What’s In a Name?

With just over 4 weeks to go, lots of people are asking us about Flumps name. Obviously we can’t call Flump, well, Flump. Although I suspect it’ll stick as a nickname.

Yes, we have names picked out.
No, we’re not telling you, you will have to wait until baby is born.

Why?
Firstly, I’ve come to know a LOT of pregnant women of late, and so many have shared their unborn babies name with friends and family, only to get back the following;

“Why would you call your baby that?!”
“I don’t like it”
“I prefer *insert another name*”
“I knew someone called that, they were a horrible person”

Which either gets the lady angry/upset/not liking the name she’s specifically thought long and hard about for her baby.

If someone decides to share their babies name with you and you don’t like it, then just keep your mouth shut. After all, it’s actually NOT your baby. Also, technically you don’t get a say in naming the baby.

Secondly, what if my baby is born and the names I’ve chosen don’t suit him/her? Not sharing gives me a chance to change the name without anyone knowing.

It really isn’t easy to select a name for another person. It’s a really big responsibility too! You need to make sure it fits, make sure it suits, make sure the kid won’t get picked on at school, make sure the initial don’t spell a rude word or something lame. It hard!

It took us a long time to pick our names.

My grandma told me she had a dream that we called the baby Jack Daniel Masters. I pointed out that there was no way I was calling my baby Jack Daniel, took her a few moments but she got it eventually.

My grandma recently told me how her and my grandad picked a name for my dad.
My grandma wanted to all him Bruce and my grandad didn’t, apparently he “didn’t like” Bruce.
So my grandma asked “what do you like then?” And the response was “I don’t know!”
My grandma, pretty fed up was reading the paper and she turned to the section with the horse racing and saw a horse running that day called Philip David and she sarcastically said to my grandad “there you go, call him Philip David then”
A few hours later, whilst feeding my dad, my grandad came in and gave her a slip of paper.
“What’s this?” she said to him.
“Birth certificate” he replied.
“How can you have a birth certificate when we’ve not got a name?”
Then she looked down at it.
My dad was named after a race horse.

No idea if it won or not though!

Why I think Iain Duncan Smith is an idiot

So Cait Reilly has won her Court of Appeal claim that being made to work for free at Poundland was unlawful.

As Grumpy Cat would say; GOOD.

If you don’t know the story, then let me summarise for you. Cait Reilly, finished her degree, couldn’t find work, went onto Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) and was told she had to do this work placement or face losing her jobseekers allowance. The work placement was basically unpaid. After all, minimum wage for over 21s is £6.19. JSA for up to 24 year olds is a maximum of £56.25 a week.

If Ms Reilly worked for 2 weeks, at 35 hours a week, then she should have been paid a minimum of £6.19 per hour worked, which works out roughly £216.65 (gross payment) per week, instead she received JSA. Let’s say she got the top £56.25 a week that is a difference of £160.40, that’s £320.80 for 2 weeks work she did. That’s actually quite a lot of money.

Iain Duncan Smith has hit back at the ruling calling it “utter madness” and that he has no intentions of paying compensation to any claimant who declined to join such a scheme and instead have their benefit payments docked as a result.

My response to IDS? You sir, are a raging *insert expletive of your choice* idiot.

I fail to see how Politicians can implement such schemes, having never experienced the utter humiliation that millions face at the Job Centre each week. They’ve never NOT had a job, or not had any money. They’ve (most likely) never wondered how they would put food on the tables for their families, or pay the household bills. Never stressed or worried and looked into bankruptcy as an option to survive.

This time four years ago, I was ushered into an office with about 20 other people and given notice that we were all facing redundancy. A few weeks later, I was made redundant. I was fuming. I was upset. I was worried. I was stressed. I was a mixed bag of feelings and my emotions were ALL over the place. We had just put down all the deposits for our wedding which was 7 months away, The Husband has just gotten a job (after 7 months of looking after his degree was completed), it was only £6 an hour, but it was a job and meant that we could finally go ahead with it all and not struggle financially. We were lucky; our joint income would have been around £44k. Yes, we had saved and scrimped to get our deposits together, and now we were looking like we’d have to (at best) really cut down or (at worst) cancel and lose our money. We cut down. Our income went from £44k a year to just £12k a year.

Yes I got a redundancy payout, but that was rationed to cover my bills (thank GOD for PPI, which after 3 months of being unemployed kicked in). I had to go to the Job Centre and “sign on”. Every week I had to fill in my book with jobs I’d applied for and the outcome, I had to take it to my JSA Advisor who 3 our of 4 weeks was rude, patronising and encouraged me to apply for menial jobs that I couldn’t have survived on after paying to travel to work. One job cost more money for me to get to, than it actually paid!

After 2 weeks of signing on, I asked for another book to record my job applications and was asked why I needed a new one. (Some of them are not very clever!) Obviously because the old one is FULL, which I pointed out and was met with “why have you applied for so many jobs, you only need to do 3 a week”. Each week it was the same. I’d turn up 15 minutes before my allocated appointment time, wait an hour to be seen and then be spoken to rudely, patronised and often in tears by the end. For £47 each week. Was it worth it? NO. Did I have to do it? YES. Why? Because they were the ones who signed my monthly insurance claim forms to continue paying my bills.

It got to August and I informed my advisor that I was getting married and moving. I did everything in writing. Confirmed the date I was getting married, and they sorted it all out and moved my claim to another Job Centre, which unbelievably turned out to be worse than my own Job Centre. Waiting up to 2 hours to be seen, shouted at on occasion, rudeness, being patronised to name a few things. My mental health suffered.

I got married, a small ceremony, small reception, all done on the cheap. I gave copies of my marriage certificate to the advisor, the Job Centre manager, it was all put on my “file” and I sent off my marriage certificate to the Job Centre “head office” in Belfast with all the necessary documentation and changed my name, then I received a letter 7 weeks after I sent everything through stating that I was no longer entitled to any JSA as I was now the sole responsibility of my husband. I appealed and asked them how I was expected to survive, my husband was on a minimum wage job and was told “not our problem quite frankly”. I still had to sign on (now every 2 weeks) to get my insurance forms filled in so my PPI would continue to pay my financial products. It was degrading and humiliating the way I was treated.

About a month after, I received a letter stating that I had been overpaid £101 because I had failed to inform them of my change of circumstances. I went ballistic and my complaint letter was 3 pages long (in size 10 font) and it was sent to the Job Centre Manager, the Appeals process, the head of the DWP at the time, and for good measure I sent a copy to the Prime Minister. It was 3 pages of facts based on how I was treated, how paperwork was lost, how rude staff were, how much it cost me to keep calling Belfast to chase things. I went to town. A week later I received a letter from the DWP saying that I didn’t have to return the overpayment and apologising, and a letter from the Job Centre Manager apologising and promising to investigate.

Throughout this whole ordeal, I still had to go every 2 weeks to be humiliated and demoralised. I applied for almost 700 jobs, anything paying more than £7 an hour, I applied for. However in the height of an economic recession, I was turned down for most of them. In 7 months I got invited to 11 interviews. 11 out of almost 700. Yet every 2 weeks I was constantly asked “why haven’t you found a job yet”

At the end of October I was told I had to attend a compulsory week course on how to get back into work. I wasn’t sure how this was going to help me, simply because hardly anyone was hiring. More people were being sent in droves to the Job Centre thanks to redundancies. Ironically I’d applied for a job as a Job Centre Advisor. I thought that if some of the trained monkeys who humiliated me every week could do it, then I sure as hell could too! I was turned down, ironically being told “you’re over-qualified for this role”.

I failed to see how this course was going to help me. I had to pay to travel to get to the course, pay for my own lunch and not get anything out of it.

Thankfully someone called to offer me a job. It was a basic job. I sat in a call centre and answered phone calls for 8 hours a day. It only paid £6 and after paying my bills and transport there was no money left over for food or household bills. We applied for Working Tax Credits (which eventually shafted us, but that’s another story!) just so we could pay The Husbands father some rent and utilities and also so we could eat each week.

I took the job so I didn’t have to be humiliated each week. I could continue looking for a better paying job in the meantime and the shift work meant I could go to interviews.

I remember sitting in some dingy training room with some other people, I was the only one smartly dressed. The course instructor came in and set up, as I got the call. The moment he started to introduce himself, I stood up and said “sorry, I’m not doing this. No offence, but its crap, and I’ve just been offered a job which I accepted and I start in an hour. Bye!” and I literally ran from the room. It was the most liberating thing I’ve ever done in my life. I remember it was snowing and I remember calling The Husband and screaming down the phone that I had a job!

3 months later I got a new job, which paid more money, still only half my salary before I was made redundant, but better in so many ways than £6 an hour. It had great benefits and the money increased after training and I was guaranteed a pay increase every year thanks to the industry being heavily unionised. 3 years later I’m still here, only £7k off my old pre-redundancy salary. The Husband is still at his job and has worked his way up, and whilst we are not flush with cash, we manage each month.

So Iain Duncan Smith, I challenge you, to perhaps do an undercover boss series. Go undercover for 2 months, in disguise and sign on; experience this awful system that you seem to think is acceptable. I’d be interested to see if you changed your views.

In the meantime, I applaud Cait Reilly. Good for you!

The current system doesn’t work for the people who genuinely need it and is abused by others who make no effort at all. You put in ridiculous systems, make ridiculous cuts that actually don’t make any sense (don’t get me started on the Child Benefit capping) and then complain when the legal system rules it unlawful and paves the way for people to claim compensation from you.

So much for saving the country money! These cost cutting / money saving schemes you’ve implemented could end up costing the country up to £40m!

It needs to change and Iain Duncan Smith and his government cronies need to sit up and take notice.

All Night Long

Last night I had the worst nights sleep. Between aching hips and constant bathroom trips I was awake for most of the night.

The result, this morning being very tired.

Normally after I wake I’m greeted with Flump stretching and rolling. Except this morning it wasn’t there. In fact I couldn’t remember any movement during my waking moments through the night.

It’s the worst feeling when your baby hasn’t moved, and with each attempt to get baby moving, that feeling gets worse.

The Husbands option involved asking Flump if he/she was “ok in there”. Nada.

Thankfully I have a Doppler, which Flump actually hates. Flump hates to be prodded when the midwife, GP and Consultant all check his/her heartbeat with the Doppler. The home Doppler is no difference. I’m pretty sure Flump thinks its the DEBBIL.

Within moments of prodding my bump with the Doppler, I find baby’s heartbeat and I’m immediately greeted with a massive thump where the Doppler is, followed by a great big lump appearing on my right side, as far from the Doppler as possible.

Kid is hilarious and now grumpy, with lots of grumpy movements. But I’m a happy mama, I know you’re ok now. So keep grumping away you silly baby. Mama loves you!

If you look on the right, that lump there, is grumpy Flump.

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

It’s been 68 days since my grandad lost his battle with cancer. Life has gone on, grown a bit more and people have carried on with their lives.

I’m 33 weeks pregnant today and suddenly incredibly sad that my grandad won’t get to meet my Flump. I’m sad that the husbands grandad who passed away 4 1/2 years ago won’t get to meet our Flump.

I’m sad that so many people across the world are fighting this horrible disease. I’m sad that so many people have already lost their fight. It’s not fair.

Today my friend posted a video to a mutual friend who is battling cancer, she is also pregnant and due (like me) next month. I sent the same video to another friend of mine who is undergoing treatment.

I truly and honestly wish with all my heart that they win. That they stay strong and positive. That they kick cancers ass. They are both strong wonderful women. They deserve to win. Everyone with cancer deserves to win.

Row Row Row Your Boat

We’ve had 1 antenatal class,sat Tuesday. Which I didn’t go to, but I had a really good reason, honest. I had a consultant antenatal appointment at the hospital, so the Husband went to the first antenatal class on his own.

Apparently it was pretty good. He came home with loads of information and one particular nugget that we have to do.

It seems that we should be singing a song to baby whilst rubbing my tummy, especially when baby is being fidgety. It’s said that if you do this on a regular basis, then when baby arrives and becomes fussy then you can run baby’s back and sing the song and it should help baby is calm down.

So the Husband picked his song.
It’s this one. But without the scream at the end.
http://youtu.be/JY-XkeSyRGA

I on the other-hand haven’t been able to come up with a song. Until today.

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That picture? That’s my song.
Genius right?
Taking the musical part of baby’s cot mobile (which plays Brahms Lullaby) and securing it to my pyjamas pants.

Great parenting so far me thinks!

It’s a boy! It’s a girl!

For quite a few weeks now I have started referring to Flump as “he”, despite that we’ve not had any confirmation on whether Flump is a boy or a girl.

Every time I refer to Flump as “him” or “he”, the Husband will often counteract with “her” or “she”.

My instinct is screaming out to me that Flump is a baby boy, yet the Husband is convinced we’re having a baby girl. One of us has to be right. Secretly I’m hoping its me so I can shout “in your face!” after the birth. Although let’s face it, ill probably be too tired and overwhelmed to shout that.

Very rarely will I have a small doubt that I’m wrong, and a part of me is like “why is Flump IS a girl and I’ve been calling her “him”?!?”
I hope I’m right, simply because I absolutely adore the name we’ve picked out for Flump should Flump be a boy, and no, I’m not telling what it is (the name that is). I equally love the girls name we’ve picked, but I think I love the boys name a little bit more.

Only 10 more week to go until we know!

Exciting stuff!

Tiny ears

The pregnancy books all say that from 24 weeks your little ones internal ear bones are developing and your baby can hear and react to your voice.

I’ve noticed before that if I talk in a constant monologue to my bump (which is so strange) then eventually Flump does react and moves about as well as throw a few kicks and punches. It’s absolutely amazing.

This morning, whilst laying in bed, thinking of what I have to do today, the Husband has gotten up and showered and started to make bread rolls. The thought of fresh bread rolls with crispy bacon and fresh coffee sent my taste buds into overdrive and my stomach let out the loudest grumble ever, and a fraction of a second later Flump did a but of a jump/kick.
Hilarious and amazing.

I am so so looking forward to the Spring so I can smother Flump with cuddles and kisses.

Less than 14 weeks to go now. The countdown is on!

looking back

The Husband and I have been married for 3 years and almost 3 months. Flump is due in 15 weeks and lately I’ve been thinking that I want to put together a photo album for Flump. We’ve already got a wedding book and a “1st year” book, and we’ve started a baby book, but I really want to do a Before, During and Babies first photos book.  I thought I’d could start of with some pictures of the Husband and I before we got married, pictures of our wedding, photos of the scans, bump photos, and well, you get the gist of where I’m going with this right?

So this evening I spent some time looking through old photos, and I was looking at some of our wedding photos on the Husbands Flickr account, and a few stood out at me. Mainly because they’re rather hilarious.

 

The first one is a shot taken by the photographer of my Sister in law who was a bridesmaids and a friend who was one of the groomsmen. Every other bridesmaids and groomsman held on to each other until the end, not these two though. they both let go of each other as soon as they could. I don’t know why it makes me giggle, but it does.

bridesmaid and groomsman

 

 

Normally I love to be the centre of attention. Not at my own wedding apparently. I don’t think I could look anymore like a awkward douche really.

here comes the most awkwardest looking bride.

 

 

See the guy to the right of me? the one with the white rose in his lapel? That is my dad. Smug dad is smirking. It’s as if he’s saying, “ha! one down 3 more to get rid off! my job here is done”

smug dad is smug

 

 

Yeah, we didn’t write our own vows, we simply just took a few options from the venue’s guide and went with those. Despite the whole “repeat after me” section, I still managed to fuck them up, and in the process confuse the registrar and causing the whole lot to be restarted.

the one where i fuck up my vows

 

 

So, we’re all married and the Husband is all “right, what now?”. This photo cracks me up every time I see it.

what the fuck do I do now?!?

 

 

The photographer thought it’d be great to get all the groomsmen and Chris (who did a reading at the wedding) together for a photo opp. Personally i think this is the best photo ever. It’s like a boy band had a photo shoot and royally failed. From left to right, the Husband, the Best Man, Chris, Tilly-boy, Tom and Drew.  If the Husband opened his eyes any wider his eyeballs would fall out, Tilly-boy just looks mighty camp and Tom, well, god knows what kind of look he was going for?!?

boy band photo shoot, album cover fail.

 

 

I think Flump is going to get a kick out of all these photos when he/she is older. Poor kid.

Caught Out

Tonight, I decided to take my book to bed. So there I am, in bed, not reading my book, but instead on Twitter and Facebook (I do not have a problem!)

The husband comes in to hang some clothes up and the conversation goes like this.

Him : why don’t you just go to bed instead of reading? You’ll feel better for it in the morning.

Me : I’m not really *YAWNS* tired….

Him : aha! You are! You even look tired! Remember that the doctor said you need to get an extra hours worth of sleep.

Me : I’ll just read a bit of my book first.

So yeah, I got caught out.
Damn you body for making me yawn and giving away my obvious tiredness!

Now I can’t stop yawning.

operation spider

I am absolutely petrified of spiders, it’s not a rational fear, because lets face it, what exactly can it do to me, considering I could just end it’s life in a stomp, quite literally. Like most fears, this was a fear I learnt and I know exactly what triggered it. Watching a film.

My fear began when I was approximately 13 years old.  I’d decided to watch a film with my mothers step-brother who is 3 years older than me. His bright idea, not mine. Since that film I have been scared shitless of the little beasts.  Even writing this makes me quake in fear because I can picture the little bastards in my minds eye. *Shudder*

So yesterday evening, I was climbing up the stairs to my apartment, when I looked up (on the second flight of stairs) and there in front of me was a HUGE spider. I managed not to scream, scooted past it and ran up the last set of stairs into the apartment where I promptly garbled some nonsense to my husband that was supposed to sound like “there’s a huge spider on the wall outside, can you go and kill it?!”

Turns out that my husband couldn’t bring himself to kill it (I think it was because he too was scared of it) and instead he got the insect repellent and started spraying it.

At this point our next door neighbour came out of her apartment and my husband said there was a spider, she was brave enough to look and also exclaimed that it was huge and that she too was scared of spiders. Luckily some of her family were bringing her daughter home, and quickly came to the rescue by stomping on it and the two dogs with them made sure it was definitely gone.

Needless to say, it seems no one on the top floor of our building likes spiders, and instead we all acted like big girls blouses.