Tuesday, 4 March 2014

A whirlwind of a week (two weeks ago!)

I must be the only one just recovering from half term (now seems like a life time ago), we had a good time with some planned (arts and crafts) and unplanned activities (e.g. a panto) and somehow, a birthday party found its way into my diary for the Sunday before school resumption - wondering why it wasn’t done BEFORE Sunday, during the week long break!

Valentine’s Day came and went, just like that save some exchange of lovely cards, chocolate, ice-cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream.  Are we getting too old for this?  I didn’t even remember until I spotted the card with other half…and even then I was wondering what the celebration was.

I’ve found some time to go to the salon (yes, I look human and female again) and was able to sit down in a cafĂ© afterwards; alone-by myself-with me, to eat in peace.

As if I haven’t enough to worry about, I now have very sudden childcare issues, yes, dropped me in it.  Needless to say, I’m in the market to recruit another nanny.  This then brings me onto the subject of my numeracy course (“Back to school for you know who…”).  Well, considering my childcare issues just now, I had to withdraw BUT I hope to register again, when it’s more suitable to attend.  A real shame because I was finding the course very informative and interesting.

I was very excited to see the headlines about proposed cap to high fares during school holidays.  I’m still catching up (excuse me) so I’ll find out how the vote went.  I’m all for this one but wonder how feasible it will be to implement.  Who pays the difference?  I incidentally touched on this in a previous post: Our elusive family holiday, 8th February 2014).

Oh and the good news is we settled for the Ford Galaxy, my post “7 seaters with big boot space – too much for a family to ask…?.  So, watch this space for a first hand review.

I think we’ve sorted out outfits World Book Day on Thursday.

That’s all for now…more structure when I’m more focused next weekJ

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Bed-wetting at five plus

I’m not sure about this but decided to share my thoughts.

We have to wake up once a night (twice, if we’re not too tired) to take our 5/6 year olds to wee, otherwise they may wet their beds.  I’ve been wondering if this is normal for children this age.  I even spoke to the nurse last year, and was told that it is indeed normal BUT most people don’t talk about it so I wouldn’t know from friends and family.  NHS Choices says bed wetting is not a problem until, among other considerations, the child is over five years old and regularly wets the bed.  Well, mine are and yes it is becoming a problem.

So I ask, my good people, is this normal?  What age did your child/ren stop bed-wetting and if they still are, how old are they?

I’d like to get some feedback from real people so I know whether to panic any more, or not.  I’d also be grateful for any resources or tips you may have to share.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Our elusive family holiday!

Trying to find a family holiday is proving more difficult that I’d imagined, now that our children are in school.  We’d previously been able to holiday anytime, depending on our work schedules, but not anymore.

Half term is approaching and I've not managed to convince my other half that we should go on a family holiday, and certainly not abroad - not even to Disney Paris! "We can't take four young children on the train for that length of time!"  His point is that we'll be so stressed out that it won’t be a holiday.  Maybe, maybe not, SO does this mean we will not go on holiday until all our children are older?  When will that be???

"We should go to Butlins" at least there will be plenty for them to do, we'll drive so we don't have to worry about managing them on the train
(or, heaven forbid – on a plane) etc.  Fair points BUT have you seen the prices??? I looked for May Bank Holiday breaks, within the UK, and prices were well over £1,000 for six of us – and that was with a discount code!  The prices are ridiculous, especially during school holidays.  Additionally, why, oh why, do prices have to be based on four sharing?  Are majority of families made up of two adults and two children?  I know a lot of couples with three children.  We have four children, all under six years old (twins twice), so we have to pay supplements for the extra two children.  On the other hand, a family of three has to pay for four people, regardless (is this how it works?)

My suggestions: for people just starting out, “holiday packages” should be another thing to consider when planning the size of your family.  For families with pre-schoolers… be sure to get in as many holidays as possible BEFORE little ones start school.

I'll settle for a family holiday anywhere, so the search continues, and then…“wonderful wife” mode…ACTIVATED (well…just for the next few months…until the “fine, we’ll go” from other half).

In the meantime, I have to think of some ideas for the half-term.  We already registered for a family activity (arts & crafts) half-day and I think that’s probably enough for the week.  We need to have some FUN!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Hanging out with the “stranger”

I started this post before I suddenly fell ill (previous post “Against the odds…he/she baby almost made it through!”).  Yes, I’ve had a tough few days, being in hospital etc. but one thing has been on my mind…”parenting”!

My children made friends with a girl that lives in the neighbourhood and, incidentally, attends the same school as them (previous post, “
what a difference the great outdoors makes”).  She’s less than ten years old.  That day, we all played outside for a while but once it started getting too cold, I needed to take my children in.  I invited her inside but I first suggested she go home and tell her family where she was.  She didn’t - explaining that she was allowed to be out for a certain length of time and as long as she was in the neighbourhood, it was fine.

Once inside, I insisted she called home to tell her family exactly where she was.  I spoke to them and gave our address and phone number for security and in case they needed to contact her while she was here.

She’s a delightful girl and she thoroughly enjoyed her time with us, playing with my children.  She even stayed for lunch and then they played some more.  I asked what time she had to be home…”are you sure your parents won’t be worried?” etc etc etc.  Eventually, about six hours later (yes, 6 hours later), it was getting dark and I didn’t want her walking the streets alone so I took her home myself and “handed” her over to her family, just to be sure she’d got home safely.  I told them she’d had lunch etc. and she was absolutely fine with us and no trouble at all (true).  They didn’t seem fazed at all.

I was a bit surprised that they didn’t know exactly where she was and they didn’t seem bothered that she’d not returned home for lunch (did they care?).  All they knew was that she was in the neighbourhood…BUT she was in a stranger’s house!  They don’t know us, so we could be anyone.  Absolutely anyone.  I seemed to be the one trying to engage her family; calling her home when she was with us just so they knew where she was.

She’s been visiting every week but I just let her stay for about two hours – three hours max (and certainly before it gets dark because I don’t want her want her walking home in the dark).

I find it disturbing that she is allowed to be out for so many hours – on her own- without any concern about exactly WHERE she is.  Am I alone in thinking this way or does the general public feel this is normal and that I’m overacting?


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Against the odds…he/she baby almost made it through!

Wow! That's all I can say as I’ve just suffered an ectopic pregnancy!!!  How - with a coil fitted???  Seems “soldiers” and “eggies” have been working overtime!  I thought we'd done our bit for the human race (4 children) and now this!?

I was having severe abdominal pain and, following a positive pregnancy test which GP insisted on (I was adamant I wasn’t pregnant), I was immediately transferred to hospital for suspected ectopic pregnancy.  Another test in hospital and YES, definitely pregnant.  A shot out of the blue, I tell ya!

The coil was duly removed and the pain has subsided.  I’m being monitored with blood works and scans before being treated with either an injection or surgery (or neither, if results show that the pregnancy aborted spontaneously).

Much as we did not plan this (and I was quite annoyed by the positive results) it feels very hurtful to lose a pregnancy.  It’s a feeling I can’t explain.  I will find solace in the fact that I have four lovely children and God has given me all He wants for me – all that I need.

I'd like to acknowledge the wonderful NHS staff that looked after me: the out-of-hours GP that night, the ambulance crew (2 of them), the staff in the hospital, including the Gynaecologist and all the nurses in the Gynaecology Department.  I was lucky and blessed to meet such professional and compassionate people throughout my journey and I thank God.

In the words of Elton John “…And I've got all that I'm allowed.  It'll do for me, I'm thankful now…And I'm thankful, … …So thankful… I've got all that I'm allowed”.

Update, 24th January
Test results showed that the pregnancy was developing, albeit abnormally, so I’ve had a Laparoscopy and a Salpingectomy to terminate the pregnancy and remove the fallopian tube in which the baby was growing.  My husband and I both have mixed emotions; gratitude that I’m alive and sadness at the loss of our poor baby.

Time and prayers will, no doubt, heal this hurt.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

What a difference the great outdoors makes

We decided to play outside today, which we don’t really do in the Winter.  Out we went, toddlers (complete with their Bike ride-ons - will do a separate review on these ride-ons), while the rest of us just played round them. We had so much fun; we connected, we laughed, we played, we ran around (this means I EXERCISED…hehehe).  Additionally, my children made a new friend - a decent looking girl who attends the same school as them. It certainly beat thinking of where to take the children/what to do (usually indoor soft play centres) so I’ll be advocating some good old fashioned fun for children/family: playing outside, going to the park or going for walks.  Certainly better than spending too long watching television or in front of the computer/tablet/phone screens.

Off to bed, this tired mum goes.

P/s, our prayers are with Mikaeel Kular’s family.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Back to school for you know who...

Who would have thought that several years after a Masters Degree, I'd be going back to "study"...wait for it... wait for it... wait for it…Primary school Year 1 Maths?!
Well, I have!  Needless to say that I struggled with a couple of questions aimed at year 1s.  Ha ha!
Ok seriously, this is a course designed for parents of children in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2) and it's appropriately called "Keeping up with children's Numeracy" (there is also a "Literacy" course).
It's true that children are taught differently now - who knew there were so many ways to say "add" "subtract" "divide" and "multiply"?!  Admittedly, teaching is now more interesting and practical, rather than the abstract Maths lessons I had in my day.  If only I studied now, I would have been much better at Maths (she says).
Even the way the children learn to read is different; focusing on the sounds.  My children's school uses a programme called "jolly phonics", where sounds are associated with actions.  It's quite funny to watch (fun for them, so if those actions don't help them remember sounds, nothing else will)!  They’re now at the stage of putting the sounds together so fingers crossed, my children will soon know how to read.
Back to me and my course… I’m excitedly making a number fan (banana shape) and I have to find out what a "number line" is.  Yes, I've learnt a few new words that are being used in KS1 Numeracy and I'll be putting together a glossary so watch this space.  I'll let you know how I'm getting on – assuming I survive the 10 weeks duration of this course.