Running, Spinning & Challenge Winning

Well, 11 days in!

Alcohol passed my lips……..0

Challenges signed up for……..2

This is a bloody good start right?

I’m definitely sleeping better finally although that took about a week.

The only thing about Dry January is that instead of going to bed relaxed and ready to doze, I have a head full of jolly robins and I was laying awake for ages.

Nevertheless, I’m waking up far more refreshed than I was, kickstarting my day with lemon in warm water and a vitamin C.

Neil is doing the 10 week challenge with me after I signed him up as a Christmas present – I saw his face fall as he opened it, gutted it wasn’t mint matchmakers or his annual retro sweet box.

Now I’ve signed up for the Great Manchester Run I need to get myself into the best condition I can. I’m enjoying treating my body well and i’m nervously excited about participating.  (If you’d like to sponsor me, any amount, please click HERE)

In other news, Niamh’s week long birthday celebrations are finally over. Marked with a brilliant pamper party with a handful of friends, I’m hoping it might have forged some more friendships with other girls in her class.


She seems to have struggled in this school year with friendship groups , prefering the comfort of having one best friend. There have been several occasions that she hasn’t been invited to other pupil’s parties which is a little heartbreaking.

That being said, now they are all getting older it isn’t the done thing to have a party that you invite the entire class to, but she doesn’t seem to fit the mould.

I keep wondering how I can help the situation but she’s just wonderfully unique. Niamh has developed habits for as long as I can remember. Tics almost. Her first was licking her fingers. It was initially amusing but then I could see how she couldn’t settle until she had done this action enough times. The process would then repeat again. I had to pre-warn people not to mention it.

She knows that she does them so I rarely mention it to her. It’s hard enough battling your own will to stop doing these things without having it highlighted.

Like all her habits it develops in frequency then disappears as quickly as it came only to be replaced with another.

Poor kid is her Mum’s daughter alright.

Her latest one is spinning.

She will quickly twirl on her heels mid conversation but also whilst crossing roads and even when she was on stage during her Christmas Play.

Her teachers thought it was just her dramatic nature playing out in real life but she told me she can’t help it and feels frustrated until she has done it.

Tics like this are quite normal in intelligent children and it seems to be a way in which she manages anxiety but I can imagine it makes her seem a little odd to her classmates unfortunately.

I spoke to her teacher about it upon her return to school and asked that she doesn’t make a big deal of it in front of others. Kids can be very cruel and don’t handle ‘different’ very well.

As she can also be pretty clumsy this is one of her most dangerous habits to date and it causes her to fall over and bump into things.

I too was a sensitive child & whilst I appreciate that it is her old head that makes her over think things, sometimes I do long for her to have the normal banal thought processes of an average child. For her sanity, nothing else.

Which also reminds me that she needs new trousers. A growth spurt has made her trousers look like they have fallen out with her shoes.

Esme went back to nursery a different child. It seems that constant interaction with us over Christmas has really developed her vocabulary and she definitely understands much more than she says.

She has started to call breastmilk ‘Mek Mek’ and has the tendency now to just point at me and shout this occasionally like i’m just a big old cow……

“Mummaaaay! Mek Mek!”


I think she has grown a little too judging by a few of her jumpers. Yay!

I’m trying to pick the pace back up with my photography.

December was manic but then the break over Christmas has allowed me to lose momentum a little and i’m still wringing my hands over how to price my services. My mentor has sent me through some packages as a guide but she is a tremendous talent and i’m just not confident in increasing my prices to match.

My confidence nose dived in the quiet time but then I got some pictures of Niamh on her birthday and I was delighted with them.

I’m still taking Sertraline daily. It helps with my own anxiety and when I’m calmer i’m a better parent so I hold no shame over doing such.

Life has a nice equilibrium right now.

All in all, quirky & demanding kids aside, it’s been a positive start to the New Year.

How did you start yours?


JD xx


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