Friday, 19 December 2014

Another for the 'Get Sorted' List

I need to get a grip on my shopping.  I'm not as bad as many - and I'm a lot better than some - but I need to process.  Mind you, I've been up with a poorly bear every night this week so I can excuse some lapses.

I was buying presents on behalf of father for ladies.  There were three ladies in question.  In M&S you could buy an item of jewellery and get the second item half price.  This would only work if there were four ladies, not three.  Otherwise I would be missing out on a bargain.


Sigh.  I got four.  However as I trundled home on the over stuffed bus I realised that there was a fourth lady, and it was just as well.  It would have served me right if I hadn't thought of them, it is embarrassing that I fell for a trick like that.  If I had bought three necklaces at £15 each, with the buy one and get the second half price, I would have spent £37.50.  I actually bought four and spent £45.  I spent £7.50 more than I needed to (okay, in this instance it was a lucky fluke as I realised that there was actually a fourth lady, but only later).

I got the picture from the M&S website - I think it is the same one but I got it in four different colours and they all look beautiful.  I was tempted for myself, but at least I resisted that temptation.

I need to get a better grip on my shopping.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Snoring Giant

DH and I both agree, somewhere in the block of houses there is a giant snoring.  There is this sort of low, grumbling, rumbling sound heard distantly for a few seconds, then a pause, then another low rumble, then another pause.  The snoring giant is the only thing that makes sense.

Actually I wish it was something that interesting.  In reality I am torn between one of the neighbours having a new tumble dryer near the pipes or Nice Mr Next Door having something mechanical going on.

Which reminds me that it is time to read 'The Selfish Giant' to bear again.  It is a real favourite of mine and it is a great time of year to revisit it.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Bear knows Things

Jean - bear confidently pointed out Canada.  I was proud.

Finding tissues for a snotty nose seems to be a bit more of a challenge for him, but that's nearly-eight year old boys for you.  I shall have to soak his jumper sleeves.  Finding his shoes in the morning, finding the vital lost toy that he absolutely has to have now, finding the food on his plate and eating it before he gets treats - they're all a bit of a challenge, but finding Canada is no problem.

Things could be a lot worse.

And does it fit?

I found an old Spiderman onesie of bear's as I was clearing out the dining room and asked him to try it on.  Bear was adamant that it fits.  Okay the legs are practically at his knees and the sleeves are almost at his elbows, but it fits, and it fits well enough for Christmas Day, thank you, so much, mother!  I'm leaving him to it.

I read Jean's comment on the last post with a sort of wince - I can't argue with it.  I remember once getting a huge colouring set for DH's niece and his sister's face falling.  They had been trying to explain to their daughter that even though she asked for it (with a lot of other stuff) she couldn't have everything she asked for, and then we walked in with it!

Bear, to be fair to him, hasn't asked for much this year and apart from the latest unexpected meltdown has been fairly laid back.  It's like the onesie - he remembers who gave it him, and when he wore it at happy times and what he means in connection with people.  That means the onesie, and the gifts, aren't about the monetary value but about the fun and the emotional connection.  It's one of the reasons that gifts from father are to be unwrapped at father's and be stashed at father's - it is as much for bear as it is for father.

Mind you, having a mental tally of all the (actually quite inexpensive at the time) stuff all over the house, he's not exactly short.  There will be towers of stuff, a lot of it books but plenty of fun and fuss for his Christmas and Birthday.  I don't think he will feel like a deprived child when he gets back to school after the break.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

That time of year

Last night bear fell apart.  He really, really, really, really wanted a particular toy and it was too late to tell Father Christmas.

This happens every year.  We get to the fortnight before Christmas when the deliveries are booked up and suddenly bear has a desperation for something that I had no idea he wanted.  If he hadn't been born just a few days away from Christmas I could say soothing things about 'perhaps for your birthday' but there just isn't time.

It also upsets my shopping strategy.  I spend most of the late summer and autumn watching ebay and amazon, picking up the bargains and stashing stuff away.  I am happy to get second hand stuff and if I ever got near a charity shop I would be happy to pick stuff up there as well.  Not all of my growing pile is new.  As far as I am concerned, books may or may not be new but the words are still in the same order.  I have an awesome cyberman voice changing helmet that I managed to snaffle for a very reasonable price indeed that is second hand and I know bear will be thrilled.  I also get a surprising number of stocking fillers with my grocery delivery - it really is worth a rummage.  Buying something at full price with full postage brand new seems to go against the natural order.

However I am confident that bear is getting money - my guess is that he will have around £80 in money so while I may not be able to give him everything he wants for Christmas (which isn't necessarily healthy anyway, within reason), I am sure bear will be able to practise being canny in the sales.  After he has put some in the bank!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Decorations Up!

We are always the last in the street to put up decorations.  Mind you, Nice Mrs Next Door usually has hers up midway through November so it is a bit of a challenge if I want to get anything up earlier.
Speaking of Nice Mrs Next Door, I suspect that one day she will hunt me down - I keep giving her husband stuff.  We have finally got rid of a unit that has been in bear's room and the living room on and off since bear was a baby.  It was one of the few bits of furniture that we bought because we were having a baby and looked a bit like this

And it did very well for years.  However now it is getting rickety, shaky and I want less storage.

It may sound a bit odd, but I am certain I want less storage.  If I have less storage, I have less room for stuff and if I have less stuff then I have an easier time cleaning, promoting air flow and generally finding lost things.  I have less clutter magnets and I have to deal with stuff there and then, not put it down in a 'safe place' to deal with 'later'.  Just by getting rid of the unit we have made a space where the small table used to be as it is now holding the router, the Wii and the Christmas Tree instead of the unit, but it is a lot smaller and there just seems to be more air.

I saw Nice Mr Next Door this morning and mentioned that we were going to take the unit to the tip, but 'you can have it if you want it'.  Actually Nice Mr Next Door could think of a dozen uses so he would happily take it, thank you.  He's done it for spare tools (for the scrap), bits of furniture, old duvets and rags.  His wife has been less impressed.  I've just noticed some wire that we don't need and it would be a shame not to pass it on to someone who could use it.  I just need to make sure that Nice Mrs Next Door isn't looking.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Snotty Bear

Bear is completely full of cold and sniffles.  Fortunately it helped that when he did finally get to sleep last night he slept deeply.  There was a party in the house behind and trust me, Elvis singing that he wants to be my Teddy bear at 120 decibels at 3am does not put me in a good mood.

To be honest I am not sure what is happening with the neighbours.  They are a large family in the house at the back, the same family also rent the house next door but two, and they seem to spread between the two houses.  For the last week I have noticed them carrying furniture backwards and forwards, I have no idea what is going on.  They have been having some storming arguments, though.    There are a lot of scurrilous rumours going around about them, but apart from playing 'Stand by Your Man' at ridiculous times and at volumes that would kill small animals, and knocking on the door asking to 'borrow' milk they have been okay with me.

I've started making a list to use to get myself sorted.  I was determined to have a good start on New Year's Eve and just put in some spade work.  Why am I not so surprised that I spent yesterday afternoon not only sorting out some boxes that have been untouched since bear was at nursery but also shredding a load of correspondence that had built up since July.  Still, it has made a dent in the outstanding work and I have a few bits for my task list.  I am still haunted by clearing correspondence that my mother had hoarded for twenty years, some of it junk mail that just had never been opened.  The filing system is on the list.  I still bitterly regret losing the two four drawer filing cabinets at the time bear was born, but I can work round the two drawers I have now.  Lots of people manage very well with less.  I can't find the system that lovely Morgan sent me.  I shall have another rummage around.

So I am off to keep bear topped up with buttercup syrup and cuddles.