Sunday, 22 November 2009

How could I forget???

Aside from meeting up with Liz and Alison, the highlight of my Harrogate trip was getting several compliments on the Amy Butler changing bag I made (I took it with me for all my shopping). Having strangers comment on it made me feel really proud.
Yesterday I went to the Knitting and Stitching show at Harrogate. It’s the third or fourth time I’ve been and I usually meet up with friends from a group I’m on (we started off as sewing buddies years ago but most of us no longer have very much time for it, many of us now knit but we do have time to chat and chat. Even though I have only met most of the members once or twice, and some not at all yet, I think of them as being some of my best friends).

There were four halls of knitting, stitching and the usual unrelated stands that always seem to be at these events - fudge, miracle cleaning products, scarves etc etc. Heaven for a fan of anything to do with textile crafts. I did my usual walk round once to see what there is, decide what I want to go back for a proper look at and check out of prices. Then spent the rest of the day going back and forth from hall to hall and yes, I did spend some money.

It was lovely to meet up with my friends Liz and Alison as well - I haven’t actually met up with Alison before so it was nice to be able to put a face to the name now.

So, what did I buy???

I bought this doll kit and also another book to make some different dolls from AK Traditions They are gorgeous!! The book on the right comes from the kit - the box doesn’t really show you much.

This yarn and the shawl pin are to make a cardigan for me that appears in issue 5 of The Knitter magazine.

This pile of goodies from Oliver Twists. Now, I am ashamed to admit that I bought a bag of goodies from them a couple of years ago and I still haven’t used it….. But, I have lots of plans for this little lot (ask me this time next year how much of it I’ve used!!!!) There are silk tops, silk laps, experimental packs with all sorts of bits and pieces, felt, thread and a bag of mixed bits and pieces that I have had some ideas about dyeing. Unfortunately the colours in the photo aren't great and you can't see the real colours - the felt is different shades of pink for example, not the odd red orangey colour on the screen.

I also have to show you my charity shop bargain - I never have any luck getting bargains and am always really jealous to read about other people’s fantastic luck at finding things, so I was really chuffed to notice this in one of the charity shops in town as we happened to be passing. It’s brand new and was £30. I’ve wanted one for ages and ages but they always go for loads on eBay (if I never use it I can always sell it on there!!)

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Just got back from Harrogate. Got loads to post about (and some photos) but am far too tired tonight. However, I will share that one of these days I am going to learn a certain lesson that I am being taught at the moment. Coffee. Glove compartment cup holder. Roundabout. I shall say no more......

Friday, 20 November 2009

What a week!! It took me until tonight to post the entry I started on Sunday (and didn’t quite finish but hey ho).

On Sunday night Alfie was sick several times. Then Sophie started. We thought it was just over excitement or too much party food but kept Sophie off school on Monday. Unfortunately, by Monday morning she wasn’t the only one not well so we had all but one of the children at home.

Sophie had a lovely birthday, she loved her presents especially her “in a line skates”. Normally the children open their presents when they get home from school if their birthday is a school day. The reason for this? Because we’re useless parents and usually only get round to wrapping their presents up just before we go to collect them from school. This has obviously not gone unnoticed by the children and several times through the morning Sophie asked if we had wrapped her presents yet….

Being even more useless parents we decided on an even easier option and wrapped them in play silks instead. She didn’t mind fortunately.

At school all the children (all 60-odd of them) are into either Match Attax football cards or Gogo crazy bones, umm, thingies. Sophie strangely likes the football cards and got this years folder and several packs of cards to go in it (after searching everywhere for them for days both Craig and I found them and bought her 10 packs only to discover that the other one had got some too…) We think it’s hilarious that she calls all the players by their first names - her favourite is Tim.

So, Tuesday I went into work and felt fine until after I got home when I started being sick too. I didn’t get much chance to rest as Craig had an op on Wednesday so I had to be up to take him there for 8 and then look after the children - all of them were at home ill (they had gone back to school on Tuesday).

Fortunately Craig recovered really quickly so I didn’t have to look after him too much. I’m not much of a nurse at the best of times, let alone when I’m ill.

I was meant to be going to a Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate today but have decided to go tomorrow. I’ve actually got a list of things to be looking out for this time - normally I go to these things without one and regret it, so I am prepared!!

Want a laugh? When I left work on Tuesday I got a drink to take home with me - a grande black coffee (Xmas blend - gorgeous, get it while you can!) - and sat it in the cup holder in my car. You open the glove compartment and the cup holder is in the flap. On the first roundabout I went round the bloody thing fell over and tipped into the glove compartment completely soaking everything in there (including all my important car documents) and now my car smells of coffee but not in a pleasant way. Argh!!

I’m sure more happened this week. I’m still feeling off my food which is no bad thing - I’ve lost about 6lbs as well which I am not going to complain about.

Posted 5 days late.....

When you have lots of children some things don’t get much of a reaction beyond “oh dear, chicken pox again, hey ho”, however some things are still exciting and new - Amos has finally worked out how to move forwards and I think he is just the cleverest baby on the planet (just as they all were when they finally worked out how to move). I hesitate to call it a crawl - he doesn’t get up onto his hands and knees yet, he only uses one leg and drags the other one behind him, almost as if he’s got a limp. Combined with rolling he can now get to wherever he wants to be (especially the plugs under the TV unit) It’s hilarious to watch, but don’t worry, I won’t inflict a video of him doing it on you, lol

Tomorrow we have another birthday, this time Sophie’s. We invited her friend from her old school to come over for the day and she had her birthday tea today. I got home from work just in time to see her blowing out the candles on her cake which I was glad about. I’m working again tomorrow so I won’t see much of her before she goes to bed.

I’m really enjoying the job. It’s nice to get out of the house and dare I admit that when I’m there I don’t think about the children (unless somebody asks me a question about them). It’s so nice not to be “muumuum” for a few hours and I think it probably doesn’t even occur to many of the customers that I have children (and certainly not 8 of them!!) I did get asked today if I have to do all the cleaning at home - here’s another terrible confession for you. I probably do more cleaning at work than I do at home.

Did I mention my electric blanket? If you haven’t got one then I highly recommend it. To get into a lovely (very) warm bed is just bliss. I can’t believe it’s taken us so long to get one. I think we’re going to have to get the children one each now.

Thank you to everyone for the comments on my last post and also for the ones on my post about depression. Unfortunately they disappeared when I changed the comments moderation settings but I did read them all. One thing I forgot to mention on that post was that when you have one of those bad days sometimes it can help to think “oh dear, I’m having a bad day today” rather than “oh no, my depression has come back, I’m so low, how long am I going to feel like this”? If you can accept that some days will be bad but not necessarily all of them sometimes it can help (I know sometimes even thinking positive doesn’t help, and sometimes you just cannot think positively at all no matter how hard you try). If you’ve been lucky enough not to have ever been depressed please believe me when I say it’s not as simple as “pulling yourself together”, if it was then there would be no need for psychiatrists and psychiatric units. The lowest depths of depression are not where we choose to be, honestly.

Changing the subject entirely, does anyone want some nappy patterns? I can’t remember exactly what I’ve got but there’s a Cuddlebuns, Poochies, Poopockets (2), Honeyboy home and some more that I have forgotten off the top of my head. £20 or reasonable offer for all of them. Email me if you’d like them.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Who are you?

I occasionally look at the live traffic feed for this blog to see who is visiting (and where from, and also where they've gone once they've visited) and there seems to be a lot of people from all over the place, so, who are you? :-) I would love it if you said "hello" and told me who you are, where you're from and if you have your own blog leave the address.

I was particularly interested to see a reader from Braintree in Essex had visited - we used to live there many years ago, it's where Craig is from and the two oldest children were born there, so please let me know who you are, I'd love to say hello and see if we know the same people etc.

It's lovely to think so many people read my witterings, lol

I'd also be interested to know if the traffic feed is actually accurate - one blog I go to has one and it says I'm from all sorts of different places around the country, but never actually where I am from. Very strange!

Anyway, come and share a virtual cup of coffee with me again soon.

Typical! I started blogging a bit more regularly and then had a problem with my laptop. I couldn’t use it for a couple of days and yesterday it had loads of virus checks etc done on it but now it seems to be working ok. One of the problems was the typing was really really slow. I’d type a sentence and half an hour later it was still slowly appearing on the screen. The slightly bizarre answer was to remove the battery. Might be a useful bit of info to squirrel away in your mind in case it happens to you!

One thing I was going to blog about was my rekindled love of New Order. I really got into them way back in the 80s. No one else as school was into that kind of music (I was also a massive Pet Shop Boys fan and it was due to them that my life ended up going the way it has) the other girls were mainly into whichever boy-band was big at the time, Bros, New Kids on the Block, remember them? I hated boy bands although I did go in for the grolsch bottle tops on my shoes look.

I grew up in a smallish town just outside of Manchester so was there for the “Madchester” thing. I wasn’t really into all that kind of music though, I much preferred electronic dance music. I recall buying New Order 12” singles from the second hand record stall in Afflecks Palace. Of course I went to the Hacienda as well (all the while hoping to catch a glimpse of Barney and co but I never did). I’d listen to my New Order (and PSB) Cds on the bus to college as well as in my room all the time.

I’ve had a couple of the newer NO Cds in the car for a while now but hadn’t listened to the old ones for years, however I googled Bernard Sumner to see what he’s up to now and discovered loads of New Order videos on You Tube which made me get the old Cds out and listen to them again.

Bernard, by the way, is in a new band called Bad Lieutenant, and in case you’re wondering, no, it’s not a coincidence that one of my fave singers shares a name with my youngest babe.

I started writing this a few days ago, lost half of it (which I couldn’t be bothered to write again so you’ve got the short version) and then didn’t have time to finish it. Since then we’ve had to take the car in to the dealers to be fixed - exhaust and brakes - so we’ve only got one car at the moment (they didn’t have a courtesy car available, they never do when we need one!) Luckily the older three all get buses to and from school, but typically the one day that they really needed to be on the bus the blooming thing broke down and they needed picking up.

Today while I was at work I saw something so stupid I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing. Our store is in a Tesco and we’re next to the checkouts. At one of them was a man holding a little boy of about 2 years, and to entertain him (I’m assuming) he had put a carrier bag onto his (own) head, right over his face. What kind of idiot does something like that???? Does he not realise that children copy what they see??

No news otherwise. It’s Sophie’s birthday on Monday and I’m working. I just hope I don’t miss her blowing out her candles. I think we’ll let her open her presents before she goes to school so I don’t miss that.

That will do for now I think. Hope your week is going well and that you have a good weekend.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

I’ve suffered from depression for a looooong time. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started but I am sure I was a child, maybe even as young as 7 (or possibly even younger). Was it inherited? Or was it my childhood? Or a bit of both? I guess I will never know, but whatever it is that caused it it’s blighted my life since. Having babies hasn’t helped it and I have had PND to varying degrees after most of my children.

After Ellie I was in a real mess and was suicidal, then after losing a baby in 2003 I was severely depressed right through until the end of 2006. I will never forget kissing my 18 week old baby goodbye as I decided I was going to sit at the end of my road until a lorry came thundering past and I was going to pull out in front of it. Of course, I didn’t, I was stopped before I could but I really was going to do it.

Looking back I am obviously very glad I didn’t. I never want to get to that point again, and I hope I never will.

The point of this isn’t to depress you, it’s to give you hope if you’re suffering at the moment. I’m not going to say “I know how you feel”. I don’t. Just as no one else knows how I felt. I believe that everyone’s depression is different, no one else can know what it’s like for someone else, other than it’s hell. I know a lot of people are anti anti-depressants but you know, if they make you feel better and get you through the lowest times what’s the problem?

When the HV was here to do the children’s checks the other day she asked me to fill in one of those PND forms. She’s kept a close eye on me since she’s known me because of my depression and has been really supportive. She was amazed and really pleased that for the first time I got the lowest score possible (in the past I’ve had the highest score possible). Life is good at the moment. It’s not perfect. Far from it. There’s upheaval ahead but you know, things could be worse.

There is light at the end of that tunnel if you’re able to accept the help out there. Reach out and take it. If not for yourself, do it for your children.

A turning point for me was standing in the shower one day getting upset about a friend who almost died during a routine operation. I cried for her little girl who was almost left without her mummy. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks - that was exactly what I was planning to do to my own children. Wow, what a slap in the face that was!! I know that when you are at the lowest point you cannot see that anyone would b bothered if you died, but you would be very surprised just how many people would be upset outside your own family, and think what it would do to your children and other half (if you have them).
Do you ever get the need for an overhaul of life? An urge to get rid of all the clutter not only within the home but also in your life - the commitments you’ve made that actually you don’t want to be tied to anymore because your family is more important or because you’re not so interested anymore, the people in your life (or on your Facebook page, lol) that you don’t get so much pleasure out of being with, that you go away from meeting feeling negative, all that kind of stuff?

I’m having one of those phases at the moment. A couple of years ago I weeded out the people in my life that I don’t want to spend time with anymore. I only spend time with people I like, that leave me feeling positive, that I enjoy the company of. I have periodic culls of my Facebook friends list (could do with another one, there are still people on there that I have no idea where I know them from). I recently deleted a load of blogs from my feed list that I don’t want to read anymore (I’m sure I have been deleted from other people’s lists of feeds too, and you know, that’s fine. Seriously, life is too short to read a blog you’re no longer interested in).

I no longer take on commitments such as joining committees etc - I’ve done it too often in the past, and ended up with too much on my plate. I quite like not having to go to meetings anymore. I’m seriously hoping my children don’t announce to their teachers “my mum can sew” when it comes to school play costume making time in a few weeks……

I’m feeling the need for a big overhaul of my diet at the moment too. I know it’s not healthy at the moment. I’m doing Weightwatchers and I love the fact you can eat what you like. But, I am tending to eat really unhealthily. Some days I haven’t managed to have enough points so I end up having biscuits or cake or whatever to make it up. I keep a food diary and looking through it there is so little fruit and veg it’s awful (and embarrassing when my trainer at the gym looks at it!!) I also think wheat and sugar are causing me problems as my stomach just doesn’t seem to be shrinking and I can feel myself bloating when I eat them, but it’s hard to find other things to eat instead. I need to spend some time sitting down and making some meal plans or just coming up with some new ideas. Working in a coffee shop doesn’t help much though as it’s so easy to grab a muffin or a sandwich on my break (we do have things like houmous with veg sticks that I could have instead of course but cakes are so much nicer aren’t they???) And having access to as many toffee nut lattes as I can drink in 6 hours isn’t helping much at the moment either, lol (it’s not helping with my sleep either as I discovered last night when I was still awake at gone three am!!!)

I’ve been drawn to the raw food diet for years now - I give it a go for a few weeks then drift away from it for a few months before going back to it again. I’m finding myself wanting to go back there at the moment, or some sort of version of it anyway. I love juices as well, but not so much the hassle of cleaning the juicer afterwards (which admittedly isn’t that much hassle really). I think I’m going to give it another go soon, cut out the sugar etc (anyone know if maple syrup is ok to have instead?) Coffee is a hard one to cut out mind you. When we empty the drip machines at work (they’re emptied and fresh coffee is brewed every hour) I always grab a cup and “catch some of that instead of wasting it” and I get laughed at “oh, you and your coffee!!” How will I go without my coffee fix???

I really need to do something about my diet. I’ve lost almost a stone with WW (we went to Frankie and Benny’s today though so I’ve probably put some of that back on!!) and I’m going to the gym but I’m just not seeing the results I want as quickly as I want. I know it took me months to put the weight on so it’s going to take months to get rid of it and I know it’s not healthy to lose it all very quickly, so I’m not looking to drop the remaining weight overnight, but I want slightly faster results than I’m getting and I want to be doing it healthily and not topping myself up with cakes, biscuits and nachos.

I suspect if I could get the problem foods out of my diet my stomach would look less huge than it does, it’s just working out what they are and finding alternatives where necessary. One thing I did cut out of my diet a couple of months ago was Pepsi Max. We were drinking at least a 2 litre bottle a night between us and I haven’t missed it - Craig’s got a glass at the moment and I’ve had some of it and now have a weird burning sensation in my stomach. If it has no calories and no fat what the hell is in it???? (Rhetorical question by the way, I don’t need to know).

Ok, I’m rambling now. Any book recommendations, hints, tips etc for overhauling my diet and eating really well would be most appreciated. Thank you J

I want to have another big declutter and get rid of even more stuff. I’m sure I will do before Christmas.

In other news - hmm, well, not a lot to report. Sophie and Jack are going to be in their Christmas play. I have no idea what it is, but Sophie is a teacher and Jack is going to be a teddy bear (aww, so cute). Robbie and Ellie finally got their school bus passes and got the bus home for the first time last night. Theirs arrived at the stop at the same time as Bethany’s (they come from opposite directions) so they all walked home together. It’s going to make life a bit easier if we don’t have to pick them up as we have to sit and wait for 20 minutes for them. We’ll still drop them off as it’s on the way to the primary school.

Because we went to Spalding this afternoon we ended up getting to school really late for the pick up, and we were in my car so not enough room for everyone. Craig dropped me at the school and went home to swap cars while I walked with the children down to the shop for their Friday treat. It was so lovely being able to walk with them. Yes, it’s a blooming busy road but when there was a lull in the traffic you could hear the sheep baa-ing in one of the fields, and we got to stop and say hello to a mother horse and her foal that we drive past every day. I am now wishing we lived close enough to school to be able to walk every day.

Today was Takeover Day. Robbie applied to be a teacher at his school and for one day only he was an English teacher. He seemed to enjoy it, but found it a bit nerve-wracking. What a great opportunity for all the children who were able to take part all over the country.

May I have a small boast? Hey, its my blog I’ll boast if I want to, lol We got the termly reports from Robbie and Ellie’s school today - Ellie is way above where she should be in art - she’s meeting the targets of a year 9 pupil, not bad for her first term in year 7 (for those of us too old to understand all this year 9 nonsense, year 7 is what we know as first year, year 9 is third year). Robbie hasn’t inherited the IT skills gene mind you much to Craig’s shame, lol

Amos had his 8 month check on Wednesday - he’s 18lb now, still only on the 25th centile for weight, but above the 50th for length. Hopefully he’s going to be lucky and always be tall and skinny. Alfie, on the other hand is the opposite - on the 25th centile for height and up on the 91st for weight. Poor kid. He’s way ahead of where he should be developmentally - he can already write his name and “Jack” and “mum”, writes numbers, knows most letters, all the colours etc. The HV was very impressed with him. We don’t sit him down and teach him stuff, he’s done it all by himself, probably helped by watching the others writing and drawing. He does sometimes get the letters the wrong way round “Alife” instead of “Alfie” and I don’t know whether to correct him and risk putting him off if he’s enjoying doing it (which he obviously is if he’s choosing to write) or whether to leave it and let him correct himself when he’s a bit older.

Can’t think of anything else at the moment. Craft wise I’ve done nothing more than a few rows of my sock. I did buy a pot of embossing powder today after a child that I suspect may just be Alfie tipped 4 pots of it out on the dining room carpet the other night. I was not impressed! I also bought a pack of brads that I couldn’t resist. I did manage to resist buying the most gorgeous scrap booking papers and embellish on The Snowman theme (the Raymond Briggs Snowman). They are just so lovely and I soooo want them but I just don’t know when or if I would actually use them. I really want to do some scrap booking….. Maybe on Sunday when the dining room is tidy enough for me to get my bits out.

I really hope my crafting mojo is coming back!!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

I'm a rubbish mummy sometimes. Yesterday was Jack's 5th birthday (or if you asked him how old he was going to be "one hundred and zero") and I managed to not see him all day. I hadn't managed to get to sleep until the early hours so Craig got up with the children and took them to school leaving me to get a bit of sleep, then I went to work and was asked to stay later to help get all the Christmas stuff out and set up. I didn't realise how long it would take us so by the time I got home he was in bed.

I missed him opening his presents, his "party" (with as many children as I have you don't need to invite anyone else round, lol) and him blowing out his candles. Apparently he loved all his birthday presents and was delighted with everything.

I won't be making that mistake again.

Monday, 2 November 2009

November already??!!

Last week was half term. It flew by, not helped by me working on several days of it. We did virtually nothing. I had planned to make Christmas cards with the children but didn’t get round to it. Again. This is the third year I haven’t got round to it. Maybe we will one weekend.

My dad came to stay for a couple of days. It was hard work and to be honest I don’t want to say too much about it. The only word to describe it I think is: hmmmm.

Do you get the feeling I am not my usual self? I’m not. I’m not depressed, I’m just a bit blah about things. Had some bad news last week which I will share at some point soon, but not just yet.

I did carve the pumpkin for Halloween. Could he be any friendlier?
A wouldn’t go near him and kept telling me he was scary. I think he’s sweet and his candles have been lit every night since and will be until he starts to go a bit soft. I made soup from the insides - it was a bit (very!) bland so I added curry powder to it. J decided he wanted to plant the seeds so off he went with a bowlful of them - I wonder if any will actually grow?

I’ve been going to the gym lots - the weight is coming off slowly. Too slowly for my impatient self, but I keep reminding myself it didn’t go on overnight so it won’t come off overnight. I managed to fall over in the gym today - very embarrassing. There is a definite difference though - the belt on my jeans used to fasten on the second hole, now I can fasten it on the fifth (and without cutting off my air supply!)

Couldn't resist posting this photo of the baby taken by J.

I had some other stuff I wanted to write but of course I can’t remember it now.

Have you ever thought that you had things sorted out, that you were on your way to achieve a plan and then the rug gets pulled from under your feet and you have to rethink things? That’s where I am right now.

Tomorrow is J’s birthday - he is adamant he is going to be “a hundred and zero”. I had to write it on the calendar instead of “5”. I love his sense of humour. S is going to be 7 in two weeks. I’m not going to say the obvious about time. She is going to be a very happy little girl when she opens one of her presents although I’m not so sure we’ll be quite as pleased about it, lol

Anyway, I am going to take my miserable self off to bed and get some sleep. Hope you had a good weekend and have a good week or so until I write again.

Take care.