The One Where People Show They Care…And She Feels Bad Because Of It.

So I didn’t realise that my blog was linked to my Facebook, and a few people messaged and wished me well after my last entry. I’ve disconnected WordPress and Facebook now so that I can control what I share there for the time being. Not because I don’t appreciate it, quite the opposite, in fact. It’s because I am touched by how many people contacted me and as I’m feeling a little low at the moment, it sort-of makes it worse…You see, I *know* there is no identifiable reason for me to feel like this, but I can’t help it. My son is perfect, my husband is amazing, the house is being renovated, we have very little money worries (small credit card bill, but nothing huge and scary), but I have been low. I have a lump in my chest and feel like a failure. Having people message me and tell me that they care and that they are my friend just makes me feel even more pathetic for feeling this way.

Right now, aside from writing this blog, I’m on Pinterest looking for ideas for coat storage. I see stuff I like and instead of my usual excitement, I just feel ‘meh’ and want to crawl under the covers.

Hubby has been extra sweet and doing anything he can to cheer me up, so naturally I feel worse because I can’t cheer up. Never have I felt this way. It is just awful.

I don’t believe it’s situational, I’m thinking it could be hormonal. I’ve reduced breastfeeding down to one a day and ‘comfort’, and this month I’ve had 2 periods almost back to back (just a week of no bleeding in the middle), so maybe that has something to do with it? Whatever this is, it can just do one.

Sigh

I’m feeling lonely at the moment. I don’t know why, but it’s hitting me hard. This happens about twice a year and I end up wishing that I had close friends. I try my hardest for people and yet I end up feeling like people just ‘put up with me’ and that they don’t really like me.
I have some lovely friends via writing and Grimbold, but again, because I run the company I feel like sometimes their kindness is because I’m ‘boss’ and not because I’m ‘me’ – does that make sense? I have no idea if it’s rational or not, it’s just something that gets to me.

When it does get to me, I find that I’m flooded with sadness and lethargy. I can’t find the drive for anything and a heavy cloud smothers me. I’ve posted before about this and my anxiety at making friends and keeping them. I think I cope better now than I did a few years ago, but it still almost cripples me. I just want someone that I can meet up with, maybe go out for a coffee or a pub meal with, and just feel like they’ve got my back and I’ve got theirs. I want a best friend and I want to be someone’s best friend (family and husband excluded).

It doesn’t help that I’ve had the date through to start counselling at the hospital for my medical issues. The consultant honed in on my past relationships and family mechanics and since she did, I’ve found it playing on my mind quite a bit. I never considered a lot of things that she raised as being potential triggers, and a small part of me scoffed and scorned at it, but it does make sense…maybe…perhaps.

I’m off to bed now. Maybe I’ll feel better in a few day’s time.

 

Frazzled

2 posts in 2 days, aren’t you all lucky…

Truth is, I wanted to write this yesterday but I was too tired. I’m actually exhausted at the moment. I wake up tired, I go to work tired, I come home tired and so on. Logan is (thankfully) improving with his sleep, but he does still wake 2/3 times a night at least 4 times a week. He doesn’t want John at night, either. He wants mummy. It is shattering.

This is the sort of tiredness that turns my head to porridge. I find it hard to talk, to function, and I forget things. It’s thick and clogging and I feel stupid and frustrated.

This isn’t the sort of tiredness that comes just from lack of sleep; this is the tiredness that comes from my thyroid as well. I’ve struggled to get my levels right in nearly 17 years and when you add this to my other issues, I just want to scream.

Someone please cut me a break?

Progress!

After my last blog about my VVS returning, I’ve now seen the specialist at the JR Hospital. Last Friday I saw an amazing consultant at the pelvic pain clinic and spent almost 90 minutes in consultation with her. I’ve suffered with this problem for nearly a decade and if I’m honest, I’m very close to cracking. I can’t really hold it together much more.

For those who don’t know what VVS is, it is vulvar vestibulitis – localised pain that burns and stings when any pressure is applied. The pain will last hours and drives you to distraction. I can be walking, sitting, going to the toilet, anything that might cause contact and then the agony starts. It has led to vaginismus and an extremely unhappy relationship with my vagina. I don’t much like my body on the best of days, and this just further cements my hatred and disgust at myself.

The consultant asked about my history and was impressed with all the treatments I’ve tried and paid for myself. She asked about my family relationships and about my posture and other health complaints. At the end, we agreed a course of Amitriptyline (10mg) tablets at night, physio and counselling.

Amitriptyline in a low dose helps deaden nerve endings and studies have shown it can work with sufferers of vulvodynia and VVS. To me, it definitely seems worth a shot. In the past, I went straight from lidocaine gels to surgery (as it was *that* bad), but this time I want to try everything else before further cutting around.

The physio is to help my posture, my breathing techniques and work at having my body accept a penis without clamping down. I have a twisted back and hips, so this should help.

The counselling is to help my current anxiety levels, help address past relationships with family and to address issues surrounding sex that have arisen during the last decade. We touched briefly on the past and the consultant feels that given how I take a lot on my shoulders and help a lot of people, it could be some sort of stress that’s manifesting itself physically. This makes sense to me, and as I told her, I’m happy to try absolutely anything.

So today I picked up my first prescription of Amitriptyline and I start tonight. The physio and counselling will take 6-8 weeks to start, but that’s fine. I can deal with that. I feel quite positive about getting these issues sorted. I cannot go another decade with no sex. Neither can John. It’s just unfair and cruel.

 

TL;DR I’ve effectively got an anti-depressant and therapy for my vagina. I have a sad vagina.

Bibbity Bobbity Boop

So yet again I’ve abandoned my blog for months. I’ve not really had the time to sit here and write, and the times when I have had a free thirty minutes or so, I’ve ended up doing housework or DIY or Grimbold admin.

It’s been thoroughly exhausting if I’m honest. I’m someone who thrives on being busy and enjoy working hard on a project (or projects!), but Logan is a baby who likes to sleep a maximum of 3 or so hours in a row. Oh how I cringe at smug Sammy who crowed about how he would sleep for 4 hours at a time when newborn. Those were the days… Since he was 8 weeks old I’ve had terrible sleep. He’s such a light sleeper and hates to drop off. We’ve recently invested in a blackout blind and a slight change of bedtime routine. It *seems* to be working and he’s sleeping for longer, but I don’t want to jinx it! I guess he’ll learn to settle when he’s ready.

I think the lack of sleep has played havoc with my health and immune system. I’ve caught colds and coughs galore from my petri dish of a child (who in turn catches everything from nursery) and, sorry if TMI, but I have verrucas! I mean, what??? I had verrucas a few years back but they are back again! Eurgh!

I’m also suffering with my autoimmune conditions at the moment; my thyroid is all over the place, my skin conditions are flaring up, my VVS is back and I’m re-referred to the specialist and my joints are swollen in my fingers. I am falling apart!

I had my MRI (finally!) in May and my brain is fine but there was still this mass behind my right eye. It’s grown since my CT scan last year and this week I saw the eye surgeon. It is a cavernous hemangioma (benign tumour) that is pressing on my optic nerve and will be monitored with scans. When it gets too big they’ll operate and remove it. I’ve had a lot of people express shock and concern, and I’ve found it a bit bemusing. I think it’s because I’m so used to having things wrong with me I just don’t get phased any more. If I was to sit down and think about it, I probably would get a bit down, and potentially genuinely depressed, but I don’t want to think about it for that very reason! I’m here, I’m walking, talking and able to go about my daily routine and life without any real restrictions. Regardless of what’s going on with my immune system and Ted (the tedious tumour), I’d say that’s pretty damn good going.

I say this all because the news this week has been shockingly dreadful. 49 innocent lives lost in Orlando in one of the worst hate crimes ever. I just…I can’t eloquently put in to words how it makes me feel. I have many LGBTQA friends and like so many of my CIS friends, I support the LGBTQA community with every ounce of my being. It is painful to think and read about without genuine upset. No one should be persecuted because of who they love. It makes no sense. At all.

Today, an MP was brutally murdered. The full facts aren’t yet known, but what is known is that she was shot in the head, stabbed and then kicked when bleeding to death on the ground. She was known to be compassionate, loving and kind. Another senseless death that makes no sense. At all.

Cancer took a good friend’s father today. I have nothing to say other than fuck you, Cancer. Fuck you. I may be a writer, but I have no eloquence for you. We will beat you one day. I have no doubt of that.

 

 

 

Been A While: Addendum

Interestingly, the response has been overly lovely and understanding of yesterday’s blog post. My message of ‘try to understand behaviours, try to look beyond what you consider ‘the way people with depression behave, try to understand that by you showing a huge amount of affection on one person and not the other will drastically affect the negative party’ was accepted.  Only two people have aired their negative opinions and seem to have missed the entire point of the post and asked if this was my malicious side coming out and accused me of being ungrateful and attacking. My brother (who knows all involved) commented that it was an impartial reflection on mental health. He got it.  So I shall be a little blunter.

No, this is not a post about me and my experiences. That much is pretty clear. Messaging me and calling the other person malicious, full of hatred and so on just cements exactly what I was trying to say: people don’t understand mental health and how it effects and manifests itself. If you do not know someone, are not their friend, do not speak to them, visit them, show concern for them or reach out in any way, how can you cast aspersions on their personality? You cannot. It is natural for us to moan to one another, to have a bitch and complain about how someone behaves. I do it. You do it. But there’s a difference between a private conversation and allowing it to spill into a public forum. Please stop and think about what you say and what you have control over going on a public space. I don’t think it’s a lot to ask.

I clearly put in the post, it does NOT matter whether what I put was true (though it is), but it doesn’t matter because it is the perception, the thoughts and feelings, of the other person. Mental illness can distort memories and twist things to suit. That doesn’t make the person necessarily a nasty person or someone who over-exaggerates, it is how they perceived the situation and what they remember. It is a very common side effect of abuse and as someone who works with abuse victims every single day, I get it and want to try and help others understand it.

That’s all I’ll say on the matter. You guys ‘got it’. I’m not going to flog a dead horse. A hedgehog is soft and sweet inside, you have to take the time to get to know it and not get angry if it pricks you every now and then.

I got a message from a sibling, who said: ‘…bad things happened to all of us, some worse than others, surely that should be a reason to stick together rather than argue..’ – you are 100% right. That is the entire blooming point.

Alas, I got a bit of an earful about how I supposedly try to buy affection (by sending Christmas and birthday pressies) and haven’t seen my nephew since before Christmas and how I haven’t seen my new niece. I’ll just say this – My niece was born in January (I didn’t travel anywhere as it was my SMP month and we lived on the credit card that we paid off this month), at the start of Feb I returned to work full time with just weekends off. John contracted whooping cough, which can be DEADLY for newborns and young babies. I repeat, DEADLY. There was no way on earth I was going to visit a newborn baby and potentially put them at risk. My brother (baby’s father) understands.

I also have a mass behind my eye that I’m waiting for an MRI on. I get cluster headaches and blurred vision. I am currently not allowed to drive police cars and can only drive short distances. My nephew lives 45-50 minutes away and so visits take place when John is able to drive me which is after work or weekends that I’m off (1 in 3). To be accused of buying affection is grossly offensive and shows a lack of understanding, especially when the person who believes I’m selfish and buying affection knows about my condition. Anyone who knows me, knows that this is not the case.

To be blunt, I’m done with this now. The original post was self-explanatory and understood by many. I’ve spoken to the angry parties and left the ball in their court. I refer back to the original post about trying to understand issues from other people’s perspectives and not be judgemental. I took away from my conversations that things can be viewed as a personal attack even though they are not and clearly were not meant to be. I have learnt from this experience and apologise if anyone misconstrued or misinterpreted what I was saying.

 

 

 

 

 

Been A While…

So it’s been a while since I updated my blog, 2 months in fact, and it’s fair to say that it’s been a busy ol’ time.
January was a write off. I spent every minute I could with Logan and just enjoyed his company. Honestly, he’s such a character and genuinely makes me laugh.
I didn’t want to go back to work at the start of February but with bills to pay, it was an unfortunate necessity. It was suggested that maybe I stop working and be a stay at home mum.
Now, firstly I enjoy working. I enjoy showing my son that I’m a strong, independent woman who can hold down a high-pressure job with responsibility but secondly, how on earth would we pay the mortgage and bills??? Long gone are the days where the average family can afford for one person to be at home. It’s a sad day when your parenting is judged by the older generation and you’re not deemed ‘good enough’ because you have to return to work and put your child in nursery. Especially when this generation were the ones to preach about ‘hearth and home’ ‘marriage before children’ and always spoke of having a good work ethic. Well I did that. I’ve worked full-time since I was 16 (through A levels too) and had a mortgage since I was 21. I bought (with hubby) my second house at 26 and rent that to family at 20% below market rate and don’t make a profit from it (the house is a future investment and not there for us to profit from nor take advantage of our tenants). We watch our pennies and don’t live on credit. We buy second-hand clothes and furniture and we always put Logan and our family first. We did everything the ‘right way’ and because of that, I have to work full-time to maintain the income and pay the mortgage. Our house is modestly sized. It is not tiny, it is not large. The mortgage on our main house is £760 a month and £200 cheaper than renting something of the same size. I often speak to family and friends about finances, and I’m candid about the fact we don’t have a lot of spare cash. Nursery is £640 a month (£50 for a full day). If I was to drop a day a week, I would lose £500 a month from my wages. Nursery is the *only* viable option as John’s employment cannot accommodate part time working.
Do you not think I’d love to spend more time with my son? Of course I would! I am however a modern woman (proud of that!) living in the 21st century, a time when house prices are over 10x the annual income of one person. A time when everything has a higher cost than before.
Reading this back, it could be viewed that I lament those that have children younger, or who don’t have large mortgages, or those who receive assistance. Not. At. All. I am privileged. I know this. I am extraordinarily luckily to have what I have and who I have in my life. I am merely ranting against the generation that on one hand tell me I’m a bad person for returning to work so soon and then on the other tell me that I should ensure I do things ‘the right way’, the way that has meant I am financially dependent on returning to work – else there would be no ‘hearth and home’. This doesn’t make sense.
I struggle with the lack of logic and often confusion of it all. The same when I think about the mechanics of families and how they work, and mine in particular.
My family has a history of depression and mental health illnesses. It’s no secret that several close members of my family suffer. What makes me mad is when a family member with depression criticises the actions of another family member who also has depression. It’s almost as though they feel that because they don’t act that way themselves, it can’t be right.
Mental health conditions are not a ‘one size fits all’ with symptoms and behaviours. Depression (for example) effects people in different ways. Let me tell you a story and put some context on it…
Some people close down and appear to isolate themselves and appear hostile to other parties, especially if they are having a particularly bad day and their personal life is being negatively commented on by someone who has previously shown them little or no concern. They are not ‘nasty pieces of work’ or ‘immature’. They are protecting themselves from future harm. Imagine growing up in a household where you’re taught appearances are everything and you’re criticised for the colour of your hair, your weight, your teeth, your lack of smiling, your height – all this by your mother. Then you get to school where it happens again and again. Your mother, having lost her oldest daughter for the same behaviour, tries to win your affection by buying you gifts but really, all you want is some honest interaction and love. You don’t want false declarations. You want consistent support and someone who will always care for you. You accept the gifts because otherwise you’re an ‘ungrateful bitch’. Sometimes, you like the attention you get because for just a few minutes you get a glimpse of a normal parent, but as quickly as it comes, it goes again with the next glass of wine and insult.
A person can only take so much until they close down and, outwardly, they appear sullen and ‘moody’. You escape that situation and you’re practically alone. You don’t want to trust anyone. They’ll betray you, hurt you, not love you. A few years later, a sibling escapes and they are instantly surrounded by extended family. Family who never reached out and asked ‘are you ok?’ and instead left you. Your sibling escaped under a cloud of controversy, you escaped because you were physically abused. How is this fair? Short answer: it’s not.
It doesn’t matter if what I have written is factually accurate (it is), but it doesn’t matter. Why? Because this is what the person feels and sees. This is their understanding of the situation. A lifetime of criticism, neglect and rejection that comes back each time they see or hear about visits, comments, posts and similar. They are unwanted. Their sibling is wanted. They are called names. Their sibling is an ‘adopted daughter’. If all you ever do is criticise and hurt someone then they are going to show you their prickly hedgehog exterior.
Not all of this behaviour is intentional. It is entirely natural for people to gravitate towards those that are open, bubbly and chatty, and to those that have a similar personality and disposition. If you are naturally quiet and an introvert then it is difficult for extroverts or those that don’t know you to understand that you are not rude, you are simply someone who doesn’t want the grandiose declarations and who finds idle conversation exhausting. It doesn’t help if you both have differing views on the world and politics, and with the world of social media and memes, a lot of inaccurate rubbish can be regurgitated and manipulated (I admire a person who challenges something that is clearly incorrect, even when that show of strength is utterly terrifying to them. I will show solidarity when needed. I will challenge when needed.).
But the behaviour does, sometimes, become intentional. When the hedgehog continues to curl up for protection and prick you, you start to view it as personal. ‘They’re nasty’, ‘they’re selfish’, ‘they’re rude’. These comments are batted around and misinterpretation becomes a warped perception and a personal truth – magnified by unwarranted comments from other people who haven’t spoken to the hedgehog in years or indeed do not even know them. You forget their troubles, you forget that they are suffering, and instead you see what people tell you. This isn’t fair. It isn’t right. But it happens.
I go back to my musing (and this isn’t directed at anyone in particular) – depression is a cruel creature. It doesn’t behave how you expect. Someone who appears happy, who appears confident, often isn’t. Abuse effects each person differently and to different levels. Show compassion and understanding and if you just can’t understand, no matter how hard you try, don’t call that person weak. Don’t dismiss their depression or their reasons for being depressed.
We have the capability (and capacity) to learn, to grow, to admit when we’re wrong, and to mature – a lot of this comes with experience and age, and so I do expect the older generation to be more understanding and forgiving than the younger generation. Is that right of me? I don’t know…I genuinely don’t. You tell me.
God knows I’ve done a heck of a lot of growing in the last few years and I’ve reflected on past comments and opinions with shame, but instead of thinking ‘I was an awful piece of shit’. I now think ‘I’ve grown. I’ve changed and I’m not that person anymore’.

Families, they’re hard work. No doubt. Quite often I’m told I’m too soft and I should be more forceful or speak my mind a little more, but instead I brush things away or don’t comment at all. Not everyone has the same opinion or political belief. People raise children differently, people view pets differently, people sell and buy online, people go to shops still and refuse to use Amazon and the ilk. So what? That’s life. It’s only when I passionately feel that something is wrong or doesn’t sit comfortably with me do I have to comment (or write a blog post). I’m not sure if the people I’m writing about will read this, and so I don’t view it as passive aggressive attempt at voicing my distaste, but instead a sad reflection of what I feel is miscommunication and a lack of understanding – something I have been guilty of on many, many occasions.
I don’t expect these people to have a relationship, but I do hope that future comments about someone’s ‘nastiness’ and ‘immaturity’ are instead challenged and perhaps viewed with a different mindset and outlook.
That nasty and immature person was abused, neglected, depressed, suffering multiple health problems (inc recovering from the loss of an unborn baby and told they had a tumour) bullied at work and financially struggling. If (big if) anything they said was nasty, if their behaviour (deleting from a social media account) was a proverbial ‘slap to the face’, perhaps instead of resorting to social media to air a disagreement and obtain social group validation for your own personal feel good factor, a gentle ‘are you ok?’ would have been better. We are not perfect creatures. We are moulded by our experiences and relationships and we learn from mistakes. Be kind, always. Take time to sit back and assess the situation before responding.

^ I know that someone might read this and think ‘but the older person has depression and anxiety, they’re not seeing things clearly either’ – and you’re absolutely right. They do and they might not be, but this isn’t a personal attack on them. This is a reflection on the way every person who commented on a particular social media thread behaved. The group mentality that, instead of showing compassion and understanding, instead found it easier to bad-mouth and name call, was wrong, utterly wrong and should have been stopped. I have suffered with anxiety, and I still have this crippling need for everyone to like me otherwise I feel worthless. I’m disappointed in myself for not challenging the thread when I first saw it. I should have. I was wrong and I’m happy to admit that.

It took years for my sister to open up to me and realise I wasn’t going to abandon her. I won’t let her down now.

Same for my other sister and my brothers, I am always here and always will be. You might not talk to each other and not get along with one another but that’s fine. We don’t have to talk about your gripes and dislikes with each other. Let’s be adult and civil. 

 

New Year Stuffs…

2016 is coming! 2016 is coming! How on earth can 2016 top 2015? I mean, we were blessed with a BABY who is the scrummiest boy in the world! 2016 needs to seriously up its game if it wants to even think about competing…

I don’t think 2016 can win. Sorry. BUT, I think it can set us up for an amazing 2017. You see, I want to use 2016 as an admin year. I want to continue our excellent work at debt reduction (we’re so close to being debt free I can taste it), and so hopefully come October time we’ll have nothing except the mortgages and also have money saved for round 2 of IVF! You’ll remember me saying we have 5 frozen embryos, so this means that our next 5 attempts will be significantly cheaper – around £1500 a shot – than traditional ICSI. If blessed with another baby, I am determined to have a year off. The fact we can only afford 6 months this time makes me so sad I can’t put it into words. I feel it’s gone too quickly. I go back to work in a month. Madness. My baby is still so small!

Next time round, a whole year for baby and Logan❤ , and then I want to return on part-time hours. Maybe 30-32 hours a week rather than 40. If I can do 3x 10hr shifts I’ll be really happy. That would be perfect. Yes, it would mean a wage cut, but with no debt it would be possible. I just wish John’s job role supported part-time working. I know he’d love to spend more time with our little man.

So, yeah, as I mentioned, October will be the month we start trying for baby number 2. We’d like a small(ish) gap between siblings so that they hopefully grow up playing together…wishful thinking, maybe?

We also want to start saving towards our rear extension. Our house is lovely, but the kitchen/diner is way too small. I want an open plan living area with an island in the kitchen, a dining area, downstairs toilet and folding doors to the garden with a hot tub…It’s been costed up for us and comes in at around 20k for the complete renovation. Pretty happy with that. Luckily, John and his dad would do a lot of the manual work so that halves the bill. If we needed a builder, it would cost close to 30-35k. Anyway, that’s way in the future – most likely 2018 for completion. Before that starts, we need to finish the front extension. The weather (rain, wind, dark nights) and our builder having a knee replacement (father in law!) has stalled our plans for 4 months. We have the new door in our living room and John’s bonus will pay for the rest of the materials and stretch to the block paving and raised flower bed to replace the rockery too. I want the house to have a nice curb appeal!

Reading this back, there’s a lot of wants…I guess I want a lot. Yes, I do. I work bloody hard for not a lot of money or recognition, so of course I want my home and family life to be perfect. Who wouldn’t?😀

Baby’s First Christmas

This was a year of firsts, and as we look to close the curtain on 2015, I’m still high on the buzz of love surrounding Logan’s first Christmas.

Our baby is so very loved.

John and I both agreed not to spoil him (especially this year) as he won’t remember the day. We did very well too! We bought 2 big teddies from the movie Monsters Inc (Sully and Mike), a bubble machine, and another teddy from Hamley’s. Father Christmas bought him an activity centre handheld toy (non-electronic)😉 . We also decided to pop an extra £20 in his bank account for future things. That way, when he’s a bit bigger, he can buy some toys he likes. He now has more money saved than we do! A bank account, an ISA, and all his child benefit saved so far! Go Logan!

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Our friends and family were far too generous. Little Bunny is so lucky to have so many people who love him. Sometimes, I still get a little down when I look at my extended family and the way things have turned out, but when special occasions like this come along and our friends rally around us – it’s amazing. It’s not about what they buy or gift, but rather that they want to spend time with him (and us!) and that they care.

Although, Nanny Smith bought the toy shop I think! He has a Disney pull along train, bath toys, rings, clothes, books, CDs…so much! On Christmas morning, Little Elf Logan opened up his presents and found a posh outfit from the Disney store: a cute shirt and bow tie. Mummy squeed as Daddy dressed him up for lunch. Ok, he just had booby and then sat in his highchair as we ate, but still!

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The Christmas Loot! What a lucky boy!!!

The day was amazing.

I’ve been converted and I’m now a Christmas lover! I genuinely can’t wait to start lots of family traditions in the future. I want to make it a special time of year for the right reasons: family, charity, love and happiness.

First new tradition: instead of ‘Elf on the Shelf’ we want to do something with these two cuties…

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Left: Reindeer. Right: Lady Fox

We need names for them, any suggestions? The traditional Elf on the Shelf scares me a little. I find the eyes and facial expression a bit creepy, and I’m not sure I like the idea of the elf ‘reporting’ back to Father Christmas on whether or not Logan has been good or bad. A bit too Orwellian/1984 for my liking. However, I do like the idea of the Christmas duo turning up and doing fun things overnight for Logan – perhaps prepping art and crafts or activities?  Yes, I had them in the bathroom for a day or so😀

Next, I got this gorgeous advent calendar in the sales. 75% off and it’s so so sweet. Made of MDF but painted,945293_10156329058600375_8692825969906301171_n the drawers are a great size and will accommodate cars, LEGO, bubbles, trinkets etc really easily. No chocolate for this baby! Yes it will cost more than a £3 calendar from the shops, but if I get things during the year the cost will be spread and it’s far more personal.

I’ve also been walked over and taken advantage of. It’s taken years and years of heartbreak and disappointment for me to toughen up and finally feel relaxed and comfortable (emotion wise) and I don’t want to project any insecurities on to our son. Christmas is a great time of year to show him what’s important, how he should behave always, and how giving is always better than receiving.

Talking of giving, Logan (ahem!) made these for 2 sets of special people…

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Left: Oddparents, Lee & Charlie. Right: Oddparents, Hannah & Dan (pic inserted after this was taken!)

Last month, we asked our best friends Lee and Charlie if they would be Logan’s ‘Oddparents’. We’re not getting Logan Christened as neither of us are religious, but we want him to have guardians that we trust to look after him if anything were to happen to us. We love Lee and Charlie, and they love Logan (and, I think, us?). So it was a perfect choice.

But wait…there was another couple who loved him as much as Lee and Charlie -my sister, Hannah and her partner Dan. Hannah has been more than my sister for the last 6/7 years, she’s my daughter and Logan therefore is as much her brother as he is her nephew. So we have 2 sets of wonderful Oddparents for our gorgeous, clever little boy.😀

We closed the Christmas period off by meeting up with some friends for a long overdue catch-up. Over the years, we’ve all moved away or started different jobs so getting together is tough, but with 3 babies already here and 1 on the way, the next generation need to start the friendship bonds early. Logan has taken quite a shining to Imogen. Young love, perhaps? He’s already buttering her up with cuddles! There’s talk of trying to make the get togethers a regular thing, especially around Christmas. I think that’s a great idea😀

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Imogen & Logan

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Left to Right: Imogen, Lexie & Logan

Here’s a few more piccies from the last month:

 

15 Awesome Things from 2015

It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative. I’m incredibly guilty of always dwelling on the bad times and fretting about things that are outside my control that sometimes I forget about the good stuff.

As 2015 draws to a close (less than 2 weeks to go, folks!) I thought I’d list 15 things from 2015 that have been incredible, or good, or simply made me smile. I urge you all to do the same.

  1. Of course this is going to be Logan. The (relatively) safe arrival of our firstborn is, without a doubt, the best thing to happen this year. Hell, it’s the best thing to happen in any of my years on Earth! Everything about him makes me smile. Even the poosplosion nappies!
  2. Bathroom renovation. I have a freestanding, deep bathtub that is just divine. I’m actually typing this blog post while wallowing. Heavenly.
  3. I’m back to pre-pregnancy weight and slowly losing poundage. Hurrah!
  4. Whilst on maternity leave I discovered The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, Suits, Reign, Sense8, Grimm, Once Upon A Time, Bates Motel, How To Get Away With Murder, Jessica Jones and many more great tv shows. Why does this make the list? Because I was able to relax and watch. Something I never had time to do before baby. Logan has made me realise that actually, it’s ok to say no sometimes. It’s ok to have some ‘me’ time and be selfish. It’s not a crime.
  5. With some smart financial planning, we worked out we’ll be debt free (bar mortgage) in 30 months. That’s a 2015 win because it was this year we turned the corner and upped the payments.
  6. Ex Machina. This is my movie of 2015. At the time of writing this, I’ve not seen the new Star Wars, so it might change, but Ex Machina made me smile in so many ways – intelligent scifi that didn’t rely on special effects. Much love for Oscar Isaac too. That man won my heart in Agora a few years ago.
  7. A GBH conviction whereby the offender tried to gouge the eyes out of his victim and sent a load of revenge porn images to her family. This case made the national news and was one I oversaw and worked on. Probably one of the most memorable cases from the last 9 years.
  8. The continued growth of Grimbold Books and Kristell Ink. Without such supportive and enthusiastic authors our little publishing company wouldn’t be around. 2015 brought many trials our way and we tackled and brought down them all. 2016 promises to be bigger and brighter.
  9. Unsolicited and praising reviews of my book. Yeah, this is a big smile maker. I received some lovely positive reviews of my book that have encouraged me to find time to write…soon.
  10. Meeting up with Grimbold authors at BristolCon and FantasyCon. Simply amazing. I’m so lucky to have these people in my life, and honoured to call them friends. The tee-shirt reveal for the launch of ‘The Heir To The North’ was a highlight for me.
  11. Meeting my friend’s babies – all of them. Oliver, Oscar, Eli, Alex, Lexie, Imogen, Amber, Isabella…gorgeous, all of them. What a year.
  12. Celebrating my 7th wedding anniversary. Ok, I was heavily pregnant and we didn’t actually do anything, but we made it to 7 years! Here’s to the next 7 (and beyond!)!
  13. Our pets took to Logan really well. No jealousy or issues. With 14 cats and 2 dogs there was always the risk that one of them would turn. A massive relief and euphoric feeling knowing that they all get along.
  14. A generalisation here, but…being a better person overall and the realisation that grudges and negativity breeds discontent and unhappiness. In 2015, it clicked: don’t let the bad shit get me down. I’m calmer and feel more focussed, because of that I think I’m a better friend and person.
  15. I’m alive. I have a house. I have a child. I have enough money to pay bills and feed, clothe and take care of Logan and myself (and hubby). These are all things to be proud and happy of.Give this a go. I’m sure I’ve missed off some huge, happy and amazing events of 2015 but these all popped into my head and were typed in quick succession. Do remind me if I’ve forgotten anything that I should be shouting about!