Monthly Archives: June 2014

I love being a social worker when…

– I am able to answer a question that helps someone.
– I am able to give support that matters.
– I am able to become a friend to the families I work with.
– I am on top of my paperwork.
– someone says thank you.
– I help someone get what they want.
– I listen to people’s life stories.
– I see the power of love from families and friends toward their older relative / friend.

I saw this article in community care about responses to this question. I wasn’t asked, but I wanted to give my own response 🙂

It’s been a hard day at work today. Not rushing about (that’s tomorrow!) but non stop. It’s always like that now – a never ending rush. I haven’t yet learnt to switch off. I haven’t learnt to balance everything that needs to be balanced. It feels like I’m constantly juggling one more ball than I am able to manage, constantly on the edge of dropping them all.

But.

It’s also the best job in the world at times. I have a few families who I know value me. Not just as their social worker, but as a person. Because of who I am and how I work with them. Because I try to listen. And because I might not be able to do everything, but I try. I always try my very best to make sure the older people I work with and their families are safe, well and supported.

I won’t sleep tonight as there’s too much going on. I’m already worrying about a couple of visits tomorrow that are tight time wise (in terms of getting from one to the next as I hate to be late).

I don’t know if I can do it forever. In fact, I know I can’t. I can’t keep up the pressure, the pace or the stress. But when I leave, as is will at some point, I know that the people I have worked with I will remember forever. Their stories and lives will stay with me forever. And that makes me proud to do what I do.

Xxx

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My girls..

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My beautiful girls,

This week has been a bit difficult for mummy. I’m sorry if I haven’t been all that I should have been this week. I haven’t felt like going anywhere or doing much – I feel guilty about it, but that’s just how it is. Work has been busy, and it’s been on my mind even in the time when I haven’t been there. I, sorry, I’ll be better this week. Just know that no matter what happens, you two and your daddy are what get me through. I love you as much as everything in the whole wide world – I wouldn’t be me without the three of you to make me whole.

Amelia, this week you went to see your ‘big school’ with nannie Elaine. Apparently you loved it – you wrote your name very clearly, and you enjoyed meeting your new teacher. I think you are going to settle in nicely there. I’ve seen huge leaps in your writing lately too – you are writing your name clearly now, and are having a go at other words too. It’s lovely to see your confidence increasing.

You have got it in your mind to run a campaign about dropping rubbish too. 4 and a half years old, and you have had us making posters about not dropping rubbish, which you want to stick to trees. You are a natural leader – I often think of you as bossy, but it’s more that you have clear ideas and are confident at how to achieve them. I’ve added a picture of our posters below.

Today we have been to a windmill. You loved it! You made a friend, an older little girl who you were playing hide and seek with. Then another 2 children joined in – I had to play too of course, to make sure you understood and were safe. You were fine though, you had them playing ‘freeze tag’ (a game you invented) and were running about and laughing lots. Then we went on a little train and you absolutely loved it – laughed all the way round.

Rosie, you have been a little star this week as always. You too loved the little train – daddy was holding you, and you smiled round the track. You are so vocal now – you say ‘teddy’ in your own way, but it is clear. And you play peek a boo with whatever you can get hold of – it’s very sweet to see you learning. You met your cousins this week from austrailia, and were surprisingly shy. You wouldn’t go anywhere near them, and clung to me and your nana and grandad throughout. You also have a thing about shoes – you like carrying Amelia’s shoes about and losing them, or taking your own off and carrying them around, like baby ET.

And you love birds. You look out of the window and squeal, shout and babble to the birds. I love watching you!

I love you two girls – you are my world.

Xxxx

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What’s in my fridge…

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I saw a post a couple of weeks back, written by and then the fun began and thought it was an interesting idea. It was basically a picture of her fridge.
I’ve been waiting since for a time when my fridge looks ‘interesting’ but I’ve realised that it never does, so I’m just going to post how it looks on an average week 🙂

I have to admit that when I look I think it’s boring, but this is just the type of thing we always have in the fridge. It’s never ordered or tidy, I just end up putting things wherever they fit!

Sorry if you find this post boring but enjoy xxx

My daughters bedroom.

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Today I thought I’d share my daughters bedroom. I love her bedroom – it feels like a proper little girls room, that’s why I love it. When we moved in we pulled up an awful red carpet, sanded the floors (when I was pregnant with Amelia there was one day that I couldn’t get up from the floor doing this!) and got furniture for it.

I’m going to do this post in pictures as they show her room as it is. Hope you like it 🙂

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My beautiful girls.

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To my beautiful girls,

I have decided to start to write a weekly letter to you both. For the future. I found myself thinking about why I blog, and the simple answer is, I blog because I want to let you both know that you are loved, and that we had fun times together. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do!

This week has been a fun week my little ones. I had the week off work, which was brilliant. I’ve got to have some fun times with the two of you.

On Monday you wasn’t very well Amelia – you had been up though the night with back ache – this is an ongoing concern as you mention it every day. So we went to the doctors. We met a friendly doctor, and were with him almost an hour! He checked everything, and it seems that you are getting over a water infection. But I have to take you for a blood test to be sure. I haven’t told you that part yet as you do worry about injections. It’s not for 3 weeks so I’ll worry you about it nearer the time.

On Tuesday we went swimming as a family. After nursery we had lunch, then went to the swimming pool. It was such good fun – you both loved it! Amelia, you are so strong at swimming now – something has clicked and you are now confident and happy in the water, and are starting to swim well. Rosie, you loved it in the water. I often feel bad that I don’t take you as much as I did your sister, but in the water you are like a little water baby. You screech with excitement, kick your legs and actually almost swim! You had so much fun chasing the little toys, and ‘jumping in’ from the side of the pool.

Wednesday and Thursday were lazy ish days – we played a bit of Lego, made some frogs (this was entirely your idea Amelia, and you decided on what you needed to make them, and did a good job).

On Wednesday I saw your big school for the first time. You weren’t with us. I was impressed – reception seems lovely with a nice big classroom, a lovely outdoor area just for reception, and a small classroom for a quieter group activity. Lots of your nursery friends will be moving up with you and I think and hope that you will be happy there. You go tomorrow for a play visit with your nannie so I hope that you love it. I want so much for you to enjoy life my girl.

On Friday we went to the woods for a walk. I took a picnic, and we ate on a picnic bench then played on the park – Rosie you love the slide at the park, and giggle loads when I help you to go down it. We walked round the woods, found a ‘secret field’, looked at what flowers we could find using your flower book and enjoyed the time out together.

Saturday was spend gardening, and you slept at Sarah’s Amelia (and loved it – woke up at half 5 in the morning apparently!) I think auntie sarah is tired today!

Today we had a lovely time at nana and grandads. Grandad billy did a BBQ, with a bit of all sorts – mackerel, mussels (these got a mixed reception – amlelia, you announced that they smelled disgusting). And prawns, chicken skewers and burgers etc. I got a bit carried away with the water pistols Amelia, and got you quite a bit (and grandad!) nana Rosie was there too, she loves seeing you both. We all had a lot of fun – Amelia, you especially enjoyed using your powers to make sure the BBQ produced lots of smoke, and Rosie you enjoyed pottering about p, throwing your food to the dogs (you are fascinated by them) and having a snooze on the sofa for an hour. It was a nice day together.

Rosie, you are wonderful. You are walking. Everywhere this week – getting yourself standing from anywhere – dad thinks you walk like ET (in a cute way if course)! And you kind of do, it’s lovely. And you were pretend crying with me yesterday – you laugh when I pretend to cry and then do it back. You have been speaking to us a lot this week – making new sounds and learning more every day. I love standing back and watching the two of you play together – you sometimes have a quiet moment when you both play the same thing – maybe shaking the instruments, or playing ‘tig’ (too long to explain this game!) but I love standing and watching you both giggle together and bond.

I love you my girls. I’m looking forward to our next week together 🙂

All my love, mummy xxx

I should feel lucky…

I should feel lucky. I have a well paid, part time job which I worked hard to get. It was my ‘dream’ job when I got it, the one I’d always wanted.

But.

I feel like it’s not gone to plan. I don’t like it as much as I thought. I love the families, the people and the going out and about. I don’t like the politics, the budgets, working out finances. I hate the pressure.

I feel like I should feel lucky. Lots of people want work, want to do ‘something else.’ But I don’t. I want to give up work, but can’t afford to and am too scared to rely on benefits for my kids. I would be worried that we won’t afford the basics (food, heat, shoes).

I want a job. But I want something elusive – I want a job I love doing. And there are aspects of my job that I like . But it’s stressful, and I often don’t sleep worrying. And I can’t leave it on a Wednesday – I work 2 nights a week, and worry more.

I feel like I’m lazy for even wanting something more. But I’ve never really liked this job enough – it’s not a job I can do forever. The problem is that I don’t know what else I can do.

Is it ever right to take a pay decrease (a big one) to do a low paid job But a job that I enjoy more? I don’t know.
Xxx

Xxx

Shopping on a budget.

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I did my weekly shopping today. It came to £43 for 4 of us for the week (barring 4-5 extra for milk bread and little bits that we run out of midweek). When I work it out, that works out at £1.50 per person per day. I thought that I would share my tips, as I only changed my shopping habits by reading tips/ advice online when I realised that the money I had just didn’t cover the money I was spending.

1. My number one tip is to consider where you shop. I have changed from morissons to aldi. Every 4th week I go to morissons for washing power and toiletries (my baby has eczema and so I stick to what I have always used). This has reduced my shopping bill loads, and I find the quality really good, especially for fresh food.

2. Cut out what you don’t need. I used to buy loads of fruit weekly – as well as apples! bananas and oranges I would buy loads of different berries in summer! peaches – all sorts of extras that were on offer, but added up. Now I buy cheap packs of apples, satsumas and bananas. Other than that I buy one extra fruit – this could be grapes, strawberries or blueberries. But I don’t buy everything. It makes a difference.

3. Go for cheaper versions. I’ve experimented with most products. I find most absolutely fine. Budget biscuits for example I find the same as the expensive ones. And tinned tomatoes, I buy the cheapest bread (47p for a loaf of whole meal). The only thing I don’t compromise on is tuna (I don’t know why really), beans, washing powder, and certain cereals as we didn’t like cheaper versions. However, having said that we mostly only eat porridge, weetabix or cornflakes. I used to buy loads of cereals every week, but now only buy them every 2-3 weeks.

4. Work out ways to get more for your money. With meat, I try to double up to freeze half. I made sweet and sour chicken last night, and bulked it up with onion, peppers and mushrooms then froze half. Or with mince/ sausages I double and freeze. Two meals from meat makes much better value!

5. Have meat free nights. I used to be better at this, but Craig does miss meat when I reduce it. However, once or twice a week we have pasta (tonight we had courgette and pancetta pasta – almost meat free!) or beans / egg on toast. The other nights I try to find better value meat that is the best quality I can afford. I find the Aldi meat very good – at morissons I really struggled to get meat cheap enough to fit my budget.

6. Take your time. When changing your budget, take your time to shop. And don’t be afraid to put things back! I used to spend ages picking things up out of habit, then really thinking about if I needed that thing. And putting it back again.

7. Meal plan. I tend to have a rough plan, rather than an exact one.

8. Don’t bulk buy. Don’t be tempted by offers unless you use it anyway. Don’t get sucked in by advertising, and don’t think that stocking up makes it cheaper down the line – it never does. I buy what I need, use it and only buy more when it’s gone, the less you have, the further you make it go. And it makes you use everything, creating less waste. I hate throwing food away, and now I don’t throw much away at all.

9. Remember, there’s always room for improvement. I’m doing well, and I’m proud of where I am. But there’s still room for me to become more efficient. I’m still human, and I do still make mistakes (for example, I bought sesame oil last week and I don’t know why – ill use it, but it didn’t really need it last week.

I hope this helps someone. I searched lots of blogs, got loads of advice and took it one step at a time to get to here. And it’s been about a year now since I started changing. I’ll never go back t my old habits – although I was never awful, I didn’t always think careful enough.

Xxx

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Meal planning Monday

Here’s the plan for this week:

Today – beans on toast.

Tuesday – whatever Craig makes.

Wednesday – chicken sweet and sour and rice.

Thursday – steak pie and vegetables.

Friday – going out for fish and chips with my family, for Father’s Day. The girls and Craig will have pasta which I will make them.

Saturday – not sure yet – maybe spaghetti bolognaise,

Sunday – home made BBQ pulled pork tacos.

Nom 🙂

As always I am joining in with at home with mrs M.

Xxx

The ordinary moments – Saturday cleaning.

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For the past few weeks I have introduced a new routine. It’s kind of happened accidentally, but a few weeks ago I was tidying up Amelia’s room, and she wanted to help. And she enjoyed it so much helping me tidy, Hoover and Polish that I have been doing it each Saturday.

I think it’s good for her to take responsibility for her own room, and she actually gets excited when I say that it’s time to clean her room (that won’t last long!)

I took a few photos today of her hoovering – she sits for ages putting everything into the Hoover, she doesn’t Hoover the traditional way much. It takes me twice as long too as I have to do everything after her – I re Hoover the rug etc – but it makes it much more fun.

I’m joining in as always with
http://www.mummydaddyandmemakesthree.co.uk who runs the ordinary moments linky. Please feel free to join in with it – it’s my favourite linky as it makes me treasure the ordinary times that I will miss in the future.

Xxx

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Healthy eating and sweet potato wedges.

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Since Monday I have been healthy eating again. I was doing well but then….well, stopped. I haven’t been terrible, but not good either.

Anyway, now i am back on track 🙂 last night for tea I was feeling a bit lazy, but also didn’t want to make something too unhealthy. So I went for fish fingers, sweet potato wedges rather than my usual potato wedges, and mushy peas.

The sweet potato wedges were so easy to make: I got a bag of sweet potatoes from Aldi – I get these most weeks anyway to roast as cubes, or steam on a veg dinner. For the wedges, I peel the sweet potatoes, the slice them lengthwise, put on a baking tray, give them a splash of oil (not too much), a bit of salt, and oven cook at 200 degrees for around 40 minutes.

My kids loved these, and i did too. They don’t have a crunch like my usual wedges do, but the flavour is gorgeous.

Other meals this week include:

Monday
Porridge with banana and syrup.
Ham salad sandwich from Gregg’s (320 cals) and an orange.
2 poached eggs on whole meal toast.

Tuesday
Porridge with banana and syrup.
Pancetta and egg salad.
Mince beef tacos with a sprinkle of cheese and salsa. A slice of home made carrot cake.

Wednesday
Porridge with banana and syrup.
Ham and egg salad with tuna pasta.
Fish fingers, sweet potato wedges and mushy peas. A slice of home made carrot cake.

Today
A banana
Lunch will be whole meal buns with cheese and salad.
Tea will be sausages and vegetables (carrots and sweetcorn) or sausage casserole – haven’t totally decided which yet!

I don’t have a particular plan, but my plan is just to take each day as it comes, not eat snacks and stick to my meals, and only eat until I feel full. I look at my meal plan and it’s not totally perfect, but it works for me, and for my family – cutting out absolutely everything just ends in failure.

My weight on Monday was 10.11 – I was down to just over 10 in march, so I have a bit to lose again as around 10 stone is where I feel comfortable. But I’m not in a rush to get there, and I’m not beating myself up for ‘failing’ – I’ve started work again which is what threw me as now I just don’t have time for the gym 3 times a week. Instead I’m going to be biking and jogging from home, and walking with the kids as that’s achievable.

I’m only going to weigh myself in a few weeks time – I’m not going to update all the time so I’ll update again in a few weeks, unless it try any new recipes to share 🙂

Goal weight: 10 stone.