Thursday 31 January 2013

Doctor Polkadot's Perfect Attendance award

On Monday, The Doctor arrived home lugging this HUGE art set. I'm very grateful that his taxi driver takes a huge interest in his life, as she made sure to establish what it was about. He had been called up on stage during assembly, to accept a prize for perfect attendance for the second term in a row. He was so pleased and couldn't wait to have a look inside.

Of course you caught the bit about his taxi driver, so you're wondering how this is a big deal? Im going to tell you.But before I do, Im going to add a spoiler alert of sorts...I'm about to talk about my illness. Now I know that it's been said that you want to hear about me-not how my illness affects me. The thing is, my illness kinda is me.It affects me every day, and by the end of this post you'll see how it affects all of the residents here at Polkadot Palace.

The Doctor is in year two now, and he started at this school in the last term of year one. We were worried, because when we moved into the area, this school was not on our list of preferences. We'd never heard of it.
He started reception in another borough, two weeks after The Master was born. At the time we lived barely half a mile away from school, but it was up a very steep hill and although it had a bus running-we could never get on it as it was always too full to get the buggy on. I couldnt knock it down on my own because i have cerebral palsy, and so most days we sat and waited for another, and another, until eventually we were late and I had to take him in via the office to sign a red card.

A number of times I tried to walk the hill and it always ended in an ambulance having to come and get me because I had collapsed. The short of it was that after liaising with my local councelor, an MP, and various bigwigs at TFL,I still could get help getting on the bus so I gave up and got my drivers licence and traded my mobility component of my DLA for a Motability car.

Whilst trying to use TFL, we took a lot of abuse from both drivers and passengers. Once, a little old lady left bruises on his arm when she grabbed him and told him he shouldnt be here because "disabled people like your mummy shouldnt be allowed to have children". When we had days like this, he refused to get on the bus and so he missed school. He also missed school when I couldnt walk.

So when we moved to the new school and it was about two miles away from home-I was concerned. Not so much as before, because now I drive. But about planning my time and all that went with getting him in and out with two babies. From the start, the school was brilliant. I was told straight away that I could park in the teachers car park-and so I left the babies in the car to walk him to class and pick him up. Only a few weeks in, I was told that because of the distance I was told that we could apply for school transport. A few weeks after that, he was collected by a taxi for the first time-and since then, he hasn't missed a single day.

And that is why it was a huge deal.

Just as an extra, Ive not been able to sleep tonight, so I laminated his certificate and made him a book to add all of his certificates and bits to....

I really am loving my binder.

Tuesday 22 January 2013

When did binding become so much fun?

On Sunday,I mentioned that I was working on some binders to help me become a more efficient home maker. I've long aspired to Marla Cilley's flylady  programme, but my ability to keep up went out the window two children, three bedrooms and one bathroom ago. That's how much my family has grown since I "found" Flylady.

Along with the programme comes her concept of the control journal-it's a brilliant idea and I do have my lever arch file (I even have her "office in a bag" bag which was given to me as a gift by a friend who had never heard of Flylady). Its cumbersome though, and I cant seem to make it "fit" my whole family.

Im blessed with one of those husbands who realises really random things (like laminators and binders) please me very much,so its rare for him to say no to me. He is however, also known to set conditions for me (and I am known to fall for them every time) but he was easy this time. He said that if I kept the living room in order, with kids in the way...and finished the filing I started before Christmas,I could have a comb binder. You understand of course, that I doubt he would ever stand his ground-but he knows I cannot stand to not meet a challenge.

My plan is to keep a series of smaller binders in a tote (including one for each child with their own themed calendar) so I started with a meal planner.

I used the Apple Pickin' sampler page from "A-Manda creation" for the cover along with the free Aged-Dots Alphabets from Granny Enchanted and then I used a page from the sampler as the back for the inside. I printed each week across two pages formatted to landscape. Ive never found planners that I felt had sufficient space to note your whole meal, and it frustrates me that people seem to only plan the evening meal.

Ive also been "on" weight watchers and I always lose interest, because I can never plan every meal and outline the propoints cost for each, so I've added a small column after each meal for Propoints.
This is what the result was....

While I was binding it, the boys were watching Sqiggle it on Ceebeebies. In the 5 minutes that it had been on, I was interrupted four times.Once by each boy to ask for a piece of paper and then again by each of them to ask for a pencil. Just as an aside for my South African family-Do you remember ZET? Squiggleit is a big fluffy doll like creature who teaches the kids how to draw like ZET was.Now if you aren't a South African and you ever hear one talk about ZET-you have a mental picture:)

So I put a few sheets of printing paper under my guillotine and then bound them between two sheets of cardstock and a clear acetate cover. I pasted on the "pad cover", which you can find on the ceebeebies website, and then I bound them. The boys have taken such pride in them and just like that, Im not throwing away what feels like hundreds of half drawn on sheets each night. The smudges are where their names were printed on them.

I plan to work on a shorter,simplified meal planner for the kids next. And then shopping lists after that.

Sunday 20 January 2013

How long can one small cupboard entertain 3 small(ish) children?

I know everyone in England is posting about snow...but I'll leave that one for another day. The day after my last post, I decided to get into the kitchen and try to restore some order. I got all of my bits out...bleach, marigolds, a dish brush and some steel wool and a microfibre cloth. I also opened the "plastic" cupboard for Master and Princess.

No, I hadn't thought that through and even yesterday I found a lid in the toy box attatched to a pair of toy handcuffs. But I got the dishes washed, dried and put away, and most of our tins are now housed in one cupboard.

The night before, a box of formula fell off the pantry shelf and most of the box ended up on a cookie tray that was lying on the floor (couldnt have planned it better myself) and before I got around to cleaning it up, Master Polkadot got hold of it, so I left him with it...

Master Polkadot "Drawing" in the formula powder
I should have thrown it out ages ago, as it's left over from Masters bottle drinking days and Princess never bothered with it.

I wont bore you with all the self explanatory commentary, but I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Doctor got home from school and they were still at it, so he joined them.

Im working on some binders to help me become more efficient as a home maker, in the hopes that I will find some time for myself.I hope you'll look out for them.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

For the first time, and the last time

I spent much of yesterday thinking about how to start posting again. And so I did what everyone does when they dont have an answer...I asked Facebook.

I have been the epitome of the prodigal blogger, speeding ahead and then running out of steam, and then falling off the wagon again.
So I posted my Facebook status that said : "As someone who knows me, if I were to blog...what would you want to read?
The first response was from Pippa D from A Mothers Ramblings who said this:  about you. Not just about cakes or about being a mum or how illness affects you but about you. That's just my personal nosey thingy anyway 
Another response was this:  could you not do it as a daily diary type thing, but not necessarily every day, when you do things or feel the need to add to it?
Later on, Lordbob Polkadot asked me why I started blogging in the first place and putting the three things together reminded me of what made me start. Doctor Polkadot (our 6 year old who is so named because he is "The biggest fan of Doctor Who in the world EVER, and even the universe") was just 1 when he and I boarded a plane in Johannesburg, South Africa. We were leaving a life behind to make a new one in London with Lordbob, and by golly that's just what we've done.

In a nutshell, we left behind Grannies and Grandads, Aunties,Uncles,Cousins and lots of friends that are our extended family,and we added Master Polkadot (our 2 year old who joined us after a number of heartbreaking years full of negative Clearblue's and a few miscarriages) and Princess Polkadot (our one year old who announced her presence amid cries of "I am not pregnant! I "dont" get  pregnant! And "I will MAKE this Doctor fix me and be done!" What's that phrase about famous last words?)

I started blogging so that we could write a letter to our loved ones around the world every day (Yes, I read some of Pippa's world too;) ) Because why wait for snail mail when there's an App for that;). Now I think I'll go back to the beginning and promise all our Grannies and Grandads, Aunties,Uncles,Cousins and lots of friends that are our extended family, that we will write everyday "To our world with love". Even if there's not much to say and all we have are "little snippets".

If you've stumbled upon us on your journeys around "T'internet", we'd love it if you'd stay. No particular topic, just lots of the regular (and not so regular) day to day occurrences that everyone's  Granny wants to know about. So pop your slippers on and come have a cup of hot chocolate with us.

I'll leave you with the last picture taken of Doctor and I with his Godmother just before we left ....

And here's the most recent family portait

Oh and just one last thing.If you are thinking of blogging, pop over and say Hi to Tenille . I got my lovely blog template from her (and it's just perfect for Polkadot Palace, right?)
I like pretty things and making something pretty makes me want to use it more, but "my creativity" is not very original.So I'm thankful that I only need to think about my letters, rather than spending too much time trying to make it look right;)