Showing posts from 2016

Our little camping trip in Norfolk this summer!

This summer we went camping for the first time, a 7 month pregnant me, the husband and Conner who is never away from his xbox for longer than ten minutes, and Noah who is nocturnal. This was going to be interesting to say the least! First obstacle was the actual lack of camping gear we owned, so we borrowed a tent and some other camping paraphernalia. We had prebooked at a newly opened campsite in Wells-next-the-sea in Norfolk, Blue Skies Campsite if you fancy a nosey. It is a family run site, and this summer was their first season, not that you would tell. 

If I am honest I didn't quite know what to expect, and I had no idea what facilities to expect at a campsite. I imagined grim toilets and an old concrete shower block but I couldn't have been more wrong. When you arrive at the site you drive in a gated entrance and the reception is a caravan with information notices outside and contact numbers for the staff, the site is staffed from first thing in the morning until late at …

Our visit to Twycross Zoo this summer

As a family we love going on days out, but with Noah and his communication difficulties, it is always relatively stressful and requires careful planning on our part. We wanted to take him out somewhere after his 3rd birthday in July and decided that given his current interest in animals, a zoo would be the best bet. We had previously visited Twycross Zoo in East Midlands in 2014 and absolutely loved it! Actually when it came to writing this post I realised that my blog picture was actually taken there when we visited in 2014. From our memory of our visit we particularly liked that the zoo covered such a vast space and it didn't feel particularly busy so we decided to make a return visit. We booked our tickets online which saved us a few pennies and while we printed our receipt off, the staff there are happy for you to provide them with your booking reference if you don't have a printer. 

As you enter the zoo using the entrance pictured above, there is a large indoor complex wit…

For the crappy days (literally)

We are all guilty of editing our lives and putting a filter over things, sharing a snapshot of how perfect and lovely we want people to think our lives are. Since being a mum this is definitely something I do much, much more. Taking pictures of our darling children the first day of term, usually in front of the door where there is no mess, or putting mushy statuses on facebook about how wonderful our children are and what a dream they are to look after. And of course not forgetting the adorable (filtered) pictures on instagram that were actually the best of 20 snaps where they weren't smiling or even looking. 
Not all parents are brave enough to bare all about how being a mum or dad can be really crappy work, meant in the descriptive and literal sense. I think it is fair to say we have all had the pleasure of dealing with a 'poonami' you know, the one where your small baby does a poo and it goes all up their backs, down their legs and sometimes even in their hair. That is p…

Family expansion by 1

This post has been sat in my drafts for months, in February we found out that we were pregnant with our rainbow baby. A rainbow baby is a baby that comes after a loss, or a number of losses. With our previous pregnancies we have always told our friends and family very early on, and then have had to call around and give the sad news that our baby had died these last two pregnancies in 2014 and 2015. I am an advocate of sharing your news before 12 weeks because as hard as it is to have to call your loved ones and tell them, it is easier when they are let in to your grief. Some people may not know how to support you, but some will and it is in these testing times you find that those that really care, will stick around. They will make you a cup of tea and ask you how you feel, how your heart is healing and if there is anything they can do, most importantly they will acknowledge your loss. 

Transforming our small garden

I spent all of last summer moaning about how much my garden depressed me, all of last winter planning what we would do to improve it, all of spring saying "we really must do something about that garden" and the other half (the manual labour half) 2 days of graft - and a lot of sunburn - to actually get it done. It was literally a neglected square of weeds and the odd blade of grass, dirt patches and a greying fence. I didn't take proper 'before' photos, this is just one on my phone that I sent to a friend when she insisted that my garden couldn't be as bad as hers, point proven I think and you can see why I hated it so much, nowhere decent for the children to play, although the trampoline is used, the kids just have to head up the path and traipse through the weeds!

Our garden is fairly small so we had to think carefully about how to make the most of the space we had. Originally we just wanted all grass, but didn't know quite what we would do to stand the …

My new venture as an Imperial Candles Ambassador

I have previously bought Imperial Candles products and absolutely loved them, so when I heard a few months back that they would be having consultant opportunities coming up, I jumped at the chance to start. I thought a great place to begin would be to tell you all about Imperial Candles and what they are all about. I got my first Imperial Candle last year at Halloween as they had a special offer on where there were two jewels hidden in the candle, if I am to be completely honest, that was the single reason I ordered one. I figured with two pieces of jewellery in, if the candle was crap I wouldn't be at any loss as I would have some pretty silver jewellery. The candle really did exceed my expectations, it was a lot bigger than I expected it to be and they burn really well and evenly, and smell GORGEOUS!

Since becoming a consultant for Imperial candles I have ordered two candles for myself and thought I would tell you a little bit about them. The candles are hand poured after you ord…

The unrealistic body ideals

So, yesterday I saw a facebook post that had been shared with the above image displayed, as Calvin Klein were proud to announce their use of a 'plus size' model. You may be thinking that I have clearly attached the wrong image to this post, but you would be wrong. The model above is a size 10, yes a UK and Australia size 10, US size 6 and european size 38. 
Looking online it appears that the campaign was shot in 2014 and it seems the image has been floating around a while but has been thrust back into the spotlight thanks to the powers of social media, and rightly so. I think we need to discuss images that have been labelled this way, I think that to consider this woman as 'plus size' is to condemn the majority of women to a label of obese. Size 10 is by no stretch of the imagination, a 'plus' size. 
Seeing models such as the one above, branded as plus size, makes me worry for my children and the world they are growing up in. My 10 year old son already has diffic…

The 7 stages of preparing to holiday in the UK

Every year we go away for a little long weekend break with Haven, this year is our fourth year returning to the same park and always find we do the same few things in our preparations. You would like to think that holidaying in the UK would be less stressful and argument inducing than a foreign holiday but I beg to differ. Here you will find our 7 things that we do every year and will probably continue to do so despite admitting to it here in all it's glory!

1. In our house it is the (self appointed) job of my husband to plan our route and decide on a time to leave, that we will never achieve! So he sits there year on year with his glasses and the iPad attempting to look 'proper'. Once he has sat talking to the iPad saying 'Right, ok' 'OK' he will show me the lovely map on AA route planner, always his preference, and announce our planned stops for wee breaks and the stretching of legs. I might add that these stops are generally the same every year but he doe…

I have blinked and it is June!

We are more than half way into June and I cannot believe how fast this year seems to be going, I probably say the same every year but it does feel like I have blinked and lost half a year! We are in the height of sports days, school picnics, dressing up days and all of the other summer activities and random crap that our schools charge us for. Soon it will be the summer holidays where we all start the six weeks with such joy that we don't have to do the school run and then 2 weeks into the holiday we wish it were September already! 

The week before last was scorching hot and I got myself a bit of a tan, then all of last week was rainy and the last few days have been cloudy. I suspect that may have been the British summer and we have missed it now. I am a typical brit in the sense of how much I complain about the weather, I spend all of the cloudy and rainy days wishing for sun and when the sun does come out I complain I am too hot! 

Grey skies and dark afternoons is my view as I wri…

Moving on from the ASD diagnosis

The title was the most appropriate that I could think of, you don't move on from a diagnosis of a disability in the sense of closing that door and moving in a different direction, but everyone in the family has to learn to live with it. Most of all, my husband and I, we have had to do reading and reach out to learn more about ASD so that we can be the best parents we are able to be. We are in training as such, but with the best will in the world, you can read every book, article, journal or research paper, but in all honesty there is only one person in the world that can teach you all that you need to know, and that is your child. Your child's autism is specific to them and although they will display similiar behaviours to another child with the same diagnosis, no two children with autism are the same. 

Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder

So this weekend just gone, we had the pleasure of attending and taking part in the Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder quite near to us. The mini mudder is part of the tough mudder event, which for those of you that aren't familiar with it, involves rather a lot of running, mud, obstacles, mud, deep puddles, oh and mud, a little bit of swimming and a bit of mud. The mini mudder course is less intense, but just as muddy.

Review: The Milk Lounge & Magical Movers (Nottingham)

After signing our little monkey up to his first ever group this month, and having no idea how it would go and whether it would be something we could attend regularly, I thought I would pop a little post up to sum up how it all went. With his Autism as severe as it is, I have never made use of the Surestart groups or local groups at the library, because I haven't found them to be accommodating or accepting of his needs. Perhaps it is more my issue than his but still, I hate the way some parents judge children and how children with difficulties or disabilities are not made to feel welcome. Particularly those where their disabilities are not visible, and those children are perceived as naughty or out of control.

The Magical Movers group was held atThe Milk Lounge, you may well have read in the media about The Milk Lounge, a new family friendly cafe in Arnold, Nottinghamshire. I'm not going to link the articles but I have read many in the press naming The Milk Lounge as a breastfee…

A letter to my first born...

Dearest boy,

You turned 10 this month (10!! A decade!!) which besides making me feel really old has also made me think about a lot of things. You and I have been on quite the journey together, we have moved house more times than I can count on my hands, you have changed school and we have relocated half way up the country. All the while, you have smiled and taken it all in your stride. 

If I am to be perfectly honest though, I do have a lot to thank you for. I was in year 11 at school when you were born, I finished school at the Christmas holidays, had you in the March and returned when you were tiny to do my exams. Admittedly, I didn't achieve great results but the point I am making is that I could have used you as an excuse to drop out of school and not return, but I didn't. I have you to thank for that because when I became your Mum, I knew I wanted more for us and for you. I didn't want a normal job for a normal wage in a normal house and for us to just plod along. I wan…

Small changes, big challenges

I have neglected the blog somewhat (again) for a while, and as I write this I am emerging from another fortnight of illness, bringing the current period of miserable poorly child to 4 weeks. My little monkey got over his ear infection and then got an infection on his skin in the outer ear so once again we came back from the doctors with enough medication to start a pharmacy, all of which requires a war to administer! More antibiotics, an ear spray and a cream. If I am entirely honest, the antibiotics he spat all over the place and we gave up trying after 2 doses, the ear spray (though traumatic) worked a treat and although monkey hated Daddy - yes I totally made him do the horrible bit so I could have cuddles - it did heal it really quickly. 

Wicked Wednesday 02/03

Popped the phone on selfie mode to attempt a picture of this little monkey for him to just use it as a mirror to pick his nose. Naturally, he wiped it on the sofa. 

My problem with services in the UK for autistic children

I could write forever and ever about the flaws in the services available to our children with additional needs, and I feel very strongly about the matter as many a professional has had me on the end of their phone, telling them the flaws of their service, probably while they call me all the swear words under the sun (actually I would bet my last pound that this is true). I am sure that in comparison to other families, I have been fighting the battle for services for quite a short time, but we all fight hard for what our children need and moreover, what they deserve. I speak from my experience of services I have fought for my little monkey who is non verbal and has Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I will draw on my own experiences and appreciate that my experiences do not reflect that of everyone, however from talking to a range of people over time I realise that many parents and carers feel that services are lacking, and very slow to receive from the point of referral.

Update from me

It feels like ages since I have written some new content on here, so I just thought I would offer a little update. It was been a really busy couple of weeks for us, our littlest man has been really ill with an inner ear infection which has been an absolute nightmare. Not helped by the fact that he refuses to take medicine from a syringe at all. We have been wrestling a 2 and a half year old with the strength of an ox to get some antibiotics and ibuprofen into him, which has resulted in medicine all over him, all over us, and all over any nearby surfaces. He grits his teeth so you cannot get the syringe in and then blows raspberries with pursed lips so it sprays back at you, it's quite an art. However, we are now expert in hiding medication in his drinks and yogurts.

In other news, I went for some interviews last week and was lucky enough to be offered both positions. So pretty soon I will finally be putting my degree to use and getting out there in the world of work. It is a bit ne…

Review: The Peak Edge Hotel, Derbyshire

We booked quite a while ago to stay at the Peak Edge hotel for our wedding anniversary, which is Valentine's Day. We booked Saturday 13th February for one night. 

On arrival, the first thing you see from the road is the Red Lion pub and the hotel sits to it's rear. There is plenty of parking available and they appeared to be installing a footpath to the far side of the car park as there were some building materials there and a timber outline for a footpath. There was a wedding taking place the day we arrived but it was still very quiet, which was lovely to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The hotel is situated in the southern point of the peak district in Derbyshire and is out of the way from nearby Chesterfield, down a country lane away from the main road. It was easy enough to find and when you are close it is signposted well. As you can see from the pictures the hotel is set in hills and countryside, which compliments the hotel with it's natural and rustic…