Sunday, August 29, 2010
Just a quick post. Back at home after 6 weeks away. Feeling chilled - how long will that last?! Normal service will be resumed once I wade through the washing and unpacking. Oh and the 6 weeks of dust that must be invisible to the 17 and 18 year old!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
If you didn't read yesterday's post, don't forget to :)
So, Ella's hair has got really long ..........Looks lovely when it's just washed and brushed doesn't it? What you don't see and hear is the 20 minutes of nightmare it takes to get it to look like this! Or the 20 seconds it takes for her to attach breakfast to it! Or, and a personal favourite, the Worzel Gummidge look first thing in the morning. Yep, I put it in plaits, bunches, french plaits, but I know that she sits on the school bus and unweaves it before she even gets to school! And she does love her long hair ........ She has spent all summer doing this, or impersonating the girl from The Ring! And the last time we took her to a hairdressers was an, er, interesting experience. Imagine an autistic child, with severe attention problems acting as if she had just eaten 10 packs of Smarties trying to sit still. And you go some way to imagining the fun and games the hairdresser had! Another reason why we've let her hair grow ;)
But yesterday, after more tears at breakfast I decided to take the bull by the horns - or Ella to the scissors. In 10 minutes, cos I knew that was probably the most I was going to get, I cut it myself! Even then, if I'd a pound for every time I said "Yes, nearly done, sit still just a bit longer" I would be treating us all to a slap up meal LOL
So, this is wet.......And this is dry. Even if I may say so myself, and I think I may, not a bad job!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
"I sold everything that meant less to me than having a baby."

Adoption. Where to begin? Okay, a little bit of history. Doctors thought I might have trouble conceiving - cysts, menopausal signs - won't bore you with the gory details! I was blessed to be able to get pregnant. Carried 3 and lost 2, not brilliant statistics, but I would never complain. Well, except when they are testing every maternal gene in my body, then I complain plenty!

Carrying Joe was a nightmare. He was a Rhesus Negative baby, and because I hadn't had the Anti-D jab with the previous miscarriage, it was a difficult pregnancy, culminating in the last 6 weeks being stuck in a maternity ward. Fast forward to the miscarriage after Ben. I didn't feel I could put my body, or my soul, through the pain and heartache again. And we looked at the sheer number of children in this country that need a home. Okay, so that is an incredibly brief explanation of my pregancies, but as it isn't the reason for todays post, it'll do.

So we decided to adopt. And what an eventful experience that was - also worthy of it's own post. Another fast forward and Ella has been a light in our life, as well as testing our parenting skills to the limit on some occasions, for the last 7 years.

But, and the reason for todays post, finances were never considered in the process. Yes, we had to prove we could afford another, but as someone once said to me 'once you've had 3, it doesn't matter how many more you have'. We never had to actually fund the process. That seems fair, we're taking a child/children that need a home, and social services benefit by removing the child from the system and funding foster care, etc. The only charge could have been the medical, but our GP waived the fee when he found out what the medical was for.

My online friend Suzanne is stuck in a nightmare situation. This blog post explains what she is going through. There is no way we could have afforded to adopt if that system was here, and how much we, and anyone that's met her, would have lost if Ella had never been part of our family.

But as you, hopefully, read, she's not giving up lying down! So this post has her stamps for sale :) Please take a few minutes to have a look, see if there's anything that takes your fancy, and remember every penny is helping a couple look after a child that needs loving parents :)
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Three weeks yesterday Jeff flew back to England with Josh and left me with Ella and Ben. In some ways it's flown past, keeping the kids amused. But missing Jeff? Who'd of thought I would miss the grumpy old sod so much?! I can't wait to see him, so now seems a good time to start the bets on how many days after Tuesday will he be driving me up the wall again! Not the other way round of course ;)

So, what else?

Robert and Jane have been working so hard on their loft conversion since I've been here. I really feel for them, August in France, putting up plasterboard, sanding etc. Get the picture? I've helped out where I can - shopping; cleaning; washing up - especially washing up! Ironic, every other year Jeff itches to do something other than relax. The year he's not here he could have been so busy he'd have been begging for a rest!

Last night we had a mini swarm of flying beetles. Ella was in her element pointing them out! Stopped counting when we had disposed of over 30 - bleurgh!

And can I just say. Farmhouse in the country. Idyllic. Yes, but, isn't there always a but? But no when it comes to blocked drains. Let's just say I am now totally in awe of my sis-in-law. I could never do what she has to. Say no more? Good idea!

Have I broken anything this week? Not directly, but we're still down one glass, minor, and one tent strut, major.

Ella has really settled into sleeping in the tent. So much so that we have - okay, she has - tantrums when the boys want it for the night! Jeez that kid can be contrary? What? She's a female? So????

Photos of Ben and my nephews at the pool. Anything missing? Well, anybody missing? A certain young lady was having a strop in the car at the time - her loss!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Just a very brief one. Ella went to sleep at 10.30 last night and slept till 9am!!! Okay, so with my teenagers that's no big deal, in fact that'd be a poor night ;) but for Ella it's a bloody miracle! If she keeps it up I might have to pitch a tent in the garden at home LOL

Photos are of Joshua and Benjamin at the Nou Camp in Barcelona :)
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Can't believe another week has passed. Why do holidays take so long to arrive, and so quick to go! This week has been almost as eventful as last!

Ella is covered - and I mean covered - in bites and scratches :(

James's 15th birthday today - so we're celebrating in the rain!

Little bruv tried to take a chunk of his big toe - yeuck!

I'm getting an average of 3-5 hours sleep a night - yep, Ella.

I have finally got her to sleep in the tent! That is a huge achievement.

Their cat, the one that had gone missing, died :(

Ella has had 2 fits. The second was on the terrace - concrete floor :(

I have only managed to break 2 camping lights and a cup this week, so that's an improvement on last week!

But it is still relaxing!

I think the expression 'I need another holiday to get over this one' is going to be very apt this year LOL

Photos of Ella showing how quickly she goes downhill. The first she was chatting to Jeff on Skype and was so excited, and within half an hour she had thrown a temperature and was sick :(

Notice the difference to my photos? Well better late than never I have had my eyes opened to Picnik :) Wonderful website :)

Friday, August 06, 2010
So, France.......we've been here 10 days and it's been an eventful 10 days!

Jeff left Ben, Ella and me here while he went with Josh home for some football tournament and work. And, as he doesn't read this, so I shan't die of embarrassment, I miss him sooooooo much. Drives me up the wall moaning when we're together, and my heart actually hurts when we're apart. Go figure!

Josh flew for the first time ever. Was slightly anxious he wouldn't get on the plane - hey, I know ALL about that!

We've broken my brothers satelite connection, although God only knows how!

First time I've ever driven in France - more to the point - on the wrong side of the road!

Ran over a bird and killed it :(

Had the most amazing storms - lovely to watch - nightmare when they blow the electrics and you realise you haven't got a clue where the fuse box is!

Not even going to mention the cystitis - ouch.

Ella has point blank refused to sleep in the tent - thank God for my brothers house, or we'd sleeping in the car.

Oh, Ella also has taken a liking to Grease. Now I love that film, and the music - but can I just say - 8 times in 5 days? and counting!!!!!

Broke something in the car so the Sat Nav doesn't work.

Mosquitos - little buggers - give you a clue - 7 bites on 1 hand. Grrrr.

Will that do for a first week? Jeff thinks I shouldn't be let out alone - I don't know what he means :) Right, off for a swim - managed 30 lengths yesterday :) Impressed? Good, not going to spoil it by saying how small the pool is LMAO!


Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Vilanova Holiday Camp - Spain.

Highlights - Lovely weather; Jeff and the boys got to tour the Nou Camp; Spending time with Jeff; Nice site; Jeff threatening the window washers in Paris and them realising he was serious!

Downpoints: Delayed ferry cos of bad weather; Sat Nav deciding the quickest route was right through the heart of Paris!; Cystitis +++; Jeff deciding he doesn't like the beach - after booking a beach holiday; the gym on the site deciding Ben couldn't use it as he was too young, even though it wasn't written anywhere; attitude of the Spanish towards Ella.

Overall - Bliss to spend 10 days away from everything :)

More photos on Facebook as I cba to upload loads in 2 places!
Monday, August 02, 2010
Bit of a catch up before the hols saga!
  • Went with Joy, Pat and Heather to see Eclipse. It was good to watch it with fellow fans - rather than Jeff who fell asleep!
  • Collapsed in a heap after all the extra teaching - what a lightweight!! This is the girl who could work 50 hours a week with 3 children under 4. Or could party all night - and did ;)
  • I assume I didn't get the job (last post) but do I want to be employed by people that work like that? I think not!
  • Sat in as Presenting Officer at 10 appeals. Obv can't talk about it - but can be hardwork sometimes being a Governor.
  • Jeff bought me these - my fav sweets - and luckily Ella hates them LOL

Sunday, August 01, 2010
Okay, not a long post today after all, but a grumble cos it's been bothering me for weeks - so I shall whinge at anyone interested LOL. So, you see a job description you like. Spend an hour or so making sure the application is just right. and if you're like me you do a rough draft first to ensure it's about as good and relevant as it can be. Because it's a teaching job you then spend several hours planning a 10 minute presentation. Drive however long to the interview. Be kept waiting, cos hey, they can do that! Surely a HR dept should know as the day goes on things run late and plan accordingly. Stress through the interview. Drive the distance home. Now, not getting the job is disappointing (although not in some cases!) but how much effort is it for a 40p run of the mill letter; a phone message left on the answerphone - even an e-mail - some sort of communication saying 'thanks but no thanks'. We complain about a general lack of manners nowadays but if youngsters are going for job after job and this is how they're treated, it's hardly surprising. Just really bugs me! Rant over!

Photo of Ella and Joy :)