End of term present

At Christmas I had fully intended making a present for Eloise’s teacher. Things were just too busy and in the end I forgot, didn’t have time etc. (you know, the usual excuses).  I wanted to make a present for the end of the year so this weekend Eloise and I got to work on a little project.

I had spent a lot of time researching on pinterest – entirely necessary of course. There were lots of ideas, some good and some a little too cheesy but I found one that I really liked thanks to eighteen25 and this is our interpretation of it


We took one simple craft box with lots of compartments. We couldn’t find the one I wanted in Hobbycraft so ended up buying myself a new box and donating one of my boxes. I covered it with some coordinating scrapbook papers and Eloise personalised it by drawing a picture of Miss Mitchell (and her chair?!)


We went to Staples and bought lots of small stationery bits and topped up the empty boxes with some lip balm, perfume and sweets. There was plenty to chose from in Staples – I could have spent a lot of money but really that would be fuelling my stationery obsession rather than focusing on the job in hand. I was also overcome with the Martha Stewart range in there. Gorgeous journals and notebooks. Eloise did not understand my excitement.



So very simple to put together – I hope she likes it. I’m hoping its a bit different from the usual offerings of chocolate, wine and candles. If I did this again I would buy the contents over a longer period of time – keep a look out and buy usual bits and pieces as I saw them. Also would be rummaging and buying random things in the sales! Any excuse to go to Paperchase….

Small victories

I wrote this post last night in its entirety and then my computer crashed and it disappeared. The autosave version was fairly early on (grr) so I apologise that this re-hashed version doesn’t have my heart and soul put into it.

I’m getting back into the swing of things and starting to feel more positive and in control.

My Mum very helpfully sent me this –

Ten Golden Rules For Myself

The timing was very apt and it has been duly printed out and stuck on my wall. I’ve also reminded myself that I do not want to fall into the ISFJ trap of doing too much and putting myself last.

I had my appraisal yesterday and its left me feeling happy. I’ve achieved my targets for the last year. I’ve combined my goals for the next year with those from my fellowship so I’m not putting more work onto myself.

Eloise is much better and went back to school yesterday meaning I finally got back to work (was very difficult dragging myself out of bed at 6.30am!). I’d planned to have a study day to work on my essay but felt it was important to be in the office and get on top of everything there. So far so good on that one.

I spent the weekend putting up shelves. The are still on the wall (major victory). After we had our bedroom decorated I hadn’t got round to putting the pictures and shelves up so that was sorted this weekend and I’m pleased with the result. Over the weekend I seemed to get into catching up with lots of bitty jobs in the house and I feel like I’m making progress. 40 bags in 40 days is going well and I’m keeping up with the pace even though I’m not putting pressure on myself to get through it all.

So overall things are better and feels more manageable. I still haven’t thought massively about my essay and I’m not entirely sure when that’s going to happen but I’m sure it will (she says with overwhelming optimism).

The mixed bag that is my week

Lots has happened this week – a real mixture. I’m left at the end exhausted and feeling like I’ve not moved forward.

The week started with another fellowship module. Monday morning Eloise had woken up with a very high temperature and couldn’t go to school. Again Steven had worked a night shift so then stayed up all day with her so I could go. He happily volunteered to do this but I still (as always) felt guilty about going and leaving him without any sleep.  She is still unwell and on Thursday couldn’t go to school so I had to work from home. I mentioned in conversation how busy I was at work and this was then interpreted into a snappy response telling me he felt he did far too much and that by asking him to take a day off work I was taking liberties. I hadn’t asked him to take the day off. It had not even entered my head but he made the assumption that I was. Cue an argument.

Eloise has chicken pox and an ear infection and is generally feeling sorry for herself.


Work wise things are busy, stressy and it feels like people are sniping at each other. Human dynamics are causing more problems than workload and the fact that I’ve not really been at work for 4 weeks hasn’t helped. Our office is also having major work done that will take four weeks creating more upheaval.  I’m feeling overhelmed and needing to split myself into several pieces to have any hope of achieving anything. A looming essay is also not helping.   My main feeling is that I am trying my absolute hardest and that isn’t good enough for many people. On the fellowship module we had a discussion around white water leadership. This felt a really good explanation for me and the way I feel about work. I plan to look and reflect on this a bit more over the weekend. I’m making sure my life jacket is securely fastened.

I had a letter to say my child tax credits are stopping. My main feeling about this is relief. The whole management of my tax credits has been bad for the last two years with a number of mistakes, lots of stress and letters demanding lots of money from me. Hopefully I will now have a summer without an HMRC appeal looming over me.

I’ve jumped back on the weight loss bandwagon. Will post more on Sunday after my first weigh in.

I’m throwing myself into my 40 bags challenge and my scary cupboards are looking a little less scary.

On a lighter note I’ve decided I hate my hair and I’m sick to death of it. We were watching ‘Tangled’ yesterday and again I admired Rapunzel’s hair when it was short (is it wrong to want the hair of a Disney character?)

How do I find a haircut like this so I don’t have to take a picture of Rapunzel to the hairdressers with me? Haircut will be booked!

Our holiday now feels a distant memory

A self-indulgent moan

Time for a cathartic rant in the hope that it helps me sleep tonight.

Reduced hours at work are all sorted. Work are happy with this, the long awaited ballet lessons for Eloise are all arranged and financial arrangements made to cut our costs. So, I was feeling very happy and relaxed that I’d made the right decision and we were all set to start in the middle of September.

On Tuesday I gave my nursery notice that I will be reducing Samuel’s hours of attendance. They declined it. Really did not see that coming and felt quite shocked and upset about it all. They have a two session per week policy. I was fully aware of this. It is standard practice and I understand and support why it is in place. For the purposes of funding a full day counts as two sessions (morning and afternoon) so I requested one full day in the belief that it constituted two sessions, meeting the minimum criteria. On Tuesday I was told that no it doesn’t therefore they will not accept Samuel at nursery for one day. The thing that upset me was they they said they were happy to have him for two half days. Quite what the difference is I do not know and no-one was able to give me a decent explanation when I asked.

I left nursery in tears. I got to work, left my keys in the ignition and thankfully my car was still sitting there an hour later when I realised.

Eloise has attended there since she was 4 months old. Nursery has been a heavy feauture of our lives for 4 1/2 years so I am particularly hurt that I have firmly been denied this with no real explanation or consideration.  For 4 years I have been a governor there so have given my own time to support nursery.

This has placed me in a horrible situation. Do I keep working full time in order to keep Samuel at nursery, stopping Eloise’s ballet lessons, increasing my stress and missing out on taking Eloise to school and picking her up? Or, do I unsettle Samuel by moving him to a new nursery that we do not know?

This change needs to start in the middle of September and I have to give nursery a months notice to withdraw Samuel so essentially I’ve been backed into a corner and have to resolve the situation in a week. Not good.

I’ve written to the head of nursery asking them to reconsider and explaining why I feel this decision is unfair and detrimental to us. I handed it in on Tuesday and as yet no one has contacted me.  The nursery is part of a childrens centre that does excellent work to support families yet I’m feeling very let down and hurt at this moment in time.

I looked round another nursery this evening. Its more expensive and mentally I was comparing it with our current nursery. It didn’t come close. I do not want to move Samuel but feel I have no choice.  The lack of control over the situation is not good!

The day that this change was due to start is Eloise’s last day at nursery. I had seen ourselves as going there until Samuel started school. Instead, I’m feeling very bitter and sad about leaving when it should be a happy time for Eloise. It looks like that will be Samuel’s last day too.

I really am so upset about this and it’s festering far too much in my mind.

On top of this Samuel slept for over 4 hours today and had to be woken up for tea (he’d fallen asleep eating his lunch). He seems to be sleeping more and more and that really isn’t good for the heart mummy paranoia. He has a urology appointment at the hospital next week. I’m secretly praying they need to operate just so he’ll get an echo and we can check on the progress of his valve.

And I have come down with a UTI. After getting over tonsillitis I’m now worrying about spending another weekend feeling like rubbish. Busy day tomorrow and not sure if I can fit in a doctors appointment. I’m currently drinking gallons to try and get rid of the evil thing.

Moan moan moan. Someone please slap me.

Book sharing Monday

I know I’m a day late! In an attempt to get into the blogging habit I’m looking for simple regular things to get into. As a starter I found Book Sharing Monday Eloise loves her books – she would happily sit and read most of the day if we let her!

Mum bought her a great selection of new books and we’re gradually working our way through them each evening. Last night we had ‘Baby Brains’

A baby is very intelligent – he goes to school, mends the car and becomes a doctor. Eventually he is asked to go on a space mission with NASA. At the crucial point in space he suddenly realises he misses his mummy and has to be hurriedly returned home. A simple story but very funny – and I’m happy to discover there’s more in the series. Another thing to add to the Christmas list!

Seriously guilty of blog neglect

I’m ashamed its been over a month since I posted. I’m meant to be trying a post at least weekly and yet again failing miserably.

My excuses are that life has been very hectic – both at home and at work and I’ve been struggling to keep going and get enough sleep at the same time. Even now I’m struggling to think of something informative to write! I will resort to bullet points – apologies for being boring.

I’m busy with my new evening class – textile calico workbook. I’m learning some great new techniques that can be used for loads of different things. It’s also got me interested in hand embroidery – something I’ve never really tried before but I’m loving. I’ve added photos of my favourite piece so far. Not sure whether to keep going with it or to stop adding!

And my photos below just don’t do it justice so I’ve been looking at the adult education brochure for next term. I’m very torn between cake decorating and photography. I need to make a decision soon. Both are practical skills I feel I need at this moment in time!

Eloise and Samuel have both had really good nursery reports in the last couple of weeks. They’re both doing really well. Eloise is ahead in her writing and recent problems with crying when I drop her off in the morning appear to have resolved. Samuel is also doing well and we’ve discussed looking ahead to getting him a statement in the future as his heart condition progresses. It was good as nursery are really supportive in this and it seems they will help us when it’s needed.

Thats it for now. I will muster up more energy tomorrow and write some more.

Hospital Visit

Last Tuesday Samuel had a cardiac review in Northampton. It was the first time we’d been back there since he’d been transferred to Oxford on that awful day. It was amusing standing in the car park thinking last time we were here it was very late at night, snowing and Steven was having a huge shouting session being very angry with the world!

Cardiac wise all is good. His growth rates all remain above average. I explained that we’re still having feeding problems that I am convinced is reflux. His consultant said whilst he continues to gain weight well they are reluctant to add any medication to help. He admitted that even though its frustrating for us, we just have to persist with it. The reflux comes and goes but in general he screams through two feeds a day. We’ve tried colic remedies and these made no difference. A suggestion to help was to start weaning Samuel now. I was slightly freaked out about this but he’s 15 weeks old so I suppose it’s not too bad. I’ve tried a couple of times so far and it hasn’t been a raging success.

Eloise also had an echo whilst we were there. When Samuel was diagnosed they were very interested in our family history as this tends to run in families. We are not aware of anyone else having this. To be on the safe side we asked that Eloise have a scan to check her heart. Luckily, all is good and her heart is normal. She was also a star having the scan done – she relaxed after a little bt of persuasion and the promise of some chocolate buttons.

So we’re back to the hospital in two months for the next scan. I feel we escaped this time quite unscathed. Just the battle with baby rice to contend with now!