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A mum of 2 trying to stay sane in an overly airbrushed world.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Now That's What I Call A Theme Tune!

This is a quick but controversial post - a little bit of fun to brighten your day. I think its likely to divide people more than Mr. Trump himself (big statement).

The 80's was an epic decade for many reasons, but I want to focus on its awesome kid's TV theme tunes. Listening back to the ones on my list, they've clearly had a lot of time, money and thought put in...3 words I could not bring myself to say about the Peppa Pig theme tune even if you paid me. 

If you're lucky enough to be too young to be familiar with these, or your brain is frazzled by a baby/toddler/children to remember then please take a moment to click the link and enjoy 😄


1. The Wuzzles
I would give my front teeth to get Henry into this. Brilliant concept and so cute!
"Ooooooooh they got originality, living with a split personality."

1. Duck Tales
I couldn't split the top two...both catchy, both lyrically suited to the characters and the shows - pure Disney perfection.

3. Chip and Dale
Its a pure coincidence these are all Disney so far, maybe they just had all the big money to spend or it could just be the Disney legacy of fantastic musical arranging!?

4. Inspector Gadget
I was obsessed with this when I was young, literally wanted to be Penny. Even named my dog after her, they've since remade this and made it all modern...they've ruined it.

5. Gummi Bears
The last Disney offering but one of those tunes I can remember singing with friends at primary school. Good times.

6. Thundercats
Pure 80's tune...I think they've also remade and ruined this ☹️.
"Hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo."

7. The Racoons
This song was, and still is far too big for a cartoon. Makes me feel a bit emotional even now! Beautiful!

8. Bucky O'Hare
Way ahead of its time! Rabbits in space fighting off intergalactic toads (makes Macka Packa and Iggle Piggle look tame).
"Lets croak us some toads!"

9. Count Duckula
Beautifully British and catchy as hell! Anything with David Jason involved is a winner...(perhaps not Pip Ahoy though?!)

10, Sharky and George
Another one which we used to sing in the playground, looking back now it was so obviously French - never noticed it at the time. Hasn't aged as well as the rest but still a classic! 

Kids these days...don't know what they missed! 

Any issues with any of these - please feel free to take it up with me on here or on social media 😉
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Monday, 23 January 2017

You Can't Call Them That!

Being a 'Rebekah' I was 1 of many at primary, secondary and even in halls at university. I have married into the Smith's so it's even more important to have an uncommon name.  I've always had 2 rules that would put me off a name for my children:
  • If someone I knew already had it or called their child it. 
  • If it appeared in the top 10 most popular for that year.
Baby 1: I could of told you what his name would be before even thinking about having a baby. I was a bit 'Monica' about it, that was my baby name and I couldn't bear the thought of someone I knew getting to it first! 🙈
Despite it being a made-decision, we kept it a secret when we were pregnant, so we had to endure the dreaded conversations with others about potential baby names.

Enter my wonderfully sweet, but opinionated mother-in-law (MIL)...

MIL:  Make sure its nothing too modern - i don't like modern names.

Fair enough. 

MIL: Don't have anything too old fashioned either - nothing like Cecil, George or Henry. 

Thanks for that MIL so nothing modern, nothing old...what does that actually leave us with? Sweet FA!

The name we had chosen was Henry 😳🙄 (this wasn't in the top 10 in 2013).

Baby 2: this time we had nothing decided and just had a shortlist to choose from on their birth date. When he was born the first name was agreed within minutes and it met everyone's satisfaction. 

It's his middle names that still cause controversy 7 months on! They took around 2 weeks for us to be sure of but once we had them, we loved them! We knew we'd get a mixed response but we didn't expect the following conversation:

Enter my wonderful MIL once again,this time on the telephone...

Husband: Oh by the way we've picked Louis' middle names - but I'll tell you next time we speak, as I've not got time to go into it now. 

MIL: Not got time to go into it?! Why what's wrong with them?? You've not named him after a footballer have you? I hate it when babies are named after footballers!!

Husband:(Laughing) Well I'll have to tell you now - but you've put your foot in it again!

MIL: It's nothing silly and old fashioned like Cecil or Percy is it? You know I don't like those! 

Husband: (Sigh) His middles names are Kasper after Kasper Schmeichel (Leicester City goalkeeper) and Percy because Bex really likes it...

Well that didn't go down well...the rest of the conversation was spent convincing them it wasn't  a joke. 

Both my in laws still cringe at Percy and my FIL can't even bring himself to say it (Percy was the name of his grandfather who fought in the battle of the Somme - so really a nice nod to him).

Advice? Don't let others sway you - there's always going to someone who pulls a face at your choice, but they're not the one giving birth to them, suffering the sleepless nights and wiping their bums for the foreseeable future! They'll get over not liking it, quicker than you regretting not picking the name you really liked! 

P.S. Yes, if we have a 3rd they will be called Cecil 😂.
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Monday, 16 January 2017

The NEW Plan

This year I'm not making resolutions. I'm just going to be kinder to me. I'll still be chasing my weight loss goals, but that is not going to be what defines whether I have a good year or not.  

I'm at a point now with my postnatal depression (PND) that I can offer some insights into how things get better! 
I have been on anti-depressants for 3 months and had about 12 sessions of counselling. It took a few weeks to feel any difference, but the change I feel now is amazing. 
My main symptom was numbness - like I was switched off and everything else was more important than me. In my previous post I described how I never felt like I 'had' depression because I had nothing to be depressed about. The last few weeks I have realised you don't necessarily need something to be depressed about. I was just living in a heavy fog, a state which caused unconscious day to day survival. I knew I wasn't myself, but there was so much going on that it just got brushed under the carpet, to be dealt with another day. Part of me even wondered if it was ever possible to get it back - that maybe it had gone forever and it wasn't even worth trying. Why bother? I should just try and make the best of who I was.  

I've thought of 3 examples to illustrate the changes I now feel:

Before treatment: I couldn't remember how I had felt on my wedding day. I knew I had loved it, but I couldn't revisit the emotion at all. This made me feel useless, sad and as though I had no idea why I had got married at all. 

After/ongoing treatment: I can remember vividly all the different emotions I felt on that day and now have that desperate need to do it all again. I can relate to my husband again, I no longer wonder what made me want to marry him, the smudged connection is now clear again.  

Before treatment: Despite owning thousands of songs, I had no care to listen to them or even think about making time to play music.

After/ongoing treatment: I massively missed music and listening to songs. I now have loads of time or space in my day for it - I even pick it in favour of watching TV. 

Before treatment: I had lost all urge to buy myself clothes, not that I didn't deserve them - I just hated having to make the decisions. Deal with things not looking how I wished they did or just having to trawl through finding things that looked good. For someone who used to be known for their ASOS addiction - I barely visited the website. 

After/ongoing treatment: I have much more interest in having things, I want to treat myself to things I enjoy and miss having the disposable income I used to have for buying clothes etc (probably not such a bad thing).

I urge anyone that feels any sort of connection to anything I've written to address it. It's scary, it's hard to put into words to a doctor - you will feel like a prize knob moaning about not being right, but trust your instinct. You deserve to feel happy again!

I've now set a list of goals, things I enjoyed and did regularly before having the kids. Now I want to make sure I am getting the 'me' time I enjoy and that makes me feel good and not just sit on my arse counting down the minutes to bedtime!

In 2017 I will utilise my 'free' time by: 
  • Reading more (at least 3 books) 
  • Painting my nails
  • Enjoying good scented candles
  • Keeping this blog going

Join me in being kind to you. What would be on your list?

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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

#NoFearGoSmear

Instagram is a fabulously positive example of social media at its best. Scrolling through my feed earlier this week I came across a story about a beautiful young lady called Amber who died at the age of 25 following a 4 year battle with cervical cancer. Her family and friends are now campaigning to lower the age of routine smear testing to 18 - something which could of saved her life. 

Please take the time to sign their petition here or for more information visit her friend  @franky_sw on Instagram.

Seeing that has prompted me to re-post an old blog I wrote about smear testing. I wrote it pre-baby 2 and about how I'd totally forgotten when and where I'd last had a smear test, I hope it can jog anyones memory who maybe due a test to go and get booked in! 

Off we go back to August 2015...

* * * * * * * * * *

Do you remember when you last had a smear test? 

I couldn’t! 

It was a thought that hit me as I ‘overheard’ (office eavesdropped) a colleague discuss needing to book hers. Call it baby brain, mum madness or just complete mental failure but I actually had no recollection of when I had last spread my legs all in the name of good cervical health.
So I retraced my steps (mentally) through the years…
2014 – had just had a baby, definitely no smear done.
2013 – I was pregnant, definitely no smear done.
2012 – Lived in a different part of the country, had a different job, no clue if a smear had been done!
So, best case scenario I was definitely due my 3 yearly smear (if it had occurred in 2012)…but worst case scenario I had completely forgotten about it, fallen out of the system by moving locations in the UK/doctors as my job had dictated… SHIT! How could I have been so absent-minded to forget and not have it noted somewhere of use!? This is why I have a Filofax!!!
In that panic I rang my current doctors, explained I was definitely due my smear but had no idea how overdue it was. That’s when I discovered the wonders of a central database that could trace and pinpoint the exact date, time and place of your last smear: 4th July 2012…still can’t remember it but safe to say I got booked in ASAP!*
Following a bit of reading up I have since discovered you can have a smear if pregnant but I just felt it was better to be checked and get my results before adding any potential complications or unneeded stress if the results weren’t as I’d hoped.
Happy to say in just under 2 weeks I received the following in the post:



My cervix is 'normal' woop woop!
My very own letter confirming my cervix is ‘normal’ woop woop!

I’m lucky, many others are not as 3,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year (NHS Choices). My story proves that even with the best of intentions you can forget – especially when you have children it’s the last thing you have to think about! Get your next smear check in your diary, contact your GP, check your recall date and make sure you go!!!
*It’s worth noting that the UK labs are really strict with smear samples. They will not test them unless they are taken the day you are due your smear test or later, so don’t book in earlier than necessary unless you are worried, have symptoms to indicate something may be wrong or your doctor has advised you to!
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Monday, 9 January 2017

Priceless Moments

My father in law told me as we were hanging wedding photos that soon they'd all disappear in favour of photos of our kids. I was pregnant with Henry at the time and just laughed, thinking to myself... 
Yeah whatever! As if I've just spent a shed load on these photos of us looking the best we ever will to move them in favour of pictures of snotty kids and babies!
Nearly 4 years on and sadly I must admit he was right! 

The fight for wall space in our house is now weighted heavily in favour of those snotty faced, pooey panted, torture enforcers (the kids). 
Since our wedding we have spent somewhere in the region of £2k on photo shoots and photos. I've always preferred photos to other pieces of art - so can honestly say I do not regret spending one penny of it on them! 

They're more than just memories; every picture offers a story of that time - our own personalised art. What better way to remind us that sometimes we are all happy to be around each other than by covering the walls of our home with them! It may sound self indulgent, vain or unnecessary to some; but its not like the walls of Katie Price's home - we don't fork out on the full hair, makeup and airbrushing that gets you overly perfect pictures. Our photos are always very much the reality of the time. 

Some may argue that in a time where everyone has a smart device capable of capturing fab photos, then paying for a professional may seem unnecessary. If you're anything like me though you'll have a phone full of misjudged selfies and heavily filters shots of your kids that you think are arty. Every time I view a professionals efforts with my family I instantly know there is no comparison to the quality, style and time they've spent producing the priceless memories I'll look back on as years continue to speed by.  

As a family we have 3 photographers we love and continue to use; alternating photographer every few shoots so we get a variety of styles. Our shoots are always a minimum of 6 months - 1 year apart so there is a notable change in the children.

Here are some of our favourites:


1. Claire Basiuk - Claire Basiuk Photography - Manchester)


L - Our wedding & R - With Henry 1.5.

Things may not go to plan - but you'll always get the reality of the time captured!
2. Catherine Bradley (Clearvision Imagery - Leicestershire)


With Henry 6 months.

Louis' newborn shoot Henry 2.5.

3. Lizzie Adams (Shoot It Momma - Leicestershire)

Louis' 6 month shoot - Henry 2.5
You'll always get images that you'd probably not even think to capture yourself!
All 3 of these fabulous photographers is willing to travel so if they're not local to you then you could still enquire with them. I found all 3 via the powers of the Internet (Google or Instagram), so if you're thinking of getting some shots its worth a quick search. There's nothing I like better than having a good nosey of a photographers website, scrolling through a portfolio and getting an idea of style and the jobs they enjoy. 

Make 2017 the year you invest in some personalised art of your own! I promise you won't regret it!
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