Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Day 120: The limit

I really reached my limit today... The downside to working madly over the past month to make creative presents to stimulate my children's development is that now I have the constant 'can we make this?' 'can we do baking?' 'can we sew this?' 'can we make stickers?' and all I seem to say is 'come and put this away before you start something new...' However this morning was the aftermath from a trip to Ikea... one nights neglected dishes, undone ironing pile, and the usual non bin collection build up- overflowing wrapping paper heaps and I couldn't get anything done... The hallway was blocked with rubbish from the bottom of the stairs to the front door and the kitchen was upsetting... I tried to remain calm but resorted to throwing the dishes in the sink...kind of hoping that if they all broke I wouldn't have to wash them all up again. The hunt for the dishwasher has gone to a new level... freecycle is proving impossible... ebay its going to have to be!
Having had a rough start to the day Joel made all the upsetting rubbish disappear in the car and I managed to sort the craft cupboard out to make room for new things and make it all lovely, made nice 'tacky hama bead' decorations with both children... Elijah's now able to do constructive activity AS WELL as ripping things up and destroying!, baked a pie with them both using 1. Elijah's new baking set, 2. Elijah's new baking book, 3. Our homemade jam - Feel good factor 3 on the scale!, also sorted their dressing up...which them amused them for 2 hours, had a knitting time with Holly and then they helped me make tea... home all day... no TV :) ahhhhhh good day!
Tesco photo online tonight... ordering prints for some new photo frames we got with our debenhams voucher from last Christmas. I've used the machines in Tesco before a few times but do find it a bit stressful... especially when you're trying to sort through the folders on your memory card while someones stood waiting behind you... much easier to do it from your sofa... and you can then collect them from the store - so you don't have to go down, ask for an hour processing, hover around the aisles for an hour or do a slow shop, go back, they've forgotton to out them in, go home, come back another day... which has happened twice before. PLUS when you register online you get 40 free 6 by 4 prints.. so if you just want a few they're just free. Cool.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Day 119: The Aftermath

... Christmas kind of over... heeeeeee that was expensive! All the extra we got in last month has totally disappeared and a well meaning trip to ikea today also ended with all our Christmas money from my mum and dad gone... eeeeeeek. However its been a BRILLIANT few days... we've had so much fun with the children and they've got enough craft to keep them going for a year and a half. We've still got some family to catch up with but have had some good times with mine. Elijah now has an amazing new room thanks to our ikea trip today and a big shelving solution which means his toys and clothes finally have somewhere to go other than the floor! So money spent and well worth it. Vouchers also got us a new kettle and we have some left promised for a new breadmaker... some dishwasher bartering going on on ebay as we speak and then we're back to the full squad! Debt?.... :S Good thing is that new year is a good kick up the bum... its a good time to set good clear goals again and get on track... and I haven't lost any motivation... I've just not been able to hide from Christmas!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Day 118: feeling felt

So the downside to homemade Christmas is the Joel is happily ignoring everything and sat watching a movie while I've been making playdough and now am sewing samples to go inside the craft kit boxes... I've got backache and am tired but can't stop till Christmas time... when I'll no doubt have to start again as the kids want help to make their new things... I am excited though... the children have one of those stacks of ikea round boxes - 3 different sizes- each filled with a different activity - Elijah homemade playdough and cutters (which include old baby milk scoops, baby spoons and junk I found in the draw), A sew a tiger kit and a kits of different coloured felts, googly eyes and pipe cleaners. Holly has a knitting and french knitting kit, A hearts decoation kit full of heart shapes and ribbons in different felts and fabrics and a kit full of bits and pieces for when she makes things out of her usborne 'make and do' books. Mulled wine and quality streets are keeping me going... got a tonne of food prep tomorrow and we're totally snowed in so if we dont have all we need then AAAAGH!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Day 117: Santa Stickers

There should either be a ban on Santa's promising ANYTHING or at least labels saying STINGY PARENT that you can wear when you go in to visit so at least they are cautious with their words. I wasn't planning to buy Elijah a CD player for Christmas... it only came up that he wanted one yesterday...and yes its made the list and I will consider it as we did buy him one last year but somehow it ended up in Holly's room when hers broke... so to some extent fair's fair.
Today we went to a lovely nativity... in Totley Hall farm... live animals so the kids dressed up and were part of the nativity story, then they were allowed to hold the little bleating baby lamb (awww) and ride the donkey. Then they had the biscuits and juice while we got hot mulled wine and hot mince pies... of course mulled wine is hot anyway... but when you're stood in a cold barn in a farm on the 22nd Dec the 'hot' bit is what really matters right then... it was lovely. We then got to visit Father Christmas' room... which was a long wait but because this Father Christmas actually spends about 20 minutes chatting to each child...which is really nice... but his error in my opinion was when he asked Elijah if he wanted his CD player leaving under the tree or in his stocking...hmmmm... another trip to the shops for me then!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Day 116: A few days of panic

Sorry- I've totally got out of the habit of using my computer after my 2 week break from it - which is nice in a way but I keep forgetting to blog. Its quite a scary money time too - I've finally got a cheque to cover some work expenses which have depressingly had to go back onto my cleared overdraft :( but tomorrow hopefully that cheque will clear and I can wipe that strait off my clean achievement! So the preparation for the craft- non commercial Christmas is quite exciting... though I still have LOADS to do and I'm feeling a slight stress - which is unlike me at Christmas time. The only stress I normally feel is the worry that I'm missing something when everyone seems to say 'are you ready?' in a nervous way... I don't get it... why wouldn't you be ready? Is there something I'm missing that I should have done?
But what I'm looking forward to... after enjoying being a bit Christmas focused, slightly generous and spendy... (tonight we had someone round and had one of those BIG quality street tins in the cupboard that we bought ourselves for having people over... we've never done that before! ) is that after the next couple of weeks I can really start working at the cards again. Its going to be brutal!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Day 115: Its back!

Hurray! The laptop is back... having said that its not a long post, I'm on the dodgy home PC as the laptop is already packed up for work tommorrow and its a late one. Its midnight and I'm getting a million baggs ready for tommorrow... 3 class teachers presents, book bag child 1, book bag child 2, pack lunch, ballet bag, car seat to give to Cara who takes her to dancing, and the latest thing... which I have just been out buying at 10pm... trainers... Holly (in her princess dress as it was Christmas party dress up today) told me at tea time that she goes to ball skills on a friday lunch time... but has been told she cant go again till she has some trainers... poor thing hasn't told me anything about it till now... and I'm quite surprised that she goes... none of her friends do, she hates anything boyish and isnt very sporty at all... but off she's been going on a Friday lunch time to ball skills! She now is the proud owner of a shiny new pair of trainers (Clarks sale is on now - get in before the last day of school holiday nightmare!)
I shall put them by her bed so she gets a nice surprise in the morning - funny little girl!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Day 114: Smashing into Christmas

... we're heading towards Christmas fast and just about still holding on... I'm hoping some work expenses will be with me soon which will help out tonnes and praise God for the child benefit ariving today to get us out of an over the overdraft problem! Still little things are helping... I need to get creative with the kids presents as I have loads of ideas - none fo which have materialised as yet and not much time... I'm in the sort of predicament whereby I am likely to get scared, flip and spend a fortune just so they have something to open. However everything else is sorted... not the food budget but homemade teacher pressies on their way in this week and mostly I've bought for everyone else!
Thanks Charlie for the code for littlewoods website... ZG011 gets you £15 of your order at the till and free deliery on everything too... thats great... family board game - my main indulgence in terms of cost this year has been sorted by that!
I was proud of my gorgeous boy today as a Shepherd in his nursery nativity... and I found a quid on the floor today too :) good times!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Day 113: Old Coats

Grabbing an opportunity to write this while Joel puts the kids to bed... I'm STILL witing to hear about the laptop and am losing my vision of how glossy and magical apple is. I DID expect one of the floaty apple angels with chip and pin necklace accessory would have simply zapped it and mended it in an instant - so 7-10 working days is a bit boring an ordinary and its quite frustrating now.
So in the mean time I can't especially check balances... so the up side of my 100 day stretching out for my clear the debt target is that I have a little longer as I'm counting the days that I actually blog... however the down side of that is that I'm also giving myself longer of my buying clothes ban!
However... 2 good things to report... yesterday I put on an old coat... getting old cosy warm things out of the cupboard... while a quick Christmas shop in town yesterday I was looking for a tissue for my snotty coldy nose and I found a tenner in my pocket! Always a treat!
Also yesterday I started thinking of what it means to be elongating my clothes ban... and decided I would be able to last a few more days without being able to get some silver earrings. On realising that they were all I was really feeling desperate for I thought 2 things... 1. Its not so bad if thats all I'm feeling in lack of 2. I should really write a list of what I really feel I'll need when the time is up - which will save any impulse buying... BUT today I pulled out another old coat... hand in pocket...SILVER EARRINGS! YAY!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Day 112: Waiting waiting waiting

and I am still waiting. Apple still have my laptop and can't tell me anything about it yet. I tried and did my best to persuade them to find out for me as I'm a bit stuck with both work and 50% of my life without it - but quite enjoying life with no computer to some extent. I managed to spend the day in the office today with just about enough to do to up until the girls course.
Money wise the realisation has hit me this week that it's Christmas, and though fighting commercialism is still on the agenda - (no HSM or Hannah Montana under the tree this year!) I have come to the realisation that I don't want to be stingy. This Christmas may be full of homemade craft kits which I am really excited by... but when we stood in church struggling to decide if we could afford to fill a hamper for a struggling family, and when mum and dad are faced with needing to cook a Christmas dinner 2 days in a row... I don't want to be the sort of person who tries to wriggle out of those things to save money... basically if I don't spend it - someone else has to and I still believe in sharing... so we're filling a hamper - as generously as we can, have done shoe boxes and TEAM TOOMBS are cooking the Christmas dinner...!
So I was happy to submit my wages today... for a fairly decent amount - well enough to cover the Christmas dinner, a few pressies and a bit for the credit card... which is good :)
If I can get onto it we'll have an update later... no idea where we're up to!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Day 111: Christmas Tree Day!

So a few days missed - I'm borrowing a computer again today but I still have none. Mine is in apple world and I'm waiting to see if its fixable :S
So its been a bit fustrating.. I've not been able to write and I've not been really able to check money and balances so I feel a bit stuck...
However... I've had a good and busy few days with work... which I'll talk about more in the GoldDigger blog when I get another 5 mins on a computer... and today has been Chistmas Tree Day in our house... the dishwasher has gone to live in the dump, all the neighbour have been watching Joel as he climbed up the tree with lights to do our bit and Christmasify our house.. now our house is one of 4 with lights looking pretty in the whole of our area...
Anyway...while we're both in I'm hoping we've got £200 to shift onto Mummy Card... will update if can!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


So I'm frustrated... mildly as I'm aware I should be so fed up but am not allowing it to properly get to me - but today I have a broken/breaking/ oddly behaving macbook. The power lead has gone but more worryingly (and probably more expensivly) when you press the keys some ink looking stuff splurts out of the keys and goes everywhere... Joel could smell burning at one stage and Jez - a computer job person heard what was up with it and suspects something is melting somewhere inside - all of which are terrible things to happen! So Joel's offered to take it all in to the floaty magical apple shop and I'm using his now. What scares me is that its a work one... and I know GoldDigger don't have the money to replace it- yes its a priority and I need one to do my work - but that doesn't mean it can be replaced as the money simply isnt there and there are so many things we don't have that are a priority. So HOPEFULLY it will be mendable - if not I'm going to need to add that onto my saving up list but that is a depressing - REALLY depressing thought - hopefully it wont come to that. I just don't get it though... in the last month we've had a broken washing machine (managed to fix it for now) a broken kettle, broken dishwasher, broken breadmaker, 2 broken power cables and now the mac book. In previous times we would have just opted to stick things we need on the credit card but it just seems somehow significant - and significantly rubbish that we're not opting for that - we're getting by, borrowing or doing without. But the horrid thing is that we know we've cut back so much that there's no room for anymore to give... there's actually nothing we're paying for monthly that we can do without and there's no more we could cut out from our spending. I know it shoudn't get to me, and I'm not getting angry about it but I know I feel defeated as I just keep thinking...'right, whats the next thing thats going to go on us...?' I know I'm expecting it now... which is a totally pessamistic and defeated thing to think and its rubbish :(
So... lets end on a positive... the washer IS mended, the kettle still makes a cup of tea - it just blows occasional fuses and doesn't turn off and we have borowed one on standby, the state of the washing up is dreadful and we just don't have time to keep on top of it...but we're keeping on at freecycle, breadmaker we've asked mum and dad to contribute towards for Christmas and macbook MIGHT come back ok from the floaty apple shop... and Holly is Mary in the infant nativity, Elijah is a Shepherd for his nursery nativity and its Christmas tree weekend in a few days ... so there is still some good news in the world :)

Day 109: Being disorganised has paid off today

...on opening my diary... which seems like it had been for the first time this year! (by diary I mean my official filofax - life has translated into a huge big fat paperchase daily journal which has a whole page for planning, sribbling whats going on and Things to do lists for each and everyday just to keep me on top of life...) so on opening my dairy saw - from last Christmas a lovely shiny Debenhams £50 gift card!... I assumed I'd probably spend it already but phoned the number to check the balance and there's still £50 - Wicked! Now torn between kettle, some towards a breadmaker, elc stuff for the kids... coco chanel for me... not likely to win but I can always dream!