Birthday List: Number 27

As my birthday creeps ever closer I have already set myself the task of writing my Birthday Present Wishlist. I've made a Birthday and Christmas list every year since I can remember. I don't expect everything on my list, but I find it easier to say to someone "here's my list" if they ask me what I'd like. That way they get me something they know I'll appreciate and like, or can get me vouchers for stores they can see would suit me from my list.

I won't even get a quarter of what's on this list but anything I don't get will then be added to my Christmas list.
One thing on this list was on last years Birthday and Christmas list so I'm desperate for it this year (Fingerprint Charm)
I know I am getting 1 from the list from my mum, I am far too good at guessing  and ruined my surprise...as I always do. (I should be a detective)

I have a feeling that a couple of things will end up being birthday presents to me, from me, as I am so desperate for them.
Brat? Me? Never.
Fussy? Maybe.



Pre School Looms

In 2 weeks time Charles is starting Pre School.
He'll be going for 15 hours a week, which have been spread over 5 days.
He is so excited and he did really well at his visit and settling in session in July. We were able to leave him within around 10-20 minutes we were walking out of the door leaving him behind. After a phone call an hour later to tell us he was doing really well the manager said "See you at 11:45".
I missed him for those little 3 hours and couldn't stop thinking about what he was doing, if he was talking to the staff, if he was talking to the other children, if he was sitting alone by himself unsure of what he was allowed to do.

Walking in to collect him, he looked so tiny, sat on little chairs. My heart fluttered and I ran over to hug him. He showed me a painting he had created whilst there, we then paid for his additional t-shirts, spoke to the manager and then ran to the car dodging the large rain drops.

We waited for a while until we received our letter informing us of his start date and session days/times. I felt a bit sick the day it arrived.
It all of a sudden felt real.
I felt like a parent.
Not a mummy.
But a parent.

Other than when he visited a Childminder briefly at the beginning of the year for one morning a week I have never really been apart from him, certainly not on a regular basis. Although the quality time with Harry will be lovely I will still miss my big boy.
I am worried about leaving him in the hands of women I don't know. Women who don't know him.

As the day looms ever closer I face constant questions from Charles.
"Am I going to Pre School today mummy?"
"Can I go to Pre School yet?"
"I'm going to make friends mummy. What will their names be?"
"Can I play with the play dough at Pre School?"

And more importantly, the statement he makes everyday settles me in my fear and guilt of sending him there.
"I really can't wait to go to preschool".



Another Fab Family Day Out

A couple of weeks ago we discovered a fantastic place to visit. We've been members of English Heritage since September(ish) last year and so far felt disappointed. Until we found Castle Acre Priory.
We immediately fell in love with the place and so did the boys.

We went back on Sunday to have a picnic and let the boys run around. The staff are always so welcoming and we felt so comfortable there.
We had a posh picnic, set up our suntent and took Charles' football so the boys could have a kick about.

I sat and watched my boys and husband and realised how lucky I am.

We played within the ruins and Charles pretended to be a chef and then a shopkeeper.

We discovered a stairway which we missed last time and Charles was amazing. I'm not good with steps and as he guided me up I said "Look Charles, we need to go back, mummy is stuck" and he said "Mummy, do you want some help. Here's my hand" and helped me up the stairs.
As we got to the top he turned round and said "there's three more steps ok. Oh, and there's a butterfly" And took my hand to help me up the last few steps.
He then told me about how beautiful the rooms were upstairs and was a little tour guide.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Home Grown

Sometimes in life it's the little things which can really make you smile, or excite you or make you feel so proud.
This might seem silly to some but I spotted this little guest on our apple tree recently. Yes, it's an apple. But seeing as our apple tree is still so young and was only planted towards the end of last year we are really excited and impressed.
Although, I did wonder if it was a hoak as it seemed to just appear from out of nowhere.

He's a little bit lonely at the moment so I can't wait for the tree to be fully grown and full of more round green treats.



The Best Cure on a Hot Day

After visiting the Maize Maze yesterday there was nothing better than to immediately set up the paddling pool as soon as we arrived home. The boys jumped straight in, both got soaked, and despite Harry's face in the photos he was loving it and would not get out. He kept laying down, rolling around, getting up and jumping back down.

There really is nothing better than a paddling pool full of cold water on a very hot summers day.



A Very Hot, A-Maze-ing Day

 We went to a local Maize Maze today to celebrate one of Charles' friends third birthday.
The weather was over 30 degrees and stupid me decided to wear skinny jeans! Which I soon regretted.
If you ever saw the episode of Friends where Ross wore leather trousers....that!

Despite being so hot my two boys enjoyed the couple of hours we were there. They both played in the sand pit and the various toys available and whilst we walked around the maze Harry slept and Charles explored. At various times we thought we were lost but I used my super dooper direction skills and raced ahead and found the exit!

The journey home was a bit of a nightmare. I found some lovely country roads but Charles was sick. I think due to the hot weather.
We had a fab couple of hours though, it was a shame it ended so soon but we may go back simply so the boys can play in the sand pit and other toys without me worrying so much about them escaping due to the wooden fence keeping them in.

We were grateful for our padding pool when we got home.


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Shame on you Star Magazine

If I show you this magazine cover what do you notice? Do you notice anything wrong with it?

I did. I noticed something very very wrong with it. And everytime the advert comes on tv I want to scream. I want to go and buy every copy of the magazine, rip up the front over and burn it.
Let me point it out for you.
I'm really struggling to work out how someone, or a group of people, could be as insensitive as to put these three stories next to each other?
There is SO much I want to say about this but I fear that I may be the one to come across insensitive or maybe even like I'm over reacting.
I'm not over reacting though, right?
This is very wrong, isn't it?

Losing a child is clearly one of the worst things any parent can go through, and I imagine it is so so hard for Gary Barlow and family to have to go through this so publically. In fact, I say I imagine it is hard, the thing is, I can't really imagine what they are going through. To have constant reminders whenever they look at a newspaper, magazine, the television, radio, Twitter and so on.

Of course, I wouldn't expect anyone who is pregnant to then feel like they can't announce their pregnancies, as Fearne Cotton did, but Imogen Thomas....well, it's best I keep my opinions about her to myself.

In this case, why did the magazine feel it necessary to place these three stories so close together.
It seems that 'lack of a heart' and 'lack of sensitivity' are both top of the job description for whoever put these stories so close together and then for whoever approved it.

I can't quite put my anger into words. 


Small Steps and Giant Leaps

 I didn't think I'd still be writing about anxiety. I wanted it all to be fixed or coped with by now. I wanted to be over it, or if not over it at least to the point that I wouldn't want or need to talk about it.

I feel like my foot work is all over the place. I'm constantly taking small steps or giant leaps. Feeling like I'm getting somewhere then taking a wrong turn and having to head back before I can restart.

I have a therapy plan at the moment. I am currently going through low intense CBT and exposure therapy. Basically exposing myself to problems and issues.
I love the idea of it. I really do.
But in practise, I feel it's not going to work and that so far it's sent me backwards.
Before I would panic about certain things. Now I find I am panicking about panicking.
I'm having to think about things more often which is making my head feel so heavy.
I'm having panic attacks again, which I rarely had. In one week I had 2 every day. I really wanted it to work.
It also doesn't help that my appointments are over the phone, are limited to 30 minutes, and aren't regular dates (ie not every week/2 weeks)
I've currently got a 4 week break between appointments. I've done very little for my next one, because I feel like I might as well just do it at the last minute. I've got to put myself in situations in which I am facing a fear or making myself feel anxious, in 4 weeks there is a lot I can do yet I won't have enough time to talk about these. So I don't really feel I am getting help, when really its about helping myself.
Let's be honest, I'm basically doing what I was doing (going to the zoo etc) only now rating it and thinking "hmmm am I scared?" and the result is normally "yes". The reason for that in some cases may be because I'd simply just put that idea in my own head by thinking about it.
I can see myself going down the "just fake it" route by telling the therapist that it's all working and I'm better just so they don't think I'm being stupid or difficult.

I also made a step in confessing all this to a friend. I thought it would help to share and to have someone there for me, not particularly to understand but to just be there to listen and support really.
I regret this now. Without going into details I have realised how selfish people can be.
You know something is wrong in life when online friends are nicer, kinder, and so much more reliable than real life friends!

Today, whilst having a moment where my anxiety was going mad again, I did something I've been wanting to do for a week, I made a giant leap and finally emailed someone I found on Google for an alternative therapy. It could be costly but my wonderful husband has said he will fund it. I'm really hoping the person I contacted will get back soon and say that this therapy is suited to me and that we can work together.

I was really proud to have used that adrenaline and fired up moment to then make myself send the email.

So, at the moment life is all about small steps and giant leaps. I want to set myself a goal of not feeling anything like this as we go into 2013 but at the moment I need support, from professionals, which is quite unreliable and without that, I'm by myself again.


An Evening at the Races.

I detest boy racers. I'm not that interested in cars. And sports, well, sport is boring.
Yet I seem to have found an interest in something I never, ever thought I would be interest in. Stock Car and Banger Racing.
The adrenaline at hearing the engines roaring, the smell of the burning rubber and fuel, the competitive atmosphere, all building up make me feel really excited! I actually enjoy watching what is essentially boy racers racing cars around a track. Of course the demolition derby is always the highlight of the night. Two weeks ago we saw the best example of this as all the cars wanting to be involved came out for one last race until there was one left standing out of a total of around ten.
It was amazing.

This week they had Double Deckers. Not buses. Double Decker cars. Or in one of the entrants case, a triple decker!
The end race was with the three men involved coming back but one of the cars wouldn't start so it was between two in the end. And, of course, one ended up on it's side...right in front of us. Queue excited squeals from me....although then panic that the driver was hurt and that the car would blow up.
Little did we know it would take them so long to be able to recover the car......and whilst the majority of the other spectators had gone we were left watching to make sure the car was ok. This was at Charles' request. He had to know the car was recovered ok, if not I would have heard about it for days.

He also said, quite loudly, that he would have been able to fix the car much quicker and should have taken his own screwdriver, drill and spanner.


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