Wednesday, 29 October 2014

4 Years Today

Today is a very special day, its a special day for my Big Girl, its her 4th birthday and she is just so excited!

But today is also a special day for me too, 4 years ago I gave birth to my Big Girl. 4 years ago today my waters broke, The Husband and I headed off  to Cheltenham hospital with a vague idea of what was about to happen, I was going to give birth...but after that, we hadn't really thought about. I remember pacing up and down the hospital trying to get labour started naturally, I chatted to my mum and The Husband calmly as we walked. I sat back in the delivery room as they hooked me up to a drip to get contractions going and smiled and laughed as they gave me an epidural. I had no idea what was about to happen! 6 hours later I was cuddling my Big Girl for the first time. 

Today marks Big Girls birthday, but it also marks the day I became a mother. It marks the day I stared at my precious daughter for the first time and thought 'what have I done! I can't do this!' a thought I've had many, many times since! Today marks the day that I discovered what 'love at first sight' really meant.

Big Girl and I have been on a journey together, as I have taught her how to walk, talk and run, she has taught me how to be a parent. Happy Birthday my precious Big Girl, happy birthday to both of us xx

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Monday, 27 October 2014

A Halloween Party

In our house Halloween is really exciting, not because of the trick or treating, spooky goings on or the creepy costumes, but because Halloween marks Big Girls Birthday! I cant believe she is going to be 4, the last 4 years have zipped by so quickly and it feels like just yesterday The Husband and I bought her home from hospital set her car seat down on the living room floor sat on the sofa started at her and said 'what do we do with her now?!'

As her birthday is so close to Halloween, last year we had a Halloween themed party, she dressed up as a Friendly Witch and invited all of her friends to our home to celebrate.

She loved playing the spooky Halloween games such as pin the bones on the skeleton and eating all the Halloween food we had prepared. We had pumpkin and bat sandwiches and ghost bananas washed down with ghost juice.

We carved up pumpkins and turned them into witch hat holders!

I made a pumpkin cake, I had a few problems (as you can see) with the icing melting, but figured it added to the effect and thought over all it was really quite good!

She loved handing out party bags at the end to say thank you to her lovely guests

Big Girl loved her Halloween themed party and is really looking forward to her 4th birthday tea party later in the week

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Jamie's Comfort Food

When it comes to cookery books and TV chefs, The Husband and I are fans of real food, good portions, ingredients that can be found in any supermarket, simple instructions and names we can pronounce! One of our favourites has to be Jamie Oliver and when I heard he had a new book out I was interested. I have a few of his other recipe books and they have always been my go to books when we have friends over. 

Jamie's Comfort Food is packed with 100 scrumptious, happy, classic recipes. We had a go at making the Risotto Allo Zafferano...not so simple to pronounce, but very easy to make! The ingredients were also very easy to get hold of in any supermarket, including the Saffron, which I had never bought before and didn't realise its found in most herb and spice sections.

The book is jam packed full of easy simple meals with a luxurious twist. Dishes that you just want to curl up with after a difficult or stressful day. The recipes are written in classic Jamie style, easy to read and follow, making cooking easy and simple. I loved flicking through the recipes so much, I will definitely be trying out the insanity burger the next chance I get and adding many more to my weekly meal planner.

I also cant wait to try Jamie's Hummingbird Cake and I'm hoping to make it next week for Baby Pop's Blessing. The book is almost worth buying just for that recipe alone!

*Disclaimer: I was sent Jamie's Comfort Food for the purposes of this review. Also I should mention, that gorgeous kitchen pictured isn't mine, but my mums. I have serious kitchen envy, if I could steal it I would!*

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

My To-do list

I love a good list, its something I seem to have inherited from my Dad, he always had a list or 2 on the go, and still does! Right this second, in front of me I have a holiday packing list, next years list of holiday dates, a family birthday list, a shopping list, a list of things that need doing around the house, a list of things that I want done around the house and a list of lists that I need to well...list!

My favourite list has to be my to-do list. Over the years my to-do list has changed format and shape, I expect a lot from myself and over the last few months I've been trying to accept that I cant do everything and be everything! To combat this and help me accept this I came up with the perfect to-do list.

My list has 3 sections, the first is labelled 'Vitally Important' this is for things that need to be done in my day, today that's food shopping, washing and this blog post! The next section is called 'If You Find Time' this is for things I would like done, but there's no bad consequences if I don't get to it. Today's examples are, Putting the suitcases back in the loft, re-writing a blog post and finishing this weeks uni work. Things often stay in this category for 1 or 2 days before moving up into the Vitally Important category.

The last section is my favourite, it's the section that gievs me a kick up the backside every time I try and add more than I'm able to do onto my list, its labelled 'Write it down and forget about it, it's not happening so stop stressing!' Today's examples are things like making colour coded labels for my washing baskets and clearing out everyone's wardrobes. They aren't important, they don't need doing but I just needed to write it down to get the idea out of my head!

I love that my to-do list can keep me on track and keep me focused on the most important things to tackle. Its become a huge help in my day. If you think it might help you too, you can download and print my to-do list here. I'd love to hear how you organise your day, are you a list person like me or do you use another method?

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Monday, 13 October 2014

A trip to A&E

In order to blog, keep up with social media channels and fit in my uni work each day I've taken to working outside, sitting in my car whilst Pop sleeps in his car seat and the girls play in the street with their chalks, scooters, skittles or just running up and down with each other. (Our back garden is very small with little room to play and there is definitely more room to play on the street!) 

Last week while we were all outside, Baby Girl slipped and grazed her knee, she was so upset and wouldn't walk on it for the rest of the day. We put it down to her sensory issues and thought on Friday morning she would be much better. We were woken up on Friday morning by the biggest, loudest, scream you can imagine. Baby Girl claimed not to
be able to walk, she wouldn't move, was cradling her knee and was very upset. So off to A&E we went!

Luckily at 8am on a Friday morning it wasn't too busy and we were seen quite quick, When the first Dr came in she was limping, very upset and would barely move. By 10am and the 2nd Dr she was running around on it fine, typical kids! They decided she probably just bruised it and off we went home. On Sunday morning it was much of the same, she was limping, cradling it and claiming it was hurting lots and lots. I took her off to A&E again the whole time she flipped between limping on it and running fine! So this time the Dr decided too X-ray just in case. 

She quite enjoyed having a special photo of her leg taken, although she was very disappointed she couldn't look at it after! Her knee was fine, there was no sign of a break or fracture. Phew! Through out the week her knee was still hurting, some mornings she would wake up crying and some days she would suddenly claim it hurt her too much to walk, and then, quite by accident, I hurt my hand. I had a small graze and cut on my knuckles and she wouldn't touch me. She told me it hurt me lots and couldn't bear to hold that hand or even look at it. 

Suddenly I realised if that was her reaction to
a cut on my body how must it feel to have similar on hers, except hers was much bigger! Every day we are discovering new issues with her, every day adding things to the list so we remember to tell the consultant. Some days it feels like we are taking 10 big steps backwards and others we are finally breaking through the layers in understanding our Baby Girl. 

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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Referral

Autism was first mentioned when Baby Girl was just 6 months old, we were seeing a paediatric consultant who specialised in intolerances and allergies in children, but during his career he had also worked in child development. As I talked through Baby Girls story he said that he had seen many children like Baby Girl and many of them had gone on to be on the Autistic Spectrum. I was so sure he was wrong, and I was angry with him. How DARE he suggest there was something wrong with my perfect baby girl. 

Over the past 2.5 years there have been a few professionals that have suggested Baby Girl was different. I've struggled with her quirky and at time challenging behaviour. Since Baby Pop's birth her quirky behaviour has been more obvious than ever. I knew she was a difficult baby, but I can now see just how difficult she was and still is. I finally agreed to let the professionals assess her. 

The Health visitor came out and was met with a half dressed toddler who was asleep on the stairs, she watched as I picked her up and she watched her fight sleep and insist she was wide awake. We went through her entire life so far and she watched and played with her. She took notes and asked lots of questions and finally told me she needed to write up a report and get back to me. 

She phoned a week later with the 'good' news and I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. The Health visitor has been discussing Baby Girl with a local Paediatric Consultant and she is really keen to meet her and assess her further. 

Since first contact with the Health Visitor she has been asking what I wanted from the process and its been a question I was finding hard to answer. I guess I'm looking for help in dealing with her tantrums I would half heartedly say, not really convinced myself! But in that moment I suddenly knew the answer to the question, yes I would like help and new strategies in dealing with her, but first and foremost I wanted them to tell me I was being paranoid, there was nothing wrong with her and it was all my fault. I just wanted them to tell me she was a 'normal' child.

I'm told getting a referral is difficult and getting a referral at 2 is almost impossible, I've been told I should be feeling happy and excited she's got a referral, but right now, the kicked in the stomach feeling is here to stay. 

*This post was actually written a while ago, I'm not convinced Baby Girl is on the spectrum, but open to the idea of a Sensory processing Disorder and on the way to coming to terms with things. I even attended a SEN toddler group. In a strange way it was such a relief to meet so many other mums with children exactly the same as Baby Girl, children who don't like cuddles unless its on their terms, children who wont wear clothes or sleep when until they literally drop. Children who don't cope well with noise and have ridiculously high pain thresholds. It was just such a relief to know there are other children like Baby girl out there and other mums like me who are struggling to deal with them

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Biology Lesson from a 3 year old.

I should warn you today's post is completely and totally too much information! If you don't have toddlers and are squeamish about bodily functions I suggest you move on, this post is not for you. If however you would like to know how my 3 year old thinks diarrhea is made then read on!

Every now and then Big Girl gets a bout of toddler diarrhea, Its left over from the days of her milk intolerance which has all but disappeared, apart from the occasional bout of diarrhea when she drinks a milkshake and has cheese for lunch or eats one too many yogurts in a week. 

This morning we heard the familiar cry of 'Mummy I've done a poo and its really runny!' I went to help her and she said 'I know how diarrhea is made' 'do you' I responded, more grossed out at the task in hand. 'Yes mummy. Diarrhea is made when the wee is stuck behind the poo and it wont come out. The wee has to push past the poo and it mixes and it gets all runny.' 

Sometimes the conversations I have with my toddlers are just delightful! 

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