Monday, 19 September 2011

Always double check receipt before leaving a service station....

After a nice weekend in Dorset, we were driving home last night and needed to fill up with petrol.  We stopped at the Rownhams Services, Northbound, where we went into the Esso garage.  My husband filled up the car and I went to get snacks and pay for it all.  The cashier was nice enough but did make a few mistakes.  At first he forgot to put the petrol on the bill and had to cancel just as I was typing in my pin and he charged wrong amounts for sweets.  Anyway, when the total came up on screen, I thought 'looks odd?  hubby must have put in a tad more petrol than I thought'.  Finished paying and went to the car.

As we drove off, I question hubby and he said he hadn't spent that much on petrol.  I found the receipt and realised the cashier had charged us for the wrong pump!  You can't turn around on a motorway, not that easy!  So I tried calling people - Esso, Exxon and the service station in question.  No-one was answering so I sent off some emails - yes, all while Mr was driving.  My main concern was I did not want us to be charged with taking petrol without paying as the system would see our pump as 'not paid'.  Plus, I had paid over what we had actually filled up with so I wanted the difference back!

Today has not been fruitful, Esso not replying to emails, Exxon say they only supply fuel so to speak direct to the actual garage.  I called the service station and they gave me the direct number of the Esso garage.  When I called them, I was informed that there was no manager or supervisor in today! I asked who was in charge today and he said 'I am not sure, if we have a major problem we can call the Duty Manager but I am not sure where they are based' What kind of business does not have anyone in charge on site at all times? I was then told I should call back tomorrow!!  So, they mess up and I have to be the one to call back?  I gave him the details and my number pointing out the supervisor is welcome to call me first so we shall see.  I know she is in at 8.30 am, let's see whom calls whom first........

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Pre-school and Secondary school!

My youngest has now started pre-school and the eldest has begun her journey at secondary school.  It seems I do not react to these things like other mothers.  When you tell people they are starting or when you take them for the first time, people always question you to see if you cried but I didn't with either.  In fact I didn't cry when the eldest started primary school.  I have always thought this harsh of me but now I see why. 

When I use to leave them at nursery and they cried, that upset me and I would have to leave quickly so that they would not see me cry.  That is because they did not necessarily need to go to nursery that was my choice and in a way I suppose it made me feel worse when I saw their tears.  Those tears always turned to smiles after a few weeks and so I knew it was actually good for them to be there.

School, on the other hand, is different.  It is compulsory and we have no choice so I have not felt the same emotions.  I see them taking their next steps in life and I feel happy for them - nervous yes but nevertheless, happy.  These are the building blocks of their future and if I get 'flappy' and teary, they will too.  I want them to enjoy their time at these places, learn new skills socially and educationally and ultimately to grow up well rounded and happy.  Some people cannot help it and they shed a tear which is fine and their way to express the emotion on such a big day but for me, it doesn't seem to happen.  Am I the only one???......


Our big family adventure this summer was to visit Chicago, USA.  My brother and his wife have lived there 6 years and we were yet to visit plus it was his 30th birthday!  I say surprise, but he did have an inkling we were going from his own brain working overtime!

We flew with British Airways and the staff were great.  Anything you asked for they helped.  They were always smiling and seemed to enjoy their work.  On the way back, they were not as relaxed but we were flying at night time - they were still just as attentive and to be honest, I could not really fault them.

Chicago as a city is wonderful.  The people are lovely and everywhere is so clean.  I have a problem with public transport but I knew I had to use it to get around in Chicago. I started on the second day and we took the bus a short distance to the beach.  Now, because my nerves were playing up, I kept trying to get out of the journey.  So we stopped for ice-cream and we were walking up the road in the direction the bus would go.  The girls started asking when we were getting on a bus to the beach and I had a reality check; 'what was I doing? This is ridiculous just get on the bus woman!' So we did.  Yes it was a nerve racking but not as bad as I thought it would be.  From that day onwards, we used buses and or trains practically everyday.  By the end of the holiday it had become second nature and even though the nerves tried to creep in, I occupied my brain.  The cost of transport is crazy cheap too - you can buy a weekly pass for $23 dollars which gives you unlimited use of trains and buses.  In the UK that would cost so much more and the Americans systems seemed to work smoother and were more reliable; how does that figure??!

Putting that aside the trip was amazing.  We visited museums, fountains, parks, beaches, movie in the park and even went to a baseball match.  I have never watched baseball so my sister in law was explaining it all.  The time flew by with all the entertainment.  I loved the intro's for each batman - music and video snippets of them playing - can you imagine having that in the UK during football?  Nope, neither can I!
We went up the Willis Tower, previously known as the Sears Tower.  You are taken to the 103rd floor and can look out over the city.  The views were breath taking.  They have also now built these glass ledges that suspend out the side of the building so all you see around you is air.  It was scary but we did it and my eldest even lay down on it!!

It was a brilliant trip and one that we hope to repeat in the not too distant future.  If you ever get the chance, take it and visit Chicago.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Crazy daughter!

I am not sure if it is her age or is I have just been too soft but my 3 year old is basically going crazy!  She is so stubborn, she makes me look good.  She seems to have more energy than any child I know.  If she is kept indoors for more than a few hours, then she builds up energy and spends her time running, climbing, screaming and making a general mess.

I realised a while back that I cannot get anything completed while she is up.  I try ironing and she thinks the board is either a slide or a house. I try to tidy and she removes everything as I put it away.  She makes me laugh a lot as she has crazy faces that make you chuckle.  She is currently running around the dining room table while listening to music - her idea of dancing apparently!

The tantrums are the worst though.  We have a 'naughty step' which after a year, still takes a minimum of half an hour for her to stay on! We have had to deal with her hitting as she can actually hurt her sister especially when she throws toys at her......  We have all her confiscated toys on tops of cupboards and the fridge so she can see what she has lost.  My older daughter was never as naughty and cheeky as Junior.  Maybe it is me and I am doing something differently with the younger one.  Whatever it is, it needs to change.

I think time has called for a new action plan.  She is nearly 4 (in December) so I think she would benefit from an actual chart, one she can see, to curb the behaviour.  I have to stamp it out now or it will just get worse!  Any ideas greatly received.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - Session 5 & 6

I have not been keeping up with the blogging of the therapy mainly as there was a lapse in my therapy due to holidays etc plus the sessions are getting quite personal now.  I am condensing the sessions so as not to bore you with all the details but so you still get the gist of what is happening.

Session 5 and 6 have been about building me up as a person.  Not in a vain sort of way but tackling the inner bully that keeps telling me I am useless and stupid and totally in capable of doing anything.  My therapist wants me to keep writing up the thought records I blogged about before and now I know why.  She looks through what I have written and challenges my reactions to situations.  My fear comes in many forms so let me outline one, I had a panic attack on the way to my sister in law's birthday party.  An event like this is not something that would bother most people, but for me it does.  I did manage to get there and we stayed a few hours, even though I felt terrible with nausea, cramps and internal shaking.  Where I should have felt proud of myself, I had this underlying annoyance with  myself.  I was angry that the attack had started, could not understand why it had and more importantly I felt stupid.

Here lies my problem.  I never seem to 'cut myself any slack' or have any compassion for me and my feelings.  I see them as wrong or stupid which underpin my whole feelings towards myself.  On the outside I like to be strong and 'normal' but inside I am not........

How to tackle that voice though?  That is the big thing now.  The therapist told me I need to start being positive with myself and actually understanding what I am saying and the sub-concious effects it is having!  Good luck me!!