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September 16th, 2010

12:57 pm - nursery dilemma
Have a bit of a problem with James's nursery just now so I'm going to see if writing it all down helps. I rarely ever try doing this so we#ll see...

Lovely nursery, great staff, fab gardens and close to home/work etc. Have used it since Emily was a baby (she's now 6) and James has been there for 3 years. Not had any problems with nursery at all and, on the very rare occasions, that one of the kids has maybe had an issue with another child it's always been sorted out well and quickly. I really like the staff and particularly like the staff in James's current room (pre-school room).

James is 4 in Jan. Being in Scotland he would be due to start school in Aug 2011. But also being in Scotland we have the ability to defer the school entry for children born in Jan and Feb (ie same as an Aug born child in England). Deferring means he would start primary 1 in Aug 2012 and probably be one of the oldest in his class. Almost everyone here defers so if we don't then he will have people in his class who are over a year older than him. He's just a wee boy are our gut feeling is to defer him. That means he would be at this nursery for almost another 2 years.

Should have said it's a private nursery because I work and school nursery is just not possible for this working mum.

So the problem is that the owners sold the nursery a few years ago as they were retiring. No real major changes happened as the manager, who had been there since the nursery opened, kept on the same ethos. However she retired in May and small changes have been creeping in. Nothing major really but just a slightly different vibe to newsletters, fees etc

The current owners and new nursery manager want to swap around the rooms at nursery. Currently the pre-school room is a lovely big room with direct access to the garden. It's set out very similarly to a primary 1 classroom and has a variety of different play areas, carpet area for reading time, few desks for drawing etc. The plan is to move the preschoolers to the baby room which is upstairs in the attic. Now this room is tiny and has another attached room which is also very small (used for the babies to have their naps) and it's up a very steep flight of stairs. We obviously carried our babies up there when they were in that room. It's the least desirable room in the nursery but I've always thought that it doesn;t really matter for the babies as many of them aren't yet mobile and it's a nice cosy room for them. But it's completely unsuitable for 4-5 year olds IMHO. I'm not going to list all the reasons why but believe me it's rubbish for the older kids. Nursery have their reasons for this move but they are also rubbish (I suspect the biggest unsaid reason is that they only have 20 pre-schoolers and could get more money if they can increase the size of the babies and tweenies rooms)

Nursery have a parent "consultation" afternoon on 1st Nov about the changes but it seems that it's going ahead anyway on 19th Nov although nursery have now decided to deny this. We are very upset at the lack of communication and their pretence that it's not a done deal. Staff have privately said they are unhappy but obviously they have to protect themselves and their jobs so don't want to speak out.

Matthew and I and another couple who we know very well are sort of leading a campaign against it - many other parents are unhappy but so far letters and emails have met a defensive response and we still get the feeling that we can't change anything. As James will have his school entry deferred I possibly feel more strongly about the changes as he will be there more longer than the majority of other kids in his room who will go to school next summer.

I have spoken to the Care Commission (ofsted equivalent here) who say the changes are allowed but agree the consultation should have been done better. They are visiting the nursery this week (my name is being kept confidential).

There is another nursery that we can move James to and they have a place but probably won;t have that place by November which is when we will know for sure what is happening. We can't afford to pay for two places to keep our options open so need to make a decision within the next week or two. The new nursery is also an afterschool club and holiday club. Emily used it during the holidays and her friend uses it in term time so we know it's good. James would eventually go there once he starts school so I suppose we're just moving him a bit sooner.

But I love the staff at the current nursery and both kids have flourished there. However the nursery bubble has been burst and I would struggle to trust the management even if they back down about this change. I don't want to move James and then find that the change doesn't happen. I also need to get my head around the fact that he probably won;t be there for the time that I thought he would and I'll be sad about him missing some of the stuff Emily got to do but equally he'll get to do other things at the new nursery.

James doesn;t like change and I worry about unsettling him and him leaving his friends. But most of his friends will go to school next year anyway and we'll be in touch with his good friends as we see them socially anyway.

My parents are on holiday this week (the whole situation became more urgent this week when we realised that the move was happening soon) so I haven't been able to use them as a sounding board (they are involved with the kids and do a nursery pick up weekly so know nursery too).

Well done if you've read this. I think I'm going towards moving him and that's what Matthew prefers but I still feel very unsettled

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May 11th, 2010

08:09 pm - Politics shmalitics
can't believe we have a fucking Tory Prime Minsiter

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March 20th, 2010

10:03 pm - an exciting week..............
Emily made her Rainbow Promise this week so I am very proud to have a daughter who is officially a member of Girl Guiding.

James fractured his elbow yesterday (a supracondylar fracture) and I am very proud about how the poor wee lad coped with the pain and is managing to cope with having his arm in plaster and a collar and cuff. He is even trying to ride his scooter one-handed!!

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November 27th, 2009

11:18 pm - excitement
I haven't updated for ever really but have just got very excited about something and Matthew is out and the kids are in bed so thought that I would share :)

Squeeeeeeee for the Strictly Tour. I've just seen the final line up and I'm soooooo excited. Should mention that I have Front Row Tickets for one of the Glasgow shows so I am now majorly excited. Yeah for Lilia and Austin and also Team Cola being on the tour. Obviously this will mean nothing to anyone who doesn't watch Strictly *scratches head at bizarreness of not watching Strictly*

hmmmmm I do wonder if my obsession is taking over though. I discovered by chance that Emily's teacher is a Strictly fan and think that I frightened the nice-but-battleaxe-teacher with my enthusiasm

I've just finished assembling a Playmobil Advent Calendar for the kids. It took aaaaaaages to build the wee boxes and then put the correct miniscule bits into the correct boxes.Basically there are bits everyday so eventually by Christmas Eve we will have made a lovely Christmassy scene of playmobil. Well that's the theory anyway................

Tomorrow night I'm off to a Primary 1 Mums night out. It's one of these party night things and should be good fun. The Division Guiders are also going to the same event (complete coincidence) but I have elected to go with the P1 mummies as *whispers* I thought it would be more fun with them. I do like a glass or two of wine and a boogie and fear the Guiders will all just be sitting there in a tame fashion.

Think I should go to bed but still have pressies to wrap for the million birthday parties the children appear to be going to this weekend

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February 20th, 2008

10:51 pm
thought I'd post as I'm naughtily using a neighbour's unsecure network as our network card has died meaning no wireless laptop. It's like getting something free so I feel I should use it

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
Well there's 2 car seats, a disney princess suitcase, my swimming float, assorted hats/gloves/scarves/brollies and probably lots of sweetie wrappers and crumbs. And a buggy in the boot. I do like a tidy car *removes tongue from cheek*

2. When was the last time you threw up?
Last November when we all had the sick bug

3. What's your favorite curse word?
Dunno actually - I do swear but can't say I have a favourite word

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today.
Emily and James (obviously), my cousin for emailing a great photo and a mummy friend who had a very unfortunate but funny dilemma

5. What were you doing at 8am this morning?
The usual morning screech for getting everyone ready as we leave at that time on a work day and are always running late

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Putting washing in the machine for tomorrow and talking to Matthew as he was explaining the puter problem

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Sleeping. I hope.

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?
No but have seen strippers perform for other people's birthdays

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
"oh, ok" when Matthew said I'd have to try to pick up someone else's network connection

10. What is the best ice cream flavour?
Can't decide between Ferrero Rocher and some sort of choc chip cookie dough (very yummy ice-cream shop near my work that makes me go in regularly). Yip I have no will power

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Mug of tea

12. What are you wearing right now?
Warmest pjs that I have, woolly cardi, socks and slippers (it's still cold in my house)

13. What was the last thing you ate?
veggie couscous and potato salad

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
No, but I have for the children

15. When was the last time you ran?
I don't run in general (hate it) unless it's to rescue James from these dangerous places he seems to be able to access

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
Rugby but as Scotland were so appalling I think it's best forgotten about

17. To what extent do you recycle?
Not nearly as mush as I should

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
A nurse at work - was replying to her question

19. Ever go camping?
As in Guide camping - yes although not for a few years. May attempt a night this summer as the kids would love it

20. Do you have a tan?
Given that it's winter I certainly don't but do get a bit brown and freckly in summer

21. Do you formally set the table each night?
Well the table has a cloth and mats on it but we tend to eat in front of the tv after the kids are in bed

22. Name a favorite TV series from
a) your childhood
b) your teen years and
c) your adult periods. Why did you enjoy them?

a) Bagpuss - needs no explanation
b) Thirtysomething - I just wanted to be them. It seemed so grown up and just how I would like to be
c) Big Brother - it's dominated my summers since 2000 due to my addictive nature

23. If you aren't married yet, describe your dream wedding. If you are already married, and you could go back and change something about your wedding, would you?
The only thing that I would change is to have had it videoed as some dear relatives have since died and it would be lovely to watch it all again

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?

25. What did your last IM say?
Haven't bothered with that for years although Matthew and I sometimes IM each other instead of shouting up/down the stairs as we don't want to wake James who is a light/rubbish sleeper

26. Are you someone's best friend?
Don't think so now. Have several very close friends but not the exclusive bf thing since I was a teenager

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
Thursday is my full day at work so surgery, home visits, pop into tesco at lunchtime for bits and bobs then surgery all afternoon then home to bed/bath time etc

28. Where is your mom right now?
In Sidney I think (tour of New Zealand followed by a week or 2 in Oz)

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
Bookcase then bay window

30. What color is your watch?
Gold with white face and black strap although haven't worn it for over a year

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?
My parents as they're there just now

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?

33. What is your birthstone?
No idea

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?
Go in

35. How many kids do you want?
Have 2 but would like a third

36. Do you have a dog?

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
Receptionist at work

38. Have you met anyone famous?
Don't think so

39. Any plans today?

40. How many states have you lived in?

41. Ever go to college?

42. Where are you right now?
Sitting on the sofa

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?
don't really have one apart from the weather

44. Last song listened to?
Grace Kelly - Mika

45. What do you wish you could bake/cook?
I think I can do both in an ok fashion

46. Are you allergic to anything?

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
boots for work and sketchers for play but ideally Birkies (although obviously not in winter)

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
Not specially

49. Which do you prefer: bath or shower?

50. Is anyone jealous of you?

51. What time is it?

52. Do any of your friends have children?
yes - most of them

53. Do you eat healthily?

54. What do you usually do during the day?
work or look after the kids

55. Do you hate anyone right now?

57. Name something you admire and something you dislike about your country of origin (or country of residence - your choice)
I admire the freedom we have and hate the weather

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?

60. How did you get one of your scars?
don't have any

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February 19th, 2008

09:49 pm - it's so very cold
the title sums up my life just now

freezing fog here for the last few days, my car thermometer never got above -2 today

attic conversion well under way resulting in the upstairs hall lacking a ceiling at present

heating not working. Well actually it is now as the lovely plumber came to fix the boiler but it's just so cold as the attic isn't insulated yet. And I couldn't even light a fire because the work being done in the attic would result in the smoke coming back down the chimney. Laughed when the Roofer said it was warmer on the roof then in our house

so we spent the afternoon at soft play where it was warm and I could drink tea. I'm really pleased that the conversion is happening but it's making the house so cold and it's so dangerous with James wanting to get into everything that it does make being in the house hard

I'm going to stop moaning now. I have my legs wrapped in a thick blanket and have on so many layers that I resemble a michelin man so I'm finally feeling a little bit warm. Don't want to remove any clothes though to go to bed

To counteract all the moaning, our very good friends had their first baby on Sunday - a little girl called Molly. They're doing really well and I can't wait to meet Molly at the weekend. Emily is really pleased that Molly is a girl and has chosen an outfit to give to her (or "give to she" as Emily says)

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January 13th, 2008

09:19 pm - holidays
so I've just booked our summer hols to Austria

we're never this organised, ever

thanks to those who responded to my questions about Pertisau

we're flying from Edinburgh to Innsbruck and hiring a car to drive to Pertisau. I've found a (hopefully) nice apartment within a hotel/apartment building so fingers crossed it will all be fine

Emily knows we're going to "Maria's mountains" - she loves TSOM so hopefully she won't be disappointed when there are no Disney Princesses to be seen

Getting excited now

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January 12th, 2008

09:32 pm - so of I toddled to work.......
It's been a funny old afternoon/evening

I was working from 12-6 today with Lothian out of hours service (basically the Lothian arm of NHS 24 so if you succeeded in getting through the various phone calls and were actually given an appointment or home visit then you would see little old me). I do a few shifts a month as the money is very good

That left Matthew in charge of the children and confined to the house waiting for the Argos delivery (much needed new toy storage unit)

I merrily skidded my way to work (very icey here) and realised that I'd left my phone at home. Had a pretty boring few hours of seeing diarrhoea/vomiting/coughs/colds then phoned home to see how it was going. All fine, both children fed and napped, delivery arrived but still confined to house as I had taken my car to work with buggy in boot and car seats in car (Matthew has just bought a huge MPV that I've not yet had the chance to drive and wasn't about to try today with everywhere being a white out)

No sooner was I off the phone when he heard a loud bang and discovered that someone had crashed into our neighbour's garden wall. All he saw was someone reversing and quickly driving away with a mashed front of car. So Matthew and neighbour had the excitement of Police statements, meeting someone who lives opposite whom we've never spoken to before etc. Luckily another neighbour managed to get the reg number so the driver should be traced

No sooner had all that excitement calmed down when there was a power cut affecting us and a several other houses on our side of the street. So poor Matthew had to cope with an excited Emily, a crying James, both children hungry as it was tea time and no electricity. I knew something was up when I parked outside and saw a halogen lamp and candles on the mantlepiece, a roaring fire (think electricity must power the gas boiler in some way), house otherwise dark and three faces looking for me through the window. As Matthew said, I did pick the right day to forget my phone lol

We've only just got the electricity back - I need to venture into the freezer and see what the damage is. Our poor neighbours on the other side (not the ones who had their wall smashed) have just had a baby yesterday and their other two kids have the flu so they were definitely in a worse situation than us

Thankfully we have a gas hob so could make the children's food easily enough and we got takeaway. The final thing was when Matthew was blowing out the candles he's managed to splatter dark red wax on our cream coloured wall above the mantle. Hey ho I'm sure it'll come off

So I think a wee glass of wine is in order now that James has finally fallen asleep (I swear that boy has more stamina than the rest of us put together). I can't be bothered to leave the sofa now as the room is really warm now that the heating is back on and we still have the fire going

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January 6th, 2008

09:41 pm - Pertisau
I've posted this on the CBB and thought I may aswell post it here too although it feels a bit cheeky asking for advice when I hardly ever post here

so, we're maybe going to go to Pertisau this summer and I thought that there's nowhere better to ask for info than the CBB

We went to Florida last September and will probably go back there early next year so this summer we're looking for something closer to home (especially as James won't be old enough to get his own seat on the plane so I feel there is a limit to how long we can put up with a wriggling 1 year old on our knees). Austria seems to tick lots of boxes (I was actually looking at Italian lakes and mountains and got side-tracked lol). And if it's to be Austria then I thought that it may as well be Pertisau

So, Emily will have just turned 4 and James will be 18mths. It seems fairly family friendly but if anyone can recommend an alternative resort then I'd be keen to have a look

We need an apartment of some sort as neither of us can bear the thought of all 4 of us in a hotel room, even a family room would still be grim. I've found a few places in Pertisau that look good but would appreciate a specific recommendation if anyone has one. Also, does anyone have any guidance about places/areas to avoid? A lot of the info online just now is relevant for the ski season but not summer.

How easy will it be to get from Innsbruck to Pertisau with 2 kids, luggage, buggy, children's clobber etc. The Chalet girls seem to manage very easily but I suspect it could be a slight headache and they didn't have an Emily who thinks that her entire wardrobe should be packed. I'd prefer not to hire a car as I think we wouldn't really need it very much other than for the airport run

We're used to booking flights/hotels etc independently so aren't fussed about using a travel agent but, again, suggestions are welcome

How easy is it to buy food? Although the children aren't fussy eaters I always stress slightly about finding food that they'll eat during the day in order to avoid meltdown due to being too tired/hungry. Emily would live off sausages, pasta and strawberries so as long as we can acquire those then we'll be fine

Can't think of anything else just now but all suggestions will be welcome

thank you

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November 10th, 2007

01:21 pm - Edinburgh County Camp
For any Guidey people who may be interested, here's the info on next year's camp. In recent years the camps have been good fun and well-organised and it's a good site too


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