Remembering Mum… Performing Dusty Springfield from her hospital bed and showing Cancer a f***ing good fight.

img_0599-1Last night was the first night in a long time that I had a period of not being able to sleep… normally, once I’m out… I’m out!  Last night however, was different.  Two years ago at almost the exact time I woke up, I was on my way to the hospital to pick up my Dad.  He’d made the call an hour earlier to say that my Mum was now at peace and had passed away.  I was now reliving it all instead of sleeping.

This phone call wasn’t a shock . A month previous, Mum was admitted to The Beacon Ward at Musgrove Park Hospital as she was losing a lot of blood. Mum had been fighting ovarian cancer for five years, having multiple rounds of chemotherapy, but we had reached the point where nothing further could be done, and in the last few months, it was clear to see her body was getting weaker and weaker.

After being admitted to the ward during the night, we went over to the hospital the next day. When the consultant visited, she told us that Mum’s blood pressure would keep dropping with each loss of blood and that they would keep Mum comfortable and pain-free over the next few days (the time they now expected her to live).  As you can imagine, this was completely devastating.  I couldn’t believe that in a couple of days, we would lose her forever.  Even though I knew this day would come eventually, please, not yet.

I called my brother and he came straight up to Somerset from Dorset with his family.  That night the grandchildren had to say their goodbyes to their Nanny – it wasn’t fair to put them through the final days as they were all still so young (aged 10 and under).   That was one of the hardest nights of my life.

Little did we know, Mum had other plans.  Two days later, the huge blood loss she was experiencing had stopped.  What was to be a couple of days was now going to be a little longer.  Mum was still completely bed-bound, and it was clear to see that her body was starting to give up on her.  The consultant agreed that they would keep her at The Beacon Ward instead of moving her to the local hospice and Dad stayed with her the whole time, sleeping on the chair in the room.  My brother and his family stayed with us with the children staying at their grandparents when they visited whilst our children went to school.

Mum’s room for the next week was a hive of activity with visitors coming to see her – and we basically took over the family room and took it in turns each day to bring in lunch and treats from the supermarket on the way in.  I remember a lot of laughs that first week.  Mum could still chat here and there, she took pleasure in hearing us all talking and laughing together.  Humour is the only way we know how to get through crap times in our family… we’re a bit sick like that!

There were some evenings where Mum’s breathing got really shallow and the inevitable felt very close indeed.  We would all sit around her, holding her hands, and trying not to cry. We would sit for an hour just listening for her breathing which would be so erratic that sometimes it felt like the next breath would never come.

My Dad said jokingly one of these evenings, “Give us a song Else” … and with that Mum quietly started to sing ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ by Dusty Springfield.  We sat, jaws dropped as Mum gave us a rendition of Dusty, complete with facial expressions  (eyes still closed) and an air grab that frightened the life out of us all!  Even in the face of death, Mum was still making us laugh.

Mum amazingly went on a little more than a couple of days. My brother had to go back to Dorset during the week so could come up and visit on the weekends.

I swear, every time a nurse finished their run of shifts, they were amazed to come back to see Mum still occupying the room!  Even my friends, were being asked by their work colleagues “How’s your friend’s Mum?”  “Still here”, they’d reply.  It was just unbelievable.  The kids would ask me every day, ‘Is Nanny an Angel yet?’.

It was a Sunday morning and I was getting ready to go to the hospital. Mum had now been there for three weeks and five days.  My brother was up for the weekend visiting and was at the hospital.  Mum had been asleep for most of the week and had now not eaten anything for several days and even fluids were next to nothing.

However, today was different.  I had the call to get over to the hospital quickly.  Mum had woken up for the first time in days and was chatting.  “I don’t want you to miss this, come over now” my brother had said.  I’d read about this (I was a bloody expert on the process of dying by now) when a patient has a huge surge of energy just before they pass away.  All I kept thinking all the way there, was that I can’t miss her.  I sprinted across the car park, my legs were like jelly, my head willing them to move quicker.

When I got there, she was awake.  “You made it” she said.  I’ll never forget it.  I managed to show her the infinity ring I had bought with their birthday money for my 40th, promised I would buy a beautiful leather biker jacket with the rest so that she’d always have my back, told her how much I loved her and that she must not worry, we were all going to be ok, we had each other, we would be fine.

She managed to talk a little, see  some family and was more alive in the those few hours than she had been in the last two weeks.  It was wonderful, even if it was shortlived.

Once Mum had drifted back to wherever you go when you’re pumped full of morphine (which she told me was wonderful btw) my brother and I decided that we wouldn’t visit anymore.  He was about to go back to Dorset so wouldn’t be around and I felt awful being there without him… just as he did when he thought I was going to miss the ‘final moment’ as I made my way over to the hospital.

This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Watching this amazing woman deteriorate the way she did was just heartbreaking, but I was really struggling to watch it anymore.  She had no food or drink now for several days, this disease truly is evil.  I kept thinking that back in the day, someone would have helped things along by now, administering just a little more morphine than required.  You wouldn’t put an animal through this, so why do we do we let our fellow humans suffer in this way?

My Dad agreed that he didn’t want us seeing Mum deteriorate anymore and I couldn’t bear for my everlasting memory of her to be this shell of a woman, even though she already was.  After nearly four weeks, I just couldn’t take anymore.  It’s funny, but even though I was a 40-year-old woman, I felt very much like a small child at that time and Dad just wanted to protect us.

I know there will be people thinking, ‘I could never do that’, but I’ve learned, that unless you’ve walked down the same path as someone, you don’t know how you’d feel. Believe me, I have wrestled with that decision so many times.

Astonishingly, Mum remained in the hospital for a further five days, passing away in the early hours of Saturday morning, 20th February whilst my Dad sat sleeping in the chair.  She was The Beacon Wards ‘longest resident’ with her stay from 20th January to 20th February.

The day Mum passed, my wonderful friends came round and cooked for us, we drank wine, we played music loud and relived our memories. I don’t know how we would’ve got through everything without our friends and family.

As I sit and type this, I have ‘The Best of Dusty Springfield’ playing over the speakers, with our little cockapoo puppy, Dusty sat next to me.   The tears have flowed which have been locked away for too long, but getting it down on paper – or typed on screen… may be just what I needed to do to let it go.  I hope you don’t mind me sharing it with you.

Tonight I will raise a glass to my wonderful, crazy, brave, beautiful Mum, who is always remembered and in our hearts forever.

img_6564-2This was our last picture together at my surprise 40th birthday bash- 10 days before she was admitted to hospital.

Until next time.

Love and hugs. xxxx

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What on earth is Reiki? Turning to Reiki to get away from it all…

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Last week was a bit of a tough week, so I decided to take some time out for some pure relaxation by booking myself a 90 minute Reiki & Massage session with Michelle at Fairy Heart Therapies.  This treatment was called ‘Luxury Healing Heaven’. Already I was sold!

Michelle practices her Reiki, Massage and Hynotherapy sessions from a pretty little cabin at the bottom of her garden.  It’s décor and warmth as you enter, is so welcoming and perfect for the treatment she delivers.

I had no idea what to expect, but I always go into these sorts of things with an open mind. I’ve tried a couple of ‘things before… Kinesiology & Aromatherapy – back in the day when it was really trendy!

The first half of my treatment was the massage, and boy, it really was ‘heavenly’!  I think I started to relax within a couple of minutes – I’ve never been so quiet! This was a gentle, relaxing back, neck and head massage using coconut oil, slowly rubbing away any tension I might be storing up.  Definitely a far cry from the sports massages I have had in the past where I spend most of the appointment cursing very loudly! Don’t expect a relaxing experience if you ever go for one of those!

After my back and neck, Michelle moved onto my facial using some beautiful smelling products such as Palmarose Facial Wash, Calendula Cleanser, Rose Facial Polish, Facial Mask, Rose Toner, White Tea Eye Gel and Palmarsoa Moisturiser.

Once I had my face mask slathered on, Michelle began to start the Reiki practice. I thought I was already completely relaxed, but I was about to chill out even more!

So, what on earth is Reiki?

Our bodies experience different energies and emotions both positive and negative. However, our body has a much harder job of freeing negative feelings which can create ‘blockages’ – this is where Reiki can help.  When in deep relaxation, the healing powers of Reiki allow the body to release those heavy energies such as grief, fear, anxiety and feelings of depression – to name just a few.  Healing hands are placed over a Chakra on the body to allow energy to flow in and out of the body.

What’s a Chakra?

How I understand it (and in very simple terms), your body is made up of energy sources called Chakras.  There are seven Chakras running through the body from the crown of the head to the base of the spine.  Each Chakra has its own a function within its part of the body.

Still sounds weird?  Well, think about what you do when you’re in pain. I’m betting that you instinctively hold onto the part of the body that is hurting, whether that be holding your head to soothe a headache or maybe rubbing your tummy because it is sore.  You are practicing self-healing on yourself without even knowing it!

So, in a nutshell, Reiki is the transfer of energy from one person to another to promote healing and well-being in your spirit, body and mind.  There is so much more information available about the practice, but here is as far as my understanding needs to go – I just trust the process!

During the Reiki,  I felt like I was on the edge of sleep, but not quite asleep.  I did that thing where your body moves involuntarily (like you’ve fallen off a pavement) and I even snorted a couple of times!  My mind felt free of thought and from what I can remember, I could just see colours behind my eyelids and could hear the relaxing music.  I could feel heat from Michelle’s hands as she moved down my Chakras.  I could feel and hear what was going on, but couldn’t quite pull myself from this dreamlike state.  It was glorious!

Once Michelle had finished the Reiki part, she gently removed my face mask using warm flannels down each of my face to soothe and smooth away the mask. This was finished with toner and moisturiser.

By the time I was asked to sit up slowly, I was so calm and relaxed, I never wanted to leave the warmth of the cabin!

Michelle talked me through what she had picked up from my session, some of which was spookily correct. Michelle also picked up a very strong spiritual energy from my ‘third eye’ Chakra, which she suspected was my Mum’s presence, which was very reassuring to hear.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this type of treatment, whatever state of mind or health you may be in, but especially if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, in pain or maybe not ‘quite right’.

Since my treatment, I have certainly felt more grounded, calm and feel like I have more clarity of thought. I’ve already booked another session with Michelle, and I can’t wait.

You can find out about Michelle at Fairy Heart Therapies by visiting: http://www.FairyHeartTherapies.co.uk

Much love,

Tales of a Mother’s Daughter

Hey! Long time no see!

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Hi everyone – first of all ‘Happy New Year’.  Yes, it may be Jan 25th, but it’s the first time I have signed onto my blog this year.  Shocking!  It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, its just I haven’t had the time!  Poor excuse I know, that old chestnut “I don’t have time”.

There have been so many things I’ve wanted to blog about over the past few months.  Christmas was interesting this year.  Not quite as stressful as other years, but that’s because daughter spent most of the time in her room watching re-runs of Coronation Street (her new obsession!).  So it was actually pretty chilled/boring!

We’ve had mobile phone woes, and finally, we had to make the decision to remove the bloody thing altogether for fear of it being used inappropriately.  This didn’t go down well for a while, but now daughter doesn’t even mention it!

So, what have I been up to the last few months?  Well – basically, my brain has been consumed by all things ‘social media’ the last few months… more than it has ever been before.  Having started a Social Media Manager course in September, I am constantly on my phone, looking for content, checking for followers/unfollowers and trying to think of  useful/amusing things to post.  I’m also learning all the many tools; Buffer, Trello, Pocket, Pexels, Buzzsumo, Scoop (that’s a very small sample) and trying to learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to running social media for a client.

The client I am working for on the course is… ME!  I am doing a Wellbeing campaign about taking small, achievable steps to better wellbeing.  The idea for this came from my experience in the weeks leading up to my mum passing away.  Spending every day for a month at the hospital meant my diet and exercise went to shit – and rightly so.  I had much more important things going on to worry about drinking green smoothies and fitting in a workout.  This all started at the beginning of the year (two years ago), so being tagged onto Christmas, I’d had a good three months of eating junk and drinking wine and by mid-March I was feeling awful.

Whilst I didn’t have the inclination to do exercise or eat better, I knew I had to for my wellbeing.  Otherwise, I know I would’ve gone downhill. So, I made small changes in the right direction –  stopped drinking (only for a month) and ate proper meals made of ‘real food’  instead of chocolate and processed crap.  My body started to respond and I lost the excess weight and felt a little better in myself… apart from the grief I was feeling, that is a much longer process and one that never truly ends.

So, when it came to picking a campaign to run, this is what I chose to do… and this has been consuming my life day and night since the campaign went live on January 1st!   I’ve been doing some vlogs on my Tales of a Mother’s Daughter Facebook page and pop a few things up on Instagram and Twitter, but I have truly neglected this blog, which is something I love doing.

I hope in the Spring (once the training is over) to look at this website and the content I share and give it a shake-up.  I’d like to incorporate some of the subjects I’ve been covering in my campaign – Wellbeing, Mental Health, Exercise, Food, Body Positivity, Mindfulness… along with the other Mum woes I normally chat about!

I look forward to sharing the upgrade with you all.

I’m off now to fill up my Twitter feed with content for the campaign (‘Somerset State of Mind’ in case you were wondering!) … and I hope to be back very soon – bigger and better.

Love and hugs

 

Tales of a Mother’s Daughter

 

 

Why are school mornings like Groundhog Day!?

This morning was like every other morning, which is like every morning in households everywhere that children live.  The dreaded school run! Why oh why is it just so hard!?

It doesn’t seem to matter what time I get up, how organised I might be, the result is still the same… shouting that we need to go, teeth still not cleaned, ties suddenly lost and an announcement at two mins to blast off that they need to take something random with them to school! Why do they do that, they’ve had a whole sodding night, but NO, please announce this at 7.55am!!

The difference in my household and I’m sure its the same for all mum’s of special ones, the worry is that it will always be Groundhog Day.  Will I always have to remind about putting on deodorant, brushing hair and the fact that there is jam smile on her face?! Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to do this for as long as it takes, but A. it worries me that I’ll still be doing this when she is 25+ and B. it pisses me off!

Thing is, as mums we (that’s the Royal ‘we’) have enough trouble having to think about what we need to do for ourselves, but as a mum, you also have to do the thinking for everyone else as well!  All my two kids want to think about is Pokemon/Skylanders and Coronation Street episodes from three years ago, therefore it’s down to me to remember drinks bottles, PE kits, reading records, lunch, teeth cleaned, suncream/scarf & gloves (depending on the time of year) and any other parafinalia I may have missed!

So literally, every day, every single sodding day, I say (shout) the same thing to the kids before school… and I know you do too… and if you don’t, you are a very lucky lady!  It has to be beyond a shadow of a doubt, the worst hour of the day.  The relief that I feel once they are both dropped off is immense, it just rolls off my shoulders in a big “thank fuck for that!”.

I’ve mentioned before about how hubby would call me, usually on his way to work during school run hour because he thought of something trivial on the way to work.  He quickly learnt not to do this.  Well, a few weeks ago, I went away with my old school mates for some R&R which meant hubby had to do two mornings of school runs!  As we  landed in Dublin, I called home to say we arrived safely… His first words were  “how the fuck do you do that every day?  You deserve a bloody medal!”  I know!!

I’m very fortunate that I mostly work at home and go into the office once (sometimes twice) a week, so for four out of five days, I know I can wing it where I am concerned – if I’m only half ready its no biggy.  If I had to go through the stress of being ‘work ready’ every morning and try to get out of the door at stupid o’clock, I would now be found rocking in a chair with a very large Gin!  At least this way, its just Gin!!

But in all seriousness, as our children grow up, they do become more self-sufficient and do things for themselves.  I have a fiercely independent eight year-old who even now, does so much for himself.

However, for our children who have challenges and needs, it doesn’t always go that way and as parents, there is always the niggling worry in the back of our minds that we will always need to be around to help… which of course, we always will be.  Just pass me the Gin!! xx

Until next time…

Tales of a Mother’s Daughter xxx

This blog of course, extends to stay at home dad’s and not just limited to us mums!

 

Dads are from Mars… Mums are from Venus! 

How many times do you look at the father of your children and think they must live on another planet?  I swear, it doesn’t matter what you do in life, as a mum, you are pretty much the font of all knowledge – accept of course if the electric goes, the computer freezes or you have to admit you don’t know where the petrol cap button is on the car (damn it!).

Now, I’m certainly not dissing men here, (and my very own hubby is the most wonderful man ever ) so don’t be getting on your high horse lads – this is all a little bit of fun, but these are the questions I ask myself every week!

So, I’ll start with the obvious… the bloody toilet seat!  For the love of god, just put the damn thing down… and squirt some bleach down there while you’re at it!!

It doesn’t matter where I am in the house, if the kids need anything they come and find me.  I could be in the shower, on the loo, putting washing out… they clearly forget there is another parent in the house to ask who doesn’t happen to be indisposed at that moment!

Why is it, on the rare occasion I go out on a night out with the girls, I get people ask me (usually men) if hubby is babysitting!  WTF! Babysitting! What parent babysits? Depending on how many I’ve had to drink will depend on my sarcastic answer! “Yes, I pay him £5 an hour!” to “No, he’s the Dad!”.  No way would anyone ask if I was home babysitting if it was the other way around so what’s that all about?

When I decide I’m going to have an early night, I need to plan ahead at least an hour before I want to get some shut eye.  Men, pretty much, simply go to bed.  Before I head up, I will always find a washing machine full of wet washing (shit), then a tumble dryer full of dry washing (shit), then realise its PE tomorrow and those elusive football socks have disappeared again (ffs!) oh yes, and the kids sandwiches are still not made! (Bollocks!). Early night my arse!

Now, I’m not going to lie, I’m not always the best person at remembering birthday cards.  It’s usually when everyone starts posting birthday wishes on timelines that I dash out and get a card/present and have to hand deliver it ! But what would happen if you left all the birthday cards to your other half… I dread to think! I know that at least three birthdays would be remembered… the rest? Not so much!

My hubby has learnt that he must never, EVER, ring during the morning school routine.  Unless you’re on a death wish dads, do not attempt it!

Weekend away?  Yes please you say… but before you go, do remember to account for every eventuality that might happen during the weekend.  This gets slightly better as the kids get older, but my point here is, Dad’s just pack their cases and go… fat chance we could ever do that!

Its the holidays… you’ve had the kids all day and you’ve just about managed to hold your shit together, although there has been plenty of two fingers up behind the fridge door and countless ‘for fcuk sakes’ muttered under your breath. However, for the past ten hours you’ve stuck it out.  Dad walks in and lasts about three minutes before he blows!  The only thing to do is crack open the wine… I mean, its sophisticated to have it with ‘dinner’ right?!

Men in general (not just our wonderful baby daddy’s) are a bit special though!  I mean, how bloody difficult is it to put the actual dish in the actual dishwasher? Placing it above it on the side really doesn’t count!!

And what on earth do they do on the toilet?  I’m not sure I really want to know the answer, but for the love of god lads, you’re taking the piss here! Do your bowels work differently from ours? No!!

Why is it that when Hubby kindly offers to got shopping, I’m running some kind of ‘shoppers helpline’? Seriously, just ask someone!

Why do men expect you to know the exact location of things?  If its gone missing, it’s assumed that I have obviously put it in a special place (sometimes I have, because its been left out for so sodding long) but in general, I’m meant to know the whereabouts of any specific item of clothing/shoes/keys!

Of course, most of this is said purely tongue in cheek and the men and dads in our lives are wonderful people.  Let’s face it, as much as they can be a pain in the butt, having control of all things ‘family’ is what we’re good at… and truth be told, we wouldn’t want it any other way!!

Until next time…. Love and hugs xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Magic Kingdom just isn’t so magic! Our (not so) magical stories of Florida!

When Magic Kingdom just isn’t so magic! Our (not so) magical stories of Florida!

Ok, that may sound a little harsh. Disney’s Magic Kingdom really IS magic, especially if you have never been before. I distinctly remember the first time my mum came with us to Florida, she stood at the top of Main Street looking up towards the Cinderella’s castle, and she cried… she was 58 at the time!! Just goes to show, all ages are touched by Disney magic.

However, when you take an autistic child to Disney, its a different story.

The first time we took both children, Ellie was seven and her brother George was three and we went the first two weeks of December. We left on a dark Thursday evening to travel up to Heathrow on the train and stay overnight to catch our flight in the morning.

Being the last day of November, we were naturally all dressed in coats, hats and scarfs when we boarded our flight… and we were to find out that this would be to our detriment by the time we got off!!

Thankfully, flight went reasonably well. Typically, George fell asleep on take off for his first ever flight! For most of the flight  the kids were glued to their tv’s, and they killed time by going to the toilet multiple times.  Ellie was also eating most of the way there (anything to keep her occupied). I swear it took is at least four hours to watch one bloody film!

On the landing George once again fell asleep! He was absolutely out of it and we really couldn’t wake the boy up! So trying to get out of the plane was a real struggle. Hand luggage, coats, scarves and a sleeping three-year old in my arms. We felt likethose donkeys in Spain cruelly being forced to carry luggage up a hill! Add to that, Ellie was really nervous and worried about what was coming next as we went into the airport… little did we know!

As you can imagine, the terminal is full of people queuing to get through customs. Lines and lines of passengers moving at a snail’s pace. Already Ellie was starting to get agitated. Then she asked “do you have Bellagio Bear?”

Now, Bellagio Bear (aka Daniel) was a special bear given to Ellie by her godmother and had travelled all the way from the famous hotel in Las Vegas. This bear had sat for a good few years on the shelf being ignored, but all of a sudden, he was in the limelight and had recently made it onto the Ellie’s bed and into Ellie’s arms. That’s like ‘soft toy goals’!

However, looking around, neither of us had Daniel with us. George is still snoozing and feeling like a lead weight and we are looking frantically through four sets of hand luggage for the bloody bear – nothing! Cue the whaling! Yes, the whole flight looked around to see what the screaming was about… “Daniel is gone” she wailed! We quickly had to establish with the people around us that Daniel was indeed a bear and not another child!

We knew exactly where we were sat on the plane but when the crew went back to look, Daniel was gone!  I often wonder what part of the world Daniel ended up in!

For our trip I was mega organised. List after list, after list! I drew up visual itineraries for everything to help Ellie, the travelling to the hotel, the travelling on the plane and then details of where we were going each day. I also ordered a book from Disney called The little Big book of Magic which she took everywhere. It gives details about absolutely everything from the parks, to the restaurants, to the hotels and by the time we were half way through the holiday, Ellie was reading out details of the amenities in each Disney Hotel!

I also had a letter from the doctor to say  that she finds queuing very difficult etc. I always worry that we’ll go into customer services and Ellie will be all smiles, greeting the staff by name and making us look complete frauds… so I go prepared. I needn’t had worried. Ellie was shaking when we went to get our Guest Assistance pass and they didn’t want to see my paperwork when I offered it up.

Thankfully, the parks are very helpful over in Orlando. The assistant passes meant that our queue time was very short so there was little chance of Ellie getting stressed. They were a godsend.

This was put to the test when we had to wait 20 minutes to get into the Beauty & the Beast attraction. By the time we got in there, Ellie was in such a state and we had to stand at the back and try and calm her down whilst other kids were getting involved with the characters and having a lovely time. It was heartbreaking.

What didn’t help that holiday was that George was also having a time of it… mainly being a difficult little 💩! I don’t know whether it was the tiredness of the holiday, or as hubby had Goggled…that boys have a surge of testosterone every six months that makes them impossible (and he’d just hit 3 1/2 years). Either way, him constantly wanting to do the opposite of what we wanted and dragging his feet under his buggy was not cool!  I distinctly remember walking past families looking at us and shouting ‘Hi’ in a loud and cheery manner like some crazy woman!!

So, what happens when you book a beautiful meal with the Disney Princesses in Epcot that costs a small fortune? Well, I didn’t expect our seven year old to have a meltdown about what food she was going to eat and complaining that it was all going to be rubbish!! I don’t remember the details but the moaning and groaning really started to piss me off and I wondered why we bothered!  By the time the waiter came round for our order, all I wanted was a huge glass of wine! I was fraught and on the verge of walking out, so an overpriced wine was what I had!

As soon as I took a distraught Ellie up to see the food buffet that she would have for her starter, everything changed. She knew that she would have a belly full of food and suddenly all was fine with the world! 🙄 The rest of the meal was fine and the kids met a number of Disney Princess’s. Alls well that ends well I suppose!

Most of the holiday continued with strops about queuing up, meltdowns about doing the opposite of what we wanted to do; the thing hubby and I started to look forward to the most was getting back to the appartment at the end of the day for an ice cold beer!

The truth was, Ellie was most happy when she was at the appartment, the pool or chilling in the hot tub. When you think about it, something like Disney is overwhelming for children as it is… throw in the sensory issues and I can’t imagine how hard it must be.

I remember coming home to the UKm just as exhausted and when we left, and vowed that next time it would be better… how wrong I was!

Until next time,

Love and hugs xxx <<b
when we got home, my lovely mum had searched the Internet for something that looked like Daniel Bear. A little cream bear greeted Ellie when she arrived home ❤🐻

The Domino Effect! Little changes make a big difference…

The Domino Effect… 

I’m so pleased to be typing that this week really has been a much better week.  Mornings have felt calmer, same with evenings and I’ve done a lot less sticking up of my fingers from behind the fridge door! It’s almost like a domino effect.  Thing is, I’m not sure what has triggered it, but since the kids have gone back to school, I’ve made the following changes…

Change No.1

I am trying really hard to be more organised! Not the best thing to publicise when your job is a personal assistant to a Regional Director… but its like a busman’s holiday.. just because I’m organised (ish) in work, doesn’t mean I’m good at it at home!  However, having little things ready like uniforms (including underwear) hanging up on the bedroom door for the next day, PE kits (or any other kinds of kit) ready by the front door and lunchboxes done the night before has really helped.  I swear, I would spend a good five minutes every bloody morning looking for a missing grey school sock!  I’ve bought 10 pairs of the sodding things for the start of term!  Wonder how long before they’re all gone!

Yep… I really am that unorganised!  This really doesn’t help when your daughter suffers from anxiety! It’s not rocket science, but I didn’t appreciate how much it has helped in the mornings.

Change No.2

I’ve sorted out my ‘drawers’ and tackled the ‘Man Drawer’.  For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a drawer (ours is in the kitchen) where you throw lots of shit stuff that you either don’t know what to do with or can’t bring yourself to throw away.  Old keys, countless batteries, old chargers, shit toys from party bags, takeaway menus circa 2014, pens that no longer work, old chequebooks.. you get the idea.

To replace this, I created a ‘I need a’ box… a (stylish) storage box that holds everything we are always looking for; scissors, cellotape, suncream, hairbrush, working pens, ear defenders, charger… you get the idea.  Tonight hubby was looking for a marker pen, “in the ‘I need a’ box”.  I felt very smug!

In turn, the man drawer is now housing stuff that cluttered my cutlery drawer, making that more organised.  I know, it so sad that storage gets me this excited… but check it out! 

Change No.3

I’ve got back in the exercise game!

I don’t want to be a ‘keep fit bore’ but I was always good at getting myself up at 6.00 am and doing a 30 minute workout Mon-Fri and I underestimated how much it helps with my health.

Over the school holidays this year, I really let it slide.  I was having a pretty shit time of it and I didn’t want to exercise, mainly because I’d have one or two large wines the night before to make myself feel better for having a shit time of it!  The extra time in bed was a much nicer option.

However, not doing exercise has a knock on effect to other things which doesn’t lead to feeling any better… just your lovely little leather jacket you now want to wear feeling a little bit tighter!!

So I set my Lumie Bodyclock (best alarm clock ever) for 6.00 am and started getting back to knocking out a workout, usually with lovely Joe Wicks, The Bodycoach (easy on the eye) or one of my P90X3 discs with Tony Horton (good on the eye for an older guy #still would).  Whenever I feel like not doing it, I think about how I feel at the end of it… and how the dreaded bingo wings will be less flappy in a month’s time!

Change No. 4.

Now that I’ve started back exercising, I subconsciously make more of an effort at eating better (better, not less) fuelling my body with good, tasty food which in turns helps me feel better still. Don’t get me wrong, if I want chocolate cake, I’ll have it, I’ll enjoy it and not feel bloody guilty for it (which once upon a time I would do).

I also took the battery out of the scales earlier in the year.  Not a biggy you may think, but I would weigh myself at least every morning and the number I saw would determine how I would feel for the day. I think I’d been doing that since I was 15!  Our last set of scales weighed everything… weight, fat, bone density, muscle, water, probably wine consumption too!  I would be obsessed with which numbers went up and down and get hung up on it if things weren’t going the right way.

Now I have no idea what I weigh, I just go by my clothes and how I feel.  It’s liberating!  If I’m eating well and exercising, it usually takes care of itself.

Change No.5

I’ve gone back to a paper diary.  I’ve used my phone calendar for years and a wall calendar at home, but I would forget to check my phone and not always write stuff on the calendar as I don’t always want daughter dear knowing what is going on (see earlier blog).

Now I am writing EVERYTHING in the diary… meals for the week, to do lists, ideas, calls I’ve made, anything I can think of.  I still managed to forget a birthday last week, but its early days!

 

I’m still a work in progress and there are things I still want to make a habit such as;

Green smoothies – I do them for about a week and then can’t be arsed and leave it until I see mangos or something similar on offer and I’ll try again!

Mindfulness – I tried the Headspace App, which was really good but so far, I’ve done it only once. It’s worth doing it, if only for the 10 minutes peace and quiet!

I wrote this blog so that when I’m feeling like its all going tits up… I can read back and see that for at least a week or so, I was winning!

Until next time,

Love and Hugs xxx