anxiety, baby and toddler, baby led weaning, bad week, baking, bird feeder, biscuits, blw, Bollywood, Book, camping, CPTSD, diy, diy books, mental illness, mindfulness, pants, pattern, pintrest, ptsd, Sewing, sewing novice, toddler activities, toys, trousers, upcycle, words

Week Thirteen- Apparently a list no matter what I do with formatting.

  1. Ridiculously short post here. Mainly because l’m kind of crazy busy in both mind and life with things to do before we go away next Monday. Camping. In Queensland. 
  2. Many of the things I am busy with are, at the very least, Pintrest inspired so there will be a huge stonking post full of things. But not while I’m still doing them.
  3. Here are just a couple of little things- plus I’ve added some photos to the previous post.

    This morning I made bub some pants to go with her good dress. I’d used this pin earlier in the week with polar fleece to make some PJ pants to take away and it was so quick and easy. I forgot I was using very light Indian cotton. It took a little longer than expected. 

    Look very closely on the bottom right- shirring.

    My favourite part? Spontaneous shirring of the cuffs (which I learnt from this pin) worked beautifully.

    I’ve also been coming across a lot of these

     pins of late. I adore them. I’m in love with language so finding new words is always a wondrous thing.

    Here are a few of my particular favourites.


    Because I am

    Wish me luck in my sewing/couriering/shopping/driving/train riding week.

    I may post while away- I aim to. If not there will be make up posts upon my return.  Meanwhile look for me in the interstice.

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    anxiety, baby and toddler, bad week, baking, biscuits, Bollywood, calm for baby, carers, CPTSD, diy, mental illness, mindfulness, post natal anxiety, pre natal anxiety, ptsd, quotes, reading, stress, understanding, winter

    Week 9 The Monsters in our Heads

    I want to curl up and watch “2 Penttutikal” but this blog keeps snapping at the back of my mind like my childhood Australian terrier and our postman (yup- my dog used to actually chase (And bite) the postman)

    I have (amongst other things) PTSD. That is one of the few boxes I’ve been put in that made sense. 

    Big M my its-so-bloody-complicated-and-not-for-this-post is my Carer.

    If we didn’t have kids, people might see things differently.

    If I had physical therapy, was in a wheel chair or had a cast, people might see things differently.

    If I was vomiting from radiation or even just had a run of nasty virus'(knock on all wooden objects within sight) people might see things differently –less likely in this medicate and get on with it world but still…

    If every day Big M got up and went to someone else’s house dressed in a snazzy polo shirt with a logo, while a different person in said snazzy polo shirt came here, people might see things differently.

    Just look at those snazzy button up shirts (nothing against outside care at all- people who do this as a job ROCK)

    As it is we are two stay at home parents ( to most)

    To some : I’m not doing brilliantly, he’s my Carer but – so?

     To very few we are both coping – Big M with a 18/7 job and I with being a full time Mum with PTSD, ANA, GAD and BPD (plus even more abbreviations irrelivant to this post).

    These people are few and far between (And much appreciated)

    On a bad day Big M isn’t even one of them.

    On a bad day caring for me isn’t a job or responsibility – it’s a hinderence.

    On a very bad day I offer to get in another Carer or leave so he can manage others expectations and his wants and I can look after what bub and I need.

    It’s been a very bad week.

    Because in my mind- and in  some others I’m meant to just cope when this bugger of a disease interferes withmy plans and thus their plans either for me, Big M or my children.

    I’m fairly sure no one would tell an obstetrician they should have skipped the birth of one of their patients because it meant they and their partner who had to stay home for the kids missed a dinner party.

    I can imagine the conversation:

    “But couldn’t you have just ignored your pager? I checked you were coming three days ago and you said yes!. Surely you could just have just ignored her? And I can’t believe Matt didn’t turn up- toddlers are okay on their own”

     Ok – appalling example but thats because there isn’t one that matches.

    There is nothing quite like the hell of being told what you can and cannot do by experiences you lived half a life ago that won’t leave you alone.

    The irony of a disorder that makes you desperate for contact with people but then finding it impossible to cope with.

    And then that people resent you for needing the supports you have put in place – it’s like that thing in primary school where everyone wanted a go on the crutches when someone sprained their ankle. Except no one gives them back when the bell rings.

    I just wish everybody knew I’m doing the best that I can but that my absolute best will always always be reserved for my youngest, then the rest of my little lot.

    I wish they could be understanding. Hell, I just wish they were okay with it.

    And to anyone out there going through this- one person gets it. Just one voice but (trust me) better than none.

    Which is why if nothing else came out of this week at least I found pins like this one :

    And this one:

     And this one

    which led to this post.
     So there, task complete.

    Read on for some helpful info :

     

    anxiety, baby and toddler, bad week, candles, cooking, Dandenong ranges, mental illness, pintrest, post natal anxiety, ptsd, reading, recipes, repurpose, Sewing, sewing novice, stress, upcycle, winter, winter solstice

    Week 5 – Part One

    This (as promised) is not about sewing OR cooking. I know. Amazing. (Although I have done both of those in the last week and totally recommend that if you want oh-so-yummy pancakes go *here* if you want to make something unexpected that your baby will devour go *here* and if you want to make a top you totally and utterly loathe into the cutest little dress and headband for your bub go, well,  there and there)

    So. I might have mentioned in the last post, possibly even the one before that life hasn’t exactly been simple for me of late. Imagine a sundae if you will- the ice cream is the general state of being- I’m not well. (For those into labels I have PTSD, Genralised Anxiety Disorder, Post Natal anxiety, Specific phobias including illness, Agoraphobia & Borderline traits.) In addition to the mind stuff I have IBS, Chronic Fatigue and a rubbish immune system. So yeah. There’s that. The topping would be two teenagers with various mental illnesses of their own which lead to *school* being a huge issue instead of a normal everyday activity & living on a stupid income that I am enormously greatful for but think the government forgot to adjust at some point (like the 90s) (NB to avoid the wrong idea being given – when I say enormously greatful, I mean it. I am so lucky to be living in a country that is generous enough to support me when I cannot support myself. I am so lucky to have received this support when there are now so many in my situation who won’t. It just makes life a little more difficult living on such a fixed and comparatively low income)

    So- still with me- ice cream sundae? Yup. Cool.

    Add to the topping the crushed nuts of my parents (many issues there) & my ED coming back. On top of that pour the 100s and 1000s of day to day problems (eldest going interstate, bills we forgot, immunizations for bub etc.) and you get –  my life. In sundae form.

     Then you take the spoon and stir. A lot. To “make it soft serve” Which is what I always used to do when I ate such things.

     What you end up with is a grubby looking pile of mess in a pretty glass with far too many melty bits and unexpected crunches.

    (It does taste good though- should have maybe gone with a different metaphor…)

    Anyway 

    Life being like that leads to a stressed mum. Which leads to a stressed bub. Who is changing in a not good way- disturbed sleep, more crying & very wound up.

    So back in time a month and a bit  when I found this pin : 

    Which I will be ever greatful for. I know my bub isn’t this small but I read the post and thought that the ideas just might help & couldn’t hurt.

     Its written by Hannah, a child therapist from the UK , whose blog I really wish I known about before now. 

    Thank you Hannah. You rock.

    The suggestions included Candle Time, a Relaxation Corner, Outdoor Relaxation, Family Cuddle time and Baby Massage.

    Candle Time

    Now my first thought was baby + candle = Er- Nup. Yeah? 

    Turns out it’s manageable.

    What the blog suggested :

    Light a candle and put on some relaxing music, then sit with your baby quietly and watch the flame together. “

    What I did was light a tea light and put it in a glass. Last thing pre dinner/bath/bed bub & I looked at the candle for a while then I read her a story.  

    At first it went something like:

    “Look at the flame- isn’t it pretty- orange and blue”

    “……”

    “No you can’t hold it hon, it’s not safe. Isn’t it pretty though- let’s put it on the…”

    “…..” 

    “No, I can’t put it down on the bed- no don’t look in the top that’s hot- owch- you’ll hurt yourself…lets put it on the table”

    LUNGE

    “No hon- you CAN’T touch it…lets read Hairy Maclary now, ok?”

    (I’m not even going to try to transcribe bub. Anyone who has met a just speaking child will know writing can never do them justice)

    Then we discovered lanterns at winter solstice. That seemed to be a turning point. No more lunging. Still wanting to touch and hold and kiss candle but far more time spent watching the flame and then the lantern when the paper was wrapped back around the glass.

    Since solstice we’ve had paper snowflake lanterns and the last two nights the ‘invisible cat’ lantern. Bub currently has an invisible cat living with us so I took the Diwali lantern idea (two posts back) and turned it into a cat we can only see at night.

    Result:

     I don’t know if the candle itself has  helped her relax yet- but I’m not following the guidelines letter for letter- it’s certainly given bub several beautiful new experiences she wouldn’t otherwise have had and given her a pre-dinner settling ritual. 

    There is definately more eating and less food flinging going on than before I started. Plus I love the one on one cosy candlelight book time. 

    Relaxation Corner
    The blog suggested

    ” Babies really benefit from a ‘relaxation corner’ in their room, ideally visited before naps to help calm them before sleep. The focal point of a relaxation corner is a light feature. Bubble tubes are ideal, but a simple lava lamp will also be effective. Focus on making your relaxation corner as multi-sensory as possible. Include anything that calms your baby such as a basket of story books, soft fabrics and a diffuser that will disperse the smell of organic essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile. “

    Yep. I’ll get back to you on that one. I’ve looked at many pins about making a tipi tent thing and many about making a lava lamp. I have developed a desire to make a spinning lantern. I just haven’t had the impetus, the time or the money to do it. I did however FINALLY get bubs’ paddling pool up so she has a safe, soft, small dog free place of her own to play and wander and get mum to make snowflakes and lick the floor if she wants without me then totally freaking out. She loves it. 

    I also found calming glitter bottles. 

    They are part if this new (is it new? I’ve been out if the game 14 years) sensory toys idea. 

    I love them. Very simple to make and can be very pretty. I also adore the idea of using them as a “time out” when bub gets bigger. Feeling grumpy? Go shake a bottle if water and glitter glue and once all the glitter has settled you can come back a calmer, distracted child. (I wonder if we’ll make it to 1.5 litres…) 

    We’ve made three. Two tiny travel size and one 600ml. The 600ml has been most affective at calming bub during wakeful nights, the travel size were the most fun & interactive. Bub learnt a new word “shake” & used it freely. 

    So no relaxation corner just yet. Soon though. Promise.

    However because of pins that the idea led me to I’d have to say it has definately helped Bub calm & relax

    Outdoor Relaxation 

    The blog suggested

    Give your baby some time in nature as frequently as you can. Go to the park, a field, woodlands or sit in the garden and let them crawl around.”



    Last year we were living in the Dandenong Ranges. Walks became a regular morning activity with bub in a sling off we’d go. But we had no garden (Don’t ask)

    Now we are in slightly-more-suburban East Geelong. I tried to keep up the walking and for a while it was Torquay beach twice a week and East Geelong cemetary on the days in between (really not as morbid as it sounds). That slowly stopped as first I got sick, then it got wintery.

    We have a garden. Unfortunately the back garden is a bit of a mire or an ant hill (depending on the temperature) so that leaves the front which has a ‘fence” so low I could hurdle it. But we’ve had some nice feeling-like-everyone-is-watching picnics. 

    On days when we don’t go outside there is a definite change. I don’t know if it comes from bub or me but just ten minutes of walking up and down the driveway, looking for the moon or visiting our potted plants seems to help.

    The whole ‘touch anything’ thing. That is challenging. Really challenging. But when bub checks if the plants need water now I’m not rushing in with a Wet One.

    Result

    Yes. It makes a difference. It’s sometimes so hard though and at the moment it’s one of the last things I want to do. I miss the space in the Dandenongs. It felt easier there. It also felt like bub got more out of it. We need somewhere like that here. Also a taller fence. (Watching bub voluntarily hug our ‘seasons tree’ in the cemetary is something I’m not going to forget. Nor is the fact she’s befriended a grave statue. Beautiful bub)

    …..leaving it there for now, I’ve rambled too much,  if I’m getting tired, you must be too- tomorrow part two….