Sunday, May 29, 2011

No Fun....

This week has not ended quite the way I had planned it to at the start of the week....

Friday saw G turn 13 - a teenager at last! It also saw younger brother H admitted to hospital with suspected Appendicitis. Not the best of days for poor G. I had to haul him out of school to come to the hospital with me and H, where we spent the day bored beyond belief while waiting for surgeons to come and make a decision on whether H did or didn't have appendicitis, and whether to operate or not. Finally at 6.30pm (having been on the ward since 10am) the surgeon turned up, examined H, pronounced that he wasn't sure, and said that he would keep H overnight for monitoring and then re-examine him in the morning, whereon he would make his decision whether to operate or not.
University Hospital North Staffordshire

The other problem with the whole hospital situation on Friday was that big sister A was coming home just for the night, to celebrate both of her brothers birthdays. Thankfully my Dad was on hand to make the trip over to collect her from the station and then to also swing by the hospital to collect birthday boy G.

I have to say that G made me feel extremely proud on Friday. He was so excited about turning 13 and becoming a teenager, and when it became apparent that H was not well at all, he was initially extremely upset, and even though he knew his brother wasn't trying to ruin his birthday, that's is exactly what it felt like to him. I had sent him off to school as normal in the morning, but once H had seen the GP and she had said that she wanted to admit him to hospital, I phoned the school and hauled him out of class to be with us, because this seemed the better option than having him come home from school to an empty house, not knowing when we would return. At the hospital he was a star. He didn't complain once, and did his best to amuse his younger brother, even though they are going through a 'hating each other with a passion' phase at the moment. He made trips to the hospital shop to get drinks and food for both me and him, and was just a general all round 'good egg'. He was exactly what every parent hopes their child will be in this type of situation, and I could just about burst with pride!

Of course now G knows that his brother is going to be OK and the crisis has passed, they are bickering and falling out again - business as usual! But at least I know that they can rally round in a crisis, which is all I can ask for....

My daughter A needs a big thank you too. I was so looking forward to her coming home from Uni, even if only for the one night, to help us celebrate her brother's birthdays. She was an absolute sweetheart, because she rallied round and sorted out G for me while I had to spend the night in hospital with H, and she took complete control of the situation at home, so that I didn't have to worry about anything. She and G both sorted out pj's and phone chargers and H's DS and games so he wouldn't be too bored while stuck on the ward. Her Friday and Saturday were definitely not what she had hoped for, but she just adapted and got into the swing of things, and showed me yet again what a superstar she is....

The weekend hasn't been all bad though - S has found us a house, and has signed on the dotted line. He takes possession on the 15th June, so when I go over in July I will have lots and lots of work to do getting the house sorted how we want it to be.

Now more than ever I want the USCIS to look favourably on our application and grant us our visa's as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This week....

Where is this week going - it seems to be flying by, and my feet have hardly touched the floor....

Monday was H's 12th birthday, so until Friday this week, I now have twins because both H and G are 12. Thankfully though, Friday is G's birthday and he will turn 13.

Have I mentioned that S has been house-hunting? Well he has and fingers crossed has found what he believes with be the perfect home. We had decided against buying because the housing market is still on its way down, so this place will be a rental. It is in a lovely area, on a lovely street, with good schools and just about everything we could wish for. Anyway, S tells me that he has had an email this morning from the realtor handling the property, asking for permission to check his credit score (presumably because it is so monumentally high, and they can't quite believe it is so - we are taking this as a real positive step, because we had been told that we would have either a 'yay' or 'nay' by close of play tomorrow. It will be fabulous if we do get it because it means that S will actually have a home over there instead of living out of his suitcase, as he seems to have done for years - also it will give him something to occupy his free time, getting the place just how we want it to be - I feel quite excited by it all, because it is another step in the right direction for us!

On Friday, A is coming home for the night. We have planned a family meal at our local Chinese restaurant, because the boys love it so much, so big sis is making the trip up from Uni especially for them which is wonderful. Nana and Grandad will also be joining us, and then we have the added surprise of my baby sis Miss E being here as well with my beautiful nieces C, K & E - so our small little gathering has now turned into a 10 strong family doo, and I am sure it will be totally fabulous! Sadly on Saturday evening A has to get the train back to Uni. Its that time of year when year-end exams are looming and so she really needs to get back and get on with the studying. It's a shame but it is something that I have to accept because I truly truly want her to do brilliantly and come out with the best degree she possibly can!

I am hoping that after the weekend and the run of birthdays has passed, I will be able to slow the pace down a little and find some time for some serious blogging, until then I shall just have to try and keep my head....

Sunday, May 22, 2011


You know that you haven't had the best of weekends when your washing machine dies on you part way through a cycle on a Saturday night, only to burst back into life on the Sunday morning, and then die for a 2nd time when you attempt another load in a bid to get the kids uniform washed for school on Monday morning!

Then I get a call from my daughter to tell me that she has done something to her neck and can't turn her head properly. She said she was fine when she woke up, she was fine when she had a shower, and then bam! she got this pain in her neck (not her boyfriend) and can't move properly, what should she do? She was actually doing the right thing already having retrieved a bag of frozen peas from the freezer and put it onto the problem area.

Something else happened as well to make my troubles number 3, but for the life of me I can't remember what it's just been one of those weekends and my poor little brain has shut down in protest.

There has been one good thing happen this weekend though. Youngest son H has had to have new glasses which I have picked up for him this morning. The last pair he had he refused to wear because he said they made his eyes water (one eye was really bad and one was really good). Now because the good eye has been overcompensating for the bad, they have evened up somewhat (the bad has got better and the good has got worse). Anyway, he has put his new glasses on and decided that Wow the world looks suddenly way sharper than it did before, so he is wearing his new glasses with pride at the moment. I think the designer frames could have helped out the situation though - now I just need to persuade him that too much hair is not a good thing and get him to let me cut it off and we will be laughing!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Yesterday was my birthday, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was 44.....

It was a good day, H & G told me I had to stay in bed until 6.30am, at which point they appeared at the bedroom door with a lovely cup of tea and a handful of birthday cards for me! They also gave me a present which they said was only part of my birthday present and the rest would be revealed later in the day...'Oh and Mum, Nana and Grandad are coming over later too!'

The part present turned out to be a huge bag of Turkish Delight - proper Turkish Delight, one of the few sweetie things that I truly love. I've hidden it from myself on top of the wardrobe, so that I can try and make it last a little longer, and savour every piece.I don't hold out much hope of it lasting long after the weekend, but at least I can tell myself that at least I made an effort to prolong its existence!

I also had a truly wonderful email from S, that made me smile outside and in, and more than made up for the fact that neither of the boys had a card for me from him.

So anyway the boys and I sat on my bed and opened my cards and had a lovely birthday cuddle together, before we hit the usual panic stations of getting dressed for school and work, making sandwiches and heading out through the door.

It was strange to be at work without everyone wishing me a happy birthday day, but as it was only my 3rd day, I think that would have been expecting too much. I had a good day at work though, and have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying the change of pace and routine. I know its only my first week, but any trepidation I had has completely dissipated, and I am feeling like I am one of the gang already which is fab!

After work, I had promised the boys that I would call in on Col. Sanders and bring home the dinner - I had no desire to cook on my birthday (that would be crazy), but on leaving work I got a text from my Dad saying 'don't get take out on the way home', so I knew that something was a foot. I got home to find my Mum and Dad waiting for me with the boys. G,H and A gave me a huge bouquet of Alstromeria (my absolute favourite flower), and Mum and Dad gave me a present too which was some new pj's. Now I know pj's might not sound exciting, but to a girl who wears mismatched pj's , they were the biz! I also had a gift card for JC Penney's from my sis in the US, but sadly Mum said that the present and cards from my other sister up in Scotland should have been delivered to my parents house for them to bring over, and they hadn't arrived in time (I should say here that I have had  phone call from Mum today to say that they arrived today, so I will go over on Saturday and collect it). Also nothing had arrived from S which was a little puzzling!

Anyway, Mum and Dad said they were taking me and the boys out for dinner, so I did a quick jump in the shower, and off we went to a little pub/restaurant in the next village called The Hand & Trumpet. I've never been there before even though it is about 5 miles from my house, but the food was lovely, and I had a great time. We weren't back too late and once back at home, we had a slice of deliciously chocolaty birthday cake courtesy of my Dad, while I had a phone call from my sis in the US. After Mum and Dad left I had a lovely call from S, made a call to my daughter A, to thank her for my flowers and Turkish delight, sent a few texts to my other sis up in Scotland and then promptly fell asleep on the sofa yet again!

At 2am this morning, I woke with a stiff neck and a bad head and that was the end of my birthday!

Oh my oh my...I almost forgot to well as it being my birthday yesterday, another expectant friend of mine, who I have been winding up about having her baby on my birthday, actually gave birth yesterday, to a beautiful baby girl, Connie May, who weighed in at 6lbs welcome to the world little lady, and it is a pleasure to share my birthday with you!

Monday, May 16, 2011

First Day...New Job....

It has only been 3 weeks (or is it 4?) since I stopped work at my last Nursery, but today was my first day at the new Nursery, and I have had a ball.

The new place is considerably smaller than my old place, and so in some respects the pace is much slower, but anyone who has ever worked with small children will know that even at a slow pace, they are completely draining. It is nice that there are fewer of them to look after though, and although I haven't met all of the children today, the ones that I have met are totally gorgeous and sweet, and I have no doubts that it won't be long before I am loving every single one of them

The girls I am working with, seem to be a good crowd too and have been very welcoming to me. They are being very supportive of me and have said that it may well take me a couple of weeks to get into the swing of their routine, because it is so different to the one I was used to. I am hoping that it won't take me quite that long - I do tend to hit the ground running when it comes to work - but I have no doubts that they will guide me through anything 'new' and that I will fit well within the setting!
The nerves I had this morning have all gone, and I am left with that wonderful age old feeling of being extremely lucky to actually love my job, and for it not to be a chore each day! 

Of course it does completely screw up my chat opportunities with the fantastic S, but that is something that we will just have to get to grips with yet again, and in fact have started to because he is now going to stay up later, and I will get up earlier so that we can skype before I go to work and he goes to bed...Oh my! How out of sync is that? wonder neither of us is sleeping particularly well and both of us are having weird and wonderful dreams when we do sleep.

55 days and counting....

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I have to be honest and say that my boys drive me crazy playing flash games on the computer and on the laptops, but yesterday H introduced me to an addictive game called 'Doodle God 2'.

Doodle God 2

You are given some basic elements that you have to combine to create new elements - there are 4 levels and 196 elements to find. It really pains me to admit it, but I have spent a huge portion of the day playing the game because I really wanted to complete it. The good thing is that it does actually give your brain a bit of a workout trying to figure out which elements you need to combine to create something new.

Sadly though because I have been so addicted to it today, so so determined to finish it - which I now have, everything else has gone by the wayside, and I will need to spend the rest of the evening ironing uniform for the boys, so they have something to wear to school in the morning - and come to think of it, I need to iron my new uniform so I have something to wear to work.

Talking of work, I am really looking forward to being back doing something I love so much, but it will be a little strange - I have just had  a skype call with S, and he said 'I'll call you when I get up in the morning' and I had to say 'Hmm don't think so - I will already be at work when you get up'. I think it's going to be very weird to not have that mid-afternoon skype call anymore. We have only just gotten used to the new routine as it is, and now it is all change again. Bless him though, he did say that he would call anyway and leave a message for me, so I could pick it up when I finish work - and then I will talk to him at lunchtime his time, which is roughly 9pm here!

I'm just counting the days (56) until I get to fly out and we can spend two glorious weeks together - it will be absolute heaven. The time apart is now starting to hit us both badly, and it is strange because we are both having weird dreams again. Weird dreams are something that we have shared since very early on  in our relationship, and to be honest they make me smile because to me they are a sign of just how connected the 2 of us are. We don't have the same dream, but we both have similar types of dream, and if I have nightmares, S has nightmares - you get the picture! It only happens when we are apart though - S thinks it is because we both feel the disruption in our synchronicity due to the time difference. He's probably right.....

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Sorry perhaps I should say soccer for those who don't live in the UK....

Either way, I hate the sport with a passion, always have and always will, but this afternoon has been quite a big thing for football around here. Stoke City are playing in the FA Cup Final against Manchester City.
Stoke City
In fact as I write this, the final whistle has been blown and Manchester City have won 1-0. Apparently, according to the commentary, Stoke City didn't really turn up (who was playing, and Man City deserved to win. The result is not a big issue for me, but living in the Stoke area as I do, I can appreciate that it has been a good thing for the city, and I guess there is a tiny part of me that did want 'The Potters' to win seeing as my Great Uncle used to play for them!

I always laugh at the football situation in the UK - it invades our TV and radio all the time, but us poor rugby fans seem to get shoved to the sidelines, and are lucky if we get any coverage at all. I remember when England won the Rugby World Cup - most of the country had no clue! Such a shame!

I do applaud Stoke City for getting through to the FA Cup Final, it is a fantastic achievement, and its a shame they didn't go all the way and win!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Today is one of those days....

I went to bed late last night and woke with the migraine from hell - I made up lunchboxes for the boys, took my migraine meds, went back to bed til half past 10 and woke feeling much, much better!

I then spent about an hour trying to make sense of mortgage figures. Before I starting working with children I was an auditor, and so my figures head needed to get a clear picture of what we are being told about payments to close and monthly payments. The US system seems completely different to the UK one, but maybe I am just having a mental block. Apparently you have to pay stuff up front and then into a reserve account so that money is there for a later date - it's crazy, but if thats how it needs to be done so be it. Personally it's no wonder so many Americans are having their homes foreclosed - maybe monthly mortgage payments would be easier to keep up with if they weren't having to make payments in advance as well as covering the current payment as well...but what do I know!

I swapped a few emails with S, and then a video call, which  as usual put a huge silly grin on my face, and set me up for the rest of the day. Amazing how one 20 minute video call can change my whole outlook on the day, but it does!

Me & H with Miss A just squeezing in!
On a day to day basis its fair to say that I am very much a t-shirt, jeans and trainers girl. I have never been any different. I don't dress up all the time, and I don't need to make sure I've got my make-up on before I go to the corner shop for milk. What you see is what you get with me. However I have to say that after reading one of my fellow bloggers today, I am feeling inspired by Mysterious M at 'Finding Myself' to try and make more of an effort with my appearance. I'm not saying that my friends are suddenly going to see me dolled up to the nines with full make-up on every day, but I am going to try and wear something other than my usual t-shirt attire, and I am  going to really work hard to get rid of some of these extra pounds that make me so self-conscious and led to the t-shirt revloution in the first place!

Thank you Mysterious M for giving me the inspiration to actually get my A into G and to root through my wardrobe to find some clothes that perhaps haven't seen the light of day for a very long time!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Beautiful Flowers
This morning I went into my old workplace to collect my P45 and to say goodbye to all my colleagues and the children, who I have been working with for the last 15 months. It was lovely to be back again, and yes has only been  a week since I was last there, because I worked one day last Tuesday, but before that I hadn't been in for 3 weeks.

My Fantastic Cards
It was lovely to go back in again, but kind of sad that it would officially be the last time. I was really thrilled and touched when I was given a lovely bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolates and cards from both colleagues and the children. I have had a fantastic time working with the children and my colleagues, and I would like to think that I have made some wonderful friends, both in colleagues and parents.

Still sad as it is to leave, I am looking forward to starting my new job on Monday, and to getting myself off the sofa away from vegetating in the house feeling sorry for myself. It will be good to be working properly again, and I just am keeping everything crossed that the new children and staff are as fantastic as the ones I have left today.

Maybe I should have asked for permission before naming names, but I want to say a big thank you to Debby who helped me keep me sane when life was really tough: Hannah Banana for just being completely wonderful every day and for designing me a truly original tat; Chlo-Bo for always seeing the good in everyone and for showing me that patience really is a virtue and Vicky who was a breath of fresh air, and who's enthusiasm is never ending. I love all you guys, and will miss you hugely, but I know that we will all stay in touch and, we will certainly have  a big knees up before I fly off across the pond!

Whilst on the subject of goodbye's - I would like to just say a very big 'Hello and Welcome to the World' to a very special little girl who made her debut last night at 11.45pm and weighing in at 7.5lbs. Congrats to Lou, Chris and Dan xxxx

After seeing you only yesterday - this was a little bit of a shock this morning - so much for a little nagging ache!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Job....

This morning I dragged myself out of bed at silly o'clock to attend an interview that I really just didn't want to go to. A girl who had come to work at my old Nursery shortly before I left, had come from this Nursery and by all accounts, had not had a very good time of things.

Anyway, I dragged myself out of the house, leaving the boys to send themselves off to school, and arrived 10 minutes early for my interview at 7.50am. The manager had told me that the interview process would take about 2 hrs. She wanted to do a question and answer session and then have me spend an hour in one of the rooms, so she could see how I related to the children and how they related to me.

I hate question and answer sessions, they fill me with dread because you never know quite what you are going to be asked and there is always one question that throws you completely out of kilter. I seemed to be going quite well, and there was an easy and relaxed atmosphere to the whole thing. The dreaded trick question came and went without causing me heart failure, although my refusal to use the specific words that she was looking for, was quite comical. I answered the question - one about making ducks out of card, coloured cellophane, and glitter, but I used the word plan - she was after another 'p' word. I looked at her and said 'I'm obviously not really understanding your question'. she then said that she was looking for another 'p' word and I looked at her and said 'you mean preparation?' She meant preparation - but not only that she then said that she was looking for a word beginning with 'o' as well. This was getting a little like I spy! I looked at her completely blankly - she looked back and said 'you know it goes with preparation'. I looked at her and said ' you want me to tell you that I need to be prepared and organised?' She smiled and nodded - I looked at her and said 'what do you think I meant by planning for the activity and making sure I had everything I needed?' She burst out laughing and said 'ah I see, when you said planning I thought you were referring to weekly planning'. Hmmmm, I don't think we need say any more on that one - It was a definite trick question, but I don't think the trick was on me - well not 100% anyway.

Once we had gotten over that little stumbling block the rest of the questions were a complete breeze, but apparently, I was the only interviewee that had been able to give answers to some of them - makes me wonder just what some people did when they were studying for their qualification, but hey ho, such is life. he finally asked me how I would describe myself - aha, this one was really easy - I am completely insane and like nothing more than acting like a complete fool with the children, rolling around on the floor with them, letting them jump all over me, going down the slide with them, dancing around like a nutter, and generally getting down to their level, so I can build solid relationships with them!

Then she threw me in at the deep end with a group of 12 to 18 month olds for an hour or so, which I loved, and they were fantastic kids - but then all kids are fantastic at that age, aren't they? After which she pulled me to one side and offered me the job there and then - WOOT!

I have to go in on Friday to get my contract etc, and then I start work on Monday - full time, 40 hours a week. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am. The thought of not finding something and having to spend the next few months twiddling my thumbs at home and going stir crazy, was not a pleasant one, so I thrilled is probably a complete underestimate of how I feel.

It may even make my blogs a little more interesting for those of you taking the time to read them....

Sunday, May 08, 2011

House Hunting....

Well the house hunting seems to have reached a new level this weekend. S went off for a drive yesterday to do a little recce of the area where we want to live, and to try and find some of the houses that we had found online, in the right area for the good schools!

Its quite funny because, you can try and get an idea of an area from the online map views, but they can never quite tell the true story can they? The upshot being that the areas where we need to live in order for the boys to go to the better schools, aren't the areas where we want to live, and we have now decided that a longer commute to work for S is probably going to be necessary in order to get what we want from a home.

The good news is, that on further investigation a school that looked to be really crap on the face of things, is actually pretty good - it's just a small school (500 kids as opposed to 2,500) and there are no other schools in the area to compare it too, which ultimately gives it a lower rating on the schools listing. To be honest, I would prefer that the boys go to a smaller school - at least the staff will know who they are, and they won't just be another face in a sea of faces!

Suddenly we are looking at the rural wide open spaces we want instead of the cramped suburban estates that we thought we were going to have to settle for. Not that I have anything against estates of course - they just aren't what we want from our new home, and I am feeling so much better now that it looks like we will be able to find somewhere with some land and no neighbours peering over the fence to see what we are up to!


Friday, May 06, 2011

Grateful for....

Maxabella's Blog
Reading Maxabella's blog this lunchtime, after a strangely upsetting phone call from my daughter this morning could not have been more apt, because the phone call made me think about what I am grateful for in my life.

A friend of my daughter's from University has died. She wasn't sick or anything, she wasn't involved in an accident of any kind. She simply went to bed, fell asleep and never woke up. She was 20. My lovely A rang me because she was feeling confused I guess - she didn't know quite how she should be feeling. Yes she was upset, this girl was someone studying on the same course as A. They were friends, but not really close friends, and she said that she just felt - weird! We chatted for a while and I think that she understood, that feeling 'weird' is a pretty normal emotion when you hear news of this type.

The whole conversation really made me think just how lucky I am, that my daughter phoned me this morning. I feel for the parents of my daughters friend, but I am so grateful that it is not me who is having to deal with the loss of a child at the age of 20.

So what is it that I am grateful for?....

I am grateful for all 3 of my children.

A is my studyaholic daughter, who always talks sense to me and who I have leaned on for support far too much over the years. She is bright and beautiful, clever and articulate. Sometimes narrow minded and frustrating, but always loving and giving. She turns 21 this year, and lives away from home because she is working hard for her degree. She knows what she wants from life, and I know that she will get it. When I sit and think, I am sad because she will not be moving with me and the boys to the US. She has to finish Uni, and she doesn't want to live over there anyway - What can I do? She's too big for me to drag kicking and screaming! I respect that she knows what she wants from life and what she has to do to achieve it - but she is my daughter, my first born, and I love her with a passion that she will only understand if and when she has a child of her own. I might not show it - but I miss her every day, and it will break my heart to leave her here when we move.

G is my middle one, my oldest son. He is the gorgeous one with his dark hair and huge blue eyes, and sometimes he struggles with not being the man of the house anymore. He will soon be 13, and somedays he is 50 and some days he is 2. He is bright and inquisitive, he is intelligent and a real thinker. Sometimes he thinks too much, and too deeply and tries to see things that aren't there in an effort to give himself answers. He is my magician - quite literally, and is always practicing some new trick to show me and S, often before he has even mastered it properly. When I am sad, he will hold his arms open and say 'Do you want a hug Mum?' He cuddles up to me on the sofa in the evening, and even though he is never tired, he usually manages to fall asleep with his head on my shoulder. He is the defender of the family and will wade into any situation regardless of danger to protect those that he loves.

H is my baby, my youngest son. He is the handsome one - the one that for a long time seemed to live in the shadow of his gorgeous brother. But then people began to see 'The Hen' and when they did they would quite often say to me 'my god Lou, he's an Angel'. At nearly 12, he is the only one of my brood that could still technically be classed as blonde, although a very dirty blonde these days. Partially because he hates being clean, and partially because his hair is trying desperately hard to turn brown. He is my mischief maker with a twinkle in his eye, and an aversion to anything that resembles work - including homework. don't get me wrong he is as bright as a button, he just doesn't care! He wants the world to think that he is tough nut, but really he is a little softee, who has a mountain of love to give and expects nothing in return.

I am also grateful to my wonder S, who brings light to even the darkest of days, and makes me smile on the inside as well as out. He keeps the key to my soul and tells me he loves me every day. He allows me to be me all the time and gives me support in everything I do. He is a wonderful Dad and always has time for A, G & H, although he doesn't think he deserves the love they have for him. He respects me and is my best friend, and without him I would quite simply be lost.

I am grateful for my family, who over the years have had to cope with a lot from me. My Mum is the font of all knowledge, well most of the time, and my Dad is the voice of reason and never ever lets me down. My sisters and I don't always see eye to eye but when the chips are down they are always there to lend a friendly ear and a shoulder to cry on - I love them all.

There is a lot in my life to be grateful for, but I have only shared the most important ones. I am grateful for every day, and I am happy and content in my life - it took me a while to get here, but here I plan to stay, and anyone who has other plans had better watch out because I will fight to the death to preserve what I have....

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Straight Answers....

Green Card
I have been trying to find out how my qualifications in the UK will transfer when I get to the US, and whether once I have my Green Card, I am going to be able to work in the profession I love or whether I am going to have to find something less salubrious....

Here in the UK I am an Early Years Practitioner (otherwise known as a Nursery Nurse), and I have worked both in Private Day Nurseries and as a Teaching Assistant in the Reception class of a Primary School. My qualification will allow me to do both, and I do truly love what I do. My middle sis, who has lived in the US for the last 11 years and who also works in childcare, has told me that the laws have changed over there and you now need a Bachelors Degree to do what I do. Now she did her training before the laws changed, and so she works as a Teachers Assistant in a school, with no degree, and training very similar to mine.


It has been praying on my mind that qualifications that I worked hard for here are going to be completely useless once I move. Also I had wanted to do further training in Special Education Needs and in Child Psychology, to enhance my existing qualifications. Now I am thinking that there is no point in my doing anything extra because none of it will be usable.

Not to be perturbed by what I was hearing and thinking, I decided to contact a center in Cali that deals with exactly this thing. I sent them an email and explained my concerns, told them exactly what my qualifications were, and asked them if they could give me some idea as to whether they would be transferable to the US market, as it were.

I have woken this morning to a reply from them that says basically, we can't tell you anything unless you fill out this form and pay us - what a crock! The form they have sent me is an application for accreditation, which I can't do until I have my green card anyway, and these guys should know this from what I have told them. I wasn't asking to be accredited, all I want to know is whether my qualifications are worth something or sod all over there - it seems a pretty easy question to me - but these are the 2nd group I have tried - the 1st group put me onto the 2nd group, so perhaps it is a conspiracy to wind me up and stress me out. If that's the case then it's working....

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

They always come in 3's....

Good things, bad things, they always come in 3's so they say.

Today was a good day for me, and there were 3 good things that happened....

Firstly my interview this morning - it went amazingly well. The lady I was interviewed by shared my thoughts and feelings on childcare, and we chatted away like old friends. The setting was lovely, and I would just love to work there, so fingers crossed on that one!

Secondly a parcel in the post - not a huge thing you may say, but it was sent by S for me and the boys, and I was highly chuffed that it had arrived. He sent t-shirts for all 3 kids, ball caps for the boys. A really cool Area 51 I.D for G, because he has just become obsessed with the whole Area 51 thing at the minute. Take a look - it's quite amusing:

And finally the following for me - which I thought was very apt, and immortalised my sentiments completely. I have stuck it on the pin board by my pc, where I can see it all the time, and use it to keep me focused when life seems bleak.

The Third and final Good thing today was by far the best - well for me anyway - S has received an email today saying that our Visa petition has been received and has been passed onto the relevant department. It will still be another 7 - 10 days before we get the paper receipt, but they have given us a receipt number, so now I can go onto the USCIS website and track the progress of the application! For me this is a huge thing, and is by far the best thing that could have happened today! Now I have confirmation that things really are starting to happen!

So for me, my day of 3 has been a good one, but is it true that these things always happen in 3's or do  we just juggle things around to make it seem that they do?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


Today I have been very foolish and had far too much sun, with far too little sunscreen and water....

Today I have been to work for the first time in 3 weeks, and managed to spend the whole of my work day outside in the glorious sunshine. It was fun at the time, but the blinding migraine that hit me on the drive home and the tight feeling in my face this evening have taken some of the shine from my day!

For those that do not know, I work as an Early Years Practitioner or to give it a more recognised title, I am a Nursery Nurse. I was working at a Private Day Nursery near where I live, but my contract ended at the end of March and because I was hoping to be making the big move sooner rather than later, it wasn't possible to renew it. Now because the move is happening so much later - although I am still keeping my fingers crossed that S could be right and it may be August after all - I am in the unfortunate position of having to look for a new job! Anyway, today I had a days work at my old nursery. Only 1 day, but beggars can't be choosers when they need to put coffers in the pot!

I was kind of excited to be going back - I have really missed the children, and the chance to see them was one not to be missed. Of course I wanted to see all my colleagues as well, but it wasn't quite the same since we communicate via Facebook pretty regularly anyway! I was actually feeling nervous when I walked into the Toddler room (18mths to 3yrs), there were some new faces as well as the old ones and within a couple of mins I had been the lucky recipient of several big squeezes, and had one of my prior charges fixed firmly on my hip as I walked through the room to the outside play area.

I had been worried that the children would not want to know me - after all, to them I had abandoned them and they have a habit of not forgiving you when you leave them for any length of time - but these thoughts dissipated in those first minutes and I had a truly wonderful day playing and chatting with them all. I did, in the process of enjoying my day at work, completely forget that it is wise to use sunscreen when outside in the sun, and I did forget that it is also wise to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration and therefore did have to resort to time proven meds to cure me of the monstrous migraine that sought to punish my foolishness!

However, now re-hydrated, covered in aftersun lotion and once again migraine free - I can look back on my day with a smile on my face, but with a heavy heart, because I love all my children to bits, and my missing them is bound to kick in again tomorrow!

Still tomorrow is another day, and I have a job interview at 10am, at another Nursery, where should I be lucky enough to get the position, there will be other children for me to become equally attached to, and then miss horribly when we do finally move! And after not seeing S on the skype for the last couple of days, I am truly looking forward to seeing and talking to him tomorrow afternoon before he goes to work, and who knows maybe tomorrow the postie will deliver the receipt to say that our visa petition has been received and is being processed - now that would be something wonderful!

Monday, May 02, 2011

A Good day....

Happy May Day
Waking this morning to the news that Osama Bin Laden is dead is quite a shocker...My first thought was 'Hey ho the witch is dead'...then my second thought was 'Are we safe?' and a teeny tiny little panic set in, probably unfounded, and in all honesty it has now passed - but having rid the world of such an evil man - are there likely to be repercussions from his followers? Can we now sleep safe at night? I sincerely hope so, and I have no idea where this pessimism is coming from, I am usually such an optimist! I am not going to give the man or his movement any more of my valuable time and energy - he wasn't worth it yesterday and I am certainly not going to make him worthy of it today.

Today is a Good Day... the sun is shining, the boys are off school for the May Day Bank Holiday, and  most importantly S starts his new super fantastic job today, and hopefully his employers will see, as I see just how brilliant he is. Of course by the time he starts work today, the day here will be part way through, and I will have to make a special effort to stay awake late so that I can speak to him later when he has finished for the day. I don't care though - I am so excited and nervous for him at the same time, This job is the whole reason for our being apart, and is the start of our future together. It is important that it goes well..I have no doubts that it will, S is brilliant at what he does, and anyone who employs him is very lucky to have him - and since they have taken him so many thousands of miles away from me and the children, they had better appreciate him, or they will have me to deal with when I visit in July!

Today is also a good day because the 'out of sorts' feeling that has been plaguing me for the last few days has finally lifted, and feel more like my usual crazily insane self. I have a day in work tomorrow, which will be wonderful because I miss my kids at work terribly, and I have another interview on Wednesday! I don't think that not working for the last 3 weeks has really helped my state of mind. I do understand my bosses situation, but that doesn't make missing work any easier - and mine is a job of love not just money, and I love all my children and miss seeing them everyday. Add onto that the fact that I am now adjusting to life without S here, my daughter has gone back to Uni and the Easter Hols are over so the boys are back in school and you can perhaps understand why the last few days have been kind of weird for me!

But today is a good day....

Sunday, May 01, 2011

First BBQ....

White rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits......isn't that what you are meant to say as soon as you open your eyes on the first day of a new month? May is officially my busiest birthday month - it always kicks off with my baby sisters birthday which was actually yesterday, so not technically May, but she does seem to get the ball rolling, then it is middle sisters birthday on the 3rd, along with my soon to be father-in-law on the 4th. Then it is my own on the 18th, youngest son and soon to be brother-in-law on the 23rd, niece on the 25th and then eldest son on the 27th! - Eight birthdays in one month - and I will have no money left at all by the end of this month, after I have brought everyones presents! I don't care though - I love birthdays!

Birthdays aside, the boys and I are heading over to my parents house today for an afternoon BBQ. It will be our first one of the year, but hopefully the weather will stay good and it will not be the last. Actually, I should mention that S loves to BBQ and he was actually cooking on the BBQ in December. No-one else was out there with him, and even he had no intention of eating out there, he just wanted to BBQ the steak! He did it in the dark on more than one occasion too, which was completely insane - BBQing by Hurricane lamp in the dark - he is a crazy man! but it did taste absolutely delicious, so was well worth his craziness!

Today will be a lot less crazy I suspect. when I spoke to Mum yesterday to ask if she needed me to pick up anything, she said that she has chicken and fish, and sausages and stuff to make burgers, and ribs and potatoes and salad and......... the list went on and on as it always does when she BBQ's. Even youngest son, who hates going anywhere and hates eating anything said 'I love Nana's BBQ's'. Oldest son says that he is 'surprised that his brother can taste anything as he covers it in way too much ketchup!' Ahhhh the joys of having 2 sons so close together in age (not quite a year between them) and so far apart in personality! Where is my wonderfully sane daughter when I need her? Oh yes off working hard at Uni!

As long as the boys don't try and kill each other today, and Nana doesn't kill one of them for their bickering a good time should be had by all, and if the worst comes to the worst, Dad and I can always retreat to the relative safety of the study and his computer, which no doubt has a problem that he would like me to sort out for him...

BBQ Update
The boys didn't bicker, youngest son ate lots of food and requested a walk somewhere with water so he could skim stones.
Oh my they really can get on!
So we ended up at Astbury Mere, somewhere I haven't been to since I was a teenager, and boy has it changed - it's a proper Sunday afternoon country park these days - we used to have to hop over fences etc to sneak in!

All in all - a fantastic day!