Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review of Watch over me by Daniela Sacerdoti

This book was amazingly written and I finished it in the course of the weekend I was just unable to put it down.  In terms of the actually story it was a little predictable and from the first few chapters it was clear how the story would end but it was just so brilliantly told.

So many characters interlinked beautifully.  For Eilidh, it was the worst time of her life.  After years of fertility treatment she not only miscarried her longed for baby, she also finally admitted to herself that she had to leave her husband.  She's known for quite some time about his affair. An affair that Eilidh had chosen to ignore for the want of a baby. But no more.

Jamie was a single dad bringing up his 5 year old daughter Maisie.  Maisie's mother, an artist, a mistake, had left shortly after Maisie's birth and wanted nothing to do with her daughter.  She provided for her financially but that was as far as it went.

When Eilidh returns to Glen Avich, a small town where she grew up in the Scottish Highlands, She slowly starts to recover from the hurt and seeing Jamie, an old school pal they soon become reacquainted but it's clear from the chemistry that there is so much more than a friendship between the two of them.  However, they are both recovering from past hurts and the path of true love doesn't run smooth.

In steps Elizabeth, Jamie's mum.  She does everything in her power to unite the couple and make them see they are destined to be.  However there is only so much that she can physically do as Elizabeth is, in fact, a ghost.

This is a truly magical story of the circle of life and if there is an afterlife then this is the way that I would like to come back.  To watch over my loved ones, to be there for them, to help them and when the job is done to leave them to happily lead their own lives whilst I re-started mine. 

I cannot recommend this book enough.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The trouble with kids

After my brilliant weekend this week hasn't got off to a good start.  Things with Mr Charlie and school are not going great.  Last night saw him grounded as he was in trouble for hitting another child in the face.  Apparently the little boy had looked at Charlie and Charlie didn't want him to. 

After a good telling off, a grounding and strong words I had hoped for better things today.  In all fairness to Charlie he was a good boy, at school, but he was the one getting thumped.  I arrived to find not one but two accident forms waiting to be signed.  Firstly he's been gouged and had a big scratch mark down his chest and secondly a child had jumped on Charlie from a table. 

After having a good discussion with the teacher it transcends that there are four boys in the class, Charlie being one of them, who are constantly battling with each other.  The suggestion is that all four parents get together with the teacher and try and put together a plan of attack.  I just hopes it works because this just can't go on.

How can 2 children that I have raised in exactly the same, have been provided with the same values and taught right from wrong be so different.  Faye would be mortified if she got into trouble but Charlie just doesn't care and he actually seems quite proud of the times he's spent of time-out.  Arrgghhh.  He's driving me mad.

Not only is he being naughty at school he's even worse when he gets home.  I'm thinking it's time for some tough mummy love and all treats are going to be earned from here on in.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Births and Birthdays

I have had the most amazing weekend.  Firstly the birth of my little nephew Zach yesterday.  My little brother and his lovely girlfriend are now a mummy and daddy and I'm a proud auntie again, yippee.  Another baby to love and spoil.  The good thing about being an auntie is you get all of the good bits and none of the sleepless nights.  I can't wait to meet him, it's so exciting.

Then today has been my princesses 8th birthday.  It's scary how fast she has grown.  A proper big girl now.  Needless to say I had a rather early wake up call this morning.  5.10am to be precise which isn't good on a Sunday but we have had a brilliant day.

We opened her presents this morning, then the family descended with more presents and the chaos escalated before picking up her best friend and heading off for our birthday treat of MacDonald's followed by cinema including popcorn, sweeties and cherry slushes.  It's three  hyper, giggly little children I brought home but it's good to hear the giggles.  A fabulous time was had by all. 

I now have a couple hours rest and relaxation whilst she spends time with her dad before no doubt the chaos with resume.

It's scary thinking she's 8 already.  Feels like only yesterday that I was bringing her home from the hospital, my tiny little bundle and soon she'll be borrowing my clothes.  She already pinches my make up and nail varnishes.  They years go by far to fast.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

That just sums it up.

The kids have driven me mad tonight.  Actually all day.  It started as soon as they opened their little eyes this morning and continued when I collected them from school.  Fighting, fritching, arguing.  So, I thought, I'll get tea done early, which I achieved.  Pots done, baths done, school books read, one in bed for 7 and one shortly after at 7.30.

aaaaahhhh, I thought.  Bliss.  I'll switch on my laptop and have a lovely couple of hours catching up on the bits and pieces I've wanted to do for a couple of weeks.  Wrong!

Technology problems.  Arrrghhh! Laptop I hate you.  It's decides to get all temperamental and not log on.  I know it's been neglected for a few days and not switched on but is there any need to start sulking with me.  After several re-starts and clicks to repair the problems finally an hour and a half later it's working.  Yeah!

I have to say though I am quite proud of myself for fixing the problems.  A little while back I would have gone into melt down and started desperately phoning round my in-house technology people (haha, you know who you are) but I fixed it all on my own.

And that just about sums up my day.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

I'm bored...

I'm bored mum has been my kids mantra for the weekend.  Yep, weekend one of the wet weather and I feel like I have aged ten years.  Of all the toys they have in their bedrooms and they can't find anything to play with and have chosen instead to constantly argue over which TV programme to watch.  I soon solved that problem.  If you can't watch something you both like it's simple the TV goes off.

"Can I have my train set out" asked Charlie. 
"Which one?"
"The one with the remote controls."
Great.  The one right at the back of the cupboard which entails me having to take out mountains of junk to get to it.
"Yeah, that one"
"Are you going to play with it if I get it all out?"
"I will.  I promise, promise, promise I will."
Fateful last words.  I spent forty minutes dragging it all out, setting it all up and within ten minutes, yep you guessed it, I'm bored mum, I don't want to play with it anymore.

Roll on bedtime!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Operation House Blitz

Yesterday saw me undertake day one of Operation House Blitz.  With both kids now at school I have some free time to tackle all those massive jobs that I have been wanting to do for a while but just never seem to get around to.  Day one was the kitchen.

Dropping them both off I came home and was raring to go and got stuck straight into clearing out the kitchen cupboards.  By 11am there was empty cupboards galore but every surface of the worktop and every space of the floor was covered in kitchen utensils, pots and pans.   I looked around and just thought my god what have I done

There was old grotty baking trays that I haven't been used for years, chipped cups and plates all of which swiftly got earmarked for the bin.  As the day progressed the bins got fuller and fuller and luckily as it was bin collection day so did the neighbours, so I could throw more and more away.  Luckily I'd more or less done when I heard the sound of the bin truck, good timing.  Even better luck was the rag and bone man also decided to pay a visit to the street so that took care of the old pans which they gratefully took and I was glad to be rid of.  Saved me a trip to the tip.  How do I manage to accumulate so much junk?

Come 3pm the kitchen was back in place.  Everything put away, nice and tidily and organised, just in time to collect the ratbags.  phew.

Now, for day two.  The kids are away with their dad all weekend and I'm just wondering if I have the energy to sort of my wardrobes.  I have three double wardrobes currently bursting at the seams and somethings have just got to go.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Post first day grumps!

I need some match sticks right about now to keep my eyes open.  I've over-dosed on the coffee and that isn't working.  I don't think I have blood running through my veins anymore it's pure caffeine.

I didn't get to bed until rather late last night, or should I say this morning.  I was still wide awake at 1.30am, finally I drifted off only to be awoken at 3am by a little boy climbing into my bed.  Normally he has no chance and is immediately put back to his bed but last night I succumbed and let him climb in.  It doesn't hurt every once in a while.

Then at 4.30am I was awoken by a little girl coming into the bedroom.  She had had a nightmare.  A lady with knives in a basket was chasing her.  Oh dear! It was hugs and kisses and she climbed back into bed and cuddled up with Brucey Bear.  Luckily she doesn't like sleeping in my bed so I didn't have to suffer the both of them.  Unfortunately, this also woke Charlie up who then needed a drink and the loo.

Closing my eyes, all to soon there was the distinct sound of the alarm.  It can't be getting up time already, I thought, but checking the clock yep it was 6.30am and time to drag myself out of bed.  To make matters worse I had a very grumpy boy.

"Do you want some breakfast, Charlie?" I asked. 
"No."
"Lets get your teeth brushed, Charlie."
"No."
"Time to get dressed, Charlie."
"No."
It was a long morning and I have to say I was thankful to wave them both off to school.

All to soon though, and I have to add after a bit of retail therapy where I spent money on me for a change, it was time to pick them up.  And the mood hasn't improved.  He is one tired little feller.  He did manage to come out with his jumper tonight but we got around the corner only to find he had left his sand shoes on.  Arghh! Back we went to change the shoes.  With the dreaded heavy rain forecast for tomorrow I have a feeling we'll be needed those.

It will be an early night for everyone tonight.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

First day at big school

It was my babies first day at big school and he was a very nervous little boy this morning.  He was up bright and early even beating the alarm clock and he climbed into my bed, which is something he hasn't done in quite a few months.  He usually just follows his sister downstairs and switches on the TV, but today he snuggled up, kissed me and said am I going to school today? before hiding his head under the duvet.

Jumping in the shower he was right behind me.  "Mummy, can I get in the shower?" came his normal request.  He is the cleanest 4 year old going and it's not unusual for him to have two showers a day.  I bet I won't be saying that in a few years time but he just loves playing in water.  So we went through the usual routine of him jumping in once I'd finished.  Normally he sticks the plug in and sits playing with his figures but when I popped my head around the shower curtain he was just stood there with his head down letting the water cascade over him with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Breakfast didn't go down to well.  He loves his morning cereal. It's the meal where he eats the most but not today.  "I'm not hungry," he said, " I have a tummy ache."  Oh dear this wasn't off to a good start.

Going to a large school they had staggered the mornings intakes and Charlie didn't have to start until 11am.  Although my princess was moving up to year 3 (wow, where did the time go?) and starting school at the usual five to nine.  Throwing on an old pair of shorts and T-shirt he watched Faye getting ready and sat making an inspection of his packed lunch. 

One school run down and it was pretty chaotic. He had my hand in a death grip whilst waiting for Faye to go.  One dropped off we had a little walk home and spotted some ladybirds when all of a sudden he said, "Mummy, I think my heart has stopped beating."  haha bless him.  Getting back home he sat in front of the TV and even refused a bar a chocolate, that's when I know something is wrong.

Come 10am and I just happened to mention that he would have to get changed into his uniform and he shot up grinning and said, "Can I put it on now please?" Well, I wasn't expecting that.  How cute did he look in his little trousers and jumper?  I could have eaten him all up.  Despite the soaring temperature he refused to take the jumper off choosing instead to almost melt.  That was also a turn up for the books as a few months ago he was categorically not wearing a red jumper, he wanted a blue one.

The time came and off we went, gripping my hand all the way.  I was expecting the worst but as the door opened he was straight in, found his peg hung up his bag, deposited his packed lunch on the trolley, found his name badge and sat straight on the carpet, arms folded without a second glance at me.  It was an emotional moment.  My baby is not a baby anymore.

It was certainly a quiet day few hours after that and I managed to achieve in a few hours what would normally have taken the full day.  I could certainly get used to that.

Returning at 3.20 to collect him I was the first in line and this beaming little face shone out at me.  He was certainly not the little boy that walked out the door with me this morning. He looked like a scruffy little urchin.  His clothes were all dishevelled and as he walked out the door he gave everyone a nice big flash of his bright yellow batman boxer shorts.  That's my boy.  Not only that we were half way to classroom two to collect my big girl when I realised he was minus his jumper and neither was it in his bag.  Trust him to lose it on day one.  Luckily we called back on the way out of school and there is was.  Phew!

My princess had a good day back although I have to say that the stroppy madam is back already.  S

he's disappeared over the six weeks but we had plenty of door slamming and foot stamping tonight accompanied by shouts of "It's not fair."  I'm putting it down to being tired!

As for tired my little boy has barely left my side tonight.  He's usually out playing in the street with all his little mates but tonight he would go in and out and keep coming back to me for a kiss and cuddle.  He did miss me.  The good news is he can't wait to go back tomorrow and even said as soon as he wakes up he's putting his uniform on.  We'll see!

Monday, 2 September 2013

It's only Monday!

Yep, it's only Monday and my working week is done.  Yipeee!  It's a hard life hehehe.  Well, technically my working week is done but it's when I get home that the real work starts. I go to work for a rest.

Tomorrow is the last day of the school holidays and it's been a long, tough, tiring six weeks but finally there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I say that but actually we have had a good six weeks.  We've been away for a week, had lots of days out and more importantly, it's been a time for me and my little girl to re-connect again.  The last few weeks at school she'd turned into a little madam but we have resolved issues and my little lady is back, I just hope it lasts!

The uniforms are nicely ironed, labelled and ready to go on Wednesday.  It's my little mans first day at big school and I think I will have the Kleenex ready.  I've been counting down the days for this as he is really ready for school but now the time is here, I don't want him to go.  My baby isn't a baby anymore, he's a big boy!

Although, just think of all the free time I will have, yeah right.  People keep asking me, "What will you do with yourself?" For starters I will be able to do the asda shop in peace, without it taking forever as I won't have to linger down the toy aisle anymore and constantly have to keep saying, "no, no, no, no, no." I think Charlie has had his Christmas list written since January and he wants practically every toy on the shelf.

The first tasks I plan to get on with is a good de-clutter of my house.  I will have 2 full days when they are both at school to attack their bedrooms and get rid of all the junk without the cries of, "Mummy, you can't throw that away it's my favouritist, toy in the whole wide world.  Haha, evil mummy can do what she likes without prying eyes pilfering through my rubbish bag. 

As for tomorrow, I plan on enjoying our last day of the holidays and it's a trip to the cinema and maybe a naughty MacDonald's followed by bath and early night, for me of course.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Review of the Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.

I've read many of Jodi's books and this was another brilliant read.  Maybe even her best yet.  It kept me up well into the early hours and left me with many thoughts of right and wrong long after I'd finished.

When Sage Singer meets Josef a seemingly gentle, frail old man whose much respected in the local community she's shocked by his revelation of his past life.  That of a Nazi.  When he asks her to help him die, to help him rid himself of his demons the only way he knows how, it's a big ask and a request Sage doubts she can complete.  She calls the Department of Justice and re-counts the information she has ultimately handing him over to the authorities.

Sage's grandmother Minka, is a survivor of Auschwitz and when Sage turns to her,  Minka finally reveals her story.  The horrors she's seen and experienced.  The disappearance one by one of her loved ones and above all her survival.  This is a very harrowing part of the book that at numerous times sends shivers down your spine and brings tears to your eyes. 

Before the conflict of war, Minka was a writer and her childhood tale grows with her throughout the book.  The tale of the Upior, a demon, a monster, a blood sucker and slayer of men but is he a really all bad? Can people be forgiven for their deeds?

It's hard to praise this book enough from start to finish I was gripped and the suspense that builds is intense and the climatic ending leaves you exhausted.