Monday, 30 December 2013

Aims For a New Year

I've never been one for new year resolutions. I simply cannot keep them, and they're usually unrealistic and unobrainable anyway. For years I always pledged to lose weight and win the lottery and I'm still the same weight/heavier, and skint by the end of the year. 

So this year, I'm not making any resolutions. Instead, I'm going to set out a list of things I want to achieve by the end of the year. I will probably add more to it, or not be able to achieve most of it, but it gives me something to work towards. 

So by the end of 2014 I would like to:

1. Get the house the way we want it. 

We've been in our house for 4 and a half years and things still aren't the way we want them. I would like a new bathroom, new light fittings in some of the rooms, carpet in our bedroom and the wee ones bedroom, and the front bedroom gutted and decorated. 

2. Go outside more. 

I'm extremely guilty of just parking myself in front of the tv on my days off and not budging til bedtime. I don't want to pass this bad habit on to the wee one, so I really want to get out more. I really need to make a concerted effort to go outside. To the park, with friends, on play dates, whatever it takes to physically leave the house and get fresh air. 

3. Knit more.

I love to knit, I just don't do it now the wee ones around. I can't leave a ball of wool around for 2 minutes without it being unraveled and strewn all over the house. But it doesn't stop me from doing it when she's in bed.  I also want to be a bit more adventurous in knitting.  I seem to stick to easy patterns, as I don't think I can tackle anything more difficult. But I'll never know if I don't try, right? 

4. Get a new job. 

The hospital I work in is moving site in 2015, which means it will be further away and take longer to get there. Although I drive. I don't fancy the extra 15/20 min drive and I'm away from my family for long enough on a 12 hour shift. Plus we're not moving over as a ward or team; we will all be split up, which is a shame because we are an awesome team, and I don't think I'd be happy in the new place.  I discussed my fears with my ward sister, who basically outright said I'd better start looking for a new job.  So I am. I'm taking this opportunity go for for my dream job.  I'm not looking for a promotion or a higher grade.  I always wanted to be a community nurse, since before I started my nursing training, so it just feels like the right time to start applying.  Fingers crossed.

5. Get contact lenses.

I've worn glasses for a while now. I resisted them at first, but now my eye sight is getting a wee bit worse and I wear them full time now.  My glasses fall off my face most of the time, and I'm sick of having to push them up, so I'm going to invest in contact lenses. Also, my sister gets married in August, and I don't want to have to wear my glasses while wearing a lovely bridesmaid dress.  

6. Be a little more vain

I don't wear make up.  I don't fake tan. I'm ginger, pale and Scottish, I was never meant to have a tan. I only ever put make up on if I'm going on a night out, or somewhere special. I'm doing well if I even remember to shave my legs!  I really don't make much of an effort to look "nice". Poor hubby has got to look at my peely wally face, and my minimal effort.  But I'm going to at least try and make more of an effort, because I'm really sick of my colleagues saying I look tired and pale, and I want to look nice sometimes. 

7. Play with the wee one more.

The wee one has a great imagination for only being nearly 2 years old. I want to encourage that, and keep it going, so I want to spend more time playing with her and her toys, and feeding her imagination.

8. Spend more time with hubby. 

Poor hubby gets abandoned when I'm working. The twelve hour shifts mean I'm out from early in the morning til late on in the evening, and when I get home I'm so knackered that it's dinner then off to bed. He does most of the housework and looks after the wee one. But we rarely get time together. Sure, we sit in front of the tv together, or go to the shops etc, but I can't remember the last time we went to the cinema, or out for dinner just the two of us.  Not that either of us want to leave the wee one, but I would be nice to have some "just us time". 

9. Make more lists.

I'm not a great list maker, but my mum is. She finds that if she writes it down and scores it off as age achieves it, it's a great way of getting things done. 

That's all that was on my mind at the moment.  No doubt I will add to this list as the new year comes in, but be sure to check in over the year to see how I'm getting on.  What will your aims for 2014 be?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Friday, 27 December 2013

Post Christmas

We are having a well earned PJ day today after a hectic two days. Christmas has been really lovely this year, as I took some annual leave for the week running up, and the way my shifts worked out I am not back until tonight. This means we've been able to prepare well in advance and spend the run up fairly chilled out. 

It also meant we were able to attend the church Carol Service, and the wee one took part in the nativity. She was a particularly hyper angel, but I must say she got out most of her energy during the rehearsal.  


 


We had one moment during the nativity where she waved and shouted "hiya granny" at my mother-in-law, but thankfully she was mostly well behaved. Although, we did have another spectacular meltdown when Santa arrived.
 
On Christmas Eve we went up to the local church where the wee one goes to playgroup for their production of the Elf a Who Stole Christmas. It was a wee hour-long play, but it was fantastic. All about a greedy elf who learns the true meaning of Christmas, told with puppets and songs and a lot of funny lines from the church's minister. It really was excellent and we all enjoyed it. Then when we got home it was time to get tucked up in bed to wait for Santa to deliver his presents. 

Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been very busy.  As the wee one still isn't fully aware of what Christmas is, she wasn't up too early, so we had a small lie in.  We spent Christmas Day morning in our own house, and my parents and my sister came up for an hour before they headed off to see my gran.  It was a family tradition of bacon rolls all round for breakfast.  I think the wee one was a little overwhelmed with all the presents and activity but she soon started to join in, eventually shouting "more presents" every time someone tried to open a new one. 

Santa was very very generous to the wee one this year.  Amongst lots of toys, he brought Dave, who I think Daddy has played with the most:


He also brought a kitchen, so the wee one can cook her favourite pasta for us: 


Mickey Mouse's clubhouse now resides on our living room:



And a lovely Minnie Mouse bike for when the weather eventually dries up:


Then it was time to head round to my mother in law's house for the rest of the day. Turns out Santa left presents there too! He left a Doc McStuffins chair amongst other exciting toys. 


The wee one then spent the rest of the day sticking Toy Story stickers on to her Uncle Bobs nose, while the rest of us relaxed and watched Christmas TV (or tried to). Everyone feasted on Christmas dinner, and enjoyed a tipple, except me and my sister in law, who were the designated drivers. Even my husbands granny had a wee sherry and lemonade, while tutting at everyone else having a drink! 

It was then time to go home, and the wee one had no problem falling asleep, as she was exhausted. 

Boxing Day was spent at my parents, and as hubby got a season ticket for the football for his Christmas,he went off with my dad and sister to the game. Which left my mum, the wee one and me to relax in the house and get dinner ready.  My best friend came up for a wee visit since she's home from Dubai. We were supposed to meet her fiancĂ© too, who came over with her for Christmas, but he didn't come with her. I was quite disappointed as I've still not met him yet, but I think he's still acclimatising himself to the cold here, since he's used to the permanent warmth over in the Middle East. 

When the troops came home from the football, we had another lovely dinner, and stuffed our faces again. Christmas time really is an excuse to eat all day, isn't it? 

And so today it's almost back to normal.  Hubby was back to work this morning, I'm back at work tonight. I'm working 7 out of the next 8 days, but after that I'm on annual leave for two weeks, and that thought is what's keeping me going! I'm working New Year's Eve, the 1st and 2nd, but I don't mind.  I'm not a big fan of Hogmany, for some reason it always seems like sad time.  My old grans birthday was the 1st January, and since she passed away New Years Day has never really been the same.  So working and looking after folks stuck in hospital at New Year just seems right now.  

My house is a riot; it looks like Santa's workshop exploded in my living room. But who cares, we've had an awesome Christmas. 

Now if only Santa could spare some elves to help us tidy up...






Sunday, 22 December 2013

Saturday, 21 December 2013

It's nearly Christmas..

It's the Saturday before Christmas, and I'm sitting here, drink in hand, wee one in bed, Strictly final on the telly and feeling, well, organised! It's a rather odd feeling. 

I've been on annual leave for the last week. It's the first time I've ever been off on the run up to Christmas since becoming a nurse, and I have to say, it's the best idea I've ever had. The presents are bought, wrapped and Santas fairies have taken them away, so he can deliver them on Christmas Eve. 

It's been quite a busy week. 

On Monday, we had the Toddler Christmas party.  We were slightly early, meaning lots of time to play with balloons!!


The wee one is still not great with crowds, but joined in with some games. It all went pear shaped when Santa arrived. I'm not sure if it was because there were lots of people, roughly 25 kids plus their parents, in a small room, or because up til now Santa has just been a cartoon, or a picture in a book, but she completely freaked out. And of course, she was the only one to cry and melt down about it.  Embarrassed parent moment. Her daddy went up to collect her present, and even offered to sit on Santa's knee... He really knows how to embarrass me even further!! But she calmed down after that, although she did leave with a new phrase: " I scared of Santa" :o(


She couldn't wait to open her present from Santa, which turned out to be a baby, who she has appropriately named... er, Baby! Baby now goes everywhere with us. We also get running commentary about Baby: "Baby hungry" "I dropped Baby" "My Baby" and "Baby tired". Baby got so tired the other day, the wee one made her a bed on the floor, with a cushion and a towel. So cute. "Mummy, Baby sleeping!"


Guess Baby wasn't the only one who was tired...


Wednesday was spent at the shops with my parents, who were getting last minute Christmas bits and pieces. We left the wee one at soft play with grandad for an hour, whilst my mum and I ran round the last of the shops. 

Thursday we had a play date at my friend Jane's house, with her little boy. The wee one loves their house because there are lots of Peppa toys! I think she also grew rather attached to Jane's rocking chair, as it was hard to get her off!


On Friday we took a trip to the library, as my silly computer doesn't have Microsoft Word on it, and it had to complete a job application. Thankfully the wee one LOVES the library, it's a real struggle to pull her away from books of any kind, but the library has so many and it's like she's in a a wonderland. My mum kept her occupied at the children's section while I worked away. 

Today, well, we've had a very relaxed day. We went to the shops again, but really only for lunch. It really is quite strange to watch other people rushing around, doing their last minute Christmas shopping, knowing you're completely organised (am I? Have I forgotten anyone? *checks list* No, no I think we're ok). We visited Granny, and then came home and chilled out. Some more chilled than others:


Tomorrow, we have the Sunday School Nativity at the church Carol service, where the wee one is an angel (ha! Complete miscasting there...). I'm quite excited as for a few years I've not been able to attend the Carol service due to work, and it's always been a Christmas tradition. Despite the fact that I attend church regularly, the Carol service has always just felt more special, because it's a time for families to be together. Everyone seems to make the effort to be there, and that just makes the day for me.

All being well the wee one will be on her best behaviour tomorrow and I won't have to blog about a Nativity disaster. But then, she isn't two years old yet, so you never know! 






Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Gallery: Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree! How lovely are your branches?



Ah, our lovely Christmas tree has managed to survive ten days without being pulled down/destroyed by the wee one. She is automatically drawn to the sparkly lights, and the shiny baubles (she thinks the red ones are tomatoes tho, what the...) and wants to touch it all the time. 

We don't have any rituals or traditions in decorating the tree, only that hubby and I do it together.  When the wee one is older she'll no doubt be in charge of the decorating. 

This is our fourth Christmas in our house, with last year being the wee ones first.  The only baubles we've had are our red and silver ones from B&Q, but slowly we're adding ones that are significant to us. 

This one was given to us by one of my colleagues.  It says Baby's First Christmas on it, but I felt it was too pretty to leave off the tree this year, so we've hidden the writing so Santa and Penguin are on show.


At church last week, the children's story was about the significance of the candy cane. About how it was made in the shape of a J, to represent Jesus, but was also the shape of a shepherds staff representing Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Also each one has three thin stripes, representing the flogging Jesus got, and a thick red stripe representing the blood that was shed. Each member of the Sunday School got a little candy cane, and I suspect ours was the only one to actually make it to the tree without being eaten!! 


And then we have our, ahem, "angel". Our star is too heavy for the top of our tree, and we've never got round to buying an angel, so instead we have the very festive Christmas Penguin. 


The wee one will not go to bed until she's said goodnight to the Christmas Penguin, so he may have to become a regular on our tree.

Why not check out the other entries to The Gallery, over at www.thestickyfingersblog.com? 




Monday, 16 December 2013

In The Bleak Midwinter

So far, the December weather certainly has been bleak. We've had sleet, gale force winds, lots of rain and even thunder and lightening! And, during a night shift when the wind was absolutely howling through the ward, I got to thinking of the Christmas Carol, In The Bleak Midwinter.   Odd, I know but night shift does that to you.  It's set to the tune of Cranham, and though the words are lovely, I've always found it to be quite depressing. Especially when I was still in the Salvation Army band, and we played it while out carolling in the town. 

Anyway, on this bleak, miserable night shift, I started to think about my patients.  For them, it certainly will be a bleak midwinter.  Don't get me wrong, at least 2 of our regular naughty diabetics are in at present, and they will say so themselves, it's completely self-inflicted.  But for the majority, it's just downright miserable to be in hospital.  The majority will get home to family before Christmas. Some I know for sure will still be in hospital over the festive season. Some will go home to empty houses.  And a couple may sadly pass away.  And then, there will be new admissions, and the whole horrible cycle starts again.  A hospital during the festive season really is a very confusing place to be. You want to be upbeat, festive, full of the Christmas Spirit, but you're constantly faced with sad, frustrating and sometimes heart-wrenching situations. And somehow it feels wrong to feel happy.  But, us nurses, or most of us, try to keep the mood high, though sometimes it's very hard. 

There's a poster up on the wall, from the chaplaincy service, detailing when the carollers will be singing on the wards.  I suppose not everyone will appreciate the carollers at the end of the ward when they're seriously unwell, but it certainly helps to brighten the mood, if only for a little while. (Side note, the minister from the hospital chaplaincy is the single most loveliest man, and if I'm ever unwell, and end up in hospital, I want it stated in my notes that he must visit me daily, if only to come and talk at me in his smooth African accent.)  Lots of my patients even love to hear a Salvation Army band at Christmas (if any of my Army friends are reading, please send the band to the Vic, and don't forget us down on A floor!!).  Anything to keep spirits up. 

So, this Christmas, while you're enjoying the festivities with family and friends, please spare a thought for all those stuck in hospital, and their relatives who are frought with worry. And as always, my awesome colleagues who are looking after them. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sunday, 1 December 2013

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