problem was the buggy would not push in the snow, he is scared of walking in it (he has a few funny things like that) and I had thrown out the sledge two years ago as it had been left outside and wasn't any good. Then, I remembered the Little Tikes Rocking Horse was outside, I found some rope and tied it around the handles and tah dah........brand new sledge!!! He didn't like it at first, especially when I was going down the kerb and he fell off, but he soon got used to it. It is supposed to be the coldest winter here for 30 years now (the coldest night tomorrow night) and there are serious concerns that the gas supply will be running out soon. I dread to think what people will do if that happens!!!

Well I think that I am going to have a relaxing day tomorrow, or as relaxing as it gets. I still have got the washing mountain to get down a bit more and both the rabbits need cleaning out but that is about as far as it goes. Max got lots of books, games and some Playdoh for Christmas and I think it might be nice for us to spend some 'play' time together.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Back to normal

Well this morning went exactly as predicted, well apart from the fact we all slept in later than we should've done. Ellie had to be shouted down from her bed with half an hour to spare, packed lunches made and school bags sorted out, I have to add that the bags probably should have been done when they finished school two and a half weeks ago, but being the disorganised person that I am, things tend to get left until the last minute. The problem was that the two school reading books which Ben was sent home with, seem to have disappeared, he should have read these numerous times while he was on Christmas holidays but we never seemed to have time. If I don't find them by the end of next week then we will receive a bill for them!

It wasn't too quiet today, I did try to get some more cleaning done, but it is so cold I just want to sit with a nice big warm blanket and a 'heatie wheatie'! My mum came over in the afternoon and stayed with us until after tea so that was a nice change. She doesn't live far from us, only about 10 minutes but, she doesn't visit too often now because she has two old dogs that can't be left on their own for long periods of time.

Mark drove her home and now he has taken Cooper out for a long walk, hopefully it will tire him out. He was very tired last after he had pinched a full packet of cocktail sausages off the kitchen side and eaten them all, I am not sure if he was tired or just queasy!!

Ellie has decided it is a good thing to do to draw on her hands everyday when she is at school, so at the moment she is in the bath trying to scrub the ink off. Lydia is watching Chronicles of Narnia and Ben is on the Nintendo dsi. Max is playing imagination movers and is pretending his fingers are the wobble goggles and keeps looking at the curtains saying he has figured it out. I just love two year olds they are soooo sweeet!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Last holiday day for two

Ellie went back to school this morning in the cold and snow, I would much rather they all stay nicely tucked up in their warm beds. She is really funny, she likes to sleep in and would stay in her bed until 12 every day if I let her. But on the first day of term she is up at 6, promising to turn over a new leaf, this, of course doesn't happen and term day 2 is the same as all the rest, me having to practically drag her from her bed, half asleep, half an hour before she has to be out of the door.

We really didn't do very much today, I am still trying to tidy up from Christmas, find places for toys, clear the washing mountain and much more. I would post photos on here to show how untidy it is, but it would be far too embarrassing. We had chicken tacos with rice and salad for tea and I had a go at making some Snow Pops from the recipe that McMama had posted on her site. They went spectacularly wrong, I did manage to salvage them though, mine looked nothing like her beautiful picture and more like wet, squashed Christmas puddings!

So, it will be a strange day tomorrow Ellie, Lydia and Ben will all be back at school and Mark will be at his brother's office, working on his new project (starting his own business). He has been at home for the past eight months now, so it will be strange to have an almost empty house again. Just Max, Cooper (our naughty dog), the two bunnies and me. I hope that I am not too lonely!

Me and Max


Two bunnies - Jemima and Bobby

Monday, 4 January 2010

I feel a little sad....

It is two years since we decided, what will be will be regarding pregnancy. Unfortunately this has meant nothing, no new pregnancy. I had a couple of different problems for a while and as soon as they righted themselves, things again took an unfortunate turn for my husband. This has meant that I have not been able to conceive for the past six or seven months. However, I honestly thought that this month, even though the chance was only slight, it was going to be my turn again. I took myself off to the chemist and bought a home pregnancy test. Well to cut a long story short it was negative and I feel very sad now.

I am fed up with working out dates and being disappointed, looking at negative pregnancy tests and making sure over and over again that you haven't missed that positive line. The funny thing is if you stare at it long enough, your mind plays tricks on you and the second line seems to appear as if by magic!!!

I know I have four lovely children who I love more than anything and who I am so grateful for, but it still doesn't stop me wanting to hold that new baby in my arms and wonder what kind of little person they are going to be. Not many people understand how I feel and think I should be content with what I have, so much so that I don't really talk about it anymore.

Max will be three soon and will start nursery in September, I have started counting the days down already and not in the way which a lot of my friends have done with their children. They couldn't wait for five half days of freedom, the thought of it fills me with dread.

Me and Max (about 12 hours old)

Max now

Sitting here moping isn't going to get very much done, so I will put on my fake smile and head off downstairs!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Quick post

Haven't done much today, two of the kids have even stayed in their pyjamas all day, I think that they are enjoying their last couple of days of freedom before school starts again. I must admit I love them being at home, especially as it means I don't have to go out in the cold. I know compared to some of the blogs I read we must be having quite a mild winter, but it has not been this cold for us in quite a number of years and I am not looking forward to getting up on cold, dark winter mornings and driving them to school.

I have made a start on the washing mountain and have done about 1/3 of it. It is not really the washing that is the problem but trying to get it dry. I do use the tumble dryer but not for everything and in the summer I either put the washing outside or on clothes horses in the garage, it is so cold in there at the moment though it takes forever to dry, so it seems the washing will be hung about all over the house until it has been caught up with.

Well it is getting late and the three older ones are still playing on the Wii when they should be getting ready for bed. They are all sleeping in my bed tonight, all four of them. It is a special treat now and again and they love it, the only problem is now they are getting bigger, the bed seems to be getting very small.

Well, I suppose I better make a move...

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Resolutions and Decorations

I thought that I would start with some New Year Resolutions, even though they are the same every year!!!

1. Lose weight
2. Be more patient
3. Keep up with the housework
4. Remember to send Birthday and Christmas cards
5. Try not to worry about 'tomorrow'

I always have these resolutions, I have been trying to achieve them for the past 15 years. Oh well maybe this year!

We had a nice New Year's Day party at my friend's house. All the people there were the parents from Ellie's primary school class and over the years we have become very close friends. Ellie and their children are also very close friends and they all moved to the same secondary school this September. The children make up a show every year and perform it at the end of the night, this year's performance was about a tramp (played by Ellie). I don't know how much longer this will continue though, by the time next year comes around they will be 13 and probably much too grown up for such things.

Our Christmas decorations always come down on 2 January, I like to start the New Year with a cleanish house. The only problem is it took me 11 hours today and they still haven't been put up in the loft. That will be tomorrow's job along with the tackling of the washing mountain. If I can help it I try not to wash over Christmas, it just leaves me with a weeks worth of washing and the swimming things and pe kits, so it will take me a couple of days to catch up with that. I will have to get a move on though because Ellie is back at school on Tuesday and as yet her shirts and blazer are in the wash baskets somewhere.

Well I am going to get some sleep now, it is 11.20pm and I am worn out, plus I will be up early in the morning!!!

Friday, 1 January 2010

A Year in Pictures 2009!

I am new at this so it will probably go wrong!!! Me and computers weren't meant to be!!!

I don't believe it, it worked after all :)

New Year.....New Blog

This is the second time I have tried to blog, the first ended very unsuccessfully, after about a week!!!

I have decided to have another try as I find myself uncertain as to what the future holds for us.

I am a stay at home Mum to four children ages 12, 9, 7 and 2, I feel like my biological clock is ticking now but are still hoping to add to that number. We have two girls and two boys and everyone (mostly, our parents) thinks I am crazy for wanting more.

We have also had a hard year and after eight months of being on long term sick, my husband is now officially unemployed. So we now find ourselves in a very unfamiliar position, no job, no money and still a mortgage and household expenses still to pay. I have never been, what you would call frugal and even when our eldest daughter was born and we had very little money, my husband still had a job and money coming in each month. So 2010 is going to bring on a different challenge!

Anyway, my husband is bathing our 7 year old as we are meant to be going to a friend's house for a New Year's Day party and our 2 year old is causing havoc upstairs and so I better go and rescue him (my husband that is). I am sure that we will have a good time when we get there, but home is my most favourite place and it takes a lot to prize me from it!!!