Whenever I’m struggling and something has to give, it’s always blogging that’s first to go. It’s such a shame because it’s the thing that has the biggest positive impact on how I’m feeling.
I’m feeling a little better actually. I’ve got some help in the form of medication and things seem brighter.
A few weekends ago, just when I desperately needed a little break, we went away camping with a huge group of friends. My friends. Friends I’ve made in the short time since I moved here. It feels so good to be able to say that. Isolation was my biggest fear when I moved, and I can be a bit crap at making new friends. It turns out that having similarly-aged kids in common is great for making friends, although I still felt a little bit like I was forcing myself on people. Between all of us campers we had over 20 children. We managed to camp in a big circle and sort of contain the children’s play area. This was brilliant because we could see them from our camp and didn’t have to go and spend all day standing in a play park. The grown ups could chill too. No matter how much you chill though, camping with four kids is bloody hard work. Especially when two of them are still such little dependent babies. Even though they slept much better than I dared to hope, I was so stressed. I snapped at Trevor plenty of times and I feel awful about it.
We’ve managed to squeeze in some other fun things recently too, despite being very short of cash. We’re so lucky to have Pontypridd Lido just down the road. It’s amazing and also free to use this year! Thank you EU funding! We don’t go swimming often enough (I can’t take two babies on my own and Trevor works such long hours) so I was stunned, and very very impressed, to find that with armbands Iris can confidently doggy paddle.
On the weekend, in the drizzle, we went to Hendrewennol Fruit Farm for a photoshoot with Donna Loring of Sweet Whimsy Photography as part of her #sweetsummerchallenge (more on that soon!). Despite the weird weather we had a really lovely time and I’m very excited to see the finished pictures. Donna does family photography with a bit of a difference. She doesn’t use a studio and prefers to photograph families as they go about doing their own thing in the great outdoors. It means the pictures are much more natural. We were all fairly covered in mud, grass and squished strawberries by the end, which should make for some interesting shots! I’m really struggling with my body image at the moment, so I’m trying really hard not to worry about looking really fat in the images. I know how daft that might seem, but I can’t help it. It’s important that I get past it so that I am in pictures when the kids are grown up and want to look back at their childhood.
This week, just as the heatwave kicked in, we headed to the Royal Welsh Show with my mum. Trevor is there all week working on a trade stand. He’ll be stood next to the head of a wind turbine that looks a bit like a space rocket, if anybody fancies saying hello! The temperature was a bit of a shock. The night before I considered packing waterproof coats and didn’t take the threat of hot weather particularly seriously. We do live in Wales after all! Instead I had to kit us all out in shorts. Well, the kids. I wore jeans which was a huge mistake. It was ridiculously hot, and it meant that we spent most of the day stopping in shady spots and eating ice cream. We missed at least 80% of the show. Such a shame after the early start and long drive up there, but Iris seemed to have a lot of fun hanging out with my mum and that’s what really counts. Astrid usually hates the heat, but wasn’t as cranky as I thought she might be. Thank goodness. Unfortunately Iris was quite violently sick on the way home, all over the inside of my mum’s car. We cleaned it up in a car park, but the smell and the heat were not a good combination for the rest of the journey home!
We’ve been down to the local Meithrin and registered Iris to do two mornings per week from September. It was so odd to go into a childcare setting as a parent after so many years of working in them. Iris went into the play rooms while I filled out forms in the office, and she didn’t care one bit that I wasn’t there. Hopefully that’s a good sign for September! She’s very excited about starting because they have some fancy looking red bikes in the garden and she’s desperate to try them out! On the way home I asked her what she’d played with and she said “I found a rainbow and I licked it”. I have no idea what to think about that. I wish she’d just stop growing up.
Because of the hot weather, we’ve just moped about the rest of this week. We’ve alternated between sitting on the sofa between two fans, and sitting in the paddling pool. We’ve barely been out. Public transport in hot weather is not fun. Plus we all seem to be lacking in energy. We have done some very messy painting, and I’ve been quite successful in not letting the disasterous mess that is our house get me down.
I’ve got some stuff to write about coming up. A couple of product reviews, some tales to tell, and a few other bits. My drafts folder is full of half written stuff, so hopefully I’ll get on top of things and get some of it finished soon. In the meantime, I’ll be doing my best to take part in the world properly again.