Yes it's another gallery post, from The Mrs Tara Cain (and yes, it's THE Mrs, not just Mrs, because, you know, it's Tara. Yeah) and this week's theme is "Outside My Front Door".

I had NO IDEA what to do for this one, since directly outside my front door is my car, hubs' car, more cars and then some houses. And often, some kick-ass sunrises.

Although it looks nice in the snow too.

So I took a very short walk down the road to the end of my close, and quite liked this.

And then I looked up and realised I'm lucky enough to live a ridiculously short walking distance from wildlife and countryside.

And more wildlife and countryside.

Of course, having a short driving distance to several town centres and a major city is pretty cool.

You can find wildlife there, too.

Yeah, see I don't have any. No solutions at all. I hope to soon. I don't know how many times I can bounce back. I can't make "just bouncing back" a habit. I need to fix the problems. But I don't know what the problems are.

For the sake of my boys, my sanity, my life, for now, I'll just keep bouncing back, best as I can.

Maybe sometimes I'll just need a little help with the old springboard. Everything weighs a little more than before, you know.

ETA: Thank you to everyone who supports me when I'm being utterly crap. I don't always deserve your support when I'm being so difficult but you should know I always appreciate you being there. I really hope one day I can call on one of you when I really, really need you.
It's another post about depression. Sorry. But that's how it is lately. That seems to be the theme of my life lately. I'm not even sure why.

I've had enough of everything, I've had enough of everyone. I've had enough of not wanting to sleep, and yet being so desperate to sleep. I've had enough of nightmares at night, waking up D, and being completely unaware of having nightmares and waking up D.

I've had enough of trying to figure out people, and who and what they are to me. I've had enough of being desperate for company and wanting to be left alone.

I can't deal with having lots of small successes and yet it's still never enough for me.

I've had enough of this. I've had enough of living my life, unintentionally, as 2 people. I'm tired of this feeling of schizophrenia.

I'm so tired. Tired of everything. I really want out. Call me a quitter? Go ahead, I don't even care. Small things are happening..that's great. Things are maybe looking up, I should be pleased.

I can't shake this slump though. I hate to say any of this to anyone, because I know it makes me look ungrateful for any of the things that are happening now. But I don't want to be me anymore. I don't like this person. I don't like who I am, I don't like who I'm "supposed" to be.

Even though it's all self inflicted.

Lately I hate being a mom. Yes, I said it. But not because I don't love my boys. But because I forever feel I can do nothing right, and quite frankly, the job sucks. I've stopped seeing rewards because I'm working so hard on trying to keep everything else ticking over. I'm not even doing nearly as much as some other parents, so why the hell can't I even cope with what's on my plate?

I can't shake this. I can't shake any of it. I'm not strong enough to deal with it, and I don't want to deal with it any more. I seem to spend the best part of my life dealing with it.

I want out. I really want out. I don't want to do this anymore. I've had enough. Someone else do it. I don't want hugs. I don't want sympathy. I don't want "It'll get better". I don't want anything any more.

I just want out.
Yeah I've kinda been a bit neglectful lately, so yeah um, sorry, it's because, my um, raccoon, got into this fight with a um, left sock, which was incidentally NOT one of the sock missing from my wardrobe, and did you see that thing on tv the other day about the thing with the cheese because I thought it was almost like that story in the paper this morning about toast?



Where have you been?

I've been here waiting all this time.

Are you confused?

I fucking am.

Ok I'm just going to distract you with stuff.

Go read this (and PLEASE help me out!!!)

You need to go view THIS ARTICLE ON DUCT TAPE and let me know if you've tried any. If you DO attempt any, please let me know because it's more than likely you will become my hero.

I want to learn to sing this song and play it on the piano.

Bacon or Beer Can. I can't decide, but it still cracks me up every time.

Tara Cain has put this week's gallery up. I haven't a clue what to do, so I reckon I'm gonna wing it. Again. You know, for a change. And I'll tell everyone I put lots of thought into it.

Shit, I may have just hyped myself up too much already.

And also, COCK! I have NO IDEA what to do for next month's YOR. I'm supposed to be meeting people this month, and that seems to have gone a bit pear shaped and I've not met nearly as many people as I'd hoped. So if you have nothing better to do, are really bored and fancy pointing and laughing at me in person rather than through my blog, let me know, ok? It'll be fun, I'm sure.

Lastly (no more links after this, promise) I would like THIS PORK PRODUCT RELATED SITE to sponsor me for something. I don't know what. Bacon eating contest, maybe. Or perhaps to write more on the Ode to Bacon.

I lied when I said no more links (of course I lied! HAH.)

There's this big old competition going on about some blogger awards, called The MADS, and you should all totally go nominate some blogs. I hasten to add, I'm not (necessarily) asking to be nominated, because there isn't a category for "Blogger That Rambles on About The Most Pointless Shit Known to Man" (which if there WAS, I would TOTALLY whoop all a y'all asses), but there are lots of people who should be nominated, and a soon as I figure it out, I might try and sneak a badge in the old sidebar to remind you to GO VOTE for people. Or yourself! Go vote for yourself! You are pretty amazing, after all.
Because this one actually said it funnier than I did :D

Chin up.

That's what they say isn't it? When you've battled along, and it all seems like it's going to shit, and you're really down.

Chin up.

That's what you do isn't it? You hold your head up, take on said chin, and try to move on as best you can, learning along the way.

Chin up.

That's what you see isn't it? You look up, directly into the eyes of those crapping on, directly into the face of what's trying to stop you and brave it all.

Chin up.

That's what you feel isn't it? You feel the physical sense of picking your whole self up, no matter how down you are and adorn yet another layer of battle armour.

Chin up.

That's what I must do isn't it?

I've done it before, I can do it again, right?

I just knew I'd get sucked into this. That Tara Cain woman over at Sticky Fingers with her damn good idea of The Gallery which I'm now frigging sucked in to, and I defy myself not to post but I post anyway. DAMN YOU AND YOUR WILLFUL WAYS.

I had no idea about this one. She said this week's theme is "Me". So I'm all "who the hell am I? I have no idea. What do people know about me? An awful lot. I don't hide much of me from people, I tell it like it is rarely giving a rats ass, and yet there's still that vulnerable side which I try not to display too often."

So then I thought, "how the hell can I show 'ME', as above?" Needless to say, I skated past the ideas of boobs and ass (and feet) because Tara would kick my ass. But then I thought, "but you know what? That's ME. I kinda just put it all out there. I put the stuff out there that not everyone wants to see or hear. It's exactly me. I make you stop, have a think and look again."

So I did.

(Click the pic to see the rest of my "Month of Me" on flickr)
I'm shit at poetry. But I was set a bit of a challenge this weekend, and in all honesty, I quite enjoyed it. It sure as hell showed me why I'll never be a writer, but still.

I thought it wasn't too bad.

Presenting, my special words, dedicated to Sam at Keep Calm & Eat Cake.

Ode To Bacon

Oh Bacon! Dear Bacon!
This ode, it is for you.
A chance for one to claim a love
For you, so strong and true.
Your tastiness, one must confess!
For you? I'd join a queue.

Oh Bacon! Dear Bacon!
You are substance divine.
So crispy and yet stringy too,
Oh yes! God bless the swine.
A fry-up any time of day
With you just tastes divine.

Oh Bacon! Dear Bacon!
How could one live without thee?
Even veggies would convert,
You influence so greatly.
You hold a place in all men's hearts,
A place, deserved, so rightly.

Something's happening. I'm not sure what it is, or how to deal with it. It's a good thing, trust me, a very good thing. A nice thing. But I don't know how to handle the situation.

If anything, she'd probably just tell me to go with the flow. She'd probably just say that it's ok. Don't stress about it. It's normal. People make good friends all the time. I know that. Of course I know that! Like, DUH, I know people make good friends.

I'll probably offend an awful lot of people with this post. People who thought they knew me. People who thought they understood me. People who tried to relate to me, to understand what it is about me. What makes me tick.

I pushed most of them away at the first sign of misunderstanding.

See, the thing is, there's just too much going on for me to have to explain myself. I can't explain who I am, what I am, in just a few short words. And sadly, that means an awful lot of people don't have the time for me as a friend. Sure people tolerate me, or hang around me occasionally. Maybe I misunderstand them, maybe they misunderstand me.

In fact, I know I'm misunderstood. I suspect many people think I'd rather just get on with things by myself. Deal with my own problems in my own time. Not want to share problems with others for feedback, or advice, or just to generally sound off.


And that's a shame.

Because often, the above is the exact opposite. I need to sound off all the time. Just one reason I started this blog. I can deal with stuff, but not always on my own. It gets too much. I need to share problems. All the time. But I need to be heard. I don't always want you to keep interrupting me with your experiences. I don't want to finally open up to you, only to have you talk over me and me not even finish what I was saying. Sometimes? It is all about me.

To the very few who DO offer me their ear, GENUINELY, I don't always take it. I have my reasons. Usually because I know they couldn't relate, or I just don't really know how to talk about it, or they're not right for me at that time...but I always appreciate the offer. Always. And I hope they know that. I'm sure they know that. I hope that even though I almost always decline to talk to them, they don't ever stop offering, because sometimes that in itself, is enough.

Am I too fussy in picking friends? Am I foolish for not letting potential friends get too close? I haven't had a good friend since I left high school. There have been people come and go since then. There are people who I let get close, too close, and then pushed them away because they hurt me.

I don't seem the vulnerable sort, do I? Yeah that's me, tough exterior, maybe a little soft on the inside, just gets on with it, takes no bullshit, and takes most other stuff on the chin.

There are people who are discovering that's not the case, all the time.

There are some people who ARE lovely. Beyond belief. And I want to spend more time with them. Different reasons make it difficult. Or, different circumstances mean we're not in the same place, which is fine. They're still so very lovely. They know who they are. They know I'll always be there for them, no matter what. They know I'll always smile when they get in touch. They may not think it's them that I'm talking about, but that's ok. They still make me smile.


She's lovely. She's the sort of person I wish I'd known a long time ago. She understands way too much. I nod my head vigorously in agreement with every email she sends. She makes me laugh. A lot. To the point where I have to tweet her just to tell her she made me laugh. I'm jealous of her talents, even though it's in areas in which I hold very little desire to excel.

I've had lots of friends. I've had some good friends, and still do. I currently have one or two great friends, who I always have time for. But it's been some time since I had a best friend, who just, well, knows.

Just let it flow, right? Don't push her away? Don't get hung up? Don't get weirded out? This post probably sounds like I've found a new love of my life (I stress I'm happily married, and not a lesbian. And of course there's nothing wrong with lesbians. *snort*), but seriously, I get nervous when someone seems a bit...perfect? Good for me?

Is it wrong that I'm kind of waiting to find some major flaw that makes me revert to my usual rant of "see? Let someone get too close? They will fuck you over. And you'll be back to square one. And be full of regret. And you'll learn your lesson. And they never took you seriously in the first place. And didn't you know they were just humouring you? And of course, they were only so nice to you just to make themselves look good. And they never took you seriously. And you're a fool. And also? DUH."

Continue downward spiral of ridiculous thinking.

I hate this way of thinking. I don't want to freak her out. I don't want to push her away. I don't even want her to be freaked out by this post. I just hope she understands that I don't cope so well with people ALWAYS being there for me. Even through their own shit. Even when they are at the end of their own tether.

I don't know where this post is going. What I do know, is that I'm apprehensive. I know she fully understands why. I know she has so many other friends who help and support her immensely, and she does the same for them in return. So I'm apprehensive because I don't want to get hurt again, by someone I consider important to me. I suppose I just count myself incredibly lucky, despite my cynicism, that she counts me as one of those friends.

And I know that, even though I don't understand this now, that this really is unchartered territory for me, and I'm not just chilling out and enjoying the situation (Situation? It's not even that. I don't know what else to call it...normal-ness?), I'll look back and count myself as incredibly damn lucky to have been in this situation. To have known her, and have her give time and have patience for me.

I hope she knows that.
The Secret Post Club
I decided to take part in Heather's Secret Post Club idea, which quite honestly, is just genius. You get assigned a name, twitter id, post address and a little info about the person. What's cool is you don't know who's mailing to you. Or what they're going to mail you. Basically, like Secret Santa, only it's every month.

My sender was the lovely Geriatric Mummy, who sent me a gorgeous smelling bath oil and a jar of organic hand cream. She's a fully qualified qualified aromatherapist, reflexologist, indian head massage and reiki practitioner, so she's very clued up on natural oils and all things that smell delicious like that.

Here's what she says about what she sent:

In the aluminium bottle is dispersing bath oil. It has a base of Almond Oil which is very nutritious and moisturising for the skin. It is scented with Rose Otto and Sweet Orange essential oils...

In the blue jar is an organic hand cream, again scented with Rose Otto and Sweet Orange essential oils. The cream contains Aloe Vera, White Camellia Oil, Sunflower Oil and Macadamia Nut Oil and is, I think, just gorgeous :)

I chose Rose Otto oil as it is the oil that best represents love and femininity. It's a relaxing, nurturing oil that nourishes and supports our emotional wellbeing. Sweet Orange eases tension and frustration, disperses irritability and enhances joy and positivity. From one mummy to another I thought these oils would serve you very well.

And she's right, they smell damn near DIVINE. And how amazingly thoughtful to think through a choice of oils that might work best for me? I'm feeling quite spoilt I have to say.

What's even more cool, is it was a gift that kept on giving. GM had wrapped them in tissue paper, making for some very nice photos, and the chance for me to play around some more with my macro lens.

Turns out I wasn't the only one who wanted to play. Unbeknown to me and Geriatric Mummy, it turns out Noah has a thing for bubble wrap. The boy sat still and popped for over half an hour.

Thank you so much Geriatric Mummy and thank you to Heather for the brilliant idea!!!!! xxxxx
A light "intermission" if you will.

And just because I find it fucking hilarious.

Despite being the one to suggest the Theme of Colour for Tara Cain's Gallery this week, I found it all too easy to succumb to taking a picture of the millions of colourful toys littering the lounge, or the green grass outside or whatever.

Then a very lengthy life-story email to someone who unwittingly is becoming one of the best friends I ever had, made me have a second think about colour. The email reminded me of all sorts of things related to colour. Sadly, not in a good way, but certainly in a way that would make you sit the hell up and think.

Just the word, "colour", hits a nerve for me. It's something I've had to deal with all my life. Sure we ALL deal with it in some way, but funnily enough, for me it's been more of an issue than anything else.

Growing up as a cellist, people used to ask me "What's it like being a black cellist?" "What's it like being the only black person in an orchestra?" "Those coloured people in the audience, do you know them? Are they your family?"

My friends, mostly white and Asian, would see other black people on the street and (genuinely) say "look, that's your brother isn't it?" "I was out shopping the other day and I saw this black girl and thought it was you" "I think I saw your sister the other day, that coloured girl who works in that shop?"

You couldn't make this shit up.

Oddly, the one thing that bothers me most in that last paragraph, is being called "coloured". I'm going to ask you to stop and have a think, before you label someone coloured. And what I'd like you to think about is this.

When you're ill, you're green.
When you're embarassed, you're red.
When you're cold you're blue.
When you've been on the tanning spray you're orange.
When you're dead you're grey.
When you're asphyxiated you're purple.
When you're jaundiced you're yellow.
When you're terrified you're white.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there just about all the colours of the rainbow in there?

Me? I stay black. Or "brown", if you REALLY want to be PC. I go slightly darker if I stay out in the sun. And I become - yes. Another shade of brown.

So more often than not, when I look at the people around me, I don't see colour. Not in that sense. My husband is "white". My in-laws are "white". I am "black". My great grandmother was asian ("yellow").

So here is my Gallery Contribution.

It's a little lame. But I don't always see colour. I'd like to think I see much, much more.
Well, no, but saying "Have a break" was lame, so I stole the other part of that slogan.

Oh god, it's gonna be a weird one.

I dunno what's up with me. I think I'm spiralling towards another crisis. I don't think it's Slippery Slope...but it doesn't feel far off. There are just too many damn thoughts in my head, about everything, and oddly enough I'm preferring to keep them in than to let them out.

This, of course, is dangerous. I will totally fuck myself over if I don't get this shit out. Unfortunately, I seem to have become so self critical lately, I don't think I can even say what's on my mind "the right way".

I've become increasingly aware of people's perceptions on how we convey ourselves. We have to be grammatically correct, we must write beautifully, and we must interest others. As I've stated before, I do none of the above. I can't do any of the above, because it's not what I'm about. But I've realised lately, that suddenly I want to be heard. By anybody. Preferably by someone who's interested.

So in order to be heard, I wait.

I wait for the right time, to say the right thing, in order for the right person to hear me AND appreciate me.

Of course, this means I'll be waiting a very fucking long time.

Funnily enough, I partially blame twitter. There are an awful lot of people on there celebrating their achievements with others. I think this is fantastic. And also, there was once a time when I would have aspired to these people; to be like them, to be better than them; to achieve what they're doing and join the ranks of those who are succeeding.

Instead, I find myself shying away, taking annoying pity on myself (and trust me, it's fucking annoying) and wishing I could be as good as everyone else. Stupid thing is, I don't even know what it is I want to be good at any more.

Since the Classical Music rug was snatched from beneath my feet, and more and more "issues" come to light with my boys, I doubt myself and declare myself #FAIL in near enough everything I do. And it's driving me batshit.

"What about that photography malarky shit you had going on?" I hear you cry. Well, with every picture I take, I often think it's a load of shit. I don't take criticism well any more, so with every single piece of constructive criticism/feedback that came regarding my site, destroyed me a tiny little bit. Which is so fucking ridiculous, because people are trying to help me. And of course, I always appreciate help.

I just wish I knew how to accept it.

I'm thinking about taking a break. And by break, I mean no blogging, no twitter, no photography, nothing. Like, disappear off the planet for a while. I don't know how long a while is. Maybe a few days. Maybe a few weeks. No idea.

What's frustrating is I know that would be a really bad idea. If I lose contact with people right now, I'll start to dig deeper inside my head, and unearth the shit that I can't cope with right now (maybe not ever). Truth is, I need the help and support. I just don't know how to ask for it without being critical in return. It's all I've ever known, it's all I've ever done. Strive for the best, don't accept anything less. No one wants to know if you don't push hard 24/7. Only your best is good enough.

All that shit.

Which, unfortunately, stuck more than I'd have liked.

I wish I knew where I was going. I wish I knew what I could do. I wish I knew what or who to be.

I wish I was somebody.
I suddenly understood one of the reasons I was struggling to accept Noah's "situation". Despite the fact that I've spent the last however many months fighting for people to listen to me, to just believe me when I thought there was something wrong.

And I understood even more when my doubts about Isaac were also realised.

I had questioned Isaac's growth rates since he was about 4 months old. He's been dropping through his centiles and pretty much flat-lining; his growth and gain has been minimal. And I mentioned this to the HV, almost regularly. Pretty much every time I took him to clinic. And it was the same response as with Noah's speech. "No no, he's fine, it's just because of *insert excuse here*, there's nothing wrong."

How many times did I continue to push my thoughts on the professionals because I was convinced something was wrong? How many times did I say that I wasn't convinced everything was ok, that a gut feeling, an "instinct", if you will, was telling me something wasn't right? And yet, repeatedly they told me to stop worrying about it? There's nothing to worry about, it's all fine?

Every day, at some point, three words slip from my mind to my mouth, but I never say them aloud because I don't actually want to say them.

Told. You. So.

I hate that I was right. Yes I wanted to find out what was wrong, I still wanted to be proved wrong so as not to be plunged into this eternal nightmare. Because now, all my other unspoken fears play at the forefront of my mind. Again.

And given that I had done everything within my power to not come across as a neurotic mother, labelling her kids with every god forsaken condition under the sun, I now start to wonder if my fears will be confirmed later on.

That's not to say I want to label my children. I don't want anything to be wrong with them. Of course I damn well don't! I'd like two healthy, happy boys, who I can love and care for, and do everything and anything I can within my power to see to there wellbeing.

But I doubt myself now. All the time. I question my every damn thought. And it's starting to destroy me and my relationship with them. I find myself switching off to various things they do, because I feel like if I can't suggest something might be wrong, then I need to be impervious to it all.

I hate myself for that. I hate not knowing how to deal with it all. I hate my current methods for dealing with it. I seem to have no happy medium; I have to go full force or else bury my head in the sand. Hide away and try everything I can to not just ignore a problem but ignore him entirely until I feel ready to fight again.

I swear to god. I hope, so badly, that in trying to give my kids the very best I can, I don't end up taking it all away from them. Because they only deserve the best.

Tara Cain does this pretty cool thing every week called The Gallery. I've been reluctant to get involved, mainly because I see everyone else's stuff and spend far too much time berating my own. But I need to get over that.

So I'm contributing this week, and the theme is numbers. It was a tricky one, I suck at stuff like that, but here goes.

This picture was taken down in Devon a few weekends ago (click the pic to see more from Devon). When I took the picture, I felt oddly breathless, a little strange and I couldn't work out why. The scene took my breath away, but scenery rarely does that for me.

On reflection, I realised it was because, for the first time in such a long time, I had done the one thing I've wanted to do for so very long.

To disappear.

Surrounded by what felt like sky scraping trees, I had finally disappeared and felt like no one would ever find me. I had become no one, invisible to all, hidden away, hoping never to be seen again. It was escape. Everything was lifted off me, for those few short moments. And yet, the stream of sunlight reminded me of my existence; like it was a spotlight just for me. Reminding me I'm not a big fat zero, but that I still count.

My number is 0. I was nothing. And somehow, I was everything I wanted to be.

(Thanks to Tara C, Dave F, Dave M and LeslieAnn. They know why.)
Well, surprisingly enough, this whole YOR thing seems to be going ok. January finally came into fruition last Friday, and thanks to my distinct lack of self confidence, will probably last no longer than a month. Maybe two.

February is going better than expected, having lost 7lbs to date (bearing in mind I still eat a reasonable amount of crap), I've indulged in some DAMN HAWT underwear (no nursing bras!! OMG), which appear to be colourful and have a surprising amount of lace on them, my wardrobe has been emptied of nursing tops (although Isaac and I are still feeding - 10 months! Fuck yeah) and I recently purchased a pair of rather purtiful boots.

It's all quietly chuntering away, but I'm damn well pleased with myself that I've now completed two months.

So what's in store for March?

Well. It's a curious one, but something that seems to be happening a bit already so thought I'd make more of it.

March YOR, is to go out and meet more people. Not just people I already know, but more NEW people. People I've never met. Granted most of these people will probably be ones I know as a result of Twitter, but nonetheless, I've met some lately and had a great time. There are others I'm desperate to meet for the first time, some I've met and really want to see again...and I don't think there are any I've met and never want to see again. Heh.

There are major advantages to this particular YOR; Noah starts nursery in a few weeks, which will leave me with more travel time on my hands. I look forward to spending more time with Isaac, and he's a great traveller so he'll come with me if need be and it's appropriate. Evening jaunts, obviously, will be just me! I've really started to enjoy the time that's being given back to me lately; my trip down to Dawlish, Devon last weekend was fucking awesome, and I'm already looking into when I might be able to go again.

Then of course there's BlogHer 10 in August omfg NYC BAYBEE. When I finally pull my finger out, I need to get to making a list of people I want to meet. Cos OMFG NYC BAYBEE.

I'm not entirely sure how to go about meeting up with mew peeps though; many work in the day, obviously (and, it turns out, I have children), and it can sound a bit stalker-ish when I say to people "we need to meet up and have beer one evening", because I know that in their head, they're finishing that sentence with "so that I can follow you home, camp outside your house and most likely burn your bunny/goldfish/children".

This is NOT the case.



So! If you're up for meeting up, please do let me know. Although this is listed as March Year of Resolutions, of course it will carry on for the rest of the year providing it's successful...

Fancy meeting up?

I don't know what to think. The whole deal and issues with Isaac and Noah - it's just too much right now. The implications (and believe me, I haven't even BEGUN to explore the implications just yet) behind the path to Noah's corrected speech, and Isaac's potential growth "problems"...fuck, I don't even know where to begin.

It turns out my brain has chosen not to absorb anything that is going on this week.

Including the fact that we had accepted an offer on our house (admittedly with the agent who is an arrogant fucker), and now we are a back on the market and down an agent. Because he chose to call me on the phone, accuse me of with-holding information (WTF? Dude I just wanna SELL MY DAMN HOUSE) and then hurl a barrage of abuse at me. Needless to say, we had just had enough. This wasn't the first time he had been obnoxious and rude down the phone; this time he chose to cross the line (so much so, the line became a dot to him). So buh-bye dude; take your offer, and your agreement, and shove it up your ass (if you can find room up there nest to your own head).

His office called me back trying to make amends, in the hope that we would still go through with their offer (which incidentally, was still less than our asking price *sigh*). Clearly he's bullied enough people to know he can get his way. Our dilemma is do we cut off a nose to spite the face, or accept that we may have to deal with him some more. I know, most of you are thinking just accept the offer and get the house sold already.

But we work on principle. And that is, we would sooner spend another 6 months in this house with our AWESOME agent and sell through them, than have anything more to do with tosser agents.

It seems silly, but trust me. I haven't even begun to scratch the surface of how unpleasant they've been (threatening to burn down our board? Wtf?), and we have well and truly reached limit with them.


I mentioned that my website is now up and running. This very idea is scaring the becheebus out of me; after the nightmare that became my music career, I feel like I'm about to launch myself into the same thing again. Here is my life, on the line. Here is me. Jay. Raw, for you to take a punch at. Here is my shit laid bare, and anyone and everyone may take a stab as they please.

I am 31 years old, and since the age of 5, music is pretty much all I've ever known. I feel like I'm venturing out on someone else's turf, and somehow question whether I belong here. I don't know what gives me the right to think I could have a go at this, and actually make something of it.

What I do know, is that I'm taking some fucking huge steps here. With my children, with my life, with me. And it's damn scary. Because it's all ventures in to the unknown. I'm fumbling in the dark. Is that why I'm not as phased as I should be?

Is it because, in the dark, I'm somehow dodging some major bullets out there?

I sure hope so.

*I wasn't going to call this post "Catch Up", but it turns out I already have posts in March 2008 and March 2009 by the same title. Maybe I'll start a new trend.
It's been a mental week. We've been trying to digest the feedback about Noah. And we're struggling to get to grips with what's happening, oddly enough, despite being sort of prepared for what they were going to say. Maybe it's because Mrs ST called us up today and bumped us up for a food tolerance appointment. I was obviously pleased, but also unnerved as she asked me more questions over the phone about how he'd been since Monday.

And that's one reason I've barely posted this week.

Another reason, is because teh interwebz is bein cack. I spent 2 and a half hours on the phone to Virgin Media on Tuesday, ending up speaking to 4 different people. And still have the same problem. Fuckers.

Added to that, Isaac had is 8 month development check (yes, at 10 months), and Mme HV wants to refer him to a specialist. Because he's not growing. He's gaining pretty much no weight, is not getting longer and, well, yeah. She flagged it, wants him back to do more tests in 2 months at one year old, and wants us to go see the Dr in the meantime. Cos you know, I'm really enjoying being turned into the neurotic mother. Even though (and forgive me on this because I'm WAY too fucking overwhelmed this week), I'm almost...well...not bothered. Well, I AM bothered, obviously, but it hasn't hit me. I seem to have put up a considerable shield this week, and am now deflecting a good deal of shit.

And this. THIS is a big reason why I haven't posted.



I don't know where all of the above is going. And as a result, all of the above is scaring the cock out of me.
I thought some other posts I'd written were pretty difficult, but for some reason, I'm really struggling with this one, having started it 4 times now. And I think that's because I'm trying really hard not to start on the defensive.

Which is, of course, nearly impossible for me.

Noah had his Speech Referral appointment today. He was brilliant, playing with the toys, feeding air tea to the bear, getting wound up when he couldn't balance the tea pot on Lofty, and driving a little toy bus over Speech Therapist's printer. He made his usual noises, said Mummy and Daddy clear as day, gave toys to Isaac to play with, and signed when he'd had enough and wanted to go home to eat. She was pleased to see him signing, and was very impressed by the number of signs he knew.

Ok, even as I'm typing I need to get one thing straight with everyone, because I just need to get it off my chest (mainly because I don't want to shout at those who are just trying to support me). I am not worried about him speaking. I know he will speak. I don't doubt at all that he will speak. I know he will not stay "unable to speak forever". I don't doubt my boy at all, in that sense. In fact, I'm incredibly confident he will speak.

You should also know, I'm not just saying this to fob you off, to shake you off my back. I'm saying it because I believe it more than any of you could ever know. So many people tell me not to worry, he will speak. I'm not worried. I know he will speak.

So what am I worried about? I'm worried, like any other mom who cares, about what it's doing to him until he DOES learn to speak. About what it's doing to US. He is so frustrated. If he doesn't know the sign, he points and points, repeating the same noise over and over again, usually until we're both yelling, shouting and/or in tears. This is a regular occurrence. And that's what worries me.

And I'm pushing this whole issue, because my boy cannot carry on like that. Life in this house cannot carry on like that.

So what happened today? Well I'm not entirely sure. I've come away with the most mixed bag of emotions ever. In short, she believes there is something not right with him. And she suspects one of three things (which I can't entirely remember because OMG how much stuff to take on board).

1) It's a hearing issue, though she highly doubts it.

2) It's a physical development issue (potentially related to his funny eating), which she thinks is most likely.

3) It's a form of Speech Dyspraxia, which if this is the case, will come to light more as he gets older, and she thinks this may be possible.

I feel strangely sad after this appointment. Everyone keeps saying "this progress is good!" which I understand. Everyone says "look! You're getting help now!" which I understand.

I really, really do.

But it's such a horrible position to be in, where you want to hear that your kid is ok but you want someone to believe you when you think something is wrong. And then when someone tells you something IS wrong, you really just wanted to hear "actually he's ok". And knowing that if someone had said "Actually, he's ok", you would REALLY want to have it confirmed that something is wrong.

I know that made no sense.

But I realised today that because of these emotions I'm actually in a no-win situation. Even though...well...we've won.

This is still making no sense.

At the end of the day, though it feels horrible to say this, I'm glad ST said there's something wrong (or in her words, "something not quite right") with his speech development, mainly because I feel justified in pushing as much as I did. Ok I'll say it even though I don't want to, "I told you so". But I didn't want to be right.

So at this point what happens next? Well he has more referrals for other appointments. He will have hearing tests, he has a food specialist appointment (he often gags while he eats) and will have another speech appointment shortly after those appointments. Which will probably be in about 6 months. She believes until those appointments, we need to carry on working just that little bit harder in encouraging him to speak, as we already are, and as I had already long since confirmed in my own mind, he will speak eventually, it will just take a little longer to get there.

The latter I was already prepared for; so many people saying it to me already, as I expect many more will do. I understand. I really do. But sometimes it gets frustrating, I guess, when it feels like people don't really believe me, and suspecting I'm fretting like crazy under the surface. The only thing I'm fretting about like crazy is whether the frustration will consume us all, and how much worse it will get before he starts to give himself a break of some sort.

I'm glad he's getting help now, even if it is a long haul. I can deal with that, because I already know what the outcome will be. I'm not glad that there's a problem. I didn't want my kid "labelled" or anything like that. I'm just glad that I'm finally getting the help and support we all need, which will hopefully make this journey a little easier on us all.

Which I think, at the end of the day, was all I wanted.
Everyone seems to be vlogging. It's the new thing. I'm quite proud to claim I've already vlogged in the past (but you'll have to rummage the archives to find them) and so here's my contribution. It's very um, informative.


Incidentally, Noah has his Speech Therapist appointment in about 2 hours. So hopefully this frustration will be over and they'll tell me to get over myself, right?