{Gratitude} and Let Your Blog Shine

Gratitude

Things I’m Grateful for….

Sleep

I always knew my sleep would be disturbed with a newborn but I don’t think I realised quite how much! So I’m grateful for the sleep I do get. Especially unexpected naps!

Chris and Our Sidekick

Sometimes they are grumpy but overall they are both lovely and helpful and take care of me whether it’s little like grabbing a glass of water when I need one or holding Jaxon so I can nip to the loo or eat dinner they are both very lovely and helpful.

My Mum

Between the arrival of Jaxon and our washing machine breaking down my Mum has been so amazing!! As I was holding Jaxon while he was asleep yesterday evening, she arrived back with another load of washing that she’d done for us.

Friends from Church

I went to coffee with three girl-friends from church, following coffee I popped to the shops and then headed home. I got part way home and bumped into four friends from church. I pottered along the road to the bus stop but the bus driver drove past me rather than stopping (Admittedly I wasn’t quite at the bus stop but I was only about two metres away so waiting wouldn’t have been a problem). One of the church friends shouted down the street “Would you like a lift?” so she took Jaxon and I home which was lovely although I’m convinced I wasn’t on her route home! Another friend from church is here at our house while I write this post, she’s in the process of making us dinner and has been here earlier in the week helping tidy up the garden which was getting in a bad state.

Let Your Blog Shine

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We’re so excited to launch today and would LOVE to see you in the group! Join and introduce yourself so we can get to know you!

Things I'm Grateful For

Joining up with:
Ashley from Hello Nature, Laura from The Laura Way & Nay from Coffee-N-Ink.

P.S. Check out other Gratitude posts here.

Welcome to the World Little One!

I have a whole heap to write about what happened and how it happened and when it happened but for now.

Welcome to the world Blueberry!! Haha no not going to be actually called Blueberry, this little one is called Jaxon Albert Byng Johnson. He was born on Wednesday and weighed in at 9lb 14.5oz by C Section (see things to write about!!)

Jaxon Albert Byng Johnson

For now I wrote a list of things I am grateful for, I had a little meltdown last night and needed to regroup so started this list….

My Mum and Dad for being on standby since Saturday to help us out with Our Sidekick when I went into labour (and the practice attempts it seems!). My Dad for attempting to sleep at our house in one to the Poang chairs, I am pretty sure you got zero sleep that night and somehow still went to work the next day. You both came and rescued us the following night when I had a meltdown, Mum fell asleep in our bed and was out like a light, I don’t think Dad slept at all that night and again went to work the next day!! (Superstar!)

My Mum for popping into town for an item of clothing that I sort of needed to be able to come home and delivering it to the hospital too. For offering to come to sit with me this morning so Chris can go to church for a little while and take Jaxon for a quick visit too.

Our Sidekick, you were out the front playing with your friend when I got home from the hospital you dropped what you were doing to help me out of the car, when I pottered into the living room and then turned round to get the post you told me off and sent me upstairs – I think you followed me up the stairs to make sure that I made it there in one piece. You sat with me while we ate dinner so that I wasn’t alone while Chris ate dinner with Jaxon, his parents and sister.

The NHS – people do complain, I know I have and I know I did on Friday when we were waiting to be discharged but I’ll tell you something, Bedford Hospital Midwifery team were amazing this week looking after Jaxon and I. There’s the two student midwifes who were so good, if they didn’t know the answer or wasn’t 100% sure they’d go and find out the information and come back. To the anaesthetist’s assistant who walked me through how my injection was going to be done and then talked me through how to sit as it was being done. To the surgeon who brought Jaxon into the world and took the time to say hello to Jaxon. To Ruth, Laura, Liz and all the other midwifes who came to check on me, take my obs, check me over and answer questions amongst other things.

The lovely friends who have been round to see Jaxon, Chris and I, thank you for coming, thank you for your flying visits and understanding that I wanted to see you but couldn’t cope for long periods of time (being a mummy is exhausting sometimes lol). Thank you for the presents you have brought us and the offers of help if I need them. My favourite was “even if it’s just so you can take a shower I’ll come cuddle Jaxon”.

To “Auntie” Kewey thank you for sending me silly pictures when I was post-meltdown, for pictures of your celebratory tea and the Blueberry muffins eaten in celebration of Jaxon’s arrival and for the encouraging words sent via text to me. I know you had a pooey week and at some points could have probably shut the world out and just sulked but you were there and amazing even from nearly a hundred miles away!!!

(Okay, blueberry muffins might be needed……Erm, whoever visits next do you fancy going via the supermarket?)

And last but no means least……

To Chris, firstly I love you, I don’t think I’ve said it in the last few days between all the crazy that’s been happening. You’ve done a heap of stuff and I’ve probably missed some but here is the short list that I remember….. loaded the dishwasher and the washing machine, you made dinner (which we then ate nearly an hour later cos of a feeding hiccup), you’ve changed more nappies in the last four days than I have (admittedly I’ve done the feeds which don’t work so well if you try!), gotten up with Jaxon when I was so out of it I didn’t know he was even awake (bad Momma!), slept/rested your eyes in an uncomfy hospital chair on Wednesday night so that I could recover and we could both take care of Jaxon together, you walked to the supermarket at 10pm on Saturday night to get some bits after I had a meltdown, I love your enterprising nature when they didn’t have quite the product we were looking for – the alternative worked wonders and at a fraction of the price (there clearly is money in maternity products because as soon as you market something as maternity you can increase the price!!)

our BIG adventure 2013: Day 1 and 2

Blackpool Tower at Night

Friday was always set to be completely crazy, even at the beginning of the week I knew I was going to need to be super organised by the end of the week to make sure I did everything I needed to before the end of the week arrived. I packed my clothes before bed on Thursday, I had the washing machine and dryer running to make sure we were almost up to date on the laundry. I made sure that everything was ready and i just had to come home between work and Holiday Club to wash up my lunch box. I finished work at 5 as normal. Then went to Holiday Club, which wasn’t sane either as it was the last night so the parents came to see what we had been up to. Following that we jumped in the car and dashed to a friend’s leaving do. Apparently he arrived home to the surprise and when everyone shouted “Surprise” he panicked and ran off up the street – it would have been good to be a fly on the wall for that! When we arrived after 9pm we walked through the door and Our Sidekick and I got a massive bear hugs from our friend. During the party we all gathered in the living room and prayed and spoke words of encouragement over our friend. He also said that it was the first time someone had organised a surprise party for him and he was super grateful.

We had to leave the party early to head off on holiday. We popped home to do some last minute bits that couldn’t be done earlier then jumped into the car and headed northwards and onto holiday. We arrived at the hotel just after 3am – funnily enough the chap on reception looked wide awake! We hit the bed and next thing I knew it was 9:30 – why couldn’t my body make me sleep just a little longer?!?!

#minionadventures it be breakfast time. Oh its 8 to 12......oops that's what you get when you mess with a body clock!

I sat and read/played on my phone until the boys woke up. After we’d pulled ourselves together and had some breakfast we popped over to the service station to see what restaurants there were and how expensive they would be. After that, we headed to Wigan for an explore around the town. In one of the main shopping squares there was a big stage with a band playing. When we arrived there the band was playing some crazy heavy metal tunes, when we walked through a bit later the band were playing “The Rock Show” by Blink182. I don’t think the boys appreciated me singing it for most of the rest of the afternoon. We popped to M&S and I had my first excellent customer service experience of the day.

After exploring for a bit we headed back to the hotel – after the nuts week I had my body caught up and I was exhausted even from the little explore we did. We all chilled out at the hotel for a bit and then in the evening we went to a local carvery called The Bowling Green Inn which is in one of the villages near where we are staying. While we were there we had our second excellent customer service experience.

How cool and quirky is this roof..... #bowlinggreen #crowncarveries

We headed home and we watched Mission Impossible and Knight and Day as they were both on television last night (actually there were quite a few films on last night actually, Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix was on one of the other channels about the same time. Following the movies we all headed to bed ready for the next day of adventuring.

Friday Questions #9

Friday Questions

I really mean it this time! I will get my butt in gear when it comes to posting these questions on a regular basis.

If you join in leave your link in a comment or send me a tweet – I’m @girltaristhan on Twitter.

1. Last week there was a multi million rollover on the EuroMillions Lottery. One break time we sat discussing what we’d do if we won – what would you do?

  • Clear our mortgage (you know sensible grown up things first!)
  • Help my brother get on the housing ladder (Well if he wants to do that!)
  • Buy Chris his electric car (and get an Electric Smart Car for me lol)
  • Donate a chunk to charity (What if The Fountain didn’t have to worry about resources etc.?)
  • I wouldn’t give up work completely but I’d take time out to pursue interests – write a book, spend months, crocheting and knitting my fingers off. Maybe set up my own  business.
  • Help my family out in whatever way I can.
  • Put money in trust for Our Sidekick that way if he decides university is where he wants to go then he has the financial support to get there and achieve his dreams.
  • Go to Australia, catch up with Loz and Sheens, meet up with Jelly, Mel, Ruby and Brandon. Well and do the tourist bit.
  • Go to New Zealand and see the Kiwi.
  • And quite a lot more…..

2. What songs have you been listening to recently?
Ready for the performance tomorrow I’ve been listening to The Monkees and a Jools Holland cover of Lady Madonna (I couldn’t find The Beatles version!). Also been listening to too much of Hairspray and Grease lol. There was a bit of opera thrown in for good measure. I think Les Mis crept in too.

3. Dream holiday – where would you go?
There are way too many places that I’d want to visit. I wrote a list of the American states and then started filling in the places I wanted to visit in each state – my page was filled within in a couple of hours – However I’m going to have to start it again as I misplaced my list….

4. Actual holiday – do you have plans this summer?
So far there isn’t anything booked but hopefully we’ll head off somewhere fab.

5. Since starting my new job I’ve been introduced to two new blogs, which blogs do you like reading? (top 5 maybe??)
First up we have those two new blogs that I’ve been introduced to, Number 1 is Gujarati Food Made Easy and number 2 is Buttercream Magic both are written by Meetali. Next is the Monster Yarns blog. Monster Yarns is a business that my friend Judit runs. She’s seriously passionate about knitting and all things yarn – she inspires me massively. Last is a draw between Melissa Explains It All and Brooks Reach Building Adventure. The first is written by Mel who is a fellow girl geek who loves movies and tech just like me. The second is Ruby’s blog documented her and her husband’s adventure building their own house. As it happens Mel and Ruby are married to Daniel and Branden of Jelly and Bean.

friday questions #8

Friday Questions

I’m going to do my best to get Friday Questions going again on a regular basis. If you join in leave your link in a comment or send me a tweet – I’m @girltaristhan on Twitter.

1. What book are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Chasing The Dragon by Jackie Pullinger, I now have another two books to add to the TBR pile after being to the Girls Night In evening at Putnoe Library last night. Ali McNamara and Christina Jones were both there. There was a question and answer session and then a book signing. It was lovely to chat to Ali especially as we’d spoken earlier via Twitter – thanks to Rickie!!

2. How many films have you seen this month?
I’m not really sure – I think maybe four or five. We started the month with going to see Iron Man 3 at the cinema as part of Our Sidekick’s birthday celebrations. We’re possibly going to see Star Trek: Into Darkness at some point but I’m not sure when. I’ve been watching random films on Netflix. I’ve seen The Family Man on the TV.

3. Do you like to sit in the front, middle or back of the cinema?
I either like to sit right at the back or about half way back, sitting too far forward makes my neck hurt or there’s too much to take in and I can’t see it all. I also try and sit under one of the spot lights so that I can crochet during the films – It sounds really silly but I like to have something to do at the same time.

4. Is there anything really interesting in your family history?
I’m still looking into it, I know that there was a double wedding, Great Grandad got married the same day as his brother, what’s even funnier is that Great Grandad’s brother married his sister (does that make sense? Two brothers married two sisters).

5. If an old TV show could come back onto our screens, which would you choose?
Well I’m not sure, I love The Good Life and could watch it all the time. I love the relationship between Tom and Barbara and also their relationship with Margo and Jerry. Then again I’ve been watching Dawson’s Creek from the beginning. I think it has a flash forward at the very end but I’m on Season 3 so anything could happen.

hannah’s job search – part five

Job
 

(Image Source)
The last two weeks ish have been a little crazy, on Monday I got signed up with a temp agency based in Kempston, so that was another to add to the list. I was waiting to hear about any positions that they might have but by Wednesday I hadn’t really heard anything so I was going to give them a call anyway – just in case kind of thing.

I had a call Thursday morning to see if I’d be happy/able to go over to Woburn and do some waitressing in the evening – I’d need to be over there by 3:30 and would finish around 8. Not a problem – thankfully Chris’s shifts fitted together with what I needed to do. I needed to wear a white shirt and a black pair of trousers – well I know I don’t have a white shirt – I have a white one with grey and black stripes but it would have been far too “busy” for what was needed. I had a look for my black trousers at speed following the call but I really couldn’t find them – I think that gremlin that steals the odd socks stole my trousers too this time! At about the same time I had an email from another agency in Milton Keynes – they’d picked up my CV from one of the websites I’m signed up to and wondered if I’d be interested in a job (as it would turn out it’s walking distance from my house! YEAH!)

I darted to the local supermarket to see what they had in their clothing department – white shirt/black trousers are always handy for interviews and for work so I’d make use of them (it wouldn’t be like buying a really specific outfit that would get worn once and never again!). The supermarket has recently been having a massive refit (I think we might be getting another Extra store) and so in the actual store they’ve got hardly anything apart from essentials and in the outlet unit which is a discount bit just had two pairs of black trousers – both were in either size 8 or 10 – no way on earth was I going to able to squeeze in those!

I texted my Mum and asked if she had those bits that I could borrow – thankfully she did and so between finishing at the residential home with Mum’s friend and heading down the bypass to Woburn I nipped to her house and tried on the shirt and trousers at high speed. I was quite worried that I wouldn’t make it in time as I would need to through a motorway junction. I jumped back in the car and headed out to the bypass. I made good time and I think I pulled into the car park at 3:20 or something like that.

As I walked to the actual building I would be working in I quickly rang back another agency who had rang me during the morning. The lady I needed to speak to was busy and couldn’t take my call – I politely asked if she could email me rather than call as it would then be easier for me to respond when I finished my shift at 8ish.

I arrived the same time as another girl who I’d later get to know quite well as we stuck together when we realised that we were both temps and both bricking it! We waited at reception and then was met by L who would be running the evening as far as what we needed to do and things like that. We were told to take our things to one room and then come back and meet L who would have a name badge and some uniform for us. She returned with the shirts but the biggest girls shirt she had was a 14 – I said I’d try it but it was far too small – I couldn’t get it done up (given the lack of space in it I think a 16 could have been tight as well).

I went back to find L and explain that the shirt didn’t fit – I ended up wearing my own shirt anyway with a name badge – as I am a temp I get a new name too lol. I was Suzanne on Thursday – I figured if anyone asked I’d say “Call Me Suzi” and just had to remember to answer to it when needed.

As the people we were waiting on tables for had moved their dinner forward we actually finished earlier than expected. I called Chris and ended up collecting him from work. I asked him to make sure there was a cold drink ready for me as I was seriously thirsty (I am still feeling the affects today – I’ve pretty much drank 500ml of water in the last hour – which is probably a really bad move this close to bed but I’d rather have to get up in the night than have a banging headache like today).

At about 9:30/10pm I received an email back from the agency for the job near my house and they wanted me to complete two assessments – preferably so that they could try and get me into the interview list the following day. Great so having spent eight ish hours in two really hot kitchens you want me now to focus on this kind of thing. Well I  had a big drink of squash and got on with it. Clearly I didn’t do too bad – these were my results below.

Okay. Well KDPH (key depressions per hour) has dropped but I think that's because of it being the row at the top rather than a keypad.

I got one answer wrong because their example field had Woburn Sands spelt Woborn Sands and also I hit another s so it ended up being Woburns Sands. On another question the postcode was completely the wrong format (99% of the time I was processing orders at my old job and typing out postcodes so knew immediately just by reading it I knew the postcode was wrong). I emailed the agency to let them know that I’d done the assessment but did they know that there are mistakes built into their forms.

Chris and I watched Elementary and then headed to bed as we’d both had slightly mad days!

Friday Morning

Friday morning was a lazy start – I was shattered from the day before and was really really glad not to have a 9am start! I had a phone call at about 9:15 from the agency about the job near my house – could I be available for a telephone interview at 11am ish? Not really – Fridays are always a bit crazy in the kitchen and so really I couldn’t stop for 20 minutes and do an interview. The agency were able to organise it for 9:45 so I had half an hour to cram like a mad lady to be able to be fab when they did call. I was quoted about 20 minutes for the interview and it was finished in about 7 minutes – I came back up to Chris and was like “Is it good or bad that my interview finished that quickly…….”

I got dressed and headed off to the kitchen. While I was there my Mum’s friend and I talked about my hours for next week and what would be happening. The permanent person is coming in on Tuesday and Wednesday to learn the ropes and get ready – from Thursday the new person would be taking over. Part of me is sad about it, I’ve got to kind of know the people that I’m working with now – both the carers who look after the residents and the residents themselves. There’s Mr K who sits on the table nearest the kitchen – he’s lovely and regularly talks about his adventures in the Navy. There’s Mrs B on the middle table who always says hello to me, she always asks how I’m doing and when I see them sat in the lounge after dinner she’ll regularly shout hello to me and have a chat with me,  there’s little Mrs G she’s really quiet and you sometimes have to ask three times so that she hears you but she’s just so lovely. Also Mrs B and Mrs D think I’m great because I can drive the stereo and the DVD player (Friday afternoons is film afternoon so one week I walked past singing along to Singin’ In The Rain, the following week was Sound of Music and then this week it was The Wizard of Oz – so I skipped down the corridor singing Follow The Yellow Brick Road – as my ex-employer used to say – You’re far too happy!). There are things still in the pipe work but they are up in the air – I guess we’ll just have to see what lands – for now the waitressing kind of balances out what I’m missing next week and hopefully I can find some other temp bits and bobs or something more permanent.

friday questions #7

Friday Questions

Sorry all, I sort of dropped off the map with this one just before Easter but I’m hoping to get back into the swing of it now.

1. What current song is at the top of your playlist?
I don’t have a single one at the moment. I love Ho Hey by The Lumineers (especially this cover by The Stella Sisters) and Pompeii by Bastille (Thanks to JD and The Murf singing it lots!)

2. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Could I ban cancer? Would that count?

(then again it’s my questions…..my rules!)

Therefore – cancer it’s banned – no change that it’s cured.

3. It’s my birthday next weekend – how should I celebrate?
Je ne c’est quoi! So Verra Cruz are playing Esquires on Friday so that would be a good thing, my Mum has blocked out time in my diary that I’m busy but other than that I don’t know what’s planned. There is Open Mic on Monday so depending on how rich/poor I am feeling I could start with that in a couple of days time. I also thought of adding a crazy challenge in the stylee of Chris (see Tube Challenge or Monopoly Challenge — then again it seems I didn’t blog about these before – this might need some elaboration at some point)

4. What’s the 7th item on your bucket list?
I actually have no idea. I regularly make reference to “Bucket List Moments” but I don’t think I have a physical list – maybe I need to start one. I guess it would probably be a place to visit or something like that.

5. I am a bit like my Grandad in that I’m a bit of a jack of all trades and master of none. If you could be a master at one thing what would it be and why?
I think it would be crocheting – okay I can do it, but I still look at patterns and decide I can’t do them because they are too hard. I’d like to be able to look at the plans and know that I could complete them.

hannah’s job search – part four

Job

(Image Source)

I had meant to write last week about what was happening, then between what was happening and all the other things that were going on I didn’t really get chance to blog properly. It’s not exciting news like I have a permanent job for as long as i like it but I have something for now.

So what is happening, well last Thursday or Friday, a friend of my Mum’s got a call and it meant that she needed someone to help her at short notice – well I’m jobless and she needs someone.

It would be temporary and it’s part time, but it’s better than nothing right?

So that’s what I’ve been doing this week and last week. I start around 10/10:30 which means I get a lay in (or like today I got up and went to church to help with Playtime before going into work).

I’m doing all sorts of bits around the kitchen. On my first day I made meringue, on the second day I made Pineapple Upside Down cake, I also made the sponge for a Victoria Sponge (my boss put the cake together). This week I made a sultana cake as well as peeling lots of veggies and doing lots of washing up.

It’s tiring but it’s really interesting and I’m learning loads and improving my skills. Definitely beats a desk job for now!

this weekend i…

This Weekend I...


Joining with Sar from [Life of Love] and Syndal from Synfully Delicious.

This Weekend I… (well technically Thursday) I finished at work.

This Weekend I… (Friday – it’s a four day weekend!) I went to the Open Air service in Bedford town centre. We were stood near the back and at one point I went to grab a sandwich as I wasn’t really sure what the plan was for the rest of the day and I was getting grouchy having not eaten anything all morning.

Good Friday Open Air Service 2013
Following the service, a whole group of us (I think about 20 in the end!) invaded Dragon’s Chinese Buffet for lunch – I think we probably made most of the covers for lunch! It was good fun especially when we ended up swapping chairs to make sure that everyone had a seat at least for part of the meal. I think the table was meant for 8 people and we ended up with about 12 crammed round the table but it was still great fun. While at dinner, me and my friend came up with a plan for lunch on Sunday. We have started going out for lunch but it’s cheaper to get bits and pieces from the supermarket, cater for a few extra people and then one or two people take responsibility to host. Chris and I hosted this time – it was going to be a bit crazy as by Saturday lunchtime we were on eight people (by Sunday it had gone to thirteen, and by the time we ate it was at fifteen!)

This Weekend I we… celebrated my Dad’s Birthday. We had dinner on Saturday evening at Mum’s house. Mum had been on a mission and had made a roast dinner with all the trimmings like at Christmas. We all sat around the table together and then following dinner we watched Doctor Who.

My #Dad's #birthday meal. #mum is on a mission.
This Weekend Iwe… went to church for the family Easter Day service. It was good fun and a lot of testimonies were shared. Following church we had the lunch gathering at our house. We got home from church and went mad on the tidying to make sure that it was ready for people to come round.

After everyone left I carried on tidying up but also managed to clear out the pantry – it had been getting to the point that it really needed to be sorted out – the bottom shelve was overfilling as my tupperwares escaped!

Before/During
After
(Okay so still looks messy but it’s a whole bunch better and things should be easier to get to and I feel more organised for it!)

Following that Our Sidekick and I hung out and watched Shrek Forever After and then I watched Labyrinth when he went to bed (Thank goodness some bits are dodgy! Then again not as dodgy as The Guardian have made out in their review)

friday questions #6

Friday Questions

1. Does fashion matter to you?
Sometimes but then sometimes not. Most of the time it tends to be “what am I comfortable in?”

2. What’s your worst habit?
Singing along to the radio at work? Can’t help it some days. One day this week my colleagues got The Lonely Goatherd from The Sound of Music. Then yesterday it was My Favourite Things. They are safe today though. I’m croaky and I think my voice is going!!

3. What is your biggest goal for this year? Have you achieved it yet?
I think my two major ones are to loose some weight and to complete my book reads challenge. Neither are going particularly well but given that my jeans don’t fit so well any more I figure that one might be working at least a little bit.

4. How many books on average do you read a year?
About 30 maybe more. Last year it was a few less but I think I might have missed some of my count. And I have like 11 in progress so that probably doesn’t help.

5. The Fountain‘s team are dressing up as Eighties Celebrities for Red Nose Day today. Who would you dress up as?
If it could be any one it might be Adam Ant because I love his military-esque jacket. Then again being Kate Bush would be pretty cool although all that hairspray might not be so good.