Tuesday, 16 December 2014

H is for Happy!

Well, hello my poor neglected little blog!
I am very sorry that I have not been here for quite a while now, but life has been just so hectic!
So, while I have a few quiet moments, actually to myself, I thought it was about time that I updated my latest news!


I know right?? I never thought I would be saying those words, so soon as this! But it's the truth!
There a few reasons for my new found happiness:

1) I am loving life and my place in it so much more now that I have placed my faith and trust in God. I pray more and try to stress less! I feel so loved and protected and it's just an amazing feeling!

2) I have the most amazing, supportive family! My kids might drive me nutts, but they are what my day revolves around! My dad might be a little demanding, but he can't help it with his MS. My mum might snap at others a little, but she is only human and very tired and over-worked! This whole new outlook has just made me try to be more understanding and patient - I don't manage it all the time, but I know that it is achievable!

3) I think I have met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with!! This is probably had the biggest impact on my happiness, if I'm honest!
I decided (with a little encouragement from my mum) to try out Classic FM Romance, to try and meet a nice man, seeing as I was well and truly over the Ex now. So, one evening I spent an age ticking all these boxes on the forms, placed a photo of myself (really hated that bit!) and the I uploaded it! I had interest from a couple of nice men, but nothing that seemed to instantly 'click' as the right person. Two days later and I log on to find that a man with the most gorgeous smile had sent me a message! We started to message on the site, then found each other on facebook and eventually exchanged phone numbers! Then I spoke to him on the phone! I know! Me, talking to a stranger on the phone, by choice!! Unheard of ;-) Then we were talking every night! He came to spend the night in a hotel near where I live. We went out to dinner and then to the cinema and it was just brilliant!
Then I went to see him for the weekend where he was working, but only ended up seeing him for an hour! He had booked me a hotel showing as being 6 miles away from where he was working, but it turned out that it had been calculated across the water! I was in fact 1 1/2 hours away! I still can't believe he got a taxi and came and surprised me for that hour - costing him £250!!! Crazy man ;-) I actually spent a beautiful weekend at Southend-on-Sea, exploring and having some 'me time'!
He has also met my kids and my mum and dad! The kids loved him, as he was on the floor being silly and playing with them! He even came with me to collect Little Man from school, which I hadn't expected him to do. My parents think he's great! He sat and spoke for a while with my dad and just loved my mum's cooking - all set the right impression, confirming for me that he is just amazing!
Since then he has been constantly working, but we still manage to message throughout the day and talk every night, unless one of us falls asleep ;-) I think that is one of the things I love the most about him, we talk! I never really had that with the Ex! We talk about everything! Religion, everyday things, family, past, future hopes and dreams, it's just brilliant!!
He is gorgeous, kind, caring and someone I can tell everything and anything to! He knows all about my depression and the fact that I can't work at the moment, and it doesn't bother him!
I told him I loved him the first night I met him in person and I truly meant it! He told me that he loved me too! We now tell each other how much we love each other, every single day! Oh, important information, his name is Michael and he is South African, so has a gorgeous accent too! I always knew I was going to fall for a tall, dark, handsome man ;-)
So, there we have it! My reasons for being happy!
I hope that in this hectic time of Christmas, you manage to find some time to sit back and look about you for your 'happiness' too!  xxx

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

I'm now Confirmed!

So many exciting things have been happening in my life lately, happiness, finding love, but that's for another post ;-) This post is about my growing love of God and belief in Jesus, which was confirmed for all to see at my Confirmation ceremony last night :-)

It was a lovely ceremony, not at my church, but still quite a close one (they take it in turns as to who hosts the service) I had my first Communion as well, which was really nice, even though I can't have the alcohol! I had discussed this with my vicar Brenda, who has been helping me on my journey. We decided that I could just pretend to take a sip, as no one would know! Then I could fully take part, without having the alcohol that I'm not allowed ;-)

The bishop of Reading confirmed me and 5 other candidates; three young kids, a small lady in her 80's (though she didn't look a day over 65!) and a man in his late 30's-early 40's. It was lovely for me to share this special evening with such a range of people, emphasising to me how my faith is shared by all walks of life :-)

The part of the service that sticks with me the most, was when the bishop asked us if we were ready for this step, but not just with our minds, with our hearts. He told a story of when he had been hesitant with the paths that God seemed to be guiding him along. The first being when he went to Ethiopia. He thought only for three years, but he actually ended up staying 9! Then he was being called back to become the Bishop of Reading, and again he hesitated, not sure if he was ready. He told us that hesitation is a natural part of being human; we won't always be sure that we are following the right paths, but if we trust in God and believe with all our hearts, we will do the right thing. So, all he asked of us, was that our hearts were ready to accept God and be filled with his light and love, even if our minds were not quite there yet! He told me after that he could tell I was fully ready, as I spent the whole service just beaming!

I am so glad and grateful for this new chapter in my life and step forward with my faith! It was lovely that my vicar Brenda, her mum Mary and my mum all came along to support me too! Brenda also gave me a beautiful cross as a gift, which was just sooo lovely of her! I 'm still carrying on meeting up with her, continuing my journey and learning from the Bible. Next time we meet, I am going to have to make sure that I have my little 'thank you' gift all sorted, but I have no idea what to give her!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Random Act of Kindness

Charity has been on my thoughts a lot lately. With all the suffering in the world I keep seeing and reading about, it's no wonder!
However, these thoughts have really been building up now, in the run up to Christmas and the turning of the seasons towards winter. I keep thinking that I want to do more, to help more people, but I never seem to quite know what to do or how to help.

The concert I went to with my mum to watch Il Divo, turned into a chance for me to help someone, even though it was only a small act.
As we all filed out into the streets after the concert, there sat on the floor at the bottom of the stairs, was a man, wrapped in a sleeping bag, head down, begging. He was totally silent, with just a hat place in front of him.  I only watched him for a few moments, before I decided that I wanted to give him a bit of money. Before I got to him, I watched a woman place a few coins in his hat and walk away. Most people ignored him or pretended that he wasn't there. As I walked over to him, preparing just to place my coins in his hat, something just made me want to do a little more. So I crouched down next to him and asked him his name. It took a couple of tries before he actually looked up and saw that I was talking to him. I looked into the eyes of a tired, sad face and I just wanted to cry. We talked for a few moments, he told me that he was Edward. I said I was so sorry that he was homeless, and asked God to bless him. Before he left, I stayed beside him, and I learnt that he had been homeless for 15 years. As he left, with my money and others now safely tucked in his pocket (or possibly his bag, I don't remember exactly) he said goodbye and we waved at each other.

Now I know I only gave this man a few pounds and the hope that he could find a hot drink somewhere, but I think actually talking to him was the more important part for me. I wonder how many times we pass homeless people on the street, everyday without giving them a single glance or thought? Or the, 'I have seen you, but I'm going to pretend that I didn't' move, or even worse, some judgemental thought along the lines of 'why don't you just get a job!' etc.

I think that this has actually reinforced in me the need to do some charity work. I have been getting so much stronger and better over the last few weeks, so I think the time has come to find someone to help! Off to look at the volunteer opportunities in my local area, in just a moment.

The other thing it has made me realise is just how fortunate I am.
Sure, I have a mental illness, that causes me no end of problems, but I also have 2 beautiful healthy children. I have loving family and friends and a roof over my head. I have clothes to wear (even if some are holey and very very old!) and more than enough food and water to eat and drink.
I am more blessed than so many, and for that I am truly thankful!

I wonder if this year, in the run up to Christmas, we could all take a moment and think of those less fortunate than ourselves. A random act of kindness can go a long way, no matter how small!

Friday, 31 October 2014

I love Il Divo!!

Well, I managed to complete another of my Day Zero Project challenges this week by going to watch Il Divo at the BIC in Bournemouth on Wednesday, with my mum!

Here we are waiting for them to start!

If you have no idea who they are, then briefly, they are 4 gorgeous singers with use their classical / operatic techniques to sing a wide range of musical genres! David, Sebastien, Carlos and Urs have now been together for 10 years making music in their own Il Divo style! This is the first time that I have ever seen them live and they were just amazing!!

Sorry for the poor quality photos, but I took them of the souvenir brochure I bought!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

This is me.

So, for yet another time in my life, I have hit rock-bottom. Not surprising since I have just had my divorce through, found out The Ex is engaged and now also has a baby on the way!
Things got so bad that my depression pinged and the kids have been staying with their dad (well more like his parents!) since last Thursday night when I fell apart. They are going to keep the kids with them until Thursday and I am so so grateful - flowers, choccies and beers will def be sent as a huge thank you!!

So now, I have finally got my butt out of bed and washed and dressed, I have decided that it is time to take a long hard look at myself; who am I? What do I want / need? etc. I think usually I start making these elaborate 'Plans' of what I'm going to do next and focus on next, without ever bothering to take a look at the starting point! Usually, my plans start really well, but then run out of steam pretty soon, (usually because I get ill again!) Maybe I expect too much of myself, and set unrealistic goals? Maybe I think of too many 'projects' and things I want to sort and change, giving me too much to cope with? Whatever the reason, I am now ready to face who I am. I'm also scared and a bit emotional (thanks depression!!) at what I think I am now!

Ok, no more putting it off....

This is me:

I am 32. I've not got a problem with age, thankfully! It's just a number. You know the old saying  'you're as old as you feel' well I can actually make that a bad thing! I can often feel about my actual age on a good day, but mostly I feel like I'm 85, tired and totally worn out!

I have 2 children. I'm a mum, a SAHM. I often think I am a rubbish mum. I don't have the energy or patience I want to have and think I need in order to be a good mum. I love my kids and they mean the world to me, but  I need a break from them from time to time. This is the first real break I've had from my kids in term time, ever. I do my best, but it's not good enough at the moment, I always want to do more. My Little Man is still dealing with his dad leaving our home, but he's getting there. My Little Miss is finding her independence and just has so much energy that I can't keep up! I know I am blessed to have them, having suffered a miscarriage, but I feel like I'm letting them down at the moment.

I live with my parents. I am so blessed and grateful to have my amazing parents here, supporting me. My mum is amazing, especially by helping with the kids, but she too has reached breaking point. This break from the kids will benefit all of us really! Also, it will allow the guilt of putting even more pressure on my poor mum, where she has to do what I can't, to have a break too! Living at home is brilliant, but I often feel like I'm not a 'real mum' as I don't run the house, or make the decisions, for example, buying groceries or what we are going to have for dinner - all those little annoying things that 'normal' mums do, I don't. I think I've sat back and accepted that my mum makes the decisions - she does like to be in control of things, so I let her and just go with the flow. I want to have more of a say, to help out more and do more. In time I think I will.

I have some serious problems. Depression - it has been coming along and kicking me off balance now for the past 15 years and I hate it! I hate how every time I seem to finally be getting better something will happen and back my depression drags me, right back to the bottom of the spiral. Back into the darkness, where I have to claw my way up the slippery slope, back towards the light and a happier place. It is exhausting living in this cycle! A lot of the time, I just think, 'why bother, why not end it now?' but I'm too much of a coward to listen to that negative voice and actually act on it - thank God!
Self-harming. I have been attacking my skin since I was about 12 years old, when I got bullied. It is routine, it happens daily and can escalate when I'm doing really bad. It happens more when I'm stressed. I think it might be a bit of ocd, as any imperfection I see on my skin - spot, mark, pimple has to go. A doctor told me once that he thought I had something called 'dermatitis atrefacta' but it never really went anywhere. I can't stop it, I've tried. At the moment, I attack my chest, face and left arm, but occasionally my legs too. It sucks, as I know that each time I pick my skin, I am re-infecting it and so the cycle keeps going!

I am over weight. I hate this, but I have started to work on it. Since The Ex left, I have lost about 3 stone in weight (mostly due to stress!) I have tried to improve my diet and exercise more (eating better, cutting out diet pepsi, started kickboxing), but at the moment, I am emotionally eating and have become a couch potato!

I am unemployed and on benefits. I hate this so so much! I want to be able to provide for my family myself, but my health prevents me. I hate knowing that if only I was better now, then my new life could finally begin! I want to work so badly and I would do anything, absolutely any job, as long as it gave me a chance to earn 'my own' money, I would do it! But then I think, who would want to employ me, when there are hundreds of healthy, fit, reliable people out there also looking for a job? I desperately want to do something to help others - like voluntary work, but I'm scared. I'm scared that no one will want me. I'm scared of having any responsibility at all, in case I let them down.

I think I'm lonely. I am blessed with amazing friends and family, but since The Ex left me, there has been a hole in my heart. An ache that comes from losing who I thought was the love of my life. He's been part of my whole adult life, we had been together since I was 17 and he was my first real boyfriend! So I think lonely and heartbroken pretty much suit my situation!

Ok, it's not all doom and gloom! I do have a couple of things I do like about myself ;-)

 I have cool eyes that change colour dramatically. Depending on my mood or what I'm wearing, my eyes change from bright blue, to greeny-blue to bluey-grey. Most of the time, I have a bluey-green colour, but very happy me is bright blue and the total opposite is bluey-grey! Thankfully, I don't often have bluey-grey coloured eyes!

I believe in God and am a Christian. I love Jesus and am trying to live my life in a way that reflects my beliefs. I am very early in my Christian journey, but for the first time in such a long time, knowing that God loves me and protects me, has made me a little less afraid of the world! I pray every night, and have a long list of friends and family who I ask God to give an extra special blessing to - it grows continually ;-) I go to Church as often as I can, usually when I am well enough to wake up early enough to make it! I am working towards my Confirmation in November and I am so excited! I have been reading the Bible and learning lots of new things, but I want to have a bigger Christian life than just reading and praying! I want to join the Christian community and help others and learn more about being a Christian!

I want to help others. I know there are many in this world who are in need, that I have more things than most; a home, food, clothes, family, friends so lots to be grateful for! Being on benefits, I feel morally wrong spending 'other people's' money on charities, even though I feel they deserve it! I have limited myself to putting spare change in charity boxes and spending £8 a year supporting the British Red Cross.
I also try to help by donating to charity shops. Every time we tidy and sort a room in the house, unwanted things are bagged and donated to one of the charity shops in town. The only things that are kept to sell are big items that belong to my mum! I'm not one for trying to squeeze every last penny out of my unwanted things, by selling them on Ebay or Facebook. If I don't want it and it can be of use to someone, then off to charity it goes!
Finally I am a big believer in trying to help change things in the world. I know I can't make a big difference, but if by signing my name to a petition I feel strongly about, or sending a letter to my local MP helps someone in the world, then sign away I do! I have a number of sites that I get sent petitions from Avaaz, Care2, SumOfUs and 38 Degrees. I can't believe some of the shocking things I have seen happening around the word! I hope that by signing and sharing these causes with others, then changes can start to happen and the lives of others get better!

I keep trying to improve myself. I read lots of amazing bloggs and follow lots of inspirational people on Pinterest and Facebook to learn new crafts, or parenting tips, or positive thinking! I google all kinds of things, but mostly methods to help me be a better mum. I have pages and pages on Pinterest of all the things I want to do - crafts, activities for my kids, places I want to visit, recipes I want to cook. I have my Day Zero Project to keep me going and trying new things. I may get knocked down for a bit, but I keep trying to get better, I haven't yet given up!

I think I am feeling a bit better since I began writing this post! I know I have some difficult things going on in my life at the moment, but there are also plenty of positives!

To summarise my dreadful waffle (sorry about that!)

I'm a 32 year old, stay at home mum of 2 children, who lives with her parents. I have severe depression and self harm, this makes it hard for me to work and so I'm unemployed and live off benefits. I have just come out of a relationship, so I'm feeling lonely and a bit heartbroken. I have hit rock bottom, but there are still things to be positive about! I am a Christian, who likes to help others and I have funky eyes that change colour ;-) I have more than most and just want to get better so I can earn my own money to support my family. I have a lot to give if I am brave enough to try, and I know that I will always keep trying to improve my life and others!

This is where I will be looking back to in 6 months time to see what has changed - hopefully quite a lot!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Paying-it-forward challenge complete!

I have been trying to get back on track with my Day Zero Projects, which have been sadly neglected for a while!
So, this week, I got on with my challenge of sending 5 (I only had 3 agree to join the fun!) people a random gift sometime before the end of the year.

One was a friend, Clare, who I saw a couple of weekends back. She and her new partner are expecting a baby, and arguing over possible names! So, I offered to get her a baby names book, which I popped in the posted this week. I know, technically not a surprise, but something useful all the same ;-)

The next was a girl I worked with as a waitress, Charlote. I had no idea what to get her! Then I got thinking about her facebook page, and all the posts where she looks so beautiful (as she does!) so I decided to get her a £10 Boots voucher. Then she could treat herself to something!

Finally, the lovely Jen over at Jennifer's Little World, agreed to be my third person. I LOVE following her blog and all the crafting she does! So I wondered if there was something I could get her to do with crafting - I looked over her posts for ideas and even through her Day Zero Project list, for some clue. I decided in the end, that I was so worried I would send something she already had, that a £10 Amazon voucher would allow her to choose something she actually wants or needs!

Now I hope that they continue the challenge and send their gifts on to 5 other people :-)

I am now officially divorced.

When I think back over the last year, these were words that I thought I would be really happy to see in black and white, but that's not the case. I thought that I would be having a 'New Beginnings Party' with some of my friends, celebrating the end of one chapter and the start of a new one, but I haven't.
I have actually taken the news quite badly! Which has taken me completely by surprise!
But is it surprising that I am low and sad, when you think of the fact the The Ex was my first ever real boyfriend? That we had been friends since I was 9 years old and finally progressed to in a relationship when I reached 17. That after our 4 year engagement, (which started on my 18th birthday) we made it to 9 years of marriage - so a grand total of 14 years together! That he really hurt me when he left and started up a relationship with a friend of ours! That he didn't even wait to be divorced before he got engaged to his latest girlfriend!
Hmmm... when you look over the last year, I think I'm entitled to a few weeks of feeling like crap! I never really had many tears when he first left - I had 2 kids to look after (with a heap of help from my family) plus a massive crisis in my depression to get over at the same time. I guess I buried every feeling, put on my brave 'it's all ok' face and carried on.
Happily, it's not all doom and gloom, I genuinely have no ill will towards The Ex and am extremely happy for him! His family and I have recently mended our relationship and I am so touched that they will always see me as family, no matter what!
I guess I just feel a little lonely now. I would love to have a special someone to talk to. Someone to give me hugs and kisses and tell me that everything is going to be ok. Someone to go on dates with and have a bit of fun with! My new soul mate. I know that he is out there somewhere, but that I'm not quite ready for any of that yet.
I'm going to focus on getting me better (I'm already doing sooo much better than this time last year!) being the best mum and daughter I can be and finally continuing to help sort out our home - massive progress made already!
At least, I'll continue to do that, when I find where my 'get up and go, has got up and gone to' ;-)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Dear Little Man

Dear Little Man,
I cannot believe it, but you turned 5 yesterday! I don't know where that year has gone!

You opened your pressies after I finally managed to get you out of bed! I thought you would have run down the stairs like on Christmas day! Sienna had fun trying to help you open your pressies, even though you didn't really want help!
After school you and 10 of your friends went to an amazing bowling party, followed by food and this amazing cake:
made by my friend Wendy and her sister!
Auntie Charlotte, Uncles Chris, Owen, Grannie, Daddy and Nanny all came along too to help me! Plus some lovely mummies and daddies stayed and played too!
I think you had a great day; you were extremely excited, especially as one of your friends came home with us after school, so that we could take him to the party! You both loved sitting in the back of the car in the seat in the 'boot' on the way to the party!
You got loads of dinosaur themed pressies - your absolute favourite at the moment!
You now have another party on Saturday with daddy - you lucky thing!

I just have to share some of my favourite piccies from the last year!

 These show:
 'flying' on the trampoline, your first day in Reception Class (Fir, Turquoise group with Mrs S as your teacher), with Skye and Sienna's Christening, snuggles in bed, making smoothies for your homework, dressing up, silly faces, movie night, happy on the trampoline, with Uncle Chris on our visit to Wellington Country Park (a place you now LOVE!) fun on the trampoline with Auntie Charlotte on her Tuesday visits, Sports Day (Mrs S helping you!) and our first water fight in the garden :-)

It hasn't been the easiest of years for you, what with daddy leaving, me being really poorly and getting used to full school days, but you have done so so well, and I am so proud of the Little Man you have become! You try really hard with your all your work at school; your reading and writing has improved sooo much over the year, your colouring and drawing too! Numbers are still what you find easiest. Your teachers are really proud of you too!
You've made some lovely friends at school  and have already been to 3 birthday parties this summer, with another yet to go.

As I said before, you love dinosaurs, but also cars and playing games with Grandad. I love making marble runs with you in the living room and now thanks to Grannie and Grandad buying you an extra set, we can make the biggest run ever!

Now, as you've just gone to bed on the last day of term, we have the whole summer holiday to look forward to! Already planned are trips to Bucklebury Farm Park, Marwell Zoo, The Natural History Museum on London (to see the dinosaurs!) a 2 week holiday with me, Grannie, Grandad and Sienna in Wales, plus loads of trips to the Lakes, parks, etc. You're also going for your first proper swimming lessons - which I hope you'll really enjoy! Theme days, arty stuff, making, baking, exploring, play days with your friends and just relaxing are also in store!

I love you now and always,

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Lots of things going on!

Oooh it's been a while again!
What with trying to sort my little life out with cleaning schedules, looking after my babies and then getting an awful tummy bug, I have managed to completely neglect my poor little blog!

There are so many things that have been going on lately!
At this precise moment, my kids are meeting their dads new girlfriend. I am praying that things will go ok and I won't get an evil monster come home tonight, because he's not happy. I am totally fine with all of this, which never ceases to amaze me! I'm actually happy that he's found 'THE ONE' which she apparently is, though they've only been together a couple of months at most. Unfortunately, The Ex told Little Man all about her a few weeks back, without me knowing anything about it! It is the first time in soooo long that I was actually livid! Poor Little Man was not ready for such a bomb shell to be dropped, without warning! So I actually screamed down the phone at The Ex! Not my finest moment, but I have been picking up the pieces from all the things that The Ex has done, and I got a load of backlash that I hadn't been prepared for! Any who, damage done, so I thought there was no point in holding off on things any longer. The new girlfriend wanted to have their first meeting at Little Man's birthday party at his dad's next weekend. I decided that it would be rather unfair to have his birthday overshadowed by such a big thing, so they are meeting today instead.

I have started to FLY again! If you don't know who the FLYlady is, you HAVE to check her out! I have started to try and get 2 routines sorted - morning and evening. After that, I've got some little cleaning routines started, but not got too far yet! I'm still working on getting together my control journal. I feel so much happier when I look around the house and don't see dirt and mess everywhere! Don't get me wrong, I still have very very long way to go before I'll have sorted out all of the house, but baby steps in the right direction sure do help!

I've finally started my latest therapy 'mentalisation'. It's my first group therapy and I'm already learning lots of things. I'm actually really happy that it's a group thing this time. Sharing experiences and learning from each other has been really good.

I'm trying another new thing with Little Man to try and help him with his frustrations and anger:

Not the best picture, but I felt really proud that I did all the pictures myself - I still need to work on some of my drawing skills, but it's a start!
I found the Wheel of Choice on one of my many, many trawls through bloggs and google searches, in an attempt to learn something to help me help my Little Man. I know most of the reasons for his bad behaviour are his age and that he's tired, but as his mum, I feel that I have to do whatever I can to help him. I think in a lot of ways I feel responsible for how he behaves. I feel that it's my fault if he's not managing his feelings very well, as I haven't taught him the right skills yet. I'm hoping that this might work! If not, then back to the drawing board ;-)

Well, that about sums it up for now!
Not going to leave it too long before my next entry!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Painting project - complete!

FINALLY! Little Miss has finally got her own bedroom!
Over half term, mum and I spent a few exhausting days (and nights) clearing, cleaning and decorating her little bedroom. I actually really enjoyed the process and have decided that painting is quite relaxing! I was on 'brush' duties - corners, edges and other bits and mum was on the roller. Unfortunately, we didn't realise how uneven the walls were, so I have to keep going round and touching up the gaps, but it looked soooo much better when we finally finished :-)

Here are a few piccies to show the progress:


As you can see, it was quite a dump!
We the cleared and cleaned and got ready to paint.

All ready to paint!
We had a few mishaps! Mum managed to knock off her tray of white paint (that we used as first 2 coats) Luckily we had some old sheets down on the carpet! Unluckily, I managed to tread in the paint, resulting in lovely white feet, heehee!

I love the colour we picked out! It is just so fresh and girlie! It really helped to brighten up what was quite a dark room (it used to belong to my older brother, before he moved into his own place) 

It was a bit of a rush to get the furniture back in before Little Miss and Little Man got back from their dads, so I didn't quite finish on my own. Little man helped to place all of the finishing touches, and his dad helped me move the cot and hang a large picture on the wall. 
Very pleased with the end results:


Both Little Man and Little Miss seemed to love the end results too!
Now, Little Man is working towards getting his own bedroom decorated, as I think he's a little jealous, bless him! He has to earn stars for being good at bedtime - something that can be very hit and miss! So far, he has earned a star for every night since he's been home, so it seems to be working as a great incentive for good behaviour ;-)
He has decided that he wants to have a rainbow, with sun, moon, stars, rain clouds, and probably a load more things that I can't remember! I have decided to enlist the help of one or a few of my arty friends to paint a mural on the largest wall in his room, as I don't think my skills would stretch that far, heehee!
Little Miss has been brilliant sleeping in her new bedroom, so YAY for that!
Oooh, that's also another 'Day Zero Project' completed, so double YAY! :-D

Sunday, 25 May 2014

What is wrong with me?!?

I 'm feeling so disappointed with myself!
I have got a whole week, kiddie free (they're spending half term with their dad, on holiday) and so far, I have done NOTHING!
Why, why WHY!?!
What is wrong with me?
I have all of these big projects that need doing and even some little ones, but as yet, my motivation has not appeared! I am totally ashamed of myself!
What is it going to take to get me off my big butt and into action?
I must be the world's most lazy and selfish person, ever!
I have got to get my self together, I have been so excited about these projects - especially sorting out Little Misses bedroom, so what is stopping me?
I am amazing at making all of the lists and getting things for the projects, so why can't I just get on with it? I mean, I am writing this as another form of 'avoidance' - bad me, bad, bad, bad!
Ok, I can do this! I am going to get off my lazy bum and do something, anything! As long as it involves not sitting on the sofa watching the telly, or 'killing time' on my laptop!
Move it, move it MOVE IT!!!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Another day zero project completed

Yesterday, I decided that we were going to do our 'Tie a message to a balloon and let it go' challenge, though it didn't go quite as planned ;-)
To start with, I forgot that it could jut be a note, so we did wishes instead! Plus, my mum had the genius idea of putting out wishes inside the balloons, so then they stay waterproof, so we did that too!

 Little Man and I had to chose a wish for Little Miss. He had some great suggestions like 'have a strawberry' but I think the final, 'have a finished bedroom' was a winner in the end - no hidden agenda of course ;-)

Here we all are, ready with Auntie Charlotte, to release our wishes
 Then, to our dismay, they all dropped like they were full of lead! I don't think it was windy enough, so I was going to save them for a windier day. However, Little Man thought as one of them popped, he would help ensure that the rest of them popped too! I found all our folded up wishes and took them inside for another day. Then I had a weird conversation with my mum who said that some big company had been intending to release loads of balloons in celebration of some achievement / anniversary and had put it off after an environment group emailed them explaining the damage it would cause to birds and wildlife! I had never even considered the impact of burst balloons ending up in water ways or worse being eaten by an animal or bird that then choked on it! So I had another think! I decided that a good alternative would be to burn them! That way, minimum damage to environment - as the fire would be teeny!
Well, half a box of matches later, I finally managed to light our 4 wishes! Then we watched them float away in the smoke, hoping that one day they might come true :-)

Friday, 2 May 2014

H is for Heartbroken

So, today has not been a great day.
The weather outside is dark and overcast and my mood has reflected this! I have been mooching around in my jammies, ever since I got up (I have no idea what time that was) and I've just been in this 'fug' ever since!
I can't really concentrate and have been blubbing on and off ever since Little Miss went off with her dad for the night. I've been looking at the TV shows and not really knowing what's going on, not really taking anything in. I've read all of my e-mails and been pinning loads of things onto Pinterest for about an hour now, but I don't think I could actually recall what I pinned!
I gave up on watching TV shows and put on some background music and it was when they suddenly switched to love songs (again, no idea what was playing before!) that it suddenly hit me! I was sat listening to Richard Marx sing 'Right here Waiting' - it was Our Song, and it just made me cry even more! That was when I finally worked out, the reason that everything was going rubbish and I have been crying on and off for no reason, is that I'm heartbroken!
My ex came and spent some time with our kids, here, in my house, yesterday, because it was his birthday. I now realise that this was a huge mistake. I should never have let that happen. I should have insisted that he took the kids out, or to his place. Having him, here, as if nothing had ever happened, laughing and joking around has just made me realise that I miss that. I miss having someone to share my life with. I miss having someone who loves me and my kids above all else. I realised how alone I have been feeling lately. I feel as if there is no hope of me ever finding anyone who will love me, as I am mentally ill, and who would want to see past that and get to know me, the real me? I feel hollow and empty. I guess this is what happens when you break up with your first ever love. Because that's what he was. He was my first real boyfriend and now he's gone. He's gone and my heart is shattered.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

M is for me time!

I am having the BEST weekend so far!
Mum left yesterday afternoon to spend the weekend with some friends. The kids are spending the WHOLE weekend (well until 2.30 on Sunday) with their dad. So it's just me and my dad for the weekend!
I know it must sound awful, but I'm really enjoying having a bit of space and real time to myself! I have done loads of things on the Internet (mainly blogging and pinterest, heehee!), caught up on TV programmes I have recorded and just vegged on the sofa! Last night I had the extra bonus of a lovely long bubble bath before bed. Uninterrupted, as long as I wanted, it was bliss!
I got up at 11 this morning - bad I know! But for once, I didn't wake up feeling guilty that mum had been looking after the kids whilst I had been asleep! I'm on the road to recovery now with this latest depression 'melt-down', but I still feel guilty when I don't do everything I think I should be - especially when it comes to looking after my kids! I am feeling proud though, as I managed to do 3 out of the 4 morning school runs this week! I haven't managed that for ages, and it's made me feel so much better, plus taken pressure off of mum! (a big 'yay me' moment I think, heehee!)
I think that this is the first weekend since husband left me back in November, that I have not had the kids, or the guilt of being away and mum looking after them! I'm loving it!
I even made pancakes for our brunch this morning! I decided that me and dad deserved to have a treat, as everyone else is off having fun for the weekend! They were probably the best I've made to date, as I managed to cook them all without burning any, heehee! They were just yummy!
Here's hoping you're having a good weekend too!

Monday, 21 April 2014

N is for Nephew!

Well, I thought it had been a while since I did one of my A-Z blog prompts and this seemed a perfect subject after the lovely afternoon I spent at my brother's this afternoon!
On the 13th April, my little nephew finally made his appearance! (He was late!)
He weighed 9lbs 7oz at birth!! My poor sister-in-law ended up having a c-section as he wouldn't come out!
He is absolutely perfect and today mum, dad and I finally got to go over and have our first cuddles!
He is just soooo teeny tiny! With his cute button nose and little legs that are still bendy like a frogs! Beautiful blue eyes and a right little wriggler when my dad was having cuddles! He was a perfect angel for mum! For me, the two times I held him, he cried! Woops! It did make me feel better when my sister-in-law (SIL) reminded me that Little Miss did the same to her when she had first cuddles last year! Must be pay-back time, heehee!
What did surprise me, is that SIL is already to have the next one!! I think it took me years before I could even contemplate that idea, but fair play to her! My brother did once say that he wanted to have 6 kids, which I shared with SIL today! Not sure that they'll have that many though, judging from her look when I told her that, heehee ;-)
It's also been lovely to hand down loads of bits that Little Miss doesn't need anymore! I never sold anything from when Little Man was a baby, everything was either kept for Little Miss, or been given and shared amongst my friends! It's even nicer to share with my big bro! I've got a list of more things I've asked if they wanted, to take when we visit in a couple of weeks with Little Man and Little Miss!
Sooo happy for them! Just had to share :-D

Friday, 18 April 2014

My Get Up and Go, Has Got Up and Went!

This is how I feel!
I want to do soooo many things at the moment, but I have no energy, no enthusiasm, no willpower, no... nothing! I feel frustrated and useless, once again!
This line always springs to mind when I feel like this is 'My Get Up and Go Has Got Up and Went'
My grandparents had this poem on the wall in the toilet room of their house. I used to read it over and over, trying to decide which stage I was at! 
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the poem:

How do I know my youth has been spent 

Well my get up and go has got up and went.

But in spite of it all I’m able to grin,

When I think of the places my get up has been.

Old age is golden, so I’ve heard it said

But sometimes I wonder, as I get into bed.

With my ears in a drawer, and my teeth in a cup

And my eyes on the table until I get up.

Ere sleep dims my eyes, I say to my self

“Is there any thing else I should lay on the shelf”?

But I am happy to say as I close my door,

My friends are the same, only more even more.

When I was young, my slippers were red

I could kick up my heels over my head

When I grew older my slippers were blue

But still I could dance, the whole night thru.

Now I am old, my slippers are black

I walk to the store, and puff my way back.

The reason I know my youth is all spent

My get up and go has got up and went.

But I really don’t mind, as I reminisce

My get up and go gave me such wonderful bliss.

Since I am retired from life’s competition.

I busy myself with complete repetition.

I get up in the morning, dust off my wits

Pick up my paper, and read the obits.

If my name is missing I know I’m not dead

So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.

(this is a copy I found via Google, that is as close to the version I remember so well!)

I think a lot of the time, I've always felt that my slippers were black, but I would love them to be blue!! ;-)
I think just finding this poem and reading it all again has already made me start to feel a little better! It always did make me smile!
Hopefully this 'fug' will pass and I'll be back on my way again!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Listpgraphy: Top 5 Photos of 2013

Another listography from the lovely Kate at Kate Takes 5, my top 5 photos from 2013.
I love taking photos of everything that goes on in my life! Sometimes I think I take a few too many, but that's another story ;-)

1) Ok, so technically I didn't take this one, but in January my life was completed by the arrival of my Little Miss! This is my favourite family photo we ever had taken! So sad to think that we won't be having anymore like this :-(

2) I am soooo lucky to live near some beautiful lakes at out Nature Discovery Centre. I love taking the kids there to play in the adventure parks, have a lovely walk and feed the ducks and swans. This is one of my 'trying to be arty' photos - I just love it! Swans are just so graceful and the picture acts as a reminder of fun times at the lakes - jumping in the puddles, teaching Little Man how to play 'Pooh Sticks' and just enjoying a beautiful place :-)

3) My yummy kids! This has to be the best photo I've ever managed to take of my kids! It was not planned, just in the spur of the moment, as the kids messed around on the play mat!
4) It may be a little fuzzy, but catching my Little Miss actually smiling is a rare treat!

5) I just love the expression of Little Man here - makes me chuckle every time I look at it :-)

So, what was your 2013 like?

Blog Your Heart Out meme

The lovely Jennifer over at Jennifer's Little World has shared a little meme, Blog Your Heart Out, a way to share information about yourself and your bog, so I thought I would join in the fun!

Who/What encouraged you to start blogging?
I don't have the best of memories, but I think I got into blogging from reading lots of blogs on Netmums Parent Bloggers Network. I have been a member of Netmums for ages and this was something that caught my eye one day. I had been looking for a way to help my depression, which was really bad at the time, someone had suggested writing my thoughts down, or blogging, but I had been to nervous to start, as I thought it would be really difficult! (I'm not the most tech savvy person!) Having read loads posts and getting lots of support I took the leap and gave it a go! I think Kate Takes 5 was the first blog I ever followed.

How did you choose what topics to blog about?
Whatever I feel like at the time. I chose the name of my blog so that it could write about anything and everything in my crazy little world! I also included 'mental' as a reference to my depression, but also to give people an understanding that I'm a total fruit loop and proud to be ;-)
I started writing to get the thoughts that continually whizzed around my head , out and 'on paper' (a tip I learnt from my therapists was to write things down) I have never been good at keeping a 'paper' journal, so blogging seemed a much better idea, a new way to clear my thoughts and keep a record of things that have been going on in my life. I know I'm not that great at it (and can neglect my poor little blog for months!) but I do this for me, not to gain anything like recognition or followers (though if you're reading this, and are one of my few followers - thank you for sticking with me!!!) I also made a conscious decision not to share my blog with any friends or family - not so that I could write horrible things behind their backs, but so I could be totally honest about tough things like my depression, without making them upset.
I now blog mostly about my kids, my day zero project, and a few memes I join in for fun (listography at Kate Takes 5 mainly is my favourite!)

What is something most people don't know about you?
Hmmm... not sure about this one either, as I am quite open and honest about myself, especially on here! Oh, how about, I have really cool eyes that change colour quite dramatically :-) Apparently everyones eyes change colour, but most of the time you don't really notice it. My eyes change from bright blue, to bluey-green, to bluey-grey depending on my mood and what I'm wearing! Most of the time I have bluey-green eyes, when I'm extremely happy I have bright blue eyes and if I'm grumpy they are blue-grey! Thankfully, my eyes are rarely blue-grey! Also they can coordinate with what I'm wearing!! This always made those lessons at school when you do surveys on eye colour a little tricky - I used to have to ask a friend what colour they were at the time, heehee! I do love being different :-)

What three words describe your style?
Ummm... I have no idea! Probably rambling, random and real-life?? (ooh three 'r's - small things, heehee!)

What do you love to do when you're not blogging?
Ooooh sooo many things! I love watching films (mostly Disney with my kids!), going to feed the ducks at the local lakes, spending time with family and friends, reading other blogs, pinning things on Pinterest (to get around to doing, someday!) following inspiration and small businesses on Facebook, knitting (my new hobby) reading on my own and to my kids, making jewellery and cards (though I haven't done this for a while!) trying to help with environmental issues (new passion of mine!) organising the mess of a house we all live in! I could go on and on (see, told you I ramble, heehee!)

I have no idea how to tag people to join in, but if you feel like having a go, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Paying it forward - random gifts!

Ooooh! Just read a lovely post over at Emmys Mummy about kindness and 'Paying it Forward' and it is such a nice idea, that I'm going to join in the fun!
I've been following the idea of 'paying it forward' and 'random acts of kindness' for a while now.
The lovely surprise an unexpected gesture can give someone, anyone, is just such a simple, joyful concept! Now, I'm not the best at doing this, or thinking about it all the time, but I love the idea of doing what I can, when I can. I love giving my car parking ticket to complete strangers, if I no longer need it and it has a few hours left on it - the look of surprise and happiness on their faces, makes it sooo worthwhile, for such a simple thing!
I would love to do some of the bigger gestures, like pay for someones dinner or groceries, or give a sac of goodies to a homeless person, but funds are very tight still!

Now, this idea that I read over at Emmys Mummy, is that I will buy a small gift for the first 5 people who comment 'I'm in' on this post. (This will be sometime in 2014 and you won't know when, until it arrives!) Then to pay it forward, they have to do the same!
There are 2 ways to do this; either by posting a blog (like I'm doing) or adding it as as a Facebook status.

If you want to join in the fun of spreading a little joy, then please leave me a way to contact you (e-mail, snail mail, Facebook, etc)
Image from Google search

Friday, 21 March 2014

Listography - My Life in Books

Another brilliant list from the lovely Kate at Kate takes 5, this week focusing on books you've read and loved throughout your life - so I just had to join in ;-)

1. One, Two, Three and Away series.
Featuring; Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat and Johnny and Jennifer Yellow Hat and Percy Green - these were the first books I ever remember reading! The Village with Three Corners - oh soo many memories! (I'll admit, I had to google the name of the series, as all I could remember were the character names, though I forgot Percy Green, heehee!)

2.The Hero of Hamblett
This was by far my favourite book for my dad to read at bedtime! My brother and I would either curl up on his bed, or mine, with my dad in the middle and I can remember finding this sooo funny!
What's even better, is that I found that copy not long ago, so Little Man will be able to enjoy it at bedtime too!

3. Roald Dahl
He was the author of my Primary School years! I adored reading all of his books! He painted amazing worlds were children could stand up for themselves and achieve fantastic feats! He showed how the 'under-dog' could outsmart even the evillest of villains in the end! He really sparked my imagination and love of reading!

4. Jane Austen
When I hit my late teens, with the help of the oh so yummy Mr Darcy (played by Colin Firth) showing each week, plus my dad's enthusiasm, my love of Jane Austen was born! I have read and re-read them over and over and over again! They have a special place in my heart and live on the shelf of my bedside locker, so are always at hand when I need them! I tend to read them when life gets tough, or problematic - I can loose myself in her words, like greeting an old friend, instantly transporting me to my comfort zone ;-)
Although my love began with Pride and Prejudice, it is Persuasion that is my firm favourite now! Weird how things change as you grow older, huh!

5. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Thanks to the hype of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, my love of mysteries based in history and religion began. Labyrinth was one of the gems I found at this time and instantly, I loved it! The way the 2 stories of Alais and Alice wove in and out, the twists, the imagery... I could go on for ages, so better stop ;-)

(All images taken from Google image search)

So there you have it, these are the books that make up my life, so far! Many, many more could have made the list though ;-)
Off to have a look at some other book lists now, then I might be inspired and find new authors and genres to read next :-)