Tag Archives: family

Curly Mum On The Mend

I’ve had a long while off from blogging. I felt I needed a break and it feels great coming back to it all again. It has reminded me of why I started blogging to begin with, and I’ve loads of ideas that I’d like to write about over the coming weeks. I’m really looking forward to reading the blogs I love again, and hopefully finding some new ones too! If you know of a blog that I should look at, let me know :)

I’ve been a bit up and down over my break, working with the doctor to find the right medication and dosage for me. He has been helpful and understanding throughout, and it seems like now we’ve found what works for me. Over the last couple of weeks I have felt much better than I have for a long time, and I’ve been returning to the things that I love. I’ve been doing a lot of baking, inspired by a book my mother bought me. (‘The Cupcake’, available on TheWorks.co.uk)

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I’m also knitting Baby Turtle a blanket for her first birthday. I had no idea what to buy her as she already has so many toys from when her sisters were younger and I know my relatives are likely to shower her in gifts too, so I thought making her something that she can hopefully cherish for years to come was a nice idea. The only problem is that her birthday is fast approaching and I’m not sure I can knit fast enough!

The biggest news though, for me at least, is that I’ve finally managed to tell my parents about my depression. It took some mumbling, pausing, and a lot of help from my wonderful husband-to-be, but it’s done and it’s a weight off my shoulders. My mum has been as supportive as I knew she would be, and I should have told her much sooner. It’s a big step for me to talk about it, but it feels easier now that I have done it once. I feel much more happy and comfortable, and I think that’s really helping me to recover better. I urge anybody keeping their mental illness a secret from those that love them to try and muster the courage to talk about it, because it really makes a difference not having to hide, and having the support of others while getting better.


Recipe: Love Heart Biscuits

Yesterday, Bird and I made love heart biscuits. They were a lot easier to make than I thought they would be and look really nice, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you. We got the recipe from a book called Ready, Steady, Bake: cooking for kids and with kids, which I really recommend. It’s my favourite recipe book by far – there is so much simple, delicious stuff in there. I’ve just copied the recipe here and added my own thoughts in italics.

You will need:

  • 125g Butter/Margarine
  • 85g Icing Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • Red food colouring (a few drops)
  • Strawberry extract (A few drops)
  • Vanilla extract (a few drops)
  • 285g Plain Flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (Gas 4). Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Beat the better and icing sugar using electric beaters until creamy. Add the egg and beat. Transfer half the mixture into another bowl. Add the food colouring and strawberry extract to the first bowl, then beat well. We didn’t use the strawberry flavour because we didn’t have any, but the biscuits were still lovely.
  3. Add vanilla extract to the second bowl and beat well. Divide the flour between each bowl and mix. Make sure the mix is quite stiff, not sticky. Mine was sticky at first, which made the next step impossible. 
  4. Roll the portions between sheets of baking paper to 5mm thick. Cut shapes with a heart shaped cutter. Using a smaller cutter, cut hearts form inside larger shapes. Swap inner shapes. This step should be quite easy. If you’re having trouble cutting the shapes or moving them about without them squidging (like I did!), try adding extra flour.
  5. Place on the trays and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

I found this quite a simple recipe to do and the biscuits were utterly delicious! We’ll definitely be making these again, and perhaps be trying out with different shapes and colours as well. Happy baking!

The Crazy Mum Returns

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for a while. I’ve tried writing posts, but somehow it hasn’t worked out. This is about my fifth attempt at writing this post. I’m struggling with a lot of things at the moment. I don’t want to sound like I’m having a whinge, but I do want to try and be honest. I hope that if anybody reading this feels, or has felt, the same way, my honesty will help them, even if it’s just to know that they aren’t alone.

My depression is getting worse, I think. There are times where I can’t face anything, so I just sleep, and I feel like those times have been more frequent lately. When I am awake I am often very down, don’t know what to do with myself, or panicking about nothing. I hate that feeling of anxiety, and I get it more and more lately. Sometimes I panic for a reason, like money or being late, or most often, using the telephone.

I’ve never really liked the telephone. It’s always made me a bit nervous. I’d rather talk in person or even better, communicate in writing. I’m quite shy and I always seem to stumble over my words on the phone, so I’d rather avoid it. Recently though, it’s been worse. I’m no longer a bit nervous about it. I’m scared. I panic when the phone rings, and I can’t bring myself to make phonecalls. I don’t know exactly what I’m scared of. With companies, I am often scared they’re going to spring a surprise bill on me. With personal contacts that they will remind me of something I have forgotten or failed to do, that they’ll think badly of me. I forget or fail to do a lot of things, usually because I’m too busy being miserable. I can’t tell them this though, which means to them I just look lazy or stupid. All of that aside though, I am just really frightened of talking on the telephone. To anybody. I wish I didn’t have a telephone.

Something else has cropped up lately as well. I don’t know what it is. Paranoia, I suppose. Fear. I’m frightened a lot of the time. Thoughts just come into my head and then I’m frightened. On the way to one of our parent/child groups, we go down some concrete steps. This would not have caused me a problem before. I would have walked down the steps, and warned E to walk carefully so as not to fall and hurt herself. Now, suddenly I’m thinking about how easy it would be for me to fall and hit my head, and what would happen to me. What would happen to Bird and Baby Turtle without me there to guide them home. Then I am walking down the steps in fear, taking every step with utmost care, holding tight onto the railing. This isn’t the only example of this kind of thinking. What if a car swerved while I was walking on the pavement? What if I accidentally dropped Baby Turtle? I know we mothers are natural worriers, but it’s not normal to be scared like this all the time, is it?

I don’t want to be like this. I don’t want to be depressed or anxious, or scared going about my daily life.

I finally plucked up the courage to call the new doctor. This was a victory, because:

  1. I used the telephone.
  2. I didn’t chicken out when I was put on hold
  3. Seeing a doctor is scary even without the telephone part, especially after the last time.

The receptionist was very apologetic when she told me there were no appointments available. I could call again the next morning, or take a pre-booked appointment. I took a pre-booked appointment for the end of the month. If I’m feeling brave I’ll try and get an earlier one and cancel the one I don’t need.

I hope this will be the beginning of getting better. I hope this doctor will help me, because I don’t know what I will do if they won’t.

Because this post is pretty miserable, here are a couple of positive things about the last couple of weeks:

  • We now have a dining table so we can have nice family meals together in the evening. I think it helps us all bond, which is very much appreciated as I often find it very hard to feel close to my children when I am down.
  • I have a Thorntons ‘Love Fudge’ Easter egg waiting in the cupboard. I am looking forward to devouring it when the time comes.

I hope you are all doing well!

Curly Mum On Christmas

I don’t think there’s any use denying it any more. The weather is cold yet the streets are packed, High Streets have been decorated with lights and banners for a couple of months now, and every day my daughter asks me the same question: ‘Mummy, how many days until it’s Christmas?’ The festive period is in full swing and Christmas Day is very nearly upon us.

I have mixed feelings about this time of year. It’s stressful. There are presents to buy yet never quite enough money, and the looming prospect of the most complicated and difficult dinner of the entire year. Then there is the extended family and the politics that come with them: a game I really don’t want to play. There is the freezing cold weather and the bitter wind from the river, which I hate and which makes my knees play up awfully (at the ripe old age of twenty-one!). There is the very real possibility of oh-so-beautiful snow that brings the bus system to a standstill (not good for somebody so reliant on public transport as I!) and soon enough turns the roads and pavements into slippery rinks of doom. Having been bombarded with advertising and lights and sparkles – Christmas this and Christmas that – since mid-September, I am just about ready to scream. I don’t even want to think about how much worse it would be if we had television adverts to add to that.

Like I said, it’s a terribly stressful time of year, and I’m a little frazzled just thinking about it all. I spend a lot of time really struggling to be festive or even remotely cheerful at the idea of it, even with the excited faces of my daughters looking up at me. I feel affronted by the baubles dangling from the ceiling in the local shopping centre. I am more than a little irritated by the fact that I have been unable to find what I want in Sainsbury’s for the last month because they keep moving things around to fit in more and more Christmas stuff.

Then it gets to this point, with a week or so to go, the Christmas holidays here, and I forget about all that. I buy the Christmas food with a little seed of excitement just beginning to grow. I think about the crafty supplies stashed behind the sofa and about what decorations I can make with the children this year – they’re a little older now, and their attention spans a little better. There’s a little panicked voice somewhere, reminding me shrilly that I haven’t organised exactly what I’ll be buying for my partner, but it doesn’t manage to shout down this growing anticipation that has appeared. I go into Sainsbury’s for a loaf of bread and the mince pies catch my eye. Bah, I think, I’ll make my own! I wonder to myself about the most exciting way to present my daughter with their gifts, and picture the smiles that will shine bright right up to their eyes.

You can see where this is going now and so can I. By the time it’s Christmas eve I’ll be just as excited and unable to sleep as the children. Well, excited at least. Having a five-month-old that doesn’t like to sleep for more than a couple of hours at a time means that I can usually sleep any time and any where I get the chance.

This is the time that I remember what Christmas is all about. I’m not a religious person. I don’t celebrate the birth of Jesus, nor does anybody close to me, but Christmas still has a great meaning for me. Despite all the commercialisation and the pressure to spend, spend, spend, Christmas is about family. It’s about taking one day of the year that is dedicated entirely to spending time together, to the love we have for each other, to making each other happy. It’s about relaxing, even if the turkey’s a little bit burnt and the potatoes haven’t browned and the veg is a little bit cool – never mind that we forgot the Yorkshire pudding completely. I suppose it doesn’t even really matter that it’s Christmas, that it’s the twenty-fifth of December, it just matters that it’s a day, one day, set aside simply to enjoy.