Sunday, 25 September 2011

I love my little man!

It's been a few days since I lasted posted - bad me!

I've been thinking how quickly little man is growing up - it really doesn't seem that long ago when he was a tiny little person all snuggled in his blanket and now he is getting really tall and spends most of his time running around the house :)

He's been really progressing loads with his words and for a while has had some really cute words,  sentences and phrases that I wanted to record, so I can look back and think wow!

Here are some of my favourites:

'you alright?'
he's already sooo caring - especially if I hurt myself (I'm v accident prone!!) He gives me a hug to make it all better

'dadda naughty!'
usually has me in stitches! Especially when he woke me up the other morning, just to tell me that!! (and hubby hadn't even done anything!! Heehee!)

he made some brick towers and brought them to show us, each time with a huge ' ta-da' as he was soo proud of himself!!

'1, 2, 3, GO!'
usually before he starts manically bouncing on his mini trampoline

'eat / sit / there / up!'
lots of demands he throws at me during the day! Usually starting with a loving wake-up call of 'up mumma!' as he starts to drag the duvet off me!!

'I do it!'
soo independent, heehee!

He also know most of 1-10 (we count all the time, especially going down the stairs) and his colours.

I love the way he keep surprising me day by day with new words and phrases he has picked up :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

I'm stronger than I thought!

There have been a few things in the past week that have come along to really test how well I can keep on top of my depression.

To start with there was a big AGM meeting at work on Saturday. I left the hour long meeting feeling very anxious, as there was now a very long list of things that I don't know how to do or get wrong when I try. Added to that I managed to pick up a bug, missing my shift as I spent the whole of Sunday shivering in bed!
The anxiety rocketed as me and my 'negative' thoughts really went to town on making me feel insecure and dread going to work, as I was sure I would do something wrong and get fired!! Hubby and mum tried their best to make me see reason, I've only been there for 2 weeks - I need to give myself a break! Luckily I managed to listen and went back to work on Monday, even though was then boiling and feeling sick!! What has amazed me the most is that I gave myself a break! I stopped the negative thoughts and tried to cut down the 'what if...' thoughts that were running on a loop through my mind! I have never been able to do that before! Even though I had a few tears and was so ready to give in to the negativity as usual, something managed to fight back and turn the corner :)

Test 2 came today. Sadly my grandad (dad's dad) passed away a few months ago. What is worse is that he had stopped talking to my family, again. He was not an easy man to get on with, having stopped speaking to us 2 days before I got married (7 years ago) - he had wanted my mum to travel a 2 hour trip to get him and his wife from London on the morning of the wedding. We had explained that me and mum had the table decorations to set up (we did our own to save money) so we couldn't do that,  he wouldn't have it, said some horrible things and cut us all off. We sent him a big box of things from the wedding and lots of pictures, but nothing. A few years later he got in touch as his wife P was dying. (she and mum had been secretly writing!!) so we visited her in hospital and Grandad went mental - saying we would be arrested if we tried to attend the funeral! Someone must have had a word, as he eventually let us go. Things started to be a little better and when I had little man 2 years ago, things were right back to normal :) However, over an argument with my mum last year, (over printing of some pictures of little man - or something equally trivial) he again cut the whole family off. Mum  kept writing and letting him know what was going on with us all, but never got anywhere. I gave up trying to phone as got the phone slammed down on me. I never found out why my brother, dad and I were all cast aside as well, as he passed away. It was such a shame that he held on to some unfathomable prejudices the way he did. I found out that dad had never been wanted and had not once been told that he was loved - which I thought was awful.
Anyway, today we got a phone call from Grandad's neighbour, who is executor of the will. Little man has been left £10,000 and my brother is down to get something too. Leaving me and dad with absolutely nothing. Surprisingly, I really don't seem to care as much as I thought I would. I thought this would be another devastating event, which would magnify my already slightly wobbly control over my depression. However, I just feel clam acceptance. Obviously he hated me and dad and wanted to make sure we knew that, by this final show! Maybe he wanted me and dad to resent the fact that we got nothing - but neither of us do! I'm so relieved that little man has some money to help him have a good start to whatever he wants to do when he's older. I'm also really happy for my brother, who has been made redundant too many times and deserves something nice to happen for once!

So I'm left feeling slightly shocked by my control over my depression this week! Two things that normally could push me way over the edge and although I've definitely wobbled, I haven't fallen :)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Yay me!

I'm really happy at the moment!
I have started the long awaited psychology and I'm doing really well! My first session was 1st Sept and my psychologist couldn't believe the difference in me!! When I went for assessment back in February, I was really bad, suicidal and in a dark, dark place! Now, she said that I am already doing loads of the things that they spend months of therapy teaching - and all on my own!! She kept asking 'how are you doing this?' and I have no idea!!
It is like an 'awakening' coming out from a big foggy bubble and things just starting to make sense again. I suppose I started to feel like this after the holiday - maybe having some quality time with family, away from all the stresses of home was just what I needed!
I'm now on a new journey, to learn skills and techniques to keep my 'mental melt downs' at bay, or deal with them if they occur! I'm discussing and learning how my thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical reactions all interlink and affect each other, so by re-training one, it impacts on all of them! We're starting to look at my anxiety and triggers and then understanding the possibility of alternative views on situations - having more than one result for my endless 'what if... happens' questioning things, reassessing things. I'm LOVING it!!
Maybe I might train to become a psychologist or something... hmm... then again, not sure I could cope with all those people in pain and anguish.
Who knows what my future holds?
2 months ago that thought would have scared me to death, now it's like seeing a giant adventure, full of exciting possibilities. A new journey ahead that I'm so excited to travel!
To all you fellow sufferers of depression, or those who have to live and support a sufferer, remember life is for living. Bad days happen and that is ok, as tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start with all the potential to be so much better than today!
Loads of hugs to all who suffer!!

Friday, 9 September 2011

What a great week!

So, Friday ar last! I'm thinking back over the last week and realised that it has been really brilliant!!
I started the week really nervous, worried that I might mess up my new job etc etc. I'm ending the week with a brilliant job that I really love! Also have managed to get back to playing at orchestra (Basingstoke Symphony Orchestra) for the first time  in about a year!! So am really pleased!!

I have been nosing around my favourite blogs as usual and found this great idea on (Welcome to the Asylum) about things to do before you turn 30. Well, as that will be my next birthday in April, it got me thinking about things that I would love to do before I reach that mile-stone too!!

So here goes!

1) Try and get pregnant  - we are hoping to start at around Christmas time, but as it took us 2 1/2 years to get pregnant with little man, not sure I will manage this one, but putting it in anyway!

2) Set up 'Bags 'n' Bitz' sole trader company to sell my handmade bags and cards.

3) Go to lots of craft fairs and sell afore mentioned bags and cards!

4) Start saving some money to put as a deposit on a new house - realistically don't think I will manage the whole deposit in 8 months!!

5) Read loads more books from different genres - I've recently joined the library again and am having great fun finding 'new' authors to try! Maybe tackle some of the books from the 100 Best Novels of all time.
  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen READ IT
  4. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  9. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  10. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  11. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  12. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  14. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  15. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  16. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  17. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  18. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  19. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  20. Ulysses by James Joyce
  21. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens READ IT
  22. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  23. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  24. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  25. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  26. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  27. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  28. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling  READ IT
  29. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  30. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  31. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  34. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  35. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  36. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  37. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  38. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  39. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams READ IT
  40. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  41. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  42. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  43. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
  44. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  45. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  46. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  47. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  48. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  49. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  50. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  51. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
  52. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  53. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  54. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  55. The Stand by Stephen King
  56. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown READ IT
  57. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  58. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  59. Dune by Frank Herbert
  60. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott READ IT
  61. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  62. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  63. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  64. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  65. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  66. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  67. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  68. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  69. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  70. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  71. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  72. Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
  73. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  74. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  75. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  76. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
  77. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  78. Persuasion by Jane Austen READ IT
  79. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  80. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  81. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  82. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  83. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  84. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  85. The Trial by Franz Kafka
  86. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  87. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  88. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  89. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  90. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  91. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  92. Emma by Jane Austen READ IT
  93. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  94. Siddharta by Hermann Hesse
  95. The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer READ IT
  96. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  97. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  98. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  99. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  100. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
So just a few more to go then ;)

If I think of any more, I'll add to the list!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

A real sigh of relief!

So it's been a few days since I last blogged and that is all because I have just been so busy!

Last Thursday, I had an interview for waitressing at a local pub and I got it!! Even though I have no experience what so ever!!! Finally someone was giving me the chance to show that I can work bloomin' hard if only I'm given the chance!!

My trial shift was on Monday and it didn't go quite as planned. Firstly, the deputy manager (in charge as the manager who interviewed me is on a course all week!) didn't have me down on the rosta!! They had a girl called Amy, who thankfully for me didn't turn up, so I was allowed to work and show I could do the job!!
I think maybe they just had the name mixed up and was told on Tues that I def have the job!!! I was so relieved and excited! All of those months trawling through Internet sites and newspapers, to then spend hours applying for jobs and sending my CV to people who would probably have another 60 other better qualified / more experienced candidates than me, to finally being employed!!!

I had thought about becoming a Betterware distributor as well, but there I think I bit off more than I could chew! I've now done 2 shifts at work, running round for 5 solid hours, loving every minute of it. However, I am also sporting 2 huge painful blisters, one on each foot! So the thought of havng to distribute 250 magazines up and down roads in my local area really didn't stand a chance!!

So now I'm absolutely shattered, sitting with special blister stickers that I found down the chemist , trying to think of a pair of shoes that I will be able to wear for my 5 hour shift tomorrow!!
I'm really happy that I have a job that I can do, then leave behind when I walk out of the door! It is exactly the kind of thing that I was looking for.

Next move, set up 'Bags 'n' Bitz' to sell my cards and bags - but I think I'll save that for a few more weeks / months, as money is really tight at the moment!! Roll on my first pay slip : )

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Kind-hearted Blogger Pledge

I have decided to take the pledge:

  • create, inspire, and admire rather than compete with fellow bloggers
  • be understanding of each other-- in the blogging community, as well as in the world
  • stay away from internet/blogging bullying
  • speak my opinion freely, while still being mindful of other's feelings-- be tactful.
  • make an effort--no matter how big or small the gesture, to spread kindness or joy to others
  • acknowledge that I will make mistakes, (I am only human) but remember to learn from them
  • know that at times I will post about the negative stuff in life, and maybe even some complaining (I am only human) but I will always follow up with something happy/positive too.
  • believe that this world is a good place, filled with good people.

Herman the Friendship cake

I thought I would post this so that you can try this with your friends too!
(I found the 'starter recipe' on netmums - LOVE that site!!)

Herman Sour Dough Starter for Cakes Recipes
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup warm water
2 Tbsp or 2 packets active dry yeast

Today is day 0.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of the sugar over the warm water. Sprinkle yeast over this and let stand in warm place to double in size. (approx. 10 min.)
Mix milk, remaining sugar, flour and yeast mixture in a large plastic or glass container, Stir, using only a wooden spoon or paddle. (metal stunts Herman's growth!!)
Cover loosely (tea towel?) or leave so Herman can breathe. (I left mine without anything)
Herman doubles, even triples at times of vigorous rising.
Place Herman in a warm place.

Here is the letter to give to your friends:

My name is Herman. I am a sour dough friendship cake. I'm supposed to be worked on for 10 days without a lid on. Don't put me in the fridge or I will die! I'm allergic to metal, so place me in a plastic / glass bowl and stir me with wooden / plastic spoons. If I stop bubbling, I am dead!

Day 1: Take lid off. Put me in a large mixing bowl or container capable of holding at least 2 litres and stir me well.

Day 2: Stir me well.

Day 3: Stir me well.

Day 4: I am hungry...add 4oz plain flour, 8oz granulated sugar and 240ml milk. Stir me well.

Day 5: Stir me well
Day 6: Stir me well
Day 7: Stir me well
Day 8: Stir me well

Day 9: I am hungry again... Feed me as day 4, then divide me into 4 equal portions. Give 3 away to friends. Keep 1 to bake tomorrow.

Day 10: I am very hungry! Stir me well and add...
8oz caster sugar
8oz plain flour
2 tsps vanilla essence
2 heaped tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
5 oz raisins / sultanas  or dates / figs
2 eggs
175ml cooking oil (olive or sunflower)
2 cooking apples
2 1/2 oz walnuts / almonds

Mix together and put into a large lined tin. Sprinkle with 2oz brown sugar and 2oz melted butter.
Bake for 35 - 45 mins @ 170-180c Gas 3-4

Thursday, 1 September 2011

What a difference a day makes!

Today has been super busy but so much better than yesterday!
I had an interview at 9.30 - which I prob didn't get as she was going to let me know today and hasn't - oh well!
At 11 I had my first session of psychology and it was BRILLIANT! My psychologist couldn't believe how well I am doing! I am apparently doing loads of techniques (like allowing myself a 'crappy' day yesterday) and my positive outlook on things, and she said that usually these take loads of sessions to teach and even then some don't manage to get it, and I've started it all on my own!! I have no idea how or why but as am doing well, am not going to worry about it!
Then I went to visit my friend H who I haven't seen in AGES! She is going to be a granny in January - sooo exciting!
To end a brilliant day I had a surprise visit from another friend L, who I haven't seen in ages either and she gave me a cool gift of a cake called 'Herman' who is a 'living' sourdough cake that you take care of and gradually 'feed' (add ingredients) then you split it into 4, bake one yourself and give 3 to 3 friends and it caries on! I thought it was such a cute idea and am going to lovingly care for Herman for the next 2 weeks until I can make him into a lovely cake : )

Little man has had a nasty shock of a night! I was talking to Z his childminder about the problems we had yesterday with him not going to sleep until 9/10 because the side of the cot is off and he can get out. She suggested that we put a stair gate across the doorway to his room - so we did!! He went to be just after 7 and finally stopped yelling at 8.15! I popped in once around 7.30 to encourage him to sleep and make his bed again, and retrieve 'dodo' (his dummy that he had launched into the landing) and left him to it. I popped back in at 8.15, gave him a cuddle and tucked him into bed and haven't heard a peep since : )
I felt sooo mean just letting him yell, but everyone said that it will be worth it in the end!!

Tomorrow is the BIG wedding!! Hubby's brother is getting married and little man is going to be a page boy and hubby is going to ush! Am sooo excited!!
Pictures will follow : )