Friday, 20 December 2013

Listography: top 5 personal achievements of 2013

Oooh another lovely Listography this week, achievements this time. (check out Kate takes 5, to view and share your own!)

1. My gorgeous Little Miss arrived 6th January! Even though she was late, she was my little miracle, as my hubby's family only ever have boys! Plus I managed on gas and air only, as I didn't have time for pethidine like I wanted, heehee!



2. I finally made my first pieces of jewellery - something I've wanted to do for ages :-)






3. I have finally found my spiritual self and am the happiest I've been in so long. I'm now a 'born again' (don't know if that's the right term?) Christian and feel so much more calm and at peace! Been especially important in recent troubled times! I'm looking forward to hopefully getting Confirmed some time in 2014!

(Ok, I'm struggling a bit to think of 2 more, might have to come back in a bit!)

4. I'm no longer afraid of the future!
Since leaving teaching back in 2010 / 2011 I have felt really lost, as it was my 'plan' for my future since I was 5! I was married, had Little man and had no clue where I was going, which was such a new experience it completely freaked me out! All of my life-long plans were either fulfilled or no longer applicable!
Due to some really hard times in the last month, (which I'll blog about soon), I have found my inner strength at last and am actually looking forward to the multitude of opportunities my future could hold!

5. I have finally started winning with my ongoing battle of severe depression and post-natal depression. (Will blog in more detail soon) but v long story short, my new meds are working brilliantly :-D Have finally started to feel like 'me' again!

Looking back, a strange mix of achievements, but at least I managed to achieve something ;-)




Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Listography - Oh I have missed you!!




The wonderful Kate over at Kate takes 5 has started her Listography going again! So so exciting!
This week she is being helped by older single mum and the theme is guilty pleasures! (take two!)

I wasn't blogging the first time this theme was shared, but even if you were, it's still a chance to have a look back and see if any have changed!
Don't forget to check out some of the other lists and maybe add your own!

So here we go, my top 5 guilty pleasures: (all images from google search)

1) Johnny Depp! Mmmmm...

I just think he's not only gorgeous, but such a great actor too! My favourite character he plays is Jack Sparrow, he just makes me laugh and for some weird reason I think he's yummy!! This guilty pleasure has caused slight embarrassment, as I follow a fan page on facebook and have had to cut down on the amount of yummy pictures I kept sharing, as I annoyed a few friends - woops! To be fair they were men, so perhaps they just don't understand, heehee! (even more secret, is sometimes I still post loads, but just to show on my own page, heehee!)

2) Nutella, eaten from the jar with a spoon!

3) Freshly baked treats! I'm really sneaky and have to try a cookie / cake/ whatever I've baked before anyone else! I justify it as quality testing ;-)

4) Spicy coated nut cracker thingies.
If you have a Co-op, that's where I found them. They're similar to Japanese rice cracker nuts, but way way better! I can eat a whole packet (or 2!) all to myself! They aren't huge packets, but I still hate sharing!

5) Ice cream! This is saved for when I'm feeling really rubbish! It depends on my mood as to which flavour I have; the top favourites at the moment are Ben and Jerry's Phish Food, Caramel Chew Chew or Karamel Sutra. 
These are usually devoured in one evening!! (V bad!) Only very occasionally can I restrain myself and save some for another day ;-)

So there you go, my guilty pleasures!
Off to have a look at some other lists :-)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Becoming a better mum

Where I have been so poorly lately, I have had time to take stock of the many, many, many things that I am not satisfied with in my life. (I am very good at this!)
I have started to look at key areas that I want to work at improving; my negative attitude, being a better mum, being a better wife, pulling my weight with household chores.
I am a great believer in learning from others. So I have signed up for a few different things to help me get started.

This post is about the start of my journey to becoming a better mum.

I have been doing lots of research and pinning tips on my 'kids: parenting tips' board on Pinterest (did I tell you I love Pinterest? Well, just in case I didn't, I love love LOVE Pinterest!)
I have been talking to friends and family, chatting about issues on Facebook etc. This has been really helpful and has also reassured me that I'm not alone! We are all facing similar things with our children and can support each other through each little difficulty!
From these great 'pools of knowledge' I have been trying a few things already:

Using 'listening ears'.
This works a lot better than asking Little Man things over and over and getting more and more annoyed when he doesn't respond! This tip came from Little Man's auntie and I am sooo grateful!
Now, when I want Little Man's attention, I ask him if he's got his Listening ears on (and sometimes we wait for him to turn them on :-) ) before I try and explain what I want him to do.
Yes, sometimes I still have to repeat myself, but I get a lot less stressed ;-)

A little attention is better than none!
A family friend pointed this out to me and it is so simple and works great!
As you know I struggle with ongoing depression and this can cause extreme fatigue and lack of motivation to do anything!
My friend pointed out that even though I can't do lots of thing with the kids, I can still do little things, even when I 'm curled on the sofa in my jammies! So simple, I couldn't believe I hadn't tried it before!
So now, Little Man and I have had great fun running cars all over my legs and the sofa; playing with his action figures, making music with whatever toys we can find at the time to bop, snuggling up watching movies or sharing books, all from the comfort of the sofa!
With Little Miss I can do lots of singing and rhymes with her sat on my lap. She adores rocking back and forth, so 'Row, row, row your boat' and 'See-saw' are firm favourites! I can also sit and hold her hands whilst she stands between my legs, usually rocking back and forth some more! It's even better when Little Man or mum join in the singing too ;-)
If I'm feeling a little better, or able to push myself, I play with the kids on the floor. We spend time doing puzzles or drawing, my favourites are playing with balloons, or our crazy dance sessions, - Little Man has some great moves ;-)
I'm also trying hard to play with Little Man in his play kitchen up in his bedroom when he asks. Today we made a 3 course meal for Tam the Tiger and Big white Bear! This included soup, followed by roasted toys and finally strawberries and custard!
So before when I would just say, 'I'm too tired / too ill to play' or 'Go and play with Grandad / Grannie / Daddy' I'm trying more and more to push myself and play little games myself! The best bit is I'm having fun too which helps improve my low mood :-)

The other thing I decided to do was to sign up for a parenting course over at Netmums
Parenting course logo
find details here

I'm now receiving e-mails with more great advice and tips to help me get better and better!
My 'homework' is to:
Try and praise everyone in my family; for the things they do and for just being themselves!
Create and complete a Kindness Chart. For this, we have to work together and look for all the kind and helpful things we are doing, and nominate each other to colour a section of the chart. When the chart is complete, we get a family treat! The thing that I really love about this idea is that it's about working together. There are no names on the chart, so it won't create competition or smug / defeated feelings.
My next e-mail on this course is discipline - the area I find the hardest to get right!

Next time I'll try and share the other web page I've joined up to, and how it's teaching me to Fly!

Monday, 11 November 2013

T is for Time to Change

Those of you who have followed my little blog for a while now will know about my depression and how it affects my life.
Things once again, have not being going very well.
It seems like I take one step forwards and five back. Every time I start to feel better, or more in control something happens and I'm back where I started.
Sometimes it feels like I'm trying to climb up a spiral slide that is covered in grease; sometimes there is a rope to help me with my struggle upward, sometimes the rope is just out of reach and other times it disappears completely. Or that I have this invisible switch in my head that detonates when I'm starting to do better, so that I'm plunged back into the darkness and self-loathing of before.
I really want to get better. To stop relying on mum and hubby to do the majority of things around the house and for the kids. Then this veil of guilt I am suffocating under might finally start to lift.
I just don't know how I am going to make the changes needed to achieve my goal.
I'm so up and down t the moment, it's like being on a horrible roller coaster - I want to get off now!
I'm going to try and write more on my blog, as it really does help to clear my head.
I've also found a new site (thanks to a wonderful friend over at I'm a sparkly unicorn!) called Time to Change.
Time to Change is all about encouraging people to talk about and challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. So I have taken the pledge.
I have no problem in sharing the ups and downs of my journey with depression. I just hope that more people will do the same. The more we talk and share the better! The hopefully people will start to understand more and change their out-dated beliefs and prejudices.
If you're a fellow sufferer, or know someone who suffers from mental illness, here's a big hug from me!

image from here


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

R is for reading

Wow, it's been a really long time since I posted, again!
Things have been really up and down with my depression (and the PND) but things seem to be on the up, so I thought I'd come and see my very neglected blog!

One of the bad things still bothering me with my depression is the terrible insomnia! I don't seem to be able to sleep before 4am and have therefore not been able to take Little Man to school in the mornings, for which I've been feeling really bad and guilty that hubby has been doing this school run. (I did manage it today though, after only 2 hours sleep!! Keep your fingers crossed I can keep it up!)
Anywho, where was I going with this... insomnia, right. I'm not one of those people who can just lie in bed, I get bored and very frustrated! Instead, I have been spending many nights devouring books on my Kindle!

I absolutely LOVE reading! It calms me and allows me to escape my crazy world for a while.
I enjoy reading a wide range of genres, from rom-coms to historical fiction, modern murder mysteries to the classics. Depending on how I feel (I always read to match my mood!) I will pretty much try anything!
I have my favourite authors of course, whose books I can read over and over. Jane Austen, for example, is who I turn to when things are really bad. Her novels are my comfort, her characters like old friends who I rely on to make me feel better, even for a little while!

What has been really great for me during my bad insomnia, is the fact that Kindle has hundreds of books to download for FREE!!! I now spend hours downloading books to pass the long hours awake! I've found new authors and genres that I wouldn't have tried ordinarily, if it weren't for the fact that they are free and if I really don't like them, then I can just delete them and find something else!
In the last couple of months I have read 28 books! I have now added the following to my 'have to read / can't wait to get another of their books list'



Mande Matthews - Norse fantasy writer
Eva Pohler - fantasy involving the Gods
Picture
image from here
Robert E. Keller - fantasy writer
Ethan Spier - science fiction thriller
Jean Webster - classics
Grimm brothers - fairy tales
Charlotte Bronte - classics
Anne Radcliffe - classics
M.G. Lewis - classics
Heather Horrocks - rom-com / easy reads
Gail McMillan - rom-com / easy reads
Diana Dempsey - rom-com / easy reads
Piper Shelly - rom-com / easy reads
Courtney Rice Gager - rom-com / easy reads
Veronica Henry - rom-com / easy reads

Christmas and birthdays will be vouchers, vouchers, vouchers from now on ;-)

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Dear Little Man...

Dear little man,
Well, I can't believe it, but another year has flown by and you are now 4!
A lot of things have changed over this year, here are just a few highlights I can remember at the moment (my memory isn't as good as it was!)

You've had a brilliant year at Pied Piper Pre-school! I still can't believe you were there a whole year!
You've had lovely teachers helping you to grow and progress. Some of the favourite things I have enjoyed were watching you be a shepherd in the Nativity, going on school trips with you to see the lambs at Rushall Farm in the spring and Beale Park in the summer and watching you in Sports Day!
You made some lovely friends and went to your first birthday parties this summer for Ellie (ice skating) and Georgia (disco).
From what you tell me, your favourite things have been playing with the play doh, playing with the cars and train sets and playing in the garden.
We all had great fun with the play sacks that you bought home, but the best by far was when Benjamin Bear came to stay the weekend:
You and Benjamin after a long day!

playing dress-up
We've had lots of fun this year with mummy's friends - going to each other's houses every Weds for lunch and play session with Jack, Matilda and Sara. With a few outings to the Lakes and 4 Kingdoms
4 kingdoms - on the slide
saying hello to the animals 

Also going out or having fun with your other friends Rosie and Skye! We've had some fun in the garden, a swim session and lots of trips to the Lakes!
with daddy, Skye, Ems and Dave feeding the ducks

I guess the biggest change this year has been the arrival of your baby sister back in January. You are an amazing big brother and adore Sienna already!
You love playing with her, giving her cuddles and singing to her if she's crying.
when she was a new baby

at Skye's birthday
Also Unkie Sy got married and you were the page boy and daddy was one of the best men








It really has been a wonderful year!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Right, the time has come - weight loss is on!!

So, I have been having lots of time to think about things - my life, plans etc and I have decided that today is the day - stage 'lose weight and get fit' is starting!!

Mum and I have just calculated our BMI (never ever want to do that again!!) and unsurprisingly we both come out v v v overweight!
From looking at the charts and trying my best (maths has never been a strong point for me, heehee!) I've worked out that we both need to lose about 7 stone to get down to our ideal weights! My ideal weight for my height is about 12 stone!
Now, at the moment that goal weight seems impossible! However, with trying to take small steps and lose a little each week, I am determined that it will be achievable!

We have just downloaded the NHS 12 week plan to help us get started - I am going to be a good girl and try and update my progress on here every week!
I am going to be v honest and hopefully that will keep me on track - I can't stand being this big anymore!

So here we go!

Week 1
Stats:
Weight = 19 stone 0 (120.7kg)
Height = 5ft 8  (172.7cm)
BMI = 40.47
Thoughts and Feeling: ARGH!!!!!

At the moment, I just need to remember that the last 6 months have been really hard with depression etc - leading to me not doing v much of anything + major comfort eating of v v v bad food ; )
So tomorrow is a new day, a new chapter and I am ready for it!

Wish us luck!!!



Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Things are on the up!

So, I have been quiet for a little bit again - well, not unusual for me ; ) but am finally starting to feel so much better about life and things in general!

On Monday I managed to get up early enough to go with Little man on a Pre-School trip to Beale Park! I was sooo proud of myself! We had a lovely time looking at the animals, then a train ride and a picnic finished the trip perfectly!
I seem to be managing, finally to get to sleep a lot earlier now : ) From falling asleep at any time from 4am - 7am to now around 2ish is fab! Which also allows me to get up earlier and be a 'proper mum' instead of having to rely on mum and hubby all the time. Fingers crossed this keeps on going, as I've had enough of insomnia now ; )

I finally managed to go to the weekly 'ladies what lunch' (with kiddies and babies too!) today - the first time in about 3 months!
It was sooo nice to catch up with my friends and see how much their kiddies have all grown! Also nice for Little man and Little Miss to play and have lots of cuddles!

I have decided that I am a 'Sun' person - I function better when the sun is shining! ; )
Everything seems possible now!
Maybe I'm the kind of person who needs the sun 365 days a year? - maybe I should try Australia / USA / Spain / (somewhere else hot!) 6 months of the year, then UK the other 6 months - I think I could cope with that ; )
I have been thinking for a little while that I have that seasonal dysfunction thingy S.A.D (plus the evil depression) as the winter months seem so much harder for me to cope with!
I'm seeing my doc on Friday, so might have a chat about it with her.

What else have I been up to?
Well, I managed to buy from one of the lovely crafty pages I follow on Facebook, some 'findings' towards my jewellery making project! I just need to save a bit more money for the wire / elastic and basic tools, then I can start creating : )
I am sooooo excited about this now! I am determined that my dream to own my own v v v small craft business is going to happen!! I can make lovely cards (though I need to have a massive sort through the resources and actually start making again!) I can make bags (still need a little more practise to give them an even more professional finish) and add jewellery, I think should make a good little lot of things to sell!

So there we go!
I'm one happy little person at the moment! : )

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Is that a speck of light I see at the end of this dark tunnel?

Life has been really pants lately :(
My depression has been spiralling out of control lately, hence the total lack of bloggs from me!
I have now been put on the maximum dose (50) of my meds and things are still not improving :(
I'm being referred back to the mental health unit to see how they can help - big bummer! The doc doesn't quite know what to do with me, as she doesn't want to do something like change my meds and make me even worse!

As things have been a little better today, I thought I'd share a couple of yummy piccies of my gorgeous kiddies, Little Miss is now 5 months and Little man will be 4 next month!! Where has the year gone??








 These were taken last month at their friend's birthday party :)

The other thing that I have decided to try and do (when I actually manage to be awake and alert enough!) is to try and make jewellery and some more of my cards.
I have some gorgeous beads that I bought from jellygiraffe on facebook and am just waiting to find a supplier of the tools and bits 'n' bobs I need to start! I've borrowed a few books from the library and am really quite excited!
So, if they don't look too bad, I may share some creations with you all ;)

Friday, 12 April 2013

S is for Snail Mail

You're probably going to think that this is really sad (and hey, that's fine!) but I love getting snail mail!
Obviously not the evil bills or annoying junk mail, but the lovely letters, cards and postcards from friends and family (and possibly others that I can't think of at the moment - oh wait, ones containing cheques would also be fine by me, heehee!)
The reason that I've started thinking about this is that I've just recently had my 31st birthday, and much as I loved getting all my facebook messages and texts, it was even nicer to have some birthday cards to actually open!
I think that this goes back to my childhood and my own love of writing; sending postcards from EVERY holiday I went on (even the mini ones!) or thank you letters and cards for whatever occasion!
I then loved getting post in return - postcards finding out where friends and family had been on holiday, special cards for birthdays, exams etc and the occasional letter!
What might be even weirder was the fact that me and some of my friends would write long letters to each other when we got home from school! You know the cliche of the teenager attached to the phone with her best friend talking for hours, even though they have spent the whole day together - well our version was writing letters to each other! They weren't your standard letter either, oh no! We had to use different colours in the letter and use funky stationary, to make it 'look' right too! (Ok, that does seem a little sad, heehee!)
I have a keepsake box which contains a stash of these letters! It also has a few special cards and letters I received when I was away at Uni. Every so often I get them out and spend and afternoon wandering down memory lane : )
The stash is ever growing too, as I keep all the thank yous I get from friends (for pressies we've given their kiddies) and special cards from my own kiddies and hubby - my first mother's day cards and anniversary cards are top ranking now!
I am hoping Little Man might pick up a little of this. His Godmummy (my best friend) is currently living in Australia and she has been sending him little postcards of places she's visited, plus some sharing Australian wildlife etc, so we have been choosing postcards and sending replies together! I've started him his own keepsake box and these postcards are now the start of his very own snail mail stash : ) (Oooh, that reminds me, I need to buy some more postcards as our supply is almost gone!)
Right, I'm off to dig out my stash, so I can have another wander, as it's been a while! (plus it's always good for a laugh!!)
Well, here's hoping that I'm not the only snail mail loving weirdo out there ; )




Saturday, 6 April 2013

Listograpy: 5 things that are better than One Direction

Oh how I have missed listography (is that really sad??)
I found one today from the lovely Kate from Kate Takes 5 and just had to join in!
Theme this time is 5 things that are better than One Direction (5 things I'd like my little ones to look forward to / experience in their life, that are better then One Direction!)

So here we go!

1. True love.
The unconditional kind that makes you feel needed, loved and special just for being you! I truly found my soul mate in my hubby and count my blessings every day he still sticks with me ;) He is my friend and lover all-in-one! I hope that my little ones find someone that makes them blissfully happy, and then can enjoy growing old together.

2. Happiness.
I rate happiness as one of my top priorities in life, and am so lucky to have experienced lots of things so far that have made me happy - teaching, crafting, playing the viola, reading, watching films and many more! I'd love my little ones find things that makes them happy, even if it is only for a short while, or something that continues a life time. Then they'll have good times to look back on, instead of a heap of regrets and 'I wish I had tried..' moments.

3. An amazing holiday.
I think everyone should have at least one amazing holiday in their lifetime (some may get more!!) Mine was def going to Cuba with my hubby! One day, hubby would love to go to New Zealand, I would love to learn to snowboard somewhere and finally, take a family holiday to Disney World, (I recon that they would be pretty amazing too!)

4. The big 'firsts'
First time they: have an alcoholic drink / drive their own car / get their own place to live /fall in love! I'm sure there are plenty more, but my mind has gone blank ;)

5. Their own family.
I can't express how much I love having my little family! From the minute I found out I was pregnant, to holding them asleep in my arms, to hearing the magical words 'I love you mummy!' - all soooo yummy!

So there you have it, my attempt!
Am off to have a look at some other lists now :)

B is for Baking

Unfortunately I've been poorly, again, so our Family Saturday didn't really happen last week :(
Today however, we did a bit of baking and made some smarties cookies (I found the recipe here on Jennifer's Little World) which turned out crispy, but a good taste, as Little Man squished them onto the baking tray, heehee!
everything ready

smarties shakers ;)


measuring sugar


helping daddy with syrup


greasing the tray - I think this was Little man's favourite bit!!


squished them down just a little ;)


ta da!!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Family Saturday

As part of my new beginnings and plan of all plans I 've had loads of ideas on how to spend more quality time with Aiden and Sienna, so I thought up 'Family Saturday'.
With my insomnia being quite bad recently, it's given me lots of thinking time!
I got thinking back to all the amazing things I did when I was a child - I still have no idea how my parents afforded it!! I would have an activity or club every day of the week, some free, some at school, but I was always busy.
The freebies were playing in the school orchestra and quartet, hockey club and helping at Robins Youth Club.
Then I had weekly dancing lessons (modern and tap). I played the violin and then changed to the viola, which I played in a weekly lesson, then at music school in Cromwell Strings and the Viola Group on Saturdays and finally for Berkshire String Training Orchestra (until in my last year, when I finally made it into Berkshire Youth Orchestra!). I tried the clarinet for a bit too! When I was in Primary school I did judo lessons and had swimming lessons in the summer holidays - all things which cost money that I'm almost certain my parents struggled at times to find, but never said so!

Anyway, it got me thinking about what we do for Aiden in particular, as Sienna's still a bit too little for lots of things ;) and I realised that he doesn't get enough quality time or activities in the week. He goes to gymnastics once a week and pre-school 3 sessions, but the rest of the time it's pretty much at home playing (alone, or with mum, dad, Dean or me) or watching the telly. As I've been struggling so much with my depression, I've found it really hard to find energy to play with Aiden and kept hearing myself saying 'I'm too tired at the moment,' or similar, which I hated!

Now that I'm better, Dean and I have agreed to have Saturdays as 'Family Day' I googled loads of local places we could visit (free and cheap!) and some crafty / baking things to do at home. Each Saturday we are going to choose something to do all together :) Once a month we are going to have one special activity that costs a bit more money, as a treat. I picked out 4 activities for March: baking biscuits and decorating them, going to the local Lakes, painting canvases to decorate Siennas room (we did the same for Aiden's room - we did one and then both sets of grandparents and uncles did one each as well) and our special trip is going to 'Coral Reef' which is a bit of a trek, but will be a great treat!
For our first official 'family Saturday', we got on our wellies and Aiden's waterproofs and took off for a walk round the Lakes. We had a brilliant time! We fed the ducks and swans - some of them got a little too close for my liking ;)

I'm keeping an eye on you swan!!

Typical isn't it, you say 'cheese' and
Aiden pulls a face like this!



 I'm having a go at photography, maybe with the end resulting in some lovely nature cards that I could sell??



Then I taught Aiden how to play 'Pooh Sticks' which I used to love playing with my grannie when I was little!
trying to spot where are sticks had got to!
We (well, Aiden and I!) then splashed in all the puddles we could find on our walk round the lake. I'm not sure who had more fun, Aiden or me, heehee!

 
Finally we then had a spot of lunch at the gorgeous cafe. Aiden also got to make some flowers in pots for grannie and nanny, as they were running a crafty activity session - only £1 per pot!
This is one of my favourite places to visit, as it can be totally free if you don't stop for lunch! Also, as we are sooo lucky to have such a beautiful nature reserve just down the road, it's almost criminal not to make the most of it ;)

I can't wait for next weeks fun, probably one of the home activites this time :)






Sunday, 3 March 2013

Plan of all plans!

Right, I have had a serious talk with myself - I do that quite a lot ; ) and I have decided that this is the day that everything needs to start!

I have great lists of my plans and never managed to get round to actually doing them (due to illness, depression being pants, being too tired etc etc!) but the time has come for a BIG change in attitude!
This is really important for me at the moment, as I feel that I am lacking focus and purpose in my life, and if I ever want to get back to doing part time work, I need to start getting things started!
It is also prompted by the unfortunate event that happened to Dean and I yesterday!
We decided to pop to Newbury for a few bits, when horror of all horrors, we were stood at the checkout in 'The Works' (I LOVE this shop!!) and Dean's card got refused, then mine did as well!! It was sooo embarrassing! I had to riffle through my wallet - no notes! Dean didn't have any either! Luckily we had just enough coins to cover the payment! When we then checked at the cashpoint (I was sure we had money, as I had checked my mobile for the latest message-update from the bank the previous evening), we were over our overdraft limit!! We then realised that we didn't have enough money to pay for the car parking ticket!! So, stranded in Newbury, with Sienna fast approaching the time for her next feed (which we didn't have) I started to have a mini panic! Luckily I thought to ring mum who transferred some money so we could get home! (I love internet banking even more now!)
When we got home we realised that our bank charges had taken us over our limit : ( so we spent last night sorting through finances (money manager is AMAZING !!) Hopefully we won't be having anymore money dramas next month!

So, today, I am finally going to get myself sorted.
Firstly, I am going to get my whiteboard fixed to the wall (we went and borrowed father-in-law's on way home last night!) so that I can get organising ; )
I am also going to make a page and track my progress, so that if I forget or start slipping back into old bad habits, I can be reminded each time I check my blog!

Wish me luck - I am going to need it! ; )

Friday, 1 March 2013

Self Injury Awareness Day

image from google images
Today, 1st March is SIAD - Self Injury Awareness Day (self harming)
I feel that like depression and many mental illnesses, self harming really isn't understood or talked about enough, so I thought I would be brave and share my story with you.
Only my mum, dean and a couple of close friends know that I struggle with self harming.
I think that for me it started when I was back in Secondary school, year 8 (I would have been about 12).
I have always been shy and an 'oddball' (never one of those pretty, popular girls!) and making friends was something that I found really hard to do. By the end of year 7, I was relieved to have a group of close friends in my tutor group, one of whom I had been friends with since I was about 5! That changed very quickly the following year, when one of the girls didn't like it when I chose to be different from the rest of them. Looking back it's now clear that she was the 'trend setter / leader' of our little group, as whatever she liked, we all liked. This was all fine until crime of all crimes, I didn't like her latest obsession - Take That! (funnily enough, now that they have re-formed, I quite like their newer music!! heehee!) Anyway, it seems such a stupid thing to start bullying someone about, but that's how it began! It was all they talked about and I got pretty bored of it - I was more into alternative music, heavily influenced by my older brother ; ) I also felt that it was really childish and just didn't understand why they went round talking non-stop Take That - they even started mimicking words like 'ickle' one of the band members said instead of 'little'. I became the outsider, and started to feel really miserable and alone - if they saw any of this, it didn't seem to worry them, or encourage any of them to try and include me more by varying the subject ; ) What made it worse was that the 'leader' (I'll call her 'S') didn't seem to like the fact that I refused to be a little sheep and follow her in this latest craze. She turned really nasty and started to pick on me terribly. My other friends just stood by and watched. Being at school became unbearable, she was in all my lessons, only at break times could I escape from her. I don't know how long it went on for, but I got to the stage where I didn't want to go to school any more. I was miserable.
Outside of school was fine though, I was always busy with different clubs every night. On Mondays, I was a helper at a youth club for Primary aged kids and had some really good friends, who were all adult helpers. I was always treated as an adult, and found it easy to get on with all of them. Of all of them, Steve was my good friend and I talked to him loads about my horrible situation.
Night times became bad as well, as I would dwell on everything. I started to attack my skin to ease the pain I felt inside. I would use my fingernails and pick at the skin on my breasts, often until I bled. I would then cry myself to sleep.
My mum knew something was wrong, but it took ages before I told her I was being bullied. She went and talked to my form tutors, who couldn't believe it. You see S was the 'perfect' person, everyone thought she was so lovely - she was quiet, hard working and looking at her, you wouldn't think she could bully someone either! However, they spoke to her and she left me alone. My mum explained (and my tutors agreed), that I had 'outgrown' my friends. It actually made sense, as I found them really juvenile and could relate better to my adult friends at youth club. I think I've always been 'old' for my age! I had the big school girl crushes at Primary school (I also started my period aged 10, which could account for a lot too! ; ) )
Eventually, I made some new friends and only had to ignore my old friends during lessons, which was a lot better. The ironic thing is that eventually, the original group of friends merged with my new friends one by one - they must have decided that they wanted to be different too!! Things were not the same as before, it wasn't mentioned, but I never forgot what they did to me.
The skin picking became a nightly ritual, but I didn't tell anyone about it. If times got more stressful, I did it even more. I would start picking at the top of my left arm as well. It became a kind of release, which I needed to escape the emotional scars S had left, that I couldn't deal with.
I think no one realised, as I only did it at night time in my room, and I only picked places that no one would see. My mum noticed eventually and used to try and tell me not to do it, but I couldn't stop. My now husband was the same.
A couple of years ago, after a really bad patch with my depression, I decided that as I was getting therapy, I would try and address my self harming. I told the doctor and showed him my scarred breasts. I had never, ever shown anyone but mum and dean (still haven't!) so it was a huge deal. He thought that my self harming was dermatitis artefacta (I had to look it up!) He explained that as I have been doing it for so long, I infect the skin where I picked and then hate what I see, so do it again and again - thus creating a vicious circle.  For a while I tried to stop, but I couldn't. Each time my babies were born I would try again as I was breast feeding, but the minute they went to bottles, I couldn't stop myself from starting again.
So now, I still have this need to pick at my skin at the end of every day. If I get really upset, or stressed, I do it even more. I hate the scars I have caused and the fact that it's become routine.
Now, you might wonder why I decided to share this? Well, I am no longer ashamed to talk about the fact that I have severe depression, so I figured that this was the next step. Having this SIA day to make others more aware and less judgemental, also spurred me onto actually writing about my experience.
I hope that some people will learn not to be so judgemental about people who self harm. We don't all do it for attention - it took me about 12 years before I could admit I had a problem, and tried to get help from my doctor! The only other people who know is my best friend and a friend with the same problem.

If anyone else out there suffers with SI, please know I feel your pain and am sending you loads of hugs, you're not alone xxx

Sunday, 17 February 2013

U is for Update!

Well, for my first post on the A-Z prompt challenge, I thought I would just share (if you haven't already noticed) that I have been updating my little blog. Mainly because I suddenly realised that the mini 'about me' didn't actually mention yet that I now have a 6 week old daughter! (bad me!)
So I thought I would have a big update of info, mainly my pages. Some have just gone; the '100 books in a year 2012' challenge - as I failed miserably and didn't want a visual reminder each time I looked at my blog, heehee ; ) Others have just been merged into a big 'all about me and my blog' page.
OK, I feel better now I've shared that ; )

Friday, 8 February 2013

What a difference a day makes!

Last night was another nightmare with Sienna. I didn't manage to do any of the feeds, mum did the 2 am one and hubby the 5.30 am one. I just lay on the bed sobbing and wishing that I was dead.
That's the worst thing about depression, the guilt. I feel terrible that I have to rely on family to do the things that I should be doing. I should be able to feed Sienna at any time, day or night. Every time I mention these feelings to mum and hubby, they just shrug it off. I don't think they really understand how bad it makes me feel, to be so useless and such a burden to everyone!
 Add to this, my horrible dreams have started to resurface again, I am once again haunted by my 'man in black'. He is the manifestation of my depression. A seemingly gorgeous, loving ex-boyfriend, who realises he has made a mistake and is sorry and wants me back. He professes everlasting love for all bystanders to see, but only I know that under that facade lurks an evil that wants to destroy me completely. So far, he has thrown me down stairs, pushed me out of a third storey window, hit and punched me, stabbed me and shot me in numerous dreams over the years. Only when I am starting to gain control of my depression again, do I manage to stand up to him and occasionally kick his arse!
Well, as of this afternoon, there's going to be a change in my dreams, it's time for me to kick arse again!

My hubby is amazing and after crying last night that I never do anything and that my existence is pointless, he only went and booked cinema tickets for me and mum to go and watch Les Miserable this afternoon (not his cup of tea, else I'm sure he would have come with me instead).
It was so brilliant and had the same effect that watching Eat, Love, Pray starting Julia Roberts had on me, funnily enough at another time when my depression was bad! It has just given me perspective and made everything seem so clear.
I am going to fight harder and not give up! I have made new plans that I want to achieve this year. I have decided that I want to learn to sew properly (to make clothes for me and my family) and to find a rewarding volunteer job, that would boost my rock-bottom self-esteem. At the moment, the idea of being responsible for anything fills me with dread - I don't think I will be any good at any job out there.

It doesn't help either, that every winter I get so ill (one bug after another, even with the flu jab!) that my depression goes 'ping' and I spiral into more illness. I then end up having so much time off work, that I know people see me as unreliable and probably wish they had never hired me. I hate letting people down all the time.
It also leaves me thinking that if I were to start looking for paid work again, who would want me? I wouldn't want to have someone working for me who is unreliable.Who has such a rubbish immune system, that they catch every bug and then are unable to tell you if they are going to be back at work in a day or a week, as their depression has kicked off as well.
I think I need some professional advice. Will have to get googling! Or, if you have any ideas, please share!
I'll keep you posted on how I'm doing, but I hope that watching Les Mis is the turning point I have been looking for.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Life is really hard at them moment

My depression is really not coping any more :(
Since the last few months of being pregnant, I have hardly had a good nights sleep and now that Sienna has joined us, it has got even worse.
For the first couple of weeks, when hubby was with me, it wasn't too bad and we were just about coping sharing the night feeds and changing her nappy, etc.  However, now that he's back at work (permanent night shift) I managed a few nights with the help of my mum, but now my depression seems to have decided that enough is enough and has gone 'ping'. My body seems to have an 'off' switch when it thinks that everything is too much, it shuts down and all I can do is sleep. I just can't cope with night feeds any more. I can manage up to about 3 am, but then the next feeds at around 4 and 8, I just can't manage at all :'( mum has been brilliant helping me and so has hubby, but I'm left feeling so guilty and worse about myself and how useless I am! I'm so exhausted that I struggle to get up and out of bed before 12, I have been in my jammies for the past 2-3 days as well! When hubby took the kiddies away for the day yesterday to give me a break, all I managed to do was sleep all day long :'(
My bad thoughts and worthless feeling have been growing rapidly lately. We are struggling for money, as hubby is the only one working at the moment, where I had to quit my job because of the problems I had during pregnancy. I think I'm in a really bad place at the moment, as whilst trying to think of ideas to help us make / save money, I considered suicide as a way of saving money - one less mouth to feed!
My family are all struggling with their own tiredness and depression (we all have depression in this house! Me, mum, dad and hubby!!) though mine is chemical, dad's issue based and mum and hubby more to do with the stress and situations going on at the moment. Poor hubby was in tears earlier, he hardly ever cries :( I just want to get back to being 'me' - I feel so lost and sad, bursting into tears at absolutely nothing.
The Health Visitor saw us on Thursday and suggested that I have my antidepressants upped from 30 to 40 for a while. I think that this might be a good idea, as I really need help.
On the plus side, when I am up during the day, I am managing to do quite a bit more than I did when I was pregnant! I can play with Aiden, sort Sienna's feeds and nappy changes, make lunch, help a little with the washing and dishwasher. I just wish I could do more!

I have one happy thing to share, a gorgeous family piccie, taken by my lovely friend Emerald:


Lets hope that I can get back to being more 'me' really soon!

Friday, 25 January 2013

My lovely family

As promised here are some piccies of my lovely little baby girl!
Sienna Mollie, the day she was born
having a lovely cuddle in hospital

my perfect family : )

wearing her first little outfit















So there you have my lovely little family!
I have also made a decision that I am going to start using peoples 'proper' names now. I have no idea why I've decided to change, but it feels right!
The only people it really affects is little man (Aiden) and hubby (Dean) - so you know who I'm talking about ; )

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Baby finally arrived!

Happy 2013! (I know only a tad late!!)

Oh wow, it really has been ages since I last blogged!!

Well, things have really changed around here now! Baby has finally arrived!
Sienna Mollie finally arrived on the 6th January, at 9:48am weighing 7lbs 12 1/2oz  : )
A girl, when all of hubby's family are boys!!
I managed a completely natural delivery, though only had gas and air!! I remember begging at one stage for some pethadine, only to be told that there wasn't time : (
She flew out! Established labour was only 5 hours, 10 hours from start to end : )
We also managed to raise £141 for the special baby unit, from our guess the name (Jamie or Sienna) and weight baby would be. It was even sweeter, as I guessed girl and all of hubby's family laughed at me and guessed boy - but I was right!! Heehee!

Little man absolutely adores her already - he sings to her, reads her stories, comforts her with 'shhh' and 'it's alright darling' if she gets upset and shares her toys with her! We've been really lucky!
We had a lovely first week home, just family and us, to help us all adjust to our new baby.
Hubby is now back at work, so mum is helping me with the night feeds - I am just so tired at the moment, but I know that it's normal!

Unfortunately I managed to get infected stitches (only 3 stitches this time, whereas I had 40 with Little man, and they got infected too!) and I also got really swollen legs, which I had to have checked at hospital, as they thought I might have DVT, thankfully I don't! I think that it's water retention, as I wake up after a sleep soaking wet : ( Things are on the mend though, so hopefully I'll be pain free before long : )

Life is starting to settle down now and I hope that we will have a nice little routine sorted before long!
Then I can start back at card making and maybe making some bags and get my little business sorted out this year! I have also decided to try and look for some part time work from around Easter time, giving me plenty of time to spend with my gorgeous little kids!
Sienna will now be my 'Little Miss' in future posts now : )

Pictures to follow : )