A SLOW WEEKEND


This weekend has been lovely. We really haven't done much, we didn't make any plans and just did what we felt like. For me, it feels like my weekend starts on a Friday. We're always all in a really good mood knowing the weekend is imminent and that when hubby finishes work at 4.30pm, we've got him to ourselves for a couple days. On Friday Indie had her first afternoon back at preschool and

On Friday afternoon I found myself with a spare half hour before we had to leave to take Indie to preschool. I thought I'd share a bit of an insight into the way my brain works, and why the 'little things' are infact huge steps forward on the way to recovery. I am a huge advocate for celebrating the little victories, and on Friday, well...

Anxiety:     ''No you can’t take both kids for a walk with your dog that dislikes other dogs, cats & postmen etc''

Anxiety:     ''It’s about to rain, it’ll be chaotic, oh the prams still in the car that hubbys took to work what a perfect excuse not to go''

Anxiety:     ''Harry will run into the road, the dog will try to eat a cat, you won’t have time before you have to leave to get Indie to preschool'' 

Anxiety:     ''You won’t be able to handle two kids and the dog...''

Me:      F' you anxiety

Cara 1 - Anxiety Nil




So yes, we went out for a walk and it was lovely. Harry held my hand ALL the way round, infact he was so well behaved that I let him run up the huge hill with Indie and have a bit of freedom. We didn't bump into any dogs, or cats, or postmen, and Indie was elated to be able to walk Pink herself.

Anxiety is an odd thing. I have no issue with walking Pink, or taking the  kids out on my own and quite often go out with all of them without batting an eye, but it's funny how one slight change in 'routine' or habit can trigger a huge anxiety attack, likely caused on Saturday by the simple fact that the pram wasn't at home and I'd usually have Harry in the pram just to make things easier for myself. Slowly but surely I'm getting there though.



On Saturday we decided to get up and out early (we actually left the house at 8.30am) and made our way into town for a browse with the kids. We had free reign of pretty much all shops as they were empty & were welcomed into Lush to get Indie her first bath bomb by lovely staff who got stuck in by demoing anything & everything Indie liked the look of. She was covered in gold glitter & jelly bath bomb and ended up leaving with her very own diamond bath bomb ‘the experimenter’. I’ll be honest in saying the smell of everything gave me a headache & wasn’t for me (unpopular opinion I know) but the smile on Indies face when she dropped her bath bomb in the water was priceless.




On Sunday we had a really lovely slow day. We popped out to get some fresh bread (and a huge Lemon Tart may have accidentally on purpose fallen into our basket). We made the house a mess and then tidied it up again. We dozed on the sofa and snuggled under blankets and generally just enjoyed each others company.




Looking forward into the week ahead, it's the first week back to proper routine following Indie returning to preschool after the Christmas break. Tomorrow is her first full day back and I haven't made any plans in the hope that I can see where the day takes me, and Harry! I spent a little longer doing my 'evening clean-up' tonight so that I really don't have much to do tomorrow and can enjoy the morning with the kids before Indie's off to preschool. 

On Tuesday I've made plans to see my cousin and her little boy. I haven't seen my cousin since my wedding almost five years ago and whilst I'd thought about asking her if she fancied a catch up, anxiety has kind of kept me from committing to any plans. So I'm glad I'm making steps in the right direction and I'm looking forward to getting back into routine and making new plans too.

Little victories!






EBBS AND FLOWS



It's been a long time since I've written a blog post. A long time since I've wanted to and I think the only way to describe the way I've been feeling about it is indifferent. I started my blog a few years ago as a little online diary and it did progress into something that wasn't it's intended purpose. I felt a little pressured to sugar coat what I was writing and 'polish' it for want of a better word.

It's no secret that I struggle with my mental health. Whilst I've always been pretty transparent with how I'm feeling and what's going on in my head, I've always felt a little restrained in what I can and can't say for fear of 'putting off' blog readers. After a long time away from blogging I've decided to take it back to basics and just write for me. I find writing my thoughts down so therapeutic and I want to do this for me now.

Gone are the polished posts and header pages, gone are the badges and links. I'm going to be writing about anything and everything I feel like and I'm doing it for me.

Lately I feel like my mental health can only be described as presenting itself in ebbs and flows. I reach peak happiness and feel elated, motivated and inspired. I feel confident and proud of myself, for my achievements and feel so sure of myself. The trouble is I can go to bed feeling great, and wake up feeling totally detached and in limbo, it's crazy and often something I find myself baffled with. It's like I hit the ground with an almighty thump and nothing has caused it. Then begins the vicious cycle of me blaming myself for feeling this way, then convincing myself I'm doing rubbish and failing. Mental health really is quite crap some days.

Anyway lately my coping method has been to really focus on the positive as much as I can, and to embrace the little achievements that I make. It's obviously not a cure to days when I feel low, but it certainly helps to prolong a period of good mental health.

Lately I've been kicking my anxiety's ass. I've been faced with a lot of situations in which I have had to question whether it's something I've wanted to avoid, or if its something that I'm letting anxious thoughts make excuses for. More recently I feel like I 'm making marked improvements and it's feeling good.

I think I'll finish this post with a couple of things I feel proud of lately, in no particular order.


On the run up to Christmas me, hubby and the kids were walking into Tesco when we realised that Santa was visiting. We hadn't seen Santa before as Indie isn't too keen on strangers so it had never been a priority but on this particular day she was ecstatic that she has spotted Santa through a gap in his grotto doorway. She asked if we could go and meet him and we agreed to go once we had finished the shopping. I'll be honest in saying for a split second I hoped that she'd forget on the way round and we would leave and nothing more would be said. But as we walked past the grotto about five seconds after I had said 'Ok darling maybe once we've finished our shopping', I turned the trolley around and told Indie we would go in now. So we queued up and I took both kids in on my own to meet Santa. That might not seem like a bit deal but honestly my social anxiety is deep rooted. I used to drive my dad mental when I was younger and wouldn't go ANYWHERE on my own, and would avoid social interaction with strangers or new places as much as possible. But on this day, I made my little girls day. I did it for her. Huge goal for me, and photo to prove that we did it! Also, I think I was happier than the kids.






Another thing again that I feel super proud of lately is another social anxiety issue that I've 'overcome' for Indie. A few weeks ago one of her friends from preschools' mum asked if we had had an invite to her daughters birthday party. We hadn't and it turns out the preschool misplaced them and a couple days went by where I didn't bother to ask the mum for the date or time of the birthday party. Similar to the Santa's grotto, I initially hoped Indie would forget and pushed it to the back of my mind. A few days later whilst dropping Indie to preschool I decided that Indie deserved to have this experience (her first birthday party that wasn't for her, or a family member). I walked up to the girls mum and asked for the date and time of the birthday and told her Indie would be there. A couple days later we went. I turned up at an address that I didn't know, to take Indie to her first friends birthday party where I had no clue what to expect, and didn't actually know anyone there aside from saying a quick hello at preschool drop off. I can't tell you how proud I was of myself. I want nothing more in life than for my kids to be happy and experience all of these things. I will continue to push myself and continue to kick my anxieties ass for my children.

Today feels like a good day.


HARRY IS ONE


A few weeks ago (22nd March) our little boy turned ONE! I am still trying to process how my little bundle of joy is now a walking, talking babbling little man.


Harry is a little monkey and constantly tries his luck. He is very head strong and has a very cheeky personality. 

He currently naps twice a day; once in the morning for about half an hour, and again after dinner for an hour or so. His bedtime is at 6pm and he settles himself with his dummy and Badger and is asleep within minutes. He sleeps right through the night although because of very noisy neighbours we have to play a white noise track all night. He sleeps until 6.30-7am and I feel so lucky that he does, especially after him hating sleep for the first 8 months!

We have lost count at how many haircuts he has had and he seems to be growing out of clothes super fast. He's in 18-24 month clothing at the moment and we chose his first shoes on his birthday. He is a size 5 (a size which Indie was at 2 and a half years old!).

He can say mum, dad, grandad, here you go, golly, gobble. I feel he is very clever with his actions and what he seems to understand and do, and whilst I often worry that his vocabulary is quite limited, I'm reassured when I see how well he can interact and communicate.

His favourite teddy is his Badger and he is really attached to it. He isn't dependent on a dummy although we do give it to him at nap time and at bedtime. 

He doesn't have a bottle anymore but has two cups of milk from a straw type cup, one after his afternoon nap and one again before bedtime. He has no trouble with eating and we have yet to find a single food that he dislikes. He loves his fruit and would happily eat bananas and grapes all day long. His favourite sweet treat are Oreo thins. He was given one a few weeks ago and now he gets shouty if he sees a pack! 

I have said before many times that I didn't even imagine myself with a son, but now I really can't ever imagine my life without him. 


WHY I HAVEN'T BLOGGED IN A WHILE

As I write this I'm sat eating a massive Galaxy Easter egg in my pyjamas and I am struggling to write. You might have noticed I've been a bit MIA on the whole blogging front for a while and so I thought I'd put into words some of the thoughts and reasonings that have been filling my brain.

A few months ago Post-Natal Depression was really getting me down, and my anxiety was at an all time high. I felt like I didn't have much motivation to do anything, especially things for myself. I did my 'duties' as a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister, but I felt as though I was just plodding along; like I wasn't fully in control of my life and that I was just going with the flow. I lost interest in most things, things that I used to love doing, and even when I felt motivated to do something I feel as though my brain was stopping me from doing anything that might bring me joy.

My doctor diagnosed me with Generalised Anxiety Disorder and my medication was switched and increased. I have been having regular meetings with a Physcotherapist and have been making huge improvements. She is tackling my anxiety in two different ways and we're starting with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (changing thoughts and behaviours). I have found it really, really helpful. I feel as though it's helping me to understand exactly where I am going wrong, even where I would previously see no obvious triggers or behaviour. As a result of the CBT and in particular 'Behaviour Experiements' I have been really challenging myself and in turn feeling proud and I think that is really helping with the depression.

Over the past couple of months I've been really focusing on myself; my happiness, who I am and what I want, what I like and what fulfils me. I have tried to live more in the moment, and be the parent I want to be. I haven't blogged because I've been spending time really focusing on my mental health and doing things that really fulfil me.



Ive always blogged as a hobby as I love writing, but I do feel that over previous months I was becoming a bit consumed with technology, social media and my blog and was using it to replace interactions and responsibilities in my 'real' life. It started to replace the side of me that loves being outdoors and exploring, that loves to interact with people I love face to face and that strives to make happy memories.

I've spent the last few months trying to focus on making my life more fulfilling, for myself, and for my family. I'm hoping to make some time every few days to blog as I have always found it theraputic and it's something that brings me joy. So keep your eye out for some more posts soon. I'll leave you with a few of my favourite memories from the past couple of weeks.





















INDIE'S 3RD BIRTHDAY


On Saturday we celebrated Indie's 3rd birthday. I cannot believe that our little girl is 3 already, I feel like time has just slipped away. We had a lovely day. Indie wanted a Peppa Pig party for her birthday and so that is what she got. In the morning after breakfast we did some painting and then family visited. That afternoon she had a lovely party with all of her friends and family and it was lovely to see her so happy. I thought I'd share a few of my favourite photos from the day. 








Someones got her Daddys frown, look at them...




Probably the most spectacular photobomb...





She had a lovely time and the next morning we went for a lovely all-you-can-eat breakfast with my Dad and his partner (Indie's 2 favourite people). We ate our body weight in food and it was the perfect end to Indie's birthday weekend. 

INDIE BAKING WITH HER DADDY

Lately to have some one on one time with her Daddy, Indie has been doing some baking. Usually they would go out to the park or do something outdoorsy but as it's been raining and cold lately and both of the kids have been a bit poorly they've started baking and it has been lovely.

The first time they made a loaf of bread and it was delicious. Indie was pretty proud.



Next they baked some Flapjack (daddy let her lick the golden syrup off the spoon, eek) and also they made some Chocolate Chip Cookies. Needless to say they didn't last long in this house.




This weekend I think they're going to be baking some Scones. I can't wait to eat them. Must'nt forget to buy jam and clotted cream!

HARRY AT TEN MONTHS

It's been a while since I've posted so I didn't actually do an update for Harry at 9 months. The past couple months have been filled with poorly kids, a teething Harry and an exhasted mummy hence the blog silence. 

Anyway, I feel that Harry has come on in leaps and bounds, quite literally. At the begining of January at 9 months old Harry learnt to walk! He started with a few steps here and there and within a week he was walking everywhere he went. It amazes me how much these clever little humans can learn in such a short space of time. 



He really is growing so fast. He's quite big for his age and always has been but it does seem like his growth is starting to slow down a bit now thankfully. We went and had his feet measured last week and he is a size 5. We were told to come back in a few weeks for shoes as his feet are still quite chunky and they said within a few more weeks of walking they should flatten out a little. I can't wait to get his first shoes.


In terms of eating Harry is well and truly not fussy. He will eat anything but his favourite snacks are blueberries and small oranges. He also has a bit of a thing for Pork & Apple Casserole, he usually polishes off two portions. 

He has mastered sleeping now thankfully and after 8 months of sleepless nights he is a pro. He goes to bed every night at 6pm and sleeps until 6-7am. He tends to have a short nap at 8am and another after his lunch which usually lasts around an hour. Sometimes he will also have a nap late afternoon depending on the length of his first two naps.


He has recently started playing peekaboo behind objects and is very clever at demanding attention. If he realises mummy is busy and not looking at him he will let it be known that he wants some attention. He likes to sneak into the cupboard and stack tins of baked beans on top of one another and since he's teething really badly at the moment I've been letting him do it. He is a cheeky little monkey. 



At the end of next month my little man turns 1 and I have no idea where the time has gone!