Dear Depression

Dear Depression,

Emotions are a bizarre thing as you surely know. One minute a person can feel on top of the world, the next they question their very existence. You are solely to blame.

Sometimes we see you on your way – a little speck in the distance. We run in the opposite direction. You approach slowly, the silent hurricane. You try to creep in quietly yet the chaos you bring with you is there for all to see.

Sometimes you pounce without warning – this is when I despise you the most. You pounce, then you hold on tight, and nobody knows how long your ride will last. You are an intruder. You press down on my shoulders harder and harder until I am on knees. Little did I know, on my knees is the best place to be. If you can’t walk, crawl. Never stand still, never give in.

Your grip smothers my vision, my soul, my heart, my feelings, and every breath that I take. You invite your other friends to gatecrash with you; loneliness, low self-esteem, fatigue, hopelessness. One by one they jump on board and engulf.

You linger like a big black cloud. Nothing blows you away – you run on your own time. I hate that.

Nobody can understand unless they’ve met you too. You have a way of convincing people it’s a simple case of mood swings, and sadness, a sadness that will pass. But, you don’t pass. You are here for the duration.  You are a very good liar.

It must be terribly boring always draining the life out of people. Do your arms not get tired from trying to strangle the very life out of so many people, especially the fighters. Do the fighters not bother you? I think they do. They have you running scared, so you tighten your grip – sometimes you succeed, many more times you don’t.

I’m a fighter. A forever fighter. I’m battle tired, sometimes weary, sometimes lying low, but never, ever defeated. I’ll ride every single storm and black cloud, I’ll even drag myself through if needs be, but I’ll always wait for the sunshine because the sunshine always comes!

I’m tired of your lies, your taunts, your negativity. They have no place in my life, you can keep them.

Black clouds you are not welcome. My children deserve sunshine. You will never block the path to the sun in our lives. My hope is brighter than the dullest night you have offered me.

I do not do bargains with such hideous creatures. I am not for the taking. My heart, my rules.

Yours (not so) faithfully

A tired momma

A little insight into Swords and Snoodles

I’ve wanted to blog for a very long time, even pre-children. I’ve often started a blog, and then lost enthusiasm. That was until May 2014.

For some reason it felt the right time. I was passionate from the start. I love writing, always have. Even as a little girl I’d write stories, and poems constantly.

I think writing is a sort of therapy to me. It keeps me sane lol.

I’m now into month fourteen of blogging and  my passion is only growing. It’s hard to lose passion about sharing your daily experiences; the good,  the bad, the ugly. It’s lovely reaching out to people, and knowing they feel the same.

I pride myself in being honest, sometimes brutally honest, and those who know me will know that’s always been the case 🙂

It took a while to come up with a name for my blog. I wanted it to be personal and to stand out. After much brainstorming with my marketing mastermind husband we came up with Swords and Snoodles.

Swords is obviously self explanatory. My boys love being pirates. They’re typical boys.

Snoodles, however, isn’t very self explanatory unless you know us. Snoodle is the name we gave my first borns comforter bear blanket he had at 2 months old. From that moment it’s not left his side (it has but we replaced it undetected!) His brother also loved Snoodle, so we purchased a few more. They adore them.

We now own four Snoodles. My boys won’t sleep without them. My 4yo has one. My 2yo insists on three! They carry them mostly everywhere. Snoodle is a big part of our family and so are his three siblings 😉

Now you know who Snoodle is and where the name Swords and Snoodles came from 🙂

Does your child have any special names for their comforters? 

Becci of Swords and Snoodles

A four year old changed my life

Tonight I’ve been silently reminiscing over the last four years. Where have they gone?

My baby boy is four tomorrow! Big boy four! I feel like I’ve had him forever. He radically changed my life from the very beginning. Four years has flown by, yet I cannot imagine life without being his momma. D1 & D2 rock my world. My four year old and my two year old are the air I breathe!

I remember very vividly the exact moment we found out we were expecting our first child. We were so happy. It didn’t seem real. It took a long time to sink in. That day was a massive turning point for me personally, both emotionally and mental health wise. It was the day I became a mum, and the day I ended being a self-harmer. Forgive my brutal honesty, but that’s exactly what happened. My new role saved me.

This time 4 years ago I was nervous, emotional, excited, amd having a pedicure courtesy of my husband. I remember repacking my hospital bag and D1’s bag. Folding the new tiny baby grows made my heart melt and also made me anxious. It had not beem a smooth pregnancy to say the least, but we got to 36 +5 weeks.

We had bought newborn clothes, tiny baby clothes, and premature clothes. We didn’t know how heavy he would be. I was 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I was booked in for a cesarean.

I wasn’t very nervous about the actual cesarean, just the spinal block. Due to a neurological illness I have become accustomed to lumbar punctures over the last 4 years prior to falling pregnant. I hate them with a passion. A spinal block was the same sort of procedure. It petrified me.

I don’t think I slept at all that evening. Tomorrow was the biggest day of our lives.

You worry if you’ll love your baby enough. Will you be a good momma? What will he look like? Will he have ten toes and ten fingers? Will he have hair? What if he’s not ok? Will my operation go well? Will I look a complete troll? Will my husband throw up? Will I cry? Will I be able to breastfeed? Will his outfits fit?

The spinal block was as bad as I thought. The cesarean was not too bad.

Laying on the operating table feeling somebody yanking away at your insides is a very bizarre feeling. Feeling your waters break is also up there on the bizarre feeling scale.

I don’t remember hearing D1 cry. It was a whirlwind. I remember him being weighed and checked. I kept asking if he was ok. Then the glorious moment came. Here he was. Our adorable, wrinkled baby boy. He was so tiny. 5lb 8oz. I loved him that very second. An unbreakable, unconditional love. My boy. Our boy.

I remember him being whisked away with my husband whilst I got stitched up. It was the longest 15 minutes of my entire life. Worth the wait though.

I was so scared to hold my baby. What if I broke him? What if he cried? How on earth do I feed him? Then the maternal instinct kicked in. This momma vowed to forever give her all for this little boy.

I cannot believe it was almost four years ago. We have so many memories.

There were endless sleepless nights. There still are.

There was pneumonia, tonsillitis, dairy allergies, viruses, bugs, hospital admittals, croup, flat feet, anaemia, tongue ties.

There were holidays, funfairs, farms, parties, cakes, parks.

There were santa letters, reindeer dust, christmas eve boxes, presents.

There were tantrums, scratching, pushing, timeouts, tears.

There were play fights, duvet days, movie nights, special treats.

There was a little brother, three became four.

There was a broken ankle.

But above all there was always, always love.

The last four years were jampacked with love. Unconditonal love.

I am far from perfect. Infact, I probably fail more than most. I yell. I am impatient. I have bad days. I’m grumpy if I am tired. My kids throw the best tantrums around. Some days we don’t go outside or do crafts. But I always love my babies. I always tell them I love them. I’m always grateful I have them. I always try to be better. I always put their happiness first. I always will.

Heres to the next four years being just as great, if not better.

Happy birthday eve my precious firstborn. Our miracle.

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Some days are bad days!

Some days are just plain old bad days, and feel rubbish right from the word ‘go!’

Today my 2yo woke the whole house at 3am and shouted “Time o clock mummy! Time o clock daddy!” Which when translated it means ” Time to get up mummy and Daddy!” He also woke The Hulk, oops, I mean he also woke my 3yo. Today started horrendous.

I’ll set the scene…

Last night I went to sleep around 11pm, two hours later than normal for various reasons. I’d catered to every need of my two darlings all day who are very much under the weather. We played, they napped, we painted, they moaned, they cried, they ate, they moaned some more, they trashed the house, I tidied, I was a referee, they wrestled, and they cried some more. I bathed them and put them to bed. I was tired.

My 3yo woke moaning sixty minutes later. Upstairs I went to reassure him. I was in and out their room from 11pm til 2.15pm every 20 minutes. I was not a happy bunny.

Then at 3am I awoke to ‘thud thud thud’ across the landing and then a mini beast-like creature jumped right on top of me shouting “It’s time o clock mummy!” I was all like ‘hell no!’ (in my head of course).

I convinced my 2yo to lay in my bed. I tried to make him imitate my ninja-like behaviour as to not disturb his brother in the next room. My 2yo has two volumes; mute or death metal! I then heard the dreaded whine from the room next door “Mummmmyyyyy I’m scared!”

Cue four in a bed.

Four people do not fit in a bed very well, especially when two of them are not tired and like to wind each other up, and the other two are so desperately tired they’d happily sell an organ in exchange for three hours uninterrupted sleep. I was mad.

It was now 4am. I yelled. I then felt guilty. I cuddled them. They dived on me. I snatched that apology right back. I yelled some more.

By 5am the only solution was for daddy to take an unwilling 2yo back to his own bed and lay with him until he slept. After 30 minutes of squawking he fell asleep. The 3yo then slept with me.

Daddy snored. Mummy stayed awake.

I felt wound up. I felt sorry for myself. I kept wishing I could sleep. Instead I wrote my Christmas list! What the heck?! I need help!

7.05am baby Godzilla woke the house again. My 3yo Hulk was pleasant(ish). They needed breakfast instantly and demanded their clothes on instead of pyjamas because it was cold.

I ironed. I made breakfast. I felt agitated. Lack of sleep plays havoc with my tolerance levels. I feel guilty alot for this.

Scene set.

I did not feel happy today. Not at all. It was a bad day! A 3am start robbed me of my ‘patience rejuvenation’!

My 3yo found everything an issue, more than normal! Meltdowns are bad at the best of times but on a few broken hours sleep they’re unbearable. I did not want to reason with him, despite that being the only usual solution. I felt guilty for how I felt. Other mums how do you stay like Mary Poppins 24/7? I was full on Cruella-Deville-mode inside today.

 Today I didn’t want to make 3 breakfasts, three snacks, lunch, dinner, supper. I didn’t want to play. I didn’t want to make Ninja Turtle cakes. I didn’t want to find the microscopic light sabre my 3yo had lost. I didn’t want to find a Clone Troopers arm my 2yo had thrown over the sofa. I didn’t want to peel 5 oranges. I didn’t want to do laundry. I didn’t want to sweep. I didn’t want to watch Peppa (flipping) Pig! I didn’t want to paint. Etc. But I did it all. Why? Because despite my sleep total, and despite my mood, I am a momma. I am the only momma my babies have.

My boys don’t remember (or care) I’ve been up since 3. They don’t understand circumstances mess with emotions and brain function. All my babies see is an unhappy momma who has no time for them – and I do not ever want that to happen.

Every single time today that I felt myself going down Crabby Lane I had to stop, breathe, apologise, and cuddle it out.

Even my husband received my mood as soon as he walked in the door. I did apologise a few minutes later after realising I’m a blooming nightmare.

I then sat down whilst my children were snoring and started telling myself I was rubbish, a crappy mum, a terrible wife, selfish, moody, unpredictable etc. I felt my self worth diminish within seconds, I didn’t deserve my children, and then my Super Mummy voice kicked in. I had to remind myself I’m normal. I’m a mum. It’s hard work. It’s tiring. There’ll be sleepless days. There’ll be yelling. There’ll be tears. I reminded myself that in everything I do my boys are at the centre. They come before anything. And my track record for getting through bad days is pretty good!

Yes I yell, but I also passionately love. Yes I’m impatient, but I also constantly praise my boys. I try my hardest. Sometimes I fail miserably, but nobody wrote a handbook. This is my journey and I’m learning my way through. I am fiercely loyal to my motherhood task. I love my boys endlessly. They know this.

So Mummy’s if you’ve had a bad day, if you regret things you’ve felt or said, please know it does not make you a bad momma! You are doing a fantastic, unique job! It’s your story, you choose the ending! Tomorrow is a new day!

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Water Beads Play and Cereal Play

My boys love getting messy. They love digging, sprinkling, eating, pulling-apart; you name it, they like it!

I love doing sensory activities with them. I have two very different children, so I do it for two very different reasons.

My 3yo is a Sensitive Child. He has a heightened sense of smell. Textures effect him. He is beyond aware of other children’s emotional cues and anxieties. I do alot of sensory activities to help him with some of his sensitivities so he can cope as an independent human being, especially ready for school next year. I like him to explore smells and textures he likes and doesn’t like. I want him to understand that there’s nothing to be anxious about regarding a smell or texture that isn’t to his liking.

My 2yo is not sensitive. He just absolutely loves mess! Edible mess is his favourite! I want him to be able to explore through the only way he knows how; by making a mess, by eating, by licking, by breakimg things up etc.

Sensory play takes priority in this house over housework and errands. I believe it is so important.

This is just a quick post to show you whay we did today.

Today we simply played with some water cubes. We ordered them quite cheaply from Ebay. We explored the dehydrated cubes and then we soaked them overnight. They were so excited to see the results the next day!

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I set the water cubes out for them in a bowl of water with some splodges of shaving foam, and some plastic sea creatures. They really enjoyed it. Sebsory and imaginative play!

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After an hour my 3yo added some fake grass and a few dragons. He declared it “Dragon iceage time!”.

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For our pre-dinner activity I filled a plastic crate with fake grass, Asda cornflakes, dinosaurs, farm animals, and a few toy soldiers and accessories (to get my 3yo engaged). I knew cereal play would entice them.

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My boys adored this cereal play. We had so much fun. We made the dinosaurs stomp loud and quiet. We rescued stranded animals. We made a mountain for the soldiers.

We buried the dinosaurs and then my 2yo excavated them with his spade.

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My boys really enjoyed this simple cereal play activity. My 2yo enjoyed eating it too!

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Give it a go; minimal setup, minimal cost, priceless fun!

 

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I’m also currently helping with a giveaway for InviteXpress who sell personalised letters from Santa. If you’d like a free one you can enter the prizedraw here! Look out for their giveaway post and follow the instructions.