Ignite the light

‘Cause there’s a spark in you..

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

– Katy Perry

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A surprising day

It seems I’ve been remiss again, when it comes to regular blog posting. As ever, never enough hours in the day and still trying to find a yoga class that fits the schedule.

Yesterday was a weird day.

My baby boy was back in hospital for yet another test. Let me give you some background; when he was 10 days old he was hospitalised due to a dangerously high temperature. The Doctors knew it was an infection but could only find out what kind by performing multiple tests. Standard procedure dictates that they treat for the worst case scenario until they can rule it out. This is because in a baby that young, every second counts and they don’t want to leave anything to chance. Worst case scenario, by the way, is the big M (meningitis).

Long story short; lots of needles, tubes, invasive testing and 5 days later we had confirmation that it was a urine infection. They sent us home with prophylactic antibiotics and the understanding that they would follow up and check for any damage in 6 months.

Cut to present day. Follow up began a month ago. Urine infections in boys are not do common. in 10 day olds, very rare. So, the Doctors are keen to ensure there are no underlying issues. He’s had ultrasounds, x-rays, tubes, needles and scans – one of which sounded like there was a distinct possibility that he was undergoing the same process as Bruce Banner. And throughout it all, with a few understandable exceptions, he has remained his smiley, giggly, happy little self.

Yesterday, he was very brave. More brave than we were as usual. The process seemed easier. I can’t praise the staff at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital enough. They seemed to put us all at ease without us really noticing.

So, we had expected a traumatic day and in the end it was just uncomfortable for 20 minutes. And then an unexpected opportunity presented itself. Well, Grandma presented it.

She had changed her shift to finish earlier in case we needed her. And when we didn’t, she came over anyway. She helped settle the kids and stayed a while, sending us out into the night on our own for a little while.

So, we had a proper meal for the first time in ages. A glass of wine and a giggle. We talked about the old days and how good they were. And how, despite having not had a full nights sleep in months, having to juggle full time jobs, 2 kids under 3 and multiple hospital appointments – these are BEST days. Just what we needed.

Thank you Peanut, for being a force for positivity. And thank you Mum. Just thank you. Your love and support are infinite and unconditional. If I can be half the mother to my children that you are to me, I’ll be doing OK ūüôā

Welcome to Mombieville

“They” say that the worst thing about having a baby is sleep deprivation. (Not sure who “they” are but) “they” are right. Throw a full time job and a toddler into the mix and welcome to Mombieville!

It’s no secret or surprise, that I’m struggling at the moment (see recent posts). And lack of sleep is by far the biggest barrier to reaching the other side.

We tried some gentle sleep training with Peanut (a.k.a. my handsome baby boy) a couple of weeks back, which was in itself exhausting, but we pushed on through knowing that many nights of soothing sleep would be the reward (for all of us). But, he’s had some visits to the hospital since then and a weekend away (with the rest of us, to be clear). So, it’s basically all gone out the window.

The hospital visits and the, more complicated than we thought, future outlook for Peanut, I’ll share with you another time. I can’t get my head around it at the moment, thanks to my Mombie status. And for once, I do mean “thanks” to the sleep deprivation as I’m quite happy to delay that thinking process for a short while.

I’m currently finding car keys, hair clips or the tea caddy ¬†in the fridge on a weekly basis, my natural clumsiness has taken itself to another level and I’m having daily ¬†conversations with my Beloved that go like this:

Me “I, err……”
B “You…?what?”
Me “Em…..”
[Some time later]
B “When you’re ready…?”
Me “I can’t remember now, couldn’t have been important”
B *rolls eyes* “I Love You” *Sighs*

[Next day]
Me “So, what do you think?”
B “About what?”
Me “Do you think we can go on holiday this year? I think we need a break.” *huff of impatience*
B “I’m not sure. Sorry… did we talk about this before?”
Me “Yes, yesterday. Oh no.. wait… I, err…”

Still deadlines are deadlines, and my BFF has given me to the end of January (3.5 days from now) to finish wallowing and then it’s time to get positive, get healthy and get living again! Better find that baby sleep book…

Mombie

Progress?

Easter Sunday is upon us and Lent is drawing to a close. So, I’ve been thinking about the promise that I made almost 40 days ago to¬†refocus on positivity¬†by “looking for small ways each day in which I can help others through the power of positivity”. I also remember writing that I’d¬†keep you posted with updates on¬†Twitter¬†and possibly¬†even a blog. Well, this would be that blog.

As is the norm in my apathetic life, I was extremely enthusiastic about and committed to my latest venture for the first 2 or (at a push) 3 days and then it kind of dwindled…

And so, moving swiftly on, I thought I’d also take a look at how I was doing on my longer term objectives, my¬†New Year’s Resolutions, to see if I am faring any better.

Resolution: 1. Lose 2 stone
Current Status: I’ve lost 1 stone (nearly). So that’s a pretty positive start!

Resolution: 2. Attend a Zumba or a Dance class (something energetic to assist with #1)
Current Status: ¬†I went to two classes. Yey! and then soon after I started back at work and now I’m too tired to go (OK, I just can’t be bothered, BUT I’m trying to find a new rythm which includes working full time AND spending time with Strawbug and my Beloved – a girl can’t do it all!! If you need any more excuses, I have a list as long as my arm. I’ve been practising this for years…)

Resolution: 3. Re-start Yoga (again)
Current Status: Hmmmm, I looked at a timetable. (For excuses, see above)

Resolution: 4. Write retrospective “diary” of pregnancy and mummyhood
Current Status: Now this one, I have been doing…. Sometimes…¬†I’ve written approx. 4,000 words. Yey! What? That’s not a lot?

Resolution: 5. Save up for a mac (for documenting #4)
Current Status: Having recently reviewed my budget, this item has had to plummet down the priority list… On the positive side, I was given a pre-loved mac as my work machine when I returned after maternity leave. So, I’ve kind of achieved this goal, just in a way I hadn’t expected.

Resolution: 6. Try, really try, to post regular, meaningful, interesting and humorous ditty’s on my blog.
Current Status:¬†4 blogs in 4 months. No idea if anyone finds them meaningful, interesting or vaguely humorous… Hmmm. Could do better!

Resolution: 7. Spend as much time with my baby girl as possible (she’s growing so fast and she is so much fun to be around!)
Current Status: Well, now, this is a tricky one. If you follow my Twitter feed, you’ll know that I spend Monday to Friday distraught at being away from Strawbug and Saturday and Sunday ecstatic just to be in the same room as her! What I can say is that a) I spend all my waking and sleeping hours thinking of her, b) any time that i am not working I spend with her, c) we make the absolute most of that time as a family which consequently means that d) none of the housework, boring chores or any of the above resolutions get a look in.¬†But, then, who in their right mind would choose vacuuming over peek-a-boo?

The Prodigal Blogger Returns

Today on twitter, I pledged to resurrect my commitment to positivity on account of Lent.

I haven’t practised a particular religion for 20 years (wow! didn’t realise it was that long until I counted it up just now). Not that I’m lazy. On the contrary. I’m extremely curious about religion, spirituality and things that are seemingly “other worldly”. What I didn’t want to do was go to church every Sunday and not really believe what I was saying or doing, or worse, not go to church at all but play the religion card when I need/want to get my child into a good school.

I actually take it very seriously. Least of all because I made a promise to my father (who is a strong believer) that I would make very conscious decisions about ‘God’ and ‘The Church’ and would not belittle his faith by being flippant about it.

And I believe that some of the things I was taught by my parents and religion have contributed to my being a “good person” today. One of those things is Lent. Well kind of.

I think that it is a great idea to take time out, whether it’s once per year or once each day, to be conscious about who we are and what we do for others. Whilst during Lent we are often encouraged to give something up for the duration (in support of what ‘Jesus’ gave up for all mankind) I believe that actually it makes more sense to give something back.

So, I’ve done this a few times over the years. I’ve participated in Lent in my own way. By doing something extra.

This year, I’m refocusing on positivity (see my previous attempts here and here). So, I’ll be looking for small ways each day in which I can help others (and from time to time myself) through the power of positivity. Harder than it sounds but then, it wouldn’t be worth it if it was easy!

I’ll keep you posted. Look out for updates on Twitter. Might even pen a blog or two about it… After all I did promise to write more this year.

Happy Birthday

It seems I share my birthday with many people from various walks of life; Jamie Murray, Peter Gabriel, Peter Hook, Kim Novak, George Segal, Mena Suvari,¬†Rizzo from Grease!!!! and of course the inimitable Mr. Robbie Williams. Oh wait, they’re all mostly from film and music. Well there’s, more. Honest. Check out Wikipedia.

I came across the old Wednesday’s Child poem and after some quick maths (well an internet calculator) worked out that I was one of them (as is Mr. Williams). Full of woe, apparently. Haha, that explains a lot! Maybe that’s why I had to force myself to be positive for the entire month of December last year? Now, if they’d said Wednesday’s child is clumsy as hell, I would be nodding like the proverbial dog. (For example I’ve just taken a sip of diet coke from an almost empty can and managed to pour the whole lot down my cheeks and onto my knees!).

I suppose I can take refuge in the fact that I’m not a Thursday’s child – Far to go – like Jamie Murray. But then given he’s a Wimbledon winner, I’m thinking I should take more refuge in the fact that it’s a clearly a load of poppycock!

So every year for as long as I can remember, and probably for longer back than that, I have gotten uber-excited about my birthday. Because I get presents? Yes. Because I’m now definitely older than I was last year? When I was a teenager, maybe. Now… not so much. Because for the whole day people treat me like I’m special? (hey, I know what youre thinking! ¬†not in that way!) Yes. Probably.

Do I not feel special every day? Not particularly. Would I want to feel special every day? I’m not sure. If you felt that way every day wouldn’t it become the norm and no longer be special?

Whilst you ruminate on that last question, I’ll be (hopefully) unwrapping gifts, blowing out candles and generally lapping up all that extra love and attention! (not that I’m¬†unloved or neglected on¬†any given non-birthday day… but you do get more on your “special” day, dont you?!).

As John Lennon said, “Another year over, a new one just begun…” No wait, wasn’t that the last blog? Oops! Bubbles going to my head! If it’s your birthday today too – Happy Birthday To You! ūüôā

Blog #2

I haven’t written a blog for a short while and this is my 2nd attempt at this one. The first one was all about how I was doing with my positivity and enthusiasm this month. But, I was struggling to think what to say. Well, without repeating from previous posts, anyway. And I suddenly thought, yikes! Have I run out of things to talk about already? After 2 months and only 20 posts am I done?

Now, I’m not known for being short of words (normally at the worst possible times to the exasperation of my friends and family). So, as you can imagine, this has come as quite a shock!

I’m looking back through my notebook. I carry my notebook everywhere and write down little things that I see or hear. Things that just pop into my head. Things I want to know more about and things I want to share. Here’s a few examples;

1. Religion/Spiritualism (both subjects to generally avoid discussing with everyone but those whom you know very, very well!)

2. Nature Vs Nurture

3. Art Deco

4. Queueing

5. What is Success?

6. Airports

Some of these are very big subjects. Some just a little obscure (airports? what on earth could I write about airports?). All quite varied you’ll agree? Come to think of it, I haven’t noted anything down in a while either.

You’ll remember, if you read my posts regularly, that I’m a bit motivationally challenged. Over the years I have collected a fleet of projects and initiatives that I have successfully started but have failed to complete… could blogging be the next shipwreck?

Like most people I’ve been focusing a lot these past couple of weeks on Christmas. And I think it’s clouding my creative mind. Maybe I just have writer’s mist , instead of a full on block. I hope so. I talk to myself all the time (in my head that is – I’m not THAT weird!). And it’s kinda nice to think that there might be a handful of people out there who are actually listening…

The Goddess of Inappropriate Laughter

Well, I’m 3 days into my Positive December… And boy have I been challenged. And I’m not just referring to the freezing cold blustery weather that appeared on the doorstep on December 1st, like an unwanted relative who has no conception of the etiquette of family visits. And, by the way, a side thought… how come winter looks so cosy in the movies, but in real life makes you look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards?

No, this has been worse. It’s almost like Malapropos, the God of Inappropriate Jokes, heard my pledge and made a wager with the other Gods… “1st to break her wins a tenner!

And they nearly did. They’ve thrown all sorts of work-related, personal, financial and, not to forget, weather-based crap at me this month. And it’s only just started!! And then, last night, at the most serious point in a very serious “discussion” with my Beloved, I burst out laughing!

Well, my first reaction was to scold myself – “look what you’ve done, you’ve lost the argument now!“. My second reaction was utter confusion – “why am I laughing?“, but that only made me laugh more. I managed to regain my frosty exterior for a while… Until I eventually gave up being miserable and tried to remember all the stuff I’d learned about choice and positivity.

When I woke up this morning, I realised how “not serious” the situation we were “discussing” was. And how, I hadn’t lost at all. In fact, I’d won for a change. I hadn’t festered in misery and anger for days. I’d (and possibly for the first time ever) said my piece then let it go (almost) immediately.

So, I’d like to thank the Goddess of Inappropriate Laughter for coming to my rescue. All we need now is to get the God of Winning Lottery Numbers on side and we’ll be sorted!!

Instruction #188 – Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know

There are 57,900,000 results for “positive quotes” on¬†Google and¬†26,968 results for “positive thinking” books on Amazon.¬†I guess the laws of supply and demand would indicate that we have a great need for positive inspiration in our lives. I, myself, subscribe to Inspire Me Today to receive daily doses of positivity and motivation. Like most people I know, I often find it difficult to source that motivation from within myself and I need a little help.

Everyone knows the phrase “if you believe it, you can achieve it”.¬†The news is peppered with stories about amazing achievements generated by positive thought.¬†Gail Lynne Goodwin, founder of Inspire Me Today, gave me some advice via Twitter… when I asked how one gets through the difficult days she said “Determination and realization that it is a choice. Nothing more than that.” It is a choice! This may sound strange, but that was a bit of a revelation to me at the time. I can choose to be unhappy, I can choose to be fearful, I can choose to be angry OR I can take a deep breath, smile and choose positivity.

It’s a simple concept. But it’s right. After all, who actually wants to be miserable? and I’m reliably informed that it takes less muscles to smile than to frown. Though when researching for this blog I found that there is actually extensive debate around whether this is true or not… much of which is irrefutable medical evidence – but in support of positivity, I’m willing to over look this little white lie and perpetuate the myth ūüėČ I hope that you are too!

So, I declare December a month of positivity (for me anyway). As of today, I’ll be following Instruction #188, from the little book – I’m going to become the most positive and enthusiastic person I know. I promise not to cheat by surrounding myself with miserable, negative people. And who knows, maybe if I can keep it up for the whole month, I might just stay the most positive and enthusiastic person I know! I’ll let you know how I get on…