Anti-depressants can help.

Anti-depressants can help.

I’ve always had issues with antidepressants not working for me. I’ve been on so many now and the only thing they ever really did was make me tired and did nothing for my depression. After a really bad patch I went through recently I went to the doctors and asked for help. I straight away said I want nothing I’ve had before I want whatever I try to be a big dose so it actually helps me. There was only one thing I hadn’t tried which was fluoxetine.

I’ve been on them three weeks now and I’ve noticed a big difference. I’m not going to say it’s completely cured me but it is really helping me. I’m able to let go of bad thoughts. To rationalise with my self that I’m being anxious and think a lot more clearly. I don’t get so upset or hold on to things as long. My mood swings are less dramatic and I’m certainly feeling the black cloud leaving.

I’ve always been sceptical about whether they work or not but I feel now I’ve found the right one for me. They’re in no way a cure but if it can help me be a bit more rational in my thought process then it is so much more beneficial for me than not being on them. I think having a positive mindset and keeping busy and avoiding triggers has helped me too. I’ve decided to push back my surgery which may be stupid to some but it’s caused my depression to be so much stronger and until I’m done with counselling for my last surgery I don’t think I’d be able to have it done again without a whole lot of stress again (and all the physical symptoms that have came with it like reflux, headaches, delayed period and itchy skin).

I’m hoping to continue and see how it goes. I’ve got it on a repeat prescription now so I’m hoping the effects will be long term now. There is no shame in taking medication so if you’re struggling and feel like you may need it have a chat to your g.p.

The constant battle of nap times

The constant battle of nap times

The one thing that is always hit and miss with our little guys routine is naps. He goes through periods where he will nap daily then he’ll refuse a nap for sometimes weeks. Obviously tired kids are not fun kids. Elijah for one becomes more emotional and prone to tantrums when he’s tired so we try anyway to get him to nap.

We try and keep to routine as much as we can. We try and serve meals and snacks the same time everyday and we try to teach Elijah that bedtime is no later then 7pm no matter the time of the year. Only on very special occasions is he aloud to stay up later such as family visits but even then he still goes to bed no later then 8. I think keeping routines have allowed him to decide whether he needs a nap or not and the length he sleeps at night somewhat allows him to be rested regardless.

Sometimes I find that Elijah sleeps better when I notice signs he’s tired. He gets cuddly, he wants to cuddle his teddies and he goes quiet. I’ll ask him if he wants a nap and of course he’ll always say no but I say let’s try. I take him to his room and tuck him in as I always do and leave him to it. He’ll normally sing to himself for a while and give up and sleep but if he doesn’t he’ll just cry and I’ll give up and we try again later. I find he naps better in late morning about 10:30 instead of the afternoon I think he gets too much energy from playing all morning and doesn’t want to stop when I try in afternoon. He also ends up napping to long in afternoons and then is more awake at bedtimes. I try not to force him to nap as I myself don’t like to nap so why would he. I find he’ll go in his buggy sometimes to sleep but I try to avoid naps in buggy when I can if he happens to fall asleep while I’m mooching round town then that’s great I get to drink my coffee in peace!

I find that Gina fords parenting books have been very good with helping me learn schedules for little ones. It has helped when he was littler to get routines which in turn I think helped him sleep through the night. We’ve had routines basically since he went in his room at 6 months old. Some may say it was too early but Elijah didn’t mind and also slept better. I think we woke him up more and he’s always been quite a independent kid in that sense. One day the naps will stop altogether but we look forward to each and every developmental stage as it comes. We know sleep is important now so try our best to keep Elijah in a routine and let him guide us. So long as he’s healthy and happy and sleeping okay we’re more than happy when he doesn’t want to nap even if it requires us parents having a few extra caffeinated drinks a day!

Quick cheap Christmas activity.

Quick cheap Christmas activity.

Yesterday looking for something to entertain my little bundle of energy I remembered I had brought some plastic baubles to make. I got out the arts and crafts sheet and put Elijahs apron on and we got to work.

We had some bits left over from our sensory bottles we’ve made before (I’ll do a blog post later on that). So we had sequins, balls, beads and glitter to use. Elijah enjoyed filling up the baubles and used lots of different colours. We discussed the textures, the items and the number we where putting in counting as we did. Elijah loves this and was able to exercise his pincer grab and work on his hand eye coordination. The bits where small so easier to pick up.

A quick activity which was cheep and fun and very Christmassy. When we get our tree down next week we have three lovely new baubles to put on the tree!

Want to do it yourself? We brought the baubles from tiger for 1 pound each. Glitter was a pack of four for 1 pound, sequins 1 pound, beads and balls 1 pound each also which can be found in most supermarkets and craft shops.

Starting counselling for a traumatic birth.

Starting counselling for a traumatic birth.

Today I went to meet my counsellor and make a plan for therapy. I sat in this light purple wall with a terrible (supposedly relaxing) art in a frame. There were three beige chairs with purple pillows. A heater, a big box of tissues and a clock to time sessions resting on a dark brown coffee table. Across from the white nets which draped down the windows was a fireplace (blocked off) with a bin next to it and a burgundy hardback copy of the holly bible. Apparently I might feel a bit Jesusy suffering from ptsd after childbirth.

The woman was lovely, she seemed familiar and put me at ease. She let me have a minuite in the room myself to relax and then came in shortly later to start paper work. We started with the confidentiality spiel and what would be sent to gp and my details. They stated my notes are not kept with my personal details which I guess is to make people feel more comfortable. They asked if I wanted to have a letter sent to my husband explaining I’m having counselling and it’s a difficult time. I explained he knows I’m here so there’s no point and we talk about it.

She asked why I was referred and what I wanted to achieve. It was pretty much instantly decided I needed counselling so we just filled in the gaps. I said I wanted to be comfortable and not worry about my surgery. To not be triggered by my sons birthday impending causing my depression to spike and I wanted to go to sleep without flash backs and fear. I wanted to feel like if I wanted a future child I’d not spend the whole pregnancy in a state of horror and fear.

We set up 2 dates for in December and January and I decided I would be cancelling my surgery till I am in a better head space. I don’t think I need to have exploratory keyhole surgery if it’s going to make my mental health worse and is causing the flash backs and depressive episodes. They said to leave till after my first session but that doesn’t give me enough time I don’t believe to prepare myself. I definitely don’t think one session and a months gap is going to be able to prepare me.

I’m positive about my recovery but the thought process of my surgery and having to be put to sleep again is terrifying me. I feel completely hopeless and have had at least three panic attacks since leaving the session. Who knows maybe it’ll help, maybe it won’t time will tell. If not apparently there’s always a copy of the bible to read!

Things to help parents/Carers with blood tests for babies and toddlers.

Things to help parents/Carers with blood tests for babies and toddlers.

First of all I’m sorry you and your little one is having to go through this and I hope everything comes back okay. I’m giving some tips to help parents survive as we’ve had many including one yesterday. This is what helps me.

Try to book blood appointments at an okay time. Not a nap time or lunch time. I’ve had several appointments where Elijahs gone to hve bloods and cranky already as tired or hungry. These things do not help matters and can make things a struggle after too. If you can’t choose after a meal time take snacks for immediately after.

Bring bubbles or a favourite toy. Something to distract them from what’s happening. It’s horrid when they watch the blood being taken and as they get older and understand more it’s even worse. They want you to help and you can’t.

Sit in a chair with them. At the hospital we go to we sit In a chair and I cuddle him holding one arm to make sure he doesn’t grab and move about.

Keep talking to them. Distract them with things in room and tell them it’s ok and acknowledge the situation so your child understands it will soon be done.

Praise good behaviour and make a big deal about how well they are doing or did. they need to feel they’ve been brave even when they’re scared.

Explain what is happening too so they understand you are not hurting him and that it’s okay to be scared but it’s important.

Don’t wear anything that you care about getting blood on, sometimes accident happen and I’m lucky it hasn’t ruined either of our clothes but try to avoid the favourite tops and jeans. (If you get any blood on anything a bit of elbow grease or Milton for whites should take care of this). Bring spare clothes for babies and toddlers just in time.

Reward they experience if you want to. I always feel terrible I’ve put him through it so I say we’re going to go get a treat when we are finish and he gets excited. It’s normally a new toy or maybe a treat of a biscuit at the Costa at the hospital but I like to show he’s done a good job and I’m proud of him. When I give him a reward I explain why and tell him how proud I am too.

Stay calm. You’re child’s going to cry because they will feel pain. We’ve had blood tests since Elijah was a hour old and they never get any easier but just remember the blood tests are needed and for the best of their health. It’s over quite quickly and then you can go back to cuddles.

Any other questions please do ask!

Elijah is finally 2!

Elijah is finally 2!

Elijah celebrated his second birthday on Friday and it was such a lovely day. It’s funny how something so small as a birthday can bring family together, people come to visit you and it’s such a happy occasion. We felt so loved and Elijah was thoroughly spoilt.

We spent the day at the zoo and invited his nanny along and she loved it too! Elijah enjoyed watching animals as always and I he loved seeing the baby tigers at the zoo. We where lucky enough to watch them being fed and their growls are pretty impressive. We had lunch their and then left to spend some of Elijahs bday money at the zoo gift shop.

We got home around 2 and Elijah had a quick power nap (10 minuites). He awoke to play with his toys till some family came round. We had family in and out all night and for a treat Elijah had McDonald’s fishfingers which he loves! We did his birthday cake and he adored his slice going around the room picking everyone’s scraps of chocolate from their cakes.

Elijah was throughly spoilt but it’s not about that it’s about celebrating him and being part of the family. We all had such a lovely day and he is such a happy boy that brings love and joy to everyone he meets.

Preparing for potty training.

Preparing for potty training.

The dreaded time has come and I’ve decided to start potty training Elijah next week as he is showing signs of readiness. So here we are preparing and getting ready for the inevitable poo/pee Armageddon. How will I be preparing?

For last few months Elijahs been wearing pull up nappy’s. We will continue to use these when out for a little while because if he has a accident when out I don’t drive and can get him home if he’s had a accident. I have brought some training pants and some inners to double protect them. We have several types of potty’s. I have a travel potty which can keep bits inside when out and about ready to be spilled out in a toilet. A house potty and a toilet seat potty for toilet training. I’ve brought some biodigrable toilet training wipes which can be flushed. We also have a step in the house so Elijah can wash his hands after using the bathroom and brush his teeth at the sink.

We have been talking about potty when changing his bum and when he goes to hide to poo we say you need the potty and get it out. We show him videos online of potty training songs and have brought books he’ll understand. We read his books and try our best to teach him nappy’s are not needed now. We’ve sat him on potty quite often for a little but at a time to she is used to it. I have brought Some absorbing pads to put on my sofas so that if he has a accident I’m not cleaning and claiming on my insurance for a smelly stained sofa. We are reading parenting books on potty training to try and educate ourselves. When we start we will also be using a reward chart. Although Elijah is too small to understand a reward chart he loves stickers so if he learns he can get a sticker to put somewhere by using a potty he will love it!

If any parents have any advice and tips please comment or email me! I’m quite worried about it all but we will get there!

Apps I find help my mental health.

Apps I find help my mental health.

When your phone is always in your hand it’s quick and easy to download apps that can help when you’re in a bad place.

I downloaded calm harm first. It’s been the best app ever for me. It’s completely personalised and you need a password so nobody else will open it. It’s made for people thinking about self harming but I find the excercise a are good for depression, anxiety and stress relief too. The activities are short or long and you can stop and change activities and choose what you want to do. I find the distraction helpful and some of the activities relaxing or even quite fun.

The nhs wellbeing is more understanding of where mental health effects the body and keeping a little diary of how your feeling like a free self help journal.

Companion is really good because they’re excercise a for breathing and exercising people talk through while you meditate.

Catch it is understanding your thoughts and changing them. A bit like cbt therapy in a app. You write how you where feeling then access what someone else would say in that situation to your thoughts and can make you feel a bit better.

Sleepio is about activities to help you sleep, it’s okay not the best but it’s better than nothing!

My personal self is basically a personal cbt app with other types of therapy mixed in too. You complete questioners and keep a diary so it is all based around you, you work through modules that help too!

It’s all about finding what works for you. I’ve be. Through loads of terrible apps but these are what I’ve found works for me. Distract yourself how ever you feel works for you!

Decorating your toddlers room on a budget.

Decorating your toddlers room on a budget.

Decorating your toddlers room can be a bit confusing and a little stressful at times but fun none the less. We didn’t want to spend a fortune on decorating Elijahs bedroom as we knew he’d outgrow anything we decorated as children grow out of what they like so quickly.

We decided not to stick to a theme. Why do all bedrooms need to look the same and follow a whole style? Why stick to one thing when the possibility’s are endless! We decided to keep with a not to far out design and just accessorise. We brought vinyl stickers from eBay which are dinosaurs and easy to stick on. We got a personalised Jurassic park one two as Elijah loves dinosaurs. We also brought a light switch sticker which was from eBay too and all the stickers including some glow in the dark dinosaurs too for probably under 20 quid. We brought some blackout curtains from dunelm in a safari print in a sale again and we brought a dinosaur bedding set from there as it was lovely. Elijah loves dinosaurs but loves jungle animals even more so was so happy with his curtains. He then brought a lampshade in the sale at John Lewis also in a safari print so we then had our theme animals and dinosaurs and Elijah loves having both. It makes accessorising easier as you can choose from more than one theme.

We brought a tippee tent from a garden centre for 15 pounds and have put in the corner of his room alongside a rug we got from dunelm for 35. We’ve put some of our old pillows into a bean bag cover from eBay for 15 and living room cushions in their to make a cosy reading area. We read there every night and it’s so cosy I could sleep all night.

We recently brought Elijah a nightlight for 15 pounds which is simba from the lion king and is his favourite animal and film at the moment. Elijah also has a ottoman which is green to match his room which holds his toys and we’ve brought little Knick naks along the way. We got personalised prints made (by my cousin) so we saved money there. We brought Elijah a few more bedding sets in both styles which he loves when changed regurally.

We went to flying tiger and managed to get lots for only 16 pounds for everything pictured. A tiger head, boxes for organising toys or anything you want, hanging storage and a money box to save that pocket money. An absolute bargain for quite good quality and stylish items. If going really simple a lick of paint and these bits would be more than enough to decorate your kids room. There’s lots of other accessories and frames and prints for your kids room in the same style or other styles they sell there. If Elijah wouldn’t pull it down I’d consider a trailing plant in their and big cheese plant to make it look more like a jungle in their but unfortunately I’d end up going in to leaves everywhere. Have a shop around on Etsy and eBay and be open minded. Your kids bedroom doesn’t have to be instagram perfect because they change their minds every other day. Just buy what you think they’ll like and don’t bankrupt yourself. Enjoy! A lick of paint and a few prints is more than enough style!

Living near the seaside with a toddler.

Living near the seaside with a toddler.

Living only a twenty minuite drive to the seaside is something I’ll always be greatfull for. If the weather is nice in the summer it’s only a short drive to beach and there are quite a few beaches around us.

Even in the winter we wrap up warm and breath in that fresh sea air. Having a run on the beach or riding a bike/trike is just as much fun no matter the weather. We’ll spend more time inside on the amusements playing on claw machines and 2p machines. I’ve been lucky to win three toys on them recently so maybe my streak is over and I should avoid them for a while lol! Elijah loves to play on the 2p machines and can easily put 3 pounds down without getting bored.

We love watching the ocean and collecting stones and throwing them in the ocean (even if Elijahs doesn’t go very far). We enjoy watching dogs running and playing and spotting things going by. We love in the summer taking out shoes off and walking in the sand and sometimes paddling in the water. It bad weather we love dressing in our rain coats and wellies and jumping in puddles on the pier. We love watching the ocean no matter the weather but we live it most in windy weather because it’s so fast and beautiful.

We like to go for strolls down the beach too so often will bring Elijahs buggy for when he gets tired of walking for a while and we’ll get lunch or bring a lunch with us and make a day of it. Do you leave near a beach?