Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

 
Today is Princess's cousins 3rd Birthday. We've been to his party tonight which was of course, Halloween themed.

We weren't looking forward to it to begin with due to Princess's phobia of all things spooky, but she seemed to cope fine. 

We were met with a Frankenstein cutout on the front door which she immediately said was scary. It took us a while to coax her into the kitchen where the rest of the decorations were but after a while she finally settled down.

The only things she didn't like were the scary masks - which truth be told, I don't like either - and a rather large pretend spider. She liked the little spiders and played with them quite happily but screamed her poor little head off when she spotted the big one.

When the rest of the kids arrived, along with the Birthday Boy, he set about opening his presents. Of course after seeing that he had got the new Gadget Robot, Princess was in there. She spent the majority of the night playing with it.

It was a great night. There was food, laughs and even fireworks! Everyone loves hotdogs, jacket potatoes and mushy peas. (minus the mushy peas for me - yuergh!)

The kids went out trick-or-treating for a bit, all of them in there costumes. Regan was a werewolf, Millie-Jayne a with and Tyler a devil! Princess didn't go out trick-or-treating but we didn't want to risk her bumping into other kids with masks on, or someone answering the door with one on - like Ross did. She didn't want to dress up either so we left her to it.

For some unknown reason I was a complete fool and took absolutely no pictures, apart from one of Princess with a sparkler! It was a first for her though so the camera immediately came out. I didn't even think about anything else, not even the fireworks. Shame really because they were really good. Tyler the Birthday Boy had requested them especially and kept shouting for "MORE ROCKETS!" Princess wasn't a fan, but she's only 2 and they were very loud.


So that was our evening. I'm now ready to curl up with a book ready for Fridays review linky over at Catch A Single Thought.

What did you do this Halloween?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

See It. Snap It. Love It

The theme for this weeks See It. Snap It. Love It is Smiles. Now there's nothing more my girl loves to do than smile. Honestly, it's not often that she isn't giggling or smiling about something and I absolutely adore that about her. 

What I adore more, is the smile she has in this picture..


She just looks so happy. Something has clearly amused her - probably me judging that I'm in the picture too! She likes to look at herself - who can blame her, she's just so damn cute - so I often reverse the iPhone camera so she can look at herself. When I do, I get cracking pictures like this one.

I also have the most hilarious videos too, but that's a whole other blog post.

I'm linking up with Lucy over at Dear Beautiful

 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Saturday is Caption Day! #SatCap

It's that time of the week again. Yep, you guessed it. 

SATCAP!

So my lovelies, I give you a picture and YOU the viewer have to caption it. Here is this weeks picture..


 It seems my Princess has turned into Mike the Mechanic. She has literally been doing this all week.The outfit she is wearing in this picture will probably need to be binned due to oil stains. Wonderful.

So.. off you go!



Friday, 26 October 2012

Baby Swing Seat Review

In our last house we didn't have a garden, just a small bit of concrete and a patch of mud to grow plants.

In this house, we have a huge garden. We have more space than we know what to do with. 

A few months ago, on a mission to fill up a patch of garden and provide Princess with everything she had ever missed out on, we bought her a swing. 

Unfortunately, only being 2 years old - well, 20months at the time - she couldn't sit on the swing seat. It was designed for older children and she would always fall off of it. 

Luckily for us, Big Game Hunters offered to send us a baby swing seat to review which couldn't have been more perfect.

Big Game Hunters are a company that make outdoor apparatus specifically designed for children of all ages. This could be from a swing to a full blown climbing frame. Attachments for climbing frames are available to buy separately, meaning you can create your own adventure playground!

After speaking to someone on Friday, the package arrived on Monday - super fast delivery. 

The seat was exactly how it had been shown on the website. It is made of strong, durable plastic and dark green in colour to match any garden.

 

I was impressed that the seat came with a safety belt as I have seen others that do not. The seat is designed for babies up until 3 years so the belt is very handy. It stops Princess from climbing out and would stop babies from falling out.

It was extremely easy to fit - Ross being surprised by how easy it was.

 

The ropes also seem very durable. They are strong and able to hold weight up to 70kg - heavier than me!

The design seems comfortable and very well suited to toddlers.

 

My only criticism is that the seat doesn't come up high enough from the floor - but, we do not have the specific frame for this seat. We have attached this seat to our own frame. Also, our two year old is really quite tall for her age.

 At £38.95 I think this seat is reasonably priced as it will most definitely stand the test of time. I think you will get more use out of this seat than your average toddler swing.

 

Princess seemed to agree. She had lots of fun testing out this seat and I'm sure we will have lots of fun with it in the future!  It was nice to finally be able to use the swing for what it was intended for.

To find out more information about the baby seat swing - click here

To take a look at the full website, please visit: Big Game Hunters

Disclosure: I was sent this baby swing seat to review by Garden Games Ltd. All of the opinions and pictures are my own. 






Thursday, 25 October 2012

To The Moon And Back - Jill Mansell: Book Review

This week I've read two books. Both of them being Jill Mansell books.

She has to be by far one of my favourite authors. Whenever I'm feeling down, or I just want my spirit lifted, I can always count on one of her magical stories to cheer me up.

The most recent book that I read was To The Moon And Back. I hadn't read it before so was looking forward to the new story.



Mansell's story begins with the tragic death of Ellie Kendalls husband, Jamie.
I'm gonna stop right there. I'm not a massive cryer when it comes to books, but I was already tearing up. We're still Chapter one mind you and I'm already hooked.
The story continues with Ellie eventually deciding to move to North London and embarking on a career change - working for the handsome Zack McLaren. Of course Ellie feels absolutely nothing for him, unable to move on from Jamies death she has no physical attraction to him what-so-ever.
Zack however, is head over heels for Ellie. Ever since that first time he saw her in the street..

Ellie meets Roo, her neighbour from across the street and they become friends instantly. She's funny and carefree, a breath of fresh air for Ellie.
Roo has secrets of her own though.. She's seeing a married man.  Of course Ellie knows it will end in disaster, but what can she do except be there for her friend?

When Todd - Jamies best friend, and the man who Ellie originally blamed for his death - comes back into town, they finally make amends. He's introduced to Roo and they both take an instant disliking to each other.. or do they? Todd and Roo's relationship definitely had me smiling.

And lets not forget Tony. Ellie's Father-in-law, the man who owns Ellies apartment. He ends up falling for the lovely Martha who unfortunately is battling her own personal demons.

Can any of them find a happy ending?

The entire story is well thought out, humorous and light hearted, all in one. I teared up plenty of times throughout - maybe even shed a little tear. It's warm and romantic and it makes you want to continue reading, long after you've stopped turning the pages.

I honestly don't have any criticisms. I never do with a Jill Mansell novel. I always want to make friends with her characters, the romance is always believable and nothing seems too far fetched. Everything is genuinely possible.

One thing I have noticed with Jill Mansell novels, is I always know the ending, but it never bothers me. I know the guy will always get his gal, but what I don't know is how. This is the charm that is Mansell. She takes you on an adventure with her stories, every page is something new to discover. And even though you know the final destination, you can't help but enjoy the ride.


To find out more about Jill Mansell and her novels, visit the her website - www.jillmansell.co.uk

I'm joining in with Jess's What I'm Reading linky over at Catch A Single Thought


BOOKLOVEBADGE
 





Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Incessant rambling of October..

I'm going to apologise right now for what may be a post full of unnecessary rambling, but sometimes it's just far easier to write it down than try to compartmentalise in my head.

That's what blogs are for, right?

First things first, I have mentioned several times about the novel I wrote. I usually just refer to it as 'the story' but I suppose at 80,000+ words, it really counts as more than that. I mean, there's a plot and everything. Anyway, the other day my Mum called me up to say that she'd been speaking to her English professor about me and explaining about the story I had written. Her English professor had asked to have a look at it and now the first 3 chapters are being proof-read and having notes made on them.
It seems to have only just hit me. I know it's not as if it's been sent off to an editor or a publishing house.. but just that someone is reading it from a professional point of view. The only other person to have read it is my Mum, and obviously she's biased, so I'm excited to get the notes back. Whether they're good or bad, I enjoy writing and will continue to do so. However, with criticisms or encouragement from someone who knows what they're doing in the professional sense, it can only be a good thing. 
Every now and then it seems to smack me in the face. I have done something incredible, maybe I should actually do something about it?

Maybe one day.

I applied for a job today. If I'm being honest, my heart isn't in it. I can't even remember the name of the job. It was in an office and had something to do with answering phones. I hope. It's part time and it sounds like something I could do which is all that matters. 
I don't even know if I'm mentally ready to return to work. As selfish as it sounds, I want to stay at home with Princess until she goes to school and I don't need to be there all day. In reality, I know it can't happen this way. After a completely unsuccessful grievance at Ross's work, he's been forced to hand his notice in. Right now we're just keeping our heads above water and it's driving me insane. I hate having to watch where every penny goes, wondering if we can afford this or that. We're probably better off now than we were before when he was working, but that isn't something to be proud of, and I don't want that to be the case.
I applied for a job over a month ago at a care home but after weeks of attempting to get me a CRB without a birth certificate, I finally gave up. It was only for 7 hours a week, not worth the trip to town to get myself a birth cert printed off if I'm honest. Most definitely not worth the anxiety attack that would no doubt rear it's ugly head the moment I stepped on the bus alone. Shame though, it was just up the road.
I applied for Next too. I was a bit worried that if I did actually get the job I'd probably have to work Christmas Day night ready for the sale on Boxing Day. Then I realised I'd be there anyway and the panic disappeared.

I do wonder about my blog sometimes. Whether I'm really writing it for me, or other people. I wonder whether I should give it up and let it go, or carry it on and just go with it. I wonder whether people really read my posts, if anyone thinks "oh I can't wait for the next post" or if they think "oh great, another one.."
Either way I suppose it's easy. I write for myself. I write because I enjoy writing. And if you don't like it, you can jolly well fuck off.

I've been chatting to some lovely people on Twitter recently as well, who without my blog I probably wouldn't have met.It's nice to be able to converse with people who share the same concepts and ideals as you, but also people that make you piss yourself with laughter. Painting a picture here aren't I?
Oh and you know, just casually having a brief conversation with one of your favourite authors helps too. 

Along with all of this nonsense, I'm questioning my parenting skills. We've lived in our new house since April so *counts on fingers* 6 months. It is only this past week that Princess has been going to sleep in her own bed, before she's fallen to sleep downstairs first. We've been waiting for her to fall to sleep and then having to carry her to bed because she would point blank refuse to stay up in her room alone. Made even worse by the fact we binned her cot the moment we moved in (if it hadn't have broke, it would've gone straight back up!). 
I have fixed this behavior.. with a television. I know, I know, I'm digging a hole for myself. However, every night since she discovered she can watch her favourite Curious George DVD upstairs in bed, she loves it. She will ask to go to bed, she will take her milk and she will lie and watch her film and eventually fall to sleep.
Am I a terrible parent?
Probably. But I get a few hours in the evening to myself so it's worth it. I'll probably be kicking myself when my electricity bill sky-rockets and she refuses to sleep without it, but until that day comes I will just enjoy it whilst it lasts. And when that day arrives.. I won't take any responsibility.

Once again, apologies for the incessant rambling. After many attempts at a half decent blog post, I gave up and instead this is what happened. 

Sometimes, just sometimes, the least thought out posts are the best.

And sometimes, nobody reads them.


Friday, 19 October 2012

5 Random Facts About Me

I was tagged in this meme by mumsmakelists so I now, against my own will, have to tell you 5 random facts about myself.

I must warn you before I begin that I'm really not that interesting and am struggling to think of things already. If you fall to sleep before the end of this post, I won't be offended.

Fact Number One - I have written a novel. Most people already know this, but I suppose it's pretty random if you didn't know. I wrote it last year and it didn't take particularly long - possibly 2 months. I used to write whenever Princess slept, so 2 hours in the day and then as soon as she went to bed. It's over 80,000 words long.

Fact Number Two - I once accidentally injected myself with my sisters epi-pen. So basically I had an epic adrenaline rush. My Grandma told me off thinking I'd done it on purpose - it was an accident! - and all of the hospital staff laughed at me. It wasn't until later on they told me I could have actually had a heart attack and that I was very lucky.

Fact Number Three - When I was in my teens I had a huge obsession with Tinkerbell. Peter Pan has always been my favourite Disney film and I thought Tinkerbell was the shit. I had a box covered in Tinkerbell wrapping paper filled with all Tinkerbell crap. There were stickers, pens, notebooks, pictures.. even a lollipop I never ate. I didn't throw it away until I was 20 and left home..

Fact Number Four - My Mum was going to give me the middle name Blue. Therefore, I would have been named Misty Blue Bird.. do you think I have a case for child cruelty?

Fact Number Five - I enjoy playing Call of Duty. More specifically Black Ops. I'm actually really good at it and have on more than one occasion, beaten Ross. I can happily sit and watch him play it, I like it. Does that make me weird? Probably. I don't particularly like Modern Warfare, but that's probably because I haven't really given it chance. I'm excited for Black Ops 2 release next month though!

I told you, I'm not very interesting. This post actually took me fucking ages to write because I couldn't come up with anything good. So if you leave this page feeling slightly underwhelmed.. don't worry.. me too. I think the only interesting one in there was me nearly killing myself. Good one.

Right, the rules of this meme mean that I get to tag 5 more lucky bloggers to take part. Don't you dare run away..

I tag..

@mymummysworld mymummysworld
@KipHakes Kip Hakes
@wallymummy justanormalmummy

I look forward to reading your random facts! Lets hope they're better than mine!


SatCap

I've changed my mind several times over this weeks SatCap picture but I have finally settled on one. 

This picture was taken near the beginning of mine and Ross's relationship. My friend had come to visit from Bristol and I was staying in a hotel with her. Obviously Ross came to visit us and we all had crazy fun doing absolutely nothing.

Every time I see this picture I laugh, you'll probably see why.

If you don't laugh, you have no sense of humour.


Seriously cracking up right now. Yes, those are my wonky beautiful feet and that is Ross about 3 and a half years ago.

Your job, you lucky lot, is to caption this picture. I haven't got a clue what I would write, but because you're all so awesome, I bet you can think of something good *wink wink*

Caption away you beauts!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Gallery - Old

The theme for this weeks The Gallery is 'old'. Now I don't have any old pictures of me to hand, so I couldn't use one of those. And let's face it, I'm only 23 so it doesn't really count as old.

However this does:


This is a picture of Bestwood colliery, not far from where I live. Now before I saw this, I had no idea what a colliery was, or what a winding house was, but I soon found out it was used to lift coal out from the mines. 

This particular winding machine was installed and operational in 1876. 

The engine house finally closed and the area was turned into a country park. This particular machine is the sole surviving example of a twin cylinder vertical winding engine.

And if you found any of that boring - which I did, quite frankly - just check out my Instagram skills of a contraption that's over 140 years old.

Pop on over to Tara at Stickfingers to check out more of this weeks The Gallery

 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Halloween is cancelled

I have always loved Halloween, ever since I was a little girl.

I love dressing up and seeing everyone elses costumes. I think my favourite costume was dressing up as a ladybird for a house party! Not very scary I know, but it was fabulous.


There hasn't been any dressing up now for a few years, namely because now I have a child of my own, Halloween is about her.

Princess has a cousin who's birthday falls on Halloween. Every year (well every 2 years, he's only 3 this year!) we dress Princess up and go round for a Halloween themed party. All of the kids dress up, the house is decked out in spooky gear and the cakes and food are all ghostly themed!

 

However this year, I think Halloween is cancelled. Princess has developed a strange fear of ghosts.

That's right. My just two year old is terrified of the undead.

I do blame myself. A few weeks ago she was watching episodes of Scooby Doo. She never usually watches Boomerang because the cartoons are too old for her, but this particular day she chose her own programme. After that, she asked to watch again.

Now she's only seen about 2 episodes of Scooby Doo so I'm not saying it's entirely related, but it's either that or my house and everyone elses is haunted.

I recently took her down the Halloween aisle at the shop and she was terrified. The poor thing cowered away from the masks and spooky noises. The only thing she would entertain was a devil horn headband, but she didn't look up from under her blanket long enough to appreciate they weren't that scary.

Every now and then she will point, shiver and say "ghosts". If anyone puts a blanket over their head, or she can't see their face, she cries and thinks it's a ghost. She literally screams and tries to hide.

Along with this she has developed an aversion to the dark. I wouldn't necessarily say she's scared of it because she doesn't wake up frightened and she doesn't refuse to go into it. But she does make a point of declaring how dark it is. She will ask me to turn the light on. Even if it's daylight outside, but it clouds over, she will say it's dark.

I wish I knew where these fears had come from. I most definitely wish I knew how to take them away from her.

At two years old she should not be worrying about things such as ghosts. In fact she shouldn't even know what a ghost is. I still don't know whether to blame Scooby Doo because the only episodes she saw were about a vampire and a zombie. 

I'm not trying to justify letting her watch it, definitely not. Take it as a warning if anything. Kids clearly understand things much younger these days and I have somehow managed to give my daughter an irrational fear.

We try to tell her ghosts are silly. We even pretend to talk to them like they're our friends so she thinks whatever it is she can see is safe. We will always make her feel as safe and loved as possible.

So this year, Halloween is cancelled. There will be no trick-or-treating for us. No Halloween themed party and definitely no dressing up.

I'm hoping it's just a phase, but I feel terrible.

Unless she is in fact seeing ghosts.

*shudder*

Toddlers & Books

Last week we went to see a Health Visitor for Princess's 2 year check up.
She was happy to say that she thought Princess was quite forward for her age, especially since she can name colours and shapes.

She asked us if she could run, climb and jump.. As Princess climbed up a slide, slid down and raced back around to the steps.

She asked if she knew the correct names for people, such as: Mummy, Daddy, Grandma, Grandad etc. she does, including our first names too. She knows my name is Misty and Daddy's is Ross. She knows her own name. We told the HV she sometimes called her Daddy 'babe'. HV wasn't so happy about this and insisted I call Ross 'Daddy' from now on. No thank you. That's creepy.

She asked us if we read princess bed time stories. I said no.

*gasp* SHOCK HORROR! We are TERRIBLE parents.

Now I shouldn't have had to justify this to her, but the look she gave me made me feel I had to.

Princess simply just doesn't like books.

I have tried to read to her, at night, in the day, at home, on the bus. She's just not interested. In fact she has gone as far as to slam books closed on my fingers in order to get me to stop reading. She has screamed, cried and ran away.

Why would I force her to sit there and listen to me? I'm quite attached to my fingers thank you.


She's clearly quite clever for her age. Reading at the age of 2 is not the be all an end all of learning. She's proof of that.

So why do I feel so guilty?

She will often sit down by herself with a book and it looks like she is reading. sometimes it even sounds like she's trying to tell herself a story. Shouldn't that be enough?

Apparently not. Apparently I should be reading with her at bed time so she can get into a routine of bringing books home from school to read to me. In 3 years time.

WHAT?

I assumed it was because of the bonding time that was being spent together. The importance of hearing new words. Stimulation from a book with pictures etc etc. Not because I had to force her into a routine 3 years prior to it even being an issue.

I am not fobbing this Health Visitor off. I would love it if Princess read more. One of my favourite things to do is read and lose myself in a book, I hoped it would be something she too would enjoy. But I won't force her.

Forcing her to do something she clearly doesn't want to do can only lead to a negative association with books and I definitely don't want that.

So we will continue being that family that don't tell bed time stories and don't read to their child.

It's not neglect, it's respecting your toddler.

I will always buy her books and try and read with her, but I want it to be fun rather than a chore. I don't want to coerce her into something she doesn't want to do, but I will continue to show her that books can be fun.

So, if any of you other there have any tips or tricks to encourage your child to read - or listen when they're being read to! - share them here.

And remember, they cannot include strapping your toddler to the bed and reading to them - whether they like it or not! 

Just so there's no confusion - I am referring to reading TO her, not teaching her to read for herself. If she could do that then I'd be carting her off for genius-brain tests.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Dark Shadows Blu-ray Triple Play pack Giveaway!

With Halloween just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about decorations, costumes and sweets for those scary little trick-or-treaters.
It's time to dig out the horror films and hide behind your cushions as you attempt to watch. 
Or if like me, you prefer the more comical horror films, then this competition is just for you!

Warner Brothers are releasing Dark Shadows, starring everyones favourite duo, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, on 15th October, just in time for Halloween!

From the awesome mind of Tim Burton comes the tale of Barnabas Collins, a vampire who has been trapped for two centuries by an evil witch (Eva Green) who also happens to be an ex-lover. Based in the 1970's, Barnabas now has to adapt to his changed surroundings and help save his families business.
Also starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jonny Lee Miller.

Dark Shadows promises to be a movie that gets you into the spirit for Halloween!



To enter this fabulous giveaway courtesy of Warner Brothers and to be in with a chance of winning a Blu-ray Triple Play pack, just comment below with your favourite Halloween joke and the results of your Are You Creepy Enough quiz!

You must also be following me on either twitter or Facebook. If not, your entry will not be counted.

All entries must be in by 29th October and the winner will be announced shortly after.


Disclosure: Only open to residents of the United Kingdom

Saturday is Caption Day! #SatCap

It's that time again ladies and gents, time for you to put your noggins to good use, and think of a catchy phrase to go along with this weeks picture.

This photo came about after I caught Princess hoovering her hair. That's right.. nozzle to head. 

Why she did it, nobody knows. Except she now actually prefers me to do this than brush it.

Now it's over to you, my lucky readers, to caption it!


 Head on over to Mammasaurus to check out some more #SatCap posts!


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Public Transport Offenders

At some point or another in our lives, we have all had to use public transport. Neither me or Ross drive so to get about we often have to use buses - which we both hate!

Now upon using public transport - this could be a bus, train or a tram, you name it, these people will most definitely have made themselves known.
They're the people we hate. The people who should be made to take a test before they are allowed to catch any form of public transport. Here they are.. the public transport offenders..

Personal space passenger. This is the guy who no matter how far you scooch your legs over, will always manage to touch them. His/her hip will be crushing yours, your legs touching all the way to the knee. These are the people who also stand too close at the bus stop, so close you can almost feel them breathing down your neck. I'm only a very small person so there really is no need to squash up next to me. Unless you're very fat.

Unfortunately, personal space passenger, is also usually smelly passenger.

You know the type. That one person on the bus who always fucking stinks, and it doesn't matter how far away you sit, you can always smell them. It's usually B.O. One of these happened to sit in front of me on the bus the other day and I had to breathe through my mouth for fear of vomiting all over his bald patch if I happened to get too big a whiff.

Then there's the idiots who listen to their music far too loud over their headphones. The loud music passenger. I'm not being funny, but if you're going to play your music that loud that I can hear it all the way at the back of the bus, then you may aswell not have any fucking head phones in. I'm also surprised your ears haven't blown off, because, well, they deserve to.

Disclosure: I am of course allowed to do this because I listen to awesome music.

Main culprits for loud headphone music, is the shouty youths. If they're not listening to their music, they're on their phone, and if they're not on their phone, they're usually accompanied by another annoying little shit who feels the need to shout their business to the bus. I seriously do not need to know how many pregnancy tests you have had, or how many girls you have banged. Likelihood is, it's all bullshit. I also do not appreciate you swearing, especially when my Princess is in earshot. Only I can do that.

Next up is the drunk passenger. These can sometimes be the shouty youths, but the ones I'm referring to are the drunk older people. You know *whispers* alcoholics (drunk at 10am..) I was once on a bus in the buggy bay with Princess. She was about 10 months old, blissfully unaware of these smelly cretins beside her. Because Princess is so amazingly adorable, they of course had to start talking to her. And then one of them touched her. WHAT THE FUCK? His hands were filthy and his fingernails were black. He was slurring his words and could barely make eye contact. For one, I do not know you, and two, you're drunk. Get your fucking dirty hands off of my child. Note to strangers - do NOT touch other peoples children.

The drunk passenger is nearly just as bad as the poorly passenger. These are the people who will sit smack bang in the middle of the bus, and cough all over the poor fucker sat in front of them. Sometimes it's a sideways sneeze on the person they're sat next to. Either way, if you're ill, get the fuck off the bus. I do not wish to catch your disease. At the very least use a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough.

Which brings me to the ignorant passenger. These aren't always easily spotted, and sometimes look like genuinely nice people. But they're not. They're the people who sit in the seats on the bus specifically designed for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Ross was once made to stand in the aisle of a bus because these people refused to move. They all avoided eye-contact with him and turned away. They sat like this until another passenger piped up with "Don't you think you should move out of the PUSHCHAIR bay for this gentlemen with a PUSHCHAIR." He was my hero.
But before I leave these passengers, let's not forget the ignorant Mums. Yes, they exist. You know the ones, they leave their pushchair in the bay without a child in and fuck off somewhere else on the bus leaving you to sort it out. I may have kicked someone elses buggy when it was in my way. There was no child on it though..

Another public transport offender, is the passenger who doesn't know where they're going. These come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, they're the people who stop the bus, just to ask if they go to a certain place. READ THE SIGN.
Other times they get on the bus, ask if they're on the right one, pay for their ticket and then ask for directions. I understand it can be daunting getting on a bus to a strange area you don't know, but do your homework before you decide to hold up the entire bus.

Last but not least, and by far the worst public transport offender.. the over-friendly passenger. I cannot put into words how much I hate these people. It's one thing to make a polite comment about Princess, perhaps ask me a few questions. It is a completely different story for you to divulge me in every single detail of your life, and then to ask my opinion. They usually then continue to ask intimate details of your life, details you most definitely would not disclose to a stranger. I have been asked more than once how long my labour was. Was it natural? Can they see my scar.
I have two words for you. Fuck off.

Can you think of any more public transport offenders?



Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The Gallery - Yellow


When I was 3 months pregnant with Princess, my Grandma passed away. She had just managed to see in her Birthday before she died.

For the past 2 years after that, we have all gathered at her home, and set off balloons.

My Grandad still lives there alone, in the mobile home that they shared. The first time we did this, Princess was only 4 months old. The second time she was 16 months and was walking. She also had a a fairly excitable tendency when it came to balloons.

My Grandma's favourite colour was yellow. 

Princess and my Grandma - her Great Grandma - never got to meet, despite her being aware I was pregnant even before I did! I will always be sad that my Grandma never got to meet Princess, but I know she would have loved her, just as I do.

This picture is very personal to me, as well as comical.

I am taking part in this weeks The Gallery. Pop on over to Tara at Stickyfingers to check out the rest of this weeks pictures. 


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Happy Birthday Princess


Today you turned 2.

At this very moment in time 2 years ago, you would have been nearly 16 hours old.

When I look back and think about how much you have grown over the past two years, it takes my breath away.

You are now walking, talking, laughing and generally melting my heart every single day. I never tire of your company, or your laugh and I would do absolutely anything to see you smile.


Today you were spoilt by all of your family. You got lots of presents and cards, even though of course you didn't care about the cards. 

You loved your Peppa Pig toys from mummy and daddy. Especially your remote control car and Grandad Pig 'choo choo'.


Your cousins came round and you had amazing fun bouncing on the trampoline with them, kicking and chasing balloons and eating your party food.

You especially liked your Birthday cake. We got your favourite - chocolate cake. Just like Peppa. You thought blowing out the candle was hilarious and made Daddy light it four times, just so you could blow it out again.


Before bed, we played in the bath with your new bath crayons. We drew all over the side of the bath, and all over your arms, tummy and legs too. Sadly we had to wash it all off before you got out, but you had so much fun doing it.

When people tell me that time goes fast, I now understand what they mean. It seems like only yesterday you were my tiny bundle of joy, all squidgy and cuddly with that amazing newborn smell and soft skin.

You were absolutely tiny.


Now you're so tall. You take after your Daddy so much. Where you used to be bald, a head of curly ringlets has taken it's place. You're still squidgy in that cute chubby, cherub way and everyone loves to cuddle you. 

You give the most amazing cuddles.

Before you fell to sleep tonight you told me

"Sankoo Mummy"

I'm not sure what you were thanking me for. I feel like I should be thanking you for everything you have brought to my life. Happiness, joy and fulfillment. 

If I'm honest, today has been sad for me too. You are no longer a baby, but a little girl. Your personality shines through brighter each day and as I get to know you, I love you a little bit more. If that's even possible!

Happy 2nd Birthday Princess. I hope you have had an amazing day.

Lots of love,

Mummy x


Saturday, 6 October 2012

Saturday is Caption Day!

As in my previous post, Why I love Twitter, I described how I had recently got involved properly with the blogging world!
Because of this I have decided to join with #SatCap .. Every Saturday, bloggers all around the blogosphere pick out a picture for you lucky readers to caption!

I haven't taken many pictures this week so I'm going to use an old(ish) one, so here it is!

This is the first time our dog Tia had ever willingly got in the bath by herself! She's usually dropped and pinned down. On this occasion however, she thought it was the perfect opportunity to cavort in the bubbles - much to Princess's amusement!



So, fellow readers, bloggers and twitterers, please try and caption my very first #SatCap!!

Also, nip on over to mammasaurus to check out all of the other fantastic Saturday Captions! 

Why I love Twitter

It's Friday night. I have just poured myself another a glass of wine and am settled on the sofa with a massive bar of chocolate.

To me, Friday nights, are Twitter and wine nights.



Friday night is the night I get the whole sofa to myself, a bottle glass of wine to myself and I get to talk to the people who keep me sane during the week - whether they know it or not.

The people who I tell my thoughts to. The people who read my most random of comments and actually agree with me. The people whom I have never met but are the first to offer me advice.

You may (or may not) have noticed that my blog has completely changed. I used to have a premade layout, but after noticing lots of bugs on it, I decided to revert back to a bog-standard Blogger custom layout.

For the brilliant layout you see right now, I would like to say an absolute massive thank you to Vikki over at lovefrommummy for helping me with my blog design. Thanks to her, my header now looks fabulous and my badges fit within my space bars. After deleting my layout the blog pretty much looked a mess before she stepped in and helped me out. She's absolutely fabulous, and if you don't believe me, pop on over to her blog and check it out.

Once I discovered the jellybean background though, all was right with the world. You see, Princess has recently developed an obsession with sweetie based things. A friend of mine bought me a Smartie birthday card, just because it looked like sweeties. I've also bought jellybean wrapping paper for Princesses birthday presents next week because she likes the look of them so much. So basically, the background is actually personal for me.

Anyway, moving back on to Twitter..

The past few weeks, I have met a few people who have become quite close friends. I've known them weeks, but I could safely say that we could meet up somewhere and have the most fabulous of times. After being on Twitter for over a year, it's a nice change.

I have also just started to enter myself into the blogging world. I have been wondering whether I should separate my personal and blog accounts, but I know for a fact I would just end up using one of them instead of both. I had my personal account long before my blog so think I should just continue with the one I'm using. If followers pre-blog don't like it.. don't follow.

So there you have it, the reasons I love Twitter.

Throughout all of the social networking sites, and all of the negativity they can bring, I have found a reason to enjoy them.

There may be over one billion users on Facebook every month, but Twitter is where it's at.






Wednesday, 3 October 2012

My Special Girl

It's safe to say I have an addiction to going through old photos. I'm often found browsing through old photo albums, and there's nothing I love more than looking at old childhood pictures. Every picture has a memory - not necessarily for me, but for my Mum and I enjoy hearing stories about myself.

I began to think about Princess and what memories her pictures convey to me. What stories would I tell her when she came across old photos of herself. Let's face it, I have enough of them! When asked which was my favourite I found it hard to pick just one, but I found myself coming back to the same picture..

 
This time next week, Princess will be 2. This picture was taken on her 1st Birthday. She was dressed to the nines in a beautiful fluffy pink dress I had bought her specially for the occasion. This picture shows her passed out after a hectic morning of opening presents, playing with new toys and being surrounded by family. 

The rolls in her legs will always remind me of how chunky she was. How she had put on weight so quickly at birth and it had always continued in the same way. Her short hair will remind me of the time she lost all of her hair, but it grew back so glossy and beautiful.

Seeing Princess on her 1st Birthday brought me so many emotions. It reminded us of just how far we had come as a family. She had never been planned so was a surprise to us all. I think we underestimated the power of love we would feel for her and how it would bring us all together. When people tell you that time goes fast when you have children, you never really understand what they mean until you have your own. It's a cliche but nothing could be more true.

As we draw nearer to her 2nd Birthday, I'm filled again with the same emotions as I was a year ago, and the year before that. Feeling that time is going by far too quickly, am I remembering her at this age enough? I will reminisce about the day she was born, and remember the scar I bear in her name. I will think of all of the happy times we have had together and be thankful for everything I have.

Without her, I am nothing.
 
This blog post has been written as an entry into the Tots100 competition in association with Boots Mother and Baby


The Gallery - Fitness

I have finally made the decision to join in with the Gallery over at Sticky Fingers. Ironically I've decided to join in on the week where the theme is Fitness!

*snorts*

I always promise myself I will become fit. I promise I will exercise and eat healthily. Unfortunately it never quite sticks and I'm left feeling like a fat fraud.

However, every week or so, my family and I will go on an epic walk in a bid to stay healthy. When I say epic, I mean long. I am by no means exaggerating.

Here is this weeks Fitness picture just to prove it!

                 

Yes, that's right. I walked 11 miles! It was very nearly 12 by the time we had actually gotten home. Very impressed we were! 


Pop over to Sticky Fingers to check out the rest of this weeks Gallery pictures.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Inner Demons

How do you know when you're suffering with anxiety?

Do you feel scared? Worried? Alone?

All of the above?

A few months ago I was suffering badly with palpitations. Every now and then - well more like every hour or so - I would feel my heart start to race, my breathing quicken and I would feel dizzy. I would try to sit down, breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, and hope that the feeling would pass.
After a good month or so of this, I decided to go to the Doctor. I had started waking up gasping for breath with no idea as to why.
My Doctor prescribed beta blockers, a drug that aids in slowing down your heart rate and ultimately stopping the palpitations. I was to take three tablets, three times a day and see how I got on.

I went home, took my first tablet and my heart quickened immediately. Suddenly I was filled with dread..

What if I was allergic to one of the ingredients in these tablets? I'd never taken them before so how would I know?

I can't breathe.

What if I pass out? I'm home alone with Princess..

My heart nearly beats out of my chest.

What if I die? What will happen? Will it hurt?

I can hear ringing in my ears.

What will happen to Princess if I die? Will she hurt herself waiting for her Dad to come home?

 I ring Ross crying and ask him to come home. He's too far away to get back in time. I ring my Mum and she comes straight over.
Eventually I calmed down enough to talk properly. I was an absolute shaking mess.

For whatever reason, I'd just had a panic attack.

Never in my life had I been more scared than I had in that moment. At first I blamed it on the tablets, surely there was something in there that had caused me to react so badly?
Eventually I realised it was my very first thought that had caused my reaction. What if I was allergic to something in the tablets?

Because of this, I now can't take a tablet I have never taken before. The very thought terrifies me. What if I am allergic to something, I have a reaction to it, and I die?

Is that even a rational?

I've been thinking about it quite a lot. I was coming home on the bus today after a lovely day with my Mum, and I could feel the familiar sensation creep over me. My heart was pounding, head spinning and I was shaking. Everything around me sounded like it was under water and the feeling of nausea was overwhelming.

I had to close my eyes, breathe in big breaths and count to ten.

This feeling came out of nowhere. However the reason for it was simple..

I was alone.

There were people all around me on the bus, some standing in fact it was so full, but there was nobody around I knew. No one knew I was here and no one would help me if something happened. This something could have been anything - my heart could have stopped, the bus could tip over, we could crash, etc. There was always something.

It's not very often I go out by myself at all, I'm usually always with someone and at the very least pushing a buggy. But when I'm alone, I find myself light headed, clumsy and generally panicked.

I don't know where this has come from. I have never in my life been anxious about anything. Well, except maybe exams, interviews, childbirth.. that sort of thing! Never about anything as simple as being on a bus by myself. Not being able to drive, I have been on plenty in my time, I used to catch two a day to get to work and back. Now all of a sudden, they bring me to a panic. It doesn't make sense. I have always enjoyed my own company, whether that be traveling, shopping, going out.

Most of panic revolves around my heart. I'm convinced it's just going to stop one day. So whenever I have an irregular heart beat, or a palpitation, I'm convinced that that's it. I'm dying.

I'm not though. My heart's been tested.

When my Doctor suggested that my palpitations were due to anxiety, I fobbed her off. I had nothing to be anxious about. I wasn't worried about anything and I certainly didn't feel scared or alone. She tried to explain to me that sometimes we can feel anxious without knowing it, and that palpitations can be a way of our body letting us know.

Of course I thought it was complete tosh and carried on with my life.

After the incident today on the bus, I do feel like I have to sit back and evaluate what's happening. Am I feeling anxious over something I'm not aware of? Could my body be trying to tell me that something's wrong?

I have suffered with depression since the age of 15 and have wondered if it's all linked. Could the fact that I stopped taking my anti-depressants be the reason I'm now suffering with this? Is it an after effect or a symptom?

Without a valid Doctors diagnosis, I won't know. Personally, I think all of my worries and fears all stem down to not being around for Princess.
The thing that tipped me over into a full blown panic attack was wondering what would happen to her if I were to just keel over and die right then and there. At that point she was only about 15 months, she wouldn't have known what was going on.
I panic on the bus because I think something will happen to me, and I won't make it home to her. How would she cope without me?

The very thought of not seeing her every day, not seeing her grow up, fills me with absolute terror.

On the other hand, surely every parent feels this sort of anxiety. Feels scared and worried about their children and what might happen to them in the future if the worst was to happen. But then I wonder if it effects everyone on a physical level as it does me.

I'm by no means a Doctor and I don't think I understand anxiety enough to diagnose myself with it. What I do know, is that something is not quite right. Hopefully it's something easily curable, maybe I've had too much caffeine and need to cut down? Maybe everyone worries the same way I do.

I won't know, until I make that visit.