Monday, March 26, 2012

Harri on the ladder on the success

Since my last post, Harri has yet again, astounded us all and has changed from the head turning demon girl from The Exorcist to little orphan Annie!! Constantly wanting cuddles and wanting to hold hands...where has Harri gone I ask myself and at the back of mind I'm waiting for that little switch to change back again...

It has happened...yet.

BUT...she still reminds us every now and again who's in

Tonight, as she has done for the last 3 nights, she has gone to bed with NO nappy. Just PJs. All through the bedtime story, one of the girls was parping like a good'un, but both (unusually) were in denial.

At the last minute, just before saying good night, Harri asked to have a wee and a pooh. We tried, but to no avail and had I left her alone sat on the toilet, the toilet roll would have certainly been unrolled and stuffed down the toilet.

So, back to bed we went. Kissed goodnight to both Harri and Drew.

Within 5 minutes, we heard those immortal words on the intercom.

"I've done a pooh".

Quite rightly, Drew tried to correct Harri on her tenses and verbs an
d said "No Harri, you want a pooh".

"No" Harri replied and you could hear the smile in her voice. "I've DONE a pooh".

I looked and Jerry and he looked at me. We both pushed eachother to go and in the end we both knew that if it were true, both of us would be needed for the clearup operation.

As we entered the Princess' laire, we all knew she'd dropped her kids off at the pool...whiffee or what!!??

Jerry carried her under the arms to the just-washed bright white bath mat in the bathroom and I looked inside her PJs to assess the 'kids at the pool' who had appeared.

Harri thought it was quite funny and took great pleasure in watching her Daddy holding his breath as he often does in these leakage situations. Of course, Drew HAD to get out of bed and assess the damage and provide us with her viewpoint on the smell emminating from the PJ region. As we always have wetwipes close to hand, it wasn't as bad as I had first imagined and within a few minutes, we had her all cleared up and ready again for bed.

As I carried back to the bedroom, I couldn't believe the smell was worse in the bedroom! I
suddenly realised that the inside of the PJ's wasn't all of it. There must have be more.

Pulling back Harri's bed cover, I held my breath this time and prepared for the worst...but there was nothing. Not a sausage...pardon the pun...but it stank!!

I asked Harri and I asked Drew...was there pooh I couldn't see? I turned on the light and there it was...carefully balancing on the 3rd step of the bunkbed ladder.

Now Harri sleeps on the bottom bunk, so how the rounded chunk happened to be all the way up there is a mystery and one can only imagine. Of course, the same thought crossed my mind at the same time as Drew...how Drew managed to miss stepping in this when she came down to assess the number two situation is nothing short of a miracle, but it was enough to
send Drew over the edge into histerics and asking both of us to check her feet.

Luckily for Drew, her feet had escaped the horror that was Harri's rather 'rotund deposit', but it still took her about 30mins to calm down but Harri managed to go off to sleep pretty quickly. Funny that!

Anyone read Horrible Harriet...you should...it's Harriet Hartell ALL OVER!!!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Grey Stuff

I'm very black and white.

If I am presented with a challenge or face a problem, I will always search out the answer. Try everything to correct it. If I can't fix it, it annoys the bajeebers outta me! That's when I apparently need to accept not everything IS black and white.

Harriet certainly is NOT black and white.

I have held back completing and returning my Health Visitor toddler check form confirming all is well in the world of Harriet Hartell. Because every day is a different story.

You might be thinking she's no different from anyone elses 2.5yr old, but to me...she's unique.

She's driving me slowly insane again. She's back in nappies day and night because she thinks it's funny to pee and pooh anywhere but the toilet or the potty.

She continually taunts her sister, biting her usually leaving poor Drew with a bite mark. Drew always forgives her though.

Advice I have been given:
1. ALWAYS be in the same room as them to help prevent an occurance.
2. If you witness a potential biting, grab her arm and stick it in the way of her mouth so she ends up biting herself.
3. ALWAYS deal with victim first - lots of over the top snuggles and attention, whilst moving the biter away and saying "biting is wrong".
4. Don't make a big deal of the biting with the biter. Say - its wrong - leave it that. Whilst also remembering to get the biter to say sorry.
5. Leave her in nappies until she's begging to have pants again.
6. Go shopping for new pants for the older child so the younger can see whats she's missing.
7. Don't get angry
8. Don't hold a grudge
9. Make sure they are stimulated. Biting can sometimes come from bordem...not always though!
10. Make sure they play separately.

So, tomorrow I'm going to give this 10point list a go even though some of it sounds impossible.

Any other suggestions???

Monday, February 27, 2012

Spinning Plates

I originally wrote this in July 2010, but it's only NOW - Feb 2012 - that I feel that it is the right time to publish it...out there...

Amazing if you can do it. Even more amazing if you can maintain it. As a Mum of two children under the age of three and back to work - full time, I feel that spinning plates is a good metaphor for my fast-paced life right now.

For me, there are always lots of plates in the air above my head. Each plate representing different things I’m trying to manage in my life. One plate for working full time, one plate for being a housekeeper, one for being chief cook and bottlewasher, one plate for going food shopping, one plate for dogwalking, one plate for being a wife, two plates for being Mum and an entertainer. I have to keep them all spinning - or risk one or more of them falling and breaking.

Four weeks ago, all of my plates stopped spinning and fell to the floor. Not knowing what was going on, but feeling completely helpless, confused, frustrated and exhausted, I visited my GP for help. I’m sure I infuriated everyone in the waiting room as I was much longer than the 15 minutes they normally allow for an appointment, but after a long tear-filled discussion about how I had been feeling for some time, how my husband didn’t understand me and everything in life was his fault, she asked me to complete a standard health questionnaire.

Some of the multiple choice questions were scarily to the point. Thinking about whether I had ‘thoughts about ending my life’ brought it home to me how serious these feelings could potentially get. After completing the questionnaire, being ordered to take two weeks off work to rest and relax and handed some information about anti-depressants, I realised I was being diagnosed with depression. The Doctor suggested it could be anti-natal depression maybe as a result of the health problems we experienced with Harriet early on, but whatever the reason, it came under the umbrella of ‘depression’ and that in itself was a bit of shock to someone like me who has always felt in control, self-motivated and quite jolly and upbeat.

However, I hadn’t realised that I had managed to continue with this ‘mask’ whilst working, but at home I’d become the wicked witch of west with a bad hangover. Everything at home was going wrong and I just blamed my husband. Even when I knew it wasn’t his fault. I still blamed him and I couldn’t admit I knew I was wrong. If I think back, it must have started some months ago. The first sign being my periods stopping and I then sent out a search party for my libido but even the search party didn’t return! Stupidly I thought I was going through the menopause, but after being tested negative for that in May, I forgot all about it. Now it all makes sense and the missing piece of the puzzle has been found.

Two weeks after seeing the GP, I returned for a review and the Doc signed me off again for another two weeks, ordering MORE relaxation, but also said I had to get regular exercise to make my natural endorphins start working again. I love running, but it’s hard to get yourself motivated when your’re lacking in the very one quality you need! The Doctor handed me a prescription for anti-depressants with the a list of side effects as long as the Great Wall and I’ve now been taking those for two weeks.

So far, the only side effect I’ve experienced is continual yawning, so I’m constantly apologising to everyone in the queue in the post office and the lady at the till at Asda. They must think I’m so rude, but I don’t feel like I can say ‘sorry, it’s my medication’ just incase they order a white van and a one way ticket to Loonyville. Anyway, I think I was actually living in Loonyville up until I had a break from work! The other side effect is unfortunately lack of libido. I say unfortunately because it IS unfortunate - for other people. I, on the other hand, still have a libdo sunning itself somewhere on Libido Island, so it’s not really a problem for me. Anyway, I want to concentrate on getting my head back in working order. Make sure all the nuts and bolts are tightened up and the cogs are rotating correctly and then we’ll think about where my mojo has moved to.

As a result of this life-changing event in our lives, we’ve had to rethink our future. It’s clear that working full time AND running a house and bringing up two children is too much for me to take but even now, saying that feels weird, but since being signed off, my relationship with Jerry is no longer strained and I no longer feel angry or short-tempered. I still really can’t understand why I couldn’t make it all work, but I’m having to admit that I just can’t. I tried and I failed. And that’s how it feels if I’m honest. I feel like I failed. Friends and family will tell me I haven’t, but they can’t deny my feeling and that feeling of failure for now is real. Maybe it’s as a result of setting myself high expectations and I fully admit that, but I’m not going to waste time analysing the whys.

I’m now looking forward to making our lives more balanced and if that means reducing my hours at work, or even looking for a new part-time job, then if that what it takes, I’ll do it. It also means I’ll be able to spend more time with Drew & Harriet and that can’t be bad.

For many people, achieving a good quality of life IS dependent on striking a good balance between the demands of employment and responsibilities at home, combining their career with being the primary carer of their children. Factors at my office such as the advances in information technology, the quick response time expected, the importance attached to high levels of quality customer service, the provision of a blackberry so I can be constantly available and the pace of process change with its resultant adjustments all demanded my time. This coupled with the ever-advancing development of our two children and everything that goes along with that was too much.

So, I’m on the long road to recovery, and it might sound odd, but I’m glad this happened to us. This could have continued on for much longer and who knows where what situation we could have found ourselves in. We now have a golden opportunity to relook, rethink and rejig our lives. Create for ourselves a perfect balance of work and family. We know we might not get it right again, but there’s no reason why we can’t relook, rethink and rejig it again ‘til we get right.

As much as I thought I was, I just ain’t Superwoman.

(But I’m sure I’d look great in the outfit. Who knows maybe that’s the secret to my mojo returning!)

Written in July 2010