Starting the year feeling organised

The word of the week, and of the past few weeks in our house to be honest, is organised. Hubs had a good long break over Christmas for the first time ever and it really was amazing. We got the house tidier than we have since Monkey was born I believe and made a decision between ourselves that we were going to get ourselves more organised. We are out of the baby days and the building work in the house from the extension is all finished so there really is no excuse anymore.

So far we are doing well at the general cleanliness and tidiness of the house. We have implemented a tidy up time before bath time every day to get Monkey to help us tidy up the toys and we are both trying to be less lazy and get the washing up done straight away and to generally just keep on top of things. I’m not going to lie it is hard work some days when we are shattered but we are managing and it is lovely to have a house that is on the whole clean and tidy most of the time. It means our weekends are freer to enjoy rather than needing to blitz the house and feels a little like we have grown up haha. Took till our early thirties but we got here!

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All tha hand me downs we have for LM to wear for the next few years!

There has been some bigger organising going on too. Hubs has tidied and organised the garage and we have some new shelves up in there though it is a work in progress. He has also been organising the loft and making a huge amount of space in there. Which is where I come in! Half of the stuff in our loft is clothes for the kiddies. Hand me downs for LM to grow into and clothes Monkey has grown out of. We have already given away a lot but there was some serious organising to do of the remaining. So that has been my job this week. Sorting all the various bags and boxes of clothes properly and finally. I have also found homes for lots of the clothes and am hoping one of our neighbours with  a new little girl may like the rest otherwise it will be off to the charity shop with it.

 

Another big project has been sorting out the TV. We have been Virgin Media customers for a long time but only have the basic package and honestly the price has just been going up and up and up and driving us crazy. It hasn’t been that great either as the Tivo box is just so slow sometimes. So we have been trying to work out what to do and have decided to give freeview a try instead. There was an aerial in our loft from previous owners, though it wasnt connected and it took a bit of back and forth to the shops, hubs has been in and out of the loft fixing the cables and we had to try out a couple of different boxes but we finally seem to be sorted now.

There are a few things to get used to and different buttons and things we have to learn but on the whole it seems to be working well. Though we have had to spend money to get to this point it will cost a lot less overall as we won’t have the monthly outgoings anymore, yippee!

photoalbumsMy personal little project has also been organising our family photo albums. I plan to write a bit more about this later but it is quite a task getting it all sorted as I got quite behind. I love photo albums and though it is taking a lot of effort organising photos on the computer, getting the best ones printed out etc. I think it is so worthwhile. Especially in the digital age where otherwise you just end up with thousands of files on a computer that no-one ever has a chance to look through let alone organise. So it is a bit of a labour of love getting that all organised!

 

So there we have it, tonnes of organising going on! Feels good to get things done though doesn’t it?

The Reading Residence

Goals for me in 2016

Most of my posts on here are about our family life and the kiddies especially. Inevitable really as they are the most important things in my life but for now I thought I would write a little post about me. I’m not particularly setting new years resolutions as I don’t think you have to start something new just because it is the new year. The being said there are changes that need to be made and things about me that I want to focus on and now is as good a time as any to start.

Diet and exercise
Yep, starting with the obvious one. I have been eating way too much for quite a while, even before Christmas and have definitely not worried about indulging over the Christmas period. I am not beating myself up over this, life is too short and I have enjoyed myself. But, and there is a but, I am not happy with the added weight I am carrying at the moment.

Our scales broke a while ago and we haven’t replaced them so I don’t know how much I actually weigh (I find it better to judge based on how my clothes fit anyway) but I am carrying it a bit differently at the moment. I’m pear shaped and have always carried extra weight around my hips and bottom. Now though, I guess as a result of being stretched from having 2 children I am very much expanding around my middle and ooh do I hate it! I have been wearing legs and tunics and dresses loads as it is more comfy than squeezing into jeans and it is time to tackle it. I’m a big believer that if you are unhappy about something then you are the one who needs to change it. So that is what I am going to do. No matter how much I enjoy eating, I don’t enjoy carrying around the extra weight so need to change.

Of course the main thing is going to be watching what I eat again. I have done weight watchers before and find the points really help me be aware of how much I am eating etc. so I will be doing that again. No fad diets here, just sensibe eating. Exercise is going to play a big part too though. My friends and I have been swimming once or twice a week for a while (thank goodness or I don’t know how huge I would be) so that will continue and I want to make it a definite twice a week thing. I also want to do more yoga or pilates as I really need to strengthen my back.

I’ve always had a few problems with my back, especially my lower back but since having kids my upper back can get terrible too. (All the carrying and stooping over etc.) It gives me horrific headaches from the referred pain and I know I need to work on strengthening my core and my whole body. There is a great pilates class nearby I was supposed to start a couple of months ago but, well, it hasn’t happened. The first week I didn’t go as LM had croup, the next week hubs Grandpa died that day, then I was ill, then I was preparing to host hub’s grandpa’s wake, then Monkey had croup, then I did actually go but the woman running it had the flu and cancelled the class! Then I was out for a meal and then it was Xmas week and they closed. So it has been a catalogue of disasters but I really want to try and go in January.

I’ve also been wondering how I can squeeze some yoga in to my day as I have a couple of good dvds and even 10 mins of good stretching here and there would be better than nothing. Every evening at the mo hubs does bath time with the kids and because I am shattered, unless I am sorting laundry I am generally lying on my bed playing candy crush until LM gets annoyed and I play with her while hubs carries on bathing Monkey. I am trying to make this a bit of yoga time instead and I have managed 2 days so far! Hopefully I can improve on that and hopefully it will contribute to me feeling better, fitter and stronger.

Postnatal Depression
I haven’t talked about it much for a while because I have being doing so much better on antidepressants but the time has come where my doctor has suggested trying to see how I feel about coming off them. There’s no rush obviously but it has been over 6 mths and I guess you don’t know if you don’t try, right? So she has suggested taking them on alternate days to see how I feel. I started this right before Christmas and sadly it didn’t go well. I would skip a tablet and feel fine all that day, but the following morning I was feeling very stressed again. I wondered if it was psychosomatic but I would have thought that if that was the case then I would have felt anxious on the day I skipped a tablet, rather than 24hrs later?

Anyway I got quite anxious and stressed and after a chat with my husband, who was concerned about the way I was reacting to things, we decided I wouldn’t try this until after Christmas. Christmas can be stressful enough as it is and he didn’t like seeing me reacting the way I was when things were at their worst. I am trying again now though and so we shall see how things go this time. If I react the same way again then I will tell my doctor that I don’t feel ready yet, as I don’t want to pressure myself into coming off them until I am ready.

I also hope to make a bit more time for me and my friends this year as it is all too easy to be consumed with family life, though I know it does me the world of good to just be me from time to time. It’s a difficult one as my kids are the most important thing in the world to me but I know it is good for them to have time with their Daddy and with their grandparents and good for them if I feel fresh from having a break. The doesn’t always make it easy to leave them though or take away the guilt when Monkey gets sad about me going. Which happens.. even some time afterwards and even if he had a lovely time at the time, he just comes out with the fact that mummy going somewhere made him sad. Talk about pulling my heart strings! But I know he has so much of me that it isn’t a bad thing for me to do things for myself sometimes too.

As for the blogging…. I um and ah about it a lot and think about stopping but the truth is enjoy it. I am always thinking about what else I can blog about. I am never going to be a huge blogger, I just don’t have the time or energy. I don’t contact pr companies or fight to get what I can… If someone would like me to review something and it is something I would genuinely use then I will review it. Otherwise again I just don’t have the time or energy. But that’s OK because it is a hobby I enjoy and the rest doesn’t really matter. I am going to make more of an effort to engage with the blogging community though and my favourite bloggers in particular. I can be very insular by nature and tend to hide away rather than joining in with things but this can mean I miss out so I want to try a bit harder with that.

I am also going to try and be a bit more organised. While Hubs has been off we have done a lot of sroting round the house, the loft and garage are much more organised as are many of our cupboards and the conservatory is possibly the cleanest it has ever been. So this should help. I have aso been rubbish at doing things like sending thank you cards over the past year which I hate so I am going to try and be more organised in that respect too.

So I say I am not setting new years resolutions… but I guess I am. I just hope that they are realistic and achieveable though rather than pie in the sky objectives that will fall by the wayside after a few months!! Over all I think I just want to be happy this year and I hope that by making a decision to change the things I dislike that I can achieve that and feel better overall.

Are you setting yourselves any resolutions this January? What would you like to achieve over the next year?

Rules for Me & Choosing to be Happy

Regular readers will know that I have recently accepted that I have postnatal depression. I am taking antidepressants and things are definitely improving. The medication isn’t a miracle cure though and I have to play my part too. I need to change the way I think about some things to help get through this and I have come up with some “rules” for me to live by.

I actually came up with a number of these before accepting I have PND and was trying to manage it by myself. I didn’t manage and I did and do need the help but that doesn’t mean that these rules are any less valid.

My rules are:

Stop being mean to yourself. You are not fat and disgusting, stupid or incompetent. (Honestly I am meaner to myself than I ever would be to anyone else!)

Be kind to yourself and make more time for you. 

Take deep breaths when things go wrong (rather than f-ing & blinding under my breath, slamming doors and stomping around like a teenager – this one may be tricky)

Don’t let the fact that one thing has gone wrong ruin the rest of the day or make you forget what a lovely time you were having until that point. It hasn’t ruined anything and won’t last forever.

Have realistic expectations. Both of yourself, your plans and of the children. I need to accept that perfection doesn’t exist and unfortunately things won’t always go smoothly. If LM is off routine then I must take a deep breath and go with it rather than stressing about it.

Be more organised. One of my biggest stresses about 4 times a day is working out what to feed LM, so I have created a meal plan a week in advance to remove the stress of that multiple times a day. (We already meal plan for the rest of the family.)

Set times to do things and make lists so you can feel you have achieved something (rather than just getting weighed down by a seemingly endless mental list)

Don’t try and squeeze things in when looking after the kids – I get so frustrated when I am trying to blog but have a child jumping on my head or kicking me in the ribs, when really they just want my attention

Have two blogging evenings a week. No TV on those days.

Remember that blogging doesn’t have to be a competition. You didn’t start blogging to win awards etc. 

Write and do what makes you happy.

Do more exercise. I have been saying I need to do this for ages but have so far been lazy and not done so! My diet did me well for a while but I have had enough of it for the time being. I am doing lots of walking and that and looking after the kids is helping me maintain my loss but I need to tone up and strengthen my muscles as I am very weak and I have no core strength at all. So I have started some yoga and pilates at home and my brother’s girlfriend and I are starting to play badminton every week next week so that should be fun!

Enjoy the kiddies. Too often I get annoyed when the kids won’t play on their own so I can get on with jobs – when I should be making the most of my time with them and having fun, that is why I am a SAHM after all!

 

Definitely enough rules to be going on with and I have to keep reminding myself at the moment but I do feel like they are helping me …. that and the sheer quantity of chocolate I have consumed in the lately. I am being kinder to myself…. though I really need to keep up with the exercise so that I don’t put back on all the weight I have lost this year!!

Do you have “rules” that you live by?

#BloggingToJoggingMama and MoreAnd then the fun began...

New Year, Time for Me

Happy New Year Everyone! 2015 I am pleased you are here :)

Are you making any resolutions? I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions as I feel that if you want to do something then you should just do it, not wait for an arbitrary date to start. However I do think that New Year comes at a good time for those of us that have over indulged over Christmas and want to make a fresh start so I never begrudge anyone that.

I have definitely over-indulged lately… not just because it has been Christmas but because the last couple of months since Little Miss arrived have been really hard. And I am a comfort eater. I have been sleep deprived, poorly, exhausted and generally unhappy. So when I feel like this I eat. Chocolate yes but actually crisps are my biggest vice. And coleslaw, and pate and cheese and lots of other full fat options! So even though I lost some of my baby weight shortly after LM was born, I have now put it all back on and my clothes are definitely getting tight. I gave away my maternity clothes already and refuse to buy bigger sizes so it is time to do something about it.

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Getting Organised! A #GetGoodSummer update

At 22 weeks pregnant we are now well in to the second trimester, and making the most of the extra energy to get ourselves organised for when baby comes. When I get massively pregnant, and then when baby comes, it is not going to be so easy to get the bigger jobs done so we really want to do as much as we can now. I am joining in with the lovely Claire over at Clarina’s Contemplations linky #GetGoodSummer, where you set 5 goals to achieve over the next 10 weeks. You can read more about my goals here.

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Summer Goals with #GetGoodSummer

I don’t know about you but we always have a long list of jobs that need sorting. Some are things we get excited about so they get ticked off quickly, others are less urgent, and less interesting so hang around on that list for a long, long time. With our baby girl arriving in November, and with a bit more energy now I am in the 2nd Trimester, I am keen to get a lot of jobs ticked off asap. I know that when I get really big, and then when the baby is here, the list will be pushed away almost entirely for a while, so we have a window of opportunity to get some things done.

Our current jobs list

Our current jobs list

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