Sucky Sicky

I got the Call Of Doom from school around lunchtime today. Just as I was about to eat my sandwich I’d bought earlier, as well as finish off all the planning which is needed for next week, the busiest week I’ll have in a long time.

H was in the school office, she had earache. As the lady said, it’s not like her to be unwell, and indeed, almost an hour later when I’d called Shaun to get him to book an appointment at the doctor, while I picked up the car from the garage where it had its MOT as we’d need to drive to the docs, my poor baby wasn’t herself at all.

Got her home to find we have no Calpol or Nurofen, so had to walk to the chemist, where we stocked up. A Nurofen dose later and she’s asleep on the settee while I try to catch up with work. She eventually woke, cuddled up and fell asleep on me again, before we headed to the doctors, who agreed, she has an ear infection but it should clear on its own.

Shaun has already said he can take tomorrow off if needs be, which is a good thing. I can’t. I can’t take any time off next week either – and I’m pretty sure Shaun can’t either.

Which is when you realise just how sucky it is when your child is ill, you want and need to care for them, and something important is happening at work which makes it awkward. Ultimately, H comes first, but that’s after working out who will do it. There’s nobody else here who can help.

Which makes me wish there was. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to hand her over to someone and go to work, but it’s just the lack of family support here. Sure, living in London is our choice, but given we both don’t like London any more, I wonder for how much longer?

Oh yeah, I finally ate my sandwich at 3pm. Bloody hungry, I was.


Leaving Your Child at a Party (For the Second Time)

Yesterday H had another party with loads of her classmates at school, which was another where she was dropped off and left. This time it was for three and a half hours – from 11am until 2.30pm.

She was absolutely fine about it – one of the later ones to arrive (we were exactly on time), she was a bit shy but one of her friends called her over and that was it – she hardly turned to wave goodbye to me.

So what did we do once we got home? We tidied the kitchen. Exciting stuff there. After a while I decided we should eat out somewhere, and suggested a local restaurant which Shaun immediately ruled against.

Of course, the sensible thing is to eat a few doors down from the place that H and her friends would be eating – so we did. I can highly recommend Mimi e Coco in Cheam, the food was great, the wine was fabulous and Shaun and I got some proper talking time with each other which was great. For the two of us (Shaun had pasta, I had pizza) it came in at £35 which we were both happy with.

We didn’t make it on time to the party pickup though. We were three whole minutes late – and almost everyone had gone! Poor little H had the saddest face (she was watching everyone else get picked up and wondered where we were), then needed the toilet so we rushed around making sure she said goodbye to her friends. I opened the door at Pizza Express but it was a hard door – it kind of closed on itself, right where H had put her finger. Ouch.

She was fine, it’s bruised but no longer sore. I’d had a plan to go to Banstead after the party to get her some new school shoes, which we still did, but she was SO sad. The lady in the shop gave her a Lelli Kelly headband which cheered her up a bit, we also managed to buy Lelli Kelly shoes so she got some makeup too which brought out a huge big beaming smile, and the insistence daddy got a makeover when we got home.

So yes, my lessons learned from Party #2 is turn up earlier for pick up. Don’t let your child go first when coming out of somewhere, or make sure the door is wide open first. Definitely eat near the party if needs be as at least if you’re late you won’t be too late (hello London traffic!).



Just random things as it’s so stupidly busy at the moment.

H lost her wobbly tooth. The next one isn’t far off. She’s happy about this as someone she really looks up to at school has lost four teeth, so she feels like she’ll be “just like her”

We’re switching swimming lessons. H will have her last class in yellow hats next week, moving to the pool closer to where we live. It’s a bit more expensive, but there’s only four in a class, plus I can go to the gym or have a swim while she’s in there, which works out nicely for me.

H moved up a book band at school – she’s now on the white band – just lime to go and she’s a free reader. I find this incredible – she isn’t even five and a half yet, but she devours books and reads them again and again, loving the stories. To celebrate I did what any good mum would do, and gave her another paperback book to read. She disappeared upstairs, engrossed in it from the start. Phew!

We’re hitting party season again – with one a weekend. I’d set a rule of only doing one thing a weekend so we could do something as a family, and so far we’re keeping this up. I bought Oliver on DVD which I think we’ll watch after school tomorrow as H has never seen it, which leaves Sunday to do something nice. Saturday is a drop off and go party too, and is THREE WHOLE HOURS. I don’t know what to do. Probably get a fringe cut in my hair or something.

H and I are going to see The Sound of Music in Wimbledon in April. I am possibly more excited about this than she is – but it’s a day out for both of us while Shaun gets out of it as he’s got his accounts year end. The tickets arrived today, so it’s REALLY HAPPENING!

H has been really pushing it lately. Last weekend her iPad was confiscated, and after a while she was really missing it. “Daddy, please will you get me my iPad? I’ll give you some pocket money!” she told him. He didn’t.

We went to Ikea on Sunday. H is hilarious to shop with, she’ll pick something up and say “ooooh this is nice” – and sure enough, she chose a blanket. I asked her how much it was, to which she replied “oh, it’s twelve pounds” – I pointed out she doesn’t have enough pocket money, and her response? “Oh well, I’ll just have to save up then!”

We all have coughs. Niggly ones, nothing which feels like my back will go (please please please don’t). H has got out of the habit of putting her hand over her mouth and I’m the kind of nagging mummy who makes sure she does. “after all, we don’t want you to share your cold, do we?” I reasoned. “But mummy, it’s not fair. I don’t want this cold all on my own. You and daddy could share it too then it won’t be so bad?” – I like the reasoning, but of course this is not correct. We all have it the same. SIGH.

I’m in the process of planning H’s bedroom and better storage. We’ve kept a lot of her toys from Christmas upstairs – ones that were moved out of the way to make room for the tree. We’ve kind of grown to like this space. It just happens that I spotted this post over at Bex’s The Adventure of Parenthood which has some great affordable cabin beds (and a giveaway) – which has got me thinking. So many of those toys could go in her room, it’s just whether she’d fall out of bed. She hasn’t done it for a while now, to be fair.

We have Premium Merlin passes. Shaun’s mum gave us money for them as our Christmas present – and we’ve already been to Chessington to check it out. It was freezing. When it’s a bit warmer we’ll go again, and of course Legoland will be getting a visit. In the meantime there’s The London Eye and Aquarium to visit again, so we’re not complaining. I haven’t been to Madame Tussauds for a few years now either….

Other than that, we’re just plodding along. Feeling healthier. Being healthier. Shaun is running again, still off dairy and healthy. I’m back in the gym again, 31 years a vegetarian and kind of healthy. H is just H, amazing me every day and having the guts to face doing things she’s scared about – my little girl. Occasional monster – though that’s usually when she’s screaming at me about something.

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You Snooze, You Lose

My child should be an actress.

We have the Very Wobbly Tooth at the moment, with an imminent removal from its current premises (i.e. the space next to the tooth which is forcefully pushing it out).

She has taken to tricking me. I’ll ask her every day “how is the tooth?” and she’ll do the slightly bored “still there, still wobbly” line.

That is until tonight. Mid-way through our evening meal she stopped, gasped, and stuck her tongue in the space where it lives.

“HAVE YOU LOST YOUR TOOTH!” I exclaimed excitedly.

“tricked yaaaaa!” she replied, while almost falling off her chair with laughter. This wouldn’t be so bad but she got me another couple of times with exactly the same thing. Little monkey. The tooth remains in place, as the new addition pushes it out that little bit more. Tomorrow, maybe…


Oh, Hi.

There comes a point when you can moan about having a cold for a certain amount of time. Say, a week. Two weeks and it’s a bit boring. Three? Uh. Four. OH SHUT UP. Five. Have you been to the doctor? Six. Okay, enough.

So the cough has almost gone. Hence the radio silence. That and Christmas and New Year, where H has started thinking about the logistics of Santa making it into our house and many other things I’m sure a five year old shouldn’t be thinking about yet.

Christmas was great – just the three of us, a Skype chat with Australia and York and family time. Shaun did all the cooking (as usual) – actually, he’s pretty much done it every night. I’ve had almost two weeks off which was amazing. I rested and I coughed. I bought every make of cough mixture I could get my hands on until something worked (Vicks Mucous Cough, for the record). I had chocolate. The lovely Rainbows bought me a box – I had four!!!!!

Then the presents. We bought Merlin Passes and have already been to Chessington. I bought a Wii U for us as a family gift and we’re getting a lot of use of it in this rubbish weather when we’ve been out for the day. H is getting quite good now, although still gets cross when she comes last. H was swamped with dolls and books which is always a good thing, I got new pyjamas and socks and Shaun got a nice cover for his Samsung Galaxy tablet.

New Year came, we went to our NCT friends house, the first time we’ve been – they have a wine room stocked up with wine. Given they’re going to live in Pakistan this year, the wine needed drinking. I was happy to oblige. It was a lovely evening too, though we left shortly after midnight as we weren’t stopping over, so got home by 12.45 at the latest.

Toodyay had another bush fire, less than a mile from where Shaun’s parents live, and yet again they were lucky it didn’t get too close (last time there was a change in the wind near the end of their road). Two bush fires in five years is scary, quite frankly. The other night I had a dream we all lived together in a nice house in Fremantle (where I would like to live). I also suspect living in Australia would sort out my health problems too. One to think about. One we’re always thinking about.

But yes, the cough. It’s barely there now. Week seven and just a few little ones. A slightly twingey back so I’m going to book into the osteo this week to be on the safe side (if she has appointments).

H has a cough but is fighting it well, and isn’t in any bother. She got her 100% attendance at school, so an additional book from the headmistress, and on Tuesday it’s a whole new term. Easter is 90 days away, there’s half term in the middle of that, and they’re two six week’ers either side. The scary thing is, come half term she’s half way through her time at her school. How did that happen? She has another two wobbly teeth, one is imminent, the other will have gone by next weekend. The tooth fairy is prepared. H wanted to keep them both and put them in at the same time, so she could have more money, so a bit of work needs doing on her maths, I think.

But yes, January 2015 and we’re still here. So yeah, Happy New Year and all that.

family in pebbles


Another night of coughing, just phlegmy horrible coughing, enough to keep me awake until 4am when I admitted defeat. Glugging what I could from the cupboards to knock me out for just two and a half more hours sleep so I could get some rest, even though today is the last day.

It really is the last day. Last day of work – though I used two days holiday up so I’ve had the last two days off – not that I’ve rested, mind. Last day of school. H has made it through the whole term without a day off sick and should be rewarded for this. Shaun still has some normal days to use before his last day but we’re getting there.

At 6.30  Shaun woke H up to see if she wanted to lie with me and cuddle for an hour – she did, so we did, getting up at 7.30. What a difference a later wake up does. She seemed less tired, she did school work before school and we got loads of little things done before we had to leave for drop off. What I’d give to have one morning a week I could do that, every week. The clubs and activities have all finished until the new year, we can all rest. Our bank account, possibly not. That never rests.

By 9am I was in the gym, my new regime for 2015 getting into place – cycling machines, running (walking) machines, cross trainers, back weights. I’m ready to tackle my problems in other ways, plus I can go to the gym with a cough.

By 1.30 I’ll be at school, the last time this year. By 2pm I fully intend to be in my pyjamas watching a selection of films with H and just resting, another year done. I’m looking forward to spending quality time with my little girl. Two whole weeks.

We’re all ready for a rest now. Oh, and a panto or two in between, of course. I have stollen, I have far too much chocolate (which might also include some of H’s easter eggs which were tucked away in the back of the cupboard – oops), I have snacks, and most of all we have time. That’s something I’ll never get enough of.

Leaving Your Child at a Party (for the first time)

On Saturday H was left at a party for the first time – a big step. She loves her mummy so much, too much sometimes, so this was a big step to go it alone.

To be honest, I had a fear. I’ve only experienced one other time when one of her friends was left, with me as one of the adults to keep an eye on her while her parents went home, and the moment her dad left she cried and said how much she wanted her daddy for about five or ten minutes. Then insisted I took her to the toilet, then cried again.

So I was a bit fearful of how H would be.

Ends up she was fine. She missed me (of course!) but her friend was also being left for the first time so they paired up and got on with it together. Phew.

So of course, I did what any sensible parent does when leaving their child on their own at a party, when having some time alone at home and cleared the unread emails from my inbox. Shamefully, the oldest one was from January this year. Whoops.

I was also the last parent to turn up, probably due to the amount of time it took to de-ice the car, but when I got there she was giggling and having a wonderful time, her nails all sparkly, her face painted, and with an Olaf glitter tattoo.

I think it’s safe to say she had a great time – although apparently chose not to play some of the party games, the old grump!

Pamper Party


Last night I was able to sit for a while at the table, so we got all the Christmas presents out which need to be wrapped and hidden. Two arrived yesterday, and with little thought about it I popped them under the tree, much to Shaun’s annoyance. But a tree looks good with presents under it – even though they were both for H.


I used the red wrapping paper. This is now the paper which I have to use when a present is from us to anyone, which cannot be used for Santa under any circumstances whatsoever.


Because five year olds are too smart and spot things like which paper Santa has used. Too smart.

Because five year olds say things like “I really hope Santa gets me a chocolate lolly maker” (damn you tv adverts) “then I can make him one next year!” hmmmm…..

To which I answered “well we’ll see what we can do” before realising I almost let the cat out of the bag. She still believes, so we’re okay, it went over her head. Relief.

As usual, Shaun said “we have too much!” and I dare not tell him about the other things I need to get. Like a Chocolate Lolly Maker.  I just need to remember to use the Santa wrapping paper which will hopefully be well hidden away.

Then there’s the Wii U I bought for all of us. What colour should that be? Will I actually just run out of the stuff and it won’t matter any more, lovingly draped in Elsa and Anna wrapping paper?

The logistics of Christmas and continuing to trick the believers is a massive task you know.

Then there’s the Elves. Edith and Edward are their names. Emily is upstairs somewhere from last year too and will make an appearance. Being ill and trying to think of hi-lar-i-ous things for them to do failed me, so it was left to Shaun who did admirably. So much so I’m going to retire and make it his creative outlet once a year instead. This morning they were playing Mario Kart on the Wii. As you do…

How long before she catches us out?


Wishing it was Easy

My back has gone again. In what must be a record year with the amount I’m spending on Osteopaths, I coughed on Friday at work and the pain started.

The sensible thing to do here is call the Osteopath, but I didn’t, not recognising the signs.

H is five. She is a constant energy, a singing, dancing, drawing, writing little energy. When my back hurts I can’t deal with noise, things overload. I had to cuddle her many times this weekend and say “it’s me, not you” as the pain came and went.

I’ve been ashamed of having it, but I have Private Health Cover through work. Today I called the 24 hour nurse for the first time. I told her about my additional L6 vertebra and got an “ooooohh!” as it is quite rare. My cover doesn’t allow me anything disc-related to my back, but this L6 problem isn’t that. I may be covered. The nurse was so nice I pretty much cried down the phone to her.

After that it’s putting on a brave face for H. Who had decided to read ‘My Naughty Little Sister’ on my half of my bed which I desperately needed to lie down on. She got out the loom bands after that and it was more of the TOO MUCH overload – I needed cuddles and quiet. She drew me some pictures telling me she loves me. I apologised for being rubbish and not much fun.

She went downstairs to create more chaos while I buried my head in Shaun’s shoulder and had a proper cry. It didn’t help.

Shaun did everything today while I got onto the computer, finding an Osteo open until 6pm on a Sunday. Result! Except she’s in New York. Till Tuesday. Arse.

I got an appointment with new Osteo tomorrow. I must be pain free tomorrow. I need to go to my GP and get referred to a specialist. Everything I’m doing, everything I’m paying for is the right thing. There are just blips. Three in six months in this case.

In the back of my head lives the fact Polystyrene died from cancer in her back. Add my family history and I’m worried, probably needlessly so. Regardless, I went to hospital to talk to the bowel cancer doctors and am now almost top of the list to have a colonoscopy. Onwards. Bloody terrifying. Better call and make that appointment too.

But if I get answers and I’m just badly built, I can live with that. I just need to get stronger (week 3 of no sense of smell has commenced) and better.

Right now though, I just feel so tired. If I time the codeine linctus right I can get three hours sleep before waking around 2am to get comfy. After that I get another three hours which helps.

Then I’m woken by my bundle of energy for cuddles and to be told she loves me. That’s the best medicine of all, so I cuddle her. Lying on my back sets the coughing off again and I sob into my Olbas Oil pillow which means nothing to me as I can’t smell it anyway.

This cold is completely crap.

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I’m getting a bit tired of all this snot. We’re currently in Week 3, well, I am. Shaun has just left Week 5 and is well again, whereas I’m mid-way. I’m just tired.

H hasn’t actually featured in the year of snot yet, and with two weeks to go until end of term (woo! Two weeks today I’ve finished for the year!!) I’m hoping she’ll keep up her 100% attendance record which we’ve somehow fluked this year. She did advise me she felt a bit sick yesterday, but so far there has been no call from school today so I’m sure it isn’t an issue.

THEN I realise I’ve turned into my mum. At the age of thirteen or fourteen my sister had chicken pox. Two weeks later exactly, my first spot came out. My mum was having none of it, and pretty much said words to that effect, bundling me off to school, via the bus.

I was sent home around midday, my chicken pox spots making a spectacular appearance.

But you have to do it – sending H into school when you’re not 100% sure isn’t about an attendance record (it’s just a nice bonus), it’s about having to take the time off work, in addition to any time I’ve already had to take for myself. I’ve had an awful year illness-wise, two of those occasions being back related, but the rest being sickness or cold related. What kind of a message am I sending to my child? The sickly mum who stays off work more than she does off school because I make sure she goes.

Of course, if she was genuinely unwell she wouldn’t be going – she had one day off sick last year with an ear infection, and fortunately I can work remotely. I’m relieved she hasn’t inherited my rubbish immune system and seems to be the healthiest one of us all.

Having said that, she’s tired. We’re all tired. We started the year doing stuff, and now we crave our after school sitting on chairs talking kind of days. Where she’d be getting out of her school uniform straight away in the evening, these days it stays on as we’re too tired to think about it.

But! Two weeks today it all finishes for the year and I have two weeks off, as does H. I had plans on the Friday but I’m cancelling them – we’re going to get into our pyjamas and order pizza, eat fruit and vegetables, and watch a film of some kind – I’m not sure which one yet, mind. We are going to stop.

At the start of this term the only After School Club I wanted H to do was recorder. We’d chatted with her teacher in Reception who does the classes and had expressed an interest, and H was really keen. While she’s not one for choir or drama club kind of things, playing an instrument does appeal to her and she has really enjoyed it. She’ll be playing Jingle Bells on the recorder at their school play next week too. (better find time to practice)

Next term I’m guessing we won’t get to do recorder any more which makes me a bit sad, but I’m hoping that other opportunities will come along. Actually, what I hope is that they’re all ones we can’t do, and that we just have the one club so we can get a bit of time to stop.

All these activities are tiring, and I’m surprised she hasn’t caught anything – it’s just the rest of us that seem to be.