First of all, I have FOLLOWERS, y'all. Actual people who like, follow my blog. I have two of them. Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly grateful that anyone feels I'm worth reading, but I won't pretend it doesn't surprise me. I mean, seriously guys. Why?? I'm not that interesting! I spend all my time rambling about painkillers and babies! Also, I consistently forget to spellcheck my posts before posting them!
We've been superhecticbusy recently. There's been a lot of stress. First of all, we had a dairy challenge for Beast. Basically what this entails is exploring the severity of a child's allergy by bit-by-bit exposure and gauging the reaction. There are seven steps, the first being rubbing a drop of milk onto the child's skin, then a drop of milk on their lip, then 0.5ml of milk in 10ml of water, then on and on leading up to a full milk feed, over the course of about 5 hours. We were due to start at 9:30. We arrived on time and were shown into a children's ward. Immediately, we were nervous. We'd been expecting some sort of medical clinic....off into a side room for the tests and then out into a playroom or something while we waited for a reaction. So sitting in a ward, with cots and emergency buttons and oxygen masks....it made me feel a bit sick. There was nothing for her to do except sit in her cot and play with toys or sit in the small playroom and play with toys. I put one of the sides of the cot down completely and sat on the cot with her to make it seem less scary for all of us, but it was hard. There were sick kids all around, a baby not much older than Beast, with an IV hooked up to her foot, suffering with an unknown infection, a boy toddling around with his arm in a sling, his little face white and pinched. I'm not afraid of hospitals, as such, but I don't like being in one with my young baby. No parent wants to see their child in hospital, no matter how non-emergency the situation is.
In the end, after making us wait until 11 with no explanation as to the delay, she started reacting to the first stage of the testing, but they pushed us through to stage 3 and tried to push to stage 4 before we put our foot down and said we were taking her home. We go back in 6 months to repeat the whole ordeal and hopefully by then she'll be allergy-free.
We're having a load of problems with our Housing Benefit claim. First of all they took 4 months to approve our backdated claim, citing that we should have just claimed earlier, ignoring that Mr A works full-time and that I can't really make it down to the office and sit there for a few hours waiting for someone to stamp a few bits of paper. I don't know why, but the air-conditioning in that building does something weird to me. Every time I go there I get dizzy and almost pass out. I actually get the same thing in Asda. It's really strange.
Anyway, so we finally got approved for the backdated payment for a SIGNIFICANT amount of money, and then we get a letter saying, word for word, 'We were going to pay you on Sept 6th but now we've stopped your whole claim'. Like, wtf. WTF. That is some cold shit. COLD. They've put a stop to not only the backdated payment, but also all our ongoing payments, until we supply PROOF that we're not behind on our rent, and a copy of our tenancy agreement. They already have a copy of the contract so I don't know WHY they need that again, but as far as proof of being paid-up with our rent, why couldn't they have made a to minute phonecall to our property managers? Surely that would have cost less time and money than the process of stopping the entire claim, sending out separate letters and then re-starting the claim, including re-paying the missed payments that will amount while they're faffing about? Not to mention that this is going to put a financial strain on us while we're not getting our payments. Yes, wah wah wah, poor me and my free money from the government. But seriously, they're creating work and expense for themselves for no reason. Aren't they supposed to be trying to save money? They seem to find a problem with our claim every 6 weeks. If I didn't know better I'd think they had nothing better to do.
We had our property inspection on Wednesday, so we've spent most of our spare time in the last few weeks trying to clean the place up and make it presentable. Housework falls by the wayside for me, because I never have the spare time and spare energy. I do what I can to stay on top of the laundry and nappies (diapers) and dishes, but almost everything else doesn't really get done. We have painted wooden stairs that need to be washed instead of just vacuumed, a small, cramped bathroom which would need to be emptied of about 10kg's of storage before I could clean it, a kitchen that is as devoid of useful storage space as it is over-burdened with space-swallowing-furniture, and we have a lot of 'stuff'. Just stuff that is accumulated over the years. I'm a terrible pack rat. Mr A has a box of colored pencils and random teenage-boy-desk-crap that despite NEITHER of us using or touching for over three years now, I cannot bear to throw away. I'm just convinced that one day, probably the very day after I throw it away, we will DESPERATELY need something in that box.
This all makes for a house that is pretty tough to clean, even if you are in full possession of your physical well being, and DON'T have a toddler who is never happier than when she's causing mayhem and won't allow you out of her sight for longer than two minutes.
Anyway, after next Friday Mr A is off work for 2 weeks, woo hoo! We're still trying to figure out if we want to take advantage of the time off and go away somewhere. We're thinking about a day in Paris, but it may prove to be a little expensive for just a day out, especially when Mr A isn't actually 'into' museums and the like. It'd be cheaper to stay in England or go to Ireland, but not quite as romantic or interesting. It may all be a moot point if the benefits don't get sorted out, as we may find ourselves short of money at the worst possible time. Bloody typical!