Doodle Book

Many years ago… (haha) while I was at school, studying A Level Art and AS Graphic Design, I drew a lot. It was so calming and relaxing. You disappear in to another world when you get really in to the pictures. I loved it. I don’t have time to draw properly now. I have many unfinished projects in my head, that I know will probably never be completed now. Maybe one day.

Anyway..  After seeing many pretty things drawn on Facebook, I yearned to draw again. It helped when I was feeling down. It helped to clear my mind. I needed that again.

So, just for Rufus..  I got this little book..

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The first page is dedicated to the person that brings the most sunshine to my life… 

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And the second…  A double page spread.

(I have also developed a new love for the effects I can put on photos from my phone!)

Once I feel the doodle is complete, I move on. Next page. The Faith one I did on the bus this morning. I spent so long during school drawing/sketching/doodling on the bus, and again when I went to college, that unless the bus driver is particularly heavy footed, I’m ok drawing while moving.. It passes the time and helps clear my mind.

I may invest in some good paper, and start drawing again. But then, I have a little helper now, so I don’t know when I would find the time!

My Big Black Dog

Depression is a funny thing. Hmm. Yeah. I said that.

There is nothing worse than being asked

What have you got to be depressed about?

Sometimes there is a trigger. For me, mostly financial. But most of the time, you just wake up, and don’t feel yourself. You can’t just ‘Shake it off’ like I have been told to do many times in the past. It’s not that easy. It’s just a feeling in the background, a hollow loneliness, a feeling of Why am I bothering? A cold lonely place that you just can’t get out of..  On a really bad day.

On an OK day, it could just be a lack of energy. No motivation. Knowing you have a whole house worth of work to do, but not having the motivation to do it. Looking at that ever growing pile of laundry, and knowing you have to tackle it.. In the winter, with no washing line to sun the clothes on. They have to be spread through the house on the radiators. It’s such a mission.

On a good day, nobody knows you suffer from it. You get good at hiding it, as you don’t want people to know. Sometimes caffeine can give you an artificial energy that makes you feel like it is all ok today. Sometimes it is.

On a very good day, you forget you have it. Everything is sunny and happy, you are on top of all the things you need to do, and there are no stresses to worry about. Very good days don’t come about too often, so you have to savour them when they do.

 

I have read about depression being likened to a big black dog that comes to hang about with you. I like this. It works for me. I named mine Rufus. He is big and shaggy, has messy hair, and just likes to sit and stare and pant. He is like a big black fuzzy bear dog. He is my secret friend. People don’t always know he is there, but he is there just the same.

 

The big thing that used to bring Rufus calling in the past was not having a child. So desperate was I for the pitter patter of tiny feet, that it was literally all I could think about. I would lie in the bath, looking at my bloated belly, swollen from Endometriosis and generally being a bit overweight, and wish it had a baby in it. That I wouldn’t care how fat I was, if it was from having a baby.  That nothing else would matter if I had a baby. That everything that bothered me would disappear, because I would have a baby. I was diagnosed with Endo when I was 20, and they removed an Ovarian Cyst the size of a lemon at the same time. It was all I could think about, but at the time I was in a bad relationship, and knew I didn’t want that kind of tie to him. So I still held out. After a while, with my husband, the time came. We thought I would take a while to conceive, with fertility issues, and having had contraception for 15 years solid. But it didn’t. My little ray of sunshine came along straight away. She knew I needed her.

She is a massive help with Rufus. But didn’t take him away completely. I can look at her, and not think about everything else. Then I look at everything else, and Rufus slinks back in, and just lies down, quietly panting in the background, tongue lolling out of the side of his mouth.

I decided after she came, that it was time to do something about it. I had suffered from depression since I was about 11, and had never taken anything for it. I was always stubborn and determined that I would deal with it on my own. But my little sunshine was too important for me to not deal with it. So I got some medication from the doctor. I had to do my own research as to which one I could take while still breastfeeding (13 months and counting), but I got some, and started taking it. It hasn’t taken it away, but it takes the edge off it. Less really bad days.

The yearning for her has gone at least. I no longer sit and wish for a baby. I have one. She is my everything. She needs a brother or sister, I want to fill my life with the sunshine that she brings, but there isn’t the intense longing that there was for her. She fills a hole that desperately needed filling. Now I want it to overflow with love.

The last two weeks or so…

This last couple of weeks have been very up and down for me.

I took two weeks off work as it was my beautiful Daughter’s first birthday. I needed a lot of time to bake and get ready for her Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. I was planning on baking all sorts of goodies, we had invited around 40 people, but did not expect all to come.

 

Her birthday was on the Thursday, and we had a lovely day together. We opened some presents, ate chocolate birthday cake, played with her new toys and generally just hung out together.

The next morning, she went to the childminders, so I could spend the whole day baking in preparation for the party on the Sunday.

 

Then on Friday morning I get a phone call from my Dad. My Granny passed away during the night. I was devastated, But had a lot to do! I was quite close to my Granny as I grew up, I used to stay with her during the school holidays and talk to her on the phone. I missed her, as I had moved away, and still don’t drive, so I didn’t get to see her very much. She had known I got married, but at that stage didn’t really leave the house much, so wasn’t able to come.

She had met Daisy a couple of times, but was already bedridden.

 

So it wasn’t entirely unexpected, she looked awful the last time I saw her. it was almost a relief that she had gone, as I hated seeing her in such a bad way. But that is it now. She is gone.

 

I had to crack on with Daisy’s birthday party. I baked Fondant Fancies, Bug shaped cakes and cookies…  Most of my bug cakes failed. My heart wasn’t in it. But I had to keep going.

 

I panicked.. There were a lot of people coming, expecting cakes and cookies and sandwiches. I told a couple of people that I didn’t know if there was going to be enough food.. and bless them all, they all brought something they made. I had extra cupcakes, carrot cakes, decorated bisciuts, all sorts. There was more than enough food. There was Roast Beef and Smoked chicken that we had cooked the day before, made up in to sandwiches and rolls, and my fondant fancies came out fine..  Custard Cream Daisies, the family recipe chocolate cake made up in to cupcakes, and even a few Almond Bug Cakes!

I spent most of the party opening presents with Daisy. She was given so much stuff I was overwhelmed! She had a great time, running around with people and having lots of cuddles and attention.

 

The next week, it was my birthday. I wasn’t particularly bothered, I never was before..  But this year, I had put so much energy in to Daisy’s birthday, I wanted to just have a day off with her.

 

I got a message a few days before from a friend to say that she was taking me out for a pub dinner, her treat. So I accepted..  Even though by this point, I was feeling really run down, tired out and full of cold! I almost backed out on her. After all, it was only the two of us, going out to the pub…  Except for the day before, MrM passed me his phone, asking me to have a look at a badly designed website, which didn’t show how to buy the item it was showing..

I had been talking on my phone to another friend, about how I was being dragged out for my birthday, otherwise I wouldn’t be celebrating, as I wasn’t that bothered..

 

She took a screen shot of our conversation, and pasted it on Facebook.. in a secret group. Which MrM was a part of. So while I was looking at this website.. A message popped up on the notification bar…  X has posted in Sami’s Secret Birthday Meal !   Oops.

 

So it looked like I had to go!

 

I admitted it to her when she came to pick me up, that I knew what was going on…  They had managed to keep it secret for about a month, so fair play ro them for that!

 

So now it is the day of the funeral, A sad occasion, but I was told (and I agree) mourning clothes are not necessary. So I am wearing a pale coloured top with multicoloured butterflies on it. I always did love looking in Butterfly books with Granny. We loved wildlife. She used to volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary, helping wild birds, Hedgehogs etc. She loved Hedgehogs and frogs. So we always bought her Hedgehog gifts for Christmas and Birthdays.

Daisy is going to be wearing a yellow dress with a Daisy on it. Bright and cheerful. Granny would have liked that. Funerals are so depressing. This will be a simple service, with just one Hymn.. All Things Bright and Beautiful.

Today will be a day of seeing family, the children seeing family members that they don’t see very often, and them seeing the little ones. It needs to be a positive day.

 

 

Added Post Funeral:

It was nice to see family again, I don’t get to see them often. I miss them all a lot.

The service was lovely, nice and simple. Punctuated with Daisy saying “Ba ba ba ba” a lot, which was a good amusement for people. Rather than people be offended by there being a babbling baby, it helped take the edge off such a sad day. It made people smile.

At one point, being frustrated by me keeping hold of her, she did start to whinge a bit, so I just fed her. Breastfeeding during a funeral service is probably one of the most random things I have done, but needs must, and it helped chill Daisy out. It also gave my brother a laugh.

 

We went to a Cricket Club type place afterwards for a buffet. A few people came, and Daisy got to run around with her cousin who is only 2 months older than her, which was nice.

She enjoys playing with other babies, and they were sharing a drink, passing it back and forth between them, which was lovely to see. I hope she gets to see him more, as family is very important to me, even more so now I have started one of my own.

 

We went back to Granny’s house, to pick up my Dad’s dog Poppy before taking him home. There was a set of Silver hair brushes and dressing table items that Granny had always said I would have one day. Today turned out to be that day. We are on our way home now, and they are in the boot. I am going to wrap them in tissue, and store them safely away until such time as I have a dressing table of my own, and somewhere safe to display them. I have always loved them, and they are so precious. I may even get one of those slimline display cabinets from Ikea and put them in pride of place in there. I would love to display them, they need to be appreciated, not hidden away. But for now, until I have somewhere safe, they need to be protected. <3

 

Swimming with Daisy

For the past few weeks, Thursday has been swimming day for us.
We go to a swimming lesson for 0-3, and there has been a good mix of ages.
Daisy is nearly 6 months old now. There is about a 50/50 split between babies and toddlers. It’s mostly Mums that go, with the occasional Dad. So some are carried by mum, others have arm bands and are ‘swimming’ on their own, but are still supported by Mum. The class is for 0-3 years old. So even at 2-3 years, they do the same as the babies.

The session is half an hour long, where we lift the babies/toddlers in and out of the water to nursery rhymes, walking round the pool straddling a noodle, singing ‘Horsey horsey don’t you stop’,  dunking them under the water to ‘Jack be Nimble’ and other similar things.

The first couple of lessons were fun. It was good to learn what to do with Daisy in the water, but after a while I got a bit bored of it. It was the same stuff over and over, which I agree, repetition builds familiarity, but it would have been good to maybe introduce something new each week. We went for a total of 10 lessons, which were the Grand total of £44. This didn’t seem too bad at first, but then thinking of it as £4.40 for half an hour’s swim, where they didn’t really learn to swim, it seemed a bit much. I was also told it would give us unlimited free swim, which was great, just what I wanted while on Maternity leave, but then someone clarified, and it was Daisy that got the free swim, not me.
That’s no bonus at all being as kids are free until they are four anyway!

We started out at Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre, which I was told was warmer and they had just done it all out, so it was great. We actually found the pool cold, Daisy was always shivering by the end, and there were never enough changing rooms after a baby swimming lesson with baby changing tables in. Quite often we would be stood there waiting for a room, with a cold baby, and someone would come out of a baby change room without a child, so there obviously weren’t enough cubicles.

For our last two lessons, we swapped to Water Meadows, thinking if we were going, we may as well get a bit of a fun swim after the lesson. This may well have worked well if we had fitted in to a later lesson, but they don’t open the main pool until 12, and our lesson was 10-10:30. The lesson itself was better though. The instructor was actually in the pool with us, and there were more games geared around actually swimming.

Daisy is starting to try to swim now. She kicks her little legs trying to move through the water, so I want more for her than to be lifted in and out of the pool.

They were good for those that need more confidence in the water, those that want to just play, but for us, I think we are going to look for something more. I have heard Water Babies are good, although a lot more expensive (£100-£180 for 10 lessons I am told), but you do get what you pay for with everything. I have seen photos of a baby the same age as Daisy (born the same day!) swimming under water with no-one else in shot. As in swimming on his own. These lessons also teach them self preservation, to hold on to the side of the pool etc. So it looks like these are our next step. 🙂

We have a monthly membership for me now, so we can go whenever we want to. So far we have been going to the Parent and Toddler sessions at Water Meadows on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, but not always all 3 each week, but making sure we go at least twice a week. Have to get out moneys worth out of our monthly membership! It is fun. Daisy loves swimming, and you can really see her becoming more aware of where she is, and what she is doing. The first few lessons she was indifferent about it. She was relaxed, but it was just as if she was at home being held. Now she is actively kicking her legs, and starting to splash. She watches everyone else a lot, she loves to people watch, so I think she is picking up new ideas. Or plotting world domination. One or the other!

I’m online!

For so long I have wanted my own blog / website. I have had so many ideas going round my head. Things I wanted to say. Topics I wanted to blog about.
And now, finally… It is here. This week a lot of my ideas are starting to take place. I own 10 domain names now.
The idea was for me to develop a few different blogs. Give me a hobby, something to work on while I was on Maternity leave. But I found other things to work on (coming in a later blog post). Still, I was itching to start writing, so they needed to go up.

There are so many things I want to say, so much in fact that all of my thoughts are jumbled together and I can’t form a proper post. It is starting to ramble already. But it is 9:17pm, and I have a squirming baby next to me, wanting to get at my phone. She loves bright lights.

Thanks to the wonder of modern technology, I can feed Daisy and carry on blogging at the same time. From my phone. I love it. 🙂

So, being as this is my first blog post, I really should introduce myself. Or rather, the blog. There is an About Me page for stuff about me. For those that don’t know me that is. How many strangers will read this, I don’t know. But I suppose it is the way things are done.

I have such a constantly busy mind that I need an outlet. Somewhere I can release the random thoughts and feelings and articles I think about while doing other things. There are so many different things I want to blog about that I have a few different websites to do it. I like things sorted and orderly, rather than having all the posts in one place, I also have other websites specifically for those things. Although I may share them on both sides.

I don’t have much time to sit down and do nothing, but when I feed Daisy, I am forced to sit down and take it easy for a bit. I would guess this is where I am going to do most of my blogging. Night time feeds are easier for hands free, but I may manage to squeeze in some daytime posts too.

I have many plans for this blog. That is for another post, another time. But I am excited to start the journey. Who is going to come with me on this adventure?