Sunday, February 28, 2016

Question Time - Question 4

Question 4

"How do you decide where to go on holiday?

We always tend to go somewhere max of 3 hours away as I find the travelling hard, hubby doesn't like long drives and Emily hates being in the car. Before we had Emily we used to go on peaceful Lakes and Mountain holidays, but airports are a nightmare and would be even harder with Emily, she hates crowds and would be anxious about the plane and of course once you are on there is no going back. 

For a few years we have done caravan holidays where they have facilities and entertainment, but I miss out on most of it. Last year we did a coach trip to London which was hard work especially as Rob got ill, but we managed it has there was no driving for him. 

We would like to go to Manor House craft and activity hotel which sounds great, but is too far away. Plus points it is full board and has lots of activities. Negatives it is too far even if we break journey there and back and I would end up doing too many things. 

We also wanted to try Euro Disney but same things apply really and none of us have passports so would have to add them to the cost. Summer holiday prices are bad enough as it is. 

We thought about a cottage but then we have to sort out food and activities and keep Emily entertained so its much like being at home. 

Being away is hard as we have no help, but we also don't fancy going with other people as then we don't get to do family stuff and I would get left out completely."

The attraction of somewhere abroad keeps popping up with all the adverts on TV and after we got a postcard from a friend who has just been to Austria. We had a holiday in Austria at Christmas in 2005, seems forever ago.

Holidays for the last few years have been so difficult and we have been so stressed and worn out before we even set off that they have not been good experiences.  If we had some one to make all the arrangements and do the packing we would be in a better position to enjoy the holiday itself.  The travelling is difficult, but you can't just arrive in a place without the effort of getting there.

Our main issues are not really ME related though, as I use my wheelchair and can be pushed around however I feel.  The main issue is the problems that Rob has if he gets over tired or over stressed or if he gets a vomiting bug, then we are really stuck as I am unable to walk or drive and Rob would need hospital admission, due to issues with the medication he takes since having his Pituitary removed due to cancer.

Rob did an internet search on ME friendly holidays and it suggested a cruise.  I like the idea of a relaxed cruise not one that is formal and stuffy, but worry about how child friendly they would be. There are very few that start in the country and most that do go from Southampton, which is too far from us.  Most cruises require flying too, but airports are such hard work.  They are huge places and Rob can;t push me, manage the luggage and keep hold of Emily.  The only assistance available is after check in when you have got rid of your luggage.  Train travel is also a nightmare as booked help often doesn't turn up and boarding and exiting train is very difficult if it is not an terminating station.  I can get out of my wheelchair and get on and off the train, but it leaves Rob with luggage and my wheelchair trying to get on and off through crowds of people who just get in the way.

The coach trip we did last year was better in that Rob didn't have any driving and that the luggage is on the coach and out of the way most of the time and the drivers are usually quite helpful with getting wheelchair on and off. But the schedules are usually very structured and hectic and you have to adhere to them or get left behind.  Coach travel is usually quite long and uncomfortable and I get very dizzy for weeks after from the motion.  Rob usually passes his time by sleeping or playing on his phone, but I can't do that and one of us has to entertain Emily who usually just wants to know how long we will be before getting wherever we are going.

Eating away from home can be a nightmare, with so many intolerances.  Some places are quite helpful, but in most places I just have to miss out the bits I can't have.  Being intolerant to gluten, dairy, refined sugar and fish often means I don't get much of a meal and especially when I am struggling to cope anyway this is not good for me.

So as we move into March we still have no idea what to do.  It would be easier not to go anywhere, but we do need to get a break from our daily routine and in my case the same four walls I see all day every day.  I rarely get out other than to do school run and to visit my parents.  We also feel like we have nothing to look forward to.

We still have a very idyllic view of holidays despite so absolute disasters, but those experiences are also making us too scared to take a chance on the things we really want to do.  We are also put off by the prices of holidays during school holidays as we don't want to pay out huge amounts of money for something that is miserable and hard work.

None of us cope well with the heat so foreign holidays in August are not really an option, but there is not really enough time in the other school holidays.  Holidays in this country are often spoiled by the weather and whilst I don't mind a bit of rain or a cooler temperature it can be difficult to find things to do or to enjoy the surroundings.

Other people seem to have loads of holidays and great experiences and make us feel like we are missing something or doing the wrong things.

We love watching Death in Paradise, the scenery and life style looks so perfect, but in reality it would be too hot and too far to travel, not to mention very expensive.  It is filmed in Guadeloupe.  I think that a murder during the holiday might also spoil it quite a bit, but good old Humphrey would sort it out, he'd probably be really good with Emily too!!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Question Time - Question 3

Question 3

Might sound a stupid question, but does anyone know a simple app for recording when you take medication?? I am ok with ones I take at same time every day, but those I take as needed like painkillers I can never remember what I have taken and when. I try to write it down, but then seem to lose the piece of paper, or leave it somewhere and then forget to write next lot down!

Following my question a friend recommended Keep for android, so I downloaded it. It seems quite good.  I haven't got a clue if I am using it correctly, but I can note my medication and make lists which I can also share, which can be useful.  Only thing that I would like and don't know if it does is to display current notes on my home screen.

Apparently I can snyc all my devises, but not worked that one out yet!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Question Time- Question 2

Question 2

"How do you stop people from upsetting you or annoying you. Emily has a book about temper and it says quite rightly you can't change what other people do, but you can change how you react to what they do. I am really sick of being upset and angry with people, it's a waste of my time and energy, the people won't change so how do I change my reaction?"

I take peoples comments and behaviours personally and always think that people are being critical of me, or that their behaviour is directed at me and I am to blame for it or that they are trying to punish me for being ill and that I am an inferior person.

I get fed up with with Facebook and the like portraying such a blissful image of life and people doing all the things I can't.

I want to be more Mindful and live in the here and now and appreciate what is around me, rather than being so stressed out and missing out of life.

But what does this actually mean? defines serenity as "the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness."  So basically keeping calm and not letting things that cannot be changed get to you and accepting that even though you might not like it, that's how things are.  In the case of ME accepting that I have an illness and have limitations and that there is nothing I can do to change that so there isn't much point it letting it upset or trying to fight against it and therefore I will feel happier and calmer and get more pleasure from what I am able to do. defines courage as "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery."  The first thing that springs to mind here is the lion in Wizard of Oz, who wanted to be braver. A search of Wikipedia says of the lion "the Cowardly Lion believes that his fear makes him inadequate. He does not understand that courage means acting in the face of fear, which he does frequently. "  Yes I can relate to that which brings to mind another quote from my favourite bear;

According to Wisdom is "the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgement as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight."  Google says it is "the fact of being based on sensible or wise thinking." Apparently I am not wise as I do not have my wisdom teeth!  Well I had one removed and I have one painfully trying to sprout.  We do always seem to think that it is older people who are wise because of what they have lived through and experienced.  From an ME point of view it is wise to accept the illness and keep to our limitations, and look after ourselves, but it doesn't feel wise it feels like giving in.

I am going to put on my serene, courageous, wise head on now and go to get some rest.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Question Time- Question 1

I have been asking a few questions on some of the ME forums I belong to and have got some interesting answers and advice.

Question 1
Anyone else find it hard to read and understand and take in written information? I have been trying to read stuff about behaviour issues and other such things and it just doesn't seem to go in. I have a Masters degree and spent many years studying and researching so this shouldn't be hard. I like reading and read novels which I enjoy at the time, but can't remember much about it once I have finished. I find it really hard to follow recipes, written instructions and patterns and get really stressed with them, so fed up of what this illness robs us of.

I am finding it hard to read information, I have been trying to research behavioural issues that Emily displays and also things to try and improve my own mood, but I don't seem to take in the information.  I do read novels, but can't really remember what I have read and can't read anything that is too complicated.  I struggle to follow recipes and patterns which makes my pleasurable activities difficult.  If we have a new game to play I have to ask someone else to read the rules and then try and explain them to me.  Emily likes to change rules once she is used to the game, which is quite creative, but confuses me too much. I have a post graduate degree so was always used to reading and gathering information so I find this quite distressing.  When people have sent me information they think that I am not taking it seriously as I don't always read it, or if I do I can understand what it is telling me to do.  At the moment I am trying to work through a book with Emily What to do when your temper flares.  It is a book aimed at children and I am just about keeping up.  I have also been trying to read Wisdom of groundhog day, which does seem a good book, but I have only got half way and now it feels to much of a chore to carry on with it.  Finally I got 80% of way through Words that work, again an interesting book, but I can't remember the techniques and as it is usually a stressful situation when they are needed my mind goes blank.

If I am trying to follow a recipe or pattern I really struggle, partly because I am trying to multi task by reading the instructions and doing the activity, so many of things I try become too stressful when they should be a pleasure and I get really upset at not being able to do something that is really quite simple.

Some people suggested audio books, but with my hearing issues listening is very hard work and I only hear parts of speech.  I use subtitles when watching TV and can't watch anything that doesn't have subtitles and even then if there is too much going on I can;t follow the programme.  It is frustrating as these things are what most people do to relax.

As I now know many fellow sufferers have issues with reading, I will try and make my posts a reasonable length so will post the other question separately.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


I am really fed up this week with not being believed and being lied to.  I know I complain a lot and have a bit of a negative outlook on life, but I don't lie and I am not attention seeking.  Lying really annoys me.  Thought I would repost a piece I posted in 2014.


I wrote this last week whilst away on respite, it was not mentally restful!

I have ummed and erred since about whether to commit to print.  it is taking up a lot of space in my mind and is making me unsettled so therefore I think it is beneficial to let it out.

I am sorry in advance if I upset or offend anyone; that is the last thing I want to do. This is about my own thoughts and feelings.

My husband has read this and thinks I should publish it online so here goes.


The Wikipedia definition of honest is "a facet of moral character with positive and virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness and straightforwardness.  Being trustworthy, loyal, fair and sincere".

One of my biggest bug bears is people who lie.

This was highlighted when reading a book about a place accident and the cause being covered up and a coroner have to give a verdict of unknown cause, because the truth could not be told and she would lose her job if she was honest.  There were a lot of twists and turns and cover ups etc and I can't remember all the details as it was complicated, but it was the lies and deception that really stood out and set me thinking.

We tell our children not to lie and tell them of if they do, yet as adults most of life is a lie, often with good intentions, but even so, lying is wrong.  As I was reading it struck me how much time and money is either spent creating lies or uncovering them and often the truth is not discovered as the liars are better at telling their tale and people telling the truth are made to feel like frauds.

Benefits are claimed by many frauds and it seems that fraudulent claims are more successful than genuine claims.  The genuine people are told they don't qualify and are penalised for telling the truth, whereas a liar builds a convincing case - how is that right?

Being brought up in a household with financial problems and health issues, but where things were never talked about or false information given, makes me hyper sensitive to lying and cover up even if the intentions are well meant.  I would rather it was cards on the table whatever the truth - the truth is often easier than the fears created by deception or protection.

This said you would think I am honest as the day.  Wrong.  I am currently away, not many people know as I think they disapprove.  I haven't lied, just not said anything.  I don't want to be thought selfish or useless or unfair to my husband and daughter, so I feel like I am hiding away in secret.  I write this blog about living with ME, but don't mention a lot of things as I don't want to be accused of being a fraud.  If I write about being away which is paid for with SDS which is basically tax payers money I think there would be uproar, even though it is approved by the City Council as an alternative to traditional respite and its not like I am having it easy.  To get here my husband had to take me in my wheelchair to the train as it is too far to walk into the station and to the platform.  When I get here it is straight off the platform to a taxi, so that's ok, but the travelling still takes its toll and I suffer great pain and other symptoms from the movement and noise.  Once I arrive I can't get around so stay in the hotel until my husband comes to pick me up.  I potter about inside and make use of the different rooms and the peace and quiet.  Being confined actually helps me to look after myself and rest to recover from the journey and my usual daily routines.  If I had my mobility scooter or people with me I would want to be out and about doing things which is not respite.

How many times a day do we do something dishonest to please others or to feel like its the right thing.  If someone asks me how I am, I usually say "ok"; that's rarely true.  If I say "not feeling great", I get "oh so glad you are feeling better" or "you look really well today" or many other variations and on the whole people don't really want to know, its just a phrase like saying hello, but if you don't ask how people are you are considered rude.  Isn't it more rude to ask a question you don't want to know the answer to, or don't listen to the answer.  I don't often ask how people are, not because I don't care or because I am rude, if someone wants me to know they will tell me and they usually do in great length if only to make me feel guilty or like a fraud, because I have ME and they have something much more serious like a cold!

Even though I tell people I am ok, which is not true, I still feel as if they think I am useless and always complaining and making a big deal when I have said I am ok and not said anything, but if I was honest I would not be heard either - how strange.  If I am honest and ask for help with something then I get treated with disdain or like I am making a fuss.  To avoid this I have to be dishonest with myself and push boundaries and feel ill and then because I have done something I am expected to do it all the time, but can't and have to sacrifice things that are more important or things for myself.

Sometimes it is hard to be honest with ourselves or others as we want to be able to do things and don't want to disappoint, but don't realise how hard it will be or that we are setting ourselves up for failure.  I feel like people expect me to fail and I prove them right by taking on too much.  I miss out on things that I want to do in order to keep up a front and appear organised and "correct" and then can't do something I really want with Emily or for myself as that pile of washing took priority!?

How can I expect my daughter to be honest and understand when I say "Mummy can't play with you", when I have just been tidying up or using computer.  Or if I say Mummy needs help to hang up the washing, her thought is well you did it yesterday - you just don't want to play with me.  If I am with other people I will sometimes forego my daily 2 hour rest, not without consequence though.  But to rest feels like I am drawing attention to myself or making a fuss or that it is rude to the people I am with.  But then when its just me, Emily and Rob I nearly always have rest, but never leave Emily on her own, which means getting help or going without during school holidays.  Emily does not always understand that I need it just to function and and says I don't care or don't want her.  I am being honest in my need for a rest, but because I was dishonest with others it makes it look like my need is a lie.

When Emily was little she didn't like chocolate so at Easter I asked if people would give her something other than chocolate.  For some it was fine, with others my honest back fired and they took it as an insult and just gave her more even though she didn't  like it.  We used the chocolate to make chocolate crispies and gave them away.  Then she started to like chocolate and people thought I had been lying and was just mean. I still don't want her to have a lot as she easily gets stomach ache from it.  When it got to the year that one person gave her three Easter eggs, I got cross and complained.  I was being honest and felt it was unfair as it is me who has to ration the chocolate and I also feel like I can't give her things myself.  Maybe its also part of my childhood, but my parents gave us books at Easter instead of chocolate as we got plenty from others. I tried giving children other gifts instead, but it was frowned on so under pressure now give chocolate to keep the peace.  I gave small bite sized eggs this year in the hope that they eat less rather than stuffing faces.  Emily of course got loads except from a couple of people who accept what I asked.  Emily of course is thrilled with all the chocolate, but we have many tummy aches and upset stomachs to deal with as well as battle of wills.  Might be making chocolate crispies soon.

Another incident that really sticks in my mind is last year we went away from home for my birthday, which is also my wedding anniversary and it was Father's day.  We had agreed before we went that we would take cards with us and give presents at home.  The morning arrived and I  gave Rob his card and got nothing in return.  I was cross because I had made a card especially and we had specifically agreed just to take cards.  He said he had forgotten it, but I could tell he was lying and was upset even more that he could not be honest.  When we got home still no card and he admitted that he had not got one.  This made me very cross again we had specifically spoken about cards and he had agreed.  it was my birthday and I got nothing, he got a handmade anniversary card a Father's day card, it made me feel as if I was worthless.  I know he thinks cards are a waste of time, but encourages me to make them.  I do often wonder why as most people don't even say thank you let alone say if they like it.  Then a few days later my hard work will go in the bin, it doesn't exactly give me much motivation.

Being honest can also get you into trouble.  It's difficult to know how to write some of these things, but as this is honesty, here goes.  We were having big issues with Emily's behaviour and things at home were very fraught so I asked for advice from local family support services and organised a meeting.  I was getting increasingly upset with Rob's attitude towards Emily and told them that Rob sometimes smacked her when she was naughty.  I was smacked as a child, as were most kids in the 1970's, but when Emily came along I began to realise that it was wrong.  How can you tell a child not to hit another person, but then smack them or tell them to keep their temper under control when you lose control and smack.  Rob knew my views, but did not completely agree.  Well all hell let lose and social services were called in and school notified.  We then has ten days of chaos over the school holidays with social services assessments and reports.  We all had to be interviewed separately and asked some awkward questions.  In the end they decided that Emily was quite safe and we were good parents and the case was closed.  It was awful to have to go through and put a great strain on us and all this could have been avoided if I had lied.  The upside of my honesty is that Rob is much calmer, more attentive and has not smacked since.  So hopefully this shows honesty does pay.

During this time which came after a hectic Christmas and the run up to Emily's birthday we cut ourselves off from people a bit.  I began to feel guilty and emailed family and friends to say sorry we were not ignoring them and were just having a tough time.  Most people just ignored the email, some did reply and say they understood.  Also at this time I asked for some help with an outside project that is too much to do ourselves.  We rarely as for help and now we know why, people either made excuses (some of them valid) or ignored the request.  We have one helper!  We won't ask again and may also think twice before we drop everything for others.  This reinforces my feelings that people do not understand our circumstances and do not care.  Thank you to the one person who is helping, despite his wife being in hospital and to my PA who says she will help too. Otherwise it would have been Rob on his own with me and Emily getting in the way and needing to be looked after.

Going back to honesty and children.  The biggest lies we tell are to children. Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny (where did he come from, we never had an Easter Bunny).  Emily is terrified of all of them, the thought of some stranger in the house.  She usually wants to sleep with me when we are expecting a visit.  I spent Christmas eve in a single bed with her, even though she was sleeping in the same room as we were at parents/grandparents, she insisted on sharing the bed.  I didn't get much sleep, but Emily was happier.  What trauma are we subjecting her to, but if we tell her the truth she would want every other child to know, not sure that we would be popular then.  We are put in the position of buying lots of presents because some are from Santa etc, so then kids need something from parents too, difficult if Santa gives the main present, parents look like they don'rt care so buy more. I got caught out with the Easter Bunny as I just bought a few things combined from us and bunny, but Emily wanted to know which was which.  I also did and Easter egg hunt and Emily decided to email eater bunny (he has an address) to ask how many eggs there were.  Of course EB does not reply and I have not worked out how to send anonymous emails as she will want to see it.  Christmas is difficult as we get involved with making shoe box gifts for Operation Christmas child.  Emily wants to know why they don't get stuff from Santa as he goes to every child.  It will be so much easier when we can tell her the truth, but it also kills the magic of Christmas.

Here are some quotes that I have seen that I thought went with this topic rather well.

Disclaimer; The opinions voiced her are solely mine and are not intended to upset anyone. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Meet Christine

Christine is a fellow ME sufferer who enjoys crafts

What is your craft?

I have done many crafts; drawing, painting, beading, sewing, knitting, making miniatures,  shell craft, and so on. Basketry too in the past. Pergamano parchment craft which I used to enjoy a great deal.

How did you get started and when? 

I have always done crafting, since my teens. 

Do you have a business name?  What is it and how did you choose it? 

No, although when I was selling jewellery at craft fairs I used to label them “Handmade by hochiwich”. Hochiwich is a name I use sometimes as an alias, it means hedgehog, in the Romany language, and it felt appropriate. I am less prickly now :)

What is your favourite part of your craft? 

Being creative.

What is your least favourite part? 

Pain in my hands and exhaustion from concentration :) 

Do you have a favourite thing that you make?  Do you have a picture of it? 

I don’t have a favourite. But I have many pictures. My current hobby or craft is making peg dolls to a high standard. 

Do you have a website or Facebook page?  If so what is the URL? 

I don’t have a website of my crafts, only one for some of my poetry. As I’m not selling my wares it doesn't seem worth paying for a webpage. 

Do you sell your makes?  If so, how and where? 

I no longer sell my work. Being housebound to a large degree makes it difficult. Also being on benefits makes it complicated and I work too slowly now to make it worthwhile. 

What is your favourite craft product? 

Again, no real favourites. What I use depends on the current craft. 

What is your favourite craft supplier? 

Currently I use eBay quite a lot. 

Personal Details

Name Christine Stromberg
Age 71
Location Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

January makes

Made for my daughter 9th birthday using 3 different patterns from Stitching cards, home-made backing paper from Craftville.

For a friends daughter, pattern from Cardbroidery, backing paper and card from Riverbank Revels.

Made for my husband using pattern from Craftsuprint and home-made backing paper from Craftville.  it's a difficult pattern as if any of the holes are marginally out of line it shows, but pleased with finished result, sadly photo doesn't do it justice, I need to work on my photo techniques!!

When my grandma died in 2014 I got this cushion cover that she had made, it was on very flimsy fabric so didn't hold shape well with cushion pad in so I made the cover into the front and added an envelope back (below) with fabric from Hobbycraft.

 I took this picture by chance through Emily's bedroom window and am going to have a play about and try to make it into a card.

Emily has been busy too, she made a bag at her sewing class at Rivers MEET, fabric from the Rivers Meet shop.

Emily and I had a play about with her Hama Beads and I made the duck as she was having a duck themed birthday and she made the heart with an M for Mummy, awwww!

I also made an Iris folded card for a 30th birthday, but in my haste I forgot to photograph it!

I finally made a start on a top I have wanted to knit for ages, but was having issues with the pattern.  I must have tried a dozen times to get the lacy pattern right and couldn't do it, tried to adapt and use an easier lacy pattern added into this pattern instead, but that didn't work either always ended up with not enough stitches at end.  In the end I decided that as y wool is multi coloured and has sequins I really don't need pattern as well so just doing plain tunic using this pattern for size and shaping.

This how far I have got since starting it just before Christmas, I think it's going to be a long wait!

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Brilliant view

I have to share this view of ME that I read the other day, I am sure all sufferers will relate to it and the coping strategies are very clever. Sister's cafe article.  The blog looks like a good one to follow has many different topics, one about homework that I will be checking out too, like the author I also hates my daughters homework.

I am going to need a lot of coping strategies today, countdown to party has begun and I feel like I want to go back to bed, wish me luck!

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Party Time, arrrggghh

I have just read an article by another ME sufferer who says they enjoy celebrations, I am afraid they fill me with dread and I find them really hard work, but do my best and accept the consequences.

I can't believe that my baby will be 9 tomorrow we have gone from this

to this in what seems a very short time.

In other ways it has been a very long a difficult 9 years, with many ups and downs.  I think the most scary thought is that in another 9 years she will be 18.

Having ME makes me feel I have missed out on so much of Emily growing up and I often get my priorities wrong, putting my energies into making sure she can do what she wants to do and not be denied experiences because of my ME.  I think I try too hard sometimes and go over the top to compensate for my limitations and use my energy getting things organised rather than just cherishing time with her.

I was determined not to organise a party this year, but as ever I gave in as Emily wanted a party.  It will be the first party we have had at home and I have had to round up a few helpers as I can't stand the thought of it all in my house and having the noise and mess all around, but hiring a venue and sorting an activity becomes far too expensive.  Last year Emily had a new bedroom built so we are combining a sort of bedroom warming and birthday party and having a photo shoot party with WhiteBox Photography.  The picture above was taken by them and we love their photos, so hoping it will be a great day.

ME wise I know it will be hard and that I will feel awful afterwards, I already do and there are 2 days to go until the party.  her actual birthday being tomorrow she will be at school and then is going to her usual Friday activity at the local church and taking a birthday cake of course.

I thought I was really organised this year starting making her card just after Christmas and I did get it done in good time, but then had a rush on to get Rob's finished too (his birthday Monday).  having tp spend 2 days in bed this week didn't help much!  I have printed out a big yellow no.9 and a big duck.  The party has a bit of a duck theme.  It took me a while to sort out a cake, as my usual cake making person can't do this year, but thankfully another one stepped in, I didn't fancy a shop one after some of the great ones we have had in previous years.  I am really excited to see the cakes.  The cakes will be the star of the photo shoot along with the big yellow duck that Emily has had in every photo from WhiteBox.

I also thought I was organised with presents, but then got to yesterday and they still weren't wrapped up.  My wrapping up leaves something to be desired at the best of times, so many of the presents are just in gift bags, well she won't have a lot of time to open them so I have made it easier for her ;-)  Her main present is a hamster, which I haven't bought yet and don't have to wrap, but have to find the time and energy to take her to buy and find somewhere in the house for it's cage to go.  She is going to be quite disappointed that she doesn't have a hamster when she gets up in the morning, but I am not quite sure how she expected me to buy and hide one!!  last week I took her and her friend in the local pet shop to look at hamsters, there was one we liked, but then it bit her friend so we went off that one.

Rob is having tomorrow off work so we can get things organised and get decorations put up and finish the last bits of shopping.  It's poor timing as he started a new job this week, but even worse timing was me being too ill to do school runs on Tuesday and him having to work a shorter day.  Even though it is a new job it's in the same place and the people know him, so I hope it doesn't count against him too much!  I know he does work at home after I have gone to bed sometimes, which makes me feel really bad.  I also have a list of other things for him to do whilst he is not at work, no rest for the poor man.

Will post an update when I am up to it after the party.