Seperating the wheat from…well everything!!

One of the things that has been going on in my world that I am yet to mention on here is that my daughter has recently been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease

This seems to be a more common illness than I thought but I am still really nervous about how this will change both our lives. We are yet to remove gluten from her diet as she has an endoscopy booked in for Friday and we need to keep eating it in order to see the damage it is causing. So essentially, since the first blood test results in early December I have been knowlingly poisoning my daughter with bread, pasta, doughnuts, biscuits etc. This has not helped with my wellbeing over the past months alongside everything else.

 My best friend has Coeliac Disease and has been diagnosed for a while now so when I got told by the consultant that the blood tests showed she had this I felt like I knew more than most about it. But adapting this to a four year olds diet scares the shit (pardon the pun) out of me. I also found out that my ex was diagnosed with borderline Coeliac Disease after we had split but I had no idea that it could be hereditary so didn’t even think about it!

I also had no idea that the symptoms she was showing could have any correlation with Coeliac Disease. I actually took her to the doctors as she seemed to be having persistent, reoccurring pins and needles in her arms and legs. It was one of those times when the mummy bear instinct kicked in and said ‘somethings not quite right here’. Luckily, or unluckily, I was right but it’s still taken a long time to get to this point. 

Doesnt look poorly at all hey?
 So on Friday I have to try and explain why she needs to be put to sleep in a big, new hospital without crying (her and me!) and then I have the even more difficult time of making awkward conversation with my ex and whilst trying to suppress the urge to kill him at any point! 

I’d love to hear from any other parents who’ve been through this process so please leave a message in the comments below. I’ll keep you posted on how we get on. 

Barefaced

I never thought of myself as a ‘make up’ person.  I just wear mascara because as a ginger/blond-ish person I generally look half asleep if I don’t. I wear some sort of base just so that my rosy cheeks don’t make me look like I’ve been on the wine all day (I promise I haven’t!) and so it covers some of the dark circles under my eyes, but that is usually it. I was also briefly an Avon rep but had to give it up as I was spending all/more of my earnings on the very same make up I was supposed to be selling, but I definitely wasn’t a ‘make-up’ person…or so I thought.

However, a couple of weeks ago, on a Friday night before going to the theatre with a friend, I lost my make-up bag.

 It was my own fault for a) trying to apply make-up whilst walking, b) having a small bag which was, as usual bursting at the seams and c) not being remotely aware of the world around me and, in my defence it was the end of a stressful week. I’d just finished work after a 9-hour day and I was knackered and somehow between the carpark and the restaurant I was meeting my friend at, I lost my make-up bag…with all my make up in it.

And I cried.

I’ll just go back to the bit about my stressful day and week for justification but that seemed like an overreaction to losing some make up, even to me!  But it wasn’t just some, it was all of it.

I’d lost my beloved Bare Minerals brush which made applying foundation or BB cream quick and easy, meaning I could do my make up in the 3 minutes from when I drove into the work carpark and when I actually exited the car to go into work. 

I’d lost my blusher which made me look a bit more alive on a cold day. 

I’d lost my bronzer which led me to believe (even for just a brief second) that I do actually tan when I go on holiday (I don’t).

I lost my eyeliner which I had just about got the hang of applying and made me look slightly more grown up and sophisticated – well I thought anyway and,

I had lost my Cath Kidston make-up bag which my brother and sister-in-law got me for my first birthday after splitting with my ex and when everything was, pretty much, falling down around my ears.

So I sat in the car and I cried…and then I realised I couldn’t fix my face because I had no make-up, so I cried a bit more.

So apparently I am a make-up person.

I also hadn’t realised how expensive the stuff is! Generally, you don’t buy your make up all in one go.  You slowly build a collection, working out what brands, colours, textures you like, spending time and effort culturing this collection that will help you face the day. £5 here, £7 there.  So having to walk into Superdrug on a Sunday and purchase everything in one go was a bit of an overwhelming situation for both myself and my wallet.  I forgot what skin tone I had, I forgot how some mascaras just irritate my contact lenses and I look like a panda by lunchtime. I forgot that, unless its fool proof, I’m going to fuck it up and unless its quick I’m not going to use it. But after what seemed like hours hovering over all the make-up stands (so much so the ‘security’ had started to loiter close to me) I put all the novelty items back. I gave up trying to fit everything in with the myriad of BOGOF, 2for1 and spend ‘£20 get a free contouring set’ deals and gathered together a selection of, what I think, are fool proof items to start my new collection, and do you know what?  I don’t think I’ve done too badly.

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I am not Superwoman

Well, its official, my mind is a mess, my body is a mess, my house is a mess and my parenting style is a mess.  I have been working long hours for a hellish project and it has taken its toll on every part of me. This week I’ve cried in the office over a very small thing, I’ve cried at home over big and small things. I’ve had a very poorly tummy (I will say no more on that right now), I’ve stared at my massive washing up pile every evening for the past four days but have not yet washed it up and I’m being a shit mum as all I want to do is come home and veg on the sofa when Charlotte wants me to play and we have eaten crap way too often recently (thank goodness nursery gives her real food).  

 I am apparently part time and have the salary that goes with it, yet I have also worked more than full time hours over the past few weeks and have been logging on at home in the evenings just to get stuff done.  This is not a recipe for a happy, well-balanced life is it?

 So I’m thinking about going to the doctors to be signed off for a bit after long and teary discussions with lots of my friends because I’m not sure I can do it anymore. But something is stopping me and I can’t quite figure out what.  Pride, maybe. Stubbornness, maybe.  Conscientiousness, maybe. Worried about the stigma, maybe.  But I think it’s mainly down to the fact that, even though I know it’s utter bullshit, somewhere inside of me still seems to think I should be fucking Superwoman!!  This fictional character who is able to deal with all areas of life effectively, all the time.  Whose house is spotless. Whose children don’t have tantrums and do eat broccoli. Whose nails are perfectly manicured at all times and who can still hold down a full time job and keep up with the high stresses in her job.  Single mum or not Superwoman has her shit together

superwoman Well being Superwoman and ‘having it all’ seems like a quick way into an early grave, so, as one of my friends said, I need to choose my priorities.  Surprisingly work comes nowhere near the top of this list so I need to make sure it’s not at the top of my stress list either. 

 I feel a revelation coming on. #iamnotsuperwoman

 

 

The Single Mum’s 29 (ish)-Day Challenge

Whilst wasting time passing some time on Pinterest I came upon an infographic entitled ‘The Single Girls 30-Day Challenge’.  Now, I am single girl (…lets not mention that the rest of my divorce still hasn’t gone through yet…) but not many of the challenges seemed particularly realistic so I tweaked a few and ended up with this, much more do-able, 30-day challenge.  But as its the 1st February and I’ve crossed a couple off it can be my 29 (ish) day challenge.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

e3f8150e_Love_Sex-SingleGirlsChallenge

It just sucks.

Nothing sucks more than being a single mum with a job and a poorly child.

Oh but wait, it sucks even more when you’re battling an evil cold yourself and you have deadlines looming for some pretty high profile work.

It sucks even more that you are run down as hell because you’ve been running yourself ragged for work for the past six months and not stopped.

It sucks even more that you have to choose between looking after your poorly child who just wants mummy cuddles or dropping her off with grandma so you can get to work and try and get some things crossed off the very long to do list.

It sucks that I changed to being a part-time working mum in the hope it would give me a better work-life balance, but it’s just ended up with me being paid less for trying to cram the same amount of work (maybe even more!) into four days rather than five.

It sucks that I constantly feel at least one step behind at work and one (or ten or twenty) steps behind at home.

So, in summary, being a working mum sucks.

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Goodbye 2015

As is a custom on this day each year I wish you all a happy new year and wonder where the bloody hell 2015 went??  I am also picking up my keyboard, blowing the dust off and posting something on my blog, which hasn’t happened for some time!  I guess I just got fed up of always posting depressing reads and longed for the day I could post something positive that I wouldn’t have to take back a week later because my judgement of a situation maybe wasn’t quite the real deal.

But after an exhausting few months at work, various health scares and hospital visits for both myself and my friends and family I just didn’t feel like picking up the pen to fill you lovely people on yet another crappy moment of my life so I went quiet. But I did miss posting…and reading comments from my lovely readers lots.

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Just a little round up of the festive season. 

 

Taking a glance back to my last New Years post, I actually have done lots of the things I said I would for which I’m very proud!  I have got a new job and even a promotion at that!  I finally moved house and, I (with help from my miracle worker/sleep consultant) even sorted out Charlottes sleep, meaning I had more me time and a happier daughter too!  I’m not sure I’ve yet learned what I should do with that time but that’s part of my goal for this year.

So on to 2016 and this time around my main goal is to say “no” more. 

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My new mantra…

I am a people pleaser.  I am well aware of it and it’s a family trait. I like making other people happy, I like volunteering for things, and I like to keep busy.  I get a warm and schmushy feeling when I help out but I have begun to find that being this person all the time is actually detrimental to my health and wellbeing.  I book myself up to keep busy and help others and then moan because I don’t have enough time to keep on top of the day to day things that would help me live a calmer life. So, for once, I’m going to be selfish. Not in a’selfish bitch’ way but I’m going to come first for a while and look after me. (OK, let’s be honest, I’m always going to be second to Charlotte but that would be a major improvement!)

One of the things I enjoy doing is writing my blog and I’m hoping that I haven’t lost all my readers and I can pick up the pen and keep you posted.

Please let me know what your goals are for the year in the comments below and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas break.

Lush

IMG_3456.JPGI’m writing this whilst sitting on some lush green grass in my nearby park whilst throwing the ball for the dog who has finally learnt to bring it back to me rather than leave it three yards away from me. It’s only taken seven years!

I’m listening to Taylor Swift (because I’m cool like that) and the sun is shining with a gentle breeze blowing across me.

I have a day off, Charlotte is at nursery and it is bliss.

Do I feel bad that I’m not spending my day off with my daughter? A little, but sometimes I need this. I just need some quiet time to retain the precarious balancing act that is my life.

It is also not going to be a quiet weekend as it’s my BFFs hen do. Devon on the first weekend that school break up should make for a ‘fun’ trip down south but I cannot wait to send off Rachel’s single days in style! Maybe this time I’ll even get the hang of surfing!

So grass skirt, sun cream, lewd stories and lots of booze here we come!

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Girls night out.

On Friday night I went out out with some friends from work. It was organised a while back with a group of about six girls. I’d missed out on leaving drinks for my previous job and we’d had other leavers and birthdays since then so I asked the babysitters (my parents) if they would have Charlotte and they said yes. All sorted. Let the party begin!

However, as time got closer and two girls bailed I realised I would be going out with two twenty two year olds and a twenty five year old. All who are hot and slim and hair is perfectly quaffed. They’ve also perfected that pout in all their Instagram poses which I cannot do without it looking comedy.

I started panicking. What the hell was I going to wear? I didn’t want to look like mutton dressed as lamb but I also knew that my ‘jeans and a floaty top’ combo would not cut it this time.

Queue panic mode. The only info I had was that one was wearing a backless play suit and another, a dress. I tried not to snigger at the idea of me in a backless play suit and tried to get serious so left work early to rush down to the nearest Outfit and buy the trendiest thing I could find. I realised very quickly that a crop top and shorts would not be the way forward however, so turned around and walked out.

I had planned to have the evening to sort myself out but, as they always do, plans changed and I had to pick up Charlotte from nursery, entertain her and try and get ready all at the same time. Easy peasy of course. I missed random bits of my leg whilst shaving, I have never applied fake tan so quickly, my hair dried into a fluffball despite all normal products being used and I still didn’t know what to wear. I stopped counting the amount of times my skinny jeans came on and off but I decided on a dress in the end. I say decided, I mean my friend was waiting outside to pick me up whilst I was wearing it so I had no choice.

I did my make up in the car and realised I had forgotten my mascara. The one item my face can not live without.  I felt old, my tan was somewhat haphazard, my hair was poofing at a rate of knots and now I would look like I was half asleep as well.
 

The end of the night
 Whilst out I got skipped over being ID’d twice (both times all my friends did), I realised I knew the words to songs the rest of my group had never heard before, I ordered a single measure of gin despite doubles being only a few pence extra and I wanted to dance when apparently it was not cool to do so.

Things I learnt through the night were;

  • that Coventry is a pretty crap night out
  • despite not looking ‘old’, I definitely do not look young
  • drinking out of volcanoes is never a good idea
  • and dance music and strobe lights is not my idea of good music to dance to. 
    The aforementioned volcano – who knows what was in there!
      
    Us pretending we’re enjoying the said beverage.
     

So at 1.30am I took my poorly feet and bottle of water home and hoped for at least a lie in the next morning…

I didn’t get one – damn you body clock!!

One year old! 

  
 I realised this weekend that I entirely missed my blog’s one year anniversary or ‘blogiversary’ which I’m now making a word if it isn’t already one! Unfortunately I haven’t had chance to properly celebrate as I have been blitzing my flat in readiness for new carpets but, I have managed a piece of cake or two so that’ll do.

The fact that I’ve kept at something and have actually enjoyed writing  for a whole year is something that I’m pretty damn proud of myself for to be honest. Ask my parents and ex-bosses and they’ll tell you I’m all about starting a project but get slightly bored towards the end so it’s actually quite a miracle!

I’m also amazed, having read back at my first couple of posts, how much I’ve changed and how much my life’s changed since I started writing. I am much more stable (emotionally and financially) and so much less sleep deprived!  I feel like a new woman!  I’ve even managed to get a new job so far this year and will be moving into an actual grown up house with a garden, a drive and even a bloody pantry in the next couple of months, so I’m definitely on track for a good rest of the year.

However, the most amazing thing about reaching this milestone is that people are actually reading my thoughts and I’ve made some lovely friends and discovered some other fantastic blogs from mummies around the world because of it.

So next year I have a lot planned for this blog. Maybe a giveaway or two? Maybe my very own domain name? Maybe a logo?  Maybe a blogging conference? Maybe a linky if I can work out what they actually are?  Definitely more of my thoughts and musings though if that’s ok? 

So happy birthday to theperfectjuggler. Long may my enthusiasm and love for writing for you all continue. 

For even more from me (if you dare) come and find me on the various social media sites. 

Twitter @perfectjuggler1 

Instagram @theperfectjuggler 

and on Facebook www.facebook.com/theperfectjuggler 

Sunshine on a rainy day

I just went outside in flip flops and a waterproof with the hood up.  I mean come on British Summer! What are you playing at?  When you do it well it’s so good! Take last year as a good example!  

Last summer in the UK in our swimsuits!
 
You’re warm. 

You make getting dressed in the morning easy. 

You make the idea of eating salads regularly seem do-able. 

You make fruit look delicious, juicy and tempting. 

You make it easy to entertain the kids or even let them entertain themselves. 

You make the knowledge that we’re not going abroad this year a bit easier to cope with, as you sit in a pub garden, sipping Pimms.  

You make the weekends seem a bit longer.  

You make going to work not seem too bad, as we know the sun will still be out for a few hours after 5 o’clock.

You make men wear white t-shirts, shorts and sunglasses. Yum!

You make hair lighter, skin sun kissed and freckles appear on the nose. 

In summary it’s bloody awesome! 
However…when you change your temperature every three hours and go from winter-like chills to rainforest-like humidity over the course of a few days…

You make it impossible to know what to hell to wear that day and layering becomes a necessity.  

You keep making us drag the heavy ‘winter clothes’ suitcase down from the top of the wardrobe after tricking us into thinking it would be all summer dresses and shorts from now on. 

You make picnicking into a game called ‘How much of the picnic can you eat before it starts raining?’ (Catchy, I know) 

You make planning in advance impossible. Dare I book tickets to that entirely outdoor event in three days time? …maybe not.

You make that last minute deal to a place you’ve never heard of and with no reviews seem like a really good idea.

You give us sunburn because we didn’t realise the sun was actually out through all that cloud! 

You make us spend more money on fake tan, but then I guess we are saving on sun cream.

And everyone starts to wonder whether Wimbledon will be rained off and whether Glastonbury will be muddy and welly sales go up by 50%.  

 
So please British Summertime, lets maybe use the upcoming summer solstice to change this crappy weather around and give us a boost of vitamin D for a few consecutive weeks please. 
Thanks in advance.