Friday, 29 January 2010

Hmmm the year wasn't supposed to start like this!

My request for a peaceful, uneventful start to the new decade was declined owing to
a) Too many similar requests received from struggling others
b) If you're not living life on the edge you are taking up too much space
c) The Saga which is my life is obviously too amusing or interesting to the Powers that Be who would prefer not to miss an exciting episode of "Woman on the Edge" Series 4 or whatever

Or simply because that version of reality is not available in this parallel universe.....

Anyway, I am delighted to report that January is coming to a close and that I am viewing the start of February as a "Let's try that one again, shall we?" opportunity.

J is STILL on crutches, unable to walk after a hockey injury on December 14th. The wonder that is our National Health Service managed to (yet again) completely fail in Basic Communication, Level 1, and it has taken two Consultants, many phone calls and an irate mother to coordinate an MRI and follow-up appointment after the REAL injury was missed on the second A and E visit. What astounded even me with my (far too extensive) experience of the NHS was the creative way they had duplicated J's identity, fabricating (oooh, are we allowed to use that word??!) another boy a year older, same birthday, same address, name etc and then SPLIT the appointment notes between the two clones. Clever. That took a while to sort out, so the hairline fracture for #2 got fixed but the rather more serious cartilage injury sustained by the REAL #1 got forgotten and they were completely unconcerned that a 12 year old was on crutches with no explanation for six weeks. In the style of my good friend Jen, I told them they could think again on that one....

The "Trials of a Boy and his Tube" continues, although thankfully A's surgeon is of the same opinion as any sane person who knows this child, which is (unfortunately for her) in direct contrast to his paediatrician here. Several appointments later the damage of attempting switching medications is nearly repaired, he's eating most of the time, weight loss has been minimised with the help of frequent slices of Postman Pat "Special Delivery Service" toast parcels (don't ask, but it involves lots of dairy free chocolate spread!) and he's "going" again. Princess K is on form, loving school and trying to learn to read before her twin and score a few points in the process. He's retaliating by teaching himself to tell the time - whoever said children weren't naturally competitive??!!

This week was my turn for a (brief) hospital stay, fixing what having four children damaged lol. All went well but I have been surprised how much a General Anaesthetic can take it out of you. Perfect timing then for my dear husband, supposedly on Gardening Leave and here to care for me (as much as I ever let anyone look after me lol), to get head-hunted yet again and disappear off to London for further discussion.

So January surpassed expectations for being the most hectic month on record. I am under no illusions that the rest of the year will be much calmer, but a few less battles to fight would be appreciated!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Beautiful handmade jewellery, candles and gifts

A good friend makes the most exquisite jewellery, perfect candles and other gifts. View her latest collection of handmade and carefully sourced gifts here .

Floreo aims to offer unique and inspirational products that make gift buying a pleasure.

For a 10% discount enter "Kate" in the discount field, and select "Party Plan" in the shipping options. You will receive a 10% discount and free postage within the UK.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Competition - "Clone-a-Mum" contest

Anyone with more than one child knows the daily dilemma of being constantly pulled in more than one direction, trying to meet the needs of various offspring and domesticated/undomesticated Dad, any pets and (possibly) even your own. Possible - yes in the main, achievable - again, yes but usually with some personal although highly commendable sacrifice of your own. Parenting inevitably involves the extremely rewarding and worthwhile prioritising of the needs of others but seeing your own family status disappear down the priority list to somewhere below the hamster or the cat litter box can be a little frustrating.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons Kristina Alexanderson

Take making a cup of tea. In my twelve years as a Mum I can honestly count the number of cups of tea I've made myself and drunk whilst still hot (and no I don't count those reheated in the microwave until they resemble something that should belong in a drain) on one hand. With good intentions and a psychological craving for a "nice hot cuppa" I boil the kettle optimistically each morning at 7am or thereabouts. By that time everyone is dressed, beds made, breakfast served and I can see a little window of opportunity for myself. It never goes as planned and the cold mug of brown water is still sitting on the worktop when I return from the school run at 9am.

Recently, the need to find a way to clone myself or at least master rudimentary time travel has never been more urgent. My eldest son suffered a fractured ankle playing hockey before Christmas (his ankle guards were "too tickly" but we won't even go there...)and due to a monumental lack of competent communication between the various doctors treating him since, a potentially serious cartilage injury was missed and he is still on crutches 6 weeks on with no plan of action whatsoever. This "minor" injury has generated many hospital appointments (because we all know I don't visit our local one often enough), phone call and WORRY. He is unable to physically reach all his classrooms, sport is off the agenda for the foreseeable (walking would be a start) and getting to and from school on the bus is risky NOW never mind during the snow and ice recently.

Number 2 son has (thankfully) been relatively calm and undemanding (relatively speaking, but I'll take any improvement as a huge positive!) but we do need to start school-hunting for him and he has his usual appointments to monitor his medication/behaviour etc too. School hunting is fraught with problems at the best of times, but given the current school organisational review in Suffolk as the Middle Schools are closed, a child with considerable Special Needs and a Statement of 25 hours 1:1 help and the fact that there is NO money to meet his needs whether we stay in Suffolk or take the chance that Essex might be better it certainly won't be easy.

Number 3 son has provided plenty of entertainment, concern and hospital appointments which I won't go into but suffice to say things have not been easy and DD (Apparently that's internet abbreviation for "Darling Daughter", which she is, but I think "Determined Daughter" works better for us) has been rather neglected as a result. Her beloved teacher is on long term sick leave with breast cancer and although K is a cheerful type I'm painfully aware I am currently "Jack of all trades and master of none" in the parenting department when it comes to being there for everyone.

Makes you wonder why on earth we have the house on the market hoping to move, doesn't it? At least the kitten is independent and has a commendable innate survival instinct. Deciding we were doing the local cat population a favour, we decided to remove her from the gene pool and neuter her. Psycho cat is not a phenotype I would wish to be held responsible for encouraging. So yesterday morning she was due at the vets and managed to explode out of the cat carrier tornado style. Most impressive, but nothing compared to the way she was leaping about once home. Sore? Hardly. Quiet? You must be joking! Off her food? Ha bloody ha, there's a reason why the vet charged me a premium for spaying her - too much "abdominal fat" to cut through. She's not that daft really, she knows all too well where she comes on the priority list and she's not waiting for anyone's cold cup of tea!!!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Well it certainly isn't the weather for Gardening! (Leave)

Inspired by Mel's verse today and the fact Richard that is now officially "in between jobs" on paid gardening leave!

Twas the last night of work, before having a rest,
Though 'twas not summer weather - and wearing a vest-
I considered the prospect of four long weeks off
and startled myself til I started to cough

For I suddenly realised the stark implication
Of suddenly gaining an extra vacation
The chance to take stock, have a rest, get a break
Was not going to be easy, and no "piece of cake".

Never mind the requirements already in place
To service car and my teeth - put a smile on my face.
With new glasses on order, a place at the gym
When I start my new job they'd say "Just look at him!"

For all the right reasons, I'd be feeling so good
From getting some respite and rest, that I would!
One problem was looming, an issue so big
it threatened to stop me from starting to dig!

For isn't that just what this leave is about?
Gardening, tidying, and sorting stuff out
I have so many plans, have been making a list
I could go on more but you must get the gist.

The the kids have appointments and visits and trips
School runs and homework and somewhere to nip
There's always a problem or dilemma to fix
How to find time for me in a family of six!

It seemed so impossible I just couldn't think
so the only option right now is to sit with a drink
to consider the issue of where, how and whom
and try not give in to panic too soon.

When all of a sudden it dawns on me now
There must be a solution, a way through this somehow.
I know just the person to help me this time
The one who can work things through everytime.

She cooks and she cleans, washes and cares
Tends to the kids, the cats and the hamsters
She washes the clothes, then irons them quick
And STILL finds the time for an internet fix.

She's mastered the art of juggling life
Or at least does it well enough to cope without strife
She's always on time, the kids never late
For ballet or piano, karate or a date.

I'm wondering whether I've had it too easy
Time on the train, coffee and snoozing
The time to think straight, with no one else screaming
Is something I'm beginning to find very appealing.

For now I've an answer, a wee cunning plan
To ensure I start work a smart, fit new man
We'll work it together, this month will be great-
Sharing the fun back at home with my four kids and KATE!
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