Making decisions for me

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Recently a friend said how they were now only going to do things that they want to do.

I found this a really interesting point and it got me thinking about my decisions and life choices. Generally as a child I was never bothered about what was ‘in fashion’ or what I should or shouldn’t be playing with/wearing/listening to.  As apparent by my (still) terrible taste in music and rainbow themed outfits. However, I do think it’s only natural to start feeling pulled in directions; whether that’s going out on nights out even if you don’t like clubbing, going to events even though you don’t like meeting new people or doing a job even though you hate it.
I’ve definitely noticed a change in things I say yes to based on the things I get enjoyment out of, and I’ve noticed this selection of things gets bigger or smaller dependent on the amount of time i have. For example when I was living in Brighton and working full time with no other commitments, I would fill my time with anything and everything, always embracing the new. Whereas since having Ophelia, I have to focus on the things that make my happiest. Whether that’s scrapbooking, geocaching or coffee with friends. In the past I would’ve felt guilty for having to say no, but now I’ve noticed it has become empowering for me, and ultimately increased my happiness and quality time with people who really matter doing things that matter.

So I guess I too am only doing things I want to do.

Worthing: family day out at Ferring Country Centre

I lived in Ferring for 20 years of my life, yet I can’t remember ever having been to the Country Centre there. Mother reliably informs me that I had been, but still, I feel terrible that I didn’t go more often.
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Having returned to West Sussex last year, after buying a house, I finally got round to taking Ophelia to the Country Centre, along with my family, Callum’s family and in laws as a treat for Mother’s day afternoon tea.
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Ferring Country Centre is comprised of a garden centre, riding stables, cafe, small animal farm and playground. It is run for and by the Disabled Riding Association, money raised goes towards horse riding as therapy, which is actually something I wrote an essay on for my OT training.
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The cafe is spacious and has some indoor toys for a range of kid ages to get stuck into.  The toys are a bit worn but a lovely addition for rainy days.
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Outside the playground is great for toddler aged kids, with swings, a roundabout, seesaw, frame, trampoline and animal noise interactive boards.
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The farm has a surprising amount of variety including ducks, pigs, donkeys tortoises, horses and even llama! Have you ever seen a llama run?! I sure have! Ophelia found it hilarious and she loved stroking the donkeys and making noises at the pigs.
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Ophelia and her cousin loved it and we’ll definitely be back again, at every age there are new ways to engage the children.

Travel-things our first city break with child has taught me

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-Ophelia misses vegetables if she doesn’t eat them at least once daily. We found this out the hard way when she started sobbing “i miss vegetables-peas” when we were out at dinner in Budapest (not veg lovers). What can I say, we are keen on veg!!

-You can survive without giving them technology to watch. Just.
I hate it when people write tips for travelling with kids and add “ipad” on there. I mean yeah I understand people find it useful but how did our parents survive before they were invented?! Rant over. We had a TV in our apartment but Ophelia only asked for it on once, but there was no children TV channel anyway! It was very refreshing.

-Ophelia can sleep through take off and landing without giving a rats arsenal.

-Carrying a toddler is hard work, even in an Ergonomic carrier but especially when they fall asleep and you have to climb stairs. OW my hips!

-Art galleries are great for laughing at statues but the “guards” (that sit making sure you don’t get your grubby fingers on things) freak toddlers out.

-Apparently shoes are essential in art galleries.

-Don’t try to do anything quickly, it’ll make one of two things happen-a full lay on the floor tantrum or obstinate “I’m going to suddenly think elbows are awesome” behaviour. Yes, she really does that.

-Toddlers find art more interesting than you’d think.

-Planning is key, make sure you have a plan and back up plan for food solutions in every area you plan to visit, otherwise you may have a toddler crying over the lack of potatoes. Unless you want Burger king every night, in which case, no issue.

-Air b n b is particularly great if you have a toddler who doesn’t sleep.

-If you’ve pre bought activities for the plane back too, hide them really well.

🎵Getting to know you 🎵

1. What’s your favourite movie?

Impossible to narrow it down to just one! I love 500 days of Summer and anything Ghibli.

2. Favourite movie in the past five years?

TOUGHIE! Inception is up there.

3. Favourite Hitchcock film?

His aren’t my favourite. Shock horror.

4. A book you plan on reading?
I’m terrible at finding time to read books, I’ve got so many I’m half way through that I haven’t picked up for over a year.

5. A book that you read in school that positively shaped you?
None actually if I’m honest, I preferred poetry and plays.

6. Favourite TV show that’s currently on?

Parks and Rec. Is that currently on? If not, Broklyn 99 or Walking Dead.

7. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?

10. Always.

8. iPhone or Android?

Android traditionally.

9. Twitter or Instagram?

Instagram.

10. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?

Lemon_freckles.

11. What’s your favourite food?

Mexican. Anything mexican.

12. Least favourite food?

Squid and most shellfish.

13. What do you love on your pizza?

Chicken, pancetta, mascapone, artichoke, sweetcornn.

14. Favourite drink?

Fizzy rhubarb.

15. Favourite dessert?

Crumble or pie.

16. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?

Both!

17. Coffee or tea?

Both. But mostly coffee.

18. What’s the hardest part about being a mum?

When you just need five minutes to yourself when you need to “reset” but you have a todder who wants to sit on your lap whilst you poo.

19. What’s your favourite band?

Too hard to pick just one for EVER! But my top 6 currently:

Coheed and Cambria

Funeral for a friend

Subways

Biffy Clyro

Jimmy Eat World

The Staves

20. Favourite solo artist?

Dustin.

21. Favourite song?

EVER?! Goodness that’s impossible to answer! At the moment, Here to Mars by Coheed.

22. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

Claudio

23. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?

Uke- Guitars are too big for me. Plus i’d like to be able to help Ophelia with hers.

24. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

That’s always one of the issues I have about getting a tattoo, I don’t have a particular part of my body that i want one.

25. To be or not to be?

That really is the question.

26. Dogs or cats?

Love both. Specifically Maine coon and Labradoodle.

27. Bird-watching or whale-watching?

Whales without a doubt. We’re hoping to do some when we visit Callum’s dad’s this year as they do so many trips nearby.

28. Best gift you’ve ever received?

I was pretty excited when  I got a playstation and a big box of copied games when I was about 10.

29. Best gift you’ve ever given?

One i’ve got planned for this year is pretty awesome, although I think i’ve managed to do some pretty good present buying. My best ones are the utter surprise ones that the person hasn’t yet thought of themselves, like The Deer Hunter and Hans Zimmer tickets for Callum as his Christmas present.

30. Last gift you gave a friend?

Tickets to one of those escape game thingys.

31. What’s your favourite board game?

Articulate.

32. What’s your favourite country to visit?

So far, Germany.

33. What’s the last country you visited?

Ireland.

34. What country do you wish to visit?

What country do I NOT want to visit?! Too many; Peru, Japan, Denmark.

35. What’s your favourite colour?

Turquiose or mint.

36. Least favourite colour?

Never really thought about it before.

37. Diamonds or pearls?

Pearls

38. Heels or flats?

Flats always!

39. Pilates or yoga?

Both depending on mood but currently Yoga.

40. Jogging or swimming?

Swimming

41. Best way to de-stress?

Yoga. Mindfulness. Knitting/cross stitch/scrapbooking. Exercising. Cleaning. Watching Parks and Rec.

42. If you had one superpower, what would it be?

To ease pain.

43. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?

Cretin.

44. What’s your favourite flower?

Those brightly coloured ones that look like giant daisies.

45. When was the last time you cried?

Ha, I’m gonna sound like a loser but today when I watched Teen m0m (!) and the girl was giving birth and then didn’t want to see her because she was going straight for adoption.  I felt those feelings proper hard today, EVEN though I watched that episode years ago and didn’t cry then! Ahhh parenthood!

46. Do you like your handwriting?

No! I hate how inconsistant it is!

47. Do you bake?

Used to a lot but haven’t for ages. Have been loving making mug cakes recently though, great for quick fixes.

48. What is your least favourite thing about yourself?

How easily I get tired and worrying nature.

49. What is your most favourite thing about yourself?

My drive and compassion.

50. Who do you miss most?

My daughter when she’s asleep.

51. What are you listening to right now?

My cat snoring.

52. Favourite smell?

Wood burning.

53. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

My mother.

54. Who was the last person you sent a text to?

Err no-one because MY PHONE IS BROKEN so it takes me *literally* half an hour to write a short text, so I get too annoyed and give up.

55. A sport you wish you could play?

None.

56. Hair colour?

Brown.

57. Eye colour?

Green

58. Scary film or happy endings?

Neither!

59. Favourite season?

Spring- not too hot but light evenings.

60. Three people alive or dead that you would like to have dinner with?

Heath Ledger, Philip Seemore Hoffman and Joseph Gordon Levitt

61. Hugs or kisses?

Hugs

62. Rolling Stones or the Beatles?

Stones if I had to pick (but really, neither).

63. Where were you born?

Chichester.

64. What is the farthest you have been from home?

America I think.

65. Sweet or savoury?

Sweet, so much so that i’m pretty sure it’s my emotional crutch.

66. Lipstick or lip gloss?

I do quite like lipstick but never wear it because i have a habit of rubbing my face- i’m not very good at stuff like that! Lip gloss is too sticky for my liking! I just wear vaseline mostly, the rose or brown one.

67. What book have you read again and again?

Excluding children’s stories, only Harry Potter. I’m not very good at re-reading books for some reason.

68. Favourite bedtime story?

Paper dolls

69. What would be the title of your autobiography?

Ever evolving.

70. Favourite sound?

Cat snoring or rain on our conservatory.

71. Favourite animal?

Squashed face dogs.

72. Who is your girl crush?

Too many.  Isla Fisher.

73. Last photograph you took?

Of Ophelia doing yoga.

There we go, don’t you feel like we’re BFFs now?!

Gratitude diaries

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Today was a very ordinary day in the life of me, except one thing-how grateful i felt.

In the line of work I do, often it’s really easy to reflect on your own life with gratitude, simply because you see first hand how even the simplest of tasks are unachievable for people. But other times that burden of knowledge and exposure can have the adverse effect, causing a feeling of burden and guilt.

Today though, I felt grateful;
I am able to enjoy preparing food.
I got to drive through the countryside.
For the enjoyment of a hot chai tea.
Ophelia didn’t have a meltdown when my arms were too tired to carry her home.
The kisses my daughter gives me.
For tickets to say a proper goodbye to my favourite band.
For my cat for her cuddles.
Confirmation our window will be replaced next week.

And those pieces of gratitude have;
Taken my focus away from an emotionally draining working day.
Helped me forget that I missed out doing yoga and much needed “me” time as my daughter didn’t want to sleep.

Thank you gratitude.