Thursday, 28 June 2012

Proud.

I am extremely proud of myself today. I have done something that I have been putting off for a long time, always promising myself I would do it, but never getting around to it.

Today, I finally asked for help to quit smoking.

I skipped New Leaf, been there done that, and went straight to the Doctor instead. I told her exactly what method I wanted to use and she handed me over the prescription.

I've decided to use the Champix tablets. Now I'm not sure how this is going to go because for some reason I have picked up an anxiety towards tablet taking, especially ones I haven't taken before. This became apparent to me when I had a panic attack after taking a beta blocker - which ironically was meant to slow my heart rate down. I know in my head these tablets aren't going to kill me, but for some unknown reason I always wonder 'what if I'm allergic to something in these?'. Slowly I'm getting used to it. I finally realised it was just anxiety when I panicked taking a Calcium supplement tablet and then realised I'd been having calcium all my life and nothing had ever happened.

Got a little side tracked there, but that is my big news. I sort of feel like I'm cheating by taking tablets, but I know I don't have the will power to just quit by myself. The tablets cause nausea which only gets worse when you smoke, therefore putting you off cigarettes. Nausea doesn't bother me, I dealt with it for 6 months during pregnancy without being sick once. I know several people who have quit using these so decided it was the best option. I need something that can physically stop me smoking, not the power of my mind or reverse psychology. Because let's be fair, that's what most of the Nicotine Replacement Therapies are about. 
When on the patches I was told if I smoked whilst wearing one I would have severe headrush and would overdose on nicotine. It never happened. It also didn't happen to Ross who was wearing patches double the strength of mine. Inhalators aren't an option for me. I have never been able to use an inhaler, I can't breathe something in. It's ironic really considering I smoke.

So there we have it. It may seem like something strange to be proud of, but I am. I have put off asking for help for so long, I'm finally admitting I need it. 

I'm sure in a few weeks time when I reach fifty stone because I've taken up eating everytime I crave a cigarette, but I'm hoping the nausea will help with that. And if not, with the money I save from not smoking, I can always join a gym!


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Book Review: Fifty Shades Trilogy

I've never written a book review before, minus those ones they made you write in a 'book journal' in primary school, so bare with me.

Usually I'm not one to go with the crowd and the latest trends. Well that's a lie actually, when everyone starts raving about something I simply have to know what the fuss is about.
This is exactly how I came across Fifty Shades of Grey, written by New York Times bestseller E.L James. I had seen the books before in plenty of shops, read the blurb and put it back promising myself to read it one day.
All of a sudden out of nowhere, the Fifty Shades trilogy is the must-have, must-read book of 2012. It can't be that good surely? I thought to myself.
I was lucky enough to be sent the books by a friend so I was able to dive right in and find out for myself what all the fuss was about. The titles of these books are Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed.





By the time I got to chapter 7, I knew exactly why everyone was raving about it. I was hooked.

The story begins with 21 year old, blue eyed brunette beauty Anastasia Steele 'Ana' stumbling into the office of multimillionaire CEO Christian Grey. There's an instant attraction for Ana but she's intimidated by Mr. Grey. To her surprise he pursues her, asking her out to coffee and doing what he can to see her.
It soon becomes clear why Christian is so interested in Ana. He wants her to be his sexual submissive.
Of course she's anxious, as any woman would be, reading over the 'Hard Limits' section of her contract, but there's something about Christian that makes her unable to stay away.

The rest of the story continues in detail of the 'mind blowing kinky fuckery' between Christian and Ana. Also of the submissive and dominating relationship between them and how they both seem to change dependant on the other. Coming to a compromise neither of them thought possible. It also explores the developing changes in Ana from shy untouched virgin, to an overwhelming sex goddess. 



There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, drama unfolds and ex-dominants get in the way. Jealousy and over reactions are also a common part of the relationship.

What I liked most about this trilogy is the back story. It's not just a tale of lust and kinky sex, but of love, honesty and devotion. We find out the reason why Christian is the way he is, why he needs to be dominant and in control all of the time. It's easy for readers to fall in love with him because of this, rather than see him as some cruel control freak. Which lets be honest, he is. But in those times when he's not being a dominant, there lies a man in which I think most women could fall in love with. Both characters are full of passion, and not just in the bedroom department.

(Who wouldn't want to fall in love with a multimillionaire CEO who is actually attractive. Theres probably not many out there.)

I won't ruin the story for those still reading or who plan on reading, although in all honesty the ending to the trilogy was kind of obvious for me. I definitely saw it coming from the first book.

Also, as much as I liked the books, there's a certain amount of repetitiveness in them. More than once I thought to myself if I have to read the words 'oh my' 'holy cow' or 'the way his jeans hang from his hips' one more time I was putting the book down. Despite this though, I continued reading and I'm glad that I did. I also found that some of the scenes in the book seemed to mirror that of other books I have read (minus the sex) so didn't find it all that original.

Although the characters in the book are young, I pictured them much older. Ana is my age and I didn't personally relate to her very much. Even though I'd like to think of myself as mature, she seems much older and I'm sure I would have handled everything so much differently than what she did. In fact if it were me, we wouldn't be going further than chapter 7.

I suppose that's why I'm not Anastasia Steele!

Overall I enjoyed the books and would recommend them. I would also probably read them again too.

I'm also glad the books took a turn, mainly with Christian Grey. If he had continued being a dominant and Ana had agreed to be his submissive, I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much. In fact I know I wouldn't, I would have stopped at the first book. There's only so much 'kinky fuckery' one girl can handle.

For those who have read and enjoyed, I will ask you this: who do you picture as your Mr. Grey? Here's mine... 

Kellan Lutz, Twilight actor.







Laters Baby

The 'Why' Meme

I was tagged in The Why Meme by the lovely Nikki over at The Girl Next Door earlier on today. This meme is the 'why' questions we would like to ask our children. These questions are directed at Princess.

Dear Princess...

Why do you insist on waking me up every morning with a slap round the face? It's not very nice.

Why do you think it's okay to pick the dog/kitten up by the head and then throw them on the ground?

Why is it that every time I tidy up all of your toys, you immediately get them all back out and throw them all over the floor again?

Why do you poke your fingers in my dinner when you have your own?

Why do you think it's funny to throw yourself on the ground in the middle of the street and roll around like a dog?

Why, when I try to tell you off for misbehaving, do you turn around and give me a heartwarming smile making me feel like the nastiest Mummy in the world?

Why did it take you 18 months to finally sleep through the night for the first time?

Why when I ask you something do you always say 'no'?

Why are you so temperamental? When you ask for your blanket and I give it to you, why do you throw it on the floor and shout at me?

I don't currently have time to tag anyone in this meme because that would mean trying to add links, and I currently have a toddler pulling at my arm to get my attention. If you would like to take part then please feel free, and don't forget to link up!




Sunday, 24 June 2012

Is anybody listening?

I was recently introduced to this article where David Cameron states he plans to cut Housing Benefit for all under-25's, forcing them to move back in with their parents.

What is wrong with this man!?

Yes, I am fully aware that a lot of people severely abuse the system. A lot of people claim Housing Benefit because they can't be bothered to get up off their behinds and find a full time job to pay for their rent. It does beg the question... why did you move out of your parents in the first place? 

For people like this, then yes I do believe that benefits should be axed. Job Seekers should be given a certain length of time or a certain amount of interviews in which to find a job, and if not should be taken off of the system. I know it can be difficult to find a job these days, there's not much out there. However, if you claim Job Seekers you're probably entitled to help with the funding of a college course. There is no stopping these people getting a job, only themselves and the comfort of other peoples tax money.

This might sound rich coming from me, a 22 year old Mum who doesn't work. But my situation is completely different, and here's why.

Ross and I saved long and hard to afford our first house. We were both working, both paying tax and when we eventually saved enough money for a deposit and moved in, we paid full rent, council tax and bills with no extra help. What we didn't know when we moved however, was that I was already pregnant with Princess. I continued to work up until my 38th week of pregnancy when my midwife signed me off and Ross has continued to work since then pulling in all the hours he has been offered. I would say we're lucky enough that Ross earns enough for me to be a stay at home Mum, but I wouldn't call us lucky.

We didn't claim Housing Benefit until my midwife told me we were entitled to it once Princess had arrived. It wasn't a lot, but it certainly helped. When my 9months were up, we decided that I would take the extra 3 months unpaid to see if we could manage without my wages. Unfortunately, those 3 months aren't much help at all. You have last months pay to help you live the first month, and by the time the second month comes around, you have to tell work if you're coming back or not, so there really isn't enough time to comprehend anything.

During my 3 months off however, I was researching nurseries and childminders. Put Ross's wages together with mine, minus the Housing Benefit because I would be back at full time work, add childcare on top of that, and my wages wouldn't even cover it. Our reasoning to this was; why should I go back to work, to pay someone else to raise our child? In all fairness I wasn't ready, I'm still not. But I refused to be away from my daugher for 8 hours a day simply to pay someone else to do what I should be doing.

My message in this post is quite clear. If David Cameron were to first tackle the costs of childcare towards families like mine, who don't earn enough to make it beneficial to work, then Housing Benefit wouldn't even be an issue. I am aware that we are entitled to help from the Government towards nursery funding, but there is a huge flaw in this. The more you work, the less help you get. Once Princess turns 3, I could put her in full time nursery and have about 75% of it paid for me and not have to work. Yet I work, and I have to pay the full price myself. How does this make sense?

I could be going out on a limb here, but this is a theory of mine. If money from the Government were to be put into nursery schemes which helped families put their children into nurseries, more Mums would work. The money they would save from paying these Mums Housing Benefit, could then be put into the nursery funding. Yes, he would be taking the money from one place and putting it into another therefore not saving money, but the economical rise would be significant from all of these Mums returning to work. 

Not working is not a choice for me. I don't work because I can't afford to, and that is ridiculous. I know he wants to encourage families to work, to help those who really deserve it, but at the end of the day, this all boils down to childcare.

Another point I recently thought about was if people like myself were forced to move back home because we weren't entitled to a bit of help from Housing Benefit, it would result in a council house crisis. My Mum lives in a 2 bedroom house with my sister, each of them occupying a room. This means, Ross, myself and Princess would have to live and sleep in the living room. I still wouldn't be able to afford childcare to return to work. The house would be classed as 'overcrowded' and we would end up being moved into a hostel in the hopes of receiving a council house. Hostel numbers would rise dramatically because not everyone has a family they can fall back on. The money taken from Housing Benefit would then have to be used to fund all of these families now having to live in a hostel. Who still can't afford childcare.

Does this make sense to anyone?

In a sense I can understand where he's coming from. Right now the Government doesn't make it beneficial to Mums to work. We simply can't afford it. However, those people who move out into a house just to claim Housing Benefit, then yes, stop it. Stop Housing Benefit for people who don't have children by all means, and that's just not me on my high horse. If they don't have children then there has to be a significant reason to why they are not working and paying their own rent. There are special cases I understand such as disability, domestic violence and so on, but what about the rest of them? 

Right now I am 22 years of age. If Housing Benefit for under-25's stops then fair enough, we will be screwed and I have no idea what we would do. But in 2 and a half years time... we could just do it all again? It's not going to stop people claiming Housing Benefit just because they are 25. Age has absolutely nothing to do with it. Okay in some cases maybe, the number of underage and young Mums who are living in 3 bedroom council houses paying no rent and council tax has considerably risen. However, if these women could afford childcare, they would be forced into work. Problem solved. If they refused to work, take their benefits away. 

It's as simple as that.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Yummy Mummy Meme

One of the last things I would describe myself as is a yummy mummy. It's not often I get to dress up to the nines without a toddler clung to my leg or tipping the contents of my makeup bag on to the floor. However, I was tagged in this yummy mummy meme by the lovely Leoni-Fay over at Cakes, Babies and other ramblings and am honored to take part. Mainly because she even considered me to be a yummy mummy! So here goes..


The Rules

When answering the questions, give as much detail as possible. It’s all about the finer details people!
Leave a comment here (Busybeemummybex blog where the meme was created)
Tag three or more people and link them to your blog
Tweet #yummymummy when you share on Twitter.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Princess is my daily alarm so the first thing I usually do is grumble "go back to sleep" whilst she stands at the side of my bed slapping me in the face. I then roll over and try to ignore her whilst she climbs on the bed and starts using me as a bouncy castle. Usually I will lie there for 10 minutes trying to muster enough energy to get out of bed whilst Princess trashes the bedroom, then I'll get up and get dressed.

Do you shower daily? Are you an early morning shower or an evening bath type?
Neither. I am an evening shower type. I can't shower daily as it really dries out my skin, to the point I have fish scales that look like skin dandruff (told you I'm not a yummy mummy) but I'll shower every other day. I don't usually have time to shower in the morning so will shower at night when Princess is in bed and then moan about sleeping with wet hair because I'm too lazy to blow dry it. I can't stand baths because I'm too short to lie down in them so I just sort of sit there, bored and uncomfortable and feel like I'm stewing in my own dirt. Lovely.
 
Do you wear make up daily?
Yes, because I'm too vain not to. Even if it's just popping out to the shops, I will always have on a touch of mascara and concealer. Concealer is a must have because the suitcases under my eyes are horrendous, and mascara I need to make my eyes look less droopy and tired looking. It works, sometimes. I don't think I'm fooling anyone though.

What's in your make up bag?
Not that much really. There's my favourite mascara Maybelline Define-A-Lash, pencil eyeliner, liquid eyeliner, blusher, foundation, concealer, lipstick, lipgloss and a few eyeshadows. I don't wear a lot of it, but I like to keep it handy just in case I'm feeling ever so adventurous (which isn't often). My make up is usually very simple, mainly because I'm not very good at doing it without looking like the bride of Dracula.

When you're having a slummy mummy day, what do you normally wear?
It's not very often I get to have a slummy day, I'm dressed every day before I come downstairs. When Princess is in bed I'll throw on my pyjamas but that's about as slummy as it gets. I love my pyjamas though, there's nothing better than being comfy.

Nails - How often do you get them done?
Never. The last time I had my nails done was for my 21st birthday when I was pregnant. As much as I love getting them done, I'm too tight to pay the price and then continue paying to get them filled. My nails are usually always painted though, or I'll wear false nails. I'll always find time to make my hands look pretty despite my horrendous cuticles.

You top tips for tired eyes?
When you find them, pass them on to me. Even sleep doesn't get rid of the bags under my eyes, they're constantly grey. This is why I love my concealer and foundation. 

Are you a Starbucks or Costa Coffee kind of girl?
Again, I'm neither. I don't drink coffee. In fact I don't drink any hot drinks. The only coffee shop I ever visit is Cafe Nero for a Mango & Passionfruit Fruit Boost. They're absolutely A-MAZING.


How many children do you have/want?
I have one, my Princess who is 20 months. I would like 1 or 2 more in the future, but not until I'm ready. Would definitely like a boy too, just so I have the experience of raising both. Plus I think I need a boy to keep up with Princess who I'm pretty sure should have been a boy.

Where is your favourite place to shop for babies/childrens clothes?
If I'm being honest, I will shop anywhere. If I like the clothes, I'll buy them. I like Primark because the clothes are cheap and children never keep their clothes clean or untorn so are easy to replace. I'll often shop in ASDA or Next. Boots are quite good too although the sizes are often too small. My absolute favourite is vertbaudet, their clothes are adorable and not badly priced, although I always have to buy 2 sizes bigger than what I need to ensure they fit.

Flats or Heels? Everyday shoes are?
I absolutely adore heels. Ask anyone who knows me what I'm like when it comes to buying shoes and they will tell you, I'm obsessed. I used to buy a new pair every weekend and would often plan my outfits around my shoes. I sold a lot of them in the move because I never have time to wear them anymore. The amount of running around I do it's just not practical. I definitely wear flats more than anything, but I'll still always make sure they're pretty.


So there you have it, my yummy mummy meme! I have chosen to tag:

Lena @amumonamission over at A Mum On A Mission
Gina @Gina_Caro over at Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies
@motherwifeme over at Mother.Wife.Me 
Nikki @nikkijayne985 over at The Girl Next Door

Monday, 18 June 2012

Hat's Off To Dads

I know I'm a day late with this post, but have only just found the time to sit down!

Fathers Day can be difficult for many people for lots of different reasons. Sometimes it can be hard because like me, you don't know your Dad. For others it could be that your Dad has passed away and you're having to celebrate without him. I think the people that Fathers Day is hardest on, is the Mums who have to watch their children unable to celebrate it because their Dads have personally chosen not to be around.

I can't imagine the heartache a Mum must feel, knowing that their childs Dad has chosen not to be in their life. A friend of mines daughter only got to see her Dad for an hour because his new girlfriend wouldn't allow any longer. His response was something along the lines of "well at least she got to see me". That might be true, but when that little girl gets older, how is she going to feel to know that her Dad picked his girlfriend over her?

It breaks my heart that some men are taken away from the world, Dads who genuinely loved their children and treasured the attention on Fathers Day, whilst others simply don't even care. 

A lot of Dads are given a bad name (this post probably doesn't help!). Apparently it's just this generation, although we all know that's not true. Every generation has it's fair share of let down Dads. 

I was lucky enough to have a Step-Dad help bring me up. He took me on as his own and I called him Dad. Unfortunately, after about 12 years he decided family life was boring for him and went off with a woman closer to my age than his. To start another family. I haven't heard from him since, but I will always be grateful that he was a Fatherly role in my life. I was also very fortunate to have an amazing Grandad. Ever since I can remember I have always said if I were to get married, he would be the one to walk me down the aisle. Even though he's not my biological Grandad (once again, another case of a let-down Dad on my Mums behalf) and my Grandma isn't with us anymore, I am still his Granddaughter and always will be. 

All of this could be said for Mums too. There are single Dads out there, results of let-down Mums but they're not as common. I think the reason for this is that there is never really much choice for a woman. We have to carry a baby and give birth, whether the Dad stays around or not. The only time you ever really find single Dads are if the Mum has been deemed unfit, or the child has chosen to live with the Dad. 

I don't think Fathers Day is a day for Mums too. Every Mum will strive to do her best for a child, but I don't think she can completely fill the shoes of having a Dad. 

I didn't plan on having a child so early. I always thought I would be at least 25 when I did (that was the plan). But a faulty pill resulted in my Princess and I couldn't have been happier. And neither could Ross. I know for a fact that if things didn't work out between us, he would fight for his daughter. Because of that, I have a lot of respect for him. Fortunately, I'm not one of those Mums who would use a child as a pawn. We would try to come to an agreement ourselves and stick to it. This is simply because I know how it feels to not have your real Dad in your life. I would never deny Princess that priviledge. Ross is a wonderful Dad and he loves Princess with everything he has. He would give her anything she wanted and he would die for her. 

That is the definition of a Dad.

So this post is dedicated to all the Dads out there who stepped up to the plate. The ones who stood by their partners through pregnancy and birth and watched their children grow up. Whether they were still with the Mum or not. A relationship doesn't have to work just because there are children involved, but there is no excuse to not carry on your relationship with your child. It's for Dads who pay their way and contribute to the upbringing of their children. The ones who genuinely enjoy spending time with their child and would fight to stay in their lives. The Dads who have taken on children who are not biologically their own, but love them as if they were. 

I never knew my Dad. I have his last name and apparently I get my looks from him, but it's all words. I will never know for myself. I don't have an interest in finding or meeting him, because his choice was not to know me so in true Like Father Like Daughter fashion, I have taken on the same decision. 

I know my Princess will always have her Dad.

 Hats off to you Dads! I have the biggest respect for all of you.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Silent Sunday

Nap Time... Four Days On.

I thought I would give you all an update on how the no napping situation is going. I can sum it up in two words.

Not well.

After I finished my post on Thursday morning, Princess's cousin Tyler came round to play. Well let's just say she was less than impressed. Poor lad had to deal with what I can only describe as a pre-menstrual toddler. One moment there was laughing and toy sharing and then the next Tyler would be on the receiving end of a punch. He was more than happy to leave when his Dad came to pick him up a few hours later!

I succeeded in the no nap area however. There were a few accidents where she fell asleep for a few minutes or so before I realised and promptly woke her up. The girl sleeps like a rock. At one point I was dancing around the living room with her loudly singing "Boom boom boom! Let me hear oua say wayooo, WAYOOOO" just to get some sort of response from her. But there were no proper naps. That probably counts as child abuse.

Because of this, I had a lot of tantrums. I think she had woken up in a bad mood that morning anyway (as was demonstrated against poor Tyler) but without her nap, she was worse. There were many moments when I contemplated giving in, but I knew I couldn't. If I let her sleep than I was going to lose the battle. Surely an hours peace wasn't worth a few hours of relaxation later on that night?

However, despite waking up at 7am and having no naps throughout the day (minus about 6 minutes of micro-naps before I caught her) she still managed to stay awake until 9.30pm. That's right. Somehow it didn't seem worth it. I was so tired and ready for bed after the day I'd had that I couldn't really enjoy myself.

Friday went much better. Although, she did have a nap. She woke up at 7am but had fallen to sleep by 1pm. This is unheard of and I was in quite a shock. I decided that in the name of research I would let her have this early nap and see if it made any difference. Surprisingly, it did. She was in bed by 8.30pm. 

When Saturday came around, I knew I wouldn't have the same luck. We had Tyler round again for a few hours, in which they both promptly fell asleep at about 2.30pm. Even though Princess used to nap from 2-4pm, I knew that by having this nap, it would mean a late bedtime. It didn't make much of a difference to me that day because I was out for my friend Chrissy's hen do in the evening. My Mum and I got dressed up (as punks which was the theme!) and headed out the door for 8pm. Princess had her pyjamas on but was showing no signs of sleeping. Ross said she fell asleep about 11pm. 

I slept in Princess's room last night and she slept in my bed with Ross. Ironically, she didn't wake up until 9.30 (isn't that always the case when it's Daddy's turn to get up with the baby!?). So far, she hasn't had a nap today. Although I have just literally checked in on her in the living room and she's out for the count! So at 9.10pm, Princess is asleep. This means I have the rest of the night to myself!

And when I say myself, I mean all by myself. Ross is babysitting his niece and nephew, and I'm home alone. It's a shame I didn't prepare and buy myself a bottle of wine. Although after last night I'm craving cherry sourz and coke. Every time I take a sip of Pepsi I'm expecting to taste sour cherry and am desperately disappointed.

So for now I am off to enjoy some free television time. It's not often I have the remote all to myself. 

Tomorrow is the start of a new week. Let's see if I can keep up the anti-naptime routine!