Throwback Thursday…Track 22

This weeks track is Dolly Parton and ‘9 to 5’ – I just can’t help but to dance and sing along when this song comes on! A sure-fire mood lifter and booty mover. If you’re feeling glum on a Monday morning, whack this on and sing about your work-woes whilst making yourself smile!


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PS – Clare’s choice of track is particularly relevant at the moment…we have both been so busy working that our blog posts are slowing down a little bit, we hope to be back up to full speed soon!

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White Wedding…Cakes

I’ve collated another fab pinterest board for white only wedding cakes….they are so elegant, and definitely a style I love to bits.

A white cake is not uncommon for weddings, but usually with accents of colours from the theme used as well.
These deliciously stunning cakes show how simplicity and style can still be used in an all white cake, with accents, designs and embellishments making the finished cake look flawless. (1)

Check out our pinterest board here.
Follow Blossom To Flourish’s board White Wedding…Cake on Pinterest.

For our wedding, we went for an all white design, with black ribbon and a red velvet cake. It was yum!

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Conception Journey…Trials and Tribulations

This post continues from here.

The first ovulation test was done. Errrrr, what do these lines mean exactly? OK, so they should be the EXACT SAME colour, right? One shouldn’t be paler than the other. Oh, one’s a test line, I see. How confusing. I have a test line and another line, but they aren’t the same shade of pink. Ovulation ain’t happening in the next 48 hours. Cool, I’ll try again tomorrow.

Tomorrow comes, same results. And the next day, and the day after that. You get the picture. So does this mean I’m not ovulating? Bugger. Not what I was expecting, but this was the first cycle I was trying this, and we were still trying to get pregnant nonetheless. Maybe I just hadn’t done the test right.

Needless to say, this continued for a good few cycles. The tests were never really conclusive, I was not sure I was doing them properly, either at the right time in my cycle, or at the right time in the day. Some days the lines were close in colour, others they were complete opposites. I’d take pictures of the lines and send them to Bobby to see what he thought. He couldn’t tell either.

I look back at this now and I realise how much unnecessary stress I was putting on myself! I really thought the tests would guide us a bit more, help us pinpoint the days I was ovulating but they seemed to be doing anything but. I swapped brands, trying the Tesco ones instead. I had a bit more luck with these, the two lines very often seemed more similar, and I’d convinced myself I must be ovulating. But still no pregnancy.

Bobby showed a massive amount of interest in this part of the process. I’m lucky, he wanted to be involved, he wanted to know what was going on with my cycle, to know when we should start trying etc. He asked me question after question, and I have to admit, it made me feel more pressured. Not because he made me feel bad, or that he put that pressure on me. I pressured myself.  I felt like I should be the expert on this, I’d done the research, I’d read the guidance out there, I should know what’s what. But I didn’t know. I wasn’t an expert. I’m just me, and I just want us to get pregnant, and I was failing.

By now we were approaching Summer 2012, and it was over a year since we’d started trying. I kept repeating ‘It can take up to two years to get pregnant, don’t worry’, but I never really believed it. Not really. I’d started imagining something was wrong, that there was a reason I couldn’t get pregnant, and it scared me. It really did. Obsessed is not the word I would use to describe how I was feeling, because I’m not that kind of person. But it was on my mind, all the time, and I knew that wasn’t healthy. I needed to change my outlook on this whole situation, and my behaviour.

I ditched the ovulation tests. They’d never given me any confidence anyway, and all it felt like I was doing was staring at stick for answers. What I should be doing, is stop the worrying, and start enjoying the journey again. So I let it go, and it was a wonderfully easy thing to do, and it lifted both me and Bobby in spirits. I started thinking positively about the whole thing, and took a lot of inspiration from my older sister Yvette, who at 37 had just had her second child. It gave me hope that time wasn’t running out for me, that all I needed was to focus on my health and happiness, and let this happen on it’s own timetable.

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Working Mother Guilt

I returned to work when my daughter was 9 months old. I had 10 months Maternity Leave, needing to finish work early because of Pelvic Girdle Pain (sometimes referred to as SPD). I was later diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome which explained some of the difficulties I was having physically, but more about that in a later post.

When I went back, I was desperately sad that I would be spending far less time with my daughter but I knew I needed to return to work and having agreed to go back part time on three days a week, I felt I was doing the minimum. I was reassured knowing that I still had 4 days with her – I was fixated on the fact that she was with me over 50% of the time so it was fine.

At first, it went really well. Adrenaline saw me through the first couple of months and I felt like I was Super-Woman! I was being really efficient at work and then I was being fun-mommy on my days off and (sort of) keeping on top of the house. I felt brilliant! Then my spark went out. Good lord, I was tired.

I was working long hours Tuesday-Thursday to try to fit in 5 days worth of work into the 3 days I was in the office. I realised I had to do that as it is very difficult to work from home with a toddler who wants to press all the keys on the laptop and draw over all of your files! My husband works in retail so often works weekends so I was finding that I was doing 3 or 4 days of solo parenting after 3 exhausting days at work. Something had to change.

After a great deal of time deliberating, I decided I had to go up to 4 days. My work was suffering and I was so tired and stretched that I was getting super grumpy with Hubby and I didn’t have the energy to have exciting adventures with my daughter. It seemed daft to be doing all that extra work and not being paid for it too.

The first Monday was so tough. I sobbed in the shower. I sobbed when getting dressed. I sobbed into my cheerios. I felt so guilty. I felt like I chose Mondays for ME. I wasn’t strong enough to make 3 days work. I wasn’t strong enough to manage 3 days at work, 4 days with my daughter. I was choosing work over her.

The rational side of my brain said don’t be ridiculous. A happy mother is a happy child. However, the emotional side of my brain kept arguing back and making me doubt myself. I’ll keep fighting it. This is best for all of us. It’s best for all of us. It’s best for all of us. If I keep saying it, the rational part will win over the emotional part, right?

I honestly have so much respect for single parents! In fact, I just have respect for ALL parents. We are all just doing the best we can and no doubt will continue to feel guilty about everything!

My aim is to ensure that I keep to normal office hours on the 4 days I am in work so that I can make the most of the couple of hours in the evening before my daughter’s bedtime and for our 3 days together to be fun. Fingers crossed I make this work.

How are you balancing things?

My beautiful baby & fur-baby

My beautiful baby & fur-baby

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