Surprisingly Good Luck

I’m one of those people I’d class as unlucky & always feel quite suspicious when things begin to go my way but I’ve had surprisingly good luck lately &  for now I’m going to attempt to enjoy it!

My streak of luck started last week with a £5 win on a purple scratch card that the Mr got me. It’s something we only do occasionally so I was quite pleased with winning. We did our usual thing of buying 1 more each out of the winnings and keep the rest. I won £1 again on my one too.. Another Relentless.. Cheers!

I then found out I had one a pack of Posca Pens from a giveaway on MeYou&Magoo’s  #Craftingismytherapy Linky too! If you’re a crafter please do pop over & link up any craft related posts, the linky is quite small and could do with some more love 🙂 

I also won a box full of baby bits this week but unfortunately everything was for 0-6months so no good for Izzy. I ran a poll on Twitter to see if people thought I should run a give-away or donate the box to charity. After I had filled it up with more items of course! The overall vote was to donate it to a Charity. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

To top it all I found out I’m a winner of the Britmums Linky entry for the #Mamiadaysout challenge.. How awesome is that!? I was pleased when the Hamper arrived & again once it was empty! I filled it with wool to neaten up my craft stash, now I’m absolutely over the moon! (If you had a hamper what did you use yours for?)

Have you had any luck lately? Any wins or good luck in general? Let me know in the comments 🙂


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

#WorldMentalHealthDay

#WorldMentalHealthDay

 

Today is of course #WorldMentalHealthDay. I wanted to join in and share a few things with you all to help raise awareness and help those struggling to see that they are not alone, such a huge percentage of the population struggle & feel so, so alone & that really needs to change. We need to reach out to one another & share our stories!

Mental Health is something I heard a lot about as a child as a lot of the adults I grew up knowing had depression, anxiety, bipolar & schizophrenia, so it is something I’ve learnt a fair bit about different issues over the years. I was going to look into statistics and figures but honestly I don’t feel there is any need, so many of us don’t say a word which leads me to believe the statistic’s are unrealistic.

I myself struggle with depression & anxiety and for quite some time I struggled massively with ED’s which I’ve slowly discovered has contributed to my Chronic pain which of course has caused me to feel quite depressed, I also struggle with how my Scoliosis makes my ribs stick out but sharing my stories in my blog has meant I’ve had a lot of support and encouragement from other people and that has made such a difference!

I talk openly on my blog about all these things, NOT for sympathy but to connect with other’s who feel the same, it can be very lonely and stressful when you feel worthless & too scared to ask for a little help and I truly hope that the blogging community sharing their stories helps anyone struggling.

My brother has Aspergers & PTSD amongst other things & yes he can be difficult to be around at times but that ISN’T his fault. He had very little support growing up and felt very alone, being pushed from one foster home or care home to another as a child and being sectioned as a teen and then suddenly being all alone in a tiny bedsit has been very stressful and hard for him.

He spiralled out of control turning to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain, he was EXTREMELY difficult to be around during that time BUT the Mr and I made it our mission to help him turn himself round. And you know what? With a bit of persistence, love and a little bit of a kick up the bum he has become a totally different person over the past year.

Now he is dealing with his issues and facing them in counselling he is coping much better. Knowing he IS part of our family & our home is his home has helped him relax and realise he is loved and cared for. He still has bad days especially because of his past but now instead of trying to numb the pain & destroy himself he picks up the phone and calls me or jumps on a train and distracts himself or talks his problems through and bit by bit he has turned his life round completely.

Talking about our problems can help us more than most things especially if we feel someone is actually listening, we know people may not fully understand but it’s nice to be heard and it makes us feel less alone.

What’s your story? What are you struggling with? What do you do to cope?

Image result for you are cared for

If you need to talk please do, my DM, email etc is always open to ANYONE that needs to talk, day or night! If you prefer there are plenty of charities to help, whether its over the phone, by email or on-line chat, whatever method you prefer there is ALWAYS someone waiting to help you and talk through your problems, PLEASE DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE!

If you do need to talk to someone here is a small list of contacts:

The Samaritans are a well known organisation who are always there for a chat whether your just having a low day or you feel thing’s are much worse, get in touch!

Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time, from any phone on 116 123.

We’re here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call us.

Another brilliant organisation is Togetheruk.org although I have no personal experience myself they offer a range of services around the country .

Together is a national   charity working alongside people with mental health issues on their journey towards independent and fulfilling lives.

MIND is an amazing organisation that offers counselling & they have helped both my and my brother. My brother still currently has counselling with them and I can honestly say that has played a HUGE part in his recovery. They offer a range of services and support too.

Contact us

Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

0300 123 3393

info@mind.org.uk
Text: 86463

Even if you find ways to cope and manage and feel you have recovered well there may still be days you need a little chat to help you keep on top, please do ask for help if you feel thing’s are slipping again.

If you know someone struggling, make them a cuppa & share some cake & just be there to listen when you know they are feeling low. Sometimes just being there can mean so much, we don’t need to be told what to do or to just cope we just need a little love & understanding to help us through the bad days so we can fully enjoy the good days.

Week 3 of my 6 Week Gabapentin Trial

At my last pain management appointment I was asked to start a gabapentin trial over 6 weeks starting with 1 x 300mg a day & increasing by one 300mg tablet every Tuesday starting with 10pm then 10pm & 8am and now I am taking them at 2pm as well.

I know some of you are interested in how it’s going so I thought I’d keep you all updated.

Feeling good

So far I have felt some relief & I am now up to 3 tablets a day (900mg). It’s been a huge relief in the morning taking my 10pm tablet and I can get out of bed a little easier. In fact most morning’s I feel brilliant! Although the first few days I did feel a little spacey!

My mood has definitely improved & I don’t feel quite so depressed & anxious constantly. It’s been quite nice throughout the Gabapentin trial so far.

And a ton of other aches and pains 😂😂

Wearing off

By the evenings though it doesn’t seem to give me much relief compared to the morning. The 2pm tablet I started this Tuesday doesn’t seem to have made much difference but then I have also been quite busy this week & may have overdone it.. A little bit.. Or a lot.. 😂 So I have been very moody & snappy the last 2 days!

Lack of sleep obviously hasn’t helped much either this week and was up at very early hours yesterday! I’m still feeling pretty rough but not quite as miserable and snappy.

I’m looking at doing things like buying a shopping trolley on wheels (in purple of course!). That way I can go shopping alone without struggling so much and hurting myself more.

I guess I am slowly accepting this is only ever going to get worse and I need to start finding ways to do what I want to & have some freedom without trying to struggle with doing things the usual way. 

If your a spoonie what things make your life with chronic pain a little easier?

Out-Smarting A 2 Year Old With SmartMotion

The Samsung SmartThings SmartMotion!

I reviewed the Samsung SmartThings Starter pack and won it last year. I still use the SmartPlug’s to control the Pump & Light on our fish tank (Can you Phone the Fish?)which is an absolute life saver especially if we aren’t home & forgot to turn on their pump!

I also use the  Multi-purpose sensor to send me a notification on my phone if something comes through the letterbox. 

 

The SmartMotion Sensor however I hadn’t really managed to come SmartMotionup with a good use for yet.

Izzy has recently started getting out of bed and coming in to the living room at night. She plays a bit of a game with it making sure to cover the monitor with a blanket or teddy so we can’t hear her sneaking out of bed.

She rarely wants something, she just wants to know what we are up to and with Eva making sure to keep her awake after we have put Izzy back to bed, we become yo-yo’s trying to get her to stay in bed. If we manage to catch her at her door she will generally go back to bed and go to sleep. If she gets any further though she thinks she’s winning and keeps trying.

Secret weapon: SmartMotion

Now it’s set up in the girls room so when they pass their chest of drawers (the range is pretty good too!) I get a notification on my phone. So as Izzy gets out of bed we can race her to their door and get her back into bed quickly and stop her little game. We’ve been using it for the last week now and she has learnt rather quickly WE KNOW and she cant (yet) find away to open that bedroom door without setting off the sensor Muahahah!

 

Now she will actually call through the monitor ‘poo bum!’ or ‘Melp pweeeeaaaaase’ when she wants something and doesn’t get up and down just because she can.

This could also be useful for potty training too as I will be woken up if she leaves her room to head for the toilet/potty. Samsung SmartThing’s Motion Sensor finally has a purpose. It also let’s me know the room temperature which means as the colder months draw in closer we can make sure there room is kept at a good temperature too!

How do you outsmart your kids when they are playing around at bedtime? Do you have a sensor? A video baby monitor? Do you have a SmartHub at home? Which one? Let me know 

🙂 Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday


Struggling To Love My Body

I’m struggling to love my body. I have struggled massively with my body image over the years & been extremely unkind to it in the past but I am now slowly learning to love my body a little more.

I fell into bad habits & neglected my body & barely ate for years thinking I had to be smaller & slimmer, the Mr found ways to help me eat again and now I can even eat in public when I’m feeling good. Weight and size is now the least of my problems..

Finding out I have peripheral neuropathy has made sense of a lot of things for me recently. Although I still get frustrated with certain things, I know now what’s causing it so I don’t feel quite as ridiculous. BUT there’s one thing that has been increasingly bugging me.

 My scoliosis.Scoliosis

Most people wouldn’t notice my Scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and it was completely missed for years. I don’t know how my back looks as it’s something I tend to avoid but my left rib cage sticks out.. A fair bit. My spine curves & twists to the left. Add in my tilted pelvis and well and I do look odd..especially if you look closely.

 

I always thought a jelly belly, c-section scar & stretch marks would bother me but these days not so much, I’ve learnt to accept that the Jelly belly & stretch marks are a part of me & my scar is so faded I barely notice it these days and see all these things are a reminder I carried my babies and brought them into this world.

I struggle with my rib cage sticking out though.. It always seems so noticeable in a tight top so I’ve started wearing looser tops again. I feel like I look very wonky. Wearing a bra HURTS after a little while as it digs in to my sticky out rib. It feels like it’s slowly getting worse so I guess it’s something I need to learn to accept. Hopefully I can just as I have accepted my jelly belly, scar and stretch marks.

Do you have scoliosis?

Does anyone else have Scoliosis and struggle with their curves? I know compared to many my curves aren’t that bad but it still bothers me at times, especially when getting dressed to go out. Nothing looks right, necklines look wonky.. It’s frustrating at times.

I’ve struggled majorly this past year to keep any weight on, I keep bouncing back down to 6 1/2 stone when I should be at least 7-8 stone and this makes my rib cage stick out and hurt even more. I’m trying my best to gain (I’m sure anyone that follows me on Instagram will know I munch a lot haha) but it has been tough and at best I’ve managed to get to 7 stone 4 and I’m currently 7 stone exactly.

I’m hoping perhaps with a little more weight the curve wont be quite as obvious and painful.. Anyone know if this would actually help? There is very little info out there on Scoliosis (anything I have found is American) and Dr’s don’t seem to know as much about it in the UK.

Do you struggle with your body image? What bug’s you the most?

Pain Management – Trying Something New

Pain Management

I had pain management today and was quite anxious about going. It didn’t help that I had to go to the Dr’s first where I didn’t get seen until half an hour after my appointment time but the main reason was that I needed to bring up the fact that whilst my First steroid injections for a little while things had gone down hill since.

After explaining I’ve been getting electric shock type pains all over, the burning and tingling I’ve had, how everywhere seems to constantly ache especially when I’m cold, my memory has gotten worse and I’m struggling to keep my balance amongst other things The Dr decided the injections weren’t going to be helpful as I had 3 injections at once not just one so it should have helped for a lot longer and instead, I was offered a trial of Gabapentin.

Gabapentin trial

I had to think about it quickly.. I don’t want to rely on yet more tablets but I’m struggling so much to cope with the pain. Everyone must be as bored as I am with all my complaining. With the cold weather setting in I’m honestly scared to think I could feel the same as last winter. I decided to give it a go.

Pain management - Gabapentin

I’ve not really read much about Gabapentin up until now and I still don’t know a lot about it but it sound’s like it’s worth a go so tonight I’ll be taking my first dose of 300mg and gradually up the dose over the next 6 weeks & hopefully it will help.

Have you tried Gabapentin for Chronic pain? Did you find it helped much? What dosage are you on or are you trialling it yourself? I’d love to hear from others too and find out how they get on!

Staying On Top

I’ve shared quite a bit on this blog over the last year and I have to say it’s definitely helped, even when I went through a quiet patch the blog was still here being read and liked & commented on and I’ve started to get back into the swing of things again.

Staying on top

I’ve met some lovely bloggers & I’ve noticed myself interacting more and over the last few weeks that has given me a bit of a boost to be honest. Now I’m full of idea’s again and being a lot more organized jotting down notes and dates so I don’t keep forgetting and feeling empty and useless.

On top of all that reading what other’s have gone through or are going through has really been a big motivation for me on bad day’s, if they can carry on & find ways around their challenges I can too!

Sometimes it makes it easier to push through and get things done and sometimes it reminds you to take that much needed break. All in all I think it’s helped me restore some kind of balance and I feel like I’m staying on top of everything again not just the blog.

During my quiet patch I spent a lot of time thinking I was completely useless. My brother especially has helped me see that although I am limited by what I can do, it doesn’t make me lazy, he reminded me of our ‘mother’ growing up and how much more I do for my girls in comparison.

I spend a lot of time pointing out what I can’t do and all the things going wrong but I’m trying to focus on what I can do and what’s going well instead. Instead of feeling awful for taking a break I use that time to blog or chat or crochet so I’m still doing something rather than feeling sorry for myself.

I know there are still going to be days where it is all too much but hopefully with a bit more positivity those days will become fewer.

I’ve started writing notes in notebooks, on post it’s and on our little whiteboard on the fridge to help me remember things & it is definitely helping me be a bit more organized. Perhaps if I finally start using my planner and calander a little better too I’ll spend less time frustrated & forgetting things & getting more done aswell as actually resting when I need to.

Hopefully I can stay on top of things and keep positive for a while! How do you stay on top? What help’s you stay positive?

Latest WIP – A Crochet Blanket For Eva 

I’ve been getting a bit stressed again recently and as always I’ve fallen back on Crochet to help me through. It really is amazing how calming crochet can be, especially when you are familiar with the stitches/pattern.

I knitted a fluffy blanket for Izzy last year & Eva wanted a blanket of her own. With limited funds I haven’t managed to find any really nice soft fluffy wool/yarn for her but thanks to my friend adding to my stash I have started on a simple blanket for now so she doesn’t feel left out, especially with winter nearing and our love of sofa days with pillows, blankets, TV, books & hot chocolate!

Eva loves anything reallllllyy colourful (hence loving her colourful crocheted bag!) so I suggested making a blanket up out of lots of different colours/shades, which she was quite excited about.

Crochet blanket for Eva

I’ve been working on this blanket on and off and finally picked it back up again this week, mostly as Izzy keeps telling me I need to… ‘MUMMY! SIT! ROUND AND THROUGH! SIT!’ haha!

With Eva picking colours as we go it has slowly grown over the last week or so & we have decided to make it big enough to fit Eva’s bed for winter too so I will be making a second square & attaching them. I’m really enjoying making this blanket, changing colours and not having to think too much about what I’m doing as I can do this stitch with my eyes closed! (Yes I have tried, it amuses the girls haha!)

Eva wants me to incorporate the cupcake stitch I recently learnt somewhere in the blanket. I’ve been doing 3 rows though. Cupcake stitch is 2. What do you think? Maybe I could use some more of the colourful wool to blend it all together?

Do you crochet? If so, what are you currently working on? Or thinking of starting?

Me You and Magoo

Dear Bear and Beany

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

RUN!

Yesterday was Eva’s first day back at school and of course before we even got to the morning there was a problem. A rather bloody problem!

Eva managed to slide down her plastic steps scraping her foot leaving a long flap of skin hanging off which we had to cut off Sunday night.

We told teachers about her foot the following morning as she wanted to go in, she soldiered on through the day but by the time she got home it obviously needed airing so we will see how she goes over night, she may have to stay home tomorrow to keep it aired.

Apart from Eva’s foot the day started off great! The Mr & I woke well before the alarm and managed a cup of tea before waking the girls. Eva’s written morning routine helped keep her on track and she was actually ready well before she needed to be. Eva struggles to stay focused when getting ready and normally needs constant reminding, this morning I was really impressed with how quickly she got ready, maybe it was the excitement of her first day back at school but hopefully she keeps it up.

The Mr took Eva off to school & Izzy stayed with me as it was raining but as I let her have the TV on she was ecstatic and let me get the kitchen cleaned in peace. By 9.10am my kitchen was done & although my hip was aching I felt like I could do a bit more so started on the girls room. 

Just waiting to borrow a friends hoover

I managed to get it looking tidy after 7 whole weeks! I felt like crying by the end of it but the Mr took Izzy shopping, so I put away the washing and curled up in bed for half an hour to rest. 

Not long after they returned my brother arrived quite stressed and tired after struggling to sleep for days so we got chatting and cheered each other up a bit. I decided to pick Eva up from school as I felt awful that I missed taking her in the morning & do it so rarely now. 

My brother decided to come with me when I mentioned I’d take Izzy. Before we even left he took over Izzy’s trike & wouldn’t let me push it as he knows it really hurts my back & I struggle with the walk. It was lovely to see him thinking about me and enjoying pushing Izzy. They really had a laugh once he got the hand of the handle, weaving along the paths and zooming ahead and we joked with a group of women about Alex needing learner plates as it was his first time.

Run

Once we got to the school I found Eva’s new classroom had been moved again. We had to ask for directions to find her and as soon as she heard my voice and saw my brother she came running out shouting ‘Uncle Alex!’. She was so happy and surprised we were both picking her up.

Unfortunately as I looked up from Eva I suddenly felt extremely overwhelmed by the amount of people surrounding us and began to panic. Alex spotted it straight away and asked what I needed so I told him to just get us out of the gates so he charged through the crowd with trike clearing a path for me to follow.

Once we were out of the gates I was fine and felt a bit silly, especially as its normally me calming my brother down, not the other way round.

We got walking and suddenly I looked up and saw Alex running off full speed to the end of the road giggling his head off with Izzy. When we finally caught up with them they were still laughing & my brother said ‘Sorry about that Izzy told me to run, so I did’. I cracked up. My brother is normally VERY careful with the girls and scared he will do something wrong or hurt them so I was really proud he just went for it & trusted himself enough to do so, his confidence with the girls really is coming on leaps & bounds!

On the way home I began to struggle with the walk and asked them to walk on as I find it awkward slowing everyone down. By the time we got home and checked Eva’s foot the skin had gone white where it had been covered and damp all day so we left it uncovered to air out over night to see how she got on, she ended up staying home today as although it is healing and looks better the skins tightening & scabbing making it harder for Eva to walk and very uncomfortable for her, sofa day it is!

Once we had sorted Eva’s foot and the girls had eaten after Alex ruined a microwave pizza and I nearly burnt the chips trying to calm an upset Eva, Alex sat with them playing with Eva’s doh Vinci set which is of course now ALL over my carpet! 😂😂😂

I really do enjoy watching these 3 play together and love that they now see their Uncle weekly and spend time playing & doing things. It’s hard sometimes not having much family around for them so it’s lovely they have at least one blood relative they are really close to & where I struggled across the day it was nice to have some extra help.

I also really appreciate just how much Alex helped me yesterday especially as I really had over done it with cleaning & then went on to do the school run making things worse & the panic attack on top. Oh and yes I HURT today!

It wouldn’t be a Monday morning or the first day back at school without a few hiccups though aye? As I climbed into bed last night I just suddenly hear Izzy shout ‘RUN!’ in my head and picture them speeding ahead and cracked up.I ended up texting my brother before falling asleep to thank him for his help, his Asperger’s can make it so difficult for him to know what to do in most situations and I was so proud and grateful he had managed to do so well and help so much across the day!

If your little ones gone back to school how did the first day go? Do you ever have panic attacks in the school playground? How do you deal with them?

 

Dream Purple Kitchen Bargain!

Last week I shared some lovely Purple bits I’ve spotted for my dream purple kitchen & mentioned the Wilko’s Colour Play Purple Microwave which I intended to buy when we got paid for £50 however when the Mr checked they had dropped the price to £40!

I love a bargain, it’s cheered me up knowing I not only got my purple microwave but for £10 less!

We ordered it on-line Friday morning to be delivered in store within the next 48 hours. The Mr had found that although the price had dropped our local store was out of stock. Luckily there were still 10 left on-line so I quickly ordered it to make sure I got one!

Being a bank holiday weekend I didn’t expect a pick & dispatched email until Tuesday morning even though the stores were open on the Monday but by late morning I still hadn’t received an email and after 2 weeks without a microwave already I decided to tweet Wilko and find out when it was due to be picked & dispatched.

After DM’ing my order number Connor answered my questions and informed me my order had been lost in transit. IEither I could wait until they had more in stock week or be refunded.

I panicked as either way I thought I’d be waiting a week as refunds take 5-7 days. I was already getting stressed without a microwave for so long (I never realised how handy they are until I didn’t have one!) so I asked if there were any in stock in my 2 local stores & Connor quickly let me know he had reserved one at the Basildon store for me!

The Mr quickly got in touch with a friend and they went to collect it for me. By 3.30pm I had my brand new shiny purple microwave in front of me!

I felt like a kid at Christmas! It was set up on the worktop with the rest of the Wilko ColourPlay appliances we have!

Purple Kitchen

Obviously I need a new glass chopping board in purple to compete this worktop 😉 but I think it looks quite now now even on a tight budget &  it definitely looks better than the ugly kitchen we had a few months ago!

I quite like how small the microwave is as it gives us that little bit more worktop space when cooking. Our last microwave was a huge old beast so it really makes a difference!

We tested out the microwave for dinner a few hours later as we had Jacket potatoes. Although I had to show the Mr how to work it. It is pretty simple to set up and use (helps to read the instructions like I had! 😂) and it does what it needs to.

Purple Microwave

I love that it is digital & you can set the time and adjust the settings. There are so many settings! I imagine it will take us a while to use even half of them but for a small budget microwave I am pretty damn impressed!