New Beginnings

Happy 1st May / Beltane Blessings!

beltanealtar2017

I thought I’d better brush aside some of the tumbleweed blowing through this place, after only posting once in the entire month of April.  In my defence I’ve been very busy, but I look set to get even busier in the coming weeks so I thought I’d better at least say hello and give a brief update for anyone who’s interested, before disappearing again for a few weeks!

This time last year I was on the verge of some big changes, and had some major decisions to make, so on the 30th April, aka Beltane, I lit some candles, got myself a cold beer and sat cross legged on my bed and dug deep to figure out what it was I wanted and needed to do in the coming months.  Looking back now, I can see how important those decisions were, and appreciate how brutally honest I was with myself that evening.

So again last night I did the same thing, (except, switch beer for wine, and add some dubious-smelling incense into the mix), and this morning I’m feeling good about the challenges that lie ahead.

This summer I’ll be starting a new job (probably within the next couple of weeks), starting therapy (this Wednesday) and starting a brand-new writing project  The job is back at my old hospital, although in a very different role, the therapy is high-intensity CBT, and the writing project is a young-adult fairytale with a twist.  All of which I’m pretty excited about (well, I don’t know that I’d say ‘excited’ for the therapy actually, but…’positive’, maybe?!)

Between those three things I’m not sure how I’m going to have time for much else to be honest, but I will try to share as much as I can about my experiences, in case it helps anyone else.

I’m still posting my YA contemporary over on Wattpad, and I have a loyal fan base of about ten readers (most of whom are friends/family) who are consistently reading every chapter update and telling me they’re enjoying it, which I think is all most of us really want when we share our work, so I’m calling it a success so far.  I’ve also been pushing myself outside my comfort zone in other ways, like entering writing contests, submitting short stories for anthologies, and taking up burlesque dancing!

My CIDP continues to be well-managed and I’m hoping to reduce my dose of immunoglobulins over the summer months, and my PCOS is also behaving, so for once I don’t feel like I’m using up half my energy in a battle of wills with my own body.

Generally, aside from crippling anxiety, (which the therapy will hopefully help with), and a distinct lack of money (which the job should surely help with), life is good.  (Although obviously I hate typing that for fear of jinxing myself in some way, damn anxiety.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2015

Having not blogged since October, I wasn’t going to do a yearly round-up post, as it almost seemed disingenuous to sweep in with only a few hours remaining of 2015 and attempt to summarise twelve months worth of incredible highs and lows, and life in all it’s glorious messiness.  Not when this has been my quietest blogging year yet, when great swaths of time have gone by un-narrated.  But then all around me, on social media I have been seeing other people’s concluding paragraphs, and reading about their hopes and aspirations for the coming year and there is just something about that drawing a line and turning to a blank page that I can’t resist.  So here I am, joining in.

We started out this year with very little in the way of goals, but we knew that the year was going to bring big changes as in the first week of January we were approved as foster carers for our local authority and began eagerly awaiting the arrival of a baby to care for.

Little did we know how long we’d have to wait, but sure enough, after a few false-starts, she came into the world in March and into our hearts and home in April.  Then sixteen days ago she left, and there is no way on earth for me to put into words all that came between.  Fostering was a rollercoaster.  People say that about all sorts of things, and maybe it’s a fitting metaphor for them all, but in this case, I am telling you- nothing describes the experience more accurately.  Highs and lows, total loss of control, confusion about which direction you came from and where you’re heading next, and so, so so much vomit. Seriously.

The thing is, I can appreciate the appeal of rollercoasters, but I get motion sickness.  And I’m no longer speaking in metaphors now, I can barely ride the bus into town without turning green.  Fostering was one hell of a ride, and when the ride came to a stop I was glad I’d got on, but I also knew, as I climbed out of my seat on wobbly legs, with my heart in my throat, that I wouldn’t be lining up for another go.

I won’t say never, because it was only 18 months ago I made the decision to leave nursing, and now I’m barely 3 weeks away from going back to it, so I’m starting to see how timing and circumstance play a huge part in so many of the decisions that I see as final.  But for now, we’re done.

As for what else has happened this year- our youngest child started school nursery full-time, which was a huge tug on my heart strings (and, let’s be honest here, ovaries) but was also so right- as he was so very ready and he’s settled in wonderfully.  And Chris started studying for his masters, because he literally cannot just NOT and is determined to be a student forever, albeit now a student with a full-time job, a part-time job, a young family and precisely zero time to write any of the assignments…so yeah…good luck with that cariad 😉

We said goodbye to Chris’s Taid this year, a wonderful man whose last couple of years of life were stolen by dementia.

Then a little later in the year I found myself applying for a return to nursing post, and in what I’m sure is just a coincidence, but felt very *something* I was allocated to an elderly medical ward specialising in dementia and I start work there next month.

I edited the book I wrote last year and a couple of lovely people (you know who you are) have been good enough to read it through for me already and have given me some great feedback.  I also wrote what on some level I suppose, could be called another book?  Or at least a vague semblance of a first draft of something that one day could possibly become a book?!  But such are the pitfalls of NaNoWriMo I guess?  In any case, I barfed out over 50k of words during the month of November and there are characters, setting and even a bit of plot (!) and I’m looking forward to diving back in to sort that wonderful awful mess out at some point in 2016.

Other things I’m looking forward to are settling back into life as a family of four, instead of five.  We’ve overhauled our entire house since Squishlet moved on, and in some ways it’s worked really well, as there aren’t constant reminders of her time with us everywhere, so we’ve got used to her absence probably quicker than if say, her cot was still standing empty and her bottles lined up on the kitchen worktop.  And yet, when I check on the boys before I go to sleep at night, I still take one step towards her door to check on her, and it’s only in the last few days that Chris and I have stopped ‘hearing’ her crying or the beep of her Angelcare monitor.  So…it’ll take a bit more time for us to fully adjust I think.  But it’ll be nice to get back to some of the things that either are, or just feel, impossible with a baby in tow.  Like family bike rides for example *looks out the window at the storm*…ok, maybe not.  But I’m sure there are other things we can do to make the most of our new-found baby-free freedom.

As for any specific goals, hopes or dreams for the coming year, I feel that they’re very much the same as always- happy days with my boys, quiet nights with my nose in a book, more time in the company of friends and family, and if possible to avoid any hospital stays/CIDP related drama- always a bonus 😉

So- farewell 2015.  I doubt I’ll be awake to see in 2016, but I will welcome it with an open heart tomorrow morning when I wake at 5.40 to give Chris a lift into work.  Or at least, after a coffee I will anyway.

And thank you to everyone who has supported us during the highs and lows of this year, and for those of you who’ve taken the time to read my witterings, past, present and future.  I love you all xxxx

mwah

 

 

Full Disclosure

In my last fostering update I remarked that the whole process had been quite a slow one up to that point.  Apparently that was some kind of incantation, because since then it’s been a whirlwind of activity.

It’s fantastic that things are moving steadily now- DBS checks are underway, our medicals have been completed, and we’re a few sessions in to the assessment process with our social worker who is visiting us weekly to quiz us on EVERY SINGLE THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO US.  Which, as I’m sure I’ve said before, is basically what the Form F1 (which goes to the fostering panel at the end of all this) is made up of.  It’s like a very in-depth life history.  And when I say very in-depth, I really mean it.

Last week our social worker’s visit lasted four hours, and that was exclusively about my childhood/family.  Chris was in bed after a night shift, Toby was in school, and Rudy was playing with stickle bricks/lego/playdoh (well, it was four hours long).

And it’s not just the Form F1 that is thorough- each of our medicals took over an hour, and covered pretty much every single ailment we’d ever had. Plus waist and hip measurements (no really), a breast examination (that’s me, not Chris) and an eye test (during which it became apparent that I’m pretty much blind, and should really wear my glasses more often, or, you know ALWAYS).

Of course, it makes perfect sense that the assessment process is so invasive, as you’re going to be dealing with and caring for extremely vulnerable children and you’ll be in a position of incredible trust and responsibility, so I’m not for one minute suggesting that it’s over-zealous for them to want to know every little thing.  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel weird though.  To discuss every little detail of your life with someone you only met a few weeks ago, and who is going to be presenting all those details in a report to a panel of strangers.  To have your personal measurements and medical history scribbled down and sent away to some uber-doc who then signs you off as either fit to foster or not.  That last bit is especially weird, as I already have two children.  So if I’m healthy enough to care for them, you’d assume that would apply to foster children also, no?

In any case that’s where we’re at right now- disclosing everything and then when there’s nothing left to disclose, we will go to panel.

The Weekend.

It’s June already! Yeeeks!  So, I was pretty quiet in May, but much like that Michael Caine quote it was a case of “calm on the surface but paddling furiously underneath”
And no, I don’t mean I’ve been doing a lot of swimming.  In fact, swimming, and housework, and well, pretty much everything has kind of fallen by the wayside these past couple of weeks.  There’s been a lot going on, behind the scenes, that I haven’t been able to really blog about (and still can’t- sorry!  I know that’s slightly mean of me, dropping hints with no intention of filling you in on the juicy details).
Rest assured that all will be revealed very soon though.
In the meantime I thought I’d pop my head up to say hello, and show you what we’ve been up to this weekend.
Swimming!
The kids, not me…I told you, I’ve been too busy!  Both boys picked up their (long overdue) badges and certificates on Saturday.  I now need to do the whole “proud Mama” thing (and I really am) and sew the badges on to their towels.  If you’ve seen me with a needle and thread, you’ll know how much I’m looking forward to that particular experience.  And if you haven’t seen me with a needle and thread…well there’s a reason for that.
Having a Migraine!
(Just me.  No photo.  For obvious reasons)
Gardening!
True, I am even less skilled with a trowel than I am with a needle and thread, but I am more enthusiastic about the task in hand at least, and for the most part I just use my bare hands, eliminating the possibility of injury, except in the case of thorns (ouch!)  I did unearth (pun very much intended) some fetching pink gardening gloves in the shed, but not only had they seen better days (a few hundred of them judging by the holes) but they also appeared to have acted as a nest for a spider momma to hatch a few hundred eggs, which was possibly the nastiest surprise of my life, on sticking my hands into one.  So…yeah…my hands and arms are now covered in an itchy rash from the sticky willow and scratches from the rose bushes, but at least spiders aren’t hatching under my fingernails (so far as I am aware…*shudder*)
Seriously though, I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to gardening.  I am literally clueless (and that is not a misuse of the word ‘literally’, because I hate that).  I don’t know what is a weed and what isn’t, I don’t know what to prune and what to leave alone.  I don’t know what to plant or where or when.  I struggle to even keep my houseplants alive, so god knows how I’d fare if I had to factor the elements or soil types in…BUT…and there is a but…I have always had a yearning to know more, and to do more.
There was a point, a few years ago, where I even got as far as e-mailing to put my name down for an allotment, but then I had a second baby and had no time to even pee, let alone re-enact the Good Life, so that idea went out the window.
But I am my father’s daughter, and by that I don’t mean: I’m a raging alcoholic, destined never to see my 50th birthday or meet my grandchildren.  I mean- I grew up with a Dad who loved to be outdoors more than anything, who knew the name of every plant he came across, who could make anything grow.  Our garden when I was a kid was pretty magical, and the memories I have of my Dad where he doesn’t have a can of lager in his hand, are of him in his greenhouse.  So, when I stare blankly at the greenery in our garden and struggle to identify what should go and what should stay, and when I squeal like…well…a girl, when moving a rock reveals a family of scuttling woodlouse, I can almost hear my Dad turning in his grave.  I say almost, because he was cremated, and because I’m being metaphorical.
There are a million reasons why it is shit to have an alcoholic father, and the fact that he couldn’t pass his gardening wisdom on to me before he died is really only a very teensy tiny one.
So, I am trying, as of today, to figure it out for myself.  I doubt it will be easy (neither of the boys were particularly enthused about helping today- apart from when I let Toby loose with a pair of secateurs, and Chris is even less enthusiastic than both of them combined).  I’m sure I’ll make plenty of mistakes (in fact I think I may have made some already today) but I’m going to try, and I think that ought to count for something.
So that was my weekend.  I am ending it with a bottle of passionfruit cider, and this blog post.

Back after a break

It’s over a week since my last blog entry so there’s lots to tell but how much of it will be of interest to anyone other than myself is anyone’s guess 😉
I haven’t been online much at all to be honest, part of that has been because of work keeping me busy but also because Chris has had some time off and I’ve wanted to really enjoy our family time as much as possible, knowing it’s likely to be much more scarce in the coming months as he starts his final “Prep for Practice” placement ready to qualify/graduate in August (Eeeeeep!)
Another factor has been my emotional stability (or lack thereof) and thus my need to take some time away from the internet, which in all it’s awesomeness can nonetheless sometimes be…well…a bit much. I am not normally an advocate of the “sand, head, go forth and bury” approach but I really needed some time to just enjoy my little family and see some beauty in the ordinariness of life because I am such a bucket of emotion at the minute I was really in danger of allowing all the rubbishness and sadness and craziness of the world to just fill me up to the brim.  Having a few days of just dipping in to facebook now and again to deposit a few photos of my children to share with friends and family, and skimming the occasional article online seems to thankfully have stopped that from happening, and given me time instead to tip some crap out of that bucket and make space for some positivity instead.
Bad things are happening the world over and earlier in the week had me crying into my ovaltine, which you should know, is a good look for me.  On a more personal level, there are lots of things happening close to home that are difficult too, and it seems like lots of my time recently is being spent with a head full of whirling thoughts about how things are and what might come next and how to help, and what to do, and searching for answers and solutions, of which by the way, there are very few that are probable or indeed possible.  Fun days with my boys don’t stop the bad things or the difficult things or even the whirling thoughts but they do put them all on hold until a time when I’m ready to face them, deal with them and attempt to tackle them.
So, what have we actually been doing? Well, we went to a farm!

In the Batmobile, which once was shiny and is no more.  Farms- full of mud and hay apparently, who’d have guessed?!

Chris had to sit this one out as he was squirreling away working on his Final Ever Essay as an undergraduate student (unless he fails and has to resubmit but he’s a clever thing so I’m pretty confident that won’t happen) We had a brilliant day though.  Rudy loves animals, I mean, I know all small people do, but he gets so excited, and although he doesn’t know the names (aside from “caaaaa” which could be car or cat depending on context) he is an expert at animal noises.  Possibly the most adorable part of the day was when, after ten minutes in a barn with a load of noisy lambs he actually just started “baa”ing as though having a conversation with them and us, in this new found language.

Very very cute.  As are lambs by the way!

And in fact, all baby animals! The teeny tiny piglets were possibly my favourite:

Although mama pig was GRUMPY and HUNGRY, flinging them out of her way with her snout so he could get to the feed we’d thrown in the pen.  Lots of the animal mamas were breastfeeding although there were some formula feed lambs, in the interests of infant feeding equality 😉 and I must confess I did find myself over-identifying slightly, in a “She has to feed HOW MANY babies?! No wonder she looks tired, poor mama!”

Toby declined a donkey ride, and we missed the tractor trailer ride but I’m sure we’ll go back there again over the summer.  It’s not our most local open farm but it’s a lot bigger than our local one so even though it was busy it didn’t feel crowded as such and there was more open space for the boys to do their thing, aka, run wild!
This week we’ve been over in Bangor visiting Chris’s Mum and sisters, although only for the day, which is never long enough but it’s still good.  This is the first trip we’ve had in a long time where the sun was actually shining so the boys got to explore Nana’s garden, which they loved. (See above re: running wild being their most bestest and favouritest activity!)

Chris’s Mum Joy isn’t well, and is on the transplant list for a new liver so having to attend lots of appointments and undergo lots of investigations at the minute, which is hard for her most of all, but also for everyone who worries about her and wants to help.  We feel slightly useless living a hundred miles away (literally) but trying to help in whatever way we can.

I maintain it’s crazy that in this country we have an “opt in” rather than “opt out” system when it comes to organ donation, meaning that only around 30% of people are actually signed up to the organ donation register when the reality is, most of us would be happy to accept an organ if we needed one.  Either my math is bad or else that means that the majority of folk have a “If it’s not affecting me then it doesn’t concern me” attitude, which is pretty sad.  I have a pretty relaxed attitude when it comes to my body, in the sense that I have been signed up for organ donation since I was a teenager, I give blood and I am on the bone marrow transplant register also.  Basically, if anybody needs anything and I’ve got some spare, they’re welcome to it. An attitude I try to apply throughout my life, except possibly when it comes to chocolate. Or wine. But you get the idea 😉
Oh and we went to the airport.  It was cloudy and windy and absolutely NOT the perfect day to do some amateur plane spotting.  I say amateur because there are some people there who take it VERY seriously indeed and I’m not sure what they made of Chris and Toby racing around pretending to be aeroplanes or me shrieking into the wind “LOOK RUDY! A PLANE! FLYING IN THE SKY!” Haha.

We had a delicious lunch at a pub near the airport which probably contained my allowed calories for about five days in the chocolate fudge cake alone.  And that was before I poured the cream on.  But nevermind, I’ll get back in my size 12 jeans one day…possibly just for that day but it’s going to happen!
I’m still running in preparation for the Great Manchester Run which is happening scarily soon, and I am still in desperate need of donations which are all going towards equipment to improve the lives of two children with a rare genetic condition Findlay and Iona so if anyone wants to contribute I’d be super happy! I can only jog about half the distance I need to at this point so training may need to step up a gear (or several) in these coming weeks so if you don’t hear much from me, assume I am running around Levenshulme with my face the colour of my hair trying to improve my stamina without wearing away my poor knee caps, who have an appointment with a physiotherapist this week (Finally!  Wahoo!)
And last but certainly not by any means least I went to a one day workshop run by Doula UK on an “Introduction to the work of a doula” and I absolutely LOVED it and, as Chris can attest, came home buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm and it’s something I am definitely interested in pursuing in the (I hope not too distant) future!
Whew! I think that just about rounds off the catch up!
Well if any of you are still reading, well done! I assume you don’t have small children, or if you do, you may want to take a look around as if they’re anything like mine they’ve probably scaled a bookcase/emptied out all our kitchen cupboards/flooded your bathroom by now (or possibly all three!) Errr…sorry!  GOOD LUCK!

Catch Up!

It’s the 11th of the month already and yet this is my first blog post of December? Poor show, i know but things have been so hectic! I’m sure it’s the same for every family in the lead up to the holidays but possibly more so with all the bugs that have been flying our way.

Shortly after my last blog entry, in fact, possibly the very next day, i got mastitis. Which was predictable in many ways, as Rudy’s feeding had been all over the show, with him feeding round the clock when he was poorly and then showing very little interest once he was well again.  Then we went out for the day to mooch around the Christmas markets and meet up with some friends of Chris’s who we hardly ever get to see, and Rudy was in and out of the sling but basically didn’t feed the whole day from morning until bedtime, by which point i’d started to feel a bit unwell.  I was headachey, and generally achey, and generally feeling meh and wondered if maybe i was coming down with the mother-of-all migraines so called in sick to work.  Then around 1am i woke up with what felt like a boulder of red hot molten rock strapped to my chest and flu symptoms and knew with absolute certainty what i was dealing with.

I tried massage and hand expression in a vain attempt to ‘nip it in the bud’ and by 1.30am i was leaning over Rudy’s cot waking him up (the irony!) to get him to feed.  He had a sleepy, half-hearted kind of feed that did precisely nothing to resolve the situation and by the Monday morning i was at the doctors, feeling rotten and hot, and distinctly lopsided.  I’m not sure if it was the flucloxacillin, the ibuprofen, the expressing, the feeding, the resting, the combing (yes, combing), the hot showers, or what, but the duct did eventually unblock and normal life resumed…

…until last week when we had a visit from the D&V fairy (again! She was only just here a few weeks ago)

It was the usual- Rudy got sick, i got sick, Toby got sick and then eventually, just as i was beginning to think i might possibly be able to move somewhere other than between the bed and the toilet, Chris got sick and there was no one to look after any of us.  We’re all now recovered but the house may need some time yet to get over it.  Our kitchen has a definite “Halls of Residence” quality about it just now.  You know, when you need to move the washing up bowl full of dirty dishes to fill the kettle up? But there’s no available surface to move the washing up bowl to? So you just give up, and half fill the kettle at some weird angle, spilling most of your water back out as you try to navigate it back out of the sink? Yeah.  That.

It’s all good.  Chris has an assignment due on Friday and once that is handed in he no longer gets dodge his contributions to the housework and has to resume normal dish-washing duties.  Which i just know he will be thrilled about 😉

Toby isn’t quite right to be fair, i took him along to the GP this morning as i thought he might have a UTI (random spiking temps, lethargic, tearful, unsettled during the night when he’d normally  sleep through, complaining of his tummy hurting, not peeing much and you should have SEEN the colour of his pee last night- or possibly not) but then i caught a midstream sample from him just before we headed out to the appointment and it was concentrated but clear and not even remotely resembling the crazy cloudy stuff we’d found in his potty.  I took both samples, even though the potty one obviously wasn’t sterile, but they both came back dipstick clear, and clinically he’s well, with pulse, temperature etc all normal and not complaining of abdominal pain on examination…so either he did have a UTI and it’s cleared, or he didn’t, and i’m just a crazy neurotic mother 😉 Either way he did seem brighter today, which was nice to see, but also meant he had slightly more energy to put in to his “threenager” strops ;)(which are varied and plentiful these days!)

I love that photo!

It absolutely captures perfectly what they’re like at the minute.  Rudy is adorable.  He is a handful and a half, and that’s putting it politely.  I must say his name more times in one hour than i eat hot dinners in a month! Every time i look away i turn back to find him doing something he really ought not to, like climbing furniture, pulling things off shelves, eating things that are not in any way edible, bopping the dog on the head with toys, bopping his brother on the head with toys, turning electrical items on/off, opening and closing doors/drawers, stealing the toilet brush, dangling off the toilet flush, unravelling reams and reams of toilet paper like a bloody andrex puppy.  Fortunately, just like an andrex puppy, he is so gosh darn cute! He’s an imp.

And then Toby, getting his sulk on, pretending to be surly because he’s three, and he’s too cool for school.  But he’s still somewhere between a baby and a boy, and him being poorly last week was a real reminder of that both for us and him i think, and i’ve been appreciating the extra cuddles since.  He’s such a little worrier, very cautious and thoughtful and takes his big brother role Very Seriously.  A bit too seriously at times and i have to remind him who the parent is as some days he really gets on Rudy’s case.  He’s so funny though, he makes me laugh every day.  Yesterday we were at a shopping precinct, and i was musing…
Me: “I wonder what Nana would like for Christmas…what do you think Toby? What does Nana want?”
Toby: “Umm…maybe Nana would like to buy me some toys”
Hahaha.

Lessons Learned

There’s definitely something about Mondays you know.  You’d assume the reason it’s the most-hated day of the week is to do with it being the start of another working week, waking up to an alarm after two days of lazy lie ins, the rush hour traffic etc.  But if so, how can it be the case that those of us who aren’t participants in the rat race, also experience utterly crappy Mondays too?

Monday was crappy.

Let us talk no more about it and move swiftly on to today.  Tuesday.  In which it feels like we did very little and yet i achieved lots.  First up, i discovered that the house must not be as much of a tip as i worry it is, as it’s possible to get it looking pretty much ship-shape by neglecting my children for a few hours.  They watched Cbeebies and played made a mess with lego in Toby’s room, while i zoomed around, doing all the stuff i never seem to get chance to when i’m working, like mopping upstairs.  There’s something therapeutic about mopping, i’ve decided.  Most of the time in life i feel like i’m lost at sea, flailing my arms wildly, treading water and occasionally bobbing under and getting mouthfuls of nasty salt water but when i’m mopping, i feel calm and serene.  I have a purpose. All Is Well With The World.  Well, maybe not quite that far.  But at least the floors are clean 😉

The boys both wanted to help me with the housework, although i’m not at all certain Rudy grasps the purpose of a sweeping brush:

Later we had an indoor picnic:

It was an epic fail.  Mere seconds after i snapped that picture Toby declared he didn’t like his sandwich and Rudy started clambering around on the blanket standing on everyone’s food and stealing mouthfuls from everyone’s drinks.  I persevered on both accounts for a short time before losing patience with it all, strapping Rudy into his highchair (whatever gave me the idea he’d sit still and eat without being forced i have no idea) and entering into toddler bargaining mode with Toby.  It’s something i never thought i’d do, and that we do try to avoid on the whole, but recently the whole food thing is just bugging the crap out of me! He barely eats a thing, and there’s so much waste.  I don’t serve him vast swathes of food that would explain why he turns so much of it down.  He’s just so damn picky at the minute and i worry he’s going to get rickets or some such thing.  So we made a deal, whereby he had to eat some sandwich or else he wasn’t getting a chocolate eyeball.  Yeah, you read correct.  Chocolate eyeball.

We had a house inspection, an odd affair that consisted of a guy i’ve never met coming round and snapping a few photos of each room (i’m guessing to compare the pics with the ones on our photographic inventory thingy?) Anyway that only took a few minutes but in the time he was here he managed to wake Rudy up 30 minutes in to his afternoon nap which was tremendous.  And he didn’t even photograph the freshly mopped upstairs floors either *sigh*

Then we had a grocery delivery.  I love the first couple of hours after you’ve had your food shopping delivered- the fridge freezer is packed and the cupboards bursting and you can kid yourself it will last for days and days- weeks even! You’re going to eat like kings.  And then you come to make dinner and don’t have a clue what to have.  So you eat a snack (or two) while you’re trying to decide…and then a couple more whilst actually making it…and suddenly the cupboards aren’t as full as they were…

I started to unpack the fruit and veg.  It was all in one bag and had been helpfully labelled with stickers “LEEK”, “PARSNIP” (just in case i wasn’t sure what i was looking at maybe?!)

Toby said it was “Just like Mr Bloom’s Nursery!” Although i’m not sure the following contraband appears in the show…
I’m in full-on grizzly bear hibernation mode at the minute.  To see me eat you’d certainly assume i was attempting to lay down fat stores to see me through a harsh winter anyway.  I just can’t get enough junk.  There aren’t enough hours in the day for me to consume the amount of treats i want to eat.  I got my comeuppance this morning though, sneakily pinching one of Toby’s chocolate eyeballs and then almost choking to death on it.  It was discreet let me tell you.  Like taking candy from a baby- and then getting a swift kick in the ass from karma.  Stealing chocolate from your own children: Not Recommended.
Today Toby learned that bats sleep upside down (He has a new toy bat.  Not a new toy bat in the sense that he had an old toy bat that needed replacing.  Just a toy bat. Period.) He insisted it had to sleep “on it’s tummy” but i corrected him.  He then suggested bats eat people.  I told him that i thought that actually they might eat fruit.  He served his bat a “pretend apple”.  But both he and i seemed less convinced on that little fact.
Rudy learned that he likes TV.  Specifically Raa Raa The Lion:
He attempted to feed himself a yoghurt with a spoon for the first time:
And he also learned to climb on to the sofa. (I have a photo of that too but he’s stark naked in it so not one for the public domain!)
And me? Well aside from learning the names of some fairly common vegetables (Thanks Sainsburys!), and that i’m not as slovenly as i think i am, i also learned that i am capable of being a “glass half full person” when i really try.  Case in point- this morning i tripped and spilled a cup of coffee everywhere.  I could have sighed and swore, and wondered “why me”but instead i thought “At least i haven’t mopped the floor yet!”  See- i’m getting there! 😉