Monday, 30 April 2012

Life from the eyes of a toddler...

My toddler loves taking snaps with his camera. To be honest I've never really looked closely at the pictures he takes until now.....

The world my little guy sees.

To be continued...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Not Valid

Firstly I'd like to apologise in advance to any family members that might be reading this post and cringing. Thankfully I believe my Dad hasn't got round the reading what I write yet so at least that saves some embarrassment. Dad if you have chosen this moment to begin reading my blog...ha! 

Secondly, kids, if you're reading this when your older your Mum's showed you up again. Tough, I'm sure your used to it by now. P.s. Tidy your bedrooms! 

Here goes...

At this moment in time the last thing we want is anymore children. We love our boys more than anything but two is manageable (most of the time). Three would mean a lot of necessary changes and upheaval - bigger house, bigger car, bigger credit card bills, bigger stocks of patience.  

With this in mind, once things had returned to something like normality in our household after the horrendous time following the littlest monkey's arrival the question arose of how we were going to prevent the making of any further little people.

We're not ready for making it permanent but a long term effective solution was called for. The last time I was on the pill was before we got married (I got pregnant with our first on our honeymoon but resisted naming the child Lake District.) 
Before I met my hubby I came off the pill for a brief period of time thinking it would be good to give my body a break. This was not the case. When I went back on the pill a few months later it played havoc with my hormones and I'm convinced to this day that it played a big part in causing my anxiety/panic attacks that became a thorn in my side from around that time.  

So, determined that the pill was a no no for me I went off to have a chat with the GP about my predicament and what the options were. I've never fancied the idea of the contraceptive injection/implant and given my worries about the effect on my hormones the doc suggested ruling these out. 
The conversation then turned to the coil. There is the copper coil - can cause heavier/longer periods so I quickly dismissed this one. Then there is the Mirena coil which can be used for five years, does contain some hormone but not as much as the pill and has the added bonus of making your periods very light or non-existent and reducing pmt symptoms. 
The doctor was very positive about this form of contraception and we decided it was the best thing for me. 

After a bit of a faff getting it sorted I finally had my appointment earlier this week. 
It was an interesting half hour for several reasons....

1. I swear someone somewhere is purposely popping a trainee in the room observing everything whenever I see a medical professional about very personal issues. I know you can ask them to leave but I never have the heart too! 

2. The room was the smallest medical room I have ever been in. 

3. At one point it felt like I was in the hot seat for a seriously intense game of sexual health 'Who wants to be a millionaire.' For £100...when was your last period? For £500... was it normal? For £1000...when did you last have sex?  For £5,000 did you use contraception? And for the winning question...was there any contact whatsoever without the use of said contraception? I felt more like a naughty teenager than a woman that has had two kids and been married for five years! I should have asked if I could phone a friend?

4. It wasn't just the doctor and the trainee, a nurse was also thrown into the mix whist I was lying legs akimbo in this tiny room. 

5. I made the mistake of having a good look at the instruments being used.

In all seriousness though I felt only minor discomfort and the actual procedure did not take long at all. The doctor explained things very well and I felt like I had all the information I needed.

I was told that the coil would not be effective for seven days so I wasted no time telling my husband that evening that it was not valid until next week! 

I thought the very little dignity I had left after having two children was lost during this weeks appointment. Turns out there was more to be lost. 
You know all traces of childhood innocence have vanished when your Grandmother asks you how your 'coil fitting' went. 
I am not shy when it comes to talking to female family members about such things but I do draw a line. That line was crossed when said Grandmother proceeded to tell me how she felt when she had a 'coil fitted' back in the day. 
Thanks Mamma.

Men really don't know how easy they have it!!!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Ten Things I Tell Myself Every Day

I have been tagged by the lovely Mrs Jones over at Keeping up with the Joneses to take part in this lovely meme. Take a look at her blog for witty posts, beautiful pictures and great reviews. 

Here are ten things I tell myself every day...

1. It is normal to be tired... you have a toddler and a baby. 

2. Getting out of the house often takes a lot of effort with the brood but it is so much better than going stir crazy at home all day.

3. Pre-school is good for the toddler and he only says he doesn't want to go to get a reaction from you.

4. Do something with your hair.

5. Do something with your face.

6. Note to self - check the washing basket for never ending black hole as am convinced someone is having a laugh.

7. You will regret eating that chocolate.

8. Disney films are good for the kids. They teach good morals. 

9. Drink more water.

10. Stop letting the little things stress you out. It's not worth it!

I now tag some lovely ladies to write their own list if they fancy it...




Enjoy xx

Cute Cakes

There is nothing better than celebrating a special occasion with a unique cake made with care and attention just the way you want. 

Claire at Cute Cakes in West Bridgford made these wonderful cakes for us...

Our son was into the Gruffalo around the time of his third birthday so this was the cake Claire made for him. It was a complete hit with him and his friends and tasted yummy. Obviously the birthday boy got to eat the Gruffalo himself!

This is the cake Claire recently made for my hubby's 40th. He's a big Barnsley fan so I asked for a Barnsley shirt cake! He loved it and it tasted delicious and stayed fresh for longer than expected. 

Click on the above link to see more details about 'Cute Cakes'. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

School's In...

We found out last week that our eldest little monkey has received a place in the primary school that was our first choice. 

It was a day of mixed emotions.

Relief came first. We were relieved that he has gotten a place at a school that we think will be wonderful for him. An extra dose of relief came when we discovered some of the children he already knows from pre-school etc have also got a place in said school. 

Then came excitement. On my part this was. I have very fond memories of my primary school and am excited about all the new things the little man will get to experience and the friends he will make along the way.

A sense of being underwhelmed was next. We don't expect the little man to understand the concept of 'big school', we are starting to talk about it more with him so it doesn't come as a complete shock. At the moment he is not really interested in anything regarding school. I don't expect this to change until September has come and gone.

Then the nervousness hit. Our little guy despite having gone to nursery since he was one  still gets upset when separating from us. He is much better now that he ever has been and he's absolutely fine once he gets on with playing or having his breakfast at pre-school. However, I am rather nervous about how he is going to be when he realises he is going to be dropped of at school every day. I have visions of me attempting to get a screaming child into the building whilst pushing his brother in the buggy and trying to retain some kind of dignity! I am going to remain optimistic that this wont happen and he'll go to school with no problems. I know children pick up on nerves from parents so I have banished them deep within!

On the evening of finding out about the school allocation when all was calm and the boys were both asleep, the feelings of sadness and loss kicked in. I found myself standing over the kitchen sink with my rubber gloves on bawling my eyes out while my husband looked on in complete bewilderment possibly thinking that I had finally lost the plot. I know babies don't stay babies forever but I honestly could never have comprehended just how quickly they grow up. It doesn't seem like two minutes ago when our eldest was learning to walk and couldn't say many words. Now he scales the climbing walls on the park and randomly tells me he has changed my name to poo head. 

I am making the executive decision to never let boy number two grow up. What am I going to be like when he starts school? With all the problems he had when he was born seeing him walk into the school gates dressed in his little uniform with his bag over his shoulder just might be too much pride/emotion to handle! 

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Charity Fun Day

Hello lovely people,

Since out little fighter arrived very dramatically into this world last year there are a number of people, organisations and charities that will always remain very special to us. Two of those are the Nottingham City Hospital Neonatal Unit and Heart Link which is an East Midlands charity based at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester which supports children and families affected by congenital heart disease.

I recently discovered a lovely lady who also has very good reasons to support these wonderful organisations.
This lady has organised a charity fun day at the The Nabb Inn in Hucknall, Nottingham. 

There will be plenty to keep the kids entertained, a bouncy castle, face painting, disco, cake stall, an auction and raffle. All proceeds will go to the Neonatal Unit and Heart Link. 
It's all happening on the 5th May from 11:30am.

From a personal point of view we have so much to thank the Neonatal Unit at Nottingham City Hospital for. Our little man was born with very little time for anyone to prepare and knowing that something was very seriously wrong with his heart but what that was was unknown. A large team of experts whisked him away as soon as he arrived and he was given the best possible care from the second he was born. Despite needing to work round the clock to save his life they still made it possible for us to see him very quickly after he was born and the doctors passion and care was genuine and comforting. 

Heart Link based at Glenfield hospital have provided much of the life saving equipment that helps children of all ages. They provide support for families who are in very difficult situations. Our little one had to be transported to a number of different hospitals and the equipment needed for these transfers is something that Heart Link has and still does raise money to buy. He had to have heart surgery when he only weighed five pounds, the expertise and equipment needed for this is unimaginable so funds are constantly needed to be raised. 

If you live locally and are free that day please show your support for these organisations by popping by, even if just for half an hour and a cake and a go on the raffle. 

Thanks for reading. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

Karen over at 365 Pearls of Wisdom was lovely enough to give me this award! Please check out her wonderful blog and have a good read!

As per the rules of this fab linky I now have to tell you seven things about myself so here goes....

1. In my last job I worked as a Smokefree Compliance Officer.

2. I don't like seafood.

3. Chesney Hawkes' 'I am The One and Only' was mine and my friends' favourite song at university. We have drunkenly requested this song on every night out and have screamed like teenagers whilst watching Chesney perform said song.

4. I want to write a novel.

5. Before getting married my husband and I purchased an aquarium, a lovely hamster called Ritchie and two guinea pigs called Hedge and Hog.

6. I love vampire fiction.

7. Last night I had a dream that I found a celebrities dog. Then the dog got in bed with my son and my husband. My husband is allergic to dogs so it didn't end well. It was an odd dream.

I am now going to pass this award onto five lovely bloggers of my choice:

Mummy's Cheeky Monkey
A twenty something mum
My darlings and me
Makeshift Mummy
Our orange crush

Enjoy these wonderful blogs.

For those who I've nominated here are the rules: 1. Link back to who nominated you. 2. Write seven things about your lovely selves. 3. Nominate five other blogs to receive the award.

Have fun xx

Monday, 9 April 2012

Friendly Neighbourhood Spiderman

I am concerned.
My lovely gentle baby (boy number one) is rapidly becoming a boy.
This was inevitable as he is a boy.
What I mean is that he is still only three (I am clinging to him only being three for these last couple of months!) and I am already becoming some what redundant in the entertainment department. Spiderman is a boy. Batman is a boy. Jack Sparrow is a boy. Lightening McQueen is a car and also a boy.

It was not so long ago that the little man could spend a significant amount of time putting together jigsaws or drawing pictures with me.
Nowadays I can be innocently getting on with my motherly duties, unaware of the imminent danger when all of a sudden Spiderman races in the room and I am undeservedly 'webbed'. The worry is the uncertainty; someday's its the wall crawling super hero, other days its Jack Sparrow and my legs are easy targets for canons being shot from the Black Pearl. Sometimes Finn McMissile comes flying in only to shoot a missile at my head. Unnecessary.

Don't get me wrong we still sit down and paint together or play games but the ability of these activities to hold the toddlers attention has somewhat diminished. He has got such an amazing imagination which I'm thrilled about but being a boy this always leads back to a 'goody' a 'baddy' and a violent rescue mission of some sort.

I love Disney. More significantly I love the music from Disney films. This love has definitely been passed on down to the toddler. He likes all things Disney - if you ever see a crazy looking woman, a toddler and a baby driving round in a somewhat rusty looking Fiesta singing their hearts out it could well be us. I cried when I realised boy number one had learned the words to 'Can you Feel the Love Tonight'. Disney makes me emotional.
 However, yesterday I heard the dreaded words from said boy's mouth..."this is a girls song Mum". I had snuck a song from Tangled on his ipod playlist (yes he has several playlists, no he doesn't have his own ipod- yet). He has always loved the song in question whenever we have watched the film. Maybe he wanted to look manly in front of his Dad and Grandpops? Or maybe I have to be honest with myself and admit that my little boy is growing up. He is changing before my eyes every day and his personality gets stronger.

All is not lost. Despite some girlish tendancies I actually enjoy many of the past times that my boys are sure to want to indulge in: I like sport - I don't mind watching a football match every now and again, I'm good at racquet sports and I can swing a golf club; I love history so castles, knights and all things medieval make me happy; I would rather watch Star Wars than Love Actually and I challenge anyone to beat me at Zombie shooting computer games.

Not having a daughter does mean however that I will be putting immense pressure on my brother and his wife to give me a niece (a bit mean really given it would be quite difficult to guarantee a girl). My friends daughters will never be rid of me when it comes to getting ready for their first school disco, date or any special occasion. I will be involved in the choosing of their wedding dress whether they like it or not.
 My Mum and I will always have to continue to pretend we are 'going shopping' when the reality is we go in one shop and then decide its coffee and cake time.

As long as they agree to come see Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat with me at least once then my son's are free to be as boyish as they please.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Hot stones...yes please!

Last year when littlest little man was starting to get better and light was appearing at the end of the tunnel I decided to book a massage for the mother and me. I was sure some serious de-stressing would be necessary.

Due to the non-stop pace of general motherhood we have only just recently had these long awaited massages. 

One hour and fourty minutes of hot stone bliss!

The massages were carried out by Jacqueline at Calm Beauty in Beeston. The massage involved hot stones on our legs and feet, backs, shoulders and arms. There was also a mini facial included at the end of the massage.
I opted for the use of the calming aromatherapy oils and they worked a treat!
The hot stones are so relaxing, you can feel the tension being worked out of your muscles. Lovely!

Make sure you have a couple of hours to yourself after the massage because I made the mistake of going home to a chaotic house and felt a bit wobbly on my legs. I told the other half I needed a minute and fell fast asleep on the bed! I was definitely relaxed. 

I think every mum deserves to treat themselves to a bit of pampering every now and again and I would definitely recommend you try pampering hot stone style!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Having a wobble...

Wobble's are how, since having our little fighter last year, we describe an 'I can't cope' moment in our family.
Obviously when our littlest one was at at his worst, wobbles were quite a frequent occurrence (mostly by me). Overall though I think we were quite surprised with how we kept it together. 

Because I am a Mummy's girl and 'I want my mum' whenever something bad happens my worst wobbles tended to be when said mother was around. Sorry Mum, I don't think that's ever going to change! 

Since the little man has been home I have only had little mini wobbles rather than the full blown jelly on a plates that occurred when he was in hospital.

We are really happy with how he is doing and can see that he gets stronger by the day so I could kick myself for thinking about the times when he was so small and fragile. I know I'll always have those memories and images in my head but its hard to say what triggers off them resurfacing out of nowhere. We have a hospital appointment this week but it is for his general development because he was born prematurely rather than with the cardiac specialists which isn't until the end of May. If anything, I quite like going to the development centre to discuss how he is getting on and get advice from the doctor regarding how to encourage his progress. However, maybe subconsciously any medical appointments we have with the little guy will stir the memories of the bad times. 

Some of the memories and mental images I hold of the time straight after he was born are special in a good way:  having to wait to be able to touch my own baby made the event so much more special; the first time he wore clothes; the first time I saw his face after weeks on a ventilator; the first time I tried to breast feed him; the first time I could stand up with my baby in my arms without the worry and complication of a tangle of wires attached to him; being told he could come home. 

As lovely as these memories are they are very much wobble inducers. In all honesty I've been a bit scared of thinking about the little guys bad times for fear of having a melt down! However, I've come to the conclusion that little wobbles are perfectly healthy and normal and will now try to embrace them. Remembering the negative things every now and again only increases the positive emotions when I look at how well our 'not so little anymore' star is doing.


Sunday, 1 April 2012

Meeting Myself Coming Back

Welcome to Meeting Myself Coming Back, a little Blog Hop Linky created by A twenty something mum and Make shift mummy. Every other week we will post a series of questions which you are welcome to join in at your leisure.

First there are a few rules:

1.  You MUST copy the rules before you write your answers.
2. You MUST include the introduction and header saying how these two fabulous yummy mummy's created it.
3. Don't hold back and enjoy ;-)

So without further ado here are this weeks questions....

1. List the names of up to 10 people you wouldn't mind being stuck in a lift with and why.
2. Aside from being a parent what's your greatest achievement and why?
3. Who's your naughtiest crush?
4. Whats the one thing you want but don't have? And how far would you go to get it?
5. Do you remember your dreams and if so whats your most memorable one?
6. What are your biggest regrets and why?
7.Does your imagination get the better of you?
8. What's the one thing you would change about yourself both mentally and physically?
9. What scares you more than anything else? 
10. How do you hope you are perceived to be by others?

1. List the names of up to 10 people you wouldn't mind being stuck in a lift with and why.

I don't like lifts so the person at the top of my list has to be a doctor/nurse or anyone medically trained complete with medical supplies, ready to sedate me when the lift gets stuck. Other than that I wouldn't mind being stuck in a tight space with Joaquin Phoenix and Leonardo Dicaprio for obvious reasons. I wouldn't mind a little chat with Jessie J and she could provide us with a tune or two to pass the time. Miranda Hart would be a laugh and so would Dawn French. I really enjoy M.Night Shyamalan's films so it would be great to meet him although I would be slightly concerned that I was starring in a scary film without knowing it!

2. Aside from being a parent what's your greatest achievement and why?

Technically my greatest achievement is my dual honours degree, I put my all into that work and was very proud of myself when I graduated. Personally though my greatest achievement at the moment is being able to walk round Asda. Seriously. I have suffered with anxiety on and off for the past few years and the last bout started with a supermarket related panic attack which then meant cold sweats and shaky knees whenever I went near one. It is no longer an issue - get me!

3. Who's your naughtiest crush?

Bill Compton - It's naughty because he's a vampire.

4. Whats the one thing you want but don't have? And how far would you go to get it?

I am already starting to be very concerned about our lack of a second toilet in our household. I have a husband and two sons, therefore I deserve my own toilet!  I want a downstairs loo! I would go as far as Timbuktu.

5. Do you remember your dreams and if so whats your most memorable one?

I often remember my dreams but usually only for the day following said dream.  I don't know what I was dreaming about at the time but once as a child I got up in the night, drank some perfume from a bedside table and went back to bed. I may have just been thirsty. 

6. What are your biggest regrets and why?

A couple of my biggest regrets are not continuing with activities that I was good at in my youth but at the time I didn't see them as important. I used to play squash which I loved and I so wish I had carried it on because it is such a good sport and great exercise. I played the oboe at school and although I have fairly recently purchased a new one in order to start up again I have forgotten most of it so have had to start from scratch. 

7.Does your imagination get the better of you?

I do sometimes let my imagination run a bit wild. I love my films but always say that I must have seen to many because I can turn the smallest rustle of leaves outside into Scream 5: this time he's  in your garden!

8. What's the one thing you would change about yourself both mentally and physically?

Mentally I would change my tendency to over think everything, even the smallest unsolved problem can keep me awake. In fact writing this has just prompted me to stick a note on the desk regarding a job that needs doing. Physically, before I had children I wouldn't have changed much. I have and never will be thin, I accepted that a long time ago. The thinnest I've ever been as an adult was when I got pregnant with our first boy and couldn't keep a thing down. I was miserable and people said I looked gaunt. I tend to lose weight when I'm stressed and anxious. If I'm fat I'm happy. 
If I could though I would erase my stretch marks. Child number two arrived rather dramatically by emergency c-section and although I was only 30 weeks so wasn't huge I now have stretch marks from 9 pound 2 first born as well as a scar from second born. Boo. 

9. What scares you more than anything else? 

Someone taking/hurting my children. I struggle to write anything more because the thought of it is so upsetting. 

10. How do you hope you are perceived to be by others?

I hope I am perceived to be a good mum who enjoys her children and doesn't just stress about the housework all day. I hope people think I am intelligent and funny but not too much for my own good.