Family


That was definitely a busy and tiring few days.

Saturday was supposed to be a quiet day as we knew once we set of to L&T’s we wouldn’t get much rest. It didn’t happen that way though. The morning was spent searching for the photo album’s mum had lent us (me aged 0-4), and the afternoon was packing and Mr H fixing up his bike to take up so he could go out with T yesterday. We didn’t get to bed until 11:30. Not nice when we were up at 5:30!

The munchkin slept on until 6 but woke for the potty and with us up wouldn’t go back to sleep. We managed to get the car packed and us all breakfasted reay to leave at 7. For what I think is the first time ever we didn’t have any delays or slow sections of the motorway to contend with. We were up at L&T’s just before 10. We had time for a cuppa and for Mr H and the munchkin to change before we all headed off to the church. The service was lovely, though I spent most of it following the munchkin around the church and taking her out to use the potty! Back at L&T’s L put on a fantastic spread. Salads, bread, meat, hot nibbles, dips, gorgeous cakes and biscuits. It was great to see the family, only one of my uncles and a couple of my male cousins were missing. Sadly the weather, while dry most of the day, was quite grey. We did sit outside under the gazebos as it was fairly warm, but we did need jackets by about 5. The munchkin loved running around the garden and trying to play with baby J. She did manage to get her foot soaked in the pond. Thankfully she didn’t get any further! Most people left by about 6. We put the munchkin and baby J in the bath together and then put the munchkin down to sleep in L&T’s bed.

That was not our best plan. We though she’d sleep well there and then when we got her up to move her to the hotel she’d settle well again there….but no! She settled to sleep fine, we got her into the car at about 9:30 without too much fuss but when we got to the hotel….oh dear… Even though they knew there were three of us in the room the single bed hadn’t been made. So off we go, get the sheets out of the wardrobe, make the bed. All the while the munchkin is wandering round waking up more and more. We get the bed made and get her settled down. Mr H and I go and sit in the en suite to try and give the munchkin some peace and quiet to go to sleep in. 15 mins later I admit defeat and go into the room to go to bed. The munchkin’s still not asleep, it’s now 11pm. She clambers in with us for a hug. Mr H complains about the mattress on his side of the bed. The munchkin is almost asleep in the double bed. Mr H gets into the single, he’s comfy, then he decides he wants to share the bed with me. Due to him needing a decent night’s sleep since he’ll have to drive home the next day we swap sides of the bed and put the munchkin back into the single. I can understand why he didn’t want to sleep on ‘his’ side of the bed, it was awful! We all eventually got to sleep at arond midnight. Mr H was awake and reading just after 7, I woke then as well as he was using his torch and facing me. The munchkin managed to sleep until just after 8. We had a leisurely get up, we put a dvd on the laptop to keep the munchkin entertained and relaxed a bit more. 

We made it to L&T’s for a late breakfast before Mr H and T packed their mountain bikes into the car and headed off for some boy time. I sat and played with baby J and the munchkin (and was reminded how hard it is to butter bread while carrying a wriggly 6 month old) until L returned from shopping for more food for the afternoon’s BBQ. T was in charge of the BBQ as L had sorted the family party on Sunday. By 12:30 L was getting very stressed as the boys hadn’t returned and T still needed to clean the BBQ. The boys returned tired and sweaty at 1 with enough time left for showers and BBQ cleaning before the party started at 2. This was a party for all their friends as they wanted to celebrate J’s christening with them as well and there wasn’t space for everyone on Sunday. There were lots of little people and lots of bumps. At one point I was the only woman out of the 5 outside not sporting a bump! I was a little jealous but I know our time will come againa t some point. Most of L’s friends from her NCT group came along. All the babies are 5/6 months old. One of them is 5 1/2 months and weighs 20 lbs! The munchkin only weighs 24 lbs and she was 2 1/2 last week…

People trickled in and out as the afternoon went on. The last ones left at about 6:30, which left Mr H, the munchkin and I. We left at 7 (hoping to miss the worst of the bank holiday traffic returning to the London area), with a parting gift of lots of biscuits (L&T had a lot of left over food yesterday). Amazingly the return journey was as clear as the journey up and we were home by 10. The munchkin slept for the first 2 1/2 hours and went straight to bed when we got home, not waking until after 7 today.

It was a fantastic weekend. L and I got on better than we often do, which was lovely. It was great to see my parents again. They’d been staying with L&T for part of last week so left yesterday morning. Dad is now suffering with facial paralysis (it developed as the drove down to L&T’s). The doctor in L’s village thinks it is Bell’s Palsy though Mum thinks it may be another stroke. He’s been given steriods to take, but he’s not really wanting to take more medication, Mum has a hard time reminding him to take his cholesterol and blood pressure tablets everyday. It wasn’t as noticeable as Mum and L had lead me to believe (they said his face was quite droopy) until Dad blinked when only one eye closed. He was even more subdued and just sat quietly with my gran, his brother, nephew and niece for most of the party on Sunday. He’s lost so much confidence over the past year. It’s not nice seeing him like this, and knowing he’s not going to get better, only worse. It’s just something we have to live with now.

We did eat a lot over the weekend, but my hard work on the diet last week definitely paid off, I lost 1/2lb this week! I just need to keep the momentum going now.

Good morning! Just a quick update from the H household as I’ve got a lot to do today.

Firstly thanks for the lovely comments left on my last post. It was something I just had to get out somewhere and Mr H wasn’t due home for a while. Dad’s ok, he hasn’t had another TIA since, though Mum thinks he may have had a couple before. I still don’t know whether my uncle has managed to keep his house, my gran spent 2 days travelling into the city she lives near to try and lend him the money but as of yesterday afternoon she didn’t know whether it will have been enough.

My big job for today is to dismantle the munchkin’s cot and rearrange her little room to fit her big girl bed in. We’re hoping to start potty training her in the next month or so and there’s more chance of managing nights as well if she can get up to the potty if she needs to. She was starting to use her cot as a trampoline as well and it was only a matter of time before she launched herself out of the cot as she bounced.

I’m hoping to keep the munchkin downstairs as I do this so that Mr H can be here this evening when she sees her new bed, I’m not sure I’ll be able to manage that but I’ll definitely try!

In addition to that we have the usual toddler group this afternoon and then the munchkin and I are going to walk into town to do some shopping. Well I’ll walk, she’ll sit in our new (well,new to us) pushchair. We’ve got it from the local freecycle group. It’s a Jane Carrera C, offered as being broken but possibly mendable. Well Mr H has mended it (he’s replaced a broken rivet with a bolt), the walk today is to test out the mend. It’s the old version of one we were considering buying to replace the pushchair that was broken on the flight at Christmas.

Well, I’ve spent more time typing here than I was planning to, I need to make a start on the munchkin’s room. Bye!

I’ve just spoken to Mum.

Dad was due to have a driving assessment this morning relating to his dementia. However while at the test centre (before getting into the car) he had a transient ischaemic attack (TIA). He lost his speech and some movement and got very confused. It came back after about 10-15 minutes. Dad saw a doctor but I don’t think he’s going to have any more treatment due to it (Mum and I didn’t have too long to talk, dad was around and doesn’t really like being talked about). He’s already on medication for high blood pressure and has been asked to stop smoking (some hope!). As you may be able to expect he’s no longer allowed to drive (he hasn’t driven for the past couple of months anyway).

In addition to that Mum heard today that my uncle’s (her brother’s) has been repossessed, unless he can give the mortgage company £4000 by tomorrow he has lost it completely. He’s currently living with his ex-wife and her husband. My uncle has hidden this from everyone. We all knew money was tight, but not that tight.

Not a good day. Part of me wants to jump on a train and go and see Mum tomorrow but I can’t really do anything at the moment. I will try and get my next trip up sorted soon though. I wasn’t going to go until the end of April but I think I’ll try and go either the week before or after Easter instead. Back when dad was first ill last year my sister said she had a feeling that he wouldn’t be around in another year. He’s not been doing too badly lately so I’d dismissed that, but now I just don’t know. All I know is I need Mr H to get home soon and give me a big hug!

A few photos from the past couple of weeks. I know the right edge of some of the photos has been cropped off, am trying to tweak the blog template (it should {!} take less time that changing all the photos!)

 Yesterday’s brownie.

 Brownies

And the chocolate and banana cake. (I know, I have a fair bit of work to do on photographing food!) NB, this plate is a lot bigger than the plate the brownies were on.

Chocolate and banana cake

 Feeding the ducks in Ilkley.

Feeding the ducks

 And feeding Daddy!

Feeding Daddy rather than the ducks!

 Flying down the slide. (I must admit that Mr H took this one,. the rest are all mine)

Sliding - wheeee!

 Away from Ilkley and now above the woods near my parent’s house. Looking over the valley to the church we were married in. It was about 4:30pm on a misty day.

Church throgh the mist

 Looking like a proper little girl (rather than my little toddler/baby) sitting at the top of another slide.

Growing up

 On the swings, Granny is off to the right pushing her.

Swinging

Walking back down the hill with Granny.

Granny and the munchkin

There you are, some photos for Friday (otherwise known as Hannah couldn’t think what to post today!).

Firstly an apology…I didn’t mean to make you homesick missbliss! Your part of the country is gorgeous. I’ve had a couple of weekends away down there in the past and it’s lovely. I think the hospitable northerners thing very much depends on which part you go to and whether it’s a very urban area or not. I’ve noticed the people are definitely less friendly in the city centres. There is a lovely deciduous woodland a five minute walk from my parents’ house (they didn’t even know it was there when they bought the house). That sort of tree is lovely to be around, and crunching through the fallen leaves in the autumn and winter – hope that thought doesn’t make you more homesick!

The Shrink – we were in Ilkley on Saturday! It’s not too far away from my folks and a lovely place for a wander (and a big lunch in the Cow and Calf!)

Mumof4 – looks like it! Eh up lass! Not that my accent’s that broad, though it gets broader for a week or so after I’ve been back for a bit.

Driving over the hills to Ilkley really made me think that I belong there. Mr H and I could sell our house down here and buy a gorgeous Yorkshire stone house (with bigger bedrooms) for less money. Sadly though we’d then possibly struggle to move back down here should Mr H’s job require it. There aren’t many companies that do his kind of work in the area so relocating there could be a gamble. Who knows though, there’s a chance he’ll be made redundant again at the end of the year and we’ll probably be job hunting again. I know he likes the area (having grown up about 10 miles from me) it’s just the job security and housing thing putting him off. I certainly feel a lot more at home there, and still think of the area as my home. Coming back down here always makes me feel rather sad.

We did get some good news while we were up north. On Thursday the little rat who robbed my parents had his pre trial hearing (the trial was due to start next Monday) and changed his plea! He pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary and aggravated burglary as well as escaping from custody (he climbed over the dock when in court in August). He’s been sentenced to 6 years. As well as targeting my parents he also robbed an elderly lady in a nearby road. It’s a huge relief as Dad would not have coped well with the trial. The police man liasing with my parents called round on Friday morning to tell them the news and warn them it may be in the paper – it was the headline on the front page of the local evening paper!

Dad’s definitely a little worse than when I last saw him. He got a lot more fixated on doing things of finding out information than he has previously, but otherwise seemed not too bad. Mum said he’d had a good weekend though. Dad’s being seen by a new consultant in the little local hospital and they’re trying to work out exactly what’s wrong with him. From what I can gather from Mum he’s not quite fitting in the pattern for vascular dementia alone and may have a frontal lobe problem as well. The doctors also think Dad may be clinically depressed. Hopefully though the doctors will be able to work out soon what’s wrong and that’ll give Mum (at least) a little bit of certainty.

I need to go and finish unpacking all the things we brought back (including a lovely dolls cot and toy kitchen things for the munchkin). I hopefully be back later (or maybe tomorrow)  with some pictures from the weekend.

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Just a quick response to mumof4 in the comments. The stone houses are fab to heat as the walls are so thick they stay quite warm (once they get warm). Particularly if it’s a terraced house as there’s not far for the heat to go sideways. My parents have one and I hjave always dreamed of having my own.

I’ve actually had my hair cut today. The first time in about a year!

I’ve had about 5 inches taken off the ends and some layering put in at the front. It feels weird to run my fingers through my hair now, there’s so little of it. It’s just at my shoulders now so I can still tie it up when I need to but it’s got rid of all the horrible split ends I had. My hair seems so much thicker and full of body now, the length was really weighing it down.

The munchkin doesn’t seem to have noticed the change, I don’t know what Mr H will say when he gets in from work. He knew I was getting it done and agreed this morning that my hair needed some cutting from it.

My lovely friend cut it for me while her daughter and the munchkin played happily together. She’s been a hairdresser for years and since her daughter was born she’s worked as a mobile hairdresser taking her daughter with her. I went over to her house and we had a lovely lunch together as well. She’s a bit happier than she was. Her partner isn’t shouting and throwing things anymore though they’re still avoiding talking about the baby.

We’ve got a busy evening ahead here in the H house. Tomorrow afternoon we’re driving up to my parent’s for a long weekend. It’ll be the first time that Mr H has been up there for at least a year. It’ll be lovely to be back up there together but we do needs to get lots together first. Mr H is far better than me at packing so it needs doing tonight rather than when he’s at work tomorrow (he’s doing a half day). The munchkin has been invited to a birthday party at McDonalds at lunchtime (note to self: wrap present and write card!) and Mr H will pick us up from there at 2:30. Hopefully we’ll avoid most of the rush hour, but we always hit traffic as we enter the city by my parents, the only time we missed it was when we got there at 8:30pm, we’ll get there at between 6 and 6:30 tomorrow.

While we’re up Mum is going to baby sit for one evening. Mr H and I haven’t had a night out in a while. We’re proabably going to go to a local curry house for a ‘northern’ curry. Mr H is a bit of a curry fiend and doesn’t think much of the curry houses down here. There is one that does an all you can eat buffet for £12.50 so we may go there. I just hope there’ll be enough mild stuff for me. Mr H trained me to eat curry when we got together, but I still don’t like anything much hotter than a korma. The northern currys do then to be a bit hotter than the ones here. It’ll be nice to be out together whatever.

I’m also going to meet up with some of my friends while I’m up. We’re going out for lunch on Saturday and then possibly somewhere for a cuppa on Monday morning for those who are busy on Saturday. The munchkin is the only little one among us and the girls love to catch up with her.

Well, that’s all from me for today. I’ll be back again after the weekend. Hope you all have a good weekend. Bye!

Another quick post here today. I’ve mainly spent the morning cuddling a snotty little munchkin (I think she’s just teething – again – or at least I hope so!), this afternoon, while the munchkin naps…., I need to pack our clothes for the weekend and sort out the presents and cards I need to take north.

In response to the commenters yesterday…I am hoping to get some rest while I’m at my parents, but I know that it’s all going to be rather non stop until at least Sunday afternoon. I’m due to arrive with my parents at about 1:30pm tomorrow (depending on the joys of rail travel here!), Mum and I need to do some shopping in the afternoon, then in the evening I need to wrap presents (there’s no point doing it before I travel with everything).

Saturday morning will be taken up with helping Mum at the church Christmas fair (and entertaining the munchkin….or stopping her trashing the other stalls), I’m going out for lunch with some of my old school friends before we have a wander around the old mill which is now an art gallery and restaurant with some (rather expensive) shops as well. In the evening the munchkin and I are going out for a girly sleepover/Christmas party with the school friends (we’re seeing some of the twice as one can’t come in the evening). The munchkin will have the spare room (and hopefully sleep fine) while we girls have the living room floor. Mum was going to baby sit the munchkin but she’s singing in an advent carol service in the morning and it’ll be too early to either pick me up or drop the munchkin off with us without waking everyone/getting lost trying to find my friend’s flat. We’re having the party this early in December because one of the girls is going out to Austrailia for Christmas with her boyfriend (lucky girl!), she’s hoping to meet up with another one of our group who emigrated to Melbourne last month.

On Sundays Mum and Dad always go out for lunch so the munchkin and I will join them for that before hopefully relaxing and not doing much for the rest of the day. The only thing planned on Monday is meeting another ‘old’ friend for coffee in the afternoon. Then on Tuesday morning my sister is going up (with my gorgeous nephew too of course) and we’ll be able to spend a couple of hours with them before our train home in the early afternoon.

It’s never particularly restful at Mum and Dad’s, especially now with Dad’s dementia, but Mum has said she’ll try and give me a lie in (she hears the munchkin from downstairs as soon as she wakes) on Monday and possibly Tuesday which would be bliss! I never sleep brilliantly when apart from Mr H at least for the first couple of nights, it’s so strange (and cold!) being in bed on my own, but maybe since I’m there for 4 nights I’ll be ok by Monday!

Anyway, I’ve got loads to do so I’m going to go. Hope you all have a good weekend.

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