Wednesday, 29 February 2012

I'm so dizzy...

... that song is in your head now, isn't it!!

I am feeling very low on energy blog-wise this week.  We've all been ill yet again, with some weird cold/virus.  Strange symptoms.  Mainly we're all really achy and lethargic.  Ethan appears to be on the mend now and his very happy to be feeling better.. trouble is, I'm a few days behind him, so whilst he's feeling better, I'm feeling worse.  Hubby is somewhere in between.

The most annoying and worst symptom I have at the moment is a dizzy feeling.  It's kinda like when you've been on a boat for a while and get off but feel like you're still moving for a while afterwards.  I feel like I'm swaying all the time.  It's quite disconcerting and distracting, and actually, quite draining!

 Look! We're dizzy!

I'm not too concerned about it... My gut instinct is that it's a virus or inner ear infection type thing (though I have no pain).  If it's still here in a few days I'll head to the Drs but I'm not one for rushing there.. plus I was there last week with the anxiety!

Talking of anxiety, my feelings at the moment are still along the lines of carrying on without medication and getting on a waiting list for CBT.  I haven't actually got around to writing down my feelings each day but I have been taking note in my head of how I feel each day, at different times etc.  I think what gets me stressed is when we have to do something.. whether it's getting the food shopping done or getting to playgroup on time, those are the things that cause me anxiety.. and it's really silly.  There is no need for me to be so anxious about those things.  It doesn't matter if we don't get to playgroup on time.  It doesn't matter if the food shopping is a day late.  Yes, we'll be low on things, but there's plenty of stuff in the house we could easily make do with.. and as for the housework. Well, I'm tempted to take a week off vaccing and cleaning the bathroom just to see what happens!! Eeeek! Will it be the end of the world? Should I take back the power?

Well... I'm pretty done in... I want to post every day, but it's not easy at the moment.

I'll try to make my next blog post less blah and more yay!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Winter Essentials

Trawling through the photographs taken over this winter (2011-12) there are two things that really stand out.  Ethan's outdoor gear.  As we've all been poorly again recently and I've not taken that many photos over the last week and Ethan hasn't worn anything that remarkable or exciting.  So, I thought for Trendy Toddler Tuesday today I'd talk about something else.

Ethan has two staples in his wardrobe this winter.  A gorgeous little fleecy coat/jacket and an exceptionally cute hat.  He has other hats and coats, but these are the ones he wears the most.

Hat : H&M (12-18 months but still fits, bought 2nd hand via eBay)

Jacket/Coat : Sam & Jo (bought in TKMaxx for £15)

If you'd like to see what the other Trendy Toddlers are wearing, why not check out Little M's blog over at Mummy's Busy World.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Magpie Monday - Duplo

Just a quick post today as Ethan is poorly and we're all a little low on sleep.. so I don't have long to type this up, or much energy!

Recently Ethan has got into Duplo.  Whenever we visit his Grandparents (Pete's parents) he'd ask to play with their collection of Duplo (Pete's and his siblings Duplo).  Ethan had a little of his own that he was given a couple of Christmases ago, but he hadn't shown much interest in it before.  Suddenly though, he wanted to play with it. The trouble was, there wasn't really enough to make anything much.  So... I found myself trawling eBay for some Duplo bargains.  It's quite pricey brand new! (and I rather like the older stuff).

I've now bought him two lots of Duplo on eBay that in total have probably cost me around £10.  Not really really cheap, but Duplo seems to hold it's value quite well.  Ethan now has a lot more to play with and gets it out every single day.  He loves making towers, castles, and high chairs (?!) most of all.

Don't forget to hop over to MissieLizzie's blog to see what
everyone else has linked up for Magpie Monday!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

#Sun Fun

It's Sunday, so it's time for some funny.  This is an oldie.  Sometimes, hubby and I make a film together.  As you do. No, you dirty sod, not that kind of film!  This is one we made in 2007 (yikes, 5 years ago!).  Hope you enjoy it, and maybe even chuckle a little.

Don't forget to go over to Actually Mummy's blog (she's hosting this week) to see all the others who've linked up for #sunfun.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 25 February 2012


Hello Weekend fiends!  It's Sat Cap time!  My pic is below, leave a caption in the comments box if you fancy, then pop along to Mammasaurus land to see what everyone else has linked up!

Thanks for taking a look!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Fashion Friday

So.. for now at least, my meme "I'll show you mine..." is no more.  If people want it back then maybe it will reappear at sometime, but I feel I gave it a good shot.  Five weeks, and as the weeks went by, less people were getting involved, not more.  I still like the concept, but I think perhaps it's quite an involved meme to host on a weekly basis.  Perhaps I could bring it back in the future on a monthly basis.  We'll see.

"I'll show you mine.." was a good learning experience though.  It was interesting starting up a meme, trying to get it out there, to encourage people to join in without (hopefully) harassing them.  It made me think a bit more about having a purpose to each of my blog posts instead of a non-directional rant.  Also, it was nice having a topic to blog about each week!  So.. I'm taking that and running with it.  I'm not starting up another meme just yet, but I'm going to start something on my blog and take it from there.  Basically, every Friday, I'm going to centre my posts around fashion and style, both for Mums and children.  It's something I enjoy, so why not!?

This Friday I'm going to talk about boots.

I love shoes.  Most women do.  But out of all footwear, I love the boot the most.  I am always on the look out for the perfect boot.  Sometimes I think I have finally found it, but end up encountering some sort of problem.. it's not as comfortable as I thought it would be, or it wears down to quickly.  Or doesn't go with enough outfits (flexible footwear is essential to a Mum's wardrobe I feel).

The kind of boot I lust over the most is the calf length brown leather variety.  Flat sole, or slight (very slight) heel.  I need to be able to walk for hours in my footwear, comfortably.

As yet, I still haven't fount this boot.  It must exist out there somewhere? I have lots of boots that I love and many that I like but don't always feel 100% happy in.  For example, there are my Art boots.  I love these boots a lot.  And they are more comfortable than you might think.. but by the end of the day, my legs and feet to ache a little.. and they aren't flat. Sometimes I want a boot that is flat for a different look.

It's not the greatest shot of these boots, I'll grant, but it's the best I have!

Then, there are my brown cowboy-esq boots. These are by Firetrap.  Lovely and comfy.  Great for walking all day in.  Go with all colours.  But they are somewhere between above ankle-mid calf hight with, I feel, isn't the most attractive length of boot.  So although they are nice boots, they don't always fill me with body confidence.  If I'm having a low day, I probably won't wear these.

After these two "sensible" types of boots, I've got my Uggs (I know they are a bit "everywhere" and lots of people don't like them now, but I love mine.  They are comfort boots).  After those come my more unusual boots, most of which are Sugar boots.  They are great fun, but won't work with every type of outfit.  I've got ones with bird & owl prints on them, and ones with floral designs.  These will give you an example!

So.. you can see, I have plenty of pairs to choose from... But I still don't own "the ones".  I'm on the hunt.  Anyone got any recommendations?  I quite like the look of these so far:

There's not too much out there at the moment making me want to take those boots a walkin'..

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Anxiety.. again!

Earlier this week I posted on my blog at Direct2Mum about anxiety and my concerns that mine is getting worse.

Since then I've had my Doctors appointment.  There was no real definite outcome from my appointment but strangely I do feel better.  I think it's just from having talked about how I've been feeling, both to a professional and to a few friends (and hubby).  As I suspected, there are four options for me.

1) Do nothing.
2) Take medication
3) Have counselling/CBT
4) Take medication alongside CBT

I'm not sure which way I'm leaning yet.  As I said, since my appointment I have been feeling better.. Perhaps it's just the knowledge that I do have choices.  I am much more aware of myself and my mental state these days and I know I will never let myself get into the messes I've been in before.  I don't just have to "let myself" slide from anxiety into paranoia and depression and into a state in which I cannot function.  I know the signs.  This is a powerful situation.

I think in the very least I will get myself put onto a waiting list for some CBT because I'm sure it will be of benefit to me.  I think I would benefit with some sort of re-brain-training so that I don't feel compelled to make sure the house is as tidy as possible before leaving it.  I can leave toys lying around these days, that's not so bad, but I'm really funny about making sure washing up is done straight away.  What exactly is it I think is going to happen?  The tidy police will pop round whilst I'm out and mark me down for a couple of dishes i the sink?  I don't want to be untidy,  but I would like to be more relaxed about leaving things so that we can leave the house in time.  So often we turn up late or on the cusp of late for groups/crèche sessions etc. because I've rushed to get as many things done as possible before leaving the house.  It's silly and it creates unnecessary stress and anxiety.  I'm sure it can't be doing Ethan any good?

I will update again soon, but for now I'm going to make a note in a diary of how I'm feeling each day so I get an accurate idea of how often I'm feeling anxious.  If I feel bad again I'll get back to the Drs pronto.  I'll get myself on that CBT waiting list.

Anyone out there with CBT experience?  Been through it?  Know about it?  Do you think it can help?  Have you got the same issues I do?  I'd be glad to hear from anyone else who feels like this..

Thoughts on anxiety..

Posted over at Direct2Mum this week.. Take a look if you fancy:

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The things toddlers say..

I was talking with a friend this week about the funny stuff out children say... They really do! We only have to look at Actually Mummy's blog which is full of amusing childish tidbits.

Now Ethan plays more independently I'm always spending time hiding behind door frames trying to listen in to his amusing conversations. I suppose he's practicing things he's heard or things I've said to him.

I thought I'd share a few gems.

Misspronunciations, misunderstandings, Ethanisms and made up words:

Toasticles: toast crumbs
Windmilks: windmills
Christmas: crisps
A-pot-of-tea: tea in a sippy cup
Bath Juice: a delicious drink to be had in the bath (bath water in a stacking cup)

Overheard conversations:

"Oh no! The sky is falling down! Oh no! Oh no! The sky's falling down and then our house will fall down and my trains fall down and the camera falls down and it's broken. Then Mummy and Daddy fall down and say "upsy daisy!"

"Ethan wakes up and hears fireworks! Boom! Crash! Mummy comes in and says "shhhhhh, go to sleep, it's still night night, Daddy is asleep! Shhhhhhh" Mummy says people excited. Fireworks. Boooom, crash, bang!"

"No dolly! That's mines cot! Go away dolly. I don't like you!"

"Our car! Our car! Oh no, our car. Horses will eat you our car. And I say NO! NO HORSES! DON'T EAT OUR CAR. Naughty horses!"

I'm sure there are many more examples of this, but I can't think of them just now.. I think I'll have to start jotting them down in a notepad.

What little gems have yours come out with? The overheard conversations are always my favourite because Ethan has got to the stage where he does different voices for people which always cracks me up. Most of his conversations involve fireworks though. He is obsessed with them...

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Retrospective Trendy

Ahhh, I do love a good Trendy Toddler Tuesday link up with Very Busy Mama and her gorgeous Little M.  This meme always lifts my spirits.  I love sharing what Ethan has been wearing and seeing what the other cool toddlers have been strutting around in.

This week we've got more retro clothing, but also some modern numbers with a retro feel.

Dungarees - Little Rascals
Top - Plastisock
Hat - Hjorn Horth 
Slippers - H&M

Ethan's just having a cuddle with Daddy here - get out of the shot Daddy! This is supposed to be about Ethan.. honestly!  Personally, I adore these dungarees.  These have been worn by quite a few members of our family now.  They were first worn by my cousins in the early 70s and passed on to my Mum who put me in them followed by my brother.  They do show wear and tear but considering that Ethan is at least the 5th child to have worn them and considering they are 40 years old, it's not surprising!!  They still feel comfy and Ethan always seems happy to wear them.  The label inside reads "Little Rascals, Canada".  I don't know if they still exist?  My Google search has been inconclusive so far..

Ethan's other items of clothing are modern but I feel have a retro feel to them.

I love this top by Plastisock and Ethan often asks to wear it.  It's bright and fun to wear.  Has lots of pink on it, but it's not girly.

Don't forget to go and see what the other funky toddlers have been rocking!

Monday, 20 February 2012

This week baby I promise...

This week, I have an important promise to make to Ethan.

This week baby I promise... not to loose my temper at you when we're late, because more often than not it's my fault we're running late.  Not yours.  I must try not to take things out of you.  I need to manage my time better.  Yes, it's lovely if I've managed to clean the bathroom and do the washing up before we leave the house at 9:45am but not if it makes us run late and results in my shouting at you when you won't get into the buggy quickly enough.

This week and from now on I will aim to manage time better and organise tasks in a more realistic fashion.  I don't want to turn into some terrifying overlord!

Don't forget to check what everyone else is promising over at MumofOne's fabby blog.

Magpie Monday - duffle coat

When I posted my Trendy Toddler Tuesday entry last week, I received a comment from missielizzie in which she mentioned her linky "Magpie Monday".  I hadn't heard of Magpie Monday before, so of course I was intrigued. It is just up my street.  All I have to do is link up something I've bought second hand.  Not hard for me.. a great deal of what I buy is second hand.

So.. this is my first link up for Magpie Monday and today I'm going to feature my gorgeous yellow duffle coat.

I love this coat.  I bought it on eBay.. yikes. I've just checked the email! Two years ago now!!  It wasn't the most barginous coat I've ever bought, set me back just under £15 but that's still not bad.  Especially as it's been worn for two years now and I'm not bored of it yet!

I think this must have been the coat's first outing- with me anyway!  1st April 2010.

This coat always brightens my mood and receives a lot of compliments.  Also, it's fitted which I love in a duffle coat - they are often quite baggy and I'm not very big height wise.  I hate a coat that swamps me.  Another plus point?  It's washable.  A huge plus when you're carrying around a muddy toddler.  Especially as it's a light coloured coat!

A fantastic second hand bargain that I still love.  The best kind of shopping!

Pop over to see what everyone else is linking up!

Me and My Shadow

Sunday, 19 February 2012

#SunFun - Ginfluenced Dance - Little Brown Jug

So... I had a little drinkie or two and this happened:

Have a happy Sunday laugh on me! Oh, and don't forget to head over to see what else is being linked up on Mammasaurus's blog for #Sunfun!

Sunday Funny

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The mp3 shuffle game - let's go again!

Seasiderinthecity started this up (after being inspired by the Radio One breakfast show a few weeks back.  It's really simple but lots of fun.  All you have to do is grab your mp3 player and stick it on shuffle then blog about the first 5 songs that come on - and now cheating!  If something embarrassing comes up, then it's more amusing really!

I put my ipod on shuffle in the car this afternoon and these are the first 5 songs that played - in this order:

1) Royksop - Vision One - from their album Junior.  A fab album track from an excellent album.  I find this one to be very reminiscent of The Virgin Suicides soundtrack by Air.  This one doesn't have a video being an album track, but it is on youtube..

2) You don't sparkle (in my eyes) - My Life Story.  My fave band.  And one of their best songs..

3) Road Rage - Catatonia.  Ah, now this one reminds hubby and I of being teenagers...

4) Moneybox - Eliza Doolittle.  Not a bad song.  Nothing amazing, but easy to listen to.

5) Digital Love - Daft Punk.  I love Daft Punk.  They ROCK, ROBOT ROCK!  This is a total classic from (in my opinion) their best album.  Used to get ready to go out whilst listening to this loudly in my room when I was 17/18.  Ahhh, the good old days.  I'd be bopping around, drinking vodka and gin and putting on make up.  Fun!

So, that's what turned up on mine.  Nothing embarrassing!  Amazing really.. Why don't you do the same with yours and blog about it? I'm off to see if I can find what other people have been listening too....



Sat cap, sat cap! If you were a cap, I'd wear you on my head... Sorry. I'm mad.  It's Saturday, it's caption day, of course!  Link up with the gin soaked Mammasaurus ;-D and see what everyone else wants you to caption!

Have fun!

Thanks for dropping by :) x

Friday, 17 February 2012 much is too much?

So, I'm trawling through my unread emails and I find one from babycentre who I signed up with when I was pregnant.  It's one of their monthly updates, this time its 31 months.  Yikes, how time has flown... I click on it and have a little read.  When I was pregnant and Ethan was a newborn, the updates were weekly and I used to find them very useful and informative.  These days, I often don't even bother reading them.  I wish today was one of those times... I ended up clicking on this link and now I feel like a terrible Mummy.

I probably shouldn't be sharing that link, because chances are some of you will now click on it and end up feeling as I do.  So, maybe don't click and let me sum it up for you.

It's about TV watching habits and how much TV toddlers should be allowed to watch.  They are recommending an hour of TV a day or less for the 2-3 years age group, and I quote "even that amount is a lot for an active toddler".  Oh.  Oh dear.  

We were stuck in on Tuesday this week, waiting in for someone from Virgin to come and set us up with Tivo/phone/internet (ironic, non?).  Ethan has a stinking cold.  It's cold and not very inviting outside.  He doesn't want to draw or even be read to all that much at the moment.  He barely wants to ride his bike.  I feel so ashamed to admit this but I reckon he must have watched about 5 hours of TV that day.  I hang my head in shame.

I think that on a good day he watches 1-2 hours.  I must admit that I do try to put recorded programs on, not just stick the cbeebies chanel on.  But all the same.. Am I subjecting him to too much, or is this just a case of the old inferiority complexes/anxieties cropping up?

When it's cold outside and we're ill, neither of us feel up to doing much.  Ethan has now had 5 colds since Christmas.  He hasn't been himself for weeks.  He's ok.  Not terribly ill, but just doesn't feel like doing much.  I've had 4 of these colds.  He's waking up quite a few nights a week and we are lacking in energy at the moment.  It's just too darn easy to turn that TV on, even if it's just a bit of extra company for the both of us!  I know it'll be different in the summer.. we'll be out in the garden most of the time, I'm sure.  But for now, that TV is one hell of a friend.

I feel like I am failing though :-(

How much TV do you honestly think your little one/s watch a day?

As it's Friday, I'm linking this post up with Blow Your Own Blog-Horn over at Mummy's Little Monkey - she has a fab blog, why not check it out? 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

I'll show you mine... favourite pieces of jewellery.

It's Thursday and it's time for another "I'll show you mine.. if you show me yours!".

This week I want to see your favourite item/s of jewellery.  That's all you have to do - post photo/s of yours in your blog (not forgetting to mention/link to my blog please!).  Comment on mine so we all know you've joined in and we can go and pay your blog a visit and have a nose!  Don't forget you can tweet me @medicatedfollow as well!

It goes without saying that my engagement and wedding rings are the most important (and expensive!) items of jewellery I own.  But if you ask what my favourite pieces are, I would have to say my troll bead charm bracelet and my silver bangle.

I love my charm bead collection.  Over the last few years I've collected or been given charms that mean something to me and reflect parts of me and my personality.  That's why it means so much.  Not only do I love the way it looks, but each charm has a meaning or was bought for a special occasion.

I won't explain every charm, but point out the ones I love best.  Most obviously is the hand print charm.  This is Ethan's hand, a print taken last summer.  I got it made by Finger Print Jewellery .  A friend of mine had used them for a finger print charm and the quality was excellent which is why I went for them.  I've been very happy with it.  Considering I wear this bracelet every day and as you can imagine being with Ethan every day, it takes a few knocks and bangs, the charm is holding up well.  You can probably see above a finger print charm.  I had that one made by a seller on eBay and whilst I was initially pleased, it hasn't worn as well... 

After those charms, I would say the owl is one I am very fond off.  Pete bought me owly for a Christmas present a couple of years ago.  I love owls.. it's a as simple as that really!

You an probably tell I prefer the silver charms.  It's personal opinion of course, but I think it looks more classy with a majority of silver charms with a few glass charms as accents.  Maybe it's because the colour of my clothing is loud enough already! 

This is my other favourite piece.  This was made by an Esty seller, Delias Thompson.  She makes her own gorgeous silver jewellery, bangles, earrings and rings.  One day I would like to commission another item, maybe a ring.  You can choose your own words to be stamped into the bracelet which I think is a fantastic idea.  You end up with something original and meaningful.  Could be used for so many things as well! Favourite song lyrics, birth dates, wedding dates.. Mine says:

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.

These are my favourite lines from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, a prose poem that has always been important to me, something I like to read when I feel low, to remind me to keep positive and feel better about myself!

So! That concludes my entry!  I've shown you mine... now show me yours! (please!).


Wednesday, 15 February 2012


It came to me the other night.  I have a fear of the word naughty.

What on earth?  You may be thinking.  Let me explain.

When Ethan and his peers from my antenatal group started to become more than "babies" (by that I mean started crawling/walking/talking/getting up to mischief) the naughty word started to be bandied around.  Hour long conversations could be held just around this one word (of course, they were probably that long because any parent knows that you cannot have a simple conversation as normal due to a child hanging from your neck or having to run out into the driveway because, darn it, they've escaped again and you need to rescue them from oncoming traffic mid conversation).

The main theme seems to be that you cannot, or at least should not EVER tell your child s/he is naughty.  You can tell them what they have done is naughty, but not that they themselves are.

Now, before I go any further, let me say that I agree with that.  I do.  It's hard in practice though!

Like most, I was brought up by parents who definitely did on occasion tell me I was naughty.  Did it have a great affect on me?  Probably not..  I wasn't really a child who misbehaved very often, so perhaps this is because I wouldn't have heard it very much, so maybe it didn't effect my psyche.  Perhaps if you were a child who got yourself into mischief regularly (deliberately or not!) then maybe you would've started to believe you were inherently naughty... because that's what this theory is getting at, isn't it!  That we are telling them they are naughty.. i.e. bad.  Who wants to believe that about themselves?  (Maybe Jafar in Aladin.. I think that's pretty much his aim in life..).

Perhaps it's just another piece of information for us parents to beat ourselves with.  I try so hard never to refer to Ethan as naughty, never to say he is naughty.  Always "Ethan, no, that was a naughty thing to do" not "Ethan you are naughty".  I worry it will slip out though.  Or I'll get the words in the wrong order.. and then that'll be it.  Damage done.

Of course, more often, I am rational. Even if I did once or twice tell him he was naughty, due to the rest of our time together being happy, supportive, stimulating and fun then hopefully it would have no lasting effect.

The seed of doubt is always there though, isn't it!

Have you noticed how many books and children's TV programs mention "naughty" characters?  Many stories I read to Ethan have lines like "you are naughty" in them.  I find myself editing the stories as I read them to Ethan.  Omitting and changing lines.  I don't want him to think about characters in books who he loves as naughty.. I don't mind him understanding a certain behaviour is naughty.  Am I the only one doing this?  Please tell me not!

I'm sure I can't be the only parent out there with this concern over the word naughty...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


I've been tagged! Not once, but twice.. man, I need to get back down the gym, I must be getting slow!

First, I was tagged by HousewivesIncorporated who has a fab blog that I'm only just getting round to exploring properly.. I was then tagged by the lovely CupcakeMumma who's blog I discovered a few weeks ago and am also enjoying reading.  Thanks for tagging me ladies! I'm hoping to answer both sets of questions!

So..onto the main event.. It's doing the blog rounds at the moment... Q&A style tag!  It's a chance to blab on about myself, but also a chance to get to know other bloggers better.  Always fun!  I love the facts that come out..

These are the rules:

1) You must post the rules
2) Post 12 fun facts about yourself in the blog post
3) Answer the questions the tagger has set for you in their post and then create 12 new questions for fellow bloggers you plan to tag
4) Tag 12 people and link to them on your blog
5) Let them know you tagged them


12 "Fun Facts" about me:

1) I am a trained make-up artiste...
2) ...but I've never worked as one!
3) I have stars tattooed on my back.
4) I got engaged in the Lush factory in Poole
5) My favourite band ever are My Life Story.  Ever heard of them?
6) I see dead people.  Well.. I have done.
7) I have predicted deaths and severe injury in dreams.  Weird.
8) When I was a child I had pet ducks called Johnnie & Estella.  They had babies..we kept two of them and called them George and Mercutio.
9) Hubby and I chose Ethan's name long before we were even engaged let alone married and thinking about actually having children.  We just both felt happy with the name Ethan David for a boy.  We had a girls name as well.  We never had to look through a baby name book!
10) I started dying my hair when I was 12 and the only break I had in that time was in 2008.  I'm nearly 30 now.  My hair has been black, brown, red, bleached blond, highlighted, blue, green, pink, yellow purple and probably some other colours I can't remember.  It's purple these days and everyone seems to love it!
11) I'm short.. not even 5'2 but I never really feel short!
12) I love a glass of champers.

CupcakeMumma's & HouswivesIncorporated questions for me (so as not to overload people I've chosen 6 questions from both instead of all 12 from both of them!)

Six from Cupcake first:

1) How long have you been blogging?

This blog started in 2009... but my first ever blog with LiveJournal, started in 2005 or 2006 I think.  So it's been a while!

2) What are you most proud of in your life?

Being Ethan's Mummy.  I know that's a bit of a lame answer, but it's true.  We've come through so much together.  I am proud of that.

3) Where did you go on your first holiday:

It would have been to France with my parents when I was a baby.  I think to a gite.  We did camp as well, but that was when I was a little older I believe.

4) What's your biggest fear?

Ethan dying or being injured or me dying and not being there for him.

5) What was the last thing you bought?

A charity shop haul yesterday.. a pair of GAP trousers, Monsoon trousers and a Next jumper for Ethan.  All for a fiver! Bargain!

6) If you could travel in time, where would you go and why?

To the 70s!  I'd check out some gigs.  Go see ELO at Wembley.. see The Beetles and The Stones.  Oh... and Bowie of course!

Housewives' six:

1) How many places outside the country you were born in have you visited?

Let me think.. Scotland, Wales, Isle of Wight, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Italy, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Kos, Crete,  America (went through 10 states whilst there).  I think that's everywhere.

2) Do you currently own a valid passport?

Why yes, I do!  Why, are you planning on taking me somewhere ;-D

3) When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  And are you doing that now?

I wanted to be a radio DJ.. and no... I'm not!

4) When your cupboards are running bare, and you lack inspiration, what is your standby think to make for dinner?

It's a bit lame.. but if we truly are low on things.. It'd be pasta with ketchup as a sauce and frozen peas added... and covered in cheese!

5) If you could give your house a name, what would it be and why?

Hubby and I have pondered over this.. we haven't named our house, but I did once come up with "The Alps".    I'm Alex.  He's Pete.  Al & Pete's.. Alps... lame.. I know!

6) What do you hope to accomplish through your blogging?

To meet other bloggers and boost my ego... LOL.  No, truly it's to have a place to rant and natter and ponder.. and to meet others.. but it is lovely to know that others read and comment!

The bloggers I'm going to tag (get running!):

1) Snoo and Me
3) Sarah Miles
4) How to be a Domestic Disgrace
5) Leopard Print Mummy
6) Mummy's Little Monkey
7) Mummyconstant
8) The Petit Mum
9) Very Busy Mama
10) What a difference a day makes
11) An English Mama in Stockholm
12) From fun to mum

My twelve questions for you!

1) Where is your favourite place in the world?
2) If you could give your teen self some advice, what would it be?
3) Where is your favourite place to shop for children's clothes and why?
4) What would you do if you won £100,000?
5) What cheers you up when you're feeling low?
6) Who is the most influential person in you life?
7) What would be your dream holiday?
8) What do you love to do the most with your child/ren
9) Why did you start blogging?
10) If you could travel back in time, where/when would you go back to?
11) Who was your funniest crush as a teenager?
12) What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you?

And that's pretty much a wrap!  There is no obligation to participate, I won't be offended.. I know it's a lot of work a blog post like this!  However, if you do take part, thank you in advance!! Don't forget to comment below and tweet me so I know and can have a look at your answers!

On inferiority complexes of the parental variety...

So, late last night I was over at the fabulous Snoo & Me's blog reading about her parental inferiority complex.  Now, I for one, feel that Snoo's Mummy has little to worry about when it comes to her abilities as a mother and what she is doing for and giving too her child.  She has already done the most important and scary thing - removing Snoo from a dangerous influence, taking her where she and her Mummy will be safe.  Anything after that is a bonus.  I have no doubt though that Snoo will grow up a balanced child who is a credit to her mother and proud of her to boot.

I want to assure Snoo's Mummy (who is a fab twitter buddy of mine!) that I think she is doing a wonderful job, and that she must rest assured, she is not alone in feeling she is an inferior parent at times.

Right now, for instance, as I write this, Ethan is sat on the sofa with nothing but Charlie and Lola on the iPad for company.  That is digging into my subconscious.. only the week I made a promise to Ethan in my "this week baby I promise..." post that I wouldn't blog when he is awake/with me.  Here I am breaking that promise!! Sometimes though, you just need to get a few thoughts up.  I would write it down in my blog notepad but I'm afraid these days I am far far faster at typing than writing by hand (oh, long lost skill, that used to give me hard skinned fingers!!).  So, blogging it is.  I'll make up for it later when we do some baking.. At least we've read books together this morning!!

Anyway, where was I.. Every single parent I speak too feels inferior at times.  Probably every day!  It does seem to be the chattel around the neck of the mother more than the father.. unless the father is of the stay at home variety.  I don't wish to be sexist here!!  I think it is more common in women though.. I do feel we grow up learning to question and doubt ourselves more than men do. But this isn't the time for a feminist debate.  I know I feel inferior all the time.  I think it is partly my personality, a way I've always been, but I think being the chief carer for a child makes you question yourself more.  After all, you are responsible for a person!  Someone who will form the next generation of this country.  The politicians, teachers and parents of tomorrow.. need I go on?  That's a heavy weight on anyone's shoulders...

What do I feel inferior about?  Well, I am one of those annoying people who keeps a clean and tidy house I'm afraid.  I like it that way and I have built in routines into my day that make it relatively easy to keep the house neat and tidy with minimum effort.  So.. I don't have to worry about that too much.  But you know what?  When people see my tidy house, I feel they judge me and find my parenting skills lacking.  After all, how can I maintain such a house and give adequate attention to my child?  Perhaps they are right.  I hope not.  I can only parent to the best of my ability. Yes, I spend time cleaning but I always stop what I'm doing regularly, check Ethan's ok.  If I can, I get him to join in with me, pretend to vac whilst I am, or giving him a duster..  But then in the evening I'll go online, check facebook, twitter, blogs.. and see what all the other Mummy's (and sometimes Daddy's!) have been up to with their children and it always seems to be loads of baking and crafting.. and then it gets me.  I doubt myself.  I feel I have taught Ethan nothing all day.. That I've not stimulated him enough.  I'm not getting at all the parents who do these things.  I think it's wonderful.  When I hear them say their house is a tip, I think, yes, maybe it is, and mine might be tidy.. but I bet you were a better parent today.  Woe!

It's a strange society we live in today.  With all the media and technology today, we are constantly sharing ourselves with the world, and yet many of us often feel more alone than ever before.  For most of us, the extended family units we would have lived in 50-100 years ago are gone.. Of course, they started to be eroded by the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.. but they could still be found not so long ago.  In years past we would have all lived within walking distance of close family, most likely, and the support network would have been right there with us.  These days most of us have an online support network, which whilst invaluable and without doubt very useful, isn't quite the same.  It's not quite as validating I feel.. It's easy to read the wrong message.  It's easy to see only what people choose to share with the world.  In many cases it's only the best bits (I know this isn't always true.. I know many of us bloggers are happy to share our dark side!).  All this can make parenting very hard.  You feel constantly judged and exposed yet lonely.

The news pump out stories every day.  Conflicting advice and stories which always seem to tell us what we are doing wrong as parents today.  We evaluate everything we do..  We can't just be allowed to get on with it and parent as we choose..  There is always some "expert" who just can't wait to tell us why exactly our baby won't sleep or how my TV our toddler should watch.  Why do we care what they think? They aren't living our life with our particular child.   Every parenting book I have ever picked up and flicked through has made me feel like utter crap for days afterwards.  The only books I have ever read all the way through and made me feel good were the ones written by Naomi Stadlen (I heartily recommend you read these!).  I think all these outside influences leave us questioning our every move.  In the past we would have just got on with it!!  Our mothers and their mothers before them had a much harder time with the housework.. none of the mod-cons we have now!! I imagine their babies spent hours playing on the floor under their feet whilst they got on with it, not having any choice but to get on with it... and hours out in the pram whilst the mothers did the shopping.  There wouldn't have been time for much else!!  These days it seems most of us feel we have to have an hour by hour itinery of activities for our child.. and if we don't.. we are failures!!

These "super parents" we all think about don't exist... or if they do, it's with a great deal of help and probably money behind them.

The rest of us just have to do the best we can.  I think we are all doing a pretty good job actually.  Only a few parents truly neglect our children.  Yes, Ethan is watching a fair bit of Charlie and Lola today, but we're going to do some baking later, we'll take his bike out this afternoon as it looks like a nice day and by the end of the day he'll have had about 10 books read to him.  And three meals in his belly.  Yes, some of that will probably be baked beans and jam sarnies, but he's happy!  This is whilst we both have our 5th colds of the winter as well.. so it's not surprising we're inside a lot!

We all judge.  We all do it.  I think parents can be their own worst enemy.  Let's be gentler with each other.

Happy Valentines day!  That's my bit of love for the day... I'm not passing out cards or some flowers that will be dead in a week! Have a virtual hug instead!

Trendy Toddler Tuesday - Charity shop cool

It's Trendy Toddler Tuesday time with Little M!

Where we live there are far too many charity shops.. no really, there are.  The high streets are literally lined by them in all the towns round here.  Some of the charity shops seem to price items very highly these days.. many's the time I've been in charity shop and found Primark items priced higher than they would have been originally!!  Craziness... I'm all for supporting charity, but I think you'll put people off if you ask them to pay too much.

Despite this, there are a couple of charity shops in our town where you can be sure to find a clothing bargain almost every time you step through the door.  I am not at all concerned about wearing second hand clothes, and Ethan doesn't have an opinion as yet (being 2 and a half!).  Children's clothes can be pricey and we all know they go through a lot.  If you spend a little time, between charity shops and eBay your child can wear some pretty nice togs but at half or less their original price.

One of my favoruite tops bought during one impressive charity shop I'm going to be featuring today:

So... this cute t shirt is by No Added Sugar,  a very funky brand who are known for their message t shirts/tops that are always obvious and often a conversation starter.  Ethan's one says "Lock up your daughters!" and whenever he wears it we always get loads of comments (positive I may add!).  This set me back 50p.  It was in nearly brand new condition.  Brown isn't the most exciting colour, it has to be said, but the message on the T is really what it's all about.

As you can see it was part of a decent sized haul from the same charity shop which included a Boden hoody, a Fenchurch t-shirt, a Next cardigan, a pair of Vertbaudet jeans, a pair of Next tracksuit bottoms and a pair of H&M cargo pants.  The whole lot cost me £4.50.

Ethan loves this t-shirt and I do too.. I strongly recommend having a good trawl of the charity shops near you when you get the chance... you never know what bargain might be waiting for you!

Don't forget to go and see what the other trendy toddlers are strutting around in this week!

Monday, 13 February 2012

This week baby I promise... I write this, I'm sitting on the sofa in the living room on Sunday evening, feeling exhausted after a busy week and a very full weekend.  We've been busy, there's not doubt of that!  It's half term now though.  I know that as Ethan isn't even in pre-school yet, that might seem like it doesn't mean much, but in actuality it effects us a lot.  Our normal classes aren't on, and other places we might normally visit are packed out instead of fairly quiet!  I think we're looking forward to a quieter week though.

As we'll be at home more this week, and it's so cold outside, this week baby I promise....we will do some baking together.

Ethan and I have baked together quite a few times, but not regularly.  I think it comes from being out and about quite a lot, but also my fear of making the kitchen too messy, if I'm truly honest.  I know..bad Mummy!  We will be stuck in on Tuesday morning when we're being fitted with Virgin TV & Broadband so that'll be a good time to do it.  Plus I have a recipe in mind.

Are you promising this week?  Let me know!  Head over to the lovely Mum of One who holds this meme each week and see what everyone else is promising to their littlies.

Mum Of One

Sunday, 12 February 2012

#SunFun - Well, punch me in the face and call me Mummy..

So.. Ethan beat me up the other day...


Happy Sunday - don't forget to head over to Actually Mummy's blog to see what other funnies there are!

Have a lovely Sunday all. x

Saturday, 11 February 2012


High-ho, high-ho, it's off to Sat Cap we go!

It's Saturday! It's caption time!

It's easy.  I post a pic, you come up with a caption.  Easy and fun for all.  Link up with Mammasaurus to see what everyone else has been posting.  It's all about the blog love people.  Share the love. It might help keep us warm in these freezing conditions.

Don't forget to check out all the other Sat Caps out there!  And thank you in advance for your comments :)

Friday, 10 February 2012

Blow your own Blog-Horn!

Quickly updating to let you know that today I'm "blowing my own blog-horn".. this is a blog-hop held by Mummy's Little Monkey.

Why not head over and see who else is blowing their blog-horn today?

Thank you so much to everyone who has read and commented this week, I love getting comments and knowing that I'm not just wittering to myself!

Sorry seems to be the hardest word...

It's happened.  For the first time we've had to instigate the naughty step.  I've managed to get away without using this for quite a while really.  I've noticed recently though that unlike before, when I've had a word with Ethan about his actions if he's done something naughty, he just hasn't been "getting it".  He'll avoid eye contact, so you know that he knows he's done something wrong.  But he won't say sorry.  Oh no.  That word won't escape his lips.  He used to say it.  Sometimes without true meaning, but he would say it.

Butter wouldn't melt....

I think he's trying to push boundaries to see what he can get away with.  I don't want to be a harsh disciplinarian.. but equally I don't want a completely unruly child.  I prefer the get down to their level and explain why their actions are bad approach.  But what do you do if they look away and ignore you?  You have to get their attention.

This Wednesday Ethan threw a very heavy door stop from upstairs all the way downstairs.  It was an extremely dangerous thing to do.  Not only could it have damaged the walls or something at  the bottom of the stairs, if there had been someone else in the house with us and they had been down there where it landed, they would have been badly hurt.  This thing is heavy!  I had to get through to him how bad it was, but Ethan wouldn't look at me.  So, I thought, this is it!  There has to be some sort of consequence.  I told him that as he  refused to apologise, he would have to sit on the naughty step and explained the concept to him.  I sat him at the bottom of the stairs.  He tried to get up.  I sat him back down.  He asked to watch Cbeebies.  I said no, told him he has to sit there for 3 minutes and think about why he is sitting there.

It was really awkward.. I couldn't really leave the hallway because I knew he'd get straight back up, so I had to stay there, trying not to look at him whilst keeping my eye on him.  When his 3 minutes was up, I went over and sat next to him.  I asked if he was ready to say sorry.  He still wouldn't say it.  I asked if he would give me a hug as a half way and he happily did so.  I'm not sure if this was a cop out.  I'm new to all this!

Later on in the afternoon, I could hear Ethan playing with his toys.  He was saying to them "No! No!  Don't throw anything that is heavy! It's dangerous! Don't do it!".  Hmmmm, I thought.  Something must have gone in then.

At tea time, he was chattering away when suddenly he looked at me and said "Sorry Mummy.  I sorry".

Bless him.  My heart melted.

I hate this aspect of parenting.  I suppose most of us do.  The cuddles, the playing.. that's the fun stuff.  Trying to make sure you don't raise a total A Hole.  That's the tough bit!

What are your tips for discipline?  How does it work in your household.  Did you use a trial and error method to find out what works?  Any tips... I'd be glad!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

I'll show you mine... wedding dresses!

Welcome along to my 4th I'll show you mine - held every Thursday, right here on my blog!  So far, we've shown off our fridges, handbags, buggies/pushchairs and this week folks, I want to see your wedding dress and accessories!! Of course, I'll hold my part of the bargain and flash you a few pics of mine.  If you've not got married but you still want to join in (please do!) then just flash us a pic of a dress you've worn as a bridesmaid, or to a wedding, a ball, or just your favourite dress if you like!!  All you have to do is post your photos on your blog, not forgetting to link up to my blog and tweet me as well so I can retweet and come and have a nosey!  Oh... leave a comment here as well, that's always a good way to jog my memory to check out your blog!

Right!  Here we go -I'll throw as many pics of it as I think I can get away with!  I'll warn you now that I was never going to be a "traditional" or "white wedding" kinda gal...

Here I am with my hubby Pete having just got out of our wonderful wedding car.  That was so much fun to ride in!  A very jerky bumpy noisy ride, but a real experience!

Flashing a bit of leg!  Do you like my shoes?  They are so wonderful.

I love my wedding outfit because I have actually used quite a few bits of it again - the shoes have been to every single wedding I've been to since, and I love that.  It feels really special.  They are true wedding shoes.  I got married in them and I've seen all my friends who have been married since get married whilst I'm wearing them.  They feel like walking history to me.  They are Irregular Choice and only cost about £40.  As well as being eye-catching, for heels they are also surprisingly comfortable and easy to wear.  This is coming from a lady who rarely wears heels!

My facinator was another bargain, only about £12 I think from Debenhams.  Again, this has gone to quite a few weddings since.  It's very comfy- I was able to wear it all day forgetting it was there.  With the kind of dress I had, I vail wouldn't have been appropriate.  The black pearl necklace was my "something borrowed" - my mum's.  My little lace gloves are, I'll admit, a little Madonna, but I still love them.  They added a touch of glamour.  Do you like my make-up and nails?  Did them myself.. I was happy with the result!

My bouquet was all thanks to my Mum.  The lace is antique lace that had been in the family a long time.  I believe my Great Grandmother on my Father's side made it herself.  My Mum dyed it black to go with my outfit.  She arranged the flowers herself and they came from her garden.  I adored it and think she did a brilliant job.  I still have it after Mum dried it for me.   A precious memory.

I just realised I haven't actually talked about my dress itself yet.  It was from Debenhams and cost £60.  Cheap for a wedding dress!! I think it was actually in their bridesmaid dress section, but I don't care.  It was the third dress I tried on and I knew it was what I wanted.  I teamed it with a bolero which was also from  Debenhams at £30.  As I have quite big boobs and can't go without a bra, I was worried I would be flashing bra at people all throughout my wedding.  Not something I mind too much on a normal day, if a top pulls down a little.  But I didn't want to scare elderly relatives on my wedding day.  I searched eBay day and night for a suitable vest to pop underneath my dress after not being able to find anything suitable in shops.  I knew I wanted something that didn't look like a vest, I wanted it to look like it was meant to be there.  This one was second hand via eBay (originally Dorothy Perkins) and cost me 99p!  No-one ever guessed it wasn't part of my dress.
Underneath my dress I had a huge red net petticoat to pad it out.  That cost me £30 I think from Dolly Dagger.

So, there we have it!  I think that's enough pictures of the dress and accessories, before your mind blows or you fall asleep from wedding dress induced boredom!  I suppose if I were to sum up what I wore, I would call it budget glamour!  I love the fact that my outfit didn't break the bank, but I still felt I stood out as the bride and was the most glamorous there.  I truly felt like a million dollars that day.

Now.. it's your turn! Grab the badge if you wish (to the right) and link back.  I can't wait to see what everyone else wore!

PS - next week I'll be showing you my favourite piece of jewellery.  Hope you'll join in!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My journey down the rabbit hole..

Snoo & Me has talked a lot recently about her struggles with depression, and it's made me think that I've never really given enough blog space to my own struggle.

I suppose these days I can consider myself out of the worst of it.  Of course, I never know when the black dog may be back again, scratching at the door in my mind...

PND was not my first brush with depression.  I personally believe I've suffered with it throughout my life.  I was diagnosed with depression before, sometime in 2005 I think.  It's hard to remember now.  I took time off work and had counselling but didn't take medication.  I was too scared to try it.  The counselling helped.  I changed what was wrong in my life.  Things improved.

Having a history of depression does seemed to be linked to the likelihood of being diagnosed with PND.  On top of depression, I am a naturally anxious person with very strong OCD tenancies when under pressure and stress.  I don't use the term OCD lightly.  When times are bad I have been known to keep a record book with the measurements between things in rooms to make sure they are in their "correct" position and haven't been moved.  At best, I like things tidy and in their place.  At worst, I won't be able to sit and relax for moving things around and making sure they "look right".

I remember being anxious as a child.  I worried.  I remember not being able to sleep for worrying.  I worried about homework.  It didn't help that at the age of 6 I was bullied by a teacher who stood be up in front of my class and stated that "you are too stupid to teach and I refuse to help you".  I was mortified.  I'm sure even now, when I'm low, I hear her voice at the back of my mind.  I also worried about the safety of my family and I.  I kept a suitcase packed under my bed every night which included a change of clothes, some food, soap, a book and whatever was most precious to me at that time (bless!).  This bag was to be grabbed in case of fire.  I had also decided that the safest escape route from our house if there was a fire was through my bedroom, out onto the roof and then a small jump to the ground.  I figured it was my responsibility to save my family as well.  I think I really was a very worried 6 year old!

I'm giving you the background history here... I think it might help to explain how I behaved after I had Ethan..

I was ecstatic to be having a child.  It was what I'd always wanted.  Pete and I had got married and decided to try for a baby as soon as we were back from our honeymoon.  We were pregnant within 2 weeks of trying.  I think I thought it would take us 6 months to a year.  I think the shock of getting pregnant so quickly was the start of it!  There was hardly time to breath.. We were booking in with the midwife only 5 weeks after getting married.  It was a roller-coaster.

I really wanted a water birth.  I went overdue by 13 days.  There were no birthing pools available in the hospital.  Not the greatest start.  I didn't dilate.  Not unusual.  20 hours of labour and I was only 1cm.  Because I was so overdue, I felt I had no choice but to accept the drugs to kick start dilation.  I went from 2cm-10cm in half an hour.  I'd been given pethidine under the assumption that baby's delivery was 4 or more hours away.  Ethan was born dopey with drugs.  I was out of it.  He couldn't latch.  He was a boy.  I was convinced I was having a girl.. These were all contributing factors I'm sure.

Staying overnight in the hospital was like some form of purgatory.  All night long buzzers going off.  People shouting and chatting.  Surrounded by bewildered new Mums.  Stifled crying,  mostly mine.  Ethan lay there in his cot, still in a drugged sleep.  He hadn't fed properly.  I lay there watching the hour and minute hand on the clock.  Could not sleep.  Tears ran down my face.  I was soaked in tears, the pillow beneath my head drenched.  Whenever he woke, he cried.  I didn't know what to do with him.  How to hold him.  How to feed him.  I was so, so scared.  I felt at that moment my life was over.  I sat in that hospital bed ignoring the crying baby, rocking forwards and backwards chanting "what have I done, what have I done".

I remember Pete coming to pick us up the day after Ethan was born.  He was so happy to be a Dad.  I felt I had to keep plastering this fake smile on my face.  I wanted to go home but at the same time, I didn't.  It rained all the way home.  That seemed appropriate.  When we reached home, there were bunches of flowers, balloons, cards and gifts.  I didn't want to look at them.  Didn't want to acknowledge what was happening.

I walked in the front door, dumped Ethan in his car seat in the living room (he was sleeping- the last sleep he'd have for a long while) and got down on my hands and knees.  I swept the floors with a dustpan and brush.  Control.  I needed control.  Something I knew how to handle.

That first night at home was terrifying.  Ethan woke that afternoon and did not sleep again until 6am.  This was a pattern set to continue for a good while.  I breast fed him constantly and yet he lost weight.  He lost more than 10% of his birth weight yet the midwife decided not to re-admit us to hospital.  She felt his latch was OK.  My milk never came in.  I spent a 46 hour stint of breast feeding where I only had one 2 hour break for sleep and a bath.  Ethan only ever slept at the breast, but I couldn't sleep at all.  I couldn't eat.  There was a permanent lump in my throat and anxious knots in my stomach.  It would take me 10 minutes to chew and swallow a mouthful of food.  I lost all the baby weight in 4 days.  That was nearly 2 stone.  Anyone will tell you that's not normal and not healthy.  Within a week and half of giving birth I weighed less than I did before getting pregnant.

We ended up moving in with my parents to help me cope.  My nipples were in such a terrible state from feeding that a health visitor who had been working for 25 years stated they were the worst she'd ever seen.  No one could get Ethan to sleep.

Finally we gave up the breast feeding.  One day on formula, Ethan slept and smiled.  It was amazing.  He changed, but the damage had been done to me.  In some ways, this stage was even harder.  Ethan had become a much more "normal" baby (although he still only slept for short periods, had colic and reflux) but I still felt I couldn't cope.  I managed to struggle on until Ethan was about 2 months old.  I broke down.  I'd just come down with mastitis for the 2nd time, despite having given up breast feeding a while back and was feeling terribly ill.  I started having a panic attack and ended up at the Drs being diagnosed with PND.  It was like a crushing weight dropping on me at the same time as another one being lifted.  On the one hand, hurray, support and an answer.. but on the other hand.  Depression. Medication.  One of the worst things about being diagnosed and given medication is when they tell you it will take 6 weeks to work.  At that point, you feel you can hardly get through one more minute, let alone 6 weeks.

I don't know how I got through really.  Pete was always fantastic, taking time off work to help when he could.  My parents were rocks.  Even though I don't think they truly understood and didn't really like me being medicated, they were supportive.  Though Mum would often comment negatively if I talked about being happy to be on my drugs for a while, or if my dose was upped.  I know she was happy when I came off them..

Coming off AntiD's is another thing.. the first time I came off, it wasn't managed well by my Dr.  I ended up somehow being advised to go cold turkey.  Coming off them cold turkey is like coming class A drugs cold turkey.  Sweats.  Panic attacks.  Paranoia.  Heart palpitations.  Anxiety.  Stress.  For me, the first time, it wasn't the right time.  I ended up back on a higher dose after 2 weeks off them.  Of course it takes weeks for them to kick back in again.  That was another dark time when Pete needed to stay off work.  I had no interest in anything.  All I could do was walk around crying.

The biggest turning point for me was when Ethan hit his first birthday.  For the first time I couldn't look back and think "this time last year, I was free, Ethan wasn't born".  It was a turn in the road.  An acceptance.

I finally made it off the drugs last summer.  It was very hard at first.  It takes a while to get back to knowing what normal ebbs and flows in emotions are.  And getting PMT as well - I found my drugs levelled that out for me!  The drugs keep you quite mellowed out. Not completely, but you don't quite experience the full range of emotions.  Things aren't so raw.  Which is what you want.  It's what you need so you can heal.  It's quite hard adjusting back to controlling and understanding your moods and emotions yourself.

Now.. I feel better.  I still have anxiety.  I always did and I probably always will.  It's not as bad as it was.  Usually it's worse if I have a busy day ahead.  I can cope though.  I feel like things are slipping out of my control at times, of course I do, but I can recognise the signs now and usually step back in time and calm my day down.  Take out the things we don't "have" to fit in.

Am I scared about getting PND again if I have another child.  Yes.  Very much so.  But I made it through once.. I can do it again.

I have to.

A day in the life of little man and me..

So, I was hanging out over at Aka Muma's blog just now, reading all about her day.  It made me remember what it's like when you have a baby or child who naps.  Ahhh.. naps!  I used to be able to do so much reading/blogging whilst Ethan took a nap.  This is no longer the case.

It's interesting to sit back and actually think about what you've done in a day, isn't it!  I thought I would hop on the band wagon.  So, here we have it.  This was our day:

6:50 am - alarm goes off (hubby has to get up for work).  Ethan not yet awake, so I lounge in bed for a little while trying to cling on to sleep.

7:20 am - it seems that Ethan is still asleep, but I know we have a busy day ahead so I get up, get washed/dressed/make-up on.

8:00 am - Ethan wakes up *Please note that Ethan normally wakes earlier than this.  At weekends he's often awake before 7am.. he saves his lie in for weekdays when we have to get up* .  Take him downstairs where he has his milk.  We sit together on the sofa for a bit under a blanket, all cosy.  Ahhhh.

8:30 am - breakfast.  It's porridge today.  Despite being 2 and a half and perfectly capable of feeding himself, Ethan eats one spoonful and then demands "Mummy can do it!".  I feed him.  At least it saves a lot of mess.

9:00 am - clean up the breakfast things and make a packed lunch for Ethan to take out with us later (sarnies, rice cakes, chopped up pair, orange juice) whilst Ethan watches Show me Show me.  Also write up the shopping list for the food shop later and pack all of the above into the buggy along with reusable shopping bags.

9:30 am - brush teeth and get Ethan dressed for the day.  This is like dressing an eel in a vat of custard.  At some point he escapes and barricades himself in the wardrobe.  I can only get him out by telling him I'm dressing his gloworm in his trousers.  This appeals to his sense of what is his and he is out of there sharpish demanding to wear his clothes.

9:45 am - "play cars" for 10 minutes.  This ends up with Ethan throwing things in a tantrum because his car mat gets slightly ruckeld at the edges.  They are pretty OCD at this age.

9:55 am - begin the attempt to leave the house for our Tearless & Fearless class at the local leisure centre which starts at 10:30.  I end up spending at least 10 minutes chasing Ethan around the house with his coat, hat and shoes whilst he runs around pushing his Trunki yelling "I go fast Mummy! Chase me!".  I try not to think about gin.  I think about gin.

10:20 am - finally I have wrestled Ethan into his outdoor clothing and the buggy.  We can set off.

10:30 am - arrive at Tearless & Fearless.  Remove Ethan from buggy.  He tells me "I've done a poo Mummy!".  Chase him around the sports hall for 10 mins with a change mat.  Finally pin him down, get his nappy changed.  Have a conversation with a Mum about her new babies sleeping patterns whilst holding the stinking nappy in my hands.. Finally remember what that stink is and excuse myself from the conversation to go and stick the nappy in the buggy bag.

11:30 am - T&F class over.  Have got Ethan into his buggy with the mention of rice cakes.  Time to hit Tesco.  Takes 10 mins to walk there.  Have to sing "Lovely" from My Fair Lady to Ethan all the way there.. over and over.

11:40 am - 12:20 am - attempt weekly shop with one basket attached to the buggy and one in the crook of my arms.  This is fecking hard work.  Do it every week.  I cannot express how stressful and tiring it is.  All the while I am keeping Ethan from getting too bored.  He attempts to get out of the buggy but I explain how I will not be able to control a buggy, two shopping baskets and him running around.  Keep him in the buggy using snacks.

12:45 am - arrive back home.  Stick The Very Hungry Caterpillar on DVD on for Ethan to watch.  Unpack shopping.  Remember to drink something (not gin).  Ethan runs in and out of the kitchen as I unpack demanding various things from me such as chasing him, drawing with him, songs... the list goes on!

1:00 pm - Ethan didn't eat his sandwiches whilst we were out, so we sit down together at the table to eat lunch.  Manage to eat fairly quickly.  We need to be at the library for story time at 2:15.  It takes 25 mins to walk there.  For an adult.  Ethan wants to take his bike... we need to eat as quickly as possible!

1:30 pm - clean up the lunch stuff/washing up.  Explain to Ethan that if he wants to ride his bike to the library we need to go NOW.  Chasing ensues.

1:45 pm - still not left.  I need another wee.  Ethan has got on his bike without any shoes on and won't get off.  I try to remove him from the bike to get shoes onto him.  I lift him.  He will not let go of the bike.  He is a limpet.  Prise bike from his fingers one by one.  Bike lands on my feet.  Try not to scream.  Think of gin.  Clamp him between my legs and wedge shoes on.  Leave house in a rush feeling like a mad person...  There is a stink coming from the buggy.. remember that stinking nappy is still in the buggy bag.. Fling it in a bin on the way to the library...

1: 50 pm - 2:20 pm - we make pretty good progress on our way to the library.  I've had to bring the buggy just in case Ethan gets tired and also to carry the library books we need to take back.  Ethan thankfully doesn't lag behind too much.

2:22 pm - we arrive at library, a bit late.  Ethan stomps right through the group of children sitting quietly listening to the story and stands in front of them with his shades on.  One of the librarians becomes hysterical with laughter.  The other keeps stopping the story to say "Hello Ethan! Please sit down!".  I manage to park the buggy and move his bike out of the way (he dumped it in front of the movement activated doors a the front of the library causing them to open and close repeatedly...) and then force him to sit down.  Take his sunnies off him.  We actually have a pleasant story time, he listens nicely for a change.

2:45 pm - story time over, Ethan tries to escape from the library whilst I run after him pushing the buggy and carrying his bike.  He gets back on his bike.  He wants to colour in the picture the librarian gave him at the end of story time so I say we can go to a local cafe to do so (can't have gin yet, but can at least have coffee). I realise I don't have the crayons I normally carry around with me, so colouring will be a problem (yes, I do normally have some on me!).  Check purse.  I have £3 exactly.  We stop off in the cheap shop and find some crayons for 79p.  Thank the heavens.  Coffee will cost me £2.20.

3:10pm - reach coffee shop.  Glasses steam up upon entrance.  Ethan charges in trampling over peoples feet with his bike.  I try to find him whilst controlling the buggy and trying to see through steamed up glasses.  There is one free table.  Finally manage to reach it.  Park up buggy and bike.  Sit Ethan down, hand him crayons and his picture.  Go and order coffee.  Count out my 5 and 10p's that add up to the correct amount for a small skinny mocha.  Smell it's heavenly aroma.  Make my way back to the table.  Ethan climbs all over me and the table.  Most of my coffee is spilt.  He does some colouring.  I draw him a train and a pirate at his request.  He gets bored.  I hand him my iPod which has "doodle buddy" on it.  That keeps him amused for a few mins.  I gulp down my coffee and try to catch up with a few text messages.

4:00 pm - we leave the coffee shop after the obligatory chasing Ethan around getting hat/coat on.  We have to pop into Superdrug to get Daddy some Lempsip.  I teach Ethan to yell out "My Daddy has Man Flu" for my amusement.  The shop assistant thinks he is beyond cute.  I tell her he has arranged most of her stock and most likely pinched a bag of chocolate buttons.  She comments that "somebody needed to reorganise the stock anyway!".  Realise she thought I was joking.  Ah well, they will realise later.

4:10 pm - 5:10 pm -  we make slow progress home.  Ethan and his bike go through a load of dog poo.  I am getting irritable.  Shout out that "if I EVER see someone out with a dog pooping and they don't pick up the poo I will SLAP THEM IN THE FACE!".  Ethan spends the remainder of the journey shouting "SLAP THEM IN THE FACE! SLAP THEM IN THE FACE!".  *Please note, I really wouldn't do this, and I don't condone violence!!*

5:15 pm - 5:30 pm - arrive home.  Spend 15 mins hosing down the bike and buggy to get poo off.  Bung our shoes in the washing machine to make sure they are clean (Thank God we wear Converse!).

5:30 pm - Make Ethan's tea whilst he watches Aladin on DVD.  He shouts about how hungry he is.  Also start a spag bol sauce for our tea, ready to bung in the oven to cook for a while...

6:00 pm - Serve up Ethan's food.  Sit next to him.  He gets bored.. start popping it into his mouth whilst he blabs on about something cute but non-coherent.

6:10 pm - Daddy arrives home!!! Yes!!  I skip off to make Daddy a cup of tea whilst he takes over the sitting with Ethan duty.

6:30 pm - Run the bath.  Ethan and Daddy are sharing tonight.  I pop downstairs whilst they are in there and quickly do a spot of blogging whilst doing more prep for our evening meal (salad, measure out the spaghetti etc..)

7:00 pm - pop back upstairs, help Daddy get Ethan into his pjs and then settled down for his books and milk.  Jump in the bath myself.

8:30 pm - Ethan is asleep, I'm out of the bath.  We can eat!  And relax.... contemplate what is left of the evening, watch a film and fit in a spot of blogging.

1:00 am - Finally get to sleep.

There we go! Few.  It's hard work this Mummy lark!

Anyone care to share their day?  Let me know if you do, I love to see what everyone gets up to...