Just So Grown Up

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Baby no.3

So I haven't updated my blog in far too long. You all know the drill - life gets in the way, too busy, too tired etc. I thought after Christmas and into the New Year that I was going to get some help for my 'emotional wellbeing' - basically I was depressed. The situation with my family had pushed me beyond the brink and that combined with ever present and real money worries was too much. I started to get these terrible migraines (I have never suffered them before) and eventually bucked up the courage (mostly because of the severe pain of the headaches which lasted three weeks at least) to visit the doctor. When I explained my symptoms she suggested tension headaches but wanted to run some checks as well so sent me for a blood test. A few weeks later the results came back low in iron and folic acid. - Time for another test!
And so it is out of something terrible a miracle comes. A little ray of hope in what seemed to be such a bleak time in my life. I'm not silly having to take maternity and then pay for childcare compounds our problems but we've been through worse and can make it.
This baby will be my last so I am trying to 'enjoy' my pregnancy. Any woman who has experienced pregnancy can tell you that in itself it sucks - having said this I cant wait for my second scan to see if its a boy or a girl!

Sunday, 10 January 2016

New year - not so new me!

Christmas was wonderful - my children were grateful and my in laws were supportive. I felt like the break up north was a break from my worries. I was free. 

I  am determined not to start the New Year plagued with the same worries as I had last year. Not enough money - too many things to pay out - no way to make more money. However my new years resolution - "Only worry about things you can influence" has meant I haven't cried every day! 
This quote is so true so I can't afford to sink to the pressure of worries about things I can't change. 
I am working as hard as ever at work and enjoying my class. Really I think my class is the only thing that keeps me sane. I have thrown myself into organising SATs prep and smaller group work and think we should have everything sorted for the coming term. I hope so! 
Christmas was good - a blessing - but it made me long to be in a position to move back up north far more then I had before. The atmosphere, the places, the people - I miss it all. With no real extended family of my own down here my in- laws stepped up which was so reassuring. If the absolute worst was to happen and my husband was not taken onto a permenant contract at his work we wouldn't be homeless - we could move in with the MIL and survive. Obviously it is the last thing we would want to happen but its a security net that exists and for that I am so grateful. It has given me a goal - something to aim for. Keep scrimping, keep paying things off and we will finally be in a position to move back up north. 

We have budgeted to within a penny and we can just make it. I have opted out of the pension scheme at work - theres no way I will survive to pensionable age if I don't do something to make some more money now and between hubbies shifts and my day job it makes taking on part time virtually impossible - either through conflict of interest (I need all the hours I have to be the best teacher I can) or logistics (waitressing/bar work would rely on regular hours which with hubbbies shifts changes is impossible.) so, plough on tightening the belt as frequently as I can. 
I am hopeful that 2016 teaches me to be humble and grateful for all I have - I know I am defiantly thankful for my husband, my boys and the roof over my head far more then I was for the vast majority of 2015. I have felt the kindness of others through freegle and gifts of time, money and kindness far more then I had when times were good. I got more curtains for my house from another kind stranger on New Years Eve and cried in the car for a good half hour in gratitude for their kindness. My second new years resolution is to remember - everything happens for a reason - perhaps this happened to bring you into my life? 

What are your new years resolutions? Could anyone suggest any money saving/making tips I could try out? 
Thank you for reading my blog - it is something that has kept me going when I could have broken. 

Monday, 21 December 2015

For the princely sum of £100 - Santa's coming!

So I took my £100 voucher and sorted gifts from the big man for our boys. I lucked out at Debenhams toy sale and managed to get...

As the main gifts for my two and some other little bits and pieces. I got a Dior lipgloss for my 11 year old niece and a batman egg cup and toast cutters...
There were some pound shop purchases to round off but overall have to say I am chuffed with my gifts. This plus the recycled gifts for the mother in law (Spiced Winter Berry reed diffuser), sister in law (candles), great uncle and aunt (marks and spencer chocolates) and my nanna (more Marks and spencer chocolates) means I have pretty much everyone covered. I got the brother in law and hubbie a Nivea shave set along with the niece a cute Fifi Lapin manicure set on their 3 for 2. 
My family will get some salt dough decorations the boys made - frankly I don't have a penny left and its largely their fault so hey ho - homemade and wholesome it is. 
I feel like I can settle into Christmas a little - just got to keep a real tight reign on the finances to ensure everything gets paid this month! 
Got some more fabulous news from freegle and am off to collect some curtains tonight! Heres hoping they are big enough! 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas at last!!!

I can't believe my last blog post was about having faith. I did - it came off already! Today I arrived in school and my beautiful children gave me a card where all of the parents had clubbed together and got me a £100 high street voucher. Now my other schools were both very different - they were both in deprived areas and I certainly received a lot of love from the kids but nothing like this! I couldn't help it - I cried a little. My boys will have presents from Santa after all!!!! 
Im overwhelmed by their generosity - although not in a deprived area they are far from wealthy and the level of organisation and sacrifice on each of their parts it must have taken has completely taken me aback. I also received some truly beautiful Bombki Christmas ornaments which I couldn't have even dreamed of owning. I have a thing about Christmas ornaments and have collected small ones for every year. They are like little memories hanging out for all to see. Far better then a photo they glisten and glow at Christmas full of the memories of Christmas past and living in the memory of the present. These delicate beautiful shepherds are so poignant right now to my life - the shepherds who had nothing were chosen by and trusted in God and wonderful things happened as a result. They looked to the star and knew there was something better out there for them. They were rewarded with the most amazing lives, blessed by the child and Gods love. A more perfect hope I couldn't wish to have. And now I get to look at that perfect hope hanging alongside the silver star I got for my son 6 years ago for his first Christmas and the gingerbread man I added for my youngest this year. 
I also got amazing candles, smellies and chocolate - I would love to keep these but in reality the candles would make a perfect gift for my SIL the room fragrance which is amazing will go to the MIL - another year I will luxuriate in these gifts for myself - this year I will luxuriate in being able to give.  Absolutely overwhelmed with emotion and love - so totally bowled over by their generosity. Its made me feel resolute to keep the faith in what I believe to be the right thing and I know everything will get better. Everything is going to be amazing. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Do unto others

So this is a weird title for my post but it relates to my job. So whilst struggling to afford food and Christmas presents for my children in work I am still a teacher and as such am expected to throw a class party for the kids, give them a small gift to take home and put in for gifts for other teachers. I have no idea how to say I can't afford it so I have taken on the - do to others as they do to you point of view. Just as I changed up my change jar to go to the pound shop to get candy canes and bought en masse the chocolate santa lollies (10 for a pound) for my class as gifts I know my oldests teacher will do the same. I gave into the collections the standard £5 for each teacher leaving (x2) and put in for the office and headteacher gifts collection because I can't let these people down - I am relying on the fact that they won't let me down either. Should I really need it I know I could turn to my TA and she would gladly take me and my family in for Christmas (I don't need to - I have the MIL for that! lol) but you get the idea. I'm finding me and my values again and didn't realise how much of a knock they had taken recently. Today I organised my class party - I went and spent every penny of the £15 they sent in and the rest of my change from my change jar. The wonderful job I have gives me the opportunity to give these kids lasting memories of Christmas at primary school and I have a duty to make it amazing - so I did. They loved the pass the parcel, musical chairs, newspaper fashion show and party snacks and all went out buzzing about the amazing time they had had together as a class. Memory making is amazing and Im glad to be a part of it for them. Such a warm Christmas feeling - happier days are coming... I have faith.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Festive fever pitch

So this week so far I have had four hours of Christmas carol concert practice, an hour nativity - my school then  an hour 'Around the World at Christmas' celebration followed by a Christmas disco. Tomorrow I have Christmas cushion sewing to finish, Christmas card making, Christmas biscuit making followed by a Christmas comprehension then more Carol Concert Practice culminating in the actual Christmas carol concert. The next day is Christmas party day, the following day is Christmas jumper day and the final day of work is our Christmas staff do. Think if I manage to crawl into bed covered in glitter and singing fairytale of New York I will have hit my Festive Peak??

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Passing it on

Now I would consider myself to be a generally nice person. I would struggle to say the last time I had a row and I always aim to treat others as I would like to be treated.  I bite my tongue to avoid hurting others and grin and bear it when I have to step up because others don't even though it very often piles the pressure on. However recently karma has been a treating me like a b***h! I had to move out of my family home with my smaller family with no notice or funds through no fault of my own. I have been left to pay for a Christmas for two children who are old enough to know with no money and, despite having windows at upper deck bus height, on a main road, have no money left for curtains. I have to walk and bus to school because my OH has the car for his work and have made a stretching a food budget a hobby. I have to admit - for the first time in the last ten years at least - I have found myself thinking "WHY ME?!!" Even whilst thinking this there has been the simultaneous thought "don't be so selfish there are people who are ill, or who have children who are ill, or you could have ended up in a shelter" then I'd feel guilty for thinking it and try to not do it again until I was soaked at the bus stop or shouted at in work.
Today that changed. I will no longer think "Why me?" because I had my first bit of good karma back to balance out the bad. With no money for christmas decs the cards the boys received from school have been making do on the window sill but now... thanks to someones amazing generosity (and the power of fragile)... we have a CHRISTMAS TREE!!! Its huge and fabulous and up ready for the boys to see in the morning. Praise the lord the tides are changing.