Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Interesting week!

Well I managed to lock myself out of the house with the kids last night whilst popping out to pick up something from a freecycler! Made it an expensive freebie as hubby is out of the country and my emergency spare door key had been relocated to London!! Another Freecycler asked her hubby for locksmiths numbers but they were so expensive!

My kids needed to be inside so drove to friend's house for a coffee. It turned out my nearest spare key was 100 miles away in Bucks. My mate lent me some fuel money so I could spend the next 3.5 hours driving there and back with the kids. Home by 11 PM...

I had my first RSR launch today and I'm sure I can do better next time! Just hope it goes well... My first school delivery arrived today and the school were v pleased with it. Another school spent over £300 so my commission is looking better. Still need the day job though!

Had an fun evening with M & D and their boys. First time they have been over here. Learnt some interesting things such as coming across as too posh and trying too hard as the new mum at school. Apparently people are realising that I'm OK now! The boys are coming back to play games with my husband and I hope that this is a step on improving my time as a school mummy.

Ready steady read!

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Worth the effort?

I spent nearly an hour this morning lugging boxes from the 3rd floor attic and bags from out 1st floor bedroom to load up the car for a table sale in Westfield. Then I had to shift them all in to the building and set-up my table. Very kindly I was given a 2nd table for free as I had too much stuff!!

So there I am with loads of baby clothes, toys, adult books and some random surplus stuff already to go and stump up my £6. Kids have stopped being pains in the bottom and are running around having fun. Lots of sellers but where are the buyers?? I eventually sold 4 items of kids clothing, 4 Top Trumps games, 1 baby toy and 2 books!! All that work to just cover the cost...

I was determined that things will not be put back up in the attic so at the suggestion of another stall holder I drove up to the local hospital and donated a huge box of paperbacks to the Friends of the Conquest. These will either be sold to raise money or used on the wards. So my debt mountain may not have gone down but I have a lot less in my attic and I can feel the rosy glow from my charity work!

Some of the clutter is up on Freecycle. The remaining baby things are going to be better sorted and hopefully will go and the children's nearly new in Uckfield on the 7th. Going to sell those as well as have an Usborne book stall and hope that between them they cover the £12 cost!

Oh and when we got back 1/2 of Hastings was blacked out due to a power failure including our house and the main traffic lights! So it was down to Cosmo for dinner...

Currently starting to feel my declutter workout's effect on my body.... not sure I'll be able to walk tomorrow...

Monday, 19 January 2009

Blue Monday?

This was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year and I have to say it wasn't the best day of the year so far...

Started off fairly promisingly as DH took my daughter to school leaving me to lazily get my little boy sorted as my car was off the road. He and I managed to sort out 2 big containers of toys that were strays from over the house and still manage to play with his wooden train set. Lunch time he was a pretty good boy and eventually ate his cheese on toast. He then needed a snuggle to get to sleep. Missed his swim as it was too wet to walk.

The Unison rep came round for a meeting and seemed sure she can sort out my work issues. Either by laying on with a trowel that I can have unpaid leave or forcing his hand, I need to ask my other dissatisfied colleagues to get in touch with the Union. She has asked him to re-arrange our meeting so that she can be there too. So that bit went well.

Then the car picking me up to collect my car from the garage failed to turn up in time for me to get E from school. Panic calls to another mum to bring her home for me. Bill for car over £500 as they had to virtually rebuild it to replace the clutch. We then missed her swimming lesson too (she has done 1 out of 3 so far!)

Home and both kids grumpy and fighting over mummy. O's eye was swollen and he was definitely out of sorts. Manage to cook tea and brought into front room with O very distressed. Picked up for a cuddle and he threw up all over me. Took him to pharmacist who said take him to a doctor. So phone call to out of hours and trip to SEADOC at Conquest. Turns out he has a virus so let's hope he gets over it quickly.

Home again and all in the tub, story, bed and peace reigns again...

Just need to sell lots of books to pay for my car...

Speaking of which I had a potential 1st recruit on the phone on Saturday. Sent her some details and I hope she signs up...

Friday, 16 January 2009

What a day!

It started off well with kids to school without tears and tantrums and me being only 5 minutes late! Work was OK if busy and I finalised all the details of my first Ready Steady Read (119 children!!). It just all went wrong when I tried to leave...

My car has been temperamental for a few days and once I'd reversed out of the parking space it refused to go into gear... phone call to Kwik Assist to arrange pick up. Back into school to warm up. Very nice man turns up in just over 30 mins with his yellow flashing lorry. Turns out my clutch is gone so car on lorry and back off to Hastings.

Kwik Fit don't do clutches but they know a garage that can so off up to Ridge West Garage. Leaving car, taking stuff, lift home in yellow lorry. Just have to wait until Monday to find out how much it will be to replace clutch and when I'll get it back.

Bit of work done for 2 hours then realise "how do I get kids without car?". 40 min power walk to nursery with pushchair and arrived in plenty of time (much to E's disappointment as she hadn't watched her DVD!). Walk up to child friendly pub. Kids play, I have pint and we all have dinner!! Friends who happen to be there lend us a spare car seat so daddy can squeeze us all into his car to get home.

Things get better when my mate Nina saves me from travelling up to London on my own with kids by train by volunteering to come down here instead! Bliss

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Bolt hole

I had a cunning plan last night and elected to sleep in the spare room 1 floor above everyone else. What a result - bed all to myself all night with no-one snoring or whining - bliss. Apparently both kids ended up in my normal bed and were upset that I wasn't there but I didn't hear a thing. Best night's sleep I've had for months.

So I'm trying it again tonight - not sure though how long before kids cotton on to my wicked scheme...

Monday, 12 January 2009

What a day!

Well it started well (despite the horrible weather!) with E to school on time and not much hassle getting everyone up & out.

I made more progress on the attic and had some lovely time with O (including cooking) and then....

He got overconfident on the attic stairs just as I turned away for a 2nd and crash, scream. Luckily he recovered after a cuddle & cold compress but he had hit a sander at the bottom of the stairs... He insisted on swimming etc and we carried on as normal.

E was v good at swimming but I then noticed the mark on O's head - perfectly matching the edge of the sander! So quick dash home to try and feed everyone before off to A&E. Luckily 1) Conquest wasn't busy 2) O was given clean bill of health plus a free teddy & lolly [big sis got one too!]

So scary but in the end OK. Thing is having stairgates wouldn't help as I would have had to open them to get down myself. Guess I will need to put one up at the bottom of the stairs from now on though to stop him going up there without supervision...

Finding the balance..

OK so how do I get the balance right for all my roles in life? How do you prioritise them?

I am a mum, housekeeper, computer technician, book seller.... medieval re-enactor - not sure if that is the right order!!

So I need to spend time with my kids to show them that I love them and to make sure that they grow up nicely and be the best they can be (without being a pushy parent!). Then I have a 6 bedroom house that I not only need to keep clean but also is in drastic need of decluttering and sorting out which needs days if not weeks of effort. Three days a week I am a computer technician and this just about covers the cost of nursery fees etc. Obviously on those days the job has to come first. I also sell books and want to expand this side of my life as it is much more family friendly than my real job. The medieval re-enacting is our family hobby but can be quite costly.

I am trying to use the FlyLady's 15 minute rule and babystepping through sorting out my house. As she says it didn't get in this state in a day! Problem is what to do with the kids when doing housework? I know the watch too much TV & DVDs but sometime it seems the only way to keep them out of mischief (especially O) so I get things done. I have to ensure that I don't leave them too long and try to get them involved were possible.

As my 15 mins of PC time is almost up I'll be back later - got to watch Night Garden with O!!

Friday, 9 January 2009

A mixed first week back...

Well the family all seem to have survived our first week back at work/school/nursery this week even if we are all tired and have nearly all picked up some injuries during it!! (O had head collision in soft play, E cut her toe & hit her head at school, I cut my finger). Glad I only do a 3 day week as not sure I could have coped with more and the kids are shattered and so played up nicely at bedtime.

I have started each of them on a reward chart to try and encourage good behaviour etc. So far they have a star each for being good at school. Hoping to discourage the bed hopping by offering stickers for children staying in their own beds until at least 6:30 - not sure how long it will take...

The decluttering is moving on with the computer chair gone and some big piles being picked up tomorrow. Need to keep everything flowing so that we get somewhere this time. We have agreed that anything eBay'd will go into a family fund for a treat for all of us. Makes it fair as a lot of it will be old toys the kids have been given that we may or may not have bought...

Placed another order for stock from Usborne and arranged a catalogue launch party for the end of the month. One of my schools are interested in the catalogue as they have some funds for books. Just need to get out there and be a bit more pushy... without alienating all my friends (or upsetting my boss!) and get a recruit or 2! Hopefully the sponsorship events at school will help and people have given me other ideas too.... 

I am pleased that my blogging seems to be improving and I have enjoyed reading the Blogs of Note and have added a couple to my following! Let's hope they inspire me to share my life on a regular basis with the www :-)

New year new life

I am so pleased that my cousin Andrew & his wife Camilla safely celebrated the arrival of the latest addition to our family of Charles Farrow Linford yesterday.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Money saving - not!

Ok so the brilliant plan is to walk down town so no fuel or parking
costs. Seems foolproof as I even remember to take kiddie snack. But
forgot to factor in speed of self propelled toddler - ie slow -
meaning normal 15 min walk for me takes over 30 min. Visit few shops,
library etc and time fir lunch with not enough time to go home for it.
so lunch x2 at eat@ which costs more than I saved by walking...

Note to self next week bring entire picnic with us....

One of those days?

I am hoping today gets better... so far (by 9:30):

  • E cut her toe on a loose screw in the bathroom
  • I sliced my finger on a pyrex dish
  • The saddle on O's trike broke when I shut the boot
  • O has been confirmed as having conjunctivitis...
Oh well a brisk walk to the library should fix most ills....

Monday, 5 January 2009

How did those resolutions go??

Well on my old blog I made some resolutions 12 months ago. Time to look back and see how I did...

  1. losing 2.5 stone to get to just being overweight! result: loss 4.5 stone and now healthy; challenge for 2009 keeping it off...
  2. sticking to a sensible budget. result: better but still more going out than coming in; challenge for 2009 reducing level of debt
  3. maintaining kitchen & living room and sorting out rest of house. result: kitchen & living room mostly OK, dining room making occasional appearances, kids' room 50:50, rest of house - ummm; challenge for 2009 keep on baby stepping to declutter
  4. attic playroom. result: started freecycling furniture but filled up space with medieval kit and car boot left overs! challenge for 2009 keep on freecycling...
  5. keep up quality time with kids whilst doing everything else? result: hope so though temporarily doing 3 jobs wasn't good
  6. keep blog up to date. result: better than last year but still not always doing it - must get off Facebook more!!
So what am I going to do in 2009:

  1. Keep on working on the budgeting
  2. Work hard to keep the weight off  (1 might help as no money for naughties!)
  3. Keep on sorting out the house (might help 1 if I can sell some stuff!! and help 2 to keep running up and down to the attic)
  4. Blog to preserve my sanity!!
Let's see if I can do better this year...