Thursday, 13 October 2016

I'm back!!

Bloody hell! remind me never to forget to renew my domain registration! what a nightmare trying to do it after expiration! Anyway, although my domain name remains the same, I have amended my blog title to reflect the content really. Life with me, Claire Bear.

I haven't posted since June, been too busy, too lazy, take your pick. I am going with busy.

I finished my degree..... and graduated with an BSc (hons) Social Policy with a 1st class, and a student achievement award to boot. I loved graduation day, wearing that cap and gown that I have worked so hard over the last three years to get. I have also changed my job, left the NHS, and I now work for a charity organisation, which fits more in line with my degree. The final bit to say on my studies is that I have just started my MSc Social Policy (by Research) so I have another year long academic journey.

My birthday came and went with little fuss, 38, too close to 40 for my liking, and I am developing lines and wrinkles. Weight loss is going well so maybe I will be fab and forty instead of fat and forty after all.

So, that's my brief update, however, as usual, I tend to blog when I need to offload. Although, my brain is like mush at the moment so I have no idea if this will make any sense whatsoever.

I have been feeling 'lost' for so long I had no idea who 'I' was. I only identified as 'mum'.
Since 1999, I have been pregnant, raising children, my life monopolised with babies, breastfeeding.
I decided to do something for me in 2013, go back to education as a step towards having a career.

These last 3 years have empowered me to reach out, grab opportunities, reflect, and reconnect with myself, Claire. The doula training I did in June reinforced this.

2016, and I do feel more in touch, I am embracing myself as a woman, as an individual, and as a mother, daughter. There are many different elements to me that bond together to make me whole.

However, (there is always a but), with this empowerment, I am now becoming increasingly aware of all the negative energy that surrounds me, and has been dragging me down, which is making me seek out alternative experiences that keep me positive and happy!

I can't help but feel that big changes are afoot.

Friday, 3 June 2016


So, today I am on day one of my Doula course.

I travelled down to York this afternoon, on my own, and I am staying at a B&B until Sunday.

Day 1 of the course was 7-9pm and we set up an alter with each of us placing on it something that represents birth and our journeys. I chose to place my glass blown necklace which symbolises my journey through all five pregnancies, birth, and our family being complete.

We then spoke about our birth experiences.................

I had five stories to relay, each one with a significant emotional attachment. To be listened to, without judgement or interruption, was enlightening and when I broke down whilst talking about Peter's birth, I felt supported and encouraged despite my natural instinct being to apologise for crying!

It has been a while since I cried over Peter's birth, yet, I still view the experience as being a huge turning point in my life; as woman, and a mother.

The whole experience tonight felt like a de-brief of my births and has made me realise the significance of each and every birth contributing to who I am today, not just as a mother, but as a woman.

I am back in my room now, with only myself for company so all I can do is reflect.

I am exhausted! an early night is definite, and I am looking forward to day two tomorrow.

Good Night and God Bless

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Onwards and Upwards

Forgive me blogger for I have sinned, it has been 15 weeks since my last post.

My penance is too write a long update on what has been going on in Carey Castle.

Well! I am less than 2 weeks away from submitting my final assignment for my degree, my dissertation was submitted last week, and I am on track to graduate on July 21st 2016, hopefully, fingers crossed, pretty please with a cherry on top, with a first class!! My final mark is dependent on my grade for the dissertation and my last two assignments on welfare reform and housing, and child poverty. I am sitting at a first but these could tip it in either direction I suppose.

I have secured myself a 'graduate' job today. After months of applying to various jobs related to my degree, and being rejected for some and offered others, I have finally been offered one that suits my family situation. Working part-time, during the day, as a community enablement officer for a new organisation in Wigan. I will be heading up a project supporting visually impaired people in the borough, assessing their needs, and enabling them to live independently (in a nutshell). I will be working alongside 5 other projects under the umbrella of the organisation.

The 45 minute interview lasted 90 minutes and afterwards felt it went well but you can never tell really until you get the phone call. I got the phone call within 2 hours of leaving the interview telling me I was 'absolutely the best person for the job'. I received excellent feedback BUT was told that my application form didn't match up to meeting me person. This could explain why I have been rejected at that stage for other positions so is something I need to address and significantly improve for the future. Apparently, I need to sell myself more, I have the skills but I need to be more explicit when detailing what I have done and the experience I have. However, I did get the job!

Now I have to wait for all the usual HR checks before I hand in my notice, something I am dreading. I have been with the NHS for 7 years but I think it is time to move on, spread my wings, and put my degree and new found skills and experience to use. I cannot wait to work with people face to face again. Yet another move away from my comfort zone.

In other news, Jason still has hearing issues, albeit mild, his speech is still a worrying issue but using makaton has really helped him to communicate. He has finally come out of nappies, all by his self, in his own time, and is so proud of his little self as I am of him. He has been referred to the eye doctor for his squints and his vision is reduced to we are now awaiting a glasses test! Never stops with this dude but he hasn't a care in the world.

Talking about not having a care in the world, brings me to Peter. He turned 8 in March and the day before he had something stuck and vomited. For the readers who know us, this is something that was unexpected after undergoing the nissens fundoplication in 2013 so it was a schock, even more so when he continued to vomit sporadically for another week. Concerns over his 'wrap' coming undone had led to him being on another two lots of medication and an appointment with his surgeon to discuss the next steps. At the moment the extra medications are working but I am worried about what caused the changes. His cough and sleepless nights has also stepped up but, like Jason, he just gets on with it without any moaning.

Owen starts his GCSE's on the 16th May so he is busy revising when he can, He often needs a kick up the backside but I hope he will do well. He will be celebrating by heading to Lourdes in July for a week where he will be volunteering with a charity.

Monica has just spent a week at the Conwy Centre with school, only 2 nights away but I missed her so much! She is growing up to be a fine young lady and I love our girly chats and shopping trips.

Martha, still as dizzy as ever!started hip hop dance classes and is loving learning new moves that she cannot wait to show me when she comes home.

I have just had more blood tests today, my annual hba1c to see if I have developed Type 2 Diabetes, full blood count to see if my iron levels have improved over the last year, and I have been tested for rheumatoid arthritis as I have pain and swelling in my fingers! Also got referred to the healthy weight programme, at my request, to try, again, to lose weight! One day I will be slim. I also have to go back to ENT as my hearing has dropped too much in my right ear for the hearing aids to be adjusted to help, so I may need the ones with moulds but as the decrease has happened in just a few months I have to be assessed by ENT before I can get new aids, so in the meantime I am struggling.

Right, now I need sleep, ready for volunteering at the CAB in the morning and delivering my presentation to the uni on the impact I have made being a school representative.

No rest for the wicked.