Saturday, 6 November 2010

I've had better nights.

When I suggested we go to the village bonfire and firework display I honestly did not think about how it would affect Mr M.

In hindsight being diagnosed with Combat Stress after a tour of duty in Afghanistan should have been enough for me to guess how he would react to the sounds of the fireworks - sounds very much like gun fire.

Why was I shocked when he hit the deck at the sound of the first one?
Why did I laugh when I looked round and realised what had happened?

Obviously, tonight was not one of my better ideas and Mr M certainly is far from cured!

Give me the strength.......

  • To resist the daily urges to drive to the other side of town and beat Cruella with a large stick
  • To support Mr M with his metal illness without getting frustrated with him
  • To tackle the huge pile of ironing
  • To start the Christmas shopping
  • To resist *facebook* when I should be doing the ironing
  • To blog more often

If the above are not possible, then please give me the strength to open another bottle of wine!!

Friday, 17 September 2010


I've typed and deleted the bones of this post many times over recent months, the title was different and the focus of the content different - so how can it be the same post?It's really rambled, but stay with me on this one.

Today the Karma bus tootled into town and knocked Cruella flat on her big backside - so this post now has a happy(ok, smug) ending.

To put you in the picture...................

Mr M returned from Afghanistan earlier this year, but my husband never came home. His experience over there has changed him drastically and this is something we've both struggled with.

In July of this year Mr M was diagnosed with Combat Stress (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), thankfully we have an amazing GP who has referred him for specialist help and has precribed appropriately. Mr M is making progress through Counselling and medication.

My last post referred to the antics of Cruella, add them to the Combat Stress and you get the picture.

Remember this ?

So the date for Randall and Cruella to tie the knot was set for October of this year. It was all very hush hush and the boys had been well warned not to disclose any details to us. However, 2 weeks ago Cruella had the nerve to ask Mr M for a copy of their Divorce Certificate. Apparently she had destroyed hers (very grown up) and now needed to present it to the Registry Office before her and Randall can lodge their intent to marry.

So the good bits about Mr M's current condition - he's grown a huge pair of Bo***cks and is now very assertive. Something which Cruella soon discovered.

So Mr M's reply to her text message requesting the Divorce papers - nothing.

Mr M's reply to her getting Woody to ring Mr M asking for the Divorce Papers - 'Hi mate, it's great to speak to you, but to be honest if your Mum wants something she can ask me herself - it's not fair that she sould ak this of you. Anyway, what have you done at school today?'

Mr M's reply to her getting both boys to ask for the divorce papers last weekend -'boys, it's really not fair that your Mum should ask you two to do this. If your Mum wants to speak to me thenshe has my number and can call me. Anyway, how was Tennis this morning?'

Mr M's reply to Cruella when she finally rang him on Wednesday and told him she needed his divorce papers as she didn't know where her's were - ' you really should learn to look after your things better. Since I married Mrs M any papers relating to time that I spent with you have become obsolete and I'm not prepared to spend any of my time looking for them when you've been so careless with yours. If it were the other way around I know without a doubt that you would get great pleasure in withholding them from me.....'

The boys arrived today and the wedding came up in conversation. Apparently they have delayed it until next year as Cruella had had to apply to London to have her divorce papers re-issued and there has been a high financial cost for this, therefore the wedding has had to be delayed.

Does Mr M feel bad about this?

No freeking way - he has no idea where his divorce papers are and to be honest I think they were shredded after we got married (as our marriage made them defunct anyway).

However - I have no doubt that if he did have them he wouldn't give them to her and that makes me very proud of him. For the first time ever - Cruella does not get everything Cruella wants - and she's only herself to blame!

Toot, toot!!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Pay per view

We are now officially pay per view - with regards to the boys that is!

Since Mr M returned from Afghanistan we have been locked into a battle with Cruella, she has been making it increasingly difficult for Mr M and I to see the boys - there has always been some excuse and plenty of avoidance. Now we know why, she has been planning behind our backs (for some time it would seem) to seek child maintenance for the boys via the wonderful (i say that tongue in cheek) Child Support Agency (CSA).

Some history:- Since they separated Mr M has always had the boys stay with him, for many years (when the boys were young and required 'looking after') they stayed with us more than they stayed with Cruella - not once did we ask her for any financial support - in fact we didn't contest her claiming the Child Benefit or Child Tax credit payments -even though it was us that were clothing them and paying for formal childcare. Money has never been an issue for us.

When we went to 50-50 shared care in 2005, there was never a case for child maintenance and we each paid half for all costs - school trips, uniforms etc.

Some facts:-
  • Cruella sees the boys as independent and is happy to leave them without adult supervision from 07.00hrs to 20.30hrs and beyond.
  • Cruella no longer 'needs' us to be unpaid childminders
  • There has been extensive parental alienation going on since Mr M was deployed to Afghanistan and this is still ongoing.
  • Since his return, Mr M has continued to pay half of all costs.
  • Cruella has never approached Mr M to make him aware that she has made an application to CSA.

So we get the paperwork from CSA 3 weeks ago we fill it in and return it the same day. Yesterday we received the notification of the amount we are to pay to Cruella. It quite clearly stated that this is to be Mr M's contribution towards the living costs for both boys.

So before I tell you how much we have to pay to see the kids, here's a quick run down of our monthly costs prior to Afghanistan:-

  • £140 fuel costs taking the boys to School
  • £40 Tennis
  • £100 clothes, shoes, school uniform for both boys
  • £50 School lunch for both boys
  • Total minimum costs £ 330

Annual costs would include half of all school trips and school holiday experiences with the last one being £580 for one boy!


The wonderful CSA have ruled that Mr M must pay Cruella......... £185 per month and is no way obliged to make any further contribution. I'd call that a result!!!

Oh, and Mr M's parting shot to Cruella this weekend when she smugly hinted that she was going to 'screw him financially'.

'If you are referring to the CSA, I'm surprised it's taken you so long apply. I contacted them if February when you started being an arse and they advised that I do nothing until you make an application. Just look at the months you've missed out on!'

Her face was a picture - I cant wait until she asks us to pay half of some school trip or something, she'll be told where to get off. Our pay per view sbscriptions are paid in ful!!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Thanks, but no thanks!

Mr M is usually quite thoughtful, since he has mastered the art of Internet shopping, his gifts have become much more diverse & creative - usually I'm thrilled.

Now I don't want you thinking that I've become spoiled or ungrateful - really, I appreciate all that I have. However, his most recent gifts have left me totaly and utterly speechless (well almost, I did manage a 'you've got to be f*ing joking!).

So here you have it ladies, my newest addition to my underwear drawer - in both black and white I may add........

So forgive me if I pass on these. I'd just much rather have a pair of these:-

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Number 3

I flaming well knew it - everything happens in 3's.

Last week I took a call from an advertising firm regarding 'an advert I'd agreed to place in a charity magazine in February of this year'. I could not recall any such call, but did wonder if in the euphoria of Mr M's return I'd agreed to help a worthy cause. The company informed me that the advertising space had been reserved & it was too late to cancel.
To the happy tune of £250 plus VAT.
So whilst I was a bit miffed with myself, I thought nothing more of it when the invoice landed through my door on Monday.

Until, I took 2 calls on Monday from different advertising firms regarding 'adverts I'd agreed to place on Charity wall planners, in february of this year'. Again the advertising space had been reserved & it was too late to cancel. To the happy tune of £199 plus VAT - one would give a 5% discount if I paid over the phone by debit card. WTF??

So February was the month that Mr M returned, does having lots of sex result in a complete loss of business sense and a desire to part with huge amounts of cash? I think not!

Tuesday Morning I decide to look into these a bit further, beforen I get the chance the phone rings and Advertising firm number 4 calls regarding 'an advert I'd agreed to place in a charity magazine, in March of this year'. Again the advertising space had been reserved & it was too late to cancel. Although they would offer me a £50 discount, so I'd only be invoiced for £249.00 plus VAT.

Enter the internet and the wonderful *google search*.

Within minutes I was able to see that all 4 'companies' have the same address - which is a mailing box in Manchester and telephone number. The registered address a house in the Manchester suberbs. They all claim to be affiliated with Charities & celebrities, yet when I emailed named charities they had no association with these 'companies' at all.
I was also able to see that there have been thousands of complaints from small businesses to the trading standards regarding these 4 'companies' and in fact they traded under many other names too.
I was also able to get free advice on how to deal with these companies.

Enter Mrs M, armed with phone & script.

Company No 1 - Started off very polite, yes we did contact you last week, yes we explained that you had agreed to the advert in February, no I can't tell you the specific date, no you can't cancel, yes the telephone conversation we had in February was recorded & forms a legally binding contract. No you can't hear the recorded conversation, it's only submissible in court.

Mrs M - I did not agree to this advert, the proof and invoice you've sent are extremely poor quality - my 13 year old could have done better with his laptop and HP printer. I've been looking into you registered business and am confused as to why you are registered to a mail box, which is shared by 3 other companies. I'm also concerned as the charity you are representing have emailed confirmation to me that they have no association with this company. I've also taken legal advice and despite your attempts to bully me into paying, your alleged telephone conversation is not a legally binding contract.

Company No 1 - I've cancelled your order, goodbye.


The same followed for company number 2, 3 and 4.

It was extremely amusing to have the same conversation with the same person (pretending to be someone different everytime).

The worrying thing is that if they'd only contacted me the once, I'd have probably stumped up the cash, assuming that I'd been to loved up to even care what I was agreeing to - talk about scamming!!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Waiting for number 3

Everything comes in 3's - right?

1) The hassle with the budget airline that kept me on hold for 75 minutes, then wanted to charge me £100 to put right their mistake...............

2) I pay £22.95 for Saturday morning delivery of my new camera. Parcel Force claim they attempted delivery (which they didn't) and I finally get my item on Monday morning. Too late for the wedding that I had booked on Saturday afternoon.

3)'s hoping it has nothing to do with Volcanic Ash.............

Monday, 17 May 2010

Still on hold

We've booked flights for next week, whilst printing off the boarding pass I noticed the airline had spelt my name wrong.

No worries, i'll just ring the airline & ask them to amend it - easier said than done!

I've been on hold for the last 62 minutes and at 10p per minute i'm none too happy.

I guess thats what you get booking with a budget airline!


Friday, 14 May 2010

Time to celebrate!

I know I've been quiet for a while, but I've been really, really busy.
I've had me an interview to prepare for and boy did I prepare!

Long story short.................... I applied for a job last year & was unable to attend the interview as I was out of the country. They refused to re-schedule the interview (really nice people!).
My Director of Service was livid & pulled a few strings for me to spend some time on the area - which I did & had a terrible time.
The job was re advertised in January and I applied, the job was then advertised again (to attract a broader base of applicants is the official line - to avoid me having a fighting chance is the non-official line).
I had an interview last week.
They offered me the job on Tuesday.

Say hello to Mrs M - the new Deputy Modern Matron for assessment & treatment services. Hours of work Monday to Friday 8.30-4.30. No more weekends, No more shift work, No more bank holidays, No more working Christmas or New Year.

I'm so excited - I have a secretary allocated to manage (amongst other things) my diary, which is electronic (wow, I'm used to wiping bums!!)

I get to be best buddies with Trixi Lee - rather than having to work with her & be buddies (which is hard on both sides sometimes as I can be a stroppy cow - i know!).

Oh and the best bit - with 7 years less experience than Cruella, I'm now 4 management levels above her - Sweet, sweet Karma!

Oh and a salary raise into the bargain!!

let the celebrations begin & the Mojito's flow!!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Would the real Mrs M Please Stand up? Part 10

It's been way too long, but if you want to catch up Link back to this.

So there was I, living with my parents. In my old room. Bliss!

I never missed a day at work throughout, it was my sanity saver. The one thing I was good at and besides, my best friends were there - why would I chose not to go?

Mr H gathered momentum as the good boy jilted. Even my parents bought into his pity party. I was the one painted as the bad guy. I was the one who had left him, who thought I was above my station. I was the one who must have been messing around. It was obviously all my fault.

I didn't say a thing - to anyone. I took the blame, I listened to the rumours, I put up with my parents siding with Mr H. put up with 'our' friends turning into 'his' friends. Why? Because I was free from him.
My heart broke when his family cut me off completely though, yet I still couldn't bring myself to tell them why I'd left. He was their son, brother, grandson, nephew, they didn't have to know about the bad things - who was I to tell them? Even when his father ridiculed me and openly accused me of having an affair with another woman (his drunken logic being that I couldn't possibly have chosen another man over his son), I still didn't tell anyone anything. His Mum (L)refusing all contact from me cut like a knife - I love L so much - and still I kept shtum!

From the July until the November I continued to live in the same small village as Mr H. I tolerated my parents inviting him for lunch, or out for drinks (they felt sorry for him and blamed me). I never saw him nor spoke to him. I just went to work then came home to the comfort of my bedroom.

At work I continued to go from strength to strength. I really blossomed into a confident young lady (I was only 24!). I saw Mr M every day at work and our friendship grew. He was having problems with Cruella - I listened, but never once did I share my opinion, not once did I hint that he deserved better. He was married - end of story, out of bounds!
I'd been asked out for several dates, but after a disaster with a prison officer (another tale for another day) I decided I quite liked being single!

Towards the end of November I began to feel stifled, my parents were beginning to question my motives for leaving Mr H - was it just a case of me thinking I was better than I actually was, had I tried to be a good wife, was I having an affair? (I think the fact that I'd been out socially once since leaving Mr H would have answered the last question). I started looking for somewhere to live and within days had fallen in love with a little two up two down. Nothing to look at - but it felt right.

I put an offer in on the house on 1st December. Mr H moved his 3rd Girlfriend into my old house on the 2nd. I still paid his mortgage. He still threatened to slit my throat if I stopped.

You can write your name in it

Lola is discovering the wonder of words. She's loving that she can write her name, copy words and even write words that we spell out to her (obviously these talents are from me!).

So, picture a four year old, walking around with a filofax (Mr M's old one that he never used) taking 'notes' at every opportunity. She's way too cute and very smart!

Smart to the point that she's worked out that you don't need a pencil and paper to write......... I was doing the house work the other morning she begged me not to 'duster' the television.
'Because the dust is good for writing your name Mummy'!

I really must clean up more. Or employ a housekeeper. Or buy more paper!

Adjusting......... being weekend parents?

Like a Disney film - 7pm every other Friday brings a magical transformation. The fairy dust settles and four become six. We spend the weekend running here, there and everywhere - and love it!
6pm on Sunday and the magic starts to fade. Mr M takes the boys back to Cruella (rushing so that the car doesn't turn into a pumpkin on his way home).

By 7pm every other Sunday six become four and we carry on regardless.

Whilst it's not easy going from full time, to half time, to no time, to very other weekend time - the boys seem pretty happy with the arrangement. This weekend they have been really relaxed and even stayed until this evening (it's school holidays). Mr M and I think that they have realised that we just want to spend some time with them. SIMPLE. No games, no gimmicks. They get no pressures from us and I think that is exactly what they need.

On the flip side - Lola is not dealing with this very well at all. She is so naughty whilst the boys are here, the minute they are in the car on the way to Cruella's she's fine. She just doesn't get it yet. I suppose it's a struggle for her, she spend so much time as the 'eldest child' then has to drop back into line when Charlie takes up this role - it must be confusing?

Mr M has found it hard too. We hardly know the boys anymore however, this weekend they have really started to open up again - I'm hopeful!

Oh and Cruella is on a diet - I correctly predicted that she is focused on squeezing her fat backside into a tiny wedding dress - a green one at that! Some girls have no taste!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I know I'm rotten - but Karma . . . .

So, whilst we were celebrating our Christmas and the boys were happily shopping with their grandparents this is what Cruella was up to:-

Whisks Cruella
To Dublin for a romantic weekend
Where he pops the question to Cruella
Who instantly starts planning how she is going to fit this:-
Into one of these..
She's rudely interrupted by one of these.....
and is well pissed off when its Mr M on the line..... (how were we to know?!)
Her weekend goes from this
to this!

She should have turned her bloody phone off - is what I say!!
Wonder if she'll ask me to be her official wedding day photographer? *insert evil laugh*

Put a sock in it .....

....oh, you already did!

'Christmas' morning Lola runs into our bedroom and very excitedly asks if Father Christmas has been again. With this Dora bursts in (jumps her way in really) and asks if Father Christmas has been again.

Both girls jump into bed and all three of us 'push' Mr M out of bed so he can go and check - no point us all getting cold until we've confirmed that there are in fact presents to be opened 9and Mr M can turn the thermostat up on his way downstairs - logic, right?

So Mr M gets (is pushed) out of bed and with his back to us -safe in the knowledge that we are all preoccupied with speculating about father Christmas - he removes his lovely little boxer shorts with the intention of putting on his pants (yes, he's a pants man - he likes it all tucked in and not dangling).


We girls sit giggling at Mr M's bum and he obliges with a little wiggle before pulling his pants up and turning round to face us.

Lola, in absolute stitches, to the point where she can only just get her words out, points at Mr M and declares:-

"Silly daddy - you've left your socks in your pants "

Mr M turned crimson, I almost pee'd myself and Lola was beside herself that Daddy was silly enough to out his socks in his pants in the first place!
Mr M now gets dressed in our bathroom!
Now the question is which type of socks? I would have said trainer socks - but I'm sure Mr M would insist they were boot socks!!

Service resumes - but it's far from normal....

We had Christmas eve, Christmas day and Boxing day - it was amazing and wonderful and happy and sad all at the same time.
The boys arrived on our 'Boxing day', opened their gifts and then announced that they'd had a good day 'shopping' with their grandparents the day before WTF???? They blew us and our Christmas out for a day at the shops with their grandparents - to say I was angry would be an understatement - I was furious and rightly or wrongly told them both exactly what I thought. Cruella had gone away for the weekend with Randall and had made plans for the boys to go to her parents (another post in itself!)

Lead balloon.............

I then told them that if it were up to me then there would be no way on this earth that they would be coming on holiday with us the next day.

2 lead balloons.........

We got through 'boxing day' and we did go on holiday they next morning - all 6 of us.

We had 4 days away and in all honesty it was far from enjoyable. Our family dynamics have changed so drastically - it was hard for all of us. The boys were so far removed from the boys that we all knew and loved - they were selfish, rude and arrogant. Mr M really had his eyes opened.

We arrived home and the first question from Charlie was 'When are you taking us back to mums?' Mr M and I had briefly discussed this scenario and we took them back that morning. We came home and licked our wounds.

Four weeks passed before we heard from them again, despite numerous calls, texts and emails. Surprisingly *insert sarcasm* when Mr M left a voice mail asking if they wanted to come to London with us they called us straight back - I never saw that one coming!

We all went to London and despite things being a bit strange on the train we had a lovely time. The boys started to ask a few questions about Mr M and why he had had to go to Afghanistan, they also got to hear a little about what he had faced whilst he had been over there - you could see the penny dropping - literally.

We arrived home and Mr M & I had decided that we had to sort the situation out properly - I don't think my liver could have taken much more!

So the long and short of it................

  • Cruella has done a really good job of making the boys hate Mr M for going away - they thought he'd had a choice in it all and had chosen to 'abandon' them
  • The boys enjoy the freedom that they have at Cruella's and don't want to go back to having 'rules' at our house
  • Charlie has hit his teenage years full force and is moody as hell.
  • Woody can't understand why things can't just be the way they were?
  • Cruella did not allow the boys to come whilst Mr M was away because legally I'm nothing to do with the boys (cheers kids!)
  • Cruella has told the boys that we no longer have 50-50 care and that's her decision and nothing is going to change that (place your bets...)
  • Cruella does not give a flying F*** about what the boys want.

So we asked the boys what they wanted, we told them to forget about what Cruella wants and not to worry about what they think we might want and here it is:

  • To not have to stay at ours on a school night - they don't like to hour each way commute and it makes it difficult for homework etc
  • Not to have so many rules at our house
  • To come and stay with us every other weekend from Friday to Monday
  • To spend half of the school holidays with us
  • To spend alternate Christmas and Birthdays with us
  • To spend the girls' birthdays with us
  • To spend Fathers day with us

What we agreed:-

  • The house rules stay - no negotiation - how hard is it to make your bed, take your clothes to the laundry and shower every day?
  • No school runs - I'm happy with this as it was four hours every day (3 days a week) that we were sat in the car doing school runs. Also this would have had to have changed when Lola starts school in September anyway.
  • Every other weekend here - Hopefully minus the school runs this will mean we get to spend some quality time with them both?
  • Alternate Christmas's with us
  • Alternate birthdays with us
  • Fathers day with us
  • Half the school holidays with us.

Cruella has other ideas! She went absolutely crazy at the boys when they told her what they wanted and she was straight on the phone to Mr M - who may I add has really grown a pair since he's been away and firmly told her where to get off!

So the plan is for the boys to come after school this Friday - I wait with baited breath.

My prediction for Cruella involves a letter, child support and a demand for mega bucks! Unfortunately, I'm not often wrong with my Cruella predictions!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

He's home.................

.......................... and I'm loving it!

Christmas tree is up, the wine is mulled, the presents are wrapped and it's snowing - Happy Christmas to us!!!

I'll update you on how things are going in a few days - just a little busy right now ;)

Love Mrs M x x x

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Ever decreasing circles......

Where do I begin? I suppose with an apology for being such a terrible blogger! I have been reading all of the blogs which I follow, just not blogging myself.
However I just need to get this post out, it's been going round and round in my head for so long - Minnie I'm back for some free therapy!

I guess it would be worth going back to this to get where I am coming from.....................................

I didn't see or hear from the boys until the end of November, over 8 weeks from the date Mr M went away. When I did eventually get a text message from Charlie asking if they could come to stay for the night I was elated, I didn't ask any questions I just arranged a time and date to pick them up.
The boys arrived the weekend of Lola's 4th Birthday - it was the best present anyone could have given her - short of Daddy coming home, that is. The first few hours were pure bliss, the house was filled with noise and the sound of laughter was music to my ears. The children put up the Christmas tree and life was almost normal, for a while.
It wasn't all about Lola though as it was only a few days until Charlie's birthday - so he was equally excited to receive his birthday gifts from us and my family, after which the mood certainly started to change........
The boys were getting less tolerant of the girls wanting to spend every minute with them and they were pre-occupied with their new mobile phones that Cruella had purchased them (2 days after me topping their old phones up with £45 worth of talk time!!). After putting the girls to bed that night I asked the boys if they wanted to watch a film or play a board game. They didn't want to, but they did want me to do something for them.

Let me back track a little, mid way through 2009 I started my own photography business and I have been building this up gradually. I'm not brilliant, but I have taken some lovely portraits and have covered 2 weddings which I was very proud of.

The boys wanted me to take some portraits of them for them to give to Cruella and Randall as Christmas presents. Even though my alarm bells were starting to tinkle, I set up my home studio and worked my magic on the boys, after which they said goodnight and went up to their room. At breakfast the next morning I asked them if they wanted to go shopping for some frames then we could go to lunch, as I wasn't taking them back until 4pm. They exchanged looks and said they wouldn't have time as Cruella was picking them up before lunch, they would get the portraits at some point before Christmas. Next Charlie pulled a piece of A4 paper out of his pocket and as he opened it I instantly recognised Cruella's scrawl. When I asked him what was on the paper he just handed it to me. I was totally caught off guard as I read the list (complete with hand drawn check boxes) that Cruella had written. It was all the items that they boys were to take back to her house from ours. All items that I had bought and paid for.
  • New school blazer with ipod controls
  • New size 5 black trainers (both pairs)
  • Charlie's walking boots
  • Woody's walking shoes
  • Woody's DS games
  • Charlie's School coat
  • A coat for Woody to wear to school
  • Any jeans that fit
  • Any T shirts that fit
  • Any hooded sweaters that fit
  • PE kit and football boots (size 5) for Charlie

Believe it or not, but it was mid December and neither boy had had a coat to wear for school! I explained to the boys that they could take the stuff on the list, but it would be up to them to look after everything and ensure they returned anything they would need when they were here, as I would not be replacing anything if they decided to take it to Cruella's. They took everything!

Fast forward to the 19th December - Umpteen voice mails, text messages and emails all un replied to - and I get a text message from Charlie asking if they could come on the 20th overnight. Again I didn't ask any questions, I just agreed to collect them at 9am the next morning.

9 am on the dot and the boys bounce into the car, wanting to know if their portraits were ready! We got home and the girls were so excited to have the boys here, they were talking about Father Christmas coming and what gifts they would like to get. The boys asked if they could have their gifts before they went back to Cruella's. I was more than a little taken aback, but composed myself and explained that the girls would only be getting 'token' gifts on Christmas day and that we would be having our full family Christmas when Mr M returns (they already knew this as we had spoken about it in details before Mr M went away. Charlie didn't seem too bothered, but Woody's face was tripping him! He didn't seem to understand that whilst he would be getting gifts from Cruella and her family, the girls would have to have a few things from me or they would have nothing to open on Christmas morning - as my family and (the few that bother from Mr M's family) were not exchanging gifts until Mr M comes home.

Although neither boy was pleased with my response, we got through the next 24 hours without any major fall outs. The next day I took them back to Cruella's - with their portraits mounted, framed and wrapped. 3 for Cruella and Randall and one for Cruella's parents. We didn't even get a Christmas card, neither did Mr M - but that's boys for you eh?

We phone, we text, we email - Christmas day, Boxing day, New Years day, the day it snows and we build a snow man, the day I get the official date of Mr M's return, the details of our plans for our Christmas day, the dates of our trip to a very special holiday place. We hear nothing from either boy. Lola is beside herself - I don't know what to say. Mr M is non the wiser as they have never written to him whilst he's been away - despite me sending them stamped addressed envelopes!

Last week I get a text message from Charlie:-

'Mum's booked our holiday for the same dates as your in the summer - going with mum. Got plans for the date that you've arranged Christmas for - won't be coming. Not bothered about seeing Dad when he gets back - just ask him to ring Mum to arrange a pick up time for when we go to the very special holiday place. Charlie.'

Heartbroken. Angry. Confused. Suspicious. You bet your backside I was! I gave it a few hours to let the content of the message sink in, then I tried ringing Charlie, then Woody, then the house phone - no answer from either. So I replied with the following:-

'Hi mate, Dad will be really upset that you won't be celebrating Christmas with us, is there nothing you can do to rearrange? He has missed you just as much as the girls and I have. I can't understand why you are not planning on seeing Dad when he gets home. Give me a ring and we can try to sort something out. Love Mrs M x '

I left it several days and still I heard nothing. By this point I had come up with every excuse for their behaviour whilst Mr M has been away. I've had Cruella brainwashing them, raging hormones, peer pressure, not wanting to 'put me and the girls out'.......... but I can't find an excuse that I truly can believe. I sent my final message on Friday:-

'Charlie & Woody, You didn't reply to my last message - is everything ok? Dad will be ringing you this weekend, I've not told him about the content of your last text, I ask that neither of you mention it as it's unfair whilst he is still out there. He will be home on *****, Please call him when he gets back. Until you have spoken to him I won't book our holiday to the very special holiday place. Take care, Love Mrs M x'

I've heard nothing from either of them.

I'm still so angry. I'm angry with Cruella for encouraging/allowing the boys to treat us so terribly. I'm angry with myself for daring to expect more. I'm disappointed with the boys for thinking they can get maximum gain from minimum effort - We certainly didn't raise them this way!

I know that our little family has been ripped apart, I know it will never go back to being how it was.
I'm just hoping that I am strong enough to support Mr M and the girls through the rough ride that I know is only just starting. The last 4 1/2 months will seem like a breeze in comparison.

Who's reading?