Wednesday, 30 December 2009

This Christmas....

Has been fine!
I went to the cemetery on Christmas eve, just me and Graham, and we lit candles for my family and I said a little prayer for each one. I was really sad but glad I did something memorable.
Christmas day was lovely, the girls were fantastic, so excited with all their presents and they played nicely all day.
Dinner was really yummy (Even if I do say so myself) and we even managed pudding this year. I got a little sad after dinner, around the time mum passed last year, but I kept it to myself so as not to spoil the day for the rest of my family.
The only bad thing has been the girls being poorly with colds and very nasty coughs. We've barely had any sleep all week. On boxing day we went to my brothers house for an hour, they were getting ready to go to a party that we were invited too, but we didn't make it because of the girls. We did manage a party on 27th, but again the girls ended up snugging up to me and going to sleep. Graham had a good time though, he got pretty drunk!
Tuesday was the worst day for Leila, she barely moved all day poor thing, but today (Wednesday) they are both looking a little better so I'm hoping that we might get some sleep tonight!
ON Boxing day I told Cassie and Craige that I was pregnant again. A bit of a shocker I know, I've known about 4 weeks but I wanted to get Christmas day out of the way before telling them. Cassie has always been really upset when I've got pregnant before so I didn't want to spoil her Christmas. Craige was a bit shocked but ok, Cassie went quiet for 20 mins but then she said that she wasn't going to be like before and she'd be there for me all the way. She's growing up.
I'm not really sure how I feel still, the hormones are keeping me on a bit of a high (I think they have helped me get through Christmas) but I didn't' really want any more kids. I think I'm too old and I have my hands full already. We don't have the room here, we will have to move. And to top it all, I've got nothing for a baby, I got rid of everything Leila grew out of. This is going to be an expensive baby.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Last Christmas.....

I was reading through my blog today and I realised that I never really wrote about what happened last Christmas day, maybe I didn't feel strong enough at the time. I think that maybe now I am.
Christmas morning my younger brother called me to say that he was going home (from the hospice) because mum looked so ill he was scared she was going to die. I thought that he was exaggerating but I asked him to wait until I got there. I'd promised to take the girls with me to see their nan on Christmas day so we all went together. I went into her room first while Graham waited with the girls. My brother had left and I could see why. Mum was lying there barely breathing. Her eyes were open but there was nothing behind them, she didn't even know I was there. I went out to Graham and the girls and told them nanny was sleeping and they could go in and give her a kiss then daddy would take them in the gardens.
After Graham took them out I sat there holding her hand and told her how much I loved her. I wanted to stay until the end, I could tell it was coming, but Graham had no way of taking the girls home and I had a turkey in the oven. So I tore myself away vowing to go back as soon as I could.
At home, I don't know how but I managed to finish dinner, and even eat a little, but I was rushing to get back to mum. I felt bad for deserting my family but I knew it was the last chance I had to be with her. I was just putting on my coat to leave when the phone rang and I found out I was too late. I still went and she looked just as she had earlier, only this time she wasn't breathing. Her sister had been with her when she took her last breathe, so she wasn't alone. My older brother and his wife where there too. My younger brother hadn't been able to face going back.
So that was my Christmas last year.
This year I will feel sad but I'm also determined to make it special for my children.
After mum died last year lots of people told me that you never get over losing your mum. At the time I just wanted the pain to stop but now I realise that what I was told was true. The pain never stops but you find ways of dealing with it, life continues and the pain continues, but now I can embrace it because it reminds me of what I've lost, and what I've lost is a part of me.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Freezing Flowers

I went to the cemetery today, my two older kids came with me and Leila. The flowers I left last time looked like they were fresh, but on inspection they were completely frozen. I swapped them for new which will probably freeze too in this cold weather spell. I also took a cross wreath which was really pretty. Yes, I know I said I was going to make one, and I tried, but I just couldn't get it to look right so I gave up. Thinking about it, it was probably good enough, but I just through a wobbly and the wreath went flying up the garden. I'll blame the holly for now, that stuff is darned prickly.

My aunties had already been as there was already a wreath for my nan and a bunch of red roses for mum and dad. I'm sure there will be more when I go back next week. My plan is to go alone on Christmas eve and light four tea light candles. I think it's probably against the rules to light candles on a grave but I will only light them while I'm there and take them with me when I've said my piece. I just feel the need to mark the anniversary. It's been over a year now since I had my last 'proper' conversation with my mum. It still hurts.

Friday, 11 December 2009

One Year On....

Today we went to see Lucy in her school christmas play 'The Very Hopeless Camel' she was a star. She had to wear a headband with a star on her head and it kept falling down over her eyes. She gave up trying to push it up eventually so spent most of the play practically blindfolded. It was a really good play though, the kids did everything which is pretty good going seeing as the oldest ones there were barely six years old. Lucy missed her nursery play last year as she had conjuncivitis and they asked me not to send her in :-(
Next week we have two carol services (one inside, one out) to look forward to and Lucy has her christmas party (Which was originally this week but they changed it, much to Lucy's confusion.)
Also next week we are all going to the nature centre to visit Santa :-)

One Year Ago Today......

I learnt that my mum had cancer and she was given just weeks to live. In one way it seems like a lifetime ago, in another it seems like yesterday. I was determined that we were going to have one last wonderful christmas together, mum always loved christmas and I wanted it to be really special. sadly that was not to be because the illness took over her much too quickly and even though she made it to christmas day she wasn't aware of it, and it was her last day here on earth. I didn't know how I would cope this year, but so far I think I'm holding up well. I will go to the cemetery this week (as usual) and make sure it looks really nice for the christmas visitors. I'm going to make my own wreath for next week. Mum always liked to make christmas decorations, she used to make lovely tree top angels out of cheap plastic dolls, crepe paper and tinsel. So I thought I'd make my wreath rather than buying one, especially for her.

The one emotion I have been feeling a lot of is anger. I feel angry at my brother for sending her to a hospice. I don't see anything wrong with hospices, they are a great resource for many families, and can give excellent care to their patients. But, mum wanted to be at home, and she only had days to live, we should have let her have her wish. It would have been really hard for us, but I was prepared to do it and so was my younger brother. I can see that my older brother was doing what he thought was right for her, and he was angry at me for allowing her to come out of hospital, but I think he was delusional if he thought she was going to live any longer. Even if she had lived longer I'd have been prepared to put myself out for her, and my family were behind me all the way. I just wished she could have been at home like she so wanted to be.

It's no good focusing on the why's and what if's though, and even though I feel angry at my brother I'm not placing any blame, he thought he was doing the right thing by her. It's time to move on now and focus on the happier times. The problem is you have to work through the past to get on with the future, especially if you don't want it to keep coming back and haunting you.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Deck the Halls....

Finally I managed to finish decorating the living room and today I put up the christmas tree and decorations. I've a few more to put up tomorrow, I was just too knackered to do any more today. The girls loved decorating the tree, I just let them get on with it, (after I'd put on the lights) and sorted it out a little later on....I mean, 6 baubles on one little branch! The kittens love it too, they've knocked it over twice already. We now have the bottom of the tree behind a barrier to make it more off-putting....we'll see!

I've got a lot on my mind at the moment. Most of which I'm not willing to share just yet, sorry, but watch this space. It strange the way life works, throwing things at you and expecting you to deal with it. I don't even know if I'm happy or sad, it's just a bit much to take in right now.

Tomorrow I'm going to take it easy, I think I deserve that. Then next week I have Lucy's school christmas play to look forward to a visit to the hospital with Graham and a visit to the dentist to have my new veneer fixed finally. (Well, I hope so, my dentist wasn't too thrilled with the impression, even though I did it twice.)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I am decorating the living room. It really needed doing but I did hope I could have had it done a bit sooner, Lucy is bugging me to put the christmas tree up already. Still, I'm glad to be busy, it stops me from thinking and I've a lot on my mind right now.
So, now it's December, the month I've been dreading all year. I can feel my sanity draining away already. Why do anniversarys have to be so difficult? I have been so scared that I will fall apart that I've made sure everything is done in time for christmas. No point in spoiling it for anyone else, my girls are going to have a fantastic time. Presents are bought ( not wrapped yet though ) turkey ordered and paid for and food shopping delivery arranged. So it's just xmas tree, wrapping and cards to do. (I've even bought my stamps!) Got to keep it together, must keep it together.
Keeping busy is what I must do! I'm going to paint the kitchen once the living room is done. I might not make it through this month with my sanity intact, but no-one will know, they'll just think I'm exhausted.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Decades

I was reading another blog the other day and for the first time I realised the importance of the approaching new decade. This other blogger was already making plans to mark the start of this new era and I've been thinking that I'd like to do something too, I've not thought of what yet though.
Why is it so important to me? Well, this last decade has been the worst of my life, and it started 1st January 2000. That's when my life as I knew it fell to pieces and what followed was 2 very miserable years. Everything I knew changed and my kids suffered too. I had a few close friends and family that were really there for me and for that I will always be grateful. Things did get a little better towards the middle of the decade but then I had the tragedy of losing my mum last year, and my brother this year (although it was only a week later.) So the decade began and ended badly and I really will be glad to see the back of it.

Of course it has not been all bad though. I met Graham (yes, I'm counting that as good) and we have had some really good times together. He helped to bring my kids around and make their lives happier too. Also, even though I suffered two years of thinking I would never have any more children I went on to have my two lovely girls. It doesn't seem right thinking they came along in the worst decade of my life, but you always have to have good with the bad, and they are my two shining lights in a decade of darkness.

Things have changed so much now and even though I'm still sad I know that the future can be brighter. I will endeavor to make the next decade the best ever. It's up to me really and I'm determined to do all the things I've always wanted to do but never had the opportunity. I'll never have my mum back but I have to move past that and know that she is at peace and I have to learn to live with my loss. She never wanted me to spend the rest of her life with me nursing her so I'm sure she wouldn't want me to spend the rest of my life mourning her either. I need to stop being so selfish.

So what am I going to do to mark the next decade.....the best decade of my life?

Monday, 23 November 2009

I went to a gig!

A few weeks ago an old friend of mine told me she had a spare ticket going for a Kasabian gig and would I like to go. Bit of a stupid question really as I'm a Kasabian fan and had already being looking at tickets but with Graham being out of work we couldn't really afford it. My friend told me she was paying for the ticket as a birthday present :-)
Well, last Thursday was the night and I was really excited. The beginning of the week I'd been ill and I was worried that I wouldn't be well enough to go. I'm guessing my utter determination at not to miss the gig was a big factor in my getting better on time.
Now, I don't go to many gigs, mainly because I'm not good in crowds. I freak out if I get touched by a stranger, and if your in a big crowd that's more likely to happen. I know, I know, I'm strange, but I like my personal space. Luckily my friend likes her space too and was not disappointed that I didn't want to rush to the front near the strange and me squashed in the throng of drunken revellers. Instead we decided to head down the side where I'd spotted a gap. And it was a great gap, right in front of the security barrier so no-one was going to shove past us to get nearer, and surprisingly near to the stage even if just to left, the view was great (well, it was probably a bit better for me as I'm pretty tall.) We even had enough room to dance.
Kasabian were brilliant, they are definitely a live act to see. Pure entertainment. I loved every minute. They finished off with LSF (lost Souls Forever) which has a catchy little la la la at the end which went on and on by the audience both in the auditorium and outside and all the way up the canal back into town.
I had a great night and would definitely go and see them again. I kept waking during the night and the music was still playing in my head. Of course I had the obligatory headache the next day but it was well worth it.

BTW Graham has a job now :-)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Lucy's Legs

Lucy gets this pain in her knees that keeps her awake and night and makes her scream and cry. It started around 18 months ago and hasn't got any better. It's not every night but usually when she's had a more active day. She only gets it in one knee at a time and it's usually the left, but she gets it in the right knee too. Lately, she's not good at walking any distance. Right from when she could walk she has wanted out of the pushchair and walked for ages without complaint. I bought a double pushchair when Leila was born but Lucy barely went in it. But now, we only need to be walking for about five minutes before she starts complaining that her knee hurts or she's too tired to walk. Going anywhere with her is becoming a nightmare.

A few months ago I mentioned it to her GP. He looked at her knees but couldn't feel anything. He said she was too young for growing pains but he believed she'd just grow out of the pain. Last week I took her back because it wasn't getting any better and he sent her to the hospital for an xray. The xray came back clear and the Dr. doesn't know what's happening so he's referring her to an orthopaedic specialist. He said it's probably nothing and it would stop eventually.

I'm trying not to be worried. There is no obvious reason for the pain so maybe it will just pass. If it was in her leg rather than her knee I'd put it down to cramp. Maybe it's all psychological, she does it for attention. It's a possibility I suppose, but Lucy is definitely not lacking in attention either, so I can't understand why she would fake pain for more. It's strange how it always starts around tea time and carries on through the night. I'm going to keep a log of the pain and what she's been doing in the day she gets it. And fingers crossed the orthopaedic Dr will have some answers.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Forgiveness

This is an article I wrote for the website Helium. It rates in at no. 1 for the topic, and has never left that spot since I submitted it, so I'm thinking that those that have read it seem to think it's good to rate it top.

What to Do When You Find Your Partner Has Been Cheating.

One of the most painful experiences we can go through in life is finding out that the person we love has been cheating. So what do we do next? First you need to forgive them. Now, I don't mean immediately take them back and say all is forgiven, you don't need to stay with them, you don't need to tell them, but if you don't forgive them you will live with a bitterness that will stay with you forever, and through all your future relationships. So even though it hurts, take your time and find it in your heart to forgive. We are only human and we all make mistakes.

You will need your friends and family around you, you need support and you need to talk. It will be difficult to talk about at times, but it's best to get it all out. If you are willing you can even talk to your partner. Of course at first you will probably be in the mood to strangle them, but talking to them about what they did and why can help you to move forward, and that is your goal.

Next you need to decided whether there is a future for your relationship. Are they remorseful? Do they promise it will never happen again? Do they swear it meant nothing? Do you believe them? If you don't believe them and you have the slightest doubt then your relationship will suffer and may not work again. Sometimes relationships can be improved after infidelity, but only if both partners are utterly and completely honest with each other.

Have they left you for someone else? Then this is the time when friends and family are most important. This hurts so bad but you have to be strong. You need to keep reminding yourself of all the good things in your life and realize that this relationship was not good. You will get through it, and one day it won't hurt so bad, and you will be a better and stronger person having been through such a dreadful experience.

At all times you should try to retain your dignity. Revenge may be sweet, but often it's more bittersweet and the feeling lasts longer than any pain from the cheating. Begging and pleading with your partner to return is also a very bad idea. It will not make you happy even if they do come back, because it's not what they want.

Finally, remember it's your heart and your life and it's up to you to decide what you want to do next. Well meaning people will be on hand with lots of advice, listen, but stay true to yourself and don't do something just because it's what someone else thinks it is best for you.


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sometimes your own advice is the hardest to take

Thursday, 29 October 2009

I Want the Pink One!

Leila is so funny sometimes, she's a proper entertainer she loves to dance and sing and pull funny faces. When she gives you a kiss she puckers up and reaches out to hold your cheeks while she plants her smacker, it's adorable. And she gives the best hugs, never mind mummy making thing better, there is nothing like a Leila hug, 'all better now.'
Lucy loves anything pink and will always ask for the pink one if given a choice. Leila has picked up on this but with the inability to actually recognise pink. No matter what she wants it's always the pink one! She'll stand in the kitchen pointing and saying 'want the pink one' when she could be asking for anything from a cup of juice to a banana. Confusing but cute :-)

I have to admit at being a little slack at the potty training. I don't know if it's because I think it may be a little early, or because my 18 month plus trauma with Lucy has put me off. Leila is keen and she will go to the potty if undressed, she can tell when it's about to happen and rarely has an accident. However, the second you put any clothing on her she just wets herself. I've tried nappy pants and shown her how to pull them down and sit on the potty but she still doesn't 'get it.' She certainly doesn't like wet nappy pants though. What I have to do is keep reminding her and taking her to the toilet or potty when she's wearing them, but I'm not very good at remembering this. It'll all come together one day, I still think Leila will be better than Lucy, who has now regressed to using the potty instead of the toilet. I could never get her to go on the potty before, that's why I paid £50 for a toilet seat with a special seat fitted in it for her use.

And while I'm talking about my girls, a little mention of my big girl. We found out today that she needs glasses. She doesn't seem to stressed about it, and the glasses she chose really do suit her. I had my eyes done to but I'm ok. I might need reading glasses in a year or so.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

My Instincts Didn't let me Down

Well, I did say yesterday that my instincts rarely let me down, and I did say I felt something bad was going to happen and it did.
Last night Graham and his mate Ste where in an accident. Their van was hit from behind by an artic. The van is in a bad state but the guys seem ok, they do need to get checked out though because they have whiplash and back/shoulder pains.
I couldn't sleep last night because it hit me how I could have lost Graham. If they had been in a car and not a van they probably wouldn't have stood a chance, also they were approaching an island so the artic wasn't going too fast.
Now they are stuck in Ipswich until the insurance sorts things out. I've begged Graham to get himself checked out by a dr and he's promised he will do as soon as they have transport.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Can't get rid of the lurgy!

Well, Lucy is back at school, she's still not 100% and I would have preferred to keep her home a little longer but she was so bored and just couldn't wait to go back, plus she's only got a few days before the half term holiday. Her cough has cleared and the spots have almost gone, she's just a bit sniffly still.

Now it's Leila's turn. I barely had any sleep at all with her last night, she couldn't breathe properly (Thank heaven for Vicks) and was burning up. I had her in bed with me all night which may have made things worse, but at least I didn't have to keep getting out of bed.

Craige was supposed to have been going on a course today in town but he's just not motivated. He's been ill too and now I think he may be depressed. I've spoken to those running the course and they were understanding and said I could call them when he's feeling better.

I managed to get Cassie out of the house yesterday which meant for the first time in ages she didn't spend the whole day in bed. And she managed to eat a fair bit of her tea last night. She's got her language course tonight so I hope she'll get up and eat today.

Graham is in Ipswich working for a few days. I wish it was permanent (the work, not him being in Ipswich) but we have to take what we can. I don't like him working away, even though he's barely home when he isn't.

And finally, I've had my instinct radar going barmy the last few days. I've always instinctively known when something is up, or something is going to happen but I don't know what it is until it happens. This doesn't feel good, I feel someone is hiding something from me, or I'm going to get some bad news. I'm probably just going bonkers with all this illness and depression around me. Fingers crossed it's nothing too bad.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Illness

I've just had the most dreadful week health wise. Both me and Lucy have had flu. I have been aching all over and I'm pretty sure Lucy felt the same, bless her she's barely moved all week. We've not been sleeping too well either, Lucy has been coughing throughout the night. Although I've had a really sore throat, I've not had the cough, lucky escape maybe?
Leila hasn't been too bright either but she's not been anywhere near as poorly as Lucy. And Graham has complained of feeling unwell too, but it didn't last long.
Craige has barely been out of his bedroom all week (not that that is too unusual) but when I have seen him he looks like death warmed up. And just to make it a full house Cassie hasn't been right either, and in particular she's not been eating properly so I'm keeping an eye on her.
So I'm going to paint a big cross on the door and turn visitors away and fingers crossed we'll all be well again soon.......

Monday, 12 October 2009

Potty Training round 2

Lucy was such a nightmare to potty train, I still have problems with her now at just over 4 years old. When she started nursery school last September we really had to focus on getting her dry in the daytime because she was suspended for a while until she was trained. I'm sure I did things right, but maybe I didn't, to be honest I think the advice on potty training is pretty scant. I searched the internet, read books, asked other mum's but it seemed no-one had the same set of problems. Still I persevered, trying just about everything and we got there in the end. Now we just have problems with her number 2's but I'm still not sure if it's a medical problem and she is being assessed by our gp.
Anyway, this post isn't about Lucy, it's Leila's turn now. In my mind I wanted to leave it as long as possible before even attempting to potty train Leila, I wasn't sure I would ever be ready to go through it all again. But Leila had a different idea and recently she started taking her own nappy off and asking to go to the toilet. At least she will sit on the toilet/potty, something Lucy would not do. In fact it's not been so bad so far, although we had a set back when she got poorly for a couple of days. If I leave her without her nappy then she will know when she needs to go and just go straight for the potty. However, if I put anything at all on her, pants, pj's, she will just wet herself. ~The strange thing is, if I put nappy on her she will take it off and go to the potty.
So today I bought some pull-up nappy pants. I figured they will be easier to remove for her to use the potty, and give her the practice of pulling down pants. If she can recognise the need to go with a nappy on, then hopefully she will still recognise it with the nappy pants and if she doesn't well at least I won't be cleaning my carpet and furniture all day.
Today I was especially proud of her as she took off her nappy and did a number 2 on the potty without any fuss at all.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

A Day at the Seaside

When Graham said his mum and dad wanted us to go out with them for day to the seaside I jumped at the chance. We decided to go to Weston-Super-Mare because it's really close, we took Graham's mum in the car with us and his dad and brother went on the train.
We started out at 8am, picnic and spare clothes packed. The girls were excited but that wore off after an hour and Leila decided to have a screaming fit in the car. We thought that maybe she had filled her nappy but a stop at the service station proved it was because she was hungry.
We got to Weston at 10 am and headed straight to the beach, grabbing a much needed coffee on the way. The girls got stuck into making their sandcastles and the weather was holding out for us even though it was already October.
While we were waiting for Graham's dad and brother to arrive I decided to check the location of a geocache that I thought was nearby and discovered it was really close. I sent Graham over to pick it up, it was a really easy find and full of goodies but missing the travel bug it was supposed to hold. I still left our travel bug inside, I thought it would be a good place to start it's journey.

After Graham's dad and brother arrived we realised there was nothing much for us to do in Weston so we decided to move on to nearby Brean. Once there we discovered it was Country and Western weekend and the place was full of people dressed up as cowboys and indians. We stopped for our picnic before moving on to the fair where the girls were in their element. Then we moved on to Brean beach but it was starting to get a little cold then so we didn't stay long.

We had a walk around the country and western market tents and then the shops before heading back to the leisure park and arcade. Shortly before tea time we were heading back to Weston and I drove straight up to a place I'd never been before, Marine Lake. We all went into the park to look for a geocache but we didn't find it. That was disappointing but it was a really lovely place so we didn't mind too much.

Then after tea in a chip shop restaurant we set off home again. All in all it was a lovely day. :-)

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Friends

I'm not very good at making friends, that's why I don't have many, but I prefer it that way.
My oldest friend is one I met when my older kids were young. We don't see each other that much now but we still keep in touch and I still consider her friend. If she needed me I'd drop everything to help. We've just slipped into different lifestyles. Her kids have grown up and she works full time, while I'm stuck at home with my little ones.

My Sister-in-law is a good friend, we have drifted more a little recently (again kids, as we used to go and visit quite a lot in the evenings but can't so much now, and she still has school aged kids too.)

I have two friends from my last place of work and even though I haven't worked for 10 years we still keep in touch and try and meet up at least a few times each year. I never want to lose touch with these friends they mean a lot to me, even though we don't see each other much.

I have lots of online friends, some I've known now for many years, but most I've only met once or twice (Some not at all). I have online friends I know I can trust and turn to whenever I need help or advice, some have shown incredible kindness so I cannot think of them as just virtual friends, they are real friends that don't get to see that often, although I can talk to them daily.

I met up with an online friend about 5 years ago and we just clicked. (That doesn't happen too often with me as I said before I'm not very good at making friends) We don't live too far away from each other and try to see each other when we can, maybe not as often as a lot of friends but I've never been the type to see my friends every day. Not like SIL, she always has friends around, or is at a friends house or on the phone to a friend. I'm just not like that, sadly I like being alone too much.

Through my last mentioned friend I have met two other good friends, one I only see on special occasions but I do feel as though I have clicked with her and consider her a friend. The other again I only saw on special occasions but have recently got to know her better and I really like her.

So there it is, I only have a handful of friends but the friends I make are special to me and always will be.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Time.......

A friend posted a link for free tickets to the Grand Designs exhibition at the NEC todayon Facebook. It made me cry. Last year I snapped up the free tickets and grabbed one for mum too. It was the last time I managed to take her out before she became really ill. We had a lovely day, the exhibition wasn't of great interest but there was some freebies to grab, it was just great to get out and about and do something different. Mum really enjoyed it even though she was stuck in her wheelchair most of the day. I can't believe it was a year ago, it seems like yesterday. In fact it feels like time has stood still since mum died. Thoughts of her occupy my mind so much I can't focus on other events. Soon it will be Christmas and I really don't know how I'm going to cope. I just keep telling myself I have to think of the kids, Christmas is for them really and we have to celebrate. I'm hoping I can keep my sadness to myself so I don't spoil it for anyone else.

When is time going to do that healing thing it's renouned for?

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Once Bitten........

I've been in pain all week with my elbows swollen up double their size. The reason for this? An allergic reaction to horsefly bites. I knew what it was straight away because it's not the first time it's happened. Luckily it's not something that happens too often. I got bitten last Sunday while out geocaching (it was a really good find on a lovely walk). I had seen the horseflys around so I guessed I'd probably been bitten. I must have been pretty unlucky to have been bitten on both elbows. I also got one on my right ankle which meant I was unable to wear my shoes. The first couple of days I felt naseaus and woozy too, not nice at all. It's practically all healed up now though. So now I'm thinking my new hobby may have some drawbacks.

On a completely different subject, but going back to my old post, I've talked to my auntie again about the grave and I think for now she's feeling a little calmer and is not going ahead with moving nan out (phew) I'm thinking she may have made some enquiries and been a little shocked at the cost, it must be pretty expensive. I went to the grave on Sunday and despite the stupid fence it looked really nice. I'd bought fresh flowers but the nice weather had kept the older flowers looking quite nice too, so it was really full and colourful. I'd bought some gladioli and I wasn't sure how they would look but there is this really tall vase and they looked lovely just placed in there. Even my aunties fabric flowers looked nice, she'd picked some really tasteful ones this time. It made me feel a lot better. I had a word with mum and nan about my aunt and asked them to help me out.

Monday, 7 September 2009

More Grave Stuff

I honestly don't know what to think about all this now, as if grief isn't bad enough. I posted in July about the saga of my aunt and her fabric flowers back in July, well, it's happened again only this time she claimed the pot was taken as well as the flowers. So she and her sister (Another of my aunts, of course) have bought another pot and refilled it, and they have built a fence around nan's part of the grave (She has a stone in the middle where her casket of ashes was buried). I went to see and it looks ridiculous. I can just imagine what mum would say, and nan for that matter. I had a little chat with them while I was there. (oh and while I was there I found the 'missing' flower pot???) My aunt is now insisting that someone does not want nan to be buried with my mum and is sabotaging her part of the grave purpously. Absolutely bloody ridiculous. There is no-one at all that would object to nan being there, everyone who loved mum loved nan too. So my aunt has already started the ball rolling on getting nan out of there. I'm really at a loss as what to do. I don't want nan removed purely because I know, as in I talked about it with nan and mum before they died, that being there together was what they both wanted. My mum would be utterly heartbroken if she could see what was going on.

I have a theory or two of my own. I know my auntie was jealous of mum's relationship with their mum (nan), my mum was the oldest, my aunt the youngest and between the two of them they were the closest to nan out of all her eight children. There was always a lot of jealousy while everyone was alive which often caused fallings out. Especially when they would all go on holiday together. When nan died the family drifted apart and when we had our troubles within our family (i.e. me, mum and my brothers) it was a perfect excuse for the rest of the family to take sides and this particularly auntie was one who sided against her. I'm thinking that now she is planning some revenge on mum by having nan taken away from her. It sounds crazy I know, but I think I know my family well enough to know how they work.

However, if that is not her reason, or maybe her main reason or one that she would ever admit to, the other theory is that she knows (I don't know how) that my younger brother's ashes were buried there too and she must be mad as hell that nan is buried with him. The truth is nan adored my younger brother, and he adored her, I know in my heart that nan would be happy with the set up, it's just the rest of the family who can't accept it.

So here I am, now over 8 months since losing them and I'm feeling just as depressed as ever. What ever happened to rest in peace? Why can't they just leave them alone? What can I do? I really need to go and speak to my aunt face to face, but I will have to be honest with her and I know she's not going to like it, and up until all of this she was my favourite auntie from when I was little, and she was someone I could turn to when I wasn't talking to mum. I feel just as bad by opposing her, but I don't think I can rest until I've said my piece.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Back To School

Well, the holidays are over already and today was Lucy's first day in reception class.
She looked lovely in her new uniform (I wonder how long it will stay looking good?) and her new shoes which took us two days of traipsing around the shops to find.
After a nervous start she seemed to settle pretty quickly. She was confused at first because I think she thought she was going back to nursery. It was helpful that two of the nursery teachers have moved up to reception too. She was quite happy to be left and a quick peek in the window on the way home assured us she was happy as she was chatting with a friend and grinning.

The day went quickly even though the house was so much quieter without her. When we went to pick her up she looked like she'd been in the wars as she had fallen off a bike and hurt her cheek and her foot. She was still happy though and managed to stay awake until bedtime (just about)

Monday, 24 August 2009

Lucy's Birthday

Awww my little girls are growing up so fast. Today Lucy turned 4! We had a little party for her on Saturday. I'd sent some invitations out to her friends and nursery school but not one of them turned up :-(
She did have a few friends turn up though and she didn't seem bothered at all about the ones that were missing, she had a great day. The weather was lovely too which meant lots of playing out in the garden.
I made a pinata out of papier mache. The party was High School Musical themed so the pinata was a megaphone. Well, it started out as a balloon, then I tried to turn it into a megaphone but it just wouldn't work, so I decided to make a large microphone instead, but that just looked daft. So, dismayed I decided to decorate the balloon and just leave it at that. Then Graham came home and within minutes he had a megaphone made!!! All I had to do was decorate it. I do have photo's but currently I can't find my connection wire from my camera to the computer. I haven't used it in ages because I can just slot the memory card in, but for some reason the memory card decided to not work on Saturday. So photo's will be added later.

Back to today. Lucy still doesn't get the anticipation before an event. She knew it was her birthday today but she wasn't excited last night and went to bed and to sleep with no problems. Leila, however decided to wake up at 11.30pm and wouldnt' go back to sleep until 3.30am. Then Lucy woke at 4am and wouldn't go back to sleep until 5.30am. She said she was cold, her leg was aching, she had an headache. I thought maybe she just wanted to start her birthday early but when I asked if she wanted to get up she said 'no'. Very puzzling. Anyway, after she went back to sleep I finally got to go to sleep myself until 7 am.

I bought Lucy a Nintendo DS for her birthday which she loves and hasn't put it down hardly all day! I also bought her a singing Gabriella from HSM and some games for her DS.

Then we got the news that Graham had lost his job, he was being laid off because there was not enough work. That's really depressing as we are only just finding our feet financially. Ah well, at least we never got around to feeling comfortable, so the struggle continues.

We cheered ourselves up this afternoon by going geocaching for the first time. I'm not going to talk too much about that here because I have a shiny new blog which I'll be dedicating to my geocaching adventures. You can find it here but it's very new so bear with me.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Visitors

I had quite a busy week last week. Currently Cassie is away at Ayacon, Britains largest and oldest anime convention. Remember the dress I bought her for her birthday? Well, that is one of the outfits she will be wearing. I just hope she takes lots of photo's. She travelled with two friends from Scotland who came to stay with us earlier in the week. They were two lovely girls (even if I did have a little trouble understanding their accents, I'm sure they had just as much trouble understanding me). I don't mind overcrowding my house when the guests are pleasant.

Craige was a big surprise, he was really accomodating. He even gave up the mattress on his bed and then slept on the floor. He spent less time locked away in his bedroom and was nice to his sister. I knew there was a real gentleman locked away in there somewhere :-)

Thursday was nice and sunny so I took the girls to meet some friends on Birmingham beach for the day. Such a brilliant idea having a beach in the middle of the city. You can just lie back in a deckchair and imagine your somewhere nice while the kids play in the sand. The only thing missing is the sea. I guess that's the closest I'll be getting to having a holiday this year.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Leila is 2!

Ok, I'm a bit late telling you about Leila's birthday, any later and I'll run the risk of merging it into Lucy's birthday! I think part of the reason for not blogging about it straight away is that it's taken a while for it to sink in. My baby is 2 years old! She's not a baby anymore, I don't have a baby! And I won't be having any more. It's a difficult thing to accept. That and how quickly it's come around. It really doesn't seem that long ago when I spent nearly two years just trying to get pregnant with Lucy, now Lucy is off to school in September and Leila isn't a baby anymore. Where does the time go?

Anyway, I decided to have a BBQ party to celebrate my little girls birthday. It was a little selfish because all along it was going to be more of an adult party, I really wanted the chance to have a drink and enjoy myself. So a BBQ seemed the ideal way to go. We had lots of kids around and everyone made a fuss of Leila so she was ok. Although at 2 she probably didn't have a clue really. She did learn how to sing 'Happy Birthday' though :-) The BBQ was on Saturday 25th July, now you probably won't remember but it was actually a sunny day slotted inbetween two miserable rainy weeks. We were incredibly lucky. We were actually able to hold the party in the garden, although the kids had run of the house. (Boy did they make a mess! I tried to ignore and did quite well apart from clearing up the toys from all over the floor and shoving them upstairs.) The day went well, and I had a few drinks. One of the last to leave (apart from Gray's dad) was my friend from my last job (which was 10 years ago now) We hadn't seen each other in quite a while, I'd had to cancel our Christmas meet up because of mum. I really enjoyed catching up with her.

Leila's actual birthday was on Monday 27th July and she was a bit bewildered as to what was going on. She loved opening her presents though and was excited about her birthday cake and candles. I can see I will be having two very excited little girls come Christmas time.

I'm already planning Lucy's birthday party, which will be much more child orientated. Fingers crossed for another sunny day as I'd like this one in the garden too.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Grave circumstances

Yet another blog post about the grave. I may as well give up and become a goth!
A few weeks ago I visited the family plot and it was full of fabric flowers. Now, they were very pretty but we had come to an agreement as a family that it was going to be real flowers or nothing. My first instincts were that they were put there by someone else, I don't know who but strange things arrive there on a regular basis and without a surveillance camera I have no idea how. (Maybe I should see if I can move into one of those houses that were built practically in the middle of the cemetery, I've always had an urge to live near a cemetery....oh no! I am a goth! I remember when they first built those houses, they were built on an incline and some of the bedroom windows are directly in line with the grave stones. Nan always joked that she wanted to live there so we wouldn't have far to carry her when she 'went')

Back to the point, about the fabric flowers, I phoned my brother and asked him about them and he was pretty miffed and told me to get rid of them. So I did as I was told and they ended up in the bin. I'd actually left the grave by the time of the call and sent Graham back to do the 'dirty' deed. The next day I got a call from my auntie who was really upset. They were her flowers. Oooops! Well, I said I'd binned them and I was really sorry and wouldn't do it again. She said in the future she would only put them in nan's vase (her mum). The next time I went down there were new fabric flowers in nan's vase but nothing in mum's or Sim's. I left them.

Then yesterday I got another call off my auntie, she was really upset and told me she was going to talk to her sister's about getting nan moved to plot of her own !!!!! I had visions of what nan and mum would say if they did that, I can't believe my aunt could even think of it, if there is a way of meeting up with loved ones after death then I'm afraid my aunt is in for a roasting, no doubt about it. The reason for this? Well, the fabric flowers had gone again. Obviously she'd thought it was me again, but I insisted that I'd kept my word and the flowers in their pot. So she said it must be my brother. I called him and, big shock, he confessed he hadn't been down to the grave. No not in the last few days, or weeks, but ever! Not since the funeral!!! So I called my nephew but he hadn't been either. Someone else does go down besides my aunt and me, that's for sure. I know my cousin goes down but he's my aunts son so she would know if it was him. So, who took the flowers this time? I guess it's a public plot so in reality it could be anyone at all.

Who would think that a grave could cause so much hassle?

Oh and a brief mention of my little girl's 2nd birthday, boy doesn't time fly? I will blog about that later.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Tired

Lately I've been feeling tired. I'm not sleeping well again, although I am sleeping more than I was a year ago. I just long for a night long sleep. I've forgotten what it's like to go to bed at night and the next time I wake up it's morning. This week we got a new bed, the last one was getting really uncomfortable. I was hoping this would help me sleep but so far all it's done is make me want to sleep even more.
The tiredness slips over into the rest of my life, I swing from being so tired I can't care less to be being so tired everything is just stressing me out.
I don't like being tired, things get blurry.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

High School Musical and Emotional Maturity plus Boogie Pete

A short while ago I was worried about Lucy's development. I'd always had small niggles but they were excerbated after talking to her teacher at nursery. She claimed that Lucy lacked emotional maturity and was unable to feel empathy for her peers. She had problems with interacting and communicating with her peers and lacked imagination. I started keeping a tag on her development and watching for signs that something wasn't quite right.

Then, along came High School Musical!

Lucy is a little young to be interested in these films which are aimed at 6 to 12 year olds, but she kept on going on about High School Musical so when I noticed the first two films were being shown on the Disney Channel I decided to record them. Lucy absolutely loves them. She's already learning all the songs and sings along. I've had to buy her a Gabriella doll and now she wants a Troy one. She has also requested a High School Musical birthday party.

So what does this have to do with her development. I'll give you a simple example. In the second film Gabriella decides to leave Troy as he has upset her. Of course she leaves with a song. Then just before the end of the movie, Troy is singing on stage when Gabriella (in hiding) starts singing along. Then she appears and they sing together. Altogether now, ahhhhhhh! I looked at Lucy at this point and she was crying! I asked her why and she said she was happy because Gabriella had come back to Troy! Emotionally immature? I don't think so! In fact I've been suprised how much she actually does understand about the films, she gets the plots and when she's not been sure what's happened she asks questions. To me it's a really good sign of emotional maturity.


She is very musically talented my little girl, apart from being able to sing in tune and remember all the words to songs she is also a pretty good dancer and able to follow instructions. On Saturday we went to a Cbeebies event where she joined a group of children to dance along with Boogie Pete from Boogie Beebies. Standing right at the front she copied all his moves and really got into it. I'm thinking that maybe I'll find her a dancing school as I'm sure it's something she would enjoy. Maybe it would also help with her clumsiness?


To finish here is a photo of my little star with Boogie Pete.


Saturday, 4 July 2009

Yankee Doodle Dandy

"Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a pony
He stuck a feather in his hat
And called it macaroni"

Mum always used to sing Yankee Doodle to Simeon because he was born on the 4th of July. I don't remember him having many birthday parties, especially not when he was older, no 18th or 21st. I do remember his 3rd birthday though. It was a gorgeous hot day and mum made a marquee in the garden out of sheets. We had two big dining tables set up and I think she invited everyone she knew. Simeon had a white 'police' pedal car which he loved as his main present. I remember it like it was yesterday not 32 years ago.

I remember the day that Sim was born. I was waiting at home with my aunt and uncle. The phone rang and all my hopes, wishes and prayers were dashed as I was told I had a baby brother. I already had two brothers why couldn't I have a sister? I told them to take him back and they had better not bring him home. Then I was taken to the hospital to see him. He was so tiny, even smaller than my Tiny Tears. I don't remember his exact weight but he was under 6lb and quite poorly. I saw him and instantly fell in love. I begged to be allowed to name him and mum said what would you call him. I said Simon and she smiled. How about Simeon, it's very similar. Ok, I agreed. Simon with an 'e', I was happy. It was quite a few years later that I learnt she'd planned to call him Simeon anyway as it was my dad's name, but I didn't know that because no-one ever called dad Simeon, he was always called Fred! I guess mum had been really pleased I'd come up the the name Simon, she didn't have to dissapoint me.

Happy Birthday Simeon. I miss having a baby brother.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Happy Birthday

Today it was my daughter's 20th birthday. I bought her a dress for her convention in August.


I'll show you photo's of her in it from the convention, she still has to get the right wig.

Her special birthday treat was to go out with me for lunch (her choice) to a traditional Japanese restaurant Mount Fuji. There we had a chicken teriyaki bento box and matcha tiramisu for dessert...yum, yum, yum. I really have to find some matcha as that was the nicest tiramisu I have ever tasted, even though first impressions were more like OMG it's green!! It was the first time I'd had a bento box too.

After lunch we had a walk around town, first stop the fabric store. She needs some shiny white fabric but she was also looking for some bright red shiney pvc for a friend. The mind boggles!

Then we went to Game as her brother kindly offered to buy her a new game and on the way we stopped by a gorgeous shoe shop to drool. Such lovely shoes, but I'd never get the chance to wear them.

We also popped into Selfridges just to see the giant bull made from jelly beans. Seriously! They were selling a lollypop for £14, but it was about two foot tall.

Just before we came home we decided to treat Craige to a doughnut from Krispy Kreme, we bought him a chocolate dream.
One final treat before coming home was that the car park was free, it usually costs about £5 so that pleased me.

For her cake I bought her a ready made one from Sainsbury's, it was a Top Gear one with the Stig on the top. She loved it :-)

All in all it's been a very pleasant day, for me as well as Cassie. I don't very often get to go out without a littlie tagging along. It was all very weird being able to use steps and escalators rather than lifts all the time.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Six Months

Six months ago today I lost my mum, just a couple of weeks after finding out she had terminal cancer. It’s been a tough six months, I’ve found it really hard coming to terms with losing her. I’d like to say that it’s got better with time but I can’t, all I can say is that it is not as bad all of the time. I have now accepted that she has gone and that my life has to continue.
I am trying not to think about how I am going to feel in six months time on the anniversary of her death. It will be Christmas day and I’ve always loved Christmas, now I fear that I cannot enjoy the festivities because I will just be thinking of last year. I’ve always planned well in advance for holiday, by now even I’d be half way through saving for all the food and decorations. I like to get all the preparations in place by October at the latest. This year I just don’t know how I will do it, how will even summon the interest. How can I celebrate the day my mum died? I have been thinking that maybe if I did something special in her memory on the day, then I could carry on with the rest of Christmas as normal? I’ve not thought of what I could do yet though.

I was looking through some photo’s last night and I found one of me and mum taken when we last went on holiday together, 1999. Leila saw it and recognised her nanny which made me happy. I don’t know how long she will remember her for though. I wanted to scan the photo and put it on here but my printer/scanner is playing up.

I still miss mum terribly, I would give anything to talk with her, take her out, even listen to her ramble on about her favourite soaps (which I never watched). If there is anything after life then I hope that she is now happy, but the only thing I can be sure of is that at least now she has no pain, that's just left for me.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Crowded House

I'm beginning to think that four adults in one house is too many, especially when none of us are particularly easy to get on with. Well, apart from Graham who is generally easy going but lately has become a bit moody too. We all have completely different body clocks which means we are not under each others feet, but it also makes us prone to waking each other up. Sometimes I think it's a mad house. It's about time they all got jobs and then maybe life would be more normal. I would give anything to go back to work right now but I don't know how that would improve things seeing as I'm the only one who ever does anything in this house. I'm sure I would become even more resentful being the only one who ever did the washing,ironing, cooking, cleaning etc and going out to work. Do I think that if I did go out to work they would chip in more and help? Honestly, my answer would have to be no. Even when I was heavily pregnant and barely mobile with symphasis pubis disorder I didn't get any help, so why would they bother if I was working. And before you say I don't nag enough, I did, I'm just tired of it now. I'm tired of everything now, sometimes I eventhink I'm 'worried out', like I don't even have the energy to worry anymore. I just feel numb. Things have to improve soon, don't they?
Oh just ignore me, I haven't had a decent nights sleep in over a week now and my hormones are playing up....normal service will be resumed shortly.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Kittens

Awww we have just had the two most gorgeous little kittens. We hadn't really thought about having more cats, we already have two, but Graham came home from the shops with a phone number and told me to ring if I wanted kittens.


Me and Cassie went to take a look and instantly fell in love, which of course we knew we would. They are both black with white socks and white tummy's. The boy also has a white patch on his face. We've called them Salem and Sabrina.


They are such good little kittens, we haven't had any accidents yet, they always go to the litter tray. They are very inquisitive though and we've had to rescue them from inside the fire twice. Good job we don't use the fire anymore. At the moment they are so tiny they fit into the palm of your hand.


The older cats Suzie and Scribbles are indifferent to them. They have been avoiding coming in, but then they don't spend much time in the house anyway. The kittens were kept in the bathroom overnight for safety and the big cats where there to great me as usual when I got up this morning.


And now for a photo:-)







Thursday, 11 June 2009

Technology

I was thinking today of the first time that I was introduced to the internet and was surprised to remember that it was more than 10 years ago. It was when I started my library job at the university, I even had to go for a lesson on how to use the e-mail client. I took to it all pretty quick though. It wasn't long before I had a separate Hotmail account for personal e-mails.

Someone had told me that the first thing to do when new to the internet is to look up information about something that interests you, a favourite author or musician for example. I looked up Terry Pratchett and soon I was a member of a forum of Australian Terry Pratchett fans. In actual fact I am still a member of the forum although I haven't been active for quite a while. I do still log in sometimes and some of the original members are still active. Over the next few years I actually met up with some of the members, 2 from the UK, 2 from Alaska and 1 from Australia.

It wasn't long before I had to have a computer at home. Mostly I wanted to chat to my Australian buddies in real time, which meant, late at night. My first computer cost me £1000, had 3GB of hard drive (yes 3GB!!) and 256mb RAM. It ran on Windows 98. My internet was dial-up and sometimes took 20 attempts to connect. It would kick me off at least once an hour. Mum would complain that she could never reach me on the phone as the line was always busy.

I think I'd had the computer about a year before the kids became interested. Soon there was a rota for internet usage to avoid arguments. Then my daughter came into some money and went and bought herself a lap top. We still have it, it's now called the crap top and Lucy plays with it.

Now we have four working computers (although only 3 are set up) 2 laptops, including the crap top and two broken computers. We have wireless broadband which is mostly reliable.

What do I do now on the internet? Well, I keep a blog (obviously), I have my own website and an e-book that I wrote a couple of years ago, I visit two forums regularly on which I have met many friends, some have even become RL friends. I visit Twitter and Facebook daily and also like Ebay. I love reading blogs and have a folder of my favourites which I visit regularly. I do my banking online and a fair bit of shopping too. I do some writing for an site when the mood takes me, mostly non-fiction but I have dabbled in fiction too. And I like to play online bingo occasionally.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Lost in Fantasy

Last Friday I went to town with Craig so he could buy me my Mother's Day present (yes, I know it was a bit late but it's not his fault the release was delayed). It's been ages since I have had the opportunity to play a computer game but an all time favourite of mine has been Sims, and now I have the shiny new Sims 3 and it's brilliant. :-) So I've been busy inventing my family and playing out their lives. I've yet to build my dream home so I'll have a go at that soon. It does tend to take over a bit though, and it's a never ending game.... well, it is when you turn off the aging, I leave it off mostly because I don't like to see my Sims grow old and die. If only you could turn back aging in real life.

Other news...Lucy is getting on better in school, her teacher this morning said she has actually started interacting with her peers, it's taken nearly a whole school year but she's getting there and I couldn't be happier. On the down side she's having terrible trouble with constipation. Not something I want to blog about in detail but I hate to see her suffering.

Leila is fine after our little scare. I can't believe how much she is growing up, suddenly she's stopped being a baby, she's a walking talking little person. She's a real character too, so loving and funny, a real joy to have around.

Oh, and Big Brother 10 has started, I watched them going in and thought what a bunch of weirdo's, but I'm already hooked and normally it takes at least a couple of weeks!!!

Monday, 1 June 2009

One Lovely Blog Award




I've been given this award by my Twitter friends Tracy. She is me 8 years ago :-) You can read her blog here: One With One Without

Thank you so much for thinking of me when awarding this Tracy :-)

Here are the rules:

Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

Pass the award to 10 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.

Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So here are my top ten blogs that Ive discovered over the past few weeks: (in no particular order)

A Catholic Calling

Ann's Ramblings

Dealing With The Day

Krayfish55

Brummie Blogs

Red Mummy Rambles On

The Alien Amongst You

Josianna

Working Class Hero

Waffling and More (I put this one last because it has protected updates, but this is one very brave lady and definately deserved a mention)

Monday, 25 May 2009

I Thought I'd lost my Little Girl

Today turned out to be one of my scariest ever.
It started fine, the weather wasn't as nice as yesterday but my mood was heaps better. We went shopping which was stressful because Lucy was a complete pain the whole time, but back home again everything was fine. We went out in the garden and the girls were playing happily. Leila was on a little sit-and-ride when suddenly it tipped backwards and she wacked the back of her head on the paving stone. She screamed her head off, but the wound was small and there was no blood. She stopped crying pretty quickly and was soon playing happily again.

A couple of hours later after dinner, I was doing something with Lucy when I turned around and saw that Leila was just standing there not breathing. I picked her up but then started to panic so Graham took her off me. He said he thought she was choking so he bent her over and slapped her back. Suddenly she just went completely limp, her eyes closed her lips were blue and she still wasn't breathing. I picked up the phone to call the ambulance but couldn't do it. I passed the phone to Graham and took Leila and suddenly she started breathing. Then she started moaning a little. It was just as if she was sleeping. I tried to wake her and she did open her eyes but was really drowsy.

The quick response guy came within five minutes. He gave her oxygen and checked her stats, which appeared to be ok apart from her temperature being a little high. Then the ambulance came and we went to hospital.

While in the ambulance she started to come around a little, and by the time we got to the hospital she was awake. Phew!

She was seen quickly being a baby with a head injury. Over the next few hours her sats were taken regularly, but she just seemed to get better and better, even though she was starting to feel naturally tired as it was now past her bedtime.

Then the dr told us that he believe she had had a febrile convulsion and her fit was unrelated to her head injury. I'd heard of febrile convulsions, they are quite common and my friends little girl had one recently. If it hadn't been for the fall then I would have put it down to a febrile convulsion but you can never be to careful when such a young life is at stake.

There is nothing more terrifying than seeing your small child stop breathing and go limp, I'll never forget how I felt. I really hope it never happens again.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Signing On Day

Every second Friday is Craige's signing on day. It's always stressful because he hates it. He hates having to be somewhere at a particular time, he hates having to speak to a stranger and he hates having to show what he's done to find work. He takes his time to fill in his forms to say what he's done to find a job. He doesn't really look for a job because he doesn't really want one, but if he fills in his forms well then it means he doesn't have to do much talking. He won't lie on the forms so we have to spend some time looking through the paper and on the internet to see if there are any suitable jobs. One day maybe that job will materialise, we can live in hope.

The only reason he is signing on is because we found out about a centre that helps young adults just like Craige. First they help them understand themselves, why they are the way they are, how they can control their behaviour. Then they help them think about what sort of work they could do, what they would like to do and what they are capable of doing. Finally they help them into a work situation with lots of hand holding support. We went to chat with them and both myself and Craige were really impressed (although you'd have to know Craige really well to know that he was impressed.) They told us they were willing to help Craige but they had a waiting list of 6 months and he would need to be signing on at the jobcentre to be accepted. That's why he signs on and we have to endure this nightmare every 2 weeks.

At the moment he's doing what they call intensive job hunting which means he has to sign on every week for six weeks. As you can imagine he's not very impressed with that. The stress starts on Thursday evening and continues to at least an hour after the signing. Today he didn't go. He was working up to going but just couldn't do it. I called them, but now it's up to him to call them next week and arrange a new appointment.....he has to make a phone call!!

He went to bed this afternoon and woke up early evening. He was claiming he couldn't remember the rest of the day. He is having a particularly difficult time at the moment because of his sister being away. I'm not really sure wether the problem lies in her being away, or her being with their dad. Craige was given the option to go too (he has been before) but he declined. He does miss Cassie though even though he would not admit it in a million years.

(Craige is my 21 year old son who has Aspergers Syndrome)

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Chains, France and Parties

It's been a busy week and I've wanted to blog on a few occasions but something has always got in the way. So now everything will have to be shortened to fit it all in.

First, I got a package in the post from the coroner earlier this week. It contained Sim's cross and chain that he was wearing when he died. It made me feel incredibly sad for a while, but I carried on regardless, because that's what you have to do, I'm learning that now. I've not kept the cross, my brother has already asked for it so I gave it to him. I have enough momento's. I'm keeping them all in box together with mum's. It's all I have of them now.

On Friday I took Cassie to the airport to see her off to France to stay with her dad. He lives in Port Grimaud, South of France. He's been there about 9 years now. I've never been. Although Cassie has been before I was a bit worried as this was her first time without her brother. Now between the two of them she's the one with the most sense, but he's a strapping 6 footer so I feel she's safer with him. I know he's quite capable of protecting her too. Anyway, my worry must have showed because she gave me lots of reassurance during our goodbye hug.....mmm yes, she was reassuring me, something not quite right there? Then she said 'don't worry mum, I am coming back' arrrrggghhh! I hadn't even thought about it before, but there really isn't much stopping her from staying over there and not coming home. I'll be panicking all week now.

Also on Friday it was my friend's 40th birthday party and I don't get out much so I was really looking forward to it. The day panned out great with both girls going off for a rather long 2 hour nap at 3pm. Normally I would have been in a right panic as I know that means bedtime will be delayed, but seeing as we were taking them out with us it meant I could be assured they be able to take the pace and not get all miserable on me. I was right, they were great :-) Leila fell asleep on my lap at 10.30pm without so much as a whimper and Lucy fell asleep in the car on the way home. The party was good fun, obviously I wasn't drinking but you don't have to get drunk to enjoy yourself. I was thoroughly entertained. The food was nice too (especially the cake!) The evening took a bit of a dip when we got home but I am resolved not to use this blog to complain about a certain person so that's all I'm going to say, sorry.

~But now I've been out partying I'm wanting more. I would really like to have a drink too... I guess I'd better get my little madam to give up her nursing then I'd be free to poison my own body with whatever, and she won't be needing me during the night anymore.

Wordsworth

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

Wordsworth

Sunday, 10 May 2009

35 years - The Story of a Grave

I've been to the cemetary today. My auntie has put new pebbles on it and it looked much nicer. We painted the stones around the edge to make look even nicer. I took a couple of photo's on my phone so I could send them to my auntie (to show her we'd painted the stones) and to my brother.



Then I remembered that my mum had taken some photo's of the grave the year after my dad had died, 35 years ago.





In this early photo you can see my nan and my little brother. It's ironic to think that they are both now in the grave with my dad and mum.






This is how it looks today.





And my daughter thinks I'm a bit weird doing a blog post about a grave.

R.I.P Dad, Nan, Mum and Simeon

I miss you all so much.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

France

Well, Cassie is feeling brighter due to my having booked her a flight to the South of France to visit her dad. She goes next Friday for 10 days, it will be her first time travelling alone. I know she is a little scared but I think I am more so. I just hope her dad looks after her well, I'm sure he will but he doesn't understand his kids that well, probably due to him leaving before they hit pre-pubecy. I also bought her some new clothes for the trip. I just hope she can keep up her mood because I'd hate her to dip again now before she goes.

I'm still not the happiest of bunnies. I just keep regressing back to the crying myself to sleep stage and I wonder if it will ever get any better. I do have a lot on my mind lately that doesn't help.

Lucy is causing me some concern. Her behaviour is becoming more obviously 'different' and even her teacher at nursery has started picking up things. She has all the pointers to high functioning autism. I have always wondered but now I find myself at the stage where I'm keeping a log of things ready for when I approach our GP for a referral to a child psychologist. At least this time I know what to do and what to expect. With Craige I spent 4 years denying there was anything different about him. Maybe if I'd accepted it earlier and got him help at a point where he would be more receptive I might have made a difference.

And while I'm on the subject of Craige, he really did my head in yesterday. I had to take him for an appointment at the jobcentre, something he really hates doing but has to if he wants a place on the Aspire course. So his mood is bad to begin with, but when we get there I have to parallel park on an incline with another car parked opposite half on the pavement. So I had a spot of bother, 4 attempts and one engine stall. Craige really ripped into me criticising my driving. I couldn't say anything before the appointment as it probably would have ended up with him refusing to go in so I had to bite my tongue while he barraged me with insults. Then after the interview, and I mean immediately after, he started on me again, so I told him to walk home. He didn't listen but followed me back to the car still hurling insults. When we got home he repeated his insults to Graham and Cassie before going upstairs and I was left in peace. Ahhh the joys of motherhood.

(for those that need some clarification, Craige is my 21 yr old son with Aspergers Syndrome)

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Big Dippers

No this is not going to be a blog entry about fairgrounds, I'm thinking more in terms of emotions. How can you feel so good one minute, on a real high, then suddenly plummet right back down again? And once again sleep is evading me, making me a real grump. I'm currently blaming it on being pre-menstrual, but to be honest I can't even be bothered to work out if I am actually due.

And just to make life more difficult, Cassie is on a low too. I can't bear to see her so miserable and feel so bloody useless when I try to help her. She keeps coming to me for comfort too and all I'm managing is a hug and a few reassuring words, well at least I hope they are a little bit reassuring. God I'm a crap mum sometimes. She is supposed to be weaning herself of her medication on her GP's advice. I've asked her to wait a couple of weeks but she is insisting on doing as she was told and is currently taking her medication every other day. I should point out here that she hit her low before she started reducing the meds.

So it's a happy household here at the mo.

Ok, I've wrote more and deleted three times now so I'm going to end there and come back when I've found my mojo.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

To Sleep Perchance to Dream

Something I've been a little obsessed about for a few years now is sleep, or rather my lack of it. It started while pregnant with Lucy, I had SPD and along with the heartburn and nausea sleep became very difficult. Then Lucy came along and she's never been a good sleeper, she wakes at least once per night, sometimes staying awake for a couple of hours but mostly going back to sleep within minutes. She also talks in her sleep and sometimes even shouts. She's always waking me up. To top it off she's an early riser, it used to be 5 to 5.30am but lately it's increased to 6am.... whoopidoo!

Then I got pregnant again and in between being woken by Lucy I was unable to get back to sleep because of the wonderful symptoms of being with child. Then there is Leila who has never in the 21 months of her life slept all the way through the night. She wakes two to four times a night and will only settle if I take her into my bed and cuddle her. For a while I just gave up and let her sleep with me (it's bloody cold at 2am in the middle of winter ya know) but she's now been re-introduced to her cot and spends half the night there, the other half with me.

Following my bereavements at Christmas sleep just completely evaded me. I could lie awake for hours and hours just thinking and crying. It was this time that I found the waking kids most comforting, I would actually will them awake because they eased my pain.

Now the past couple of weeks I've noticed changes. Leila still spends half the night in bed with me, but she only wakes once and is back to sleep pretty quick. Lucy still talks in her sleep but it's becoming rare that she actually wakes up now, and with the later waking time of 6am I'm finding I'm actually getting some sleep.

It makes a big difference. I find I can focus better, remember more, I get loads more done and I feel healthier and happier. Sleep really is good for you. I was getting on average 4-5 hours interrupted sleep before, feeling elated if I slept for more than 2 hours at a time. For the past few nights I've had 6-7 hours sleep and managed 4 hours uninterrupted.

And with sleep comes dreams. I didn't realise how much I'd missed dreaming. I know I probably still dreamt before but I didn't remember them. Now I'm having more lucid dreams and remembering lots. If I'm honest I've been having rather strange dreams, I blogged about the angel one but there have been more. Last night I was dragging a dead body up the back stairs of a hotel...analyse that!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Angel from the storm

I had a really strange dream last night. It started with my looking at a really huge dark storm cloud, then there was a flash of lightening and the cloud turned into an angel, not your normal white angel with wings, but I can't remember exactly what she looked like apart from white hair with a black strip at the front and blood red lips. She was huge but as she came towards me she became normal size. She spoke in a language I didn't understand but I knew she was asking me to fetch her something and that she would be back later. I have no idea what she wanted and I woke up as she turned to leave. I don't think I've ever dreamt anything like this before.

I did some research today to try and interpret the dream and although I didn't come up with anything specific this is what I found out.

Storm: To see a storm in your dream, signifies overwhelming struggle, shock, devastating loss and catastrophe in your personal affairs. The storm also represents unexpressed fears or emotions, such as anger, rage, turmoil, etc. On a more positive note, the storm signifies your rising spirituality. It could signal rapid changes ahead for you.

Angel: To see angels in your dream, symbolize goodness, purity, protection, comfort and consolation. Pay careful attention to the message that the angels are trying to convey. These messages serve as a guide toward greater fulfillment and happiness. Alternatively, it signifies an unusual disturbance in your soul.?

Now as an amateur dream interpreter this is what I'm thinking; First the storm cloud was to signal my 'devastating loss' and my unexpressed emotions. Trust me, you might think I've revealed all my emotions recently but I haven't even begun that task yet. 'It could also signal rapid changes ahead for you' this line could also be relevent as it is changes that I seek at the moment. The angel was to symbolise the comfort and protection that I am seeking. I know that I was a carer for my mum, but even when the roles change when you lose the person who cared for you throughout your childhood to do feel like a lost soul, unprotected and in need of comfort. I don't think the angel was to represent mum, more of a guide to help me through to the next stage of my life. Now, as for message she was trying to convey, well it was in a language I didn't understand, maybe it's something I have to work out, and I also have to work out what it is she wanted from me, that is the key to my future, my 'fulfillment and happiness.'

Or maybe it was just a plain simple crazy dream from my disturbed mind :-)

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Sunshine

I've been in a good mood all week. At first I thought it was a strange euphoria that was going to skip away as quickly as it came, but no I'm still feeling ok. There have been dark moments, but I've kept them to myself and managed to keep smiling for everyone else. I've even been able to go through some more boxes of stuff that I brought from mum's house. I think that's the last now.



Perhaps it's the change of weather that's helped my mood. Strange as I'm not usually a 'sun' person, but I have enjoyed spending more time outside with the girls. Also, Gray has made good progress on the garden. It's looking heaps better already but he's still got a couple of days more work. I can't wait to start planting now. I'm planning a small herb garden too, I love growing my own herbs.

I've also been getting a bit more sleep, Leila is still not sleeping through but she is getting better and spending loads more time in her cot. I want to stop nursing her before her 2nd birthday in July. I didn't really intend to nurse her this long but it just sort of happened. She does tend to use it more for comfort than anything else, which is probably where I have gone wrong, because I find it comforting too. I've tried to cut down but that's not working, so it looks like it's going to have to be cold turkey....not nice for either of us!

Just one more thing before I go. Weird things keep turning up on the grave. It's a family plot with mum, dad, nan and my brother in there so there should be no shortage of visitors, but I can't think who would put toys, ornaments, teddies, wooden crosses and tons of fake flowers on there. It's never happened before (this plot is 35 years old) so why now. My aunt called me today to ask if I knew who had been down there, but I really don't know. Maybe I should set up a surveillance system???

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Blue Skies

For the first time in ages I can actually feel the dark cloud lifting. Today I have had many positive thoughts, so different from the negative ones that I've been accomodating in my mind for so long. Finally, I can honestly say that I believe that life is for living.
I made a post back in February Can't See the Point Anymore and to be honest I've been feeling much the same ever since. Now, even though I feel I've been changed forever by my experiences I have begun to regain my positivity. Ok, we are only here for a short time, and yes that short time can be complete crap, but you have to make of it what you can. There is no time for regrets, if you want something badly enough then you have to go for it, if you don't then there is no point in complaining.
If I think about where I was 10 years ago I can see that some of my life is stagnant and there has been no improvement, but in other ways I have acheived loads. 10 years ago I would never have imagined having two more children and now I have my lovely little girls. It took me more than two years before I fell pregnant with Lucy, that was a stressful time and I really thought it just wasn't going to happen, but it did and I still remember the joy I felt when I found out. Then I had a bonus surprise when I got pregnant with Leila as I wasn't even trying at the time. I feel truly blessed and lucky to have all four of my children.
So today I have been thinking about the future, something I couldn't contemplate a couple of months ago (or even a couple of weeks ago). I believe small changes are the way to go, and that's what I'm going to do, change everything I'm not happy, but not all in one go, just one step at time. Each step will be an acheivement I can be proud of, each step something else to make life worth living again.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

In the news

After my brother's inquest last Thursday there was a piece in the local evening newspaper on Saturday. It seemed strange reading it in the paper, like it was something that happened to someone else.



I've been thinking about my grief a lot lately, about how different I feel about mum's death compared to Sim's. As I have said before, I hadn't even spoken to Sim for 10 years, right up until the point when we were in the hospital and they gave us mum's prognosis. There was no avoiding each other after that as we both wanted to spend as much time as possible with mum before we lost her. Then afterwards I did feel as though I had to offer what support I could to him. I knew how devastated he was and that he was threatening to take his own life. When he killed himself I felt shock and dismay, he was so young, he had a whole life ahead of him. He could have done so much, he had done so little. There was also the element of guilt, could I have done more to stop him? I stopped thinking of the bad things he had done, all I could think of was my baby brother that I grew up with was now gone, and gone in such a dreadful way. I lie in bed at night agonising over how desperate he must have felt, how sad his life was, how he was let down and never given the proper help he needed, how he was always despised by those he'd upset. Did he deserve it, some would say yes, some would say good riddance. I probably would have felt the same had he not been my little brother.



With mum my feelings are completely different. I feel loss like I've never experienced before. I miss her so much, I think about her all the time. I can hear her voice in my head telling me things. I long to just pick up the phone and call her, talk to her, I want to talk to her so badly. Every day, no matter what I'm doing, there are always moments when I just think of her and how much I miss her, and it hurts, it's still raw.



When she was alive I would call her every day for a chat. I would see her twice a week. Midweek, if she wasn't feeling too bad, we would go out somewhere, shopping, for a meal, or take the kids to a soft play centre. On Friday's we would go to her house for tea, generally a take out. Before we went I would do her shopping for her.

It had only been like that for about 8 months though. She'd been hospitalized last year with her emphysema and it had been touch and go for a while. I went to the hospital every day and after she came home I decided that I wanted to see much more of her. Before then we'd only seen each other a few times in a couple of years and I'd call around once a fortnight. We had been out of touch from the beginning of 2000 right up until early 2005. Then she wrote me a letter and we resumed contact. The first time I saw her was in August 2005, just before Lucy was born.
I feel sad that we lost those 5 years, but grateful for those last 8 months because I have memories to hold dear. My sister-in-law said it would have been easier for me if I hadn't grown close to my mum again, but I don't see it that way. Maybe it wouldn't be so hard now but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. If we hadn't been so close then I would probably harbour so many regrets and I'm sure that would be worse.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Simeon's Inquest

It was Saturday 3rd January 2009, the day after mum's birthday, 2 days before her funeral and 8 days after she passed away. Sim broke the little window above his bedroom door. He made a noose from the purpose bought tow rope and through it through the hole. He stood on a chair, put the noose around his neck and then kicked the chair away. It took 20 to 30 seconds for him to die.
He had taken no drugs, he had drank no alcohol, he was just depressed and determined to end his own life.
He had friends and family that were willing to support him through such a difficult time, he had people who cared. The people he worked with thought very highly of him and showed every concern. Yet he couldn't see a way forward, he couldn't see a future for himself.

It's hard to understand but even though I'd not had much to do with Sim for the last 10 years I do feel that I knew him better than most. He had problems that were often hidden from others, or if observed most certainly misunderstood. His problems were never acknowledged properly, they were not spoken about. I know that he relied only on mum, she was the only one he could trust. It's all very complicated and I carry the old family tradition by refusing to talk freely about it all, but I did try to convince them that he needed professional help years ago. Then things happened and I was pushed out of the family for a long time. When I was re-united I never felt it was my place to mention the problems again. To be honest, I couldn't talk about them. Just as I can't talk about them now.

Simeon took his own life because he couldn't live without mum, he believed she was the only person who understood him, who could help him live with his problems. In his mixed up mind he had to do what he did, he had no choice.

When someone dies like this you have all these thoughts in your mind. My nephew was hoping that he was inebriated in some way. He was the one who had found him and cut him down and he had been so traumatized he just wanted to know that it had been relatively painless. He had even convinced himself that death had been instant and that the fall had broken his neck. In my mind I was hoping he was right, so it does come as a shock when you find out that he was not drugged or drunk, he felt everything for the whole 20-30 seconds.

20-30 seconds is not a long time is it? Or is it? I've been punishing my mind by thinking in terms of 20-30 seconds all day. It can feel like an incredibly long time.

Just before his death Sim confessed to me that he believed he may have cancer, maybe it was something he feared. He did not have cancer, he was quite healthy apart from a slight thickening of the arteries from his occasional smoking and poor diet.

They time his death around 10-11am. That was a relief to me because I worried that I may have been able to help if I'd done something sooner. But I didn't realise there was something wrong until at least 5 hours later, so my delay in raising the alarm would not have made any difference. I can scrub that guilt.

Sim's last text to me was the night before he died: I've ordered a curry but I still miss mum.

He never ate that curry.

My last text to Sim: Where are you? Why won't you answer your phone?

Answer: because he was swinging from his bedroom door frame