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Why…..

can I not get myself motivated to get stuff done?

I’m sat here with the list of things that need doing, going round and round in my head, making me feel guilty for not doing them yet still, I sit.

The bathroom needs cleaning, the girl’s room needs tidying, our bedroom needs clothes folding and putting away as well as a general tidy and the carpet needs hoovering. The hall, stairs and landing need hoovering, the living room needs tidying, the dishwasher needs filling and the cooker needs cleaning, the wood outside needs painting, the kitchen table and chairs need sanding and re-painting, the bookshelf in the hall should have been sanded and painted to match the drawers when I did the drawers earlier this year, Ella’s patchwork quilt needs finishing and I need to shower.

For once, the cleanest room in the house is Aiden’s room! He’s trying really hard to keep it clean and we’re very proud of him for making such an effort 🙂

The reason it’s got so bad is because I’ve not kept on top of it.
I like to tidy everywhere in a morning as soon as Ant’s taken the girls to school. I know that if I do it every morning, it’ll take me half an hour to an hour and the rest of the day is my own until the kids come home.
When I don’t do it every morning, it builds up and now it’s going to take me the best part of a day to get everything done and knowing this, makes it  harder to get started in the first place.

The thing that annoys me most is the fact that I know how lovely it is to sit here in a clean and tidy house yet this week I’ve let it get the better of me.
I did suffer with a with a couple of headaches at the start of the week which is when it started to slide but I was fine yesterday and I still didn’t get anything done.
I’ve got the kids home this weekend and I don’t want to spend it tidying up so I’m now going to shower then I’m going back outside to finish painting the wood. That will ensure it’s ready for Ant the next chance he gets to work in the garden and tomorrow I’m not even going to switch the laptop on until all the house is clean, tidy and smelling lovely!

Mummy bloggers

No, it’s not yet another post banging on about the rights and wrongs of mummy bloggers in general.
It’s a post about my mum and how I wish blogs would have been available to her as I was growing up.

I’ve just been reading a very emotive blog post from Mocha Beanie Mummy and one of the comments, by ‘Anon’ simply stated “I hope to god your children never read your blog”.
It made me wonder what kind of things I would have read from my mum as we were growing up.
I didn’t have a great relationship with her when I lived at home (funny how that childhood house will always be home, even when you have your own home, husband and children!) and during my teenage years, I often felt she resented me but I didn’t know why.
Of course, I didn’t ask her if my feelings were true and if they were, why did she feel that way? I just became mouthy and judgemental, as teenagers tend to do, and made the relationship worse.

I wonder, if she had written a blog, would it hurt me now, as a 35 year old mum to three children, to read that sometimes she wished she hadn’t had me or that she despised me?
In all honesty, I don’t think it would.  I know about depression now. I didn’t back then and I understand how it makes you feel things that aren’t true. I know now, as an adult, that my mum loves me and no matter what she felt back then, it was because she suffered from depression and none of those things she felt are a true reflection of her feelings for me and my siblings.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the hurt I felt back then can still sting sometimes but at least now I know why those things happened. It makes it easier to deal with when you understand the reasons behind an action.

One example of an event that happened when I was about 13 I think, worked to drive a wedge firmly between my mum and me.
Mum and dad’s friends were visiting with their two children. Usually, we got on really well and we’re great friends but this day, for some reason we had a falling out. I have no idea what the problem was now but it was probably something very insignificant, as most childhood quarrels are.
Dad was out and the other adults were in the house having a cuppa. I was outside with the two children and the boy went to kick me. I didn’t fight back, I just grabbed his leg to stop him from kicking me but unfortunately, the action caused his other leg to slip a bit and the hole for the drainage pipe was right next to his foot. His foot went in the hole and he shouted in surprise as he fell over.
What seemed like a split second later, all hell broke loose. He was crying, I seem to remember his sister shouting at me (could be wrong but it did feel like the whole lot of them were shouting at me!), his mum came rushing to the door with a furious look on her face asking what I’d done to him and my mum came rushing to the door shouting as well (can not remember to this day anything she said because I was so overwhelmed).
Even though the question ‘what did you do?’ was being shouted at me, not one of them let me answer and try to explain that I was stopping him from kicking me and it was an accident that he’d fallen. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone, I just didn’t want to get hurt myself.
It ended with my mum dragging me to the bottom of the stairs and hitting me as we went. I was stuck at the bottom of the stairs until she stopped and screamed at me to get to my room.
Even now as I’m writing, I can feel the tears welling up at the injustice of it all. I spent what felt like hours sitting in my window waiting for my dad to come home.
I remember the visitors leaving and they looked up at me in the window. The girl looked like she felt sorry for me, the boy looked pleased (well he was a child and a boy, what else could I expect!) and I don’t think the parents looked but I can’t be sure.
This did happen over 20 years ago so my account of the whole story may be totally inaccurate. The others may remember it differently because people view and interpret things in different ways.
I was still quietly sobbing when my dad pulled up on the drive. He waved to me then noticed that something was wrong.
He came upstairs and I just fell into his arms and broke into huge gut wrenching sobs. He was the only one who listened to my side of the story that day and in my 13 year old mind, he was my hero.
I think, though I can’t be sure because I didn’t witness it, that the whole situation caused a lot of friction between my mum and my dad and from that day, the relationship between my mum and me went from bad to worse.
I felt guilty because I thought it was my fault that they weren’t happy with each other anymore.
Looking back, I don’t think that event started the downward spiral of their marriage but in my young mind, it was when I started to notice that things between them seemed to get more and more strained.

I do remember times, after that, when they seemed happy and my dad would grab my mum and hug her and I’d think everything was ok again but it didn’t last.
When I was about 16, my mum and dad were going through what seemed like one of the worst of the bad times and late at night, I heard my mum in her room, crying to herself.
I went in, sat beside her and tried to put my arm around her. I asked her what was wrong and all of a sudden she started shouting, ‘don’t come in here pretending you care. I know you’re taking your dad’s side, if he leaves, you’ll go with him’.
She said more but I honestly can’t remember what she said. I was shocked at first then I started getting angry. I shouted back, ‘why do you think I’m taking my dad’s side eh? I know he loves me. He tells me and shows me all the time. When did you last say you loved me? I don’t actually remember if you’ve ever said it and meant it’.
At this point, my dad came upstairs and sent me to my room, not as a punishment, just to diffuse the situation. I was crying and felt all hard done too again because in my mind, she was being unfair.

When I left home a couple of years later, things started to get better between us
We were still a little wary of each other but slowly bridges got built and hurt feelings got buried.
I was visiting her one day and looking through a drawer to find something I’d left there, can’t remember what it was now, when I came across a notebook. One of those small ones with a paper cover. Nothing was written on the outside and I flicked through it.
It turned out to be a diary of my mums from a few years before.
I know I shouldn’t have read it and I didn’t read it all but the first line caught my attention; my mum had been advised by her doctor to write things down to help with her depression. I found out she’d been on anti depressants and suddenly, all those years of feeling like my mum never loved me, made sense. I understood now why she acted the way she did and from that day, I forgave my mum for everything I felt she had ever done wrong to me.
I worked on building our relationship to the wonderful one we have now and I’m happy to say, we no longer have any problem showing each other our love.

If my mum had been able to write a blog (as opposed to a diary which still makes me feel guilty for reading even the tiniest bit of it) and I was old enough to read and understand the way she felt at the time, would we have had a better relationship?
I’m sure if mum had been able to explain to me why she shouted at me when I didn’t feel it was deserved, and why I felt she was pushing me away when I needed a cuddle and reassurance that I was loved, I’d have been much better equipped to deal with it all.

I’m now a mum to an eleven year old boy, a six year old girl and a 4 year old girl and sometimes I get in moods where everything they do annoys the heck out of me.
The thing is, if I’m honest, it’s not actually them that’s annoying me. On a day that I’m moody, things that wouldn’t normally be any sort of a problem, become huge and make me angry. I don’t know why it happens and the moods only come every now and then. I wouldn’t say I’m depressed because I’m usually feeling fine and can cope with everything.
When they do come though, I don’t usually get any warning.
I snap at them, I start storming around shouting and I know it scares them when I get like that.
It’s really hard to stop when it starts and it makes me want to cry with frustration because I know I don’t want them to feel unloved and like I’m pushing them away but my actions are the opposite of my true feelings and I’m powerless for a while to make myself stop.
My head is saying, stop now, cuddle them and make it all better but it’s a huge battle in there between the voice of reason and the anger.
So after my experience with my mum, I’ve started to explain to them how I’m feeling and how sometimes, I have no control over it.
I tell them that I love them, no matter how much I shout and snap and whenever I can, I apologise and tell them I was wrong to have behaved that way towards them.
Obviously, it’s easier to explain to Aiden and he understands more but KayCee’s starting to understand now and Ella just needs lots of love and hugs to make her feel better when I’ve upset her. Luckily, none of them hold a grudge, yet, and apologies, hugs and kisses make up for all that I’ve done.

I hope, when my children are older, they’ll see this blog and know how hard I work to make them know, in their hearts that I love them with every little part of me, contrary to the actions made by me on bad days.

While reading Mocha Beani Mummy’s post, I wasn’t judgemental at all but I did wonder if I could be that brutally honest out in the open like that and at one time, the answer would have been no.
I felt children should be protected from adult issues but after examining my relationship with a mother who suffered from depression, I now know that honesty is the way to go.
My husband has been through an emotional rollercoaster in his life and had to deal with depression, two baby girls dying and his wife dying, leaving him with six remaining children to raise.
He’s a firm believer in telling children the truth and helping them deal with it rather than trying to shield them from it. He’s learnt from experience that this is the best way to deal with tough situations and I’m going to make sure I stay close to my children and remain honest with them.

Thank you Mocha Beanie Mummy for your honest and thought provoking post and big hugs to you xx

School uniform

I’m usually better organised than this. I tend to buy the uniforms at the start of the holidays so I don’t have to keep facing the ‘sorry, out of stock’ notice when I try to buy anything.
I’m way behind and this year, Aiden’s starting secondary school so he needs everything brand new.
The prices are astounding and I’m praying (not usually one to pray so it’s probably not going to do any good!) that we win the lottery tomorrow so I can afford school uniforms for three of them.

Thankfully, KayCee and Ella are at the same school and the embroidered cardigans we bought from the school last year are really good quality and they’ll be able to use them again this year.
The ones from ASDA however, are not good enough to use again and to be honest, I wasn’t very pleased with them after the first wash.
Now, I’ve been a loyal ASDA customer for years and usually swear by their clothes but the red wool cardigans we bought last year never looked the same once they’d been washed. They were also a night mare to iron and as Ant and I both dislike ironing, we knew we weren’t going to go through that again for another school year!
This means we’ll have to buy them each 2 new school cardigans in September when the school opens again because I’m not prepared to trust that the Tesco ones will be any different to the ASDA ones.
I did wonder whether it would be worth it buying 2 cheap ones from Tesco on the off chance that they’ll be better but then I figured, I already know the school ones are good and even though they cost about double the Tesco ones, it’s worth it if I don’t have to buy more next year.

I’ve just done a comparison of prices between Tesco and ASDA for the girl’s clothes. This is purely for my own information, I’m not affiliated with either company.

To buy:

2 coats
10 pairs of ankle socks
6 pairs of tights
1 pair of shoes (Ella already has a pair that we bought for KayCee last year but found they were too small)
12 polo shirts
3 trousers
6 skirts

from Tesco costs £87.50 with free delivery and £10 off at the checkout for orders over £40 so the real total is £77.50.

To buy:

2 coats
16 pairs of ankle socks
6 pairs of tights
0 pair of shoes (non available in KayCee’s size)
12 polo shirts
3 trousers
6 skirts
14 pairs of pants

from ASDA is £86.50 with free delivery to our nearest store and no discount at the checkout.

So from ASDA I get 6 extra pairs of socks and 14 pairs of pants (I didn’t bother with the pants from Tesco because I knew they were cheaper at ASDA and we can pick them up any time) but no shoes and pay £10 extra.

It’s a no brainer….I’ll be ordering from Tesco (just as soon as that lottery wins comes through!!) for the girls clothes.

Now for Aiden’s and to say I’m dreading this would be making the understatement of the year!

Tesco

1 coat-
2 pairs football shorts-
2 white t-shirts-
5 white shirts-
1 blazer
1 pair swimming trunks
1 pair shoes-
3 pairs sports socks
3 jumpers-
5 pairs of trousers-

Total cost, £78.45 with free delivery

ASDA

1 coat
2 pairs football shorts
2 white t-shirts
5 white shirts
0 blazer
0 swimming trunks
1 pair shoes
0 pairs sports socks
3 jumpers
5 pairs of trousers
8 pairs black socks

For the astounding price of £91.50 and free delivery to our store.

I still have to get his embroidered school blazer (£20.99) and school tie (£3.99) so it’s Tesco all the way for uniforms this year.

The offer of £10 off if you spend over £40 is probably only available once so the total cost of uniforms for this year comes to the grand total of……drum roll please!!

£189.93 *sharp intake of breath*

Oh, nearly forgot….this doesn’t include the new school cardigans I have to get in September so you can add probably £20 to the total :'(

All I have to do now is wait for a cheque to clear and hope everything is still in stock when I place the order.
I wish I hadn’t started this post because now I’m all depressed at the amount of money we have to spend. I also have to check out our budget and try to make savings somewhere so we have some spending money for our holiday in October.

In the meantime, I’ll keep praying for that lottery win!!! (can’t believe no one told me I’d written pottery win instead of lottery win!)

 

Brit Mums – What’s in your handbag

I joined Brit Mums today after seeing a post on a friend’s blog about the contents of her handbag.
Here are the contents of my handbag:

Not much in there as I hardly ever use it to be honest!
There’s my Sony e-reader, Anais Anais perfume, soft and gentle deodorant, a nearly empty purse!, one 2nd class stamp, painkillers, two old prescriptions from the opticians, a few old Tesco and Asda receipts that don’t need saving, a piece of kitchen towel and a token from an arcade in Mablethorpe when we went on holiday last October!
Told you I didn’t use it very often! 🙂

Aiden’s room….not done.

I intended to clean his room, I really did!

In my defence, I have been working all day and by 5pm, my brain had turned to mush.
Which is the reason this is going to one of the shortest blog posts I’ve done!

I’ve been working on a website and while I love doing the design work, setting up the shop takes a lot of concentration.
I planned to work on it some more when Ant got home but after dinner, I was shattered and we’ve just relaxed in front of the tv all evening.

I plan to get the majority of it done tomorrow so it can go live as soon as possible so I guess Aiden’s room will have to wait till next week…..what a shame!

Oh oh oh…..I nearly forgot; I’m now a proud member of the Mumsnet Blogger’s Network *big grin*
Check out the link to the right if you want to join :o)

It’s oh so quiet

I’ve had the house to myself all day and it’s been lovely and quiet after the noise of last week.
I got the banking done, the grocery delivery ordered from Tesco, the kitchen clean and lots of programmes watched that had been recorded on Virgin.
The number of hours recording time left was nearly critical! It was down to 6 hours free because I didn’t get chance to watch much last week.
I’ve still got loads of episodes left to watch of Cold Case, Burn Notice, Being Erica. Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother, Modern Family to name a few! You’d be right if you’re thinking that I’m a tele addict!

Ant came home from work this evening and cooked us a deliciously comforting dinner of sausage, mash, cabbage, peas and onion gravy. His mash is always the best and I was pleased to see there’s a bit left, along with a sausage and some gravy 🙂 That’s lunch for tomorrow sorted.

I’m off to bed soon. I’ve got the girl’s room to tidy tomorrow. I’m not looking forward to it and need a good nights sleep to be able to tackle it!

On a different note, I’m working my way through World Without End by Ken Follet and it’s been so good recently I’ve been waiting to go to bed so I can read some more.
I went to bed at 9.30 last night and read till midnight.
On reflection, going to bed so early wasn’t good for my back. I first woke about 1.30am in terrible pain and it stayed with me all night, no matter how many times I changed position.
I ended up getting up just after 5am and sleeping, sitting up, in the chair downstairs. I woke later than usual, at 9.30 (can’t remember the last time I slept so late) with a sore shoulder and neck……I just can’t win!
I’m going to take painkillers tonight and hope I get more sleep than last night.

 

Having fun Saturday – Favourite summer songs

I’m taking part in Having fun Saturday which I saw on Having Fun Spending Less

This Saturday we’re choosing a favourite summer song.
For me, it has to be Frankie Valli. It’s hard to pick just one though. Most of Frankie Valli’s songs make me think of summer because as a teen I listened to all the songs, over and over again. They were a favourite group of a special friend’s and every time I hear Frankie Valli, I think back to those times and smile.
I listened to nothing else for weeks, until I changed to Bob Marley, then The Beach Boys, then Meatloaf…..you get the picture! It was very varied!

I’ll try to pick a favourite……
Hope this works, I’ve never shared a video from You Tube before!

If it doesn’t work (and I’m not holding out much hope!) here’s the link 🙂
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nj0BnpvM5cQ

Bargain Hunt

No, I don’t watch it; it’s not my cup of tea!
I do, however, like picking up bargains, especially at our local B&M.

I went shopping to see if we could get some digital cameras for KayCee & Ella’s birthday presents.
I also wanted to look at the toy section. KayCee’s asked for a double pushchair for her Baby Annabel and Baby Chou Chou. She made it quite clear that she doesn’t want a side by side one, it has to be one where Baby Annabel can sit behind Baby Chou Chou. The reason being, Baby Annabel got some marker pen on her face somehow and KayCee doesn’t want her in front because she doesn’t want anyone to see it!

So I find the digital camera and have to phone Ant because I can’t find anywhere on the packaging that tells me what the resolution is. Turns out it was a VGA camera and totally useless for giving the girls as a birthday present.
I made my way to the toy section, only to find the staff emptying shelves. This was quite annoying, at first. I then realised this was something good….emptying shelves means they’re moving the sections. Moving the sections means bargains and bargains at this time of year means gardening and picnic stuff sale!

I go over to the outdoor section and see that nearly all stock is half price or less 🙂
I got American style tumblers for 30p each. The usual price was 59p or 4 for £2. I got 5 pink and 5 blue for £3.

I also got 2 large salad bowls for 75p and 4 butterfly shaped dishes for 40p each. They’re going to be great for the girl’s birthday party 🙂

For the garden I got 2 wall baskets for £1 each, a wheeled plant pot mover for £1.49 and today we went back to get a rake and a spade for £1.99 each.

I didn’t get the spade on my first trip because I wasn’t sure if the quality was going to be good enough but Ant’s been using it today and it seems fine.
My favourite bargain was a lovely pink storm lantern for £1. They come in different colours and I’m going to get some different ones next time I go. (I forgot to take a picture and it’s a bit late now so I’ll do without!)

We got a bit more done to the garden today and hope to work on it again in the morning, before we drive to Derbyshire to pick up 3 of my sister’s kids.
I finally got my 3 lupins planted in the flower border

and transplanted the cauliflowers into their final growing positions.

Following on from yesterdays post about cabbage white butterflies, we found some eggs on the underside of a few of the plants.

We decided that we’re probably not going to get many, if any, cauliflowers so we didn’t bother planting them 60cm apart, as per the packet instructions. We figured if we were planting them for the butterflies, we could plant them closer together and save some space!

Going back to the girl’s birthdays, we finally found some digital cameras from Toys R Us. They’re 5mp and cost £19.99 each. We wanted to get pink ones but all colours were out of stock except black so we got those and bought some Disney fairy stickers 🙂
All I have to do now is order my grocery delivery for the party food and decorations and we’ll be all ready for their birthdays.

I’m now off to bed. Got a long week ahead with 6 children to after and unlike last year, when Ant worked from home, he now has to be in the shop so I’ve got all the kids on my own for most of the day.
I need to get some activities organised that we can do at home because I don’t drive so if anyone has any ideas, I’d appreciate hearing them!

E-readers

I’ve wanted one for a while but the price puts me off. What if we spent all that money only to find it’s not really my thing and I want to stick to my paper books?
I love books and we have bookshelves and bookcases all over the house. I love the smell of a new book and get really excited when my amazon parcels arrive. I’ve had to stop myself buying more books because my pile of books to be read is high and it’s going to take me months to get through them.
On the other hand, some of them, like the one I’m reading now (World without end by Ken Follett) are huge books and make my hands ache when I’m lying in bed at night, reading before I go to sleep so an reader would hopefully stop that problem.

Ant and his friend run a computer shop and today he brought home a Sony e-reader; a pink, Sony e-reader none the less (ever since I had girl babies, I’ve loved anything pink!) and I’m excited to get some books on there and give it a try 🙂

So I’m now off to download some free books and see if I really want one, or not!

I’ll let you know the outcome 🙂

What A Rip-Off!

I was browsing online for birthday presents for the girls today. KayCee’s 6 on August 2nd and Ella’s 4 on August 8th. They both love using the camera on my phone so I figured a good present would be a digital camera each if only to stop me from worrying that they’ll put my phone down outside and someone else would walk off with it!

digital camera

So I checked on the KandCo website. I did the usual thing and went to the toy section then electronics and found the children’s cameras. There was a lovely Hello Kitty one that I knew both girls would adore so I went to check the specifications.
It cost £36 and came with a case. I then noticed it was only a *1.3mp camera.
Now, I’d been looking at adult digital cameras the other day and the cheapest one was £35 and was 9mp.

I was amazed and actually quite annoyed that they could get away with selling a camera at that price, with such poor specifications, just because it has a picture of Hello Kitty on it.
I even sent an email to my husband at work…..well I had to rant to someone!

Suffice to say, neither of our girls are going to get a Hello Kitty/Disney Princess/other crappy digital camera aimed to make kids want one, even if they don’t know what they are.

I think the thing that annoyed me most is the fact that a lot of people wouldn’t even know to check the specs. My father in law wouldn’t know to check because he’s not really into technology. He’d think that it looked nice, the girls would like it so he’d buy it.
Not only that, with it being a recognised brand and selling for £36, you’d expect it to be a lot better than the pathetic 1.3mp that it is.

Anyway, that’s my rant over for today. I shall now go and try to find a good quality, good price digital camera and some hello kitty stickers!**

*EDIT 25/07/11 – I’ve just noticed that I got 2 cameras mixed up. The Hello Kitty is 3mp, not 1.3mp as stated above. I was also looking at a Peppa Pig camera and that was the one that was 1.3mp. I wanted to be fair to the makers of the Hello Kitty camera by posting the error I made, however, 3mp is still not worth paying £36 for when you can get a 9mp camera for less

**Hello Kitty stickers idea courtesy of my wonderful husband!!

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