Wednesday, December 29, 2010


We had a little bit of nice daylight, for a change, so I took some new pictures of the youngest two. My camera isn't good at this time of year really, it hates the dreary weather.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Day

We had a lovely Christmas day. Normally I get up at 5am to put the giant turkey on, then kids get up early and open their sacks from Santa. This year we all had a lovely lay in until about 8am, then sacks got opened in a frenzy. Normally I would spend the next 5 hours out in the kitchen preparing for the whole family to descend on us, except this year I had gone on strike...we were going to our friends Sam & Russ for dinner instead.

Sack presents!

The HUGE pile of presents at our friends

Can you see the resemblance? :)

Beautiful baby Willow

Russ and all the children waiting patiently for dinner.

Isobel playing Harvey's new guitar

Crazy present opening. We used a lot of bin bags.

I still helped with the cooking, but it was nice not to have the stress of doing it all alone. It was a very chilled out day with lovely grub and good friends. I'm doing dinner at home again next year, which I'm going to hate after having such a wonderful relaxing time this year.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh well, that is that then

Ryan had been staying with friends and popping in and out for stuff, he told Pete that he wanted to come round at 4.30 on Monday for a chat, and when he got here he sat down and the first thing out of his mouth was "What do you want me to say?" Arrogant to the last.

He totally denied calling me a cunt in front of the other kids on Friday night, won't admit that his aggressive behaviour is wrong, refuses to back down and will not agree to treat us with respect, so Pete has told him he can't come back.

I wanted him to stay, but Pete went nuts at his total arrogance and refusal to back down. We can't live like that anymore. His Mum, who he can't stand, is coming to get him at 10.30pm. That is the first time she's come to get him in 5 years. I told her to enjoy him teaching her girls to say cunt.

We are all relieved to be honest. The other kids don't give a crap and are glad to see the back of him, which is very sad and all his own doing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ryan doing what he does best...causing trouble

It's all happening here, I think he's probably moving out to be honest as he is not prepared to behave like a decent person towards me and Pete or the other kids. He thinks he's the boss of us all and we just can't take it any more. He's buggered off to work now but I doubt he'll be back.

He started yet another row with me again. This has been happening multiple times a day, so much so that I now hide in my bedroom of an evening while pete is at work. He asks me questions, then argues really aggressively when I answer. He was going on and on about us moving, how he hates where we live, when can we move, why haven't we moved already, why do we have to live in such a shithole, surely we can afford somewhere else etc(we had the same conversation with him yesterday). I told him we can't move for two years and he was just so rude and condescending towards me. Pete told him off for being rude and he was doing his usual "If she talks to me like a cunt I'll do it back". Nice. I told him that he needed to treat me with respect in my own house, I'd taken him in and he can't even talk to me like a human being. I said it would be best for him to just not speak to me at all as he keeps starting these arguments, and if he can't do that he'll have to go, and he started getting really personal. It all came out that he's been telling Pete that I'm horrible to the kids in the evenings when he's at work, then all nice when he gets home(Pete asked the other kids and they said it was rubbish). The thing is, Ryan has been doing the same in reverse and telling me that when I'm at work Pete goes to bed all day and leaves Kit unsupervised, which I know isn't true as the house is tidy when I get home. He's doing it to split us up! How messed up is that?

His ego seriously needs taking down a peg or two. He needs to grow up a bit and realise that the world doesn't owe him anything, might make him realise a few home truths. :(

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We got the new mortgage!

All our hardwork getting the house sorted(well, half-sorted) has paid off and we have been accepted for a decent mortgage with a reasonable interest rate, with smaller payments over a shorter term, which will make such a difference to us straight away. I'm so glad those 2am decorating marathons paid off! It should all be done downstairs by spring, then we need to decorate and re-carpet the upstairs, and we can finally rent this place out.

We went away for a much needed change of scenery at the beginning of November to my friend Deb's house. We took the two youngest children with us and left Ryan at home, where upon he proceeded to announce the free house to the whole town on Facebook. Thankfully only about 12 people turned up. Taylor went to his Nan's as we didn't think the journey of approximately three hours would agree with him, as he has a habit of getting carsick on long journeys. We stayed up in Sheffield for two night, and it was lovely to see my friend, and just to get out of the house for a bit really. We came back all full of the joys of spring.

Me, Deb and her sister Nikki.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Isobel wanted to be Medusa for Halloween, so I spent about an hour and a half plaiting her hair with wires inside. It was lots of fun to wrestle it out of there afterwards too.

She wore a completely different outfit for her school halloween disco. I was at work so couldn't do her medusa hair, so we went for the easy option, that old faithful, the witch.

Kit wasn't too impressed with the whole knocking on peoples doors in the dark thing. It baffled him a bit, I think.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Thanks to the minor car accident the other day, we are finally getting our house sorted. We've only lived here ten years. This has been a long time coming and we've been very patient.

We've spent the last week stripping wallpaper, pulling down coving and moving furniture. It's Pete's been picking away at it for months, but once we had a deadline it was all systems go and we had to work late into the night quite a few times. The plasterer that we used was great, really great, and I can't quite believe this is my house!

Before and after pictures:

Under the stairs before...

...and after.

The worst bit - the bottom of the stairs where Ryan kindly flooded our bathroom and made the ceiling collapse.

What a difference!

The useless blocked up door to nowhere... it's gone!

The living room was the worst. Underneath our old wallpaper it was decorated like a crack den by the previous tenants, who'd kindly painted straight onto bare plasterboard.


Lovely navy walls. Classy!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

5 Years

Five years ago today, Ryan moved in with us. I can't believe how quickly that has flown by, I really can't. This is something worth celebrating. When he was younger, we used to buy him a chocolate cake to celebrate another year here with us.

The mess he was in when he moved in, you would never believe that he was the same person. He couldn't sleep, had to have long term counselling, felt guilty all the time and was completely brainwashed. He used to have nightmares every night about us all dying at Armageddon, and was so stressed that he had a nervous tic. Don't get me wrong, he's still an arrogant little turd who thinks the whole world revolves around him, but my god did we think he was going to go off the rails big style after the childhood he'd had and the emotional abuse from his Mum. He's turned out remarkably sane, all things considered. His Mum is still messing him about, doesn't give two hoots about him at all, but he's just used to it now.

I'm very proud, and so glad I fought for him and did the majority of the pushing to get him here. It's been worth it.

So, in celebration, here is ickle Ryan on his first day at senior school in 2005, age 11, two weeks after he'd moved in:

And this is almost 17 yr old Ryan now:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MORE pictures

Sorry to be a complete bore, but I just love the light at this time of year for outdoors photography, so tend to take loads of shots of the kids. When we actually get some sunshine that is. It has been quite sunny here this week, but bloody freezing!

Kit has really grown up all of a sudden, he's chatting away constantly. He has learnt to say "Dark", "Bird" and "Moon" this week, but now gets very disappointed when there is no moon to look at.

I took this one yesterday and instantly thought how much he looked like Isobel at the same age. They've always been similar, with Kit looking more like me and Bel more like Pete, but they really are pulling the exact same face here!



Saturday, October 16, 2010


I think I am either raising a genius, or a sociopath. Maybe he is both? An evil overlord or something. This picture just about sums him up really. A hilariously suspicious baby;

He laughs all the time, even if it is a little worryingly maniacal at times, but then he flashes from giggling to being completely deadpan and staring right deep into your eyes. He is so intense.

Taylor came home with a swollen eyebrow last week. When he told me the story, I wished I'd been there because it sounded seriously funny. He was on the bus, the driver braked too hard and Taylor shot forward. He fell down the steps in the middle of the bus and headbutted the bell. It dinged, and everyone on the bus laughed at him. One lady laughed so much she had a coughing fit.

The best thing? The bus driver heard the bell, stopped, and it was actually Taylor's stop!

Saturday, October 09, 2010


Pete had a car accident on Thursday morning, with all the kids in the car on the way to school. I wasn't there, I'd stayed at home to get ready for work. A young girl went into the back of our new(well, technically 10 yr old) car at a roundabout. She was very upset and admitted responsibility. Her insurance company called with an offer by lunchtime and we bargained with them a little and are now the recipients of a £1600 payout. The car is fine, you can barely see the damage, but we will need to get it looked at as it may not pass the MOT now. The kids were all fine too and went to school with no problems.

Our credit card balance will now be looking a little bit healthier, and we can finish plastering the hallway and fix the TV. I just can't wait to get the house finished. We've waited so long to have it all done, we've owned this place for three years and have lived here for eleven, and we have been battling with it that whole time, watching it crumbling before our very eyes and just getting worse. It's a little sad that I'm so excited about painting freshly plastered walls, and having flooring that isn't ratty and horrible. We also finally got a garage after 18 months on the waiting list this week, it's in a terrible state so the council need to sort it before we can use it really, the door is hanging off and there is a terrible roof leak, but to finally have somewhere for the moped, bikes and lawnmower to live is great.

Monday, October 04, 2010


We've just spent about 4 days decorating and cleaning like mad things as we had valuers coming to have a look at the house. We want to remortgage to get a better interest rate and pay it off over a shorter term, so a better deal all round, but needed the top end valuation to get it. Pete and I stayed up until 2am decorating, then were up again at 5am finishing it off. All week we nagged the kids to tidy their rooms. Taylor & Isobel were angels and were really helpful, Ryan thought he was above all that pulling-his-weight for the family stuff, and waited until his lack of response caused a massive row, and did it under duress ten minutes before the man walked over the threshold. Lovely.

We are right, slap bang in the middle of a massive redecorating spree, so I thought I'd take before pics while the house was nice and tidy. Probably the tidiest it's been for years to be fair, though not for long I'm sure.

Isobel & Kit's room

Our bedroom

Our newly decorated bathroom, it took about 3o hours, with work in between, to wallpaper, paint and lay the flooring. I do seem to work better with a deadline looming!

I'm very proud of my new floor, I am now a self-proclaimed DIY genius!

The hallway, a work in progress - Pete's been stripping the walls to get them ready for plastering for a few weeks now, and I started laying the wooden floor this week.

The kitchen, which is the only finished room in the house.

Taylor's lovely tidy bedroom. It doesn't look like that now.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Ryan has been at college for two ish weeks now and it isn't going so well. This may not be a bad thing, I think it could go either way as he has such an ego, being taken down a peg a two may sort him out. He's always been one of those people who blame others for their problems, think the whole world owes them a living etc. He has got better with time, but it's innate in him I think. Ryan lives in cloud cuckoo land where £30K jobs land in your lap, he thinks he's destined for greatness with zero effort put in on his part. Not unusual for teenage boys, but he's always been like it in some way. He's getting better though.

When he got his GCSE's he was giving it the large saying "Wow, I didn't even try at all and I still got C's, unbelievable!"(he got a couple of B's in unimportant subjects like PE too). When he went for his college interview they told him his grades weren't good enough and they weren't going to let him do A Levels. Pete went in and talked them into accepting him.

So, fast forward a few weeks and he's getting a public shaming from the tutors who keep telling him he'll never pass, statistically he's on target for an E because of his GCSE's being at an average level. I told Ryan they are probably telling him this to try and gee him up and make him work harder. He handed in some Politics homework the other day and got a U. He had tests on Friday in Economics that he knew he wouldn't pass, so he called in sick. Trouble is, he's working too many hours at Pizza Hut because he loves the ££££, and he's chasing after some girl. He needs to get his priorities right. It's all a learning curve.

Not sure what to do for him to be honest. He needs to figure this one out for himself. We've been trying to talk him into putting some effort in for the last few years and he thinks he knows best. I'm sure the college have picked up on his innate laziness and are just trying to knock it out of him early on. It's so annoying because he IS clever enough, but he really struggles with learning and thinking outside the box. I blame the way his Mum brought him up, he doesn't know how to question things, or research or think independently. When I homeschooled him it wss a nightmare as he needed to be spoonfed everything. He's doing Business, Economics, Politics and Philosophy. He's really enjoying the subjects, they are what he is good at to be honest, but his thought processes and work isn't anywhere near A level standard yet.

In other news, Ryan's mum has decided that after about 6 maintenance payments for Ryan, at £20 a month, she doesn't really fancy paying it anymore. So, she's paid £120 in five years. Her and Pete had a massive row about it where she proceeded to proclaim that she is a "good parent because she always buys him new things like trainers when she sees him". Hmmmm...funnily enough, Ryan doesn't agree. He thinks she's an idiot, just like the majority of the rest of the world who are unfortunate enough to come into contact with her. Apparently if we want any maintenance money now we have to beg Ryan for it, out of the sporadic pocket money she sends him. As if we'll do that. Pete asked her if she was happy with the fact that another woman was financially and emotionally supporting her child, because she was so bad at it. That went down well, as you can imagine!

She also promised Ryan an iPod for passing his exams. So far she has called every week to talk about it, and she even lied about sending it at one point saying the postman must've put a card through the door, then backtracked in the next call and said she was ordering it the next day, then another week passed and we got more phonecalls talking about the wonderful imaginary iPod. What colour does he want? What case does he want? What size does he want? No actual iPod though. It's almost like she's showing off about buying it, without actually buying it. She is crackers with a capital C. We are now awaiting the delivery of the magical iPod, which Ryan is adamant she ordered while he was on the phone to her last Monday. It's still not here. *Newsflash* She is currently on the phone telling him that the company have refunded her money so she's had to get it somewhere else. How many more excuses can she come up with. It's hilarious.

I forgot to mention, at least one of us has had some luck recently. Pete passed his Youth Worker course and finally started one of his jobs that he was offered earlier on in the year. He now works Wednesdays and Fridays in two local youth centres. He is still waiting patiently for a start date for the other one, working with young offenders. They are taking their time, it's fair to say. I'm very proud of him for doing so well. It's great to be able to stick two fingers up to the stinky Retail jobs he did before.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kit aged 18 months

Kit having a little chat. I'm sure whatever it is he is trying to say is very important.

18 Months

You would never believe that he was a little tinker when he looks so cute in photos, would you? He still wakes up at night, is a fussy monkey with food and barely eats, likes to beat everyone up and wrestle, but to make up for it all he is incredibly cute and cuddly. He's at that lovely stage where he's learning to talk, and calls everything animated a "Duck-Duck". He is obsessed with ducks. All birds are ducks. Sometimes even dogs can be ducks. Cats are not ducks though, because all cats just have to be our cat Moo Moo.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


We went for a very brief walk at the weekend as both Pete and I have terrible colds. I've had mine for about two weeks now, I just can't seem to shift it and have been coughing for ages. We keep waking each other up at night having involuntary coughing fits, and of course the sleepless nights help with our general moods. In other words, we are being grumpy sods. The kids were all climbing the walls though, so we did the dutiful parent bit and went for a wander in the woods.

Shaggy parasols, Sloes for gin, Apples and Blackberries that swiftly went in a pie that afternoon, and some Plums which made a rather tart jam. Not bad for free!