Monday, 30 July 2012

We're home

We're back from our sailing adventure and we had a great time. The weather couldn't of been better and the kids coped really well on the boat. So what have I missed in the world of blogging?

I'm having a bit of writers block tonight, perhaps it's a week away from technology that has done it, which surprisingly I found I coped with a lot better than I thought I would. It was actually quite nice to wake up in the morning without checking emails, sending texts or checking out the gossip on facebook. 

So anyway, I'm now going to do the obligatory boring you with holiday snaps bit... 

 I just can't believe how lucky we were with the weather, we definitley chose the right week to go.

 Teaching my little man how to do knots, he was so pleased with himself when he mastered it.

 All this sailing is hard work mummy!

 Lj spent the entire time pointing out the window saying "Look big, big, big boat" to EVERY boat that went past. That's a lot of boats in a week!

 Near to where our new mooring is. We were sat here, looking out over this, with a glass of vino just after the kids had gone to bed. Lovely.

 Who needs to go abroad?

 H loved being in the sea and Lj kept a safe distance away. I did try and dip her in which resulted in her scrunching up her toes and screaming at me very loudly! It took the rest of the day for her to forgive me. She's scary when she's mad, I think it's the Celt in her.

It may have been a holiday but there were still chores that needed doing.

So there you have it, our holiday in a nut shell. I'd say it was a very successful trip, back to reality now. :-(

Friday, 20 July 2012

Goodbye, Farewell

Goodbye, Farewell, Au revoir, Ciao, Shalom, Ja ne, Farvel, Dyw genes.

We are off on our holidays. A whole week on a boat with two little ones, wish us luck, I have a feeling we're going to need it!

See you in a week or so.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

100th post - H's Birth Story

 As this is my 100th post I though I'd share with you H's birth story, as him and his sister are, after all, why I started this blog.
Everyone has their own unique birth story and this is his. I wouldn't say it's the nicest birth story ever but definitley not the worst.

I hated being pregnant, I spent far too long worrying about the birth and not enough time focusing on the fact that I was actually going to have a baby to look after afterwards.
I had a very detailed birth plan and I knew that I wanted an epidural, no exceptions!
H was due on the 8th of Jan and everyone kept telling me that it was very rare for babies to come early so I wasn't expecting him anytime soon.
Then on the 4th Jan I went into labour! 
That night as the OH and I walked up the stairs to bed I peered out of the window and what did I see... SNOW and lots of it! I looked back at my partner and jokinly said "It's snowing, guarantee you I go into labour tonight". Little did I know that I actually would, 3 days before my due date.
We both went to bed, same as always, nothing happening.
It took me ages to go to sleep as it did every night at that stage of pregnacy. (I just couldn't get comfortable).
Then suddenly in the middle of the night I awoke with a start and sat upright in bed. I must had made a noise or something because the OH jumped up out of bed faster than I have ever seen him move. He then promptly announced that I was in labour. It still makes me laugh now that he knew this before I did.
With this being my first child I didn't really believe I was in labour. I was in a kind of denial about the birth, like somehow I would just suddenly have a baby without actually giving birth.
I remember he kept asking me "Do you think your in labour?" and I remember thinking 'how the hell do I know, I've never done this before!' I'd been having a lot of Braxton Hicks pain weeks before this and I wasn't really sure if it was just that or labour.
It felt like period pain, a sort of warm feeling all around my ovaries with the cramping pain in my stomach. The pain came and went in waves exactlly the same as I get every month with my period. It wasn't anything like you see in the movies where the woman suddenly screams, then her waters break and five seconds later she has a baby. It was definatley a gradually pain.
The OH rang the hospital and they advised that we came in as we lived 30 minutes from the hospital and it was now thick with snow outside.

From here on in everything was kind of a blur but I will tell you the bits I do remember, so if it seems a bit disjointed then that is why.

I remember the car journey, and I remember thinking at the time, 'Thank god it's snowing, now he can't drive to fast. Silly things you think of, the fact that I was about to give birth was irrelevant.

Cordella Ave. at Night.
Photo by Diego Torres Silvestre
I then remember arriving at the hospital and worrying about getting a ticket for the car.
Then it was the longest walk of my life from the car park to the maternity ward, (why do they put this ward the furthest away the possibly can!) and having to stop every minute for the flow of pain.

We finally got into the ward and they examined me straight away, I was only 3 centimetres! This was going to take a while.
By now the pain was like really strong period pain but nothing I hadn't felt before, every month for the last 14 or so years. 

I told them I wanted an epidural and they said I'd have to wait for the man with the drugs as he was busy with someone else at the moment. I don't really remember much after that point until he arrived, I think I went into some kind of trance or something.

When he did finally arrive I remember being in quite a bit of pain by then, I had to lean over the side of the bed and stay really still, easier said than done when you are in that much pain. I fet like saying to him 'How about I kick you full pelt in the goolies and then you stay still while I stab you in the back with a very big needle'. Luckily I was in to much pain to speak.
As it turned out I didn't even feel the needle go in.

I must admit I did feel a sense of relief after the epidural went in that this pain was going to stop soon, or so I thought!
After about an hour or so after I had the epidural I was in more pain than I was before. The midwives couldn't work it out until I tried to stand up. Basically I couldn't, I couldn't feel my legs at all, I couldn't even wiggle my toes. So naturally I paniced, they've bloody paralised me! 
What they decided happened was something to do with the chambers in my back along my spine, so the medicine had gone straight down to my legs instead of my stomach, where I needed it. 
By now I was in quite a lot of pain and was temporarily paralised from the waist down and still hadn't actually had any pain relief that was working. This was not going to plan.
They decided to get the medicine man back in and do ANOTHER epidural but higher up in my back this time.

Once this one was in it worked, I had no pain, it was amazing. The only problem now was that I was so numb down below that when it came to the time to push I couldn't. This is where it gets a bit nasty, just to warn you. So out comes the ventouse (the thing they attach to the babies head and basically suck them out of you). They had to cut me down there in order to get it onto his head, luckily because I was so numb I didn't feel this at all. 
So after much pulling and tugging which was sending H's heartbeat up, not suprising really (not the best way to come into the world) and about 16 hours later, he was finally born.

You think this story would end there but it doesn't (by the way if you've made it this far well done).
After he was born and the midwives had sewn me up again they wanted to transfer me into the recovery ward, only problem was I was still paralised from the waste down. They had to maneuver me onto a bed with wheels and roll me into the room. I then had to have a catheter put in which was horrible, possibly the worst bit so far, not because it hurt, I still couldn't feel anything but because I knew they had to take it out again at some point when the pain relief had worn off. 

I spent the entire night awake in bed worrying that I was going to rip the catherter out if I feel asleep. I still couldn't move and H kept being sick (nice tar looking black sick) and I couldn't do anything to help him so I had to keep calling the nurse in every 5 minutes to sort him out. Apparently he swallowed a lot of the fluid inside and he was bringing it all up, which was terrifying.

I didn't get the feeling back into my legs until the next day and by then I was so tired from lack of sleep that I didn't know what planet I was on let alone that I'd just had a baby. 
When I finally got to go home I was very sore from the stiches and it seemed to take weeks to heal but I had the most beautiful little baby boy which made it all worth it.

3 and a half years later and my little baby boy is so not so little any more

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

What on earth is that I hear you ask?
Well it's a contraption that the OH made for our local pubs soap box derby. All put together with stuff found in the garden and one of my dining room chairs grrr. 
It had no brakes, no seat belt and only two thin ropes to use for steering. 

Luckily my other half isn't stupid and offered to pay one of the locals in beer if he would ride it instead. He happily agreed, men will do anything for beer! We did kit him out with my OH's bike leathers and helmet though.

The other entries, that stood out, included an exercise machine put on wheels and two normal bikes attached together by wood?! (which you can just about see behind our one)
It was a really fun day and lots of the locals came out to support it and we won, yey.  Although it wasn't that hard, our cart was the only one that actually made it  to the finish line without falling to pieces.

 This post was inspired by Tara's Gallery over at Sticky Fingers


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Organix Review

I like surprises so you can imagine how happy I was when we recieved this in the post the other morning.

We use to use Organix products all the time when H was younger, what with living in the pub and not having our own kitchen. So when this arrived in the post I was quite excited to see what Lj thought about their products.

'Ooo what's this Mummy?'

'hmmm I've never had these before'
'mmm I think I like these, got any more?'

 Not to be outdone by his sister even H got in on the action.


This is what Organix say about their food...

 'Our No Junk Promise guarantees our food is made with nothing but the best quality organic ingredients - with nothing unnecessary added and nothing important taken away.  All our foods are made with organic, tasty and natural ingredients to suit your baby's nutritional needs.  So even if you don't have the time to make your baby's meal yourself, you can still give them something that's healthy, nutritious and tasty'.

Included in our pack was the Organic mini cheese crackers, the Organic mini gingerbread men, the Organic cheeseherb puffs, the Organic raisins & chopped apricots, the tasty beef stew & dumplings wth vegetables, the Organic veg & oat bar and the Organic blackcurrant soft oaty bar. 
I have to be honest here and say that both my children enjoyed everything in the pack apart from the Organic veg & oat bar. I think they were expecting it to be sweet and when they realised it wasn't they decided it wasn't for them.
But everything else went down a treat. Thank you Organix. 
To check out the other yummy products from Organix go to there website here.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Shut up and stop moaning!

I'm going to have a bit of a moan today (just to warn you lol)
I was going to write a post about ' A Mother's Guilt' but I'm struggling. Not because I don't know what to write but more because I can't concentrate. I can't concentrate because I'm just so tired and I'm fed up with being tired which makes me cross. Then I go from cross to sad which makes me feel even more tired

I wake up every morning and feel like I have been beaten with a baseball bat.
Everyday I feel so tired that I can hardly function, I have constant pain all over my body and everytime I stand up everything goes blackI am still in my late 20's and I shouldn't feel like this everyday. 
The kids go to bed at 7 and don't get up till about 8 so I get plently of sleep. I'm generally on my feet all day doing something whether it be ironing, cleaning, cooking or running around after little ones but that still doesn't explain why I feel as bad as I do.
Image by Ferran Jorda

It seems that if I have a day out with the children, like going to the zoo for the day, it then takes me a week to recover from it. That can't be right?!
I have been back to the doctors AGAIN and she now reckons that it might be iron-deficienct anaemia caused by my heavy periods each month. I must admit I did feel slightly relieved that we may have found the answer but I can't help but be sceptical. I have been taking the pills she gave me for a while now and I'm yet to see any improvement. Maybe it takes a while to kick in?
I have to go back in a month to discuss how I'm feeling, so we'll see.
Image by Keith Ramsey
I'm sorry about the moan but it's just that some days I struggle to pretend that I feel ok. Today is one of those days.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Step Away from the Hairdryer!

I have a confession to make...

 'I hate having my hair done'. 

Quite frankly I find the whole experience a complete and utter nuisance. 
You go and tell them what you want and then they do the exact opposite. 
I know my hair, I have lived with it for the last 27 years after all, I know what it likes and I know what it doesn't like but for some reason this girl standing behind me thinks that because she has know my hair for all of about 5 minutes she knows whats best for it. 

Let me explain better, my hair is curly, infact curly isn't the right word for it, my hair is a thick tangled mane of crazyiness. I have finally, after much experimenting when I was younger, resigned to the fact that it cannot and will not be tamed. It does what it wants when it wants and I could spend my life fighting it or I could just live the quiet life and let it get on with it.

So you can understand why when I go into a salon I am only there for one reason and one reason only and that is to have a significant amount of it lobbed off to make it slighlty more managble. No I do not what to know about the latest free from frizz product, No I do not what to discuss the weather or where I am going on holiday this year and unless you are thinking of entering me into the next 'best bolognese dog competition', then keep that hairdryer away from me!
Image from Little Pawz website

I clearly lack the female hormone that makes me enjoy pampering, maybe it's my tomboy side of me coming out again. Am I alone in this or do you also avoid hairdressers like the plague?
Now I must go I have to spend the next couple of hours washing out the copious amount of products from my hair!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

10 Child-Friendly Places to Visit in South Devon

I have just realised that as of next month we will have been living in Devon for a year now. I just can't get over how fast time seems to be flying by at the moment.
Even though we have been here a year it still sometimes feels like we are on a very long holiday. 
We keep discovering new and exciting places to go so I thought for todays post I would share with you some of the fantastic child friendly places that we have found, especially with the forthcoming summer holidays.

1) The Wood Cafe

Now this is a fantastic place that is set within a woodland Yurt Camp. They have a great range of food and drink available (their hot chocolate with marshmallows is my fave) and while you are enjoying your food the children can either play with the basket full of toys or go outside to the undercover play barn.  This place is definitely worth a visit. 

2) Trago Mills

 Trago is one of my regular haunts with the kids, especially when I don't want to spend a huge amount of money. There is so much to do there and you could easily fill up a whole day. (From an adult point of view it is all looking a little tired these days and could do with a good lick of paint but the children don't care about that).
There's an amusment park with a whole array of different rides, you can either buy a ticket for the day for these or pay as you go with tokens. 
The little steam train is a great way to travel around the site and takes you from one end to the other.
My sons favourite part of Trago is the model railway which costs just a pound each to get into (under 4's are free). My daughters favourite part is the animal farm, which is free to get into. Always a bonus.
 For the adults there is a massive, and I mean massive, discount store. They sell everything from carpets to candles.

If you fancy an active day, whether it be walking, cycling, climbing or flying threw the trees, then this is the place for you. It is free to get in, you just have to pay for your parking. ( Peak - Up to 2 hours £3, Over 2 hours £4).
I love this place when I'm having one of those days where the aim of the game is to wear the kids out. 
They have some fantastic walks to suit all abilities and if you aim it right you can end the walk at the big sandpit playarea. 

Personally I love this place, I have a bit of a thing for glass. 
This is another place that is free to get into. There's a shop, a restaurant, glass blowing workshop, outside games garden, marble museum and the fabulous marble runs (these keep my son amused for ages). 
If you are looking to buy a unusual present for someone then this is the place to go.

This is another place that we regularly frequent. A bit like Haldon, it's free to get in but you just have to pay for parking ( £1 for two hours or £2 for all day, I believe). 
Right in the middle is the massive lake that you can walk around and feed the ducks as you go. There are interpretation boards dotted around the walk, an aeriel walkway, a bird hide, picnic areas and a children's walk with little wooden animal statues. 
You can also visit the Nature Interpretation Centre. (Also free).

Cockington is a magical village hidden within the middle of Torquay. It has your classic 'choclate box' style cottages with thatched roofs and horse drawn carts. 
Cockington Court is right in the centre of the village and has cafes, playarea, workshops and plenty of space for the kids to run wild and free. 
You don't have to pay to get in but again you must pay for your parking, quite pricey at around £6 but definitely worth it. 
There is often events going on here so worth checking out their website before you go to see what's on. 

Photo taken from their website

This is one of those, for what seems inevitable, wet days that we seem to be having so many of lately. 
Ted's is an indoor play place specially designed for under 6's. 
It's great because you don't have the usual worries that you have when you go to the other big soft play centres. You can drink your tea in peace knowing that your little bundle of joy isn't going to get squashed by a bigger kid or lost in a maze of colourful plastic.
It's £3 per child for unlimited play and under 1's go free. There's a cafe, free parking and baby changing facilities.

If your daughter is anything like mine and has a new found fascination with animals then this is a great little place to visit. It's free to go to but they are only open to the public on Sundays between 1.30 and 4.00.
They have a small selection of ponies that you can see and stroke and even adopt one if you feel like it. (That might make it a bit of an expensive trip though!) 
You can find the dpht in the grounds of Parke a National Trust area which is also a great free place to visit with lots of beautiful walks along hidden rivers.
I suggest you take a picnic, yummy.

Image taken from website

This is one of mine and the OH's favourite places to eat. The food is real, fresh rustic farm food. It's lovely!
The cafe has an indoor play area for the kids, so you can enjoy your food in peace. It also has an outdoor play area, a farm shop and an animal barn. 
If you are like us and still like to go out and enjoy good food but don't want the stress of worrying about the kids then this is the place for you.

10) Last but not least Teignmouth Seafront

This is another place that we spend quite a significant amount of time, well weather permitting of cause. It has the best playground around (free) and the pier is also a great place to visit. (free to get in, we like free)
You can stroll along the seafront and take in the views, you could even have some yummy fish and chips.

Image taken from website

 So that's it, this is my life, all the places that we spend most of our time. if you know of any other great places in the area then I'd love to know about them.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Gallery - Food

This weeks theme for the Gallery is Food. My favourite subject, I love food! 
I use to only love eating it but now I also love making it thanks to the help of my wonderful other half (he's a great teacher).

As much as I would like to take credit for this lovely plate of nosh, I can't. 
I had this about 4 years ago (pre kiddies) in one of my most favourite places The Wookey Hole Inn.
The food was amazing and the bedrooms are fabulous. Each room is different with it's own unique twist. 
We haven't been back there for ages, what with having the children, moving and everything else that seems to take up daily life. 
I have heard that it's under new managment so I just pray that they haven't changed a thing and hopefully we will get back there some day, especially now that we live much closer. It would be a great place for a proposal *cough* hint to the OH  *cough*.

To check out the other entries to this weeks Gallery head over to Tara's blog at Sticky Fingers

Monday, 9 July 2012

Potty Training - Day (I've lost count)

This is how my mornings now start...

I awake to hear thud, thud, thud coming down the hallway towards the bathroom. Then from the comfort of my bed I hear the little voice commentary begin 'I'm going to have a poo'. Rip, off comes the night nappy followed by the sound of rustling. Then silence until Plop, 'ooo I've done a poo'. 
Next I hear the thud, thud, thud of tiny feet again but this time it's coming my way. I open my eyes to see a little face staring back at me 'Mummy I've done a poo!' So proud.

I thought I'd do an update today on how the potty training is going.
Cue Professor Higgins 'By jove I think he's got it'. 

At last we seem to of cracked it. We haven't had an accident for about 3 weeks now (touch wood). Sometimes he doesn't even tell me he's going to the loo and just does it all himself. It seems to have taken him forever  to get the hang of it but we got there in the end.  All started here
Nex it's going to be round two of potty training but I'm hoping Lj will be easier (I've heard that girls are).