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a move on good friday.

April 2, 2010
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My brain is finding it difficult to process the information that today is Friday and not Saturday. Friday mornings in our house are normally much like every other weekday morning. Early starts and a race against the clock to get everyone out the house and where they should be on time. Most of the time this involves buckling the girls in the car seats still eating their breakfast or with their toothbrushes still in their mouths. So it feels really wierd that it’s Friday morning, the husband and I both managed extra sleep (one at a time) and I am still in my PJs. To make it more confusing, Rob’s is at church for Good Friday service, leaving my brain trying to understand it’s not sunday either.

I have to be brief today, not prolonged reflections or re-reading what I’ve written over and over until it stops making sense. I have had the luxury of pottering around on our laptop for a longtime already, while Rob had his 40 winks, Chloe danced around me and Ruby went back to bed (I know, I will never understand her). And what did I do while I was pottering? I have been making my new blogging home nice and cosy and ready to live in. Yep, we’re moving. I originally created another blog with another blog-provider and the distance to be travelled was too much and I felt homesick. So I’ve decided to move just next door, still within the wordpress neighbourhood, just a different address and house name.

No real deep reason for the move. In a way I’m sad to separate the last 78 posts (this will be the 79th) from future ones, but I just fancy something new. I explain in my new post of my blog. check it out at – I’ve popped it on my blogroll on the right there, so please keep in touch!


brothers and sisters.

March 28, 2010

The girls were definitely ready for their beds this evening. Today they saw all three of their uncles and all three of their aunties. I’m not sure they’ve ever done that before. This is because one lot of aunty and uncle (of the Martin and Heather variety) live in Leeds, and another lot of aunty and uncle (of the Chris and Kim variety) live slightly further afield, in Canada. Uncle Tom and Aunty Sophie, we get to see more because they live close by.

My brother ‘uncle’ Martin and ‘aunty’ Heather came over lastnight to stay over and spend the morning with us. When they headed home in the afternoon Chloe said she was sad because she was missing them and had “already forgotten what they looked like”. Talk about tugging on the old heart strings.

Chris and Kim flew in to Manchester, touching down around 10:00am. So by mid afternoon, once we had waved one aunty and uncle off, we tidied up, turned around and headed off to the in-laws to see another to see the Canadian branch of the Stewards. We had a lovely chilled out afternoon there before heading back for the girls’ bed time. It’s going to be a good two weeks, having them with us.

The arrival of Chris and Kim marks the beginning of the lead up to the wedding of the year, when ‘Aunty’ Sophie becomes Mrs Steward. It only seems like the other day when I got the text from my brother in law to say that he and Soph had got engaged, and in just over a week we’ll all be heading down to Bath in preparation for the big day.

I’m very thankful for our brothers and sisters that The Husband and I get to share our lives with.


March 25, 2010

I’ve written before all about words. words written. Words spoken. Any words directed at you. They’re powerful. They can make you feel elated or like something someone scraped from the bottom of their shoe.

Today in the school yard a little reception class girl walked up to me and said “You’re the really nice lady aren’t you?” – She was standing next to a shy little girl who I work with, who was grinning from ear to ear, and so I’m guessing I was the really nice lady. I wasn’t sure how to respond. The best I could come up with was “Um, I’m not sure, I might be the really nice lady. I try to be nice”. That made me feel really good.

Not long after that, I was working with a group of 7-8 year olds and I was apologising for my messy scrawl on the board. A really cute little boy in year two comforted me with the following words:

“Mrs Steward, it’s not that bad. There are teachers in this school who are worser.” I decided to take that as a compliment. Or at least encouragement.

I thought I was on a roll, and when my ego could take no more polishing, my Headteacher brought me back down to earth by calling me an Ignoramus. In his defence this was directed at my knowledge (of lack thereof) of music, specifically dance music. But really? I took the gist of the word, but all the same I looked it up.

an extremely ignorant person

simpleton, fool, dunce, know-nothing.

I’m so glad my boss is happy to employ me as a simpleton. Ego officially restored to normal self-deprecating state.

A not-so-pleasant adventure

March 24, 2010

My last blog ended with the expectancy of greatness, of adventure. I really thought that new and exciting experiences would, now that I was open to possibility, come bounding at me like an over-excited puppy. I honestly have been on the look out to say ‘yeah, why not?’ rather than shunning anything out of the mundane. But as yet nothing.

On sunday we did have an adventure of sorts. One that has already altered me as a mum. But it was not a nice experience at all…

The day of the adventure started with Ruby throwing up everywhere when she came in our room to have her morning milk. She was a bit too warm for my liking and a bit pathetic so we gave her calpol, it worked its’ magic and within an hour she was cooler and playing with her big sister.

My little family was suited and booted and then off to baby’s Grace’s dedication. It was lovely to see our friends Hannah and Stephen who we knew as singletons, as a couple falling in love, as a married entity, now standing with their daughter as mummy and daddy. Awesome.

After church, we drove over to the hotel where the celebration meal would be with han and stephen’s family and friends. We got a table, a drink and we were just laughing with some others about giving Chloe (accidentally!) a really strong liqueur truffle when The Husband shouted at me to look at Ruby who was in her buggy by by the table. She was fitting. I have never felt to sick, scared and clueless as I did that moment. Ever. The next few minutes were a slow motioned blur as Rob grabbed Ruby out of her buggy and dashed out into the corridor with her. I screamed for help and an angel called Sarah appeared and took over. She was a nurse I think. The instant I realised we’d need an ambulance Rob looked over at me and vocalised my thoughts. So I shouted again, this time for a phone. By the time I got one Stephen was already onto it and was giving information to the emergency operator.

I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt like I was failing as a mother because I was too scared to go into the corridor where she was. She wasn’t making any noise and when Rob ran out with her and she was struggling to breathe at best. I was pacing from the corridor to the main room, trying to get our stuff together in a panic and work out in my mind how we’d get Chloe home. Hannah was calming me down when I heard Ruby start crying from the corridor. Crying has never sounded so sweet. Relief doesnt describe it, as I raced to her on the floor of that corridor.

Ruby’s seizure stopped and she lay on the floor in her beautiful dress that she should have been bouncing around in. Her eyes kept rolling but Sarah, my angel, assured me she was awake but that the fit had made her really tired. She explained to me that ruby had just had what was called a febrile convulsion, brought on by a high fever.

The siren of the ambulance sounded almost as sweet as Ruby’s cry.

And so began a short stay in hospital. First to A&E and then onto the children’s ward for the night. Although it was the fright of my life I still hadn’t understood Ruby’s situation until she started to improve. The staff in A&E were so calm that I started to relax a little. In her sleep Ruby limbs started really twitching and we were anxious she was starting another seizure. The nurse we’d already seen came in and explained that it was because Ruby was still really hot and her body was trying to cool itself down. She then said that Ruby was already doing much better than she was when she first came in. I asked why she said that, because to me she was no different. She said that when Ruby was brought in, her hands and feet were really cold amd that indicated that her body was starting to shut down, blood moving away from the extremities and preparing to protect her vital organs. Eeek. I’m glad she didn’t tell me that at the time. But her hands and feet had started to warm up, which is why this nurse had seen improvement. Massive phew.

We went up to the children’s ward and spent the the next twenty hours there before we could come home. Throughout the sunday afternoon, Ruby’s temperature slowly creeped down as she lay on her bed and watched Cbeebies on her own little TV.

I slept on a fold down bed next to my baby girls’ bed. I use the term ‘slept’ loosely. There were about ten beds on the ward and by the morning i think there was only one empty bay. So 9 babies and toddlers and children took turns to be feverish and distressed through the night, and each cry seemed somewhat amplified in the wee hours. Ruby took her turn around 1.15 when she started shouting out and within minutes a lady in a bright tabbard (I still don’t know exactly what their role was, they seemed to do everything) was by the bed sticking another thermometer under Ruby’s arm. They knew that restlessnes probably indicated that Ruby was getting hot again. And she was right. So after that, regardless of moments of quiet on the ward, I couldn’t rest and with every movement from my baby I was up on her bed with her, stroking her hair.

Back at home Chloe was unsettled and was missing her baby sister. Rob had a genius idea that appeased her. Who knew a photo could be so helpful.

That was sunday. And that was my adventure. It’s now wednesday. Ruby’s still under the weather but playing and smiling and chatting lots more. her temperature is playing games with me and doing a little rollercoaster but Calpol is doing it’s job.

So I said earlier that it has altered me as a mum. I do admit I was very fussy when Chloe was tiny. But I’d like to think I’ve chilled out since then, particularly with Ruby. But going through something that is completely beyond parental control has made me feel more vulnerable. I know I’m going to be a lot more handy with the thermometer now (even though I know that it still cannot prevent a febrile convulsion) but fear is often irrational. My dad told me he was speaking to another mum who’s little boy had had a seizure and felt the same way, so at least I’m not alone in my (hopefully temporary) neuroticism.

I’d like my next adventure to be more fun and inspiring. And I refuse to move on with my experiment until I have it!

Supercharge your life!

March 14, 2010

One of my christmas presents from my man was a subscription to Easy Living Magazine. I have a habit of flicking through magazines because they tend to be all about food, or all about homes or all about image and fashion. I love this magazine because it covers all bases – a little bit of everything. I now look forward to the beginning of each month for two reasons; paycheque and my EasyLiving.

This month, there’s an article entitled: Supercharge your life. I’m having some of that. Right now, I’m feeling very much like a battery going flat. People talk of tredding water. I frequently feel like I’m taking gulps of air between interchangably sinking below the waters’ surface and rising back up again. I don’t think I’m doing too much. I just think life is whizzing by too fast. Or maybe I am doing too much. I need to book a slot in my diary to re-evaluate…

So back to the point in hand. This article introduces iteslf like this:

“When life’s frantic, it’s hard to focus on achieving your heart’s desires or make long held dreams into reality. So, to get you started, we decided to compile a complete A-Z guide to being the happy, healthy, rounded self you’ve always wanted to be” – Easy Living, April 2010

Intrigued. Very intrigued. Also amused and cynical. So what better to satisfy this intrigue, amusement and cynicism than to test it out. I’m going to work through this little A-z of self help and see how right they really are. And then write about how amazing or ridiculous it has worked out.

“A” is for having new “A”dventures. I will give you more details in my next post when I have managed to fulfil this first remedy of the hectic life.

Watch this space.

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2010

Today is International Women’s Day

A friend put the request out there for thoughts on anthing womanly. It got me thinking and I her sent her this…

The official website says that;

International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

Please don’t shoot me but this makes me feel uncomfortable. When J first emailed,asking for contributions, I thought, hey cool, a day for the girls. But upon further thought, it was exactly that point that unsettled me. A day to celebrate an exclusive group. That’s pretty none negotiable. You’re either in or you’re out. It sets the women apart from the men, forming a big fat wedge between the two sexes.

I’m all for celebrating what women have achieved. But I’m more for celebrating what people have achieved, regardless of what sexual organs they possess. Looking at the gender as an entity within itself, I’m in awe of how men and women were made so complimetary to each other. There are things we women can do that is not possible for men, and likewise. Men can pull stuff out the bag that is beyond us chicas. But surely thats ok, right? shouldn’t that be embraced rather than faught against? Two pieces in a jigsaw of creation.

I want to celebrate Mother Teresa for her humanitarian work alongside celebrating William Wilberforce. I want to salute my awesome friends Amanda and Han for growing babies and enduring pain to birth their children at the same time as high fiving their incredible husbands for being rocks for the new mummies. All contributions are to be celebrated, recognised, appreciated. Because there will be seasons of bringing something huge to the table, and there will seasons of having nothing but a meagre offering to hold out in front of you.

I’m really not as naive as you think. It’s tough. We’ve always lived in a state of friction. God saw it and said it right after we chose to do things our own way. I know the tensions of the sexes are often fraught, and destructive attitudes have trickled (and gushed) through generations, leaving injustice and division for our children to soak up.

It is often appropriate and even necessary to build women up because cultural attitudes have held them back. But this shouldn’t be a role exclusive to us ladies. Men are generally not the bad guys. Of course there are men whose divisive and condescending behaviour makes steam explode from my ears. But there are also women who make me ashamed to be of the same sex. For the most part we’re in this together and the way forward is not necessarily fighting the fight. Be for women. Be for men. I know there’s a natural instinct in me to sometimes battle against my husband (we’re both incredibly stubborn), and I am still learning to challenge that within me. Just as he wrestles with trying to be the husband that he was made to be. We’re on the same team. We’re facing the same direction. We’re not the same. But thank God for that.

scrambled thoughts on a plate for you.

February 13, 2010

I ended up having three days off work with the awful sickness virus. That is not great when I’ve only been in my job for two weeks. But I’m through it now and eating again so its all good. R is the only one who hasn’t had it in the house. I hope it’s because he has an iron gut and not because its yet to come. If he does get sick though, I hereby vow that I will be muchos sympathetic.

Well it’s saturday night and we’ve just put the girls to bed at the same time again. You know what they say – if at first you don’t succeed… I predict we’ll be trying again and again with this one though. I passed their room on the way downstairs and dared to glance in. Chloe was tucked up in bed watching her little sister through half closed eyes, who was sitting in the middle of the floor with her upsy daisy doll, making upsy daisy dance to the music that is supposed to be chilling them out. R and I have agreed to persist with this though, because bed time seems so much more drawn out putting one to bed, waiting for her to be asleep before the other can climb into bed. The night is young, lets see how it goes…

I received some AMAZING news today that I’m just wetting myself about but until I’m permitted, I must keep it to myself. In time though I’m sure many posts will be dominated by the subject.

I’m about to enjoy my first school break – a whole week off with my family! We’re looking forward to seeing firends and family. I think I might even get to grab a sneaky morning out, shopping with my mam at the MetroCentre, wohooo!!!

Feb Half Term, show me what you’ve got!