Thursday, 13 February 2014

I think I'd rather have wrinkles than spots...

I know most people would probably disagree but as least wrinkles would give me more a look of wisdom and knowledge rather people associating me with the mental capacity of a teenage monkey.

I don't understand, I spent most of my teenage years with acne free skin, why is it that I reached my mid 30's and now I have to endure the never ending "pizza face" experience.

Its started mainly in my mid 30's, purely coincidentally at the time I had my 3rd child and we moved 75 miles from "home".  Now I know what you are going to say and I agree stress may have been the trigger that brought about this change in my hormonal make up or it might be the ageing process. But come on spots at 30+ no fair..

It was 3 years ago on my 37th birthday that things came to ahead, that's when my then 13 year old daughter saved up some money from her Christmas presents and for my birthday bought me some expensive face creams, trail size and said "mum why don't you give these ago to see if it helps".  At that point I realised for my own self esteem and to be a good role model I needed to start taking better care of myself and that meant getting my skin under control.

I started doing some research and talking to various friends which lead me to Glycol Acid as a starting point.  I was very nervous at first the thought of putting acid of any kind on to my face seemed like a counter productive thing to do. I started of with cleansers and moisturisers with a 10% Glycol mix and immediately there was some stinging on first application that quickly subsided and after 2 days I did start noticing some peeling.

Within a month I felt my skin texture was better and the break outs had subsided, but I had to make the decision as to whether the expensive creams were doing the trick, whether I could afford it or whether my skin was just going through a good patch.  When I ran out of the products I'd bought I didn't replace them and went back to my usual routine of washing my face with normal soap and not moisturising. Within a couple of weeks my skin was back to being as bad as before.

This crystallised my mind on the subject, if I wanted my skin to look better I needed to invest some time and money in to it.  Over the last few years I have tried various products and even had complete breaks from doing anything.  I have discovered that I have had increase the percentage of various acids that I use in the creams and cleansers also alternating them with products specifically designed to peel and target problem areas.

I am currently using  Peter Thomas Roth product pads which has glycol, Salicylic and hydrochloric acid mix and it is a strong formula that I would only recommend to those with real problems not a few blackheads. A Murad lotion that stays on the skin and Alpha H moisturiser, which has been my favourite from the start it's light, absorbs easily and doesn't leave a greasy film (worth every penny !!)

My skin is back under control more or less, though I have a lot of scaring which I have to try to break down with a dermabrasion roller but that really didn't work for me. So currently I am looking in to ways to improve the texture of my skin and try to eliminate some of the scaring.

Its a long process and an expensive one, but I am glad I am doing it, its the one thing I put my foot down and won't give up so the kids can have an new game or fancy clothes for. You wear your face to the world everyday of your life and its worth investing in..

Here are the links to the products I use:

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Meeting my mother-in-law again, teaching me about alzheimers and dementia

Through no fault of anyone really but through circumstances I haven't had very much contact with my kids Nanny on their Dads side.  A little dot of a woman, who in my memory of her when him & I first got together was fiercely protective of her family and very proud of her kids. She always struck me as someone not to mess with, but if she accepted you she'd be as welcoming and loving as if you were her own flesh and blood. 

Now this woman, who'd worked all her life, who had a wicked sense of humour and a sharp eagle eyed brain, came to visit us for the first time in 3 years. Hubbie had told me that she was suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia and over the last few years it had really taken its toll.  He warned me that she might not know who I am or that she might say something inappropriate so I was fairly apprehensive about the visit.

Having heard about Alzheimer's from the media and from friends who work in the elderly care industry, I knew that she might become quite upset if she felt lost or she didn't comprehend what was happening around her which is totally understandable.  I was worried that the kids would freak her out, or not be gentle and frighten her with their loud boyish behaviour.  She is very very fragile, being very underweight but apart from needing to bulk up a bit she is surprisingly fit ( well maybe not surprising, she has good strong Irish genes running through her core ).  

Anyway I really didn't need to worry about any of these things.  After the long journey up Hubbie brought her in to the house and while she looked tired, she immediately gave me a massive cuddle, and said "I haven't seen you for such a long time Caroline" I nearly burst into tears there and then.

We settled her in with a cup of tea, I put her slippers on for her and the kids settled down next to her on the sofa.  For the next few hours we talked, drank tea and smoked cigarettes (in the garden).  Rather than being overwhelmed by being in a strange environment she seemed to relish it, constantly remarking on how lovely the house is, rather than not remembering who I was, it was if I had seen her last week with the warmth and friendship still strong. The children adored being with her and she in turn was gentle and calm with them, watching them playing and commenting on how like their father they are at the same age (like we all didn't know lol) 

I found her a proud woman still, wanting to be productive and feeling apologetic when I would help her, though I constantly told her it was my pleasure.  She couldn't quite remember the names of all our animals though to be fair I have trouble sometimes, but she would ask their names when she'd forgotten them as it seemed knowing this was important. Sometimes I would look at her and she seemed lost in thought which maybe she was, but she would come round quite quickly when she saw a familiar face which I was grateful mine was one of them. There was none of the aggression that I had read about, and I tried to involve her with all the conversations that were going on, asking her opinion or her advice, or asking her to draw on a memory from long ago.  We talked of Hubbies dad and how she always wishes him a goodnight still, and the day he left our lives. I told her I think he's been to visit since then and that pleased her.

So for me it seemed for the most part she was lucid, engaged and involved with the family and not this distant vacant shell of a person I was worried I would find.  For the most part she was still my mother in law of old. But sometimes, when she got tired, or when the kids had got too much, she seemed to lose herself, and where she was, the confusion clouded her face but I would spot this quickly, draw her attention and engage her again and this seemed to help a great deal.

It was a lovely 2 days, and I was extremely proud of how the kids fussed and showered Nanny with affection, sometimes to the point it left her speechless.  We all agreed that the trip had been a success and that Nanny was to definitely come and stay again,  hopefully her second visit will be as successful, as she's already mentioned a BBQ in the summer and I suggested a little walk round our lovely town as well for next time.

We don't have links to the past for long and I am just so glad we've still got enough time for the children to benefit from both Nanny's and to get to know both sides of their heritage, she also allows me a little look into where my Hubbie comes from too :-).

Roll on the next visit, though will remind Hubbie to bring her coat with next time bless her and I will make sure there is lots of bacon in lol !!!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

The 10 years plus Valentine's poem

There is no man other than you, even after all we've been through
No man who makes my heart flutter, who I'd live with in the gutter
No man whose pants I sniff to see, if they are clean or dirty
No man whose spots I squeeze or eyebrow hairs I'd pluck
No man whose arse I'd rescue if ever he got stuck
No man whose tea I make with a dash of love
From round the world and up above
No man who makes me laugh and weep
Who snores so loud and stops my sleep
No man who puts up with all my worries
Who copes with me and my spending flurries
No man whose dreams I cherish as if they were my own
Except the man I married and only him alone.

Love you

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Lessons in love, the things the films don't teach us.

An open letter to the one I love

Where to begin, well one could almost start at my conception because my parents did love each but I think that might be a bit too far back. So I will start with the first heartbreak....

My daughter is 16 now this was the age I had my first serious boyfriend and we dated for 2 years.  If you ask me now why we were together for that long I couldn't for a second tell you but we were and inevitably as these things often do things fizzled out between us and we went our separate ways.  I then met a boy and fell "in love" again (well at least I thought I was in love) we were together 2 years, moved out and then 3 years later my eldest was born.  I was 23, not old but not excessively to young either.  At first glance we would have seemed a normal young couple with an adorable baby in tow.  We both had good jobs, a house with a mortgage and did everything normal families do spending lots of time with each others in laws, family holidays and nights on the sofa.  But as the years rolled by I realised this guy I was with, the father to my beautiful daughter wasn't who I thought he would be, I know this sometimes happens when couples have a baby.  There was no passion in our relationship, no spark or fire.  He was totally closed off with his feelings, never sharing moments with me.  I would look at our daughter and a rush of love would overcome me and I would kiss her all over, he would look at her and there was nothing but a blank stare.  Maybe he was too young to have kids, he never told me he loved me and he never told her either.  I got more and more depressed and lonely as time went on, no fairy tale for this 26 year old.

In the meantime a guy had started work at the place I worked at.  I didn't pay much attention to him at first, I was to busy with my little girl and feeling sorry for myself but then he came to work in the office where I was and for the first time since he'd started we actually had a chance to talk. In the first few weeks I found out we had lots of likes and dislikes in common but our lives were polar opposites of each other.  He went out partying every weekend and I was home with my baby, he still lived at home with his parents, I had a mortgage and in laws to deal with. So while we made each other laugh and we began to enjoy each others company there were a good few things about each other that the other one couldn't agree with (I should have seen the signs lol). Time went on and I started to enjoy going to work a hell of alot more, looking forward to catching the ten minutes chat with my new "friend" and slowing but surely we began the age old ritual of flirting.  

By the time I'd realised I had grown to have deep feelings for this guy, things at home for me where horrible and he'd also broken up with his long term girlfriend.  So in March 2001 I decided I had enough of trying to make it work with a guy who spent as little time with me and his daughter as possible and who would spend every night with his back turned away from me, I was 27 for god sake not 87 and still wanted a life. I left with a few possessions, the baby and the dog and went back to my mum's.  Within a week the "office guy" and I had our first date.  He told me afterwards that he'd spent a long time erming and arring about whether getting with me was really such a good idea, considering I was the bosses daughter and he was a mere lackey.

Within two months of us "dating" he went down on one knee and proposed and of course I immediately accepted, I knew I loved him, he was amazing with my daughter and they adored each other and he made me feel loved, wanted, interesting to talk to and worth spending time with.  We were married just 6 months after that first date (he wanted sooner but I wasn't going to rush my wedding day to much lol). We moved into our own home just days before the wedding and settled in to family life quickly.

I wish I could say its been a fairy tale ride since then, but nobody gives you a guide on how to love another person, we don't get taught it as part of the curriculum. Two further babies later though and I can honestly say we have made each other work for our love.  We have pushed each other to beyond our limits, to dark dark places and in to the arms of others but still the pull of those strings of love, the bonds that tied us first together are as strong as ever.  

And as each year, each month, each day that passes, we learn together, we grow together.  We still fight, that's normal, we still have vastly different opinions on things.  We still like to tell each other about new and interesting discoveries we've made.  I still hate admitting I am wrong and he is right, he still hates the way I find it hard to get myself motivated in the mornings or when I sound like my mother. He likes watching films, I like watching American cop shows but still when we talk to our children we talk with one voice (literally saying the exact same thing at the exact same time lol) We hold the same values, the same ideals, the same desire to allow our children to be the best they can be.  I've learnt how to be a an adult again rather than just a mum, I think he's found that refreshing, he's accepted there are parts of his life he hasn't dealt with in the best way possible and I respect him for that.  We still find each other sexy, we still find each other funny, we still respect each other and we can still feel like throttling each other at times but through all this I think I have finally learnt what it means to love another human being and to be loved by another human being and though its been a hard lesson to learn it has also been the most amazing, long may it last !!

I love you x