27.6.13

Living In Your Own Truman Show.

Do you ever feel like you are in your own Truman Show?
Like everyone around you is an actor, trying to make you crack. Driving you mad and just trying to make life hard for you.

Part of me really hopes that this is what is going on in my life. That I am just part of this tv show, because surely so many people can't treat one person the way I am treated?
I know other people have a hard time in life. Harder than mine.
But I constantly feel that once I get comfortable with people, in touching distance of a real friendship, having that feeling  of trust, of WOW this is what friendship is really like, something gets in the way and BOOM, that friendship is over.

I have been so incredibly unlucky when it comes to friends in the past. I open up a lot. I'm not needy. In fact I'm a bloody good friend.
I let people vent to me when they need to, despite whatever else is going on in my life.
I let them share the negative points in their life, and accept it when they don't want to share the positives too.
I'm there when they want to vent about other people. Be incredibly two faced and bitchy, and I watch when they then suck up to the person they've just been moaning to me about.
And I say nothing.
I accept it.
Because I'm a good friend.

I try to protect people, but then I'm the bad one. 
I don't want people to be hurt, I don't want them to look stupid.
But then I end up being the one hurt. And the one who looks stupid.

But then it comes to the point where I don't want to be like that anymore.
I need more than that and I deserve more than that.

I deserve a real friendship.
For people to want to be friends with me. And not just use me for their convenience.
To not put all of this heaviness on my shoulders and in my head.
To give me the respect and kindness I deserve.
At least I think I deserve it?

I feel the the whole world is watching me. Laughing.
Ready to attack me.
But I haven't done anything wrong.
I'm always the nice one.
Yet I'm the one left to one side.
Left out in the cold.
Pushed out.

Whilst I watch on. Despite knowing what's been said behind closed doors.
And it's then that my head clouds up. Gets heavy. Gets confused.
Has it all been a test? The whole time?
What do people really want from me?

Is everyone in on it?
Is anyone genuine?

Does anyone actually like me?

Will I ever experience a promise which is kept?
Will I ever experience a true feeling of trust, and of someone actually caring about me?

Will this tv show ever end?
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23.6.13

I May Have Ruined My Britmums Experience

Oh my goodness. What a weekend. It's now 6.30 on Saturday and it's all over. I'm sat at Premier Inn, in my room by myself to catch my breath whilst the boys are downstairs with my husband and mother in law.
I have had an amazing weekend and have fallen in love with so many people.

At 3.10 (*edit, I previously got the time wrong) though I hit a wall. I was sat by myself charging my phone and all of a sudden I felt like I lost my voice, I lost my confidence, and I didn't know what to do. I felt really alone.
I think I was overwhelmed by everything. Overwhelmed by how amazing the people I met are. How funny they were/are, how nice they were/are.
And all of a sudden I thought what on earth am I doing here. Why am I with these amazing people. I felt as though I was forcing myself upon people.
See I find myself completely annoying and I felt I had subjected people to enough of me and that they should at least enjoy the last 3 hours without me tagging along.
I felt not good enough to be part of the community.

I had high expectations of people and those people met those expectations, and exceeded them. I felt a bit like I was in a dream world I guess. I was sat with 3 of my favourite people at the Bibs and I just couldn't believe it.
Friday night was one of the best nights I have had for a long long time. If you'd have told me I'd be sitting in McDonalds instead of Jamie Olivers Restaurant BY CHOICE and having a really good laugh at 10.30 I wouldn't believe you. But it was amazing.
And I think part of me just felt alone because I'm not going to see these people again/for a long time. And for the first time I felt like the internet isn't enough. I want, *need* these people in my life.
I then doubted myself and their friendship. I often think people are nice to me out of pity or because they feel they should be.
It's because of my anxieties, my insecurities and also because of how I've been treated in the past, and still am treated by people I have met since being an adult/parent. Which is sad.

At 3.50 I went outside and phoned my mum. Crying. Explaining how I was feeling.
I then went to the toilets to compose myself but rather than that happening I broke down big time. Sobbing into my scarf. And I couldn't stop.
It was like my confident switch had been turned off. Like the spark which had returned the previous day had gone out and all that remained was a paranoid and lonely feeling.
I felt scared. I all of a sudden felt as though I knew nobody. And nobody knew me.
I felt alone, scared, over-exposed and extremely anxious.
No one knew I was hiding in there. No one. When people are enjoying themselves how can I turn round and say "help me. I need a friend". It would be completely selfish.
I didn't want anyone to have the responsibility of sorting this messed up girl out and missing out on the keynote speeches which sound like they were amazing.
I'm not sure there is anything anyone could have said or done to make me better.
The worst thing was, I was hiding during the coffee break, and of course the toilets were busy. I had to wait for the keynote speeches to start until the toilet was empty and I ran out.
I went to the Montcalm to grab my bag, I was so flustered that I couldn't find my ticket and the tears started again. The poor concierge didn't quite know what to do.

And then I had to make my way to Old Street to find my hotel.
That has to be up there in the top 5 scariest things I've ever done.
I couldn't get Google to work so my husband had to text me directions.
Turn left, walk to the end of Chiswell Street, turn right onto whatever road then left onto Old Street.
Google had told him wrong and then I'm lost. His phone battery had gone. And then mine did.
So I carried on walking.
In desperation I went into a Superdrug and asked for directions.
"Carry on to the roundabout, cross over then keep going straight".
So I did that. And then...I'm somewhere called Vince Street (or something like that) and I'm officially lost, with no phone battery.
My mind when into overdrive. Everyone I saw was going to murder me or mug me.
I was scared.

I chose to keep walking along whatever this road was called and then...saw my husband. Who was searching for me and thankfully had made a wrong turn from the hotel and ended up on this wrong street too.
He took me to the boys who gave me the best greeting ever and we headed to the bar for a much needed wine.
I decided to pop back to the room as I kept crying and just needed to let it all out.
I don't need to talk about the next bit.

I did have a positive experience of Britmums and I want to go again next year, whether or not I will has a question mark over it at the moment.

I met some amazing people who made me feel good about myself, until I hit this major self-doubt wall and now I just feel confused. I hate this part of me. This whatever-it-is that takes over my head and makes me question everything.
I will be writing about my positive experience, and about those who made my weekend great, but to get to that point I need to filter this bit out of my head first.

I've had an awful couple of weeks which have almost seen me delete my blog, delete Twitter and remove myself totally from the community.
It was therefore a massive thing to still go to Britmums despite feeling like that, and I'm gutted that Ms Crazy (me) had to turn up on Saturday afternoon and almost ruin it for me.

I was going to put a disclaimer about this not being attention seeking but I'm fed up with feeling like I need to do that.
I somehow managed to neglect my blog of any of my anxiety and I hate myself for that. This is supposed to be my space to write about it, not to seek attention but to unload my mind.
I've been hovering over the publish button for over 24 hours now. But I need to see if unloading this part of my weekend will make the happier times clearer so I can write about those, and not feel so confused and paranoid.
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20.6.13

Finding Confidence for the Conference

So tomorrow is the day.  
The day a lot of us have been looking forward to, have been anxious about, have been planning, for months.

I've had various wobbles about meeting people, what people will think of me, whether or not people will like me, whether or not I will like the people I've followed and grown to really like for 2 years, and of course, my outfit and appearance in general.
I've seen lots of comments from people saying we shouldn't worry about what we wear because no one will notice or no one will care. And whilst I would like to believe that, I think it's a "female thing" to look at how other women are dressed.  We may not realise we're doing it but do judge someone on what they wear.
For example, Twitter on Saturday nights at the moment, at a particular time, will have a few tweets about Holly Willoughby.
"She looks amazing" "Holly looks hot" but then there's the other side "Holly shouldn't be wearing that" "That dress is too short" "Her hips are too wide" and so on.
We talk about Dawn French's weight. She's put some on, she's lost some, she's put some one, she's lost some.
We talk about how much botox people have had, their enhanced lips or chests. It's just something we do.
I think if we recognise that someone looks amazing then we also recognise if someone doesn't look so amazing.

I know if I arrived in a dress one size too small people would notice, and they would comment between themselves or think it at least.
I have major body issues at the moment. I have no one and nothing to blame for it other than myself and an addiction to food, using food as comfort at the moment and a lack of exercise. Therefore I am not at my best. That's not me being negative, that's me recognising who I am right now.
So choosing my outfit for Britmums has been a big thing. I wanted to choose something I feel comfortable in and that I look nice in. Something which fits and flatters my figure in any way it can.
I have chosen a couple of maxi dresses, along with a midi skirt and vest top for back up if I spill anything or if I don't feel comfortable enough for the colourful dress on Saturday.

Another reason I personally want to make an effort with what I wear, and to make sure I'm wearing something is because I want to make a good impression.
If I turned up wearing a tracksuit, with no make up on, and my hair up scruffy that I would have a completely different reaction from people than if I wore my maxi dress, had my hair styled nice and had done my make up.
Not only would I look better, but I would feel better.
And although my confidence isn't at an all time high at the moment, I am at least able to think "I feel nice, I think I look nice, so other people might do too".

Recently I've been using Pinterest as a coping mechanism when I've been feeling down and anxious, something I'm going to write about in a couple of weeks. And tonight I looked through my quotes folder to find which ones I think fit my frame of mind right now, and with the upcoming event. Also which quotes I need to digest and remember to help me through it.



These quotes are one's I found on Twitter but have applied to my own photos. Unless stated I am not aware of the author of the quote.

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18.6.13

A Beautiful Birthday Lunch

On Friday we went to the National Railway Museum to celebrate Charles' Fourth Birthday. We hadn't planned lunch, we were aware that the restaurant was being refurbished but that the cafe was open if we required food.
We stopped at the cafe for a coffee and although the food looked nice we wanted something a little more substantial, especially with a 4 hour drive home to come which would mean us getting around 10 o clock.
When we arrived at the museum we noticed a land train outside, which drives into the York every 30 minutes and costs just £2. So we boarded with no plan of where we would go when we got to the city, we'd just see what was there.
After a quick Google we realised Nando's in York was being refurbished but looking over the road we noticed an ASKItalian. We hadn't been to an ASKItalian before so we didn't know what to expect.
Firstly, the building was just...amazing. Breathtaking. It really was one of the most beautiful places I have ever eaten.
The boys loved it too, and I was surprised at how much Charles appreciated how beautiful the architecture was.
The boys were given pencils and colouring sheets, and were even told they could draw on the tables as they were wipable! In fact they were encouraged to do so!
We ordered juice for them, and diet coke for us and something I love which will impress me no matter where I eat is when they serve glass bottles of coke. And an added extra, the glasses are cold too! I was very impressed.
The boys were then served with bread, vegetables and dip. I think this was a standard part of the childrens menu. Starter, main, dessert and drink.
They both had a Mozerella and tomato pizza for their main which they both ate. Although for the first time we thought Harry was going to fall asleep in his highchair. He kept closing his eyes and then snapping out of it. How he didn't end up with his face in his pizza I don't know.
After umming and ahhing over pasta or pizza, pasta or pizza, pasta or pizza I went for the Prima Pizza Pepperoni E Zucchine (spicy pepperoni and smoked pancetta with spinach and shaved zucchine. Topped with tangy crème fraîche and grated ricotta salata) which was amazing, if not a little cold.
My husband went for the Pollo Piccante Con Pancetta (spicy chicken breast with mushrooms, pancetta, Fontal cheese and roasted red peppers on a tomato and mozzarella base) which again was really tasty.
I managed to convince my husband to let me order a side of Zucchine Fritte (lightly battered courguette sticks) which although my husband wasn't too keen on these I really enjoyed, and much preferred to normal chips.
Unfortunately we skipped dessert for two reasons:
1: We were full.
2: We didn't want to be back late to the museum to miss the talk we were all desperate to see.

It really was the perfect setting and a perfect lunch for a perfect boys birthday.

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17.6.13

Four Years of Him

 

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15.6.13

An Interview With a 4 Year Old {Video}

Last year Emma from A Matter of Choice shared a fantastic idea of interviewing your child on or around their birthday, and continuing to do this every year to see how different, or similar, the answers were.

Last year I chose to video our interview as I felt it was the best way to do it, and I've done the same this year too!
It didn't go as smoothly as planned. Charles was rather tired after two very late nights and was rather hyper.

If you want to join in I've listed the questions below.

1. What is your favourite colour?  
2. What is your favourite toy?    
3. What is your favourite fruit?
4. What is your favourite tv show?
5. What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch? 
6. What is your favorite outfit?  
7. What is your favourite game?  
8. What is your favorite snack?  
9. What is your favourite animal?  
10. What is your favourite song? 
11. What is your favourite book? 
12. Who is your best friend?    
13. What is your favourite dinner? 
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside?  
15. What is your favourite drink?   
16. What is your favourite place to go? 
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? 
18. What is your favourite thing to eat for breakfast?
19. What do you want on your birthday? 
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  

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Charles, Aged 4...Loves

Last year I started this linky, Charles, Aged 3...Loves. It's simple really. Take a photo of your child, then add words to the photo describing things they love. You can use a photo editing website such as picmonkey.com It's easy and free to use.
Last years linky expired and all of the posts linked up disappeared so if you want to re-add yours from last year let me know (although I've added the ones I could remember joining in) or simply add it to this post.

I'm sure I've missed a billion things off but here are some of the things that Charles, aged 4 loves...


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14.6.13

25 Things I Love About You {Charles}

1: Your eyelashes. Everyone comments on how amazing and long they are. Women tend to mention how jealous they are and how they wish they had lashes just like them, and I have to agree, I wish I did too.

2: The crush you have on your keyworker.
I think it would be true to say that she is your first love. You go all silly and shy at the mention of her name, or even at the site of her. You talk about her A LOT and always ask if she will be at preschool, if she isn't there (on her day off for example) you let me know and you talk about where you think she is and what she has been doing.
I love that you want to tell her that you love her but you don't think it's the right time. "Not quite yet mummy, I can't tell her yet".

3: Your Lorax Impression. So simple, so cute. I love how you simply picked such a small expression he does in the film, a blink and you'll miss it moment, to recreate all the time.
I love how you get his saying a little wrong "I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. Barrier of the forest"

4: The way you ask me what me and Harry have been doing whilst you've been at preschool, because you really want to know.

5: Your over-use of the word "apparently".

6: The way you say together and already.
"Togeda" "O-ready". You know I love the way you say these and sometimes say them just to make me smile.

7: The fact you can name more Dinosaurs than me.

8: The way that you try to help me in the morning but going through to see Harry when he wakes up. It's not always helpful as Harry then runs through to wake us up and sometimes it is silly o clock and we all need more sleep.

9: How sweet it is that you make breakfast for everyone and lay all of the filled cereal bowls in a line on the coffee table.

10: How cute you are when you are half asleep. These are when some of my favourite conversations with you happen. We either talk about silly things, funny things, serious things or about love.
Sadly most of the time you don't remember these conversations, but I do and will treasure them forever.

11: I love how you are a fab shopping partner (most of the time) and will tell me if something is nice or not. And then tell me your honest opinion when I try something on.

12: The way you call your brother sweetie and tell me how cute he is. And that you laugh because he's a toddler. And that you call him your best friend and praise him when he does something well.

13: How excited you get when you teach Harry a new word or how to do something. And how proud you are of him.

14: Your belly button. I love the way it sticks out and how we pretend it's a doorbell. Harry has always been fascinated with it.

15: The fact you are clumsy. You fall over a lot. We tend to take bets on how long it will be until you fall over.

16: Your cute run. You still run like a toddler and make us giggle as your legs move around everywhere as if it's the first time you've moved quickly.

17: I love how sensitive you are, and how in tune you are with peoples feelings, particularly mine.

18: I love how you want to look after me, and take care of me. Especially since learning a couple of months ago that I'm afraid of heights. I didn't want you to know that as I didn't want you to be afraid too. But you're not, instead you tell me everything is ok, you guide me and hold my hand tight. You let people know I'm afraid.

19: How caring you are towards everyone. And how you recognise when people are really nice, usually the Sainsburys Grocery Delivery Men. "He's a nice man mummy".

20: How shy you get. And how you bury you head into my leg and pull the cutest of faces.

21: Your frown.

22: Your memory. You are able to remember things that even I forget.

23: Your photography. You take the most amazing photos for a child, and I have very little fear in handing my "big camera" over to you because you are so careful and I know when I look through the photos you will have taken some amazing shots.

24: Your excited face.

25: How helpful you are. You like to help me with lunch, dinner, and you also know exactly how to use the washing machine.



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Happy Fourth Birthday Charles


Four years ago today was one of the most exciting, happiest, nerveracking, breathtaking, amazing, incredible days of my whole life.
It's a day I will never ever ever forget. In fact I can remember it so clearly, as if it was yesterday.
My little Charles Jonathan was born.
We've had a fantastic four years. He has experienced so much in that time. Been to some amazing places.
And probably one of his highlights of the four years was becoming a big brother, something we had originally planned to be happening now.

I am so proud and so honoured to have him as my son.
That he is part of me.
My son.
My best friend.

I love every single little thing about him.
And couldn't imagine my life without him in it.

Happy Fourth Birthday Charles xxx

 

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12.6.13

Frappe-Frappucino-Frappe {Recipe}

When we went to Kos on a 2 week holiday years ago, oh gosh I think it might be almost 17 years ago, that makes me feel really quite old, we would visit a little cafe and my mum ordered a Frappe (or Frappucino). I was allowed one, as a special treat, and it was my first taste of coffee.
It was so tasty and we were easily able to re-create it at home and it has now become a tradtional summer treat.

I know there will be cries of "No! That's not how you make it!" Well actually yes, this is how we make it, and this is how it was made in Kos.

One scoop of coffee
Half a teaspoon of sugar (although you don't have to, I usually have 1 and a half sugars in my coffee but reduce for this)
Milk
Ice cream
Ice
Chocolate for sprinkling (although not essential)

Make a coffee as normal in a large glass, adding slightly more milk than usual but not too much, you still want the coffee slightly warm. Don't fill the glass all the way to the top.
Add a few scoops of ice cream and a couple of ice cubes.
And serve.

Easy as that.
Simple, delicious and perfect for warm weather.





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8.6.13

Sprinkly Chocolate Dipped Pretzels


Ooooo I'm so obsessed with chocolate and sprinkles at the moment. Constantly wondering which simple treats I can make next.
I love that so many things can be dipped, rolled or covered in chocolate and then dipped in sprinkles, or sprinkled with sprinkles.

Two years ago I made:

Again with Charles' birthday coming up and a family BBQ on Sunday I wanted some sweet nibbles to put on the table. 
Pretzels seemed like a simply, easy and fun. Which they are, although they are rather fiddly and time consuming. 
But the time is worth it. The milk chocolate Pretzels are amazing. Really AMAZING.

All you need are:
Pretzels (I used a bag of small and a bag of large) I highly recommend the highseed pretzels from Sainsburys. mmmm.
Chocolate (white or milk)
Sprinkles

All you do is melt the chocolate. Then dip your pretzel in, I only over 3/4 of our pretzels because I thought they looked effective like this, but also it was less messy to eat them as you don't get chocolate left on your hand.
You need to just roll the pretzels in the air a little, just to let any excess chocolate drip back into the bowl, the either dip into a bowl of sprinkles then place on greaseproof paper, or place straight onto greaseproof paper and then sprinkle your hundred and thousands on top.
Leave until the chocolate until it sets and then BOOM. 
The yumfest is ready.


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1.6.13

Oh Hello June

Happy June the 1st! Wooooo! *does a little dance*

We won't talk about the fact that the weather is not at all "Juney". Yesterday we had a hint of Summer. Well, more than a hint, it was boiling.

June is so exciting. It's a very busy month for us and we have so much to look forward to.
Tomorrow I am going shopping, in the city, with no children! *does another little dance*
I used to go shopping in the city a lot before Charles was born. Most weekends I would be there with my mum and almost every Thursday morning whilst my husband attended a meeting at work.
When Charles was born I would go to the city every other Thursday for an hour or so, again whilst my husband went to a meeting.
Then I didn't really go again much.
Lack of money haulted everything really once I wasn't on maternity leave from work and had handed in my notice.
I've had the odd shopping trip now but mostly for shoes for the boys and that's all.
Tomorrow though I will be shopping for me! I I'll be heading straight for Primark and H&M and have a list of things I will be hunting for and will sulk if I don't get them.
I tend to do most of my shopping online now or in Matalan but I feel I've exhausted those options and need to go out and try things on and see what else is out there.

Then next weekend (8th and 9th) I'm hoping I can convince my mum to have the boys on Saturday morning so I can head to the city again, although this time with my husband, to buy Charles' birthday presents. The afternoon will be spent bowling and prematurely celebrating Charles' birthday with one of his friends.
Sunday will again be premature birthday celebrations but with Charles' aunty and uncle. I'm hoping we have BBQ weather!

Then Friday is 4th BIRTHDAY time!! We're taking Charles out of preschool for his birthday and will be going out for the day. Our original plans have been put on hold. We wanted to take him on a steam train but there's a special event for Diesel trains which aren't as fun. We have other options so just need to decide what we want to do.
Saturday will be birthday celebrations with my mum in the afternoon and then Sunday of course is Fathers Day so we'll be celebrating that some how.

At some point between the 16th and 21st I need to get my hair cut. And pack and then...
It's BritMums time! Woooo!
I've never been on a train by myself, to London by myself, or stayed in a hotel by myself so it's a completely new experience and I'm really excited about it. I'm having wobbles over various things but they won't stop me going and I hope won't stop me enjoying myself.
I'm ridiculously excited to meet people I've met before but also to meet people I've talked to (online) for over 2 years. I just have to try to not cry when I meet them, I'm stupidly emotional about it all.
On the Saturday my husband, my boys and my mother in law are heading to London and will be meeting me after when we will then head for dinner and to our hotel ready for a day of being tourists on the Sunday.

The following weekend is the only Saturday, so far, that we have no plans. Phew.
Then Sunday we will be going to the theatre to see Chris and Pui! Again, I may cry. We were able to get front row seats so I'm really excited. I just hope the boys love it as much as we hope.

In between all of this Charles has preschool and various big boy school meetings and I have 3 WI related meetings.

And that is June. Not that I'll then be able to relax because very soon after Harry will be 2! And we will be going out for the day to celebrate that. At the moment we are considering a trip to Jimmys Farm as we haven't been there since 2010, and at the time didn't realise who Jimmy was!

Busy busy times but so exciting.
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