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Archive for the ‘Life and stuff’ Category

Invasion of giant rats!

Posted by shinymac on August 19, 2010

Right now I am so unbelievably glad I don’t live on the Ravenscliffe Estate in Bradford, who seem to be having an issue with absolutely ginormous rats.
I’ve just been reading about this here (and I don’t usually read The Sun, but I couldn’t resist this story), and I kid you not, my hair is on end, I feel sick, and I actually feel a little bit scared.

Have a look, but please put any food down first, and please don’t read if you are of a nervous disposition. I regret hearing about this now.


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Gracie’s arrival into the big wide world!

Posted by shinymac on May 28, 2009

Gracie’s Birth Story – Thursday 21.05.2009 – 07:20am – 7lbs 5oz

The first sign of anything happening was on Monday 18th May, when I woke up to feel a gush of fluid, and realised my waters had broken.
The whole day was spent waiting for the contractions to come, and seeking out every little niggly pain and ache, all amounting to nothing. I went to pick my children up from school, and the water kept coming and coming – the walking was changing the baby’s position and forcing it out!
I decided I shouldn’t really wait around for the contractions, I needed to be checked by the hospital. I called them, and they said they wanted me in to be monitored, and to check for infection etc. So Alex came home from work, and in we went.
He took the children off to get some tea, while they monitored me, and after several hours, everything seemed to be fine, so they let me go home, but with instructions to return the following day and have more monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat, and temperature checks etc.

The following day, was even worse. I was there for 6 hours, mostly just waiting around, as they seemed to be so short staffed, and as nothing had happened since the waters going (apart from more and more waters coming and coming non-stop), I was getting really upset and frustrated.
They finally let me go at around 8pm, and I cried to the midwife when she said I’d need to be back the following day again. She took me to the desk and found the registrar, and she asked him the following “Please can you consider this poor poor lady for acceleration of labour tomorrow?” He confirmed he was happy to consider me for this, but it would all depend on their workload the following day, and who was in charge as well.
It made me more positive about going back the next day, and I felt a bit better.

During that night, I started waking up around every half an hour with tightenings which turned into pains, and as I got to Wednesday morning, they were coming around every 25-20 minutes and getting slightly worse, although still bearable.
I sent Alex to work, took the kids to school, told him I’d let him know when I needed him, and decided to ride it out as much as I could.
I went to the hospital on the bus, and tried to cover up my wincing when each wave of pain came! Once there the contractions were showing up on the monitor, but were not very strong just yet. They decided to send me home as the Labour Ward was very busy, and they said to come back tomorrow. I had a feeling I’d be back before then.

I went home, again! The pains increased and when they were coming every 12 minutes or so, I rang my friend, Louisa, (what an absolute star she was too!) to come round, as she was going to babysit for us when it all kicked off. She came, and helped me time my pains on the computer as I bounced on my ball.
They went from 12 minutes apart down to 3-4 minutes apart within about 2 hours, so I knew things were heading in the right direction.
I rang the hospital when they got more frequent and when they were starting to become unbearable, and they said to come in.

In we went at around 10pm and were put into a room, where I was examined. After ALL that, I was only a paltry 2cms dilated! I could’ve cried. The midwife said that there was no point in me going home, as things could go quickly due to my waters already going, and they had to induce me the following day as it would’ve been 72 hours since my waters went.

So I got comfy, although not for long. Within a couple more hours, the pains were intensifying. I had some co-codomol, and tried a bath, and had to have some anti-biotic drip put in due to the waters already being broken.
Suddenly, at about 3am, I was in the bathroom doing the toilet, and couldn’t get off it, I was squealing with the pain, and Alex rushed in and called the midwife. She examined me again, put me on the monitors and said it was time to go to the Labour Ward so I could have some gas and air.

Goodness me, that stuff helped, but it made me feel like I had a man’s voice, and made me talk some rubbish too!!! Apparently at one point I was talking about some man who dances with fairies in the park. And I also just blurted out “Well that’s no good is it? He’s in Afghanistan!” I had no idea who I was talking about at that point, until Alex asked if I meant my brother, and I realised I did, although he wasn’t in Afghanistan! It was sending me potty!
Things seemed to progress quickly once I was in the birth room, and I kept trying all kinds of different positions to get comfy, but I was so restricted, as they had to keep me on the monitors. I was standing up, on all fours, laid down, and just struggling to get comfy.

As it got to the pushing stage, the midwife was telling me to hold a deep breath in, use the gas and hold it all down to push, and I kept screaming that I couldn’t do it! I kept saying “I’m SOOO tired! I can’t even open my eyes, let alone push! DRINK! GET ME A DRINK!” Poor Alex kept having to feed me water.

It felt like forever, but I actually managed to push my little girl into the world in just a 20 minute pushing stage after pretty much 3 days of slowwww labour! The feeling of utter relief when you feel her flop out of you is amazing, and impossible to describe, but as soon as she was placed onto me, and let out a cry, my heart was filled with love and devotion to her. Alex had announced the sex to me, and that was a special moment that I will cherish forever.

I tore quite badly, so had to have stitches, but the worst part of that is the first time you go to the toilet as you hesitate and hold it in so much, once you’ve done it once, it’s fine

Gracie is a little angel already, and I am completely besotted with her.
At first I said “NO MORE EVER”. I’ve since changed my mind, if we had a larger house or money for a larger house, I’d keep going and going. The pain is just a small section of the whole experience, and is so totally worth every bit.

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Posted by shinymac on November 22, 2008

Woah! Where have the 2 months gone?
Hmm…… what have I been up to for the last 2 months…… hmmm…. let me think….

WELL! I’ve spent much of it with my head over the toilet bowl, retching. I’ve gone off tomatoey foods, I have been more tired than I’ve ever been in my entire life, and yes, I’ve been growing a baby in my tummy.

This is why I haven’t been around, coupled with starting work full time for the council, which has been far better than I could ever have imagined it would be.

I will update you all properly when I get a chance, but the X Factor has just come on, and I cannot live without my weekly fix of guilty pleasure trashy tv (weekly has actually turned into nightly with I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here coming on lately, so weekly is a bit of a lie really!).

See you soon x

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Strength personified

Posted by shinymac on September 27, 2008


From the moment I took my first breath in the world, nah, scrap that, from the moment I was conceived if we’re going to be picky, I’ve had a special person in my life.

Someone so special that she has been there for me, regardless of differences of opinion, regardless of location, and regardless of a couple of years of rebellion (which was really a pathetic attempt at rebellion to be fair – I was too sensible most of the time!).

This person, which is probably fairly obvious, is my mum, Marie.

She has shown me considerable strength throughout her life, and she has continued to smile and laugh, despite major set-backs in life, and despite illness over the last several years.

What an inspiration!

I’m so proud of my mummy. Happy birthday x

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Welcome to this wonderful world!

Posted by shinymac on September 26, 2008

Say hello to Leo!

Leo was born yesterday, weighing 7lb 9.5 and is a happy healthy little boy. My sister is very proud, as is her partner Craig and Leo’s big sister Erin.

I spent yesterday in tears of joy, longing to meet him, and longing to hug my little sister who did so well to push him out so quickly, despite the pain.

Today, they are going home from hospital, and it’s this time in a baby’s life that I remember with much fondness, having been so proud to take my own babies home from the hospital. Home to mountains of gifts for small bundles, home to flowers, home to freshly knitted jumpers, and home to a new routine, or even no routine for a little while, at least until things settle, goodness me, give me a chance!

So I just wanted to wish my sister and the rest of her beautiful little family, all the very best wishes I possibly can upon her exciting adventure of returning home, but returning home with a beautiful and very special new life.

Congratulations! x

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Posted by shinymac on September 11, 2008

One of my earliest memories is bringing my sister home from hospital. A little bundle of screams and joy, all wrapped together and curled up in a huge navy blue carry-cot, positioned neatly in the back of our red estate car between myself and my big brother.
I remember peering in and wondering what this would mean. How this would affect me, how it would affect our family. What this little person would bring to us all; laughter? Fun? Cuddles? Annoyance? I have to say, that unbeknown to me at this tender age of 3, this little person would bring us all of these things, and much much more.

As my sister started to become a real person, by that I mean talking, walking, pulling hair and sticking her tongue out, rather than just laying down, kicking legs and screaming, she was blonde, cute and a pest all at the same time.

She followed me around like a lost little lamb, and I took care of her as much as I could, until I’d had enough and wanted some space and some peace. Well, she talked an awful lot, there’s only so much a big sister can take!

My brother and I used to pick on her a bit, and when we played villages, we chose the important jobs, and gave my sister the rubbish job. She’d end up working as a post lady or a shopkeeper, whilst my brother would be the policeman, and I would be the teacher or the librarian, bossing her about and shutting her into the toy cupboard.

When we lived in Germany, she decided she didn’t like her knickers one day, so she threw them out of the car window on the autobahn. I stifled my giggles as much as I could as my parents told her off, and her face crumbled. From then on, I knew she would be strong. She would be able to stand up for herself, and if she didn’t like something, like her knickers for example, then you would know about it.

We were sent to Boarding School when I was 10 and she was 7, which was for the right reasons, and was really only a 3 year temporary measure. She was the youngest boarder there, and despite everyone looking out for her, and thinking she was adorable, she found it so hard to be torn away from our parents at such a young age. She needed her mummy, and I had to be very grown up and try to give her everything I could in replacement, as we were far away from our mum and dad. I hope that she thinks I did a good job now when she looks back, but it was hard, I was still really a baby myself. She cried and threw tantrums everytime the new term started, and I struggled, but tried so hard to comfort her as much as I could.

On our very first night at boarding school, as we were both in the Juniors, we all shared a dorm. As the lights went out, she asked me to give her a goodnight kiss, in the bed next to mine. I crept out of my bed and slinked over to hers, bending down and plonking a kiss on what I thought was her face. It felt cold! She was giggling away, but it was muffled. She had asked me for a kiss, and whilst I’d made my way to do so, she’d shuffled round and stuck her bottom out of the top of the quilt where her head was supposed to be! The little monkey!

Once we left the boarding school and started at a comprehensive, she faced up to bullies and nastiness daily. She would follow me and my friends around all the time, and I couldn’t shake her off. She hit one of my friends with the hoover pipe when she heard her being mean to me, and I knew then that I didn’t actually want to shake her off. She was my little sis, and I was going to cherish her forever.

She was the first to have a child out of the 3 of us. A little girl, Erin, who is now 6, and a beautiful, loving and bright little girl she’s turned out to be. Despite the fact that her marriage to Erin’s dad broke down, which I think everyone was upset about at the time, she has moved on and found love again, and is expecting her 2nd baby this month.

Today is her birthday. My little Kerry is now 28, and I can’t understand where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday when she would throw tantrums and I would hold her, stroke her hair and tell her that everything would be okay.
It feels like a week ago that I put a bookshelf up in the middle of our shared bedroom as a divider, so that she knew where she wasn’t allowed. It feels like it was just days ago when our father left our mother, and we were thrown together in a strange kind of mourning, and comforting each other, whilst trying to comfort our mum at the same time, as best as we could.

Now we live far apart, I want her to know that I cherish every moment we share together. Whether it be on an email, a phonecall, or when we actually meet up and hug once again.

Happy birthday Kezza-kins. I love you x

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Bright Eyes

Posted by shinymac on September 9, 2008

When I was younger I went to boarding school in Sussex. At this school, I made loads of friends who were also boarders, and who therefore were like sisters to me at the time, although the kind of sisters who I never saw during the holidays, never spent Christmas with, never remembered being born and that kind of thing.

Often, we would feel homesick, especially at night time when we’d all be settling down to try and get some sleep. These emotions would hit hardest at the start of a new term, when we had returned to our second home, and said goodbye to our real families for the next however many weeks.

I used to love singing, in fact, I still do, and I indulge in this hobby only with my kids nowadays. I don’t go to partake in karaokes anymore, and I certainly won’t be singing with The Vultures again (after seeing myself in their video finale!), so lately the singing thing has kind of taken a back burner. But back then? Well back then was a whole different ball game. After all, these people were my (fake) sisters remember, and if you can’t sing in front of your (fake) sisters, then who on earth can you sing in front of?

So I would let rip and try to cheer everyone up. The favourite number back in the days of nuns and midnight feasts, was, of course, Bright Eyes from Watership Down. Although how this cheered anyone up is beyond me, but it seemed to really work.

I would purposely try and sing it as softly as possible, gradually getting quieter and quieter, until everyone was almost asleep, and then I would stop and snuggle myself in to also try and get some shut-eye.
Everyone would say it was soothing, and I really feel like I tried to help. Whether or not this worked or not, I do not know, but right now, I wish I had a me at that age to comfortingly sing “Bright Eyes” to me until I fall asleep.

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Marley and Evie start school

Posted by shinymac on September 6, 2008

This has been a very emotional week. On Wednesday of this week, Evie and Marley started their journey and started school for the very first time.
I expected tears, I expected clinging, I expected wails. However I got nothing I expected! I got smiles, excitement, happiness and not a single ounce of nervousness or trepidation about what lay ahead for either of them!

It was hard to leave them in the classroom, but I tore myself away and marched home to sit alone for a while as they got to know their new teacher and their new classmates.

It got to Friday, and the reality sunk in. They were really at school! They weren’t my babies anymore! The day had come and they had gone to school as I sat in the house feeling all miserable!
I sat and cried for an hour straight, and even now my emotions keep peeking out at me and saying “Hi there! Fancy a few more tears? Go on…… you know you want to!”

And to top it all off, the rain is simply making it all worse, and everytime I see the rain pouring down and trying to taunt me, I just feel slumped!
Next week will obviously be easier. And the week after that, and the week after that. I just hope the rain stops to help me out a little!

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Back to reality

Posted by shinymac on September 1, 2008

I am back in the UK after my week away in Italy. I’m back to new-ness. It turned out that the week the kids were away wasn’t my last week at work. I’ll still be there until the end of September, and I’m not as upset about that as I initially thought I would be, because I’ve been offered a job much closer to home, and much more convenient for the kids starting school, so it’s all good.

Alex too has been offered a new job, which he starts on 22nd September, and which he kept secret from me until the day we set off for our holiday! Little sneak!

Well, I bet you’re all wondering what I got up to on my holidays! Well, luckily for you guys, I kept a diary, and I am about to post it on here bit by bit!

DAY 1 – Sunday 24th August 2008

Today is day 1 of our holiday, our first ever family holiday abroad on our own.
As I write this, I am sat at the edge of our enormous terrace which overlooks the sea, in Hotel Mon Repos, Lido De Jesolo, Italy.
Evie and Marley are catching up on some z’s, due to having to catch an early morning flight from Stansted – we were up in our little Kings Arms hotel at 3am this morning!
We’ve had the whole day here, so we’ve already overindulged on huge delicious pizzas and hazelnut ice creams.
The kids have absolutely loved the beach, and the sea, and are becoming much braver and more adventurous, only slightly miffed that their new Barbie arm-bands have faulty valves, so won’t stay inflated!
We’re full of plans for the next 6 days, visits to Venice, walks along the beach, and even maybe crazy-golf!
I just hope we manage to squeeze everything in, before the time comes when we have to bid our farewells to this beautiful country and head back to Treviso Airport past countless fields full of red grapes.

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A change will do you good

Posted by shinymac on August 15, 2008

Wow – things have changed here on WordPress. You can always tell you’ve been away from somewhere for too long, when upon your return it looks a little different, and this is something I anticipate will happen this weekend.

I am going to my mum’s! The town where I spent my teenage years. I’m only going for one night, but I just want to go and see how things have changed, and hopefully not bump into any ex boyfriends or people I may have offended whilst I’m there. I highly doubt this will happen, being as I am planning on getting there at about 18:30, and intend to leave at around 11am the next morning. But still! I get to see my mum, and I get to leave my kids behind for a week (just about)! This means that Alex can pick me up from work on my last ever week there, but also means there will be a void during the day time whilst I’m sat twiddling my thumbs and talking to walls. (In fact I won’t be doing that, because I will be far too busy sorting out shorts, vests, swimsuits, bikinis and flip-flops! Woohoo!).

So yes, things change, and I love that. I embrace change and welcome it with open arms. It stops me getting bored, so bring on the changes. There’s plenty of them already on their merry little way!

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