Not so elegant..*sigh*

The last of the rescued, featured blog posts from the old site :)
I hope you enjoy them all!
Posted on 08 October 2012 17:00
So..some of you will know that I keep chickens.. along with everything else that goes on here – life is often hectic! As I am sure you have gathered..

 This morning, I went out, noticed that two of the huge drinkers we have had leaked, so thought I would nip in and rectify the problem.
 For some unknown (even to me) reason I decided it would be OK to do this in my shoes. My Irregular Choice ‘Blythe’ flats. I mean..seriously..
 We (like most of the country) have had some horrendous downpours over the past few days – the ground is SO sodden, that even with 5 inches (that is TWO whole flatbed truckloads..) of woodchip from our treesurgeon, there are some boggy areas..
 Might also be to do with a 25 litre drinker or two depositing their loads as well.
First one went relatively OK, small comedy moment involving hosepipe and fence, and my leg – but relatively ok. Went from our growers pen into our layers. Headed round to the second drinker, grabbing the hose on the way.
 Hose was a bit stuck, so shook it a bit. Shook it a bit more, gave it a big kind of loop pull thing, bracing myself on the ground, and sorted the problem, with minimal coverage of myself. Very pleased with myself I turned and stepped over the treadle feeder. 
 Fairly unsteadily as it happened, so kind of fell sideways but luckily I managed to get my second foot underneath me just in time – unluckily, i had left my right shoe in the boggy bit in the corner – where the hose had been put over the fence.. and I squidged my now bare foot into a mess of mud, wood chip and, well.. chicken poo.
 It was a HUGELY unpleasant feeling. 
Emily was round, we had just returned from the doctors, and it was a good thing too, as she was able to help me immensely by laughing supportively at me. Practically wetting herself as I then tried (while straddling a treadle feeder) to wash my foot clean with the hose, and wrench my shoe out of the ground – almost falling completely sideways – which would have landed me right on top of my audience of curious and confused layers. They moved out of the way with much disgruntled clucking, but thankfully I managed to regain my (squelchy) balance. 
 Sadly not my dignity.
I did try and muster as much of it as I could, while grinning stupidly, and rather soggily walking back to the house, where I ran upstairs and had a quick shower, and change of clothes.
 So if you did see me on the school run today, and wondered why I was wearing a pair of flourescent pink and black creepers with LP’s all over them – that is why. (They were the closest shoes I could find that were suitable to drive in, and not covered with, and full of in the case of the right one, chicken poo)


Reality Bites!

This is the penultimate rescued post from the old site :)

Posted on 29 September 2012 21:22
So.. when I wake up, I usually run through the day mentally.. plan what I am going to do.
 Yesterdays went something like this:
Get up
Wake kids up, brush twins teeth, go downstairs with them, make the lunches for everyone (including myself, as I will be lunching with the twins at their school today!) while the twins are eating their breakfast and getting dressed, and the older two are sorting their breakfast – and feeding the chickens.
 8am take the kids to school, drop older two off, then take the twins to their school.
 9am head to postoffice, get parcel sent off, then head to PC world for some ink for the printer, Dunelm for some storage boxes for jewellery bits, and the Range if needed for a whiteboard.
10am back home, cup of tea while working on commissions (that have been dutifully recorded on the whiteboard as per my 14 going on 57 year old daughter’s recommendation.. I say recommendation, I actually mean orders to be honest)
11:45 head to twins school to have their first ever lunch at school with them.. aww!
12:30 – 1ish – go home, enjoy chilled afternoon, get some work done (possibly) while we all watch a DVD (a nice treat for tired boys at the end of the week!)
4 – load the car up ready for Pamper Event at Forest View Primary school, make dinner for twins – have shower.
5 – head off for the evening.
10 – get home, relax for a bit, pass out.
Sounds fairly busy, but good!
What actually happened :
7am – wake up, run through above list in head.
7:10 – get up, go to wake children up. 14 year old appears to be hibernating, complete with grunts. Wake her up again. Head to boys room. 12 year old awake, with one 4 year old twin jumping on him. Second twin is bouncing on his own bed, throwing cuddlies at 12 year old.
7:15 Wake 14 year old up again. Appear to have lost daughter and gained some kind of sloth.
7:17 attempt to supervise brushing of teeth of twins, while trying to get 12 year old AND 14 year old out of their beds.
7:20 12 year old has gone down with 4 year olds for breakfast. 14 year old not yet out of room…yep.. is asleep….
7:21 Do some shouting type vocal excercises. Purely for health reasons, nothing to do with losing rag at sleeping teen.
7:30 finally some movement in that room. Realise am running out of time, run downstairs to eat my breakfast while making lunches.
7:35 By some miracle 14 year old is out feeding chickens. 12 year old is harassing her in the garden. They are having a fairly vocal ‘discussion’
7:36 Twins are finished with breakfast, have been for a little while. Are over excited about lunch at school. Ask them to get dressed.
7:40 Have made one sandwich. Twins have got nightclothes off, and are chasing each other naked around the lounge, hitting each other with their pants. Attempt to stop this while making another sandwich.
7:45 Have still made one sandwich. Still have naked twins, 14 year old strangely quiet. Am worried she has gone back up to sleep.
7:50 Have made second sandwich. Twins now have pants on their heads. Daughter has reappeared, and has been told to eat some sodding breakfast. 12 year old is fed, dressed and awake. Hurrah.
7:55 One twin has pants on – other one is running naked in circles around him. I am on third lunch, and contemplating nervous breakdown.
7:56 Hubby takes pity, sorts out twins getting dressed in uniform.
8:00 Twins are dressed, daughter has had breakfast – lunches are finally finished. Apart from mine, as have run out of time.
8:01 Get shoes, coats, lunchboxes, back packes, waterbottles and bookbags on the twins. This takes some time.
8:20 (*sigh) finally leave the house. 14 year old has been back up to the bedroom at least 4 times before we actually make it into the car.
8:35 drop older two off..head to boys school.
9am: Drop off went smoothly for a change! Hurrah! Head to post office.
9:10 Just join the queue ready to post off the parcel.
9:20 Still queuing
9:30 Still queuing.
9:40 Finally out – realise have forgotten what type of printer ink I need, head home to check.
10.00 Make it to PC World. No I don’t need anything. No I am fine thank you. Nope I am just browsing. No I am sure that is a FABULOUS special offer, but I am not after a netbook/camera/home entertainment system/3 legged yak.
10:15 make it out alive with printer ink. Head to Dunelm.
10:20 Make mistake of taking a trolley. Very narrow in there, around some precarious looking china. Uh.Oh. Wander around aimlessly with mouth open gazing at things I don’t want or need, with no idea why I am doing so. Storage boxes were just inside main door, and were in the trolley within 10 seconds of my entering the shop.
10:50 Decide I ought to stop looking at things. I really do not need a cherry stoner. Head to tills.
10:51 Hear announcement ‘Will all trained staff please head to tills’
11:15 Make it out, head to the Range.
11:25 Go in the front door of the Range, mentally repeating ‘I only need a whiteboard. I only need a whiteboard’
11:40 Come out of the Range with a whiteboard, a pack of 10 biros, a picture frame and a photo album. (In fairness I had a brainwave)
11:41 Panic, realising I have yet to make my lunch, and have to be at school in 19 minutes. EEEEEK.
11:45 Receive text message asking if I am about for twins Godfather to visit. Explain we should be back by 1pm. (Obviously I text when have arrived at home!)
12:01 Make it to school, with lunch. Attempting to look like I have got it all together and am in no way, shape, or form, a flakey moo.
12:30 We’ve all finished what was (surprisingly) a really nice lunch experience! Very sweet.
1:00 : Sean arrives to visit his godsons. Brings haribo. We watch Monster’s Inc and drink coffee (decaff in my case!).
1:15 One of the twins ate his haribo far too quickly, then lay on the floor and promptly threw up on himself.(Only a little bit!) I clean his hands, take his uniform off him, ask other twin to take his off too – put it all in the washing machine, send the boys upstairs to get dressed.
1:20 Toilet flushes.
1:21 Toilet flushes. Hmm.. well ok, they could both have gone. I exchange glances with Sean. Tell him that I am on alert, and next time it flushes I am heading up there.
1:22 Toilet flushes. I run upstairs. Half way up both twins appear at top of stairs, wearing only their vests,and   with dripping wet arms, and cry when they see me coming up. *sigh*
1:23. I put many towels all over the floor to mop up the water from the overflowing toilet that is jammed full of toilet paper, and retrieve the inner tube of the toilet roll from the overflow of the sink, and scrape the soap out of the plug hole.
1:25 Sean unblocks the toilet for me. He loves visiting us, he really really does.
1:26 Amazingly, have not had breakdown yet. Am considering gin. Unfortunately gin not an option as it is a)far too early, b) am in charge of children c) am driving later. Reconsider having breakdown.
1:28 Twins are now dressed and in naughty chairs.
1:32 Twins are out of naughty chairs, have apologised to Sean and I, we resume watching Monster’s inc.
2:00 Sean leaves (I doubt he has regrets!)
2:10 I decide to redesign my price list, and get it in the funky photo frame I bought earlier. I also print off a lot of pictures of bridal stuff, and past commission work, cut them out, and place them in the photo album – to use as my showcase, in between building duplo houses, reading school books and refilling drinks.. which takes me the rest of the afternoon.
3:30 My eldest arrives with the 14 year old and 12 year old, having picked them up from school. I chat to him while continueing to work on portfolio.
4:00 I get all the children’s dinner sorted, jump in shower while my weightwatchers microwave meal is cooking. Joy. Needs must as we are in a rush to get out – I manage to shower, dry hair and apply makeup before eating dinner. 
More impressively I manage NOT TO GET ANY ON MYSELF. As have realised am wearing nice lovely Joe Brown’s cream top, and eating chilli noodles, that look decidedly red.
5:17 Mei and I set off for the evening, nearly 20 minutes later than planned. 
5:56 Gangnam Style is playing on radio, we turn it up full blast – dance about like idiots in the car.
5:57 Realise I have advertising for my business all over the car, and turn it down – try to act like respectable trustworthy, mature person.
6:00 We arrive at the venue on time, set up, meet the lovely Marian who I’ve been chatting to for months on Facebook, and have a really nice evening, meeting some lovely people.
10pm Get home. Have very large brandy.
10:30  Pass out.

Uh oh..

 Last night saw myself and Mei appear at our booking at a really lovely, very exclusive, ‘Me Time’ evening, as an expert.
.So.. professional me.. arrived at the Pamper evening at the fairly posh Cheltenham Park Hotel, parked in a very tight parking space (WITHOUT HITTING ANYTHING! – no this is not a work of fiction) set up my display, ladies start to arrive, ready for the event to start. I was one of three experts scheduled to give a talk on my field. Little nervous.. 

..I pop out to the car to get the bits and pieces for a macrame demonstration, as the space was too tight to get the workbox out of the car, and I only needed one bag from in the top of it, I climbed in the back to get it.

Door shuts behind me.. childlocks are on. 
Feck!! Never mind.. I can phone Mei – who is inside – she can let me out.
Phone is next to Mei on the display.
Right, no biggy, I can climb over, get out the front seat. Which I do, and slip, cleverly managing to lose my shoe AND wedge my knee between the handbrake and the passenger seat.
I now have visions of being stuck in the car until people notice I am not there,and they send kind people to find and release me.
Oh the shame! Right, I can’t let that happen!
I carefully managed to extricate my knee, without too much pain, and find my shoe.. AND get in the front seat.. put the shoe on and make my escape.
Smooth down my hair, try not to limp and enter the room smiling. All professional like!
Still.. it took the edge of the nerves, kind of! All went well in the end.

..and I managed to get out of the space without hitting anything either! So that was good.

4 Years Ago Today

Posted on 02 August 2012 23:50
This time, four years ago..
 Andy had not been out for months. I mean *months*. I had been in and out of hospital with threatened prem labour, and a couple of full on heart stopping moments (including being told that they were taking me to Newcastle via ambulance at 27 weeks..from Cheltenham.. because that was the closest hospital with two neonatal beds and a labour bed! But yea.. sure..close those smaller units, its not like we need them..but I digress)
 Caesarian was scheduled for Tuesday.. 36+3 to avoid any more grief, keep things nice and calm etc.
 Duncan invited Andy out for a drink, as was last weekend before babies were due. Andy is not a big drinker – he had four pints and was decidedly wobbly and very pleased with himself.
 I took myself off to bed.
Not a small task. I was by this point visible on Google Earth. The only item of clothing I could get my bump into was a kaftan I had to order from the states. Oh the shame.  (I should point out that I am 4′ 10” tall, which left the twins not a lot of room to spread upwards…so they went out!)
 I had an E-Cup bra size. Totally wasted, couldn’t see a thing. Eclipsed by baby belly the size of a not so small country. Gutting.
I was, however, only 7lbs heavier than when I got pregnant. Have to love twin pregnancy metabolism. (Oh. Possibly gestational diabetes may have helped too.. v annoying when addicted to mangos. *sigh*)
..anyway.. I took myself off up to bed, deciding reading a book, surrounded by a mountain of pillows, supporting everything humanly possible in an attempt to get something approaching comfortable, was preferable to dealing with drunk husband. Much as I love him. (By this point there are more pillows and .. well… me than will allow him to sleep in our king size bed. He is relegated to the spare bed. I do remind him it was his idea to have a baby in the first place when this gets mentioned.)
 So I am chilling out, feeling v good actually, enjoying my book. I feel an almighty kick (I thought) accompanied by an uncomfortable head-to-the-cervix jolt.
 Great! True to form, I am about ready to sleep and its playtime. I have already almost forgotten what a complete night’s sleep is. I haven’t had one since I got pregnant. Either stress, getting up to wee,stress,panic,wtf twins,more wee,acid indigestion(I slept with gaviscon next to my bed)and nightly pogo dancing later on (babies obviously. Not hubby – or he would have been out of the bed considerably earlier) has kept me awake for the past 36 weeks.
 Oh well!
I shift my weight slightly. (Mammoth task). Doesn’t feel quite right. Uh oh.
 I get out of bed (reluctantly.. and it takes a while). My waters pour everywhere.
 Oh feck.
I check the bed. (I mean come on! Who wouldn’t?!) luckily dry. Thank feck for that..!
Realisation hits.
Oh shite!
I hop about (adrenaline is a wondrous thing) saying’ Oh no.. Oh no..nnooo nono.. oh feck, oh no’
 I realise that is not going to achieve anything or make it all go away.
Sudden urge to go to the bathroom.
Get out, first contraction hits. Completely Hollywood style. You know.. those films where her waters break and she goes immediately into full blown labour, and we all scoff.. like yea, right! Well that was me. Feck!
 Second contraction exactly 1 min 30 seconds after the first.
Well arse.
 I start to make it down the stairs, get halfway and call to Andy. Water everywhere.
 I take a minute or two to convince him that this is for real. I am not winding him up.
 He laughs supportively. Fairly smashed. Ok, rather a lot tbh.
He goes and gets the house phone for me, and a towel…
Hubby proceeds to follow me about the house giggling while I organise a lift (YES A LIFT. Someone could not drive, funnily enough). I phone my parents after, wake them up. They live 3 hours away up north but I wanted them to know something was happening. Share the joy and all that!
 Hubby continues to follow me giggling while holding towel. Neighbour arrives with her grown up daughter. Her daughter babysits, neighbour and hubby help me into her car.
 Am sitting on 3 towels and 2 bin liners. Contractions still 1 min 30 apart and bricking it!
  Thankfully rest of the story was fairly uneventful :) I was examined not long after arrival, 40 mins after my waters initially went, and was 6cm, Reuben was presenting. They cleared theatre.. opened the sun roof.. and my two little beauties arrived.
Now after a start like that.. why on EARTH would I not expect buttons and calpol drama, to name but two? :)
Happy Birthday  Reuben and Barnaby.. although we are not telling you its your birthday until Saturday because that is when we are having your party.. but still :) (We can get away with that this year at least)
..and Happy surviving 4 years of twindom Andy Fletcher! It’s one hell of a rollercoaster – but I don’t think I would ever want to get off! (Don’t quote me on that next time I am in casualty/called into school/whatever the next drama will be!)

The Great Button Mystery Continues

..and the follow up archived post from the old site!

Posted on 06 July 2012 16:02
 So.. this morning Barnaby woke up in a lovely (hah) mood from an altogether far too late night last night.. and in typical boy style, ravenously hungry.
 He was nil by mouth from 6am – so we had to try and keep him occupied in the bedroom, while everyone else, including his twin brother, ate breakfast.
 B was not impressed.
By the time the hospital rang to confirm they had a bed for him, B was in fact a snotty, screaming, purple, angry mess laying on the lounge carpet.
I say laying.. I actually mean rigid with anger, raging at the floor.
 Luckily he had dressed himself before that point. That *would* have been a challenge.
I manage to convince him that he should put his shoes on and get a coat on incredibly reluctant, and rather uncooperative arms, and bundle him in the car seat. Poor James had to look after Reuben.
 James is a student, this was 8am – it’s just not cricket. That time of the day is practically midnight in his book. Oh well!
 I rock up at the hospital – can’t find a place reasonably close, end up parking 3/4 mile down the road and attempting to carry B (who had fallen asleep on the way. Great.  B *never* sleeps in the car. Except, obviously, when going to or from a hospital so it would seem. We’ve made it through nearly 4 years of his life without car sleeping – right up until yesterday.  The twins steadfastly refused to sleep in the car as babies, at any stage, or toddlers..Arghhh! Oh well!)
 I give up attempting to carry him after 3 minutes. B seems content to walk, thankfully. Discussing the seagulls, and telling me the way to the hospital and the entrance we want. Fine.
 We head up to ENT as I have by this point forgotten where I should be heading to.. so head to ENT day clinic. Luckily they knew who we were. ‘Is it about the button?’ ‘Yep’ ‘Well you need Day Surgery’ 
Ahhh OK that rang a bell. Am a little put out that they were obviously waiting for me to be a bit flakey and turn up at the wrong place. Am more put out that it was a good call.
 We go to Day Surgery – they are all lovely.. really nice, and they have a waiting room with toys, and a working TV with selection of children’s films on DVD and video. B thinks he is in heaven.
 I am dubious that this is turning into a bit of a fun adventure, and not quite sending out the message I am wanting from the whole experience really.
They continued to treat him like a little prince, making huge fusses of him, stories,games, putting him at ease, making me want to scream ‘DON’T DO IT!! HE WILL THINK ITS A GREAT LAUGH DOING NASAL INSERTIONS! ‘ But actually smiling through gritted teeth and worrying about him.
 They play with his ‘magic bed’ and make it go up and down. They point out the beautiful pictures on the ceilings for him to look at. They give him a preop and I sign consent forms, with a horrible tight knot in my stomach.
 They wheel him on his bed through to Anaesthetics, hunting the Gruffalo all the way. He thinks he is on an amazing wild adventure – loving the journey. I am more and more concerned that this is going to become a regular occurance – its all been too much fun!
 Watching him go to sleep was one of the hardest things I have done. I did cry.
He had a general anaesthetic and a thorough investigation revealed ….
No button! Nothing.. not a sausage.
They said v nicely that he may have swallowed it in the night, but we all know they are just being kind.
Bless him!
He is now nibbling a biscuit, groggy, feeling ill, and asking for Reuben. Who, in all likelihood will be so jealous of all the attention Barnaby has been getting, that when I get home will probably have put buttons up both nostrils. And in his ears.


The Great Button Mystery

I’ve been asked to make sure I bring some of the blog posts across from the old website, so here we go!! 

This is from back in July last year :)


Sammi: Posted on 05 July 2012 22:42
Just.. where to start..
So I may have gone off buttons a little after today’s events.. 
Reuben and Barnaby are my three and a half year old identical twin boys, they have amazing imaginations, love to draw,playdoh, paint, cause general mayhem..
 They decided they liked my button box, as there are loads of exciting different colours and sizes and shapes, so I, *stupidly* said they could play with them.
 Loads of fun making great noises with them, spreading them over the ENTIRE lounge floor.. no biggy, nothing that can’t be tidied up – Reuben starts filling his hat with them and pouring them out again, then filling it and putting it on his head, momentarily distracting us from Barnaby – who when I glance back, is rubbing his nose, sniffing, wriggling it up and down and looking incredibly uncomfortable. James (my eldest) asks him if he has put a button up there. Barnaby nods, then asks if he can go see it in the mirror.. trying to stick his finger up there.
 We stop him! Obviously.. don’t want it rammed up there even further. I try to see if I can see it, nothing. He says its a black button, we ask him again if he has put one up there, he says yes.
 Off to casualty I go.. it’s 4:20. Leaving James to cook his own celebratory birthday lasagne, for him and his siblings, while hubby gets home from work. (I should point out that James is 21, before you start thinking I’ve left a 10 year old child at home to cook or something!)
 We get there.. wait about a bit, see the Nurse, Barny tells her he has a button up his nose. Tells her the size and colour (small and black).. she has a look, can’t see it. We wait for the doctor. 
 Doctor takes a look, can’t see anything on left side.. right side possibly but only because he can’t quite see as far as on the left.
 Cheltenham has no ENT department, we are sent to ENT. In Gloucester.
It’s now 5:30 (which in itself is good going, as we got seen v quickly in A&E – very lucky indeed! Perhaps the sunshine put people off falling off things and hitting each other)
 So I drive across to Gloucester in rush hour traffic. 
I realise as I get to the outskirts, I don’t have the FAINTEST idea where in Gloucester the pigging hospital is.
I pull over, put the sat nav on, points of interest, hospitals – YAY!
100yrds down the road after faffing about putting the flipping sat nav on – there is a signpost to it. Pointing in a different direction entirely to the sat nav.
 I ignore the Sat Nav. I have discovered from bitter experience that this is often the safest thing to do. I had only turned it on out of sheer desperation.
Surprisingly the hospital was well signposted, and I found it.
No money for a ticket. Feck.! I park on the side of the road and hope my Cheltenham ticket will do at a cursory glance.
 B is asleep. *sigh*
I wake him up, carry him up the road.. eventually find some kind people who direct me to the main entrance where they say there is a help desk that can tell me where the hell ENT or ward 2b is.
I find the front entrance..
Help desk is shut. Map is next to me. The place is HUGE. I kind of work out where 2b is..a nurse walks past and takes pity on us (Got to love B’s big blue eyes and blond hair!) and takes us right across the hospital to where we need to be. Love that woman!
 Get up there.. the ENT doctor on Ward 2b has been called down to A&E for an emergency, we wait in the waiting room.
 Which consists of 12 chairs, a coffee table, an unworking television and some leaflets on the walls. No books, no toys, no magazines.
 Uh Oh.
B is getting bored. I manage to find a scrap of paper and a pen in my handbag, and he draws a bit. On himself a fair bit too, when I was looking in the bag for more paper. Argh, oh well.
Doctor finally comes in (its now 6:50) takes us down to her room. She is lovely, Barny is smitten, and charms the socks off her.
 She can’t see anything either. He says its up there.
She decides he needs a camera up his nose to make 100% sure. 
We wait while they find one.
I explain to B that they need to make sure he doesn’t get ill from having a button up his nose. He gets upset and exclaims ‘They have to get it out!!’
They can’t find a paediatric camera. Feck.
Right, they decide to use an adult one but only go a little way in. She lets B raise and lower the examining table, he loves it. He lets her stick the camera up his nose, he coughs and sneezes every time, she doesn’t get a good look. She *thinks* at one point she may have seen something in the right nostril, but really isn’t sure.. she can’t get a good enough look. Isn’t so sure by the end of it.
 B is very good about the whole thing.
She goes to get the registrar.
I ask B if he really did put a button up his nose. He looks at me and nods. I said ‘And did you get it out again’ – spotting the flaw in our questioning up to this point – he looks at me and shakes his head very slowly and deliberately like I am having trouble understanding him. Fair comment I guess, he has been asked about the button for quite a while now! I ask if its still up there then.. he nods and looks at me as if I am stupid. Hohum.. I asked for that.
Its now 8pm.
She comes back, Registrar is on the way.
Registrar gets called to theatre in an emergency. Doctor decides we should go home for the night, as it could take hours. She gives B chocolate, he loves her even more.
We have to go in tomorrow, B is nil by mouth from 6am. Will need Paediatric camera, plus drops and possible general anaesthetic if they cannot get a good look. Eek.
We get back to the car.. which is miles away from where we were ..after getting lost twice. I put B back in his car seat,and he turns to me and says:
 ’I not got buttons up my nose you silly!’
We get home at 9pm. Jury is out as to whether there is a button up his nose. Has it just been a 4 hour and two hospital trip windup?
 I guess we will find out tomorrow.
He is tucked up in bed after a big, but late, dinner. No bath tonight..far too late.
.. and now, I think it calls for a HUGE glass of wine.
Wish me luck in the morning.!