Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trying to be introspective and shit....

It's the time of year when I should be writing a look back at the wonder that was 2010....and making resolutions for 2011......but I can't!

I have been writing this post in my head for days - or trying to rather, and not getting very far....

2010 sucked really - there were pockets of loveliness that were wonderful - like loft conversions (although getting through the building works while on crutches wasn't wonderful), Toby starting nursery and making progress, my sister being her amazingly awesome self and spoiling me rotten periodically throughout the year, my Dad retiring and being around more....

But it was also a major year of crap. And most of it is already documented here.....

So I will draw a veil over 2010 and will probably not remember it fondly. This last week has been pretty lovely - again, mainly due to the generosity of love and giving that is my sister and sister in law. And finding time to talk to my husband honestly and properly for the first time in a long time. And seeing my boys faces lit up on Christmas.

But my resolution for 2011 is to forget 2010. I turn 40 next year which I approach with trepidation. I do feel, cliche as it is, more like being myself and not pretending to be someone I'm not, or acting in a way I think people want me to act in order to please them not myself. I'm trying to do what's right for me and being unapologetic.

Unfortunately this has led me to repeatedly listen to this song. And in a spirit of unapologeticness I'm sharing it here. I bloody love this song. It may be pure cheese. But it's my new theme song and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shamelessly stolen....

from the beautiful Zoe at Quite Frankly - love this idea

Five minutes
Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Jane Eyre job and working with Judi Dench
Watching Oscar learn to ride a big boy bike
Toby's first day at Torridon School
My birthday at Royal China
Our first night in the loft
Candlelit bubble baths in my own ensuite
Getting very drunk on Katharine's birthday
Getting my ipod
Seeing Bright Star
Decorating the christmas tree all together
Whitstable holiday - and holding a tarantula!
Kirsti here in February and making sushi together
London Aquarium and dashing across Waterloo Bridge in the wheelchair
Writing songs with Clare and Daniel
Starting Little Bubbles Outreach
Seeing Toby maturing and expressing himself so much
The boys playing nicely together sometimes
Doing more singing with the preschoolers at parties as well as at work
Sledging down the hill yesterday
Watching Toby play madly with playdough and revelling in Octonauts
Seeing Oscar start to read for pleasure - independently

I must admit there's been more I'd like to forget this year - falling out with my best friend has hurt me more than anything, the ankle, the diabetes, the ADHD....but nice to make a list of good things to remember when I'd rather move on to 2011 as soon as possible....

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I know my blog is affected by facebook

I tend to post there - status updates are so much quicker than blog posts....there's a new widget on there which amalgamates a selection of your statusses (stati?) and makes them here's sums up 2010 for me perfectly!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Pulling on my big girl panties.....

I realised today (thanks to a lovely comment from Steph) that I haven't updated since the last stressy post....

Things are looking up-or rather I am trying to - we had the medication appointment for Oscar, talked through a lot of queries and worries with the doctor and are trialling medication. It hasn't kicked in so far as we're starting on the smallest dose - but I'm hoping it will be a positive move and I think it's worth trying it - we don't have to stay on it....

The diabetes - I've started Weightwatchers again and have lost at least 3.5lbs (no weigh in this week so I'm not sure if it's more than that - it was that last monday). The doc isn't hassling me. I'm not on medication (unlike the boys!) so there seems to be no immediate effect (apart from the diet but hell - I needed to lose weight anyway).

The ankle -I have some good days - some sore ones. Actually if I'm honest it's sore every evening but some days it's ok. It's still really swollen which is a bit of a worry. But the more I do my exercises the better it will get.

Toby is having better days. My mum and dad are back from Oz which makes me happy again. My sister will be here in 16 days and one of my lovely stonecutter chums is flying in on the 10th for a weekend in London and I get to see her - she's one of my sunflower girls - who had their tattoo done with me - very amazing I get to see her in the UK!

The major drama I couldn't get into isn't resolved. But I don't know if it can be - I can't be the one to initiate it this time. I'm still very very sad about it but trying to move on.

The loft is FINALLY done. And this has been the first week with NO builders or painters in the house. And Rob and I finally moved into our dream bedroom. And slowly are getting it in shape and clearing out the old. And here is a little film about our first night in...

I should be thankful for what I have. And thank you for letting me splarge out my stress and pain before. And thank you everyone who either commented on the blog or contacted me. My sister was amazing - showering me with gifts from afar. My lovely friend Joyce came down from Yorkshire and cooked me dinner and listened. My lovely friend Pearl came over and bought me so much sushi....and listened. And made me treasure my friendships - they're what keeps me sane. So to all my friends - virtual, emotional, long term, short term, people I've met in real life and those I haven't been lucky enough to (yet)....THANK YOU.

(Just reading that last para back - how my friends know the way to comfort me is with food! Joyce cooked a low calorie, low point, bloody delicious dinner and sushi isn't going to kill my weightwatchers' points - both considerate and lovely choices! )

I do feel better. Honest.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


My life still feels chaotic and out of control. I have to vent about it so if you don't want to read a list of whining, press "back" on your browser and go somewhere else. This is purely to get it out of my head and onto "paper"

  • Had some major drama to deal with that I can't write about here, but it broke my heart and has left me a bit lost.
  • I finally got the dressing off my foot but also found out that I have got Type 2 diabetes. The wound may have healed but the ligaments haven't - it's awful - sometimes I put my foot on the floor and it's so utterly painful, I can hardly walk. Feels like a leg cramp but up the sides of my ankle. Other times it's fine. It's worse if I've been sat down for a long time or first thing in the morning. It's a horrible feeling every morning, being scared to stand up in case you hobble in pain.....
  • The exhaust is falling off my car. And it might cost me £300 tomorrow to get it fixed and I don't have it.
  • My printer is broken and I can't afford to replace it.
  • I haven't got any christmas presents bought yet.
  • We've got an appointment tomorrow to talk about medicating Oscar and I'm swinging and roundabouting about how I feel. I was very pro- trying it but now I'm not sure. I don't want to be pressured by the school. I found out this weekend that he's actually on the top reading level in his class - the white books. I didn't know which colour was top (didn't really care) but someone was asking me how he was doing and they were surprised. He's nearly a year younger than most of his peers and yet he's top in reading and doing really well in Maths. UNMEDICATED. So what will he gain from medication apart from possible horrible side effects and emotional problems? Am I anaesthetizing him whilst allowing him to be over-stimulated at home?
  • this is what made me wobble... I agree with every word until it comes to the ADHD stuff and then I'm scared.

  • The building work is nearly done but this is the worse bit - painting, meaning we have to be out all the time and the house stinks. Dust and debris everywhere....
  • I just feel overwhelmed. First day back at school after half term and I see all the Mums with their school photo stuff, their school trip permission slips, their dinner money, clean PE kit...I don't even know where half that stuff is in our chaotic house......
  • The boys are shredding my nerves - especially Toby - he's alternating between angelic and demonic and I can't keep up. He's really disobedient. He undid his seatbelt and was jumping around in the back of the car this afternoon. And Oscar isn't much better. I keep watching Jamie's 30 minute meals and thinking how awful I am for feeding my children on sausage rolls and fish fingers as that's all Toby will eat at the moment and I can't keep cooking separate meals for everyone. I just feel like I'm crap at everything at the moment. Crap mother, crap friend, crap housekeeper, and I hate the word CRAP!
  • Mum and Dad are away and I miss my daily phone calls with Mum......(but got to webcam with her from Singapore which was cool.....)
  • I'm tired all the time and seem to have a permanent headache...that might be the diabetes but I feel shit.

It's not all crap bad. We had a lovely halloween party here on Saturday - I cooked chili for the first time ever and I didn't taste it (I hate chili) but everyone said it was yummy. And on the plus side my sister is being amazing and supportive - spoiling me rotten from afar and giving me excellent advice. Other friends are being lovely too.

I know I shouldn't bitch and moan - so many others have it SO much harder.....I'm usually such a fucking optimist but I'm worn down to the ground at the moment.

I have to look up and look forward. I just feel like my nose is dragging on the pavement, I'm fed up of pain and fed up of tired.


Ignore me. I've got it out of my system now......see what happens when you aren't allowed to eat an enormous bar of Dairy Milk anymore?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stop already.....

It's been a rough few weeks really. It feels like loads has happened and yet it feels like not a lot has happened all at the same time - don't know if that makes sense....

Oscar was "officially" diagnosed with ADHD....and I've been really happy and positive about it but then again I'm also really sad about it. I'm glad we've identified it, we can help him, he'll have a better shot than Rob did at school....but I also wish it wasn't true, that it wasn't the case - that I just had a "normal" kid. Though then again, Oscar was never going to be normal - he's exceptional is so many positive ways and I love every bit of him....but it's going to be hard for him. And I would spare him that.

I've been dodging getting a blood test all summer and finally pulled my finger out and did it and I probably have diabetes. I have to lose weight FAST and LOTS.....they are repeating the test but I'm sure with what it's going to show. I feel guilty - self inflicted illness. Wish I was "normal" too or had a normal relationship with food so I didn't have this problem.

My ankle still isn't fully healed (which is why I had the blood test in the first place). I can't swim. I need to find another exercise to help. I just feel fed up. I don't drink. I don't smoke. I do comfort eat and now I can't do that anymore. Life feels a bit grey and pleasureless. Again, I understand that this need to reward myself with food is the reason I'm here in the first place. I never said it made sense.

Maybe I should become a speed addict - steal Rob's ritalin......then I wouldn't want to eat, would be hyper and therefore lose weight....

Kidding. I'm kidding.

It just feels like a lot on my plate at the moment (why do I keep using food based analogy....)....Feel like I want to escape.....or stop....rewind

I don't know. I feel so BLAH. Just typing this feels silly though and please - I'm not looking for compliments or online lovely comments (it's why I didn't put it on Facebook). It's just been an awful lot in a short time. Ankle surgery that had complications. Husband and elder child diagnosed with ADHD. New job.

And I haven't really stopped to process it at all. Or given myself time to. And while I'm being relentlessly positive about it - trying to be - I think I often do that to stop myself thinking about it too much. Much as I see Oscar's diagnosis (and Rob's) as a good thing if I'm honest I'd rather be told it was a virus and they'd both be fine in a month. And I wish my ankle HADN'T gone septic and that I didn't have diabetes. I just feel overwhelmed with it all and I want to hide

My friend Liz reminded me tonight of the film Being John Malkovich - wish I could crawl in a space and be someone else for a while....not John Malkovich though. I think I'd like to be Lea Michele for a few weeks. Or Jane Lynch. Just not me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eliza Doolittle - Pack Up (Official HD)

Eliza Doolittle.....

I'm currently in love with her album and can't quite decide on my favourite song. I waver between Moneybox and Pack Up.....but the lyrics to this one make me smile so's totally how I feel some days - I've been feeling bogged down by responsibility and work and stress and stuff.....

If I woke up in the mornin'
And the world was back to front
There was sunshine in the evenin'
And the moon came out for lunch

I wouldn't mind walkin' backwards with you
At least we'd always know where we'd be goin' to
We could talk till we forget how to talk

And we could learn to laugh again
Like when we were children
We could learn to dance again
Like nobody is watchin'

If everyone was gettin' young
There'd be a smile on your face
If all the friends that passed away
Came back to this place

We'd be puttin' down the daisies
Drinkin' milk and feelin' lazy
There's no sense in any senses
What's the use in independence?

We could play of the tears that came
We could walk till we forget how to walk
And crawl till we forget anything at all

And we would laugh again
Like when we were children
We could learn to dance again
Like nobody is watchin'

We could learn to look right
Into each others eyes
'Cause we got nothin' to hide

We got nothin' but to laugh again
Like when we were children
Like when we were children

Front to back, back to front
Will you come backwards with me
Backwards with me?

We could learn to laugh again
Like when we were children
We could learn to dance again
Like nobody is watchin'

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Up and down and stress

So.....a new school term has started and the Summer hols are officially over. Well kind of. Toby doesn't start nursery at the School until the 27th which is a pain in the ARSE! My lovely friend Clare has been looking after him this morning so I could teach and he now goes to Blooming Kids nursery on a Monday all day....(more about that in a mo) but until the 27th he's with me all day which means I can't teach on a Friday and it's just a pain. Can't get back into my normal routine.

Oz started Year 2 yesterday and he loves it. He was so excited to go back which I was so happy about - there were more than a few tearful children on the playground yesterday and I kept hearing "but I hate school" from other kids - Oscar LOVES his school, was totally excited about starting Year 2 with a new teacher and couldn't wait to go back again this morning. His reading has really improved- he's finally starting to read for pleasure at home, and it really showed when he brought home his reading books - a lot more advanced than the Year 1 ones (obviously) but he's reading them with ease and I'm proud.

I'm starting a new job this term as well - with Little Bubbles Outreach, a company I'm starting with another Claire - we've succesfully bid to deliver EYFS and KS1 science workshops at the National Maritime. And before you scream nepotism, the bid was put in under Little Bubbles outreach and no one knew I was married to Rob who works there. All above board. I've written two shows in collaboration with Claire and her husband Daniel has composed original music. Between the three of us we've written 2 songs for the KS1 workshop and I've thoroughly loved learning how to do that. But I'm really nervous. And stressing about delivering it. I'll be running the workshops initially with the idea that we'll employ a workshop leader to do it once the shows are up and running. They'll evolve and be tweaked until I'm happy to hand them over so I'm doing it all at the beginning. And although I do this every week at the Limelight, the pressure of delivering it on behalf of the museum (who happens to employ my husband who I don't want to let down) and of doing a more narrative show than I'm used's mounting up.

I seem to have permanent butterflies in my stomach and that strange feeling of dread without any actual thing to be panicking about apart from the show.....and other stuff......

Had some very sad news today that the mother of a friend passed away. This friend used to be like my sister - we were very close but have drifted apart as life got in the way. However I knew her mother very well and loved her a lot - she was one of a kind, a wonderful, slightly batty lady who I will miss very much. She had cancer and I'm glad she's not in pain anymore but the world seems a slightly greyer place without her vivacious soul in it.

I'm also missing a close friend - she's decided to withdraw from the worldwide web for a while...which is cool - but I'm used to "seeing" her every day on Facebook, doing regular webcams, chatting etc.....and she isn't picking up her phone either. I'm sure all is well - she's just focusing on quality time with her family and not the time suckage that is online life....but I miss her. Another part of my life that's a bit grey at the moment (so if you're reading this - you know who you are - I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!). I also worry about her - she's got a lot on her plate and I hope she hasn't cut herself off from her support network of friends. I don't know what I'd do without things like Facebook or this blog - getting feedback from friends really helps me put my life in perspective when things get tough or tiring or stressful or even good....

And my leg. My bloody ankle is still bloody actually - still not healed. The infection is finally gone but the wound itself isn't healing. I do have a photo - it's hard to explain - but don't know if you really want to see it dear reader - leave me a comment and if enough people can stomach it I'll post it. Basically the scar opened a bit - a stitch came unstitched and there's a round sort of hole, filled with slough (which is dead skin) which just won't budge. The nurse at the hospital who was dressing it twice a week would dab at it every time but it wouldn't move. I've been discharged to my GP who just scrubbed at it with a bit of wet cotton wool (OUCH) but it still didn't move. So it's yellowy and horrible and not healing or scabbing. And I haven't been able to soak it or wash my foot properly SINCE THE SEVENTH OF JULY!!! FFS!! I just want it to heal. I asked if it was better to leave a dressing off it to let it dry up but the doc said that would make it worse.

I was planning to go back to Ballet class tonight - even if I wasn't at full strength I thought it would be lovely. But the doctor said not to - to let it heal properly. I wish it bloody would.....

I think they should re-stitch it......I've got to go back on Monday and will ask the nurse then if that's an option.....just fed up with limping and pain and swollen foot. I can only wear one pair of sandals that go over the dressing - open toes - NOT ideal for the rainy weather....

Oh it's just all on top of me today.......

On a plus side - Toby went to his day nursery this Monday for the first time and behaved beautifully. And he was really good for Clare too. And his behaviour recently has been much calmer and better. AND he's completely potty trained - we're even making the move to night time without nappies in the next few days (once we've run out of the pyjama pants we bought a while ago I'm not planning on buying anymore).

Today also - must share this - Oscar had his first Level 4 swimming lesson after school. We were talking before about where this would happen - in Levels 1-3 they stayed in the small baby pool but occasionally went in the big pool. Level 4 is ALL in the big pool and it totally freaked Oscar out. He started crying and wouldn't get in the water. The teacher tried to deal with him but then called me over. Oz was in a right state - was sure he'd sink. The lesson was to hold a float in their arms and either just kick or do alternate stroking with one arm at a time, one arm on the float. Oscar was convinced that either the float would pull him down to the bottom of the pool or that without using both arms, he'd sink. He was really really in a state - wouldn't calm down. I told him we'd go and get dressed (I thought if we went swimming this weekend, Rob could take him in the deep end and give him a confidence boost - though that would be difficult as I can't swim with my leg still in dressings...ANYWAY....) But he didn't want to get out. He wanted to swim but he was terrified. And he really was - shaking and crying....

Again I told him that he would definitely be safe, that he wouldn't sink, that he had been in the big pool lots of times and swum lengths before....(he hasnt' swum in the big pool since last term - think he's forgotten). I also said he didn't HAVE to get in - that we could go home, calm down, and try again next week. He was ADAMANT that he didn't want to get out. So eventually he went back. And sat on the side of the pool again with his class. They all got in and started to swim. He wasn't sure. But then he got in. And swam a length. And turned around and shouted "Mummy I did it" when he got to the deep end, turned around and swam a length back.

I was so proud of him. He was totally scared. And he faced his fear and did it anyway. He was very emotional when the lesson ended. I told him how proud I was of him and what a star he was and he burst into tears again. But he said he isn't scared anymore. And I'm sure next week he'll be fine. I never considered how different it would be for him not starting in the shallow baby pool. It's a big step I suppose and if I'd have realised we would have had a long chat about it before hand...

But he did it anyway. We were talking about it while getting dressed and he said how much harder it was. And I explained that as you advance at things, you have to work harder to master them. How as you grow up things can get tougher sometimes, but if you persevere and are brave, like he was today, and keep trying....then you move forward and succeed. Life lessons - at SIX! My baby boy is growing up fast.....and growing up to be quite something

So there you go - an up and down and mixedupemotionalallovertheplace my day today. Don't know which was is up today......Rob should be home any minute, will put the boys to bed and I won't be far behind.

So to my lovely friend who passed away - rest in painless peace - you are missed....and to my hibernating friend - I hope you're peaceful but want you back in my life asap please.....

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Can't get this out of my head.....

Today in the supermarket we bumped into the husband and son of a friend - someone I was in post-natal group with but who I haven't seen for over a year. Her son is, obviously, the same age as Oscar. Coincidentally we've both been invited to another of the postnatal group's son's birthday party on Saturday so I thought it was great to see them.

The first thing the little boy said to me was "has Oscar changed his behaviour now?" and I had no idea what he meant. And then the husband chirped - "No longer naughty for a start". And the man didn't seem at all embarrased that his son had just said something so rude. And it felt rude - it felt fucking horrible.

And it really pissed me off. And 4 hours later it's STILL pissing me off. For one thing we haven't seen them or really spoken to them for over a year - and I hardly know the husband anyway. Is this the way my "friends" talk about my kid? Behind my back but in front of THEIR children so that's what they say when they see me or Oscar? And his behaviour has never been that bad - it's only really at school he's had a problem and this kid goes to a completely different school. Oscar has always played really nicely with this kid I assumed....I'm actually surprised this kid even remembered Oscar cos Oscar had to be reminded of his name.....

It's really made me angry and I keep replaying it in my head. I didn' t say much when the kid said it cos I was gobsmacked. And couldn't really tell a 6 year old to fuck off and mind his own business. Tempting as it was.....

Yet again I'm disappointed by someone I thought was a friend. Maybe this is the side effect of making too many friends - one thing I have not been short of since parenthood is mummy mates - women I've met through my children who I probably wouldn't have been friends with if not for the shared experience of motherhood. Some of the women I've met and bonded with, I'm sure I would have been friends with anyway if we'd met in another way. This mother I know I wouldn't have - we have nothing in common at all. And I now am reluctant to go to this party on Saturday and I'm angry and I can't shake or ignore this.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Accentuating the positive

Not that there is much. Friday in fact was the day from hell.....but I can't be bothered to recount moment for moment -suffice it to say that it was stress from morn till night - including another run in with the play scheme - I have come to the conclusion that the leader has decided my kids are rotten and nothing will change her mind. She's being unfair and I'm not going to let her bother me.

Rewind a couple of days - on Wednesday Rob had the day off and he had planned to take the boys to the Aquarium - he didn't think it would be a good idea for me with my crutch to come - but then we decided to get the wheelchair we borrowed out, and off we went - I was armed with Tesco vouchers to cover the admission. It was HEAVING - very busy -and when we got to the ticket office we were told the Tesco vouchers, while accepted at all other Sealife attractions, weren't accepted at London. But then, in a wonderful moment, the cashier took pity on us, told me I must have been mistaken and that Toby was obviously only 2 (therefore free) and gave me disabled price (a fraction) and let Rob in for free (as a carer) and so it didn't cost us much at all. I'm eternally grateful to that cashier - true customer based service and I was so grateful!

Although it was busy, the boys loved it. I however discovered how hard it is to be at seat level - people bashed into me, no one let me near the tanks to see, the disabled toilet was broken....I think all able-bodied people should spend a day in a wheelchair - makes you really think about how much easier it is to get around and how aware you should be of people in all situations.

Some photos - no flashes are allowed in the aquarium (though that didn't stop a lot of people, I wouldn't want to blind a fish). So they are a bit dark!

My favourite bit of the day? It started pounding down with rain - the boys had raincoats but Rob and I were in short sleeves - no brolly (getting a wheelchair, a crutch , a picnic bag and the boys stuff together was enough!) so we sheltered under the bridge for a while but ended up getting wet anyway cos of wind and holes in the bridge. So we though - SOD IT - went up onto Charing Cross Railway bridge and Rob RAN as fast as he could, pushing the wheelchair with Toby on my lap and Oz ran hell for leather beside us. I was laughing hysterically as we zoomed across, tourists jumping out of our way. Like being a kid in a go cart....truly brilliant.

And forward to today. Rob's Mum and Gran came down to London - Gran hasn't seen Oscar since he was a baby, has never met Toby and Rob's mum has only met the boys a couple of times. Rob's stepdad came down for the Chelsea game (and can't have been happy with the result!) so Gran and Mum tagged along. Rob and Oscar went up to meet them at Paddington and bring them home. Oscar was SO excited. And so was Toby. Within two minutes Great Gran was reading them The Cat In The Hat.....they had a captive audience to watch them scoot up and down the garden, everyone had a lovely time and there was chocolate cake - what more can you need?
Toby, Gran, Oscar and Great Gran!
Oscar loves his Great Granny
Reading to her Great Grandsons

Monday, August 02, 2010

Best birthday ever....followed by son of satan......

So yesterday, 1st August, was my 30somethingth birthday! And it was the best ever. I just have to say at this point that Rob has been amazing over the last few weeks with my op and everything. As well as looking after all of us, doing all the washing, keeping the house together etc....he also had time to buy me the best birthday present ever - an Ipod Touch 32gb....I've wanted one for ages and now I have my very own. Thanks to a wonderful husband and a generous bonus from his job. We also managed to get out to go to dinner the night before at Sapporo and had a lovely evening and loads of sushi (so glad he likes non-fish sushi now!)

Spent a lovely birthday - cake for breakfast as always (and really lovely cake from M&S for a change instead of the corner shop! Again Rob is a star) - then met my girlies for a lunch party at Royal China. I was so touched by everyone coming out to eat, buying me the most appropriate beautiful presents - in Katharine's case she made it - a ceramic glassfired bowl that I adore.....

Then off to bluewater - chauffered by the wonderful Clare - to go to the Apple Store and get a case and protector for my ipod. Then we just had to go to Starbucks...then we had to go to Krispy Kreme -where they gave me the wrong dozen doughnuts so when we went back to get the right ones we ended up keeping the wrong ones - 24 doughnuts - how happy were the boys?

Bubble bath ended the wonderful day - submerged my ankle for the first time and it was bliss. Last wedge of birthday cake and decaff earl grey while checking facebook from my bed. Perfect....

And then today.......

Woke up in agony - ankle very sore and swollen as I walked more yesterday than I had before. Also I think the front scar is infected so made an appointment to see the nurse this afternoon to get antibiotics. The only appointment available was when I have the boys so I was dreading it.

But to begin at the beginning. Boys were going into playscheme today as I had to work and I have to work every week for the next 3 weeks - on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I'd arranged for them to go to the playscheme where I work - held in Toby's preschool but with different staff. Both were keen and excited to go this morning with their pack lunches. I taught my class then went to see my other Claire friend to plan our new outreach project which starts in September and do some admin work for her. She made me pancakes with natural yogurt and honey, then her 2 daughters made me a birthday cake and sparkly cards. And I did loads of her emails for her. And it was all lovely.....left to pick up the boys and descended into hell.

When I collected them the Playleader said she needed to speak to me about Toby. He'd behaved abysmally - hit almost every other child in the place, shouted at the staff, refused to do what he was told like sit down to eat, shouted at the staff when they tried to stop him jumping all over the place. I was mortified and embarrassed and had no idea what to do. I was furious with him. I told him off, explained that this was unacceptable - got him in the car where he cried for about ten minutes then calmed down.

Then we went to the park opposite the doctor's - we had half an hour to kill before my appointment and the boys played nicely with some other children. Went to the docs for my appointment at 3.40 - I arrived at 3.35......

The nurse eventually called me at 4.20. So I was in a tiny waiting room, getting tutted at by 2 old ladies - both boys were loud and rambunctious but not TOO bad - they just were bored stiff - AS WAS I! Totally fucking useless making me wait for over half an hour when all I wanted was a prescription. Once we were in teh doctors office the boys were climbing on the bed, playing with the curtains. Again - mortified and embarrassed.

I feel like the worst mother in the world today. I feel like I have NO control over my children. I feel useless and angry and humiliated. From having the perfect day yesterday to having the hellish afternoon.

And I've got to take them back to playscheme tomorrow. I'm going to make a behaviour chart for them and ask them to give him a smile or a frown for each hour - but not sure if they will be willing to do this. I can't think of anything else to do. I've just eaten 2 krispy kremes left over from yesterday and I feel marginally better but also marginally worse. HATE this. HATE this behaviour. HATE feeling powerless and useless when all I felt yesterday was magical and happy and lucky.....

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My wordle

stolen from Claire....

Wordle: sallyre2

Ack...Facebook killed my blog

I keep meaning to come here and post but I just don't have bloomin time! One other main reason is that my leg is in plaster at the I'm not sitting up at the puter very often.

Had an op on my ankle for my osteoarthritis - 2 entry points, one 2cm lump of bone removed from the back, huge bone spurs removed from the front. It wasn't a pleasant experience - spinal block rather than general anaesthetic so I heard them chipping away at my anklebone.....bad reaction to morphine which made me vomit for a whole weekend....inability to get a drip in my arm which led to flashbacks of childhood where the same thing had happened......not good.

Rob was an ANGEL the first week after I was discharged. This week I've been solo - and with Toby off school it's been tough. Cast comes off on Tuesday and I can't wait.

A latex cast protector that Mum bought was a godsend - enabled me to bathe and shower....just wish I had worked out to pad the crutch handles before yesterday - my hands have been suffering as I'm not exactly light....and bearing all my weight on my hands has been horrid.

So what else....Oz has finished Year 1 at school. Can't quite believe that! He got a wonderful report - he's made such progress this year - and he has a wonderful new teacher for Yr2 so I'm happy.

Toby FINALLY potty trained. We're 98% there I reckon. He's got into the school nursery in September which is great - only one drop off! He's currently tanting his little butt off though - think it's the testosterone surge they get at around 4.....(even though he's 3 and a half).

On Wednesday this week our loft conversion got underway. We're having a double bedroom and full bathroom put up there - my sanctuary! It's not going to be fun while it's being done although Jim our builder is wonderful. The ceiling has gone and he's put a temporary one up so it's not filthy and horrible while they're working.....scaffold went up on Friday....plumber comes on Monday....Jim estimated 3 months...I'm hoping it'll be faster than that but not banking on it.

No garden for most of the summer so we'll be OUT and about I think - cadging invitations from friends who have no builders, going to the park, going out for the'll be ok and I can't wait to have my OWN bathroom with no boys in it (though Rob is insisting he should be allowed to use it - I'm considering it). I want sparkly quartz tiles as my favourite thing is candle-lit bubble baths. I'm going to ask Jim to put some shelving in for my tealight holders and ipod speakers. BLISS!

I've got some new work coming up in September - delivering Foundation Stage and Keystage 1 science programmes at the National Maritime Museum with a company called Little Bubbles Outreach - Little Bubbles is run by one of my BFFs Claire and her husband Daniel - we've expanded it into outreach and have written 2 shows for the NMM - really looking forward to it.

What else....what else.....due to my ankle I'm probably not going to get to see my sis in USA this year which is a blow. Definitely going next year. It's my birthday in a week and I'm having a dim sum lunch party which is cool.....


Will try and update more if only for the invaluable record of my life - when I think Toby is being totally awful and the worst kid in the world, I look back and see how Oscar was at that age, then look at him now, and know that this too will pass!

Friday, April 16, 2010


I can't remember how much I waffled on here about Oscar's foray into the world of ADHD. We were asked by the school to test him. I didn't take it well. I then came to the conclusion that the school were absolutely right and we're about two thirds of the way into officially diagnosing him. I've been focusing on that really - as a by product of the research we did into what having ADHD means and how it manifests, Rob realised that it also described him to a T. And so we got him referred for testing too.

I thought this was a great thing for him - that he'd find out that some of the things he finds difficult aren't because he's "crap" as he thinks, but because he has ADHD. I didn't really think about how it would impact on me. Or how it HAS impacted on me since I've been his partner for nearly 20 years.

Rob got diagnosed in one session - textbook ADHD. And he's on ritalin now. And I somehow imagined I would get a brand new husband along with that - that isn't how meds work! It's not realistic. We had a MASSIVE discussion last night which was so so helpful - mainly because Rob pointed me towards this link - How Adult ADHD Affects Relationships: Strategies for Coping It's strange but since becoming a mother, I have found myself more dis-satisfied with our relationship. Actually it's not strange. We were both being very honest with each other and I discovered that the reason is that as a mother and wife, those being my primary roles at the moment, I feel I'm constantly giving giving giving to everyone in the family and no one gives back. I'm sure EVERY mum out there will relate to that statement. But part of Rob's ADHD is that he finds it hard to understand that - hard to notice it. And other manifstations of ADHD are the very things that drive me insane - why he doesn't notice when the house is a bombsite. Why I have to ask him 10 times to take the rubbish out, then I just do it myself and resent him for it. Why he never cooks.

I'm sure, again, loads of women have the same complaints about their husband. A lot of ADHD behaviour is normal adult/child behaviour. It's the combination and frequency of certain things that class it as ADHD - it's hard to explain. And also, like I'm learning with Oscar, Rob isn't not doing things around the house because he's intentionally lazy or to wind me up - he has genuinely not noticed or got so hyperfocused on something else he's totally not aware of it.

I googled Adult ADHD and relationships and got a lot of stuff so I'm not the only spouse who finds it hard. And having a son and a husband with this is going to be hard on me. And I need Rob to understand that - if I have to write him reminder letters on the mirror every morning. We've got some ideas already - a big wall planner with a daily routine on it - both Rob and Oz will find that helpful. Rob has asked for cognitive behaviour therapy and is going to ask his doc if they have some for spouses too.

I have to put my big girl panties on and deal with this - and try and be more understanding and patient (two things I'm not very good at). And I'm hoping Rob will reciprocate by understanding how hard it is for me and making more of an effort to make me happier in return.

It's bizarre in a way how we went so long together as a couple without this becoming more of an issue. Or splitting us up. I think we decided last night that when we both worked in our life BC (before children) we both were quite lazy and chaotic - our house was a bombsite, we ate out all the time, we each did our own laundry and had quite busy separate lives - but AC my life changed dramatically - I felt I grew up more but also felt less valued as I became the domestic housewife and mother and had less life away from washing and cooking and wiping butts and being Mum.

I don't know - maybe this is all over-reaction. Just wanted to splarge it out of my head. And if any one out there has any experience of being either married to or parent of ADHD boys or both (god help you) then I'd be really open to advice or information or just sympathy.

Marriage is HARD. Rob and I have always been total opposites in so many things. But now, even down to our brain chemistry we are so radically different. I have no doubt we'll get through this - work out a way to make our family function, even if it's slightly different to other families.

I'm definitely booking my week off to America though! (To go and stay with my ADHD sister and her ADHD wife.........argh! It's like invasion of the brain snatchers - is anyone actually normal? I doubt it).

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

At last....a dream fulfilled

When Rob and I first moved to London I got a job at a costume company - Cosprop. It was my first real job after Uni and I did love it there. It was an artistic environment - Cosprop make the clothes for many period films and tv programmes - incredible workmanship. On my first day I was trying to make a good impression so I started cleaning out the (very disorganised) stationary cupboard which was actually in a large safe in the main office. I was pulling everything out in order to reorganise the thing, when I pulled out a very heavy thing wrapped in a towel in a plastic bag. I unwrapped it....

It was an Oscar. A real, very heavy, very shiny Oscar. John Bright, the founder and boss, had won it with his design partner Jenny Beavan, as they designed the costumes for Room With A View. I stood there, mouth agape, until Bernie, the Office Manager explained that John thought the Oscar was tacky - he had the BAFTA in his office, but kept the Oscar hidden away. I often used to put it on my desk and of course, practice my acceptance speech with it in the ladies...

I worked there for a year and it was fun and fascinating to see that side of the industry I loved. You get the best gossip from design assistants I found....and I met some very very famous people. And made them coffee. And decided that politeness cost nothing - some of the most famous were very grateful for their coffee - some of the B list were downright rude....I always imagined writing a coffee table book one day telling you how each celebrity liked their coffee in case they ever popped round for tea.....

The people were brilliant. The costumes were stunning. Unfortunately I was at my largest in those days so nothing fit me....though that was probably good or I'd have spent my lunch hour every day in period dress! I remember trying on all the bonnets from the BBC 's Pride and Prejudice before sending them off.....

But after a year it was increasingly frustrating. People I knew came in for fittings - people I'd been in the National Youth Theatre with or done a play with - and were always surprised to see me behind the front desk - and surprised to have me ask them how they took their coffee.

I wanted to be on their side - to be coming in for a fitting. And I decided until that day came, if I had to earn a living as a secretary, I'd rather be far away from the world that I wanted to be part of. I'd learnt so much in that year that I knew I could get a job temping so that's where I went. At my leaving party, John Bright gave me a sweatshirt with "Oscar Nominee" on it - a genuine one that was gifted to all nominees....I still have it....never worn it....but I love it!

So....14 or so years later - that day is finally here. I went to Cosprop today for a fitting. As an actor. And someone ELSE made the tea! Lots of people were still there from the old days - in fact Jane who fitted me has been there 32 years! It was SO nice to see everyone again and to catch up and also to finally realise that dream from long ago...

Let's hope it's the first of many!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Some recent pics of the boys and the family....

Smiley Oscar....ain't he sweet

My big boy in his skinny jeans...5 going on 15....
Future career as a contortionist? Who pulls funny faces?
Rob being usual....
My current favourite Toby face...
Kirsti tucking into a 99....very was bloody cold though!
Rob and I at the Princess Vic..I look a bit drunk but I wasn't! I was driving - just dozy....
My fave pic of K and I - at Sapporo, our favourite place to be!
Toby pulling a funny face

Oscar on the iconic gorilla at Crystal Palace Park

Catchin up

Well hello blogosphere. I've been neglecting you as usual. So here's a quick catch up. Kirsti went home and I was heartbroken but not as heartbroken as the boys. They LOVE their Auntie! Hopefully she'll come back over the summer. She made half term into heaven which is a rarity in my world! So thank you sis. You're amazing.

I've been waiting for weeks to hear if I was going to be cast in a theatre tour - 15 weeks of around the country touring in a fantastic comedy. They still haven't told me either way - the director wants me, the producer wants someone else who has more telly credits. But I decided today that I can't accept it, even if they offer it to me - they start rehearsals in 2 weeks and I just can't uproot my life with that short notice. Gutted though!

Bright Star is out on DVD by the way - I am in it (for about 10 seconds) but it is also a beautiful film so go and hire/buy it and enjoy!

Had a parents meeting at Oscar's school last week and one at Toby's this morning. Oscar is getting there- he was awarded the Headteacher's Award last week and was Special Person in his class this week. We've started the assessment process to see if he has ADHD or anything and I'm trying to remember (with help from good friends) not to immediately assume he has got a diagnosable condition - he might just be an energetic young boy in Year One when children a week younger than him are still playing in Reception. I'm open to anything and glad that the process has started.

Toby is being angelic at school (I know! One of my boys?) and they're really impressed with his imagination and vocabulary and love of books. Hoorah! His behaviour is SO much better since he turned 3. He still has his moments but generally the threat of time out is enough to turn him round. Gone are the days of 40 minute tantrums in public (thank God). He still has his moments though -especially with his brother. One minute they're sharing and playing beautifully, then next they're drawing blood. But I think this is normal......

I'm quite tired at the moment. Work is stressful and upsetting due to staff illness, I'm spreading myself all over with Governors and PTA at School....I need a holiday! One plus side of not getting the Tour means I'll definitely be going over the pond again for my annual week off from motherhood - hopefully in August - Rob has (foolishly?) decided he'd like to have single parent control of the boys in school holidays. I personally think he's bonkers but he'd rather not do the school run and just have less structure to the days. Idea of bliss for me - a week off in the summer hols and the chance of some sunshine in Detroit.....though is that a good thing?

I'm listening to loads of music at the moment - using it as a de-stresser.....though am worryingly obsessed with the Boyzone song "Gave it all away" my defence it was written by Mika which is probably why I love it....

Ok Toby is pretending to be an alien hamster - I need to supervise........

Will try and post more often (yeah right....)

Monday, February 15, 2010


Kirsti is here from America and it's bliss.....she's helping with the kids...she's enabling Rob and I to have a night out (Yo Sushi followed by phenomenal stand up at the Comedy Store as guests of Rufus Hound)....and best of all she just made me gooey butter cake. When I went to see the wonderful Poppymom last year, she introduced me to the St Louis speciality which is gooey butter cake. We went to a cafe that serves about 100 different kinds (sorry Pops, can't remember its name) and I brought a piece back for Kirsti and Terry.....and created a monster!

Kirsti found a recipe, has been making it ever since and brought the ingredients to make it with her in the suitcase.....

Because I'm lovely...I'll share it with you - it's been Anglicised but you need yellow cake mix - and not sure you can get that in the UK but it's worth trying to!!

1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 egg
4oz (112.5g) butter, melted

1 8-oz (225g) package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 16-oz (450g) box icing sugar
4oz (112.5g) butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees or gas mark 4). Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla. Dump in icing sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.
Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Don't be afraid to make a judgment call on the cooking time, because oven temperatures can vary. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don't bake it past that point!

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Just remember that these wonderful little cakes are very, very rich, and a little will go a long way!

She's right. It is rich....but we ate that chunk quite easily - couldn't even wait to take a's sooooo delicious and I'll probably have to go to the gym for a month to work off the calories......

Thursday, January 28, 2010

...and breathe.....

Ok some people still read my blog here -and I'm grateful for sympathy received and phone calls too! I've calmed down a bit now and I'm not so premenstrual either!!!

School is (hopefully) dealing with it - the Head has spoken to me and been lovely - have yet to hear from Oscar's teacher but that's probably because she daren't talk to me on the doorstep again!

So now what.....

On a positive note my lovely Sis will be here on the 12th Feb and at the moment that's the big carrot dangling in front of my face! Can't wait to see her....and to have another pair of hands with the boys over half term.....

My arthritic ankle isn't too bad this week which is good....

Searching for the positives....

Rob is stressed to hell at work which sucks cos he withdraws into his man cave and I barely see him....which sucks....but on a positive we're off for a night away while Kirsti is here so that is something to look forward to - a night in a hotel with no computers or tv - just each other.

Erm.....Toby and Oscar have started swimming lessons - Oz got promoted from Level 1 to Level 2 on his first class - Toby will have to stay in preschool lessons till he's 5 so he can't get promoted - but as the youngest in his group, he's holding his own (when he isn't completely ignoring the teacher and splashing around). Both of them love the water - just need to hone their technique! Oz is like I was when I was a kid - swims underwater with ease but has problems keeping afloat!

I'm trying to find a cheap holiday for us this summer and not getting very far - so anyone who is reading this and can recommend something - I don't mind venturing abroad this year - please point me in the right direction - I've looked at too many websites and find it all completely confusing.....

Ok - Toby is asleep (miracle of miracles) so i'm going to sit with a cup of tea.....

As the lovely Tracy reminded me in the height of my school stress "you're fine. I'm fine, Oscar's fine. It's all fine". Wise wise woman.....

Monday, January 25, 2010

warning....rant ahead.....

I don't know where else to write first post of 2010 and all and I'm so angry and frustrated so I have to pour it out somewhere....hello cyberspace.....I've also finally managed to STOP facebook automatically importing my notes into it for general consumption - I'm writing this more to get it out of my head and I know not that many people read me here....

In November, at a parents evening, Oscar's teacher blithely mentioned that the school special needs teacher wanted me to get Oscar referred for testing. She wouldn't say what. Refused point blank to be drawn on what it was the school was thinking. I know Oz is no angel but up to this point I put it down to the fact he's a boy, he's the youngest in the year and he's quite energetic.

We went home and started looking things up online - I was thinking dyspraxia - a quick hunt through symptoms disregarded that. We looked at Aspergers - some things fit but a lot didnt - then we found a list of ADHD symptoms. He ticked almost every box.

It was a total headfuck if I'm honest. I didn't take it well. It took me a while to get my head around it all as I didn't want to think of my boy as "special". And I didn't really talk about it online much. But I came to terms with it and it was all fine.

We duly went to our GP and asked for a referral. I've heard NOTHING since. The school has implemented a couple of things with Oz - giving him some fine motor skill support and giving him an extra session with a learning co-ordinator and some other kids on social skills - Oz doesn't make friends easily because his behaviour is so ANNOYING to other children - he has no impulse control and is really bad at understanding personal space. I've also seen him with a small ball when he's sat on the carpet at home time - he calls it a fiddlebot and its to stop him bothering other kids - he used to touch them or poke them or just fidget in their space so this is to help him stop that.

His reading is great, his numeracy is great but his writing isn't fab - like a lot of boys his age.

I thought he was improving. But no - again today his teacher asked for a word. Now it's going home time - there's a stream of kids coming out of the classroom, I have Toby with me on reins going a bit nuts, I have Oz running round geeing his brother up - I can hardly concentrate. And she goes on to say "just to catch up" that his behaviour hasn't improved at all, that he can't follow instruction, that he doesn't participate fully, that he's still doing lots of innapropriate things and on and on. Of course I'm only half listening as I've got both boys behaving appallingly and I'm supposed to listen to her AND supervise my kids?

I'm so angry now about it. Both times this teacher has mentioned this have been totally inappropriate. A ten minute parents evening. On the doorstep of the class at pick up time. I mean what the hell does she want me to say? Or do? I'm totally lost as to what I'm supposed to do now. I've chased the referral. I've sent three emails asking for some guidance as to paying for a private testing diagnosis - can't find anything and have had no response.

At home he isn't that bad! He dithers a lot, takes forever to put his shoes on, but he doesn't drool inappropriately (which is a biggy at school supposedly) or invade anyone else's space (apart from Toby's but then Toby reciprocates - they're brothers and they wrestle!).

I just feel like she tells me all this shit and expects me to take Oz home, somehow fix him and then return a perfect child to school. I'm at the point of tears in frustration at all this.

I've just written a two page letter to her, expressing my frustration (without the swearing) and asking her to, in future, contact me or arrange a meeting when I don't have either a ten minute time limit or two children to supervise at the same time. I've also asked her what her expectations are.

But I'm just so frustrated and I feel like a totally inadequate parent.

On the other hand - Toby - I also feel like a crap parent because he isn't potty trained. I'm getting increased pressure from his preschool (understandably I suppose) who today decided on their own initiative to put him in pants. He promptly did an enormous poo. So I have a shitty pair of trousers to deal with - they threw the pants away. He's not ready. He has no bowel control. He does pee if you sit him on the toilet but he has never asked to go to the toilet and has no concept of wet and dry. He doesn't like potties or toilets and he says he wants to wear a nappy. But preschool are shoving him forward and do I have a choice? Or do I just get the washing.

I just feel helpless, powerless and absolutely shit. And I don't know what to do. Even typing this seems pretty pointless. Oh fuck it.