Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Approaching the 'C' word

Grumble, grumble, grumble, Christmas shopping, grumble, grumble.

To be honest, I think I am a bit late starting the Christmas shopping.  Normally I try and get a few bits over the year, and the end of summer sales are often a good chance to pick up a bargain.  I have slipped a bit this year.

This week I have started, though.  The big thing is bear.  Bear's birthday is just a few days after Christmas so I am effectively buying two lots.  However we are faced with the awful truth that bear is spoiled.  He has far too much.  I am certainly not going to spend the amount we spent last year that included a computer!

I have just put in an order for books from the Book People online.  Not only did I get a code which meant I got £8 off if I spent over £50 (far, far too easy!) but I went through TopCashBack and got 3% back, which is a lot better than nothing.  The order is a big one, but it includes books for bear, a book for father for Christmas, a present for a lovely friend of DH's, DH's Christmas present to me and a gluten free cookbook.  Book People online are definitely worth a rummage, and if you like academic or popular non fiction books it is also worth looking at Postscript which do lovely, interesting and intriguing books at a very reasonable price indeed.  I shall be raiding that for presents as well.

I will be raiding the charity shops and pound shop on the run up, but to be honest there isn't that much to get.  For most people I either get a subscription to a magazine, something 40% proof or some money in the card.  I will be making chilli vodka again for Nice Mr Next Door.  I will get candles for Nice Mrs Next Door and I will get a huge tub of sweets from Makro for the next door kids.

Bear is likely to get lots of little things so he has a pile of wrapped presents on both days, but they are likely to be the books (sets individually wrapped), pens/pencils/stationery/colouring books from the pound shop, small bits and bobs that I have scrounged from ebay etc.  I can see me calling in The Works and Wilkinsons.  I suspect that we are coming up to the last few Christmases when it isn't all about the big ticket items.

Bear is likely to get Christmas money from more than one person, and he saves his pocket money.  I am making a mental calculation.  Even if I insist on him banking half of his Christmas money, will he still have enough stashed for an X-box?  All I can say is that even if he does have the money, he is still not getting one!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Sometimes I am a Good Mum

It has been a tough time for bear recently.  He has been quite upset by father going into hospital and then the news that he will have to go into a nursing care home.  The social worker and nursing staff were clear - father needs continuing medical attention.  He isn't poorly, but he needs assistance with all sorts of things and while it isn't high level, high intensity nursing, it is more than I could manage even with carers calling in.  I think I have found a nice place, so fingers crossed.

Last weekend I was on IV antibiotics for cellulitis.  Poor bear was a bit stressed by that as well.  DH was an absolute rock and was brilliant with bear and bringing things in for me.  Even now I am home I am still a bit shaky so bear is feeling the stress.

This afternoon after school bear was obviously tired, and when bear is tired he speeds up.  It is as if he has a fast forward button.  He was rattling around the computer and then the keyboard with piano practice, then making a fort from the sofa, then rummaging upstairs like a little ricochet.  Then he appeared before me, a vision of the essence of a seven year old boy.  He was wearing his headguard, his martial arts gloves, his foot and shin protectors and his groin guard.  He was also wearing a pair of red underpants and nothing else.  Despite his best efforts to eat his own bodyweight in sugar there is more meat on a butcher's pencil.  And I didn't take a picture.

I am so proud of my darling son, really proud.  I think he is amazing and I put some of his adventures on here.  However I really try and avoid putting things on here that will embarrass him at 14, or 24.  I don't mind looking back and seeing some of his funnier adventures, but I try and keep it respectful.  So while I will never, ever forget the way he leapt out, dressed up and grinning with glee, I'll spare him the embarrassment of his kids finding the photo.

He was Sorting Things Out until gone 9pm tonight, making sure that the right things were in the right place on the New Desk.  The room didn't look any different when I just tucked him in, but I suspect he is displacing a bit.  Of course he will be shattered tomorrow and on fast forward again.  I can't wait to see how that turns out.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Bear is Pleased and Enjoyed his Homework

Bear has a new desk.  His old one just wasn't working, it was that bit too small and slanted.  DH went out and got him a fancy new desk from IKEA like this


It has a whiteboard on the back and everything.  Bear has been organising it and putting Things in Places.  He then insisted he did his homework on the desk and he did it without too much argument.  He did insist on me and DH being present throughout, as he managed a paragraph of a rip roaring story about Ancient Egypt.  Bless him, at seven he can not only spell 'canopic jars' but knows what they were for.

I've been in hospital over the weekend and there was a looong list of ladies telling me how cute he was.  I haven't gone in to all his talents.  He is working really hard at his maths because if he works really hard until Parents evening in a fortnight's time I will ask for more maths for him.  This is his idea.  He is getting better at numbers than I am, although this isn't that hard.

I'm going back to the weekly targets.  This week I want to sort out the laundry into different piles.  I am not going to attempt to do it all, but at least get rid of some of the confusion.  I will stick to just that for now.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Shocked! Bah Humbug

Matalan have Christmas stuff in.  I can't believe it.  I have also just thrown out the Smyths toy catalogue that came today before bear had a chance to see it.

It isn't even October!

I'm off to grumble, complain and reluctantly write Christmas lists.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Bear is on the Computer

Bear did his maths homework on the internet.  He is seven.  I know practically everyone has some access to the internet, and I knew that homework on the internet was coming but I thought it would be a while.  It is so different from when I was a child.

Also, I am not convinced that bear did his homework as thoroughly as he could.  I suspect he got a bit giddy.  I am hoping that he will get a bit more dedicated.  He has also a large set of sheets with things he should learn.  That is going to make a fun weekend.  On the one hand bear asserts his utter devotion to anything maths.  On the other hand he doesn't want to interfere with his intense pursuit of watching Tom & Jerry on YouTube.  Sigh.

I have cellulitis.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Piano is Happening

Bear is lazy.  He is really, really lazy when it comes to academic stuff as he skims through far too easily.  So we have gone back to the piano idea, which he will have to work at and practice if he is going to be any good.

Previously bear went to a house to learn piano.  This was not successful.  The main problem was that bear did not like the two buses there and two buses back or the bus to piano, bus to Morrisons, random shopping and then home with DH.  My heart used to sink as I picked up on piano lesson days.

We have decided to revisit this and bear now has someone come to the house.  There have been two lessons so far, which have been okay, but they are at a dreadfully early on a Saturday morning.  Fortunately the new teacher will actually insist that bear do it again and try and get it right this time. 

So far so good.  Bear has just murdered 'Yankee Doodle' as practice without any pressure for me.  I hope this continues - and the neighbours don't complain!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Not much to Add

The meeting about father's care was quite clear.  He needs to go to a nursing home with medical care available 24 hours a day.  I am currently researching (uncle's home is not suitable).

Father believes he will be fine to get home by Christmas.  I am not arguing, but it will take a great deal of work and luck and poor father is getting tired very quickly.  I think it is more about getting back to being active and independent rather than coming back to a particular space.

He is still flirting with the nurses.  He is still father.  That's the important thing.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Bearing Up

Bear has stained his new school shirt with spaghetti bolognese sauce.  I have washed it twice with spray cleaner and I suppose I will have another go tomorrow and hopefully will hang it on the line in possible sunshine.  I really am unimpressed that his first day stained a shirt.

Bear has also picked up a bug and is doing a very good, Oscar winning performance.  He is suffering, absolutely suffering with a sore throat, poorly tummy, headache etc etc etc and it has even affected his consumption of treats. It hasn't affected it much, but there has been a slight impact.

I had the joy of the first homework this year.  There were a list of words that bear could already spell without thinking and a request for some sentences about his new class.  As bear is suffering with dramatic intensity I will have my hands full sorting that lot out.

Bear also got four team points in class.  I always have to extract this sort of information even though good performance gets rewards.  He treats such achievements with weary disdain.  Other parents know more about his results than I do, he was the star of the day on Thursday and I only found out when one of his friends told me on Friday.

So all normal for bear.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Observations from a bus

What with one thing and another I've spent a lot of time on buses lately.  I find my mind wandering as I observe my fellow travellers and look out of the window as we trundle along.  I would never dream of saying a lot of these, but I can't help thinking them.  Recent highlights include...


Woah - that aftershave is harsh!  Do you wear it to keep personal space?

Still have tinfoil on the windows, I see.  I suppose that is one household safe from the lizard men.

That heavily patterned, short sleeved, floaty chiffon top?  It clashes with your full sleeve, brightly coloured tattoos.  Though they both do look really nice. 

Is that man I've just passed drunk, stoned or dead?

The fabric of that bhurka is gorgeous

I wonder if that household knows that there is a tree growing out of their chimney.  

Those people arguing on the back seat - I don't know what language you're speaking, and I don't know what those words mean, but I am pretty sure I know what you meant, and I am not sure you should be using language like that in front of your children.

That bag/coat/top is lovely.  I wonder if I have the nerve to ask where they got it (I never have).

Are you wearing that shirt for a bet?

Woah!  That cyclist was very brave taking on the bus like that.

I don't think that car is going to fit into that parking space.  I was right.  I bet it's expensive to get that fixed.

Did your mother see that skirt before you left the house?  

I wonder when they are going to finish painting that fence?  It has been half done since July.


I don't get bored on bus journeys.  

Monday, 1 September 2014

Looking for the bright side

I'm doing okay.  Personally I have some really bad sores and some very broken nights but actually it's getting better.  It really is.  It may not be brilliant, but it's better and I'll take it.

Bear goes back to school tomorrow in the nick of time.  One more tantrum from him today and I will be rationing his sweets.  I know what is happening.  He has a cough.  He is tired.  He is clingy.  I can barely move without him following me, but he will be fine tomorrow.

Father is on an IV drip.  He is not getting food enough through the feeding tube and he keeps coughing it up. I believe they are still looking for the notes of his stomach operation back in 1971 to see if they can operate, and he has been looking very frail. However he has access to football and that is a big deal.  And Liverpool won!  There was complicated button pressing that involved a laptop, a dongle and a long call to a helpline that is going to make it very interesting to try and get his PAYG dongle topped up.  DH was an absolute hero.

That's another silver lining - DH is being a hero.  We have started watching The Big Bang Theory.  Doctor Who is awesome.  September is my favourite time of year.  There are still lots of good things.