Winter craft activities.

Winter craft activities.

The weather is getting colder and with Christmas soon approaching a easy fun (albeit messy) activity is to make Christmas cards. Using hand and feet and a bit of patience you can use your little ones feet to paint a card.

What you need. Card. You can get cards with envelopes from online which is what we did to save the stress after looking in town a lot at the ridiculous prices for a sheet of card. You’ll also need paint and paintbrushes . Also a pen for writing.

Start by letting little ones paint a sheet of paper or a canvas for a gift for someone aswell. This enables them to get the excitement out of the way to paint and make a mess.

Secondly paint your child’s feet and then hold and place card under their feet hold their foot down quickly and pushing as you do it and take paper away quickly trying not to smudge. Your little one may end up loving this activity and ask for more painting of the feet over and over. With the footprints you can make Christmas trees,snowmen or reindeers. You can also paint hands too and make penguins or a Santa’s hat. You’ll just need to the painting/ drawing of faces and details.

Not only is it a great activity but also a lovely gift. A card someone may want on their mantelpiece for years to come. It is also way cheeper than buying individual cards for everyone in your family.

Joining the library.

Joining the library.

Growing up I loved trips to the library to get a new book and was always so eager to go. I remember running with my books into the door and how much I loved scanning and stamping them in and out. It wasn’t just about getting a new book but also being able to go somewhere and see what I wanted. Since being a adult I don’t think I’ve gone to the library since I was around 13 years ago which is now almost 12 years ago. Scary!

One thing I’ve always enjoyed is reading and it gives me joy knowing I’ve been passing that onto Elijah. Elijah loves reading and we have 100s (not a exaggeration his books shelf is full to the brim and he has a book box full that’s overflowing and around 45 books on a shelf). I’ve come to think it’s wasteful to have so many books and we should start donating some we don’t read and going to the library instead. Obviously if he really likes a book I’ll probably still buy it but I’m trying not to be so wasteful:

We signed Elijah up and he absolutely loved it. He ran over grabbing all the books he could read and played in the kids section. He did colouring and played with the toys. We choose some books and I got them out and we brought them home. Did you know you can get up to 20 books at one time for three weeks? That’s a lot of books and a lot of time. It’s also completely free and better for the environment. What a great way to have a trip out the house and also learn while we do it! Visiting the library also keeps them too and it’s such a great part of the community, they also do classes and activities regularly for all the family.

Things I do to calm myself down.

Things I do to calm myself down.

We’ve all been stressed, depressed, anxious and worked up at some stage in our life and we will be again. Instead of dwelling in your emotions you need to try to separate yourself from these emotions with some self help tools and objects even if it feels impossible. Sometimes just looking out the window and watching how the rain falls can make us feel better just for that second.

I’m not saying colouring in is going to cure your depression because it most definitely hasn’t cured mine but distraction can help even for a little bit. So what do I do to distract myself so I can relax just a tad?

I read. Reading is really great for your mental health. It’s somewhat changed my life, when I’m stressed I’ll start a new book and read till I feel a bit better. My imagination is put elsewhere and I don’t sit there over thinking as I am distracted. I find the kindle a brilliant tool for this as you can buy a book immediately and read it so you don’t have to choose a book you have and you don’t have to wait you can just do it now!

I use my fidget cube. It has different textures and things to do like a switch, buttons and dials. I play with it in my pocket when I’m out and feeling particularly anxious or if I’m watching tv on the sofa and feeling I can’t calm down. The switch on it has really helped my ocd I don’t flip the house switches as much just the one on my cube.

I journal. I have several self help books which involve me talking about my day, what went wrong and can go better. It enables positive thoughts and makes me think. I find the smallest things to be proud of myself for or went right today and try to be “mindful”.

I colour. Colouring is very therapeutic and occupying the mind is too. I’m not talking colouring a basic baby colouring book dog but intricate designs that take time. I have several and my favourite two are my cath kidston colouring book and my swear word one which I do when I’m feeling angry about something. Yes it’s crude but instead of swearing I colour it in and Elijah can’t read yet so I see no issue.

I look back at photos. I look at photos of happier times and remind myself life can be good and I will smile again.

I burn candles. I burn candles and use in sense/essential oils to relax myself. The smells and soft flows can relax me and not feel so over stimulated by everything going on around me.

I watch a film or series. I distract myself watching something new or old and try to commit all my focus into this. It doesn’t always work but sometimes if I don’t feel up for much this little activity is enough to keep me calm.

I practice self care. I’ll have a nice candle lit bubble bath or hot shower. I’ll use my best products, exfoliate and then I’ll moisturise so I’m slippery enough to belong in the ocean. I’ll wear fresh pjs and change the bedding. I’ll spend time doing my hair and if I’m going out I’ll do my make up.

I’ll do housework. Although I mostly hate housework when I’m feeling particularly over whelmed I reach for a cloth and clean. Having everything clean and tidy makes me feel good so I’ll get to scrubbing the house to take out my emotions. I’ve been known to have a cry washing up at times and feel miles better after.

I cook and bake. I love making yummy treats so when I can I like to bake or cook something new which gives me a bit of a boost when it tastes somewhat decent.

I go for a walk. I take myself or my son with me if nobody’s home to watch him and walk through nature. I take in the worlds beautiful views and smell the natural air and it almost always makes me feel more open minded and clear. It helps me make decisions in stressful situations and I work our anger I have built up sometimes.

I buy stuff. I indulge in buying a new ornament or new top or toy for my kid. I love buying new bits and a treat always makes me feel better.
I go out and see friends or family. Something about being around others at times just makes you feel okay again.

I have a hot drink. Warning myself up makes me feel warm and cuddly and it can help me relax into myself and let my walls down.

I sit in the dark and relax. I try to rationalise my thoughts and relax into myself . No stimuli works for me.

I turn my phone off and avoid the news. I avoid negativity, and there’s plenty of that at our finger tips I can feel so much better when I don’t use my personal social media or read news articles on politics or horrible disasters that have happened.

I go out for the day. Staying in can make you feel lonely and horrid so going out for a adventure can make you feel so much better.

I listen to music. Either loud when I’m angry or relaxing music when I’m sad to listen to the music and calm myself down.

I use White noise. It not only helps me sleep I also use it to make myself feel safe when I’m over stimulated or out and nervous about something like an appointment. I also like to watch the rain and they’d why I like thunderstorm sounds the most.

I talk to someone. When I feel particularly bad I speak to someone about it and I feel a load is taken of my chest and sometimes we need help.

it’s all about finding things you like to do that occupy your mind. For example my husband likes playing video games or editing photos he’s taken. He’ll sit there for hours but he always feels better afterwards. Sometimes things get hard and that’s okay. Sometimes you need to be selfish and do things for you and that’s okay too. Just remember that you matter too and you can get through this. Distraction is a short term fix and if your are suffering talk to someone or your gp. As always my inbox is always open.

Eating out with a toddler.

Eating out with a toddler.

Ever since Elijah was little we’ve eaten out together. I used to feel really nervous about how others would feel when I took Elijah out to eat. Would he make a mess? Would he be loud? Would others stare? Then I remembered I too was a baby once apon a time and everyone else was once a baby too, surely not everyone was kept out of restaurants out of fears of a possible tantrum?

Taking a baby into a restaurant is all calm and relaxing. Baby sleeps, feed change and back to sleep. People think they’re adorable sleeping or when they first sit in a little highchair and eat tiny meals when they start weaning. The older they get the more tantrums they have when they are hungry or bored. The cause of a tantrum is normally either of those two things and sitting in a restaurant isn’t the easiest of places to entertain a toddler and they must wait for their food.

I personally love taking Elijah out for dinner he always has fun and it’s something where we sit around giving each other our undivided attention and chatting. Sure we still have the odd meltdown here and there but most of the time it can be calmed down with distraction. Colouring pencils and paper or singing songs normally helps. But when he is particularly bored I do let him watch nursery rhymes on my phone till the food comes. I don’t normally let him have my phone in public but if I feel it’s going to upset people eating their meals if I don’t let him quietly watch nursery rhymes until his meals comes out then I don’t mind.

When the meal comes he always eats very well and tells us when he is done. We have even taught him to tidy away his mess and give us the plate. He’ll then wipe up his hands and face with help and we’ll wait for the bill. He will normally go back to colouring or will wait nicely if we tell him where we are going next. We do have our moments we feel judged when we are out like any other parents. When people stare because your child’s on your phone like you let them on it every single second of the day. Also sometimes Elijah will get upset because he can’t express himself and is hungry or bored and people always turn around to have a nose and I then feel how I approach his tantrums will be judged whatever happens.

I always say don’t stop enjoying meals out because your toddler may cry because every single last human being was once a toddler them self’s and should have a element of understanding. When you eat out you are teaching them how to behave in public too so if there being naughty teach them that it is not right. Remember tantrums are short and will be over soon and that it is ok to distract them with your phone if that helps. And if they cry? Remember your in a family restaurant and the people judging you who don’t have kids have no right too. Enjoy meals out, enjoy your food, enjoy your family time and enjoy your life!

Why do people troll?

Why do people troll?

Long story short the other night I was trolled for the first time on my blog it made me feel terrible. I was called deluded, a bad mum, boring and told I should stop blogging and go back to my family and hand full of friends spouting my inane thoughts. I don’t understand why people feel the need to beat someone down. I was told I used vulgar language when I checked my blog doubting myself and nothing was vulgar. I was told I’d sworn and made up facts and again I hadn’t and double checked my self over and over. It made me feel horrid and now I am doubting my parenting and if I’m even this good person that I’m trying to become?

So why do people troll? I think a lot of it is people are angry at the world and they don’t know why. They need a way to let the anger out so they decide to make others feel how they do by spreading hate. They can hide behind a keyboard anonymously where they are safe. I understand the need the need to vent but I just wish people could just do it at home or within therapy not becoming toxic people upsetting others. I know trolls want a arguement and it fuels their anger and sadness but can they not start a arguement with the person that causes their problems? Sometimes you have to take a step back and think do I need to comment that? Will it upset someone? Do I want to upset someone? Do I need to be anonymous because I’m half way to trolling if I have nothing nice to say?

Instead of trolling if you’ve experienced yourself being unkind to others perhaps find a other outlet. Practise mindfulness, mediation and anxiety relieving exercises. Write your thoughts in a diary or try therapy. Think about the person you want to be not the person you are becoming. Try and share love instead of hate. Let’s try and make the world a better place. Let’s not make people feel terrible about themselves because you’ve judged them on their few words they’ve put online. If you think something is wrong educate someone in a polite way not in a horrid way. Remember others are struggling behind closed doors and you may make that worse. Be kind to one another and share love not pain. If you need to vent your pain I am more than happy to hear from you in my mail box.

Balance bike fun!

Balance bike fun!

For Elijahs second birthday we have brought him a balance bike and a matching helmet to keep his head safe! Although his birthday is not till the fifteenth we had to let him have a test drive first!

A balance bike works by a child standing and pushing the bike or sitting and using their feet to push the bike. There are no pedals so it’s easy for little ones to learn how to balance and steer. The balance bikes are recommended as a alternative to stabilisers so that when it comes to riding a bike with peddles they require very little practice before learning. It’s great exercise working on their coordination and muscle memory and great fun too!

We took Elijah to a nearby forest walk, the best thing about living in Suffolk is all the nature walks around us! Elijah was excited to sit on the bike then nervous when he realised it moves. He quickly got over the nerves and loved it and learnt to do it by standing and had lots of fun! He enjoyed pushing and steering and kept asking to go on his bike when we came to a hill. He also loved the helmet and stood still while we put it on which I was shocked at. I think having a design they like is what swayed him. He loves lion king so we brought the bike in a lion king design and helmet too. We ordered both to Halfords and cost 46 for both. They are so worth the money and can be used till 4! I can’t wait to take him out for his birthday on his new bike after his birthday! Because it’ll be wrapped up again as he will of forgotten about it then and know no different haha! It’s a great family activity as well to take him and teach him and when he’s got the hang of it we could all ride bikes together!

Trip to build a bear for my sons birthday treat!

Trip to build a bear for my sons birthday treat!

We recently took a trip to build a bear factory so we could build Elijah a bear for his birthday. Build a bear do a promotion where if you sign up to their bonus club you can build your very own bear on your child’s birthday and you pay their age. The bear cost us 2 pounds as Elijah is turning two. The deal is valid for their whole birthday month. It includes just the birthday bear and you pay anything extra you want like clothes, scents, sounds and more.

When we went in Elijah was so excited he ran and fell over running to the shop when we said we where going in. He ran straight in looking around and pointing very excited jumping up and down. We had a lovely staff member who was very helpful and cheerful. We told her we where building a bear for Elijah for his birthday on the 15th and she helped us make the bear. Elijah wanted a sound which we paid extra for and was dancing and cheering to the music and chose the lion king song i just cant wait to be king to be his sound. Elijah is obsessed with the lion king so it was a clear one of the songs would be his choice. He helped push the peddle to fill the bear and put a wish in his teddy. We chose a smell and he chose a cake because you know it’s for his birthday and who doesn’t love the smell of cake. We then chose a hat and top and as we have some clothes at home already we decided to choose birthday items ready for his birthday. You can also make a birth certificate for the bear. We went over to the bath for teddies and he washed his teddy and brushed his hair. Elijah chose a box instead of a bag so he got to take home a little home for his bear and held on to him very tightly looking after him.

Elijah really enjoyed his experience and is at a age he can really enjoy the store and making of the bear now. Its a great activity to do for a birthday and also just a day out. Elijah has took his little bear to bed and keeps cuddling him. Its also affordable as its from when a child is one they pay their age.

Dealing with social anxiety.

Dealing with social anxiety.

You probably would never think some people suffer with being around others and in public. Having social anxiety has so many times effected my life and always will to a extent.

Social anxiety is when people are somewhat scared and anxious about being in a social setting. It’s when they’re nervous about being in new groups of socialising atall. It can be something like eating in a restaurant or even taking a phone call that can trigger you. Something I’ve found is when I am having a struggle with my mental health I do struggle with wanting to go out and socialise. I’ve found it became impossible towards the end of my job to not be anxious to go in and gave to be a caring person when I didn’t want to talk to strangers.I struggle to talk on the phone to others and ask people for help in situations such as locating something in a shop.

Things like talking to random people on the bus who strike up a conversation can sometimes cause me a element of anxiety too also. One thing I always have struggled with is walking through town I may act to world I’m not anxious but I get incredibly anxious in crowds. I act like I’m not bothered but sometimes I get stressed by too many people in my personal space and also feel like perhaps I’m being judged for how I look or something silly like that. Anxiety loves to make you think other people give a crap about you and what you look like.

I struggle sometimes to see groups of people so prefer to see friends one on one because it’s less stress and I don’t get so worked up when I’m not heard when I speak. I quite often get anxious in public settings so feel more comfortable in my home. It has affected my ability to receive help sometimes as I won’t go to group therapy’s as the thought of being in a group by myself talking about my feelings makes me feel quite unwell. I can’t go to group activity’s with strangers as I am not comfortable talking to others and feel I come of weird. It’s stoped me going to play groups quite often and was really hard for me to commit to the full course of hypnobirthing.

Sometimes I find it harder when it’s being a parent and taking your child out. When I take Elijah out and he tantrums and others stare it always makes me feel horrid and like I’m the worlds worst mother. I always care about what these strangers I’ll never see again will think of me and my skills as a mother.

Sometimes the world can be a bit of a grey place but I will always try to overcome it and not let the world take over my life. Sometimes i have to push myself to feel more comfortable. There have been times I’ve stayed in for weeks and in reality it’s made me feel horrid but going out regardless of the anxiety of being social and around other humans has in the long run been better for me. Sometimes doing things that scare us can be the things that help us most.

Did I enjoy trying for a baby?

Did I enjoy trying for a baby?

We always knew we wanted a child together and when we decided to try we where both quite excited. We did all the normal things people do when trying to get pregnant. Stopped my pill, worked out and lost weight. Ate healthy and took some fertility helping pills. Tracked when to try and tried all we could.

But did I enjoy trying? In some respects yes. It was exciting knowing we were trying to make a child together which was part of both of us and something we both wanted. I was excited to get fat and grow something inside of me. I enjoyed knowing aswell it was a decision and if I was to be pregnant it wouldn’t be a accident and something we’d panic over it was something we would be excited over.

I didn’t like the failure that can come with trying. I think a part of me expected to get pregnant immediately. I didn’t like taking pregnancy tests and them being negatives. It made me worry there was something wrong with me and made me sad. I would remember talking about how if I felt sick or tired that maybe I was tired and we’d both smile and say must be pregnant and I’d take another test and it would say I wasn’t. I didn’t like hoping I was pregnant and somewhat thinking I was because I’d hope so much at times to then have to see the not pregnant on the stick or a period.

When I fell pregnant I was quite lucky as we’d only tried a little while. I remember I peed on a stick and I could see the faintest line. James told me he couldn’t see it but I could I just knew i was pregnant I felt different I myself in ways I can’t describe. I went to the shops and brought a clear blue digital test which I did later and it said not pregnant. I was heart broken but meant I could still go out drinking for my works do.I had two drinks and remembered thinking no I think I might be pregnant and stoped and felt horrid. Something in me just new and luckily I’d barely drunk. 2 days later I was due and no period. I took a test with my first pee of the day and a slightly faint line again. I called my mum as she was a midwife and she came with more pregnancy tests and we did 3 more. Within seconds they all came up clear as day. I was pregnant. And I had known all along. I was In shock and so was James as we’d convinced myself I wasn’t pregnant. March the 11th 2017 was the best day of my life when I knew I was pregnant.

This was how thin the original line was which I thought meant I was pregnant. I was correct!

I loved trying because we where in control and we knew early on. I didn’t like trying because of the negatives and the unreliability of some pregnancy tests at times. I didn’t like being hopeful and let down all the time but I adored when we where finally successful. My hats go off to people who try for years and sometimes need ivf. It must be such a horrible thing aswell when people are told they are infertile and require intervention or adoption if they are to have children. My heart goes to all your mummies that aren’t mummy’s yet trying your best.

Six months married!

Six months married!

Six months of being married today. Time goes by so fast and I can say although things don’t change in big ways I have felt a change in our relationship. I am insanely proud to refer to James as my husband and not my partner like previously. I always feel my heart skip a beat whenever James refers to me as his wife to other people. I’m always like oh hi I’m the wife! He chose me and we’re totally grown up because we’re married. I feel closer then before, I don’t know how but something just shifted. For us we spoke about marriage since we first got together and when we got engaged I wanted nothing more than to become married to each other. When we got married I remember crying walking down the isle as I was so proud and full of love and I kind of worried James had ran off but he hadn’t. He was there handsome as ever and both our hands where shaking and tears fallowing we were so nervous and happy. Marriage was never about the ceromony for me it was always about us becoming husband and wife and making a life long commitment to each other becoming equals. I am happy whenever I look at my rings or whenever I look at James. Maybe one day I’ll get bored of our rings and the words husband and wife but for now I will continue to adore it. Today we’ve been together 5 and a half years aswell which is such a long time. It feels like it’s gone by in a heart beat and no measure of time with James will ever be enough. Here’s to always being more in love each and everyday. May we make each other smile and laugh at the most pointless things and forever be as happy as we are now.

Let us give each other chins from laughing for life.