Saturday, 28 April 2012

#SatCap time!!

It's that time of week again. Make me laugh and why not link up yourself over on Mammasaurus blog

Friday, 27 April 2012

My Tiny Taster is famous

Oliver had his first interview for the local newspaper this week.  He was quite shy so I had to tell the reporter all about his new job as a Tiny Taster for Little Dish.  I was really nervous when I had the phone call to ask if I'd do an interview.  I'd never even spoken to a newspaper reporter before let alone done an interview, and was a bit nervous of saying the wrong thing.  But I agreed to go ahead with it and made sure that everything was perfect when the reporter arrived.

I don't really know what I was expecting but it wasn't as bad as I thought.  They asked me lots of questions about why I thought Ollie had been chosen as a Tiny Taster (I didn't know) and how he would give his feedback as he can only say a few words (I don't really think that 'mama' and 'ball' will be useful words for the food testing).  I told the reporter that one thing I can guarantee with Oliver is that he is very independent and his actions speak far louder than words.  We regularly get whole meals thrown on the floor if he doesn't like what he's given.  This is a child who will refuse to bend his legs to sit in his high chair if he doesn't like the look of his food!

Oliver is at that stage where he will no longer eat everything that's put in front of him.  He is fussy, demanding, and extremely choosy about what he eats.  I did everything I could to try to avoid this; I breastfed him for over a year, he wasn't weaned until he was six months old, and we did baby led weaning. He is just a very independent child who knows his own mind.  So no, he doesn't need to be able to talk.  He will make his thoughts very clear.

The article is already in our local paper.  I found out after a friend left a message on my Facebook wall.  Part of me was dreading reading it but I got hubby to pick up a copy of the paper on his way home.  There's a great picture of Ollie trying to get into one of the Little Dish meals.  He looks very cute (I know I'm biased) but considering he was clinging to my side for the whole interview, I'm amazed we even got a photo.  I'm happy with the article except that they got my age wrong.  They've added two years to me!  Hmmm. I think I'd better change my moisturiser.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Saturday is Caption Day....

... only a day early because of BlogCamp!

Here is my debut into satcap.  Can you come up with a caption for me?

Birthday Boy

I've had a busy few weeks what with the Easter holidays and the children being home, and then this week, my oldest boy turned six.  I still can't quite believe it.  I am now a mum to a six year old.  It may not sound like a big deal, but to me it feels huge!  I think it's because I've always seen the 0 - 5 age range as still being a baby.  Having a six year old means I've got a big boy.  So it was a week of celebrations and fun (plus a lot of stress for me).

The drama around his birthday has been going on for a few weeks.  Up to now I've always had a big birthday party for my him, inviting all my friends children, the whole class, and anyone else that I met in the run up to it.  But this year his birthday fell in the school holidays, and being totally fed up of inviting all 33 classmates and only getting about 5 replies, I decided that maybe it was time for him to start having smaller parties where he just invited his close friends.  After some complaining and nagging, he eventually gave in.  So a small party it is.  We still haven't actually had this as he doesn't go back to school until next week so we're going to have it then.

We did have a fantastic day on his birthday though.  I decided the day before his birthday to make a cake for him.  At this point I must admit that I did go to the supermarket and look at the cakes.  I almost gave in the the temptation, but decided while staring at the shelves of shop bought cakes, that a) it would be cheaper to make my own, b) mine would (hopefully) taste better and c) I wanted to do it.  It would mean that I had actually done something for him other than buy and wrap a few presents.

So, the morning of his birthday I made him a chocolate cake.  A few sweets and Mario cars and Voilà!

I'm quite proud of it.  Though what matters more is that Zac loved it.  So much so that he couldn't even wait until it was finished.........

Licking the spoon is the best bit!
We had a fantastic, fun-filled, family day.  It was busy and noisy and everything a birthday should be.  Happy birthday to my gorgeous, not-so-little boy.  The last six year have flown by but they have been the best years of my life so far.

The day my life changed forever

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Can we talk about mental health?

I sometimes wonder what it would to like to wake up in the morning and not be afraid of anything.  To be so confident and self assured that nothing that can stop me.  Totally free from the psychological shackles that sometimes stop me in my tracks.  When did I start being afraid of so much?  I'm sure I wasn't like this when I was younger.  Or was it just different fears then?  Fear that I had lipstick on my teeth, or that my boyfriend was going to dump me.

All this has started today because I've been feeling ill.  Anyone who has read my post about my phobia will know that I'm afraid of being sick.  The last few days I've been feeling really ill and started panicking about being sick.  I know I'm not as bad as I used to be but it still worried me.  The problem is that the worry seems to spiral and I project the fear into every other aspect of my life.  I can go rapidly from worrying that my children are now going to be ill too, to stressing about my finances, to deciding I've got a serious illness (I can be a bit of a hypochondriac).  I wonder if I'm good enough; I replay conversations in my head and worry that I've said the wrong thing to someone, or that I was too loud, or too quiet.... the list goes on.

I wouldn't say that I appear to be a worrier to other people.  I think that most people see me as being quite confident, and I've even been called 'hard' by a certain member of my family.  I've always believed in self-fulfilling prophecies, in that if you tell yourself something enough, or if you act a certain way for long enough, then you eventually become that way, but even though I may look that way on the outside, it doesn't reflect how I'm feeling on the inside.  Though, I am confident in certain situations.  I've worked in my day job for so long that not a lot bothers me.  I still don't like confrontation, and being a manager it's something I can't always avoid.  If there's something I've got to deal with in work I go through all possible variations of the conversation before it actually happens.  I do my own head in.

As I work in mental health I'm more than aware of the physical effects that anxiety can cause.  I get palpitations sometimes, and recently I'm sure I brought on visual problems because of stress.  I got to the point where I convinced myself that I was either a) going blind b) had glaucoma or c) had a brain tumour!  I had constant migraines and I could barely see out of one eye.  I eventually went to an optician and it was only when he told me that there were no signs of any problems or diseases that I relaxed a bit and all the symptoms subsided.  The effect that stress can have on the body is amazing.  Sometimes we don't even realised that we are stressed because we keep so much in.  I think it's a British thing.  We're expected to be able to just get on with it, whatever is happening in our lives.

Do you ever get that feeling where you feel so much emotion that you think you're going to burst?  But most of the time we keep it contained because it's not the done thing to show our feelings.  If someone is having therapy for whatever problem, then they must have something wrong in the head.  Anything to do with mental health is still such a taboo subject.  Have you ever thought that if it wasn't, then maybe not so many people would suffer?  If people felt they could talk about what was worrying them then maybe they could get the help they needed before they sink into that deep pit of depression.  And I'm not talking of the sort of depression that we all say we feel from time to time.  This is lying in bed, not washing, dressing, afraid to leave the house depression.  The one that separates you from the rest of the world.

The statistics surrounding mental health are unbelievable.  1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year.  That's just in the UK.  What's shocking is that statistics show that around 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time.  That's just scary, but something we need to be aware of.

I apologise that I've jumped around a bit in this post.  It's been very much a free-flow process and I'm just typing whatever I feel.  I don't want to go back and tidy it up, or make it more organised because I feel that defeats the purpose of the post.

What I really want to say is that we really need to talk more.  It sounds pretty basic but it's the first step to admitting how we feel, or if there's anything that's worrying us.  Keeping it in won't make it go away.  I know I'm a fine one to say this as I find it really difficult to talk about my feelings.  I hardly ever cry in front of anyone, even my husband.  It doesn't always matter who you talk to.  Sometimes I find it easier to talk to someone I don't know as I feel they're less likely to judge me.  You may find it easier to talk to someone who knows you well.  It could be in an anonymous online group,  a specialised mental health service such as Mind, or your best friend or partner.  

I'm going to stop writing now because I don't feel that there's much more I can add at the moment.  I'm aware that even though I've mentioned mental health, I've only really brushed upon it as there are many different issues and conditions that come under it.  But whether it is anxiety and depression, an eating disorder, or schizophrenia, one thing we need to do is break down the barriers and make it less of a taboo.  We are all human beings; all equal but different.  We need to start learning to accept others for who they are, not condemn because of an illness that can't be seen.  We all think we can empathise with others but have we really thought about what it would be like to live for a day in their shoes?  

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Help! I am a Blogger!

I've just been tagged in a meme by A mum's internal monologue. It was started by Dragons and Fairy Dust who has come to the realisation that she is a blogger, and the lifestyle change that goes with this.  This has actually come at a very apt time as I woke this morning thinking about blogging and what it means to me.  I was reading an old post last night and knew I would write it differently if I did it now.

Anyway, here are my answers:

What is your blog about?

It's about me and my family and everything else that goes with that.  From a diary of things that we have done, to my observations or worries about life in general.

When and how did you start blogging?

I started my blog on 12th June 2011 though I'd been thinking about it for a long time before that.  It all started when I joined twitter and realised that there was a big wide world out there.  I like entering competitions and ended up following a few blogs due to competitions they were running.  The more I read, the more I wanted my own blog.  So on that day in June, I finally plucked up the courage to do it, and I'm so glad I did.

What was your first post?

My first post was called Here goes....., and it was literally that.  The start of my blog and an introduction to me and my family.

Does blogging affect your life and if so how?

It doesn't affect it hugely; I think it's more of a background thing most of the time.  In saying that, I'm always trying to think of new stuff to blog about, and whenever we do something as a family, I think about how I can record it in my blog.

I also want more.  I want to be a better blogger for two reasons.  One, to have a better, more accurate record of my children while they're still young, and secondly to gain more from my blog.  I'd love to work with companies to know that I've helped shape new products; to have more involvement in the blogging community and if I'm totally honest, to have more recognition.  I know my blog isn't brilliant but I'm going to keep trying and I hope one day to have a blog that people actually want to read.  On that note, I have also become stats obsessed.  I feel excited every time I get another page view, and new comments on my posts are a real highlight!

The other thing about blogging is that it makes me feel able to say things that I normally wouldn't.  I am quite guarded in real life.  I don't show people a lot of emotion but I've always wished I was able to.  Writing a blog allows me to do a bit more of that.  Still not fully; I always think about who could read it, but it's something I'm working on slowly.

What do you love most about blogging?

Following on from what I just said really.  I love that I can be more open and say how I really feel.  I love that I meet new people, that I'm part of something, and even more, that I'm creating a memory of my life at this time.  Long may it continue!

I am going to tag the following people:

Stressy Mummy
Diary of a bad mutha
Squeaky Baby
Mummy Loves

I am looking forward to reading yours.