Holly
21 . London
Mama to Dylan and (soon to be) Isla

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Baxter (the accidental rabbit)

Meet the newest member of our family.
This is Baxter the accidentally adopted bunny.
Despite being an accidental bunny I'm completely in love with him and Dylan is so full of joy to have him living with us.
It's only Darcey who isn't so enamoured by his presence although she's coming to terms with him. After all it's only been two days and she's already making progress.

After a while I think we'll stop calling him Baxter the accidental rabbit and settle with plain old Baxter. After all, rabbits live for a long time.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

I don't blog as much as I'd like.
I certainly don't update my YouTube as much as I'd like, if at all.
Recently, and if I'm honest the term recently really spans about six months, time management hasn't been my strongest point.
Between keeping two children alive and mostly happy, testing recipes that I always forget to photograph and blog, making cakes and redecorating the house (FINALLY!) I barely have time to clear my mind. Which when I think about it of half full of unwritten blog posts anyway so actually writing them might help me de clutter a little.

I promised myself that once the house was finished, or at least painted I would catch up with the endless list of posts I've been meaning to make. 
I also promised myself that the house would be spotless, that's a never ending work in progress it seems.
But as the paint is dry and all the furniture in place it's time for me to crack on with blogging and keeping my blog (and YouTube) active.
I have cakes to show you, recipes to write out,a ridiculous amount of photos of the children to post and a crazy journey to document.

The next few months are going to be pretty full and I want to capture all of it.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Changes

I've written before about our distinct lack of routine. My surprise that Isla seemed to have no desire to nap and flourished without a routine in a way that Dylan couldn't have coped.
Over the past few weeks however this has changed. It's directly coincided with the end of Isla's 5th developmental leap (sup wonderweeks), but she's fallen into a solid routine.
She now naps twice a day 11am - 12pm and 3pm - 4.30(ish) and not the small sparodic naps several times a day. 
She's also started on solids, which as little as a fortnight ago she had no interest in at all.
Admittedly she only has interest in things she can hold herself so everything is extremely slow and extremely trial and error. But as with Dylan we're firm supporters of Baby Led Weaning so despite the snails pace at which we're moving I'm actually really happy. 
I was having a conversation with another mum at playgroup a few days ago and I mentioned Isla eating pasta with pesto and hummus and she nearly had a heart attack "you can't feed a baby that!" NUTS! SEASONING! RICH FLAVOURS!!!
With Dylan I would have agreed, he needed slow introducing to flavours but Isla's the opposite, she turns her nose up at bland foods and just refuses to eat.

I revel on watching her grow and learn. In ways she's becoming very much like her brother and in others she's the complete opposite.
That's the beauty of parenting, you're always learning. I walked into my second round of motherhood thinking I knew exactly what to do, but once again I've had to just follow the lead of my child and adapt my ideas to her needs. 
Sometimes it's rough but other times it's a blessing.
Her newfound naps for example.
They give me time to dedicate solely to Dylan and that's something that almost three years on I still love just as much as when I first had him.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Since I started working at sixteen I realised that the normal channels of work and working environments are extremely difficult for me.
With the combination of mental health problems I suffer from the working world turns into a roller coaster of the highest of praises and nearly losing my job. I either excel or completely shut down with very little (if any) grey areain between.
The working world is a minefield of triggers for someone with extreme anxiety and borderline personality disorder. It became a trend for me to progress enough in my recovery to be allowed to work only for the working environment to become a trigger in one way or another and cause a relapse.
I think it was after the second time this happened that I started to realise that I wanted and possibly needed another avenue to explore. An avenue that would allow me the freedom to explore and progress but also make allowances for my struggles with mental health and my tendencies to isolate myself.
It was then that I decided that I wanted to open my own shop. 
For years that idea has been fluid, never knowing what I wanted to sell or even where to start. I've toyed with ideas from cupcakes to clothes, stationary to toys, but never fallen in love with anything to be inspired enough to put any wheels in motion.

Five years on from my initial idea, two houses, two more jobs abd two babies I've found my place in the world and also the inspiration I needed.
This year I'm opening my shop. 
I'm selling children's clothes and accessories. 
I'm inspired and excited. 
I have my name, I've found my stock and I'm coming up with the designs for my online store. 
I'm getting wrapped up in the practical side of things, how much stock to start with, how much variation to start with and do I really need a business plan? (No is the answer to that particular question for the time being). How do I decide shipping costs? Will I offer international shipping? 
Oh god this is way more complicated than I thought.

The plan is to open up shop in the spring, so In spending the next few months fine tuning my ideas, planning, ordering and preparing myself.
Not just in terms of physically having things ready, but the emotional side of things. Preparing myself for this not to work and the possibility that god forbid it does work that it might actually be something that I have to invest a lot of time in.
This could be the start of something great, it might not be, but it could be. Fingers crossed. 

Friday, 3 January 2014

If we as a society treated all physical illnesses with the same stigma and sense if blame and shame as mental illnesses what would the world be like.
If we told people to just stop having cancer.
That they need to get over it and walk on a broken leg without a cast.
That taking medication to cure migraines is a sign of weakness, that they should just get over them.
What if we attached such stigma to physical health problems that people hid them and allowed themselves to slip further into their illnesses?
What if we attached so much guilt to physical health problems that people doubted their ability to function in their daily lives? 
What if we blamed people for physical health problems?

I see people stigmatise mental health problems so often, see people so ashamed of their depression or self harm that they hide it and let it consume them rather than reach out for help.
After speaking out in the media I saw countless comments about how selfish I was to have children while suffering from anorexia. How I would undoubtably be harming them irrespective of the fact that I'm in the process of recovering.
Would I be accused of the same thing if I was in remission from cancer? Or had diabetes? 
If I had diabetes would I be accused of being weak for not curing myself rather than give myself insulin? 
Would I be blamed for having cancer? Then blamed again for not getting better fast enough?

It's so wrong that people with mental health problems have to constantly fight the stigma that is places on them. Constantly justify their actions, stand up for themselves and their lives, prove their abilities and fight the judgement thrown at them.

At least once a week I get a message or comment expressing the view that I am in some way harming my children by being ill, that despite perusing the road of recovery I'm not doing enough. "Don't you think they deserve more?" "Shouldn't you be doing more?" Etc.
And I always wonder whether if get these same questions if I had diabetes or cancer or a physical disability. Would u be made to feel guilty?  Would I be expected to recover at a superhuman rate?
I think probably not.

New year, same old me

I won't ever proclaim that the new year will bring a new me. I am myself, a change in the date won't change that. I believe that we should try to better ourselves regardless of the date, and yet I can't ever resist resolutions. 
Much like a new chapter in a book, the turn of the year is a way for me to refocus and start a new chapter of my life.
12 new months
52 new chapters
365 blank new pages for me to fill with new memories.
I've written a page of goals in a journal, some random, some focused, some personal and some I'd like to share.

Don't isolate yourself - you deserve friendship.
Heal yourself - choose to nourish your body with foods and supplements that benefit you, choose to nourish your mind with things you enjoy, practice yoga, choose life.
Choose your battles - learn to fight for what you need and believe in and wave the white flag to those things that you do not need or harm you. You do not need to hold onto those things that harm you.
If you don't want to smile then don't - if you want to cry then cry without shame, if you need to hurt then allow it to come. It will pass.
Create - write, draw, blog. Get your tattoo, bake, have dinner parties.
Don't let inferiority or guilt control you - you are you, you cannot be someone else. Accept the choices you've made, strive to be a better version of yourself not to be someone else.
Be a mother - listen to your children, encourage them, nourish them, guide them, love them, accept that you're not always going to get it right, that you'll wish you'd done things differently and sometimes feel inferior to the things you see other parents do.
Be natural - eat as naturally as possible, recycle, walk, explore, help heal the earth in small ways.

I hope I have a happy 2014 and I hope that I spend the next year of my life making positive changes. 

Dear Dylan

I realised the other day that you'll be starting proper nursery this year. I say proper nursery because this one is actually part of a school, the school you'll hopefully be in for many years to come.
How have we reached this point? Where has the time gone?
Over the Christmas period this year you've suddenly learnt so much. You can name your shapes, animals and colours and you can count to twelve! It's no wonder you're sleeping so much now. 
Speaking of Christmas, you were such a joy to watch this year. You understood the stories we told you about Father Christmas and his reindeer and told everyone you could about what you were askng for and how the big man in red would come down your chimney and that you would leave him some Christmas pudding. We actually left him milky tea and biscuits this year because mummy forgot to buy the proper treats (oops).
You've suddenly blossomed into the most amazing child. You're the top of your ballet class, you're even moving up to the next grade next term! Your learnt to draw (and paint) people with heads and limbs in the right places and you love to help with cooking, pouring and cutting things with me and naming the different ingredients as we go.
My favourite thing is to watch you with Isla. You think I don't notice yu whispering to her but I do and it warms my heart to watch. 
You've handed down one of your amber necklaces to help her feel more balanced and replaced it with your own amethyst necklace.
You help when she cries, telling her things are ok and bringing her toys. And you love to have her sit with you which helps her learn to sit up by herself.
This year so much will happen, not just nursery.
I have plans for all of us that I'm so excited to watch you experience. Aaa
This year you turn three (only five months!) and you've already requested your fireman party.
I'm so proud to be your mother, to watch you grow and learn and become the amazing little boy that you are.

Love forever 
Mummy x