Saturday, September 26, 2009

Things happen for a reason

My work still haven't contacted me about the funding, and they knew the cut off was Friday, so balls to them! I have now secured a loan through the OU, and will be paying for it myself. My cleaning job will pay for it. I think this possibly has happened for a reason, because it means that I am only tied to my job until October next year, just in time for us to hopefully move. We've decided we are going to try and get the house ready and get out of here before the older boys leave their respective schools. If we don't manage it then a least we tried. I like having a time frame for things. Hopefully we can get the majority of the decorating done by March/April.

We had a rather amusing phone call this week. Ryan's Mum left Pete with a lot of mortgage debts when they split, and she's changed her name lots of times to stop them catching up with her. She has now got a debt collection agency after her. We had the same one after us years ago, but we paid our dues.

We were forced to pay Pete's half of the debt when I was pregnant with Isobel 6 years ago, all my money for baby stuff went on paying it off, we really struggled as we were paying her £650 a month maintenance for Ryan at the time, plus this debt, we could barely eat and she didn't give a monkeys. She was spending our maintenance money on designer handbags and treadmills, and we were scrabbling down the back of the sofa for enough money to buy bread. Our electric used to go off the day before payday and we'd have to sit in the dark. We were seriously poor. But we paid it and got on with it.

She's just been bleating on the phone as she now has to pay £6000 and she thinks we've dobbed her in. We didn't, if we were going to we would've done it years ago when we were struggling. She has paid zero to us for Ryan since he's lived here-4 years, he's had pocket money off her for the last year and that's it. Divine retribution in action.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer person, really. She didn't even ask to speak to Ry when she called. Nice.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Still waiting

I am still chasing and harassing my work about my course funding. I've had to call every day, and they are always all either on leave or in meetings, and they never call me back. I've managed to discover that my senior manager has agreed to pay for it, instead of training having to find it, but she is now taking forever to transfer the money across. I have to have the forms done and in the post by Wednesday as I've already had two extensions to the enrolment date. I don't hold out much hope. :( Expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth. If I don't do next year I just know I won't do the degree. If I lose momentum that'll be it.

In more miserable news, I sent Michael, Taylor's Dad, an email a week and a half ago practically begging him to come and see Taylor. He hasn't seen him for months and months, the last time was before the summer holidays, and his behaviour is starting to get bad because of it. He gets really angry with the world. Michael hasn't replied. Granted he might not have seen it yet, but I doubt it. I can't call him because he changed his mobile number and hasn't given me the privilege of his new one. Even better, Sian decided she wouldn't bother seeing Ryan this summer at all as it cost too much and was too far, then proceeded to visit London for the weekend where she could've easily met up with him for lunch or something(she lives 150 miles away, we are only 30 minute drive from London), but didn't bother. Words fail me sometimes.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Feeling a little helpless

I've gotten myself into a bit of a predicament with a friend. Last year my friend C and I made friends with another woman with children in the local school. We all started having coffee together, and got quite close. When I had Christian they really rallied around me and helped me out. When I had revision to do earlier this year, it was these friends who picked Isobel up for me so I could study. They've both been bloody good friends.

In May, the other friend, T, left her violent partner and went to a women's refuge. Unfortunately she continued to see him behind the authorities backs, got caught out seeing him on more than one occasion, and was whisked off to a town 20 miles away to protect her children. She then stupidly continued to see him, and now has care plans in place and core group meetings with Social Services being held about the children's welfare. She decided she'd like the ride to stop and came back to her original empty house this weekend, but once Social Services are involved you can't just tell them to go away. I popped round there today and she gave me the minutes of the Core Group meeting to have a read through, detailing the case against them, and she is totally oblivious to what is about to happen. Both of us have tried to tell her that she is about to lose her children over this, but she won't have it. She is still seeing him, and refuses to stop. She's walked away from the second refuge 20 miles away and come back here to him, expecting them to just let this drop. She is having another baby in a few months too, and at this rate will be handing it over at the hospital.

I called a friend in the know tonight for advice, which was a pretty cool thing for her to do for me as we've only spoken online before, and she's helped me get my head straight. I'm going back round to T's tomorrow for a cuppa so it's my last chance to lay it all on the line for her. I think Pete thinks I'm mad for trying to talk sense into her, but I wouldn't be a very good friend if I just stood back and let it all happen. I'm pretty sure she is beyond help, this situation is way too complex for me to deal with, but I have to give it one last try before they swoop in and take her children away.

It's such a stupid situation to get yourself in. :(


I can't explain why really, but family life seems really settled right now. I think having them back in school helps. I know we have money issues, and I'm worrying about my degree sponsorship, but the kids are all doing really well and behaving themselves and Pete and I get lots of time together.

Ryan seems to have turned a corner behaviour wise. Taking his Xbox away for a couple of months earlier on in the summer was the best thing we ever did. He went mental to start with to try and get us to give in, but we can be really tough parents(which I'm sure the kids hate), and he seems to have given up fighting us. We don't get much rudeness, laziness, self-entitled attitude or horrible behaviour from him now, he's actually quite pleasant to have around. It's like we have broken in a wild horse!

I really enjoy watching them grow up, especially the older boys. Ryan took Taylor to watch a football match on their own at Southend FC this week, and I love seeing them have a little bit of independence away from home. I get a lot of joy out of having older kids, and talking about 'grown-up' stuff with them, like careers and college. Ryan isn't 100% sure what he wants to do, but thinks he will do A Level Business and Media at college. Taylor wants to do Motor Sport Engineering, and he's pretty committed to that, but I wouldn't be surprised if he changed his mind. He has 6 years of school left yet, but we always knew he'd do something like that. He's good with his hands. He's very good at technical drawings too so I'm encouraging him to think about car design as another option. Isobel likes to join in with the conversation and her career aspirations have been known to change daily, and have ranged from a teacher, to a zookeeper, to the lofty heights of an ice cream lady.

Kit has really changed mentally and physically this week. He's having a massive growth spurt and will not stop eating and drinking. He is starting to want entertaining, and you can see the little cogs in his brain whirring round trying to figure stuff out. He's got very grabby, has to touch everything, most of which then goes in his mouth for a little taste...even grass!

He is seriously adorable and so cuddly. His hair has sprouted this week too, not that you can see it, he still looks like a little cue-ball from a distance. I think he's going to be white blonde like Taylor was at that age. I sometimes wish he wasn't so easy to look after as I know I'll end up broody...again! No more babies for me though. It would be easier if he was a pain and a little more off putting.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


I am so upset with my work. They have had my sponsorship forms to enrol on year two of my degree for over a month now. I've called four times to get them to sign it off, the final date came and went and I've managed to get two extensions from the university, people never call me back when they say they's getting very frustrating. I finally got an answer today; it's been signed but now they have run out of money! So that's the end of that then. :( The training budget has all gone. They are trying to find funding elsewhere for me, but you just know I'll get a call next week giving me bad news. I can't believe it.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Senior School

I'm not a worrier by nature and normally make quick decisions about things, but this Senior School Application for Taylor is doing my head in and keeping me awake at night. Parenting older children is so hard.

Taylor is doing really well in primary school, especially as we always expected average at best for him and the teachers/doctors thought he had Aspergers. He has matured massively since turning 8 and is doing really well now. He is above average in his maths/english and has been picked out as being gifted in art. He knows what he wants to do with his life(motor sport engineer) and is massively committed to that goal(unlike Ryan - he hasn't got a clue!) He is still a bit of a clown at times, lacks concentration, and is niave and easily led. This is where my concerns lie with sending him to a rough school with poor GCSE attainment.

My choices are three out-of-catchment schools with over-subscription; a catholic school which has always had plenty of spaces until this year and is now over-subscribed(seems everyone just realised it was a good school); or the school over the road that is dire and has about a 12% pass rate at GCSE.

Pete thinks I should just send him to the school that Ryan goes to(none of the above), but I don't think they'll push Taylor enough and it is almost 4 miles away and a pig to get to. Ryan is naturally clever, but lazy, and would've passed his GCSE's no matter where he went. Taylor is not naturally as clever, but is hard working when pushed and would definitely do better at a different school.

I've never had to do this year 6 thing before as Ryan was a mid-year application. Shall I just put down the three out-of-catchments schools, then the Catholic school, and hope for the best? I'm terrified they are going to make me send him over the road to the crappy one.

Can someone please come and do it for me?