Wednesday, 30 January 2013

NHS and Smarties

The NHS came up trumps again today, we live close to a health centre, which is like a 'one stop shop' for clinics of all shapes and sizes. I feel like it is my second home at the moment, in the past few months I have been there to see......... the GP, Practise Nurse, Health visitor, Psychologist, Opthamalmic person, Phelbotomist and Dentist, all under one roof. Although it has got to the point where the taxi driver has almost stopped asking me where I want to go, as usually it's there. It is one thing I think the NHS has got right recently. ( Yes Mr Cameron do you hear me ? don't be ruining it completely please, PLEASE )

When Little Tyke was a baby the place had a fault with the heating, so it was always HOT, too hot, in winter and summer. As you can imagine, waiting with a baby in a hot stuffy place with lots of people, kids and germs all flying around in an array of illness and impatience, it wasn't a place for a sleep deprived mummy to enjoy ! It's amazing what turning down the heating a few notches can do. It is now a far more pleasant experience, that mixed with knowing which of the 5 reception desks your meant to be at, all makes life easier. Life should always be as easy as possible I think.

Today it was the Opthalmic clinic for LT we were gracing with our presence. I have been dreading it for a while if I'm honest, I just don't have the energy for such things. But today wasn't too bad, while we waited for quite a looooong time, LT did insist on basically dusting the floors with her body, but in an attempt to keep us both happy I just let her get on with it, thankfully the floors were fairly clean (?!). She also asked me in a loud voice 'why has that man got a plaster on his head ?.'...which was a little unfortunate as he did look a little embarrassed. There was a tricky moment when a 5 year old boy attempted to 'share' her peppa pig toys which she was more than a little put out about. To be fair, he was fairly hyperactive and had very little concept of why he might scare her. 

The Dr at the clinic was very lovely and actually smiled which is more than can be said for the last opthalmic person we saw - why work with kids if you don't even smile at them ! So the Dr fella got 10/10 and the lady we saw before him  ( not actually sure what her title is ) were wonderful with LT, and with a promise of smarties when we were done, she co operated in a way which made me feel like a proud smug parent. ( you have to revel in these rare occasions to make up for the times when they are throwing things at other kids and refusing to do as you ask them while out in public ! )

All in all, the morning I had been dreading for a few weeks now, wasn't too bad. 

Big up the Health Centre I say. 

( only downside was having to fish something out of dirty clothes pile in a bid to leave the house in more than just my bra and bulging maternity jeans ) 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Ten on Tuesday

I started composing this 'ten' three weeks ago, and am determined that today is the day it will make it into the land of blog....

1.  I have become very sensitive to what I watch recently, I cannot bear tension, murder, pain of any type, anything which involves children suffering or anything too real life which makes me cry. So my viewing interests have narrowed somewhat, this has meant I have developed quite a fondness for nature programmes 'Africa' on BBC is brilliant, and slightly more concerningly a love of 'room 101', I haven't missed one this's quite good you know ! Listening to Paloma faith argue with Deborah Meedam about the ugliness of UGG boots was quite entertaining don't you know :)

2. I read this interesting article via a blog about a lady who has decided not to spend any money on her child this year....interesting. Though provoking, but also made me wonder what she usually bought him ?! Check it out here mumofone, or for the full article here

3. I have had two short trips to the shops in the last few weeks, shops I can see from my sitting room window, but still have to get a taxi to get to !  One such trip was to next, I realised LT has no clothes for springtime, so decided to pick her up a few bits while I had my head in gear and wasn't totally dazed by the newborn haze. I have found if I buy a few things at the same time, at the start of a season, and think what she needs, rather than a few bits here, and a few bits there, I spend less, and she looks better ! 
It was however a little odd to buy spring attire a few days before it snowed. A friend was exclaiming to me how ridiculous it is that all the shops have spring stock but it's still January and who on earth would buy that kind of thing now.......?.....ahem.......*raises hand like an embarrassed school girl*....meeeeeeee.....!

Thankfully next has lots of chairs I could sit on, and I took various drinks for our little pit stops around the one wants a collapsing pregnant lady in their shop, so we went for the 'slow and steady' approach to our brief shopping trip.

4. I have started reading the book ' A year of biblical womanhood' by Rachel Held Evans. I read her blog and have been wanting to buy it for a while. It's an interesting and amusing look into what the bible says and doesn't say about Women, how we should dress, how we should mother, how we should or shouldn't speak in church, or be a wife. It's a refreshing read. Has bits of theology in it, and lots of humour as the author guides us through her attempts at putting into practise - quite literally at times, what the Bible says women should 'do/be'. Many of these issues I have spent the past ten or so years pondering, so lots of it isn't really 'new' to me, but it has definitely stirred my thoughts once more, and set me thinking about my life as a Christian woman and how I invest my time and conduct myself. My friend over at 'In the Land of the Living ' is also reading it, she shares some of her thoughts on it beautifully.

5. Willow has started saying .... 'I'm bored mummy'...'lets do something else now' 

So then we do things like this

and this


6. *****NEWS FLASH****** We.......have........ got.........a..........tumble. dryer.......oh yes we have. 
It is both an evil overindulgence and a beautiful machine. I have a love hate relationship with it, as for me, along with our dishwasher it signifies so much which is wrong with our western culture and how the divide between my household and most other households in the world is growing. And yet, my friends, I can sit on a chair and receive into my newly purchased washing basket ( see point 10 ) dry clean clothes, with just a bit of folding, they look ironed and everything. 

No hanging required. 

It's a modern day miracle.

7. I love snow and love being outside, so the past ten days have felt a little annoying that I've had to sit like an oversized tired buddah in the house while Husbando and Little tyke have sledged, built snowmen and the like. Maybe next year......... 

8. Like most parents, when you approach the end stages of pregnancy, the issue of finalising a name comes about..........we kind of decided, then we weren't sure, then I changed my mind, then Husbando suddenly decided that there was only one name we had discussed that he liked. So in a bid for some fresh inspiration incase there is a name lurking somewhere we haven't thought of, I have been looking at some interesting websites about baby names. I found it fascinating to see the 'regional top ten' rather than the national top 100 names, they vary so much....

for example........ 

In some parts of London 'Barbara' is in the top ten for a girl, but not even in the top 100 anywhere else in the UK

'Mason' is top 10 in some parts of the north west but much further down nationwide, some places don't even have Harry or Joshua in their regional top ten, but nationally they are top 5........

I'm not sure if this is even interesting, but in my head it was, for a few minutes anyway ?!

9. Last week I was moaning to husbando about the recent acquisition of two new stretch marks across my once flat and unmarked tummy......bless him, how is a man meant to respond to such a thing ?  His reply was ......

'well love, I think you've done really well only to get two new ones ! ' 

Bless. God loves a try-er !

Although the other evening he didn't do quite so well, when I exclaimed in a ball of emotion, how I am always in bed exhausted and we rarely get to go out together or have much fun cos i'm just sitting around or sleeping. 
I said.....

' it will be ok wont' it love ? We're not going to look at each other in three years time and get divorced because it's all gone wrong are we ?'

his reply was simply, with a big tired sigh...........

' oh no, that would mean I'd have to start all over again, far too much hard work ' !!

He's a tactful guy :)

But we laughed, and laughter is good medicine.

10.  I feel like I have spent more money recently than I ever have.......on stuff like a shoe rack, two new washing baskets, a laundry bin, new pegs and storage boxes.......I think I may have become a little obsessed with our 'household systems' running smoothly. Usually we are very much kind of 'make do with what we have'  kind of people, for example we have used a random £2 plastic bin as a nappy bin for two years, and LT has had a very odd shaped and insufficiently small basket I found somewhere as a dirty clothes basket. We have one proper washing basket, so invariably are left with piles of washing kind of strewn on the stairs in no vessel at all. Husbando pinched the shoe rack to create a computer stand with a few months ago, so our hallway is just a pile of shoes. However, with the imminent arrival of another human into our house, I felt it was time we joined convention and got relevant receptacles for the smooth running of family Deane. Boring and dull, but essential I think..........?!

( we will have finally arrived into some kind of domestic nirvana when we purchase a bread we don't have one, yes we do need one, but neither of us ever seem to want to spend limited funds on such an item day, my friends, one day )

Monday, 28 January 2013

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The need for nurture.

If I had a machine which could translate my 3am thougts whilst lying awake in bed this blog would be a hive of activity ! But I don't, so here are a few thinkings which have been buzzing about for a week or two......

As you have probably realised from previous posts, the last few months have been ones where I have been more dependant on others for more things than usual. My lovely Husbando really has been pulling out all the stops to help me. He cooks, tidies ( sometimes ! ) does all day to day jobs and at the weekends brings me food in bed while I rest and he cares for Little Tyke. It's been an interesting road the past few months as I have pondered a lot what it means to be 'nurtured'. I have needed lots of practical help on and off for the past eight years, but practical help is different from someone or something nurturing your soul........Do you know what I mean ?

Towards the end of last year, I reached a point where I needed more than just physical rest, I had been carrying around the stressful thoughts of how to cope with another baby and other day to day life cares and they all kind of, well, got to me more than I ever thought they could. It's a scary place when you have no reserves to draw from emotionally and physically. People say  'well you just do what you have to, to cope when you have kids'  and I have always kind of lived by that. But with CFS I have been confronted once again that I can't do that - can't live by that moto. It's been difficult to come to terms with that again. You see, I am a bit of a 'get on with it' kind of person. I love to care for others and probably get too much affirmation from being able to do that, so when it all comes to a point where I cannot nurture and care for others, mainly my Husband and Daughter it kind of rocks my foundations. 

But I am learning S L O W L Y that no matter how 'capable' you are, practical, organised, a 'can do' person, you still need to be nurtured. Still need help bringing up kids, still need a friend to hear you cry when you feel like you might not actually want to care for baby growing inside you, as it feels too much......... The real nitty gritty stuff which no one likes to say.

Our souls need nurturing, sometimes by God's gentle kind words of encouragement, and sometimes by his hands and feet on this earth, our friends and family.

For me, not being able to be the Mum and Wife I would like to be is what I find the hardest. And having my husband care for me is, well, tricky for both of us. But, I have to say these last few months I have felt cared for and nurtured by him on a whole other level. My friends and family have done this too, and I realise it has been good for me, through tears and feelings of terror at the day ahead, I need to be nurtured. 

It's made me ponder showing this need more in day to day life when my energy does pick up a bit more, because, you see, another thing I have realised is largely it's me who has to make myself available to receive care, only through being vulnerable to we show people our true needs, longings and brokenness, can we receive the kindness and care they are waiting to give.

During a conversation with a close friend of mine, we were chatting about how when you become a Mum, the need for being nurtured ourselves increases. As we give out constantly, we have to get that replaced somehow, or we run dry, really dry. While many of us like to think we can just run on empty, really, we can't. As my wise friend so rightly mentioned, If we don't acknowledge our own needs, then it can make us hardened in our relationships, resentful and well, just not as nice. (I was always told the word 'nice' is bad to use, but at this juncture I think it's quite appropriate ! ) 

Today the sun is out, and I feel like I am beginning to feel ready for this next baby to take our lives by storm, with love, cuteness and the delirium only a newborn can bring. The house smells of fairy non bio as the babygros are washed, and the bottles dragged out the cupboard, all ready for his arrival. I feel ready to meet him, to give what little I have to nurturing his early days, resting in the knowledge that God will be with me, nurturing, holding, and caring for me, at times through His word, and also through the strong and capable hands of my husband ( he does have particularly large manly hands ;) ) and family. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Ten on Tuesday

I started writing this last monday, a full 8 days later I have finished....who knew things could take so long.

1. I was slightly inspired by the concept of an advent calendar in a fairly non spiritual way this year,  I would get a new music cd every month, rather than a chocolate every day. A new cd daily might be a little too expensive ! The Husbando and I each have a tenner every month we can spend on whatever we like, yeah it's not mega bucks, but it's still like pocket money. He spends his on beer, mine usually goes on a face wash, or a new something for LT like a magazine or other such item to entertain her on a tired day. But this year I am claiming back my £10 for something I enjoy. I need to inject a little more music into my life, I love listening to music and don't do it enough, so in a bid not to loose myself entirely this year to nappies and fatigue, I have made an Amazon wish list.... and at the start of each month Husbando chooses one and it will arrive, on my doormat for me to open and listen to. Kind of a surprise, but one I have chosen ! Stevie Wonder was the choice for January - just lifts my slightly weary spirits a bit. 

2. My friend has started writing a new blog, check it out for some fun tales of homeschooling, book reviews and general views on family life  .......  Land of the Living. She is the lovely friend who has LT for me one day a week, we have been friends for about 13 years, in some ways we are polar opposites, but share so many similar values and shared experiences, I count her to be one of my close friends.....albeit one I don't actually get to spend that much time with.

3. I read the book 'The Help' over Christmas, a bit late to the party I know, but I finally got my hands on a copy and had a little look and see. I really enjoyed it, 

I have to say I found some of it a little long winded, but it was a great read. Back in the days of A-Levels I read quite a few books written by African American women in the midst of the civil rights movement in the sixties, or during the abolition of slavery, so it was different reading a novel from the perspective of white women too. I enjoyed the interwoven characters and the fact the ending wasn't all rosy. Since my carefree days of sixth form I have dipped in and out of what seems to be known as 'womanist prose', Alice Walker is one of my favourite authors, and part of the reason Little Tyke has Alice as her middle name. Maya Angelou and Toni Morrison are also great. If you liked 'The Help' check out these books too. 
The Third life of Grange Copeland 
In search of our mother's gardens 
I know why the caged bird sings

Clearly don't buy them from the tax dodging naughties which are Amazon cos of course as point number one clearly states I never do......*cough cough*

4. Discovered recently that I have very low levels of Vitamin B12, not sure how long they have been like that, so it was nice to make a discovery of one of the many reasons which could be behind why I have such low energy. Alas the treatment was two weeks of injections every other day - ooowwwch they hurt ! So over the festive period I graced the Dr Surgery with my presence three times a week - I know how to have fun ey :) Made me thankful once more for the NHS though, we are so fortunate for the services we get in the UK.

5. I have decided I'm quite fed up of 'news' - always such bad news. And politics.......yawwwwn. I do have a keen interest in politics, but at the moment I just have lost all care for it. I shall for now blame it on the fact that all my 'caring' quota is being used up on being a baby cooker and Mother to a two year old. If i'm still this apathetic in a year or so, someone give me kick up the backside.

6. Getting to that very heavy stage now.......Pregnancy is a blessing, but finding it very tough this time round. ONLY 5 WEEKS TO GO.......feelings of 'hooray' and 'oh my goodness what have we done' flow in equal measure.

7. I have definitely arrived in that adult stage of life where you spend Birthday and Christmas money on new bedroom curtains and duvet set, yes it's true. I realised that over the past 7 years I have spent a LONG time in my bed and looking at our curtains, so it was time for a change. Some cool blues and tranquil whites have now replaced the kind of dark purple theme.....It's the little things in life ey.

8. Over the two weeks Husbando had off work he spent most of his waking hours with Little Tyke, She has always been a real Mummy's girl, but their little relationship has flourished lots recently, and the bond between them is so sweet to see. 
LT has one amazing Daddy it has to be said.

Here she is in the park with Daddy, while I sat on a bench and took some photos.

She was on her way to feed the ducks, dropped the bread on the floor, flock of pigeons descend to eat it, this is her shouting 'That's not for you' she then proceeded to pick up the bread, take it from them, only to deposit it safely with their rightful recipient. That's my girl. A bit bossy, and certainly not afraid of a few hungry pigeons .....

9. Ended last year feeling utter terror at how I would cope with this coming year, but I think I'm starting to feel like it Looking forward to meeting baby number two, while slightly fearful all at the same time. I think I have the emotional stability of a 13 year old girl who just found out Justin Bieber is off the market.

10. Realised last week I hadn't packed a hospital bag, despite having the bits to go in it scattered around the house. I suddenly got the urge to assemble them into some kind of vessel ready to grab when the time comes. Last time Husbando was drying me some trousers with a hairdryer while I was busy contracting in the bedroom as I had nothing I could put on to go to the hospital definitely wasn't the most prepared I've ever been. People keep telling me this baby will come faster that my first, so if that's true I have to get to hospital quick. ( just wait, he'll be late and take hours and days to emerge just to prove us all wrong !)

That's all for now I think. I have composed so many 'posts' to write over recent weeks, all in my head, none of them made it here just yet, but I'm hoping to write a few more soon. 
(To get them out my head if for no other purpose ! )

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A few weeks in pictures

A few photos of the weeks gone by........

Out and about

Painting with Mummy 

And perhaps my favourite shot of the weeks gone by.......