PND and Me: Seeking Help

Yesterday was a hard day. After posting about my admittance of having post natal depression I quite quickly made a doctor’s appointment. I knew that if I didn’t I would probably chicken out and not want to go. Seeking help really is the first step to recovery.

seeking help

My doctor’s surgery changes its rules about when you can and can’t book in advance for so getting an appointment with a particular doctor is nearly impossible. My appointment ended up being with someone who doesn’t work there very often and I had never seen before. I actually think I liked it better that way.

The appointment wasn’t nearly as bad as I had imagined it to be but it also wasn’t great either.

So I went in and straight out said what I thought was wrong. The immediate response was ‘so you want the tablets?’ I think I could have done with telling her why I felt a certain way or what was going on before being offered a prescription for antidepressants. Anyway, I ended up saying yes because I have to try something. I’m on a really low dose though for 2 weeks to see how things go. The doctor actually said to me ‘they will make your life shit for the next couple of weeks’. That obviously wasn’t what I was expecting to hear along with the long list of side effects.

What I thought was really strange was no mention of counselling or help from anywhere else. I had to ask about this. There was no information there about the self referral service so someone is going to contact me apparently. If they don’t I’ll try to figure this out towards the end of next week. I think I was more surprised that they were so quick to give out a prescription to fix something rather than it be talked over!

My appointment was in the morning so I had to take Erin with me. Not ideal but not the worst thing in the world. Strangely, she held my hand through the appointment. I got a bit teary while I was there and she just reached out for me and that was it until we left. My husband couldn’t come with me because he was at work but having Erin there actually really helped.

So now I have two weeks of taking these tablets and seeing how it goes. Fingers crossed they’re not quite as bad as I’m expecting them to be.

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The Best Office Furniture

When we bought our house we picked a doer upper.  I had always planned on one part of our living room/ dining room being a library seeing as we have so many books. However, Erin pulls at things now so we’ve had to change this. All of the books are in the loft and I have a bit of an open space to consider. My little space is now going to be turned into my very own office!This means that I have to figure out what furniture to put in there and I’ve spent some time looking for the best office furniture and Furniture@Work have some great options.

Office desk

 

This desk comes from the Value Line Classic range and currently costs £154. This would be absolutely ideal for me. Storage is something I don’t have much of right now and the drawers on either side would hold so much for me, from stationery to items for review!

Furniture@Work conducted a survey recently and a whopping 44.3% of people said that a desk was their top priority for office furniture. I don’t blame them really!

Office chair

Furniture At Work office furniture

Comfort is highest on the list of needs when it comes to an office chair. At the minute, I’m used to sitting on the sofa and working each night and that’s really not good for me. The Skye Executive chair looks really well padded and with nice arm rests. This would do me nicely.

Accessories

Something I am a massive fan of is a whiteboard or a memo board. One of those big, felt covered boards would be absolutely perfect for my office. It would help me to stay organised as well as keeping things in view so I didn’t forget about them.

Tray furniture would also be really high up on my list of the best office furniture to have for me. I love to be organised and I would hate for something to go missing so something like this would give me loads of space for putting press releases, invoices etc.

what do you think is the most important piece of office furniture?

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are our own. 

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Matchstick Monkey Review

Erin recently turned one and that means we are still quite far away from being over the hell that is teething. The past couple of weeks haven’t been too bad but I have sensed that Erin has another tooth coming through, making her miserable and grouchy.

We have a drawer full of different kinds of teethers but nothing seems to be working well enough for back and side teeth. We were recently sent a new teether on the market, a Matchstick Monkey, to test and I am so thankful for it!

The Matchstick Monkey is designed to reach the source of pain and also makes it possible to get pain relief into the right places. No other teether that I know of can do this. This adorable monkey has a bumpy bit at the back of his head which means you can put, say, teething gel on it, and apply to the back of the mouth easily without getting your finger bitten off! These bumps also massage the gums.

Something I really love about the Matchstick Monkey is his tail. Erin loves playing with this and again, is able to uncurl it so she can reach the back of her mouth. The design of this teether is perfect. You can definitely tell that it has been designed by someone who has children themselves and knows what teething is like.

The Matchstick Monkey is available in quite a lot of different colours so there’s something for everyone. We have the orange monkey and I love it. He’s so bright and colourful and this means I can always find him, no matter where he’s been thrown by Erin.

matchstick monkey

The design of this teether means that you’re able to attach a dummy clip to it if you want to. I LOVE this! I can attach this to Erin’s pushchair when we’re out and about so if she is in a bit of pain, she has something she can get on her own without me having to dig through her bag for it.

All in all, this is by far my favourite teether for Erin. She really seems to get pain relief just from having a chomp on it. She even just likes carrying it around with her even when she doesn’t need it. I honestly cannot recommend this enough. Go out and get one!

We were sent this item for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

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First birthday party food

I have never hosted a birthday party before and that meant really not having any idea what I was doing. We had 8 children come to Erin’s 1st birthday party and adults made total numbers up to about 20.  I had absolutely no clue how much food to buy, what to buy or what to do with it!

My mum and I went to the supermarket a couple of days before the party to buy everything we needed. I had a list of a couple of things I wanted but really, we walked around guessing for some of the food. I figured the children were kind of easy to cater for, mostly, but it was the parents I was stuck with.

Here’s how the food ended up:

party food

As you can see, I made  A LOT of food! Once it was all laid out I knew that there was too much but by then it was too late.

A couple of Erin’s friends have food intolerances so I had to take that into account. I made sure there was a really good mix of options for everyone, both children and adults, and that there really was something for everyone.

Most of the children who came were Erin’s age and still in weaning stages but eating finger food. I didn’t want all of the food to be high in sugar or ‘naughty’ foods so I made sure there were healthy options too.

I thought fruit and veg platters with dips were a really good idea. The fruit platter got demolished but surprisingly, the veg platter barely got touched. I thought loads of people would have eaten this. We took most of this home with us!

Sandwiches and crisps are always a massive hit so I made sure there was loads! Again, intolerances had to be considered so I had to make sure there was a good selection of dairy free options. I went with cheese, Dairylea, egg with and without mayo, jam and tuna with both white and brown bread. The crisps were really a random selection because I bought what I would call ‘posh’ crisps for the adults as well as normal party favourites.

We also had the usual sweet options as well! I made up so many individual jelly pots and I think only 2 got eaten. Since when does jelly not get eaten at a party?!

If you’re wondering about how much all of this cost, well the food was about £40 but this didn’t include drinks or a birthday cake. This quite easily fed the 20 odd people that attended and we took quite a bit home with us. However, I would still do the same next year just to be safe. Children who are 2 obviously eat more than children who are 1!

I would love to say that I made a lot of this myself but I didn’t, I was lazy. Do you cook and bake for parties or buy in like I did?

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Meal Plan Monday with Katykicker

Welcome to Meal Plan Monday, our weekly feature where we talk all things Meal Plan. This week I’m handing over to Katy from Katykicker!

Meal plan Monday

I’m a busy working mother of one. I am self employed (yay!) and my husband works 12 hour shifts. This means that we have an unusual routine at times. We have three different types of day. One where my husband is on nights, one where he is on days and one he is not working at all. To try and combat some of the issues that come along with having disorganised days I like to meal plan.

What I love about meal planning

Meal planning is super convenient for me. It takes about 5-10 minutes to sit down and write out our dinners for the week. I can take in to account my husband’s shift pattern and how much time I am going to have on any given day. On the days when my husband is at work from 6am – 6pm I like to use the slow cooker. If my husband is home for the day I like to cook more time intensive meals as I’ve got someone to help with our daughter Daisy.

Meal planning saves us time. It means I can prep some meals in advance, and freeze them. This cuts down on washing up and time spent prepping vegetables etc. Meal planning also saves us money as it keeps us away from the takeaways – which is where we used to waste a lot of money. To top it off meal planning keeps us healthier. I am able to spend a little time researching healthier options for our favourite meals. We buy lean cuts of meat, cram our dinners with lots of vegetables and I make sauces by scratch to save on added salt and sugar.

Our daughter is on a dairy and soya free diet. Meals that are suitable for her can be rather expensive and while I don’t mind the odd baby food jar I love to cook from scratch. I am able to adapt our dinners to suit our daughter too saving money and time once again. For example I will make a cottage pie using dairy free spread in the mash and then we have our own individual cheeses for the top – Daisy’s cheese is made from coconut!

Katykicker

My top tips for meal planning

– Make a list of any fridge items that need using up before you write your meal plan. This cuts down on wastage and saves money.
– Keep your freezer well stocked to save energy and avoid buying takeaways.
– Batch cook when you have the time/effort/money. This allows you to have a meal on hand if guests stop by unexpectedly.
– Keep a good stock of kitchen staples. For me this includes frozen meat, vegetables, herbs & spices, flour and pulses.
-Try new recipes. It can be a little boring if you just eat the same meals over and over again.

I love the convenience of meal planning. I can sit down once a week, when I have time, and plan the entire weeks meals. It means I don’t have to worry about finding something at the last minute each day and when I start the day I know what needs to be done. I save a lot of money for my family and we eat better too.

where to follow!

These tips from Katy are great! I love how she meal plans to make more time for her and her family, as well as saving money at the same time. 
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Erin’s farm themed 1st birthday party

I don’t really remember having birthday parties as a child. I do, however, remember my sister’s party at McDonald’s with the big pirate ship that I was insanely jealous about. Well, until I hit my head on that pirate ship anyway. Erin was always going to be having a birthday party, whether she’d remember it or not.

As this was her 1st birthday, I wanted to do something that was fun for everyone. We have been going to a class called Music in Motion now and Erin loves it. The woman who runs that was an obvious choice plus, we could choose a theme. Having the party farm themed was a really easy choice for me. It was unisex, there would be no pink and it was also cute! Win for everyone!

The first thing I did before anything was to get some tableware sorted out. Party Bags and Supplies do a fantastic Farm Friends theme and they have loads of different items available. We were able to get pretty much everything we needed for under £30 and it is all fantastic quality as well.

farm themed

Let me just say that when you only have one child, and you have never done a birthday party before, you really have no idea what you’re doing. It’s all guess work. Food was a bit of an issue if I’m honest. I had a few guests with intolerances and allergies. I had about 20 people in total to cater for. I had no idea what to buy and how much. Turns out I did too much but more about this in another post.

I think the farm themed table cloths and the farm themed party hats were my favourites of everything we got. I wasn’t expecting 1 year olds to keep the hats on but some of them did for quite a while!

Only 2 people invited couldn’t make the party but we had a good turn out and most of Erin’s friends came! The room was actually quite full and it was MANIC! My sister, who has no children, was not a fan. She was a trooper though and took loads of photos for us.

The first hour of Erin’s party was spent with Donna singing farm related songs, playing with musical instruments and a big parachute thing. The children all really seemed to love it, apart from Erin who did cry a couple of times. She was being a grumpy little sod though! The last hour of the party was spent scoffing the crazy amounts of food I’d made. A good amount made it back into my kitchen. We ate it for dinner last night and it still hasn’t all gone. I’ll still do the same next year!

Erin’s friends spoiled her with some wonderful presents (thanks parents!!) and she genuinely loves all of them. She went from one to another last night and couldn’t decide what to play with. She then got to play with some in the bath. I didn’t even know light up, fountain spurting bath toys were a thing but Erin LOVES them!

I was quite exhausted after the party, as was Erin, but it was so worth it. She was so happy for the last half of the party and afterwards for the rest of the day. She got to spend some time with her amazing friends and just have fun.

I reclined Erin’s seat straight after taking this picture!.

I am so thankful for everyone who came for making Erin’s party such a special time for her. Erin may not remember this day but I will. 

We received some products for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own. 

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Storytime Saturday: King Baby

Storytime Saturday a weekly blog feature showcasing any new books we’ve been reading with Erin, reviewing picture books and talking about our monthly library haul! Basically, Storytime Saturday is all about books! This week we’re talking about King Baby by Kate Beaton (Walker Books)

All hail King Baby! King Baby is gracious – bestowing smiles on his public, allowing tickles and hugs, and posing for photo after adorable photo. But this teeny tiny royal ruler also has many demands, and when his faithful subjects can’t quite keep up, King Baby must take matters into his own hands.

king baby

King Baby is described as the perfect gift for any family expecting a new baby. Now, before anyone gets any silly ideas I am not having another baby. However, this book is pretty funny and I think I would have quite liked it before we had Erin.

King Baby helps to prepare you for what having a baby is really about and what to expect. Babies are extremely demanding. This baby cries, demands ‘the thing’ but also the ‘other thing’ because ‘the thing’ is not right. The poor parents look exhausted. I love that it’s real! I would easily give this to a friend as a gift if they were expecting.

This is a really bright and colourful book and lovely to read. The illustrations stand out so much but they’re lovely and simple at the same time.

king baby

King Baby is quite strange looking if I’m honest. I think he looks like an evil genius. I guess that’s the point of the book. Babies rule the house, no matter what! I know that all too well as whatever Erin says goes… well, if she could actually talk! I actually hate to think about what she’ll be like when that happens.

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Being able to admit that something is wrong

When I think about it, I think I knew something was wrong months ago. It was only earlier on this evening, after a row about something stupid and me crying pretty hysterically, did I admit to my husband that I think I’ve got postnatal depression (PND). I don’t think it though. Really, I’ve known for months but haven’t wanted to really admit it to myself or anyone else. It’s not just one thing that has got me here either, it’s really quite a lot of different things.

pnd

I sort of feel like a bit of a broken record here but I do feel like this is largely down to Erin’s difficult birth. Actually, when I think about it this could quite easily be PTSD as well. I’ve never gotten over what happened. I have had a particularly shit year in terms of health. I finally have an appointment to see a specialist next month about my c-section scars but I still don’t feel like anything is being taken seriously.

My relationship with John has certainly changed since having Erin. We used to be a really cuddly couple. We’re not anymore. John is lucky if I even cuddle him in bed. Unfortunately, because of how I feel about Erin’s birth I cannot stand being touched. I don’t want this bit taken the wrong way though. I love my husband very much and I’m still very much attracted by him. I just don’t want him to touch me anymore. We’ve also just sort of lost who we are as a couple. We’re parents now and I feel as though that is who we are together; Mum and Dad.

In just over a year, I have had a whole of 3 days away from Erin. I love her so much but I think everyone needs some time for themselves and I just don’t get that, ever. When my sister, her boyfriend or my mum come to visit they are fantastic. They pretty much play with Erin from the minute they wake up until Erin goes to bed. However, I can’t help but feel like we could have had more support from other family members. It’s something I won’t go into on here but we don’t really talk to a lot of John’s family. So unlike a lot of families, we don’t have anyone we can ever leave Erin with. She doesn’t get to go to someone one day a week or a morning here and there. This also means that John and I have never been out together alone since Erin was born.

I guess a big part of how I feel now is that I am now Mum, and that is it. I don’t feel like me anymore. Well, the pre-Erin me anyway. The before me was so full of life and bubbly. The now me is a miserable bitch who whinges and whines (no, I’m not Whinge, Whinge, Wine but do check out her blog) about anything and everything. It doesn’t matter what John does, it’s wrong most of the time. I’m never happy. I’m always down. It’s like the life has been sucked out of me.

I don’t want to do anything and I don’t want to go anywhere a lot of the time. I loved going to baby groups in the beginning. Now, I want to stay at home in my PJs. I love seeing my friends though and they do make me feel better for a while. They don’t know about how I really feel though but it’s nice to be able to talk to them about Erin and just forget about things for a couple of hours.

I think John was really surprised when I mentioned PND to him this evening. He said he hadn’t realised. I tried to make sure he didn’t. I guess he really did notice the not touching thing though!! Now that I have told him that this is how I feel and why, I feel like I can actually admit it. Although my doctor is crap and I haven’t really seen any I like in the past year, I will go and see them to talk about PND. Unfortunately, I feel like I’ll get fobbed off. We’ll soon see.

I’d really love to read some more posts about PND. Let me know if you have any experience with this or have written about it! 

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New Year, New You: Films that will beat the January blues!

Last year I think I spent far too much time being serious and probably a bit gloomy. I know that a lot of that was due to Erin’s birth and the complications that went with it. However, this year I am determined to let go of that feeling and the saying New Year, New You is what I want to stick to.

new year

In order to do this, I want to lighten up a bit more and watch more fun films. My guilty pleasure really is musicals. I have quite a nice collection but I recently realised that there are quite a few I haven’t seen. If you feel like trying something different and following the New Year, New You statement, why not head to Amazon to see what you can find.

These are what I plan to watch over the next couple of months!

Bodyguard

The Bodyguard stars Houston as a pop-music diva (now there’s a stretch) and Kevin Costner as the stern bodyguard who is assigned to protect her after the singer receives some nasty death threats. Pop star and bodyguard don’t hit it off at first, but they wear down each others’ defenses, and before long Houston is baring her tonsils with a rousing rendition of the Dolly Parton chestnut “I Will Always Love You.”

A Star is Born

A remake of the 1937 classic, this time as a musical about a Hollywood couple going through bad times. Would-be singer Esther Blodgett (Judy Garland) finds herself taken under the wing of fading star Norman Maine (James Mason) when she saves him from making a drunken fool of himself on stage. Changing her name to Vicki Lester, Esther becomes a star, and is soon married to Norman. However, as Vicki’s star rises, so Norman’s falls. Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin songs include ‘The Man That Got Away’.

Annie Get Your Gun

Long unavailable due to legal complications with the estate of Irving Berlin, this classic MGM musical stars Betty Hutton as backwoods sharpshooter Annie Oakley. Plucked out of obscurity by Buffalo Bill (Louis Calhern), the rough-edged Annie is groomed for a leading role in Bill’s world famous Wild West show. However, Annie has a rival in the form of rifleman Frank Butler (Howard Keel), a man she soon falls in love with. Features the songs ‘Anything You Can Do’ and ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’.

Calamity Jane

Doris Day stars in this lighthearted musical about the famous female sharpshooter, who would rather hit targets than chase men – until she falls for ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok (Howard Keel), who would rather shoot Indians than chase after a tomboy like Calamity Jane.

Gypsy

The Jule Styne/Stephen Sondheim musical follows the career of Gypsy Rose Lee from a young woman to 1930s burlesque headliner. Louise (Natalie Wood) is the young girl who is forced into the limelight by her theatrical mother Rose (Rosalind Russell) and becomes the celebrated stripper Gypsy. Karl Malden won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Herbie, a man who falls in love with Rose – and later regrets it.

new year

I can’t wait to kick off the New Year with one of these. Do you have any recommendations for which I should start with?

be sure to keep an eye on my Twitter account for a competition to win these dvds!

Disclaimer: We will receive these DVDs for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own. 

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Switching to cow’s milk

Something I remember reading a lot when I was pregnant and whenever I look at anything for Erin now, is about 1 year olds drinking cow’s milk. Erin had formula from being a week old or so I had been thinking about the change for quite some time.

cow's milk

I think we started giving Erin cow’s milk months ago but only with breakfast. I got so sick of giving Erin expensive ‘baby’ cereals that didn’t last very long so I switched her over to things like Weetabix and Shreddies. She has always had warmed cow’s milk with these and has never shown any signs of being against having it. In fact, I think she prefers breakfast with this milk compared to when she had it with formula milk.

As Erin’s first birthday approached I decided to begin the switch from formula. I completely switched one formula bottle to cow’s milk at 11 months and a couple of days after her birthday I switched from formula completely. As Erin hadn’t shown any signs of dislike I figured I might be best to change in one go, quickly! I have seen posts from others about mixing both milks for a while or slowly changing but I couldn’t be bothered, if I’m honest.

Luckily, Erin made the switch no problem at all. However, I think maybe it happened too easily. Now I have the problem that she’s probably getting too much cow’s milk. She loves it and will quite happily have 3 8oz bottles a day still. I know she’s supposed to be having about 20oz a day, including with breakfast etc. The problem is, Erin still likes milk before her naps (2 a day) and before bed at night so I have no idea what to do!

How did you make the move to cow’s milk? Any advice is appreciated. 

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