Wednesday, 26 September 2012

September Struggles

Hello Readers,

What an evening I've had tonight (or maybe couple of weeks I should say but I'll start with tonight...)

I'm feeling nicely relaxed now that I am here listing to Classic FM after eating a yummy wintery dinner but earlier on was quite a different story - usually I love the bath, story and bedtime routine with Freya, she plays with the bubbles and we practice the alphabet using bath crayons - she can now repeat the alphabet after hearing and seeing the letters and this morning at breakfast she even drew an A - she's such a little joy to be around however this evening I think she was swapped for the devil and I would quite like it if my little darling could be returned!

At first all she wanted was a bath so we ran it but when it came to going to she refused then the tears and then a full on tantrum proceeded, we couldn’t get her in so it was a two person job to hold the slippery toddler and wash her as best we could before battling to put on her PJ's, even soothing words and suggesting we read Beatrix Potter once she was dressed wasn't enough, our words fell of deaf ears and she continued in her ways.

I began to worry that she isn't happy with the recent change of routine, I had 3 weeks off work when my back was bad before my op (which went well I'm glad to say, I still have back pain if I sit for too long but it has made a drastic difference to everyday life just being mobile and not having to rest as much, I can walk with my posture being straight and am not taking painkillers any more hooray!!... I digress... So, I had spent a lot of time at home with Freya then on the Monday that I returned to work Freya started with her new child minder who I am really pleased is looking after Freya as she lives locally, looks after another girl who lives a couple of doors away and she's certified in baby signing - lots of bonuses!

Changing childcare has made a massive difference to our daily routine as we only have to walk for a few minutes to drop Freya off then I drive straight to work and I'm not doing a long commute in stop start traffic for an hour each way every work day like before, so that's it from my perspective but I worried after Freya's recent bedtime behavior that she was playing up because she's not happy which I know isn't true and I was reminded of that when I read her daily report - "Today we baked cakes, Freya helped to mix her cake, tipped it into the case and ice it, we also enjoyed dancing, lots of movement, jumping on the spot and sitting and standing to Simon Says. Freya actively looked for another child’s hand to hold while dancing then everyone wanted her".

It melted my heart to read her report, one part of me was upset that the child minder got to see and do all of the lovely things with Freya while I was sat in an office but the stronger part of me was glad to know she is happy and settled and perhaps the recent bedtime antics are simply the Terrible Two's surfacing, after all she has just turned two this month. (Another blog entry will follow with birthday celebration updates).

I just reassured myself by saying that I have to work, there is no choice in the matter, I enjoy my job and have to make the most of the quality time together we share which we do. When we arrive home 5:30pm - 18:30pm is play time Monday - Thursday, Thursday mornings I take her to Tiny Talk class before I go to work and then we have all day Friday as Mummy and Freya time before the weekend of full 3 T's family time - there is a good balance there when I see it in writing but an evening like tonight blurred my perspective and made me wonder if I am doing the right thing. I’m certainly not the only parent with this on-going battle in the brain.

I guess I'm just struggling a bit with a health trouble which is not allowing me to see all the good things, it’s that horrible thing which I call the Dreaded D (depression), for years it has sneaked up on me and swallows me whole for a few weeks or even months at a time and although I do try to do the right things to manage it it is still there, always at this time of year plus a few episodes throughout the year too - maybe with the highs have to come lows but this is debilitating at times and something not many people understand, I wouldn't normally talk about it so openly but I think that for anyone who is feeling that way the best thing to do is talk as there is always someone who can listen and help. I will sadly be saying a final farewell to a friend on Friday who didn't feel she had the option to talk or the will to cope.

As I keep saying, tomorrow will be a brighter day and hopefully it will, just got to keep making plans of things to look forward to and remember that I can't plough a field by turning it over in my mind.

I think that calls for bed time,

night night x

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Taking It Easy!

Hello lovely readers,

Once again it has been quite some time that I have had a chance to write, it's been busy times with the usual plate spinning : ) But I have recently been forced to rest due to my back playing up (to put it lightly). If I can't be up and about doing things I can at least put my feet up and do something to occupy my time.

As a bit of insight I thought I'd share how my brain works, its busy and I dont rest easily, I have quite a visual mind and often see myself quite literally juggling the main components of my life - motherhood, relationship, extended family, work, health, home, social life (tres scaled down!) and finances. I used to see each area of life as a bucket and my aim was to ensure that everything was evenly filled - I'd make sure that I was balancing everything correctly, I could see which area's required more attention and I'd be able to see the areas which were doing just fine.

Anyway, a little while back my thought processes became a lot less than orangised and it became more like a circus in my mind, gladly it's not so much like that now. I was striving for perfection in everything but its just not possible I now realise. Maybe now that I’m thinking more rationally I can see that I didn't really HAVE to do half the things I thought I had to - cleaning the front door and path at 10pm on a Monday after coming home from work, cooking dinner (twice), cleaning, bathing and putting Freya to bed is probably one of those things I didn't really have to do! The score goes - Anxiety 0 - 1 Amy, thankfully its in much better check now and I'm being just as productive yet much calmer, I am still trying out this pretty new thing to me though, it’s called - TAKING IT EASY!!!

It's actually not the easiest thing to do but I have little choice at the moment because my back pain made a devilish return a few months ago. I am actually pretty fed up of talking about it and feeling it but its so flippin' consuming there’s not much room for anything else to think about!

I have scoliosis which means I have a curved spine and its compressing my nerves, pretty horrid really but I had the great news today that I will be receiving facet joint injections again on 13th September at 5:30pm to be precise - and yes, I am counting down the days as that means 12 months living pain free!

It's been a hard 6 month since the pain returned, I don't want Freya to miss out on things because of my problem or for my work to be affected so I have been carrying on as normal but today I reached a bit of a melting point where I've admitted defeat and will rest until I'm fixed. It's ever so frustrating because I want to be the best mum to Freya, I enjoy my job and want to be there for my team and but sitting, standing and walking are all incredibly difficult at the moment.

Getting my back fixed so I can live the life that my mind wants to means I'll close the circus and re-fill the buckets - that’s my aim, I might have to give the skydive a miss in this life time but I'm a Piscean, a dreamer – and I can see a healthy happy person at the end of this! In darker times I see myself in a wheelchair which isn't great, neither is the numbness in my legs but I am doing all I can to remain positive.

I have to say a special thanks to Graham who has been really supportive this weekend by enabling me to rest, looking after Freya and doing little things to brighten the days up, its all really appreciated as I know what a grumpy so-and-so I can be when I'm unwell. Queue feelings of guilt.

On a side note, I think having a little artistic outburst and a chat with my friend Sara at her art workshop (Reclamation) for an hour yesterday helped, it really lifted my spirits and reminded me to keep in touch with my creative side; I loved using crayons to express my take on life as a mum!

So until 13th Sept its rest, rest and more rest. With research on the Alexander technique to improve my posture and booking Pilates classes too. Until next time, that’s bye for now! Ax

Sunday, 18 March 2012

It's Mothers Day and here's an 18 month update on Freya's development

Hello dear readers : )

My goodness I haven't written a blog update in quite a while but what I have been keeping is a little log about Freyas development so let me share this with you!

Before I do that, I'd just like to say I had a lovely mothers day - breakfast in bed and a roast dinner with all the Taylors at home, it was fab! I feel blessed that Freya makes this day a happy one!

So lets have a look at Freyas 18 month development 

- Can walk (15 months, little late starter!)
- Shakes hands if you say "hello Freya, nice to meet you" (16 months)
- Nods head for yes, shakes head for no.
- Gives a high five 
- Babbles on the telephone / says hi and bye
- Brushes hair
- Brushes teeth 
- Puts a finger to her lips and says Shhh (mostly after tucking teddies up to sleep!)
- Strums the guitar when handed a plectrum, plucks if not
- claps hands
- throws a ball
- climbs the stairs (supervised of course!)
- gets down safely
- Fetches objects such as books, remote, slippers, socks etc when asked
- Wiggles her nose when prompted
- Dances to music
- Feeds herself using a spoon and fork (10 months for spooning yoghurt)
- Puts sunglasses on and looks in mirror then puts glasses on us and points for us to look in the mirror.
- Knows her own reflection (around 10 months)
- Shares 
- Hugs and kisses all cuddly toys
- Tries to dress herself and teddies

Every Thursday we go to Tiny Talk sign language classes where we learn British Sign Language to aid with communication before words can be spoken.  We have been going since Freya was 15 months old and she can do the following signs:
- Milk (and says mik)
- Food / eat
- Raisins
- Drink,( and says dink)
- All gone ( says gone)
- Baby (says baba)
- Nappy
- Cold (says col)
- Hat (says ha)
- Play 
- Phone
- Book
- House
- Teeth (says teee)
- Sleep / Bed
- Car ( says vroom)
- Grass
- Plane
- Rain
- Bird
- Cat
- Dog
- Duck (says quack)
- Lion (can roar)
- Giraffe
- Pig 

Some other spoken words:
- Mamma
- Dadda
- Hot
- what's this?
- Oggy (for dog)
- Shoe
- Cat

Getting dressed - if I ask her to, Freya can do the following
- Places leggings over her legs / Places socks over her feet / Puts one arm in a cardigan - at least she's beginning to understand where the clothing items go! 
- Tries to take coat off when I ask her to
- Puts a hat on
- Gets her shoes when I say it's time to go outside

Play time:
- Kisses, cuddles, tries to feed and gives her dummy to teddies 
- Plays peek-a-boo
- pulls funny faces 
- Stacks 3-4 wooden blocks 
- Holds pencils and crayons properly to scribble (on everything!!)
- draws lines and circles (circles are a new thing!)
- Pretends to play her guitar
- knows the actions to "round and round garden", "wind the bobbin up", twinkle twinkle" and more recently she has been learning "head, shoulders, knees and toes" to which she can get some of the actions right.

Following instructions:
- Points to relatives  named in photographs (11 months - mum and dad, can now show uncles, grandparents and my friend Karen)
- Put arms in the air 
- Stand up
- Spin around
- Sit down
- Get a book / dummy / blanket / spoon / nappy / sun glasses / toys 
- Points to her head, nose, eyes, ears, tummy, feet, knees, teeth, tongue, mouth
- Lays down when told to sleep - I miss the days when I'd cuddle her to sleep, now Freya points to the cot when she's ready to be put in!

Freya knows the following objects, she points to them when asked to in a book:
- Socks
- Trousers
- Plane
- Duck
- Baby
- Shoes
- Ball
- Bunny
- Fish
- Brush
- Potty
- Bath 
- Slippers
- Teddy
- Book
- Cot
- Grapes 
- Broccoli
- Banana
- Carrots
- Tomato
- Tree 
- Butterfly
- Dress
- Hat
- Horse
- Pig
- Cow

She is the most awesome little person and I love her very much! X

Thursday, 8 September 2011

It's been a while!

Hello there!

What can I say except I’m surprised 3 months have passed since I had the chance to sit back, relax and write! What once was a daily past time seems to be something I long to do now.

I know it’s mostly only my little rambles but everything seems better when I put pen to paper. It seems nowadays the only things I write are lists! Shopping lists, housework lists, work lists, errand lists…. The list goes on but if someone asked me to write my wish list I would have to say that the boxes have been ticked. The film The Notebook has a lot to answer for, it inspired me to document the twists, turns and the journey of life but I think its my OCD’s fault for the list making!

As busy as it is I think I’ve reached my ‘happy place’ I have a wonderful family around us being a great support as Graham and I raise Freya, we live in a nice home, have good friends and I have landed a dream job but of course, being me, I sometimes feel unsettled, like someone’s going to sweep the rug from beneath my feet and it’ll all come crumbling down. All I can do is try my hardest to keep everything as good as it can be and perhaps take a little time out to relax too (I’m struggling with that part at the moment.)

Moving on, this is a pretty momentous week as our darling little daughter reached her 1st birthday milestone on Monday 5th September! I don’t usually struggle with words but its hard to summarise exactly how becoming a parent and raising a child for the first year has felt. Every stage of Freya’s development has brought us a new experience, an abundance of unconditional love and well to be honest, not a great amount of sleep!

Freya has a brilliant personality shining through and I love that I get to play with her and see her smiles and listen to her cheeky giggle. Pee-a-boo is still a favourite although she calls the shots now when she lifts her bib over her face and then reappears with a mischievous look on her face, as she repeats over and over we laugh almost as loud as each other!

When I think of Freya I think about how much happiness she has brought us, how gorgeous her blue eyes are, how lovely her cuddles feel, how exciting it is to be teaching her new things, how rewarding it is when she does something new or reacts to a prompt such as touching her head or nose, just today Freya managed to get the co-ordination right for spoon feeding herself breakfast although she much prefers shoving handfuls of cheerios in! Freya has been cruising around the furniture and walking while holding hands for a while now but she’s yet to go solo, she can say a handful of words which come out randomly most of the time but the most memorable baby babble happened last week when Graham entered the kitchen and she said ‘Hi Dad!’ A proud Daddy moment indeed!

I think that’s all from me for now, time to get tucked up and go to beddie byes too. I wont leave it so long next time : ) I still have to tell you all about how we celebrated Freya's 1st Birthday!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

9 Months In, 9 Months Out!

Hello! Its June 2011 and Freya is now 9 months old, its funny top think she has been in my life for a year and half already, albeit with half of that time spent in my tummy!

She's such a ray of sunshine and as each day passes I'm learning more about her as she develops, especially this cheeky sense of personality she is already showing! Every time she goes to do something she shouldn't (like pull all of the DVD's and computer games off the shelf) she turns around to check if the coast is clear for her to get up to mischief!

I've been trying to master my disciplined 'no' tone but can't help but laugh as she experiments with the boundaries - something which I'm sure will soon wear thin as she tries to stuff a sandwich in the DVD player or something! Every time I try to change her nappy and clothes it feels like a wrestling match as she wriggles away from me oh and anyone would think World War 3 is happening as I try to put her into the car seat, she goes stiff as an ironing board and throws her head back, tries to let out a wail but laughs - I didn't know babies threw tantrums up until now!

On a very positive note she has gone back to sleeping through the night which has made a massive improvement on lots of things but mainly my sanity to be honest! I just had to break the routine of going into the nursery every time she cried for attention. It was hard at first but after a pretty short space of time she understood that she had to settle herself.

And I know that every parent says just how bight their child is but I really do feel grateful that Freya may have inherited her father's brains. She's very communicative and is pretty alert. Freya waves when people enter the room and say hello or goodbye, she claps her hands together, can point at my nose and head when asked and can use baby sign language for 'milk'. It's great being my daughters first teacher! Daddy can definitely help out with her Maths homework when the time comes though!

It's Graham's first Fathers Day tomorrow. I know that Freya can't quite tell him how much she loves him in words just yet but the bond between them is just lovely. Freya has brought out a really openly affectionate side to Graham and she loves nothing more than hanging out with Daddy and pulling out all her tricks to keep him entertained! I couldn't have chosen a better person to have our wonderful daughter with : )

On the work front, things have taken a different path! I still be working in a job that I'm passionate about (Recruitment) however I won't be going it alone any more, oh no, I'm going back to a company I know and love being a part of and that's Oracle. I will only be working 3 days a week and one of those will be at home, I feel happy that a nice balance has been struck without jeopardising my number one priority.

Well, my time is up, Freya has just woken from her nap, let the fun and games of being on my toes again begin! It all changes pretty rapidly once they get mobile!


Thursday, 5 May 2011

Our lovely little baby is 8 months old already!

Wow – where has the time gone? A phrase I keep on hearing myself say but it is so true! Today our beautiful bundle of joy has turned 8 months old!

Freya has a lovely little personality shining through – she knows exactly what to do to make Mummy and Daddy laugh! Blowing raspberries is a favourite of mine! As I sat in the nursery a few nights ago giving her a nice cuddle and some milk she fell asleep in my arms, I love watching her lay there so content and peaceful so I stayed for a while before laying her down in her cot. Just as I moved to get up she grumbled a little but then even in her sleepy little state she blew a raspberry! I had to try and contain my laughter not to fully wake her! They say all good things come in small packages and that’s certainly true in the case of babies!

Another big development for Freya is her ability to move! She’s not exactly crawling but she shuffles along using her arms and legs, the stair gate has now been put up in the living room after realising that she can shuffle out onto the landing! She also waves hello and goodbye (and just randomly too!)

Freya is also very much enjoying new tastes as we go further with the weaning stage. After getting Freya used to some pureed foods made by Ella’s Kitchen I grew a little more confident to make my own. So off to Mothercare I went in search of a suitable gadget and I returned with the Beaba Baby Cook steamer and blender.

For some funny reason I have a bit of a strange relationship with food. I love cooking and trying new food but I don’t like eating alone and as I don’t have much of an appetite especially if something is on my mind, I sometimes forget to eat – sounds silly doesn’t it! So instilling a good healthy food plan and routine for Freya is really important.

So off I go preparing a trio of root veggies and chicken for Freya’s first home made meal, I loved the whole process…. But my happy feelings changed when Freya spat out the dinner I made for her, not in a normal way of pulling facings as she gets used to it, she really didn’t like my food. I took it to heart – what a silly sausage! Slightly deflated and unimpressed but I’m keeping up the cooking and it seems to be getting better, Freya loves Plaice in a creamy sauce with carrots and broccoli. And she is happy to munch on pretty much any steamed veg, especially asparagus.

It’s been really great not being in so much pain with my back as I’ve been out and about more, enjoying weekly visits to the library for Rhyme Time and coffee with the Mummy’s. I also took Freya swimming with Helen and Ben and have enjoyed a couple of trips round the garden centre with Nana T. April saw the celebration of Grandad Taylor turning 75 when we all went to the Lock Fyne for dinner.

The preparation to launching my recruitment business is going well – fail to plan and you will plan to fail! With this in mind I’ve been busy putting together a 3 year business plan. Its all very exciting and daunting but I hope it’s the answer to being able to juggle being a young working mum. Watch this space as we see the development of my other baby lets say!!


Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Moody March!

Well, what can I say except I'm glad that the month of March is out of the way since it wasn't exactly a happy time for me with being crippled by pain with a bad back - the result of having scoliosis and lot of pressure since being pregnant and giving birth. I don't want to drone on about it as since having spinal injections I'm feeling a lot better but one thing I want to mention is how lucky I feel to have had my wonderful and supportive family to help during a pretty dark month in which I was not just physically unable to function but was also really struck down with a bad bout of depression - it was pretty difficult to manage day to day tasks to say the least!

Now that the big black cloud that hovered over me has lifted its so much easier to talk about it being a very dark time and I guess I just want to acknowledge that it is ok to have down days and speak out for help when you need it - something I'm not very good at doing. I tried to carry on as normal then there came a point where I had to wave the white flag and accept defeat. With lots of love and support from the family, numerous hospital and doctors appointments and regular contact with my councillor I'm now back on track but for anyone who does suffer with anxiety and or depression take a leaf out of BT's book and realise that its good to talk!

But its not all doom and gloom, I have a very exciting future to look forward to as I'm in the process of setting up my own business working as a Recruitment Consultant. Its early days yet (I've registered with HRMC, bought my domain and arranged time to speak with a graphic designer about creating a logo and my website.) But any new mum will tell you just how difficult it is to try and find a work life balance to suit the demands of family and home life - well its just a good job we can multi-task! Even if I just earn half the amount of money I did when working full time I'm happy with that as I will still maintain a healthy amount of time focusing on bringing Freya up - something a price cant be put on!

So watch this space as the pieces of my puzzle are put together and of course for more updates on my wonderful daughters progress!