Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Little Monsters

When Jack and Alfie disappear for more than 5 minutes and everything is quiet you can usually find them in my bathroom playing with my make-up…. This was them after they were caught painting their faces with my lipstick (Chanel!!) They immediately ran to the lounge and grabbed baby wipes to try and clean themselves up. I had to laugh at them - apparently they’d been trying to make themselves into scary monsters!!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Here’s the second part of what was meant to be a big blogging session last night, but wasn’t.

I mentioned before that I was making something for a seasonal table swap that was organised by a very lovely lady on The Green Parent forum. Well, the swap has now happened so I can reveal that my make was some knitted and felted acorns and leaves. They were really easy and satisfying to make - and I had to make some for our own seasonal table. I’ve added a couple of photos of our seasonal table with the very cute little gnome we received. Typically I have no photos of the acorns at the moment so will add them at a later date.

I’ve also added a photo of my poor wrist - it’s still bruised and sore from the arterial blood gasses test I had last weekend (thanks to A for telling me the correct name for it).

This weekend has been really Autumny - yesterday was really foggy and there is definitely that lovely Autumn smell in the air which I love. I’ve noticed the leaves have really started to change colour now as well. Did I mention I love Autumn???

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Asthma saga

This blog entry is going to be long so I’m going to do it in two sections. First of all my news from last weekend - it’s taken me this long to write it all because it’s a long story, lol And probably quite boring. But here goes anyway.

Since having the asthma attack a few weeks ago I’d been fairly ok. The week I was on anti-biotics and steroids I was fine, and the week after I was ok as well. In fact I was convinced I didn’t have asthma at all and it had just been a chest infection. I was waiting for the practise nurse (from the GP surgery rather than one who isn’t a proper nurse, lol) to ring me to make an appointment for a spyrometry test but wasn’t too worried by the fact she still hadn’t.

Then I had a bad weekend where I needed to use my inhaler 6 times but wasn’t too worried as it worked. However, on the Sunday night one of the kittens was climbing on me and that set me off, but again, the inhaler settled things down.

During the week I needed my inhaler a couple more times but only for very mild breathing problems.

On Friday morning I woke up when Craig’s alarm went off at 5.20am and was really wheezing and having trouble breathing. Despite using my inhaler I was still having problems breathing so used my inhaler every couple of hours all day until about 5 when I was having to use it hourly.

By about 10 it was getting really bad so I rang NHS direct and they advised me to double the inhaler dosage and if that didn't last for 3 hours to double it again. And if that didn't last for 3 hours I was to go to hospital. Well, it didn't work so off we went to A&E where they gave me nebulisers and a steroid injection. It didn't help so they gave me another neb.

By 3am I was so tired that I just wanted to go home and sleep (I was in a cubicle with one chair so Craig had to stand) and I felt really faint and ill. I wasn't breathing very well but as I say was soooo tired I couldn't think of anything other than sleep. They sent me home and I was asleep by 3.30am but at 5.30 woke up still not being able to breathe properly so used the inhaler again, at 6.30 I had to use it again and by 8 knew I was going to have to go back to A&E.

Off I went and was given nebs and steroids again. Breathing improved a bit and then they wanted to do a blood test that involved putting a big needle into my arm and into my artery. The doc told me it would be unpleasant and painful so I declined. They discharged me and I went round to the hospital pharmacy to collect the prescription they had given me. Before it had been handed over I was having even more problems breathing and I was getting really worried (not helped by a friend having told me that a friend of theirs had lived opposite his local hospital and had had a massive asthma attack and still didn’t get there in time and had died).

I was convinced I was going to collapse in the hospital grounds but managed to get back to A&E where there was a queue. I honestly didn’t think I’d last until I got to the front of the queue but luckily I did and the Dr I had just seen was behind the reception desk so got me straight back in. He gave me more nebs and oxygen and I said I would have the test - I lay on the bed waiting for it to start hurting and then he said “ok, all done”. I didn’t feel anything other than the needle going into my arm initially. What a fuss I made about nothing!!!! If I ever need to have it done again I will, and I’ll make sure it’s the same Doctor. I did wonder if he had just done a normal blood test but I now have a massive bruise up my arm to show he did do the artery test.

When the results came back as showing that everything was ok he asked me if I wanted to go home or be admitted. I wanted to stay in - I really didn’t want to go home only to end up back there a few hours later and he said he was pleased as he didn’t want to discharge me either but it had to be my choice.

I was taken up to the Clinical Decisions Unit and given 24 hour oxygen and 4 hourly nebulisers which helped. The following day I was hoping to be told I could go home but they wanted me in for another 24 hours in case I had a relapse.

I hated being in hospital - there was no rest the first night. They didn’t turn the ward lights off until after midnight because the nurses were still doing their rounds and at 1am and 4am Drs came round to talk to other patients - and because they were hard of hearing they had to shout and disturbed the rest of us. Then they decided it was time to wake us up before 7am.

While I was waiting for Craig to bring some things in for me so I could have a shower (the one plus point of the whole thing - our shower has been broken for weeks so I was looking forward to using the one on the ward) a head popped round my curtain to ask if I needed help having a wash. I said I was ok and just waiting for my husband so I could have a shower. “Are you sure?” Yes, I was quite sure. I had to laugh - it was one of the nurses and he was a big bloke with a bald head and tattoos up his arm.

Later on the Sunday I was moved up to another ward on the eighth floor. It was a much quieter and nicer ward to be on and had amazing views over my part of Lincolnshire. We live about 10 minutes drive from the hospital and can see it from the front of our house. And from my window when it was clear I could just about make out my house which was really exciting for me. I know, a little bit sad, but still. Craig brought binoculars in to me but the following day it was too misty to be able to see anything which was a shame.

On the Monday afternoon I was so tired I had a sleep which was disturbed by someone’s visitors arriving loudly. Getting themselves chairs loudly and then sitting chatting loudly. If you’re ever visiting anyone in hospital please consider the other patients on the ward!!!!

I got to see the asthma nurse which was really helpful. They took some blood to test to see what I’m allergic to (they took a lot of my blood over the weekend, lol. I have now got over my needle phobia I think!!) and she did the spyrometery test which I did really well on - my lung capacity is above where they would expect it to be. I have a peak flow meter to check my breathing - at the moment it’s registering around 500 whatever-they-measure-it-in which makes the 100-150 I was getting on Saturday quite scary.

I finished my course of steroids and anti-biotics on Thursday so am half expecting to have a good week then go downhill again by next weekend, but they also gave me a preventer inhaler which I use twice daily so hopefully that will keep me breathing ok and I won’t have another attack.

As the asthma nurse thought it was probably the cats that have caused the problem we have rehomed one of the kittens and are looking for a home for the other two - albeit reluctantly. What if it’s not the cats? If the blood tests show that it is then they will definitely be going.

So that was my excitement for last weekend. This weekend is proving to be far more quiet and relaxed. Ellie did her second 11+ test today (her first was last week) and Jack and Alfie went to a Thomas the Tank Engine Storytime at our local Waterstones which they really enjoyed.

I did manage to get a load of knitting done last weekend (well, there wasn’t much else to do stuck in the hospital) but haven’t managed to pick it up since. But I should have the jumper finished in a couple of weeks and then I can start making something for the new baby.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


I love September. I don’t know if it is because it’s my birthday month or that I just love this time of year. For me it always feels like a new year, more so than January 1st. Again, maybe it’s because for me it is a new year, or because of the fact it’s the start of a new school year which is always a big thing - not just when I was a child but now with five children in school and two in playschool.

September hadn’t really hit me until yesterday when I was in WHSmiths and was looking at the display of stationery while waiting for Craig to pay for Jack’s “Tractor Story comic” (actually a Tractor enthusiasts magazine but Jack seemed to fall in love with it when he spotted it and calls it “Tractor Story”. I have never seen a child as excited as he gets when we see a tractor. Good job we live in the middle of a veg growing area and that it seems to be harvest time as we can’t leave the house without seeing several dozen of the blooming things!!!)

Anyway, stationery. I love it. I love looking at it and buying it and using it. Note books, pens, pencils, rubbers, A4 ring binders, diaries, I love it all. And I miss having an excuse to buy it too.

So September time has kicked in with me and today I had the urge to clean tidy and sort the house (cue the children wishing they could hide, lol) We’ve got some tidying done which is nice, and some sorting out. Lots more to do too.

I’m so tempted to do a big move round of stuff - my sewing table and stuff, along with my craft cabinet and stuff is all in the dining room but the children are always messing with it and there isn’t enough room for it all anymore. I’ve had this crazy idea that Alfie can move into Jack’s bedroom and Ellie can move in with Millie and Sophie or Beth and I’ll convert their room into my craft/sewing room. Then all my fabric boxes that have taken over the landing can go in there too (they are multiplying a bit too rapidly as well!) Oooh, a room devoted to my stuff would be fab, but then I think about the fact there is another baby on the way and he will need a room eventually and then what do we do? I suppose we could make Jack share with Robbie and the new babe could go in with Alfie.

Or I could sell it all and have the clear space…. Um, no. Maybe not!! I just need to use up all this fabric and stuff - anyone know where I can find the time for that? Preferably on the internet as I don’t have much time for going to shops!!!

Something else that hit me today was the baby. Well, not literally the baby, but the photo. I kind of knew what an 18 week old foetus looks like but seeing those photos has really made it sink in. That is a real baby. Not just a mass of cells, or a weird alien like creature but a real baby with a real baby face. And women terminate babies of that age, probably telling themselves that it’s not a real baby yet to try and relive their guilt. How could anyone kill such a cute tiny baby? Well, I’m not going to get into the whys and wherefores but it did hit me that someone could do that and would they if they had seen such amazing photos first?

I’ve been busy with my swap items and am really enjoying making them. Definitely making some for us as well. And one of this weekends jobs will be to change the seasonal shelf to something more Autumnal as its still in spring mode (yep, I am useless at changing it!!) One problem is its not very accessible at the moment as the dining table is too close to it so we’re going to move the table slightly so we can get round there. I have lots of lovely autumnal things for the table so it will be nice to get them out again.

And I’ve nearly finished the crochet blanket. I did have a bit of an annoying moment earlier - I was looking for something in my knitting basket and found another 6 squares for the granny squares blanket all sewn together…… Am thinking of trying to add them to the one I did and making an extra couple of squares if necessary. Grrrrrr!

So much I want to do and so little time to do it!!!

Friday, 5 September 2008

Some news

Ok, I have some news. Most of you reading this probably already know but some of you may not - number 8 is on the way. We are delighted, and after having my scan today I am sooo excited about it. Babe is 18 weeks and everything is fine. Today was the first scan we have had so I was really looking forward to finally seeing him (I always refer to my unborn babies as he regardless of the actual sex as I don’t like saying “it” so don’t make any assumptions from that).

As I didn’t want to have the stress of the usual NHS scan at my local hospital we chose to have it done privately. Oh my goodness, what a difference!!! Instead of the usual long wait (of anything up to 3 hours) the consultant was waiting to greet us as we walked in the door. We went to sit in a lovely waiting room (all leather sofas and nice ornaments) instead of the hot, stuffy, unventilated crowded waiting room at the local hospital. There was a big pile of toys in the corner for the boys to play with (lots of Thomas trains and diggers so they were very pleased!!) I filled in a form and then we went into the scanning room - the boys were encouraged to bring the toys through and the consultant didn’t mind them making a noise (he has 5 children himself).

He asked us what we thought we were having and before checking anything else he had a look and pointed out the sex (and made sure we had several photos of the relevant area!) There is only one babe in there and he was moving around lots and everything is fine. We saw arms and legs, the heart beating away perfectly, the little face, the spine, the bladder, everything.

As a treat, because of the problems I have had with the local hospital and consultant, he let us have a quick 4d scan and gave us some 3d photos that are amazing. So different to the normal scan photos you get. I’d always been less than impressed with the ones I have seen in the past but it’s obviously very different when it’s your own baby because I love them and can’t stop looking at them.

The consultant that did the scan was lovely, he made us feel really special and seemed more excited than we were about the scan. It was such a lovely experience I would highly recommend them - http://www.4dscanning.co.uk/

I am now really excited about the baby - it seems real now and I can let myself believe there really is a baby in there even though I’ve felt him kicking for weeks now. Since the scan I’ve had some massive kicks and movements.

After the scan the first place we went was Mothercare to buy a few bits for the new babe which was lovely. I haven’t bought anything yet and felt guilty about it but have now made up for it with 2 blankets and a monkey.

Babe is due in February, it seems like so far away at the moment!!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Back to school

So, they’re back to school. While I am sad they’re back it’s also nice to be getting back into the normal term-time routines and getting back into seeing people again that we haven’t seen all Summer.

Millie seemed to have a good day - she came out with a big smile on her face so that’s good and her teacher had a word with Craig and said she had done really well and they’d had no problems.
I was a bit worried then when I got an email from the Learning Mentor asking to see us. I’m such a pessimist I always start thinking worst case scenarios, even to the point of worrying that they think there’s a problem at home that needs investigating or something. We went in today (otherwise it was going to have to be the end of next week) and of course it was nothing bad at all - A just wanted to talk about the School Action Plan for her for the term. She said Millie seemed to be doing really well as well so we’re fairly confident we’re going to have a good term with her.

It was also a big day for Alfie today - he started playschool!!! He was quite excited about it when we left - he carried his new bag to the car (with his nappies etc in) and went in holding Jack's hand. He obviously didn't really understand what "going to school" means but he liked the sound of it, lol When they go in they find their name card on the table then go into the registration room and post it in the letter box.

That was when we hit the first problem - he didn't want to go in so I had to carry him in and help him with the post box. He sat down with Jack and they both said "bye".We decided to wait in the room where they have the coats and things (its a Victorian school building, you go in the front door into the first room where they hang coats up and have a climbing frame, then there's the main room and a small room at the back where they do registration so they have all the children in one place when they've been dropped off (they have 4 staff in there) so there are no escapees.

I could hear Alfie crying but he was having a cuddle so we waited a bit longer and then could hear him and Jack playing in the main room so we left feeling fairly confident he would be ok.

When the boys came out at home time they were full of smiles and seemed to have enjoyed themselves (Alfie was absolutely covered in pink and red paint, I suspect they didn't manage to get an apron on him before he started, lol They know my attitude to paint on clothes is very relaxed!!!)

Jack normally never tells us anything about what he does at school but he was full of it today and Alfie was singing songs.No idea how he'll feel when we take him in on Tuesday - he'll either go in happily or scream when we get there and refuse to go in.

Jack was telling me later that Alfie had been crying because he wanted to go home and a lady had cuddled him (he doesn't seem to know the staff names) and he got all teary when he told me as if he was really upset by it which upset me because it was so sweet to see how much he cares about his brother. We didn't get a chance to talk to his key worker before we left so we're not entirely sure how it went yet but will have a chat on Tuesday (she only works Tues and Thurs).

So it seemed to be a good day - we took them to MacDonald’s as a treat afterwards. Hope they don’t expect that every day he goes in now!!!

Craig and I had a nice quiet morning - with having to go to school about Millie we didn’t have time to go and do anything so we sat and read emails and I did some of my swap (on one of the forums I’m on some of us are involved in a seasonal table swap where we all make something for an Autumn table). I’m not saying anymore than that in case my victim, sorry, recipient, reads this (and if you are reading this, not that you’ll know until after it arrives, I hope you like it as much as I am enjoying making it!!)